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
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.