UK Pet Forums Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have posted elsewhere about canine fireworks phobias (something that I am on a little bit of a mission about!) and am conscious that I keep referring to herbal medicines and pheromone products as a sensible first point of call.

I am interested in how people view herbal medicines though. I think a lot of people put everything with 'herbal' in the title under the same umbrella of 'hippy remedies' and for the most part, I would probably agree! With drugs like Digoxin (mainstream heart medication used in both people and animals) made from Foxglove and the medicinal properties of turmeric well researched and proven though, where is the line between herbal and conventional medicine drawn?

What are people's thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,289 Posts
Professor David Colquhoun sums it up best when he says:

■Herbal medicine: giving patients an unknown dose of an ill-defined drug, of unknown effectiveness and unknown safety
Patients' guide to Magic medicine

He's the Professor of Pharmacology at Universtoty college London
Fellow of the Royal Society

Extract from Wikki

Colquhoun has been an outspoken critic of pseudoscience and scientific fraud for many years. He has written extensively on the topic, including articles in Nature[24] and The Guardian.[25] He is particularly critical of alternative medicine, and of the decision of a number of UK universities to offer science degrees incorporating courses in complementary and alternative medicine such as homeopathy and acupuncture,[24] stating that they are "anti-science" and that "universities that run them should be ashamed of themselves."[26] His interest in inference extends to methods that are used to assess and manage science, and critical assessment of research "metrics".[27] In December 2009, Colquhoun won a Freedom of Information judgement, after a three-year campaign, requiring the University of Central Lancashire to release details of their BSc course in homeopathy.[28][29]
 
  • Like
Reactions: Werehorse

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,185 Posts
As there are specialist vet in both homeopathy

BAHVS » Find a Vet

And herbs

http://www.herbalvets.org.uk/

I am familiar with the use of both in the care and treatment of animals.

I also recently attended a seminar on Applied Zoopharmacognosy with Caroline Ingraham and was so impressed have booked onto the two day canine course in February.

Caroline Ingraham - Zoopharmacognosy

Having also attended several seminars with veterinary behaviourists I believe I have a better understanding of how and when such products may be indicated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
Hi everyone,

I have posted elsewhere about canine fireworks phobias (something that I am on a little bit of a mission about!) and am conscious that I keep referring to herbal medicines and pheromone products as a sensible first point of call.

I am interested in how people view herbal medicines though. I think a lot of people put everything with 'herbal' in the title under the same umbrella of 'hippy remedies' and for the most part, I would probably agree! With drugs like Digoxin (mainstream heart medication used in both people and animals) made from Foxglove and the medicinal properties of turmeric well researched and proven though, where is the line between herbal and conventional medicine drawn?

What are people's thoughts?
Many Natural medicines are in fact recognised as regards to herbal and naturally dervived things.

There is zylkene made from casein a protein found in milk.
Thats recognised by conventional vets
What is Zylkène ~ Zylkène - For life's ups and downs

There is also KalmAid
Made from L-tryptophan essential amino acid which is needed for the production of serotonin that calms and relaxes, it also contrains L-theanine another amino acid and Thiamine (vitamin B1) which defficiency has been associated with nervous disorders.

There is also Scullcap and valerian a herbal remedy which is actually licencensed,
in fact its often used as an adjunct with epilepsy amongst other things even a conventional veterinary neurologist suggested it when one of mine was having seizures.
Scullcap and Valerian Tablets for Dogs and Cats - Dorwest

Even things like Aktivait which is a neutracuetical as well has had fantastic results in oid dogs with dementia and CDS as it contains the neutriants for optimum brain function.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Old Shep - I think this is exactly my point. The gentleman that you quote is using a broad spectrum argument that he will no doubt contradict himself by when he uses drugs such as Digoxin.

I firmly believe in the rigourousness of medicinal testing and if someone can prove to me that something works in an unbiased trial, then the label we put on it, be it veterinary medicine, veterinay herbal medicine or neutraceutical (some of which also have wonderful benefits) does not matter to me. To dismiss something because of it's 'title', to me at least, seems short sighted and quite frankly insensible. Just because something is classed as 'herbal', does not mean that it does not have an effect on the body. Anybody who has smoked cannibis can surely testify to this!

The problem lies in the lack of regulation. So someone decides that tea leaves are of medicinal benefit - there is nothing to stop them making wild claims about it in their advertising (there are some advertising regulations, but they can often be got round with careful wording). It is this irresponsible use of the tag 'herbal' that casts shadow on the products that do indeed have their benefits.

For those still in the 'herbal doesn't work' camp, remember this: all drugs were plant or animal products once. We are not so clever that we have invented and synthesised brand new compounds. We adapt what our species have been using for eons, we develop proven products and we are still discovering new ones.



As for homeopathy - well, let's just say that I am yet to be convinced on that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Has anyone had to deal with Cushing's Disease in canines (dogs)?
My dog had her teeth cleaned today and the vet said her bloodwork was high in a couple of areas. These high 'marks' may indicate Cushing's Disease. She is on antibiotics and he's hoping the antibiotics will bring these numbers down and the high numbers were just a result of too much bacteria in the liver. She'll be tested again next Tuesday and if the numbers are still high, he'll do the specific test for Cushings. Basically, if you have had experience with this whether it was your own dog or you work for a vet, what did you do? What steps did you take to help the dog? I know medication may be involved. I would like to know if you chose medicine, herbal remedies or decided your dog had a good life and let the dog go (euthanasia). I don't think the last option is an option at all, not at this point. Thanks for any advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
Has anyone had to deal with Cushing's Disease in canines (dogs)?
My dog had her teeth cleaned today and the vet said her bloodwork was high in a couple of areas. These high 'marks' may indicate Cushing's Disease. She is on antibiotics and he's hoping the antibiotics will bring these numbers down and the high numbers were just a result of too much bacteria in the liver. She'll be tested again next Tuesday and if the numbers are still high, he'll do the specific test for Cushings. Basically, if you have had experience with this whether it was your own dog or you work for a vet, what did you do? What steps did you take to help the dog? I know medication may be involved. I would like to know if you chose medicine, herbal remedies or decided your dog had a good life and let the dog go (euthanasia). I don't think the last option is an option at all, not at this point. Thanks for any advice!
Ive got a dog with Cushings and treatment has been very successful.

Usually the first sign the owner sees is drinking more and peeing more sometimes they will have accidents, they tend to pant more, and the coat isnt often so good or skin as regards to condition, they can get a thinner coat too and often develope a pot belly. Sometimes you see less ability to exercise as well, more and more symptoms occur usually as it progresses, for one of two reasons the body produces too high cortisol steroid levels, so its basically like being on an overdose of steroid treatment.

It usually shows up on the routine hemotology and biochemistry as
raised liver enzymes AP and ALT, higher cholesterol and glucose and decreased urea. Increased neutrophils, and occaionally red blood cell count,
Decreased eosinophils and lymphocyte counts.

A urinalysis test including specific gravity can also be an indicator
if the specific gravity is 1.001 - 1.030 +/- Protein and Blood.

If he gets these readings again then the confirmation of cushings is an ACTH test. She will have to be starved from the night before then go in and stay for the morning. They will take a blood test then inject with ACTH and then an hour later take another blood sample and send it away. Then look at the levels of cortisol present before and after the ACTH injection
depending on the reading they can tell if she is cushings or not.

If they are suspect but not conclusive then she will likely have to have another test called a low dose dexamethasone test. This they have to stay in all day for as its a longer test.
You have to starve from the night before they then collect base line bloods
inject with dexamethasone and then collect two sample 3 hours later and 8 hours later. Again they read the levels present.

There is a high dose dexamethasone test to finally detect if the cause is pituatory dependant or adrenal dependant, but with the vetoryl medication that is the newest most up to date one, which treats both types you probably wont have to have it done. If was more widely used before the vetoryl was available as the previous meds were not useful for both types.

If she is found to have cushings, she will be put on the vetoryl that will then be tested/monitored at 10 days, then 4 weeks and 12 weeks initially. They use the ACTH as monitoring. Once the levels are known to be ok and the correct dose found then you have this test done every 3months to monitor it.
Really they should also have biochemistry done as well AP Alkaline Phosphatase and ALT Alanine aminotransfertase needs motnitoring to assess for liver function and by measuring these too you can also monitor improvement on liver function.

Urea,creatinine and phosphorus levels also to check for kidney function.

Total protein albumin and Globulin helps to make sure they are hydrated also monitors protein losing and inflammatory disorders that cushings dogs can have.

Cholsterol as cholsterol is usually higher in cushings dogs monitoring it can tell wether its been corrected with treatment.

Glucose as diabetes isnt uncommon in dogs with treated and untreated cushings.

They should also have sodium potassium ratios checked too.

Your vet will either send off the ACTH test which is specialist to a lab and do the other bloods in house, or depending on the Lab you can actually send off for the whole tests to be done in a complete monitoring plus package.

My dog has been on the Vetoryl treatment for well over a year now, and the results are staggering all the symptoms have disappeared and its taken years off her so I would say although its a pretty expensive condition to treat the results have been well worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A very comprehensive reply from sled dog hotel - not much more to add really.

Sorry, I should have said originally, I am a vet myself. As has already been explained - prepare yourself for your doggy having multiple blood tests for initial diagnosis and ongoing monitoring. In the context of this thread, there are no herbal remedies that have proven to be beneficial in the context of Cushings - you must choose conventional medicine - Vetoryl being the major drug of choice in the UK, as has already been said. Cushing's can be secondary to other conditions in rare occasions, in which case, these should be investigated. I would suspect that a pre-anaesthetic profile, such as the one taken before a dental, will include the things that would show this though.

Cushing's is not something that can be cured in the majority of cases, but can often be managed. It can be a bumpy road getting to the point of status quo though and even when you get him settled on a dose that works for him, things can change without warning. I am not trying to be negative, just giving you a realistic expectation.

If it is just you dog's liver enzymes that are high, it may be all sorts of other things casuing this and these should be investigated - further liver specific blood tests and ultrasound are sensible options. There are actually very few conventional drugs that can help with chronic liver conditions, but diet change and milk thistle work wonderfully to support liver function. I combine this with another drug called Destolit if appropriate and a source of SAM-E, which is an amino acid. All these options are proven to have an effect on improving and supporting liver function.

All the best with your dog and I hope it is something that is short-term and easily treated.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top