What’s the best food to feed your dog? Does your cat need to be vaccinated? How about your itchy pup or vomiting feline?
I’m excited to be here to answer all of your natural and holistic vet care questions!
Many readers of this magazine have probably already adopted a holistic lifestyle for themselves. There’s not much question in the general medical community that doing so helps us live longer and healthier lives.
Thirty years ago, when I graduated from vet school, there were no readily available commercial raw foods and vaccinations were given annually (or more often). Veterinary care that was reliable, natural, and holistic was hard to find.
Viv from Bethel asks, “I have a general question for Dr. Jeff. My 8-year-old miniature Schnauzer recently died from complications due to chemotherapy. I also have a 2-year-old mini and want to help keep her from having problems. Is there anything special that I should do?”
Great question! First of all, Viv, my condolences for your loss. This article about coping with the loss of a pet might help a bit: http://bit.ly/vZrQMz.
There are various ways to help prevent serious problems from developing. Though I can’t list them all, you will find many answers at: http://bit.ly/1MZ0r6t.
The most important step that you can take is to adopt a holistic view of your pup’s health. There are many specifics relating to diet, vaccination, symptom treatment, etc. However, regardless of how you treat your dog, it’s most critical to keep your eye “on the prize.” As an owner, using behaviors and signs (both subtle and more obvious) of the whole dog is important in the assessment of optimal health and longevity. One particularly bothersome problem might resolve with treatment. But if another, seemingly unrelated problem arises, then the pup might have actually moved towards a worsening level of health – even in the absence of the original concern.
Dr. Beal and I recently discussed this very issue. This very important question is discussed a bit further at: http://bit.ly/1usOZ98.
Joe from Fairfield ponders, “My cat sometimes asks me to pet him, but after a few minutes of petting, he turns around and bites me. Is he just being mean?”
No Joe, he’s not being mean. It’s great that he wants to interact with you by being pet. Some cats don’t like to be pet at all, while others are easily over-stimulated. Try restricting your petting to just a few seconds at first; concentrate on rubbing his head and neck area. Watch his tail. If you start to see it flicking around, he is getting over-stimulated and you need to stop petting him. Eventually you will learn where, and for how long he can tolerate petting without lashing out at you.
Marci in Bethel asks, “Dr. Jeff, my local veterinarian is open-minded about my minimizing vaccines, feeding fresh food and herbal and homeopathic treatments. Unfortunately, even though he’s supportive, he doesn’t know much about these treatments. What can I do?”
Wow, you’re very fortunate to have a supportive veterinarian, Marci. It sounds like now is a great time to add a well-trained, holistic veterinary homeopath to your veterinary health care team. They can work with and guide both you and your veterinarian. You can find one of us at: http://bit.ly/1fSLvtE.
Susan from Avon wonders, “My dog gets ear infections a few times a year. My vet says that they are from swimming or that the groomer gets her ears wet. What can I do?”
Hi Susan. Recurrent otitis (inflammation of the ear canal) is one of the many “common,” but abnormal problems that are early warning signs of internal imbalance http://bit.ly/HcCy6A. You can keep her ears dry after swimming or bathing by wiping them out with a cotton ball or tissue. Powdering them lightly with cornstarch is an effective method as well. If this is sufficient – great! If not, however, address the underlying imbalance and her tendency to generate ear symptoms with a veterinary homeopath. Doing so should not only help her current ear problems, but should also prevent other problems in the future.
For more answers or to join our discussion, go to Ask Dr. Jeff on the web at: http://bit.ly/GXmLYA.