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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.


Common uses for white willow bark are for arthritis, pain and inflammation in dogs, which may affect your pet more in the cold winter months.

In 1828, European chemists extracted the substance salicin from white willow, which was soon purified to salicylic acid. Chemists later modified salicylic acid (this time from the herb meadowsweet) to create acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin. Willow bark contains salicin and can be considered a natural form of aspirin. It is used for...

Cushing’s disease, hyperadrenocorticism, results in overproduction of adrenal gland hormones, most commonly glucocorticoids. The disorder is relatively common in middle-aged to older dogs and rare in cats. Cushing’s disease usually occurs as a result of a benign (non-cancerous) tumor of the pituitary gland. Rarely, a tumor (benign or cancerous) of the adrenal gland(s) may occur. Long-term administration of corticosteroids causes a steroid-induced Cushing’s syndrome that...

This month we conclude our series on Autoimmune Disorders in pets. The final article discusses the best type of fatty acids to use for your pet’s inflammatory issues.

FATTY ACID SUPPLEMENTATION
Is supplementation with fatty acid capsules or liquids the best approach, or is dietary manipulation preferred for the treatment of inflammatory conditions? There are, in fact, diets constructed with this “ideal” ratio (of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids)....

This month we begin a three-part series on autoimmune diseases in pets. 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 that an increased number of cases are seen shortly following repeated...

Addison’s disease, also called hypoadrenocorticism, is an uncommon disease of dogs and occurs rarely in cats. The cause is unknown in some cases; in others it appears as an immune-mediated disorder in which the pet’s body makes antibodies that destroy its own adrenal glands. Chronic use of corticosteroids (such as prednisone) can cause secondary Addison’s disease if the corticosteroid administration is suddenly stopped rather than gradually withdrawn from the...

Glandular therapy (cell therapy, tissue therapy) is the use of whole animal tissues or extracts of these tissues for health maintenance and the therapy of mild health problems typically involving the glands of the body. Glandular therapy is “tissue specific.” In other words, liver extracts benefit the liver, thyroid extracts benefit the thyroid gland, adrenal extracts benefit the adrenal gland, and so forth. Current research supports this concept that the glandular supplements...

Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures in pets. Anticonvulsant medications such as phenobarbital, diazepam, or potassium bromide are commonly prescribed conventional medications.

Correcting the diet is important, as there is anecdotal evidence that food hypersensitivity may be the cause of seizures in some pets. A small number of cases treated concurrently with anticonvulsant medicines plus antioxidants (at the dosages used for treating allergic dermatitis) have shown...

This month we begin a two-part discussion on orthomolecular medicine (often called “megavitamin therapy”). Orthomolecular medicine seeks to use increased levels of vitamins and minerals (mainly antioxidants) to help treat a variety of medical disorders. While daily amounts of vitamins and minerals have been recommended as an attempt to prevent nutritional deficiencies, orthomolecular medicine uses higher doses as part of the therapy for disease.

The pet food industry...

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...

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...