A BRIEF SUMMARY OF HOMEOPATHY
Homeopathy Is a medical therapeutic system founded by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, in the early 19th century. It is still widely practiced today, and In this age of science and technology, it is a telling testimony to Its validity and effectiveness that Increasing numbers of doctors and veterinarians trained in orthodox Western medicine are taking up homeopathy. In many parts of the world homeopathy has achieved substantial popularity and government support.
The goal of homeopathic medicine Is to restore health safely, gently and permanently The first step is to arrive at a thorough understanding of exactly what constitutes the "disease" from which a person or animal suffers. To do this the homeopathic doctor conducts an extremely thorough and lengthy consultation In which not only physical symptoms are elicited, but also behavioral factors which may play an important role in the animal's Illness One of homeopathy's great strengths is that It views the patient as a whole and avoids the narrow specialization that characterizes much of orthodox medicine.
Once the homeopathic veterinarian arrives at an intimate knowledge of the illness, he then treats the patient, when appropriate, by orally administering a single select homeopathic medicine, called a remedy. Where Indicated he may also make recommendations about diet, vitamins, exercise, etc; however, the prime focus of the system of homeopathic therapeutics Is the prescription of the homeopathic remedy.
Homeopathic remedies are prepared from a wide range of substances ‑ animal, vegetable and mineral. Their preparation Involves a process of sequential dilution in alcohol/water and succussion (vigorous shaking), a process known as potentization. This process of potentization enables the homeopath to prescribe medicines which possess an enhanced curative effectiveness with essentially no toxic side effects, unlike current orthodox drugs. All homeopathic medications are FDA certified and approved and, in fact, licensed for "over-thecounter" sales, although availability is not that common.
Many disease conditions are considered miasmatic in animals. Niasms refer to inherent defects or inherent tendencies towards disease which can be genetically endowed. These underlying predispositions towards disease are often expressed after excessive vaccination or suppressive long term allopathic treatment. Our pets are clearly abused by allopathic overtreatment, with antibiotics corticDsteroiUs, and hormones. Vaccinations are given much Coo frequently, in excessive combination with one another. and without regard to need or potential exposure of the animal to these disease agents.
Homeopathy offers a better approach to the best healthcare for your pats. Vaccinations when required can be given homeopathically with oral nosodes offering protection without potential side effects Homeopathic therapeutics offer an alternative to suppressive antibiotics and wrticosteroids that often only suppress and mask symptoms of disease and fail to cure underlying conditions at the real cause of disease. Homeopathy Is a science of medicine that cures not suppresses disease. And in the incurable and degenerative conditions, homeopathy can offer palliative effects to make life more comfortable for animals In pain and discomfort. It offers a gentle method of healing.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF CHRONIC DISEASE
The most common cases I am presented with so a homeopathic veterinarian are examples of chronic disease which are often either present since a very young age and even inherited in most cases. This gamut of health problems Include skin allergiesItching and ear inflammations/infections, chronic intestinal problems such as recurrent vomiting and diarrhea, asthma, hormonal disorders, urinary tract disease, and behavioral problems in dogs and cats. While most of us certainly want our animals to feel better right away, a quick fix conventional approach without taking into account the long term consequences of either the suppressive drugs themselves, or truly addressing the underlying cause of the problem, often leads to further ill health of repetitive flare-ups which become increasingly difficult to control. Homeopathic treatment, however attempts to CURE the patient of those problems over time by making the body healthier and more resistant to future illness and it is truly a preventative system of medicine.
It can often take up to 2 years to truly cure some of these chronic problems through a sequence of carefully selected homeopathic remedies, and requires a stop by step approach and patience and observation on the owner's part, as they are actively involved in their pet's care. The results are a healthier pet who is eventually CURED of its illness, and will be thriving and healthier for years to come.The conventionally suppressed patient will eventually develop deeper or more serious health problems, or suffer unwanted side effects from the drugs. Health and vitality continue to decline. Quite a large price to pay for quick relief of symptoms.
During the time necessary to bring these patients to complete cure, owners are instructed to feed a natural raw-meat based home diet with adequate nutritional supplements and antioxidants to provide the building blocks for the body to heal and repair itself. Un-necessary vaccines surgical procedures or stress are avoided sothat the body can achieve its ultimate potential to cure itself.
FOOD AS YOUR PETS MEDICINE
Unfortunately the animal proteins used in most commercial pet foods are diseased meat, road kill, contaminated material from slaughterhouses, fecal matter and poultry feathers all rendered together. The US government agency which regulates animal food, AAFCO (Association of American Food Control Officials) has an official publication which states that there are no restrictions on the type of animals which can be used in "meals", "digests", etc. ANY kind of animal can be used. Given that most pets are consuming these ingredients day in and out it is not surprising that younger animals today are experiencing severe nutritional imbalances contributing to crippling or debilitating chronic illnesses including skin/ear problems, hormonal disorders, periodontal/ intestinal diseases, arthritis and cancer.
The good news is that now you can make a real difference on your pet's health and longevity and cut down on those large veterinary bills for these chronic pet plagues. The answer: Prepare your pet's foods at home utilizing a variety of meats, dairy products grains and vegetables. My clients who have made the transition from commercial pet foods to home‑made over the years have seen amazing results in their pets, which no drug could ever achieve. Even pets with terminal cancer enjoy a renewed vigor and energy which truly ease their final days. Among the vast benefits enjoyed by dog and cat owners include: a more well‑defined body structure and better weight control, glossier and thicker fur with dramatically less shedding, reduced hot spots, pads of paws lose their rusty color and odor: black "gunk" and discharges disappear from their eyes and ears; behavior returns to "kitten" or "puppy"‑like indiscriminate eating habits of gross things stops and they suffer much less from internal or external parasites including fleas (and without the expense or toxicity of chemical flea control methods). I have listed 2 sample recipes from the book Dr. Pitcairn's Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. For those of you with a hectic schedules you can still significantly improve your pet's health by simply adding the ingredients of Dr. Pitcairn's "healthy powder" to their commercial pet food. The healthy powder includes 2 cups nutritional (torula) yeast, I cup lecithin granules, 1/4 cup kelp powder, 1/4 cup bone-meal and 1,000 mg (ground) vitamin C or 1/4 teaspoon sodium ascorbate powders which can all be mixed together in a I quart container and refrigerated.
A cat or small dog would get 1‑2 teaspoons daily; 2‑3 teaspoons per day for medium sized dogs and 1‑2 tablespoons daily for largo dogs. Most natural food stores carry all of these ingredients.
RABIES VACCINOSIS ALERT
Vaccination is often thought of by the conventional medical community as a benign procedure intended to prevent certain acute diseases, with side effects only occurring rarely. Rabies is a viral disease which can be deadly in people and pets. Because of the human health risks, dogs and cats are vaccinated for rabies by law every 3 years. Unfortunately vaccination can result in certain sensitive individuals a chronic disease state one that is long-lasting, indeed in some cases a life-long condition. In human children there is increasing evidence of linkage between vaccination and chronic illnesses such as autism, juvenile diabetes, and asthma. This state of "vaccinosis" is understood as the disturbance of the life force that results in mental, emotional and physical changes induced by the laboratory modification of a viral disease to make a vaccination. In other words, instead of seeing acute expressions of viral disease, we are, instead seeing symptoms of chronic illness which are actually documented to occur in rabid animals. Symptoms of rabies includes Restlessness; viciousness; avoidance of company; unusual affection; desire to travel; inability to be restrained; self biting; strange cries and course howls; inability to swallow resulting in gagging whom eating/drinking; staring eyes; swallows wood ,stones, in-edibles; destruction of blankets, clothing; convulsive seizures; throat spasms; increased sexual desires; disturbed heart function; excited and jerky breathing. My biggest concern with pets are the changes in behavior after being vaccinated. This is usually along the limes of aggression, '`suspicion, unusual fears, etc. The essential aspect is a lack of control of impulses. Many pets may exhibit any or many of the above behaviors indefinitely such as "reverse sneezing" and increased mounting seen in neutered pets. Conventional medicine does not explain these odd symptoms, but homeopathically these pets may be exhibiting symptoms of rabies vaccinosis and occur fairly commonly in my opinion. You certainly need to follow the law with regard to rabies vaccination. A homeopathic remedy given at the time of immunization can help reduces Side effects. If your pet is suffering from the above symptoms, he/she can be evaluated by a homeopathic vet to try and cure this chronic diseased state.
GRAIN OR NO GRAIN?
As a veterinarian with almost 30 years of clinical experience, I have certainly seen the evolution and expansion of the pet food industry, especially when it comes to more natural, less toxic diets, especially when consumers started becoming educated many years ago on the nature of meat by products found in many foods(including prescription pet foods from veterinarians), as well as the dangers of preservatives like BHA, BHT and ethoxiquin, and artificial colorings, etc . Many pet foods, including those available from veterinarians, had been using cheaper, lesser quality grains and grain extracts as major protein sources for pets in many commercial foods . Our carnivorous and omnivorous animals digest such poor quality grains insufficiently, leading to GI tract inflammation, overgrowth of non friendly bacteria , and a subsequent “leaky gut”, and contributing to all sorts of chronic allergies and inflammatory diseases of multiple organ systems. The pet food industry responded to this knowledge by developing newer formulations and thus the “Grain-Free” pet food movement was born and exploded to where it is today.
However, what pet food manufacturers and animal guardians were ignoring on this issue was that it was the quality of the grains, and those foods using them as the primary ingredients in the pet food that was the real problem, and NOT the simple presence of grains. In fact, the wild relatives of the domestic dog and cat will often eat the stomach or rumen contents of the prey they catch in the hunt FIRST, which actually contains the digested grains of those animals. The wild canine and feline will eat the muscle meat SUBSEQUENT to consuming the stomach/rumen contents of those animals. In my opinion and experience, pets thrive on a variety of fresh wholesome ingredients from the various food groups,rather than a solely meat/bone based diet typical of the BARF recipes. My mentor in holistic veterinary medicine, Richard Pitcairn, DVM, phd, and the pioneering veterinarian in this country on encouraging raw meat diets back in the late 1960s and 70s, has always included fresh meats and grains in his early recipes, in addition to veggies and other wholesome nutrients. In fact, this recent “Grain-Free” craze has now been linked to a type of heart disease in susceptible dogs with some of these formulations, and which is still being investigated by veterinary nutritionists and cardiologists as to specific causation in certain grain free formulations. It is for these reasons that I have always supported a balanced fresh diet recipe, as is present in all of the Pet Guard formulations. I have recommended and endorsed this food going back many decades when the Pet Guard company was first started by Sharon and Steve Sherman. Their integrity and trustworthiness in the business has been unmatched, and they have never compromised their ethics in preparing and marketing their wonderful dietary formulations to both the holistic veterinarian and the client alike. That excellent quality and integrity continues today with the production of excellent quality, balanced, varied, fresh and minimally processed formulations.
Vaccination in 2020 and Beyond. A Holistic Veterinarian’s Perspective
Having been trained in what I was told was the “Evidence based” science paradigm at an excellent academic institution at Penn, I began my veterinary career in 1991( as to most young idealistic veterinarians) with a desire to save the animal world, which included not only offering cutting edge medical and surgical treatment options when our companion animals were suffering from chronic disease conditions, but also in preventing potentially deadly infectious diseases that I was taught about in my veterinary school education. However, I quickly became quite disheartened that while there certainly were many medical and surgical wonder treatments, our animal companions were developing escalating levels of chronic immune mediated disease and cancers in younger and younger animals, where many of these conditions were either caused, activated or triggered by vaccines that were intended to prevent disease. By 1997 and 1998, I had researched this developing and controversial issue, and gathered as much legitimate evidence based science on this topic that was available in the veterinary literature. I learned that through the research and writings of top veterinary immunologist Ron Schultz, Phd, as well as Jean Dodds, DVM, that the research on duration of immunity to core viral vaccines that most dogs were receiving yearly was many years, if not life long in most animals. I was shocked to see that the initial research on this had been done as early as 1978!! Through the years it was noted in the veterinary profession how over-vaccination and acute/chronic immune mediated reactions to vaccinations were being recognized as causative triggers with autoimmune blood disorders, malignant vaccine sarcomas in susceptible cats, thyroid disorders, as well as even being a factor in increased sensitivity to environmental and airborne allergic reactions, in what is known as atopy or what I call doggie hay fever, a chronic frustrating condition that is one of the most common chronic diseases seen in daily clinical practice. And these are just a few immune mediated conditions that were being increasingly noted. And while I recognized the potential importance of preventing potentially deadly infectious disease under certain conditions, it was my opinion that the levels of chronic disease and potentially earlier deaths made it my passion to empower my clients with the information they needed to make informed decisions on this topic.
As a veterinarian who gradually moved over to more empowered means of infectious disease prevention through dietary therapies, nutritional supplements and holistic medicines, I also recognized the desire of many other animal guardians in sticking with more conventional models of infectious disease protection that the experts like Ron Schultz, Phd and Jean Dodds, DVM had been talking about for decades. For those clients that choose vaccinations, I try and remind them of the principles of safer use of vaccinations under the right clinical conditions. For animals who are presenting to the veterinarian for even a common illness such as an ear infection, hot spot, vomiting or diarrhea, that is not the time to get your animal caught up on vaccinations, as well as when an animal is having a surgical anesthetic procedure performed , when the body or life force already is under enough stress. I also recommend to try and not use combinations of vaccines if and when possible; In other words, avoid the 5 or 7 in one vaccinations. There are certain core viral vaccines that veterinary academia recommends, especially to young puppies and kittens, which for the canine would include distemper/parvo/adenovirus, and feline panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus in the cat. I would try to find a veterinarian who administers only mono or bivalent vaccinations at a time(i.e one or two components). Vaccinations do not need to be given more frequently than every 3 to 4 weeks as puppies, and when advising clients, I tell them to wait until age 14 to 18 weeks, and get one or two boosters spread out, rather than starting at the younger ages, which not only are not as effective in offering sustained protection, but may harm a young puppy or kitten’s developing immune system. Rabies vaccination is required by law in all states, and should not be given earlier than 12 weeks of age, but I will suggest to clients to wait on this particular vaccine until 4 to 6 months when the immune system is more developed. Other NON-core vaccinations like Bordatella(kennel cough complex), Leptospirosis, Lyme Disease, Feline Leukemia virus, etc should only be considered for use, if the animal’s life style and breed make them more susceptible to infection. However, in my experience and opinion most of these non core vaccinations not only are not as effective in protecting against clinical disease reaction rates are higher with these non core vaccine options.
Veterinary academia and universities recommend boosters at one year of age for the core inoculations, and then NO MORE than every 3 years as adults. In fact, many experts advise minimizing or avoiding unnecessary vaccinations in senior geriatric animals, or chronically ill animals with immune mediated diseases, who often are not at risk for these common “puppyhood” or “kittenhood” diseases. As an option to every year or three year vaccinations, many veterinarians are offering vaccination titers as options to the vaccinations, and which measure immune system antibody levels against certain infectious diseases as an indicator of protection or immunity. And while titers are not perfect tests, they do have an important role in clinical veterinary practice so as to avoid over-vaccination of our animal companions. Because titer testing is often quite expensive and cost prohibitive for many clients, alternative more economic sources such as the “Protect the Pet” movement by Dr John Robb provide economic options for the nation’s veterinarians and animal guardians to provide this important option to routine vaccination.