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Shawn Messonnier, DVM

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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!

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First, I believe in women making choices regarding their own health care (for that matter, I believe EVERYONE should decide the best course of therapy for an illness). While our doctors serve as a primary source of information, they should NEVER have the final say about OUR health care choices and decisions.

As a doctor, I readily admit I don’t know everything! I don’t have time to know everything, so I’m always thankful when my own patients provide me with research...

NUTRIENTS & DIET

We have discussed in previous articles the essentials of water and carbohydrates in your pet’s diet. This month we will look at the merits of protein.

Protein is composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body. Proteins are used for energy and in the production of enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and in making muscle and other structural tissues. While people often mistakenly are concerned about the protein content of...

NUTRIENTS FOR YOUR PET

Feeding the best diet is important for total holistic health for your pet. By getting your pet on the best diet, some mild conditions (such as allergies) may respond without needing to use other therapies. In the next several months we will explore the seven dietary classifications of nutrients — water, carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and food additives so you can make an informed choice on your pet’s diet that will encourage...

NUTRIENTS FOR YOUR PET

Feeding the best diet is important for total holistic health for your pet. By getting your pet on the best diet, some mild conditions (such as allergies) may respond without needing to use other therapies. In the next several months we will explore the seven dietary classifications of nutrients — water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and food additives so you can make an informed choice on your pet’s diet that will encourage...

Homeopathic physicians may recommend nosodes instead of conventional vaccinations. Nosodes are simply homeopathic"vaccines" that are prepared from various infectious organisms. As an example, a nosode for panleukopenia (cat distemper) would be prepared from infectious panleukopenia virus, possibly from respiratory secretions from an infected cat. A variety of nosodes are available, both for the treatment of infectious diseases (for example, the staphylococcal nosode is used as part of...

Fleas are the most common external pest causing irritation and discomfort to dogs and cats. Flea infestations are not usually fatal; however, puppies, kittens, and debilitated pets can become quite ill and even die due to blood loss from heavy flea infestation (fleas suck blood from their hosts). Fleas most commonly cause irritation to infested pets. Dogs and cats with flea allergies can experience intense itching and secondary skin infections. Only one flea bite is necessary to...

Green foods most commonly include barley grass, spirulina, alfalfa, chlorella, and blue-green algae. Green foods contain a variety of nutrients. Ingestion of these nutrients seeks to prevent and treat illnesses that may be induced by an imbalance of minerals, enzymes, and vitamins in processed diets.

Barley grass contains large amounts of vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B6, E, biotin, folic acid, choline, pantothenic acid, nicotinic acid, iron, chlorophyll, potassium,...

There are a number of classes of pharmacologically active chemicals in echinacea, including polysaccharides, flavonoids (calculated as quercetin), caffeic acid, essential oils, alkylamides, and polyacetylenes.

Echinacea has strong immune-stimulating properties. This herb increases phagocytosis (the ability of white blood cells to destroy invading organisms), stimulates the lymphatic system (to remove waste materials), and reduces the production of hyaluronidase (an enzyme...

Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine pancreatic disorder in pets. The incidence in cats and dogs is reported to be anywhere from 1 in 100 to 1 in 500. Diabetes is classified as type I or type II. Type I, is called insulin-dependent diabetes. In this disorder, there is destruction of the beta cells (insulin-producing cells) of the pancreas. Treatment involves replacing insulin through injections given one to two times per day.

Type II, called non-insulin-dependent...

There are several natural treatments for heart disease in cats and dogs, including Taurine, Carnitine, Hawthorn and Coenzyme Q10. This month we are focusing on the use of CoQ10 for your pet’s heart health.

CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that is found in every cell in the body. It plays a fundamental role in the mitochondria, the parts of the cell that produce energy from food. Coenzyme Q10 appears to control the flow of oxygen within the cells as...

Common uses of Black walnut: intestinal parasites
The hulls of black walnuts are recommended for use as a deworming agent in pets. The active ingredients are purported to be tannins and alkaloids.

Therapeutic Uses for Black walnut
Black walnut has been used to treat dogs and cats with tapeworms.

There have been anecdotal reports of black walnut being effective against heartworms. However, there is no proof of this or any...

Aloe is often used topically as a soothing rinse or topical preparation. Aloe contains a number of beneficial chemicals. The prostaglandins in aloe have beneficial effects on inflammation, allergy, and wound healing. While many would profess to appreciate the healing effect of aloe on wounds and burns, there have never been any properly designed scientific studies that can tell us just how effective aloe really is for these conditions.

Topical aloe gel may improve the rate of...

Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin, is needed for the proper clotting of blood (it plays a major role in the carboxylation of clotting proteins II, VI, IX, and X and proteins C and S). It may also help prevent osteoporosis, as it is needed for the synthesis of the bone protein (osteocalcin) involved in calcium crystallization (via the incorporation of calcium phosphates in growing bone). Vitamin K exists as vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone), the natural forms found in...

Microscopic insects called mites cause mange. The most common types of mange are demodectic mange (common in puppies; rare in adult dogs, kittens and cats), sarcoptic mange (scabies in puppies and dogs), notoedric mange (scabies in kittens and cats), and otodectic mange (ear mites in puppies, dogs, kittens and cats). Demodectic mange is a genetic disease and is not transmissible between pets. The other types of mange are transmissible between pets and can in fact be...

DMG stands for dimethylglycine, also called vitamin B15. It is found in low levels in foods, including meats, seeds, and grains. Both the human and animal body makes DMG from choline and betaine. It is suggested that increased dietary intake of DMG is to provide carbon to cells. It is also a precursor of SAMe. DMG appears to enhance oxygen usage, prevent the accumulation of lactic acid, improve muscle metabolism, function as an anti-stress nutrient to improve the cardiovascular system, and...

Autoimmune diseases, which occur more commonly in dogs than in cats, are those diseases in which the pet’s body forms antibodies attacking its own tissues. The exact cause of autoimmune diseases is not known. However, many doctors feel that the immune system may malfunction as a result of infections or chronic exposure to toxins. The fact an increased number of cases are seen shortly following repeated immunization prompts many holistic doctors to surmise vaccinations may be...

Ear infections in dogs and cats are caused by bacteria, yeasts, or ear mites. Chronic ear infections occur in certain breeds such as Retrievers and Spaniels due to anatomic abnormalities or lifestyle (frequent swimming). Chronic ear infections may also be caused by underlying abnormalities such as food allergies, atopy, or hypothyroidism. Accurate diagnosis requires examination of the ear discharge under a microscope (ear cytology). A medicated ear flushing (sedation is often required) will...

Vanadium For Pets

Vanadium is a mineral, and evidence from animal studies suggests it may be an essential micronutrient.

In people as well as pets, there are no well-documented uses for vanadium, and there are serious safety concerns regarding its use. However, vanadium has been proposed to be of benefit to patients with diabetes as vanadium has insulin-like properties and may inhibit protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP).

Studies in rats with and without diabetes...

Enzymes are used for a variety of functions in the pet’s body. Cellular processes, digestion, and absorption of dietary nutrients are dependent upon the proper enzymes. Most commonly, owners often think of enzymes as necessary for digestion of food. In fact, enzymes produced by the pancreas are essential for digestion of nutrients in the diet. Once properly digested by pancreatic enzymes, the dietary nutrients can be absorbed by the pet.

The pancreas produces...

Inositol is present in all animal tissues, with the highest levels in the heart and brain. It is part of the membranes (outer linings) of all cells, and plays a role in helping the liver process fats as well as contributing to the function of muscles and nerves.

This vitamin, unofficially referred to as “vitamin B8,” promotes the growth of hair, reduces cholesterol levels, contributes to the function of muscles and nerves, and has a calming effect. As with Choline,...