Introduction to Holistic Supports for Pets
Why would you want to learn about holistic supports? Dogs exhibit external symptoms of illness, and holistic supports can help get to the core issues at play as well as balance out external symptoms. For example, one of the most common is skin issues. You’ve seen them – what appear to be allergies, itching, oozing, patches of fur missing, etc. The skin is second only to intestines in surface area, and is among the first that the body accesses to detoxify toxins absorbed in the body, or push out waste materials of its own immune system at work.
So normally we go to the vet. They do skin scrapings or allergy testing, and treat the symptoms with antibiotics and/or steroids. And what happens? First, the natural process of detoxing and internal healing is suppressed, and the toxins are pushed inward, moving into other places in the body. We likely find ourselves back at the vet in the near future with either a different chronic set of symptoms or a recurrence of the same symptoms; only this time the symptoms are fiercer. The vet ups the ante, gives stronger doses, and the cycle continues.
I know: I’ve been there with a dog who licked his feet incessantly for a decade. He was put on stronger and stronger treatments that suppressed his immune system and made him worse over time. The symptoms would diminish temporarily, then come back with a vengeance. The vet, trained in allopathic medicine, used the tools at hand the best he could. He didn’t know about energy meridians or how to look at the dog as a whole being rather than a set of symptoms. He was not trained in any alternatives to the three main treatment options: Surgery, antibiotics, and steroids. He did his best, but failed to ever cure the problem. This dog’s misery did not end until he transitioned over the Rainbow Bridge.
What are the core issues that could have been at play with this dog? Was he allergic to grass, as proposed by the veterinarian? This is a common diagnosis in a species evolved to have contact with Mother Earth, grass, trees, water, etc. Does that really make sense? He could have had an imperceptible injury to cervical vertebrae that caused a nerve sensation to cascade down directly to his foot - making him want to scratch the resulting sensation with his teeth and tongue. (See figure above) A chiropractor could have found and corrected this. He could have had an immune system imbalance, treatable with herbs or homeopathics, or safe and gentle routine liver detoxing. He could have been emotionally stressed by the presence of new animals or other stressors in his life, treatable with flower essences, homeopathics or energy healing. There are other “whole body” possibilities that someone trained in holistic medicine might easily have found as well. He certainly was not innately allergic to grass, nor did he need multiple rounds of antibiotics and steroids, which ultimately made him totally miserable.
We all love our boxers and other pets and most of us depend on our veterinarians to give us sound advice to assist with health issues, both acute and chronic. We would give our right arm to see them healed. This article is not meant to impugn the integrity of allopathically-trained health professionals, for they work with what they have learned and can certainly turn a crisis around quickly. They are in the business to heal and their services are valuable. But how can we use holistic knowledge to augment or even replace traditional treatments that may not be effective? How can we give our beautiful boxers the best quality of life along with the potential for increased longevity?
There are six basic classes of holistic supports that often can be used by the lay person at home, typically at very low cost, and often with miraculous results. Knowledge of these methods and judicious consultation with holistic health professionals can sometimes save a caregiver thousands of dollars in traditional treatments and get directly to the core imbalances and fix them – for good in some cases. The first two, Homeopathics and Flower Essences, are completely nature-based, non-toxic and free of noxious chemical substances, and great for beginners seeking natural means to reduce suffering and provide significant healing support to themselves and their pets. They can be used alongside any form of medication without any risk of adverse reactions, and choosing the incorrect remedy does not cause damage. These are great learning tools for anyone in safe alternatives to traditional treatments because you can try another remedy if the first one is ineffective.
We will learn about the different types of holistic supports in future issues...