Archive for May, 2011

Alternative & Holistic Medicine: A second chance for dogs and pets

If your pet has a recurrent or chronic disease that has not responded to the best efforts of conventional medicine why not give alternative medicine / holistic medicine a chance to show what it can do. Recurrent ear infection, skin allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, and osteo-arthritis are just a few of the many chronic diseases that have conventionally required continual drug therapy to suppress symptoms which have been reducing the pets quality of life. These drugs may be temporarily successful at reducing symptoms but their long term use often results in side effects that may make the use of these drugs of questionable value.

Because alternative medicine takes a more holistic view point in its quest for healing it may focus on an organ system that appears to have no relationship to the symptoms that are being addressed. Since alternative medicine sees all organ systems as connected its therapy is often geared to using modalities that affect the organism as a whole rather than a drug geared to treat a symptom or the organ system where the symptoms occur.

When alternative medicine feels it must directly address symptoms the use of herbs, homeopathic remedies, specific nutrients, and plant produced hormones will accomplish the task with minimal side effects. Keep in mind that many of our most celebrated drugs were originally isolated from plants but then were concentrated and/or synthesized in laboratories. The extraction of active ingredient from the plant and the isolation of it from the other synergistic balancing chemicals found in the intact herb is what makes a drug more likely to produce side effects. Because drug production isolates and concentrates what it believes to be the “active ingredient” it looses the safety net that is present when using the whole herb with its less concentrated, better balanced mix of chemicals.

Alternative health care professionals believe that the pet owner should play an integral part in the healing of their pet. The practitioner believes that a partnership with the pet owner is necessary for the most rapid and successful healing to occur. In order for the pet owner to serve as an effective member of this healing partnership they must thoroughly understand their pets problem and the plan for healing. Consequently,  the holistic practitioner must schedule longer appointments to allow for client education and to answer all the pet owners questions.

Alternative veterinarians believe that inflammation resulting from nutritional and environmental toxicity in combination with nutritional deficiencies is one of the very basic causes for ill health. Minimizing toxin intake and maximizing toxin excretion is a very important aspect of holistic healing for health and healing.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,
Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, Grosse Pointe, Romeo and
Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Flint, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Cryosurgery For Dogs and Cats: Freeze it don’t cut it

Cryosurgery is a surgical technique which utilizes liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide to freeze unwanted tissue and consequently destroys it. The tissue which is frozen may take up to 4 weeks to fall off or dissolve but fortunately there is very little discomfort to the pet during this process. Because the surgery does not require cutting and suturing the procedure may be performed with a local anesthetic and/or mild sedation — no general anesthesia is required. The fact that a pet need not be anesthetized for cryosurgery is a great advantage when working an older pet whose liver, kidney and heart may not be in the best of health. Cryosurgery is also a big advantage when attempting to remove a very vascular tumor that would bleed excessively using conventional surgery. Cryosurgery is performed with a special cryosurgery unit that freezes the tissue using either a nitrous oxide or liquid nitrogen probe or spray gun. “Cryo” is generally used on smaller growths and on growths which would be difficult to cut out and suture closed, i.e. wart like skin tumors, malignant oral tumors (squamous cell carcinomas) or tumors on the lower portion of an animal’s leg. The procedure is, for the most part, very safe when performed by a veterinarian having sufficient experience in using this technique. Cryosurgery also provides the advantage that there are no sutures for the pet to lick at, and that fortunately most animals never bother the healing wound.      This is an especially important advantage when removing growths from small rodents that are difficult to restrain from chewing out their sutures.

Most cryosurgery procedures performed on animals do require sedation to keep them from moving but general anesthesia is usually unnecessary.    A local anesthetic may be used along with sedation to minimize the need for full anesthesia.    The actual cryosurgery proceedure involves 3 freeze thaw cycles perform in quick sucession while under the same sedation.   Within 3 to 4 weeks after the cryosurgery the growth will scab over, shrink, and disappear.    Because cryosurgery actually freezes the nerve endings surrounding the growth rarely is there post surgical pain associated with the proceedure.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is the author of 4 pet care books. He is certified in veterinary acupuncture, chiropractics, and in stem cell therapy. Dr. Simon is a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a past board member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over the greater Detroit area including Oakland, Macomb, Wayne,Livingston and Macomb counties.  The cities serviced include:  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline,  Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills,  Novi,  Northville, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, White lake, Ortonville, Waterford, Clarkston, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, Romeo, Windsor Canada, and Toledo Ohio.

Holistic Prevention & Treatment of Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats: Kidney Failure

It is hard for any owner that loves their dog or cat to become comfortable with the fact that these pets age so much more rapidly than we do. This accelerated aging is even more obvious in the larger breeds of dogs that begin to reach their geriatric years between 8 and 10 years of age. A pet’s kidneys are often the weakest link in the aging process and all to frequently the cause of old age death. Things that pet owners can do to support their pet’s ailing kidneys are as follows:

Feed a higher fiber, low protein, high quality protein diet prescription kidney diet available from all veterinarians– or — feed a home made kidney diet by following a receipe that we make available to our patients. The diet will decrease the formation of waste protein toxins, discourage obesity and reduce the work load of the kidney.  The home made kidney diet can be fed either raw  or cooked.

Encourage your dog or cat to drink more by providing lots of fresh water throughout the day. Doing this will promote proper hydration while at the same time flush the kidney and reduce accumulating protein derived toxins. Adding Celtic sea salt to the pet’s food will encourgage drinking, provide trace minerals he or she are likely to be deficient in, and alkalinize the animal’s body. Checking the pet’s blood pressure is recommended, especially when adding salt to the diet, to help detect hypertension often caused by kidney failure. Make sure your dog or cat receives a regular dental prophylaxis to reduce oral bacteria which are injurious to the animals kidneys, liver, and heart. Daily  home dental care is essential for over all good health but particularly important for avoiding progressive kidney damage.

Supplement your dog or cat’s diet with anti-oxidants, systemic enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and glandulars to reduce kidney tissue injury by free radicals and to stimulate natural immunity. Omega 3 fatty acids, Coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid are 3 important supplements that promotes kidney health.  Systemic enzymes have been shown to reduce scar tissue in the  kidneys of aging dogs and cats.  Homeopathics remedies that can be placed in the pet’s drinking water help promote kidney health  and are easy to administer.   Of course it is better to begin these supplements early on in life before the kidneys have received significant damage and symptoms become apparent. Strategically detoxifying the body with special homotoxicologic and nutritional formulas is an important adjunct to avoiding or treating  kidney disease and most any other disease in the body. Starting these same supplements after kidney damage or kidney failure has been detected will help conserve the remaining kidney cells but will not restore the cells that have died.

Have your veterinarian perform semi annual blood and urine testing to monitor your dog or cat’s  kidney function and to provide an early warning system for the development of other degenerative disease.  Recently a new urine test, the “ERD”  micro albuminuria test, has become available. The ERD test requires only a small amount of urine and can detect evidence of kidney disease much earlier than blood tests and a standard urinalysis.  Any dog or cat over the age of 6 years old should be routinely tested with an ERD test because not only does it detect kidney disease but it is also a screen for inflammatory disease of many other organs.

Acupuncture and chinese herbs like Rehmania have been quite helpful in supporting kidney function.    Electro acupuncture  or laser acupuncture can be performed without needles at the veterinary clinic while  acupressure using the same acupuncture points can be performed at home by the pet’s guardian.     Recent scientific literature out of Europe has shown infrared laser therapy to provide beneficial effects in both kidney and liver disease.  Pulsed magnetic therapy is totally painless and will help restore voltage to damaged kidney cells.    Electro crystal rebalancing (ECR)  is a therapy that broadcast energetic frequency of the chakras to rebalance the body’s energy.    The ECR device  can also be used energize subcutaneous fluids that are commonly sent home with kidney patient to help maintain hydration.   Frequency specific micro current therapy is  a relatively new form of therapy that can be applied over the kidney area and is totally painless and easy to perform.    Infrasonic therapy is another painless therapy that uses a combination of sound and light frequencies to restore cellular function to the kidneys.   Routine chiropractic care can help support kidney health by better establishing nerve conduction to the kidneys. Finally, ozonation of subcutaneous fluid will oxygenate and alkalinize the body and restore voltage to damaged, failing kidney cells.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties include  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, Grosse Pointe, Romeo and Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Flint, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Holistic Thinking About Pet Nutrition: The raw, homemade, meat based diet

Almost every dog and cat food sold in pet stores and grocery stores is made primarily of grain and, therefore, termed a “cereal or grain based diet”.  Although these “grain based diets” are capable of keeping pets looking “apparently healthy” and free of nutritional deficiencies, they are very far from the ideal diet a dog or cat needs in order to be in a state of  “optimal health”.    Why dogs and cats should be fed a “meat based” rather than a “grain based” diet is the main subject of this paper.

First, let us look at the dog and cat’s dietary history.  Both have evolved from ancestors that were primarily carnivorous and consumed the prey they caught and killed.  Both dogs and cats have relatively simple, short digestive tracts that are far better suited for digesting meat than grain or plant material.   They both have carnivorous dentition with teeth shaped to tear and pull off flesh and to crack and pulverize bones.   Their teeth have no flat, grinding surfaces capable of cracking open grain, as do the herbivorous animals like the cow and horse.   Dogs and cats also lack enzymes necessary to digest plant material and liberate the nutrients within.  Keep in mind that because most of the prey of the ancestors of dogs and cats were herbivorous and because these carnivores would eat the entire carcass including the stomach, intestines and all their contents they would end up eating “predigested” plant material on a regular basis.   So even though dogs and cats are primarily carnivores they should not be fed exclusively meat, but should also be provided lesser amounts of plant material that has been sufficiently cooked or, better yet, fed raw after being pulverized in a blender or juicer in order to make the plant nutrients more accessible for digestion and absorption.

The more grain present in a dog’s or cat’s diet (even when cooked) the more undigested (partially digested) macro-molecules of grain protein will be found in the upper small intestine.   These unacceptably large protein molecules are viewed by the pet’s immune systems as foreign invaders that should not be there and therefore as a threat to the body.   Consequently, the immune tissue present in the intestinal wall, is stimulated to send out immune cells to destroy these large, partially digested grain protein molecules.  During the act of destroying this foreign protein, injury occurs to the surrounding intestinal lining.   As a result of chronic stimulation of the intestinal immune system, by a grain-based diet, progressive damage is done to the lining of the digestive tract until a problem known as “leaky gut syndrome” results.   A leaky gut allows  infectious and toxic foreign material, including yeast, bacteria, bacterial toxins and poorly digested grain protein molecules to pass out of the gut and into the blood stream where they may ultimately contribute to  the development of allergies, arthritis, immune system suppression, autoimmune disease, and cancer..

We consider a meat based diet to be one where more than 40% of the diet is meat (when measured on a dry weight basis).   These diets provide a source of protein that is much easier for carnivore’s to digest when compared with grain based diets.  Because meat based diets contain grain to a much lesser extent than a grain based diet, the likelihood of a leaky gut syndrome developing and producing disease is greatly minimized.  An additional  advantage of a meat-based diet is that meat provides a nearly complete essential amino acid profile.  To come close to such a complete amino acid profile using plants or grains, in place of meat, would require careful combining of two or more complementary grains, vegetables or legumes.

To determine whether a commercial diet is a meat-based diet begin by checking the ingredient list and see if two of the first three ingredients are meat.  If so then it is  possible that the diet may contain more meat than grain.   however, because manufacturers can be very “creative” and misleading when they develop their ingredient list, it is hard to know from the ingredient list alone whether the diet is truly meat based.  Very few manufacturers can actually claim that when calculated on a dry matter basis their food contains more than 20% meat, even when 2 of the first 3 ingredients are meat.

What are your choices ?  One choice is to buy a commercial diet that lists meat as the first two ingredients and to this diet add additional fresh meat.  You could also buy a commercial diet that is truly meat based (at least 40% meat by dry weight) and to this diet add fresh meat.   Finally, you could provide a completely home made diet of cooked but preferably raw or rare food.   This home made diet should contain a minimum of 40% meat and dairy, 30% or more steamed vegetables and fruit, and no more than 30%  whole grain.  The greater variety of foods you supply,  from week to week or month to month, the better.  The fresher the food and the more organically grown ingredients in it the healthier the food is for your pets.   The best vegetables to use are the dark green, dark orange and yellow varieties, especially the cruciferous / brassica vegetables (i.e. brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli).  The vegetables should be lightly steamed or better yet pulverized in a blender or juicer to aid in digestion and the grains should be cooked.  Always add some bone meal to a raw meat / raw vegetable diet to insure that enough calcium is present to provide a healthy calcium phosphorous ratio.  Egg shells softened in vinegar are another way to supply calcium.

When selecting a commercial diet, in addition to making sure it is meat based, there are a number of other important criteria to check out.  For example, what ever grain is present should be “whole grain” rather than “grain fractions or grain by products.”   The fat in the food should be  preserved with natural vitamin E rather than artificial chemical preservatives (ie ethoxyquin).  Chemical flavoring agents, coloring dyes, and texturizures should also be absent.  The quality of the ingredients in the diet is not easily determined from the package information and it may necessitate calling the manufacture and asking their nutritionist certain important questions.  Questions you may want to ask are:  What is the source of the meat and grain in the diet?   —Are they organically grown and are they of a quality fit for human consumption ?   Is the meat “USDA Inspected”?   Was the carcass from where the meat was taken “USDA Approved”?   What form, if any, of meat by-products are included in the diet?   Is the grain tested for the presence of  “mycotoxins”?    What are the quality controls the manufacturer practices ?

Just as meat based diets are healthier than grain based diets, a raw meat, raw vegetable diet is more nutritious than a cooked meat, cooked vegetable diet.  You may wonder why this is true and you may also have some questions about the safety of feeding uncooked meat, so let me explain.  The  use of  fresh raw meat provides fat, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals in a state undamaged by cooking and is, consequently, much more nutritious.   A raw meat diet also provides beneficial bacteria and active enzymes both of which are destroyed by cooking.   Feeding a raw meat diet provides a much fresher diet that is very low in rancid fat and damaging  free radicals.  Feeding a raw meat, raw vegetable diet even once a week or as a daily addition to a high quality commercial diet, helps keep the bowels healthy by providing natural digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria which allows a weakened or imbalanced immune system to be revitalized.  If you are concerned that uncooked meat will be a source of  dangerous bacteria and bacterial toxins you should know that a cat or a dog’s stomach is far more acidic than our own and kills most dangerous bacteria that attempt to pass through.   This is why wild dogs and cats can eat several day old carcasses and not suffer any ill effects.  Parasites such as worms or toxoplasmosis are other legitimate concerns.   However, in most cases the  animal’s immune system will see to it that such threats do not develop into a clinical disease.   I do not recommend you feed raw pork because of the prevalence of parasites.   I also do not recommend feeding raw chicken or turkey because of the high prevalence of Salmonellosis in poultry.  Upon returning home the raw meat should be immediately divided into daily portions, put in plastic bags and placed in the freezer.   It has been claimed that freezing meat for 30 days or more will kill most bacteria and parasites.   Searing the raw meat or soaking it in grapefruit seed extract for 30 minutes  is a further precaution you can take to avoid the possibility of bacterial dangers.  If the idea of feeding raw meat is simply unappealing and or the risk of bacterial contamination is unacceptable you may want to consider cooking the meat but leaving it extremely rare.   Remember, feeding a raw meat, parboiled or grated vegetable diet does not require much more work than feeding a commercial diet because there is very little or no cooking involved.  If you do nothing more than adding, to your pets diet, left over meat and vegetables from your table there will be no cooking or preparation time .      Although the benefits of feeding raw meat, far out way any serious dangers posed by bacteria and parasites, these dangers may be unacceptable to the most conservative and cautious pet owners.  For these people I recommend feeding commercial meat based diet (no raw meat) and adding only raw vegetables that have been parboiled, steamed, grated, or preferably macerated in a blender.   For public health concerns, remember to wear plastic gloves whenever you are handling raw meat.   We recommend that you do not feed raw meat if you can not accept the chance that such a feeding practice could, on rare occassions,   result  in a  pet contracting  a serious bacterial or parasitic disease.

If you are going to prepare an all-natural diet from scratch you should know that vegetables and grains can be parboiled together for just a few minutes.   Use root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beets as well as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and garlic in the late fall and early spring.   Use kale, collard and mustard greens, various green and yellow beans and asparagus in late spring and early fall.  Lettuce and garlic are available all year round.

Creating variety in your pet’s diet is an important concept to keep in mind.  Do not feed the same raw meats or vegetables every day.  On the contrary, gradually change the type of meat and vegetables you feed weekly or monthly.  The greater the variety of foods you feed the greater the overall quality of  nutrients you will provide.  Creating variety is also important when using commercial diets, however, you must move gradually from one to the other.  Feed a commercial diet that is chicken based one month and then move to a beef or lamb based diet the next month.  Varying the types of meat, vegetables, and grains not only increases the overall nutrition but also may help to prevent the development of food associated allergies.

If you decide to feed a predominantly commercial diets it would be wise to add a comprehensive B vitamin supplement, a chelated trace mineral supplement, a plant based digestive enzyme supplement, an essential fatty acid supplement, a probiotic (good bacteria) supplement and an anti-oxidant supplement.   To a predominantly fresh raw muscle meat steamed vegetable diet it would be wise to, once weekly, add some organ meat (i.e. calves liver).  You would also be well advised to add bone meal, raw soup bones, trace mineral supplements, and anti-oxidants.

When choosing a commercial pet diet here is a summary of  things to consider:

The first 2 ingredients listed on the package should be meat rather than grain  or  vegetables.

The meat and grain should, ideally, be of a quality fit for human consumption and should come from USDA inspected carcasses.   Of course,  organically grown meat and grain would be ideal.

No “meat by-products” should present in the ingredient list unless you can be sure of exactly what these by-products are.

“Whole grains” rather than “grain fractions” or grain by-products should be in the  ingredient list.

No artificial chemicals should be used for flavor, coloring, preservation or texturizing.   The package should state that the food  is preserved with natural vitamin E and that ethoxyquin should not be on the ingredient list.

Of course, if you could find a commercial diet using organically grown meat and  vegetables then that would eliminate any concerns regarding the presence of   antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides.

The food should be as fresh as possible.  Check the manufacture’s package code indicating either the manufacturing date or the expiration date of each package.  ou may need to call the manufacturer for an explanation of the code.

The food should be supplemented with:  vitamins, chelated minerals, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, iodine and friendly  bacteria.

The food should contain as few ingredients as possible that have a reputation for being allergenic:  i.e. wheat, dairy, corn and soy

You should call the manufacture and find out what quality control measures are taken to prevent contamination of  stored grain.

The package should state that it is complete and balanced for all life stages and that  it meets or exceeds the nutritional  requirements as established by AAFCO and the National Academy of Science.

Any steps  that the manufacturer has taken to help the packaging prevent oxidation  and  rancidity is greatly preferred.

Change commercial diets monthly to provide a variety of meats and grains.  Do so   slowly over a 10-day period.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine  .     Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw.   Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint ,Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Almost every dog and cat food sold in pet stores and grocery stores is made primarily of grain and, therefore, termed a “cereal or grain based diet”.  Although these “grain based diets” are capable of keeping pets looking “apparently healthy” and free of nutritional deficiencies, they are very far from the ideal diet a dog or cat needs in order to be in a state of  “optimal health”.    Why dogs and cats should be fed a “meat based” rather than a “grain based” diet is the main subject of this paper.

First, let us look at the dog and cat’s dietary history.  Both have evolved from ancestors that were primarily carnivorous and consumed the prey they caught and killed.  Both dogs and cats have relatively simple, short digestive tracts that are far better suited for digesting meat than grain or plant material.   They both have carnivorous dentition with teeth shaped to tear and pull off flesh and to crack and pulverize bones.   Their teeth have no flat, grinding surfaces capable of cracking open grain, as do the herbivorous animals like the cow and horse.   Dogs and cats also lack enzymes necessary to digest plant material and liberate the nutrients within.  Keep in mind that because most of the prey of the ancestors of dogs and cats were herbivorous and because these carnivores would eat the entire carcass including the stomach, intestines and all their contents they would end up eating “predigested” plant material on a regular basis.   So even though dogs and cats are primarily carnivores they should not be fed exclusively meat, but should also be provided lesser amounts of plant material that has been sufficiently cooked or, better yet, fed raw after being pulverized in a blender or juicer in order to make the plant nutrients more accessible for digestion and absorption.

The more grain present in a dog’s or cat’s diet (even when cooked) the more undigested (partially digested) macro-molecules of grain protein will be found in the upper small intestine.   These unacceptably large protein molecules are viewed by the pet’s immune systems as foreign invaders that should not be there and therefore as a threat to the body.   Consequently, the immune tissue present in the intestinal wall, is stimulated to send out immune cells to destroy these large, partially digested grain protein molecules.  During the act of destroying this foreign protein, injury occurs to the surrounding intestinal lining.   As a result of chronic stimulation of the intestinal immune system, by a grain-based diet, progressive damage is done to the lining of the digestive tract until a problem known as “leaky gut syndrome” results.   A leaky gut allows  infectious and toxic foreign material, including yeast, bacteria, bacterial toxins and poorly digested grain protein molecules to pass out of the gut and into the blood stream where they may ultimately contribute to  the development of allergies, arthritis, immune system suppression, autoimmune disease, and cancer..

We consider a meat based diet to be one where more than 40% of the diet is meat (when measured on a dry weight basis).   These diets provide a source of protein that is much easier for carnivore’s to digest when compared with grain based diets.  Because meat based diets contain grain to a much lesser extent than a grain based diet, the likelihood of a leaky gut syndrome developing and producing disease is greatly minimized.  An additional  advantage of a meat-based diet is that meat provides a nearly complete essential amino acid profile.  To come close to such a complete amino acid profile using plants or grains, in place of meat, would require careful combining of two or more complementary grains, vegetables or legumes.

To determine whether a commercial diet is a meat-based diet begin by checking the ingredient list and see if two of the first three ingredients are meat.  If so then it is  possible that the diet may contain more meat than grain.   However, because manufacturers can be very “creative” and misleading when they develop their ingredient list, it is hard to know from the ingredient list alone whether the diet is truly meat based.  Very few manufacturers can actually claim that when calculated on a dry matter basis their food contains more than 20% meat, even when 2 of the first 3 ingredients are meat.

What are your choices ?  One choice is to buy a commercial diet that lists meat as the first two ingredients and to this diet add additional fresh meat.  You could also buy a commercial diet that is truly meat based (at least 40% meat by dry weight) and to this diet add fresh meat.   Finally, you could provide a completely home made diet of cooked but preferably raw or rare food.   This home made diet should contain a minimum of 40% meat and dairy, 30% or more steamed vegetables and fruit, and no more than 30%  whole grain.  The greater variety of foods you supply,  from week to week or month to month, the better.  The fresher the food and the more organically grown ingredients in it the healthier the food is for your pets.   The best vegetables to use are the dark green, dark orange and yellow varieties, especially the cruciferous / brassica vegetables (i.e. brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli).  The vegetables should be lightly steamed or better yet pulverized in a blender or juicer to aid in digestion and the grains should be cooked.  Always add some bone meal to a raw meat / raw vegetable diet to insure that enough calcium is present to provide a healthy calcium phosphorous ratio.  Egg shells softened in vinegar are another way to supply calcium.

When selecting a commercial diet, in addition to making sure it is meat based, there are a number of other important criteria to check out.  For example, what ever grain is present should be “whole grain” rather than “grain fractions or grain by products.”   The fat in the food should be  preserved with natural vitamin E rather than artificial chemical preservatives (ie ethoxyquin).  Chemical flavoring agents, coloring dyes, and texturizures should also be absent.  The quality of the ingredients in the diet is not easily determined from the package information and it may necessitate calling the manufacture and asking their nutritionist certain important questions.  Questions you may want to ask are:  What is the source of the meat and grain in the diet?   —Are they organically grown and are they of a quality fit for human consumption ?   Is the meat “USDA Inspected”?   Was the carcass from where the meat was taken “USDA Approved”?   What form, if any, of meat by-products are included in the diet?   Is the grain tested for the presence of  “mycotoxins”?    What are the quality controls the manufacturer practices ?

Just as meat based diets are healthier than grain based diets, a raw meat, raw vegetable diet is more nutritious than a cooked meat, cooked vegetable diet.  You may wonder why this is true and you may also have some questions about the safety of feeding uncooked meat, so let me explain.  The  use of  fresh raw meat provides fat, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals in a state undamaged by cooking and is, consequently, much more nutritious.   A raw meat diet also provides beneficial bacteria and active enzymes both of which are destroyed by cooking.   Feeding a raw meat diet provides a much fresher diet that is very low in rancid fat and damaging  free radicals.  Feeding a raw meat, raw vegetable diet even once a week or as a daily addition to a high quality commercial diet, helps keep the bowels healthy by providing natural digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria which allows a weakened or imbalanced immune system to be revitalized.  If you are concerned that uncooked meat will be a source of  dangerous bacteria and bacterial toxins you should know that a cat or a dog’s stomach is far more acidic than our own and kills most dangerous bacteria that attempt to pass through.   This is why wild dogs and cats can eat several day old carcasses and not suffer any ill effects.  Parasites such as worms or toxoplasmosis are other legitimate concerns.   However, in most cases the  animal’s immune system will see to it that such threats do not develop into a clinical disease.   I do not recommend you feed raw pork because of the prevalence of parasites.   I also do not recommend feeding raw chicken or turkey because of the high prevalence of Salmonellosis in poultry.  Upon returning home the raw meat should be immediately divided into daily portions, put in plastic bags and placed in the freezer.   It has been claimed that freezing meat for 30 days or more will kill most bacteria and parasites.   Searing the raw meat or soaking it in grapefruit seed extract for 30 minutes  is a further precaution you can take to avoid the possibility of bacterial dangers.  If the idea of feeding raw meat is simply unappealing and or the risk of bacterial contamination is unacceptable you may want to consider cooking the meat but leaving it extremely rare.   Remember, feeding a raw meat, parboiled or grated vegetable diet does not require much more work than feeding a commercial diet because there is very little or no cooking involved.  If you do nothing more than adding, to your pets diet, left over meat and vegetables from your table there will be no cooking or preparation time .      Although the benefits of feeding raw meat, far out way any serious dangers posed by bacteria and parasites, these dangers may be unacceptable to the most conservative and cautious pet owners.  For these people I recommend feeding commercial meat based diet (no raw meat) and adding only raw vegetables that have been parboiled, steamed, grated, or preferably macerated in a blender.   For public health concerns, remember to wear plastic gloves whenever you are handling raw meat.   We recommend that you do not feed raw meat if you can not accept the chance that such a feeding practice could, on rare occassions,   result  in a  pet contracting  a serious bacterial or parasitic disease.

If you are going to prepare an all-natural diet from scratch you should know that vegetables and grains can be parboiled together for just a few minutes.   Use root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beets as well as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and garlic in the late fall and early spring.   Use kale, collard and mustard greens, various green and yellow beans and asparagus in late spring and early fall.  Lettuce and garlic are available all year round.

Creating variety in your pet’s diet is an important concept to keep in mind.  Do not feed the same raw meats or vegetables every day.  On the contrary, gradually change the type of meat and vegetables you feed weekly or monthly.  The greater the variety of foods you feed the greater the overall quality of  nutrients you will provide.  Creating variety is also important when using commercial diets, however, you must move gradually from one to the other.  Feed a commercial diet that is chicken based one month and then move to a beef or lamb based diet the next month.  Varying the types of meat, vegetables, and grains not only increases the overall nutrition but also may help to prevent the development of food associated allergies.

If you decide to feed a predominantly commercial diets it would be wise to add a comprehensive B vitamin supplement, a chelated trace mineral supplement, a plant based digestive enzyme supplement, an essential fatty acid supplement, a probiotic (good bacteria) supplement and an anti-oxidant supplement.   To a predominantly fresh raw muscle meat steamed vegetable diet it would be wise to, once weekly, add some organ meat (i.e. calves liver).  You would also be well advised to add bone meal, raw soup bones, trace mineral supplements, and anti-oxidants.

When choosing a commercial pet diet here is a summary of  things to consider:

The first 2 ingredients listed on the package should be meat rather than grain  or  vegetables.

The meat and grain should, ideally, be of a quality fit for human consumption and should come from USDA inspected carcasses.   Of course,  organically grown meat and grain would be ideal.

No “meat by-products” should present in the ingredient list unless you can be sure of exactly what these by-products are.

“Whole grains” rather than “grain fractions” or grain by-products should be in the  ingredient list.

No artificial chemicals should be used for flavor, coloring, preservation or texturizing.   The package should state that the food  is preserved with natural vitamin E and that ethoxyquin should not be on the ingredient list.

Of course, if you could find a commercial diet using organically grown meat and  vegetables then that would eliminate any concerns regarding the presence of   antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides.

The food should be as fresh as possible.  Check the manufacture’s package code indicating either the manufacturing date or the expiration date of each package.  ou may need to call the manufacturer for an explanation of the code.

The food should be supplemented with:  vitamins, chelated minerals, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, iodine and friendly  bacteria.

The food should contain as few ingredients as possible that have a reputation for being allergenic:  i.e. wheat, dairy, corn and soy

You should call the manufacture and find out what quality control measures are taken to prevent contamination of  stored grain.

The package should state that it is complete and balanced for all life stages and that  it meets or exceeds the nutritional  requirements as established by AAFCO and the National Academy of Science.

Any steps  that the manufacturer has taken to help the packaging prevent oxidation  and  rancidity is greatly preferred.

Change commercial diets monthly to provide a variety of meats and grains.  Do so   slowly over a 10-day period.

****************************************************************************************

Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine  .     Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw.   Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint ,Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Almost every dog and cat food sold in pet stores and grocery stores is made primarily of grain and, therefore, termed a “cereal or grain based diet”.  Although these “grain based diets” are capable of keeping pets looking “apparently healthy” and free of nutritional deficiencies, they are very far from the ideal diet a dog or cat needs in order to be in a state of  “optimal health”.    Why dogs and cats should be fed a “meat based” rather than a “grain based” diet is the main subject of this paper.

First, let us look at the dog and cat’s dietary history.  Both have evolved from ancestors that were primarily carnivorous and consumed the prey they caught and killed.  Both dogs and cats have relatively simple, short digestive tracts that are far better suited for digesting meat than grain or plant material.   They both have carnivorous dentition with teeth shaped to tear and pull off flesh and to crack and pulverize bones.   Their teeth have no flat, grinding surfaces capable of cracking open grain, as do the herbivorous animals like the cow and horse.   Dogs and cats also lack enzymes necessary to digest plant material and liberate the nutrients within.  Keep in mind that because most of the prey of the ancestors of dogs and cats were herbivorous and because these carnivores would eat the entire carcass including the stomach, intestines and all their contents they would end up eating “predigested” plant material on a regular basis.   So even though dogs and cats are primarily carnivores they should not be fed exclusively meat, but should also be provided lesser amounts of plant material that has been sufficiently cooked or, better yet, fed raw after being pulverized in a blender or juicer in order to make the plant nutrients more accessible for digestion and absorption.

The more grain present in a dog’s or cat’s diet (even when cooked) the more undigested (partially digested) macro-molecules of grain protein will be found in the upper small intestine.   These unacceptably large protein molecules are viewed by the pet’s immune systems as foreign invaders that should not be there and therefore as a threat to the body.   Consequently, the immune tissue present in the intestinal wall, is stimulated to send out immune cells to destroy these large, partially digested grain protein molecules.  During the act of destroying this foreign protein, injury occurs to the surrounding intestinal lining.   As a result of chronic stimulation of the intestinal immune system, by a grain-based diet, progressive damage is done to the lining of the digestive tract until a problem known as “leaky gut syndrome” results.   A leaky gut allows  infectious and toxic foreign material, including yeast, bacteria, bacterial toxins and poorly digested grain protein molecules to pass out of the gut and into the blood stream where they may ultimately contribute to  the development of allergies, arthritis, immune system suppression, autoimmune disease, and cancer..

We consider a meat based diet to be one where more than 40% of the diet is meat (when measured on a dry weight basis).   These diets provide a source of protein that is much easier for carnivore’s to digest when compared with grain based diets.  Because meat based diets contain grain to a much lesser extent than a grain based diet, the likelihood of a leaky gut syndrome developing and producing disease is greatly minimized.  An additional  advantage of a meat-based diet is that meat provides a nearly complete essential amino acid profile.  To come close to such a complete amino acid profile using plants or grains, in place of meat, would require careful combining of two or more complementary grains, vegetables or legumes.

To determine whether a commercial diet is a meat-based diet begin by checking the ingredient list and see if two of the first three ingredients are meat.  If so then it is  possible that the diet may contain more meat than grain.   However, because manufacturers can be very “creative” and misleading when they develop their ingredient list, it is hard to know from the ingredient list alone whether the diet is truly meat based.  Very few manufacturers can actually claim that when calculated on a dry matter basis their food contains more than 20% meat, even when 2 of the first 3 ingredients are meat.

What are your choices ?  One choice is to buy a commercial diet that lists meat as the first two ingredients and to this diet add additional fresh meat.  You could also buy a commercial diet that is truly meat based (at least 40% meat by dry weight) and to this diet add fresh meat.   Finally, you could provide a completely home made diet of cooked but preferably raw or rare food.   This home made diet should contain a minimum of 40% meat and dairy, 30% or more steamed vegetables and fruit, and no more than 30%  whole grain.  The greater variety of foods you supply,  from week to week or month to month, the better.  The fresher the food and the more organically grown ingredients in it the healthier the food is for your pets.   The best vegetables to use are the dark green, dark orange and yellow varieties, especially the cruciferous / brassica vegetables (i.e. brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli).  The vegetables should be lightly steamed or better yet pulverized in a blender or juicer to aid in digestion and the grains should be cooked.  Always add some bone meal to a raw meat / raw vegetable diet to insure that enough calcium is present to provide a healthy calcium phosphorous ratio.  Egg shells softened in vinegar are another way to supply calcium.

When selecting a commercial diet, in addition to making sure it is meat based, there are a number of other important criteria to check out.  For example, what ever grain is present should be “whole grain” rather than “grain fractions or grain by products.”   The fat in the food should be  preserved with natural vitamin E rather than artificial chemical preservatives (ie ethoxyquin).  Chemical flavoring agents, coloring dyes, and texturizures should also be absent.  The quality of the ingredients in the diet is not easily determined from the package information and it may necessitate calling the manufacture and asking their nutritionist certain important questions.  Questions you may want to ask are:  What is the source of the meat and grain in the diet?   —Are they organically grown and are they of a quality fit for human consumption ?   Is the meat “USDA Inspected”?   Was the carcass from where the meat was taken “USDA Approved”?   What form, if any, of meat by-products are included in the diet?   Is the grain tested for the presence of  “mycotoxins”?    What are the quality controls the manufacturer practices ?

Just as meat based diets are healthier than grain based diets, a raw meat, raw vegetable diet is more nutritious than a cooked meat, cooked vegetable diet.  You may wonder why this is true and you may also have some questions about the safety of feeding uncooked meat, so let me explain.  The  use of  fresh raw meat provides fat, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals in a state undamaged by cooking and is, consequently, much more nutritious.   A raw meat diet also provides beneficial bacteria and active enzymes both of which are destroyed by cooking.   Feeding a raw meat diet provides a much fresher diet that is very low in rancid fat and damaging  free radicals.  Feeding a raw meat, raw vegetable diet even once a week or as a daily addition to a high quality commercial diet, helps keep the bowels healthy by providing natural digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria which allows a weakened or imbalanced immune system to be revitalized.  If you are concerned that uncooked meat will be a source of  dangerous bacteria and bacterial toxins you should know that a cat or a dog’s stomach is far more acidic than our own and kills most dangerous bacteria that attempt to pass through.   This is why wild dogs and cats can eat several day old carcasses and not suffer any ill effects.  Parasites such as worms or toxoplasmosis are other legitimate concerns.   However, in most cases the  animal’s immune system will see to it that such threats do not develop into a clinical disease.   I do not recommend you feed raw pork because of the prevalence of parasites.   I also do not recommend feeding raw chicken or turkey because of the high prevalence of Salmonellosis in poultry.  Upon returning home the raw meat should be immediately divided into daily portions, put in plastic bags and placed in the freezer.   It has been claimed that freezing meat for 30 days or more will kill most bacteria and parasites.   Searing the raw meat or soaking it in grapefruit seed extract for 30 minutes  is a further precaution you can take to avoid the possibility of bacterial dangers.  If the idea of feeding raw meat is simply unappealing and or the risk of bacterial contamination is unacceptable you may want to consider cooking the meat but leaving it extremely rare.   Remember, feeding a raw meat, parboiled or grated vegetable diet does not require much more work than feeding a commercial diet because there is very little or no cooking involved.  If you do nothing more than adding, to your pets diet, left over meat and vegetables from your table there will be no cooking or preparation time .      Although the benefits of feeding raw meat, far out way any serious dangers posed by bacteria and parasites, these dangers may be unacceptable to the most conservative and cautious pet owners.  For these people I recommend feeding commercial meat based diet (no raw meat) and adding only raw vegetables that have been parboiled, steamed, grated, or preferably macerated in a blender.   For public health concerns, remember to wear plastic gloves whenever you are handling raw meat.   We recommend that you do not feed raw meat if you can not accept the chance that such a feeding practice could, on rare occassions,   result  in a  pet contracting  a serious bacterial or parasitic disease.

If you are going to prepare an all-natural diet from scratch you should know that vegetables and grains can be parboiled together for just a few minutes.   Use root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beets as well as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and garlic in the late fall and early spring.   Use kale, collard and mustard greens, various green and yellow beans and asparagus in late spring and early fall.  Lettuce and garlic are available all year round.

Creating variety in your pet’s diet is an important concept to keep in mind.  Do not feed the same raw meats or vegetables every day.  On the contrary, gradually change the type of meat and vegetables you feed weekly or monthly.  The greater the variety of foods you feed the greater the overall quality of  nutrients you will provide.  Creating variety is also important when using commercial diets, however, you must move gradually from one to the other.  Feed a commercial diet that is chicken based one month and then move to a beef or lamb based diet the next month.  Varying the types of meat, vegetables, and grains not only increases the overall nutrition but also may help to prevent the development of food associated allergies.

If you decide to feed a predominantly commercial diets it would be wise to add a comprehensive B vitamin supplement, a chelated trace mineral supplement, a plant based digestive enzyme supplement, an essential fatty acid supplement, a probiotic (good bacteria) supplement and an anti-oxidant supplement.   To a predominantly fresh raw muscle meat steamed vegetable diet it would be wise to, once weekly, add some organ meat (i.e. calves liver).  You would also be well advised to add bone meal, raw soup bones, trace mineral supplements, and anti-oxidants.

When choosing a commercial pet diet here is a summary of  things to consider:

The first 2 ingredients listed on the package should be meat rather than grain  or  vegetables.

The meat and grain should, ideally, be of a quality fit for human consumption and should come from USDA inspected carcasses.   Of course,  organically grown meat and grain would be ideal.

No “meat by-products” should present in the ingredient list unless you can be sure of exactly what these by-products are.

“Whole grains” rather than “grain fractions” or grain by-products should be in the  ingredient list.

No artificial chemicals should be used for flavor, coloring, preservation or texturizing.   The package should state that the food  is preserved with natural vitamin E and that ethoxyquin should not be on the ingredient list.

Of course, if you could find a commercial diet using organically grown meat and  vegetables then that would eliminate any concerns regarding the presence of   antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides.

The food should be as fresh as possible.  Check the manufacture’s package code indicating either the manufacturing date or the expiration date of each package.  ou may need to call the manufacturer for an explanation of the code.

The food should be supplemented with:  vitamins, chelated minerals, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, iodine and friendly  bacteria.

The food should contain as few ingredients as possible that have a reputation for being allergenic:  i.e. wheat, dairy, corn and soy

You should call the manufacture and find out what quality control measures are taken to prevent contamination of  stored grain.

The package should state that it is complete and balanced for all life stages and that  it meets or exceeds the nutritional  requirements as established by AAFCO and the National Academy of Science.

Any steps  that the manufacturer has taken to help the packaging prevent oxidation  and  rancidity is greatly preferred.

Change commercial diets monthly to provide a variety of meats and grains.  Do so   slowly over a 10-day period.

****************************************************************************************

Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine  .

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Livingston counties.   Cities in these counties include Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint ,Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Veterinary Chiropractic Care, Spinal Adjustment, and VOM for Dogs and Cats

Chiropractic medicine whether for humans or animals is a very misunderstood medical modality.   Most people who go to chiropractors for treatment, think that when they get an adjustment the chiropractor is actually “putting  bones back in place”.  They believe that they feel relief from the chiropractic adjustment because their spine is immediately realigned .  This misconception stems from old chiropractic theory that actually taught chiropractors that they were  “putting bones back in place”.   Newer chiropractic theory however teaches chiropractic students that when they perform an adjustment they are creating movement in the joint but not putting the bone back in place.  The movement they create in the vertebral joint stimulates “mechano nerve receptors” in that joint to produce a reflex that blocks pain transmission.   The blockage of the pain reflex provides pain control  by alleviating muscle spasm and by dilating blood vessels.    The relaxation of the paraspinal muscles resulting from the thrust of the adjustment is what indirectly results in the spinal  realignment.

Chiropractic care can do more than eliminate back and neck pain. Through the stimulation of  “somato-visceral reflexes” chiropractic care can support  internal organ function.   Chiropractic care can also produce “myofascial release” by stimulation of the “golgi bodies” in the muscle tendons.  Consequently chiropractic  can help people and pets  with “myofascitis” and “fibromyalgia”

Human chiropractors get their training at chiropractic schools whereas veterinarians receive their training in spinal adjustment via an intense postgraduate course offered by special schools.  There are 2 schools of training in veterinary spinal adjustment .  One school of training is in association with the   American Veterinary  Chiropractic Association (AVCA).    The other  school of training  is offered by VOM (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation).  AVCA is primarily a manual adjusting group which means they use only their hands to perform an adjustment.  VOM on the other hand teaches adjustment using mechanical and electrical devices called accelerometers.   Dr. Simon has been trained in both approaches.  In addition he performs a third type of adjustment known as “Logan Basic” .   Logan Basic is a very gentle form of chiropractic that was developed and first taught at Logan Chiropractic College.   It involves putting pressure on the pelvic sacro-tuberous ligament in order to relax the para-spinal muscles.  This relaxation allows adjustments to be done with very little force.  Dr. Simon frequently utilizes Logan Basic in conjunction with VOM.

Please keep in mind that just as with acupuncture, chiropractic care requires a series of treatments to get desired results.   Also remember that chiropractic  is not limited to musculoskeletal and neurological problems but can also be used to treat a wide variet of internal organ problems.

Dr. Simon is aware that there are human chiropractors who attempt to adjust pets at night after their regular office hours.   He would like to warn pet owners that only those human  chiropractors that have attended and graduated from a  recognized post graduate program  in veterinary anatomy and neurology should attempt such adjustments and only under veterinary supervision.

VETERINARY ORTHOPEDIC MANIPULATION:   VOM

Veterinary Orthopedic-neural Manipulation otherwise known as VOM is a non-invasive healing technology that is similar to classical chiropractic medicine in that it locates areas called subluxation that exists along the animal’s spinal cord and reduces the subluxations such that proper nervous tissue communication is re-established.   A “spinal accelerometer” is used to assess the health of the spine and adjustments are made using this same instrument.    As the practitioner tests the entire spine with the accelerometer,  he watches for specific reflexes, called “reads”, to occur.   These reads are evidence of pathology called “subluxations”.   Subluxations cause vascular constriction, reduced circulation and decreased oxygenation to muscles and other tissues of the body.   The results of these subluxations changes can be seen as muscle spasm, pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion.  After identifying these abnormal areas along the vertebral column the practitioner will use the same instrument to apply light force to the vertebrae in the affected area.   The motion created will stimulate a nerve impulse in the mechano-receptors  of the vertebral joint.   These nerve impulses will  travel to the spinal cord where they in turn stimulate cells called “interneuron’s”.   Interneuron stimulation dilates blood vessels, increases circulation and oxygenation of muscles, reduces spasm, stops pain, and increases range of motion.

Most abnormal functions of the body are a result of muscle spasm of one sort or another and consequently reduction of subluxations can have far reaching health benefits.

The VOM  technology uses very gentle adjusting techniques which are safer than classical chiropractic methods.  The VOM practitioner is termed a “chiropractitioner” as opposed to a chiropractor.     However, just like chiropractic care VOM therapy is not accomplished in a single visit or adjustment.   Follow up evaluations and adjustments scheduled at very specific intervals are required if long term healing is to occur.

For more information on the VOM technique and to watch a video of the technique in action please visit the website:  LABH.com/vom

The VOM technique is often followed by the MFR technique which produces myofascial release.   MFR enhances VOM by further relieving the increased muscle spasms and fascial tension caused by subluxations.   The resulting decreased muscle spasm provides the animal  with pain reduction and decreases the recurrence of subluxation.  Consequently the overall healing process is accelerated.

VOM can be used to treat non-musculo-skeletal conditions including organ disease (somato-visceral disease).  VOM is used to promote a balance between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (organ function) components of the autonomic nervous system.  Using VOM in this way complements its use on musculo-skeletal system by further altering the blood flow and nervous stimulation to all areas of the body.   VOM utilizes sites on the body similar to acupuncture points as well as other sites to return balance too the autonomic system.

***********************************************************************

Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb,  Washtenaw and Livingston counties.   Cities in these counties include Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint ,Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Feline Inappropriate urinating: Possible causes and treatments

Dear Dr. Simon,

I have a 5 year old male cat named Tommy that for the last 3 months has been urinating everywhere in the house except in the liter box.  My husband is thoroughly discussed and thinks we should get rid of the cat.  I love Tommy and would be heartbroken if he had to go.  What do you think I should do?

Dear Pet Owner

When a cat suddenly breaks his or her house training there are  2 major possibilities. that must be considered.  Either your cat’s problem is a physical one and is caused by a disease process or your cat is physically healthy and has a behavioral or psychological problem.  To rule out the first possibility of physical disease you need to have your veterinarian thoroughly examine Tommy for evidence of illness.  In addition to the physical exam your veterinarian will also need to examine Tommy’s urine for the presence of blood, sugar, crystals, white blood cells and urinary casts; all of which are evidence that there is a disease process present..  It would also be recommended that your veterinarian draw some blood from your cat and perform some very basic blood tests to help discover the presence of any underlying pathology. If after performing the above procedures your veterinarian feels the cat is physically healthy and that there is no evidence of urinary tract disease the conclusion that must be drawn is that the house soiling is a result of a behavioral problem.

Behavior problems generally result from various types of stress.   If a your cat must deal with the arrival of a new born baby or of a visiting family member or friend the cat may suddenly begin to urinate outside his or her liter box.   If your house is being remodeled,or painted or if new carpeting is being installed it would not be unusual for these stresses to set off  a house soiling problem.  Litter boxes which are not frequently cleaned of urine and stool can definitely serve as stressors that cause cats to break their litter training.  Changing the type of litter a cat  a uses can be enough of a stress to cause the cat to avoid using his or her liter pan.  Consequently, deodorizing or clumping litter may not work for certain cats.  As a rule of thumb you should provide at least one more litter box than the number of cats in the house.

Stray cats, in the neighborhood, that come calling often threaten a house cats territorial boundaries and cause previously well trained cats to start urinating on the walls or carpet.  Too many cats in one house is a commonly a cause of  carpet soiling.

If your veterinarian discovers that Tommy has a urinary tract disease antibiotics, urinary acidifier, and special prescription diets may all help to solve the problem.  If the problem turns out to be behavioral then discovering the specific stressor and eliminating it is the best answer.

If Tommy is an unneutered male, castration should definitely be considered to help prevent territorial spraying .  A number of mood altering anti anxiety substances  are now available to help cats deal with stress that can not easily be eliminated.  These substances can be either nutritionals,  herbal remedies or even drugs.

So if you have a cat that is upsetting the peace and tranquility of your house with his or her house soiling attempt to discover the cause of the problem before you take any drastic action. You may just save your cat’s life and save all your family members from a lot of grief. and guilt.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both traditional  and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties.   Cities in these counties include Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint , Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Convulsions: Animal Epilepsy and Holistic Seizure Therapy for Dogs

If your pet occasionally displays brief moments of unconsciousness,  sudden stiffening, or outright seizures your pet may be epileptic.

The most common causes for the above symptoms and  history  are:   1) a “petit mal”  or “grand mal” seizure  or  2) a syncopal episode.   Now When most people think of an epileptic seizure they think of a “grand mal” seizure. This is a seizure where the entire body becomes rigid, the neck arches backward, the teeth are clenched shut, and the whole body trembles violently. There is, however, another  type of epileptic seizure which is much quieter and less violent.  This type of seizure is called a “petit mal” seizure and is characterized by a momentry loss of consciousness. The cause of an epileptic seizure, grand or petit,  is the misfiring of neurons in the brain.

Syncopy or a ”syncopal episode” may be mistaken for a ”petit seizure because it causes a momentary loss of consciousness but unlike seizures it is caused by a heart problem producing a momentary loss of blood to the brain.

Regardless of which of the two above possibilities is the actual cause of the problem it is very important that you take your pet to your veterinarian to have a diagnostic workup performed so that he or she can come to a definite conclusion and treat the specific diagnosis accordingly. Both of the possible causes can develop into life threatening conditions and therefore you should not wait until the problem becomes worse before seeking veterinary care.  Your veterinarian, after performing a detailed physical exam, will most likely want to send a sample of your pet’s blood and urine to the laboratory for  a general diagnostic screen and urinalysis.  He will , no doubt,  also perform an electrocardiogram (ECG) in an attempt to distinguish any heart condition that may be the basis of the problem.  He may even decide to take chest and abdominal radiographs.

If the blood report, urinalysis,  the ECG, and the radiographs all turn out to be normal then your veterinarian will, through a  process of elimination, diagnose your pet with epilepsy.  If the diagnosis actually is epilepsy then oral anticonvulsant will be prescribed.  If the problem turns out to be a heart related problem such as an “arrhythmia” a medication to regulate the heart rate and rhythm will be prescribed.

Because anti-convulsant drugs such as Phenobarbital often cause pets to change personality and appear drugged pet owners often stop the therapy or reduce the dose to below therapeutic levels.  Consequently the seizures are poorly controlled.   Pet owners should know that there are alternative, non drug methods of preventing epilepsy.  Herbal therapy, neuro transmitter therapy and nutritional supplements  can be used alone or in combination with drugs to help control seizures, lower drug dosages and minimize  drug related behavioral effects.   Acupuncture and gold bead implantation under the skin of the pets head and ears are additional ways of controlling seizure.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.   Cities in these counties include:  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint ,Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Cold Laser Therapy for Animals – A Non Surgical Approach to Pain & Lameness

The future is here and medicine is now able to heal tissue with light frequencies, sound frequencies and pulsed magnetic waves.    The  most futuristic of all healing modalities is the use of  low energy laser beams  to heal tissue, reduce pain, and provide the patient additional energy.   The term laser is an acronym that stands for  “Light Amplification thru Stimulated Emission of Radiation.  There are both high power and low power lasers.   The high powered “hot” lasers are cutting lasers and are used in surgery, industry, or by the defense department.  The low power or cold lasers are used  in supermarket barcode readers, compact disc players, lecture pointers, laser light shows and medicine.    The therapeutic uses for  low energy soft lasers in medicine includes the promotion of tissue healing and the reduction of pain and swelling.   Lasers are being used by medical doctors, veterinarians, dentists, chiropractors and  physical therapists.  Holistic equine veterinarians have used lasers to perform acupuncture and treat joints for over 20 years.  The first therapeutic lasers produced were either infrared or red radiation.   More recently green and blue lasers have come in use.  Each colored laser has advantages and disadvantages over the others.   Regardless of color these low energy lasers produce no heat and there are very safe to use with the exception of the danger they may pose to the eyes if the patient or physician stares directly into the beam.

It was in 1973 that Friedrich Plog in Canada discovered that lasers could be used in place of needles to stimulate acupuncture points.  Later that decade Dr. Endre Mester a professor in Butapest performed a number of animal studies and subsequent human trials where he used laser irradiation to heal patients suffering from chronic unhealed wounds that were unresponsive to other treatments.  These patients provided the first direct evidence of the photobiostimulative potential of low energy laser therapy in humans.

Based on the reported successes of Plog and  Mester a range of research projects were intiated, principally in eastern Europe, China and the Soviet Union.  The positive findings of this research has resulted in cold laser therapy becoming a popular modality in those countries and is reflected in the large number or researched papers which originated from these countries.   However for some reason the acceptance of  soft  l laser therapy in the USA has been much slower to catch on and many new innovative lasers licensed in Europe have not been licensed by the FDA.

Within the medical profession the  use of low level laser therapy is most enthusiastically used by  physiotherapist.  In a survey of physical therapists they rated low level laser therapy more effective than any other form of electrotherapeutic modalities including, ultrasound and pulsed electromagnetic therapy when it came to wound healing, pain relief and the reduction of tissue swelling (edema) .   I have used red and infrared lasers to  treat dogs and cats for arthritis, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, spinal arthritis (spondylosis) and torn cruciate ligaments.

I have recently updated my  class 3B laser to a class 4 laser.     The increased power allows for greater tissue penetration and greatly reduces the time it takes to a painful or debilitated dog or cat.    It also allows for treatment without the need to shave the hair on thick coated pets.  Frequently I will combine this new laser therapy with prolotherapy or acupuncture hasen clinical results.

Low level laser therapy may be applied directly to the skin or applied from 1 to 3 inches above the skin.  This form of laser application is referred to as “transcutaneous” (through the skin).     When applied to the skin red lasers penetrate only to a depth of   1/8 inch whereas infra red lasers can penetrate to a depth of 8 cm. and can actually have an effect on internal organs.   When applied to vascular areas of the skin, lasers can  be used to irradiate circulating red blood cells and produce a systemic effect. .   Lasers can also  irradiate blood through  intravenous application.   Regardless of which method is used the effects of laser blood irradiation are as follows:

1.   an improved immune system function with increased numbers of white cells(lymphocytes and phagocytic neutrophils  which engulf bacteria)

2.   a reduction in blood clotting time making strokes less likely

3.  an increase in microcirculation and tissue oxygenation

4.  an  increase in cellular energy production (ATP) through stimulation of the  mitochondria

5.  a relief of pain and swelling

6.  provides antispasmotic, anti inflammatory effects

7.   improves liver and kidney function

8.  Stimulates microcirculation in the central nervous system- specifically the hypothalamus and  limbic systems leading to stimulation of hormonal, metabolic, immunologic, and    autonomic nervous system function

9.    stimulates the the antioxidant enzyme system

10   improves the red blood cell regeneration (erythrogenesis)

Specific Applications

1.  Intervertebral disk disease (slipped disk in back)

2.  Degenerative joint disease

3.  Cruciate ligament tears

4.  Soft tissue injuries: muscle, tendon, and ligament strains and sprains

5.  Acute and chronic ear disease

6.  Sinusitis and rhinits

7.  Pre and post surgical care

8.  Wound care

9.  Re energizing sick and debilitated animals

10.  Rehabilitation and physical therapy

11.  Immune system support

12.  Autoimmune disease

13.  Acute and chronic pain relief

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.   Cities in these counties include Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park,  Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo, Shelby township, Washington, Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Arthritis in Cats and Dogs: An Alternative Holistic Therapy for Lameness

Arthritis is probably the most common of the chronic diseases that progressively steels quality life from our senior dogs. Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can effect any size dog or cat but is seen much more often in larger breed dogs. Arthritis often starts with stiffness and is first noticed when the older dog has a hard time rising in the morning. In time the owner may noticed that their dog is getting more lame, slower going up the stairs and may be reluctant to jump into the car.. A dog with hip displasia or hip arthritis tends to run like a rabbit using both back legs at once. As the arthritis progresses the dog will usually become more lame and betining kjl to hold up or favor one limb. He or she may walk with short stiff steps and the dog’s gait may show a hind end instability (swaying). At the end stages of arthritis the pet may not be able to rise without the owners help. It is a sad thing to see otherwise healthy animals euthanized because their caregiver is undable to lift them up in order to get them outside when they need to eliminate.

It is my opinion much of the arthritis our dogs experience could be eliminated by changing their diets from a grain based food to a more meat based recipe. Just because the first ingredient on the ingredient list is meat does not make the diet meat based. The only way to distinguish if a food is meat based is to asked the company’s nutritionist (not customer support person) “what percent of their food is meat when measured on a dry matter basis ?” Judged on this basis, most pet foods are no more than 20% meat. Grain based diets are hard for carnivores to digest and the poorly digested large grain protein molecules act as allergens which damage the intestinal lining and result in a “leaky gut syndrome”. This leaky gut allows grain protein molecules to get into the blood stream where they can migrate to the pet’s joints and set up an inflammatory reaction. Feeding a meat based diet helps to prevent the above sequence of events. Supplementing the diet with digestive enzymes, fish oil, and antioxidants will help reduce the likelihood of arthritis.

If your dog has already developed arthritis there are a number of ways to help slow the progression and reduce the discomfort from the disease. Injections of “chondroprotective” substances which increase joint fluid production and encourage cartilage repair can be very effective arthritis remedies. Personally I am not a big proponent of using non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce inflammation and pain because their long term use may result in gastro intestinal, liver, and kidney disease. It has also been shown that long term use of NSAIDs in humans actually results in cartilage degeneration. Providing glucosamine, chondroitin , MSM, Gerizyme, Adequin, Legend, Zeel , Trameell,systemic enzymes, hyaluronic acid, Comfort Zone and antioxidants in place of NSAIDs can help restore joint integrity and, in my opinion, is a much preferred approach.

Other ways to treat advanced arthritis include physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, “infra-sonic therapy”, “pulsed magnetic therapy”, prolotherapy, gold bead implants, cold laser therapy, Electro Crystal Rebalancing and massage therapy. Teaching pet owners how to massage their pet and provide passive range of motion can be very helpful in extending and enhancing their pets quality of life.

Finally, I want let my readers know about a very exciting advance in arthritis therapy. Adult stem cell technology is now available to help treat advanced arthritis. The stem cells are harvested from the patients own fat. These stem cells can be injected intravenously or directly into joints. These injected primitive cells will develop into connective tissue and cartilaginous cells which will help to rejuvenate the damaged joint. This technology is has already been used successfully in hundreds of dogs and horses and although still on the expensive side is now available to the family pet. Presently I am one of the few veterinarians certified to provide such therapy.

Detecting the early signs of arthritis and instituting early treatment can make a huge difference in the success of therapy. Providing a high quality meat based diet, with omega 3 fatty acids, digestive and systemic enzymes and antioxidants along with weight management can help prevent the onset of arthritis and help extend both the quality and quantity of the pet’s life.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional andalternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio