Archive for July, 2011

The Yellow Lab Who Ate 18 Items

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Casey the Canine Consuming Character. Casey is one lucky canine whose abnormal consumption has made her stomach contents worthy of a story.

When she was rescued in 2009 as an 8 year old yellow lab with serious skin issues, and bad hips. She also had a history of an insatiable appetite and eating socks. She had had two exploratories  for foreign bodies even before they adopted her. The kind family that took her in knew of her many issues. In time she became their love and family companion. They even added to the family by rescuing a black lab with emotional issues at the same time.

By coming to MASH and using integrated medicine, Casey’s new Life took off. She went through with endocrine immune tests and holistic health options like homeopathy, chiropractic,herbs, nutrition and acupuncture. Her many complicated health issues began to heal.

Her skin which was once thickened and flaking with shedding improved, her chronic GI issues and weak hips became healthier and stronger. She really started to look like a healthy normal yellow Labrador. Her diet was changed to mostly raw meat and vegetables. It even included some vegan meals, which all had helped to make many of  these improvements.

The one bad habit she still had problems with was, garbage pails. If she was left unattended with near one,  parts of it would disappear. She would always seem to be able to pass the trash by taking 2 tablespoons of vaseline petroleum jelly given orally. Then here at MASH I had to give her ozonated NaCl fluids. Those are given subcutaneously to hydrate her and allow the intestines to become hydrated and reduce CO2 levels.  I then did Acupuncture points St 36 25 LI 11 4,BH, Bl 27, at the base of tail, above the anus, Sp 6, Bl 20  which was to stimulate peristalysis.

Another remedy I used was the Homeopathic remedies called Nux Vomica 200C and Calendula 200C  which addressed the overeating and gastric motility.  I had the caretakers repeat the Vaseline treatment at home, as a bread sandwich. Homeopathy remedies are easy to give at home as a liquid or tablet, so the nux vomica and calendula had to be given 15 minutes apart when they took her home.

On 2/9/11 she passed some pieces of fabric and a sock with this procedure without any problem. But then on 5/10/11 she was being cared for by a pet sitter and she escaped from her home for about an hour before being found. There was no evidence that she had gotten into anything as she continued to eat normally. Her stools were normal shape and consistency. Later when she returned to her owner she started to have occasional vomiting and looked a little wider in the belly. On 5/31/11 she was having more vomiting and was give some medication for vomiting by another veterinarian. When she came here again, I tried again all my integrative approaches and she stopped vomiting but still seemed not right. She was still taking her walks and wanting to eat.

Her caretaker kept giving her coconut oil for another week but Casey was not herself. She was better but we felt she was still not quite right. So an Xray was taken and soon it was obvious that there was some type of fabric taking up a large portion of her stomach.

The next thing I did was to make one last attempt to perhaps get her to vomit with a dosage of apomorphine given subcutaneously. Her response to apomorphine, usually a forceful vomit response, was just a little gag.

So an exploratory was done….
The surgery was incredible. As I removed the first sock we brought out a bucket and I placed the item in, I went after the next item..and the next item and the next item and on and on. My technician commented that it was like the clown car in the circus watching another clown coming out the from the smallest space.

Here is what was found : (more…)

Herbal Medicines Found at Shipwreck

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Photo Credit Piombino Archaeological Museum

If you have read discussions about how herbalism has been used for thousands of years in history, you may be interested to know about anthropological findings and herbs. Digs have been discovered that contain medicinal herbs. The use of plant based medicine which began thousands of years ago is a tradition of natural health which we can continue to learn from today.

“A wooden chest discovered on board the vessel contained pills made of ground-up vegetables, herbs and plants such as celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, alfalfa and chestnuts – all ingredients referred to in classical medical texts. The tablets, which were so well sealed that they miraculously survived being under water for more than two millennia, also contain extracts of parsley, nasturtium, radish, yarrow and hibiscus.” Source

The ship was about 50 feet long, dates to around 130 B.C. and went down in the Gulf of Baratti off the coast of Tuscany. It was discovered in 1974 by members of the Italian Experimental Center for Underwater Archaeology, but its contents weren’t excavated until the 1980s.

Divers retrieved several tin containers, 136 vials made of boxwood, a locker and medical tools. The large number of vials suggests that the medicines were being shipped rather than being used by the ship’s doctor. “It might be both,” said Touwaide. “There might have been a physician on board; there might have been a medical cargo.”Source

 

Nutrigest Pet Health Supplement

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Here is an important product that Dr. Roman mentioned in her article last week on nutrition.NutriGest for Dogs & Cats
with Probiotics and L-Glutamine, can be purchased at MASH.

NutriGest is comprised of important nutrients for dogs and cats to complement their overall diet.

NutriGest supplies important phytochemicals and essential nutrients such as high potency probiotic bacterial cultures to help restore and maintain normal bacterial balance in the gastro-intestinal tract. FOS, a probiotic supportive nutrient, nourishes and fortifies friendly intestinal bacteria. NutriGest also provides nutritional co-factors such as L-Glutamine, ginger, psyllium seed and deglycerized licorice.

Pet Food Recipe of the Week: Fish

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

This time Dr. Roman would like to feature a recipe from the outstanding book  Fresh Food and Ancient Wisdom Preparing Healthy and Balanced Meals for your dogs. By author  John Basko (from Two Harbors Press c. 2011). Dr Basko is a brilliant veterinarian with over 30 years of Integrative veterinary training. He is considered a leader in the field of veterinary herbs and nutrition. This new book is full of easy, sensible recipes that will make our caring feelings our beloved family companions part of how we plan to feed them. Providing home made recipes for your dogs’ diet can give you several nutritious choices by using a recipe to have a structured format.

If you have been out fishing successfully and you have more than enough, treat your dogs to this terrific fish dish. Or if you have a dog with skin problems try this one.

For Animals with Skin Issues

Fish and Avocado
1.2 cup of cooked fish
Never use fish any older than 2 days in the fridge. Dr. Roman suggests using raw fish. But not the Salmon from Northwest US, as it has a fluke. But all white fish from all over the country is good.
! cup cooked  white rice or millet
1/4 avocado
1 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tsp of sunflower oil
1/2 tsp sea blend combination or a complete green powder
You will feed a similar volume of food to the wet volume the food you feed now unless you are trying to reduce weight.

Dr. Basko’s Sea Blend
1/2 cup nori
1/2 cup chlorella
1/2 cup wakame
1/2 cup kelp powder
1/2 cup dulse
1/2 cup barley greens
Grind all ingredients in a coffee grinder and mix together well. Usual dosage is 1/4 tsp daily for each 10-15 pounds of body weight. One could use a green powder with other land vegetable as well as sea vegetables. Using fish oil, or chia instead of sunflower, is a fine substitution. You can get quality green powders at MASH.

The Importance of Balancing the Gastrointestinal Tract (GI)

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The Intestinal tract is responsible for 70 percent of an animal’s immune response. This important link to strengthening the body will be the key to returning an animal to health and balance.

The overuse of antibiotics and other medications, prevalent in treating pets along with poor quality foods, and toxic chemicals in the environment can cause problems. With the ease of prescribing antibiotics they are often overused and cause a disbiosis of the intestinal flora and a cascade of issues can occur. With this weakening of the gut the body also becomes weakened as it cannot retrieve the nutrients from the intestines. An animal’s gastrointestinal tract (GI) can become compromised. It is key to rebalance the gut before you can expect the animal’s body to start extracting nutrients, and to start the healing process.

Irritable Bowel Disease has become a common diagnosis in both dogs and cats these days. It’s important to learn How can you start rebalancing the GUT.

First you must add prebiotics and probiotics. These compounds will help the present intestinal flora to widen their species and add needed bacteria to the gut. We have over 400 species of bacteria that live in harmony in our body and many of those species are in the intestinal tract. When antibiotics are used what happens is that many of those species have been destroyed or damaged. We need balance throughout the body, so attempting to heal while destroying these bacteria causes an unbalance.

Two of the products I use a lot are RX Vitamins Biotics and Nutrigest. These products contain a combination of probiotic, digestive enzymes and herbs. By using these, the gut is supported and enhanced so it can start becoming more absorptive. Adding digestive enzymes allows the the gut to more easily break down the food. Compounds like amylase, lipase, papain, and fructosaccharides are a some of the ingredients that broaden the absorption.

There is discussion about a “leaky gut” lining that prevents the absorption of nutrients. Feeding with these added nutriceuticals the gut can start becoming normal again.

Another product to add is colostrum. This is the first milk from the new mother that adds high amounts of Immune globulins like IGG IGA IGM and other nutrients to the gut. I use New Zealand Colostrum. I have a concern about Bovine Leukemia Virus BLV and New Zealand has been free of BLV for many years. In the US 95% of Dairy Herds test positive for BLV. This topic that will need to be discussed in depth.

We also add our MASH mix which has antioxidants, DMG,glucosamine, alfalfa, prozyme and organic spirulina. For balanced health one also needs to have a high quality fish oil like RX Ultra FA. Once we have re-booted the gut with these digestive aids the diet is important. Bringing live raw foods that are gluten free may be one of the way to add more digestive support.
Blending and grinding green leafy vegetables and limiting the grains brings a wider range of nutrients. One can use some quinoa, brown rice, and millet in small amounts. Sweet Potatoes are good source of beta-carotene and give both some starch and fiber. You can also use some cooked pumpkin or winter squash.

Giving a protein source that has never been used before can help decrease an allergic reaction. For cats it could be commercial rabbit and for dogs free range venison would be my choice. I am not a supporter of hunting but in New England it is a way to reduce the deer population. If an animal is going to be killed for food, it should be done as humanely as possible. Care should be done to prevent suffering and every part of its body should be used so to make that animals life was not a waste.

By introducing the raw protein with the vegetables we have live food in a gut that needs foods which are more natural choices, that are closer to returning to the evolution of that species. The result being the immune system will improve.

I also will prescribe a homeopathic remedy and the one I will frequently use is LM 1 Thuja as daily or as needed. Working with a veterinary homeopath can really help one guide the client through the case. We also need to support the gut with glandulars. I usually use Standard Process  Canine Enteric Support. I will also recommend Green Tripe to be used as a natural way to reintroduce  a small amount of the actual raw gut content.

Case Study: Muffin the Pomeranian

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

A case of Muffin the Pomeranian. She was a 4 year old red adorable Pom who had GI issues for over 2 years. She had been to both Angel Memorial and Tufts for Hemorragic Gastroenteritis at the tune of almost $8,000 in that 2 years. Every other week the dog was at an emergency hospital and put on metonidazole, predisone, and amoxicillin or another antibiotic. She would get better and then it would return.

So we took the case and started her on the digestive immune support mentioned above and LM 1 Thuja. About 1 week into the treatment the owner called and was hysterical as it looked like Muffin was defecating a plastic bag as this white mucous sheet was being expelled. I asked if she was feeling depressed or abnormal and she was acting fine. I asked them to watch her and continue with our treatment. She shed out the lining of her intestinal tract like a snake shedding its skin. Allowing her intestines to regain their normal cellular consistency and after that she was normal.

After 2 years of being so sick she gained weight and occasionally she had small episodes of soft stools but never had those emergency episodes again. All we did was to RE-BOOT the gut so it could start to function.

Quantum Herbal Products Pet 100% Natural Flea And Tick Spray

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Quantum 100% Natural Flea Spray

If you are looking for a safer 100% natural Flea And Tick Spray, you may want try this product from MASH.

It contains these herbs, and specially prepaired water. Contents: Essential Oils of Erigeron, Rose Geranium, Eucalyptus & Ravensara, Extracts of St. John’s Wort, Wormwood, Black Walnut Hulls, Neem, Rue and Holy Basil in a base of Distilled Water.

Dr. Hank Sobel of Quantum Herbal Products explains why his company’s liquid concentrates and salves are so effective.

As a naturopath and herbalist, I have been involved full time in alternative healing of both people and pets. Although making and dispensing my own herbal tinctures has always been an important part of my practice, I have much experience with products made by others before I began making my own. I know that, despite claims to the contrary, the vast majority of commercial herb products sold are extremely weak. Our herbal formulas are so potent, here”s why:

They are extracted from herbs organically grown in the United States which have never been sprayed or irradiated.
Most commercial manufacturers use low-quality herbs imported from Third World countries, where they have been sprayed with pesticides. The herbs are again sprayed or irradiated upon entering this country because of U.S. Customs laws. By contrast, we use high-quality wildcrafted and organic herbs grown in this country; we use imported herbs only when we have documentation demonstrating that they have not been sprayed or irradiated.

All our products are OK Kosher Certified.
Established in 1935, the OK Kosher Certification is one of the world’s most respected symbols of kosher approval.

They contain 4 to 6 times more herbs than the National Formulary Standard.
The National Formulary Standard specifies that it is permissible to use 1 part herb to 4 or 5 parts extracting agent, such as alcohol or water. We use 1 part herb to 1 part extracting agent, making our products much more potent.

They are aged for months to maximize the potency of the final extract.
We use an aging practice that has been abandoned by most herbal manufacturers in favor of more “efficient” and less costly methods. They press out their products in a matter of hours or, at most, days.

They are hand crafted in small batches.
Our products are made by people using an exclusive alchemic process, not mass-produced by machines like most tinctures.

They are extracted using only pure organic grain alchohol or organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.

About our water: Reverse osmosis ultra-clean, ultra-safe water is up to 99% free of unwanted substances commonly found in tap or well water. It is recommended by doctors, dieticians, and reverse osmosis users. We then combine our reverse osmosis water with distelled water to make a supurb and healthful drinking water.

They are in tinctures, not dry capsules.
A person will absorb, at best, only 10% to 15% of a dry herb, whereas tinctures immediately find their way into the bloodstream.

They are available in formulas, making them more effective than single herbs.
Although we offer a full line of single-herb tinctures, most of our sales are of herbal combinations. For example, many people take milk thistle seed for their liver. Our Liver-Gallbladder Formula has milk thistle to protect the liver, but it also includes other herbs to increase the bile flow to help process toxins and supply the liver with nutrients.

Recipe of the Week: Wild Bird’s Seed Wreath

Friday, July 15th, 2011

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 package of plain Knox gelatin
4 cups gourmet birdseed mix
Round Cake mold
Pam Spray
Dried fruits, (naturally dried, not the kind coated with sugar) berries, raw nuts, raisins, or anything else the birds enjoy.

Floral wire, cardboard, scissors, sauce pan, wooden spoon

Here is a seed wreath recipe which uses gelatin instead of  fat as a binder to hold it together. These wreaths will work in warm weather because they won’t melt or turn rancid. You can also collect everything that a wild bird would eat. While hiking, or weeding your garden look for vines of wild grapes, bittersweet, privet berries on the hedges, millet grass and the seed heads on weeds. If you grow sunflowers, zinnias and ornamental grasses those will shortly be going to seed.

Combine the unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup of water in a pan over low heat. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the corn syrup and stir in. Then add 4 cups of any combination of seeds the birds in your yard like. Try half and half of black oil sunflower and giant sunflower seeds. Or a gourmet mixture that has a variety of colorful and nutritious seeds. Peanuts and peanut butter can be harmful for some birds so don’t use them.

Mix well, until all seeds are coated with gelatin mixture. Use a cake mold in a wreath shape that has a hole in the center. Pack the mixture firmly into the mold tightly, lightly sprayed with the Pam, and chill until solid over night. Cut out the cardboard to the same size and shape as the mold. Flip the seed wreath onto your cardboard and tie it securely with floral wire. Make a loop for the top to hang it. You can set it up against a fence, a wall, the side of the house or barn to secure it. Then get your camera ready for when the birds, and probably a few squirrels come to nibble on it.
~MASH Geek

Dr. DoMore Gets Press from Patch

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

We made the papers! Well, a blog actually. Dr. Romans’ Dr. DoMore nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for integrative medicine for animals has gotten some press recently.

Over at Studio City Patch the blogger tells a story about her dog and then mentions: “At the end of the session, after Heidi had cheerfully removed most of her acupuncture needles with a good shake – luckily, not until the treatment was done – Dr. Parks presented me with something I didn’t expect: The 2011 Dr. ShowMore Calendar.”

And then she goes on to describe it. “On the cover and inside, were a bunch of naked people. Well, at least one may assume that they were naked, although their private parts were discreetly covered with feathers or fur, tails or scales in the form of live animals of all varieties.

These were not costumes, but unique visual pairings of humans and animals. A chicken’s brown feathers seem to form the bodice of a dress. A horse nibbles at a basket of herbs a woman holds over her breasts. A tall, dark and handsome standard poodle keeps one human subject decent.  And you should see where this one guy positions his ferret.

These are not mere exhibitionists, but an international group of veterinarians who were inspired by the 2003 movie Calendar Girls, based on the story of a group of decidedly non-glamorous Yorkshire women who posed for a nude calendar to raise money for charity.  Their first calendar is designed to introduce the general public and other vets to integrative medicine for animals, as well as to raise money for a documentary film project.

Besides having an obvious meaning, the Dr. ShowMore Calendar is a play on words for the veterinarians involved. The calendar is produced by the Center for Integrative Veterinary Care, which also plans to produce a documentary on the subject called Dr. DoMore  (that is, do more, not Doolittle).  The vets included in the group, and the calendar, practice such alternative modalities as acupuncture, chiropractic care or other holistic techniques along with traditional Western medicine.”

“We thought about first aid kits and websites and other educational stuff,” says Dr. Margo Roman, who practices in Hopkinton, MA and was among those spearheading the project.  “[But] we wanted something to capture people’s imagination a little bit, so they’d want to know what’s on the next page and make it sort of exciting.”

Apparently, it has been – of the 5,000 calendars produced for 2011, the organizers have only about 100 left.  The doctors chose their own treatment modality, animal, and used “their own idea of how to obscure themselves,” says Dr. Roman, who adds that she was “laughing hysterically” during her own revealing shoot, practicing acupuncture on a black standard poodle, the same breed as her own two dogs.

Next year’s calendar is already in the works – it includes an Israeli vet who is giving a remedy to a camel and well-known vet Michael W. Fox as the centerfold. Next year the docs hope to have a downloadable version available online.

Dr. Roman is from Hopkinton, Mass. near Boston and says she loves reading her local Patch.

People in Studio City are certifiably nuts about their pets – it seems that there are almost as many doggie day care establishments here as sushi restaurants (note to self: consider opening a dog-friendly sushi bar on Ventura).  Many of you are probably already using an integrative approach to animal care, and Heidi and I are not even going to begin to argue with you on what constitutes proper medical care, feeding or career choice for your dog/cat/parakeet.

But you can learn a lot by watching a 34-minute sample documentary here. And, whether or not you become a convert to integrative medicine for your pet, you’ve got to be impressed by the fact that, after giving a lecture earlier this year to faculty members of the Chulalongkorn University School of Veterinary Medicine in Thailand, Dr. Roman received an invitation to perform acupuncture and homeopathy on a princess’s cat in Bangkok.”

Euthanasia

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

BJ Honeycat Passed on 2 months shy of his 20th Birthday

Our animals are our teachers. When they get sick and their health changes we should learn from them and find better ways to care for the health of ourselves and our human family. When the time comes for pet parents to make a decision on euthanasia it is one that takes deep thought and caring concern. The family needs to come together as a team with their veterinarians to decide if the time to do this is appropriate. They need to look at all care options and why the ending of this family member’s life has to happen.

With cancer affecting 46% of dogs and 39% of cats, the life expectancies of our small animal companions is approximately 1/7th to 1/5 of our lifetime. Eventually, sadly animals will finally die in our care. The loss is emotionally painful and some people have said “It can be more painful then the loss of some humans.” in that person’s life. Those of us who love our animals want to try anything that is within our means to try to give more quality time with our animal friends.

Keeping the animal as healthy as long as you can, to begin with will hopefully keep the animal healthier for a longer time. As an integrative veterinarian we have so many good options in healthcare. Such as having fewer vaccinations, more natural organic raw foods, less pesticides, chiropractic, acupuncture, and natural herbal or homeopathic remedies. With these we truly hope to give pets longer, healthier lives.

When you go to a conventional veterinarian they have maybe one or several choices to use when seeing if they can help you and your animal companion. These will usually include surgery, antibiotics, non-steroidal or steroidal drugs, chemotherapy and other pharmaceuticals. But when you go to an integrative veterinary facility, all those options are considered. Additionally, you have so many more ways that might make a difference in your decision to treat an animal, or use that decision to euthanize.

In tough economic times some people have resorted to euthanasia because they cannot afford the treatment option that have been offered. Expensive diagnostics can help the veterinarian see more of the issues that may be affecting the animal but the cost of those may prevent the family to try to treat anyway. With having other treatment modalities that are a lot less costly then MRI’S and CAT scans and expensive surgical options, they may be able to delay that euthanasia and give quality time instead of accepting only the euthanasia as an answer.

When a family gets the recommendation of euthanasia finding another option is also your choice. You can get a second opinion, finding an integrative veterinarian who may have access to other alternative and integrative modalities could save your pets life or possibly give them more quality loving time.
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Hospice for pets is another choice for families. With the support of professional hospice providers you can comfortably assist and give your animal companion the ability to die in her/his own time and space. No one wants anyone to suffer, so if the animal is in pain and painfully struggling then intervention should be part of humane care. When pet parents do not want to try anything further to treat an animal that has had a diagnosis of a terminal illness, they may not be aware that there may be other ways to give that family member additional valuable time, and teach their family something more.