by Laura Weis
Optimizing a pet’s health always starts with providing a species-appropriate diet that is minimally processed. When cats and dogs eat diets that nourished their ancestors for thousands of years, they are at a significantly lower risk of modern disease epidemics associated with chronic inflammation and poor nutrition. Unfortunately, even when we provide fresh whole foods and take care to balance our pets’ diets, there are still often imbalances in essential fatty acids that can lead to numerous degenerative and disease processes. Continue reading
by Laura Weis
Feline asthma, like many chronic diseases that plague both humans and our companion animals, is a disease of inflammation. In the initial stages, inflammatory and allergic responses in the respiratory system cause the production of mucus in the airways and swelling of the walls of the bronchi. As this reaction progresses over time, the walls of the airway spasm and constrict, leading to difficulty in breathing, and eventually to chronic structural and infiltrative changes in the airways. Continue reading
Louis Pasteur, French chemist, microbiologist and founder of the field of medical microbiology, was said to have declared on his deathbed, “I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain (milieu) is everything.” While his exact phrasing is unknown, the intent of his statement is clear: the health of an individual plays a key role in determining who gets sick after exposure to infectious agents.
Much of medicine focuses on the prevention of disease transmission (hygiene, vaccinations, quarantine) and combating illness. While those strategies have merit and can be life-saving, bringing the focus back to individual vitality is the only path to true health—for people and pets. Continue reading
Dr. David MacDonald, with Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care, recently received certification in veterinary spinal manipulative therapy (VSMT) from Healing Oasis Wellness Center, in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.
The VSMT program is a post-graduate certification approved by the College of Animal Chiropractors and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. The American Veterinary Medical Association recognizes veterinary chiropractic as a complementary and alternative treatment, a category that also includes acupuncture. Continue reading
by David MacDonald
Medicine, in all its permutations, is an ever-evolving practice, seeking to understand how the body functions to maintain health, as well as understand the nature of change, what is referred to as disease. Veterinary medicine follows this path as well, and the full depth of this responsibility obligates veterinarians to use all available tools for the benefits of animal patients, large and small. Continue reading
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.
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.
Deciding what to feed our pet is the most important decision most of us will make to positively affect our pet’s health. Veterinarian Dr. Laura Weis, of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care, is presenting Cooking for Your Dog, a one-night class offered by The Community School of New Hope Solebury from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 17 in New Hope.
Weis will discuss the benefits of homemade dog food or supplementing commercial pet food with home-cooked meals. Pet owners (no pets, please) will learn how to make a few easy meals for their dogs that will meet nutritional needs based on breed, age and overall health. Continue reading