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    PeterDobias.com / Blog / Health Knowledge

    How to keep your dog safe from drugs and minimize side-effects

    By Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally, without drugs, chemicals and processed food.

    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. 
    5 most common mistakes people make when treating skin wounds and incisions 
    Natural treatment of wounds, incisions, hot spots, bee stings, insect bites and more 
    Hot spots - Diagnosis and treatment the natural way 
    Why hydrogen peroxide should not be used on wounds 
    Why thick scabs increase scarring and the risk of infections 
    • 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.

    Listen to my podcast on this topic, here.

    Watch now! Drugs as the last, not first resort for your dog

    Did you know this is only one article from our free Holistic Health & Longevity Course? Check out the entire course...


    To read the entire Holistic Health and Longevity Course for Dogs click the links below. 

    © Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

    Health & Longevity Course Chapters

    How can you spend more time with your best friend? Learn one principle that can give your dog more healthy years and its right under your nose. 


    There is a secret in your dog's hair that could make his or her life longer. Improve your dog's health by finding out what is missing and how to get rid of some nasty toxins.


    There is a way to prevent disease and kick out toxins. I hope learning how will add years to your dog's life!  


    This time I've taken on the topic of drugs and how to decide which ones are ok to use if needed and which ones are too dangerous to use.


    A long and healthy life can be so simple. It only takes one step to make a dramatic change.


    You won't believe what most multivitamins are made from. Learn which vitamins work the best and which ones to avoid.


    You can avoid many harmful and unnecessary treatments for your dog with one simple principle. Learn how to check your dog’s spinal alignment and find out what ailments muscle injuries, pinched nerves and blocked energy flow can cause by reading this article.


    Learn how to examine your dog’s spine and what might be hiding in plain view. See the commonly missed causes of disease and how to determine if your dog has back pain and discomfort. 


    Chapter 9


    Chapter 10


    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.


    What could be causing your dog’s cough? There are many lung diseases out there, but many people are still not aware about this one important cause. Read how this unique approach can improve your dog's lung health.


    Chapter 13


    5 steps to protect your dog from this serious, life-threatening condition and what you need to know about diet, exercise and your dog’s spine to prevent it.


    I find that diarrhea is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed problems in veterinary medicine. The paradox is that the answer is sometimes very simple, but not what one expects.


    Chapter 16


    Featured products related to this article

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. He graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 in the Czech Republic and obtained the Canadian Certificate of Qualification in 1995. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide.

    Dr. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life.

    As a formulator of his all-natural vitamin and supplement line and co-inventor of natural, chemical free flea and tick control, FleaHex® and TickHex®, his unique healing system and products currently hold the highest independent five star customer rating. For more information click here.

    Any general recommendations that Dr. Dobias makes are not a substitute for the appropriate veterinary care and are for informational and educational purposes only.

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