Archive for November, 2011

Pet Dental Health

Monday, November 14th, 2011

In veterinary school we are taught that dogs and cats need to have balanced diets that have been formulated by reputable companies. Some of these companies have well balanced products. They also give funds to the veterinary schools so they can be recommended by the veterinarians at that University. Does that mean that these foods are healthy for long term health of immune systems? Does that mean that commercial processed dog foods are good for dental health?

From my 33 years of experience, dental disease can really vary from pet to pet. If there are members of the pet family that share water bowls, then one animal with high amount of gingivitis and bacteria may have an impact on the bacteria in other animals. When they all share water contamination can occur. What would keep all those mouths healthy?

Giving bones and raw food give an animal foods that they have to work on, to actually be able to swallow. In the wild dogs and cats do not cook for themselves and eat mushy food. They first have to catch and kill their prey and they then they will tear open the abdomen and eat the intestines, liver and other organs. While they consume meat they are tearing it off the bones, and then crunching the bone. It seems is violent and gross to us humans, but it is the natural way dogs and cats eat. They do not stop by a fire pit and cook and separate their food. They eat it raw and all parts of the body, as fresh as they can.

My clients that switch to a raw diet with raw bone, will see an amazing cleaning of the mouth. It has shocked many of the skeptical clients that were told that they should NEVER feed their dog bones because they shatter and have shards that can perforate the intestines. I have not ever seen that with a raw bone. When the bone is raw it can be digested to a large extent. When the dog has a bowel movement it can come out hard like chalk, as the calcium and minerals in the bone is left in the stool. This does not give dogs constipation normally. There are always exceptions.

If you have a dog that gobbles down its food with one swallow you many need to use a meat cleaver to make the portion broken into several pieces. Giving a bigger bone of which the dog cannot swallow all at once can sometimes start them beginning healthy gnawing rather that gulping.

But the most amazing aspect of feeding a raw diet to dogs and cats is how healthy looking many of them become. Their teeth self clean as they learn to chew and gnaw on the bones. Hundreds of dollars of dental cleanings can be unnecessary when the animal can clean its own teeth. It is so worth the cost of switching to raw.

For those of you thinking of switching it is important to have some digestive enzymes and probiotics to help reboot the gut so that the transition is easy. I like using Rx Vitamin Biotic and Rx Vitamin Nutrigest. There are many resources for raw feeding and we are also willing to help you feel comfortable with the transition.

Always handle raw meat carefully. Be sure you keep it out of young kids hands and away from counters that you prepare salads and fresh foods for humans. Raw meat bacteria are only an issue in people and not in animals. Dogs lick their paws from walking in the dirt and stepping in animal stools. Dogs lick their rear ends and a lot of other normally gross things. So eating raw fresh meat will not have as much bacteria as your steps into your home or your garden. So take the step and see how things improve in the health of your animal family friend.

Vaccines and the Immune System

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

As I enter into my thirty – fourth year of practice as a veterinarian, I find myself analyzing the many topics related to immune system failure. Cancer. What is happening to make so many animals become so stricken with this immune system failure? I have come to realize that as veterinarians, we are not able to stop the increased number of animal cancer cases when their healthcare is addressed conventionally.

Yes, dogs and cats do age faster than us. Yes, they are exposed to higher percentages of chemicals that are in environment as they walk through lawns and floors recently treated with chemicals or cleaned. The 80,000 chemicals in the environment that were not there 70 years ago add up and have combined into substances which we have no clue how they will affect the immune system.

In addition to those chemicals, we over-vaccinate the pets in the name of preventative medicine not knowing the consequences of this constant bombardment of the immune system. We ask the B and T cells to respond to the vaccine repeatedly and produce antibodies to protect the animal.

What happens when the system already knows the response? Continuing the stimulation can confuse the body and it does not know what is right or wrong. In our practice at MASH we do not recommend annual vaccines. We only want to give a single vaccine individually to establish the antibody response and then evaluate later using a titer. Repetitive vaccines are not necessary, they may be the cause of a confused immune response. When the immune system cannot recognize a foreign invader (like cancer) it allows it to invade the body, Overstimulation with over vaccination could be confusing the whole system.

For example : A young puppy’s mother has passed her antibodies during the pups consumption of colostrum. If the mother has good levels of antibodies which can be measured before the birth she will pass them to her pups. These antibodies last to about 10 weeks.

Keeping pups isolated until they reach ten and a half to eleven weeks and giving them one vaccine like parvo and then the other part distemper two weeks later can establish antibodies that last a life time. I have raised three generations of Standard Poodles with this vaccine schedule. The mother of second generation is eleven and only had a set of vaccines like I have mentioned above, only and still has antibodies measured for ten and a half years.

Conventionally we feel that the body needs to have these vaccines repeatedly to prevent distemper and parvo. It is not true. These vaccines can rally a lifetime of immunity when given at the right time. Better to keep the puppies a little longer and allow them to establish antibodies that last a long time then to keep giving them more vaccine that confuses the body,

Since 1993 I have offered skipping vaccines and minimal initial vaccines with titers and we have never had a case of parvo or distemper. We watch these levels and make sure the body still has the antibodies with end point titers. We have dogs eleven years old with the above vaccine schedule and with only one plain parvo and 1 plain distemper and they are protected.

The security that veterinarians get by giving annual vaccines makes them feel successful in helping their patients stay free from serious deadly diseases like parvo and distemper. But this is a false sense of security, and isn’t truly helping their patients because they did not have to make the animals keep getting this boosters in the first place, to keep them protected.

They are giving dangerous chemicals like mercury and aluminum hydroxide with dyes over and over again to little yorkies or bigger rottweilers. That cannot be healthy. Forty six percent of dogs and thirty nine percent of cats are getting cancer. The immune system cannot take the bombardment of more and more vaccines. We need to find ways to keep the immune system rallied to protect itself and not depend on drugs and over vaccination. The most cost effective way for healthcare is to have a balanced healthy immune system with nutrition as the key.

Pictured here is Lilihana getting her first plain parvo at 11 weeks 2 days old .She was given Homeopathic Thuja 200c after the administration.
Two week later she received the distemper vaccine only and a repeated Thuja 200c was given. She is now 7 years old and still has protective titers and has had no other parvo or distemper vaccine. Her mother 11 years old now had the same vaccine schedule.