A Chemically Clean Holistic Health Care Regime
Dogs and cats today, come into contact with an eye watering number of chemicals which can damage the immune system, increase the risk of cancer, lead to organ dysfunction and failure, and in some cases cause premature death.
Reducing exposure to as many of these as possible, by adopting a chemically clean holistic health care regime, has a positive impact on many aspects of well-being and is an important part of supporting a long, healthy and happy life.
A Big Problem That Is Getting Worse
There are literally tens of thousands of chemicals used in the home, industries, agriculture and food production, with the number increasing by 2000 new compounds per year –The Natural Environment Research Council.
Many of these substances have been shown to:
- corrupt DNA (increasing the risk of cancer)
- destroy ‘friendly’ gut flora (disturbing digestion and the immune system)
- poison bone marrow (which can result in bleeding disorders and / or an immune system that can’t fight off infections, protect the body against cancer or heal the body effectively)
- inflame the bowels
- disturb the nervous system (leading to neurological signs, such as muscle weakness, incoordination or fits)
- damage the liver and kidneys (reducing the body’s ability to break down and excrete toxic substances)
- disrupt endocrine glands (causing hormonal disturbances)
- derange the immune system (weakening natural defence mechanisms and / or triggering the development of dietary sensitivities, allergies and cancer)
Given the harm that toxic chemicals can cause, it is important to avoid unnecessary exposure to as many of these as possible, if you want your dog or cat to live as healthy and as happy a life as they can.
A Chemically Clean Holistic Health Care Regime
A large number of environmental chemicals are everywhere, and as such are impossible to avoid.
Other however - including some of the most damaging - can be avoided as follows:
A large proportion of pet foods, supplements and treats contain chemical additives, many of which have been implicated in a variety of health problems.
A checklist of those to avoid can be found here.
Pesticide residues ingested over a long period can cause chronic poisoning and have been linked to the development of many serious diseases, for example:
- Cancer – including bladder, breast, brain, prostate, kidney, pancreatic, lymphoma and leukaemia
- Liver and kidney disease
- Immune system disturbances
- Neurological problems
- Endocrine gland dysfunction
- Behavioural changes
As most fruit and vegetables (unless they are organic) contain these toxic chemicals (see the recent PAN UK report), they and any pet foods / products containing them, are best eliminated from the diet altogether.
The detrimental effect of feeding pesticide contaminated fruit and vegetables day after day, especially on the organs of detoxification (liver, kidneys, bowels and skin) is cumulative, and likely to be greatly underestimated.
Chemical wormers are poisons designed to kill living things.
The intended victims are parasitic worms, but because most are neurotoxins they can and do cause adverse reactions in sensitive pets - which in severe cases can prove fatal.
An alternative to giving these toxic chemicals is to screen for worms regularly instead with a Worm Count and Lungworm Kit (typically every 3 to 4 months). If no evidence of worms are found there is no need to give anything. If any of the results are positive, there are natural alternatives which can be effective for all but lungworm.
In addition to this, giving Intestinal Cleanse throughout the year, helps to maintain healthy hygienic bowels and supports the body's natural ability to expel worms and other parasites.
3. Flea and Tick products
The substances used in these products, contain some of the most toxic chemicals used on pets, with many causing serious concerns worldwide.
Information on pet owners experiences can be found here:
A natural alternative which has proved effective for many dogs, is a mixture of organic essential oils (Lemongrass, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Rose Geranium). Two drops of each of these are added to a 500ml spray bottle of filtered / mineral water, which is then shaken thoroughly before use.
It is typically applied down the back and weekly during peak flea and tick seasons (but not until it has been tested on a small area of skin inside the thigh and left for 48 hours to make sure it doesn't cause any untoward reactions first). And if excessive salivation or any other signs appear after application, discontinue immediately.
For cats, the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon can be lightly rubbed on the fur along the back to ward off fleas.
A wide range of vaccine adverse reactions have been reported to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, which include:
- Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)
- bone marrow suppression
- neurological dysfunction
- autoimmune diseases
- abnormal swellings
- ongoing ill-health
And the incidence of events such as these is likely to be far higher than is generally recognized.
The 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccine Guidelines (page 23) states:
The VGG recognizes that there is gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events, because of the passive nature of reporting schemes, which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products [EB4]. The VGG would actively encourage all veterinarians to participate in such surveillance schemes.
Given that these and other potentially serious consequences of vaccinating exist, it is important (and indeed may even be life-saving) to test a pet first to see if they actually need inoculating before a vaccine is given, so as not to risk causing harm and ill-health where none existed before. For more information on this see Validate before you Vaccinate.
Pet owners experiences of Leptospirosis vaccination can be found here.
It clearly states in vaccine manufacturers guidelines, that dogs and cats with existing health problems should not be vaccinated.
This is important to bear in mind, as challenging an already disturbed / compromised immune system, risks making matters for an affected pet much worse. And we've seen this happen many, many times.
5. Home Environment
Pets collect environmental chemicals on their coats, feet and skin, which are then subsequently swallowed during grooming. For this reason they are far more at risk from chemical products used in and around the home than we are.
With this in mind it is worth considering:
- replacing or covering any blankets / bedding made from synthetic materials with cotton sheets
- using the hottest wash cycle for laundering the fabrics and bedding your pet comes into contact with rather than adding washing powders, conditioners or anything else
- using white vinegar as a natural household cleaner for floors, work surfaces etc. and avoiding chemical sprays or wipes
- avoiding chemical air fresheners and synthetically scented candles
- using ceramic or stainless steel dishes instead of plastic, and remove plastic toys
- avoiding chemical pet products, including the flea and worming preparations mentioned above
- use a collar / lead / harness made from natural, untreated materials rather than synthetic fabrics
6. Nutritional Support and Regular Cleansing
The measures described above, significantly reduce the risk to health posed by a wide range of dietary and environmental chemicals.
Despite this however, the organs of detoxification (liver, kidneys, skin and bowels) in many pets will eventually become stressed as a consequence of having to break down and excrete a constant stream of toxic substances every day (from food, water, air and self-grooming) because of the heavily polluted world we live in.
And unrelieved stress on these parts of the body, will at some point result in cellular damage - which often shows up in blood tests as raised liver enzymes, elevated waste products of protein metabolism (Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine) and in other ways. This is often a prelude to more serious disease.
Two clinically proven* ways to help these organs remain healthy, in addition to reducing the chemical load they have to cope with are to:
- Provide enhanced nutritional support by adding Health Promote Max to the diet daily (Digestion, Vitality and Immunity)
- Regularly cleanse the liver, kidneys, bowels and skin at intervals throughout the year using Organ Cleanse and Intestinal Cleanse.
The chemically clean holistic health care regime described here has helped many of the pets we have seen over the last 25 years, live much healthier happier lives. We can't recommend it highly enough for anyone wanting to support their pet's health, as effectively and as naturally as possible. And given the highly stressful and chemically contaminated environment we live in, this has never been more necessary.
*In Dr Vince's holistic veterinary practice