Spay/Neuter Incentive Project and Sanctuary
Feeding, Vaccination and Other Aspects of the Holistic Lifestyle
I started studying natural health about six years ago. I was living in Virginia, running a small rescue and spay/neuter program. There were always twenty or thirty animals living with me at any given time, so I had lots of chances to use what I was learning. I saw very quickly that using the holistic approach kept my gang very healthy, and I was hooked. I moved to Ohio about two years ago, and I guess my real claim to fame is that I found a man willing to marry me and my brood. Anyhow, my husband was already "attuned" to things like Reiki and Reflexology, so the things I was telling him about weren't completely foreign to him. Even so, I don't think he was prepared for the amazing things that we've been able to help the animals accomplish with holistic techniques. There were lots of times he thought we needed to take one of the guys in to the vet for one thing or another, and I'd say "Let's just try this first and see." Now, whenever somebody has anything wrong instead of going to the vet, he'll tell me we need to do Reiki or find a homeopathic remedy or herb or whatever instead.
With our crew, we don't have a choice, we have to be pretty proactive, but wouldn't everyone like to see their animal companions live several more happy, healthy years? Isn't anybody worried about the kinds of diseases that are cropping up in the animal population? Does it seem right that lots of seven year old dogs are toddling around like seniors? Rather than just accept everything from doggy breath to allergies to diseases and short life spans, we can make a choice to give our animals a chance to get - and stay - well. Naturally. Dr. Crock, Mary and I are all here today to give you the information you need to be able to make that choice.
We Can't Control In Their Lives
We Can Control
These things can have a huge impact on our animals' wellness.
I go too far with these concepts, it's important to me to say this:
Very Simple Way to Help Them: Language
This is a trend that is gaining some momentum. [In July of 2001, Boulder, CO became the first city to pass a measure to replace the word "owner" with the term "guardian" in their municipal ordinances. As of March 4, 2002, Menomonee Falls, WI, West Hollywood and Berkeley, CA, Sherwood, AR, and the State of Rhode Island joined Boulder by adopting similar legislation. ] For me, it makes no sense to talk about using holistic methods on an "it" that I "own." My companion animals aren't "pets," "its," or my property; they're "hes" and "shes," and I'm their guardian. They're a part of my family. I extend the same love and respect to all beings. Anything less would always fall short of being truly holistic.
Foods - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) This huge industry is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials - a trade association comprised of state government feed control representatives and federal officials as voting members, and feed industry representatives as non-voting members. This alliance meets annually to determine recommended feed terms (such as "meat by-products"), to set feed control laws, and to set minimal nutritional standards. So the animal food industry is virtually self-regulated.
for Unclear "Standards" and Lax Oversight
James Morris and Quinton Rogers, two professors at the University of California at Davis - Veterinary School of Medicine, say that, "Claims of nutritional adequacy of pet foods based on the current AAFCO nutrient allowances ('profiles') do not give assurances of nutritional adequacy and will not until ingredients are analyzed and bioavailability values are incorporated." "Assessment of the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Foods Through the Life Cycle." Journal of Nutrition, 124 (1994): 2520S-2533S.
What Can Be in These Processed Foods?
so what we're talking about is:
According to Ann Martin (in her book Foods Pets Die For), The US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is aware of the use of rendered dogs and cats in animal foods, but has not acted to specifically prohibit it. They have, however, stated that the practice of using this "material" in animal food is not condoned. AAFCO does not require the animal food industry to label rendered remains of cats and dogs as the hidden ingredients in a commercial dog or cat food. What we need to realilze is that sodium pentobarbital can withstand rendering, and so it still exists in the food that we're feeding.
Basically, any part of any animal not fit for human consumption - we'll talk more about that later.
Sweeteners - Semi-moist dog foods can contain up to 25% sugar (in the
form of corn syrup, sucrose, caramel, etc.) Foods can contain moldy grains,
If you look at the list of ingredients on a bag of dog or cat food, you see a number terms that can be very misleading. So here's a little information on how to tead labels...
Many companies use the term "USDA Inspected" as if it meant "USDA Approved." All meats are inspected - not all are approved.
The word "With" has a big impact on what's in a bag of food: there can be as little as 3% of a given ingredient when the bag says "with." For instance: Bob's Dog Food With Lamb and Rice (3%) v Bob's Lamb and Rice Dog Food (95% Lamb & Rice)
"By-products" can be lungs, heads, spleens, kidneys, brains, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted fatty tissue, stomachs and intestines, feet, feathers, beaks, hide - it does not include meat. Is also said that by-products often include fecal matter, pus, hair, horns, hooves. Yes, animals do eat these by-products in the wild, however, they are eaten in proportional amounts, and do not form the bulk of the diet.
"Fillers" can be peanut hulls, recycled newspaper, sawdust, cardboard, floor sweepings
Cheese - may be nothing more than cheese rinds
Vegetable fiber - to describe corn husks and peanut shells
Poultry protein products - feathers
Processed animal protein - ground bones
The Animal Food Industry repeatedly seeks approval to use more "collective ingredient" terms - More terms like "by-products" and "fillers" will make it even more difficult for the average consumer to understand what they're actually feeding their companion animals.
Another little trick: Splitting ingredients - wheat middlings, rice hulls, etc. - will show up farther down the ingredient list, however totaled as "grains," would be the #1 ingredient
Animal Digest - a powder of liquid made by taking non-decomposed animal tissue (4-d meats, and so on) and breaking it down using chemical and or enzymatic hydrolysis.
To clarify the use of the term "meal" If the label lists Chicken/Beef/Lamb Meal - A better source of protein than chicken, beef or lamb, since ingredients are listed by volume and meal has had 40-80% of water removed - of course, by-product meal is a whole different story…
The term "human grade" has a story of its own. Technically, nothing that goes into animal food is "human grade," and any company who advertises their food as "human quality " is in violation of AAFCO guidelines and liable to be subjected to a "stop sale" order. The meats and grains they use in the natural foods are exactly the same as what's going into human foods, but if they're going into animal food, they legally can't be called "human grade."
If You'd Like to Make Your Own "Complete and Balanced" Animal Food To
Meet AAFCO Standards
Do These Foods Affect Our Companion Animals?
Dr. Lisa Newman, N.D, Ph.D., President of the International Pet Care Foundation, founder of Azmira foods and author of several books on natural care, says "A lack of moisture in the food caused by preservatives and poorly digested ingredients causes the food to back up in the bowels, these materials wind up lining the intestines, interfering with assimilation of nutrients, and providing the perfect environment for parasites.
also see Cancer (According to both Newman and Pitcairn)
I just have one last statistic on how much the foods we feed affect our companion animals: According to Plechner, clinical trials suggest that 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be eliminated without medical intervention over a period of one year with proper diet modifications and an understanding of the healing process as exhibited through healing episodes.
Fortunately, we do have other options It's very easy to home prepare your companion animal's foods. There are recipes in the books we have listed in your resources. ( Richard Pitcairn, Celeste Yarnall, Donald Strombeck DVM, Wendy Volhard, Kymythy Schultz, Juliette de Bairacle Levy, Anitra Frazier, Gloria Dodd, DVM, Pat McKay)
I've given you a simple recipe in your notes, as well: 60% lightly steamed, shredded or ground meat, preferably beef, lamb, venison, rabbit, ostrich or turkey. (60 - 75% protein for cats.) Newman considers pork, fish and chicken to be very weak meats for dogs, but recommends chicken for cats. The remaining portion of a home prepared meal should consist of 30% cooked whole grains and 10% raw vegetable or fruit. The cooked grains she suggests are rolled oats or oatmeal, barley, millet and spelt, a variety of grained wheat. Dr. Newman says brown rice should not be frequently used, and white rice should be avoided, as both are difficult for dogs to digest. "Recent university studies have shown rice may be a major contributing factor of diabetes in dogs," she said.
The home prepared meal recommended by Dr. Newman is balanced with a 10% portion of grated carrots, beets or chopped apples. She said the meal should be served warm, 1 ¼ cups per 20 pounds of the animal's weight, and fed twice daily.
There are products like Sojourners Farm, etc (a grain and supplement mix to which you add your own meat - so you can really control the quality: organic, pasture fed, etc.)
Of course you've heard of BARF (the Bones And Raw Food Diet or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet), which is one of the most popular of the many raw food diets being fed today. Developed by Dr. Ian Billingsworth, B.V.Sc. [Hons], B.Sc. Agr., Dip.Ed.. Comprised of 60%- 80% raw meaty bones, a 20% - 40% mix of raw veggies and raw meat supplemented with: Eggs, kelp, yogurt, flax seed oil, Vitamins C & B
Obstructions & perforations - not generally a problem because bones are not cooked (cooked bones are much more brittle) and because the types of bones most often fed are small - such as in chicken backs and necks, and turkey necks. Many BARF experts warn against feeding "weight bearing bones" unless they are ground. However:
Digestive problems (animals may have lost capacity to digest raw foods) - Lisa Newman's article "Romancing the Bone" says that in the 1980s, after six years of clinical documentation on the overall wellness of raw meat eaters, she recognized a pattern of disease. She concludes that the raw meat diet is too hard to digest for most dogs.
Once I was ready to go back to raw, I did more research and wound up coming to the conclusion that a natural kibble supplemented with the things I'll be talking about a little later is actually what's best for my guys.
Kibbles - Why They're Different
To Look For - "Many Have Jumped on the Holistic Bandwagon"
See the "Whole Dog Journal" - Annual Reviews of the Best Foods.
Tiekert, DVM, past chair of the American Holistic Veterinary Association
Rates Diets On a Scale of 1 - 10 (1 the lowest)
matter what you're feeding, our animals still need supplementation, since
there has been an 80% loss of nutritional value in foods over past 50
years. The new paradigm is that animals cannot get optimum nutrition from
their food alone. Enzymes - Occasional use - Missing from cooked or processed
For Dental Care - I also supplement with weekly RMBs Information about bones and chews- what's safe and what isn't - is available in the WDJ August 2003 edition
Benefits of Fasting/Detox
Weekly Fasting Protocol
- What to Do
- A Shot in the Dark
When I was fifteen years old, I lost my Appaloosa gelding, Brent Bar, to cirrhosis of the liver. My vet gave me three possible causes: heredity, feeding moldy hay or grain, or overvaccination. The year? 1975. Since then I've been suspicious about vaccinations, but it took a long time for me to actually have the courage to question any vet about the annual revaccination ritual. I thought I was being a good little "owner" (see, I was totally unenlightened then) by hauling my kids off for their annual injections.
In Virginia, I'd had long term relationships with several vets, so when I finally decided about six years ago that my critters weren't going to get any more vaccinations, they knew where I was coming from. Even if they didn't agree, they knew that I wasn't just being cheap or irresponsible, and that my decision came from much research and a heart felt belief that I was doing what was best for my kids. When I was looking for a new vet here in Ohio, I expected that it would be easy to find someone who was up to date on the vaccination information I was sure everyone was familiar with by then. But, for almost two years, the very best relationship I'd found was with someone who was at best willing to look the other way. No one seemed to have heard about (or listened to) all the new vaccination protocols. I wasn't prepared for that.
I really wasn't prepared for the times when I had to take a sick dog to a vet, and when I got to the part when I explained that I don't vaccinate, the vet would insist that the dog be vaccinated against parvo immediately - EVEN BEFORE ANY DIAGNOSIS HAD BEEN MADE. Thankfully I had enough knowledge to "just say no." Not only has the problem never turned out to be parvo (causes have ranged from a perforated intestine to Giardia to just an upset tummy), but each and every vet who has made this suggestion has ignored the warning coming directly from the drug manufacturers - and common sense! - that ONLY HEALTHY ANIMALS SHOULD BE VACCINATED. How could you justify adding disease pathogens to a system already in a weakened state, particularly the pathogen for the disease the dog may already be fighting? In addition, it is common practice to vaccinate animals for multiple diseases on the day of a surgery. Think about it! How could you, in good conscience, suppress the immune system of a cat or dog whose body will be undergoing such a tremendous amount of stress and not realize that this could cause serious complications?
Vaccines are not the harmless little miracles that we've been conditioned to believe.
On the American Animal Hospital Association site: Not many things are "sure" in medicine. However, there is strong and growing consensus among immunology and infectious diseases experts that annual vaccination is neither necessary or advisable.
[Also on the AAHA site:] Recently, there has been a growing degree of evidence indicating protection from vaccination is longer lasting than previously believed. In addition, there is increased awareness and concern that vaccination is not as harmless a procedure as once thought. This awareness and concern have led to a growing number of authorities (such as infectious disease experts, immunologists, and researchers) as well as practitioners who recommend reduced frequency of vaccinations while at the same time tailoring vaccine recommendations to specific risk situations. The tradition of annual boosters was based on manufacturers' recommendations and labeling. To date, few studies have been done to prove how long vaccines are effective. In addition, veterinarians found vaccination to be a safe procedure that was generally free of side effects and risk. In the short term.
[Informed Consent] The AVMA's position is that the companion animal guardian should be given the opportunity for informed consent relative to vaccination options, however they have not established a standard vaccination protocol.
[Do Not Rely on Vaccine Income] The AVMA's also states that "Veterinarians must promote the value of the exam and move away from their dependence on vaccine income." The AVMA recognized that current labels frequently contain revaccination interval recommendations based on historical precedence and regulation rather than scientific data.
[Often Fatal Side Effects] The July 2003 Consumer Reports cover story "Pets & Vets" recommends talking to your vet about booster shots every three years instead of annually, citing the 2 year long AVMA study which, in 2001, concluded that the annual shots advice is not based on scientific data, and some vaccines are effective for longer than a year. That's important, because, according to Consumer Reports, other research has associated annual shots with harmful and often fatal side affects, such as autoimmune disease and sarcomas. Similar articles have been printed in Reader's Digest, Dog Fancy, and other periodicals. The Florida League for Humane Progress in Saint Petersburg, Florida, quotes the Delson Chemican Company as stating that compulsory inoculation of your dog is unconstitutional, not to mention unnecessarily troublesome and expensive. The League has concluded that inoculations for canine diseases can be extremely dangerous and are at best unreliable. Vaccinated dogs frequently develop paralysis, blindness and convulsions; some even die.
[Changing Protocols] The vast majority, if not all, of the 27 North American veterinary schools are currently recommending reduced frequency of vaccination as well as using the core/noncore and risk assessment concepts in recommending specific vaccines.
Vaccinations Should be Tailored to the Individual
[Risks Outweigh Benefits] According to Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown, D.V.M., in Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog, "Immunologists are finding a direct correlation between the increase in autoimmune and chronic disease states and the overuse of vaccines. Breeders have had entire litters wiped out after using parvo vaccines...Some European veterinarians now believe that the benefits of many vaccines are outweighed by the risks, and that the dog is better either not being vaccinated or being vaccinated only for distemper and parvo. Hamilton - Talking about damage from vaccines: Although this is the most controversial aspect of vaccination, I see this so commonly that I personally have no doubts that vaccines are extremely dangerous. Most of my homeopathic colleagues are in agreement. We believe vaccination underlies a huge percentage of illness that we see today, and especially the rash of autoimmune diseases; these have increased dramatically since my graduation from veterinary school in 1979.
[The Creation of Chronic Disease States (Vaccinosis)] Richard Pitcairn, D.V.M., says: "The effect of vaccination, besides the physical effects of stimulating an antibody response, is to establish a chronic disease... resulting in mental, emotional, and physical changes that can, in some cases, be a permanent condition." (From his address to the American Holisitic Veterinary Medical Association, September, 1993 available in written or audio format from the AHVMA.)
It was interesting to find out that the term vaccinosis has been with us since the turn of the last century! It was coined by a 19th centuary physician, Dr. Compton Burnett, who was already noticing long term damage which he attributed to the use of vaccines. Catherine O'Driscoll, in her book, What Veterinarians Don't Tell You About Vaccines, says: A number of people have commented that they would rather risk the side effects of vaccination than the terrible diseases we vaccinate against. It is therefore one of life's cruelest jokes that the vaccine itself should cause the disease, apparently in an incurable form.
[Immunosupression] W. Jean Dodds, D.V.M., asks: Can antigenic overload from single or combination vaccines overwhelm the host's immune system? If so, can immunosupression result?" Dr Schultz says: "Immune mediated disease has developed in human beings following vaccination. In many cases it is impossible to show a direct connection between the damage and a vaccine, since it is the accumulation of many antigens over many years that results in clinically evident disease." More information like this is found in the Merck Veterinary Manual - as well as on the packaging of the drugs themselves.
[The Creation of New Diseases] Dr. Christina Chambreau, D.V.M: "What are we doing to the whole animal, the whole immune system of our animals? Why are dogs and cats becoming more and more unhealthy, living shorter life spans, and having smaller litters? New diseases have appeared even since we started vaccinating so heavily." Many researchers believe that the sudden and wide spread arrival of Parvo in 1979 was due a distemper vaccine that was cultivated in cats whose kidneys were infected with feline enteritis. According to O'Driscoll: this makes parvoviris is a cross-species, vaccine-induced disease.
[Interactions] It's commonly accepted that dogs and cats taking immune suppressant drugs should not be vaccinated. Dog and cat foods contain animals who were full of steroids at the time they were slaughtered. Of course, some steroids degrade in the cooking process. Others become more toxic. I've already talked about toxins accumulating in an animal's system. So basically, we're vaccinating dogs and cats who are full of steroids.
[Unpredictable Reactions] Anaphylactic shock, behavior changes, heart failure, paralysis, allergies, and death are some of the reactions that are seen. Why do different individuals experience such a wide variety of reactions? Dr. Christopher Day, author of Homeopathic Treatment of Small Animals: Principles & Practice, believes that there are two variables at work, first is the different components of the vaccine, methods of manufacture, etc. The second is from a holistic viewpoint, where every organism has a predisposition or programmed response to disease. Put simply, one being might have a tendency to react to the same allergin with a skin irritation, another might develop a respiratory problem, while another might not react at all.
[A History of Fraud and Deception] Bob Rogers, DVM (Critter Fixer Pet Hospital, Louetta Spring, Texas) wrote a very interesting letter to the Office of the Attorney General last year. Rogers begins his letter by asserting that the present practice of marketing vaccinations for companion animals constitutes fraud by misrepresentation, fraud by silence, theft by deception, and undue influence by all Veterinarians engaged in companion animal practice in his state.
[Credit Where It's Not Due] There is also a great deal of evidence that epidemics die out on their own, and that vaccination is generally introduced during the decline of the virus and it actually reintroduces the disease into the population. According to Dr. Hamilton: Vaccination often receives undue credit for disease prevention... From human studies, we know most of the reduction of disease actually results from good food and good hygiene. Polio is an excellent case in point. In the years preceding the introduction of the vaccine, the disease was already on the decline, down 47% in the US. When mass inoculations began in 1950's, the incidences increased dramatically. The NIH called the vaccine "worthless as a preventative and dangerous to take." (Goldstein) Dr. Jonas Salk himself testified before Congress in 1976 that the live virus vaccine, was the principle, if not the sole, cause of all reported cases of polio since 1961.
Puppy and Kitten Vaccination Protocol - Jean Dodds says "Puppies and kittens receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. * Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. * Vaccination at 6 weeks will delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. * Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system. * Dr. Dodd Recommends: A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 mo) will provide lifetime immunity."
Schultz says that the basic puppy or kitten series is probably adequate to immunize 95% of all cats and dogs. This is a common viewpoint.
not sure? Consider Titer Testing.
A new, less expensive test became available in the spring of 2002. Called TiterChek, this15-minute test can help determine if a dog is protected. Vets charge about $30 (compared with $65 - $100 for the old titer tests). For more information on titer testing in general, you can visit: http://www.antechdiagnostics.com.
Vaccine Practices Remain Largely Unchanged Despite This Evidence?
Please note that we don't advocate just not vaccinating. That definitely would not be in keeping with a holistic approach to health! I do encourage you to incorporate all aspects of the holistic approach to your animal's health, including limiting the number and types of vaccines that your companion receives.
Also, don't be too good of a housekeeper! There is a lot of evidence that very clean environments may actually work to lower immunity. Allowing the body to establish its own immunity through natural exosure seems to give both humans and animals better long term health. I would imagine less exposure to cleansers and antibacterial anything also gives a boost to the immune system. I would be willing to bet that this will be the number one tip that you all take away from today's presentations...
& other natural insect control - recipes on the snips site
Holistic Treatments for
Allopathic Treatments Are Appropriate
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