- I started the day responding to an email about a cat whose fur was starting to look clumpy and greasy. A great observation, as these can be early symptoms of health issues including digestive and kidney disease, which the owner had read in one of her reliable cat health books. While a veterinary exam may be required, I first recommended she reduce the current volume of herbal supplements. Unfortunately, since a little was helping, she felt a lot more was in order—unaware the combination was duplicating therapies and putting stress on the digestive and immune system.
- A veterinary specialist referral for Yunnan Baiyao—an herbal formula used for internal bleeding, opened a discussion with the dog’s owners on holistic options for metastatic splenic cancer.
- Another veterinary referral entailed supplement recommendations to balance a home-prepared diet for her Schnauzer and working through a number of commercial diet options based on the results of a NutriScan analysis. NutriScan tests for the twenty-four most commonly ingested foods by dogs and cats and provides specific results as to your companion animal's food intolerances or sensitivities.
- With a phone consult on feline early renal disease, I may have placed a veterinarian in a difficult situation, but I felt this owner needed better info on diet options for managing her cat's renal disease AND the cat's overall health. New information suggests cats may not need protein-sparing diets until later stages of kidney disease. Each case is different and requires close monitoring. The key is a moderate, quality protein diet, canned or even raw, with maybe a little extra fat for energy to help these compromised cats.
- A gentle rebuke on puppy behavior went disregarded, but we'll keep trying to get our client to understand his adolescent male dog's mounting isn't about dominance, it's about his puppy's lack of confidence.
- An impromptu phone consult resulted in referring a cat to a holistic veterinarian specializing in Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture near the cat's residence in South Carolina. The current recommendation of her cat's leg being amputated to treat a non-healing lesion on the paw, sent the owner on a mission of alternatives. My theory—the cat needs help with improving circulation in her legs and paws. Wounds can’t heal without blood circulation. Complementary therapies of herbal medicine and acupuncture or other therapies that can improve blood flow may just be what will save this cat’s leg.
- An email referral regarding a cat diagnosed with a possible fibrosarcoma by her vet—based on the location and palpation near a vaccine site, resulted in us referring to a holistic veterinarian known for innovative therapies in treating and managing cancer.
- A client’s frustration over her one cat’s finicky appetite and chronic constipation led me to offer a lesson on digestion. Perhaps instead of treating the symptoms of poor digestion—vomiting, constipation and inappetence, she needs to focus on supporting and improving the cat’s digestion. My analogy . . . instead of treating the flood, treat the damage to the dam. “That makes sense, but this will have to wait. I have a large, renovation project at home I have to finish first.” Let’s not talk about my frustration at that point . . . but I did suggest the renovation may not be only stressing her, the owner, BUT the cat as well and in turn, affecting her digestion and appetite.
- Helping a client choose a heart friendly diet sent us comparing ingredient panels of canned and freeze-dried canine formulas down our aisles, along with reviewing our many recipe references for heart supporting home-prepared diets. Of course Dr. Ihor Basko’s book, Fresh Food & Ancient Wisdom, led the pack with his section on heart care.
- Describing and comparing the alternative therapies available for feline arthritis helped a veterinary referral client try a more palatable option for her lame yet quite demanding feline.
- And, one of the more reflective moments was a client sharing how hard she works at not allowing her stress and emotions drain down the leash to her dog. “He’s so sensitive, but as hard as I tried I can’t help but think my sadness during Christmas contributed to his worry and him having a seizure on Christmas Day.” So it was heartwarming to offer some new ideas for his care from two recent seminars I attended on neurology and seizure treatments.
Whew . . .
Here's to a happy and healthy New Year for all!