The Pet Health Crisis

The Pet Health Crisis

Today’s vets are more commonly coming to the conclusion that companion animals are suffering from an epidemic of poor health, in particular, chronic disease. Animals are becoming ill and even dying well before their time. They are also considering that though modern medicine has proven itself to be important in the treatment of acute disease, it is not as effective for chronic disease. Vets say that poor diet and ineffective treatment of chronic disease are major issues for our modern pets. Conventional methods of treating chronic illness only relieve symptoms without actually relieving the disease and poor diet does not allow the body to perform to its full potential, allowing it to succumb to illness. Because of the invasive nature of surgery and the side-effects associated with pharmaceuticals, pet owners are increasingly turning to alternative treatments for themselves and their pets.

Veterinarians throughout North America have incorporated alternative therapies into their practice because of their dissatisfaction with the results of conventional medicines, mainly surgery and drug therapies. These methods result in suppressed symptoms and diseases that still allow for the possibility of severe illness or death. By silencing the symptoms, the disease goes unnoticed until it is too late. Veterinarians have felt the need to expand their practice and go beyond their school training to find solutions to achieving true health in pets.

Traditional Western medicine employs medications or surgeries that suppress the body’s natural immune functions and symptoms in order to alleviate pain and suffering. Unfortunately, many of these methods produce negative side-effects that can sometimes be worse than the original disease. Alternative therapies include natural methods of healing such as diet, nutriceuticals, herbs and homeopathy that allow the immune system to do what it naturally does and heal the body, creating true health with no negative side effects. Western therapies often overwhelm and invade the natural cycles of the body while alternative medicines promote the body’s natural desire to maintain health and homeostasis.

No medicine is better than another. Each has its own function and place in the realm of healing. Western medicine, particularly emergency medicine, plays a vital role in saving the lives of humans and animals everywhere. For chronic disease, however, alternative medicines have been presenting, clinically, that they may be more useful for successfully treating chronic disease. Using the best parts of each medical modality will enhance the health of humans and pets everywhere.

What can we do as pet owners? Be proactive! Being proactive means understanding your pet’s health on an intimate level and creating a bond and way of being with your pet that allows you to notice small changes in his physical, emotional or mental well-being. Being an active part of your pet’s care is more important than most people know. The vet can only treat based on what they see in a 15-30 exam. As pet owners, we spend every day with our animals and are much more likely to notice small changes. We also get to know what is normal and what is not when it comes to our pets. Behaviors and physical functionings that may be normal for one pet may not be normal for another. A way to keep track of small changes in your animal’s health is by keeping a journal to note down daily occurrences, changes, or reactions to treatments or vaccinations. You may also have your vet show you how to check your dog’s teeth, ears, eyes, skin and other body parts so you may check in to establish how they are doing physically. You can report any abnormalities or changes in your journal.

You should closely monitor your dog’s behavior during changes in his daily routine or during treatments or diet changes. Moving, new activities, additions to the family (human or animal) or changes in their human’s mental or physical health can cause stress, anxiety and even illness. Since dogs are pack-orientated, they notice such changes. Cats are highly intelligent and observant and will readily notice changes in their humans and environment. We can do the same for them by noticing changes or alterations in behavior or physical functioning. Monitor your pet closely after any type of change in diet, addition of a drug, vaccination, supplement or natural therapy. Being involved in this way allows you to alter and tailor the treatments specifically for your pet.>

References:

The Veterinarian's Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs By Martin Zucker

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