February 28, 2012

Naturopathic Health Series Part 2: Herbs vs Pills

Filed under: Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Holistic Pet Care — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 8:31 pm

Early Criticisms of Naturopathic Health Practitioners

When science got to the point where it could explicitly demonstrate how and why the medicine it offered would work (and was working) the public began to understandably adopt a cynical view towards anyone claiming to have any cure which did not fit within the accepted testimony of the scientific enterprise.

Many of these herbal remedies were more than effective, but the research simply wasn’t there to back it up.

At least not back then.

Nowadays, the side effects experienced from pharmaceutical-grade pills have people searching for organic alternatives for both them and their pets.

In some cases, the side effects of one drug requires, itself, another prescription drug, leading humans and animals further and further from a state anywhere close to natural. People have begun to (once again) recognize that in some instances supplementing the body’s healing capacities is a much better decision than introducing a foreign element in the form of a pill.

The Science of Nature

More and more research has come out revealing the potency of naturally treating different ailments. Anecdotal testimony has given way to proper scientific testing, and the best of both worlds (Rx and Holistic) is now beginning to show itself in our modern veterinary medicine.
Holistic Pet Care
One can go to school to learn the intricacies of traditional medicine, or one can go to school to learn the intricacies of naturopathic medicine.

Both are seen as two legitimate sides to the same body of wellness.

People and their pets are beginning to look at heath and healing in terms of more than just the observable processes in the body. Things like exercise, proper sleep, and social interaction are now all considered vital components to proper health in addition to appropriate nutrition.

The workable elements of traditional medicine have now combined with those of the naturopathic for many people.

In other words, the two perspectives are no longer mutually exclusive; they are mutually advantageous.

In the next blog we’ll take an in-depth look at our personal philosophy of natural pet health and how you can use it to achieve the utmost vitality for your animal companion.

Stay tuned for part 3, Natural Cures for Pets.

 

Dr. Loridawn Gordon

 

February 24, 2012

Naturopathic Health Series Part 1: What is Holistic Medicine?

Filed under: Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Holistic Pet Care — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 9:10 pm

At First Pet Naturals we take the ‘naturals’ part seriously.

In fact, we’re in love with nature and all it has to offer.

Living in an increasingly artificial world, we feel your pet’s health is best served by a philosophy of minimal medicine and preventive care. The body has the innate power to fight its own battles without relying on a pill.

In the following 3-part blog series we’re going to take a careful look at the Naturopathic vs. Rx perspectives—the theories themselves, the history, and finally, our recommendations on how to achieve a happy, healthy life for your pet.

A Traditional Medicine Definition

Sometimes we tend to look at medicine in a logical, left-brain manner that quantifies and isolates environmental factors down to constituent details.

If our pet gets sick we tend to focus on the microbe, bacteria, virus, or likewise individual variables as the sole cause of the issue. Obviously in doing so, we’ve latched onto what is a verifiable truth: those things do cause illness.

At least in part.

Scientists analyze and repeatedly study the theory in the sense that there should be an objective formula for success that can be applied to everyone, every time—in short, a drug.

What is Holistic Health?

Alternative medicine looks at things differently: microbes, bacteria, virus, and other variables concerning disease are seen to exist amongst many others variables, unrecognized by pharmaceutical medicine in a larger bodily equation.

Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived over 2,400 years ago, first formulated the ‘naturopathic’ theory of using nature to heal the body. It has remained the core of the philosophy to this day.

After all, many toxins are arguably ever-present in our living spaces. When functioning properly with the appropriate nutrients, the body has the resources to block infection, and to expel built-up unwanted materials from the body.

Likewise with different diseases like cancer, the conditions arise from an imbalance of some sort.

This is where the term “holistic medicine” comes from: the approach that seeks to find the underlying factor which is responsible for affecting the system as a whole; not just the symptom(s.)

Treatingholistic medicine Causes vs Treating Symptoms

To understand the fundamental difference between drugs and supplements, let’s look at an easy example: someone who has a headache.

The pain of the headache is the symptom. The Rx approach would be to target that variable head-on: if you’re feeling pain, take something that blocks pain. Say, aspirin.

The holistic approach might be to look at what the cause of the pain must/might be. Say, dehydration. In this case the alternative approach might be to simply supplement the issue with some water.

If one chooses the aspirin option they might receive relief from pain faster than waiting for their body to rehydrate through drinking some water; however, the main difference between the two treatments is that with aspirin something foreign has been introduced into the body that will itself cause a chain of effects side effects.

That is, the aspirin stresses the liver, and harder drugs have much harder side effects. Sometimes to the point where the treatment is even more invasive than the actual issue at hand. For instance, getting a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) is quite drastic in comparison to simply avoiding certain foods and getting the proper rest.

In this sense, we’re talking about immediacy as opposed to the long-term outlook.

In part 2 we’ll take a close look at the Naturopathic vs. Traditional ‘pill-based’ approaches to medicine, and how what were once opposites have come to exist as complementary components of one and other.

 

Dr. Loridawn Gordon

February 23, 2012

Flea Control For Pets: Think Twice Before Using Them

Filed under: Fleas on Cats,Fleas on Dogs — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 2:20 am

Pet owners should think before using the popular, over the counter flea and tick shampoos, sprays and collars found at most stores. Many of these products contain highly toxic and harmful ingredients, which are associated with the harm of tens of thousands of animals, and thousands of deaths. For example, pyrethrin, pyrethroid and phenothorin are often found in these products, and they are suspected to cause the harm. Other dangerous insecticides found in these shampoos and sprays include organophosphate insecticides and cabamates. These aforementioSick dog with bandages lying on bedned products are linked to brain damage, endocrine system problems and cancers.

Bio Spot has been on the receiving end of great controversy. One of its ingredients is responsible for killing the insects by paralyzing their nervous system. However, the product neither distinguishes between an insect’s nervous system, an animal’s nervous system nor a human’s nervous system.

Something to think about: flea control product labels may warn not to get these substances on your skin, to wash your hands after applying it, and to keep it away from children; yet, the chemicals are absorbed by your animal’s skin!

If your pet does experience a pesticide overdose, they may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures and respiratory problems. Thus, if your cat or dog displays these symptoms after the application of a pesticide, immediately wash the product off and seek veterinary care.

There have been more than 75,000 complaints of pet injury and death reported to EPA. In December 2011, a class action suit was brought against the makers of pesticide-based “Spot-On” (topical) flea and tick products, due to the dangers associated with products.

While fleas and ticks are an inevitable problem for cats and dogs, controlling them is a matter of choice. The pesticide solution seems to be wrought with problems. In 2008, more than 1600 pet deaths were attributed to spot-on treatments.

The alternative to these pesticide laced products are, of course, natural products. To soothe your pet’s skin when it is experiencing itching and irritated skin, try our natural flea remedy. Other superior and safe treatments include preventative pills, which are prescribed by your veterinarian. The best method is to probably give your animal preventative pills and then have the all natural flea spray on hand.

Check out our blog on natural flea control for more all natural alternative flea control methods.

February 18, 2012

Pet Friendly Washington

Filed under: Pet Fun — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 1:36 am

Presidential Pets If you thought the Commander and Chief of the Western world is above having an animal companion running around the White House, think again. There is an old adage: “If you need a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Presidents and their pets are just as common as presidential aides. Creatures ranging from mice to bears have called the White House their home. In this blog post we’ll take a look at some of the more well known pet stories from the Capital.

Many, many animals that can walk, crawl, or fly (into a building the size of it) has inhabited the White House and some point or another. Presidents don’t mess around when it comes to their animals. Claire McLean, founder of the Presidential Pet Museum in Lothian, Maryland, reports that the White House has been home to over 400 different types of animals over the years.

Teddy Roosevelt once captured a young lion and, true to his name, several bear cubs and turned them loose on the grounds. Pretty impressively, John Q. Adams raised silkworms, which he apparently used to gather the silk required for his wife’s inaugural gown. Roosters were popular during the William McKinley years; Herbert Hoover had a possum; and Calvin Coolidge had a raccoon named Rebecca who he walked on a leash. Andrew Johnson, during his impeachment trial (for which he was acquitted by a single vote) allegedly started caring for a family of mice.

With all the stress that can come from leading a country, having the calming effect of animals in your life to counterbalance things makes a lot of sense. Calvin Coolidge thought so; he had 29 pets. Theodore Roosevelt had 50 or more.

Reportedly John F. Kenney would seek some shelter from the stressed of the job by visiting the animals in the children’s play wing. These animals included lambs, ponies, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, parakeets, a canary, a cat, a rabbit, and a horse—perhaps Kennedy was onto something.

The newest addition to the White House is the Obama’s male Portuguese Water Dog, Bo, who has been colloquially named the ‘First Dog.’

The Washington Post’s Manuel Roig-Franzia, who was granted exclusive initial access to Bo for the print media, described the puppy: “Bo’s a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he’s got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee.”

The next time the President’s finger is on the button, and the nation is looking to him to guidance, keep in mind that the President might just be looking that special someone wagging their tail at his (or hers) side.

February 2, 2012

The Itch of Ear Mites in Cats

Filed under: Cat Ear Care — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 12:05 pm

ear mites in catsWhat You Need To Know About Ear Mites in Cats

Ear mites in cats are tiny insects that live in the ear canal and feed by piercing the skin. Mites spread very quickly and are the most common health problem found in cats. They can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her kittens.

Symptoms of ear mites include intense itching with scratching and violent head shaking. Additionally, a cat may experience an allergic reaction to the mites, making the scratching even more intense. If you look in the ears of a cat with ear mites, you will see a discharge that looks like coffee grounds and is very foul smelling.

It is important to treat the ear mites ASAP as ear mites can lead to other ear problems, such as a chronic bacterial infection. Additionally, ear mites in cats are also fairly transient, meaning that they leave the ear canals and travel to other parts of the cat’s body, causing further allergic reactions in other areas.

How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Cats

Before beginning treatment for ear mites, you need to take your cat to the doctor to get a proper diagnosis. This is because other ear ailments can be complicated by using ear mite medication.

Once your cat’s condition has been diagnosed, your veterinarian will give you a solution that is effective against mites. It is important to complete the entire recommended treatment. You must clean the ear canal as described. Do NOT force a q-tip or a cotton pad down your cat’s ear drum, as this could break the ear drum!

During the treatment, mites may escape from your cat’s ear canal and hide in other areas on the cat’s body, which will induce scratching on those parts of the boy. For this reason, it is important to treat the entire body of a cat with a topical insecticide, particularly the tail since cats sleep with their tail curled up to and touching their ears.

It is best to routinely clean your cat’s ears, to act as a preventative measure. You can use an all natural, non-stinging and alcohol free ear relief wash, such as VETBEST Ear Relief Wash Dry

Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.