No Easter Lillies for the Kitties

With Easter upon us, I wanted to take a moment to remind all of you about the dangers of one of my favorite plants, the lily. Most pet owners are unaware that ingestion of any part of a lily can be fatal for cats. This is of particular concern given the popularity of lilies in bouquets and gardens. Lilies in…

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A Holistic Look at Vaccinations

Every veterinarian knows the research:pets do not and should not receive regular immunizations, but instead immunization recommendations must be based upon knowledge of the vaccine’s immunity, pet’s immunity, and individual characteristics of the pet’s lifestyle. The research confirms what holistic doctors have known for many years-most vaccines are so effective that administering them only a few times in a pet’s…

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Euthanasia and Hospice Pet Care

I’m very fortunate that due to our holistic approach to wellness, the average age of our patients is several years higher than seen in conventional practices. Most of our larger breeds of dogs typically live 14-16 years (average life expectancy for most practices is 10-12) and for smaller dogs and cats 16-20+ years (in most practices the average smaller pet…

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Mast Cell Cancer….Treatment Thoughts

I’m often asked for guidelines on treating specific types of cancer…Since each case is unique and different, only general suggestions can be made. For cases with clean margins on the pathology report following surgery to remove the tumor, this is an easy call…aggressive supplements, no chemo or radiation. For tumors with  dirty margins (cancer cells are left behind following surgery,)…

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Thoughts for the New Year from Dr. Shawn

As we begin 2015 I want to first thank all of you for your support. Thanks for emailing your questions and suggestions for my column. Thanks also for those of you who came to visit my practice, Paws & Claws Animal Hospital/Holistic Pet Center, so you can begin keeping your pets healthy naturally by saying “No” to unnecessary vaccines, chemicals,…

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Dr. Shawn’s Itch Relief Shampoo Favored by Whole Dog Journal

I’m happy to report that my best-selling shampoo, Dr. Shawn’s Itch Relief Shampoo,has been picked as the editor’s favorite by Nancy Kerns, editor of Whole Dog Journal. Here is what she said in a recent issue. I don’t wash my dogs that often, perhaps once a month. So I want a shampoo that will make Otto’s coat clean, soft, and…

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Demodectic Mange and Natural Therapies

Demodectic mange is a common disease of puppies and a rare disease of older dogs. Due to a defective immune response the mange mites, which normally live in small numbers in the hair follicles, reproduce and damage the hair follicles and skin, causing the disease we call mange. Diagnosis is usually easy and based upon finding the mites (see photo)…

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Poisonous Holiday Plants

Part of the holiday festivities often includes purchasing seasonal plants including holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias. I’m often asked if it’s safe to include these in a house shared with 4 legged family members. Though they have a bad rap, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. According to the Pet Poison Hotline, the milky white…

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Ebola, Dogs, and the CDC

Recently there was discussion about how we should handle dogs living with a person who tested positive and received treatment for Ebola infection. Some have suggested these pets be euthanized, but I disagree with this. According to the CDC…. “At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to…

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Fall Allergies…Help is on the Way

Allergies are common in many pets in the fall and spring. Certain breeds such as terriers and retrievers are especially affected. Allergic pets tend to be very itchy, and many have secondary chronic ear and skin infections (the allergies must be treated or these infections will never go away.) Traditional doctors treat allergies with steroids and antihistamines. Antihistamines rarely work,…

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