Don’t Settle for a “Diagnosis”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been noticing a ton of allergy testing services out there for your pets. In fact, this article is prompted by a “case report” from NutriScan, a service that tests your dog’s or cat’s saliva to learn about what food sensitivities could be causing him to have itchiness or other immune problems.
An email came with the enticing subject line: “NutriScan case study: It was not a cinch.”
What was the tough problem that must have surely been “solved?”
A young Aussie Shepherd named Cinch had been through the vet gamut, trying to fix his “severe diarrhea” which started at 18 months of age. He’s now 2.5 years old.
[My mind is now engaged: WHY does a young dog have severe diarrhea for a year? Isn’t that odd? How many dogs his age do you know who’ve been battling diarrhea for a year?]
Several Misses as to The Reason
The first vet knee jerked into drugs commonly used for diarrhea: Metronidazole and Clavamox thinking he “gotten into something.”
[Hello carpet bombing antibiotics, Bye bye microbiome]
Cinch had a 10 day reprieve, but as soon as the drugs stopped, his diarrhea returned.
[This is classic palliation: while on a drug, the symptom hides. The dog’s not especially better in any large sense and returns to symptom making once the drug stops being given. Keep this P word in mind, as it’s often the best conventional medicine can do.]
Another vet is consulted, who radiographed Cinch and came up with nothing. He put our boy on a canned “prescription diet” known for gut challenges.
The very next day, Cinch is squirting out bloody diarrhea and undigested grass.
Next up, another Rx diet for “food sensitivities and intolerances.” His owner is instructed to continue this “forever or until it doesn’t work.”
But she also notices every time Cinch’s food changes, he’s back to diarrhea.
The Envelope, Please
An endoscope is next up (with our hero Cinch likely under deep sedation or anesthesia, while his owner likely charged her credit card for several hundred dollars) and, at last, a “diagnosis” is arrived at:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, aka IBD
Well, that’s a relief, right? Now we’ve at least got the real reason poor Cinch has been stuffing grass into his belly like a cow every time his diet changed a bit.
[I know this isn’t the ultimate diagnosis. How about you? I’d be asking “WHY is my animal sick?”]
Enter the Hero: NutriScan to the Rescue!
Cinch’s owner was trying to identify those naughty foods that caused Cinch to get diarrhea. She guessed it was peas.
They’ve been getting a lot of press lately, especially in the “grain-free” pet food brouhaha that’s got vet nutritionists pointing fingers at the trend followers and admonishing them that “corn is actually a valuable ingredient, full of protein,” etc, etc.
But, when his saliva is tested, voilà, we’ve got the real answer:
Cinch has food sensitivities to corn, chicken, duck, cow’s milk, turkey, venison, wheat, white fish, barley, quinoa and rabbit. He does not have a reaction to lentils.1
All he needs to do now is avoid these foods for the rest of his life and he’s gonna be diarrhea free.
HOLD yer horses!
Anything about this strike you as odd?
At least a couple of things hit me immediately.
- These are largely normal, healthy foods
- …okay, maybe not wheat, if you live in No. America. The healthy wheat of old was genetically tweaked to end world hunger back in the 50’s Green Revolution and it’s been an inflammatory nightmare ever since
- …and, well corn, which now is 90% GMO, so it means every mouthful comes with a side of RoundUp, which Monsanto is still trying to convince the world is not causing cancer or killing the microbiome of the consumer eating it…
- Avoiding healthy foods for life: Is that any kind of CURE?
Not by any definition I’m going to buy, no.
The homeopathic doctors of old have provided us a with a working definition of cure: The patient not only no longer makes symptoms but is better overall and stays that way without the continued use of intervention.
Cinch is basically sentenced to a life of careful avoidance of foods that are arguably healthy. One slip up and he’s back up at night, desperate to fill his belly with grass to relieve his extreme discomfort.
Now, stay with me here for a moment:
How much do you want to bet he’ll have additions to his list of no-no foods as his life goes on?
I’d bet the farm on that.
In fact, odds are his list of things to avoid may well grow to include environmental things like grass or tree pollen or the saliva of the flea.
Do you see where this is going?
Questions not being asked that should be:
- WHY does an 18 mo old get IBD?
- WHY is he allergic to a shopping list of healthy ingredients?
- HOW LONG after a vaccination did his diarrhea begin?
- HOW MANY vaccines had he had in his short life before he broke with an auto-inflammatory disease?
This disease diagnosis means his immune system is wildly overreacting to things that are seen as normal by the healthy.
I’ve long named this condition “immune confusion.”
It’s part of another diagnosis that stems back 150 years to when the first vaccines for smallpox were being jabbed into humans: “vaccinosis.”
The immune system has a lot of jobs, but its main one is to keep us safe from foreign invaders. Viruses, nasty bacteria, that sort of thing.
When it starts turning on foods, or worse, its own organs (like the bowel, the thyroid gland, or worse, the red blood cell), all hell breaks loose.
Chief Cause of Immune Confusion? Vaccination.
We know this both from published research and from careful observation.
Here’s a paper those who joined my recent free training on rabies saw: Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog. 2
Observation (by those who care to look, including decades of polling clients as to “when did your dog start showing itchiness?”) often sees a strong correlation to vaccination and onset of immune disease about a month later.
Is Dr. WhiteCoat interested in this data?
Not by and large, no. To live in integrity, should he be (instead of callously recommending vaccines for all and all for vaccines)?
I’ll let you answer that yourself. If vaccine income made up a good 30% of your income stream as a vet, well… you do the math as to why so many vets still push you to get annual vaccines, against all known science.
The Way Out of the Madness
My students are asking hard questions. Not only “Why is my animal sick?” but even better:
What are my best moves to PREVENT her from getting sick?
They are opting out of the over-vaccination madness by gaining knowledge and the empowerment that comes from seeing the emperor’s new clothes for what they really are.
They are raising some wildly healthy, truly vital animals by saying, “No. I’ve studied this at length and will not risk my pet’s health by allowing any more vaccines.”
You can join them. Sign up here to join my free Vital Animal Pack, a great place to start the journey to the oh-so-necessary asking of hard questions.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen your own animals start their illnesses after vaccines were given (remember: it’s often not immediate but commonly a month later).
Also, let us know if you’ve ever had an allergy test that came back with a wildly long list of allergens, some of which your pet has never encountered (insert eye roll here).
2Duval, D. and Giger,U. (1996). “Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog”, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 10:290–295