Contact image

Shawn Messonnier, DVM

As my thank you for reading my articles, enter code “drshawn” at my natural products web store, www.drshawnsnaturals.com, to save 10% on all your future purchases!

Shawn Messonnier DVM Past Supporting Member, Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians Author, the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How YOU Can Win The Battle!

Check out Dr. Shawn’s line of all natural pet products at... www.drshawnsnaturals.com.


Colloidal silver has been recommended for treating several internal and external problems in pets. Some doctors and pet owners have reported good results when other treatments have failed.

Depending upon the manufacturer of colloidal silver, which is NOT the same thing as silver sulfadiazine, the actual quantity of silver in bottles is not always guaranteed. Some doctors have reported bottles that had bacteria or fungus growing in the bottles, which makes one wonder about...

Licorice is an herbal anti-inflammatory agent often used to achieve the same effects as corticosteroid medications. Pets with a variety of allergic problems may benefit from therapy using licorice.

Therapeutic Uses
Licorice is a fast acting anti-inflammatory agent. It is also known for its antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties. Many herbalists regard it as "nature's cortisone" due to it glycyrrhizin content, and it is often recommended for...

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, making up nearly two percent of the pet’s total body weight. More than 99 percent of the calcium in the body is found in bones. Calcium is primarily used as a structural component of bones and teeth and also as a messenger that enables cells to respond to hormones and nerve transmitting chemicals. Many enzymes depend on calcium in order to work properly, as do the nerves, heart, and blood-clotting mechanisms. Calcium is absorbed...

Zinc is an important mineral found in every cell in the body and required by more than 300 enzymes in the body. In people, mild zinc deficiency seems to be fairly common. Severe zinc deficiency can cause a major loss of immune function, and mild deficiency might impair immunity slightly.

In people, zinc supplements may have benefits, including directly killing cold viruses in the throat, helping stomach ulcers heal, and relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Zinc is...

Canine distemper is a viral disease affecting dogs of all ages, but mainly unvaccinated or partially

vaccinated puppies. The severity of the disease and the tissues infected vary with the particular strain of the virus infecting the pet and the pet's immune system; pets with antibody titers over 1:100 typically do not develop the disease. Typical clinical signs resemble those of kennel cough in the early stages of the disease, namely runny eyes and a runny nose. As the disease...

There are three different herbs commonly called Ginseng: Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). The latter herb is actually not ginseng at all, but the Russian scientists responsible for promoting it believe it functions identically.

Common uses for ginseng are for cognitive disorder (antiaging effect), diabetes and cancer.

Asian ginseng is a perennial herb...

Magnesium is the third largest mineral constituent of bone (calcium and phosphorus and the first and second largest constituents, respectively). It is found in significant quantities throughout the body and used for numerous purposes, including muscle relaxation, blood clotting, and the manufacture of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the body's main energy source). Magnesium is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats; it also acts as a catalyst for a number of enzymes....

ANTIOXIDANTS FOR PETS

Certain vitamins and minerals function in the body to reduce oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical process that occurs within the body's cells. After oxidation occurs, certain by-products such as peroxides and "free radicals" accumulate. These cellular byproducts are toxic to the cells and surrounding tissue. The body removes these by-products by producing additional chemicals called antioxidants that combat these oxidizing chemicals.

In...

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids-eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-are derived from fish oils of cold water fish (salmon, trout, or most commonly menhaden fish) and flaxseed. Omega-6 fatty acids-linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)-are derived from the oils of seeds such as evening primrose, black currant, and borage. Often, fatty acids are added to the diet with other supplements to attain an additive effect.

In...

The n/d diet—Hill's Pet Food Company introduced the first cancer diet for dogs called n/d. The diet contains increased protein and fat, decreased carbohydrates, increased omega-3 fatty acids, and increased arginine. The composition of the diet is: protein, 37 percent; fat, 32 percent; carbohydrates, 21 percent; arginine, 3.1 percent (647 mg/100 kcal); omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, 7.3 percent (1518 mg/100 kcal). In controlled studies dogs with lymphoma (lymphosarcoma) that...

Cancer is among the most feared diseases by pet owner. For many owners, the diagnosis brings grief, uncertainty, fear, and a general feeling of hopelessness.

While it is true that cancers can result in the untimely death of our pets, not all cancers carry a poor prognosis. For example, many solid tumors, if diagnosed early, respond quite well to surgical removal before they have spread. In these instances, early surgery is curative.

Other cancers may not be...

Before you start to feed your dog or cat a home-prepared diet, it is strongly recommended you discuss your decision with your veterinarian or a holistic veterinarian in your area. It is essential that you follow any diet's recommendations closely, including all ingredients and supplements. Failure to do so may result in serious health consequences for your pet.

Weight-Control Diet for Dogs

1/2 pound cooked chicken
2 cups cooked long grain rice
1/4...

OBESITY, DEFINED AS AN INCREASE IN BODY WEIGHT OF AT LEAST 15 PERCENT ABOVE WHAT WOULD BE NORMAL FOR THE SIZE OF THE PET, IS THE MOST COMMON NUTRITIONAL DISEASE IN PETS. As with people, obesity results from an excess caloric intake relative to the expenditure of energy.

Many owners question a link between spaying or neutering the pet and obesity. Reduction of the male and female hormones does not cause obesity per se. However, if the metabolic rate...

Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is a common disease of dogs and rarely of cats. It is most commonly caused by the Bordetella bacterium (dogs and cats) or the adenovirus (dogs) or parainfluenza virus (dogs). Usually, kennel cough occurs as a result of exposure to infected pets, through boarding, although this is not necessary for a pet to develop kennel cough.

Clinical signs include coughing, gagging, and retching; many owners mistakenly believe their pets are...

Glutamine, or L-glutamine, is an amino acid derived from another amino acid, glutamic acid. It serves as a precursor to D-glucosamine, an amino sugar well-known for its ability to relieve pain and inflammation and regenerate connective tissue in people and pets with osteoarthritis. Severe stresses may result in a temporary glutamine deficiency.

Sources
There is no daily requirement for glutamine as the body can make its own glutamine. High-protein...

The cranberry plant, a relative of the common blueberry plant, has been used as food and as a treatment for bladder and kidney diseases.

Therapeutic Uses
Research has shown drinking cranberry juice makes the urine more acidic. Since common urinary tract infections in pets (especially dogs) are caused by bacteria such as E. coli, which function best in alkaline urine, many holistic doctors promote cranberry juice extracts for treating bladder...

Choline, unlike other B vitamins, which are synthesized by intestinal bacteria, is synthesized in the liver.

Choline is needed for the proper transmission of nerve impulses and is a constituent of acetylcholine, the major neurotransmitter. Choline is a structural element of cell membranes (as the chemical phosphatidylcholine) that promotes lipid transport and acts as a source of methyl groups (after it is transformed into betaine) for various chemical reactions in the...

The volatile oils and curcumin are the active ingredients of this herb, which is well known as a spice in curry powder and as an herb in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Therapeutic Uses
Whole turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Much of this observed activity seems to be due to the presence of curcumin, which also acts as a powerful antioxidant. Turmeric has shown anticancer effects by its antioxidant, free radical scavenging effects,...

Allergic dermatitis is among the most common skin disease seen in private veterinary practice. It is a genetic disease, technically referred to as atopic dermatitis, in which the dog or cat becomes sensitized to environmental proteins called allergens. The most common symptoms are inflammation and itching.

Natural treatments include orthomolecular therapy, omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy natural diet and topical decontamination with frequent hypoallergenic shampooing and...

Two distinct plants are known as chamomile and are used interchangeably: German and Roman chamomile. Although botanically far apart, they both look like miniature daisies and appear to possess similar medicinal benefits.

It has been suggested chamomile’s reported effect is due to the constituents of its bright blue oil, including chamazulene, alphabisabolol, and bisaboloxides. However, the water-soluble part of chamomile may play a role too, especially in soothing stomach...