Thursday, October 31, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
holistic vet care vs traditional vet care...shocking! Read Dr. Karen Becker's article about the dymanics in a vet pratice and take note from Dr. Mercola's site
A Real-Life Vet Conflict with Vital Implications for Your Pet's Care October 30, 2013 |13,039views by Dr. Becker Recently, I came across a rare article in a veterinary industry journal that provides a real-life example of the sometimes wildly different methods used by traditional vs. holistic veterinarians when it comes to patient care. The title of the article: "Holistic vs. FDA-approved: Two veterinarians take divergent approaches." The article tells the story of two vets, one with a conventional approach to treating patients (let’s call him Dr. T), and the other, more holistically oriented (we’ll call him Dr. H). Apparently, Dr. H filled in for Dr. T while he was on vacation, which is where the story gets interesting. Dr. H Steps in to Care for One of Dr. T's Patients in His Absence Dr. T has been practicing veterinary medicine for 31 years. He owned his practice until about five years ago when a corporation purchased his clinic. These days, Dr. T works as part of a team of DVMs at the clinic. One of Dr. T’s patients is a 10 year-old Golden Retriever he has been seeing since the dog was a pup. The dog, we’ll call him Buddy, came in for his yearly checkup the day before Dr. T was leaving for vacation. Dr. T ran a senior blood profile and ordered x-rays of the dog’s pelvis and spine. Buddy’s owners are committed to staying one step ahead of any health problems their beloved senior pet might be developing. Since Dr. T was leaving for vacation the next day, he told Buddy’s owners that one of the other vets at the clinic would contact them with their dog’s test results. As it turned out, Buddy’s blood test results showed elevated liver enzymes. In addition, his urinalysis showed that his urine was on the alkaline side with scattered struvite crystals, and his x-rays suggested some mild degenerative joint disease in both hips and early lumbar spondylosis (arthritis of the spine). Based on the test results, in Dr. T’s absence Dr. H called Buddy’s owners and said that while the dog’s issues were fairly common in older large breeds, they should be addressed. He recommended what he considered a safe, holistic approach to addressing Buddy’s situation. Dr. H recommended glucosamine for the arthritis, cranberry extract to acidify the urine and manage the struvite crystals, and SAM-e for the elevated liver enzymes. Buddy’s owners picked up the supplements and started their dog on Dr. H’s holistic protocol. Dr. T Returns from Vacation and Is Incensed at Dr. H’s Treatment Protocol for Buddy When Dr. T returned from vacation, he reviewed Buddy’s test results and Dr. H’s recommended treatment plan, and he was infuriated. This was not the way he would have approached Buddy’s health challenges, and he was very much against “untested and unapproved holistic medications.” Dr. T only prescribed medications that were FDA-approved. Dr. T dressed down Dr. H for treating his patient in a “reckless” manner, and he called Buddy’s owners to tell them he wanted to modify their dog’s protocol. Since the owners were long-time clients of Dr. T, they honored his wishes but also told him that they felt Buddy was doing very well on Dr. H’s natural protocol. The two veterinarians then met to clear the air. Dr. T, while appreciative that Dr. H pitched in with Buddy while he was away on vacation, was nonetheless adamant that his patients should not receive holistic treatments for medical issues. Dr. H, of course, did not agree and felt that as long as he discloses to clients the “untested” yet anecdotal success of the use of holistic remedies, he is within his ethical and professional boundaries. Dr. T decided they would have to agree to disagree, and he let Dr. H know he no longer wanted his help with his patients in his absence. Despite Dr. T’s Disapproval, Dr. H Was Well Within His Professional and Ethical Boundaries in His Treatment of Dr. T’s Patient According to Dr. Marc Rosenberg writing for dvm360, Dr. H: “… was well within his rights as a licensed practitioner to prescribe holistic medications for [Buddy], as long as he also informed the pet owners that these were not FDA-approved products. This is not to say that they would not work but rather that they had not been subjected to the FDA scrutiny required to achieve approved status.” Dr. Rosenberg goes on to say that he uses both mainstream and holistic medications in his own practice. He talks with pet owners about the differences between the two types of medications and they make the decision together as to the best way to proceed. Needless to say, my approach in this case would be similar to Dr. H’s. His suggestions were excellent. I would also recommend physical therapy and perhaps acupuncture or chiropractic to help with Buddy’s arthritic hips and spine. Why I Almost Always Start with Natural Healing Therapies, and View Prescription Drugs as an Option of Last Resort Since Buddy’s health problems were relatively mild and certainly not life threatening, I would recommend natural remedies and therapies first and continue to closely monitor the dog’s liver enzymes and urine pH, along with his mobility and quality of life. If Buddy’s liver enzymes were headed in the right direction on his follow-up blood tests, if his urine pH also dropped into a healthy range, and if his arthritis was being well managed, I would consider his natural healing protocol a success. Then I would continue to routinely monitor his progress and overall health. If, on the other hand, part or all of my recommended protocol was not having the desired effect, I would try other combinations of natural remedies and possibly further diagnostics, if warranted. Sometimes it takes several different combinations of therapies and protocols before healers find the combination that unlocks the body’s innate healing mechanisms. As long as Buddy’s health remained stable and he was comfortable, I would only move to traditional “FDA-approved” drugs if all my efforts failed or Buddy’s condition seemed to suddenly worsen or his quality of life plummeted. In my experience, it’s very rare for an animal with Buddy’s mild, age-related health issues to be completely unresponsive to natural therapies. If a health condition can be resolved or well-managed with natural treatments that have no known side effects, why take risks with synthetic pharmaceuticals that almost certainly come with side effects? One of the tremendous benefits of Dr. H’s approach, and mine, is that if we can reverse or manage a disease process with safe, natural treatments, we are able to avoid the inevitable, often significant side effects of those FDA-approved medications Dr. T swears by. Most importantly, many holistic modalities treat the root causes of disease, not just the symptoms, which are most commonly addressed with traditional drug protocols. From my point of view, traveling the safer, more natural route first is the essence of this statement from the Hippocratic Oath: "I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous". First, do no harm.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Here’s a great business model (but a good one to not be a part of!): 1. Sell a product, in fact, better yet, give it away in the package plan you sell so it looks like an amazing bargain. Brand the plan with the word “Wellness.” 2. Tie into a profession that’s widely looked up to as purveyors of animal health who fully buy in to this product. So much so, that they push it as well, and make their living by pushing it. 3. When that product creates long term health problems in those who partake, sell a specialized product that addresses them. Make it expensive, “scientific” and high tech, and have a line of that product sold by the animal health profession itself. Add to their bottom line. See #2. 4. Claim product #1 has nothing to do with creating disease, (and have the profession widely decry the very idea of it — “It prevents disease!”) but explain how #3 will cure the disease (that it’s created). 5. Smile all the way to the bank. You’ve made money creating a problem and “fixing” the same problem! Variations of this business model live and thrive in many circles of society now, but one that affects you, dear pet owner, is purveyed by the Mars company. It sunk in over the past week, since I posted about their “fix” of selling chicken feathers as protein in their version of the best dog food: Royal Canin. Oh, and product #1? Vaccinations. For everything imaginable. Unraveling the Scheme So, who’s the Mars Company? Purveyors of diabetes and cavities, through their Milky Way, Skittles, M & M’s and such. Yes, they are a candy company, at least that’s where they got their start. One famous for their secrecy. Mars branched out in 2007 to own Banfield, The Pet Hospital. Who sells a “Wellness Plan” that includes “free vaccinations!” when you sign up. Often twice a year. Ahem. You know that frequency of vaccination is excessive, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twenty years. And, you know it’s risky. But that the profession here, conventional veterinary medicine, runs on its profits and Dr. WhiteCoat isn’t going to stop pushing vaccinations if he has any say in the matter. Which he does. He can do anything he wishes in the name of “professional judgment.” And Banfield is a collection of corporate Dr. WhiteCoats, who vaccinate repeatedly in the name of “wellness.” Now, through Mars’ subsidiary, Royal Canin, they’ll sell you a high end, laboratory made diet with this “novel protein” source: chicken feathers. To cure the allergies they’ve created by repeatedly vaccinating every animal that comes through the doors of the Banfield machine. Is your head starting to hurt, yet? Drop Out, Quick! You are the only one calling the shots (sorry, bad metaphor. Wait: maybe not) for your animal’s health. They don’t vote. They eat what you offer, go to the vet when you say they’re going, and take whatever you agree to in the name of “prevention” or treatment. I submit that, unless you are keeping your eyes open and are willing to think outside the medicine box, your animals will become health statistics. If you follow this brand of “prevention,” it’s not a matter of “if my animals get sick” but rather, “when.” I’d hate to see you visiting your vet because you’ve got an allergic pet, one of the top three reasons the average consumer brought their animal for veterinary services in 2012. Because that’s a long, suffering road, with no cure in sight, if you stick to what Dr. WhiteCoat recommends. [There are better options, if you get stuck in this machine.] Be smarter than that. Choose your natural path carefully, eyes wide open, ears wide open, and learning all you can before making health decisions for your animals. Some Brilliant Words for Dr. WhiteCoat When you are in for an exam, and something is recommended to you, especially more vaccinations in one already vaccinated, try these words out: “Doctor, let me get back to you on that. I need to do my research before I decide.” Wow. Did you see how you just took control of that situation? Powerful stuff. This is the intellectual property of DOGS NATURALLY Magazine, please subscribe to it? Much is changing in pet care...get the jump on it with wonderful articles like the above!
ANTIBIOTICS & YOUR DOG: please read DOGS NATURALLY Magazine for some great articles about a more holistic and less traditional approach to pet care
Most pet owners know that antibiotics kill off both the harmful and the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Those beneficial bacteria are a crucial part of the immune system, protecting our pets against viruses, bacterial and fungal infections, as well as parasites. Intestinal bacteria also manufacture essential vitamins (including vitamin K as well as several B vitamins) and a great many other compounds scientists are only just beginning to recognize. Because we want to restore those good bugs after antibiotic use it’s common to follow a course of antibiotics with a round of probiotics to restore the colony of beneficial bacteria and bring the body back to balance. What if this didn’t happen? Recent research shows this is just the case. Martin Blaser of New York University’s Langone Medical Center argues that antibiotics’ impact on gut bacteria is permanent and so serious in their long term consequences that medicine should consider whether to restrict antibiotic prescribing to pregnant women and young children. Early evidence from my lab and others hints that, sometimes, our friendly flora never fully recover. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people’s bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease. Overuse of antibiotics could be fuelling the dramatic increase in conditions such as obesity, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma, which have more than doubled in many populations. Like their human counterparts, dogs are often subjected to more than a few rounds of antibiotics in their lives. Now that researchers are actively investigating antibiotics and understanding their long term impact not just on the intestinal flora, but in creating antibiotic resistant superbugs, it’s a good time to look back to more natural antibacterial solutions that are kinder to the beneficial bacteria. Here are five natural antibiotics you can consider for your dog: Goldenseal Native Americans used this herb for centuries for infections, venereal disease, and ulcers. That’s probably because goldenseal prevents bacteria from adhering to cell walls so it can’t grow. It works particularly well for diarrhea and respiratory infections. Garlic A natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral agent, garlic is best known for its sulphur compounds, particularly allicin. These are the main phytochemicals that boost immunity and act as natural antibiotics. Oregano Oil Researcher Paul Belaiche conducted exhaustive studies of aromatherapy oils in his three volume work, “Treatise on Phytotherapy and Aromatherapy”. He reported that oregano oil killed 96% of all pneumococcus bacteria. Oregano oil was also shown to eliminate 83% of streptococcus, which is linked with strep throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, toxic shock syndrome, cystitis, and wound infections. Oregano oil has also been successfully used to replace antibiotics for poultry producers. Olive Leaf Extract Professors at the Department of Biomedical Science at CHA University in Korea found that olive leaf extract was potent against various bacterial microbes. Bonus: Their research showed olive leaf exhibited free radical scavenging abilities. Free radicals are linked with aging and disease. Honey In third world countries, wild honey is spread over wounds and burns. These heal with minimal scarring and few infections. Tea with lemon and honey is a time honored drink when a human cold or the flu has hit. Munaka honey sold in health food stores, has a higher concentration of antibiotics than other honeys. There are many more natural antibiotics, including Oregon grape and coconut oil. What you feed your dog is also crucial to his intestinal health and bacterial balance. The processed, heated and extruded foods we feed our dogs are devoid not just of harmful bacteria, but also those good bugs the body needs to stay in healthy balance. The big problem with the Western diet,’ Stephen O’Keefe, a gastroenterologist at the University of Pittsburgh, told me, ‘is that it doesn’t feed the gut, only the upper GI [gastrointestinal tract]. All the food has been processed to be readily absorbed, leaving nothing for the lower GI. The beneficial bacteria found in foods (especially fermented foods like kefir), have been shown to calm the immune system and reduce inflammation, shorten the duration and severity of colds, relieve diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, reduce allergic responses, stimulate the immune response, possibly reduce the risk of certain cancers; and improve the health and function of the gut. Sometimes antibiotics can’t be avoided and they can absolutely save lives. Given recent research, it might be best to save them as a last resort, rather than a first line of attack. Better yet, their use can often be avoided altogether with a fresh, whole food diet and natural herbs and foods. the above is the property of DOGS NATURALLY MAGAZINE, please subscribe to this wonderful publication.