Monthly Archives: October 2015

Probiotics Can Help Pets Lose Weight

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A recent study found that children who were given antibiotics were more likely to be overweight. The more antibiotics the kids got, the fatter they got. If this is true for people then it is most likely true for pets as well. But what’s the connection between taking antibiotics and weight gain? I can answer that with one word: probiotics!

I have written here about the many benefits of these friendly bacteria that live in the GI tract. We have 10 times more bacterial cells in our bodies than we have body cells. That means that from a cellular perspective, we are more bacterial than we are human. No doubt pets are similar to us in this respect. One of the many effects of probiotic bacteria is that they seem to regulate the body’s weight.

Antibiotics kill bacteria. In fact, the word “antibiotic” comes from the words “against life.” If a pet is infected with disease-causing bacteria, then antibiotics can help. Unfortunately, while they’re helping, they’re also hurting. Antibiotics kill the good gut bacteria along with the bad bacteria. Antibiotics give with one hand and take away with the other.

I have written here about the health problems linked to being overweight. My biggest concern is that being overweight promotes inflammation and predisposes to cancer. Keeping pets at their ideal weight has been shown to delay the onset of chronic disease and lengthen lifespan.

There are times when antibiotics are needed. When your pet gets a course of antibiotics, be sure to follow that ups with a 2-3 week course of probiotics. I’m not talking about the Purina or Iams probiotics. Those only contain one strain of bacteria. The best probiotics have a full spectrum of bacteria and are from natural sources – like Answers fermented goat’s milk.

Do you give your pet probiotics?

Life-Saving Acupressure Point You Need to Know

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Acupuncture is the oldest medical system on earth. It is still used today because it works. Stimulating an acupuncture point triggers nerves to send signals to the brain. In response, the brain releases bioactive substances, such as endorphins, into the system affecting the whole body. The body’s response to acupuncture depends on which point(s) are activated.

The best way to stimulate an acupuncture point is with an acupuncture needle. However, for anyone who doesn’t have one of these tools handy, a fingertip will do. In the case of the pint I’m about to discuss, I would suggest stimulating it with your fingernail.

Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26) is located where the “leather” of the nose meets the fur of the upper lip, right where that interface crosses the center groove in the nose and lip. This point is used for resuscitation. With the use of this point, I have made believers out of every skeptical vet I’ve ever worked with. I have seen the strong stimulation of this point bring apparently dead pets back to life.

GV 26 is used for such things as shock, respiratory arrest, and cardiac arrest. When I use a needle to stimulate this point, I drive the tip down to the bone and vigorously tap the bone. (You would obviously never use this technique on a conscious pet). If I did not have a needle to use, I would jab a fingernail into the point and vibrate it hard and fast.

Studies have shown that stimulating GV 26 stabilizes brain chemistry and stimulates the heart and respiratory centers. It can be used any time a pet loses consciousness such as when a pet has suffered physical trauma. It can even help puppies or kittens if they stop breathing during the birthing process. This point is even being taught to veterinarians and technicians taking conventional ER medicine courses.

If your pet were to get hit by a car or pass out from some other cause, the first thing to do is call the ER vet and get on your way. While en route, someone should stimulate GV 26 with everything they’ve got. This technique may just be enough to keep your pet alive until you reach professional help.

Have you ever used acupressure on your pet?

Does Your Pet Have Idiopathic Disease?

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Here’s how the conversation goes. “Doc, do you know what’s wrong with my dog? Do you know what’s causing his problem?” “Yes.” “Tell me doc, what’s my dog have? What’s wrong with him?” “Your dog has Idiopathic disease.” “He does? He has Idiopathic disease? That sounds serious. What does it mean?” “It means we don’t know what’s causing his problem.” “But doc, I thought you said you knew what was causing his problem?” “I do.” “Then tell me doc, what’s wrong with my dog?” “I told you, he has Idiopathic disease.”  “But you said that Idiopathic disease means you don’t know what the problem is.” “That’s right.” “But you also said that you knew what his problem is.” “I do.” “Then tell me, what’s his problem?” “I told you, he has Idiopathic disease.” And so it goes.

Doctors like to have answers. We like to put names on things. Idiopathic Epilepsy, Idiopathic Hypercalcemia, Idiopathic Stomatitis, Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome, Idiopathic Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia … Believe me, the list goes on. And actually, there are many diseases for which we do not know the cause that are not labeled “Idiopathic.” Does anyone really know what causes such common problems as allergies and cancer? Just because you label it does not mean you understand it. There’s a reason that “Idiopathic” shares the same root as “Idiot.”

The practitioners of Western medicine have a lot to learn. So much of life, health, and disease are a medical mystery for all of us. Unfortunately, some veterinarians parade around and lecture pet caregivers as if they know everything. They belittle those seeking holistic care for their pets, even though they have absolutely no understanding of it.

Things that were considered quackery just a few years ago are now standard practice in veterinary medicine. Remember when the use of probiotics was weird? Using glucosamine and chondroitin for joint problems used to be considered bogus. These days, not only these supplements, but even therapeutic laser and acupuncture have become mainstream. Many of us holistic practitioners have been using these therapies for decades.

Holistic medicine is the cutting edge of pet medical care. It is the wave of the future. Those who can’t see this simple fact are Idiopathetic!

Have you had a run in with a vet over holistic care?