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Introduction to Herbs

The Wisdom of Herbal Pet Care

by Geoff D'Arcy Lic. Ac. D.O.M

Veterinarians today report a tremendous increase in the amount of cancer and heart disease in their patients.

Younger and younger animals are presenting with diseases that were rare back in the early 1950’s.

Immune system problems, chronic skin and ear allergies, digestive upset, thyroid and adrenal disorders, seizures, gum and teeth problems, degenerative arthritis, kidney and liver failure, heart disease and cancer are all common these days among our animal friends.

Vets are reporting more behavioral disorders as well, with more fears and aggression seen in our nation’s 68 million owned dogs and 71 million owned cats. (APPMA 2001-2002) "Dogs resemble the nation which creates them..." stated Gertrude Stein, back in 1940.

We must realize that our world today has become dangerous to the health of our animal friends and explore new ways to keep them healthy.

For a modern-day pet there is a high likelihood of coming in contact with toxic pesticides, herbicides and dangerous household chemicals.

On a daily basis, pets may be exposed to toxins put on our “green” lawns, chemicals found in puddles on the street, additives and preservatives in their food, and chemicals found in household cleaning products.

Foods sold for pets have much lower standards than those for humans and is often devoid of energy and nutrition, laden chemicals and preservatives, over-processed and boring.

Equally important, medicines used on animals are often powerful pharmaceuticals that may have side-effects that we are often unable to monitor. Even substances used for flea and tick prevention can expose them to extremely poisonous chemicals that can wreak havoc on their immune systems.

Vaccinations are also under scrutiny. We vaccinate to defend them from the onslaught of disease, yet as Martin Goldstein, DVM says in The Nature of Animal Healing, "...a growing number of holistic and now even conventional veterinarians are convinced, from sad experience, that the vaccines they have administered are doing more harm than good."

With our extensive use of antibiotics and steroids, many believe that we are merely focusing on suppression of symptoms and not treating the underlying causes of disease. And, by doing so, we are helping to create new beefed up viruses and bacteria.

Strengthened by overuse of antibiotics, bacteria and viruses can now decimate entire populations of marine mammals, fish and dolphins, and are also rife among our household animal friends. Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immuno Deficiency virus have appeared as recently as 1986.

Ironically, with modern medicines, our pets are perhaps living longer, but are they living better?

Living longer lives, they will have the opportunity to have more chronic illnesses and develop more cancers.

Some seventy types of cancer have been identified in domestic animals. According to an October, 1997 Morris Animal Foundation survey, cancer is the number one killer of dogs and cats, and the number one concern of pet owners.

In the Morris study, which surveyed 2,003 pet owners, the leading cause of non-accidental death in dogs was cancer at 47 percent and one of three leading non-accidental causes of death in cats at 32 percent