Monthly Archives: September 2015

Health Care vs. Disease Care

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Most veterinarians are out of touch. That’s the conclusion of a new study.

Recently, a consumer research company looked at over 2 million conversations about pet care that appeared in online forums, on blogs, and on Facebook in 2014. They found that for veterinarians, “preventive care” was all about vaccines, spay/neuter, and parasite control. Meanwhile, pet owners were concerned about the role of diet, exercise, care, play, and emotional well-being in their pet’s health.

Also, 81% of pet owners consider that they themselves are primarily responsible for preventive care. Only 19% believe it’s up to their vet. This flies in the face of a current veterinary trend that contends that veterinarians know more about pet health so we are the best advocates for the pet. Some take this attitude to the extreme and do their best to overrule the pet caregiver or guilt them into doing unwanted tests and procedures.

From my perspective, the pet owners referred to in this study are absolutely right. Too many veterinarians have lost sight of the true meaning of health care. More precisely, we were never taught much about it. Veterinary education is really focused more on disease care rather than health care (as in the maintenance of health).

Preventive care is what holistic veterinary medicine is all about. When an animal is nourished properly, cared for properly, given minimal vaccines, and treated with natural rather than pharmaceutical medicines, it is much less likely to need “disease care.”

Please don’t wait until your pet is sick to get with it. Once dis-ease has progressed to disease, it is much more difficult to bring the system back into balance. Start today, now, this minute! Get your pet on real food! Find a local holistic vet to help you keep your four-legged loved ones healthy.

How has your pet benefited from holistic care?

Do You Have a Neurotic Pet?

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Who doesn’t?

This study found that, for people, the consumption of fermented foods helped to reduce neuroticism and social anxiety. It seems reasonable to think that the same could be true for pets. (And, believe me, there are a lot of pets with anxiety issues).

The researchers relate that the most likely reason for the mental improvement is that fermented foods contain probiotic bacteria. This idea makes sense because of the importance of the hormone, serotonin.

Serotonin is a key player in brain health and mood. In fact, SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft are powerful drugs used to treat depression and anxiety. They have their mood altering effect because they increase the levels of serotonin in the brain.

It may surprise you to hear that 95% of the serotonin in the body is made in the intestine. Probiotics have been shown to effect serotonin levels. I had a gut feeling about that.

I have previously written about the importance of probiotics. However, the thing I like about this study is that it is about fermented food and not specific probiotic supplements. You see, while veterinary medicine has recently embraced the use of probiotics for certain symptoms, they have taken the typical, Western approach.

Western medicine researchers tend to find something that has a positive effect (herb, fermented food). Then they isolate the “active” ingredient. Now they sell the single element as a drug or “natural” supplement and expect to get the same health benefits at the original, natural substance.

For example, both Purina and Iams have come out with their probiotic supplements. But, each of the supplements contains only one specific strain of one specific bacterium. It may have a definite effect, but it will not balance the gut’s bacterial environment and build health. Fermented food does that.

That’s one reason that I really like the products of Answers Raw Food Company. They deal with possible disease causing bacteria that can be found in raw food by fermenting the food. The natural probiotic bacteria inhibit the pathogenic bacteria. Think about it, that’s the way we preserved food before refrigeration. It makes sense and it’s good for your pet.

Have you tried Answers?

Dr. Doug’s Holistic Message Reaches Sweden

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I’m excited to announce that my fist book, Stand by Me: A Holistic Handbook for Animals, Their People and the Lives They Share Together, has been translated into Swedish! Yes, apparently the people of Sweden were excited by what they read and wanted to make the book more accessible to their countrymen and women. (Somehow I think the title is not an exact translation though).

This is a very unique book that addresses how to live a holistic lifestyle with your pet (dog or cat) throughout the various phases of life from birth to death. Many people have found the chapter on death and dying especially helpful and meaningful. In it I discuss the many difficult decisions we all face when we near the end of a pet’s life and how to deal with the inevitable grief.

A theme that runs through the book is the work of Edgar Cayce, considered by many to be the father of holistic medicine in the US. Before his death in the 1940s, Edgar Cayce founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE). You can find more information about this organization that continues to research the work of Edgar Cayce here.

I told my friends in Sweden to let me know when my book goes to number one on their best sellers list and I’ll swing over for a book tour. (I’m not holding my breath on that one). From my perspective, if even one person is comforted or finds something helpful from my work then it has all been worthwhile.

Stand by Me was originally published in 2003 and is currently out of print. But, I’ve squirreled away a few copies. The original price was $14.95. If you are interested in getting your hands on one, email me from this site and I’ll mail you a copy for $8.00 including shipping.

If you’ve read the book please let me know here what you thought of it.