Solution to Dental Disease in Cats

Dental Disease in Cats

gum red line

This condition is common and very frustrating for people  to deal with. The usual appearance is first a redness of the gums, a line along the border of the teeth. Then, with more progression, looseness and decay of the teeth. For some poor cats it ends up with them losing all of their teeth.

The usual treatment for this is antibiotics followed by cleaning of the teeth (or removal of same). The treatment helps for a while but does not resolve the problem. It is not a bacterial infection so the antibiotics do little to affect it. 

What is interesting is the historical perspective. I graduated from veterinary school in 1965 and in my first years of practice this condition was not seen. We would indeed see dogs that had deposits on their teeth and advise cleaning but cats rarely had any issues or needed this to be done. With time, the frequency of this in cats steadily increased and the question, of course, is why this is so. It is not a genetic condition, and is not an infection due to some new strain of bacteria. Whenever a condition without an obvious cause affects a large percentage of the population it is usually something in the environment, something that is not healthy to be exposed to. 

It is looking now that this condition is caused by mercury poisoning. Mercury was used very much in medicine a couple of centuries ago, as frequently as antibiotics are used today. As this was done in people it was learned that the primary effect of mercury poisoning was the inflammation of the mouth with eventual decay and loss of teeth over time — just like is seen in these cats.

Why would this especially be a problem in cats? If you look at the labels of cat foods you will find a very large percentage of them contain fish. And fish is very high in mercury. There is also mercury in other meat sources but it is highest in fish. This is so because in the burning of coal in power plants to produce electricity. The smoke given off contains mercury which was in the coal and this mercury released into the air is brought down to earth by rain. In the soil and water the mercury is modified by bacteria to become an even more toxic form — methyl-mercury. Then it is picked up by plants and small animals living there and as these plants and animals are eaten by other animals the amount becomes increasingly concentrated in their tissues. Much of this also washes down into the streams, and eventually the oceans, which is why it is so high in fish. You might remember that women that might be pregnant are advised not to eat fish more often than once a month. Now translate this back to the cat eating it every single day. 

This problem with mercury coming from coal burning has been known for several decades but our government decided it would be too expensive to regulate and so it was allowed to continue all of this time. We are now reaping the results. If you eat fish, whether wild or farm raised, you will be getting additionally a nice helping of mercury.

What evidence is there that this is important for cats? In a report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG; ewg.org) in 2008, the amount of mercury in the blood and urine of cats was compared to that of human beings. Over 9000 people had been assayed by the CDC and the amount of mercury found was averaged out as a reference to what, these days, is the common level for people. They didn’t say it was OK, just this is what was found. The EWG did a similar study of the blood and urine of 37 cats tested at a Virginia veterinary clinic. What they found was that cats had, on average, 5 and a half times as much mercury in their bodies as human beings. This is highly significant and identifies for us what is the likely cause of this common mouth condition. 

Once I realized this, I started treating these cats by first changing their diet to eliminate fish entirely and also minimizing meat as a secondary source. The next step was homeopathic treatment and I emphasized those homeopathic remedies which had been identified to be useful for treating mercury poisoning. There are a large number of such remedies, over 60, so it requires careful evaluation of the cat’s condition to choose the most appropriate one. However, once successfully done, it is of much benefit. Hepar sulph., Sulphur, Sepia, Silica and Aurum are often indicated but, again, it takes careful evaluation of the details to make the optimal choice.

What can you do?

An obvious next step is the avoidance of any cat food that contains fish. Our best advice is to study the 4th edition of our book, Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. In this blog we have focused on just one substance, mercury, but there are many more to consider — heavy metals as well as many industrial and home-use chemicals which accumulate in the bodies of the animals that end up being eaten by other people, dogs and cats. We addressed this larger issue in our book, developing entirely new recipes that minimize this exposure to as many of these toxic substances as possible.

If you can go further, contact a homeopathic veterinarian to give specific treatment to your cat as this will very much accelerate recovery.

Thoughts on Plant Based Diets for Dogs

I am thinking, since proposing this idea of changing the diet of dogs to a more plant based one, it would help to explain somewhat what my path to this has been. Many people when first hearing about this react with strong disapproval, saying this is both unnatural and harmful to dogs. Of course we know that the ancestors of dogs, the wolves, were prey animals and mostly ate the animals they hunted and killed. It is easy, therefore, to assume that domestic dogs should be fed the same way. This would be a good argument a couple of centuries ago, but not so much now.

The Problem

We have a problem in the dog world. Overall dogs are becoming more sick with the passing years. I am referring to numbers, percentages. Whatever our system of medicine is doing, it is not bringing about a progressive improvement of health in the dog population. One example, is the tremendous increase in cancer in dogs. Veterinarians that have looked into this say that cancer is now the leading cause of death in dogs and that some breeds like Golden Retrievers will have half of them experiencing cancer in their lives.

The Veterinary Perspective

I am giving just one example of what we veterinarians are facing in our desire to help dogs lead healthy lives. I have been a veterinarian for 50 years and I have seen a lot of change and it has concerned me. I kept looking into what might be causing this to happen (not just cancer, but the decline in health). This led me, over time, into study of nutrition, a re-evaluation of vaccine use (not an easy thing for me to do with my PhD in immunology), and working with alternative methods of treatment. I came to like homeopathy the best.

Nutrition

My study of nutrition opened up a whole new world. I had no idea. What I found you will see in our book along with the nutritional advice that came from my clinical experience. What is different in this last edition of our book is putting much emphasis on feeding dogs a plant based diet or a diet with mostly plant sources and minimal animal products. Many people object to this, thinking it cannot be healthy. I started out thinking the same way but my progression of learning took me to a different view.

Environmental Contamination

I learned that the environment has been very significantly contaminated by substances which are toxic when they end up in our tissues. It did not used to be like this, but with each passing year it has become greater and greater. Part of this is that more and more chemicals are being put into use. There are now 100,000 being used in all sorts of ways, most of them ending up in sewers, in the water, soil, ocean. One of the most toxic materials is the solid stuff that settles out in waste water treatment plants of towns and cities. There was so much of it that there had to be a way to get rid of it. It was expensive to put in a land fill so another solution was thought up. The sewage sludge was renamed “biosolids” and our government approved it being used as fertilizer on our food crops. So the most toxic material we can come up with, with hundreds of chemicals in it, is put on our food for the plants to take up.

It is not just this source that is a problem. As one example, industrial processing has released very extensive amounts of dioxin, which is considered to be the most potent chemical in existence that can cause cancer. Dioxin is throughout the environment, highest in fish, next in eggs, then significant amounts in dairy and beef. It is important to realize that dioxin is not something added to the food, or injected into the animals. It is in the environment, in water, air and soil. So it gets into all animals, even those raised organically.

Do you begin to see the problem? We could go on and on. After all, there are 100,000 chemicals. But you can get the idea. I realized that this contamination was a big deal and that regular feeding of dogs with sources that had poisons in them would be a very important reason whey there would be so much increasing illness.

Bioaccumulation

We could talk about this for a very long time. There is actually much information available. Rather what I would like to do is bring in one more consideration and that is called “bioaccumulation.” The idea is this: the chemicals introduced into our environment are taken up by the plants as they grow. The animals that eat the plants then also get these chemicals but because they eat plant after plant, over months or years, the chemicals build up in their bodies to much higher levels that what is in the plants. Then if there are animals that eat these plant-easting animals, then they too accumulate more of it. This is sometimes called a “food chain” meaning that like a ladder the amount of accumulate chemical gets higher every rung. How much higher at the top? We are talking hundreds of thousands or millions of times more than what is found in plants. So what animals are at the “top” of the food chain and get the most chemical buildup? Human beings, dogs, cats.

Do dogs have much in their bodies? Studies of their tissues tell us that have about one and half times as much as the average human. This is a big load. Many of the chemicals are carcinogens. I will remind you that carcinogen meant a chemical that has been shown to cause cancer in animals. Do you think it possible that if a dog is eating a food that contains chemicals that cause cancer in animals that it might be a problem for that dog eventually? It may take a few years. It might show up as something else, maybe allergies, chronic ear problems, hypothyroidism. Who knows? The veterinary profession is not really interested into looking into this. Even if it were, it would involve injecting some poor dogs with the chemical for a time to see what it would do to them. A nasty thing to do.

Another Idea

How about a simple solution? I admit not a total solution but one that does seem like it makes sense. How about we just don’t feed so much of this toxic stuff to them? Once this came to my mind I had to investigate the possibility that dogs could get by eating less meat and animal products. I was surprised to find studies that showed they could do very well on vegetarian diets, even diets entirely plant based. This investigation took some time as I had my inner resistances just like most of you. But I found that dogs have the ability to eat a variety of foods and do quite well with them. They are not considered to be strict carnivores by biologists and that has allowed them to adapt to a range of diets. Studies of their ability to make enzymes used in digestion has shown us that the have the same ability as humans in this regard. They can eat carbohydrates and digest them very well.

Testing the Idea

Along the way this idea was put into action. I began to recommend to people that they make diet changes and see if there was a favorable effect. It was surprising to see that many dogs with chronic health problems, like allergies, auto-immune diseases, seizures, would noticeably improve in their health when animal products no longer part of their diet. This was unanticipated on my part but was much like long ago when I started having clients prepare their own food instead of using commercial pet foods and seeing improvements there.

Seeing better health in these chronically ill dogs reinforced the idea that this consideration of environmental contamination was an important to understand. I am not suggesting it is the only issue but seem it must be a very significant factor. Even if the chemical buildup is not the primary influence, it must be somewhat weakening to that animal wouldn’t you think?

Conclusion

I am going to close here. As I said above, we could go on and on with information and experience about this. I do want to communicate here that my views about this, whatever their validity, have come about because of a very long time of study and experience in the veterinary field. I started with the desire to help animals, to spare them unnecessary suffering, and this intention has remained all this time. I feel like it was this intention that prompted me to look “outside the box” and consider other ways of looking at this problem of increasing chronic health problems for our poor brothers and sisters.

Blessing to you all.

Beatrice

Loving

Beatrice came into the world on March 15, 2015 and left a little over a year later in the form of fast food burgers. She agreed to an interview.

Questioner: Your life must have been difficult. Do you regret it?

Beatrice: Not at all. There was much satisfaction with it.

Q. How could that be? Your life was in many ways unpleasant and certainly shorter than the natural life span would be.

B. After I was born I was with my mother and we shared some time together. As we were “grass fed” we lived on a pasture which we greatly enjoyed.

Pasture

Q. You enjoyed the pasture?

B. When the sun would come up the glory is difficult to describe. It was like a new creation over and over. It would warm and stimulate us and then we would begin to graze. I know this will be difficult for you to relate to but standing on the grass, eating it during the day, was intensely pleasurable. Our feet on the ground, making that connection, was associated with a feeling coming from our Mother, the Earth. It was like a subtle vibration or a thrill that filled the body, coming from the feet and moving up. It was a constant pleasure.

Q. This happened all the time?

B. All the time. It was this feeling of peace, of well-being, so that we were content just to be there. And there were the other plants, the birds and insects, and other animals that would come through the pasture and we related to all of them.

Q. How did you relate?

B. We sensed them and they us. It would be a meld of consciousness and we would feel each other’s beingness for a while. If I were to put into words it was often like a “smile.” Always interesting, always intriguing. There are so many different experiences that life has, the number is almost infinite.

Q. It does sound nice.

B. Yes, and of course I wished it had continued.

Q. What happened?

B. I was taken to a feedlot for “finishing.” No longer could I feel the thrill or eat the grass. And of course it was very crowded, smelled bad, and the cloud of emotion around us was, shall we say, unpleasant.

Feed lot

The most difficult was the having to eat such an unnatural food. Instead of grass. We were fed corn or soy and as these were not natural foods for us we were also given drugs to help us digest them. Even so, digestion was always difficult. As you know we have these stomachs designed for the fermentation of grasses and putting in these unnatural foods quite upset the process.

Feed lot eating

Q. I can quite imagine.

B. Yes, and these feed-lot foods were also genetically modified which made them taste very bland and once swallowed, irritating to the stomach.

Q. I suppose in a way it was a relief to have it all over.

B. Yes, in a way, but the process was difficult. We knew what was happening as we shared consciousness among us and as the first ones were killed those of us in line received that knowing. It was immediately clear we had no choice about it as we could not turn around or escape so the hardest part was waiting in line for your turn. The closer we got the stronger the communication and we could hear the sounds and smell the smell of death.

Q. It sounds awful.

B. I was able to ride it out however. I would let my mind go back to my spirit and remember why I was here. This brought it into perspective and the sensory part would be come less intense. By the time it was my time I was actually fairly peaceful — though I did make some sounds!

Q. Can you say more about why you were here?

B. I and my brothers and sisters came on a mission and we knew how it was going to go. We had agreed to it ahead of time. But you can relate to how, once here, you get focussed on the day to day and it is easy to forget this.

Q. This is amazing! What possible mission could you have to be a cow to end your months in a feed lot and then killed so you could be eaten?

B. What do you think?

Q. I have no idea.

B. This world experience we share is the production of Experiential Consciousness. We are all, in a sense, players in the story. I may have a different body from you but I am the same life, the same consciousness, adapted to this form. The purpose of my being here is to bring to all of us the experience of Love.

Q. Sorry, but I can’t see how you living like this, having this done to you, could bring love into the world.

B. Think of it as an invitation. If love could be there we provide the invitation to it.

Q. I don’t get it.

B. By taking this role we provide the sensory experience for you. For Love to come in there must be a perception of its need. If things went along in a way that there was rather minimal sensory evidence of less than perfect conditions you would not notice. When we volunteer to be feed lot cattle we greatly intensify the sensory communication you receive. When you, at some point, are brought to see what is happening to us it is at that moment your heart responds and the pattern ends. Love comes in, fills you, and you are forever different. So we see this as providing what we call “The Invitation.” We are there, in that condition, always looking at you with the question in our eyes “Do you see?”

Q. You are saying you take on this life with the purpose of inviting us to see your suffering? That is weird.

B. Actually it is quite common. Many others do that as well. Think of the many animals, the chickens, fish, turkeys, birds that go through similar suffering in today’s world.

Turkey farm

They are all offering The Invitation. There are so many ways this can happen it is almost impossible to list them all. We are talking about the animals but The Invitation extends beyond them. It can come from the earth, the plants, even others of your kind.

Q. I thought life was about other things, like careers, family, experiences.

B. It is about that but the overriding purpose of it all is to bring Love in, for us to experience it. This is why our world exists. Those of us that have realized this sometimes decide to volunteer as our way to help bring this about.

Q. Couldn’t we have made it easier? Why all this suffering of the animals? I read the other day that there is like a billion animals that go through the factory farming experience every year. Couldn’t we have realized this much sooner?

B. Seems like it could have but the world experience is how we collectively decide it is going to be. As we all live this we take actions every day and these actions, which are the outcome of our thoughts — our beliefs, our conclusions — result in how the world is going to be for us all. To bring it back to this discussion of my life, when you buy a burger at a fast food restaurant you maintain the way it is now for those of us being processed to be eaten.

Q. Can you explain that more?

B. When you buy the burger you are eating my body (or that of my brother or sister). Obviously this could not happen unless I was killed and cut up into pieces that would fit the bun or sandwich. The question then is why this is acceptable. If you go into it you find that it comes from an idea that is now primary in Experiential Consciousness, from which we all emanate, that we are separate from each other and that if you have the power as a separate being you can use these other beings, that are not you, in whatever way you like.  These basic ideas — of separation and superiority — wend their way into our world experience to how we see it now. Animals are dominated, made captive, made to suffer and die for pleasure or convenience of others.

The use of animals, and also plants and the other forms of nature, in this way has steadily increased, has developed over much of the last century. This has happened, and will continue, until it becomes so blatant, so “in your face” that you can no longer ignore it. As it is now the factory farming activity is kept hidden as much as possible but as it increases it becomes harder to keep it out of sight.

We that volunteer to come into form as food animals are doing so to bring this cultural error to an unavoidable perception, a perception that will change the entire world experience.

Beef carcasses

Q. You mean that we stop factory farming?

B. Not only that, but we stop eating each other’s bodies.

(To be continued?)

Mouth Tumor in a Dog

[This is a case from a client of Dr. Vani Guttikonda of Los Alamitos]
 Here is my story with my fifteen pound, 12 year old dog that was diagnosed 5 years ago with a tumor in her mouth that City of Angels radiated at that time.  She suffered through the daily procedure so much so it burned her mouth and swallowing was a problem. They insisted it had to be done for a month no matter what and it would have a positive outcome. I did not think there was any other choice so I did it. The tumor did go away.
They assured me it would be good for 5 years but it came back in 3 years since it was aggressive, they radiated again, it came back LARGER in about 18 months. They told me there was no way they could radiate again so they would need to take her lower jaw off. They thought the operation may not work because the skin was damaged from radiation so they thought it was a high chance for infection and the sutures may not last. I was deeply distressed since they wanted to put her through this agony that may be in vain.
Pitcairn: I have added in the pictures and comments in this letter from the client, Teri Bernardi, so you can see how dramatic this was. My comments are colored blue.
Here is the tumor returning on 11/18/16.
 11:18:16 mouth tumor
By 12/7/16 it is obviously growing aggressively.
12:7:16 Mouth tumor
And just 10 days later, bigger yet!
12:17:16 Mouth tumor
On January 5, 2017 one sees this and wonders how this  poor dog could eat!
1:5:17 mouth tumor
I thought my only choice after getting a second opinion was to euthanize her which was breaking my heart.  Dr. Rachel Jones another vet found out about what I was going through and suggested Dr Vani.  I remember thinking it was ridiculous that homeopathy could help her as seriouslly ill that my dog was but I was desperate. I went to Dr Vani and the more she spoke, the more I knew this doctor was dedicated to saving her life. I wasn’t sold yet, but I liked Dr Vani’s commitment that I signed on thinking I would get a few extra months and I would be better prepared to let my pet go. Well, a miracle happened, the first few months my dog slept mostly with this large tumor hanging out of her mouth that people thought was her tongue, that was the size.
I have pictures that Dr Vani took that is the proof, well it’s been over 7 months and my dog is completely cured and happier than last few years.  She is completely back, her energy, her personality, she has lost 5 teeth but THAT IS IT.  She has her jaw, the tumor is gone, I am a TRUE BELIEVER now in this therapy and would choose this care over any other.  I am indebted to her and want everyone to know about this for their pets. It is real!
Here is a picture showing the tumor regressing under homeopathic treatment. This was taken on March 7, 2017.
3:7:17 Mouth tumor diminishing
As the treatment continued, the tumor went away. This picture shows how it looks on May 5, 2017. You will see it is not a pretty mouth in the sense that several teeth are now gone but this is the outcome of the radiation that was done twice. I think it fair to say that if the homeopathic treatment had been done instead of radiation the mouth would have retained a much better look. 
5:17:17 Mouth tumor gone
However the dog is free of the tumor and also of discomfort. A modern miracle!
And with more time this dead looking area of the teeth remnants from the radiation treatment – even this has healed very significantly. See how in the next picture the grayish area has now become a more normal flesh color. This picture from July 14, 2017.
71417 Mouth tumor necrosis healed
As a side note I spent $15,000 for the two radiations and they wanted $8000 to take her jaw off.
Gratefully,
Teri Bernardi

My Letter Back to the Editor

In the post I did on July 2 of 2017 I responded to a letter sent to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Ass. by a professor of pharmacology at the veterinary school in Virginia. The letter written by the professor was a criticism of homeopathy saying it was “imagination” when improvement of the animal was supposedly seen. As I explained in that post a letter like this, coming from ignorance of the homeopathic method, is a form of prejudice and does not serve us as a profession. Even more so it ties into the larger aversion to learning new methods by the veterinary profession as a whole. It is one thing for a professor to object, but a more significant happening when it reveals an antipathy by the profession (not all, but most) against a two century proven method of curative treatment such as homeopathy.

I followed up that post with some example cases of homeopathic treatment so you, the reader, could see for yourself how ascribing this to imagination would not be a satisfactory explanation for what we are actually seeing with homeopathic practice. I also composed a letter back to the editor in response and will copy it here for your perusal, then follow with some further comments.


MY LETTER BACK TO THE EDITOR OF THE JOURNAL

In the letter written by Dr. Peter Eyre, a professor of pharmacology, it is understandable that there would be criticism of homeopathy, a treatment system that does not use drugs in the treatment of disease. The common objection is that “there is nothing in it,” referring to the high dilution of homeopathic remedies  to the point of being beyond physical substrate. Common sense would say this would not work. However, this “common sense” is coming from the perspective of Newtonian physics, which has been superseded by quantum physics. What quantum physics has given us is a more accurate understanding of the composition of the physical world.

It turns out that what we observe as “physical” is a manifestation of an underlying energy or informational field. This field is not visible to our senses, but the physical expression of the field is. Einstein tells us that the field is primary, the physical expression secondary. In other words, the energetic field behind physical substance is the basic essence of physical materiality. This is not hypothesis; it has been well established as a more accurate understanding of the make up of our world.

That homeopathy has discovered a way to process physical substance so as to remove the physical substance while retaining the energetic behind it, is in agreement with this physics. One can argue that this is not possible, but the observable effectiveness of homeopathic medicines, both clinically and experimentally, suggests that it is possible. (1, 2)  Although the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment has been demonstrated in many research studies, what may more directly point to the validity of this interpretation are research results that address the question, “When a homeopathic medicine is made by ultra-dilution, is it possible to show that the resultant material can show a detectable difference”? This has been asked and answered.

Consider this research study that asked the question, “Is it possible to show that diluted homeopathic remedies are distinct from the water/alcohol liquid that they are made from?” (3) This study used infrared spectroscopy to evaluate the configuration of the hydrogen bonds of the water molecules. The idea here is that if the process of preparing the remedy somehow released an energy that affected the liquid structure in a specific way that persists, then the idea of manipulating a non-physical energy is confirmed.

Six homeopathic remedies were compared with each other and with plain 90% ethanol used for dilution. It was found it was possible to distinguish each remedy based on the changes in the water molecules. Each remedy had its own recognizable signature. The authors concluded: “Finally, homeopathic potencies can be differentiated from each other by FTIR spectra with respect to the O-H bending vibrational band.”

Hopefully what is here will at least bring the question to mind: Is it possible that the homeopathic method actually does produce biologically active medicines? Should we open our minds to this possibility?

References

  1. Marzotto M, Olioso D, Brizzi M, Tononi P, Cristofoletti M, Bellavite P. Extreme sensitivity of gene expression in human SH-SYY neurocytes to ultra-low doses of Gelsemium sempervirens. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014: Mar 19;14:104.
  2. Bigagli E, Luceri C, Bernardini S, Dei A, Dolara P. Extremely low copper concentrations affect gene expression profiles of human prostate epithelial cell lines. Chem Biol interact. 2010; Oct 6;188(1):214-9.
  3. C. Sukul, Ph.D., Sudeshna Ghosh, M.Sc., A. Sukul, Ph.D., And S.P. Sinhababu, Ph.D. Variation in Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra of Some Homeopathic Potencies and Their Diluent Media, The Journal of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, Volume 11, Number 5, 2005, pp. 807–812.
  4. Ellanzhiyil Surendran Sunila, Ramadasan Kuttan, Korengath Chandran Preethi, and Girija Kuttan, Dynamized Preparations in Cell Culture, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 6 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 257-263.
  5. Elisabeth Davenas *, Bernard Poitevin and Jacques Benveniste, Effect on Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages of Orally Administered Very High Dilutions of Silica, European Journal of Pharmacology, 135 (1987) 313-319.

— Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD


COMMENTS
I realize this letter might be somewhat difficult to understand by some readers so will give a further explanation here. I first state in my letter that in the last century the science of physics has determined that behind all physical manifestation that we see with our senses are fields of energy or influence responsible for their appearing for us. Einstein tells us that these energy fields are the foundation (what is primary) and the physical world is secondary (derivative) of them. This is very important to understand because it turns around the materialistic assumption that we commonly have for how the world is.

Homeopathy ascribes its work to the use of energetic or influential fields underlying the medicinal substances, that are released by the method of dilution and agitation stepwise in the preparation of the medicines. In the same way as energetic fields are behind physical phenomena, homeopathy says that there are energetic fields that maintain living organisms and it is these energetic influences that are in the medicines.

 

I realize just saying this will not be convincing to the professor or most other veterinarians that read this, so I then refer to a scientific study that gives support to this idea. Since the homeopathic medicines are usually diluted enough that there is no detectable physical substance, like as a chemical, then we have to show some other evidence that the preparation of the medicines has actually had some effect on the liquid in which it is made. This study referred to was using an instrument (spectroscope) that could measure the configuration of the water molecules in the liquid. It is not measuring anything physical in the usual sense, rather the “shape” of the molecule (the details of the hydrogen bonding). What is significant here is that they looked at six different  homeopathic preparations, compared to the control liquid diluent, and were able to show that each of the six  homeopathic medicines could be distinctly identified in this way. To repeat this, each of the homeopathic preparations resulted in a specific change in the molecular structure of the liquid.

To make this more clear, if the  process of making the homeopathic medicine only changed the water molecules in some way that would be interesting but not really convincing us that the medicines are unique. What they found, however, is that each one of the medicines were different from each other. We can draw the conclusion that each medicine had a distinct and individual influence that was contained in the liquid.

Of course this does not prove that the liquid medicine would cure disease (for the skeptic) but what it is showing is that in the sense of physics, there is actually something produced by the homeopathic process of preparing the medicine. It may not be physical, but there is an influence there. This supports at least that part of the homeopathic principles that say for medicines to have effect they need not be limited to only chemical molecules but can also have action on an energetic level.

Does this makes sense? To me it does. It gives support to a basic idea underlying homeopathic work. It is a scientific study and that is what we use to provide information we can rely on. 

I sent this letter off to the editor of the journal with the expectation it would specifically address the issue brought up the professor. It was not just my opinion but reporting scientific work. 

Imagine my surprise when I received an answer back that they would not publish it. I asked for an explanation but none was forthcoming.

Feeding Meat

It has been, and continues to be, a very popular movement to take the nutrition of your dog (or cat) in hand and rather than feed a commercial food to select ingredients and prepare the meals yourself. This is very admirable as it is a move to freshness and a greater awareness of the quality of the food.

Along with this movement has been an emphasis on using primarily meat and bones in the meals. This is unfortunate and has led to unnecessary suffering. Starting with the first edition of our book, and continued through the recent 4th edition, we advised keeping meat in the recipes at a minimum, instead using a balanced ration including whole grains and vegetables. We did this for more than one reason and the one I want to address here first is the issue of health.

What we know is that dogs in nature eat primarily the animals they capture. From this thought one is encouraged to imitate this by buying meat and using that as a primary ingredient. What is not understood is that wolves and other dog-like animals don’t eat the meat that we get in the market. They eat the whole body of the animal they capture, not just its muscles or liver or heart. Do you see the difference? Then we have to bring in that if the animal being used as food (the livestock so called) was raised in the conventional factory farming process it will have been given a number of drugs — growth hormones, antibiotics, and parasiticides primarily. These drugs remain in the meat and are taken into the body of the animal (or person) that eats them.

It gets more complicated when we consider the food being fed to the livestock as we also have a number of chemicals in these crops accumulating in their bodies as well. How could this have happened? It is a sad story.

In this last century our human culture committed itself to practices that have, in today’s world, created very serious problems for us. With the development of chemistry substances were created, new chemicals, and they were put to use in various ways. Many of them are used directly on food crops, the various poisons against what are considered weeds and also to kill the various creatures that want to feed on these plants.

There are two things to emphasize here. First these are poisons and secondly these substances have never existed before.

That they are poisons cannot be denied as this is why they are used — to kill insects, other plants, etc. The justification is that they are harmless to us, or your dog or cat. We have learned, however, that this is relative. Yes, they are more poisonous to the insects or plants but they are not neutral in the bodies of animals. This is being found out over and over. As some of this comes out, then there might be a ban against using that particular chemical but of course then a new one is turned to — with the naïve expectation that somehow it will be different and not cause any health problems.

That they have never existed on the earth before, not for the 9 billion (or whatever) years of the time of our earth is important. I want to emphasize — they never existed before. The problem is that, because of this newness,  the various forms of life that encounter these substances are not prepared to deal with them. In contrast to the many thousands of years of evolution during which creatures learned to handle the natural toxins encountered, found ways to neutralize them, we (and the animals) don’t have a way to do this. Maybe in a couple of centuries that ability will develop but now these substances are just building up in the body , in a body that does not know what to do with them.

This is why these agricultural chemicals are so useful. When introduced there does not exist any way for the plants, insects to avoid being affected by them. Yes, they are learning to do it, but the extraordinary usefulness of these chemicals is because of this newness. And it is this newness that is creating problems in the bodies of the animals that live with us.

(to be continued — environmental toxins)

The Case of the Hopeless Cat

Here is another contemporary example of homeopathic treatment. It is an interesting story and you can see from it why we veterinarians will continue to  use homeopathy. Who wants to give up on a suffering patient? We try our best and consider every avenue open to our minds. When we find something like homeopathy that can have such results, why would we not use it? If it were a drug that brought out this improvement, would we not hold it to our chest with gratitude?

This is a case of Dr. Vani Guttikonda of Los Alamitos, California. Her client, Jennifer Parker, graciously offered to share her cat’s story with us.

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Ellie, the Hopeless Cat

Dr. Vani Guttikonda reached out and asked me to share my experiences of having my cat Ellie treated by her with homeopathy.
I adopted Ellie last year from a rescue organization here in LA.  She is maybe 7 years old, is congenitally deaf, and has had a very stressful life.  She has been in high kill shelters twice, having been rescued from the first one by a hoarder who had 70 cats.  When I met her, she had been in a foster situation for 2 years, during which time, no one had expressed an interest in adopting her.  She seemed crazy, feral or both.  But I was looking for a couple of animals that needed extra patience and care, so I decided to try to help her.
She came to me with a chronic upper respiratory infection that the vets said couldn’t be cured.  She also had an ear infection, dental problems and tested a very high positive for Bartonella.  During the first 9 months I had her, she was subjected to more and more rounds of antibiotics, trying to cure her various health issues.  But trying to cure her health issues was like playing whack-a-mole — when one disappeared, another would pop up.
She was always very grouchy and had a terrible disposition, but she eventually started hiding for most of the day.  She would only come out to eat and use her litter box.  Then she started screeching like she was in acute pain, pawing at her mouth, and running away.  It was actually terrifying to watch.  I thought she was having dental pain and brought her to two different vets to figure out what was going on.  But all the tests were clear, and they couldn’t figure it out — she was quiet and sedate at the vet’s, not exhibiting any of the behaviors I experienced at home, making it impossible to diagnose.  Once they had exhausted their resources, the more holistic of the two vets suggested that I take Ellie to see Dr. Vani.
We made the hour+ journey to Orange County for her two-hour consultation with Dr. Vani who, after a thorough exam and observation, suspected seizures.  This was the first time a vet had suggested that as a diagnosis and, sure enough, Ellie had her first grand mal seizure in the car on the way home.  Within 24 hours, Dr. Vani had decided on the first step in Ellie’s course of homeopathic treatment.  She was now having up to six seizures per day and was terrified all the time.  I had begun to think that, if Dr. Vani couldn’t help her, I might have to think about having her euthanized as the kindest course of action.  I would have been devastated, but I couldn’t subject an animal to a life lived in terror.  It was a desperate situation.
However, after her very first dose, we saw marked improvement within 48 hours.  Over the next couple months, I would carefully document Ellie’s behavior and symptoms, and Dr. Vani would determine continued treatments via phone consultations.  What struck me most was how seemingly unrelated behaviors that had cropped up would be the key to finding the next remedy.  Dr. Vani would say, I think X is going to be the next remedy we use, but it would be so helpful if she were favoring her right paw (for example), as this would confirm it.  And I would say, I just noticed today that she was doing that all of a sudden.  It was remarkable how the pieces of the puzzle would all fit together.
After only about two months of treatments, during which time Ellie never had to make another stressful visit to the vet, I was able to treat her inexpensively and effectively according to Dr. Vani’s instructions.  She has not had a seizure in over 6 months and all her other ailments and infections have cleared up as well.  She is now a wonderful pet, with a sweet disposition, and is very happy and grateful for having been cured.  She’s like a different animal.
Ellie -edit
All told, I spent about $90 on medicine for her homeopathic treatments — reason enough for the veterinary/pharmaceutical industrial complex to work hard at proving homeopathy as a hoax.  There is a lot of money to be lost for them if people realized how effective these inexpensive natural treatments are.  How can this be a placebo effect if the animal doesn’t even know that it’s being treated?  The argument doesn’t make sense at the most basic level.
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Considering possible criticisms

   I asked Jennifer if I could run possible criticisms by her before we posted this case. Realizing how easy it is for people to dismiss this by picking on some detail in the case I tried to anticipate what questions might be asked in that way and sent her this request:
   “Could I dialogue with you first about it? The focus of what I have posted is to meet the criticisms of homeopathic treatment and the most common criticism is that homeopathy does not really have any effect, that any change we see are ones we have imagined or projected via our expectations.”
Jennifer kindly responded and these are the questions and her comments:

You had her for 9 months before using Dr. Vani. During this time she had a number of treatments. Some people will say it was these prior treatments that eventually “kicked in.” Do you think this possible?
Definitely not.  She did not improve, but continued to deteriorate. In the last month before I took her to Dr. Vani, they were throwing antibiotics and pain killers at her, but realized that they were doing absolutely nothing. The initial antibiotic treatments 9 months prior had helped temporarily with the respiratory and ear infections, but they always came back. The last ones, the vets admitted that they were doing nothing for her and, moreover, hadn’t expected them to anyway. They just didn’t know what else to do.

You describe the veterinarians “exhausting their resources.” Did they do many things? Did they really do all they could think of?
They ran every possible test. The discussion I had with the vet who sent me to Dr. Vani was “look, I’ve run out of things to try. We’ve done everything. I can either send you to a special diagnostician who will cost you many thousands of dollars and likely will not be able to help, or I can send you to a homeopathic vet in Orange County.” I suspect the implication was, your animal is sick and nothing is going to help.  Choose whichever course of action that is going to make you feel less helpless as your cat’s health continues to deteriorate.

On reading this one could object that since Ellie had her first seizure after seeing Dr. Vani and having the idea of seizures being the problem that you now interpreted her condition as a seizure when it was not really changed at all.
It was her first grand mal seizure, but she’d been having smaller ones for some time. But she’d never done it in front of a vet, even when I’d left her there for observation. She seemed to be able to control them in stressful environments, but would start them again immediately after. Because they were smaller, I didn’t recognize them as seizures. And Dr. Vani was very careful to stress that although she thought that’s what was going on, we needed to be open to the idea that it could be something else. But the grand mal seizure was very recognizable as such. And it was not at all surpising that she would have it when she did. Even 5 minutes in the car is almost too much for her, she struggles and fights and is horribly upset. She had spent an hour and a half in the car on the way down fighting so hard to get out, she rubbed all the skin off the end of her nose trying to push through the mesh. Then she was in a veterinary office for 2 hours. We were only a mile away from Dr. Vani’s office when she had the grand mal seziure, because she’d just been through 3 1/2 hours of trauma. Having said that, at the end of the day, even if the diagnosis of the seizures was incorrect (I don’t believe that it was), but her overall health was elevated to normal levels, does it matter what we call it? I know no one will agree with that, but I’m not a vet, so I can’t state with certainty that the diagnosis is correct.  Based on what I read after the diagnosis was suggested, the acute symptoms fit. But I would stress that her entire system has improved — not only have the seizures stopped, but the chronic infections have never come back, she doesn’t hide, her overall vitality and temper are vastly improved. I think it’s difficult for us laypeople to understand it, but you’re not treating a symptom, you’re treating the underlying system so that it can reach a level of vitality so that the symptoms disappear. Or, at least that’s how I understand it.

When you say you saw “marked improvement” within 48 hours. Were you much expecting this? Did you have a lot of confidence in homeopathy and perhaps imagined or misinterpreted her change as improvement when it was really about the same?
I didn’t know Dr. Vani, and this is as much an art as a science, so I had no proof yet that she knew what she was doing. I was putting my trust in her, but with a healthy dose of skepticism. I honestly didn’t think anything would help Ellie — this was honestly a Hail Mary pass. To illustrate how marked a change it was, when I first took Ellie to Dr. Vani, I was only leaving the house when absolutely necessary so I could keep an eye on her for as much of the day as possible. I had arranged to work from home because she was so sick, I didn’t think she could be left on her own during the day. After 10 days of treatment, she was well enough that I could go home to see my family for 5 days over Christmas.

When Dr. Vani predicted some symptoms that might appear and then you saw them, do you think you were projecting this on to your cat? That it was Dr. Vani’s influence on your mind that brought you to see it this way?
No, because I frequently would have mentioned to someone previously, gosh, she’s doing this weird thing all of a sudden. And then Dr. Vani would say, it sure would be helpful if she was doing this weird thing, as it would confirm that we’re doing the right thing, and I would say, but she is! I was just talking about it with someone! Again, because I am a scholar who likes evidence, I’m always on the lookput for bias, because you can’t prove your thesis if the evidence is imaginary.

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