Q & A with Dr. Marty Goldstein
Dr. Martin Goldstein has been practicing holistic medicine for over 30 years. Based at Smith Ridge Veterinary Center in South Salem, New York, he is also the author of The Nature of Animal Healing, published by Random House.
Dr. Marty is also one of the founding contributors to Animal Wellness Magazine and we’d like to thank him for his gracious support and participation. Over the last twenty years, he has answered hundreds of questions on just about every canine and feline health problem you can imagine!
Browse the Latest Cat Q & A’s
A. The bladder is just a sensitive holding container for urine, which is a potentially toxic waste product of the body. The rule of thumb is: the poorer the quality of food, the greater the waste content of the urine. You can check my new website, www.drmarty.com, for recommendations on feeding.
I like treating these conditions with homeopathics such as Urinary Aid by Professional Complementary Health Products, BHI’s Uri-Cleanse and/or Uri-Control, and herbal formulations like UT Strength by Vetri-Science.
I have a three-year-old Siamese. He was very sick with diarrhea on and off for two years. He had blood and mucus in his stools. Everything the vet tried hasn’t helped. I had him on FortiFlora for 1½ months. He was doing great, then started back with diarrhea again. The vet said the next step would be an ultrasound to check his pancreas and also steroids. I am against steroids, knowing the bad side effects.
I did a tremendous amount of research and decided to try the apple cider vinegar remedy, starting with one drop a week and working up to five drops in his water bowl, which holds two cups of water. He is doing wonderfully. He also had bad problems digesting any type of food, but seems to do very well on Royal Canin green peas and rabbit. My question is, do I keep him on the apple cider vinegar for life?
A. I have seen apple cider vinegar used as a routine dietary supplement for both animals and their people, especially in the past. So I feel you can continue giving it to your Siamese, although it may no longer be needed. A happy medium would be to give it to him several times a week. Of course, the decisive factor will be your cat and how well he does.
A. In an immune suppressed patient with the sores you describe, I don’t mind the short term use of antibiotics to initially get things under control. I also like using topical 3% hydrogen peroxide. After this, olive leaf extract and propolis are both more naturally-based immune supportive antibiotics. A thymus extract or glandular, homeopathic Thymus Drops by Professional Complementary Health Products and the antioxidant Feline Dismuplex by Pet Pharms are several others we use in our practice. There are many other very good products on the market that lend immune support to cats; with a little research, you can come up with a good program. Make sure you also focus on high quality whole foods.
A.Without examining your cat, it is difficult to recommend a specific therapy. One thing I can say is that the distribution pattern of flea allergy conditions in cats (and in dogs) is specific to the tail base and down the initial part of the tail. If this is the case, then two homeopathics with which I’ve had success are Professional Health Product’s Flea Aid and Dr. Goodpet’s Flea Relief. Of course, all the other products for natural flea control would also apply.
A.I would liken your cat to a car that needs a tune-up. It’s not running well, it’s taking a lot of gas, and its exhaust stinks. Rank feces and bladder problems – these are the two exhausts of the body, can be connected to an inefficient metabolism. I would suggest you start with pancreatic enzymes and a higher quality diet. You could also add a multi-vitamin and an anti-oxidant enzyme.
Try this for about four weeks or so and you should see a change. Remember you may see an improvement and then suddenly, your cat passes some very stinky feces again; this is probably just part of the detoxification process, so be a little patient. If you don’t see any improvement, you may wish to consider a metabolic analysis.
A.In our clinic, we treat this using high levels of vitamin C, injectable homeopathic liver extracts (Heel Hepar suis), Liver/Gallbladder drops from Professional Health Products, herbal combinations containing milk thistle and SAM-e, and we suggest adding cod liver oil to the diet, which contains high levels of vitamin A.
A.It sounds like she has inflammatory bowel disease, a condition we see all too often. Fortunately, we have been very successful in treating it and getting cats off all conventional medications and back to normal. Here’s a list of several of the many things we would use: Acetylator by Vetri Science Labs, the herb slippery elm (either by itself at 1/5 the human dose or in pre-formulated combinations for intestinal function), the potato diet I wrote about in my book The Nature of Animal Healing (you can omit the slice of leek as it is in the onion family which is supposedly toxic to cats), and a homeopathic combination remedy such as BHI Diarrhea mixed with BHI Intestine, Diarrhea Aid by Professional Health Products or Diar-Relief by Dr Goodpet. Always, the switch to a very high quality diet of whole foods can, in general, do wonders with conditions like this. Two other commercially available products that could help include a hydrolyzed fish product called Seacure and Primal Defense by Garden of Life.
A.Reports suggest that the minerals calcium, iron and magnesium may help eliminate and/or combat lead poisoning. For years, my favorite supplement used in cases like this is Extox by Progressive Labs. One caution: it does contain garlic powder and garlic is considered toxic to cats. I have personally used this product on cats, with precautionary qualification, and saw no observable problems over the long term. I have also given garlic to my own cats for many years – I routinely cooked it into my one’s cat’s food and he lived to be 24. But I’m not recommending it. The product contains other ingredients that have heavy metal binding properties, including vitamin C, bentonite, l-lysine, chlorophyll, dl-methionine and sodium alginate. You could use several or all of these.
Note: Read this article covering IBD in cats and dogs, and how holistic approaches can help.
A.First, I would suggest raw kidney and liver glandulars. To this you can add Renal Drops by Professional Health Products. Elevated kidney values come from improper protein metabolism and improper liver function. The kidney and liver are closely connected and are kind of like the exhaust system of a car. It’s important to balance the tune up the engine, not just focus on the exhaust system. I would recommend a BioNutritional Analysis. Kidneys handle the brunt of so much toxicity so if you don’t handle the source, you’re not going to get the patient better. Also, watch out for vaccines.
A.For cats, I go along with the recommendations (if there is potential exposure) that have come out of the University of Wisconsin veterinary college: vaccinate at 12 weeks of age or older with a feline panleukopenia (distemper) vaccine, and never vaccinate again for the life of the pet. You will need to vaccinate for rabies as required by law in your area.
A.It’s just a secondary sign of a compromised immune system, much as we see with poor hair coat. I wouldn’t look for a localized problem here. The best you can do is work on his overall health by continuing to supplement his diet of high quality, preferably home-prepared foods.
A.I agree. I used to have a hospital cat named Waldo who had this condition and he enjoyed a very good and long life. He was also a riot, and I truly suspect he didn’t know he had a problem. For supporting any part of the brain, my clinic uses Neurotrophin by Standard Process Labs, Sphingolin by Emerson Ecologics, and a homeopathic by Professional Complementary Health Formulas called Brain Enhancement Liquiescence.
A.A case like this should really be treated hands on by a veterinarian. I would recommend finding one well versed in integrative medicine. With that being said, I will list here several of the supplements used in my facility for what you describe. Doctor’s Mutual Service has a relatively new supplement called Kidney/Heart. Taurine, vitamin E and CoQ10 would also be indicated. And, if this is a heart condition involving a dilated heart muscle, then you could add l-carnitine. In Chinese philosophy, there is a correlation between the kidneys and the ears. I’m more in favor of higher quality foods than the more processed, lower quality ones.
A.We sell over 3,000 pounds of raw meat products from our practice every month and a good percentage of that is raw chicken. I rarely see a problem outside of those animals that are either sensitive to the change to raw, or just can’t acclimate. The disease you are referring to is probably salmonella, or possibly e-coli. Although I have rarely seen this as a direct correlation to feeding raw, I can’t say it’s not impossible. I just don’t let that slim possibility stand in the way of the extreme benefits I have seen from feeding raw meat diets, especially to cats. My own three cats have been almost exclusively on raw chicken, turkey and, less frequently, rabbit for many years and remain very healthy.
There is a wide range of holistic sinus products available. BHI makes one called Sinus. We also use the Seven Forest herb, Blue Earth Dragon, which your veterinarian can order for you. Olive Leaf extract, which is a natural anti-bacterial, is good, as is propolis. You can also buy homeopathic nasal sprays which you can spray more or less right up/on the nose or use an eye dropper and place one drop on the nostril opening.
I once treated a cat with a really bad sinus problem. After using a variety of different remedies, I tried a product from Natra-bio called Head Cold, which took care of it. Sometimes you have to try a number of symptom-oriented remedies before you find the one that works for your animal.
You could also try immune-building remedies such as herbal formulas that contain echinacea and goldenseal and/or astragalus.
There’s a chance this problem has been caused or aggravated by upper respiratory vaccinations.
A.I am actually working on two new cases of rodent ulcer/eosinophilic granuloma complex in cats. One of the cats, Hud, lives with Peter Gethers, and is one of the replacement cats for one of the most famous of all felines, Norton: The Cat Who Went to Paris. Hud was being treated conventionally, having an off and on response with steroids, but no overall improvement. We started treating him with alternative therapies, consisting of glandulars for his adrenals, liver and thymus (this was based on analyzing his blood results), beta sitosterol (Betathyme by DMSC), a BHI Allergy homeopathic and a soy derived natural hydrocortisone (which we slowly weaned off over several weeks). Hud responded dramatically and is now close to 100% clinically normal. For severe rodent ulcers, especially of the mouth/lips, we typically start therapy by freezing the lesions with cryosurgery
A.This does sound like mega colon and the only thing I’ve seen work effectively for this condition is surgery. In the cases I’ve seen (which were all referred to the same surgeon), the result was very rewarding. You could try to find an acupuncturist who has been successful in getting return to function but this may be easier said than done. I had one cat who we supplemented with many different herbs, including slippery elm. Although the cat initially responded, eventually he underwent mega colon surgery and the guardian was ecstatic with the outcome. If you really don’t want to do the surgery, you could add in BHI’s Constipation and Intestine homeopathic formulas. Heel’s Colon suis could be rewarding, however, this may be difficult to find.
A.I have seen aggression as a sign associated with confirmed brain tumors over the years but would never use it as a symptom to confirm or be definitive for the presence of a tumor. Aggression is much more common than brain tumors and there are many other causes. My advice would be to consult with a veterinary neurologist.
A.The hydrocortisone mentioned is naturally derived from soy, but it’s still classed as a drug and you would need to obtain it through a veterinarian. Like any cortisone, it can be used for almost any inflammatory or allergy based condition and has fewer side effects than the synthetic varieties. Asthma would be covered in this category and I have used it successfully many times for this problem; I would, however, stop using it if it didn’t give a positive response. I also like using BHI’s Asthma, sometimes in combination with their Cough and/or Bronchitis remedies. I have also had fairly good success using Seven Forest’s herbal Pinellia formula.
A.Yes, it could have been allergies. Without a direct examination, though, that’s only a guess. If the problem recurs again, I would have a veterinarian check it out.