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Animal Health, and Holistic Care

"Over the past 40 years and 17 generations of dogs and cats we are seeing tremendous increases in chronic ill health in our animals and pets that was rare back in the early 1960's. Most of these illnesses revolve around breakdown in our pet's immune systems, and include chronic skin and ear allergies, digestive upset, thyroid and adrenal and pancreatic disorders, seizures, gum and teeth problems, degenerative arthritis, kidney and liver failure, and cancer across all ages and breeds. We are also seeing a record number of behavioral and emotional disorders including alarming and unexplained fears and aggression, as well as difficulty focusing, training and paying attention. The analogy of these compared with escalating behavioral diseases in children is quite disturbing." Michael Dym D.V.M.

Also See: Animal Hospital: Lessons in Truth and Honor For Pet Parents

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Natural Veterinary Care

Cindy Engel BSc PhD, author of "Wild Health Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal Kingdom, writes:

"How do wild animals keep themselves well? Scientists are finding insects, birds and mammals self-medicating their ills.

Dr. Engel points out fascinating parallels between animal and human medicine. She offers intriguing examples of how animals prevent and cure sickness and poisonings, heal open wounds, balance their diets, and regulate fertility. For instance,

Monkeys, bears, and birds protect themselves from insect bites and fungal infections by rubbing medicinal plants and insects into their skin. Chimpanzees carefully select anti-parasitic medicines to deal with parasites. Elephants roam miles to find the clay they need to help counter dietary toxins. And birds line their nests with pungent medicinal leaves and so improve their chicks’ chances of survival. These health maintenance behaviors are adaptive and have stood the test of survival in the wild.

 "Wild Health" provides a splendid and scientifically accurate account of animals’ knowledge of what’s good for them to eat and what’s not. It provides evidence of lifesaving biological pre-programming of animals and perhaps some evidence in support of animal culture. It is a "must buy" book for anyone who wants to know more about how animals think and react to the world around them.” Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, Professor of Animal Nutrition, Tufts University

Sick of drugging your pet?

Healing sick and injured animals with natural home care Dr Charles E Loops DVM - "After 10 years of traditional veterinary practice I became tired of having no treatment for chronic disease, incurable conditions, and a plethora of chronic allergic maladies which seem to plague all veterinary practices. I was frustrated with giving animals cortisone because I had no other solutions, or using antibiotics for infections which I knew were of viral origin. There is so much that can be done for an animal, bird, or reptile that is ailing by utilizing homeopathic medicine."

Michael Dym D.V.M. - The two biggest factors in our pets' population fitness decline over several generations has been the severe overuse of multiple vaccines and nutrient poor and toxin filled commercial pet foods. We have also failed to address the underlying cause of illness by only suppressing symptoms with antibiotics, cortisone and related drugs, so the disorder progresses and goes deeper. Homeopathy offers a viable alternative in truly curing pets and making their bodies healthier."

For years dog pharmaceuticals have included toxic materials to artificially maintain dog fitness as a temporary measure. The time has come to change to a holistic approach toward pet well-being. Native remedies have been shown to achieve more immediate, more complete and longer lasting fitness, vitality, quality and longevity of animal lives.

There is a better way to bring your pet to vitality!

Dr. Will Falconer, DVM is a holistic veterinarian who uses zero drugs in his practice since 1992. - "Most of the chronic diseases we commonly see in animals (and humans) have an immune basis, e.g. diabetes, pet allergies, thyroid disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, repeated ear infections, cancer, renal failure, etc. Homeopathy and other natural healing modalities can significantly shorten the course of recovery by giving a much needed balancing effect to the immune system."

Just like humans, domesticated pets like dogs and cats are affected by the environmental hazards of modern living. Pollution, poor nutrition, stress and feeble lifestyles can lead to a variety of illnesses and conditions that are very similar to those experienced by humans. These days, emotional and psychological problems like depression, anxiety, ADHD and behavioral problems are just as prevalent in pets as they are in their owners. Similarly, physical ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, cystitis, and liver disease, skin disorders, obesity, thyroid dysfunction and other problems are becoming more and more common in domesticated animals. Many, if not most of these conditions can be prevented by helping your pets to live a whole lifestyle. For pets already suffering from existing conditions, a combination of lifestyle changes and native medicine can work wonders!

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Healing From Within

Dr. Jeffrey Levy DVM - "The greatest harm of drug treatment is usually not so much the toxicity or side effects as it is the effects of suppression. Allopathic (conventional Western) medical thinking generally seeks immediate gratification: just make the symptom go away. So the patient may be better in the short term, but is usually worse in the longer term. Homeopathy is just the opposite: sometimes the symptoms are worse in the short term (such as with aggravation or the reversal of a previous suppression), but the real benefit is in the longer term. A symptom, say itchy skin, is the body's response to a deeper problem.

When a symptom is suppressed, it is only the outward manifestation of the problem that goes away. Since the deeper problem is still there, the body may, in time, produce the same symptom again. Another possibility is that, as a result of the suppression, the deeper problem progresses to the point that a deeper, more serious symptom is produced. So the itchy skin may go away, but then chronic diarrhea develops. If the diarrhea is then suppressed as well, it may lead to, say, liver disease. But hey, at least the skin is cleared up! I see this pattern, or variations on it, very frequently in reviewing the medical records of new patients. It is the unrecognized, and often high, price that we pay for the quick fix, for immediate gratification, for the shot or pill that seems to make the problem go away."

Dr. Goldstein DVM - "Holistic pet care essentially revolves around the notion that the best way to cure an animal who is ill is to help the animal cure itself. We are not the true healers of our pets--they are. By treating the root of the problem instead of its symptoms, holistic medicine enables our pets to regain and maintain their own well-being." In his practice, Dr. Goldstein has had extraordinary success treating cancer holistically.

Home base business opportunity Dr. Pat Bradley, DVM, Conway, USA - "The most common problems I see that are directly related to vaccines on a day to day basis are ear or skin conditions, such as chronic discharges and itching. I also see behavior problems such as fearfulness or aggression. This is why we've seen such a dramatic, and chronic increase in pet allergies, organ failures, and behavior problems. Often guardians will report that these begin shortly after vaccination, and are exacerbated with every vaccine. In a more general and frightening context, I see the overall health and longevity of pets deteriorating. The bodies of most animals have a tremendous capacity to detoxify poisons, but they do have a limit. I think we often exceed that limit and over-whelm the body's immune system function with toxins from vaccines, poor quality foods, toxic insecticides, Flea, and Tick Shampoos, environmental toxins, etc."

Russell Swift, DVM "Although many symptoms can be very difficult to tolerate, especially skin and ear problems, one must bear in mind the very high cost (in terms of future wellness) one pays for simply suppressing them. "Would I rather my dog itch or have liver problems?" is the type of question an animal guardian needs to bear in mind whenever the temptation to suppress a symptom arises.

  • A puppy has a skin rash. The rash is treated with medicine. After the rash is gone, the puppy has diarrhea. This is a move from level one to level two. This is going in the WRONG direction. The symptom has been suppressed and the animal's immunity has been further weakened. The diarrhea is treated with another medicine. The stools normalize but the pet begins to limp. It has been suppressed to level three.
  • A cat has ringworm. The ringworm is treated with a medicine which makes it disappear. However, the cat develops a urinary tract problem. Again, this is movement from level one to level two meaning suppression. This is treated with medicine and the cat has cardiomyopathy one year later. This is suppression from level two to level four.
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Animal Epilepsy and Seizure - Causes, Predisposing Factors and Treatment

Carm's puppy began to experience severe seizures as a result being exposed to organic pyrethrum. The veterinarian was helpless. The dog was dying. In her detailed testimonial, Carm explains what she did cure her dog of seizures and how she saved his life.

Some dogs are sensitive to chemicals and if you feed and water them from a plastic bowl, they ingest some of the chemicals and it can help induce the seizures. There has been reports of a reduction of seizures when the immune system was modulated and the inflammation reduced with a natural immune enhancing substance.

William Pollak D.V.M. - "The most common direct cause of seizures seen in clinical practice in our pets is parasitic infection combined with nutritional deficiencies based on 100% commercial pet food feeding."

"Feeding a natural raw food diet is vital to not only maintaining the health of your pet, but also keeping ideal immune function alive and well. Many times after eliminating seizures through improving the diet, seizures return after commercial pet food is re-instituted."

"Today's modern approach to dealing with these problems is the administration of more chemicals, injectable or otherwise and even greater processed "prescription" diets. Seizures are masked by giving chemicals that profoundly dull the CNS, slowing it down and confusing it so as to reduce the likelihood of another seizure.

These chemicals oftentimes do not work and further confuse the biological system as already described earlier. The underlying imbalance is not directly addressed. Deranged metabolic disorders due to chemical shortages or imbalances are superficially addressed by further limitations in the diet; i.e.even more severely processed foods."

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Canine Hypothyroidism Diagnoses are on the Rise

Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, is one of the most common canine hormone imbalances. This was not always the case. In recent decades, hypothyroidism diagnoses are on the rise. In mammals, the endocrine system is a system of glands, each of which secretes a type of hormone directly into the bloodstream, that regulate the body. The thyroid gland, one of the largest endocrine glands, controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, regulates calcium and controls the body’s sensitivity to other hormones.

The new holistic way for cats and dogs Research shows that in most dogs, hypothyroidism is caused by problems in the dogs' own immune systems. In most cases, it is caused by an inherited autoimmune condition called autoimmune thyroiditis (also known as lymphocytic thyroiditis). This autoimmune disease results in the atrophy and destruction of the thyroid gland tissue. Very often, several different areas in the body will be affected as a result, e.g. the skin, the thyroid, and the digestive system.

The thyroid is critical to metabolic processes and affects the functionality of almost every other organ in the body. The endocrine system is highly sensitive, and its delicate dance of hormones can be disrupted, potentially resulting in illness condition. In dogs, the most common hormonal disorder diagnosed is hypothyroidism. Typically, hypothyroidism occurs in dogs from 4-10 years of age, though in rare instances dogs can actually be born with it. Because the thyroid hormone affects the metabolism of the whole body, the clinical signs can be non-specific. That being said, dogs with hypothyroidism often exhibit low energy levels, weight gain, hair loss, a dull hair coat and concurrent skin infections.

Hypothyroidism can be mistaken for other endocrine disorders, and is best diagnosed by a complete thyroid panel blood test. The tricky thing about the thyroid gland is that the level of hormone release can be influenced by other physical factors, making true hypothyroidism difficult to diagnose. For example, stress caused by other illnesses can reduce thyroid function. Often, when these issues are addressed, thyroid levels normalize without additional treatment. Studies have shown that dogs treated with topical steroids or phenobarbital (to control seizures) can artificially lower thyroid hormone. If your dog takes a long-term medication with thyroid-related side effects, treatment may be necessary to minimize the impact.

Almost 80% of all canine hypothyroidism cases are caused by an autoimmune inflammatory disorder, called lymphocytic thyroiditis. Just like humans, domesticated pets like dogs and cats are affected by the environmental hazards of modern living. Pollution, poor nutrition, and stressed lifestyles can lead to a variety of illnesses and conditions that are very similar to those experienced by humans.

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Identify and Treat the Causes of Disease
Toxic environment and your pet's well being

Illness does not occur without cause. Causes may originate in many areas. Underlying causes of illness must be identified and removed before complete recovery can occur. Symptoms can be expressions of the body's attempt to defend itself, to adapt and recover, to heal itself, or may be results of the causes of disease.

Irradiated pet food endangering and, killing pets

The Australian government in late May ordered an immediate stop to sterilizing cat food via irradiation after reviewing scientific studies pointing to food irradiation as the culprit behind illnesses characterized by ataxia or paralysis of the limbs The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also allows animal feed, including pet food and treats, to be irradiated.

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Animals Stop Eating When Sick or Injured

A powerful animal healing practice

Dr. Felix Oswald says: "Serious sickness prompts all animals to fast. Wounded deer will retire to some secluded den and starve for weeks together." Dr. Erwin Liek, endorses fasting and observes that "small children and animals, guided by an infallible instinct, limit to the utmost their intake of food if they are sick or injured."

Natural raw food diet A dog or cat, if sick or wounded, will crawl under the wood shed or retire to some other secluded spot and rest and fast until well. Occasionally he will come out for water. These animals will, when wounded or sick, persistently refuse the most tempting food when offered to them. Physical and physiological rest and water are their remedies. A sick cow or horse will also refuse food. The author has seen this in many hundreds of cases. In fact, all nature obeys this instinct. Thus does nature teach us that the way to feed in acute illness is not to do it.

Domestic cattle may often be found suffering from some chronic "disease." Such cattle invariably consume less food than the normal cow. Every stockman knows that when a cow, or horse, or hog, or sheep, etc., persistently refuses food, or day after day consumes much less than normally, there is something wrong with that animal.

Dr. Oswald tells of a dog that had been put into the loft of a barn by the sergeant of a cavalry regiment. Losing its balance, while in the door of the loft and barking, it fell, turning a few somersaults as it came down, and landed on the hard pavement, "with a crack that seemed to have broken every bone in his body." He says "blood was trickling from his mouth and nose when we picked him up, and the troopers advised me to 'put him out of his misery,' but he was my little brother's pet, and, after some hesitation, I decided to take him home in a basket and give the problem of his care the benefit of a fractional chance. Investigation proved that he had broken two legs and three ribs, and judging by the way he raised his head and gasped for air, every now and then, it seemed probable that his lungs had been injured."

Contact Shirley For twenty days and twenty nights the little terrier stuck to life in its cotton-lined basket without touching a crumb of solid food, but ever ready to take a few drops of water, in preference even to milk or soup. At the end of the third week it broke its fast with a saucer of sweet milk, but only on the evening of the twenty-sixth day did it begin to betray any interest in a plateful of meat scraps.

Irwin Liek, noted German physician and surgeon, tells of instinctive fasting in three of his dogs. One of these had been run over by a truck which had broken several bones and injured it internally. The other had "devoured a considerable quantity of rat poison. It became very, very ill, suffered from diarrhea containing blood and pus" and "collapsed completely." The third lost an eye while "mixing it" with a cat. All three of these dogs fasted and recovered.

In her marvelous book, 'Wild Health: How Animals Keep Themselves Well and What We Can Learn From Them' Cindy Engles, Ph.D documents how injured and sick animals retreat in an isolated place to rest and fast until healed.

"Often the first indication of sickness is that an animal goes off its food - an observation that has led many traditional herbalists to conclude that fasting is a normal and beneficial response to sickness... This lack of appetite can be an effective way of speeding recovery. Bacteria need iron, and the body makes many adjustments to reduce the availability of iron during an infection. If an animal keeps eating, any iron in its food also feeds the pathogens, so force-feeding a sick animal or patient can be counterproductive. Fever reduces appetite, so if a fever is artificially suppressed with drugs and appetite returns, not only do we lower temperature but the increased iron intake can keep the infection going longer. The traditional dictum 'Starve a fever' is medically sound advice." Cindy Engel

As long as your pet appears strong with good energy and clear responsiveness, self imposed fasting often times ends by itself with a renewed gusto for life. The system requires periodic rest and purification and so it is taken a native time. Occasional fasting is natural in the cat and dog; it is the behavior of rest and purification. Cleaning the bowl of all the commercial food every day, day in and day out is unnatural and is the harbinger of most chronic disease seen in our pet population. When nutritional depletions have been satiated on the holistic raw food diet, overeating does not take place. Overeating is a behavior encouraged by feeding commercial food, overeating does not occur in the natural setting. Overeating deprives the system of rest and purification, for in a nutritionally deficient state the body continues to crave; making the mind confused. The mind then can only satiate itself through the dullness of further overeating. This is not living; it is survival mode."

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Systemic Yeast Infections - Candida Albicans

In the past years we have seen the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals, with little regard for the ramifications of this overuse on the environment of the beneficial bacteria of the microbiome gut (intestinal flora). Antibiotics are necessary at times, but need to be used judiciously, and at the same time as we are using antibiotics, we need to supplement.

"The main cause of yeast infections, such as Candida Albicans, is from grain-based foods. Dogs were never meant to eat grains. Their main diet in the wild is raw meat and vegetation. The only grains they ever get are already predigested in the stomach or the bowels of their prey. Cooked foods—anything in a can or a bag, vaccines—which compromise and destroy the immune system, and antibiotics that kill the friendly bacteria would ordinarily fight and overwhelm the yeast, any other drugs are all additional reasons for seeing such a preponderance of yeast infections. Symptoms include: chronic ear infections; incessant licking of the genitals or the paws or both; lick granulomas; habitual scratching, usually the ears, sides of the torso and underbelly; rashes, most often on the underbelly; and when the yeast begins to move into the head; loss of hearing; loss of eyesight; loss of intelligence, memory and comprehension. Yeast infections always start somewhere in the digestive system; then move to the genital area or to the ears; then finally to the brain, taking over the entire body. It is insidious. Very often these problems are treated with antibiotics or steroids, which only make matters worse." Pat McKay

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Diarrhea Usually not Disease - Just Cleaning House

William Pollak D.V.M. - "Short periods of diarrhea are very helpful in removing the impurities reflective of a normal active immune system doing its job effectively in enhancing Wellness. These short lived bouts of purification are nothing to be concerned about as long as the animal is bright eyed and bushy tailed. To allow for quick return to normal stool the best thing for the colon is to rest, and this can only be done through fasting. Clean, quality water should always be available as long as the dog or cat is not vomiting. Vomiting AND diarrhea together can present a serious situation, and professional Veterinary advice and/or care should be sought. A fast for a day or two after some diarrhea is usually all that is necessary to rest the bowels. Break the fast by feeding raw meat, ? cup to 2 cups depending on the size of the dog or a ? cup or 1/8 cup to a cat . Feeding raw meat is like tea and toast for humans when we’re not feeling quite right."

Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

"After six years of escalating misery, all of my cat’s inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms disappeared—quite literally—within 24 hours of making the complete transition to a raw, grain less diet. That was nearly three years ago and the symptoms have not returned. Ultimately, I came to the realization that I was putting my IBD cat at much greater risk by feeding species-inappropriate commercial foods than by feeding him a carefully-prepared, balanced, grain-free, raw food based diet. Interestingly, plenty of other folks I know with cats that have digestive troubles report this same experience. A grain-free diet “does the trick” for these IBD cats, but a raw diet with grains does not. Why is that? They’re carnivores."

  • Paunch manure has done wonders to firm up my dog's soft stool by improving his digestion
  • Slippery elm can be useful in treating digestive conditions with inflamed mucous membrane linings such as gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer, enteritis, and colitis, where it has a soothing demulcent action.
  • Antibiotics, which are commonly used by conventional veterinarians in an attempt to treat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and chronic diarrhea can cause serious side effects.

Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an autoimmune condition. Christie Keith writes that she has known at least three dogs diagnosed with IBs who responded to a switch to a grain-free homemade diet (raw OR cooked, it didn't matter) with the addition of the herbs peppermint and alfalfa. One of these dogs also was given the herb slippery elm. They all three came off of flagyl and prednisone and lived (or are still living) perfectly normal lives. Only if their owners gave them grains again did they regress. I agree with Christie.

Shirley's Dog Shasta

At age 2, when our German Shepherd Dog, Shasta, came to our home, she had chronic loose, smelly stools and was severely underweight A gradual change from her diet of kibble and canned food to an all raw food resolved the problem. For the past 10 years her stools have been consistently firm and she gained weight. Shirley

Dr. Michael E Dym DVM - "The research is likely alarmingly occurring with the epidemic levels of inflammatory bowel disease in our pets seen over the past few decades that was rare 30 years ago. Just think how many POLYVALENTLY vaccinated dogs with distemper (a measles virus) are suffering such chronic infections and pathology in their intestines. I wish that someone would do the research in pets, but of course we all know that this will never happen. But I wonder how many academically-oriented veterinary gastro-enterologists would be interested in reading Dr. Wakefield's research, and examining this issue in our dogs and cats, who are the true victims here. At least it would open up for academic discussion potential origins of this "new" disease of the past few decades.

Don Hamilton, DVM - "The panleukopenia virus of cats induces an intense, rapidly progressive malfunction in the digestive tract, leading to vomiting and/or diarrhea. In adult vaccinated animals this translates into a chronic state of diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. This condition is known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an autoimmune condition of the intestines. IBD has been occurring at near epidemic levels over the past several years; no other reasonable explanation has been proposed for the proliferation of cases of the disease."

Some veterinarians believe that inflammatory bowel disease occurs when the pancreas is working harder than it should to produce enzymes. Giving your dog or cat digestive enzymes made for pets allows the pancreas to work more efficiently.

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Are Conventional Antibiotics Making Your Pet Sick?

"Diarrhea, abdominal pain, severe inflammation of the colon (colitis), irritable bowel syndrome, skin problems, fever, elevated white blood cell count, weak immune system, vomiting, dehydration, potassium deficiencies, allergies, colon perforation, bad breath, excess stomach gas, yeast problems, nutritional deficiencies and constipation are just some of the many side effects and problems linked to antibiotics." - Jesse Dallas

Kuuma's leg woundMy German Shepherd dog was attacked by a Pitbull and sustained a horrible 3" to 4" gaping wound on his leg, exposing his bone. I never took him to the vet. I treated him with native remedies at home and allowed him to lick his wound as much as he wanted to. He never had an infection or a fever and within two weeks his wound was completely healed. Shirley

Nutritional Therapy for Animals and Pets

Scientists theorize that mineral deficiency subjects us, and our animals, to more illnesses, aging, sickness and destruction of our physical well-being than any other factor. Preventing and healing animal cancer, arthritis, and other disease; improving temperament and behavioral problems, digestive disorders, skin disorders, bone and joint disorders and more with naturally occurring nutritional supplements.

A groundswell of nutrition conscious veterinarians are beginning to recommend to their clients that they supplement their animals diet with a daily dose of Good Fats - Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids and other nutrients for optimum wellness and vitality.

A growing number of veterinarians state that processed pet food is the main cause of illness and premature death in the modern dog and cat. In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food suppresses the immune system and leads to liver, heart and other ill conditions. Dr. Kollath, of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, headed a study done on animals. When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods they initially appeared to be healthy. However, as the animals reached adulthood, they began to age more quickly than normal and also developed chronic degenerative ill symptoms. A control group of animals raised on raw foods aged less quickly and were free of degenerative disease. For a return to health, pets require a diet which strengthens the immune system and most closely resembles that which they would get in the wild. It's really easy to do.

William Pollak D.V.M. "The commercial food we are feeding, is the disease we are treating, so treat on and on, curing one disease after another, again and again. A narrow definition of disease makes for multiple cures. The multiple illnesses are in reality the same disease rearing it's different heads. The disease; not an entity in itself, but a combination of symptoms produced by the body in trying to remove something it no longer wants. What it wants is to remove an abstract sense of dis-ease, some feeling of discomfort, but it can't quite do it. A weakened system short of appropriate building blocks just pushes the same dis-ease throughout the body and mind. As this happens the symptoms change as would the food we eat and the things we see as we travel the world around. There are different forms in different places, even in the body and mind. All the body is trying to do is get rid of what it no longer wants; but just can't quite do it on its own."