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Cancer In Pets

I can tell from the looks on their faces when my clients come in with a diagnosis of cancer in their beloved pet. They are worried, concerned about cost, and looking for hope from a holistic viewpoint. The pet, on the other hand, is happily investigating the new surroundings and interesting scents in my office, oblivious to their diagnosis.
There are many reasons for hope. It is a rare day when I tell a patient there is nothing we can do to help. There are always things that can help! Each vital force and body constitution is different, so we deal with the options one at a time, on an individually tailored plan.
Conventional biopsy, surgery, and chemotherapy can be very useful but the thought of this is overwhelming to many clients at first. Like any disease, cancer is a dysfunction of the immune system, so that is an easy place to begin immediate treatment and especially prevention. Begin with good nutrition, fresh organic foods, and herbal supplements tailored to individual needs. It always helps to take one small step in the right direction and the animals love this part of the plan!
Next we discuss the type of cancer, how genetics and nutrigenomics play a role, and whether a visit to an oncologist is an option. I try to educate clients that the cancer did not begin on the day of diagnosis but much earlier in life. Their pet has been and will be living with this for some time. We choose herbal combinations and supplements to add to the conventional therapies. There is much research showing the beneficial effects of botanical compounds in cancer therapy to enhance quality of life and fight cancer at the cellular level. We discover whether their pet will accept tablets, powders, or liquids most readily. I strive for stress free treatment for owner and pet!
If a case is in terminal stages, animal hospice is an option. End of life care is so important in the bond with a loved pet and the memories made during those last days. Pain control with acupuncture or drugs is essential and veterinary home visits reduce stress on everyone.
I believe that each pet is a special angel that has lessons for us. If we pay attention, we can learn so much from them. We can cook healthy food for them and ourselves, we can learn about cancer prevention, we can learn how to be a health advocate for someone else. Most of all, we can learn to toss our worries to the wind and live joyfully in the moment.

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July 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TEN QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR VETERINARIAN

Interview your vet. Veterinarians are as varied as all humankind. Find out who you are dealing with today! This medically educated human being is evaluating your precious companion and you are entitled to the best advice they can give. Remember, the vet does not make your animal get better, the vital force and innate healing ability of the incredible body is responsible. You are paying for advice and medications that have the potential to nudge the body toward healing, or to cause a negative effect.

1) What kind of animals do you have? Everyone likes others who care about them! Try to find a common bond with your vet. Are they a cat person or a dog person? Where did they attend veterinary college? If they do not have any pets or express a dislike of animals, you might run the other way!

2) How is my pet’s weight? Sometimes vets neglect to cover nutrition fully and give the owner specific information. Unfortunately, nobody can tell you how many cups of food to give, because sizes and metabolic rated vary so much among animals. “Look down on your pet” that is, look from above and see if there is a waistline between the rib cage and the hips. Loss of waist line, usually means weight creeping up! Ask specifically what type of food is recommended, where to find it, recipes for home-made diets, whether cooked or raw. Ask if any supplements would help, such as coenzyme Q-10 for a dog with heart problems, or probiotics for cats with kidney failure.

3) What do you feed your animals? How much does your vet walk the talk? If a homemade diet for a large breed dog is recommended, ask your vet if they have cooked for their dog and ask where to find the ingredients for the diet. For example, exactly where can you buy bone meal in my town?

4) What vaccines do you consider to be “core vaccines” (strongly recommended) and which are optional? Consider your pet’s risk of contracting this disease and compare this with the possible risk or side effect of the vaccine being recommended.

5) What treatment plan would you pursue for your pet if he or she was given this particular diagnosis?

6) What is the minimal vaccination schedule recommended for an animal in my situation?

7) Do you know any specialists who could give me a second opinion on this? Such as veterinarians certified in acupuncture, homeopathy or chiropractic care?

8) How do I know if my animal is in pain?

9) Would you write down some of the information you just told me? Sometimes we go on about subjects too quickly, assuming a client will remember everything. Sometimes we use words that are not clear in meaning. Here are two examples, Cage Rest – One owner thought it meant rest in the cage, but she was doing walking exercises with her dog right after spinal surgery. The doctor meant enforced rest in a cage so as to minimize any movement at all after surgery. Leash Walks only means put the pet on a leash to go out to the bathroom, only. One could take this to mean walking is ok as long as the pet is kept on a leash!

10) What vet would you choose to care for your animals if you were out of town and an emergency arose?

My clients seek honesty, empathy, knowledge, and action. These questions may help you to find out much more about the person who cares for your pet’s health!

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

February is Spay/ Neuter month

Let me tell you a true story: Once a client called and asked for an appointment to have her dog “hoed”. The patient receptionist said, “Do you mean spayed?” The client replied, “That’s right; I knew it was one of those garden tools!”

Here’s another true story: I worked for years with a wonderful humane society in New York state. Along with my duties of providing health-care for shelter animals, I was asked to assist the employees who took a class on euthanasia with their grim duty. Once a week, animals had to be selected for euthanasia to make room for those strays coming in from county dog control. Envision a small room with a table, a vet, a technician and a pile of previously healthy but now dead dogs (or cats if you prefer). Then, if that’s not bad enough, picture placing them into the incinerator for group cremation. That’s the memory I have to share with those who delay spaying and neutering. Interesting fact: it takes about twice as much euthanasia solution to kill a healthy animal as an old one who is ready to go.
It’s the horrific truth about a shelter that was truly a wonderful humane society. It raised funds to build its own spay/neuter clinic on the premises so that all adopted animals would be “fixed” before leaving. The shelter’s goal was not to recycle animals or to receive litters from well-meaning adopters back for adoption. Puppy classes were offered there in the Humane Education Center because good dogs are less likely to end up back at the shelter. Stray dogs were reunited with their owners or rehabilitated into wonderful appreciative companions. This shelter is now a “no-kill” shelter, which means space for incoming animals is only available when one is adopted. This is much more palatable, yet I have seen animal rescuers going from shelter to shelter finding no room for adoptable animals. Try finding room at a shelter for a springtime litter of kittens! Thank heavens for foster homes and pet stores who adopt shelter animals.
I acknowledge the information about hormones and healthy development, I acknowledge reputable breeders, and I acknowledge the health benefits and risks of not neutering. I still support spaying and neutering for every pet owner. The exponential effect of one accidental litter is undeniable if you have taken 5th grade math. ”We will get her fixed after her first litter” does not cut it with me. Will you require that all her offspring will be neutered, and how can you assure that this will happen?
Can you tell I have strong feelings on this subject? I have heard all the excuses in the book, but what happens behind closed doors is all our problem if we truly love animals. Until the shelters start to run out of animals to adopt, I will support spaying and neutering. There are too many good dogs and cats waiting for homes, to support purchase from puppy mills and backyard breeders. I have seen plenty of purebred dogs which have been discarded by their owners, including my own (neutered) German Shepherd. There are rescue organizations for every breed you want, and especially the Pitt Bull breed which has experienced such horribly irresponsible breeding practices.
I hope I have not offended reputable breeders, for this description assumes that you are not contributing to this problem, but are seeking to preserve and improve your breed. In fact, I am preaching to the choir, because you would not be reading this if you did not really care about animals! Just remember and support Spay/ Neuter month and World Spay day, the 4th Tuesday in February. Maybe offer to pay for someone to get their pet spayed this month or lend a helping hand to an animal shelter. Don’t support stores that sell puppies and kittens from questionable sources at exorbitant prices. This just encourages impulse buying and plants the idea that breeding is a profitable business. Become a foster home. Put your spare change in the shelter donation jar. Maybe do a program on responsible pet ownership for children you know. Send me more suggestions and ideas to prevent the needless death of millions of animals a year.
It’s like the starfish story, you can make a difference to “this one”.

February 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment