Pet Health Insurance-Choose Your Plan Carefully

March 27, 2012 on 12:29 pm | In General Posts | Comments Off

I’m often asked if carrying pet health insurance is a good idea. Because caring for a sick animal can be expensive, I usually recommend pet health insurance under the following circumstances: if your pet suddenly became ill and you are faced with immediate medical expense of $1000 or more, would you be able to afford it or would you need to decline health care for your pet? If you would be unable to afford this amount of medical expense (or even more,) carrying pet health insurance is a good idea.

However, not all insurance policies are created equal. Since most owners are open to the idea of using natural therapies to keep their pets healthy and treat them when they become ill, it’s important to find out prior to purchasing an insurance policy for your pet if that policy would cover natural therapies. Unfortunately most do not, so you must choose your policy wisely.

The actual amount of money an insurance company will reimburse you for your pet’s health care depends upon the policy. In general, there are two types of policies. The first is one that pays a set amount of money per procedure. As an example, some policies will pay up to $200 for blood testing for a sick pet once your initial deductible is met. However, if the doctor believes that additional blood testing is necessary, the insurance policy will not reimburse you for any expenses beyond $200, leaving you on the hook to pay the full price for these additional tests.

The second type of policy, one that is more commonly sold and the type I recommend, pays a fixed percentage of expenses up to a maximum dollar amount. For example, after your initial deductible is met, this type of policy will pay 80% of expenses up to your policy maximum, usually $10,000 or more. This means that if blood testing costs $500, the insurance company will pick up most of the bill since there is no maximum amount for blood testing as there is with the first type of policy described above.

The moral of the story is simple: check out different companies and different policies before you purchase one. I’ve had to deal with several pet owners who were not too happy with the insurance company once they realized they would not be getting as much reimbursement as they had thought, leaving them responsible for most of the bill for their pet’s treatment. Make sure the policy covers natural therapies in addition to conventional medications and that the policy reimburses you for most of the cost of your pet’s treatment after your deductible is met. Choosing any other type of policy is a waste of your money and will end up costing you more money over the life of your pet.

Don’t Ever Give Up…Hope for the Hopeless

March 19, 2012 on 6:40 am | In General Posts | Comments Off

Two years ago I wrote a book called Unexpected Miracles. In this book, I shared the stories of just a few of my favorite patients. These were dogs and cats that had been diagnosed with many serious problems, in some cases life-threatening problems. Their owners sought my help for 2 reasons. First, their regular conventional veterinarians had given up hope that anything could ever be done for their pets. Second, they knew about the miraculous healing power of natural medicine and hoped I would be able to give their pets a chance at recovery and ultimately life.

As a holistic veterinarian using integrative and naturopathic therapies to help heal pets, I was honored to be given the chance to offer “hope for these hopeless cases.” The pets whose stories are profiled in Unexpected Miracles are alive because their owners did not give up hope, even when the medical professionals around them did.

Since the publication of Unexpected Miracles, I have had numerous occasions to help even more pets that conventional medicine could not help. Recently, I had the opportunity to intervene in the life of a young Maltese named Bo Diddley.

When I first say Bo 1 month ago, he had become acutely paralyzed in his rear legs. His conventional doctor treated him with high doses of corticosteroids to relieve pressure on his spinal cord. Unfortunately the treatment did not work, and despite the fact that little Bo was not in pain and was not suffering, his conventional doctor recommended euthanasia for Bo. Thankfully his owner refused and sought my help in what appeared to be a dire situation.

While a diagnosis was not available when I began treating Bo, I knew he suffered from some type of severe spinal cord injury (an X-ray of his neck would later prove that Bo suffered from a fracture of his second cervical vertebra which was the cause of his spinal injury.) His owner had already been given a hopeless prognosis by her prior veterinarian. As I shared with her, while none of us can ever make accurate predictions, I felt that I could offer Bo therapies unavailable from his conventional veterinarian and wanted to try to help Bo. She agreed and knew euthanasia was always an option in the future if Bo did not improve.

I began treating Bo with cold laser therapy applied to his neck twice weekly, and also started him on an aggressive supplement protocol using herbs, homeopathics, and nutritional therapies. Over the course of the next 4 weeks, Bo made great progress. By the end of his first month of treatment, he was walking almost normally on all 4 legs and acting like a typical puppy. Therapy has continued to assist in the healing of his neck fracture.

Thankfully Bo’s story has a happy ending. His owner is to be commended for listening to her heart rather than her prior doctor. By assisting Bo’s normal healing ability rather than simply covering up his symptoms with multiple medications, Bo was able to heal normally. I expect him to live a long happy life, knowing if his owner continues to focus on a holistic health program she will have many more years of happiness with him!

Breast Cancer Book Now Available in Paperback Version!

March 1, 2012 on 1:12 pm | In General Posts | Comments Off

As you know, I’ve been busy writing my latest book on breast cancer. Eighteen months ago my wife Sandy was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Thankfully it was caught early and she is doing well and currently cancer-free.

As a result of her experience, we have written a book in order to educate women about breast cancer. Our book, Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How You Can Win the Battle! (Your Choice Natural Health Publishing) shares the research we did that gave Sandy the factual information she needed to make choices about her health care. Chapters include discussions on diet, mind-body medicine, nutritional supplementation, testing every woman should get (many doctors don’t recommend these tests but they can be lifesaving,) new research on the significance of lymph node involvement, and a rational discussion of conventional therapies.

Our philosophy is simple: “Each woman is an individual, and each woman’s cancer is very different from every other woman’s cancer. The information in Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How You Can Win the Battle! is intended to provide education as well as a starting point for women to consider ALL of the many options they face following a of breast cancer.”

I have just a few simple goals I’d like to accomplish with this book.

Goal 1 is to share with women simple and practical ways they can reduce their risks of ever developing breast cancer.

Goal 2 is to empower women to make their own health care decisions.

Goal 3 is to help others with cancer. To achieve this important goal, I am donating a significant portion of the profits to 2 charities close to my heart. These 2 charities were formed recently to honor the lives of 2 beautiful young ladies who passed away from cancer in the summer of 2011. Micaela and Anna were friends of my daughter Erica. To celebrate these 2 special young ladies, I am donating a portion of the sale of each book to their families to assist them in helping others also suffering from the horrors of cancer.

The Kindle version is available at the following link:

The paperback version is also now available at the following link:

I am asking for your help in achieving these worthy goals. Please share this information with everyone you know. If you have an email list or email newsletter, please share this information with your readers. Let friends and family members know about this book and encourage them to purchase one or more copies to help support the charities which will benefit from them. Let your Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In contacts know about the book as well. While we may not be able to cure cancer simply because of this book, I believe we can help many women reduce their chances of breast cancer, offer hope to those suffering from the disease, and benefit many who have cancer through the good works of the charities that will benefit from the purchase of Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How You Can Win the Battle!

In order to maximize the amount of money donated to these 2 charities, I urge you to purchase the book through the links listed above.

Thanks so much for your help

Dr. Shawn

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