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Holistic Pet Healthcare: Alternative Veterinary Medicine, Raw Food & Other Woo-Woo Can Cure Disease & Keep 'em Healthy. Animal Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Nutritional Therapy & Orthomolecular Medicine, Animal Chiropractic - WEEKLY FASHIONTRIBES PET PODCAST
Holistic Pet Healthcare: Alternative Veterinary Medicine, Raw Food & Other Woo-Woo Can Cure Disease & Keep 'em Healthy. Animal Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Nutritional Therapy & Orthomolecular Medicine, Animal Chiropractic - WEEKLY FASHIONTRIBES PET PODCAST - MP3 File
According to the 2005/2006 National Pet Owners Survey compiled by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (www.appma.org/) - which looks at demographics, buying behavior, pet ownership & just about anything else you can think of - more pet owners are turning to alternative treatments such as homeopathic remedies and pet vitamins & supplements.
And for good reason. In pampering our little babies and treating them like just another member of the family, we're making them ill. Those table scraps and other human food you give them as a little treat? Apparently, a big no no. "A growing number of vets are stating that processed pet food is the main cause of illness and premature death in the modern dog and cat," explains Shirleys-Wellness-Cafe.com citing a report in the Canine Health Concern (http://www.canine-health-concern.org.uk/) about a paper that the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published. Apparently, processed pet food can result in one or all of the following: :
- liver disease
- kidney problems
- heart disease
A study conducted in Stockholm examined the effect on pets of cooked and processed foods. According to Shirley's Wellness Cafe: "When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods they initially appeared to be healthy. However, as the animals reached adulthood, they began to age more quickly than normal and also developed chronic degenerative disease symptoms. A control group of animals raised on raw foods aged less quickly and were free of degenerative disease. In nature, we see another example of wild animals eating entirely enzyme-rich raw foods being free of the degenerative diseases that afflict humans."
Unfortunately many of our assumptions about what's good for Kitty or Fido - including what to feed them - simply aren't correct. Animal obesity and failing health is proof enough. If your pet isn't 100% or has been diagnosed as a "hopeless" case by your mainstream vet - or maybe you're willing to try something less traditional to give your four-legged friend optimum health - maybe it's time to give the holistic approach a try.
Holistic medicine focuses on your animal as a whole, rather than just on an isolated symptom or problem, explains the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, (http://www.ahvma.org/main/brochure.html). "The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy and respect." The holistically minded veterinarian looks at everything from nutrition to family relationships, hygiene, stress factors, and even genetics. If a patient is suffering from a "dis-ease", the holistic practitioner asks why? Their goal is not to cure the symptom but to get to the cause of the problem. "A simple-appearing symptom may have several layers of causation. Only when the true cause of the ailment has been found is there the possibility for a lasting recovery."
According to BestFriendsPetCare.com even many mainstream vets are turning to non-traditional approaches such as homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition, and chiropractic therapy to complement conventional medicine. Increasing numbers of veterinary schools have added courses in alternative medicine to the roster. Some of the more popular alternative pet therapies:
- ACUPUNCTURE: Used throughout China for over 3500 years, it is a proven form of treatment for over a quarter of the world's population. Acupuncture strengthens the body's immune system, relieves pain, and improves how the organs function. It is based on the notion that a vital energy force called the Chi flows through the body's channels or meridians. When the flow is blocked, disease occurs. Acupuncture deals with the problem by treating points along the meridians. To get a referral to a non-quack near you, consult the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture: http://www.aava.org/
- HOMEOPATHY: The field of homeopathy is said to date back to Hippocrates, the Greek "father" of medicine, and possibly before that to some wise ancient Hindus. Homeopaths believe that when your Chi is out of whack, you become unbalanced, resulting in illness. Based on the idea of Similia Similibus Curentur ("like cures like") a homeopath will administer a micro-dose of a natural substance that brings about similar symptoms, strengthening the body's immune system. Illnesses which cause people to suffer from runny noses and watery eyes are often treated with homeopathic remedies derived from onions, because they produce the same result. Homeopathy: Working for People and Pets Without Side Effects, which appears in Dr. Goodpet.com, also reports that no less than Queen Elizabeth and her polo mad son Charles are both homeopathy enthusiasts! A little more woo-woo, the Dr. Goodpet article states that the "healing power of homeopathy does not come directly from the substances themselves, but rather from the energy released from them during a special refining process of shaking and dilution." Envision a hotel card key: The magnetic strip contains the information needed to open the locked door. "Similary, homeopathic remedies contain magnetic resonance information. The right remedy contains the right information to activate the body's own innate healing machinery." And in the case of animals, a placebo effect can't really be said to have cured the animal since animals aren't really in a position to expect a cure. Interested? Get a referral from the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy http://www.theavh.org/.
- NUTRITION & HERBAL REMEDIES: Also known as Nutritional Therapy or Orthomolecular Medicine - supplemental minerals, vitamins, and nutrients are used to correct deficiencies, prevent pathology and reverse tissue damage. Supplements are then prescribed which support organs & body tissues, aid detoxification and healing. Preservative-free, high quality foods are also prescribed, as are herbs and flower essences. Caution: while they sound harmless, herbs can actually significantly affect your pet, so get advice from a professional herbalist. The AHVMA can point you to a licensed practitioner near you.
- CHIROPRACTIC: By focusing on the interconnection between the spine and the nervous system, chiropractic medicine is great for any condition involving the spinal column, bones, joints or even muscle aches - and has healing potential often not achievable with other forms of therapy. The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association website - http://www.animalchiropractic.org/ - can not only point you in the right direction, but they have cool illustrations of animal skeletons on their homepage.
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I found a great holistic dog food at PETCO that I gave to my Shiba Inu who had skin and coat problems. Its called Natural Ultramix and is made with natural chicken and has dried fruits and veggies. It has No By-Products, No Fillers, No Wheat, No Corn, No Growth Hormones, and No Artificial Preservatives, Colors or Flavors. I bought it at www.petco.com. Hope that helps.
Posted by: Rick | Apr 16, 2006 10:07:37 PM