Fleas -I prefer not to use any of the topical and toxic flea preventatives on the market. Do you know of any natural ways I can help prevent fleas from bothering my dogs and ca
A successful flea control program involves treating your pet, as well as, the environment. The adult female flea can lay as many as five hundred eggs a day. That can translate into tens of thousands of fleas by the end of the month. Under ideal conditions of temperature and humidity the flea can go through its four-stage life cycle which is egg, larva, pupa and adult within three to four weeks.
There are various methods of flea control presently on the market ranging from pesticides to insect growth regulators that can be topically or given orally by mouth. Other environmentally safe methods exist that I would like to share with you. Many pet owners have found some of these methods very beneficial and some have had exceptional results.
Citrus is very unappealing to fleas. One tactic is to take a large lemon and slice it paper thin. Place the slices in a bowl with a tablespoon of crushed rosemary leaves. Pour a quart of almost boiling water over the leaves. Let it steep overnight. The following day strain the mixture and place the liquid into a spray bottle. It is best if this is kept refrigerated. Spray it on your pet daily during flea season.
Another option is to take orange and lemon skins that have been sliced thin and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Strain and let cool. The mixture can be sponged on your pet and left to dry. It is an effective pet flea rinse that is non-toxic and all natural. Also, slicing citrus such as an orange, lemon or lime and rubbing it against the grain of the fur is a very good repellent to fleas.
If you have a flea collar that is currently being utilized by your pet, you can cut it into smaller pieces and place it in your vacuum cleaner bag. In this manner, any eggs or adult fleas that are picked up in the vacuum will be eliminated. The suction from the vacuum kills the fleas.
Historically, cedar and sassafras wood shavings, as well as, fir and pine needles have been utilized to eliminate fleas from dog kennel and sleeping areas.
The additional of brewers yeast to food has also had some positive effects and adversity to fleas. There still seems to be some controversy over the use of brewers yeast against fleas, however, it is a wonderful source of B Vitamins and a great supplement indeed. Recommended dose is between half and one teaspoon of nutritional brewers yeast for cats and up to two teaspoons daily for dogs depending on their size.
Additionally, dried or powdered pennyroyal or common table salt can be sprinkled on your carpets and left overnight. Vacuuming the following day will help remove fleas and their eggs.
Ideally, the best way to protect pets against flea infestation is to keep them as healthy as possible by first providing them with the best possible health care and diet. My recommendations for diet begin with an all natural diet or any number of pet foods which do not contain BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin as any of its preservatives.
Pets and Skin Disease - Could you give some advice on fleas and ticks and problems with skin issues in dogs and cats?
Veterinary Acupuncture - I’ve recently found out that acupuncture is practiced on pets. What pets exactly?
Acupuncture is the placement of tiny needles into specific predetermined locations, called acupuncture points, on the body for the purposes of healing. The word “acupuncture” is derived from the Latin “acus”, which means “needle” and “pungare”, which means, “to pierce”.
Veterinary acupuncture in the Chinese literature is documented over 3,000 years ago. Many of these same principles are practiced, researched and taught in China and around the world today. The original animal that we know of that was treated with acupuncture in China was the horse. Today acupuncture is practiced on horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, pigs, sheep, goats, cows, ducks, various birds, and even exotic mammals.
Veterinary Acupuncture - What types of medical conditions or diseases can acupuncture help?
Acupuncture can benefit the following conditions: arthritis, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, dermatitis, hip dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, spondylosis, gastrointestinal issues (vomiting, diarrhea, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis, gastroenteritis), cancer, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism), musculoskeletal problems (sprains, strains, acute trauma, disc disease), urinary and fecal incontinence, pain management, urinary issues (cystitis, feline urologic syndrome, bladder stones) and much more.
The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture as an effective treatment for over forty-two medical conditions, including allergies, respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous system conditions, gynecological problems, disorders of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, chronic pain associated with arthritis and degenerative joint disease, and as an adjunct in patients suffering from cancer and AIDS.
Veterinary Acupuncture - How can I find a veterinarian that practices acupuncture on animals?
First and foremost the individual that works on your pet must be a licensed veterinarian. Human acupuncturists should NOT practice acupuncture on animals. Additionally, you want to find a practitioner who is certified in veterinary acupuncture. This means that they went through all the additional education and standards set forth by certifying organizations such as The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. I am certified by The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. A certified veterinary acupuncturist can be found at The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture web site, www.AAVA.org, The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society web site, www.IVAS.org, or The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association web site, www.AHVMA.org.
Veterinary Acupuncture - How long does an animal acupuncture treatment take?
An acupuncture treatment on a pet generally lasts between ten and thirty minutes. The dry needles are placed in the appropriate locations as determined by the veterinary acupuncturist. The pet is allowed to walk around, sit or lie down during the treatment. Often the animal yawns as the process releases endorphins, which is one of the bodies’ natural relaxing chemicals. Many pets actually fall asleep during their treatment. The treatment is pleasant and basically uneventful.
Initially, treatments are weekly or biweekly depending on the condition. As the situation improves and the pet responds, the intervals between treatments are increased. Many patients who have chronic arthritis may only need to be seen four or five times a year to maintain a level of comfort.
Canine Cancer - My dog, a 5 year old, male, Golden Retriever, stopped eating and started to lose weight rapidly earlier this year. My veterinarian suggested an abdominal ultrasound. Much to my surprise and disappointment he was diagnosed with liver cancer. I don’t want to put him through chemotherapy. Are there any holistic treatments available for us to pursue?
First, let me explain very simply just what “cancer” is. Cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells in one or more locations in the body. Under normal, healthy conditions the cells of the immune system would attack and eliminate any abnormal or foreign cells that develop or gain access into the body. When the body’s immune system is weak or compromised by illness, stress, poor diet, or environmental toxins, it may not be able to kill all the cells that should not be there. Consequently, an abnormal rate of cell growth occurs. These abnormal cells are then considered a cancer. The name the cancer gets is generally based on the cell type or origin of the cells. For example, Mast cell tumors are made up primarily of mast cells. Squamous cell carcinoma is made up primarily of squamous cells. Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is made up primarily of osteocytes, and so on.
Presently, cancer is the number one “natural” cause of death in dogs. In 20 years of practice I have seen cancer go from a fairly low and even rare incidence to a very high incidence. Cancer is by far the most common condition that I treat in pets, particularly dogs. It is more common in pure breed than mixed breed dogs.
Treatment plans are individualized to each particular patient and their needs. Immune system support is always a part of my treatment. Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese herbal supplements, Anti-oxidant therapy, Chiropractic adjustments, Reiki and Intravenous Vitamin C are some of the treatment possibilities at my Animal Wellness Center in Chadds Ford, Pa. Chinese herbal protocols for specific types of cancer are instituted and combined with one or more additional treatments. Herbal tinctures are formulated on site for each pet at the time of their initial consultation. Herbs from China, India, Australia, the Amazon and North America are used. The pet’s diet is evaluated and recommendations for improvement are given. Comfort level and quality of life are of utmost importance. Side effects are rare to non-existent to date. Clients are also instructed in the practice of visualization and positive thought with respect to their pet’s cancer.
Presently, we are in the process of compiling and documenting the various cancers we see and the treatments used. A case in point is “Cleo Ann”, a 10-year old, female Bischon. She was diagnosed with liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. Cleo was given a very grave prognosis and two months to live. Her owner was devastated and very upset by this news. She came to see me shortly after the diagnosis. Cleo’s liver enzymes were all elevated and some off the charts. I started her off with a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs for the cancer and to strengthen her immune system. Within four weeks of treatment her liver values improved, her appetite returned and she was wagging her tail again. We started to increase the intervals between her acupuncture treatments and continued to monitor her liver blood values. If you were to look at her you would never imagine that she had cancer. She was the picture of health. Obviously, her two-month death sentenced passed without consequence. Cleo’s owner was committed to her treatment protocol and adhered to it as one year, two years, three years, four years and more passed. Her liver values came back into the normal range for much of that time. Sometimes only one of the three liver values we monitored was abnormally elevated. Adjustments were made to her treatment protocol as determined by me. On the occasions when the values were elevated she had no clinical signs of illness at all. Both her owner and I were extremely pleased with her progress. Then, one day a month ago I received a call from her owner saying that Cleo had stopped eating. Upon physical examination Cleo was thinner, with yellowish colored gums, skin and sclera (the white part of the eye). Her skin had a yellowish tint to it. Blood analysis and x-rays verified what I suspected. Cleo was in liver failure and the cancer started, once again, to drain the body’s defense system, only this time it won. Cleo was euthanized peacefully. It was a sad day for all of us that knew her. Cleo lived 5 years past the time conventional veterinary medicine said she would live and she had a good quality of life the entire time. She was 15 years old.
Arthritis - My 9 year old Springer spaniel was just diagnosed with arthritis. The veterinarian called it “spondylosis” of her spine. Can acupuncture help her?
Spondylosis can be a very painful condition for dogs, cats and even small pocket pets such as rabbits, ferrets and hamsters. Generally, spondylosis refers to a condition that affects the bones (vertebrae) protecting the spinal cord. Anatomically, it is the backbone. The individual vertebrae protect the spinal cord. There is a sponge-like material, the disc material that cushions the area between the vertebrae. When a condition such as spondylosis occurs it is because extra boney material starts to form at the front end and the back end of the vertebra. Frequently, this is due to misalignment, trauma, infection and general wear and tear of the bones as a result of aging. Simply stated spondylosis is a “form of arthritis”.
I have seen arthritis develop as a result of bacterial infections, viral infections and fungal infections. In our part of the country, the Northeast, Lyme disease is endemic. This means that there are more cases of Lyme disease diagnosed in this location than there is in other parts of the country. This is generally due to the large population of white-tailed deer and the fact that the deer tick carries the organism. This makes it easier for the human and the pet population to be exposed. It is not necessary to walk through the woods the get infected. These ticks are very adaptable. They can be found on the tips of grass, on shrubs, and in ground cover. Your pet can pick up an infected tick very easily; get bitten and manifest signs fairly quickly. The organism that causes Lyme disease is called a spirochete. Spirochetes tend to migrate through the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the body. If they settle in your pet’s joints a serious case of degenerative arthritis can develop. Lyme disease can be the cause of arthritis in many cases.
Can acupuncture help? Yes, you bet it can ! Frequently, arthritic type conditions occur as an animal or person gets older. Spondylosis causes the nerves coming out of the spinal cord, which are protected by the vertebrae, to get irritated. This irritation of the nerves causes pain. Acupuncture can ease the irritation to the nerves and make the pet feel much better. In my experience, acupuncture improves the quality of life in pets that have an arthritic condition such as spondylosis. Acupuncture combined with the appropriate Chinese herbal formula(s) has been more beneficial then just acupuncture alone.
The pharmaceutical industry provides us with a multitude of synthetic medications to treat “the pain of arthritis”. The problem is that they come with a multitude of side effects as well. Some of the more common side effects with this particular class of medications are vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal infection, inflammation or ulceration. Additionally, many of these medications affect the liver and kidneys adversely causing an elevation of liver and kidney enzymes. An experienced and properly educated veterinarian can recommend alternatives to some of these conventional medications. Acupuncture essentially has no serious side effects in companion animals. Given the choice, I know which option I would take.
Vitamin C Therapy in Pets - I have heard that Vitamin C has been used to treat cancer. Is anything like this being done in pets?
Gold Bead Implantations in Veterinary Acupuncture
Vitamin C Therapy in Pets - Gold Bead Implantations in Veterinary Acupuncture
New Hope for Cancer in your Pets - Read the Answer
After twenty years in veterinary medicine and almost as many years studying and practicing the holistic modalities involved, I have finally come upon an herbal based formula that appears to have significant fighting power against cancer in pets. Examples of what the world have considered break- throughs in modern medicine in the past were the discovery of penicillin, aspirin and morphine. All of these are botanicals that came from plants or, in the case of aspirin, the bark of a tree! No single botanical base has had more single uses than the common aspirin. We take it for the simple headache, yet, in certain circumstances, we are advised to take it to take it to avoid getting blood clots in particular medical conditions. Basically, botanicals are the basis of most of the pharmaceuticals that exist and have been synthesized in the conventional medical profession today.
Simply stated “cancer” refers to any uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer can be on the body (such as the skin) or within the body (such as the liver, spleen, lungs or bone). Some cancers stay localized in one area while other spread to adjacent tissues or distant parts of the body (called metastasis). Some pure breed dogs (such as the Golden Retriever) tend to have a higher incidence of cancer than mixed breeds and the incidence tends to increase with age. A recent study suggested that pets over 10 years of age have greater than a 50% chance of getting some form of cancer in their lifetime.
Well, pets lovers, get ready for this! There is a compound the basis of which comes from Sanguinaria canadensis that has hit the forefront of alternative veterinary medicine that has had some mind-boggling results. I’ve been using it in dogs and cats for the past two years now and have had some wonderful and encouraging results. It appears to be the abundance of isoquinoline alkaloids in the active principle of sanguinarine that causes the death of neoplastic (cancer) cells. In micromolar concentrations the main constituents preferentially eliminate cancer cells without precipitating the death of normal cells. The substance, called Neoplasene, should only be used under a licensed veterinarian familiar with its use and competent in holistic modalities. The substance can be injected into tumors, given orally, applied topically or a combination of them all. I have put very serious and aggressive tumors such as bone cancer (osteosarcoma) and a type of skin based tumor (fibrosarcoma) into remission in a matter of months. Most of these patients were given a grave to poor prognosis because of the typical progression of that cancer. The following are a few of the cases that have been very successful.
“Sasha” is a 10-year-old, male, Yorkie that had two small pea-sized masses on the skin between the shoulder blades. Both masses were injected with the compound and the salve applied topically. Approximately 1 month later they both sloughed off leaving a small wound area that healed non-remarkably. As of today, nearly 2 years latter, “Sasha” is free of tumors and there is no indication that they, or any other masses, are growing on his skin.
“Dutch” is a 14-year-old, male, Labrador that had a mass approximately 1 cm. in diameter that was located on the outer aspect of his hind leg ankle. The tumor was injected twice with the substance. Within 2 weeks the mass detached from the skin and healed as an open wound. As of the writing of this publication there is no evidence of recurrence of that mass and “Dutch” is walking much better than before.
“Sheba” is a 16-year-old female domestic short haired cat that was diagnosed with a very aggressive malignant cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. The cancer was located on the roof of her mouth. This mass was injected with Neoplasene and also applied topically under general anesthesia. This occurred every one to two weeks for a total of four treatments. As of this writing ( approximately 7 months from initial diagnosis), the cancer has gone into remission and no evidence of recurrence is present.
“Zach” is a 12 year old, male, miniature poodle that had a mass of unknown origin approximately the size of a jellybean on the tip of one ear. The mass was noticed to be increasing in size approximately one year ago. It was subsequently injected later that month once with Neoplasene. The mass sloughed off within one week and healed as an open wound uneventfully. The tumor has not returned and the area looks completely normal.
My personal experience with Neoplasene has varied from case to case but it has extended the lives of many of my cancer patients. Very often other holistic anti-cancer treatments, such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs and high dose intravenous ascorbate, are utilized in conjunction with Neoplasene. Most importantly, however, is that the main goal of my approach to cancer treatment is to give your pet a happy, comfortable, pain-free life for as long as possible.