Letters February 2000 Issue

Building Immunity

Readers enthuse about having access to information about immune problems.

I am so glad you are presenting information about immune system problems. I myself suffer from extreme immune dysfunction and environmental illness, and it is only because I have an excellent holistic M.D. and take numerous vitamins and supplements and eat organic food that I am alive.

I appreciate your publication, as I have six dogs. I switched my four older dogs to Wysong Senior, and have seen a increase in vitality in all four. My old Ridgeback had ear problems for years, with scaling and thickening of her ear flaps. They are now normal, silky, and no longer cause her to scratch.

My male Basenji, now 10, had a reaction to a six-in-one puppy shot when he was eight weeks old. His adult teeth came in with severe enamel hypoplasia – looking like “distemper teeth” seen in the days when distemper was common. He also tends to react to vaccinations by developing hives and itching. I showed him, and have met many other Basenji owners who have similar tales of bad vaccine reactions. Perhaps a more primitive immune system, or at least, a more sensitive one, exists in this breed.

I believe our love affair with chemicals, pesticides, fragrances, etc., is causing illness in many people and their pets. My own doctor believe that vaccines are also responsible for many immune system diseases. I’m glad to see a publication alert its readers to the hazards in our environment and encourage a more healthy, holistic approach to pet care.

Regarding healthy rawhide chews (which WDJ wrote about in the August 1999 issue): We buy “American Beefhide” chews. They are made by Harper Leather Goods in Illinois, and contain no additives, preservatives, or dyes.

-Cathy Ritlaw
Dolan Springs, AZ


Thanks so much for your kind words, and for your suggestion about the chews. To locate a nearby retail outlet for the chews, readers may call Harper Leather Goods at (888) 542-7737.


I was sooooooo glad to read in your Letters column in November (“Questioning Vaccines”) that other dogs have had the same problem as my dog has had. I have an oversized Toy Poodle, going on 11 years old, and equipped with three veterinarians due to her many medical problems. She had never had a seizure in her entire life until last year, when she was given her yearly combo shot. Two days after the shot, she had a full blown seizure.

This year, my local veterinarian and I decided to waive all vaccination boosters, not only because of the seizure, but because of my dog’s immune system is constantly stressed with severe allergies – which I’ve been told are the worst ever seen in the whole state of Kentucky (where I live). I was happy to see that others are realizing that we are overdoing it on vaccines. Sometimes less really is more! Many thanks and keep up the good work.

-Mrs. Anita Saylor
via email


I really appreciated the articles you have in the December 1999 issue of WDJ . They were right on with the approach of using positive reinforcement. The series you’ve been running on the immune system is super.

The alternative approach is gaining acceptance across the country, and rightfully so. Two years ago, we got large Boxer named Duke, who was a rescue animal. He was supposed to be terminated due to behavioral problems and allergies. Through positive reinforcement and using some new products we have turned his life around – no more steroids or antibiotics. It’s truly amazing what superfoods can do. Duke is now four and looks and feels great.

-Robert Stewart
Huntington, WV


Stay tuned for the final installment of the series on the immune system, which will discuss conventional and holistic treatments for immune system disorders and for improving immune system function. The article will be published in the March issue.


I just had to respond to the letter in the December issue from the reader thought WDJ was too biased in favor of positive training methods.

I, too, was skeptical (but intrigued) about the free issue offer. And I, too, put everything else aside to read that first (November 1999) issue. I also discovered that I did not see eye to eye on every issue and do agree with the letter writer that the “best reading and information is from a variety of sources.”

But hopefully, those sources are not only ones that confirm your own views; ones that present alternative viewpoints are very valuable. I’ve found that the best way to accomplish anything is to pull together all the information you can get from many sources and apply it the in a way that works best for you and your dog.

So, because the point of view represented in WDJ is hard to come by – and I already have ample representatives for the conventional viewpoint! – I will subscribe, and get to work ordering those back issues. Thank you for a wonderful publication.

-Hil Priest
Deary, ID

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