Internationally known homeopathic veterinarian, Dr. Christina Chambreau, is a lecturer and author of the Healthy Animal’s Journal. She is also the editor of the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. Ask her a question by leaving a comment on the Animal Wellness Magazine Facebook page. She’ll choose two questions to answer every week!
Q. My dog has environmental allergies. I have tried chia, aloe, coconut oil. Any suggestions?
A. Good for you trying to stimulate the immune system. Because you did not give me more information, this will be a more general answer. Some allergic dogs have diarrhea, others have upper respiratory and, of course, commonly they have itchy skin. When I only had my conventional veterinary training, I would often be very frustrated by problems I thought were allergies. Often the tests came back that the pet was allergic to everything and the desensitizing shots only helped a few dogs.
The holistic philosophy has taught me that there is an underlying vibrational imbalance that causes most problems and the healing goal is to resolve that imbalance with treatments selected for that individual animal. To better understand this perspective, read the first few chapters of Don Hamilton’s Homeopathic Care of Cats and Dogs or the few pages in my book, the Healthy Animal’s Journal. Now that the multitude of holistic modalities is available, I can tell you to never give up. Try one after the other, and record the changes with each.
Your goal is to discover what your dog needs. The easiest way to resolve the current symptoms and improve the chances of a very long and healthy life would be to begin now to work with an integrative veterinarian. Acupuncture, homeopathy, and many other modalities could easily completely cure your dog.
Following the seven keys to great health may be all that is needed for now.
1. Know the current level of health. Most health problems are the result of an underlying energy imbalance. As we cure animals of “disease”, we find that other things we thought were normal go away, so we can use these clues to know that animals are not healthy yet. Your goal is for your animal to have no allergy symptoms AND great energy, no doggy odor, no hairball vomiting, little shedding, a glowing coat and many more. A complete list of these signs is available here. Using the Healthy Animal’s Journal helps you easily track how these early warning symptoms and obvious ill symptoms change over time.
2. Feed the best. What are the best diets for people or animals — the most processed or the freshest, most organic? For dogs with allergies, switching to a fresh food diet may resolve all the symptoms as it improves the immune system so the environmental triggers no longer cause a problem. Animal Wellness’s Dr. Karen Becker has a great book on how to easily feed a fresh diet– Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats. There is also the new Animal Wellness Natural Cookbook for Dogs.
The best ingredients should be the most consciously raised – local, organic vegetables, free ranging protein sources as sometimes what the chickens and beef are fed (GMO grains with pesticides) can cause allergies. Dogs and cats have ripping and tearing teeth, bone crunching teeth, no digestive juices in the mouth, jaws that do not chew, a stomach full of acid where the food sits for 4-12 hours and a very short transit time in the intestines. Dogs and cats do not pull out a knife to de-bone their prey and do not pull out matches to light a fire to cook their meat and vegetables. Therefore the best diet for dogs and cats is raw meat including raw bones, pureed raw and cooked vegetables and a few supplements (Calcium if no bones are eaten is critical). Second best is same quality, but cooked. Equally good is one of the commercial raw meat diets. Even grocery store quality meat and vegetables are much better than most processed foods. Many dogs need probiotics, especially if fed processed foods. My current favorite is Mitomax.
3. Vaccinate the least as many of my patients with “allergies” were cured with homeopathic remedies geared to rebalancing problems from vaccines. In my opinion, vaccines have caused more harm to animals than anything else we have done. On-going studies show that antibodies are high 10 and 16 years later for dog and cat distemper and dog Parvo so I recommend just a few baby shots and NO more. While Rabies is also a viral disease, you must follow the law and vaccinate every 3 years.
4. Use the fewest chemicals, remembering that there are chemicals in vaccines. Each animal is an individual and will respond differently to heartworm, flea and tick preventatives. Some are very sensitive to chemicals used in the yard or the house and in vaccines – they will become profoundly ill. If there are chemicals in a neighbor’s yard, good homeopathy, herbal or Chinese medicine can improve health so they may not be triggered anymore by that trigger.
5. Understand how animals become ill and how they heal so you know if you are deeply healing or merely helping a little. First there is an energetic imbalance (they are just not right), then functional (the dog is itchy), then inflamed (skin is red, infected, swollen and hot) and finally tissue changes (thick, black skin). Results of any treatment can be no change, amelioration (current symptoms disappear with no other improvements, then return), suppression (current symptoms disappear and they become more ill) or a cure (everything about the animal to begins to improve, especially the overall energy level.) Skin problems are actually a good thing. No dog dies from skin problems. If the vibrational field is healthy enough to produce skin symptoms instead of more serious illnesses (diabetes, Cushing’s, etc) this is good.
6. Learn different healing approaches. There are so many different ways to stimulate healing that you never need to give up trying. Flower essences, essential oils, homeopathy, massage, Reiki and herbs are a few. Classes are found through your health food store, by phone or on-line. Learn Reiki as soon as you can find a class and your hands maybe able to completely heal your dog. Begin using Rescue Remedy right away – it is easy to find at most health food stores and even regular pharmacies. If your dog’s environmental allergies are itchy skin, put one drop in a separate water bowl. Put 10 drops in a cup of water and rinse hot spots or itchy areas with it. Put 4 drops in an ounce of water in a jar and give a few drops in every meal and every few hours in between. You cannot use it too often. It is totally safe.
7. Select the best healers for each animal’s health team. Most people want a veterinarian (preferably integrative) and an energy healer. You decide what needs to be tried next for your animal. When you realize the animal is not improving – seek different care. Use conventional veterinarians for diagnosis and emergency treatment, or if other methods are not working. Again, integrative veterinarians will be able to do both, and have the philosophical understanding of the vibrational causes of illness. You started with some supplements, so now you know to try some of these other healing modalities.