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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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Common uses include cancer and shedding

Selenium is a trace mineral that our bodies use to produce glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that serves as a natural antioxidant. Selenium is also required for normal pancreatic function and lipid absorption. Glutathione peroxidase works with vitamin E to protect cell membranes from damage caused by dangerous, naturally occurring substances known as free radicals. Adequate amounts of selenium can spare vitamin E, and adequate amounts...

Just what constitutes the best or most appropriate diet for a pet is quite a controversial topic and there are as many opinions as there are doctors. Often the opinions are based more on emotion than on objective medical facts. When it comes to having facts to back one view or the other, sometimes they are hard to find.


No matter which type of diet—homemade or processed—is chosen, it must meet at least five requirements:

  1. The diet must contain the...

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, pyridoxal-5-phosphate) plays a major role in making proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry signals between nerve cells). Cats have a higher requirement for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) due to high transmitter activity from their high protein requirement.

Pyridoxine affects physical and mental health and is needed for most body functions. It maintains sodium and potassium balance and is necessary in water...

Riboflavin also known, as vitamin b2 is an essential nutrient required for life.

Riboflavin functions as part of a number of coenzymes in most cells. It is an integral part of flavin mononucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide. These enzymes are used to transfer hydrogen ions (which are supplied by sugars and fatty acids in the diet) to the cytochrome and hydrogen ion transfer systems to supply energy to the body (via production of adenosine triphosphate, or...

(Niacin, niacinamide, nicotinamide, inositol hexaniacinate)

Vitamin B3 is required for proper function of more than 50 enzymes. Without it, your body would not be able to release energy or make fats from carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 is also used to make sex hormones and other important chemical signal molecules.

Vitamin B3 is needed for healthy skin and...

(Pantothenic acid, Calcium pantothenate)

Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5, is known as the anti-stress vitamin since it is involved in the production of adrenal hormones and antibodies produced by the body’s white blood cells. Like other vitamins, it assists in vitamin metabolism and helps in the conversation of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy for the body.