Holistic Tip of the Month
Summer has definitely passed and so has mosquito season and the threat of Heartworm infection. Given that temperatures in the Chicago area have dropped well below 57 degrees Fahrenheit, transmission of Heartworm has become an impossibility. If you missed last month's newletter with more explanation, please click here to read more.
This month I will cover the following subjects:
- Miracle of the month
- A revolutionary health care system (part of a series)
- Supporting the immune system during winter season
And as a little tidbit of exciting news:
My book is almost done!! I can't wait to hold it in my hands.The goal is to have it ready before Christmas. It's a wonderful gift you can give others with animals so that they too can experience the joy of health :).
As always, I enjoy hearing from you! Please let me know of challenges or successes you're experiencing with your animals. Photos are always welcome :).
Don't forget to check out our Community Partners. For those in the area, the Wauconda location of Page's Healthy Paws has moved back to Lake Zurich (next to Costco). Check out the never ending row of freezers for the best of pet foods next time you shop and goody bags (see side bar).
Events and Specials way below :)
Miracle of the Month
A new little cat friend came to see me a couple of weeks ago. She is a 16 year old cat who was diagnosed with kidney failure, which is not uncommon in cats. What a treasure she is - so calm and receptive to treatment!
As you all probably know by now, I love chiropractic care because I've seen it change so many animals' lives. Doing the initial exam on this little cat lady, I found weakness in her kidneys. Using applied kinesiology (muscle testing) this weakness could be traced back to her spine and the nerves that supply the kidneys. Once the nerve flow to the little organs was re-established through chiropractic treatment, the weakness disappeared!
Because I figured that the little bit of adjusting could possibly be enough I decided to do a little more energy work on her. Acupuncture seemed a little to harsh in this case and so I chose the ancient modality of hands-on healing and love. As one of my teachers once said: "love heals everything". Soon after placing my hands on her, they started tingling and heating up. Held in the safe embrace of her human friend, she relaxed even further and absorbed it all.
A couple of days later, I briefly visited with my new cat friend and was told that the urine volume had decreased to normal size! I didn't expect this kind of response, but of course I was very happy about it :).
What I've learned over the years is that miracles happen every day.The body has an incredible wisdom to ask for what it needs. If we listen, it can transform and heal.
A Revolutionary Health Care System
A couple of months ago, Dr. Laurie Goldman, MD contributed an article to my newsletter on this very subject (click here if you missed it.) Today, I'd like to expand on it a bit, because fuctional medicine is capable of ending chronic disease not only for humans, but for our animals alike.
Functional medicine is a newer and at the same time ancient approach to healing. Unlike traditional medicine, which has nothing much to offer for chronic aliments, functional medicine has the ability to restore function to the body. How does it do that, you ask?
- Give the body what it needs and
- Remove that which is interfering with it.
If you understand the principle that these two points are the two causes of disease, it becomes very clear how to help the body function the way it's intended to.
If we compare this very logical approach to the traditional health care system, we can easily see that it doesn't consider basic needs of the body nor does it have the tools to do so. Drugs do nothing to restore function, they only cover up what's wrong in the first place. That said, traditional medicine has a very important place, but if you want to restore function you have to support function. This is what functional medicine does.
- If we give our companion animals dried food that was processed to death, it will not get the nutrients necessary to thrive. In the case of horses, if we feed them left overs from the human food industry aka. horse feed or as I call it - garbage - we can't expect for the body to do well. But if we provide them with a species appropriate diet, they will thrive.
- If they're exposed to things that interfere with cellular function, their health also declines. Today, we all get bombarded with toxins every day. The body can't handle that and so we need to help clean it out: first by not adding toxins we can control and second by supporting the body in getting rid of the accumulated toxins.
In the human field, functional medicine is gaining tremendous momentum, because nowadays "chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year, and treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86% of our nation’s health care costs." (CDC). Unfortunately, our animals are not lagging behind. Every year the numbers increase. That's a lot of suffering... way too much if you ask me.
Over the next few months I will explore this subject in more depth, because I feel passionately about spreading the word about medical options that can stop suffering.
In the meantime, if your animal or you would like to get started on this path, please let me know or just google functional medicine to learn more. Just know that there is hope. I feel that if something is broken it can be fixed!
Winterize Your Animal's Immune System
Decreasing daylight, temperature and humidity affects many aspects of our animals (and our) biological rhythms in order to adapt to those changes. In a human study researchers found that as many as 4,000 genes change their expression during different seasons. This affects behavior, mood, immune response, sleep, etc.
Both adrenal and thyroid hormone levels rise during the colder season to create more heat and help the body adapt to the stress of winter.
And how can we assist our animals' bodies during that time?
- Avoid really cold food (for those feeding raw, you could add a little luke warm water).
- Maintain proper hydration (offer water in buckets with a water heater for your horses)
- Choose seasonal produce to add to your animals' meal (and no - strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. don't grow during winter)
- Add anti-inflammatory herbs (turmeric and ginger for example)
- Load them up with probiotics, because they will help break down food and enhance immunity
- Optimize Vit. D to boost the immune system (optimal blood levels for dogs and cats: 100-150 ng/ml - should be tested!)
- Mushrooms support the immune system as well
- Vit. C helps fight infections
- Chiropractic care enhances the immune system helps optimize all bodily function.
I left some of the recipes from last month in this newsletter, because they still apply.
Bone Broth for Your Dog/Cat
Benefits of bone broth:
- Heals the gut
- Supports immune system and detoxifies liver
- Protects joints
- Provides minerals (calcium, silicon, sulphur, magnesium, phosphorus)
- Fill crock pot with bones (use bones with a lot of joints in them for extra gelatin) and some garlic for health and flavor.
- Add water to completely cover the bones and 2-3 inches on top.
- Add 3-4 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
- Heat crock pot on high for an hour, then turn down to low. Simmer for 24 hours or longer.
- Remove bones and meat (bones should not be fed to dogs).
- Add to hot broth (optional): veggies, mushrooms, herbs, etc.
- Let it cool down and put it in fridge.
- Remove fat layer. Underneath the fat, your bone broth will now look like jelly (lot of healing gelatin). If it doesn’t look like jelly, add more vinegar to the next batch. Either way it’s still good.
- Store in class containers in fridge for a few days or freeze in portions.
- Add some to your dog’s or cat’s food.
Pear Skin Water
- Peel two organic pears
- Simmer in water for 10 minutes
- Let it cool down
- Add some to food for a couple of days.
Please 'Like us' and 'Share' on Facebook and with your friends. If you know of someone who might be interested just hit "Forward". If you hit "Reply" I'm the lucky one who gets to hear from you :). Let me know what you'd like to hear about.
Thanks for your time and for your love and commitment to the animals! I hope to see you and your animals!
Odette Suter, DVM