Archive for the ‘toxins/pollution’ Category

A Natural Approach to Chronic or Recurrent Infections In Pets

If  your dog or cat is prone to recurrent or chronic infections the important question you must ask your self is–Why is this happening ?       Is there a genetic weakness in your pet’s immune system?   Is there a nutritional deficiency  that  weakens the immune response.  Is the environment  your pet  lives  stressful  and suppressing the immune system?   Does your pet’s living area harbor hidden sources of infectious or parasitic dangers.?  Is there a thyroid deficiency  which suppresses the immune response?  Is your pet’s  diet inadequate in some way such that the raw materials needed for a healthy immune are missing?    Does your pet have allergies or an auto immune disease that predisposes  the animal  to secondary bacterial infections?   Does your pet have intestinal or external parasites?

Not all animals  are born with a genetically strong immune systems.    These genetically challenged pets may show a tendency to develop recurrent skin, ear, bladder,  kidney and lung infections,  to name just a few.    We can’t eliminate the animal’s genetic weakness but we can support the immune system in several ways.    A superior commercial diet or, better yet, homemade diet will contain all of the necessary nutrients the body needs to manufacture essential immune system molecules.   Adding nutritional supplements to an already good diet can help to either plug nutritional holes or raise the level of specific vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, enzymes and antioxidants which are instrumental in establishing a strong immune system.    Homemade, meat based, low grain diets that are prepared by following a professionally developed recipe is what I recommend for those caregivers who have the time to do so.    To protect immune compromised pets from the danger of bacteria contaminated meat I recommend searing the meat before grinding it and then adding the seared ground meat to the rest of the homemade diet.

Caregivers of pets with immune weakness should be particularly concerned with their pet’s hygiene, including the skin, coat, ears, and teeth.     Routine grooming to remove mats, dirt, fleas, ticks, lice,   and foreign materials such as burrs will go a long way in taking stress off the immune system.    Weekly ear cleanings will remove dirt and wax in the ear canal which if left will predispose to infection.    Regular home and professional dental care is next only to good nutrition in helping to support the immune system.     Tartar formation, gum disease, and periodontal disease are serious threats to a healthy immune system.    By reducing the bacterial population of your pet’s mouth with good conscientious home and professional dental care,  you greatly lower the chance that oral bacteria can get into your pets blood stream and cause heart or kidney disease.

If your pet has skin or respiratory allergies or is suffering from and an auto-immune disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) then infectious diseases are very likely to follow.    Allergies result in inflammation of the skin and mucus membranes of the gastro-intestinal and respiratory tract.    When healthy, the skin and mucus membranes of the body are natural barriers that block the invasion of bacteria into the deeper tissues, however, when allergies or autoimmune disease injure these natural barriers they can no longer act as a formidable defense and secondary yeast and bacterial infections appear.

A pet that  is constantly anxious and under stress is much more likely to develop infections than a pet that lives in a quiet, peaceful, loving environment.    If you have a pet that has not been properly trained and and needs to be constantly reprimanded for soiling the house, chewing on furniture , barking excessively,  or biting people  then you have a home environment that is unhealthy  and stressful for both you and your pet.      A pet that is not a good citizen and is disrupting the household is hard to love and welcome as a positive contribution to the family.     Proper obedience training early in the life of the pet will pay back dividends in both the physical and psychological health of your pet and entire family.

If you have a pet who has a history of chronic infections requiring long term or frequent antibiotic therapy but the condition never really clears up consider my above advice.    However, if nothing seems to prevent recurrence  of infection  then consider using the following natural remedies in place of long term antibiotics:    Olive leaf extract,  Echinacea, Goldenseal,   colloidal silver,   Iodine,  thyroid supplementation, zinc,   vitamin C,  astragalus,  mushroom therapy,  systemic enzymes,  and monolaurin.   Please understand that chronic  or recurrent infections are serious business so find an experienced  holistic veterinarian who will be best able to assess you pet’s condition and advise you on how to create an effective natural antibacterial regiment.

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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 Associatio.n

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, 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

A HEALTHY PET OR A GREEN LAWN?: Avoid Environmental toxins !

Do you want a green lawn or a healthy pet?    That is the question.    How important is it for you to have the most picturesque lawn in the neighborhood if by doing so you are actually jeopardizing the health of your pet and your family.     Consider the facts presented in the following paragraphs and then decide whether chemical pesticides and herbicides are something you still want to use on your lawn.   I am sure you will all agree that the yard and lawn should be a safe place for children, pets, and bare feet.

We and our pets  live in a highly toxic world.       But our pets are even more exposed to these toxins than we are because they live closer to the ground and explore the world with their nose and mouth. They are certainly more likely to inhale or consume environmental toxins that have been intentionally placed on the lawn where they play or on the lawn of their neighbors.    Pets eat grass, sniff the dirt, walk on the ground in bare feet, roll on the lawn,  lick their feet and coat, drink from puddles on the ground, and chase wet balls that are rolled across the grass while playing fetch.

If you place synthetic herbicides and pesticides on your grass you can be assured that you will be exposing both your family and pet to toxins that have been implicated as  causes  of cancer, birth defects, reproductive defects,  neurological  defects, as well as kidney and liver damage.   Furthermore, these toxins irritate the skin and can cause an immune system  imbalance.     Studies have shown that dogs exposed to herbicides have increased rates of lymphoma and bladder cancer.  It is a disturbing fact that the city of Grosse Point, MI, a very prosperous city where beautifully manicured green lawns are highly prized has the highest incidence of breast cancer in the United States.   It is a fact that American home owners use more pesticides per acre than farmers.

In my clinic I often see what I believe to be acute pesticide or herbicide toxicity.    Every year, especially in the spring, I see pets that are brought in because they started vomiting a few days after the application of pesticides or herbicides to the lawn of their caregiver or that of their neighbor.     The spraying of trees is certainly another associated risk factor that has been implicated in the sudden illness of pets.

Don’t make a serious mistake by believing what your commercial grass care company tells you “ that once herbicides and pesticides have dried on the lawn that they are no longer a threat to pets and people. “      Once these chemicals have dried they form a residue on the grass and plants that can irritate skin when touched or can rub off onto the coats of pets playing in the grass.   In very hot weather these dried chemicals can vaporize and be inhaled.    The chemicals may be consumed when the dog chews on the grass.    When the dog enters the house after walking on and rolling in the grass he/she brings these toxins into the house where the both adults and children are exposed when the dog is hugged or licks the caregiver.    If the pet gets up on your furniture or sleeps in your bed or that of your child  toxins are deposited there.    If he or she shakes,  the toxins are flung into the air to be breathed by everyone in the house.

Please be aware that pesticides and herbicides do not remain where they are placed.   They can drift on wind currents and enter our homes.   Or can be carried in to the house on our shoes or on our pet’s paws and coat.    They often runoff from our yards and enter the waterways that then pollute underground wells and surrounding lakes.

Unfortunately, despite 60 years of commercial availability there remain significant data gaps on the health and environmental effects of many herbicides.     Many more studies have been done on the effects of these chemicals on humans than on dogs and cats.  So in the case of these lawn chemicals we must use the humans as the guinea pig to determine the dangers  these chemicals may have on dogs and cats.    That is,  if we can use dogs as research animals in drug trials to determine their safety and side effects  in humans then we should certainly be able to use human studies on pesticide and herbicides dangers to determine their dangers for pets.

Please understand that you do not have to choose between a healthy pet and a beautiful yard.   It is relatively easy to grow and maintain a green, weed and pest free lawn without using toxic chemicals.  Here are some simple, safe tips for maintaining a beautiful, green, pesticide and herbicide free lawn.

Mow high ( 3 inches)

Don’t  mow the grass when wet

Leave the grass clipping in the lawn

Overseed bare areas with fescue

Top dress the lawn with organic fertilizer

Prevent weeds in your established lawn with corn-gluten meal.

Definitely avoid the following lawn chemicals:  2,4-d;  Carbaryl;    Malathion;  Imidocloprid;   Pendi Methalin;   Atrazine;  Mecoprop;   Dicamba

Finally,   we live in a very toxic world where the air, water and food we eat and  breathe contains dangerous disease causing agents.     We cannot escape all these toxins but we can do our best to limit our family and our pets’ exposure .     Consequently, the question you must answer is do you hold the beauty of your lawn more dear than the health of your family and your pet.    So learn everything you can about natural lawn care and have the best of both worlds.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, bird, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is the author of 4 pet health care boodks and regularly writes articles for Natural Awakening magazine.

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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