Improving Canine Nutrition: Real Food for Better Health

by Laura Weis

Almost 90 percent of dog owners feed their dog kibble, but what about other commercial options such as frozen raw food or canned diets? The optimal dog diet is the least processed and the closest to a wild canid diet, and with a little research it is possible to improve even the best commercial foods.  Continue reading

Protecting Your Pets from Pests Naturally

There’s no such thing as a free lunch—and in the world of flea and tick control products for pets, that phrase has never been more true. Fleas and ticks, and the diseases they carry, are the bane of our companion pets. One in 12 dogs tested positive for Lyme disease (carried by ticks) in our area last year, with actual cases thought to be much higher. Ticks and fleas transmit additional diseases, and fleas can cause horrific skin conditions and allergic reactions. But is administering poisons to your pet every month the right solution?

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Restoring Good Gut Flora In Dogs: You Are What You Eat

Ask any veterinarian and they will most likely tell you that their phone is filled with pictures of poop. Clients text and email photos, and they engage their veterinarian in lengthy discussions about frequency, color, consistency and odor.

Poop is the end product of the complex digestion process that starts with food and requires the assistance of trillions of microorganisms that rent space in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of our companion animals. In exchange for nourishment and a place to live, these organisms provide essential elements needed for regulating our metabolism, healthy digestive functioning and a competent immune system. It is estimated that one-third of the microbiota in humans is common to most people, and the remaining two-thirds constitute a sort-of individual fingerprint; each dog likely has its own unique microorganism populations.

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Newtown Conference Encourages Peace Among Living Creatures

Everyone of all ages, vegans and non-vegans alike, are welcome to attend the second annual Peaceable Kingdom Conference, held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., on May 12, at Bucks County Community College’s Rollins Center Gallagher Room, in Newtown.

The Peaceable Kingdom Conference goals are to respect animals’ emotions and intelligence; to increase our reliance on plant-based foods; to be kind to Earth, its inhabitants and ourselves; and to strengthen the human-animal bond.

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Regular Grooming Reduces Exposure to Toxins

Environmental pollutants both outside and inside our homes have greatly increased the toxins we and our pets are exposed to every day. Our pets are sentinels of chemical hazards to human health. As they walk through urban neighborhoods with industrial activity, and are exposed to numerous household and garden chemicals, our pets accumulate toxins on and in their bodies, often at levels that far exceed those found in humans.

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Is Homeopathic Care Right for My Pet?

Holistic veterinary medicine encompasses many modalities, including Western herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)—which includes acupuncture and herbal medicine—nutritional therapy, chiropractic, and homeopathy. These methods are not new in treating disease; in some cases they have been used for centuries. In the United States, homeopathy is experiencing a resurgence of interest after many years.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were 22 colleges of homeopathy in the United States and more than 15,000 practitioners. A statue of Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was erected in 1900 in Washington, DC, by grateful patients due to the success of homeopathy in treating epidemic disease. Veterinary homeopathy offers a gentle approach to wellness throughout the lifetime of each pet.

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A New Approach to Grooming

Liz Sines is the lead groomer at Holiday House Spa on State in Doylestown. A lifelong animal lover and equestrian, she began bathing and handling dogs at a local horse farm as a teenager. She has been a full-time groomer since 2002 and completed both National and International Master Groomer Certifications in 2014.

What is your approach to pet grooming?

Grooming allows me to pursue both the stewardship of animals and the art involved in executing a balanced and practical haircut for any dog’s job description. Whether a dog lives on the farm, is a home companion or a therapy aid, I love to find a beautiful style that suits the companion’s lifestyle as well as the owner’s budget. I craft balance, symmetry and breed/type nuances into every cut. I hear from clients that while they cannot specifically say what I’ve done differently, for some reason, their dog just looks “right” or “more natural”. Continue reading

Managing Diabetes in Pets through Holistic Therapies

With the right treatment and consistent monitoring, diabetes is a controllable disease. Especially with cats, normalizing weight and focusing on the correct macronutrient balance can result in resolution of this disease.

It is estimated that one in every 10 Americans over the age of 20 has diabetes. While the situation is not quite so dire for pets, there still has been a threefold increase in diabetes in the last 30 years in dogs and cats. Some cases of juvenile-onset diabetes are largely genetically influenced, but obesity—and therefore diet and exercise—play integral roles in the development of this disease in adult pets.

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Inspired Chiropractic with Suzanne Walski

Suzanne Walski, DVM, has been serving the community since 1987 and is certified with the American and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Associations, the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, the American Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association. She owns and practices at Meadowbrook Animal Healing and is co-founder of The Room at Meadowbrook, both in Ottsville.

What complementary modalities are you trained in?

I am a conventionally schooled veterinarian with additional education in other forms of healing principles. In veterinarian school, I was not taught anything about keeping the spine mobile. It was when I took an intensive animal certification program alongside human chiropractors that I gained my expansive view on how the body can “heal thyself into a healthy self”.

How do you use these treatment options in your practice?

Most of the time, clients seek out my services when their pet is limping or when their dog has been diagnosed with a back issue that causes pain and mobility issues, or has chronic issues that have not responded to medications.

I look at holistic care as everything involved with the pet, especially food, environment and stress level, along with the physical ailment. I believe in medications because you must put out a fire before the house can be rebuilt, and yes, surgery may be necessary to correct a condition.

When an animal is on medications, my goal is to slowly wean it off the drugs, if possible. If the owner decides to have surgery, I use chiropractic treatments to prepare the animal’s body by making sure the spine/nervous system is working to its best potential.

What misconceptions do people have about animal chiropractic?

When people learn that I perform spinal manipulation on animals, the response is often, “I didn’t know you could do chiropractic on animals.” The funny part is that I, too, did not know this until I started the chiropractic journey for my personal health 20 years ago. Any animal with a spine can be adjusted if it allows you to touch it. So, yes, chiropractic care is for animals, too, and is especially great for horses!

Meadowbrook Animal Healing is located at 4089 Durham Rd., Rte. 412, Ottsville. For more information, call 610-847-2776 or visit SuzanneWalskiDvm.com. October 2017

March 2016 : Eye Health & Bodywork

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