Navigation Services Home Learning Articles Products News Breeders Contact Navigation Services

Natural Therapies For The 21st Century Breeder

written by Marina Zacharias

Homeopathy and Herbs, along with other forms of complementary medicine, including acupuncture, massage, nutritional glandular therapy, etc. are all active forms of medicine. They reinforce the body's own healing mechanisms and do not suppress them the way many of the chemical drugs, antibiotics and cortisone do. The individual is not deprived of his ability to help and heal himself. The result is true healing and not simply treatment (suppression) of individual symptoms.

Today more information regarding holistic therapies is surfacing in the mainstream. Large drug companies and regulatory agencies can no longer hold back the wave of information that has been kept "secret" for generations.

Our animals can directly benefit from many forms of holistic care. This is especially true in chronic cases where often times orthodox medicine fails.

Here are but a few more proven remedies that can help us maintain the health of our animals safely and naturally, free from harmful side effects. Of course, veterinary advice should always be sought in the case of serious illness or injury.

Homeopathic combinations are simple to use and allow you to have remedies on hand for a variety of reasons. They are especially useful for acute conditions. My favorites are BHI and Heel (German formulations).

For acute or chronic pain due to simple arthritis, or rheumatism, there are many natural remedies that prove to give effective relief, without the unwanted side effects of the steroid treatment that is so prevalent today. The remedies BHI Arthritis, BHI Bone and Traumeel can be used with excellent results for the inflammatory pains caused by arthritic conditions.

Pain related to hip dysplasia or back problems can be given BHI Back and Traumeel. For new traumas BHI Injury can also be used. These remedies alone have helped dogs who were down in the hindquarters from disc problems (where surgery was not chosen) get on their feet and enjoy normal healthy lives. Other animals do well on a homeopathic / glandular combination called Connective Tissue Liquescence. This remedy, especially when combined with a glandular called Collagen Complex, is particularly good for the more chronic condition. Collagen Complex is also helpful for weak ears, and prevention of slipped stifles.

Another useful product for hip or joint pain is an extract from a green sea mussel called Perna. The Perna mussel is a marine bivalve mollusk that serves as a lubricant for the joints when digested by the body, thereby decreasing pain and inflammation.

For both arthritis and hip or back conditions additional vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium should also be strongly considered. Vitamin E and Selenium are essential in the development and maintenance of muscle tissue, which along with collagen, maintain joint stability. The best source for this is a product called "The Winnah." This is a favorite of many holistic vets as it contains food sources of the vitamins which are easily absorbed and used by the animals. A nice side effect of this formula is that it can help to clear up many skin problems at the same time.

Herbs can also be of great benefit. NR Seaweed Mineral Food, a Juliette de Bairacli Levy formula combining deep sea kelp, nettles, comfrey and cleavers, when given daily helps prevent joint pain from inflammation. These age old proven herbs are wonderful in any problems related to bones and at the same time help the body with thyroid function, coat growth and reproductive organs. All my dogs get this supplement routinely. Finely chopped fresh parsley leaves can also be given daily as they help prevent uric acid crystals from building up within the joint tissues. Fresh vegetables like carrots, celery and spinach help to keep the joints more alkaline.

Panosteitis is another problem that many of us face who breed fast growing, larger puppies. I have personally had several Basset puppies afflicted with Pano and I am happy to report that through breeder networking, has come to light a specific herbal blend formulated for this problem. This blend of nine organic herbs really works! On average we see a total disappearance of symptoms within a week or two. No crate rest is necessary. The supplement can then be used until the threat of Pano is gone.

Antioxidant Enzymes can play a significant role in relieving any inflammatory problems. Bodies constantly produce enzymes to protect us from cell damaging substances called free radicals. Excess free radicals come from illness, environmental pollution, poor nutrition, over exertion, aging and even stress. All these factors can create a condition in which the body's production of enzymes is less than it needs. The result of this imbalance (enzyme deficiency) causes cellular damage which is often seen as inflammation, pain and fatigue. A healthy body produces enzymes that are called antioxidant enzymes - Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), Glutathione Peroxidase (GP), Methionine Reductase (MET), and Catalase (CAT). Their sole purpose is to protect the body's health by eliminating the free radicals.

Eating live foods that are rich in enzymes themselves (i.e. raw vegetables and sprouts), appear to stimulate the body's production of antioxidants. Unfortunately, today's modern farming methods and the depletion of soil nutrients, has greatly diminished the nutritional value of the foods we eat. The best way I have found of keeping these enzymes in balance is a product called AOX / PLX. It is truly the most comprehensive potent enzyme product currently available. Any animal with chronic pain; during illness; cancer; stress due to campaigning; immunity; stud work or simply as a preventative, would greatly benefit from this combination. I have had many reports on old dogs that once again felt like puppies when given this. I personally have been taking AOX / PLX for close to two years now as a general preventative and have noticed a marked change in my energy levels!

Stress, hormonal imbalances, nerves and fears all can lead to significant problems when it comes to performance in the ring. Homeopathy and flower essences have given amazing results in overcoming show problems. Through my search for remedies for my own dogs I was fortunate to come across a line of homeopathic combinations called Tridex. These have been specifically formulated for the many problems we face in trying to convince our BIS potential winner to perform with confidence! They have a long term effect on the dog so continual use is not necessary. They in no way act as a drug, but simply allow the body to correct its imbalance. I have heard back from countless breeders on the success of these remedies, which have enabled them to finish their dogs to Championships and beyond!

For dogs that are experiencing ring shyness, sluggishness in the ring, fear of people or just seem to need a lift up in behavior Tridex Standard should be tried. To aid in the desensitization process a remedy called Fear / Stress is wonderful. This homeopathic remedy also contains flower essences which work on the mental aspects of the animal. Dogs who have fears, tend to be nervous, experience panic, or simply become stressed, will benefit as this remedy can be used as often as needed.

For either scenario, if the dog dislikes being touched or handled the Tridex PU200 should be used in conjunction. It is especially needed for the animals who seem to hit that hormonal change around 5 to 18 months old.

Through our great love for dogs, we constantly expose them to risks of infection and viruses, every time we take them to shows, trials, and even the vets office! A main priority must be in maintaining a healthy immune system through a healthy body. There are so many factors that can effect the immune system function; diet; food preservatives, vaccines; stress, toxic side effects of drugs, etc. (This subject alone would take another article)! Many times the first signs of impaired immune function are shown through the extremities or the skin. Unfortunately, when these symptoms are merely suppressed (i.e. steroids) many times a chronic situation is created. The original disease ultimately gets pushed deeper into the body and in turn manifests itself from within. (i.e. organ failures) Luckily we have many ways to help the overburdened immune system and I will just touch on a few simple things we can do.

A good place to start is by simply adding fresh vegetables and fruits to the diet. They should be put through the food processor so they can easily be digested. Try a variety such as carrots, broccoli, sweet potato; cauliflower, squash, apples, raisins etc. Dogs love them! Fresh food is the easiest way for the body to utilize vital anti-oxidants which keep the immune system functioning properly.

In addition to fresh food I rely on are herbs for maintaining immunity. In particular NR Herbal Compound tablets and NR Daily Health tablets. Both contain high levels of garlic and other herbs such as sage, wormwood, eucalyptus, couch grass, vegetable charcoal, and more. Vegetable charcoal is very important to the body as it absorbs impurities and toxins from the internal organs. Both formulas are also very antiseptic and internally cleansing to the body thus helping to maintain good function. These particular Juliette de Bairacli Levy formulas have had a long history of effectiveness.

All bodies, of course go through up and down periods in their state of health. When the immune system requires a boost Echinacea is an excellent herb to use. I use it in the homeopathic form rather than the herb form, as it is absorbed instantly and can give better results. I use it especially any time I feel a cold might be coming on. When taken hourly at the first signs of symptoms, the majority of times the virus will be warded off. I can't remember the last time I had a cold or flu!

Often times we find that the immune systems are blocked and give no reaction. This is especially true in chronic disease cases which can often be the result of vaccines or an overuse of drugs. Homeopathic remedies are of great use in helping the body to detoxify from these substances and several can be chosen from depending on the circumstance. To detoxify from vaccines a general regimen of two remedies are often used. Thuja 30c and Sulphur 30c. Each is given daily for one week in alteration for a period of two to four weeks. (i.e. Thuja 30c the first week; Sulphur 30c the second). To detoxify from drug use the combination Chemotox is good. (More specific remedies can be diagnosed through a holistic vet). Detoxifying not only allows the body to begin its healing process, but many people have often noticed the marked improvement in temperaments.

It is also strongly recommended that any time a vaccine is given, Thuja 30c should be given directly afterwards. This helps the body eliminate the side effects or potential reactions from the shot but in no way antidotes the vaccine itself.

Special care needs to be given to bitches that are to be or have been bred. During pregnancy a female's immune function declines so that the fetus will be accepted by the body. If there is a disease in the body that has been previously suppressed (i.e. through the use of drugs), this can manifest itself through undeveloped or fetus abnormalities. Many holistic vets also believe there is a strong link to this and fading puppy syndrome. Prevention through diet and herbs are the key. Any bitches that are suspect of immune disfunction, (i.e. any history of skin problems, allergies, puppy losses, chronic infections, overuse of drugs, etc.) should be given specific immune support to rebuild their state of health.

Dr. Jean Dodds also strongly advises not to vaccinate any bitch that is going to be bred while in season or not to vaccinate any animal on the premises during a bitch's pregnancy. When an animal is vaccinated, the virus for it was inoculated, sheds out of the body. Studies show that non vaccinated animals when housed with the recently vaccinated animals, can pick up the shed virus. This could have devastating results to the fetus of a pregnant bitch with low immunity.

There is so much information available on Holistic therapies that often times it is overwhelming can at first be confusing. There is also a continual barrage of new information from around the world, as new research continues to find many natural therapies for both prevention and cure of common ailments.

To help establish a network for breeders interested in this method of health care for their animals, I have started to publish the "Natural Rearing Newsletter." This publication will seek to provide a forum for breeders to share information on what is working and what is not; update you on the latest international news; provide plain factual information on therapies that can be applied to our own animals with the understanding of how or why they work!

Holistic Health Care means treating the whole body - not just from head to toe, but inside and out. It also means treating from the full spectrum of medical assistance available. Education is a key factor.

If you would like to learn more about homeopathic and herbal remedies; reputable companies that supply them; where to locate veterinarians who specialize in this field; or if you would like to receive further information regarding the "Natural Rearing Newsletter," please call or write to: Marina Zacharias, P.O. Box 1436, Jacksonville, OR 97530.

Phone: (541) 899-2080 • Fax: (541) 899-3414 • Email: