Google: Yahoo: MSN:

Return To Blog Gallery

Can You Prevent Pet Disease?

Friday October 6, 2017

Author: Karen Spinelli


We try to make good choices for our animals in the hopes that they will stay healthy.   And if medical issues do arise, we try to make good decisions for them in hopes that they will quickly return to a state of good health. 


But I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s hard to know what the best choices and decisions are.


Every commercial and webinar looks and sounds sincere when they tell us “THIS” is the “BEST” way to do things.  But unfortunately, not all the “THIS”s match up…..  so which “THIS” do we believe?


I wish I had the answer.  And I will be completely up front with you in saying that I don’t. Sure, I worked in a human hospital for twenty years.  And sure, I went to veterinary tech school.  But I’m still just a person trying to weed though all the things I’m “taught”, to figure out where that straddle line between “best practice” and “functional do-ability in real life” lays.


I did come across something today that caught my attention.  It was the live stream of a three day conference called “The Truth About Cancer”. 


I found it to be very interesting, thought provoking, and validating to the core of holistic beliefs I already hold.  I will not, with any of my articles, profess that anything is the one and only way of going about something. And I will never say that something will work for everyone. 


Being that every individual person and pet has a unique genetic make-up, with years of ingesting different things, being exposed to different things, living in different social environments, and having different tolerance levels for stress in all its many faces, each will respond differently to even natural remedies. 


Any particular natural remedy may help, may not help, and may even result in an unexpected reaction.  Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it is not without risk.  Even natural remedies need to be used cautiously initially to check for adverse reactions, and then used only as directed.  But that being said, most natural remedies have the potential to help most people, and pets, while also supporting their immune system, if used as directed.


Over the next few blogs, I’ll share some of the highlights I heard and then you can be the judge of what you choose to do with the information.  Think of me as your holistic messenger.



Today’s share is about a presentation by Dr. Marlene Siegel, an integrative medicine veterinarian, during a talk entitled “Preventing and Treating Cancer in Pets”.  Dr. Siegel has developed a program that she is trying to share with other veterinary clinics on how to incorporate integrative (typically considered eastern, holistic, or alternative) methods into western medical care-focused veterinary practices.


Some of you, myself included, may be lucky enough to already bring your animal to primary care veterinarians who are open to, and incorporate, an alternative/ complimentary focus within their scope of practice.  But for those whose vets may not feel as comfortable with this, having a published program out there may be a way to begin opening that door.


Dr. Siegel states that the secrets to a healthy life “hide” in plain view, as natural healthcare options are often things that already live in harmony with the environment.  She used the term “Bio-Mimicry”, meaning products and processes that are designed based on the way things organically occur in nature.


She goes on to say that most dis-ease states, and specifically cancer  (which I will denote with a small “c” as not to give it the power of a capital letter), are our cells responding to a toxic environment. 


There was no finger-pointing.  More of a matter-of-fact realization that as the world around us keeps “advancing”, giving us “faster, cheaper, and more convenient” …. well, everything, that we inadvertently find ourselves surrounded by foods, drinks, microwaves, products, clothing material, heck - even air, that have toxic components.  As a result, even without knowing it, we are exposed to things we would never normally choose for ourselves or our pets. 


I like how she said “Life doesn’t happen to you, it responds from what you do”. 


Which reminded me of an acronym I heard back in college, GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out.  We have to take some responsibility in each thing we choose to expose ourselves to, if we desire healthy bodies for ourselves and our pets. 


Here are some paraphrased and summarized highlights of her talk:




We need to focus on 2 things:


1)    Make new cells, that are healthier than the old ones, by giving them the right fuel.


Pets are innocent in that they can only ingest what we give them  (well, that and some extra things they sneak…..  but you know what I mean).


She reminded listeners that if it’s not from nature, if you can’t pronounce it or have never heard of it, don’t feed it to them.  She also stressed the importance of choosing organic, grass fed foods for them whenever possible. 


Interestingly, she added that although it can be initially more expensive to feed ourselves and our pets organic whole foods, in the end,  it is more expensive to try to remedy a health issue once it has taken hold and we panic trying to fix it.


I’ll be straight with you, I cringe when I think of some of the things I fed my first dog, who was the love of my life.  Ironically, it was a lot of the same things I was eating that we shared.  But now that I have learned more, my current doggies eat better…..  even better than I do. And I continue to try to improve for both myself and for them. 


 It’s still not perfect. Because I’m still not perfect.  I’m sure raw food folks would still cringe.  It’s all on a continuum.  And all each of can do is strive to do our best, and to keep improving.  Without judgement on any other person or pet parent.  Isn’t it so much better when we support and build each other up?!   But I digress……



2)    Stop the momentum so you don’t reach the tipping point


I envisioned it like a balancing cup that can only hold so much before it tips over.  We fill it with stress, toxins, and inflammation. 


Western medicine tries to stop the momentum of dis-ease with anti-biotics and steroids.  Sometimes these are necessary.  Eastern medicine tries to stop the momentum with nutrition, water, sleep, exercise; meditation, acupuncture, homeopathy, essential oils, low level laser, magnets, reiki, and the list goes on.


It does not have to be “all or nothing”.   The best approach takes in all the options, and charts a unique course for each unique individual to keep clearing out the cup before it reaches tipping capacity.



Dr Siegel talked about the root cause of dis-ease being:


1)    Decreased essential nutrients

2)    Polluting the body with toxins over our threshold to clear

3)    Inflammatory responses from (A) and (B) that result in “leaky gut”/digestive tract

4)    Decreased immune system from (C) since so much of it lays in the large intestine

5)    Chronic/Trapped negative thoughts/emotions


And that the things that lead to those states being:


·         Stress

·         Hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) secreted from the ongoing stress of negative thoughts and emotions

     (our bodies were not meant to continue long term in “fight or flight”

·         High levels of glucose (a result of high starch diets)

·         Processed foods with preservatives

·         Acidic body pH (low pH)

·         Depleted soils where even natural foods are grown

·         Toxins (chemicals, pesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms)

·         Heavy metals in water

·         And the list goes on………


She said we can do things for ourselves and our pets to turn things around, like:


·         Drink filtered water (for our pets too)

·         Eat an organic plant-based diet full of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids

·         Give only meat proteins to our animals that are grass fed and organic

·         Guide our bodies to a more alkaline state (higher pH)

·         Fix “leaky gut” for better digestion with pre and pro-biotics

·         Detox our organs of elimination, especially the liver.   (she recommended coffee enemas…… hey- I’m just the messenger!)

·         Decrease cortisol levels by decreasing stress

·         Maintain positive thoughts focused on what you are grateful for

·         And again, the list goes on…….


Her summary was this:


1)    Provide the body with essential nutrients

2)    Stop polluting the body

3)    Heal the gut (and decrease inflammation)

4)    Detoxify the organs (and increase immune system)

5)    Support with “alternative” therapies




In future blog articles, I will continue to share with you the insights from other speakers during this insight-filled 3-day holistic health conference. 

Let’s learn together!


Return To Blog Gallery

© 2018 Hand To Paw - All rights reserved
Hand To Paw & its logo are Registered Trademarks.