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Holistic Medicine for Dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by FEWill, Dec 3, 2010.


  1. FEWill

    FEWill PetForums Senior

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    Holistic medicine for dogs and some of the alternatives is still a very controversial subject. One side of the argument will claim that if these forms of treatments actually worked, they would be more widely used than they are. This side will also suggest that if herbs and like medications are used without the proper training as well as a full understanding, they can do a lot more harm to your dog than good. They will also contend that much like vitamins and minerals; they have not fully been tested or properly investigated for their full efficiency or safety.

    Then there is the other side of the argument that will suggest and remind the objecting side that many of these treatments have been around for thousands of years and dogs survived and thrived. They will also argue that they are a much more natural way to heal a dog's body as compared to chemicals, synthetics, as well as preservatives found in modern drugs. Then they will suggest that these additives have not been around since the beginning of time, and they can do more harm than good.

    However, despite both sides of the argument, the modern veterinary world, just like the modern medical world, is beginning to take some of these treatments a lot more seriously. In most cases, they are used as alternative treatments and they include homeopathic remedies, herbal medicine, as well as acupuncture.

    Homeopathic remedies:

    Holistic medicine for dogs and homeopathy are almost always misunderstood when it is used to describe any type of treatments. However, it is much different than herbal medicine. Originally introduced in the late 1800's by a German physician, it has one very basic philosophy; like cures like. This type of medical treatments will use a combination of medicine, natural plants, as well as minerals and vitamins again with one simply theory; the cause of the illness can also be used to cure the illness or disease.

    These types of treatments can include caring for liver disease with a diet that includes low fat meats as they are much easier on the liver to digest, as well as avoiding foods that have a lot of preservatives and additives. Vitamins and minerals will also be used to restore the liver. Vitamins E, the B-complex, as well as chromium and selenium are used in natural treatments for a dog's heart. Natural amino acids such as L-carnitine helps a dog to process fat and help to energize the heart, and taurine helps to protect the heart from getting too much calcium and enhances cell membranes.

    The benefits of vitamins and minerals can and does include most every part of your dog's body as these are just a few of the examples.

    Herbal medicine:

    Holistic medicine for dogs will next include herbal medicines that have been around since the beginning of time but are now starting to gain a lot of new interest, at least in the western world. The belief with this form of treatment is that instead of using drugs which may alter your dog's natural immune system, these types of treatments or remedies actually stimulate the immune system. Most all of these herbs are derived from plants and what the side that opposes them usually fails to mention, is that they are almost always part of a new drug or treatment. In fact, most of the new drugs were discovered and isolated from plants.

    These types of treatments used in drugs can be very fast acting, but the natural forms are considered to be much safer because they are not nearly as potent and do not have the side effects that some drugs have.

    The list of these herbs and the uses for dogs is quite extensive.

    Calendula can be used for wound healing, and the herb Raspberry is often used to help with pregnancy. Echinacea is used as a natural way to stimulate your dog's immune system, and Milk thistle is used to treat liver disorders. Chamomile is most commonly used for wound helping as well as respiratory problems, and Gingko is used to improve memory, especially in older dogs and dogs that have any type of a head injury.

    Holistic medicine for dogs and herbs will also include Lavender to help dogs that have a difficult time in sleeping, and Oats is used to reduce itching. It can also be used when you bath your dog as it will soften their hair coat. Yeast is often used as a natural supplement for your dog's skin, but is also extremely effective at stopping diarrhea. If your dog has a fever, the herbal treatment for this is Asian Ginseng, and Flaxseed is used for constipation as well as IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome.

    Acupuncture treatment:

    The next form of Holistic medicine for dogs is Acupuncture, which is also as old as any type of herbal treatment. It is an ancient method of pain control that causes the release of natural pain relieving chemicals is your dog's brain. The stimulus for this release is done with very fine needles that are placed at very strategic locations in their body. However, there is one thing that is very helpful for an owner to understand; the treatment is virtually painless for your dog.

    This form of treatment is starting to gain a lot of momentum and is now officially recognized by both the American Veterinarian Medical Association as well as the World Health Organization. It is really a very simple process; however, not all dogs can have this treatment. They will first have to be examined by your veterinarian and if approved, the medical history of your dog will have to be given to the acupuncture professional. If he or she approves, your dog is a candidate.

    Several needles will then be inserted into your dog's body, but they are so thin that your dog will virtually feel no pain at all. Your dog will be palpitated, which will involve shaking them slightly so they can find the path of what is referred to as energy meridian. They will than massage your dog to identify the weak and tender parts of their body. Once these points have been identified, the needles are inserted. The entire process may take only a few minutes, or in some cases, several minutes, but the treatment will never last very long.

    There are several conditions as well as diseases that this form of holistic medicine for dogs can help. They include strengthening your dog's immune system to full capacity which will help to fight infections as well as allergies. It is also very helpful in curing neurological illness, reproductive issues, as well as several types of skin diseases. It is also been reported to help hip dysplasia, chronic digestive problems, as well as lick granuloma and epilepsy.

    There is one other major misconception about this natural treatment; it is very expensive. On the average, the cost will be between sixty and two hundred dollars per session and most dogs will feel immediate relief after only one or two sessions. However, if the condition is severe or chronic, it can be as high as five hundred dollars. In some cases, this may end up being a lot cheaper than several veterinarian calls and conventional medications for your dog.

    Summary:

    Holistic medicine for dogs is still very controversial and both sides of the argument will try to prove their points. But there is one thing to remember in this argument; these treatments have been around for thousands of years and amazingly the world wide dog population survived without the modern day treatments. This is a fact that the opposing side may want to consider.

    FAQs: Multivitamins for Dogs". Multivitamins for Dogs: General FAQs. Retrieved 2010-05-20.

    Vitamins for your Dog". Vitamins for your Dog. Retrieved 2010-05-20.

    American Journal of Acupuncture, (1973-) Published quarterly from 1840 Forty-First Avenue-Suite 102, P.O. Box 610, Capitola, CA 95010

    Liquid Vitamins for Humans Cats and Dogs
     
  2. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Interesting thread FEWill. Homeopathy is something that I keep coming across recently...

    Interestingly, Professor Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who co-discovered HIV and who won the Nobel Prize in 2008, appears to have discovered the scientific basis for homeopathy...

    At a time when the British Medical Association is calling for an end to national funding for homeopathy and detractors are describing it as “nonsense on stilts”, a Nobel prize-winning scientist has made a discovery that suggests that homeopathy does have a scientific basis after all.Nobel Prize Winner Prof Luc Montagnier Discovers Scientific Basis of Homeopathy

    In a recent study Professor Luc Montagnier, a French virologist who co-discovered HIV and who won the Nobel Prize in 2008, and his team report the results of a series of rigorous experiments investigating the electromagnetic properties of highly-diluted biological samples. Nobel Prize winner reports effects of homeopathic dilutions — European Committee for Homeopathy

    A NOBEL laureate who discovered the link between HIV and AIDS has suggested there could be a firm scientific foundation for homeopathy.
    French virologist Luc Montagnier stunned his colleagues at a prestigious international conference when he presented a new method for detecting viral infections that bore close parallels to the basic tenets of homeopathy.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/new...meopathy-a-boost/story-e6frg8y6-1225887772305
     
    #2 katiefranke, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  3. Ditsy42

    Ditsy42 PetForums VIP

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    My breeder is a trained holistic therapist and she advocates herbal remedies and natural treatments 4 dogs, we call her the white witch, we do debate this on and off, i'm by no means a sceptic, I think it does have a place and i have used some of her remedies on both of mine with great results, remedies for kennel cough and fleas for example, no chemicals in sight and they do work, when I get time I would love to do more research on this subject :)
     
  4. Kinjilabs

    Kinjilabs PetForums VIP

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    Ive used accupuncture on one of my past dogs and it worked for her, would try it again if needed:D
     
  5. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    This is all a bit confused though, isn't it FEWill? Vitamins are not part of the homeopathic treatment that you describe. Homeopathy is about dilutions and water memory, not about the power of vitamins. To some degree that bit would probably have fit better under your herbal treatment section.

    The herbal treatments. Well, brewer's yeast works on the coat because of its trace elements and vit bs, not because of it being brewer's yeast per se. So again, your discussion misses the point a little imo.
     
  6. AlbertRoss

    AlbertRoss PetForums VIP

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    If you want Holistic treatment from a qualified vet can I recommend Wiltshire Holistic Vet? She's been our vet for some time and does a fantastic job. She practices in Wiltshire and Hampshire.
     
    #6 AlbertRoss, Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  7. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    Great post, Sandymere. I would post some more, but I think you've covered most of it with those!
     
  8. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    I may be wrong but I think you will find katiefranke's links to be current whereas Sandymere's aren't.

    Havent checked them all but definately the case for the homeopathy. ;) (I have great interest in that old magic:thumbup:)
     
  9. sandymere

    sandymere PetForums Member

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    Both sites are current and searchable, Bad science is ongoing with almost daily articles and a very active forum please join it and post your thoughts all contributors are welcomed there. Everything has effects but that is nothing to do with health or healing. As with many things i wish it worked but alas studies show that it has no effect beyond placebo. If dilution to a million times makes something effective then a cup of sea water would have dilutions of just about every ill there is and therefore be a cure i swallow a few gallons most surfing trips and I'm not cured.
     
  10. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Your homeopathic link was revised 23rd Aug 2009 :confused:

    I will gracefully decline your invite to join the forum but thank you very much for the thought.

    I think one day all these words used to reason that homeopathy doesnt work, will have to be eaten, so will bide my time. Of course, I shall continue using it and reaping the benefits till then.
     
  11. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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  12. AlbertRoss

    AlbertRoss PetForums VIP

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    I find it interesting that, although the scientific community has performed tests on humans, I have yet to see any research which proves that homoeopathy is ineffective in animals. Indeed, the veterinary profession has a professional body devoted to homoeopathy and animal medicine is strictly regulated. Yet suitably qualified homoeopathic vets can prescribe such cures. If they didn't work then surely the RCVS would ban them? I am unaware of any 'proof' that any animal would be affected by the placebo effect which scientists dismiss homoeopathy with.

    The current state of science 'disproves' homoeopathy. But at some time science thought the world was flat and the sun went round the earth. Things change - including much in the way of scientific 'proof'.
     
    Mum2Heidi likes this.
  13. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    hobbs2004 likes this.
  14. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    I think it's one of those "each to their own" and "agree to disagree" situations :D
     
  15. Amethyst

    Amethyst PetForums VIP

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    You are spot on there :)

    Medicine is notorious for it's vilification of new thought.

    When Ignaz Semmelweiss suggested that the high death rate (from puerperal fever) of women who had recently delivered babies was due to Drs not washing their hands between patients and dissecting bodies etc, he was called a charlatan by the profession :rolleyes:

    From Wikipedia ... Ignaz Semmelweis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Efforts to reduce childbed fever

    Semmelweis discovered that cases of puerperal fever, a form of septicaemia also known as childbed fever, could be cut drastically if doctors washed their hands in a chlorine solution before gynaecological examinations, but could not explain why, as his discovery was prior to the germ theory of Louis Pasteur (published 1861).

    While employed as assistant to the professor of the maternity clinic at the Vienna General Hospital in Austria in 1847, Semmelweis introduced hand washing with chlorinated lime solutions for interns who had performed autopsies. This immediately reduced the incidence of fatal puerperal fever from about 10 percent (range 5–30 percent) to about 1–2 percent. At the time, diseases were attributed to many different and unrelated causes. Each case was considered unique, just as a human person is unique. Semmelweis's hypothesis, that there was only one cause, that all that mattered was cleanliness, was extreme at the time, and was largely ignored, rejected or ridiculed. He was dismissed from the hospital for political reasons and harassed by the medical community in Vienna, being eventually forced to move to Pest.

    Semmelweis was outraged by the indifference of the medical profession and began writing open and increasingly angry letters to prominent European obstetricians, at times denouncing them as irresponsible murderers. His contemporaries, including his wife, believed he was losing his mind, and in 1865 he was committed to an asylum. In an ironic twist of fate, he died there of septicaemia only 14 days later, possibly after being severely beaten by guards. Semmelweis's practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur developed the germ theory of disease, offering a theoretical explanation for Semmelweis's findings. He is considered a pioneer of antiseptic procedures.
     
  16. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    Yup! That's true, but things have moved on from then.

    For homeopathy to work (and there HAVE been studies of it's use in animals, I shall try to find a link. The research was done using the double blind method-where neither the vet nor the owner knew if what they were getting was "real" homeopathy or a placebo. In these curcumstances homeopathy performed no better than placebo. Just as it does in humans) all the laws of physics would be proved wrong and that's not very likely.

    The problem with all these "alternative" methods when used in dogs, is that you are relying on the owners reporting how the dogs were after the "treatment". Placebos work on owners too!
     
    #17 Old Shep, Dec 10, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  17. sandymere

    sandymere PetForums Member

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    Indeed there have been many studies that show placebo effect in animals going back a long way, “Rosenthal et al have done some interesting work in this area - if you tell students they are testing 'maze bright' vs 'maze dull' rats, the 'maze bright' rats will actually finish faster. This may be because the rats respond to being treated differently.”
    (ROSENTHAL, R. & FODE, K.L. (1963) The effect of experimenter bias on the performance of the albino rat. Behavioral Science, 8, 183-89)
    And the Nobel prize laureate, would this be the one?
    The Nobel Prize winner and the unethical autism trial « gimpy’s blog
     
  18. Amethyst

    Amethyst PetForums VIP

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    I think that the "proof of the pudding" is when owners (like myself) experience improved health in our dogs, after complementary treatment,after allopathic vet care failed miserably ...

    Personally, I believe there is a place for both :)

    If something benefits my dogs and avoids the use of chemicals/drugs it's got to be worth using!
     
  19. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Ditto Amethyst.
    Something else is the importance of finding the correct remedy. Presumably these tests are done using what is "thought" to be the correct remedy. From personal experience, this isnt always the case but when you do hit on it, then you see the results and unlike conventional medicine, the incorrect remedy has no ill effects.
    Me and mine have benefited from homeopathy not placebo effects:)
     
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