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by Marina Zacharias, Author & Editor of Natural Rearing Newsletter
Email: ambrican@cdsnet.net 
Copyright© 1997 



Holistic Medicine encompasses some of the oldest forms of medicine in the world i.e. herbs; homeopathy; glandulars; acupuncture etc. These forms of medicine are practiced predominately worldwide and exceed the use of conventional or western medicine as we know it here in North America. Science is now starting to catch up and prove the validity of many so called folk remedies.

The goal is to help the body truly heal itself. Holistic therapies give us the option of choosing alternatives that can be given to help the body to heal the underlying condition instead of masking the symptoms as in most conventional drug therapy.

Of course veterinary advice should always be sought in the case of serious illness and injury.

There are many such situations where holistic therapies have proven more effective, especially in cases where conventional treatments offer nothing or no hope. Breeders in particular face a number of challenges that the average pet owner is unlikely to encounter. Here are a few more examples.

Many breeding and fertility problems can be solved with the use of natural remedies.

Owners of stud dogs that suffer from chronic or acute prostate problems are usually advised to have the dog neutered. Many valuable breeding lines have been lost unnecessarily.

To help the prostate we have found that using two homeopathic remedies called Inflammation and Prostate (BHI) combined with a glandular nutritional supplement called Prostate Complex gives excellent results. The Prostate Complex also contains Saw Palmetto, which is well studied in helping prostate health. With these remedies urination and sperm production often returns to normal.

Natural treatment of dogs with low or no sperm counts has also shown great results. (Of course an underlying condition of thyroid disorder or infection should be properly ruled out). In many instances there is no specific diagnosis given to these dogs (which can include even the very young). To help we have used a glandular called Symplex M which gives nutritional support to the male reproductive system. Also two amino acids are given called L’Arginine and L’Carnitine (again both are well studied and shown to increase sperm production).

A good multiple vitamin is also given called Spectra. This is a very high quality vitamin that is sold through physicians. (My whole family takes this routinely and it is amazing the difference in our energy and overall well being.) The dog vitamins on the market are simply not potent enough to have any therapeutic value, even for everyday health. These supplements can also be used to enhance sperm production prior to collections for freezing or artificial inseminations.

Bitches that have irregular cycles or have difficulty in conceiving can be greatly helped by giving a glandular called Symplex F and a homeopathic called Hormeel. These help the body regulate natural hormonal imbalances. For bitches whose seasons are overdue, two homeopathics would be used with the Symplex F. One is called Sepia and the other Pituitary. This combination will not bring bitches falsely into season but again helps to regulate their cycle and they come into a good breedable season relatively quickly. Here again use of the Spectra vitamin is important, as it will provide the extra nutrients such as properly balanced Folic Acid, amino acids, etc.

When breeding, to ensure a good gestation and easy labor, breeders have been relying on a homeopathic remedy called Pregnancy formula and an herbal mixture called NR Birth Aid. The NR product is imported from England and contains a proportionate blend of well-known female herbs including, wild raspberry leaves, dandelion leaves, wild hawthorn, elder, and dill. This combination has led to easy births and healthy pups.

For bitches with a history of re-sorption, early labor, or simply losing pups after birth (ruling out any thyroid disorder) two other homeopathic remedies should strongly be considered along with the remedies mentioned previously. Viburnam Opulis 30c and Fading Puppy Remedy. When the Fading Puppy Remedy is given during pregnancy we see not only improvement in the vigor of the pups but also the weights of the pups in the litter tend to be more even. This remedy is wonderful for prevention. I give it to pups twice daily until they are approx. 3 weeks. If there is a puppy not doing well, losing weight, or just won’t nurse, the remedy helps them fight and gets them going again. It has saved countless pups who otherwise would have been lost needlessly. (It of course can not save pups with congenital defects).

It is extremely important to help the immune system during pregnancy. When a bitch is bred, her immune function automatically down regulates in order to accept the fetus. Thus making her more susceptible to infections.

I rely on NR Herbal Compounds. They have been used for decades with good success. These contain such pungent herbs as Sage, Thyme, Garlic, Wormwood, and Eucalyptus. When given to lactating bitches the herbal properties pass through the milk and helps the puppies' immune functions too. (Generally, a nice side effect seems to be worm free pups!) I give these as a routine supplement to all my dogs, 5 days a week to ensure good health.

Acute or chronic infections can be troublesome at anytime and antibiotics are frequently and easily over prescribed. Many times, (i.e. during pregnancy) an alternative to antibiotics would be preferable.

Mastitis is a good example. With nursing pups most breeders cringe at the thought of having to put the bitch on strong antibiotics. We have successfully treated mastitis without the use of antibiotics especially when the owner observes the condition at an early stage. The homeopathics we use are Bryaconeel, Traumeel, Echinacea Comp. Forte, and Mastitis remedy. These are given every hour until symptoms abate. Then, they are given 3-4 times daily until pups are weaned. Adjunct therapy would be Immuplex (glandular) and Colloidal Silver, and oligo trace element. (Note one has to be extremely careful of the quality and strength of this remedy. Stronger strength is not better and used long term could cause harm.)

There are many good and safe natural therapies that can be given to help the body fight off and heal the infection. Each case needs to be treated individually of course, but some of my favorites are: Prolive (this is made from an olive leaf extract that has scientifically been proven to kill many bacteria as well as viral and fungal strains); Immuplex (a glandular to support the thymus and spleen); Isatis (a chinese herbal formula for infections).

The above mentioned remedies are safe to give during pregnancy and are great for those bitches that have had a history of bacterial infections (the cause of many miscarriages).

A very common problem at any time that can turn into a serious chronic condition is a bladder infection. It is quite usual after a course of antibiotics, that a bladder infection returns and a stronger antibiotic must be found or a combination of them must be used.

This can lead to bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics, and may leave the animal in a weakened state. I have found that using homeopathics called Solidago Comp. (a specific remedy for bladder and kidney irritations) and Echinacea Comp Forte (a comprehensive remedy to help the body fight a variety of infections, including staph. and strep. bacteria. This should not be confused with the simple herbal form of echinacea).

Albaplex is also given (a glandular for bladder infections). Cran caps (a high potency cranberry concentrate) have been well studied for its effectiveness in bladder infections. The concentrate form is much more effective and certainly easier to administer to the animals. These remedies would be given in combination until the infection had cleared (i.e. 3 weeks). They truly help the body clear itself of the bacteria.

If in fact you do have an animal that is prone to reoccurrence of the infection (this can be a weak point of the body’s immune function) then I have found that by continuing the Cran Caps and giving a Chinese herbal formula called Lindera helps the body’s ph levels and immune function to prevent reoccurrence of any infection.

For those that are prone to producing bladder stones or gravel, Couch Grass is a good herb to give to aid in the dissolving of calculi or gravel. In addition a Chinese herb called Lysimachia is very helpful for treatment as well as for prevention of stones. Vitamin B6 should also strongly be considered. Many studies show it has good effect in preventing stone production.

Urinary Incontinence is another common problem in spayed bitches. Unfortunately we are seeing this occur at extremely young ages. The conventional course of treatment can contribute to many side effects, especially when given on a long-term basis. There is a homeopathic remedy that was specifically formulated for this problem called Pro V Urinary Incontinence. When combined with a glandular nutritional supplement called Ovarian Complex, it gives excellent results in the majority of cases. It can be used long term if needed with complete safety. For those few cases that may not respond to these remedies I have found the homeopathic Solidago Comp. usually does the trick.

Unfortunately too many animals end up with kidney or liver failure problems. This can be the result of a variety of reasons including the overuse of drug therapies, infections and aging. Conventionally speaking there is little western medicine can do other than buy a little time with fluid therapy or drugs.

Holistic medicine should certainly be considered here as we have taken countless "hopeless" cases and have turned them around so that they live long and healthy lives until it is their normal time to go.

Of course each case is individual and we determine what is needed specifically from a metabolic nutritional analysis of the bloodwork. From there a protocol of glandulars, homeopathics and herbs are given.

The majority of cases though need the following: Renatrophin and Eco Liver (Kidney and Liver support); and homeopathics called Hepar Comp, Solidago Comp, and Ren Suis; and herbals such as Rentone for kidneys or Herbal Hepatox for liver. Bloodwork is continually monitored at intervals to evaluate if adjustments are needed. Milk Thistle is helpful for inflammation of the liver but generally, by itself, is not strong enough for more advanced conditions.

It is important to realize that base line bloodwork should be done, at least starting at middle age, as a preventative measure.

Unfortunately since conventional medicine offers no treatment for degenerative liver and kidney problems, most often initial signs that show up in blood panels are passed over or ignored as not to alarm the owner. “This is part of regular aging, etc.”

Please, ask your vet when any bloodwork is done for copies for your own records. Then ask him how the liver and kidney functions are and compare them to previous levels. If there are any signs of deterioration, then you certainly know that you have options and can make the choice to intervene! As usual, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat.

OCD, (basically a bone chip or a piece of ossified cartilage that has come loose to cause irritation and lameness) is another common condition that the only conventional course of treatment is surgery, with usually varied results of success depending on the location. OCD has been responding with excellent results to natural therapy!

The holistic treatment consists of the following: Bone Liquescence and Traumeel (homeopathics); Arth 9 (a glucosamine/herbal formula); The Winnah (Selenium and vitamin E formula); and vitamin C.

When using the OCD protocol within approximately two months new x-rays will likely reveal that there is no longer the need for surgery!

Heart conditions also respond well with holistic care, alone or as an adjunct to conventional drug treatment.

One of the basic items used is Coenzyme Q 10. This has been very well studied and shown to improve energy utilization while at the same time strengthening the heart. It is helpful with cholesterol levels too. For breeds that are prone to heart diseases I certainly recommend this as a daily supplement for prevention.

Cardio Complex (a glandular herbal formula that contains hawthorne) and L’ Carnitine (an amino acid) are also very important to give for specific support to the cardiovascular system.

We are on the forefront of a very exciting era. The reawakening of true healing. Accepting and utilizing methods from around the world all with one goal in mind--to help the body heal itself. Do no harm!

This is the time to learn and discover. We need to think for ourselves and our animals will only benefit from it!


If you would like further information on holistic care for your animals, including a sample copy of the Natural Rearing Newsletter please contact Marina Zacharias, P.O. Box 1436, Jacksonville, OR. 97530. Phone (541) 899-2080 Fax (541) 899-3414 Email: ambrican@cdsnet.net




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