I recently had a question from a reader about whether or not acid reflux might be causing her pet to regurgitate. One of her friends thought the dog might simply have allergies.
Allergies are not likely to cause regurgitation. Acid reflux is very rare and hard to prove, and often overdiagnosed in people and pets. Most people and pets with regurgitation do not need lifelong therapy with antacids, which can cause problems.
I usually approach these cases with natural remedies first, after doing simple testing to rule out common problems such as parasites or infections. If needed, sometimes I will use a very low dose of various GI medications to see how the pet responds. Each case is different and so are the supplements I recommend, but to get started try Kan GI Support Drops and Dr. Shawn’s Enzymes and Probiotics powder (available at www.drshawnsnaturals.com)
In most cases the pets respond without advanced testing, but those that require the testing are usually diagnosed with IBD and can live well with just the right supplements.
All of our GI supplements, including Dr. Shawn’s Herbal Scoot No More (our product to help control anal sac issues as well as constipation in dogs and cats,) Kan GI Support (our herbal formula for diarrhea,) and Dr. Shawn’s Enzymes and Probiotics Powder, a special blend of enzymes and probiotics for GI support of the healthy pet, as well as those with allergies, cancer, arthritis, and of course GI disease. These specials are only available online and only for the month of May!
You can check out all of my natural therapies at www.drshawnsnaturals.com
Last Friday, I had to make the decision to euthanize our beloved dog Rita. Rita was a 12 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. As many of you know, members of this breed almost universally develop heart disease and subsequent heart failure, often very early in life. We were fortunate that Rita did not develop her heart disease until she was 8 years old. For the first 2 years she was treated with only natural therapies. As expected, over time her heart disease progressed to heart failure. For most of the time she had heart failure, her clinical signs were well controlled with natural medicines plus low dosages of only a few conventional medications.
A few weeks ago her clinical signs worsened, and a cardiac ultrasound showed advanced heart failure. Despite adding another medication to her regimen, and despite initial improvement, our hope of getting her to around 15 years of age was not to be.
Last Friday I took Rita to work, as I do most days, for her regular bathing. Shortly after her bath, she began having trouble breathing. Despite intervening with additional intravenous and oral medications, plus oxygen therapy, her condition worsened.
I called my wife Sandy and told her to come to the office as soon as she could to say goodbye to our beloved little Rita. Unfortunately my daughter is still away at college and was not able to see Rita one last time.
As my wife, my staff, and I tearfully said goodbye, with Rita looking at us with her sad but loving eyes that is a hallmark of the Cavalier breed, I had to inject euthanasia solution into her body to end her suffering.
I’m often asked if it’s hard for veterinarians to have to perform euthanasia, especially on our own pets.
The answer is both “Yes” and “No.”
“Yes,” because we never want to say goodbye to a favorite patient or our own animal family members who have brought us unconditional joy, love, and happiness.
“No” because despite the sadness that always comes with ending a life, I know that I am giving the suffering pet one last act of kindness. To let a pet suffer is cruel, and despite the difficulty of giving the life-ending injection, I know it is the most humane thing I can do for the pet, the final loving gift I can give.
Even though we miss Rita dearly, we are comforted by the joy we shared with her even though she was with us for only a short time. Our sadness will slowly give way to joy as we remember the good times with her, continue to share our love with our 2 cats Dysa and Willows, and someday maybe have another furry little friend with whom we can experience the pleasure that only can be met by having another pet join our family.
Our friends at Pet Togethers are offering a special for all new customers. Many of you already give your dog or cat the special daily supplement called Vim & Vigor made by Pet Togethers. For dogs it’s a liver-flavored treat, and for cats a bacon-flavored powder. All of my pets love their Vim & Vigor, and I know this special combination of vitamins, minerals, colostrum, enzymes, probiotics, and herbs helps keep them healthy and acting youthful.
If you’d like to try it, here is their special offer for new customers.
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Coupon Code B1MG2M is for new customers purchasing the “Vim & Vigor” Monthly Cat Formula
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You can order Vim & Vigor and get this great offer by calling 480-282-8520 or 1-866-NET PET1 …… or visiting the website at ……www.petcentrx.com.
All products carry a 60-day No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee- Simply Returnthe Products within 60-days of Purchase for a Full Refund (less shipping).
“If you don’t support the immune system of the cancer patient, the patient will die much sooner.”
Those wise words sum up why so many pets and people struggle with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, suffer complications, have a poor quality of life, and yet die of their cancers.
Immune support of sick pets, especially those sick with cancer, is the most critical part of treatment. Without immune support, the patient can’t fight its illness and eventually succumbs.
It doesn’t have to be this way. With proper immune support, most cancer patients can live longer while keeping their cancers in remission. In some cases, immune support can be life-saving and offer a cure for even aggressive cancers.
Over the course of my career treating cancer patients, I have seen the positive effects of immune support. For most of my patients, a life expectancy of 1 ½- 2 ½ years following a diagnosis of cancer is typical (the average cancer patient not treated with immune support lives about 8-12 months.)
To treat pets with cancer properly, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are critical. Here are several steps for diagnosing and treating cancer that have worked well in my practice.
1.Aspirate or biopsy every lump-While most lumps are not cancer, if we assume they are until we prove otherwise, we will never misdiagnose a pet’s cancer. A simple aspirate examined microscopically in the office can help us determine if the lump is benign or malignant.
2.No one can diagnose lumps by feeling them-Benign fatty tumors feel and look the same as malignant, aggressive cancers. You must aspirate or biopsy the lump to tell the difference.
3.Vaccines can cause cancer and can make cancer grow faster-Therefore, don’t vaccinate pets unless a blood titer test determines the pet needs a vaccine, and NEVER vaccinate pets with cancer.
4.Natural therapies usually increase your pet’s chances of living longer-In our practice, the typical cancer patient lives 1.5-2 times longer through the use of natural medicines (in addition to or in place of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.) If you don’t support the pet’s immune system following the diagnosis of cancer, what keeps the cancer from returning? The answer is…NOTHING. Don’t be surprised when cancer returns (quickly) if you don’t provide immune support to keep the cancer in remission. Natural therapies we have used with much success include herbs, homeopathics, nutritional supplements, detoxification, autosanguis therapy, and autologous blood stem cell therapy.
5.Early diagnosis is critical-Regular checkups (every 6 months for most pets) and lab testing (blood, urine, feces) can uncover many cancers. Lumps felt at home by the pet owner should be examined once they are discovered. Certain breeds, such as retrievers, boxers, and Scottish terriers, have higher incidences of various cancers and should be screened aggressively for these cancers.
6.Get pet insurance-Treating cancer is expensive and can easily cost over $10,000. If this is cost prohibitive, get pet insurance before your pet gets cancer (and make sure the insurance covers natural therapies as well as conventional therapies.)
Finally, don’t give up. I’ve seen way too many pet owners who were told that “nothing can be done” for the pet with cancer (and many other diseases,) and yet when natural therapies were administered the pets often showed dramatic improvement and remissions. For cancer, a second opinion and proper immune support is often the difference between life and death.
Mimi is a two year old yellow Labrador retriever. And like many Labrador retrievers, Mimi has suffered from chronic skin infections secondary to an underlying allergy problem for most of her short life. Her conventional veterinarian has treated her allergies and secondary skin infections with a number of medications, including prednisone (a corticosteroid) and numerous antibiotics including cephalexin, enrofloxacin, clindamycin, and trimethoprim-sulfa. While the antibiotics and corticosteroids temporarily helped resolve Mimi’s infection and itching, she usually relapsed within one to two weeks of stopping the medications. Referral to a dermatologist resulted in Mimi being treated with allergy shots plus more antibiotics and corticosteroids for the last 12 months, also without any resolution of her underlying problems. It bothered her owners to see her continuously on medications that did not seem to offer any long-term resolution of her itching and skin infections. After several years of consultations with various veterinarians who failed to fix the problem, her owners decided that “enough was enough,” and came to see me in an attempt to get Mimi off of all of these medications and ultimately fix her problem.
Even though drugs such as antibiotics and corticosteroids are sometimes necessary to help pets with skin disease, it is not uncommon to see pets suffering from the cycle of repeated drug use with little to no long-term resolution of their original problems. This was obviously the case with Mimi. While even holistic doctors sometimes need to use these medications on a short-term basis to allow the disease to quickly be brought under control, long-term resolution can only be accomplished when we focus on healing rather than the actual disease. Additionally, various nutritional supplements, herbs, and homeopathic remedies that have antibiotic like activities and corticosteroid like activities can often be used in place of these medications to help pets with these chronic problems. Various supplements such as Dr. Shawn’s Olive Leaf Plus, echinacea, astragalus, medicinal mushrooms, homeopathic sulfur, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants work amazingly well in the treatment of skin disease in our pets. Additionally, aggressive and frequent bathing with an organic shampoo designed to remove environmental allergens, relieve itching and inflammation, and kill microorganisms is an important cornerstone that is often overlooked or neglected in the treatment of pets with skin diseases.
While I knew I could help Mimi by using various natural remedies in the treatment of her allergies and skin infections, it was obvious that her body was one toxic soup due to all of the medications she had been taking for most of her life. I suspected that the drugs had temporarily damaged her intestinal system (which could ultimately lead to a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and no doubt were affecting her liver as it worked overtime to detoxify and excrete these medications. True healing would be best served if I could help cleanse Mimi’s body. Therefore I placed Mimi on a one-month mild detoxification program designed to remove any toxins accumulating in her body and help heal her organs, along with several natural remedies to assist in the treatment of her skin disease.
I placed Mimi on a supplement called Nutrigest from RX Vitamins for Pets. This supplement is prescribed to help heal me needs damaged intestinal cells and restore a normal healthy population of bacteria and was likely damaged due to her chronic medical therapy.
I also placed her on Dr. Shawn’s Liver Support. This is one of my favorite supplements for liver support and would aid in strengthening the liver as I detoxify at her body.
Finally I placed Mimi on a mild homeopathic detoxification protocol utilizing several homeopathics, including lymphomyosot, berberis, and nux vomica. These homepathics are designed to allow a gentle detoxification of the urogenital system, gastrointestinal system, and blood and lymphatic systems. By addressing these areas of her body, I was able to assist her in healing so that she could make a full recovery.
By detoxifying the body, we open the door for further healing to occur. Mimi responded well to her detoxification and natural approach to healing her skin, and is currently on a few supplements to maintain her health.
Cancer is a diagnosis no pet owner wants to hear from her veterinarian, yet cancer is unfortunately diagnosed with increasing frequency in our dogs and cats. When the diagnosis is confirmed, it can be confusing to decide which therapy is best. And treatment does not come cheaply: the typical cancer treatment can easily run $5000-10,000 or more, depending upon the type of cancer and treatment chosen.
Julie and Jim Brooks faced this diagnosis several years ago when their beloved dog Kelsey was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. According to Julie, upon hearing the diagnosis they were “devastated, confused and felt like Kelsey had been handed a death sentence.” The veterinarian who diagnosed Kelsey’s condition offered Julie and Jim only 1 treatment option for Kelsey, who was diagnosed at a local emergency clinic after not feeling well for a few days (after 2 other doctors misdiagnosed Kelsey’s cancer as back pain or a stomach blockage): emergency surgery with little chance of making it through the surgery.
Despite the poor prognosis, Julie and Jim consented to the emergency surgery as they wanted to give Kelsey a chance. Fortunately, and against the odds, Kelsey did survive the surgery where the diagnosis of intestinal cancer was confirmed.
Following surgery came more decisions. Because Kelsey had such a love of life and brought Jim and Julie so much joy, they felt they owed it to her to give her the best chance even if it wasn’t a very good possibility that she would live much longer with her cancer. As Jim explains, “We weren’t ready to give up so easily. Putting extra money on the credit card was worth it to try to save her life. With only a 10% chance of surviving surgery, we really didn’t think she would make it, but we sure are glad we gave her a fighting chance since she surprised us and pulled through!”
As they expected, following surgery their veterinarian referred them to a local cancer specialist who recommended the standard chemotherapy regimen for pets with Kelsey’s kind of cancer. However, Julie and Jim weren’t in any rush to jump right into chemotherapy unless absolutely necessary. Due to their own natural, healthy lifestyle, they made the decision to use a holistic approach to cancer treatment for Kelsey.
“There were too many horror stories online about chemotherapy and the oncologist didn’t really convince us that it was the best route. We wanted Kelsey to enjoy the rest of her life, whatever time she had left. We didn’t want to put her through the bad side effects of chemotherapy, especially with no guarantees that chemotherapy would extend her life any more than holistic treatments, which we preferred to use. When we asked the oncologist about Kelsey’s prognosis, he told us that she had a 6 month survival rate without chemotherapy and possibly 12-18 months with aggressive chemotherapy, but that nothing could be guaranteed.”
In order to help Kelsey, they turned to Dr. Shawn Messonnier in Plano, Texas, for his expertise in treating cancer patients like Kelsey with natural medicine.
Julie states that they found Dr. Messonnier after talking with friends and family members who knew of him.
“We did a lot of research online about chemotherapy and holistic veterinarians and his name kept popping up” says Julie. “He literally wrote the book about treating cancer in pets, and even the oncologist with whom we consulted recommended Dr. Messonnier if we wanted to pursue the natural route.”
Interestingly, Jim talked to his mom and dad about Kelsey and as it turns out they had brought their Scottish terrier to Dr. Messonnier for cancer treatment several years prior to Kelsey’s diagnosis, travelling all the way from Oklahoma. Their dog lived another year with holistic medicine despite her cancer being very advanced and considered “incurable” by her other doctors. Plus a colleague of Jim’s had heard that Dr. Messonnier was considered the best in the area.
According to Dr. Messsonier, “Pets like Kelsey can do really well thanks to dedicated owners like Julie and Jim. They are really good about giving Kelsey all of the therapies I prescribed, and Kelsey is easy to treat. She’s a fighter, and her immune system is responding as expected to the treatment. Most of my patients like Kelsey live much longer than expected if we can help their immune systems keep the cancer in check.”
To date, Kelsey has lived 2 years following her initial diagnosis. She has had 1 follow-up surgery for a few small tumors that developed 1 year after her initial surgery. To date, her cancer is in remission using ongoing treatment with herbs, homeopathics, nutritional supplements, and stem cell therapy using her own blood stem cells, a new treatment now being offered by Dr. Messonnier for pets with cancer and other chronic diseases.
As Julie states, “Our expectations so far have been exceeded already since we didn’t expect her to make it this long. But going forward we are hoping to at least keep any tumors from growing too fast so that we can keep her around and enjoying her life pain-free for at least 2-3 more years.”
Based upon his experiences using natural medicine to help pets like Kelsey, Dr. Messonnier would not be surprised if this occurs!
A recent article in Veterinary Practice News showed a disturbing trend.According to the article, approximately 60 percent of veterinarians continue to over-vaccinate their adult canine and feline patients by administering “core” vaccinations annually, even though it is well known that most vaccines can protect pets for many years.
What’s wrong with pets receiving vaccines every year? In addition to wasting money on a medical procedure that offers no protection for your pet, each and every vaccine is associated with potential risks as well as potential benefits. Possible risks include vaccine reactions, autoimmune diseases, worsening of preexisting diseases (which is why pets with chronic diseases should not be vaccinated,) and cancer (pets with cancer or suspected of having cancer should NEVER be vaccinated.) As with any medical procedure, it is logical to administer a vaccination ONLY if the pet truly needs it and if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Giving regular vaccines means that the patient is exposed to all the risks of the procedure with absolutely no potential benefit.
In place of unnecessary annual vaccines, insist on a simple and inexpensive blood test called a vaccine titer. This titer measures antibodies in your pet’s blood; if enough antibodies are present (they typically are,) then vaccines are not needed that year. In effect, the titer test allows your pet to tell us if and when vaccines may be needed.
Many pet owners have asked me to offer my fatty tumor formula for sale on my website www.petcarenaturally.com
I’m happy to report it is now available! When you go to the website, click on the link on the left side of the page that says Dr. Shawn’s Naturals Store, then click on Immune Support/Cancer to see all my formulas.
My Fattty Tumor Formula is used to support the immune system of dogs with fatty tumors (lipomas.) Since this is not an FDA approved medicine, I can’t make any claims about its ability to shrink fatty tumors. What I can say is that I use it in practice to help pets with fatty tumors in order to avoid surgery or make surgical removal of the tumors easier. Individual responses vary: some tumors shrink, and some do not.
To increase the chance of achieving the desired results, combine Fatty Tumor Formula with CI Support and use for at least 90 days. If tumors have not decreased in size within 90 days of using both formulas, they are unlikely to do so.
As is true with all natural therapies, it is always best to advise your doctor when using any natural remedies.
Don’t forget to type “blog” into the coupon code to save 10% on any order!
Pet owners really do have a lot of control when it comes to keeping their pets healthy. It’s never too late to start, and there are some simple and inexpensive things you can begin immediately. Here are 5 simple things you can do to keep your pets healthy for many years.
The basic part of any health care program begins with diet. Diet is something you can totally control, as you decide what you feed your pet. There are many decisions to be made, and sometimes it’s easy to be swayed by fancy ads or advice from well-meaning friends and family members. I prefer to go with the science and feed foods that are devoid of chemicals, by-products, and artificial ingredients. I also appreciate the concept of feeding the most natural diet possible, and for many pets this means a raw diet. The concept of the raw diet is that it mimics the diet our pet’s ancestors ate:wholesome ingredients in a fresh, minimally processed state to ensure living nutrients. Raw diets provide nutrition the way nature intended, and are generally formulated like the diets eaten by your pet’s ancestors, composed of mainly meat, organs, and raw ground bone, with a small amount of fruits and vegetables, and little to no grain. Additionally, raw diets are also about 60-70% moisture, serving as an excellent source of dietary water. If you don’t want to feed a raw diet, feeding a homemade cooked diet or one of the many great natural processed foods is also acceptable. And to find out which ingredients should be avoided in your pet’s diet (some pets may react to various food sources,) ask your doctor to perform a simple food hypersensitivity saliva test.
While vaccines can be beneficial, too many vaccines can do more harm than benefit. Over the last 10 years, several veterinary organizations, including the AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitioners have changed their recommendations for pet vaccines. In general, their recommendations are for fewer vaccines for all pets, with doctors and pet owners working together to determine the vaccines most likely to protect the pet based upon various factors, including the age of the pet and its lifestyle. And for those pet owners who want to be as natural as possible, I recommend a simple blood antibody test called a titer test to determine exactly which vaccines are most likely to benefit the pet. Doing this, I have found that none of my patients require vaccines any more often than every 5-10 years. And pets with any sort of chronic illness, especially cancer, are NEVER vaccinated as vaccines can make their illness worse or bring the pet with cancer out of remission.
3.Practice Preventive Care
Preventing problems is easier and less expensive than treating disease. The best way to prevent disease, in addition to feeding a great natural diet and minimizing the use of vaccines, is to visit the veterinarian BEFORE your pet becomes ill. In our practice, this means annually for pets under the age of 5 and twice annually for pets 5 years of age and older. A simple but thorough physical examination, and testing of the blood, urine, and feces, will often discover serious problems in their early stages. This is the best time to intervene and literally save the pet’s life.
4.Don’t Forget the Teeth
Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats. It’s easily diagnosed and treated. Don’t ignore your pet’s teeth, as infection in the mouth can easily spread to other parts of the body, causing serious problems. Regular dental cleanings can be done safely under light anesthesia using a holistic, balanced approach, and will not only save the pet’s teeth but keep its entire body healthy. Every pet, especially older pets, can be safely anesthetized for this important procedure.
I believe that my healthiest patients are those that get the least amount of chemicals and medications. When medications are needed, they are used at the lowest dosage possible and only as long as needed. Natural therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal medicine often work equally as well as conventional therapies without the risks of side effects or toxicity. Most patients can recover with natural therapies with minimal or even no use of conventional medications.
By following my simple suggestions, you can begin your pet on a program geared towards health and longevity. Feed your pet the best food possible in its natural state, practice preventive care, and only use vaccines and medications when absolutely necessary to help maintain health and prevent disease!