Posts Tagged ‘emergency care’

Micro-Biome Restoration Therapy

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Micro-Biome Restoration Therapy (“MBRT”) or Fecal Transplantation (FT) will soon become common protocol in the re-establishment of the GI tract microbiome in dogs and cats. A single human has over 100  trillion microbes throughout their body, equivalent to two-to-five pounds of varied microscopic life. Quantitatively, we are more microbes than “human” as prokaryotes are so much smaller and less complex than human cells. image

When we use probiotics to support gut health we are using 1-20 species of microorganisms.  According to Dr. Alexander Khorut, M.D., a gastroenterologist at University of Minnesota, he has said that we have from 300-500 species from the mouth to the anus, not including various sub-species. When significant gastrointestinal  problems occur, the microorganisms need to be replaced. A technique which has the hundreds of species available at once is called MBRT. Micro-Biome Restoration Therapy may be the most efficient way to accomplish that goal. If 85 percent of our immune system comes from our gut, then a lack of these normal symbiotic microbes could be the reason for failure of the immune system resulting in disease, cancer and autoimmune issues.

In dogs, eating of feces or copraphagia is a normal behavior of dogs that is frowned about by pet owners. But it is normal. In the wild after a canine or feline kills its prey the first part of the eating starts in the abdomen where intestines and visceral organs are injested. The animal receives all this pre and probiotics with the digestion of the digested plant material that give them fiber and microbes. Is there an innate need for animals to seek out stool because they are looking to support their gut health? image

There are multiple peer reviewed articles that have showed that both oral and rectal infusion of fecal material in humans has been able to reintroduce a balanced GI tract and stop a clostridium difficile overgrowth. There are so many more beneficial microbes that have yet to be discovered and appreciated.

Most recently was an article in the New York Times  When Pills Fail This Option Provides a Cure. The article talks about the fecal transplant in New England Journal of Medicine Article January 16, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/health/disgusting-maybe-but-treatment-works-study-finds.html?pagewanted=2&ref=newenglandjournalofmedicine

Here at MASH – Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton, we have done over 30 MBRT’s/ fecal transplants on dogs and cats. The results are so positive that we want to share these cases and encourage other veterinarians about how this is such a positive option. We have also done supportive nutrition and have included ozone therapy to increase the O2 in the body and allow more positive O2 utilization.

We always introduce the MBRT to animals that have had priming of the gut flora with digestive enzymes, probiotics, additional whole food glandulars and raw meat diets. Giving all the benefits of bringing the new microbiomes into a new home which has some of the comforts of the original host may allow the balance to survive. Some of our cases have had such a huge positive difference with one dosage, that once was all they needed.

Some have had a two week improvement and then seem to be better but not as good as the initial implant. We are thinking that like probiotic therapy it is done after two weeks and we are seeing the need to repeat the implant. Therefore, caretakers will take home the MRBT material and keep it frozen, removing pieces to be given 1-2 times a week. We are still trying to figure out how long and how much is needed to get a gut back in balance.

We give glandulars to animals to support the glands that are in need. We give prebiotics and probiotics to support the gut’s flora. But if we could give possibly the normal flora and the pre and probiotic in a form that would be consistent, that would naturally be the best method. We might simply use a healthy donor to replenish another individual’s micro ecology.

 

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.

The Thing That Kiku Ate

Friday, March 30th, 2012

With two happy, healthy, holistic pomeranians, I never expected an unforeseen disaster to strike my puppy Kiku.

Kiku is an almost two year old pure bred pomeranian. She is a robust, healthy little jock. She is normally smart, and knows many words, as well as tricks and games with toys. Suddenly one night last week she vomited. The usual remedies for the sensitive tummies of poms just weren’t doing much for her. I could see lip smacking and her tongue, which was always hung out in a big smile, wasn’t out at all. She couldn’t stand to pick up toys in her mouth, I knew that it was nausea. We were beside ourselves with worry.

Kiku Day After Surgery


Small dog breeds are special and need understanding and a vet who is willing to tailor their care to their individual needs. When we brought her into MASH, she was treated with a combination of conventional and holistic modes. She got acupuncture, homeopathy and ozone, and even a dollop of vaseline. Then the nasty brown vomit came up. She needed to get that stuff out of her. When Dr. Roman examined her, she could feel a lump in Kiku’s intestines. I was pretty sure that Kiku had eaten something wrong, and that there was a blockage or obstruction. Sure enough, a chain of events was revealed by surgery.

When the really gross mess of stuff was removed it all became clear what had happened. Our big Maine Coon cat had eaten some thread, and hacked up a big long hairball, which Kiku then ate. Not one of her smarter moments… When it was taken out, the smelly mass was the size of a brillo pad. And that part of her intestine was blackened and necrotic.

If Dr. Roman hadn’t stepped in proactively, I am sure that we would have lost Kiku. I was impressed by how the staff of women at MASH all worked on Kiku. They were like a musical quartet, moving in unison. Anticipating what was needed, going from one treatment to the next, they handled Kiku with love and expertise which I could tell came from long practice together.

Dr. Roman included us in the whole process. It is such a refreshing change from bad experiences we have had in the past with other vets who are abrupt and dismissive of the input of pet parents. The treatments that we chose together were perfect for her. We were not isolated from her for even a minute. I feel that is so important for small dogs. They are so tiny and sensitive, that they can become severely depressed when away from their people. Many poms won’t eat unless their parents are home.

The surgery went amazingly well. My partner was allowed to be in the room to observe. He said that he was fascinated watching Dr. Margo’s hands as she did the surgery. The cutting and sewing that she did was to ensure that the sutures would stay in place and heal well. Seven inches of intestines had to come out! She had what is called an intestinal anastomosis.

Since I am squeamish, I spent the surgery time meditating on the Reiki symbols of Hon Sha Se Zonen, and the Daikomio. I pulled in the healing energy of the universe, and communicated with her cells on a quantum level. I brought in white and pink light, and suffused the entree property at MASH in a pink glow to heal, energize and protect everyone, and Kiku. As I sat in the waiting area, a white cloud appeared up above in the skylight of the open and airy space. It looked to me like Kiku, curled up in a ball smiling. I finished up the distance Reiki, and then did more hands on Reiki with the Master symbols on her during recovery.

We took her home shortly after surgery, and Kiku did not appear to be in any pain. The ozone and other integrative remedies and homeopathic medicines did all the pain management without using harsh narcotic drugs.

Instead of drugging her into somnolence, the pain was taken care of and she is conscious enough to show us just how she is doing. The cycle of drugging and doing repeated unnecessary tests is forestalled by using integrative medicine. Why aren’t more vets aren’t doing healthier natural remedies?

They used the ozone treatments to help reduce pain and to lavage her mouth and intestines. The ozonated saline was given as a gastric lavage as well. She was given the ozonated saline subcutaneously. She was also given rectal ozone gas which was absorbed immediately into the blood vessels of her colon and into her liver helping to detoxify her. The ozone helped reduce the swelling of the gut and brought down
the inflammation therefore reducing pain and allowing O2 to return to the tissue. This sped up the healing process.

I have used homeopathy too in my own life and experiences, and we use many of them for ourselves and our dogs. Nux Vomica is a real goto helper for vomiting. Arnica and Bellis peranis reduce pain.

Kiku had her operation at 4:30 PM and at 10:00 PM she was home, and able to run down the hallway faster than I can. We are firm believers in home care when ever possible. We are giving Kiku her conventional antibiotics as well as her homeopathy, and Reiki. She has her big sister Saki to help her feel normal. Home care is so much better than leaving a dog behind in a cage. For poms who can become heartbroken with separation anxiety, home care is ideal. She would have still been in the hospital on pain meds for probably 2-3 days.

Here in her own environment she immediately went back to her usual routines. Fourteen hours after her surgery we were shocked to see her get up at her usual time the next morning, grab a ball, and throw it at us to play her usual game before work.

She did have one more hurdle to overcome during her recovery. Some pomeranians can be very sensitive to anesthesia. She became stiffened up during her sleep and nap times which caused her to have subluxating patella in her knees which she never had before. She had a hard time with shaking and getting back on her feet until we began giving her homeopathic Phosphorus. After that she was up and around the next day. 

For her personality it was important to notice that just lying around in her bed wasn’t working for her. She wanted her Ball. She has about a dozen of the mini size Kong Air Dog tennis balls that she loves. So even though she could not stand up on her own, if I placed her on all four feet she would catch the ball. I began with ten minute sessions three times a day. Then four times and then she increased it to an hour three times a day. Her play became her physical therapy. After that she was awake and napping at her normal times like her big sister. Each day she added more and more of her normal behaviors. There were a few nights where I had to stay up and watch over her when she had trouble getting up and getting to a newspaper to pee. I could not imagine leaving her alone all night. I kept an old rubber hot water bottle with her at all times and we kept monitoring her temperature until it was normal. She never ran a fever throughout the whole process, her temp tended to go low.

To help her intestines come back online after so long without solid food I gave her one teaspoon of chicken baby food mixed with one teaspoon of plain organic yogurt with one Nutrigest, one eighth teaspoon of vitamin C and one eighth teaspoon of hip and joint supplement. I gave her half a teaspoon of that at a time from a food syringe, each one separated by fifteen minutes. She could have six or eight teaspoons of that a day to start with. She began to eat finely chopped boiled chicken, mixed with soft boiled egg yolk, with yogurt and her supplements as a wet meal in addition to the baby food paste. I gave her these meals when everyone else was eating to keep her in the rhythm of the pack.

After two or three days she was eating the the soft chopped meals on her own. I switched to one teaspoon of cooked pumpkin, one teaspoon of cooked apple and one teaspoon of the yogurt and added the Nutrigest and supplements to keep her regular. I gave her this pumpkin apple yogurt in the food syringe. She and her sister both liked it so much I will make it for them often.

Pomeranians are so tiny that when they get sick it can be really difficult for them. Luckily for Kiku everyone did everything they could, and we used remedies and modalities from all around the world, to help her back up and running again, and so her story has a happy ending!

Jerky Treats Made in China Still Unsafe

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Each year millions of dollars are spent at holiday time on our pets. Here’s a reminder to choose carefully while shopping. Make your own treats this year or knit a sweater!

The FDA continues to get complaints concerning dog kidney damage as a consequence of eating jerky treats made in China. 

The current contaminant is not known. Previously, melamine, a type of plastic used in manufacturing, was identified in the last pet food recalls in 2007.

Signs of the recent toxicities are loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and thirst changes.

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.

Success at the New England Pet Expo

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Dr. Margo Roman

The New England Pet Expo that was in Wilmington, MA brought out almost 10,000 people and pets. I saw everything from huge mastiffs to people with parrots on their shoulders. At this expo there were many entertaining demos and wonderful animal groups. It was great to see so many animal lovers who were out this past Saturday September 24, 2011.

Our non-profit organization called the Center for Integrative Veterinary Care (CIVC) had a booth to highlight our Dr.DoMore documentary preview and the Dr.ShowMore Calendar. The 2011 Dr.ShowMore Calendar has been shown at about twenty different veterinary conferences and expos. By now that door – opening calendar has also been taken to eight different conferences and expos for humans. It has been to the Sundance Film Festival 2011.

The Dr.ShowMore Calendar has even gone to Thailand where it opened up many eyes, and even the doors of the veterinary

Sujita the Royal Cat

schools in Thailand. As well as the continuing education of the Thai Veterinarians. It even gave me the opportunity to treat Sujita the Cat owned by The Royal Family of Thailand, and the Princess. It was such a honor to be able to try to help the Royal cat of Thailand with acupuncture and homeopathy.

At our booth, we had the last copies of the Dr.ShowMore Calendar. Originally 5,000 were made, and we only have about 100 copies left. Someday they could be collector’s items. We still have some left for those lucky few who want them. The information in them is so worth the $10.00 cost, which is all donated to our non-profit.

Simone Hnilicka and Ludvig her dog

Information like : homeopathic remedies for emergencies, acupuncture points for common ailments, and useful herbs to give your pets. There are book resources and website lists to give readers many more options. The smiles that we got from people viewing the calendar are contagious.To laugh and have fun reading topics that can help you, your family and your pets is so valuable.

As Integrative Medicine becomes mainstream healthcare, both people and animals will benefit and healthcare costs will go down. To empower people to prevent disease and keep their bodies healthy with nutrition and healthful preventative care, will save lives and save healthcare.

Dr. Margo Roman Attends 2011 NYC Sept 11 Ground Zero Event

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Dr. Margo Roman returns with her story about her trip to the 2011 NYC Sept 11 Ground Zero Event:

I just returned from NYC Sept 11 Ground Zero event. It was very somber and I found myself reflecting about what could have been if we did not react with a call to WAR instead of trying to see why there are people who hate us. If we had looked at how we could bring the world together to jointly work for the global health and environmental concerns of these people and their grudge against the United States, I feel things would be different. We would not have spent three trillion dollars on War and placed the World Economy in crisis. Looking back at what could have been done, could inspire change. Why can’t we start thinking that way NOW? With a Cancer epidemic in the US and around the world, in reality we need to come together a realize that the health of our children and family and friends is the priority. We should redirect our actions instead of attempting control of the world with fear and weapons. That was what I brought away from that experience.

I also went to Liberty Park In New Jersey where I was invited to attend the event organized by the group Finding One Another which sponsored a 10th anniversary tribute to working dog teams, veterinarians and VMATs who served during 9/11. I was there to help honor the Search and Rescue dog Tsunami, who is in the Sept 2011calendar. Her life was saved with Integrative Veterinary Medicine. It was such a moving presentation.

They had the VMAT team there from World Trade Center. They even had Rene Carlson the AVMA president. We re-connected as I had given her a Dr.ShowMore calendar and a copy of Dr. DoMore video at the North American Veterinary Conference NAVC in January. I was cheered that she had loved it and remembered. I also gave her a lithograph that was done to honor Tsunami’s work at World Trade Center in the days following 9/11. We also gave Rene Carlson the AVMA president an original clay paw print of Tsunami.

Dr. Margo Roman with AVMA President Renee Carlson

I reminded Dr.Carlson about our lengthy conversation about acupuncture and other modalities in the curriculum of the veterinary schools. I told her that we are working on a 2012 version and we have many wonderful doctors volunteering. The VMAT group from 9/11 said they would do a picture for our new Dr ShowMore Calendar too.

Tsunami, Marilyn Wilson, Dr. Margo Roman

Tsunami found many bodies and she and Hal worked at ground zero for days. Tsumani’s handler, Hal Wilson died on May 4, 2011 from cancer. His wife, Marilyn, who has taken such great care of her was also quite moved as she was one of the very few dogs still alive. They had a parade of some of the remaining dog heroes, preceded by a firefighters band and followed by Search and Rescue and FEMA dogs from all over the country. Another moving moment was watching the veterinarians that had been caring for the dogs at WTC during the days after. I had such a wonderful surprise. One of my classmates from Tuskegee University Veterinary Class of 1978, Michael Shorter was one of those veterinarians and I had not seen him since graduation 33 years ago. It was such a positive karmic moment in such a somber event.

Lt. David Lim, Dr. Margo Roman


They also had Honored Lt. David Lim whose dog Sirius, an explosive detector K-9 for the Port authority of New York and New Jersey. Sirius, a yellow lab, was in the basement of Tower 1 at the WTC. When the first plane hit Lt Lim ran upstairs and started helping in the evacuation and was not able to get his partner before towers fell. They started a Sirius Courage Award which was given posthumously to Petty Officer 1st class John Douangdara and his dog Bart who were killed in a helicopter crash on Aug 6, 2011, They also gave this Sirius Award to Sergeant Zainah Creamer who was a military working K-9 handler (who died from an IED) with her dog Jofa who survived a land mine attack in Afghanistan. They also honored Dr. Cynthia Otto who started the Dept. at University of Penn that cares for and tracks the health of Search and Rescue dogs and their handlers.

Tsunami

Friday, September 9th, 2011

We are especially honored to have Marilyn Wilson as a guest writer on the 9/11 tenth anniversary.

Michael Hingson, right, with his yellow labrador Roselle and Tsunami with Hal Wilson

Tsunami and Hal worked valiantly at Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. They would not save anyone. When Hal first laid eyes on the twisted steel he knew no one could survive such horror. The team brought closure to many families but no one was found alive. But Tsunami saved Hal.

Hal enlisted in the USMC and served in Vietnam and Laos with the 1st Battalion 9th Marines – The Walking Dead. Fortunately, he returned home but his life was never to be the same again.

Our current wars have made us aware of PTSD. Though there is documentation of the affliction dating back to Biblical xtimes, Vietnam veterans knew nothing of PTSD and no treatment or support was offered by our government. Suck it up and get on with your life.

An avid reader of literature and history, Hal once hoped for a career as a teacher. Instead he drifted across the country and in and out of jobs.

I met Hal over 20 years ago; a sweet, bright, compassionate man who still carried the war in his heart and mind. I urged him to seek help at the VA hospital but Hal said he was fine and could deal with things. He was a Marine. Hal self-medicated.

I introduced Hal to dogs. He was immediately smitten, fascinated by their intelligence and loyalty.

We traveled a bumpy road; lost jobs and tortured nights tempered by his tender nature.

We lost our old dog Jill. Hal and I had separated, again. I went to find a new pup to fill the emptiness. Hal and I were hikers. In the woods, Hal experienced peace. We often talked about training a dog to do search and rescue work. I would find a working dog breed. When Hal recovered we would train that dog together I thought.

I knew of a breeder of German shepherd dogs who recently had a litter. I looked the teeny pups over and we then sat in her kitchen to examine the pedigree papers. Under the table was a young dog – 11 weeks old.

“What’s with this dog?” I asked. The breeder told me the pup was not for sale.

“Why not?” I asked.

The breeder told me that the pup was special, the last to be born, delivered in the back seat of a Lincoln on the way to the vet.

“I held the puppy in my hands and her little feet were moving like she was running real hard,” the breeder related. “I told my husband as we drove to the vet, ‘This puppy is going to go places!’”

I stared at the pup, who got up and curled around my feet. I left the breeder that afternoon with a puppy who was not for sale and destined to go places. I called her Tsunami because she entered my heart like a huge, powerful wave.

Hal came back home again with promises to change. He was always sincere, but the nightmares continued. We forged on and trained Tsunami to find people.

We often trained with another Vietnam veteran Major Paul Morgan who worked with K9s during the war and owned a security business that utilized dogs.

On September 11, 2001 I arrived at work and saw the news on the television. The world would never be the same again. Hal was working as a carpenter in the Hamptons. Cell phones were not the norm in those days and Hal would not learn of the attacks until he went to a bar with the guys at lunchtime. He saw the planes hit the towers and immediately came home. He packed his SAR gear as we watched the horror unfold over and over again on the television. Early the next morning Hal and Tsunami, Paul and Cody boarded the Long Island Railroad and went to NYC to do what they could.

The combat seasoned duo were put to work to look for the lost. At one point, Paul saw a Franciscan monk on the pile walking about and blessing the rescue workers. Paul asked him to bless the dogs. He did and then blessed Hal and Paul.

I recall seeing Hal and Tsunami on the evening news. They were dirty and looked exhausted. Hal had a haunted look about his eyes. Maybe this was not a good idea I thought.

Hal spoke of the smell. It was the same in Nam he said. Hal’s nightmares worsened along with the drinking.

In time rescue teams from all over the world went home. Since we lived near the city we were often invited to K9 award ceremonies. Hal and Tsunami received praise, medals, plaques and many, many hugs and tears of gratitude. Hal was spit on by his fellow Americans when he returned from Vietnam. It was over 30 years late but Hal was being thanked, finally. Hal and Tsunami were heroes. Tsunami continued her training – Hal’s battle buddy. She slept by his side, she peered deep into his soul. They were aware, ready, prepared.

Prior to 9-11 we were attempting to raise money for a memorial dedicated to War Dogs. We were too aware of what happened to the faithful K9s who served in Vietnam. Our attempts to raise money were not terribly successful but after 9-11 the dogs were finally getting their due recognition. And so was Hal, but the nightmares continued.

Hal and Tsunami and Paul and Cody were asked to lead the procession of the animals on the Feast of St. Francis at St. John the Divine Cathedral in NYC. After the ceremony Hal met with the Episcopal Bishop of NY who blessed Tsunami. Hal asked the Bishop to hear his confession and asked for atonement for the lives he took so many years ago in South East Asia.

Tsunami curled up close to Hal when the nightmares returned. She was the only living being who could get that close during those times. He held her and rocked himself back to xsleep.

Hal injured his foot while on the “pile.” I asked him to try to see someone about PTSD. He was starting to think about accepting the fact that the war injured him; not with a bullet or shrapnel but with a mental wound that would not heal. He saw that Paul, who was in treatment for PTSD, was growing stronger since their rescue and recovery work at Ground Zero, while he himself was plummeting. He began seeking help. He started going to meetings. He visited the chapel at the hospital.

The following year, Hal and Tsunami were asked back to the cathedral to again lead the procession. This time Hal was sober when he led Tsunami down the long aisle of the cathedral.

Tsunami continued still to lie by his side but now the sleep was deep and peaceful.

The War Dog Memorial was erected and dedicated. Tsunami was the model, Hal her handler. Tsunami and Hal went on many more missions searching for the lost.

In 2006, Hal and I retired and moved to the Northern Adirondacks. Hal joined St. Thomas Episcopal Church and attended healing classes. Like Tsunami, Hal was a savior, a rescuer. Hal, accompanied by Tsunami, gave talks about PTSD to veteran’s groups, attended retreats for veterans returning home from war, and continued SAR work deep in the forests and mountains. Hal and Tsunami …battle buddies and rescuers, saving the lost.

Hal died at home on May 4 of this year after a fierce, short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family and of course his battle buddy Tsunami.

Tsunami is aging. She was the product of traditional veterinary medicine for half of her life. Over vaccination, numerous treatments of antibiotics and steroids, commercial dog foods were her bane. And a search dog works hard and many times in hostile environments. She suffered from tickborne diseases, arthritis and heart disease. Fortunately, with the help of alternative medicine and fine holistic veterinarians like Margo Roman, DVM, Tsunami is enjoying her retirement.

On the 10th Anniversary of 9-11, Tsunami and I will attend a ceremony at Liberty State Park (Findingoneanother.org) honoring the work of the K9 SAR teams and so many more rescue and recovery workers who shed sweat and tears during the exhaustive search and recovery operations following September 11, 2001.

Marilyn Wilson

All About Irritable Bowel: Solving it Naturally, Who Needs Drugs?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Peppermint

Irritable bowel is a common medical issue in both animals and humans. By looking at the cause of the issue and then strengthening the gut, one can actually bring the case to cure. The intestinal tract provides about 70% of the immune system’s support. It also is intricately controlled by the nervous system. Moreover, the GI tract depends significantly on the live flora or naturally occurring bugs or bacteria in the gut. Treating the GI tract naturally allows the body to reboot itself and regain intestinal health. On the other hand, not allowing the body to fight its own battle is a set-up for chronic conditions and lifelong dependence on drug therapy with all its side effects and long-term damage.
Just to review the GI anatomy, we first have the mouth with the salivary glands and the physical mastication of the teeth and jaws. In humans, saliva plays an important part in that it contains amylase, which helps convert starch to the simple sugar maltose. Unlike the saliva of humans, the saliva of dogs and cats really only supplies lubrication for the passage of food and does not have any significant enzymatic activity. In addition to supplying lubrication, the saliva helps in removing heat from the body, as does the panting process. Another important part of the GI tract is the esophagus, a muscular tube that propels the food, after the swallowing, from the mouth to the stomach. With the peristalsis wave, the bolus is pushed through the relaxed lower esophageal sphincter into the stomach, and then the sphincter is closed to prevent reflux. (more…)

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…)