Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Dr. Margo Roman Lectures at The IV World Congress on Oxygen Ozone Therapy Rome 2013

Friday, October 4th, 2013

MASH
Main St Animal Services of Hopkinton
72 West Main St
Hopkinton, MA 01748
508-435-4077

Dr. Margo Roman Lectures in Rome

Dr. Margo Roman Lectures in Rome

Margo Roman, DVM
The IV World Congress on Oxygen Ozone Therapy September 26-28, 2013, at the Ergife Palace Hotel in Rome, Italy. The theme of the Congress was a desire to find affordable solutions for medical issues, and the belief that Ozone efficacy, cost and success will lead world health in a better direction. This year’s Congress was “Health Efficiency and Savings Challenge of the Third Millennium.” The World Ozone Congress brought together Medical Doctors from 26 countries, each presented scientific papers on research and clinical applications of Oxygen Ozone Therapy (“OOT”).

For me going to Italy to learn and share knowledge on Oxygen-Ozone Therapy (“OOT”) was important and valuable. I was able to learn more applications and conditions that have been successfully treated and healed with OOT. At MASH, we have been using Ozone Therapy for 10 years and we feel it is such an asset to helping a multitude of health issues. Much of the research in the world on OOT has been done by the Italians, Russians, Germans and Cubans. It was informative hearing their presentations. With full translations into English, it was wonderful.

I went as a speaker and I was one of 3 veterinarians in attendance. It felt so great to share my experiences of the over 10,000 treatments that I have done over the past 10 years in my practice. It was particularly rewarding to see the many applications that I done through trial and experience proven through statistical double placebo blind trials. Evidence based medicine has been done with ozone research in Italy and around the world. The chance to discuss the applications and share ideas was priceless.

Another amazing experience was that since the World Congress was in Rome, the attendees were invited to St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Pope Francis made a special announcement during the September 29, 2013, Sunday Mass commemorating the World Congress on Oxygen Ozone Therapy and support of world health.

Dr. Roman gives a Dr ShowMore Calendar to the Pope Francis  via the Swiss Guards at the Vatican on September 29, 2013. St. Francis is the Patron Saint of Animals. The Pope is concerned about the environment.

Dr. Roman gives a Dr ShowMore Calendar to the Pope Francis via the Swiss Guards at the Vatican on September 29, 2013. St. Francis is the Patron Saint of Animals. The Pope is concerned about the environment.

I brought about 60 copies of the Dr. ShowMore calendars to give to many of the attendees to share with the veterinarians in their countries. I was even able to bring the 2011 and 2013 version to give as a gift to Pope Francis. The Swiss Guards at the Vatican really liked it, and they received copies as well. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron Saint of animals. Given Pope Francis’ concern for the environment, I thought hat he would possibly learn something about health and sustainable health care options from our info packed calendar.

The food was so delicious in Italy, so I know I gained a few pounds; but it was worth it because I also gained a lot of research articles to defend the use of ozone for so many medical conditions. From infections to cancer, from pain to bulging discs, from MS to Parkinson’s, from renal dialysis to liver failure, the research is there, and the information about the successes needs to be publicized.

O3 and The Dead Sea

Monday, July 1st, 2013

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I was lecturing at the University for the Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medical Department on Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Ozone therapy and Micro Biome Restorative Therapy.

It was such an enthusiastic group of veterinarians and other health professionals. They also got copies of our Dr. ShowMore Calendar and viewed the Dr DoMore documentary preview. Both were embraced and enjoyed. It was on this journey that this blog was written.

It has been 40 years since my first visit to the Dead Sea. In that time I have spent 35 years studying integrative medicine and especially veterinary medicine.

I have had some time to realize how important health and healing needs
to work with nature. The Dead Sea is an unique geographical and geological location on earth. It is the lowest place on earth over 400 meters below sea level. It is also has a very high ozone layer because of its distance below the surrounding hills, the ozone because it is heavier than air, it sinks to the lowest point and therefore it is present here. Because of the depth below sea level ones ears will pop and the increase in pressure occurs as if going into a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. I have had both ozone and hyperbaric medicine in my practice for almost 10 years and adjunct to healing the body is so positive. image

Hyperbaric oxygen brings more oxygen to the body by increasing the blood oxygen percentage under pressure. The Dead Sea has been a beacon of healing since the reign of Cleopatra in Egypt where she felt it a place of youth and health.

Drs. Tami Siniaver, Margo Roman, Ronit Aboutboul, Doron Zur at the Koret Veterinary School at the Hebrew University in Rison Le Zion, Israel on June 8, 2013

Drs. Tami Siniaver, Margo Roman, Ronit Aboutboul, Doron Zur at the Koret Veterinary School at the Hebrew University in Rison Le Zion, Israel on June 8, 2013

There are many theories of why the Dead Sea has so many of these health benefits which are quite remarkable. The warm salty water is 10 times more concentrated with salt then any other ocean. It is in this low point on earth that hundreds of thousands of years of water flower downhill have evaporated the salts and created this unique natural wonder. There are more then 40 minerals present in the water. Sitting In these waters your body is almost in a battery of water / charges that can affects the cells mineral components. Absorption through your skin in this warm, soothing, but stinging salty water helps relieve skin and joint issue. People come for over the world to bathe and float in these waters. Doctors from Scandinavia give week long prescriptions to their patients.

Those healing properties have been well know but the ones I think have been overlooked is the Ozone and Hyperbaric oxygen affect. Ozone is what protects our earth from the harmful rays of the sun. Ozone is created with the rising of Oxygen from the earth and it bombarded with ultraviolet light and an electrical spark like lightening. We have O2+O2+O2= O3+O3. This ozone drops down to earth as it is heavier than air and cleanses the earth. It quickly returns to pure O2 where it helps breakdown petrochemicals and pollution. When there are a lot of chemicals like sulfur, heavy metals, and toxins we get smog. Ozone is what helps clean up our air quality.

Ozone or O3 therapy as a medical application helps bring more oxygen to the tissue. It is mixed with high levels of oxygen and helps stimulate the mitochondria of the cells. Our cellar metabolism and repair depends on healthy mitochondria. By increasing the mitochondria numbers and efficiency we heal the body. This type of cellular oxidation is good for the cells.

Including hyperbaric oxygen with the ozone therapy is creating an even higher level of oxygen utilization. Auto immune issues, infections, inflammations, parasitic issues and even cancer thrive in higher levels of CO2. With ozone with are displacing the CO2 with oxygen. With the addition of Biophotonic Blood Therapy BBT or Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation, combining these oxygen therapies with the already know value of the Dead Sea could really bring health and healing to a whole other level.

What an opportunity to combine nature with peace and wellness. When looking at the geographical location of the Dead Sea and we know it is a location that conflicts are occurring. Hatred and mistrust is pathological in the area. It has caused the US Sept 11 event and the Boston Marathon bombing as well as hundreds of thousands of lives lost.

How can we take this negative passion of War and Death and bring it to Peace and Wellness?

Can we somehow have people look to helping their elder parents stay healthy and their young children achieve the positive potential of having a safe and fulfilling life? My wish is to have people come together for the sake of the earths health and their families full lives.
We need to find the common thread of peace and wellness. To take this Dead Sea and have it give back the breath life into humankind. We need to protect it as we encourage its future use. If we allow cars with petrofumes to exhaust into the area we will have forever lost the oxygen healing that occurs in this ancient
place. Electric and solar power must lead the way. We look to the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It too lies in a bowl and it has become a toxic air city. Reversing that may take a long time if ever. We need to protect this natural resource for the future of peace for humanity.

Lets let healing and health be the peacetime cry for the Mideast and beyond. Lets let the two sons of Abraham help chose a better world.

MEDICAL HONEY FOR WOUND HEALING

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Here is an informational article from one of Dr. Margo’s friends. And a pod cast as well

MEDICAL HONEY FOR WOUND HEALING
Signe Beebe DVM, CVA, CVCH, CVT
Integrative Veterinary Center
Sacramento, CA USA

HONEY
All civilizations have relied on natural therapeutic agents to meet their primary health care needs at some point in time. Honey and honey containing salves have been used to relieve pain, promote wound healing and to treat sores, boils, cuts, abrasions, insect bites, burns and skin disorders for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks physicians and the Egyptians were among the first to record the beneficial effects of honey for wound care. The ancient Egyptians were the earliest recorded beekeepers and honey for wound healing was an integral part of the “Three Healing Gestures”. This included cleaning the wound, applying a salve made from honey, lint, (vegetable fiber) and grease (animal fat), and bandaging the wound. Despite the long history of honey for medical conditions, it largely fell out of favor in conventional medical practice during the era of modern antibiotics in the 1970s. Due to the development of antibiotic resistant wound infections, the use of honey for wound care has undergone a renaissance in the last few years. Today honey is being investigated and incorporated into modern therapeutic wound healing products. Honey is particularly useful for the treatment of poorly healing or chronically infected wounds and for those animals that develop undesirable side effects such as intolerance or resistance to conventional pharmaceuticals.  image

Not all honeys have equal medicinal value. The anti-microbial activity of the honey has been shown to vary in quality according to its floral source. Historical records show that when honey was prescribed for a medical condition the type and location of the honey was nearly always specified. Doctors throughout history knew that honey obtained from specific floral sources produced better clinical results than honey from other plants or regions. Modern laboratory testing of many different types of honeys using bacterial cultures to evaluate their antimicrobial effects have validated this clinical observation. Not all honeys have equal medicinal value. The anti-microbial activity of the honey has been shown to vary in quality according to its floral source. Historical records show that when honey was prescribed for a medical condition the type and location of the honey was nearly always specified. Doctors throughout history knew that honey obtained from specific floral sources produced better clinical results than honey from other plants or regions. Modern laboratory testing of many different types of honeys using bacterial cultures to evaluate their antimicrobial effects have validated this clinical observation. Recent investigation and research on honey shows that it contains antibacterial compounds that are effective against many common antibiotic resistant bacteria. In addition it has been shown to inhibit the growth of a wide range of fungi, protozoa and viruses, and may have use for the treatment of cancer patients.

Honey is composed of 17% water and 82% sugar (primarily glucose and fructose), proteins, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and a variety of floral phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give honey its characteristic color, flavor, and biochemical properties (anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial). In essence, honey may be thought of as a concentrated plant fluid with added bee proteins that makes honey an “herbal medicine”. All honey has high osmolarity, low pH, low water content and upon dilution produces hydrogen peroxide that is responsible for its antibacterial properties. However not all honeys exhibit equal hydrogen peroxide activity and so vary in their antimicrobial potency. There are also certain types of honey that contain floral phytochemical factors that are responsible for strong non-peroxide antimicrobial effects. These honeys maintain their antimicrobial properties even when diluted by large amounts of wound exudate. The Leptospermum spp (manuka and jellybush) honeys from New Zealand and Australian are in this group and are currently under intense scrutiny for use as wound healing “medical grade honeys”. In 2007 the FDA approved the use of a line of manuka honey based wound dressings called MediHoney that are distributed by DermaSciences Inc.

For more information on medical honey: www.bio.waikato.ac.nz/honey/special.shtml and www.dermasciences.com

Thanks for your support! Here is a link to a podcast!

Dr. Margo Roman: A Lifetime of Caring for Animals BY KIM CHILDS

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

As a child, Dr. Margo Roman was bandaging stuffed animals and taking in wounded creatures. During high school she worked at a veterinary clinic and, in 1978, Roman officially became a veterinarian herself. Five years later she opened her practice as a mobile clinic, which transformed into Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton (MASH), in Hopkinton. 20120821-085445.jpg In 1993 Roman became an integrative alternative practitioner to expand the range of healing modalities that she could offer to animals in her care. Natural Awakenings wanted to know more about this transition.

How did you become aware of complementary medicine for animals?

I was always interested in nutrition since my parents were very health-conscious, giving us things like cod liver oil and other supplements. During veterinary school I took a course with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and it really opened my eyes to other possibilities of treating animals with such things as herbs, homeopathy and acupuncture. While I was teaching anatomy at the Tufts University veterinary school, I also taught an applied acupuncture course to the students on my own time, giving them a glimpse of another healing modality. Today some veterinary schools are teaching about the effectiveness of acupuncture with animals.

Another big reason I decided to do holistic medicine with animals came from my own medical experience during veterinary school. I was administering medication to a cow when it got loose and pushed me against a chute, impaling me on a five-inch nail that caused a huge blood clot in my chest. I kept trying to tell doctors that the problem was in my chest but they insisted it was my spleen. I ended up having two massive surgeries and almost dying when they could have found the real problem by simply tapping my chest. It opened my eyes to the fallibility of the medical profession and made me realize that there are other ways to help animals besides rushing to do surgery or something equally traumatic right away.

What alternative approaches have worked with the animals you’ve treated?

In 2001 a client brought her dog to me with tumors in his abdomen. The dog couldn’t walk anymore and two vets had told her to euthanize him. We did acupuncture, homeopathy and nutritional therapy and he ended up having three-and-a-half more really great years of life. The same thing happened with my daughter’s horse, which had eye cancer. He lived for more than two years with alternative treatments after other vets wanted to put him down. I’ve also seen amazing health improvements in animals after my clients switched to raw or partly raw diets for their pets.

What are some practices that you’d like to see more animal caregivers adopt?

The most important thing is high-quality, whole-food nutrition because it’s the key to strengthening the immune system, which is largely based in the gut. Second, I recommend that, when possible, people use plant botanicals, herbs, homeopathy and other options with animals instead of drugs like antibiotics, NSAIDs or steroids. Pain can be managed with acupuncture and chiropractic, whereas pain medications can have harmful side effects, such as liver failure. Masking problems with medication doesn’t correct the problem or imbalance and the body actually deteriorates more because it’s out of alignment. I also use ozone therapy, which yields amazing results with such things as Lyme and dental disease, infections and wounds, cancer, pain, inflammation and chronic itching. At MASH we limit the use of vaccinations, which are tied to rising cancer rates in animals, by checking for antibodies after the initial shots are administered.

How can people find veterinarians who use complementary medicine?

There’s a great organization called the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, and people can visit AHVMA.org and see a directory of veterinarians and what modalities they have studied. It’s broken down by state and there are a number of holistic practitioners in Massachusetts. We’ve also created a video called Dr. Do More that’s designed to educate people about natural health for pets. It’s available on our website, MashVet.com, and it has some great information.

Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton is located at 72 W. Main St., Hopkinton. For more information, call 508-435-4077 or visit MASHVet.com.

This article appears in the July 2012 issue of MIDS

Biomes and Body Ecology

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

All of us and our animals are living organisms that contain a world of other living organisms living in harmony within us. Here is some information about Biomes and links to audio from WNPR radio.
 
There has been much talk about Biomes and the Ecology of the body and how we have over 3 trillion microbes that can live in harmony in our bodies. It has been stated that a normal human has from 2-5 pounds of these organisms in his or her bodies. Each area of our body – especially the gut, has billions of colonies of organisms that have been working together in human and animal bodies for thousands of years. As we all are aware, between 70-80 percent of our immune system comes from our gut, and therefore success is its ability to utilize the ingested materials, by-products and relations of the microbes in the GI tract.  Without balanced intestines, we have weakness of immune globulins and reduce the absorption of the needed fuels for the body to repair and mend tissue. Each antibiotic, toxic chemical, drug, pesticide and other insults can knock out that balance and be the beginning of an acute medical issue or the weakening of the body with a chronic degenerating disease.
Please listen to this fascinating radio broadcasts and hear from the scientists.

http://www.npr.org/2012/06/15/155110478/mapping-the-microbial-make-up-of-healthy-humans

 

http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/06/20/bacteria-2

 
It is a wonder how many good microbes are able to survive when they are hit by multiple antibiotics over and over again. Extinction of the good microbes hurts the body.
Here at MASH we have honored the bodies gut-health and are always trying to increase its diversity and readiness for change by having lots of probiotic, prebiotics, live food, raw foods, digestive enzymes and herbs that help broaden the fiber and flora of the gut.
It is the key to success in getting an animal into balance as we ask the body to work with each animal and allow more good nutrients to be absorbed to help the body heal and reclaim its strength. We want the animal’s immune system to be on our team to help get over the health challenges at hand. If there are ways to increase the body’s own immune supporting microbes, more power to that innate ability we seem to overlook. Are there animals that have their “Shit Together” in such a way that they are protected from the onslaught of bacteria and diseases that seem to challenge and kill some animals and humans? Why do some animals get bitten by ticks get lyme positive responses on a test but never exhibit the disease? Why do some dogs that drink water from a pond pick up Leptospirosis and others never have even a challenge? Some think it is the vaccines that can only protect. What happens to these unvaccinated dogs that do not get these diseases with the same exposure? Why do vaccinated dogs still get the diseases? There is a lot to look at.

What if some of the normal flora in the body is able to protect the body from some of these microbial insults?  Finding individual dogs and cats and even humans that have this wealth of balanced normal thriving microbes may be the answer to many problems and issues in health. More information and research needs to be done but to think that we have many healthy individuals who have lived with their Lyme, thrived and survived for years with their cancer, have never had allergies and asthma or any other chronic issues as they age, may be the resource to take a culture from their healthy gut.
Here at MASH we have even done fecal transplants by taking a fresh stool sample from a really healthy animal of the same species and given it orally to begin the re-culture of these healthy microbes. Like a starter for cheese, yogurt, or Kefir we are introducing a source of flora that we hope will re-boot the gut like rebooting your computer with the correct information.  As a donor we want animals that have had minimal vaccinations, raw diets and no/minimal antibiotic and no/minimal pesticide exposure. These individuals are hard to find but many of our clients are striving to have their pets be chosen to help and be the donors.
Sharing the basic core of the immune system is so simple?
As one who does Oxygen therapy/ Ozone therapy/O3 therapy and Hyperbaric oxygen this whole Biome theory is “right on.”  With an overgrowth of yeast (Candida and other organisms due to overuse of antibiotics) and consumption of sugars we have CO2 forming. At a party this weekend, one of my husband’s friends explained how he makes beer at home. It is so basic. He buys a mixture of hops and other ingredients and adds water and yeast and the fermentations process starts. The yeast utilizes the sugars in the brew and makes alcohol and CO2… If he needs more CO2 for his bottling he adds more artificially. So yeast plus sugar makes CO2. So we see that with abundance of yeast and sugar in the body we have production of CO2 in the gut and in the body.  Carbon Dioxide in the tissue can cause inflammation, pain, swelling and encourages cancer cell growth. With oxygen therapy we increase the O2 in the body. If given as O3/O2 rectal insufflations, we increase it even more in the gut. This allows the O2 dependent microbes a head start to regain their momentum. By giving a fecal transplant and having the recipients gut ready with quality enzymes, pre and probiotic and supply evolutionary correct foods to that animal we can have a medium that when given the new microbes from the donor there is a healthy surface and culture medium to grow, thrive and restore the gut to a more healthy and normal state.
We can take this in a crude way with statements like “Eat My Shit”  Get your Shit Together”  “My shit is better that Yours”  but however you want to say it, it basically is down to “You are what you eat ….You are what you excrete… and all the crap you have may be what is needed to help your  body survive. We need  the Oxygen for the cells with their mitochondria and all the interactions of microbes, tissues and organs to create health and survival.

Conscious Riding at Kripalu

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This summer I was able to spend time at Kripalu in Lenox MA which is in the Berkshires. I got into taking a class in Conscious Riding which was a blend of yoga meditation and connecting with a horse. What a perfect opportunity it was to have all these techniques become part of one’s riding experience.

Spending time with an animal in a deeper way can help one heal the stressors of your life as well as an added benefit of having the animal in your life. For me riding in the woods with my two standard poodles Geneva 12, and Lilihana 7 and now Missy too, who is a paint Missouri Fox trotter, is my time to reflect and just be with these kind and loving creatures.

Paul Striberry, who is a professional horseman for over 50 years teaches a holistic approach to horsemanship that encourages congruence in body, mind, and spirit. Paul’s approach to Conscious Riding supports you in seeing your horse as an SUV—Spiritual Utility Vehicle—and understanding riding as a practice of meditation in motion on the path to awakening.

The core teachings of this program are grounded in yogic philosophy: feeling the natural balance and learning to watch your fears instead of getting caught in them. In this way, We learned to
Ride beyond our edge
Expand our abilities
Met new challenges.

During the program, riding takes place at Under Mountain Farm, three miles from Kripalu. Paul had two assistance from Sandra doing her Yoga and Hardas assisting with the horse preparation.

If any of you have not been to Kripalu it is a must to have a place that is like an adult summer camp that nurtures all parts of you in your plans. The food is wonderful, served as a buffet it is organic, local and sustainable and mostly vegan. You can have Yoga classes 3 times a day and other hiking and kayaking if you want. There is time to meditate and quiet places to reflect.. One can indulge in may types of massage and spa type treatments. And yes they have some amazing courses covering many wellness topics. If you get a chance to treat yourself do so. It is an investment in yourself, so that you can be healthier then thats what you should do.

We have cancer in our pets because…

Monday, June 18th, 2012

The below article is a topic that I think should be on the minds of every individual as we ponder why so many animal are getting cancer and they are getting sicker and sicker. As a veterinarian for over 35 years I am seeing more chronically ill animals that cannot be cured as their immune systems 20120618-124943.jpgthat have failed. We are seeing this in younger and younger animals as cancer affects over 46% of dogs and 39 % of cats. The frustration that veterinarians and their caretakers feel is overwhelming. Owners ask Why? and Why can’t we help them? We are getting epigenetic damage from many of the 80,000 chemicals that are in our environment that were not there 60 years ago.

Those of us that work in holistic veterinary medicine are trying to find ways to keep these tragic failures of the health of these individual animals. As we look at the research that is in the below and now we can see that all the pesticides, toxins and unnecessary vaccinations that we have given our pets for generation after generation have done damage that has changed the genes of those pets. What our dogs grandmother got exposed to can affect multiple generations to come. Sicker and sicker, younger and younger until it is so obvious.

We all need to start to wake up and start to question all the chemicals we put on our lawns, clean our homes, spray or spot on our pets. You are what you eat and those chemical will transfer their damage to your DNA too. The animals we bring into our homes are the canaries in the coal mine. They are showing us what the future of our human family members will be. In 12 years we can see 6 generations of pets and genetic breakdown can be right in front of our face…Lets wake up and try to stop further damage and help our beloved family members more protected from toxic chemicals and environmental damage.

I say these words as a frustrated veterinarian questioning the massive numbers of cancer that come into my practice. We try to boost the immune system and try to support the healthy cells and organs so they can resist the DNA damage. We hope to make more quality life and more quality time with these very important family members.

(more…)

Lina’s Tale

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Reprinted with permission from a client…

From the Blog: Times I Remembered to Write. Last night I was looking at random videos on my computer, most of them shared a common subject- Lina, our extra-special basenji. I found a very personal one I’d taken with my old phone where I could be heard talking behind the camera filming Lina on the sofa. It was January 2009, a time when we were dealing with sadness and navigating options a few weeks after her cancer diagnosis. I’m telling Lina not to worry, that we are going to have a great year and that I would just follow her lead. She is seen confirming with her eyes and nodding in agreement. Lina nods and blinks and wrinkles her forehead in the most understanding ways when she is listening. I tell her I think she is very wise, and in watching her response, there is little room for doubt. All we really had to do was follow her lead.

Lina has impressed everyone with her continuing good health. She’s been a living miracle for years now. Generally, vets and professionals say they’ve never seen a dog do this well with her type of cancer. Dr. Margo Roman, Lina’s holistic vet told me she believes Lina’s story should be shared- people should know about this and benefit from it. She asked me to write, and I recognized that I had been waiting for her to ask.
I want to share something amazing here, the thing is, every time I start to write about Lina, I’m reminded that I thought she was amazing long before she became a medical miracle. It’s so easy to blurt out her status, she remains strong and happy and healthy, even though over 3 years ago, several vets and Tufts Veterinary Hospital gave her 3 months to live after they did a biopsy on her nasty cancer- TCC. We figured we’d do our best to beat it and figured out how to beat canine cancer by being so smart, etc., blah blah blah. It’s harder to actually know that what we’ve done is so right. Besides I only take credit for being the one to give Lina all the credit. Through the seeking of professional help and finding ourselves offered terrible options, I was empowered to find something else to do. By following my instincts and taking the lead in Lina’s care, I thought, well at least I would be trying something. I wanted our efforts to be a success, but I’ll get to that later. The thing is, the story I really want to tell about Lina is the love story. 

Two times in my life, I hugged someone when we first met and recognized a feeling of destiny. I will always remember that night Lina gave me a hug, back before she was even our dog. The only other “first hug” I hold a memory of was when I met Chris, my husband, Lina’s other daddy back in 1995. By the night we met Lina in 2003, Chris and I had just bought a house so we could get a dog. Our first project after moving in was fencing in the backyard so we’d be ready when the right one came along. We scanned the listings on a basenji rescue website. One contact led us to Lina. She was four years old. I saw her and I knew, but Lina wasn’t even the dog that her owner, Angel Smith wanted to give up for adoption that night. She had two female basenjis and had to let one go. They were feuding such that there would be physical violence if one or the other dog wasn’t crated. The dog up for adoption was the black and white basenji -another female… We’d already heard their story on the phone. On sight, I knew the red and white one with the sensitive expression- Lina, was our dog.

Angel said that someone would have to offer a really perfect home for her to give Lina up again. You see, Angel had already given her up a few months earlier to a woman who changed her mind after keeping her a month and didn’t like Lina and returned her (which I will never understand, but am forever grateful.) Lina had been given back. I told Angel with no hesitation that we could offer Lina the perfect home, I agreed to every stipulation, including keeping ours a one-dog house.

We were granted the privilege of taking Lina out for our first date that night. As we drove away from Angel’s house for our ice cream date, Lina wrapped her head and arm around my shoulder and sighed the sweetest sigh in my ear. I will never forget that hug. It was a rare moment of expression. We went on with the evening and afterward we all agreed on our return at the end of the week to bring her home with us for a trial weekend.

Over the next few days I thought how funny that Chris and I had been having an ongoing discussion of dog names all summer and one of our female name favorites was “Angelina”- I was having thoughts of destiny…

Lina came for the weekend, it went well and I called Angel that Sunday and told her I really didn’t see the point in returning Lina only to begin the transition later. We were ready to offer Lina a “forever home”. Instead of returning her, we agreed that Angel would visit our house the following week and we could work out all the details for Lina. That’s how she became our girl.

Since then, Lina is central to our family, including our holidays- especially Christmas, vacations- especially going to Provincetown. She is comically well behaved dining out at patio restaurants. She loves the sun and sand on the beach. She relishes the change of pace and togetherness of vacationing together- truly a shining example of openness to the blessings of a good vacation. We’ve already booked our rental for June 2012. We always enjoy sharing the anticipation of holidays with her. Lina knows that we are grateful to have her, thankful for presence, and appreciate her specialness. There are many details to share about our life together and the role she fills in our lives, but I want to be clear about Lina’s confidence and sense of importance in our family. She is loved and appreciated and she knows it. January 2009, the shattering news came from the Oncologist at Tufts Veterinary Hospital confirming Lina’s diagnosis of TCC- transitional cell carcinoma. The biopsy results left no question about it she had inoperable cancer in the bladder and it was likely to spread. They gave her 3 to 5 months to live- without chemotherapy, or with chemotherapy- best case scenario, 5 to 7 months. Possible treatment options were unpromising and risky with inevitable side-effects.

The vets at Tufts left little room for hope. It was going to be terrible. I told them I just couldn’t believe it. She was so healthy- the only indication was a slight change in pattern when she urinates. She didn’t seem sick in any way. She was 9 years old at the time and energetic and had never been sick a day in her life. The vet said, “I know it’s hard to believe, she does seem strong and healthy, we’ve seen this many times. She’ll live for as long as she can pee- for as long as she can get her urine out. Then, at some point the tumors will grow too large, block the flow and she won’t be able to pee. Then she dies in 3 days. As cancer’s go, this is a really terrible one.”

What could I say but no? No all around- no to everything they offered, no to 3 months, and no to this being everything we could do. I accepted a prescription for meloxicam, an anti-inflamatory medication. After adjusting the dosage down, it didn’t seem to hurt anything. Chris and I went over and over all their treatment options for months, sometimes agreeing about what to do, sometimes not. We considered everything that Western Veterinary medicine had to offer and nothing ever sounded right to me for Lina? How could I opt to make a choice like chemotherapy or radiation or inserting a urethra tube that would have risks and side-effects and immediately weaken her when she was strong and healthy and seemed fine? I just wanted to keep her that way. No matter what I did, it sounded like it was to be the end of a lot of things for us (-but it wasn’t.) How could it be that we weren’t going to have a great summer together? (-but we did.) Chris and I were stunned and hurt by the news. We left in tears. The vets at Tufts were very convincing. Do I wish I’d covered my ears? -Maybe it was the harshness of the news that sprung us into action to find a better way to give Lina every advantage. Could we have done as well without fear?

I was going to ensure her the perfect diet and exercise- walks 2x a day. One thing was clear. Lina hated going to the vet, she was going to tremble and show her misery every time we took her to an appointment. All along I was gaining a wealth of information and advice online. Different things had worked for different dogs. It was clear that Lina would benefit from a mostly grain-free diet. Beyond that, I wanted to follow my instincts but I didn’t know where to start. I scheduled a consult at MASH with a holistic/homeopathic veterinarian to point us in the right direction. I was hoping Lina would show her wisdom and appear more relaxed through the appointment, but no such luck. She shook and trembled in horror as we entered the door.

However, we left with renewed confidence along with Lina’s first bottles of natural supplements and began adding them to her every meal. We also learned about some alternative optional therapies for Lina. I knew that I needed to do something. Doing nothing would have felt terribly wrong to me.

I don’t know why I asked Dr. Kabler at that visit about the little figure on the wall shelf marked with acupuncture points. It was for tong ren she told me- “really out there”- an energetic form of acupuncture. It sounded very strange to me, but in the coming days I found that I kept thinking about it. I was glad that I had grabbed a business card for it on the way out. I was intrigued at the possibility of tong ren as part of the spiritual piece of helping Lina face cancer. Not only did it fit the criteria of treating Lina at home, but I read some remarkable testimonials about successful results in treatment. So we contacted the name on the card- Marcia Zais. I could tell Lina responded to tong ren from the very first treatment. We started with one or two times a week. About a year later the tools for tong ren fell into my hands and I learned enough to participate in the practice. It’s so normal for us now that I tend to forget that it’s “really out there”. We have a relaxing routine doing her therapy while listening to animal healing music.

So, over three years of all of this now, it’s hard to call to mind all aspects of the journey. I’ve learned invaluable lessons about fear and dealing with fear and working through fear. Lina’s symptoms have varied from little or nothing and to very concerning at times. For much of the second year she appeared to drip blood in her urine, but she never acted sick or uncomfortable or weak. I often say that we are doing what we can but when it comes right down to it, Lina gets the credit. Whatever it is she has to deal with, she is dealing with it.

Then one day last fall, Lina was sick. She appeared swollen and weak after we’d left her home with a babysitter for a two-night getaway. I could see that she wasn’t doing so well on our return and she worsened through a sleepless night. Chris wanted to take her to Tufts in the middle of the night, which I just couldn’t see as productive or helpful for her. I wanted to hold her through the night and call Marcia Zais (animal communicator) in the morning. My plan worked out well for Lina, Marcia identified Lina’s discomfort as not being the cancer, but an infection. We got her in to see Dr. Roman (holistic vet) later that morning and it took little convincing to start her on antibiotics. Lina responded almost immediately and hasn’t been sick since.

As for the specifics with changing up treatments and supplements over time- I leave it to instinct. One supplement with multiple types of algae in it that was effective in treating survivors of the Chernobyl disaster, as well as cancer survivors was central for a long time. Now we’re doing cranberry extract with a couple of nutritional ones and regular drops of “Tinkle Tonic”, before that it was an essiac tincture. Certain recommended healthy options appealed to me as they sounded like they would taste good for her. Her after-walkies snack every morning consists of 2% yogurt with fish oil. Lina has always loved to eat a variety of healthy foods including fruits and vegetables and I didn’t want to get to adding so much stuff to her food to compromise her pleasure of eating. She loves real food and she gets it. Meat, fish, eggs and vegetables (although we also use high-quality canned sometimes), fresh vegetables (raw green beans are her favorite) combined with rotating supplements, two walks per day along with regular tong ren treatments.

I’ve learned a lot about love and energy, visualization and anticipation, and faith and belief too. Every event becomes a milestone. Birthdays. Holidays. Christmas. Summer Vacation. I’d never have guessed it, but these really were to be the best years. Lina has blown away her odds for survival and continues to live a very happy life. I will forever be inspired by her success and her energy.

Dr. Margo’s Latest Article

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Read Dr. Margo’s latest article over at Natural Awakenings.

“Veterinarians trained in healing modalities like acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, herbology and nutrition make the best choices for those seeking optimum care for pets. These modalities can often be used to turn a pet’s health around when traditional and pharmaceutical methods fail. At home, there are many things that pet caregivers can do to jumpstart the process of treating animals holistically.”

The Story of Champ

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

On January 30 2004, Champ a 26 year old Chestnut Morgan Gelding was taken to Tufts Veterinary School and several events happened on that visit. I went there for an eye removal for cancer. Champ at 16 was given up to my daughter and I due to his severe skin infections allergies and heaves. Within months of treatment with holistic care he became a beloved pet and my daughter’s show horse.

He had cancer in his eye for 6 years and it had not been an issue causing pain until Jan 15 of ’04 and then he needed to have it out. When he was taken to Tufts they insisted he had cancer everywhere and needed to be euthanized immediately. While there they slandered my care and insisted that he was dying. The veterinary school doctors could not see any other way but euthanasia.

He was taken from there and got his eye surgery elsewhere. He lived 2 ½ years more, remarkably jumping in horse shows and enjoying his rides through the forest.

During that same visit at Tufts another pet caretaker had gotten permission for me to give my opinion on little Moto, a dachshund, about his kidney failure. When I was in there looking at the dog I was pulled out and told by someone,
“We don’t believe in anything that you do and if the dog gets better it is because of what we do and nothing you did.“

Even though many double blind cases were presented in 4 years of Complementary and Alternative courses were taught at the school. Both as former faculty, and as an attendee of these classes I had used many of those modalities on Champ.

Meanwhile, they used the surgery suite for a different horse. He was having exploratory surgery in the surgery suite for colic. When they found no surgical reason for it, they woke him up and dropped him. Breaking his leg, and then he was euthanized. I was pushed into a room and told to shut up after I saw what had occurred.

When I asked if anyone had even offered the owners of this horse any alternative intervention on the colic case, and mentioned the success of another university using acupuncture to treat colic, the answer again was to produce these double blind studies. Even though many cases had been presented at Tufts, I was still treated with disrespect and unprofessionally.

The proof of the better care was the return of Champ to a full life. The surgeon who eventually took Champs eye could not believe they refused to do the surgery and only offered euthanasia.

I wanted a peer review from the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association. It didn’t happen until over 3 years later, as they managed to side step the issue not wanting to confront Tufts.

Fifteen months after the incident Tufts was having a lecture on “The Hazards of Feeding Raw Food to Your Pets”. The lecture was advertised to the general public as a free lecture open to all. It was not Continuing Education and had no fee. In fact a public lecture did not have a record of who was attending. Nevertheless, at the entrance to the event I was threatened with arrest and handcuffing for just coming to the door of the lecture.

My knowledge that Tufts gets state and federal funding and that their nutrition department is paid by dog food companies must have been something they wanted to keep quiet. The lecture opposed raw diets. They thought that somehow my attendance would be so threatening to them that they violated my civil rights of Freedom of Speech.

When I told the Dean that they were stopping freedom of speech and I was not afraid to sue them. He said “You sue us we will squish you like a bug. We have so much money and such deep pockets we will outspend and hire more attorneys and say terrible things about you“.

I did sue the anyways. The ACLU even wrote a brief in support of the case. On the date which the statute limitations was to run out, since no peer review ever happened, I filed a suit against Tufts.

It has gone all the way to the Supreme Court Of Massachusetts where it failed due to the veterinary bill being an issue. That was never why I was treated so unprofessionally and the freedom of speech was not addressed. So we are appealing. The case has more specifics and details in previous blogs.