10 Things We Can Learn From Cats That Will Make Us Happier, Healthier Humans
Photo Courtesy of Lori Johnston and Brutus
I recently wrote an article “What We Can Learn From Dogs That Will Make Us Happier and Healthier Humans” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-zawistowski/10-things-we-can-learn-from-our-dogs-that-will-make-us-happier-and-healthier-humans_b_7772094.html. Cats, clearly, would want to share their wisdom too. They have a different view of the world than dogs and both make our lives richer. While dogs are seemingly more concerned with your happiness, cats are more concerned with their own. What follows are 10 essentials to being more successful in work and life inspired by observations of my own cats, friends’ cats, and those that just show up for breakfast and dinner.
1. I love you but I love me more. Love yourself first. Clean your fur often, get 18 hours of sleep per day (or the human equivalent), eat little bits throughout the day rather than large meals and pursue things that interest you. Set high standards for yourself in all ways and stick to it as if no other options exist. Make yourself a priority at all times, physically, mentally and emotionally. When you are healthy in every way, you will see a world ripe with catnip mice and opportunity.
2. Accept the gifts and honor the intention. I will occasionally bring you a dead mouse or bird (or mostly dead anyway). It’s a gift. Even if it isn’t a gift you want, I gave it to you because I love you. There are gifts everywhere. Notice them, search for them and honor the intention of the giver whether it be a cat, some inferior animal (anything not a cat), a human or from the universe itself.
3. Focus on what you really want and be relentless about getting it. “No” is not an option. I’m hungry. You will get out of bed now and feed me or I will keep batting your eyelashes and walking on your hair as I cross your pillow. I will be pooping on the floor next to the litter box until you clean it out for me. I need to sit on the porch and I know you would love to get up right now and make that happen. Do the work to get what you need and want and enlist others to help you.
4. You teach people how to treat you. Role model how you want others to treat you and, gently but firmly, do not accept anything less. I would love for you to pet me now so I will rub on your legs and show you my charming side. And if you walk away I will follow you. Ok, now I’ve had enough so I’m going to bat your hand with my claws just slightly exposed. Please do not pet me when I am not in the mood.
5. Act like you are royalty. Be confident on the outside even if you’re not always there on the inside. If you fake being self-assured long enough you will trick your brain into believing it! Royalty does not do tricks, wear frilly clothes or acquiesce to any other ridiculous requests that are beneath me, might dirty my fur, cause me stress or wear me out. If I do something it’s because it’s good for me in some way. Yes, I’m sitting above you, staring down at you. As it should be.
6. Appearance matters. Clean your fur and wear nice accessories. Unlike dogs who will happily wear anything, with my kind the collar matters. It should reflect my personality. Bling, studs or simple elegance. I need my collar and other accessories to make a statement of who I am. Like it or not, your appearance shares how you feel about yourself with the rest of the world. Even though you have eloquent words, if your fur and accessories are a mess you undermine your royalty.
7. Be independent. I rely on you for food and water because I am in your house but I mostly rely on myself. I know that I get me through every day and am responsible for my own happiness. I love companionship but I need downtime too. I am in charge of my moods, emotions and needs.
8. Respect is essential. I will claw you, or at least respond with complete and obvious disdain for an extended period of time, if you wake me from a nap, take my catnip toy, bring a dog home or otherwise disturb my environment. And don’t bring home another cat either. I’m enough. I need all the attention you have time for. Please do bring home as many fish and birds as you like. Respect for me and our shared environment will make your life with me easier and I will be happy. I don’t need much but I do love respect.
9. Walk through your fear. Climb to very high places like on top of the door, refrigerator or a top shelf even if you don’t know how you will get down. Go where you want to go in life and don’t be afraid. You always find your way home even if you don’t know how you will do it while you’re on the journey. Being paralyzed by fear is for lower animals with much smaller brains than mine or yours.
10. Keep moving forward. You will land on your feet when you fall. And then act like you meant to do that. Don’t hold on to the act of falling, hold on to the act of being on your feet after the fall. We all fall from time to time. Get up and go forward. I don’t over analyze why I fell, enlarge the fall to a debilitating story about myself such as “I can’t do it” or “I’m not good enough” or “bad things always happen to me” or blame the fall on someone else. I don’t generalize the fall to other bad things that have happened or could happen. I leave it at, I fell. On to the next adventure.
While the advice dogs would give is more about emotional connection, happiness and love, cats are more practical and likely to teach you that obstacles and setbacks do not define you and that you are in control of your needs, emotions and goals.
Both perspectives are correct and necessary for a happy, healthy and prosperous life. Sometimes you have to take a hard stance with yourself particularly when considering where you are now and where you want to be but live every day to the fullest because the present moment is the only one we know we have for sure. And if you are lucky, you have furry companions close by to remind you what’s important.
Did you know that, even if you get a postcard saying your animal’s rabies vaccination is now due, that many times, you have an automatic waiver in place that even your veterinarian may overlook? It’s true. It’s called the label on every drug and vaccine, including rabies vaccines.
If you read the label on a vaccine from any manufacturer, it will inevitably say, “Only for use in healthy dogs, cats, ferrets, etc.” See that “healthy” word? It can be your automatic waiver. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-APHIS) approves all drug labels, which include indications (what diseases it’s to be used for), species, dosage, method of administration, etc.
As a practicing veterinarian, one is bound to follow the label on any drug or vaccine, unless s/he feels it’s in the patient’s best interest to prescribe “offlabel.” The USDA has refused to regulate the practice of medicine, so you may not have any legal recourse to fall back on, but that shouldn’t stop you from questioning your veterinarian if you are called on to vaccinate an animal who is clearly out of the realm of “healthy.”
I have almost stopped cringing when clients tell me of bringing their pet into their conventional veterinarian for a complaint (fever, poor appetite, skin disease, etc.) and the vet, noticing that the due date has arrived for vaccinations, gives the vaccine to the suffering animal! Did that veterinarian really, in his/her best judgement, feel that this ill animal would benefit from a vaccination at this time? I make note of it in the records, because, more often than not, the animal’s illness gets worse from this point onwards. As a homeopathic veterinarian, I know I have to factor this in if I am to cure this patient.
So, what makes your animal an “off-label” or possibly exempt case for an annual or semi-annual vaccination? Here are some common examples:
Hypothyroid dogs on a daily thyroid replacement drug.
Allergic animals who scratch or chew themselves frequently.
The same itchy animals above who are on meds like antihistamines, prednisone, or the latest in the wave of immune suppressants, cyclosporine (Atopica).
The same previously itchy animals who are being controlled with special diets that have unusual ingredients (duck, pea, venison, trout, “novel proteins,” etc).
Any animal on a special diet for kidney disease, bladder crystals, liver disease, intestinal problems (like Inflammatory Bowel Disease), dental disease, or any other reason.
The dog or cat who routinely needs ear medications to prevent infections or itchy, swollen, discharging ears.
Any animal who is on a seizure medicine to control epilepsy (I still cringe when I hear these poor guys getting vaccinated. I can’t help it. This is so wrong).
The dog with “dry eye” who is on drops (often of cyclosporine) to keep the eye moist because his tear ducts have autoimmune inflammation that prevent them from making tears.
A hyperthyroid cat, on medicine or after radioactive iodine treatment, to treat another immune disorder, this one causing his thyroid to over produce thyroid hormone.
Any animal on heart medications.
Any animal on pain medications.
Any diabetic animal, whether or not insulin is being used.
Any animal on antibiotics.
Any animal who you are bringing in to the vet because s/he has the “ADR Syndrome.”
That’s “Ain’t Doin’ Right.”
Think about this last one for a minute. It should be obvious, but it’s often missed. If you have called your veterinarian to schedule an exam to find out what’s wrong with your dog or cat or horse, this animal is, with or without a diagnosis being reached, not “healthy,” right? That’s precisely why you are at the veterinarian’s office. So, even before you go in, you should be mentally prepared to say “NO” to vaccinations, knowing what you now know about the label on every vaccine.
Whether Miss Kitty is “due” or not, or whether the law has some opinion on the matter of rabies vaccinations, you have the right, as that animal’s caregiver, to refuse to allow vaccination on the spot. “I’m sorry, but this animal is not well, and therefore, should not receive a vaccine today,” is a very reasonable response. A simpler one is just: “I’d like to wait on that for now.”
And here’s the unfortunate but true nugget in this discussion: it ultimately must be you who makes this decision not to vaccinate. I have heard way too many stories of ill animals being vaccinated to think you can entrust that decision to your veterinarian.
Of course, this points to the even broader area of: who is responsible for your animal’s health? Those who hand that responsibility over to the White Coats are probably not even reading this site, but maybe it’s time to consider that you are really the one who needs to steer the course for this animal in your care. I’m mostly speaking of prevention here. The choices you make for prevention may be better ones than those promulgated by conventional veterinarians. That’s why this site is here.
So, take a stand if your animal is not well, and you are faced with people wanting to vaccinate “off label.” You will do this animal a huge favor, and you have no less than the USDA on your side.
Animal Control sends a notice stating that your dog’s rabies vaccination is due.
Some of us will vaccinate readily.
Because it’s legally mandated, it must be safe, right? Besides, what choice do we have?
Others of us panic, desperate to avoid the shot at any cost. We remember what happened the last time our dog had a rabies vaccination. We wonder, will our dog survive another?
World renowned pet vaccination scientist, Dr Jean Dodds, wrote recently: “Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB).”
An adverse reaction to a rabies vaccine may exact a high price – to your dog’s health and your wallet. Here’s what you need to know to make vaccinating your dog safer:
1. Learn to recognize adverse reactions
Short-term reactions include vomiting, facial swelling, fever, lethargy, circulatory shock, loss of consciousness and even death. (If your pet appears distressed, contact your vet immediately.) Reactions occurring days or months after vaccination can be difficult to recognize. They include:
Fibrocarcinomas (cancer) at the injection site
Seizures and epilepsy
Chronic digestive problems
Muscle weakness or atrophy
Pica (eating inappropriate materials, including feces)
Behavioral changes (aggression, separation anxiety, compulsive behaviors and more)
If you suspect a health or behavior problem may be connected to a vaccine, you may have to convince your vet. It’s common to hear “it couldn’t be the shot” or “a reaction like that is impossible.” Even the drug’s manufacturer (to whom you should immediately report the reaction — giving them the brand and lot# — may deny the connection. Insist on seeing the product’s package insert, viewable on-line or from your vet. Also know that long-term reactions aren’t usually documented or even studied. Note: a vaccine reaction, especially one supported by your vet, may entitle you to compensation for medical expenses from the drug manufacturer.
2. Vaccinate healthy dogs only
Vaccinating an unhealthy animal can exacerbate illness and do irreparable harm. Also, immunity may not develop after vaccination because of the dog’s compromised immune system. This is especially dangerous as you may presume immunity that does not exist. Pets with autoimmune disease or cancer are obviously “not healthy,” but neither are pets suffering from stress from a move or surgery, a virus or infection, or allergies or skin problems or any other condition compromising health. (Never allow your pet to be vaccinated during surgery.)
3. Ask for a rabies vaccination exemption
If your dog has documented health problems, ask your vet to apply for a rabies vaccination extension or exemption. Many localities permit them even if state law doesn’t specifically allow them. If your vet won’t apply for an exemption, go elsewhere. You may want to contact a holistic vet who may better understand the dangers of vaccinating an unhealthy animal. If local law forbids exemptions, change the law. Numerous states are in the process of adding exemptions to their laws. Click this link to check your state’s rabies law and pending exemptions.
4. Don’t vaccinate against rabies within three weeks of other vaccinations or medication for parasites
Multiple vaccines given at once greatly increase the chance of reactions. Multiple vaccines are especially risky for small dogs.
5. Make sure your dog gets the correct vaccine
If you’re vaccinating a puppy, make sure your vet administers a one-year vaccine initially (as late as legally possible) and a three-year vaccine (or whatever is required in your area) thereafter. The one-year and three-year vaccines are virtually identical medically – but not under the law. A one-year shot must be followed by re-vaccination a year later. Note: the one-year shot is not safer than the three-year (except that it may contain fewer adjuvants).
6. Vaccinate at the safest time
Vaccinate in the morning, early in the week, and don’t leave the area for at least an hour if possible. Watch for reactions for at least the next 48 hours. Reactions occurring when the closest vet’s office is closed can prove disastrous, even fatal.
7. Tell your vet you want a Thimerosol-free vaccine
Thimerosol (mercury) in vaccines has been linked to adverse reactions. Merial, for one, makes one- and three-year thimersol-free rabies vaccines: IMRAB® 1 TF and IMRAB® 3 TF. Make sure you see “TF” on the label. (If your vet doesn’t carry the vaccine, you may have to vet shop to find the vaccine you want. You might also ask why the vet why he/she doesn’t carry it.)
8. Find a vet trained in homeopathy to vaccinate your dog
Certain homeopathic remedies given before, during and after vaccinating can lessen the chance of ill effects from vaccination. Click the link to find vet referral lists.
9. Report all vaccine reactions to your vet
…and make sure they’re recorded in your pet’s file. Have the vet sign relevant pages, get copies and put them in a safe place. (Vets lose records, retire and move away.) Also report the reaction to the drug’s manufacturer. (You’ll need the vaccine lot number.) Vets are notoriously bad at reporting reactions, but exemptions to rabies vaccination and drug safety require documentation.
11. Keep copies of vaccination records and titer tests in your car
.. and license tags on your dog’s collar or harness. Otherwise, you may be forced to re-vaccinate if your pet bites someone, runs away and is taken to a shelter or if you have to board your pet unexpectedly.
12. Do not administer a rabies vaccine yourself
It will not satisfy legal requirements and you’ll have to have a vet vaccinate again. You will also be unprepared to deal with a potentially life-threatening reaction. Similarly, a vet’s office may likely be a safer place to get the vaccine than a mobile clinic.
World renowned scientists, W Jean Dodds DVM and Ronald D Schultz PhD are working as volunteers to increase the interval between rabies boosters by proving that the vaccine gives immunity, first, for five years, and then for seven years. They’re also working to establish a blood “titer standard” to provide a scientific basis to avoid unnecessary boosters with a simple blood test. This nonprofit group is supported solely by dog lovers and dog groups.
Before the next notice from Animal Control arrives, do your homework. A little time spent learning about the rabies vaccine can mean the difference between your dog’s wellness and serious illness.
A lot of people hear the word “detox” or “cleanse” and immediately have images of starvation and painful detox symptoms. In reality, there are a lot of things you can do on a daily basis to gently cleanse and nourish your body! In the long run, these habits can be more effective than intense short-term detox plans and for many, much more realistic.
Water makes up more than half of your body weight. It is vital to every cell, organ, system and function that goes on in your body. It is especially important for the lymphatic system because it is what flushes your body of toxins and unneeded substances. Without the consistent flow of water coming in and out, your body will become like a stagnant puddle of water – yuck!
Start off your morning with a warm glass of fresh squeezed lemon water and – if you’re daring – add some baking soda. Both lemon and baking soda will normalize the pH of your body, are anti-carcinogenic, anti fungal, antibacterial and will pull toxins from your bloodstream. What better way to start off your morning?
For more info on lemon water check out this article on the benefits of lemon.
Cleansing the mind is just as important – if not more so – than cleansing the body. Meditation gives you a space to breath and let go of racing thoughts and emotions. You can take five minutes to meditate, or 60 – whatever you feel you need. There are a lot of meditation aids online such as Alpha Waves, which plays music specifically formulated to help the mind relax and focus
3) Juicing with dandelion greens
Juicing is one of the most powerful ways to flood your tired body with micronutrients and flush out all the bad guys. Dandelions are a natural diuretic that help the kidneys filter through excess water and salt. They also cleanse the liver (one of your hardest working detox organs), are loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and act as an anti-inflammatory. We highly recommend adding dandelion greens to your juice or smoothies! Don’t have time to juice? Try our superfood-packed green drink powder Organifi.
The Lymphatic System is an intricate network of nodes, ducts and vessels throughout your body that moves lymph from the body tissue to the bloodstream. Since it’s circulating through your body and is key to cleaning out toxins and waste, it’s an important point of focus when it comes to detoxification. A popular way to smooth out the flow of your lymph system is called dry brushing, which is the process of running a brush in specific, continuous, circular motions across your skin, upwards towards your heart. To ensure cleansing, add in some rebounding (physical aerobic activity) to your days to make your brushing efforts worthwhile (plus rebounding is fun!).
After dry brushing, hop in the shower and alternate between 1-2 minutes of hot water and 30 seconds of cold. You can do this 3-5 times during your shower. If the cold is too unbearable at first, try lukewarm and work your way to cold. This type of hydrotherapy increases circulation and lymphatic flow, as well as boosts your immune system and metabolism. Once you get used to it, these shower cycles should actually feel pretty good!
6) Workout (qi gong)
Qi = life force and vital energy. Gong = accomplishment or skill. Qi Gong = Cultivating energy. It is an ancient Chinese health care system that uses physical postures, specific breathing techniques and mental focus to help cleanse the body and stimulate energy flow. It is one of the best ways to find relief from anxiety and cultivate inner peace. Even taking 10 minutes out of your day to do qi gong or a similar exercise will boost your productivity and mental performance.
We are always so busy going about our days tending to our responsibilities and obligations, that it’s easy to forget to stop and stretch out our body. Taking the time to stretch gives you the chance to ease out your tensed up muscles and keep your body functioning at a top-notch level. I’m sure you’ve noticed on occasion that while you’re sitting at a table or desk, your shoulders are hunched up. This causes all sorts of problems. Stretching is also a great way to rejuvenate your body and cleanse it through slow, steady motions and movements. These movements help increase the circulation throughout your body and stimulate the release of toxins.
8) Bone Broth In The AM
Bone broth is something your grandmother probably believed in (and she’s a smart lady!). This is an affordable, nutrient and mineral dense addition to anyone’s diet. It is particularly high in magnesium, calcium, amino acids and phosphorus and is believed to help reduce cellulite. You can use bones from beef, lamb, bison, fish, and birds. This is an immune boosting drink for when you’re sick and is also great for the digestive system.
9) Turn Off The News
CNN = Constant Negative News. The news is a money-making industry just like any other. Depressing and/or shocking news sells more than happy and uplifting news. Turn off the TV to cleanse your mind and clear your time for something more uplifting, like a walk outdoors or time with loved ones. If you are looking for drastic changes in your mental and physical health, try taking an entire week to do a media and electronics fast.
10) Sound Therapy
Because we are constantly surrounded by noise and disturbances, our ears start to become desensitized towards the higher pitched sound frequencies. This sort of therapy is designed to help restore that sensitivity again. When our sensitivity to sound frequencies grows dull, it also begins to decrease our energy, increases our irritability to sound and can be a contributor to other health issues. Here is an example of sound therapy for you to enjoy.
11) Listen to Uplifting Music
We are constantly bombarded by frequencies from the media and environment, a lot of which are “low” or “negative” and may contribute to various health issues. Listening to uplifting music is one of the best ways to combat this negativity. To your mind, it is like drinking fresh spring water instead of pond water. Find something that you LOVE to listen to and do it often (for me, it’s 80’s music and movie soundtracks!).
12) Pet Therapy
Pet therapy is a phenomenal way to ease stress and cleanse your body at an emotional level. Pets are energy sensitive and have a way of knowing when people are uptight or depressed. With their constant temperaments and love for affection, they have been known to lower heart rates, calm reeling thought processes and ease fatigue. They are capable of bringing smiles to people’s faces who haven’t laughed in years and have an unparalleled way of teaching people how to love and trust again. Even just 10 – 15 minutes of petting and playing with a pet can have a remarkable effect on a person’s whole demeanor. Pets make wonderful companions and can give you a sort of cleansing that you won’t find possible with anything else in this world.
13) Steam Therapy
One major way our body gets rid of junk and waste that we inhale and breathe in all day is done through the sinuses. When these get clogged or if you get sick, your sinuses have trouble processing correctly. One of the oldest and most efficient ways to clear your sinuses out and move the detox process along is through steam therapy. You can purchase humidifiers for this, or even just breathe the steam from a hot shower, both accomplish the same goal. But the top suggestion that is the easiest and costs you nothing is just using your stove. All you do is boil some water, pour it into a bowl and then cover both your head and that bowl with a towel and simply breathe in the steam. Done at least twice a day, this method has been known to show quick and relieving results.
14) Herbs For Cleansing
Herbs are by far some of the most powerful plants on the planet when it comes to restoring our health. The synchronicity of the Universe is amazing – for almost every human disease there is a healing counterpart that can be found in the plant kingdom. Some that are particularly potent cleansers include Borotutu Bark, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Peppermint and Garlic.
15) Wake-Up And Don’t Eat
Our body goes through natural cycles throughout a day where it focuses respectively on these three processes: Elimination, Appropriation and Assimilation. In the morning we are typically in elimination mode and our body is focusing on releasing toxins and cleansing. Waking up and eating a heavy breakfast can be counterproductive to your body’s attempts to cleanse. Instead of cereal or waffles, drink warm lemon water and then a little later drink fresh green juice or a smoothie. These are full of raw, living foods that will continue to cleanse and replenish your body in the best way possible.
Aromatic compounds from plants can have a powerful influence on one’s mental, emotional and physical well being. Many cultures around the globe use aromatherapy for healing and rejuvenating purposes. An everyday use may include rubbing peppermint oil in your hands and cupping them around your face to breath deeply- this is known to help with focus and feeling more awake.
17) Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a simple yet effective way to cleanse your mouth and gums. You do it by swishing a teaspoon of oil (sesame, sunflower or coconut) in your mouth for about 20 minutes (you can find a more in-depth article here on the whole process). The reason it’s called oilpulling is because the oil literally “pulls” out toxins, waste and debris from where it resides in your mouth. Your mouth is a very popular place for bacteria and toxins to gather, so not only will Oil Pulling help whiten your teeth, it will help cleanse your body and improve your lymphatic system. WE USE COCONUT OIL.
Often our lifestyle may contribute to stiff, overused/underused muscles. This can happen because of stress, bad posture, a sedentary job, or health issues. Foam rolling helps to release toxic buildup and lactic acid in muscle tissue, as well as increase circulation to various areas of the body. This can help our body to heal and stay balanced.
19) Foot Massage
Your feet are some of the quickest receptors to energy and particles put on them through lotion or oils. For that reason, they are also a major point of toxin build up. Massaging your feet gives them the chance to loosen up and release these toxins. There are many methods on how to massage your feet and one that we suggest (which is cheap and easy) is a massage using a lacrosse ball
20) Infrared Heating Therapy
The far infrared waves in a sauna penetrate deep into the human body and gently elevate the surface temperature. This helps to activate many of the body’s major functions. When you sweat in this type of sauna your sweat will contain about 17% toxins (including heavy metals), compared to the 3% you would sweat out in a traditional sauna or while out in the sun. This type of heat therapy also increases circulation and may boost the immune system.
21) Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is high in magnesium; the second most abundant element in humans cells. It helps to regulate over 325 enzymes and helps with numerous bodily functions. This is one of those tricky minerals to obtain on the standard American diet, which is why a lot of people are deficient (it’s estimated that upwards of 80% of the population are deficient!). Soaking in Epsom salts is an excellent way to get a boost of magnesium and address any connected symptoms.
Don’t be afraid of the sun! We are made to live connected to sunlight and the energy of the earth. Vitamin D deficiency is a rising problem in the United States and contributes to all sorts of health problems. Daily vitamin D supplementation, adequate time in the sun and using vitamin D “lamps,” or UVB tanning beds are all ways to get enough of this important vitamin. Especially in times of winter where it is too cold to be outside, tanning and using “happy lights” may be a good alternative. Dr Mercola addresses concerns people may have with the sun and tanning here and here.
23) Oxygen Therapy
Oxygen is key when wanting to cleanse and detoxify your body. Oxygen is what empowers your cellular network and helps give your body energy. Oxygen therapy – as you’ve probably guessed – is simply the act of breathing in an increased amounts of oxygen. This is something you can go to a professional for who will measure the right amount of oxygen you need and then have you breathe it through a mask, or if you’re more of the naturalist type, simply going outside and doing some deep breathing exercises can accomplish this just fine. Spending just 10 – 20 minutes outside in the fresh air breathing deeply can do wonders for you and your body. Breathing itself helps you clear your mind, calm your heart rate, ease stress and ultimately help detoxify your system. This gives you a fantastic excuse to spend more time in the great outdoors!
So as you can see, there are a ton of different ways you can detox your body each day. It doesn’t have to be hard or painful either!
If you’re really serious about your health (which I believe that you are), then this is a great step to really take your body and your overall health to the next level.
Not only will it help you get the amazing, healthy body that you want and deserve, it will help to get you there much, MUCH faster, without the guesswork of where to begin and how to sustain the incredible results you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
The untold story of vaccination schedules, science and speculation
I’ll preface the following article by clearly stating that I’m not a vet. I didn’t attend veterinary college and it’s certainly not a profession I aspire to. I’ve got six years of university and two degrees under my belt, so I know the kind of debt that vets enter into when they graduate. I also know that the vast majority of them make very little money for the amount of education that goes into their career.
But I’m a dog lover and I do like to think that I’m a fairly intelligent and rational person. I don’t want to see dogs get hurt and vets certainly don’t want to see them get hurt. I truly believe that.
So what really baffles me is why vets continue to use vaccination protocols that are harming our dogs.
And now for a little history lesson
Back in the mid 1970’s, vaccines were licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), based on challenge studies that were done for only a few weeks to a few months. Because of that short period of testing, all vaccine labels had this statement on them: “Annual Revaccination Recommended.”
Because duration of immunity (DOI) studies are expensive, the vaccine manufacturers tested their vaccines for a short period of time and subsequently put them on the market with the suggestion of vaccinating annually. But nobody really knew how long those vaccines would last because nobody went to the trouble to test them for more than a few months. So vets got into the habit of vaccinating every year.
During this time, a young scientist had an epiphany. Dr Ronald Schultz PhD wondered why animals were vaccinated yearly when dogs and cats that had recovered from natural infection to distemper and panleukopenia were protected, even years later. His own children weren’t vaccinated into adulthood, so based on these observations, he published “An Ideal (But Not Proven) Immunization Schedule for Dogs and Cats” in 1978 with a fellow scientist. In this report, they recommended a series of puppy and kitten shots, followed by revaccination at one year, then revaccination every three years.
Next, he set out to prove it
From the 1970’s on, Dr Schultz and his colleagues performed study after study. They tested well over 1,000 dogs and used all of the major veterinary vaccine products. They measured immunity with both serology (by measuring circulating antibodies) and challenge (exposing the dogs to the disease). And he did in fact prove that those vaccines were extremely likely to last for the life of the animal.
Dr Schultz and his team found that the distemper vaccine produced a minimum of 7 years DOI with challenge and at least 15 years with serology. This doesn’t mean that the vaccines stop working after this period of time – these numbers reflect the number of years after vaccination the dogs were tested. Theoretically, if the dogs lived to 30 and were tested at that time, they might still be protected.
His research also showed that parvovirus would protect dogs for at least 7 years with challenge and 9 years with serology. The other common part of the core vaccines, adenovirus, was also shown to protect for 7 and 9 years respectively.
The results were basically the same for every vaccine he tested and for every dog.
And then he showed that dogs that were vaccinated just once, after the maternal antibodies were gone, were similarly protected when challenged.
“Only one dose of the modified-live canine ‘core’ vaccine (against CDV, CAV-2 and CPV-2) or modified-live feline ‘core’ vaccine (against FPV, FCV and FHV), when administered at 16 weeks or older, will provide long lasting (many years to a lifetime) immunity in a very high percentage of animals”
The good news (sort of)
These early recommendations prompted the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to assemble a task force. In 2003, the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force evaluated the data from Dr Schultz’s work and, while noting that the core vaccines had a minimum duration of immunity of at least seven years, compromised by saying that “revaccination every 3 years is considered protective.”
Why would the AAHA recommend revaccination when faced with research showing that those vaccines were extremely likely to protect dogs and cats for life? And more importantly …
Why every three years?
Dr Richard Ford, Professor of Medicine at North Carolina State University, was a part of that 2003 task force. Afterward, he said that the decision to recommend a three year revaccination schedule for core vaccines was a compromise.
“It’s completely arbitrary…,” he said. “I will say there is no science behind the three-year recommendation…”
So, when presented with pretty convincing evidence that vaccines lasted for a lifetime, and certainly as long as seven years or more, the AAHA was only willing to move from annual revaccination to triennial.
Although the AAHA didn’t appear to be much interested in admitting that they might be over-vaccinating dogs, the 2003 task force prompted all of the major veterinary vaccine manufacturers to complete their own studies showing a minimum three year DOI on the core vaccines. So now the vaccine manufacturers could state on the label that the vaccines would last at least three years, not one. Things were moving forward, albeit at a snail’s pace.
By 2006, vaccine labels had changed to reflect a longer DOI and the AAHA released their revised Canine Vaccine Guidelines. These guidelines were updated again in February 2007 to update new information about parvovirus and distemper vaccination.
So, in 2006, nearly thirty years after Dr Schultz’s initial research, the AAHA decided to change their revaccination recommendations for core vaccines from “revaccination every 3 years is considered protective” to “revaccination every 3 years or more is considered protective.”
So what changed?
In the meantime, vaccines were starting to be looked at with a much more analytical point of view. Not only was the AAHA slowly responding to Dr Schultz’s work, but some vets started taking a good look at why over-vaccinating wasn’t a very good idea. Dr Schultz again outlined this for the vets in 2007 and began compiling a long laundry list of problems that vaccines could case, ranging from small bumps all the way to life threatening diseases and cancer.
Finally, in 2011, in response to Dr Schultz’s continued repetition of his studies showing lifelong immunity, in virtually every dog, with virtually every core vaccine, the AAHA once more updated their Canine Vaccination Guidelines.
Don’t get too excited
In 2011, the AAHA still stuck to “every 3 years or more” as a recommendation, but with the following comment: “Among healthy dogs, all commercially available [core] vaccines are expected to induce a sustained protective immune response lasting at least 5 yr. thereafter”
Five years? Now where did that number come from?
Back in 2003, the AAHA task force supported their three year schedule with, “This is supported by a growing body of veterinary information and well-developed epidemiological vigilance in human medicine that indicates immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.”
Yet in spite of this, eight years later, they changed their recommendations to three, maybe five, years. Why did they say immunity from vaccination is lifelong, yet they continue to recommend revaccinating every three, maybe every five years?
Why are they so wishy-washy on the topic?
“Profits are what vaccine critics believe is at the root of the profession’s resistance to update its protocols. Without the lure of vaccines, clients might be less inclined to make yearly veterinary visits. Vaccines add up to 14 percent of the average practice’s income, AAHA reports, and veterinarians stand to lose big.” says Schultz. “Tying vaccinations into the annual visit became prominent in the 1980s and a way of practicing in the 1990s. Now veterinarians don’t want to give it up.”
That’s not the worst part
As much as it chagrins me that the veterinary associations are woefully slow to catch up to Dr Schultz’s research, the really frightening part is that the recommendations are just that.
Vets are free to vaccinate whenever and however they wish. The veterinary associations only make recommendations; there are no repercussions if vets choose to ignore them.
On top of that, even though the vaccine labels are changing to say they protect pets for at least three years, they still leave the revaccination schedule up to the vet. One vaccine insert from a major pharmaceutical company states, “You are the ultimate authority. You, the practicing veterinarian, are best qualified to make the final decisions for your own practice.”
The good news is, this freedom allows vets to vaccinate less often than every three years. The bad news is, it leaves them wide open to vaccinate yearly too.
And what does Dr Schultz think of giving vets the ultimate authority to make vaccine decisions?
“Unfortunately not enough folks teaching immunology explain the process so students understand the complexities of vaccine-induced immunity, and there are significant differences between the mechanism of protective immunity to the same pathogen in a naïve vs a vaccinated animal” he says. “I, in academia, accept some of the blame for the confusion, but I also place some of the blame on my colleagues in industry, especially those who market vaccines. They have done a much better job of educating practitioners to their way of selling vaccines than immunologists have done in teaching the facts about vaccine-induced immunity.”
So vets might not be all that prepared to make fully educated immunological decisions, yet the AAHA and the vaccine manufacturers are giving them full rein to do just that.
Who’s left holding the bag?
So the only person who gets to decide how often pets are vaccinated also has a financial interest in how often they’re vaccinated. Not every vet would think of profiting from over-vaccination, but for those who might, there’s nothing to stop them.
Not even the law.
Unsuspecting pet owners are almost completely unprotected from those vets who choose to revaccinate with schedules lacking scientific backing. In most states and provinces, it’s virtually impossible for pet owners to sue for vaccine damage, even when vaccines are given against label and veterinary association recommendations. Most pets are only valued at a couple of hundred dollars and, in most states, pet owners are unable to sue for pain and suffering.
“I suspect some are ignoring my work”
Dr Schultz just might be right. Because it sure looks to me like more than a few vets are indeed ignoring his work. While many vets are happily adopting the new guidelines and some are following Dr Schultz’s “one and done” recommendation, there are still vets who wholeheartedly advocate annual revaccination.
Dr Bob Rogers hired a Chicago based law firm and initiated a class action suit for pet owners who weren’t given informed consent prior to vaccination. His article entitled “The Courage to Embrace the Truth” states, “While attending conferences like WSVMA and NAVMC I have asked over 400 DVMs from various parts of the country if they attended the seminars on New Vaccination Protocols. I was told by all but one, “I don’t care what the data says, I am not changing.” One DVM here on VIN even said “I am not changing until the AVMA makes me change.”
And we know that’s not happening.
How many vets are we talking about?
So, we decided to google “annual vaccine dog” to see what vets had to say on this topic. And first in our search was a large company that has several hundred clinics. And they state on their website that most vaccines need to be given annually.
That one company alone vaccinates tens or hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs annually. Without any science to back their schedule.
Page after page came up, showing even more vets who were still vaccinating for the core vaccines yearly. By our estimates, and one pharmaceutical company’s, more than half of vets are still vaccinating annually.
Show me the science
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I can get a little abrasive when vets push back on this topic. I get a little irate when vets or even pet owners come onto our website and Facebook page and say we’re full of hooey and that pet owners should check with their vets, instead of getting their information from somebody who isn’t a vet.
OK, so that would make sense in an ideal world. Because, theoretically, vets would have access to information and research that somebody like you and I wouldn’t. They would have a better grasp of immunology and they would have access to Dr Schultz’s work.
They would be able to make “scientific” decisions whereas you and I presumably can’t. Theoretically. But here’s where I get upset.
There’s no scientific evidence for the vaccination schedules vets are using today.
This is why Dr Schultz calls annual vaccination an “indefensible practice.” It even states this in every copy of the veterinary textbook, Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XI (Small Animal Practice), right on page 205.
Science vs speculation
So, on one side of the fence, there’s virtually indisputable evidence that one core vaccine, given at or after 16 weeks of age, can last a lifetime – or, at the very least, 5 to 7 years.
On the other side of the fence, there’s no evidence whatsoever that the core vaccines ever need to be repeated.
There never has been.
By vaccinating annually, or even triennially, vets are ignoring valid and reliable research and clinging to a revaccination schedule that’s based merely on speculation and habit.
And this includes the majority of vets.
“I’m the only one in the profession who challenges the immunity of vaccines. I’m really one among a total of three individuals who have challenge studies out. With just a few of us studying them and more vaccines on the market, how are we supposed to keep up?” say Schultz. “In the 1970s, there were four vaccines for dogs and we weren’t using them often. Now there are 16 vaccines for dogs, and if they’re not getting them annually, they’re getting them more often than that.”
Wouldn’t you think that out of the thousands of vets giving vaccines routinely, that more than three would want to know how long they actually last?
Why do they do it?
I don’t know why vets seem to be ignoring Dr Schultz’s work. Is it a deliberate act because repeated vaccination means more money? That might be true in some cases, but couldn’t vets replace that lost vaccine income with revenue from titers?
Titer testing, a simple blood test that measures the circulating antibodies as a measure of immunity, could surely be used to draw pet owners into the clinics every year. Annual titer testing isn’t all that necessary either, but at least the risk is just a poke in the vein, not cancer, seizures or even sudden death. The only thing vets would be hurting is our pocket books and I’d be OK with that. They have to make a living after all.
Do vets continue to over-vaccinate because they’re afraid? They might be. But to resist the only research done on vaccine duration of immunity and stick to a scientifically unproven schedule doesn’t jibe with that. Wouldn’t vets be eager to join the team with all the research on their side? Because if they’re afraid of the unknown, then they should run from annual vaccination like their hair was on fire. Granted, we might not know whether the core vaccines last for seven years or a hundred years, but we sure as heck know that they all last for at least five years.
In the end, it’s not for me to say why vets continue to revaccinate on unscientific schedules. But when they urge us to vaccinate more often than necessary, are they being untruthful with us or with themselves?
Half of adult dogs today die of cancer. Many more are suffering from preventable chronic diseases that could very likely be caused by vaccines. Somebody needs to connect the dots, and soon. Our pets are counting on it.
But at the heart of it, there’s an old Navajo proverb that I fear may be why vets aren’t letting go of over-vaccination.
It goes, “You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.“
Try Shockwave Therapy When Your Pet Is In Pain or Isn’t Healing
October 11, 2013
By Dr. Becker
Shockwave therapy, or ESWT, uses acoustic energy directed to target treatment areas of an animal’s body. The shockwaves trigger the body’s repair mechanisms, enabling healing and long-term improvement of a variety of conditions.
In ESWT, high-intensity sound waves interact with the tissues of the body, leading to development of new blood vessels, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen and dissolution of calcium build-up.
Conditions in companion animals that can be effectively treated with shockwave therapy include hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, non- or delayed healing bone fractures, back pain, and chronic or non-healing wounds.
Studies of shockwave therapy for dogs have shown positive results in improving bone healing, soft tissue damage, joint inflammation, and both the progression and pain of osteoarthritis.
ESWT treatments are loud and can be painful, so animals are sedated during sessions. Treatment frequency and duration depends on the strength of the shockwaves and the number of locations being treated.
Shockwave therapy — officially called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) – is generally understood by most of the veterinary community as useful in treating musculoskeletal injuries, osteoarthritis (OA), and wound healing in horses. According to Clinician’s Brief, the use of ESWT to aid healing in companion animals like dogs and cats is not as well recognized.
Many people hear the word “shockwave” and immediately think of an electrical shock. But the shockwaves used in ESWT are high-energy sound waves (acoustic energy) that are directed to a target treatment area on an animal’s body. The shockwaves trigger the body’s own repair mechanisms, which speeds healing and provides long-term improvement.
How ESWT Helps the Healing Process
ESWT has been used in human medicine for over 20 years to provide non-invasive treatment for urologic and orthopedic conditions.
ESWT employs electrohydraulic technology to generate shockwaves. The high-intensity sound waves interact with the tissues of the body, leading to a host of beneficial effects including development of new blood vessels, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen and dissolution of calcium build-up. This activity creates an optimal healing environment, and as the damaged area returns to normal, pain is alleviated and functionality is restored.
When shockwave therapy is applied to areas of non-healing tissue, it may trigger release of acute cytokines that stimulate healing. Accompanying pain relief may be the result of increased serotonin activity in the dorsal horn (located in the spinal cord).
Conditions Successfully Treated with Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave therapy is known to be beneficial in treating the following conditions in companion animals:
Sesamoiditis (chronic inflammation of bones in the foot)
Tendon and ligament injuries
Chronic wound care
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (degeneration of the head of the femur bone in the hind leg)
Non-healing (non-union) or delayed healing (delayed union) fractures
Actual Results of ESWT for Dogs
According to Clinician’s Brief:
Of 4 dogs treated for non-healing fractures, 3 had significant improvement in bone healing following ESWT treatment.
In a study of dogs with distal radial fracture non-unions (a break near the bottom of the front limb, just above the wrist joint), all dogs that received ESWT showed complete bone healing after 12 weeks, while no dogs in the control group achieved complete bony union.
In a study of dogs with lameness resulting from soft tissue shoulder conditions, 88 percent showed improvement after shockwave therapy, with no surgical intervention.
ESWT was also shown to significantly reduce distal ligament thickening in dogs with inflammation of knee joints following surgery for a CCL rupture.
Shockwave therapy has proved beneficial in promoting the development of new blood vessels at the bone-tendon interface of the Achilles tendon in dogs.
ESWT has been shown to modulate osteoarthritis in animals by decreasing production of nitric oxide in joints and inhibiting cell death in healthy cartilage. Shockwave therapy can also be beneficial in managing the pain of arthritis.
Studies have demonstrated positive results in joint range of motion and peak vertical force in dogs with knee, hip and elbow arthritis.
Currently, there are only unpublished case reports on shockwave therapy for treating chronic wounds in small animals. However, based on its mechanism of action, ESWT may prove valuable in managing skin flaps and difficult and chronic wounds.
to read more, go to: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/10/11/shockwave-therapy.aspx?e_cid=20131011Z1_PetsNL_art_1&utm_source=petnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20131011Z1
Director of Student Services at Living Arts Institute
How a Dog Saved My Life: From Anxiety to Hope
Posted: 08/24/2013 10:02 am
Owning a dog seemed impossible to a girl with severe asthma, allergies, eczema — and not just a little anxiety. After all, I’d almost died several times from asthma attacks and anaphylaxis from food allergies. Doctors joked that I should live in a bubble or on a sterile boat in the middle of the ocean, only ingesting water and gluten-free crackers. I would laugh at their comments, but inside I ached at the thought of a future without pets. I spent years testing out an array of “hypoallergenic” animals, each one ending in a wheezing, hive-filled heartbreak. The food and environmental allergies I could handle, but a life without animals? No way.
In 2007, I found a loophole in my animal intolerance. I interviewed for a dolphin care and training internship in the Florida Keys and six weeks later packed my bags to move to an island 800 miles from my North Carolina home. Working with bottlenose dolphins was living my dream. I worked 40 grueling unpaid hours a week and was enthralled by every aspect of the job, even spending several hours a day elbow-deep in dead fish. Isn’t that what all girls’ dreams are made of? I was happy, my chronic anxiety was at an all-time low, and I felt like my life had purpose and meaning. I enjoyed the psychological aspect of animal training almost as much as I loved kissing those big gray faces and giving belly rubs to baby dolphin calves.
Unfortunately, after one year of working with dolphins, I developed an anaphylactic allergy to all types of fish. As my throat swelled and my breathing labored, all I could think was, “I can’t touch fish, I can’t work with dolphins. My life here is over.”
Since there is no such thing as a vegetarian dolphin, I was correct. I moved back to North Carolina and tried to let go of the job of animal training. With the realization that my new-found passion and purpose was no longer an option, I went into mourning. If I had never experienced the satisfaction that a deep connection with an animal can bring, maybe it wouldn’t have hurt so deeply. I suddenly felt unmotivated to do anything with my life, because the one thing I knew I wanted to do was impossible.
My downward unhappiness spiral continued and eventually took the form of debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. I enlisted the help of a therapist and eventually conquered my anxiety attacks, transforming into a “silver linings” person with a new perspective on life. I even helped a few friends and family members with their anxiety struggles. I felt happy, but I still knew something was truly missing.
Then one afternoon, I came home to find my husband cradling a fluffy, wet-nosed, chocolate brown puppy. In spite of my allergies, we decided to take a chance on adopting a hypoallergenic Labradoodle, with a backup plan if my allergies decided to betray me again. Several of our family members assured us that they would adopt and raise our puppy if allergies became an issue. One look at Henri’s eerily human-like hazel eyes and thumping tail brought me to my knees, sobbing uncontrollably. Both my husband and I cried as we embraced our new puppy, our Henri.
I expected that having my own dog would be both fun and a lot of work. What I didn’t expect was the impact that a six-pound, miniature Australian Labradoodle would have on overall well-being. For the first time since leaving the dolphins, the something that was missing in my life has arrived and is sleeping on my feet as I write this.
While we assumed a dog might worsen my allergies, the exact opposite has happened. There is a scientific connection between emotions and health, and much research that shows how living with pets makes us healthier. I firmly believe that my dog has allowed me to experience healing, both inner and outer. I know that Henri is no magical canine who has healed my chronic ailments, but she has created the most perfect distraction from them. Where my focus and energy used to constantly gravitate towards my medical issues and what was wrong with me, it now centers on my dog and her needs. I’m now using my dolphin training knowledge to engage, entertain, and train Henri.
I have heard over and over again that training dogs gives them a sense of purpose and security, but I have found that the same is true for the owner. While Henri is not yet an official therapy dog, she is my therapy dog.
Homeopathy is a form of energy therapy that is used cure animals, like dogs, that are sick, have parasites or are in pain. It is a means of curing and strengthening the weakened electro magnetic field to make the dog feel stronger and rejuvenated.
What it is
Based on the thought “like cures like”, homeopathy believes that a medicine can cure a sick animal only if it can cause a similar sickness in a healthy animal. For example, a bee sting can be treated by a medicine, which has the same diluted venom.
Can it be used along with allopathy
Homeopathic medicines can be used even if allopathic or other medicines are being used, but it is believed that their effectiveness decreases if drugs, pesticides, cortisone and other immune depressive chemicals are being used.
Precautions while homeopathic medicines are being used.
· Homeopathy is an energy medicine and thus the dog should NOT be given garlic, onions, ginger and other root nodules during the course.
· Homeopathic medicines should be taken at least ½ hour before and an hour after eating. They should not be touched by hand and be given in the precise quantity mentioned.
· The potency of the medicine decides the effectiveness of the medicine. A drug that is less potent would require a stronger dosage than one, which is not.
Prevention of disease
· Homeopathy can be used in place of the rabies vaccine. It works by protecting the body by developing a stronger immune system. The chances of the dog turning rabid despite being given the vaccine inoculation are relatively reduced.
· It helps dogs affected by paralysis and deranged Central Nervous System symptoms, chasing imaginary objects in the air or snapping their jaws rhythmically in the air at nothing.
· Homeopathy in this light is PALLIATIVE as it prevents any breakdown of an organ and instead looks at preventive cure or at inducing a cure from the organ itself.
· Rabies, Canine Distemper and Aluminium as an ingredient in vaccines or as a pollutant in the food chain are known to be causative factors leading to skin problems, endocrine and digestion deficiencies, allergies, toxicities of the liver, kidney and heart with resulting failure of these organs.
· Allopathy can cause cysts and tumours, which are produced in the ovaries and the pancreas resulting in extreme abdominal pain at times even pushing the dog into a state of insulin coma. Homeopathy does not involve such doses of any medication and thus does not harm the dog.
· Breakdown of the body by allopathic medicines is not surprising as the widespread use of pathogens affects the brain, the central nervous system and thus affects each organ and tissue of the body.
· The pup can start on homeopathic medication by the time it is 3 months old. The puppy starts a series of six valent modified live oral vaccination 2-3 weeks apart until 6 months old and then a 6 month or yearly booster can be given.
· The requisite gap between vaccinations is around 6 weeks for the immune stimulating process to recover in order to respond properly to the next dose.
· Puppies are given medications for Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Corona, Parvo and Kennel Cough all in one vaccine. The first three are in one vaccine with the Leukaemia vaccine is separate.
· Rabies vaccine uses a modified live virus (still preferred by health care individuals) but lately killed Rabies is also available. This is given when the pup is 4 months old and then when he turns one. Sometimes booster shots are given every three years.
· You may not find oral homeopathic vaccines over the counter but check with vets and homeopaths.
· If breed dogs are treated with homeopathy, their offspring (at least second and third generation) may not be susceptible to breed problems such as hip dysplasia, wobblers, bloat, colic, inter-digestion pyoderma, elongated soft palates and hypothyroidism.
Homeopathy vs Vaccinations: Why Homeopathy is better
· The flaws of vaccination are the strengths of homeopathy. A vaccine with more than two viruses and/or bacteria decreases the presence of antibodies in the immune system of the dog making him more prone to sickness.
· Sicknesses like Canine Hepatitis and Leptospirosis require only one homeopathic vaccine for immunity for life. They DO NOT need a yearly booster.
· Homeopathic prevention is an option as it DOES NOT interfere with the immune system and aids in building a strong life force in the animal.
· Homeopathy vaccines can be used as treatment or prevention of the targeted disease entity. The parvo-homeopathic vaccine nosode is being used to treat the disease caused by the Parvo virus as well as to prevent it.
· Injections and boosters are traumatic and painful. Homeopathy is a more humane option.
· Most homeopathic medicines can be used to treat any sort of sickness in the dog. The following medicines with corresponding potencies are available, however you can opt for a higher or lower potent drug depending on availability. These are twelve tissue salts that are safe for the dog
– Calcarea flour
– Calcarea Phos
– Calcarea sulph
– Ferrum phos
– Kali mur
– Kali phos
– Kali sulph
– Magnesium phos
– Natrum mur
– Natrum phos
· These are all available in potencies ranging from 1X being the strongest going down to 6X. You should choose one depending on the age of the dog.
· Ideally a small dog should not have a drug with a potency of 1X, although homeopathic medicine even in higher potencies is not really harmful.
The following are some common homeopathic medicines
– Arnica 30C
– Arsenic alb 200
– Belladonna 30C
– Hypericum 200
– Calendula 30C/ Q (Q potency indicates original solution and should be used for only external application)
for more, go to: http://pets.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1060672766.cms
New Parasite Prevalence Maps Help Pet Owners Prepare
July 18 2012
The Companion Animal Parasite Council now provides online maps pet owners can use to see if the area they live in or plan to visit has parasite problems. The maps are a good tool to find general information about the presence of parasites in counties and states across the country. But they shouldn’t be used as a tool to scare pet owners into subjecting their animals to a barrage of potentially toxic chemicals.
The best way to protect pets from parasites is not to put them on monthly, year-round preventive drugs. Under certain circumstances, chemical preventives may be necessary, but they should not be used indiscriminately. They carry side effects like every drug, and their overuse is contributing to the problem of parasite resistance to these preventives.
No matter what parasite preventives you use, including chemical agents, your pet can still attract pests and parasites. In fact, even animals loaded with chemicals to the point of toxicosis can still acquire parasites.
Do all you can to avoid parasites, relying on natural preventives as much as possible, and then have your vet run a SNAP 4Dx test every six months to check for the presence of heartworm and tick borne diseases, as well as a stool sample to check for GI parasites.
By Dr. Becker
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has redesigned its website1 for pet owners and now features a set of maps you can check for information on parasite prevalence in a specific area.
If you’re only interested in heartworm disease, you can select your state from a drop-down menu on the right side of the home page to see the infection risk for your state. If you’d like more extensive information, you can view the entire U.S. map.
If you choose the second option, you can find out the risk for several different diseases for dogs and cats individually, by state. The maps include infection rates for:
Tick borne diseases (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis)
Intestinal parasites (roundworm, hookworm and whipworm)
You can also click on a state and see infection rates for individual counties, then hover your mouse over a county to see its name.
According to Dr. Christopher Carpenter, executive director of CAPC, “Our unique parasite prevalence maps provide localized statistics about diseases that affect dogs and cats in consumers’ backyards, and we update them monthly.”
Keep Your Pet Safe from Overuse of Parasite Preventives
I think these maps are useful for pet owners looking for general information about the prevalence of a certain disease in a certain location. The intent of the maps is to “… help drive clinic visits,” according to Dr. Carpenter, because “People respond to and appreciate it when experts share pertinent information.”
He goes on to say that CAPC hopes veterinarians leverage the maps “… to strengthen client relationships and consistently ‘tap consumers on the shoulder’ with facts that underscore the risk of parasitic disease that exists everywhere.”
Since the Companion Animal Parasite Council is sponsored by a “Who’s Who” list of major veterinary drug manufacturers, I think it’s safe to assume the real intent of the maps is to get pet owners to buy into the belief that every dog and cat in the country should be on parasite preventives year-round.
And while I agree pet owners appreciate learning information pertinent to the health of their furry family members, I think it’s extremely irresponsible of veterinarians to encourage the overuse of parasite preventives. These drugs, like all drugs, have side effects.
Just because a drug is used as a preventive doesn’t automatically put it in the category of “better safe than sorry.” This is a lesson the traditional veterinary community is slowly learning about vaccines. Every single thing we put into or onto an animal should be carefully assessed to insure its benefits outweigh its risks.
And keep in mind that even pets loaded down to the point of toxicosis with chemical preventives still frequently wind up with pests and parasites. There is no absolutely foolproof method for keeping every single pet protected from every single pest.
Around this time last year I saw my first dog patient with Lyme disease AND heartworm disease – conditions she acquired while taking a monthly, year-round heartworm preventive drug AND a spot-on flea/tick preventive prescribed by her regular vet. This is a good illustration of the ineffectiveness of some of these drugs, as well as the fact that parasites are growing resistant to them because they are being overused.
Preventing Tick Borne Diseases
In the spring, summer and fall, avoid tick-infested areas.
If you live where ticks are a significant problem, check your pet for the little blood suckers twice each day. Look over his entire body, including hidden crevices like those in the ear, underneath his collar, in the webs of his feet, and underneath his tail. If you find a tick, make sure to remove it safely.
Use a safe tick repellent like Natural Flea and Tick Defense. If you live in a Lyme endemic region of the U.S., your veterinarian will probably recommend you use a chemical repellent. Remember: it’s important to investigate the risks and benefits of any medication before you give it to your pet. Natural repellents are NOT the same as toxic preventives … they are not a guarantee your pet won’t be bitten by ticks….they only reduce the likelihood of infestation. So frequent tick checks are really important.
Create strong vitality and resilience in your dog or cat by feeding a species-appropriate diet. Parasites are attracted to weaker animals. By enhancing your pet’s vitality, you can help her avoid the ill effects of a tick borne disease.
Preventing Intestinal Parasites
Puppies and kittens can get intestinal parasites from an infected mother – either across the placenta or from their mother’s milk.
Beyond that, most pets acquire intestinal worms by eating infected poop. So the best way to prevent infection is to make sure your pet’s environment is clean and ‘feces-free.’ Pick up your pet’s poop and make sure she doesn’t have access to infective feces from wild or stray animals around your property or anywhere else outdoors.
Whipworm eggs in the environment are extremely resilient and resistant to most cleaning methods and freezing temperatures as well. They can be dried out with strong agents like agricultural lime, but the best way to decontaminate a whipworm-infested area is to replace the soil with new soil or another substrate.
Keep your pet’s GI tract in good shape and resistant to parasites by feeding a balanced, species-appropriate diet. I also recommend either periodic or regular probiotic supplementation to insure a good balance of healthy bacteria in your pet’s colon, as well as a good quality pet digestive enzyme.
Have your vet check a sample of your pet’s stool twice a year for GI parasites.
What You Need to Know About Heartworm Disease Prevention
According to heartworm preventive dosing maps, there are only a few areas of the U.S. where dosing your dog with 9 months to year-round heartworm medicine might be advisable. Those locations are in Texas and Florida, and a few other spots along the Gulf coast. The rest of the country runs high exposure risk at from 3 to 7 months. The majority of states are at 6 months or less.
Preventives don’t actually stop your dog from getting heartworms. What these chemicals do is kill off the worm larvae at the microfilaria stage. These products are insecticides designed to kill heartworm larvae inside your pet. As such, they have the potential for short and long-term side effects damaging to your canine companion’s health.
To reduce your pet’s risk of exposure to heartworms, control mosquitoes:
Don’t take your pet around standing water. Eliminate as much standing water as possible around your home and yard by cleaning your rain gutters regularly and aerating ornamental ponds and decorative water gardens.
Stay out of wet marshes and thickly wooded areas.
Keep your pet indoors during early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are thickest.
If you live in an area of the U.S. where mosquitoes are common and you know your pet’s risk of exposure to heartworm disease is significant, here are my recommendations for protecting your precious furry family member:
With guidance from a holistic vet, try using natural preventives like heartworm nosodes rather than chemicals. Make sure to do heartworm testing every 3 to 4 months (not annually) as natural heartworm preventives can’t guarantee your pet will never acquire the disease.
If your dog’s kidneys and liver are healthy, try using a chemical preventive at the lowest effective dosage. This could mean having the drug compounded if necessary for dogs weighing in at the low end of dosing instructions. Give the treatment at 6-week intervals rather than at 4 weeks, for the minimum number of months required during mosquito season.
Remember, heartworms live in your pet’s bloodstream, so natural GI (gastrointestinal) dewormers, such as diatomaceous earth, and anti-parasitic herbs (such as wormwood and garlic) are not effective at killing larvae in your pet’s bloodstream.
Avoid all-in-one chemical products claiming to get rid of every possible GI worm and external parasites as well. As an example, many heartworm preventives also contain dewormers for intestinal parasites. Remember – less is more. The goal is to use the least amount of chemical necessary that prevents heartworm. Adding other chemicals to the mix adds to the toxic load your pets’s body must contend with. Also avoid giving your pet a chemical flea/tick preventive during the same week.
Follow up a course of heartworm preventive pills with natural liver detox agents like milk thistle and SAMe, in consultation with your holistic vet.
Always have your vet do a heartworm test before beginning any preventive treatment. A protocol I put in place in my clinic last year is to run a SNAP 4Dx blood test every 6 months on dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors during warmer weather. The 4Dx tests for heartworm and tick borne diseases. Because parasites are becoming resistant to overused chemical preventives, the sooner you can identify infection in your pet, the sooner a protocol can be instituted to safely treat the infection with fewer long-term side effects.
No one intends for it to happen: A purse is left on the floor, and within minutes, your Boston Terrier is parading around with an empty prescription bottle or a chocolate wrapper in his mouth.
“We just don’t realize how determined our pets are to eat the things they shouldn’t,” says Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
Of the 165,900 calls that the organization handled in 2011, most of them involved pets who’d ingested human prescriptions. “Many children with ADHD don’t want to take their medications, so they leave pills on their plates, where pets can get at them,” Dr. Wismer says. “Even nonprescription medications, such as ibuprofen, can be a problem because many brands have a sweet coating, so it’s like candy for dogs.”
As part of National Poison Prevention Week (March 18-24), Vetstreet has compiled an A to Z list of some common pet poisons that should be on your radar. This list is not all-inclusive, so for more information on these and many other toxins, check out the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website and talk with your vet.
Acetaminophen, which is found in Tylenol® and other medications, can cause liver damage in dogs. Cats are even more sensitive: Ingestion of a single 325 mg tablet by a 10-pound cat can cause anemia and even be fatal. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.
Batteries can be toxic to both dogs and cats, leading to ulcers in the mouth, esophagus or stomach.Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.
Chocolate can cause seizures and death in dogs and cats. Darker chocolate, such as unsweetened baker’s chocolate, is more toxic than milk or white chocolate. Even cocoa bean mulch, when eaten in large quantities, can be a problem. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.
Detergents and fabric softener sheets can cause ulcers in the mouth, esophagus and stomach in dogs and cats. Toxicity Ranking:mild to moderate.
Ethylene glycol is found in antifreeze, windshield de-icing agents and motor oils. Dogs and cats are attracted to its sweet taste, but as little as a teaspoon in cats or a tablespoon in dogs can cause kidney failure. Toxicity Ranking: severe to fatal.
Fertilizers can contain poisonous amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, herbicides and pesticides. Keep dogs and cats away from treated lawns until they are dry. Check the product packaging, though, since some products must be rinsed into the lawn before it is safe to walk on. Toxicity Ranking:mild to moderate.
Grapes, raisins and currants — even grape juice — in small amounts can cause kidney failure in dogs.Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.
Household cleaners, such as bleach, drain cleaners, ammonia and toilet bowl cleaners, can cause gastrointestinal ulcers and other problems in dogs and cats. Toxicity Ranking: varies.
Insecticides in flea and tick products can cause problems if not used according to labels. Insecticides that are meant for dogs can cause severe toxicity in cats, leading to signs such as vomiting, seizures and difficulty breathing. Products intended for treating the yard or house should not be used on pets. Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.
Jimson weed, also known as devil’s trumpet, can cause restlessness, drunken walking and respiratory failure in dogs and cats. Toxicity Ranking: moderate.
Kerosene, gasoline and tiki torch fluids can cause drooling, drunken walking and difficulty breathing in dogs and cats. If these products contain antifreeze, they are even more problematic. Toxicity Ranking:moderate to severe (potentially life threatening).
Lilies — Easter, day, tiger, Japanese and Asiatic varieties — can cause kidney failure in cats. Lilies of the valley can cause heart rhythm problems and death in dogs and cats.Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.
Mothballs, especially if they contain naphthalene, can be toxic to dogs and cats, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, increased drinking and urination, and seizures. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe (potentially life threatening).
Nonprescription medication, such as ibuprofen, can lead to severe ulcers and anemia, as well as liver and kidney failure in pets. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe (potentially life threatening).
Onions, garlic, leeks and chives can be toxic in dogs and cats. When chewed or swallowed, these ingredients can cause anemia and gastrointestinal upset. Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.
Prescription medications, such as antidepressants and ADHD and cardiac drugs, are commonly ingested by pets when pills are dropped on the floor or left on counters. Even a small dose can cause problems. Toxicity Ranking: varies.
Queensland nuts, also known as macadamia nuts, can cause lethargy, vomiting and difficulty walking in dogs. Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.
Rodenticides, such as mouse and rat poisons, can contain a number of different toxins, which have different effects on dogs and cats. Several common ingredients, like warfarin and coumarin, can cause blot clotting problems and hemorrhaging. Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.
Sago palms are one of a number of toxic plants for dogs and cats. Ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and seizures, as well as liver failure in dogs. Toxicity Ranking: severe.
Tulip bulbs can lead to mouth irritation, drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.
Unbaked bread dough can expand in the stomach. If the stomach twists, cutting off the blood supply, emergency surgery is needed. The yeast in the dough can also produce alcohol, leading to seizures and respiratory failure. Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.
Veterinary prescriptions, such as arthritis medications, are often meat-flavored, which can be enticing to dogs. This can result in stomach ulcers, liver or kidney failure.Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.
Windshield wiper fluid can contain methanol or ethylene glycol. Ingestion of methanol can cause low blood sugar and drunken walking in dogs and cats. Toxicity Ranking: mild to moderate.
Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener commonly found in chewing gum, breath mints and toothpaste. In dogs, it can lead to dangerous drops in blood sugar and liver failure. Toxicity Ranking: mild to severe.
Yard products, including snail and slug bait, herbicides and fertilizers, are never good for pets. Signs will vary by the ingredient. Toxicity Ranking: varies.
Zinc toxicity can happen when dogs and cats eat metal or coins. Ingestion of even a single zinc penny can be fatal. Zinc can cause anemia, as well as liver, kidney or heart failure. Toxicity Ranking: moderate to severe.
How to Safeguard Your Pet
So how can you prevent your pet from an accidental poisoning? Start by visiting the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website to learn about other potential poisons, how to poison-proof your home and what to do if you suspect that your pet may have been poisoned.
It’s also a good idea to post the organization’s phone number — 888-426-4435 — on your refrigerator for easy reference in the event of an emergency. The call center is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“To poison-proof your home, don’t keep medications where pets can get at them,” Dr. Wismer says. “Keep cleaning products behind doors, and take your medication in another room, behind a locked door.”
While dogs can be notorious for refusing to take their own medications, Wismer adds, “we sometimes say that the surest way to pill a dog is to drop one on the floor.”