Can the immune system of cats be improved by transfer factors? What in heavens name are transfer factors? Transfer factors are immune messenger molecules. "They are found in white blood cells, colostrum, and eggs. They are often given credit for the perpetuation of species by transferring immunity against many pathogens that would otherwise kill the offspring." (published under Wikimedia® creative commons license license = Attribution-ShareAlike License).
They are said to the smallest molecules in the colostrum (mother's milk). The mother passes on her immunity to her offspring through transfer factors. She is also passing on information about her immune system through the transference of transfer factors.
Transfer factors are manufactured for sale to be used by people. The same product can and is used by veterinarians to treat cats. This commercially available preparation is claimed to enhance and stimulate the body's own immune system to fight against all pathogens, viral or otherwise. The people who sell this preparation say that there are 3 important functions of transfer factors - (a) boosting the immune system, (b) increasing the intelligence of the immune system and (c) modulating the immune system - suppressing an over-active immune system (a overactive immune system can damage the body it is designed to protect and some nasty illnesses are as a result of an abnormal immune response)
So to recap transfer factors are produced in the body of higher animals, naturally, and can be manufactured for sale and are important in the creation of an effective immune system. More information is available in this book: A Guide to Transfer Factors and Immune System Health. This is another recommended read: Transfer Factor: Natural Immune Booster (Woodland Health)
Some (all?) veterinarians that practice holistic and homeopathic medicine recommend treatment by transfer factors. It is a proactive measure. For example Rob Robertson, M.D. says that almost all pet illness can be referred back to a failure of some sort of the immune system. So boosting it and making it more effective can help prevent disease. Another example is provided by Dr. Falconer DVM in response to a question about treating bone cancer in pets. He recommends the transfer factors product used for humans at 2 capsules a day as part of the treatment (src: Shirley's Wellness Cafe)
The concept, then, is that the immune system of cats can be compromised (suppressed) by various factors including poor commercially available food, unnecessary vaccinations and a host of other reasons and prescribing transfer factors can help to boost, balance and repair the immune system to aid recovery from illness. There are testimonials that support the claim that transfer factor treatment can cure a pet where all conventional medication has failed and the cat or dog is being prepared for euthanasia.
If we are interested, I guess the next time we are seeing the vet we should ask about them. My bet is that vets not practicing homeopathic medicine will scoff at this treatment. They may not even know about it. Where can we get the preparations? Well you can get the preparation designed for humans on Amazon for a start: 4LIFE Tri-factor transfer factor plus. The vets practicing homeopathy use human transfer factor preparations on animals it seems. However there is a feline preparation available on Amazon too: TF Feline Complete (Contains Transfer Factor) 60 - 2 gram servings.
OK, over to your guys if you want to explore more. It is important that the immune system of cats is optimized and this is one way of getting there it seems to me - worth a try I'd say.
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