Holistic Health and Longevity Course for Dogs Chapter 4
In PART 2 and PART 3 of this holistic healing mini course, I touched on two topics. One, how to determine what toxins are in your dog's body and two, how to get rid of them.
Today, I would like to touch on the topic of pharmaceutical drug use. While I am not opposed to their use in some cases, I would like to help you understand the effect of pharmaceutical drugs and why I choose to avoid them whenever possible.
I will start with a story from my childhood.
Every summer holidays, my brother, two sisters and I spent a month with my grandparents. My grandma was an amazing cook and her baking was out of this world. But whenever my mother, her daughter, arrived they would bicker about how to wash dishes. For some reason my grandma always ended up with really dirty dish water and when my mother argued that it should be changed, grandma usually resisted. My mother’s argument was that if she washed dishes in dirty water, they would end up dirtier than before.
Of course, it was not completely true, but in retrospect, I understand my mother’s point. Cleaning dishes in dirty water does not make sense. Draining the sink and putting in clean water would make more sense.
The process of recreating health
Now it is time to return to health and healing, the process of re-creating health. Disease is a state where health, the optimal state of being, is altered or lost. Nature "installed the healing program" directly into our body. When your dog has a cut, the skin has an ability to heal, unless the wound is too large to heal on its own.
The same health restoring automation process kicks in in most parts of the body, the organs and the cells, except when the disease is beyond the body's repair.
The way nature heals is by signaling that there is something wrong with pain, discomfort and inflammation. Pain and discomfort enforces the need for rest. The purpose of inflammation is to increase blood circulation to flush the tissues, eliminate toxins and bring white blood cells, the body's guards, to the area to remove disease tissue and invaders such as parasites, bacteria and viruses.
All these elements of the healing process must function properly in order to achieve the goal of a full recovery and restoration of health.
Now that we went through the steps of the healing process, we can move on to the effect of pharmaceutical drugs, which can be divided into several groups.
1. Drugs that replace a natural occurring substance - such as thyroid hormone in the case of hypothyroidism, insulin in the case of diabetes or mineralocorticoids of the adrenal cortex in the case of Addison's disease. You can see this group of medication replaces hormones that are essential to life and may be low or missing completely.
This group of drugs usually have a very positive impact on the patient and can be life-saving and the practitioner’s goal should be to use them to restore the body's own hormone production, which may or may not be possible.
2. Drugs that eliminate parasites, bacteria or viruses are different in that they eliminate pathogens and disease-causing agents. They also bring greater risks because of toxicity and the possibility of resistance. Now, if you remember the story of my grandmother's dirty dish water, antiparasitic, antifungal or antibiotic drugs can be compared to adding dirt, or toxins, in the body.
The body's natural tendency is to eliminate toxins, which puts extra stress on organs, such as the liver, kidneys and digestive tract.
While these drugs can also be life saving, they can have more profound negative effects. Good examples are antibiotic toxicity, loss of helpful probiotic bacteria, the potential of bacterial resistance and the spread of superbugs. Naturally, this group of drugs should be used only when absolutely necessary and with caution.
Some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to using these drugs:
- Overuse of antibiotics when it comes to skin and wound care - for more info click on the links below (healing solution articles, hot spot articles etc.)
- Overuse of heartworm medication and being unaware of the heartworm prevention alternatives.
- Use of chemical flea control, which causes serious side effects, such as seizures and even death. Click here for more details.
3. The third group of drugs alters or blocks the body's function.
The most commonly used drugs from this group are corticosteroids, such as prednisone for skin disease, allergies and immune disorders that suppress the body's immune system function.
To better understand their effect, imagine that your house is on fire. You run to your neighbor for help and he hands you a sleeping pill and suggests you do not worry, take the pill and go to sleep....
Steroids are the sleeping pill that put your dog's immune system to sleep and the consequences of these drugs are serious and deep, sometimes even after a few weeks of administration.
My experience is that these drugs often permanently damage the body's immune system, making conditions incurable. Some people may argue that there was nothing else that they could do or panic and reach for steroids, but I have treated conditions such as allergies, skin disease, lupus and autoimmune disease without these drugs with success if the body is taken through what I call the "Healing Cycle".
Another group of drugs under this category are NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). While suppressing inflammation may sound like a good idea, in reality, these drugs only mask problems, reduce tissue healing and cause severe side-effects. Click here for more info.
4. The last group of conventional drugs is also the most challenging to write about because they are the most controversial. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to destroy and eliminate cancerous cells, but they do not leave the rest of the body untouched. While there are some attempts to limit the effects of such drugs to the affected area, usually the healthy cells in the body are also affected.
My view of these drugs may be slightly different. If there is a record of a complete remission and cure when using them in a particular type of cancer, such therapy may be valid in dogs. However, in the case of incurable cancer, I have seen dogs with chemotherapy do worse than those who are treated with the healing cycle.
The main purpose of this article is to help you have a better understanding of drug use in medicine and their effect on the body.
With the exception of the first group, adding a drug to the treatment plan is never as optimal as achieving a cure without it. Drugs should never be the first line of defense and adding a foreign chemical substance in the body should always be taken seriously because by doing so, we are creating an unnatural, less clean state. Similar to the dirty dishwater needing to be changed, using drugs gives the body another burden to get rid of.
As I said at the beginning of this article, I am not against using conventional drugs, but in the course of almost three decades in practice, I can now say that reducing their use to less than 10 percent is doable. It is better for your dog and the environment and our goal must be to advance and develop drug-free treatment plans for as many conditions as possible.
To read the entire Holistic Health and Longevity Course for Dogs click the links below.
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 12
- Chapter 13
- Chapter 14
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM