Many emergencies can be prevented by practicing a few basic activities. It is always better to DO something causative than to wait and see if something happens. Below is a list of several things that YOU CAN DO to reduce the number of serious accidents or emergencies your pet may have:
- Make sure that your pet is properly vaccinated for the actual diseases present in your area. Serious and life-threatening diseases like distemper, rabies and feline leukemia are rare in properly vaccinated pets. Do not over-vaccinate as this can be harmful to your pet's immune system.
- Feed your pet the proper amount of a good diet that contains high quality ingredients and make sure it has plenty of fresh water at all times. This practice can reduce the risk of diabetes, feline urinary disease, high cholesterol, and heart disease, as well as strengthen your pet's immune system against invasion by germs and cancer cells.
- Keep the household trash away from your pet. Wrap poisonous containers in newspaper and dispose of as directed. Accidental ingestion of antifreeze, bug and weed killers, snail bait, meat bones (especially chicken, turkey, and pork) can be costly for you and painful for your pet. Keep prescription drugs in an area not accessible to pets or children and keep them in their correct bottles with the lids fastened.
- Decorate your Christmas tree without tinsel if you have cats or small puppies. The tinsel can be accidentally swallowed by cats who are attracted to its sparkle and that can lead to serious intestinal disease and a need for emergency surgery.
- Keep your pets in a fenced yard and always use a leash, harness, or carrier when transporting or exercising your pet. Dogs and cats are rarely hit by a car while safely in their own yard or while controlled on a leash.
- Avoid use of snail bait and rodent poisons and if you must use them, put them where no pets can contact them. These are the most common poisonings seen at our office.
- Have your pet properly trained for the activities you plan to do. Properly trained pets are easier to handle in an emergency and less likely to actually get hurt.
- Lastly, stay in good communication and in good mental condition yourself. People who are impaired by drugs or alcohol are more likely to have accidents that lead to injury of others including pets. Likewise, people who are upset have more accidents due to the fact that their attention is internalized on their upset and not on their present time environment.
It is best to consult with a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Get the phone number for emergency calls and put it in an easily located place. If your pet can breathe and is not bleeding profusely, it is best to just load them in the car and transport them to a veterinarian. A bed sheet or blanket can be used to pick up a badly hurt pet. Protect yourself from being accidentally bitten by covering the head with a towel or use a 2-inch gauze strip to muzzle your dog. If you use a gauze muzzle, be sure to remove it as soon as the dog is in the car. Leaving on a muzzle can lead to severe stress and overheating which is undesirable in an emergency.
Use this basic method called the ABC's of first aid. Copy this part of the page and place it inside your pet's first-aid kit. Airway--is the airway open and can the pet breathe? If not breathing, open the mouth and look under the tongue and in the back of the throat. Rocks and balls can be stuck and a rapid squeeze of the chest can dislodge these if you can't reach the object. Be sure to hold the head down so gravity helps you. Breathing--Is your pet breathing? Begin mouth to nose artificial respiration. Extend your pet's neck, close his mouth and blow through the nose. Watch to see the chest wall expand. Don't over-inflate the lungs--blow only hard enough to lightly extend the chest wall. Cardiac--feel the chest wall and give CPR if needed. Your veterinarian can teach this skill to you. Stop excessive bleeding by applying direct pressure. For legs, wrap the leg with a large towel and use gauze or duct tape to secure it tightly. Transport immediately. If you use a tourniquet, be sure to loosen it every 8 minutes so that vital blood reaches the tissues. If you have other questions read on.
Home Made Pet First-Aid Kit - Sometimes an accident may occur when there is no competent veterinary care near. In such a case, you may have to help your pet. The following PET FIRST-AID KIT can be helpful in such a case.
Look at the area and determine if bleeding is light or severe. Light bleeding involves only a few drops of blood. In cases of light bleeding, put your cat in a carrier and call your veterinarian for instructions. Bleeding from broken nails, or little cuts on the ears or face can often wait a few hours for care. Heavy bleeding should be handled by putting something on the wound like a towel and applying direct pressure--transport immediately to your pet's doctor.
CATS - BREATHING PROBLEMS OR OPEN-MOUTHED BREATHINGBe very gentle with these cats and transport immediately to a veterinarian.
DOGS - BREATHING PROBLEMSBe very gentle and transport immediately to a veterinarian.
Note the time and observe the pet. Most seizures are less than 60 seconds, but seem to go on forever. When the seizure ends, gently pick up the pet and take it to the vet. In cases where the seizure goes over 90 seconds, use a towel to pick up the pet (be careful not to get bitten) and transport it to a hospital.
CAT ATE POISON
Pick up the container and the cat, and take them both to the veterinarian. If no veterinarian, read the container label and follow instructions for accidental ingestion. You can call the POISON CONTROL number from your phone book, too. In Los Angeles, the number is (213) 222-3212. Never give Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Advil, or aspirin to a sick cat. If someone has given one of these to your cat, call your doctor AT ONCE.
DOG ATE POISON
Pick up the container and the dog, and take them both to the veterinarian. If no veterinarian, read the container label and follow instructions for accidental ingestion. You can call the POISON CONTROL number from your phone book, too. In Los Angeles, the number is (213) 222-3212. If the poison is snail bait or rat bait, give 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.
VOMITING AND/OR DIARRHEA - CAT
Many cases of vomiting/diarrhea can be handled by simply withholding food and water for 2-4 hours and then beginning a bland diet. It is best to call your veterinarian and check on these instructions. Put a sample of the vomit/diarrhea in a zip-lock bag, and take it and your dog to the hospital.
REPEATED VOMITING or ATTEMPTED VOMITING - DOG
Large dogs are more prone to stomach bloating and if you observe these signs call your vet at once.
If your cat is a male, this can be very serious. Male cats have very narrow urine outflow tubes that can block, resulting in kidney damage and even death. Male cats who strain to urinate, lick their penis excessively or cry in the litter box should be seen at once. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL MORNING!! Females who have painful urination usually do not have full blockages, but you should call a veterinarian to determine if an immediate exam is needed.
What is spaying? Spaying is the common name for the surgery which removes the ovaries and uterus so that a female dog or cat cannot reproduce. The medical name is "ovariohysterectomy" which is a long word meaning, "to remove the ovaries and uterus." What is neutering? This word means to remove the reproductive parts of a pet so that it can't breed successfully. We commonly use it to refer to the surgery for males, but it is technically correct to use it for either sex.
What happens to my pet during surgery? In females, a small incision is made by the belly-button and the ovaries and uterus are found and carefully removed. In males, both testicles are removed through a small incision. Both males and females have the surgical area closed with sutures which are removed in 10 days. Male cats have no skin sutures.
Why spay my pet? Females spayed before one year of age have virtually no breast cancer. Breast cancer is very common in older unspayed females and this is very important for an owner to know. You must do the surgery before one year of age to get this benefit. Spaying after one year of age reduces this risk by half and doing the surgery after a dog or cat is over two years of age has no effect on the breast cancer risk. Spayed females have fewer uterine infections and no problems with their ovaries because these parts are no longer present to cause problems.
Why neuter my pet? Neutered male dogs have much less prostate cancer and fewer lower back problems. Neutered dogs almost never get perineal hernias which can cause older dogs to have very expensive and painful corrective surgery. Neutering reduces excessive "male behaviors" like fighting and territorial marking. In cats, neutering reduces the number of fights and makes the cat's urine smell much better. Neutered pets appear to live longer than pets left intact.
What do I do after the surgery? Let your pet rest quietly after arriving home. Give small amounts of water until your pet doesn't drink everything in the bowl. Be sure to follow the instructions your veterinarian left for you regarding exercise, eating and keeping the area clean.
What Do Fleas Do and Why Are They Here Anyway?Most of us have spent lots of time wondering why fleas are here. Obviously, nature doesn't create things with no purpose and fleas are no exception. Fleas actually help wildlife by applying pressure to the population. Animals who are weak or sick are parasitized and die before they can spread disease or reproduce. Fleas are attracted to animals that are unhealthy or pets who are kept in unhealthy circumstances. In this strange way, fleas actually help to preserve the balance and health of wild animal populations. Our problem is that we don't want them to control our pets. We have other tools available to us that wildlife do not have--namely, we can call a veterinarian for help! We need to understand that fleas do help and by understanding the flea's life and purpose we can become more effective at flea control.
Winning The War On FleasYou can win the war on fleas, but you must understand what you are battling. Fleas have lived in nearly unchanged form for millions of years. Fleas are geniuses at playing the survival game. One flea can lay 20-30 eggs per day and 10 fleas can produce 250,000 fleas in just three short weeks during the peak flea season. Fleas like heat and humidity. Only female fleas drink blood, which they must consume to lay live eggs that will hatch into tiny worms called larvae. The larvae survive by eating organic material and are very sensitive to drying. In fact, decreasing the humidity by 25% can kill 75% of the flea larvae in the area. Larvae spin a cocoon and emerge as adults in a short time. The whole cycle of reproduction takes 21 days in warm weather, but can be much longer in cooler weather. Remember that if a pet has excessive fleas, then there is some health issue that needs to be handled. To control fleas, you need a complete health program customized to your home living environment.
Homeopathy is a field of healing pioneered by German physician, Samuel Hahnemann. Dr. Hahnemann observed that when small amounts of medicines were given the body responded in a healing manner. He coined the Law of Similars, which states that like cures like. The word homeopathy literally means “homo—same + pathy—disease.” In homeopathy we give very small quantities of agents that stimulate the bodies natural defenses and lead a patient to begin to heal himself. Research has shown that homeopathy works on animals, people and even plants and is very safe to use because the remedies are not toxic. Patients taking homeopathic remedies can experience short term worsening of symptoms as their bodies activate healing and discharge toxins from the system. Only recently has scientific research been able to accurately measure the effects of homeopathic remedies on the body and the new field is called nanopharmacology. This word means “small drugs,” and refers to studying the effect of miniscule amounts of substances on the body’s energy systems.
An example of homeopathic treatment would be a dog that is suffering from a dry cough, which worsens after exercise. The doctor would select a single remedy called phosphorous and give it in a form that is very diluted. After taking a few doses the dog begins to have heavy nasal discharge of mucus and the cough clears up after a few days.
Homotoxicology is a new field discovered and codified by another German doctor named Hans Heinrich Reckeweg. It is a biological therapy meaning that the body is activated and that the remedies do not harm the body. The prime axiom of homotoxicology is that all disease is the body’s attempt to get well by excreting or walling off toxins. As we live toxins are encountered from the environment and generated by our metabolic processes. If these are not properly neutralized and excreted, then tissue damage can occur and illness is the result.
A patient’s disease can be classified into one of six phases depending upon the level of tissue intoxication and damage. These phases are:
Therapy for disorders in the first three phases above is very rapid and effective. The doctor’s intention is to try and shift the disease pattern up the list. By selecting proper remedies that help neutralize toxins and promote their excretion, a homotoxicology doctor can greatly assist patients to regain normal functioning.
When examining a patient, the doctor is attempting to locate the presence of toxins and dysfunction in the body. Physical examination, history and diagnostic tests such as blood tests, X-rays, and ultrasound assist the doctor. Each area of disease is actually the body working to get well.
Once a pattern of disease is recognized, then a customized therapeutic program is initiated. These treatment programs usually involve creating a safe space for the patient, ensuring that toxin ingestion from diet and water and air are diminished, and providing adequate nutrition in the form of good food and nutritional supplements needed to assist the body in recovery. Specific biological therapies are selected to aid the body in toxin mobilization and excretion. Patients take the remedies and recheck at regular intervals to monitor their progress.
Homotoxicology is an exciting method of helping patients get better and stay better. We believe this is the healing technology of the new century!
Acupuncture is an ancient art pioneered in the Orient. Bodies have energy control systems that run through and around the body and these energy channels are called meridians. Points exist on these channels that are local control points for the organs and tissues. Stimulating these points can increase, decrease or disperse the energy flow to the tissues.
Acupuncturists call the energy that flows through the meridian Chi. When Chi energy flows properly, then the body is healthy. Diseases result from altered flow of Chi. Modern physics is only beginning to fully research this field and we now have scientific validation of the effectiveness of acupuncture, especially for the treatment of pain, arthritis and other common problems.
Acupuncture meridians will transport other particles such as homeopathic medicines, radioactive isotopes and even photons. This last finding is exciting and has created a special field called photoacupuncture, wherein the doctor uses light at specific wavelengths to stimulate tissues back into normal activity. Since no needles are necessary, people or pets afraid of needles readily accept photoacupuncture.
The word holistic refers to therapies that involve treating the body as a complete system and taking into consideration the body’s connection to all its parts and even to the parts of the environment. Holistic doctors don’t view the body in a vacuum. While a western doctor would look at a cold as a viral infection and recommend rest and drugs to reduce the nasal discharge and congestion, a holistic doctor would view he cold as an imbalance in the system. Holistic doctors would look for what the patient had been doing that predisposed them to catching the virus, prescribe biologically active agents that stimulate the immune system (like the herb Echinacea or a homeopathic version of that herb) and then assist the body in repairing the area and re-establishing communication and balance with acupuncture, herbs, vitamins, rest, diet and exercise.
We can think of healing technologies and arts as tools in a great toolbox. Western doctors have drugs and surgery. Holistic doctors have herbs, nutritional therapy, massage, acupuncture, homeopathy, homotoxicology, acupuncture and a host of energy medicines. Integrative doctors use all these technologies, and therefore have a larger toolbox at their disposal to assist their patients in staying well and recovering when struck by illness. I like the term wholistic to mean that we should use all the tools that we are given to help people and their pets have active, pleasant and rewarding lives as they reach to fulfill their maximum potentials in the great game of Life!
Most of us are fairly familiar with the methods and expectations involved with western medicine. A person or pet gets sick, the doctor finds the area of disease, names it and finds the medicine that has shown promise in reducing symptoms. Cure is never promised, but occurs when the body makes adjustments and normal healthy systems re-establish. This is not an essay about what is wrong with western medicine, or what is right about natural therapies, but rather, and so much more important, this is an essay about the theory and philosophy of natural healing AND what to expect when going through a course of natural healing. It is applicable to any natural healing, but especially tailored for patients undergoing treatment by homotoxicology. For those interested in what homotoxicology is, visit the section of our website FAQs entitled What is Homeopathy? .
The BodyThe body is a complex mechanism of energy production and transforming systems that maintains its general shape and size and is useful for performing actions needed by the organism. The old view of the body is based on a comparison to a machine. This view is heavily influenced by Newtonian physics. The fields of medicine that utilize this viewpoint approach healing like a mechanic would approach a car that wasn’t working. Find the broken part and fix it or replace it—usually using drugs or surgery. This view of the body has been critical to our learning and understanding structure and function and in finding many useful therapies. The resulting allopathic medicines save lives every day.
As our understanding of the physical universe has expanded, we can view the body more as an energy phenomenon, and deal with it in terms of energy flows. Such medical technology is more dependent upon Quantum physics and a growing field of mathematics known as Chaos mathematics. In this view, the body is a manifestation of energy particles in constant motion. Energy flows into the body, is trapped, transformed and excreted out of the body in a continual field of action. The appearance or structure of the body depends upon this process. When all goes well, we have health, but when the flows of energy are interfered with, then we have physical manifestations of energy that we associate with lowered survival. We call these states dis-ease.
Various technologies can be used to influence and assist a body in returning to a higher state of health. Acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathic, and homeopathic medicines all work by influencing the energy states of the body. Areas of poor communication accumulate poisons, also called toxins or homotoxins, which lead to a decrease in functioning of the part. By realigning the spine, chiropractic and other manipulative processes seek to return the body to its normal form, which returns normal communication. When adjustments are made, the patient frequently experiences a rapid feeling of relief as the circulation improves and waste products are carried away. Many people report that the room brightens and they experience relief directly. Such reports also come from people having acupuncture. The Chinese call this feeling of relief, Dai Qi, and it frequently accompanies insertion of a needle in the correct acupuncture points. If a toxin has accumulated for an extended period of time, then the body can suffer more and more alteration and degradation of form and function. Cancer and cancer-like conditions represent the very worst of these. Reversal of the condition gets progressively more difficult as patients age and become more and more fixed with a condition. If we catch conditions earlier, then we frequently can cause a rapid response to occur that leads to a patient’s immediate improvement. This is the goal of all natural therapy, to allow the body’s natural system to work towards improved survival and superior energetics.
HealingThe word heal comes from an ancient Latin word meaning, “to make whole.” The word integration also stems from a similar word meaning “oneness, completeness.” Since illness results when communication systems of the body are damaged and toxins build up, then we see that pain, suffering, and other signs of illness are the result of failed communication, toxin accumulation and altered form and function of the body’s organ systems. These signs of disease can be considered to be calls for help from the body. Healing involves reintegrating these factors by establishing better communication, improving circulation and motion, and providing building blocks to bring about the repairs needed.
From this concept, we can see the evolution of a sensible method of approaching a patient that is suffering with a sign of illness. A complete history is taken to review many aspects of the patient’s life. A complete examination is done to note variations from optimal health, and lab tests are taken to evaluate the functioning of the patient’s organ systems and metabolism. Once the information is available, the doctor can begin to categorize the disease process and customize the health program to that specific patient’s needs. A program is written and discussed with the patient, or in a veterinarian’s case, the animal caregiver. If it makes sense, then the program is begun. Regular follow-up examinations are scheduled so that the patient’s progress is monitored and the health care program adjusted for optimal results.
During the healing process it is common for the body to discharge toxins from one of several routes. Nasal discharges of mucus, fluid and even blood, eye discharges and alterations of stool are all very common. Mucus can leave the body through the respiratory tract as well, and when this is occurring the patient can experience coughing or wheezing. To get well the toxins must be removed and pass from the body. This toxin discharge is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to the recovery process. Inhibiting it is never desirable and only rarely done.
One of the main barriers to recovery is the taking of drugs when the symptoms of a healing crisis begin. Before administering any medication to a patient on natural healing, please check with your biotherapy doctor. Obviously, if an emergency is involved, you should seek care and do whatever emergency treatment is needed to save a patient, but generally try and avoid starting medicines if symptoms suddenly appear while on natural treatment.
We can assist the body in discharging the toxin and this greatly improves patient comfort and shortens recovery time. This appearance of disease symptoms is often called a healing crisis and it appears when the body is working towards getting well. For people interested in more information about healing crisis management, we suggest the book, “The Nature of Animal Healing,” by Martin Goldstein, DVM. This is an excellent resource on natural pet care.
Inflammation and discharge of toxins tends to occur in a cyclical manner with the peaks of discharge being worst in the beginning and gradually waning as the cycle of inflammation, discharge, and improvement occurs. The body is very wise in regulating such processes and generally won’t cause a reaction that it is incapable of resolving. Trust the body and stay in communication with your doctor and these reactions generally pass (often in three days or less). Don’t be surprised if further signs appear later on as the body works out more of the toxins in its quest for better health. In many cases, the body will “retrace” old diseases, in reverse order of appearance. It is very useful in treating patients naturally to have a very good history so that such reactions can be readily recognized.
At our office we are fond of saying, “Life didn’t make your pet with a cookie cutter and your veterinarian shouldn’t use one to treat him.” This statement is a broad reaching one when considering natural healing. Every being’s pathway back to health is an individual one. Each trip is special in its own way. We are here to walk hand-in-hand with you and your pet in your search for better health.