I prefer not to use any of the topical and toxic flea preventatives on the market. Do you know of any natural ways I can help prevent fleas from bothering my dogs and cat?
A successful flea control program involves treating your pet, as well as, the environment. The adult female flea can lay as many as five hundred eggs a day. That can translate into tens of thousands of fleas by the end of the month. Under ideal conditions of temperature and humidity the flea can go through its four-stage life cycle which is egg, larva, pupa and adult within three to four weeks.
There are various methods of flea control presently on the market ranging from pesticides to insect growth regulators that can be topically or given orally by mouth. Other environmentally safe methods exist that I would like to share with you. Many pet owners have found some of these methods very beneficial and some have had exceptional results.
Citrus is very unappealing to fleas. One tactic is to take a large lemon and slice it paper thin. Place the slices in a bowl with a tablespoon of crushed rosemary leaves. Pour a quart of almost boiling water over the leaves. Let it steep overnight. The following day strain the mixture and place the liquid into a spray bottle. It is best if this is kept refrigerated. Spray it on your pet daily during flea season.
Another option is to take orange and lemon skins that have been sliced thin and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Strain and let cool. The mixture can be sponged on your pet and left to dry. It is an effective pet flea rinse that is non-toxic and all natural. Also, slicing citrus such as an orange, lemon or lime and rubbing it against the grain of the fur is a very good repellent to fleas.
If you have a flea collar that is currently being utilized by your pet, you can cut it into smaller pieces and place it in your vacuum cleaner bag. In this manner, any eggs or adult fleas that are picked up in the vacuum will be eliminated. The suction from the vacuum kills the fleas.
Historically, cedar and sassafras wood shavings, as well as, fir and pine needles have been utilized to eliminate fleas from dog kennel and sleeping areas.
The additional of brewers yeast to food has also had some positive effects and adversity to fleas. There still seems to be some controversy over the use of brewers yeast against fleas, however, it is a wonderful source of B Vitamins and a great supplement indeed. Recommended dose is between half and one teaspoon of nutritional brewers yeast for cats and up to two teaspoons daily for dogs depending on their size.
Additionally, dried or powdered pennyroyal or common table salt can be sprinkled on your carpets and left overnight. Vacuuming the following day will help remove fleas and their eggs.
Ideally, the best way to protect pets against flea infestation is to keep them as healthy as possible by first providing them with the best possible health care and diet. My recommendations for diet begin with an all natural diet or any number of pet foods which do not contain BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin as any of its preservatives.
Pets and Skin Disease
Could you give some advice on fleas and ticks and problems with skin issues in dogs and cats?
After twenty years of practicing veterinary medicine, I have seen many diseases vary in theirincidence. Twenty years ago the number of cancer cases was minimal. Today it is the numberone killer of companion animals. In my practice the most common cases I treat holistically arecancer followed by skin problems. Most of the skin cases have been to a number of conventionalpractices for the typical treatment of antibiotics and steroids. Antibiotics and steroids have theirplace in veterinary medicine but it is my personal belief that they are overused and just mask thesymptoms rather than treating the true underlying condition.
Some skin problems are fairly easy to diagnose such as flea infestation. Often times the fleas arevisible on the pet’s fur or their droppings, which appear like specks of black pepper. The best wayto inspect your pet for fleas is to move your hand against the direction of the fur and look closelyat the skin itself for fleas or flea droppings. Many of the products on the market today work well toeliminate a flea problem on your pet. My choice of topical treatment is Frontline. It kills fleas, fleaeggs, ticks and chewing lice. It is applied directly to the skin monthly. Other more holistic methodsinclude the use of citrus fruit, such as a lemon or orange, cut it lengthwise and rub it against thedirection of the fur. It’s a great flea repellent. For the home, sprinkle table salt on the rugs andleave it overnight. Vacuum it up the following day and throw away the vacuum bag. You canplace a flea collar in the new vacuum bag so that if other fleas, larva or eggs are vacuumed up,they to will die. Dr. Rose’s Remedies skin treatment salve or spray can be used topically twice aday for those areas of the skin that are irritated or inflamed as a result of the flea bites.
Ticks have become more of an issue in the past years. Many of the ticks that live in our area arecarriers of numerous and serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Erhlichiosis, RockyMountain Spotted Fever and Cat Scratch Disease. Presently, I diagnose Lyme disease in a dog ora cat every week. These pets can present with red like hives or a rash on the skin, lethargy,decreased appetite, lameness, weakness and incontinence. Once again, Dr. Rose’s Remediesskin treatment salve can be applied to eliminate the skin lesions resulting from the tick bites. Thebest tick control is to inspect your pet each and every time it comes in from the outside. We are inone of the highest incident areas for Lyme disease in this country. I frequently suggest that theowners of Lyme positive pets get tested themselves because they are likely to be with their petwhen it is outdoors. I can say that I have seen a high correlation between pets that have Lymedisease and owners that come up positive, at least in my client population.
By far the greatest diagnosis for the itching, scratching, hair loss pet is allergies. Once again, manyclients that come to me for an alternative approach to their pet’s skin problems have been tomany other veterinarians for conventional treatment. I have found that a combination of Dr.Rose’s Remedies skin treatment salve or spray, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and food allergytesting get these patients under control. Many companion pets are allergic to wheat, soy, yeast,dairy, beef, corn and rice.
Skin conditions can be an indication of numerous other body system dysfunctions ranging from anunder active thyroid gland to over active adrenal glands. A normal healthy animal’s hair coatshould be smooth and shiny and without flakes or dandruff. If you have any questions about yourpet’s skin or health, please call your veterinarian for an examination.
I’ve recently found out that acupuncture is practiced on pets. What pets exactly?
Veterinary acupuncture in the Chinese literature is documented over 3,000 years ago. Many of these same principles are practiced, researched and taught in China and around the world today. The original animal that we know of that was treated with acupuncture in China was the horse. Today acupuncture is practiced on horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, pigs, sheep, goats, cows, ducks, various birds, and even exotic mammals.
What types of medical conditions or diseases can acupuncture help?
The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture as an effective treatment for over forty-two medical conditions, including allergies, respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous system conditions, gynecological problems, disorders of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, chronic pain associated with arthritis and degenerative joint disease, and as an adjunct in patients suffering from cancer and AIDS.
How can I find a veterinarian that practices acupuncture on animals?
First and foremost the individual that works on your pet must be a licensed veterinarian. Human acupuncturists should NOT practice acupuncture on animals. Additionally, you want to find a practitioner who is certified in veterinary acupuncture. This means that they went through all the additional education and standards set forth by certifying organizations such as The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. I am certified by The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. A certified veterinary acupuncturist can be found at The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture web site, www.AAVA.org, The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society web site, www.IVAS.org, or The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association web site, www.AHVMA.org.
How long does an animal acupuncture treatment take?
Initially, treatments are weekly or biweekly depending on the condition. As the situation improves and the pet responds, the intervals between treatments are increased. Many patients who have chronic arthritis may only need to be seen four or five times a year to maintain a level of comfort.
My dog, a 5 year old, male, Golden Retriever, stopped eating and started to lose weight rapidly earlier this year. My veterinarian suggested an abdominal ultrasound. Much to my surprise and disappointment he was diagnosed with liver cancer. I don’t want to put him through chemotherapy. Are there any holistic treatments available for us to pursue?
Presently, cancer is the number one “natural” cause of death in dogs. In 20 years of practice I have seen cancer go from a fairly low and even rare incidence to a very high incidence. Cancer is by far the most common condition that I treat in pets, particularly dogs. It is more common in pure breed than mixed breed dogs.
Treatment plans are individualized to each particular patient and their needs. Immune system support is always a part of my treatment. Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese herbal supplements, Anti-oxidant therapy, Chiropractic adjustments, Reiki and Intravenous Vitamin C are some of the treatment possibilities at my Animal Wellness Center in Chadds Ford, Pa. Chinese herbal protocols for specific types of cancer are instituted and combined with one or more additional treatments. Herbal tinctures are formulated on site for each pet at the time of their initial consultation. Herbs from China, India, Australia, the Amazon and North America are used. The pet’s diet is evaluated and recommendations for improvement are given. Comfort level and quality of life are of utmost importance. Side effects are rare to non-existent to date. Clients are also instructed in the practice of visualization and positive thought with respect to their pet’s cancer.
Presently, we are in the process of compiling and documenting the various cancers we see and the treatments used. A case in point is “Cleo Ann”, a 10-year old, female Bischon. She was diagnosed with liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. Cleo was given a very grave prognosis and two months to live. Her owner was devastated and very upset by this news. She came to see me shortly after the diagnosis. Cleo’s liver enzymes were all elevated and some off the charts. I started her off with a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs for the cancer and to strengthen her immune system. Within four weeks of treatment her liver values improved, her appetite returned and she was wagging her tail again. We started to increase the intervals between her acupuncture treatments and continued to monitor her liver blood values. If you were to look at her you would never imagine that she had cancer. She was the picture of health. Obviously, her two-month death sentenced passed without consequence. Cleo’s owner was committed to her treatment protocol and adhered to it as one year, two years, three years, four years and more passed. Her liver values came back into the normal range for much of that time. Sometimes only one of the three liver values we monitored was abnormally elevated. Adjustments were made to her treatment protocol as determined by me. On the occasions when the values were elevated she had no clinical signs of illness at all. Both her owner and I were extremely pleased with her progress. Then, one day a month ago I received a call from her owner saying that Cleo had stopped eating. Upon physical examination Cleo was thinner, with yellowish colored gums, skin and sclera (the white part of the eye). Her skin had a yellowish tint to it. Blood analysis and x-rays verified what I suspected. Cleo was in liver failure and the cancer started, once again, to drain the body’s defense system, only this time it won. Cleo was euthanized peacefully. It was a sad day for all of us that knew her. Cleo lived 5 years past the time conventional veterinary medicine said she would live and she had a good quality of life the entire time. She was 15 years old.
My 9 year old Springer spaniel was just diagnosed with arthritis. The veterinarian called it “spondylosis” of her spine. Can acupuncture help her?
I have seen arthritis develop as a result of bacterial infections, viral infections and fungal infections. In our part of the country, the Northeast, Lyme disease is endemic. This means that there are more cases of Lyme disease diagnosed in this location than there is in other parts of the country. This is generally due to the large population of white-tailed deer and the fact that the deer tick carries the organism. This makes it easier for the human and the pet population to be exposed. It is not necessary to walk through the woods the get infected. These ticks are very adaptable. They can be found on the tips of grass, on shrubs, and in ground cover. Your pet can pick up an infected tick very easily; get bitten and manifest signs fairly quickly. The organism that causes Lyme disease is called a spirochete. Spirochetes tend to migrate through the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the body. If they settle in your pet’s joints a serious case of degenerative arthritis can develop. Lyme disease can be the cause of arthritis in many cases.
Can acupuncture help? Yes, you bet it can ! Frequently, arthritic type conditions occur as an animal or person gets older. Spondylosis causes the nerves coming out of the spinal cord, which are protected by the vertebrae, to get irritated. This irritation of the nerves causes pain. Acupuncture can ease the irritation to the nerves and make the pet feel much better. In my experience, acupuncture improves the quality of life in pets that have an arthritic condition such as spondylosis. Acupuncture combined with the appropriate Chinese herbal formula(s) has been more beneficial then just acupuncture alone.
The pharmaceutical industry provides us with a multitude of synthetic medications to treat “the pain of arthritis”. The problem is that they come with a multitude of side effects as well. Some of the more common side effects with this particular class of medications are vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal infection, inflammation or ulceration. Additionally, many of these medications affect the liver and kidneys adversely causing an elevation of liver and kidney enzymes. An experienced and properly educated veterinarian can recommend alternatives to some of these conventional medications. Acupuncture essentially has no serious side effects in companion animals. Given the choice, I know which option I would take.
Vitamin C Therapy in Pets
I have heard that Vitamin C has been used to treat cancer. Is anything like this being done in pets?
About twelve years ago I started to investigate yet another potential treatment that could have positive effects in the health and well being of animals that are diagnosed with cancer. I came to the conclusion that Linus Pauling was absolutely correct in many of his observations and studies of Vitamin C and its positive effects on the body. The main problem lay in the fact that at levels approximately above 2,000-3,000 milligrams (mgs.) daily, taken orally, one could get serious gastrointestinal problems. Vomiting, stomach and intestinal ulceration and diarrhea were very common and increased in severity and frequency as the oral dosage increased.
Vitamin C is one of the greatest antioxidants known on this planet and is readily available to us and our pets. Solid Gold puts out the acorbate form of Vitamin C called Sorbate. It is in a powder form and is pretty palatable from clients’ experience through the years.
The data suggests that at high intravenous doses, Vitamin C is TOXIC to cancer cells! There are studies that have gone on and continue to go on at the University level that are determining what the specific levels need to be in the bloodstream to actually be toxic and destroy the abnormal cancer cells. Work out of London showed that the Vitamin C acts as a pro-oxidant and destroys cancer cell membranes and produces hydrogen peroxide. The cancer cells are more vulnerable because of a significantly less amount of an enzyme that allows the ascorbic acid to destroy the cancer cell.
Intravenous Vitamin C is on the current list of “Stage IV” treatments for cancer. Stage IV being those cases in which time and severity were of issue. The advanced cancer patient does not have time to build up its immunity. Stage IV patients have to be paced so as not to kill off too many cancer cells at once since the body must detoxify this. Approximately 60% of the cases I see fall into this category. Stage III patients are able to build up immunity and slowly kill the cancer cells.
A case in point is Sam, a 12-year-old male Labrador diagnosed with liver cancer, given a grave prognosis and 2 or 3 months to live at best. He was started on Vitamin C infusions, Chinese herbs and Acupuncture treatments, mostly geared to maximize his immune system. As treatment progressed Sam’s elevated liver enzyme values returned to normal and stayed that way for the next five years. The most important aspect of this kind of treatment is that there are essentially no negative side effects. Generally, the pet has a quality of life with minimal changes in their lifestyle.
Cleo was a 12-year-old female domestic short-haired cat. She came in with a cranial abdominal mass the size of a baseball. She was given two weeks, maybe three, but she had stopped eating and was vomiting. Intravenous Vitamin C was part of an overall holistic approach to her case. Not only did her appetite come back, but she gained some weight, stopped vomiting and the mass never changed size. Cleo succumbed to heart disease at the age of 17.
Presently, lung cancer, bone cancer, skin cancer, mast cell tumors, hemangiosarcoma (blood based cancer), fibrosarcoma, liver cancer, lymphoma and lymphosarcoma types of cancer have be treated. Try going to google.com and type in “intravenous vitamin C” and you will be amazed at what you find! Recently, a physician from California called me from a large holistic practice. He has been doing this treatment in humans for the past thirty five years. His successes are vast. Personally, I do not understand how such a fantastic treatment option was not on the front page of Time magazine or primetime TV.
I can only give you what I have investigated and experienced clinically in my patients. My feeling is that there is, in fact, enough supportive evidence and controlled clinical trials in the literature to warrant further investigation of the use of high doses of Ascorbate given intravenously to augment cancer therapy in companion animals.
Gold Bead Implantations in Veterinary Acupuncture
The 1970’s were an exciting decade in medicine in the United States. The introduction of acupuncture from the East opened up many avenues of healing. The public became more aware of alternative methods of healing, both for themselves and their pets. Individuals that had a positive response to non-conventional treatment modalities, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, Chinese herbs or chiropractic adjustments, began to question whether these same treatments would be beneficial for their companion animals. Fortunately, after more than 3 decades, the public has become more aware of the benefits of alternative healing methods. The Internet has greatly contributed to the public’s awareness of other treatment options.
Veterinary acupuncture has been practiced in China for over 4,000 thousand years. Thousands of publications have come out of China, Japan, Korea and Europe demonstrating the benefits of acupuncture in both animals and humans. Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body utilizing thin, flexible needles for the purpose of healing. Stimulating acupuncture points causes effects that alter physiological and biochemical conditions within the body. Acupuncture releases neurochemicals, neurotransmitters and neurohormones into the bloodstream and cerebral spinal fluid. Acupuncture can stimulate nerves, relieve muscle spasms, stimulate the body’s immune system, relieve pain and help to maintain the body’s homeostasis. Dry needles, liquid, heat, electricity, laser or the implantation of gold or other metals can stimulate acupuncture points.
Dr. Grady Young of Georgia first attempted gold bead implantation in veterinary medicine. His techniques were modified and researched by Dr. Terry Durkes in the mid-seventies. I had the good fortune to learn from this great master a number of years ago.
Gold bead implantation is an extension of the acupuncture procedure. Correctly placed, the beads provide long-term stimulation to the acupuncture points. The procedure is done under general anesthesia. The treatment area is clipped and surgically scrubbed. Placement of the gold beads is very precise. Misplacement by even 4-5 mm greatly reduces clinical results. The beads are less than 1/16th of an inch in diameter. The gold beads I use are Magrain beads. These beads are slightly magnetized to impart a positive electric charge. Areas that require treatment and respond to implants are areas that have excessive negative charge. Typically, a 14 gauge, 1 Â½ inch needle on a modified 3 cc syringe is utilized. Three or four beads are injected into each area to be treated. Most beads are placed into acupuncture points. This is usually in the subcutaneous tissue, between , or into muscle bellies. It is essential that this procedure be performed by a certified veterinary acupuncturist with advanced training and experience in gold bead implantation. Specialists in veterinary acupuncture can be obtained from www.ivas.org. This will give you the names of veterinarians in your state that are qualified by the standards set forth by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.
Original cases of gold bead implantation were performed on German Shepherds with hip dysplasia and in dogs with seizure disorders. At that time, two beads were placed per site and an approximate 75% success rate was achieved. Today those statistics continue to improve as more clinical case research is accumulated. We have since realized that weight and age are determining factors in success rate as well as the number of beads placed per site.
Medical conditions that benefit from gold bead implantation include: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, wobblers, degenerative joint diseases, intervertebral disc disease, epilepsy/seizures, carpal and tarsal problems, lick granulomas, traumatic nerve injury, chronic cruciate injury, brachial plexus injury, fecal and urinary incontinence, asthma, allergic dermatitis, and long term injuries. The list continues to expand as further research is conducted. In my hospital, pets that undergo this procedure are sent home the same day. Follow â€“up examinations are generally on a weekly basis depending on the condition being treated.
Additional information regarding gold bead implants in companion animals can be attained by calling my office at 610-558-1616.
New Hope for Cancer in your Pets
Read the Answer
Simply stated “cancer” refers to any uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer can be on the body (such as the skin) or within the body (such as the liver, spleen, lungs or bone). Some cancers stay localized in one area while other spread to adjacent tissues or distant parts of the body (called metastasis). Some pure breed dogs (such as the Golden Retriever) tend to have a higher incidence of cancer than mixed breeds and the incidence tends to increase with age. A recent study suggested that pets over 10 years of age have greater than a 50% chance of getting some form of cancer in their lifetime.
Well, pets lovers, get ready for this! There is a compound the basis of which comes from Sanguinaria canadensis that has hit the forefront of alternative veterinary medicine that has had some mind-boggling results. I’ve been using it in dogs and cats for the past two years now and have had some wonderful and encouraging results. It appears to be the abundance of isoquinoline alkaloids in the active principle of sanguinarine that causes the death of neoplastic (cancer) cells. In micromolar concentrations the main constituents preferentially eliminate cancer cells without precipitating the death of normal cells. The substance, called Neoplasene, should only be used under a licensed veterinarian familiar with its use and competent in holistic modalities. The substance can be injected into tumors, given orally, applied topically or a combination of them all. I have put very serious and aggressive tumors such as bone cancer (osteosarcoma) and a type of skin based tumor (fibrosarcoma) into remission in a matter of months. Most of these patients were given a grave to poor prognosis because of the typical progression of that cancer. The following are a few of the cases that have been very successful.
“Sasha” is a 10-year-old, male, Yorkie that had two small pea-sized masses on the skin between the shoulder blades. Both masses were injected with the compound and the salve applied topically. Approximately 1 month later they both sloughed off leaving a small wound area that healed non-remarkably. As of today, nearly 2 years latter, “Sasha” is free of tumors and there is no indication that they, or any other masses, are growing on his skin.
“Dutch” is a 14-year-old, male, Labrador that had a mass approximately 1 cm. in diameter that was located on the outer aspect of his hind leg ankle. The tumor was injected twice with the substance. Within 2 weeks the mass detached from the skin and healed as an open wound. As of the writing of this publication there is no evidence of recurrence of that mass and “Dutch” is walking much better than before.
“Sheba” is a 16-year-old female domestic short haired cat that was diagnosed with a very aggressive malignant cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. The cancer was located on the roof of her mouth. This mass was injected with Neoplasene and also applied topically under general anesthesia. This occurred every one to two weeks for a total of four treatments. As of this writing ( approximately 7 months from initial diagnosis), the cancer has gone into remission and no evidence of recurrence is present.
“Zach” is a 12 year old, male, miniature poodle that had a mass of unknown origin approximately the size of a jellybean on the tip of one ear. The mass was noticed to be increasing in size approximately one year ago. It was subsequently injected later that month once with Neoplasene. The mass sloughed off within one week and healed as an open wound uneventfully. The tumor has not returned and the area looks completely normal.
My personal experience with Neoplasene has varied from case to case but it has extended the lives of many of my cancer patients. Very often other holistic anti-cancer treatments, such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs and high dose intravenous ascorbate, are utilized in conjunction with Neoplasene. Most importantly, however, is that the main goal of my approach to cancer treatment is to give your pet a happy, comfortable, pain-free life for as long as possible.