Health and Longevity Course for Dogs Chapter 4
In Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 of the Health and Longevity Course for Dogs, 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'd like to discuss the topic of pharmaceutical drugs one more time. While I'm not opposed to their use in some cases, my goal is to help you understand the effect of pharmaceutical drugs and why I choose to avoid them whenever possible.
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 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 wasn't completely true, but in retrospect, I understand my mother’s point. Cleaning dishes in dirty water doesn't make sense. Draining the sink and putting in clean water would make more sense.
The process of recreating health
Now it's time to return to healing and the process of re-creating health. Disease is a state where health, the optimal state of being, is altered or lost. Nature installed a healing program directly into your dog's body. When your dog has a cut, the skin has the ability to heal, unless the wound is too large.
The same automatic health-restoring process takes place in most of the organs and cells, except when the disease is beyond the body's repair.
Pain, discomfort and inflammation are a signal the body needs rest, which is the way nature heals. The purpose of inflammation is to increase blood circulation to flush tissues, eliminate toxins and bring white blood cells, the body's guards, to the area to remove diseased 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.
What effects can pharmaceutical drugs have on your dog?
Now that we've gone 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 naturally-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. 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 get rid of 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 dishwater, antiparasitic, antifungal or antibiotic drugs can be compared to adding dirt (or toxins) to 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 information click on the links below.
- 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 for skin disease, allergies and immune disorders. These drugs suppress the body's immune system function.
To better understand their effect, imagine your house is on fire. You run to your neighbor for help and he hands you a sleeping pill and suggests you don't 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 these drugs often permanently damage the body's immune system, making conditions incurable. Some people argue there was nothing else they could do, or panic and reach for steroids. However, I've successfully treated conditions such as allergies, skin disease, lupus and autoimmune disease without these drugs if the body is taken through what I call the Healing Cycle.
Another group of drugs under this category are NSAIDs (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.
4. The last group of conventional drugs is the most controversial. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to destroy and eliminate cancerous cells, but they don't leave the rest of the body untouched. While there are some attempts to limit the effects of such drugs to the affected area, usually healthy cells in the body are also affected.
My view of these drugs may be slightly different from most people's. 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've seen dogs with chemotherapy do worse than those who are treated with the Healing Cycle.
The purpose of this article is to help you have a better understanding of drug use in medicine and their effects on the body.
Except for the first group, adding drugs to the treatment plan is never as optimal as achieving a cure without them. Drugs should never be the first line of defense. Adding a foreign chemical substance in the body should always be taken seriously because by doing so, we are creating an unnatural 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'm not against using conventional drugs, but in almost three decades in practice, I can now say that reducing their use to less than 10 percent is doable. It's 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.
Watch now! Drugs as the last, not first resort for your dog
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© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM