Thoughts on Vaccinations

February 25, 2013 on 8:31 pm | In General Posts | Comments Off

A number of years ago, several veterinary organizations (including the AVMA) published updated vaccine recommendations for dogs and cats. Briefly, these recommendations include reduced vaccination schedules for all pets. The recommendations were made following years of research showing that the current vaccines available can produce immunity in dogs and cats that lasts many years. As a result, the AVMA and other professional groups recommended most pets receive vaccines no more often than every 3 years.

While this revised vaccination schedule has gone a long way in reducing the number of unnecessary vaccinations received by many pets, it falls short of the ultimate goal of only vaccinating pets when absolutely necessary. As a result, many veterinarians have followed the guidelines of the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) which recommends a more personal, individual approach to vaccinations. Their recommendations include titer testing and vaccinating based upon test results.

A titer test is a simple inexpensive blood test which determines antibodies produced by the pet to prior immunizations. If the titer test is normal, no vaccinations are needed that year. If and when a titer test is low, the pet may receive necessary immunizations.

This approach reduces owners spending money on unnecessary vaccines and prevents the pet from experiencing vaccine reactions. It also may reduce chronic health problems such as thyroid disease or cancers, which may be linked to excessive vaccination.

Pet owners are encouraged to discuss proper vaccination intervals with their veterinarians and use titer testing as an alternative to excessive immunization.

Obama Care and Your Pet-Why Pet Care Costs Might Rise This Year

February 20, 2013 on 2:13 pm | In General Posts | Comments Off

One of the many unintended consequences of Obama Care is the new tax on human medical devices. Medical device manufacturers or importers will be assessed a 2.3% tax which will be passed along to the purchaser of the device. Unfortunately, this will affect the cost of caring for pets. Here’s how.

Most medical devices used by doctors as well as veterinarians are made for the human market, as there are not many “veterinary-exclusive” medical devices. This means anytime your pet is treated with one of these devices, the increased cost will be passed along to you. Devices commonly used by veterinarians which may be subject to the new tax include needles, syringes, IV catheters, IV tubing, IV fluids, in-office laboratory tests, suture material, wound care devices, gauze sponges, and so on. In short, most of the daily activities undertaken by your pet’s doctor will be taxed under the new law, which will increase the cost of pet care.

While a 2.3% tax doesn’t seem like much, consider that the country is still struggling economically as we are nowhere near a normal recovery. With the cost of gasoline and groceries increasing, as well as health insurance due to the new law, we now have one more financial burden to face when it comes to caring for our pets. Please also note that the increased fees will not result in better health care for your pet, but simply allow the status quo to continue.

Risk Factors for Developing Breast Cancer

February 19, 2013 on 7:33 pm | In General Posts | Comments Off

The following is an excerpt from Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How YOU Can Win The Battle!, by Dr. Shawn Messonnier.

Risk Factors for Developing Breast Cancer

Early age of the first full term pregnancy may lower breast cancer risk-possibly as a result of increased p53 suppressor protein levels or activity. The earlier you get pregnant the greater the protective effect.

Women who do not have children have as much as a 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer (due to longer periods of estrogen exposure and minimal progesterone exposure to the breast cells.)

Early menarche (first menstrual period) and late menopause are risk factors for increased incidence-likely due to increased total years of hormone exposure.

Women who use birth control pills have an increased risk of breast cancer due to additional exposure of the breast cells to estrogen.

Women with mutated BRCA1 and BRCA 2 have a higher incidence of breast cancer (mutations in the genes comprise about 5% of all diagnosed cases of breast cancer.)

Smoking increases the risk of cancers.

Increased body weight (obesity) increases the risk of breast cancer. Baseline obesity in breast cancer patients possessing the estrogen receptor–positive, HER2-negative disease subtype is associated with a 23% higher risk of recurrence and nearly a 50% increase in all-cause mortality. Lifestyle stress increases breast cancer risk, as does poor diet (which causes inflammation which contributes to cancer.)

Poor diet can include: large amounts of red meat consumption and dairy consumption, especially since most meats and dairy contain estrogenic hormones and growth hormones; diets high in sugar (Including high fructose corn syrup;)large amounts of fried foods; and diets high in trans fats/partially hydrogenated oils. Eating more (preferably organic) vegetables, fruits, and fresh (cold water) fish (such as salmon) is recommended. Organic meat (especially wild game such as bison, elk, and venison, and organic dairy products and eggs) are preferred in small amounts.

Women at high risk of breast cancer include those who: have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation; have a first-degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves; have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 20% to 25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on a family history that includes both her mother’s and father’s side; had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years; have a genetic disease such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or hereditary diffuse gastric cancer, or have a first-degree relative with one of these syndromes.

Women with a moderately increased risk include those who: have had breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), or atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH); have extremely dense breasts or unevenly dense breasts when viewed by mammograms.

A Few Facts on Dental Care for Your Pet

February 5, 2013 on 5:36 pm | In General Posts | Comments Off

Thanks to VPI for providing the following information.

February is Pet Dental Health Month. For some pet insurance companies, dental claims are the sixth most common type of claim submitted for reimbursement.

Preventive oral care is not only necessary for pets, but it’s financially sound for pet owners. In 2012, the average claim amount for pet teeth cleaning was $166. In contrast, the average claim amount for treating dental-related disease was $227. Periodontal disease, a condition caused by residual food, bacteria and tartar that collect in the spaces between the gum and tooth (resulting in infection that can spread to the bone), accounted for the most dental claims. Tooth infections, inclusive of cavities and abscesses, accounted for the second most common dental-related claims. Infections of the teeth are typically the result of untreated tooth decay, cracked or fractured teeth, or severe periodontal disease.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA,) 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by the age of three. Pet owners should have their pets’ oral health evaluated every 6 months. Between regular veterinary examinations, pet owners should look for the warning signs of gum disease such as bad breath, red and swollen gums, yellow-brown crusts of tartar along the gum lines, and bleeding or pain when the gums or mouth are touched.

The American Veterinary Dental College’s formal list of indicators that a dog or cat may have dental disease includes:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose or discolored teeth or teeth covered in tartar
  • Pet not comfortable with owner touching within the mouth area
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss

Pet Dental Health Fast Facts:


  • Puppies have 28 temporary teeth that begin to show at about 3 to 4 weeks of age
  • They have 42 permanent teeth that generally grow in between 5 to 7 months of age
  • Periodontal disease is the most common dental issue among dogs


  • Kittens have 26 temporary teeth that begin to show at about 2 to 3 weeks of age
  • They have 30 permanent teeth that generally grow in by 5 to 6 months of age

Other dental issues that are most common in cats are tooth resorption and ulcerative stomatitis.

In addition to having your pet’s teeth cleaned, Dr. Shawn’s Olive Leaf Plus helps support your pet’s immune system and is a natural alternative to antibiotics that can help with normal oral health for pets with bad breath and dental disease.

Healthy Qi Helps Support a Healthy Immune System

February 5, 2013 on 5:31 pm | In General Posts | Comments Off

Thanks to all of you who have ordered any of my new products. Recently I was able to negotiate MUCH lower shipping rates for my store, so if the prior shipping rates held you back from ordering you can now save even more by simply ordering off of the website.

And don’t forget to enter code “drshawn” to save an extra 10% off of your entire order!

I’m continuing to add products to the online store.

Some of the products currently available include 2 shampoos (including the best-selling Itch Relief shampoo,) ear wash, Scoot No More (for anal sac issues,) Olive Leaf Plus (great for immune support, cancer, and skin and ear problems,) Healthy Qi (to maintain a healthy immune system and to support pets with cancers and other immune disorders,) and CI Support (also for immune support, especially for cancer patients.) These are the same products I use in my practice and recommend in my books and on my radio show. They have all been specifically reformulated with LOWER PRICING!

This week the product I’m going to highlight is Dr. Shawn’s Healthy Qi. For many years I’ve used this herbal supplement in my practice for pets with a variety of health problems, including infections of any kind, immune disorders, and especially as one of several supplements for pets with cancer. This is also the perfect supplement to help dogs and cats that just seem a little off, a bit “pukey.” Any pet acting sick for just about any reason can benefit from Healthy Qi, which seeks to act as a “pick me up” while supporting the immune system. Check it out at my webstore ($36.99 before discount) and enter code “drshawn” to save 10% off of your entire order!

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