Posts Tagged ‘germ theory’

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

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


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

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