How About You? Time to Just Say No?
Drugs. They are everywhere in our society, and busy ruining lives and lining the pockets of Big Pharma players. Antibiotics are one significant class of drugs. They are over prescribed and often wrongly prescribed and cause more harm than good in many cases.
I was schooled in them, of course. Vet students, like med students, are likely still taught that they have saved countless lives and are one our greatest discoveries, capable of saving humanity. At least until we’re overrun by the “superbugs," but that’s another story.
Let me relay a personal story of why I’m a veterinarian who uses zero drugs. Since 1992.
My Own Cat At Death’s Door
In my early days of studying homeopathy, my eyes became quickly and widely opened to a different and decidedly more sensible way to think about health and disease. As attractive a paradigm as homeopathy provided from its 200 years of formation and refinement, the real “rubber meets the road” shift came when my own animal came dragging herself in, close to death.
Cali had apparently become a teen bride. She started life as one of the many stray cats on the island of Maui where I lived with my family. Reared on raw meat, raw goat’s milk, and what ever she hunted on her daily forays on the slopes Mount Haleakala just outside our door.
She hadn’t been seen for a day or two, but that wasn’t unusual. Cali was a hunter who came around dinner time most days, when we offered her what we had foraged from our local slaughter house and our milking goats.
When she finally showed up, she was only half there. Weak meow, chilled body temperature, and when I lifted her from the grass, it was apparent she had none of her usual strength. As she hung limp in my hands, a dirty red discharge flowed from her vagina. Along with the putrid smell of dying tissue, reminding me of my past cow patients whose placenta, in failing to drop after calving, continued to cook in the 102º uterus where it’s purpose was fulfilled days prior.
My diagnosis: metritis. The raging, foul process of inflammation of the uterus. Maybe from a retained placenta or dead kittens or an abortion that hadn’t finished completely.
I knew I had to act quickly if I was going to save her.
The Decision That Changed My Practice
I thought of the amoxicillin on my shelf, gathering dust. I remembered the seriously ill cows that needed more than just local uterine boluses and manual placental removal.
But the paradigm shift had already begun, and homeopathy loomed large in my mind. I’d had plenty of theory from the Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy but very few remedies in my pharmacy and very little experience with serious diseases to date.
The case reports of wondrous healing at the hands of well-chosen remedies, remedies that only turned ON the innate healing abilities of the sick, inspired me to see if I could, with only my first two modules of training under my belt, nudge Cali into healing herself.
I left the antibiotics to gather more dust and dug deeply into my books to find this poor soul a proper remedy to stimulate her vital force.
That shift changed everything for this budding homeopathic vet.
One Remedy, One Renewed Patient
I found a remedy called Pyrogenium that sounded like it fit the bill. It originated back in homeopathy’s early days. It was made originally from “decomposed lean beef” that had been allowed to stand in the sun for two weeks before it was potentized. Yecch! Sounded not unlike what was coming from Cali’s uterus!
On reading further, according to H.C. Allen, one of the great homeopaths of yesteryear, it had demonstrated great effectiveness in septic states (this sure was that!) and especially in those states with fever coming around birth time. Check.
“All discharges horribly offensive.” Check.
“Septicemia (toxins in the blood) following abortion. Uterine hemorrhages. Even peritonitis (abdominal infection) with “extreme fetor" (old word for smells that make you nauseous). Check, check, check.
Bingo. I very likely had my remedy, but I’d have to see if Cali agreed. I immediately gave a dose and started to see if I could flush her horrible discharge away with a Chinese anti-infective herbal preparation called Yunnan Bhaiyao.
While preparing the flush, Cali was raising her head and engaging with me; a mere twenty minutes after my Pyrogenium had landed in her mouth. She eagerly drank a bowl of warmed goat milk one of my kids had brought out for her. Before I knew it, she was starting to groom a bit, cleaning up her face and forepaws.
Houston, we have ignition!
Could antibiotics have worked that fast? Highly doubtful. No, my little teen bride was fighting this disease with a prompting of her vital force, and the germ killing would be far more effective coming from her immune response, designed by Nature.
With a couple more doses, Cali was on her way to full recovery. And when she was back to a strapping cat once more, I spayed her.
The dusty antibiotics were tossed shortly after this, and I’ve not used them since. This was in 1992.
Why Antibiotics are NOT the Answer
Cali had just confirmed for me what natural healers had known for generations before I popped into this world:
The dog, cat, horse, human or firefly has an innate intelligence, a vital force, a healing power within, that can bring about healing when properly supported and encouraged. Drugs don’t support that innate healing ability. In fact, they quite often impair it.
She also helped me realize that this internal response, the marshaling of the defenses by the vital force resident within each living being, is far superior to anything designed by man.
And, doesn't that make intuitive sense? Mother Nature has been shaping these responses to challenges far longer than we humans have started tinkering with what she’s built.
We can, however, encourage that response with properly chosen natural remedies, herbs, and supplements and let the deep work of healing take place faster, more purposefully, and naturally.
Antibiotics kill bacteria. Indiscriminately.
In so doing, they interfere with Nature’s workings, probably in ways we haven’t totally realized. Minimally, we know the following interference happens after they are used:
1. Antibiotics wreak havoc on the microbiome
- Those “friendly” flora (that outnumber our own native cells by ten to one) are thought to be 80–90% of our immune systems
- This microbiome affects digestion positively when in balance
- It also helps us protect against germs by outcompeting them for resources
- These resident flora synthesize valuable vitamins
- Behavior is highly tied to our microbiome’s healthy balance
2. Antibiotics, especially in livestock, are what has created the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance, aka “superbugs” that kill thousands of people every year.
This study only looked at European data:
The study estimates that about 33000 people die each year as a direct consequence of an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics and that the burden of these infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.1
Support, Don’t Impair Mother Nature!
It goes without saying that anything we do to “mess with Mother Nature” will have to be accounted for. That’s often called "side effects" and reading the comments on my articles about Apoquel, Cytopoint, and Trifexis, you’ll see just how costly that accounting can be. Often, health is worsened and even lives are lost after giving drugs like these. And not uncommonly, the side effects become far worse than the original problem the animal saw the vet for.
Trading cancer for itchy allergic skin? I hear about it all too often and it makes the bothersome allergy look a whole lot more bearable.
So, I like to focus on ways to support Mom’s well-honed strategies for getting my patients better. Homeopathy is my favorite way, but I know acupuncture and herbs, in the hands of skilled individuals, can also work well.
Often, that means hiring someone unless you’ve studied systems to cure chronic disease and have become adept at one or more.
DIY Has Its Place
If you don’t want to seek out professional help just yet, there are things you can do on your own to help your animals get well (DIY = do it yourself).
One is to make a dietary shift. A small step is a healthier kibble, but a far bigger one is to change to a species appropriate diet. That means raw and balanced.
Another is supplements of various sorts. Some are food supplements like high quality Omega 3 oils or minerals sourced naturally and processed to be quickly absorbed and put to work.
My favorite group of supplements are those that are aimed almost solely at making the immune system of your pet stronger and more aware. The immune system is commonly at the base of what’s wrong with your animals today:
- Allergies, often a consequence of vaccination setting the animal up for “immune confusion.”
- Infectious diseases, like parvo, distemper, canine flu, etc. which can cause problems in those whose immune systems aren’t well “educated” about the identifiers of these viruses
- Cancer, a consequence of the immune system not being watchful enough for the daily appearance of mutated cells so it can deal them a death blow
- Autoimmune disease, the most serious, often deadly immune over-reaction to cells of “self,” like your pet's red blood cells or platelets or thyroid.
That’s why I’ve been a big fan of Transfer Factor based products for the past many years.
The ones I’ve recommended over the years came from 4Life Research which still has an excellent human one available but whose animal line has unfortunately been shut down for reasons unknown.
Every loss can lead to something better, and in this case, when 4Life Canine Complete disappeared suddenly from the market, I focused on creating an even better, more powerful product to take its place. If you’d like more information on how this new Canine Immune Complete works and how to get it, be sure you've joined my no cost Vital Animal Pack. Then,keep a watchful eye on your inbox.
What Will You Decide Next?
Thanks to Cali and taking a leap of trust in my new understanding of homeopathy, my practice path took a nice turn. I stopped using all drugs at the point I decided to stop using antibiotics. That practically meant I was a whole lot closer to that “do no harm” and could focus even more on helping Mother Nature instead of impairing her fine work.
What about you?
I suspect you’ve already made several steps in this same direction.
And, maybe you’ve decided to keep the fleas at bay naturally. And prevent heartworm without drugs rather than poison the larvae already assumed to be in your dog’s blood. Super! You’ve wisely reasoned that poisons don’t make anyone healthier!
If this is news to you, that vets practice without drugs and savvy pet owners use age old natural rearing principles in place of drugs and vaccines, take your time. That’s a lot to swallow all at once.
But remember: time is not on your side, to the extent you’ve bought in to conventional medicine’s world of “prevention.” That’s a ticking bomb and the longer you partake, the sooner your animal will be paying the “accountant” named Mother Nature.
A couple of places to help you along:
- My Start Here page is a great beginning
- And, if you’re mainly interested in a specific challenge you face for your pet, every single article has a lovely search box that’ll instantly take you to everything I’ve written about that thing. Looks like this:
Let us know in the comments if you have had any major pivots in your animal rearing life. I know you’ve got some stories the rest of us would love to hear.