Posts Tagged ‘pets’

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

What Does It Mean To Have a “Healthy Pet”

If you were to ask the average pet caregiver how they judge whether their pet is healthy they might answer that they would know by making sure he or she was active, mobile, ate well, had normal stools and in general was free of any signs or symptoms that might suggest illness. Unfortunately, a state of good health is not synonymus with the absence of symptoms. The pet’s caretaker might respond by asking how can this be true. The answer is that often symptoms only appear when significant damage has already been done to an organ system.   Previous to the onset of symptoms , disease was present but at a sub-clincal level. Unfortunately if we wait for the appearance of symptoms before taking steps to treat or protect our pets we will always be swimming up stream . So the point is that it takes time for organs to be damaged to the point where symptoms become apparent. Each organ has a critical threshold of damage when symptoms will become noticeable. How then can we detect , treat or better yet prevent early organ damage when no symptoms are apparent?

We need to accept unfortunate truth that we and our pets live in a toxic world that is constantly trying to steal a little bit of our health . The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the psychologically stressful nature of our lives continually threatens our health and that of our pet. Consequently, none of us are healthy as we might believe. We are all carrying a toxic load in the form of both chemicals and psychological stress. On top of this, as a result of poor farming practices, and food processing techniques, the food that we and our pets eat is almost always deficient in essential nutrients like trace minerals, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, and antioxidants. Unfortunately, these deficient nutrients are essential in helping our pet’s body mount an attack to remove these toxins and cleanse our bodies. The point is that we are all toxic to some degree and probably becoming more toxic every day. The problems is insidious and each day little by little our health is being stolen from us. Since it is impossible to totally avoid toxins in our day to day life, what we can do is slow down the toxic degeneration of our bodies by minimizing exposure and following a program of detoxification. In the following paragraph I will briefy mention the important steps a pet caregiver can take to help their pet live a longer and healthier life. I apologize for not having the space to go in to much detail but If you are interested in a greater depth of understanding you may visit my website Doc4pets and then click on my blog.

Maximizing nutrition and minimizing toxins in your pet’s food can be accomplish best by feeding your dog or cat a homemade, meat based diet either raw/rare or lightly cooks . Of course organic ingredients and grass fed meat are best for your pet if you can afford them. Whether homemade of commercial, diets should contain at least 40% meat by dry weight. Avoid grains and feed colorful steamed (not raw) veggies which contain lots of antioxidants. Grains tend to be hard for carnivores to digest and promote the development of a “Leaky Gut Syndrome” which allows intestinal toxins to leak into blood stream and overwhelm the livers ability to cleanse the blood. Soaking food ingredients in hydrogen peroxide or grapefruit seed extract will help reduce external toxins that might be present in the food. Adding digestive enzymes supplements to the pet food will maximize availability of the nutrients while at the same time minimize the likelihood of food allergies.

Next in importance is minimizing house hold and yard toxins that your pet could be exposed to . Because our pets are closer to the ground than we are they are more exposed to toxic chemicals. Non toxic home cleaning supplies are now easy to obtain.. If pesticides are used in the house or yard make sure they are non toxic to your pet. Check you garage and basement for chemicals your pet can ingest. Have your basement tested for Radon. If you have a bird don’t cook with non stick utensils as these items can be toxic to them. Don’t smoke inside your house and don’t jog with your pet by busy streets where car fumes are more likely to be inhaled.

Routine dental care is extremely important in reducing your pets toxic exposure. Dental tartar is a great breeding ground for bacteria and bacterial toxins which are easily absorbed into the general circulation and which then damage the liver, kidney, heart and lungs. The importance of home dental care and a yearly professional dental exam, cleaning and polishing is next, only to good nutrition in its importance to your pet’s good health.

Finally, see your veterinarian at least once yearly. Senior pets should be seen twice yearly. He or she can advise you on how to prevent contagious viral and bacterial toxins. Early detection of intestinal parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, hookworms and tapeworm can minimize damage done by these parasites. They can also detect blood parasites such a heartworm disease and recommend ways to prevent these intestinal and blood parasites. Blood and urine testing can help detect disease before and symptoms become apparent. At Woodside we are now carrying a homeotoxicologic “Detox Kit” which contains remedies to be placed in the pets drinking water and is used for one month twice yearly.

Take the time , ideally once weekly, to give your pet a health evaluation which includes a home physical exam and careful observation of the animals breathing, urinating, and defecating. When you look at your pet check for a bright energetic personality, a good weight for the breed, a shiny hair coat, an absence of odor, a good appetite, a firm daily stool, effortless breathing, defecating, and urinating.

In conclusion don’t assume your dog or cat is perfectly healthy just because your pet is not displaying obvious symptoms. Toxins are constantly undermining your pet’s health and damage may develop slowly and unnoticed until enough injury occurs to cause organ failure. Therefore, be vigilant, proactive and never take your pets good health for granite.

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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 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 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 include:  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford,  Allen Park, Romulus, Trenton, 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