This is a mish mash of fun facts and information. Please understand that I am in a league of my own doing both human and animal alternative and integrative medicine and that all practitioners have their own way of looking at things, but since I am writing this article I get to express my own opinions, so there. . .
Natural wormers: They usually don’t work very well. Tobacco causes violent abdominal cramping in hopes of causing the worms to shake loose from inside the small intestine. Don’t do it. It is mean and dangerous!
And cats won’t put up with you putting anything down their throats that tastes bad once let alone dosing them daily for 3-4 months which is how long most natural worming takes.
The wormers from the grocery store are diluted and ineffective. Piperzine does not work any longer because it has been so misused. I’ve noticed Drontal (another combo wormer you get at the vet) is also not accepted well by the animals. They vomit it up. When an animal or human is having side effects from medications or supplements, their body is telling them it is not the right drug for them, or they don’t need it.
Roundworms are passed from the dirt, dust, and from mother to baby through the milk and bloodstream. Tapeworms are passed by eating fleas or mice and sometimes birds. Humans cannot get roundworms or tapeworms from their pet (they get their own species of roundworm or tapeworm, but the same wormers work on humans. Use the dog dosage.)
Heart murmurs: We have a natural glandular product produced by Standard Process Labs™ called Cardio-Plus® that is awesome for murmurs (smaller dogs often have) and heart attacks (which dogs almost never get but humans do). Dog’s love the flavor. I have seen Cardio-plus® literally heal a murmur in 4-6 months if taken on a consistent basis. For most dogs, murmurs heard on the left side (mitral valve murmurs) are caused from dirty teeth. Plaque gets into the bloodstream and has a special affinity for the heart valves. Over time the bacteria in the plaque causes the valves to grow little nodules on the valve flaps, so when the heart valve snaps shut it doesn’t shut all the way and blood leaks through at the wrong time. The same goes for humans. That is why when you go to get your teeth cleaned the dental technician wears a mask.
Gingivitis and gingival hyperplasia: Cats with chronic gingivitis many times have a combination of chlamydia, rickettsia, viral and/or bacterial infections in their mouth. They accept homeopathic drops quite well if they are not alcohol-based. The cat needs to be muscle tested to find the best product to give. I usually mix whatever they need in the correct proportions in a single bottle. Drops are given on the gum line usually once or twice a day for several weeks. If this is not possible put the drops on the bottoms of the foot in between the pads. This is the only place that cats sweat and the drops will be absorbed easily into the system from this area. Gingival hyperplasia (swollen gums) is associated with well water containing lots of minerals. Switch to bottled or distilled water. It will take several months for the swelling to go down.
Renal Failure: A great percentage (over 60%) of all cats over the age of 10 have some degree of kidney failure. Some of this is genetic, some of it is from high ash foods and sometimes kidneys are even affected by drinking out of mud puddles which have small amounts of oil and antifreeze in them that have dripped off of motor vehicles.
You will notice the cat drinks more and urinates larger amounts than the other cats using the litter box. Sometimes a diagnosis comes when you take your cat to the vet for lack of appetite or vomiting. Cats don’t normally vomit unless there is something wrong. The vet hospitalizes the cat and gives it intravenous fluids to “flush the system”.
What we are trying to do is get the Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) to the normal range so the appetite will come back and the vomiting will stop. Usually they are then put on a low protein diet such as Science Diet k/d for the rest of their lives. We have glandulars called Renafood and Arginex that extend the cat’s life years longer than regular medicine. These are great products and can often be used in conjunction with high quality diets. Beef and Liver flavors are usually lowest in ash which takes the stress off of the kidneys.
Cats should not be fed cheap foods containing soybean meal or Ocean fish flavors. These diets are high in ash and can cause crystals in the urine, which leads to renal failure over a period of several years.
Natural Vaccinations: There are oral vaccines called nosodes in the natural medicine world. It’s a big controversy right now within the natural community whether or not nosodes are effective as vaccines and an even larger controversy on how often to use them and in what dosage. One challenge with nosodes is that most people don’t even give their pets boosters as it is let alone give an oral dose of nosode 20-30 times over a period of several weeks. A booster shot to complete a series of beginning vaccines is necessary for the immune system to remember to fight off the disease. Booster shots are needed for long term memory of the immune system.
My belief is that vaccines save lives but if a couple are good a bunch are bad. I would vaccinate the babies but after about one year of age I’d recommend just keeping current on the rabies shots for legal purposes. Now, if a boarding kennel requires vaccines or your pets are in high exposure circumstances they may need to be vaccinated more frequently. In these cases I would use a vaccine nosode to detoxify the system of the negative components of the vaccine and/or use a blood test to check the titer within the animals body so that vaccines are only given when the body is no longer showing an immunologic protection for the diseases they will be exposed to.
I don’t believe in giving the FIP vaccine, and I’m actually fairly conservative about jumping on the bandwagon when a new vaccine comes out. If you have been giving your pets vaccines all along, every year when they are due and they are now over 3 years of age, you can probably cut back on the vaccines to every other year or every third year.
DO give the rabies vaccine when it is due. We have slacked on this long enough now to see a rise in rabies in several states. And who can afford $3500 to treat a family of four having been exposed to rabies?
FINALLY after nearly 4 decades of research veterinarians are now offering vaccine titer tests to actually see if your pet needs to be vaccinated. Over-vaccinating definitely causes immune system problems in more animals and humans these days than in yesteryear. Read about that here: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/titer-testing-dog/
Neutering Your Pet: It rarely changes the personality of a pet. They do need less food since the hormones have been taken away to some extent. Pets live an average of 3-5 years longer when neutered because they don’t fight as much, their territory is less so they stay in the yard more and don’t cross the road as often. They are also not roaming around catching all kinds of diseases. A bitch does NOT have to go through a heat cycle before spaying her. If you are not going to breed her, spay her.
For every heat a bitch goes through it increases the estrogen influence on the mammary tissue which greatly increases the incidence of mammary cancer. The best time to neuter is about 6-8 months of age, before the first heat cycle and before male cats start to spray. But, you CAN neuter an older animal at any age. Unneutered males have an increased incidence of prostate disease and tumors on their anal area called anal adenomas. And isn’t it nice to walk your dog without him hiking his leg every 20 feet?
The cost of raising one (free) cat from birth to old age runs between $6000-8,000! Dogs run a few thousand dollars more than that. Think about THAT when you can’t pay your bills. Being a pet owner is a big, long-term commitment! Be an RPO and take the job of loving your pet seriously!
That’s all for now….