Archive for October, 2011

Lumps, Bumps and Cancer in Pets

If your dog or cat has a lump or bump anywhere on his or her body it could be early cancer.    A simple physical exam can not determine whether the bump is a malignant tumor, cancer,  or a benign mass.   Commonly given advice by veterinarians is to watch a mass and see if it grows or changes.    Unfortunately,  such advice  may jeopardize the animal’s life.   Waiting to see if the mass grows may waste valuable therapeutic time if the mass turns out to be cancer.   Lumps developing on or under the skin are often benign tumors but there is no sure  way to know visually or by feel.    Such lumps may be cysts, abscesses, or benign fatty tumors or a life threatening cancer.    It is very important to evaluate such a growth as soon as possible by either a needle aspiration biopsy and/or excision of the entire mass.    Either the aspiration biopsy of the mass  or complete excision will provide a specimen that can be sent to the laboratory  for a complete microscopic evaluation by  a pathologist.    This way cancers can be identified and removed before they have had a chance to spread to other areas of the body.     Pet owners should be made aware that what often appears to be a benign fatty growth can not be distinguished from a cancerous mast cell tumor by simply feeling it .     Of course, non cancerous fatty tumors are by far more common than cancerous mast cell tumors but playing the odds is not a good idea when loosing the bet might mean your pet could die from  cancer.   If the lump turns out not to be a tumor but, on the other hand ,  a cyst,  or abscess the  mass can be either opened up and its contents cleaned out or it could be removed in its entirety and thrown out with the trash.     If cryo surgery is to be used to remove the growth then excising a small piece of tissue before the freezing begins will allow tissue to be sent to the pathologist .

If you feel any sort of mass on your dog or cats body please do not sit around and watch it growth.  Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian so that he can give you his honest opinion about how to proceed.

For more information on holistic or alternative mediicine please visit www.doc4pets.com

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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

The Value Of The Holistic Approach To Disease

There has been much more interest in holistic and alternative medicine in recent years.   Pet owners are becoming more sophisticated and are less likely to blindly trust drugs as the only solution to their pets problem.     Pet owners are becoming more suspicious of drugs and know that many can have serious side effects.   In addition, the failure of traditional,  drug medicine to effectively deal with chronic disease makes pet owners even more interested in looking  for and  frequently trying an alternative,  more natural approach to healing.    The failure of traditional medicine to address chronic immune mediated disease is one the main reasons pet owners are becoming disenchanted with conventional medicine.

These immune system  diseases are treated conventionally with immune suppressive drugs and antibiotics which suppress symptoms and treat secondary effects but do not address the primary cause of the problem.    Examples of such diseases are:  inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory bladder disease in cats, and degenerative intervertebral disk disease including spondylosis.    Conventional therapy for these diseases, steroids and antibiotics, is not strongly supported by research studies and yet the traditional veterinary establishment frequently finds fault with holistic therapies  for not having the double blind studies to support its unconventional approach.      These traditional veterinarians seem to be unaware that many of their everyday conventional protocols are based only on the experience of individuals and are not  “evidence based”  which is their own established method for determining the legitimacy of treatments.

Conventional drug medicine is to be congratulated at  it’s success in treating acute disease and emergencies, however it falls very short in treating chronic disease in such a way that the patient ends up truly healthier after the treatment.     Although traditional medicine may be quite effective in suppressing the symptoms of these chronic diseases the therapy is often detrimental to the long term survival of the patient and he or she may become progressivel y weaker over time.    The conventionally prescribed drugs may often give immediate relief from chronic symptoms  but all too  often the price that is paid  is that  additional drugs are necessary  to treat the secondary symptoms and complications caused by the original therapy.   Far too often the  original cause of the problem is not addressed and, consequently,  the need for continual  drug therapy with its inherent complications is ongoing.

Yes people and their pets may be living somewhat longer than before but many are sicker than the last generation and the quality of their lives has been reduced.    The question should not be one of life span but really of “health span”.     What good is living longer if you are hurting or  sick.     The epidemic increase in auto immune and inflammatory disease is extremely troubling but conventional medicine has failed to address disease from an immunological point of view.    Consequently, traditional medicine has gone down the road of symptom suppression and not of true diseases prevention.
Holistic medicine, both human and animal,   focuses on repairing or modulating  breakdowns in the patients immune system and  bodily functions.   It looks for   genetic weaknesses,  mal nutritiion, and environmental toxicities in an attempt to fix the problem.  Killing germs with bigger and better antibiotics simply ignores the real underlying cause of the disease.   It is important to understand that infections are usually a secondary effect of immune system defects.  Dr. Louis Pasteur was the formulator of the germ theory of disease.     His position was that germs are the cause of most diseases and therefore antibiotic therapy is the solution      A contemporary of Pasteur, Dr. Claude Bernard a famous French physiologist  was of a different opinion.   He taught that the real cause of infectious disease is not germs but a defect  in patients immune system which allowed the germs to get a foot hold and mulptiply.   As the story goes, on his death bed Pasteur acknowledge that Bernard was right and agreed that it is the break down in the body’s immune defense and not the germs which  result in disease.   However, Pasteur had been the more charismatic speaker and his position  became the conventional dogma and took the medical  and veterinary profession down a road where the search for the magic bullet (antibiotics and allopathic drugs) was prime objective.    If  Dr Bernard would have been better at selling his approach the medicalthan profession would look far different  than it does today .

Holistic medicine also realizes that everything put on or in the body, whether through diet, vaccination or pesticide treatment can have a short and long term effect on the health of a sensitive individual . That’s why it’s so important to feed a healthy diet.    Hippocrates the father of medicine spoke the famous words,  “Let food be thy medicine”.    Nutritional and herbal therapy are much safer and gentler approaches to disease and , more often than not,  address the cause of the problem at a deeper level with few to no side effects.

Holistic veterinary medicine has been growing exponentially in recent years to address this growing need and demand of small animal veterinary medicine.  Membership in organizations such as The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, The Academy of  Veterinary Homeopathy, The American Veterinary Chiropractic Society, and The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society has taken off in this last decade. To learn more about these various modalities, including where to find a trained veterinary practitioner in these areas, and how they may be of help to especially chronically ill pets, one can start at the websites www.AHVMA.org

When seeking out a holistic veterinarian it’s important to make sure that they are adequately trained in their particular area of interest, and that they receive ongoing continuing education each year. Just as there are great variation in conventional veterinary medical skills and practice, the same can be said of holistic veterinary medical practitioners, especially as there is growing interest and an economic niche seen in this area of veterinary medicine.

For more information on alternative or holistic medicine please visit us at www.doc4pets.com

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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

Healing Chronicly Inflammed Tissue With Oxygen Therapy

 

Regardless of  whether we are talking about pets or people,  chronic inflammatory disease   is closely  associated with  poor blood flow and  poor  oxygenation of the affected  tissue or organ.   The reduced supply of oxygen to the tissue results in a buildup of lactic acid  and a decrease in the number of  electrons available for cellular energy production and healing .   Pain and dysfunction are the end result when  reduced tissue blood flow diminishes available cellular energy necessary  for  healing inflammatory disease.

Now that we understand how  chronic inflammation is related to a decreased tissue blood supply and poor oxygenation  it only makes sense to ask how we can increase the poor blood flow to an inflammed  area .    One of the best ways is to dilate the blood vessels feeding the chronically inflammed tissue.    This can be accomplished in several   ways.   Providing your pet with supplements containing the amino acid arginine produces  vasodilatation by increasing the body’s production of nitric oxide.     A second   way  to promote vasodilatation and increased tissue oxygenation is through acupuncture.   In research studies acupuncture has been shown to stimulate nitric oxide production, dilate blood vessels, and consequently bring more oxygen and healing energy to chronically diseased tissue.      Whether we use arginine supplementation or  acupuncture  the increased tissue oxygenation will decrease unwanted acidity and increase cellular energy  both of  which will encourage damaged tissue to heal.

Regularly exercising your pets is a third way to support tissue oxygenation.      Pets that are encouraged to exercise will have better overall circulation to their tissues.    The better circulation will result in higher  levels of cellular energy and more rapid healing.    Whether you walk, jog, play fetche or Frisbee with your pet the enhanced level of activity and blood flow will definitely benefit both you and your pet.

Another way of  increasing oxygenation of your pet’s organs and tissues is by using nutritional supplements.   Dimethylgycine is a well known nutrient that is used by athletes, both human and animal, to support the immune system and increase endurance by allowing for better tissue oxygenation.     Another nutrient, Mega hydrate,  is an extremely powerful antioxidant that can helps oxygenate, hydrate, and detoxify your pets damaged cells.     Gingko Biloba is a well known herb that causes vasodilation and consequently better tissue oxygenation.   Adding Celtic sea salt to your pet’s food on a daily basis will reduce tissue acidity and help keep the body better oxygenated.    Celtic sea salt is very helpful in treating arthritis and kidney disease.   Regularly feeding your pet fresh colorful veggies will provide additional  antioxidants that will support tissue oxygenation and reduce inflammation.

Massage therapy can be a very pleasant way for you to encourage blood flow to your pet’s  sore or damaged bones, joints and muscles.   With very minimal training you can learn to massage chronicly painful areas and bring healing blood and oxygen into to the tissue.    There are also simple physical therapy techniques you can learn, such as putting damaged joints through their range of motion.   These techniques   will encourage better blood flow to an area  and increase the rate of healing.    Ozone therapy is a way of  adding oxygen to bodily tissues either by giving an ozone enema or by saturating a lactated ringers solution with ozone and then infusing the lactated ringers under the skin.   Oral hydrogen peroxide therapy is one more way of increasing oxygen in the tissues.

The above suggestions for  preventing or limiting inflammatory disease by increasing tissue oxygenation  address healing  your pet at a very fundamental level.      Treating inflammation in this way is much preferred to  using  steroids or non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs which do not heal but simply  mask symptoms of pain and dysfunction.

For more information on holistic or alternative medicine please visit us at www.doc4pets.com

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

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