Your Pet’s Healthcare: A Hopeless Runaway?
When that massive chestnut horse stretched out his neck, grabbed the bit and ran full out over the hill with me, I knew I’d been bested. His added buck when we were back on level ground only added to my angry defeated state.
No one but you knows your animal as deeply as you do.
When something is wrong, you know it. You don’t need a blood test to tell you she’s off.
And no one but you is as deeply committed to keeping her healthy.
So, do you give the reins of your pet healthcare away to experts in white coats?
And fume and feel defeated when things go wrong?
Ever notice how many dogs are dealing with The Itch these days? That often starts about a month after a vaccine was given…
Stay with me, as the way to take back control is simpler than you might think. Here’s one proven way to step up your prevention game, and from an early age:
Are You Carried by Forces Beyond Your Control?
I was recently lying face down on my network chiropractor’s table while she worked on me during a Clear Day, when I and a dozen others had a chance to go deeper and get four entrainments in one day.
Going into the day, I shared my challenges and hopes. I was stuck, feeling like I had a chance to have more influence, help more pet owners help their pets, and make a much bigger impact in the world as a result.
I was stuck because I feared that step into a bigger world of influence. Am I worthy? Do I deserve it? Do I have what it takes?
As the good doctor worked diligently on me, she must have felt that stuck-ness holding her work back, because she bent down and whispered to me,
So, think of a time when you were challenged before and you met that challenge and got through it just fine. Let me know when you’ve got one and I’ll go on.
I immediately flashed to a time when I was probably 13, and on the first horse that was “mine” to care for at summer camp for two weeks.
He was a big chestnut gelding and all of us “ranchers” had ridden our horses just over a hill from the corral to learn to jump. We were mostly greenhorns, and this was our third day with our horses. That bright summer’s day seemed filled with possibility.
One by one, after a bit of coaching and a demonstration from the wranglers, we were taking a run at a low pole jump, each on our assigned horse. It was thrilling to see my friends clear it and I couldn’t wait till it was my turn.
Finally it came. I headed Rodo for the jump, urging him on with my heels, and he deigned to give me a stodgy trot, not the canter I needed. But far worse, just as we approached that low pole between the two uprights, Rodo stuck his head straight out, took the bit fully into his control, turned sharply to the right and charged determinedly straight back up the hill for the corral!
Try as I might, red in the face and arms straining on his reins, I could not turn this runaway blockhead! Rodo had taken charge, ignored my wishes, and took me where he wanted to go!
I was both humiliated and frustrated. It wasn’t supposed to go like this! I was supposed to be calling the shots, I had reins to steer, a full Western saddle to sit soundly in, and I was bounced and trounced and nearly bucked off before we came to a sweaty fuming standstill.
The outcome was a bitter disappointment instead of the thrilling victory this new rider yearned for.
Shift, Engage, GO!
Next up, a reining lesson from an empathetic wrangler who rode up to help me. That put me back in charge, even with Rodo, who I then learned was the most bull-headed horse in the herd!
It seems now like that was actually a turning point in my young adult life, though I didn’t know it at the time.
I became more confident as my abilities grew with my new found knowledge, in control of forces that seemed greater than I and, over the next few years, I shifted from boyhood to manhood with that confidence as a firm base.
With that whole mental exercise played out over a minute’s time, Dr. Mary’s very next contact brought the desired shift: I felt a wave of full breath and an ease coming into my spine and my outlook for the future ahead.
All because of a shift in mindset!
Where the mind goes, energy flows, to paraphrase Tony Robbins.
Pet health care choices are best made when you are engaged and mindful. Making wise choices for the innocent, trusting animals in your pack makes a huge difference. They take what you feed them, what drugs you give them, and go through those procedures you okay for them.
When you are fully engaged in Sadie’s health care choices, her innate intelligence gets full rein, allowing her to do what she knows best: to stay healthy and balanced in all ways.
Inevitably, the animals I know who outlive their “norms” or “beat their diagnosis” are the ones whose owners have stepped up their caregiving game.
Not content to turn it all over to Dr. WhiteCoat, they’d rather study their options, learn from others who’ve taken a more engaged path, and invest in understanding how prevention can be healthier and safer.
A Continuum of Mindfulness
The lowest end of this continuum is mindlessness, fear based decision making, and this is most likely to result in harm to your animal.
It’s what Big Pharma and many vets depend on. Scary jars of hearts floating in formalin with long spaghetti-like worms hanging out of the pathologist’s incision top the charts of scare tactics.
The hope is that you’ll not ask questions about the origin of that heart (likely a down and out street dog from Mexico) and react as follows:
Whoa! Don’t want heartworms! What do you have to prevent that?
(A healthier drug free option is here)
Flea images that make them appear huge, ugly, and downright dangerous gets buy-in to the latest, greatest flea poison, damn the warnings and possible side effects.
Blood suckers that make my dog itchy and miserable? No way! Give me your best product that’ll keep those scary things the heck off my dog!
(You have non-toxic options here)
Professionally branded bags of food with ingredients that are unpronounceable, unrecognizable, and too many to count sets up a different fear: you couldn’t possibly hope to make Sadie’s food at home! You’d screw it up and make her sick. You have no professional training in nutrition and ration balancing and this baby was made by Science, by experts!
Oh, hell yeah! Gimme 40 lbs!
(Worth considering WHO you’re feeding and finding options that speak to the call from within…)
Distemper and parvo could kill my dog? And everybody in your practice gets these vaccines that prevent that, and you’ll send me a reminder every year when they’re due next?
I’d be foolish to NOT get these. You say “Due,” I’ll be here!
(Wait. Who says they’re due??)
There’s not much thought going into those choices, the “fix” for all your fears is right there in the waiting room or in your vet’s syringe.
And the people selling it seem nice enough, seem to genuinely care, so you buy in to the poisons, the junk food, and worst of all the repeated vaccinations throughout your pet’s life.
How to Give Up
There are many ways to give away the reins. All revolve around how you think:
- “Everyone’s doing this…”
- “All my friends do it this way, so who am I to question this kind of prevention?”
- “My vet’s way smarter than I am…”
- “I couldn’t hope to get enough knowledge from self study to match four years of vet school…”
- “They wouldn’t sell vaccines that aren’t safe…”
- “These bags of kibble are made under carefully controlled conditions with wholesome ingredients. Look at the pictures of steaks and fresh veggies on that label!”
- “I’m not qualified to decide on pet health care…”
- “Sadie’s DUE for her next round of shots.”
To the extent that you believe these things, you’re likelihood of damaging your beloved pet increases, year over year.
The world is changing, both in human and animal health, and the picture isn’t a pretty one.
The Reality of Pet Health Today
The truth is, animal health is in a sad state for many more animals today than ever before in our history.
Compared to a mere forty years ago, when I was in vet school, the norm for animal sicknesses today is chronic disease. Those are the illnesses that linger, don’t resolve on their own, and that slowly but surely bring suffering to your animal and of course to you.
The suffering often comes with great expense, as conventional medicine tries unsuccessfully to cure these long smoldering conditions.
More expensive, more powerful drugs are pushed, all attended by more serious side effects, many worse than the original itch or ear troubles.
The commonest chronic diseases are “The Itch” and “Ears From Hell.” You’ve likely seen one or both if you’ve been around dogs a while.
The Itch is just that: from constant low level licking to furious scratching and biting, these dogs (and cats, to a lesser extent) are miserable and can damage themselves to the point of mutilation, they itch so badly.
Ears From Hell is a variation, where the focus is a red hot, swollen, stinky, oozing ear. There’s often pain from all the inflammation but they itch inside simultaneously, so the affected dog tries to scratch her itchy ears but cries while doing so. You can often smell the stench from these ears from the other room.
Both are due to allergies, to various things normal dogs have lived with forever: fleas, grasses, trees, foods.
For well over a decade, they have been the #1 reason dogs go to vets. We’ve got hard data showing this.
Man-made, New Diseases
Then, there are the unheard of diseases just a few decades ago when I began practice, now present and becoming increasingly common.
Hyperthyroidism in cats is one glaring example. Cats who run super hot, eat like there’s no tomorrow, and lose weight as they race around, driven restlessly: we literally never learned about it in vet school.
Diabetes was rare and odd. It’s now common in dogs and cats, like it is in people.
Even behavior issues seems to be moving up the charts: Edgy, aggressive behavior; ADD, hyperactivity; unwarranted fears.
Here are the top chronic diseases, according to pet health insurance data:
- Skin disease (allergies, pyoderma)
- Ear inflammation
- Lameness, cruciate ligament injury
- Hyperthyroidism (in cats)
- Kidney failure (cats)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (cats, but growing in dogs now as well)
Take the Reins, Set Your Pet’s Best Course
If you want to do the best for your animals, I urge you to be more involved in your pet health care decisions.
No one, vets included, have your pet’s best interests in mind like you do. You live with them day and night, and living with them AND a chronic disease is a life of misery (and needless expense).
Bottom line: If you want an animal who radiates health and brings joy to all in her world, you can best get there by taking a firm hold on those reins. Make wise, informed choices that steer her along a natural path, with Mother Nature by your side.
Your animal raising decisions ought to be based on sound natural principles, not profits.
Let us know in the comments if you’re either planning to take the reins on your pet health care or if you’ve already done so. Your determination in either scenario may just give permission for the next reader to follow your lead.