Healthful Dog – The Holistic Journalzine for the Modern Pet Owner
The UK’s No 1 Holistic Pet Health Magazine
Learn about natural modalities that can reduce veterinary visits by 85% (saving you money) and increase the health and longevity of your beloved pet by up to three times.
Our quarterly magazine features case studies and articles from holistic vets and alternative therapy practitioners, who write pieces on:-
- Animal Communication
- Bowen Therapy
- Colour Therapy
- Feldenkrais Method
- Herbal Medicine
- Massage Therapy
- Pet Loss
- Tellington Touch
We also feature book reviews, product reviews, events, articles on individual animals and particular health issues, have regular sections ‘Let’s talk…’ and ‘Spotlight on…’ as well as news from the pet industry and regular updates from one of the worlds’ most famous dogs.
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We include an ‘Owner Odyssey’ explaining the journey an individual owner took with their dog in order to improve health naturally, and if you have a tale which you think fits, we’d love to hear from you.
Our contributors show the science behind their processes, in order to increase the probability of conventional veterinary recognition.
Some of our more contentious articles:-
We love Holistic Vet NickThompson
I was raised with homeopathy, my mother being into all things strange; homeopathy, nutrition, acupuncture and holistic living. I remember my disgust at being offered brewer’s yeast in a smidge of apple juice at 8 years old! It’s funny how these ideas were considered cranky in the 70’s, but are now universally accepted as essential mainstream tools, apart from homeopathy, perhaps.
I went to Edinburgh in the mid 80’s to study Vet Medicine. On the way I picked up an Honours Degree in ‘Pathological Sciences’ (immunology, virology, molecular biology and a soupçon of parasitology) as I knew I would be working with non-orthodox medicine, so wanted credentials to bolster my position.
When I qualified, I went into conventional practice in Yorkshire and loved it. I thought I knew everything, so didn’t think much about homeopathy and holism for a few months. Then it struck me that I was using…
View original post 619 more words
A colleague of ours recently posed the question in an open forum as to whether or not she should freeze pork before feeding it to her dogs. We rarely answer such questions directly, but on this occasion wanted to help out a friend and her dogs. After posing this question to ourselves many years ago and going to the horses mouth, so to speak, by asking a free range pig farmer, and seeing puppies die from worm burden due to being fed raw sausages, we felt we knew the answer and dutifully wrote:
As expected the inevitable negative response:
The issue is that as this was human grade pork people think it’s worm free: they are wrong!
“Trichinosis has been historically associated with pork”, pigs require ‘worming’ daily, for 7 days, for a 95% efficacy rate, within 3 weeks prior to slaughter; this only happens on very good farms and isn’t really an issue for human consumption anyway as the worms are killed in the cooking process – obviously this does not occur in feeding raw to our pets and in fact slaughter house testing has proven inefficient for worms. Whilst it is true that raw fed pets are more resistant to worms, unless you are absolutely certain of your source we recommend freezing first.
The percentage of canine cancer patients has grown exponentially in the last few decades, so much so that an Animal Cancer Registry was established in 1985. Research has established that 45% of dogs over the age of 10 are dying of cancer and an estimated 1 in 3 have the potential to develop it, with a prevalence in certain breeds, the highest risk being in:
- Golden Retriever (60% of breed mortality)
- Bernese Mountain Dog
The risks are higher in female than male dogs due to mammary cancer accounting for 70% of all incidences (Merlo et al. 2008), and three to four times higher in spayed and neutered pets (Torres et la Riva et al. 2013).
Whilst many holistic owners believe that this is due to the combination of commercial food products, vaccines and other chemicals that our pets are exposed to, there has been recent media coverage of a transmissible cancer, which is scarier still.
Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour (CTVT) is a unicellular pathogen, where the infectious agent is the cancerous cell itself. Microsatellite analysis indicates this tumour is over 6,000 years old and originated back when dogs were first domesticated.
The vector is sexual, cells reproduce on the new host over a period of two to six months to form a tumour-like growth usually around the genitalia.
Without treatment these tumours usually regress due to the hosts natural immune response (Siddle & Kaufman, 2014) after one to three months and with complete regression comes complete immunity (Rebbeck et al. 2009).
CTVT is one of only two known communicable cancers and the oldest cancer in the natural world (Lakody, 2014). DNA analysis shows that CTVT first occurred in a dog with “low genetic hetrozygosity” (i.e. that was highly inbred) 11,000 years ago, therefore it was initiated due to human selective breeding (Murchison et al. 2014).
CTVT is prevalent in at least 90 countries and all inhabited continents, and is estimated to have infected at least one percent or more of dogs in at least 13 countries in South and Central America, as well as at least 11 countries in Africa and 8 in Asia.
In the USA and Australia it has only been reported in remote indigenous communities and prevalence has declined in Northern Europe. This disease is mostly prevalent in areas with free roaming canines and has disappeared from the UK (Strakova, 2014).
Surgical removal of tumours has been shown to leave a 30% reoccurrence rate, however this was only studied in 10 dogs, the same study found no recurrence in 10 dogs given chemotherapy, but these dogs were only followed for six months (Awan et al. 2014). CTVT tumours are generally not fatal as the hosts’ immune response controls or clears the tumours after transmission and a period of growth (Siddle & Kaufman, 2014), however metastasis does occur in immune-suppressed animals. The most immediately effective allopathic therapy has been reported to be ‘Vincristine’ (VCR) also used as an immunosuppressant, with known side effects of:
- Low White Blood Cell Count
- Bladder Irritation (Canine Cancer Library, 2014)
- Chemical burns on skin contact
Therefore if a strong immune system, developed from a natural balanced diet, preferably through generations of dogs, as Epigenetics have been shown to be a contraction factor (Siddle & Kaufman, 2013) can destroy these tumours and render the host non-susceptible to reinfection, is the recommended protocol of surgery and chemotherapy (Awan et al. 2014) simply not worth the risk of metastasis, (as one single cell left on an immune compromised animal could lead to this) and further damage that these leave particularly for natural rearers, and future genetics, dependent of course on the severity of the tumour?
N.B. For further details on the risks of spaying and neutering please see Turner, H. (2014) “The Spay/Neuter Health Denigration” Healthful Dog 1:52-53
Awan, F. Ali, M.M. Ijaz, M. & Khan, S. (2014) Comparison of Different Therapeutic Protocols in the Management of Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour: Review of 30 Cases. Global Veterinaria. 12:499-503
Canine Cancer Library (2014) Common Chemotherapy Side Effects. Available from: http://www.wearethecure.org/chemotherapy-side-effects (Accessed 16/11/2014)
Lokody, I. (2014) The Origin and Evolution of an Ancient Cancer. Cancer Genetics. 14:152
Merlo, D.F. Rossi, L. Pelligrino, C. Ceppi, M. Cardellino, U. Capurro, C. Ratto, A. Sambucco, P.L. Sestito, V. Tanara, G. & Bocchini, V. (2008) Cancer incidence in pet dogs: findings of the Animal Tumor Registry of Genoa, Italy. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 22:976-984
Murchison. E.P. Wedge, D.C. Alexandrov, L.B. Fu, B. Martincorena, I. Ning, Z. Tubio, J.M.C. Werner, E.I. Allen, J. De Nardi, A.B. Donelan, E.M. Marino, G. Fassati, A. Campbell, P.J. Yang, F. Burt, A. Weiss, R.A. & Stratton, M.R. (2014) Transmissible Dog Cancer Genome reveals the Origin and History of an Ancient Cell Lineage. Science. 343:437-440
Rebbeck, C.A. Thomas, R. Breen, M. Leroi, A.M. & Burt, A. (2009) Origins and Evolution of a Transmissible Cancer. Evolution. 63:2340-2349
Siddle, H.V. & Kaufman, J. (2013) A tale of two tumours: Comparison of the immune escape strategies of contagious cancers. Molecular Immunology 55:190-193
Siddle, H.V. & Kaufman, J. (2014) Immunology of Naturally Transmissible Tumours. Immunology. DOI: 10.1111/imm.12377
Strakova, A. & Murchison, E.P. (2014) The Changing Global Distribution and Prevalence of Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour. BMC Veterinary Research. 10:168
Torres de la Riva, G. Hart, B.L. Farver, T.B. Oberbauer, A.M. Locksley, L. McV. Messam, N.W. & Hart, L.A. (2013) Neutering Dogs: Effects on Joint Disorders and Cancers in Golden Retrievers. PLOS DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055937
Several studies have established that surgical sterilisation raises significant health risks, particularly when performed at an early age; the most problematic of which is delayed closure of bony growth plates resulting in abnormal skeletal development that increases the incidence of orthopaedic problems such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
Further studies have revealed that whilst spay surgery carries a high rate of complications, around 20%, such as infection, haemorrhage and even death, and that it the lack of oestrogen created leads to around 20-30% of spayed bitches developing urinary incontinence, waiting to spay until after the age of six can increase longevity by 30%. Neutered males have an increased risk of prostate cancer (4 times the risk), both sexes have an increased risk of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), haemagiosarcoma, hypothyroidism (triple the risk), obesity (3 times the risk), diabetes, urinary tract infections (3-4 times the risk), urinary tract cancer (double the risk), urinary incontinence and cognitive dysfunction in older pets. Behavioural studies have shown increased fearfulness, noise phobias and aggression.
If surgical sterilisation comes with all of the above risks, what about the new option of chemical castration?
According to vetinfo.com chemical castration with Neutersol, recently renamed Zeuterin and released onto the market in February of this year, is FDA approved as 99.6% effective, and can be used on males between 3 and 10 months old. The chemical is injected into each testes and the amount provided is dependent on their diameter. Apparently it does not have a significant effect on testosterone production, and does not appear to effect behaviour and the animal may succumb to irritation and inflammation at the injection site. Zeuterin contains Zinc Gluconate and L-Arginine and works by destroying existing spermatozoa in both the seminiferous tubules and the epididymis, resulting in the collapse of the empty tubules, leaving scar tissue to block any further transport (Ark Sciences, 2014).
The side effects are listed as:
- Scrotal pain one to three days after injection
- Mild, temporary swelling
- Scrotal irritation or dermatitis
- Low white blood cell count
There are also contraceptives available to bitches, in drop or pill form. Mibolerone is a drop given daily for 30 days prior to the heat cycle, with side effects such as:
- Liver damage
- Increased risk of vaginal infection and indoor wetting
- Body odour
- Skin problems
- Vaginal distortion
- Personality and behaviour changes
Ovaban is a pill to be administered at the beginning of the heat cycle, with side effects listed as:
- Uterine infections
- Mammarian cancer
- Breast enlargement
- Weight gain
- Changes in coat
The question then becomes a philosophical one, which only the owner can answer, are you happy to take the risk, or simply separate your pets for 3 weeks once or twice a year?
Ark Sciences (2014) Zeuterin. [Online] Available from: http://www.arksciences.com/product.html (accessed 31/07/2014)
Image rights — All Critters Pet Hospital (2014) Zeuter vs Neuter tOnline] Available from: http://wallcritterpethospital.com/blog/b_38970_zeuter_vs_neuter_sterlize_your_male_dogs_without_putting_him_through_Surgery.html (accessed 31/07/2014)
These tiny pups have been brought a chicken carcass by their mother. They are too little to rip much meat off, but enjoy sucking at it immensely. Theses puppies are 2 weeks, 5 days old.
Want to know more about Natural Rearing? Check out:
‘The Natural Rearing Breeder’ by H B Turner
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Natural-Reari…
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Rearing…
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As of 6th April 2016 all dogs over the age of eight weeks in England and Scotland need to be microchipped (for Wales this applied as of March 2015 and Northern Ireland it was Law as of April 2012) and must be registered on one of the ‘authorised commercial databases. Where the owners contact details must be kept up to date, including changes of ownership.
- All adverse microchip events must be reported to the Veterinary Medical Directorate.
- The owners of un-chipped dogs may face criminal prosecution and a £500 fine.
- Breeders must microchip their puppies prior to re-homing.
- Prior to 6th April you can get your dog microchipped for free.
The wonderful Christina Chambreau is hosting a series of 5 webinars:
Healthy Pet Webinar Series – A Christmas present to yourself
- Your options about the correct diet for your pets
- Your options of supplementation, when, how or what is lacking or needed
- Choosing the best professional team to treat & advise you as a pet guardian your concerns about recommendations and potential side effects of drugs, vaccinations, heartworm, flea remedies, hairball gels and more
- Alternatives and options in the health arena
- Feeling confident about the life decisions you are faced with regarding your pets
- Feeling overwhelmed and or confident about being the best pet parent you can be
- Know there must be other ways to heal your pets so euthanasia was not needed?