I have also seen folks who are deeply committed to non-conventional health care for themselves and their family but who have never considered the same option for their pets.
Species Appropriate Nutrition
So, you have decided that conventional medicine is not right for your pet? You want to pursue a more holistic method of pet care but don’t know where to start? Looking for an acupuncturist? A Homeopath? An herbalist? A chiropractor? A ??????
In the last article we talked about the importance of a species appropriate diet based on a variety of fresh foods in the preservation and maintenance of health. However, this approach to diet can provide the pet with optimal nutrients but maybe not with optimal nutrition.
Rethinking Vaccine Protocols
If there is a sacred cow in veterinary medicine, it is the annual vaccine program. Currently vaccine programs are started at 2 months or less and vaccines are repeated every few weeks until the puppy or kitten is 4 months or more old. This is followed by annual redoses of all vaccines. Annual vaccinations have been the standard of care in veterinary medicine since the introduction of canine distemper vaccine in the 1960’s.
Vaccination or Immunity
Our cultural dependence on vaccinations as the mainstay in our struggles against contagion shows how firmly rooted we are in Pasteur’s Germ Theory. According to Pasteur’s thinking the pathogen is primary as the cause of disease. In other words, the pathogen is the sole cause of contagious disease. Each pathogen causes a separate and distinct disease. Without the pathogen, there would be no contagion. If we control the pathogen, we control the disease. The logical outcome of this line of reasoning is that the vaccine is the ultimate weapon in controlling contagion.
Vaccine Side Effects
As we have followed the path of reductionist science in the world of medicine, several things have happened. We have come to more and more specialization and less and less general practice. We have concentrated more and more on the diagnosis and less and less on the patient as a whole. We have also confined "disease" more and more to a finite episode rather than a continuing trend.
Heartworms are the bane of dogs in climates that support mosquito populations. This means that dogs in the South are exposed to heartworms year around. In colder climes, there may be times of the year when mosquitoes and heartworms are not a concern. Bottom line is that as long as there are mosquitoes, dogs will be exposed to heartworms.
While I try to keep a non-confrontational world view, when it comes to fleas and their control the adage “Know thy enemy” rings especially true. The better one understands the lifecycle of the common flea species on our pets, the easier, the more effective, and the safer (for the pet and for the environment) our flea control programs become.