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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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Canine cognitive disorder (canine cognitive dysfunction) is a medical condition associated with age-related deterioration of a dog’s cognitive functioning. The condition most commonly affects dogs 11 years of age and older. The results of several recent studies showed that 48 percent of dogs eight years of age and older, 62 percent of dogs 11 to 16 years of age, and 100 percent of dogs 16 years of age and older exhibited at least one of the changes that occurs in dogs with cognitive...

In dogs and cats, the most common types of heart disease include cardiomyopathy and valvular heart disease. Congestive heart failure occurs late in the course of any type of heart disease as the heart muscle fails to adequately pump blood throughout the body.

Valvular heart disease is the most common heart disease in dogs, occurring most commonly in older small breed dogs (the prevalence is estimated at 75 percent of dogs over 16 years of age). This condition occurs as the heart...

The final installment on nutrients for your pets’ centers around vitamins, additives and the energy content of your pet’s food.

VITAMINS FOR PETS
Like minerals, vitamins function as enzymes or coenzymes. Pure vitamin deficiencies or toxicities are rarely encountered in pets fed quality processed diets, as pet food manufacturers overcompensate and make sure the food contains more than enough of these compounds. There are a few rare exceptions:...

NUTRIENTS & DIET

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

Minerals include such substances as calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc, among others. As a rule, minerals function as co-enzymes that help control numerous biochemical reactions in the body. Minerals also are constituents of bone muscle, and are involved in the growth and...

NUTRIENTS & DIET

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

Fats are used for energy and are necessary for the absorption of vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Fats also are used in the body’s production of hormones, for insulation, for protection of vital organs, for lubrication, for buoyancy, and as precursors to amino acids. Fats also make diets...

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...