Monday, July 11, 2011

Sterilising Cats - Is This The Best Answer?

Recently, I was making enquiries about sterilising my young female cat. Female sterilisation is a horrible process at the best of times, in the complete removal of the whole reproductive system. In males, it isn’t quite so drastic, with only the testes being removed.

Any proponent of natural medicine will tell you that there is more than just the physical to a life form and all her/his internal organs. In Chinese Traditional Medicine, each organ is matched to an emotion, and it’s so easy to see the connection. The liver is related to anger. Even our language can relate to this - to be liverish is to be irritable. The kidneys are the focus of fear, where adrenaline is released in a fight or flight situation.

What are we doing to the animal when we remove the organs? I have always sterilised my animals in the past, because I don’t want an endless supply of kittens and puppies. But there must be a better way.

I asked around if there is a way with homeopathy, but couldn’t find much on that.

When I approached a couple of vets about a partial sterilisation (removal of just the ovaries or the uterus), I was met with a strange argument. It goes something like this - the uterus is always removed because a female cat may get pyometra. Pyometra is a discharge from the uterus which may indicate uterine cancer.

The ovaries are removed to prevent the animal coming into season as it is considered to be psychologically confusing for the animal not to be able to breed.

It is not uncommon, under the current tyranny of fear, to have an organ removed ‘in case’ you get cancer in said organ. It’s good business for the surgeon, but is it good for your health, or your cat’s? Surely it is better to look at the causes of the problem and rectify them? Are smokers advised to have their lungs removed ‘in case’ they get lung cancer?

One of the main reasons cats get cancer is their diet. It’s not just me who thinks this. Dr Pottenger of the 1930s discovered that all the chronic diseases in cats were the result of diet. Your vet supplies you with (and profits from) the very food that causes chronic illness (and so a second profit is made). Holistic vets will always get you to make the diet change (and so lose out on sales) as a priority.

The idea of psychological problems arising from an inability to breed is undeniable. But that will occur whether or not there is the where-with-all to do so. So in addition, there is also the psychological problems from having the organs removed, from disrupting the natural flow of energy. Just because we can’t see any problems, doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

For exclusively indoor cats, it seems a completely unnecessary, not to mention expensive, exercise. However, that does mean you will have the antics of your cat in season yowling for a mate for a few days every few months.

It’s interesting to note that the common side effect of sterilisation is a skin eruption. George MacLeod, the first English vet to turn totally to homeopathy after his health improved immeasurably, advocates routinely the remedy that is used for suppressed anger.

If cats have suppressed anger from sterilisation, this is in addition to the interruption of the natural flow of energy (or chi) as well as the psychological effects of not being able to breed.

Of course, most cats with this eruption will then be treated with steroids, rather than addressing the anger, setting up yet another problem.

I don’t know what the best answer to feline birth control is, and it will vary depending on the cat and what their person feels. But I do know that the present solution of sterilisation is far from perfect.

Are you interested in having a naturally healthy cat?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Homeopathic Treatment of Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis

Recently I treated a kitten for what may have been feline viral rhinotracheitis. Although knowing a medical disease label has little use in most homeopathic prescribing, in some instances it can be helpful. These incidences include animals, with the lack of subjective symptoms, and diseases which are serious and can quickly deteriorate.

I don’t rely on a blood test or a vet’s diagnosis, but on the development of the symptoms themselves.

The only reason this can be helpful, is because an extra remedy can be used, to help the process along. In these cases, the extra support comes from what is called disease nosodes. The main remedy is still the most important one, with the nosode simply giving an extra boost.

The reasons I felt this 4 month old kitten had FVR included:

  •  it’s common in young cats
  •  the upper respiratory and an eye were affected
  •  the eye was sticking closed
  •  there had been some sneezing
  •  there was a fever
  •  this can be severe

Only the left eye was affected and this was red, with swollen tissue, resembling raw meat. This eye discharge was acrid by nature. The severity of the condition was indicated by a total lack of appetite and a lack of energy; he sept a lot. He was cold, shivering.

This kitten had been reared on a quality natural diet. He had always had a good appetite. There had been no stresses in his life, no sudden shocks or griefs, at least that were known. So no obvious link.

This kitten’s person worked with me, over the period. She kept me informed of each day’s progress, or lack of. She changed remedies as instructed. It was a pleasure to work with her.

The kitten kept drinking, although there was no appetite. This is important to monitor as you don’t want the added complication of dehydration. After a couple of days, he suddenly recovered his appetite and tucked into his evening meal with gusto. The following day he resumed his energetic, kitten behaviour. His recovery was fast. He still sneezed occasionally and although much improved, his eye was still a little swollen.

This is the correct order for cure. His systemic conditions - energy and appetite - should recover first, with the physical symptoms improving along the way.

An incredibly important aspect of homeopathic treatment is monitoring the progress.. It is not simply a question of finding the best matched remedy. Knowing what should happen (which is not always the obvious), how to dance around what does happen, potency selection and dose repetition are all vitally important for a successful recovery.

Whilst I am a great advocate for everyone learning how to home prescribe homeopathically, there are times when it is not practical or advisable. This was one of them.

And last but not least, have you sen this beautiful Youtube of a cat interacting with dolphins? How little we know about nature and animals.
Cat and Dolphins Playing Together

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Homeopathic Treatment of Cat Flu and Other Infections

The homeopathic treatment of cat flu is the same as all infections - we treat the host, the immune system, the energetic imbalance that allows infections to occur. Not the infection itself.

Homeopaths have little interest in bacteria, virus’ and other pathogens. These are all naturally occurring and have a place in healing. For example, bacterial numbers increase to prevent a viral infection.

So when homeopathy is used to treat a cat with a bacterial infection, the selection of the most appropriate medicine is determined by the cat’s individual symptoms.

To show you what I mean, here are just a few of the factors we need to consider before we make a curative medicine selection:

  •  how quickly it started, such as over hours or over days
  •  what happened to the cat (or patient) prior to the infection - this often indicates the cause, such as fearful event, injury, vaccination, etc
  •  what is the cat’s personality like - eg smoochy, irritable, aloof, etc
  •  has this changed with the cat flu
  •  what parts of the body are affected - nose, eyes, throat, lungs or all  or some of them
  •  what is the nature of the discharge - bland or acrid, scanty or profuse
  •  what is the colour and texture of the discharge - thick, thin, clear, yellow, green, etc
  •  is there any coughing or sneezing
  •  if so, what is the character - eg wet, dry, in spasms or singly, etc
  •  is there a worse or better time of day for the cat or the symptoms
  •  what is the cat’s energy like - sleeping more, restless, etc
  •  what is the cat’s appetite like
  •  is there a change in the cat’s thirst

This gives you an idea of the depth of knowledge needed to make an accurate prescription.

It is a totally different way of thinking to mainstream health care. You need to be more like a detective than a doctor. And a very observant detective, a veritable Sherlock Holmes. Nothing is ever left out. Nothing is ever not considered. Not even the reaction to our own remedies.

This concept can be hard to get your head around quickly. Don’t worry if it is hard. Just be open to the idea.

For any infection, it is not necessary to concern yourself with how contagious it is, and so to protect others. Often the very anxiety of infection will allow it to happen. But life is much deeper than that.

Health isn’t about protecting your cat from disease. Health is all about raising her immune system, her intangible energetic life force, to a level where nothing affects her. This works across all the planes - mental, emotional, physical. While this result may seem like a tall order, the process of getting there isn’t.

It’s possible that this goal may not be achieved in one life time, but surely it is preferable to continue to improve your cat’s health, than to undermine it with continual drugs.

Humanity appears to be in a secretive era. it doesn’t like to see symptoms of disease. It prefers to drive this inwards and make everything appear OK, even if the cat is seething underneath.

The suppression of symptoms does not bode well for the future health of your cat. Suppression works against the body’s best attempts to cure itself. Suppression merely deals with the effects of disease, not the cause.

Challenge yourself to start a journey of thinking outside the square. The rewards can be endless and seemingly miraculous...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Homeopathic Treatment of Feline Stomatitis, Cat Gum Disease

Although I have written about the homeopathic treatment of feline stomatitis (gum disease or inflammation of the gums) before, I regularly get requests for more information on this important issue.

Before we get into the treatment of this condition, let’s look at the cause. It’s always far better knowing the cause and addressing that, rather than treating a problem, while maintaining the cause.

Richard Pitcairn is perhaps the leading veterinarian cum homeopath in the US. He qualified as a vet in 1965 and soon after that he studied homeopathy.

So he has a large reservoir of knowledge to draw upon.

He tells of the common problems in cats (and dogs) in that period before he became a homeopathic vet. And guess what - THERE WAS NO STOMATITIS in cats his early days as a vet. And it wasn’t just in his practice. Other vets claimed the same.

So what does this mean?

Well, in my opinion, there have been two big changes in the care of cats since 1965 or thereabouts.

One is the diet.

The other is the increased use of vaccines.

Despite the spin done to influence buyers, most commercial pet food is one of the greatest scourges of our time. From the low cost and quality of the ‘meat’, to the indigestible filler which helps to bulk out the ‘meat’ to the added chemicals to preserve (despite claims on the packet to the contrary), to colour, to flavour, to make it smell and taste good enough for cats to eat, to the ‘nutrients’ added to address the low quality.

I don’t want to go into the reasons why most mainstream vets push commercial pet food. But one thing I will say is that veterinary schools are always short of money, as are most colleges and universities today. They welcome financial assistance. The commercial pet food industry is a lucrative business and they can easily help out.

Holistic vets always advocate natural food as the way to preserve the health of their patients, even though it means a drop in business.

What does your vet encourage you to do?

I, along with probably all natural therapists, am no advocate of vaccines. We recognise they do tremendous harm, not just with all their questionable ingredients (such as mercury, aluminium, squalene, formaldehyde, cross species tissue, etc), but also because they by-pass all the subtle ways a body has evolved to increase their resistance to disease.

However, in the majority of cases, vaccines are less damaging than a diet of commercial pet food. Food is eaten every day. The vaccines are normally only once a year.

The frequency of consumption of this maintaining cause is perhaps the single most important reason why younger and younger cats are getting stomatitis.

The homeopathic treatment of feline stomatitis, along with all homeopathic treatment, must be tailored to the individual cat’s symptoms, and if possible, personality. When this is done well, the stomatitis will clear up quickly.

But it will return if the cause is also not addressed.

Dr Pottenger (of the 1940s) claimed that all degenerative feline disease are as a result of their diet. Fed a natural diet, the diseases disappeared.

Is the world of cat health going forwards or backwards? Who profits most from your cat’s lack of health?

Just to end with a smile on your face, I include two photos I was recently sent by Sally L. Thanks Sally.

I offer Skype/telephone consultations worldwide for both people and animals. For more information please click here

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homeopathy Treats FIP, Feline Infectious Peritonitis

Someone recently asked me about FIP, or feline infectious peritonitis. This is a serious disease, on the rise.

FIP can occur at any time, but it is seems to be more common in a young cat especially the very slim, more Oriental breeds.

By the way, FIP is not infectious or peritonitis. The feline bit is right! So you don’t need to fear other cats will be affected.

Since this is more common in young cats, let’s look at what we put cats through in their early life. First of all they are taken from their mother and litter mates at far too young an age. Often this is at six weeks. Yet kittens will stay with their mothers in the wild for 6 - 12 months. There is a very good reason for this as the mother teaches the kittens, as well as nurtures.

Because we can’t see emotional trauma, and because most of humanity has a misguided conception that animals don’t feel, we can’t even begin to understand what this does to a kitten, and particularly to a sensitive kitten. You only have to see what happens to a young child when taken from his mother for the first time, to begin to get an idea of what all kittens go through.

Then the kitten is either taken to a new home, a rescue centre or a pet shop. This experience will be daunting to even a well adjusted kitten. New food, new people, new animals, new routine, new energy.

With great care and love, the kitten may be able to pull through this double experience of separation and adaptation without too many mental scars. But a sensitive kitten may not be able to.

Add to this, a trip to the vet to get vaccinations and you may just be tipping the balance against the odds.

Whatever your thoughts of injections and vaccines are, they do cause a shock to the body system. Particularly the common use of multiple vaccines. If you are already close to the edge, this can be enough to tip you over.

FIP is difficult to treat medically and normally results in death, soon after the diagnosis. Homeopathically, it can be treated successfully, but this will depend on the other treatment to date, and on the time lapse of starting the treatment after the symptoms develop.

This is not an easy condition to treat, and needs the services of an experienced homeopath as well as your full cooperation. So it is better to avoid, what I consider to be the cause. If you do adopt a young kitten, I suggest you put off the trip to the vet for a few weeks, until the kitten is thoroughly settled in. By providing a quality, natural diet, you will be building up the kitten’s immune system. In itself, this is by far the best way to avoid disease.

As Richard Pitcairn, an American homeopathic vet says, ‘if you want to undermine a cat’s health, give him old food laden with chemicals’, which is what the majority of commercial pet food is.

Other areas to consider in making your cat super-healthy and resistant to disease is to ensure they are able to be themselves:

  • Cats love freedom, so try to allow them at least some time outside. And ensure they have an escape, especially from small children.
  • Cats love the sun. Direct sun is best, rather than through glass, plastic or shade cloth.
  • Cats are sensitive animals, so keep your house or their environment clear of chemicals. Catteries and rescue centres normally disinfect cat pens, which is highly toxic. Disinfection with steam is a safer alternative.
  • Cats generally are fearful animals. Provide a calm atmosphere, free of emotions running high, free from sudden or loud noises.

Above all, learn to listen to what your cat is saying to you.. You can only do this when you are calm and quiet yourself. The messages can come through as body language or thoughts. Be open.