Deciphering Digestive Symptoms

Dr. Jeff Feinman had the privilege to join Pam Roussell with Purrrfectly Holistic on her pet radio, and speak about best practices for deciphering digestive symptoms.

Pam Roussell, Founder & CEO of Purrfectly Holistic, featured in the Voyage Houston Magazine, is passionate about cats and holistic health care.

Watch the webinar below for some great insights into digestive health for cats, most of which applies to dogs as well (or read the transcript).

 Webinar recorded on January 21, 2022


Dr. Jeff Feinman, Pam Roussell


Pam Roussell 01:01

Thank you, Dr. Jeff, for being with us tonight. This is exciting. I love learning from smart people, so I can get smarter. And you can always take something away from a conversation or a chat, a podcast or whatever, even if it’s one or two little nuggets, you know that was just meant for me to hear or someone to hear that’s my goal was just to help empower people to make better decisions and have a little more knowledge and people who are especially looking outside of the box for alternative healing and solutions and things like that. So, share with us just briefly how you got into doing what you’re doing.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 01:59

Oh, my goodness, I guess I can answer that in one word, which is observation: observing animals, and myself, a walking experiment, unfortunately. I’ve been experimenting with myself for over 40 years. So, I started to research scientists, looking at the individuality of cells. And from basic science, molecular biology research, I went to vet school, and was going to go into a Ph.D. program, or I was already in the Ph.D. program, but started instead to go wild and I almost gave up being a veterinarian at that point. But I came back and ended up being a clinical vet and through the observation of my patients, I arrived at holistic care, which I never even heard of.

And eventually through holistic care, energetic medicine, which isn’t a routine part of holistic care, because it doesn’t really integrate into the model, the way most holistic things like diet and vaccines. But energy does as well. And that’s kind of what we’re teaching, what we’re doing now, which is online. And it’s a platform to do just what you said, empower pet parents to make better decisions, using what we call holistic medical decision making.

Pam Roussell 03:43

And I think that’s so critical because, you probably see this every day, people reaching out to you that have tried the conventional route that is just not getting anywhere, or they’re seeing their pets decline and they’re desperate. They’re like, “I’ll try anything. I’ll do anything. Just help me help my pet”. And I know that you work with cats and dogs and you also work with other small animals as well?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 04:11

We’ll work with anything with life-force, mainly dogs and cats.

Pam Roussell 04:17

Okay, cool. That’s awesome.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 04:20

We all share life force… that’s why there is one strategy for every animal.

Pam Roussell 04:26

Yeah. And I love that energy matters in a lot that you do, it is not a one-size-fits-all. It is very specific to that particular pet. Because that’s where I think the allopathic road goes wrong, because we’re all individuals, our pets are individuals, so you can’t put everything in a box and label it this is A, because that pet may not be an A it might be a Z. Our bodies are so different. And our environments are so different. So, you can’t put everything in the allopathic conventional model, it just doesn’t work. And that’s why people aren’t getting results.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 05:13

I don’t know if you want to open that Pandora’s box with me. But that is my bailiwick, in that, I’m a science nerd at heart and scientists finally, described exactly what you’re saying, science has caught up with us, or is catching up with us. Every cell, every individual is a snowflake, everybody is different and looks different and needs to be treated differently. And there’s a way to do that, a scientific way to do that.

Pam Roussell 05:48

Yeah, I totally agree. So, let’s jump in, because I think, I mean, you probably see this every day in your practice, but GI issues are probably some of the most common issues, whether they be mild or very, very extreme. So, talk a little bit about what you see most often on that spectrum. And it can be the broad spectrum of those kinds of issues.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 06:17

Okay, that’s a great question and a great place to start. Because the biggest category that I see are dietary problems, usually manifesting as diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, tends to be stomach just EDR, not eating right, not feeling right, that kind of thing. But switching the diet to a fresh food diet often alleviates that totally. So, we’ll go beyond that because we’ll assume most of the people watching this have already done fresh food and hopefully even raw diet.

Pam Roussell 07:01

I think a lot of people get stuck on the veterinary diet because they go to the vet for these issues. And the vets say, “You need to go on this special dry food that’s a prescription which we all know there’s no medicine in it, these prescriptions are just a marketing term. So, if we could get more people to switch to fresh diets, you would probably see a huge shift in eliminating GI issues.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 07:33

And Pam, you said something that really strikes a chord and that is, dry food which is not appropriate for cats and that’s now conventionally accepted wisdom by specialists in cats. But unfortunately, is not filtered down to the pet food companies yet. And the worst is the dry food for bladder conditions because bladder conditions are almost always… I know we’re not talking about them tonight but are almost always related to a little bit of dehydration on the individual level. But back to GI, the number one issue from diet or vaccines or pretty much any external stressor is “diarrhea”. And I air quoted diarrhea because the word diarrhea doesn’t really tell us what the body is doing, it just tells us that there is an abnormality, but it will be great to know what the details are.

Pam Roussell 08:48

Yeah. And so there is the upper GI and there’s lower GI which is small intestine versus large intestine. So, can you describe the difference in those symptoms of diarrhea if something is upper GI versus lower?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 09:06

Sure, its main difference is in volume, frequency mucus and straining. Kittens are unlike dogs, dogs more frequently have like stress colitis which manifests as the frequency in straining, maybe not passing a lot, mucus and/or blood which freaks everyone out, needless usually versus small bowel or the smallest intestinal diarrhea which tend to be larger quantities, sometimes smelly, weight loss and they lose more fluids.

Pam Roussell 09:51

Yeah. So, if it’s lower, you see more of the mucus issues and if it’s upper it’s not so much that right?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 10:00

I don’t see that many colitis issues, lower GI cases compared to upper. I think a majority of them actually are alleviated by diet and probiotics.

Pam Roussell 10:19

So, do you think a lot of those are, obviously a microbiome imbalance? But do you think the imbalance is due to environmental toxins? And some of that is food-related? Do you think it’s vaccine-related? Do you think it’s all of the above?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 10:40

All of the above, we will go back to the one model, and that is the dynamic equilibrium, which is balance or homeostasis in the body. All the things that you’ve mentioned, disturb that balance.

Pam Roussell 10:58

Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 11:00

How much an individual is disturbed is based on their susceptibility to being disturbed. So, two cats can get the exact same exposures, one gets sick and one doesn’t.

Pam Roussell 11:12

True. So, I know you see probably a lot of stuff that has to do with the overuse of antibiotics, totally destroying the gut flora. And like the flea and tick meds and the topicals that totally destroy the gut flora. But those can be serious. I mean, people don’t really understand how serious those long-term consequences can be from using those things.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 11:47

Exactly. And in a really couple of ways. I mean, long term in that the individual exposures like that do add up. And that’s definitely frequently if not always, part of cancer and other serious inflammatory diseases. And inflammation, by the way, is just the body doing its job. Kittens live by inflammation, which we don’t want it to be chronic inflammation. And those things can induce both. And past example, is kittens get diarrhea after a vaccine. Nothing wrong with vaccines, but vaccines are injecting toxins. So, I just can’t look at vaccines in the same category as toxins. Would you want to be exposed to mercury, aluminum, or whatever is in the vaccine? I don’t think I’d want my dog and kittens to be.

Pam Roussell 12:55

Because that kind of stuff has serious long-term consequences that people don’t realize.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 13:04

But I do want to go back, before you move on to the microbiome and why that’s so important. And that it’s the balance of the microbiome with bacteria in the gut are directly related to the balance of the individual. It can’t be balanced. Overall, if the microbiome is imbalanced, which is we are using different probiotics, different strains come in, the less frequently used one… there is one called Micromax, which is a unique strain that’s in one or two others. But if the kitten has diarrhea and you’ve already done the diet and you’re rotating probiotics, and some work a little bit, but try that one or try the bacteria that’s in it.

Pam Roussell 14:00

What about S boulardii? Saccharomyces boulardii. Have you used that at all for treating imbalance? Dr. Cedar says, “Bugs to the rescue”. Yes, absolutely. Good bugs, good bugs to the rescue.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 14:21

So, yeah, a wide variety, but it all depends on the individual, some respond to one and not another.

Pam Roussell 14:32

So, you mentioned something very important that most people don’t know, is to rotate their probiotics. Why don’t you explain to our listeners and viewers why that is so important.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 14:45

Well, that’s one way to get balanced, just like rotating foods. The second hallmark of a good diet is a fresh diet, it is varied, and you don’t take any ingredient in large amounts, it’s all in moderation. So, you vary the probiotics like you would vary the food. If it’s working and your Kitten has chronic diarrhea, and you stop using it and it comes back and you want to go back, there’s no problem with that. But I wouldn’t say probiotics aren’t solving the problem, until you have done like three or four different ones.

Pam Roussell 15:31

Yes. And then do you do any things like seal the leaky gut that may be also involved?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 15:40

What a great question and the answer is, yes, and no. I don’t do any medicine of any kind that doesn’t do anything to help the leaky gut, the body does. And the one thing we know for sure is, the body is designed to heal, kittens heal. In fact, kittens are amazing healers, much better than people, dogs, and many other species. And we can get back to why that might be later on, if you like. But yeah, there are products that are designed for healing the tight junctions, but, I realized after I mentioned the probiotic that you may or may not want me to mention the products in particular.

Pam Roussell 16:32

Oh, you can certainly do that. Why not? I’m all for giving people tools. So, yeah, if you have favorite products, by all means, share. Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 16:43

But by far the best thing, the most important thing for healing to help the tight junctions and leaky gut is going back to energy. And there are energy-building strategies that kitten parents can use.

Pam Roussell 17:05

Talk about this; that sounds really interesting.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 17:08

Well, my favorite one, the most common one is feeding. It’s an energy hierarchy in food with food having the highest amount of vitality or energy. The lowest is dry food and canned food, which is better than dry, freeze-dried, air-dried, fresh-cooked, and then raw.

Pam Roussell 17:35

Raw, correct. And that’s because you don’t kill off all the living enzymes that are in the fresh foods, just like the same reason we eat fresh food and not canned foods and processed foods out of a bag in a box all day long. You want to get the benefit of those living enzymes in your body so that they can actually work. So, apart from that fresh food, what would be another strategy that you have?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 18:08

For energy building, the next one I would probably say that easiest use is promoting purring and playing. There’s lots of good evidence that the purring of a cat is like [inaudible 18:28] restricted breathing and slowing of the breath and activating the parasympathetic nervous system can do that. And that is only if you are a kitten, but a great healing strategy, especially if you’re stressed or anxious, depressed, is having a kitten that is on your chest just purring away that reactivate your own vagus nerve and helps relax you.

Pam Roussell 18:56

Oh, that’s cool. And that’s probably one of those things that we all intuitively know, but we just never put into words, because everybody loves a purring cat on your chest or your chest. You know, there’s just something very, very soothing and wonderful about those moments. We’re willing to sit there when we have to pee for 30 minutes because we don’t want to disturb the cat. I’ll just hold it a little bit longer, you’re too darn cute. I’m not going to move. So, what other strategies can you share about energy building?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 19:40

The next two are related to the purring because, the next one is happiness. And we know in people, this is not a research fact yet in animals, but that’s what we are working on, that the emotional state of being happier in kittens will get in the zoomies or purring, you can just tell when they’re happy. That rises up mitochondrial function and optimizes the body and the ability to heal.

Pam Roussell 20:18

Oh, that’s cool. And then obviously play sessions would fall into that because that makes them happy and excited and energetic and good exercise and stimulating their mind as well as their body so you know, you have a Bengal.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 20:37

I have two diametrically opposed kittens. I have Uda, the older cat like five pounds and Aviva, this big monster one-year-old, likes to beat up Tikki. But he just says no, I don’t think so, just like that, and she goes all the way. Aviva.

Pam Roussell 21:02

Yeah, she’s got a lot of energy, most definitely.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 21:09

Yeah. And that’s a really good point. I’m so glad that you said that because of that energy that we have when we’re young, when the kittens are young. That’s the energy that we don’t have when we get old and pass away. And that’s the difference between life and death, that’s why it’s important to keep your tank filled, do everything if you can for your kitty that will keep his or her [inaudible 21:38]

Pam Roussell 21:40

Yeah. So, are there any other tips you can think of in terms of specifics and diarrhea, maybe your favorite homeopathy, something that you would recommend? Like maybe consider trying or based on symptoms and things like that. You know, I love talking about homeopathy. I got to throw it in there.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 22:12

Let me talk about what symptoms are. Because you can only use homeopathy like you use drugs or any other supplements. We equate holistic and homeopathic… No, no, totally different. Holistic is just looking at the bigger picture, and it could be almost anything. Homeopathy is especially, the way of working with nature. It’s basically the way that nature heals. That’s actually what we’re doing now with One Health Medicine. And a more sustainable pet care is by using energy and homeopathy because the energy and the energetic imbalances in the body is a part of medicine, but it’s really a bit of part, information flow and energies and we know about them, but we haven’t connected the fact that they’re the underlying cause for all symptoms.

Pam Roussell 23:25


Dr. Jeff Feinman 23:27

That coming soon, I’m just so, so jazzed to be alive in this scientific time in the world.

Pam Roussell 23:47

It’s true.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 23:45

So, yeah, there are tons of other energy techniques, as you know, happiness being the one and being one of the big ones that you can easily do, and all of the energy building techniques can improve diarrhea, for sure. But you didn’t talk about the most common GI that kittens get.

Pam Roussell 24:12


Dr. Jeff Feinman 24:13

The vomiting.

Pam Roussell 24:14

Vomiting. I see that more than anything in clients and it can be from minor stuff like cats who just go out and want to eat some grass, make themselves throw up. It can be regurgitation, right after they ate. It can be hours later. You find a pile of throw-up somewhere from the previous meal 12 hours ago or whatever it was. So, let’s talk about vomiting because there are a lot of different scenarios and there are different symptoms. So, share about that, because that is very common for people dealing with pets.

Pam Roussell 25:01

Well, I’m going to need to push on this one and go back and talk a little more about symptoms, and in this case, the symptom is, vomiting, and what they really mean. And we can decide on getting all the information as far as what to do. And I’d say that if you’ve done all of your energy-building strategies, that they’re on a fresh food diet and still vomiting, there’s evidence from the symptom of vomiting, whatever the details are, that things are still imbalanced. And that is actually what I want to mention. It’s that we don’t really know what’s been there, what a healthy cat, a well-balanced cat looks like.

Cats are not meant to occasionally vomit hairballs—occasionally once or twice a year maybe. But now the GI tract, when it is well balanced and strong is digested or passed, or totally digest the hair but it doesn’t accumulate for days, weeks. Yeah, that’s where we stand with the energy building but a lot of energy as you know is scarf and barf. Maybe the most common cause of vomiting is the kitten eats quickly and then barf within a few seconds or a few minutes. And happiness, breathing, and scarf and barf tools that the kitten parents can use—and we’ve just recently started for Aviva and Tikki is the mind platter.

Pam Roussell 26:59

Talk about that.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 27:01

It’s a wonderfully sustainable tool, meaning that it’s made by a sustainable way in the U.S. It is just a platter just like you serve food on, but it’s got rivets in it.

Pam Roussell 27:19

Yes, the little rivets.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 27:20

And the rivets around a ridge around and you just fill with the raw or can food.

Pam Roussell 27:28

And it slows their eating down.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 27:30

Slows down, they’re mindful and they sniff, they build their energy, and it just make happier cats. I mean, my 14-year-old kitten is energized at mealtime.

Pam Roussell 27:50

What about…Go ahead.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 27:51

I was going to say as our Aviva, the young cat, and Archie, they all…

Pam Roussell 27:58

So, if it’s not a scarf and barf type of situation, let’s talk about why do you think cats scarf and barf. Is it hoarding resources? Is it anxiety between cats? Are they fed too close together? Should we separate them apart so they don’t feel like they’re trying to eat their food really fast, so the other cats won’t take it? Let’s talk a little bit about that and what you see?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 28:27

Now that you hit a couple of the biggies and yeah, I’m not a big fan of feeding cats or having cats even too close together because they need to be able to find their own space. And actually, being clustered like that and especially eating like that can increase stress and stress-related ceases, because emotional stress in the kittens can manifest anyway. And the most common way is, going after food or Pandora syndrome, are you familiar with that?

Pam Roussell 29:06

Sure, share with us.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 29:08

That is used to be called FUS or FLUTD or FIC, pick your acronym. But Pandora, like you’ve opened Pandora’s box of a stressor activating the body’s blood in urine, frequency, UTI symptoms, and it’s rarely in effect [inaudible 29:33] work against the body but unfortunately, antibiotics are frequently prescribed for cats with UTI symptoms.

Pam Roussell 29:44

That’s true. Yeah, one of the best things I ever learned was how to use homeopathy for UTI symptoms, so much better.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 29:53

And how do you decide what remedies to give?

Pam Roussell 30:01

In the traditional world, we would just look at their symptoms and behavior, but it is hard with cats. I end up using a lot of muscle testing asking the body a lot of questions and matching the remedy to the energy. That is how I have successfully been able to treat that, because it is not like they are going to tell you, “It burns when I pee.’ Or, “I feel like I can’t show it.” Or whatever the symptom is that matches those remedies, that is typically what I do. Because there is a lot of different remedies, even for simple vomiting stuff, you just never know, you just have to go through your remedies and look at all the proofing.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 30:52

The symptoms and the remedy.

Pam Roussell 30:54

Yes, and see what that looks like.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 30:56

Because for someone like me that doesn’t do [inaudible 31:02] work or energy work as you are describing or actually like the majority people, the beauty of homeopathy is the science, and this is up there for a reason, it is the only monument in Washington DC for an MD, Samuel Hahnemann, who is the discoverer/founder of homeopathy

Pam Roussell 31:29

Yeah, it’s pretty special. So, go back to the vomiting, what about cats that don’t do the scarf and barf, but they may throw up hours later, or you find the pile of throw up the next morning, and you don’t know when it happened and then they don’t want to eat and they have that low energy and things like that. So, that’s a whole other part of the spectrum of the vomiting side.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 32:10

Exactly. And it’s really the detail to tell you what’s seems to be the answer. To Michelle’s question about IBD, diarrhea, or any other symptom, it has to be the details, not name of disease, not the general name of the symptom, we talked about the vomiting hours after some food, we talked about vomiting with food, is it clear, it’s bloody is or blood clots, does it smell? And all those things are clues to various homeopathic medicines, which we have found out by proovings—and you’re right, sensations are not part of veterinary homeopathy, sensations and dreams are the two really important parts of homeopathy for people that we can use for pre-verbal kids or cats.

Pam Roussell 33:10

Yeah. And another symptom with vomiting is if there’s bile. Like if there’s a lot of yellow, if there’s no food but it’s all bile and how that ties to a lot of pancreas issues. And like you said, if there’s blood, if there are blood clots, it’s very important, like you said, to look at the whole picture, and not try to label it, what the vet calls things, because that’s just allopathic medicine, trying to put a label on something that again, let’s put it all in the same box, when it may be totally different. Or it may be a little broader than just that picture. So, what would you recommend in those cases?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 34:05

I’ll have to give you my stock answer, which is the answer to every one of these questions and every question in veterinary medicine, that is, it depends on the context. So, my personal mainstay after we do or while we do the energy-building techniques, and how you decided based on the severity of the symptom, which we can easily discern at home by BEAM. I think we’ve talked about BEAM. A BEAM is a system they can use to interpret how severe any symptom is, how deeply it’s affecting the vitality, the balance of the individual, and that stands for, Behavior, Energy, Appetite, and Mood.

So, if they’re vomiting, but their BEAM is fine, different interpretation. A cat that may be vomiting once or twice, but has a decrease in energy and is probably slow. You need to look at the full context and decide what to do about vomiting or IBD, or anything. And the one thing we didn’t talk about, which I don’t know how much time we have, but what I want to bring it up and that is pancreatitis and thyroiditis that unify pancreatitis and IBD, and something else called bladder.

Pam Roussell 35:39

Yeah, go ahead.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 35:42

Well, just that it is a really common issue in cats, common diagnosis if you wanted a diagnosis and a lot of kitties that just don’t want to eat, ADR, which means Ain’t Doing Right, vomiting, IBD all that. They’ve got chronic pancreatitis going on, which manifests in ways differently in kitties than it does in dogs.

Pam Roussell 36:18

Yeah, because some cats… and is this your experience, like when you’re looking at blood work for a cat, is always their pancreatic enzymes going to be elevated because I don’t see that. So, they could have pancreas issues, but their blood work may not really show that it’s a pancreas issue. But that doesn’t mean that their pancreas is out of balance energetically, something is off there.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 36:49

And that’s the beauty. One of the beauties of One Energy Medicine is that when the energy is imbalanced, there are no other signs, in fact, the vet may say, “Come back in a month or two months and we’ll repeat the test. And hopefully, by then the underlying problem got worse and we’ll be able to diagnose it. But based on the symptoms that occur early on, we can’t treat them right away.”

Pam Roussell 37:17

Yes. So, what would be your first step? Let’s say you suspect that there is a pancreas issue? Would your first step be to change the diet, change the food, change the protein? Like, let’s get him off what he’s been eating, that he’s throwing up all the time? Or what would it be? What do you recommend?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 37:37

Well, before we even talked about that, I want to quote what you just said about pancreatitis and without elevated pancreatic enzymes, the opposite is much, much more common than that is abnormally elevated enzymes. But there really isn’t pancreatitis, per se. And there’s a specific pancreas test that your vet can send to the lab. They can run tests in-house, but they’re not as accurate as the lab test. And that’s normal and the screening test because I would consider regular panel if I’m with a live patient just be screening tests, but frequently you don’t see, as you said, normal or abnormal and may or may not correlate with what’s going on in the pancreas. So, the answer to the questions depends on the context. If they are purely vomiting, the number one diagnostic and therapeutic step is, to stop all food and know what is likely to put her off.

Pam Roussell 38:56

For a day for a cat maybe?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 38:59

Usually anywhere from a couple of hours to a day, you don’t want to go much further because one thing we’re not talking about today, is susceptibility. And cats are not equally susceptible to liver disease or hepatic lipidosis, which is secondary to fasting, my own cat can go a week without eating and no sign of liver disease, whereas some go for a couple of days, and they have signs that based on their sensibility or they susceptibility to getting liver disease.

Pam Roussell 39:40

Correct. What about in cases of pancreatitis? Do you recommend people use digestive enzymes to help support the pancreas?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 39:50

Awesome. But we have to switch diet and stay switch to a low-fat diet or use enzymes, any supplement, what doing is we’re helping the body along with giving you a little crutch, supporting the body but not curing the underlying diseases. So, supplements are really more than just a natural way of doing drugs. It’s the same effect covering up the symptom instead of getting out the underlying energetic imbalance.

Pam Roussell 40:31

Okay. So how would you determine what to do… just like give us an example of a case that you have worked as an example of bringing that to a cure, figuring out you know… any thoughts?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 40:54

Tons, but the answer, unfortunately, is again, it depends on the content what I do. It’ll be based on the symptoms of the individual, it will be based on lifestyle, the full context, but especially on the energy levels, being the other symptoms the history, other lab maladies, and is the endoscopic biopsy showing IBD or colon lymphoma because IBD can look like colon lymphoma, because allergy is an immune imbalance, it is immune imbalance. At one end of the spectrum is allergy is IBD and other inflammatory diseases, which can progress and can look like and become cancer.

Pam Roussell 41:50

That’s true. So, it’s good to try to get to the root cause. Now if you have, let’s say, a cat that just had an indiscretion and ate something or whatever and a little pancreas following digestive enzymes change the food or/and then they’re totally fine and go along their merry way. That’s great, that’s ideal. But if you don’t see that, and you dive into some of the more diagnostics to try to figure out is there an upper GI issue, do we have lymphatic issues going on, there are some lymph nodes involved? Are B vitamins being absorbed or not being, how the folate, the cobalamin and all of that. What does the picture look like, that can turn into a totally different issue.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 42:48

Exactly and you just describe its external and internal symptoms. Lymph nodes, behavior, everything that you can see in an animal are the external symptoms. And then, if I for example don’t see or you more commonly don’t see where you can fine-tune your lifestyle and get further diagnostic tests and find that things are abnormal on the diagnostic tests, that’s when you have to get a little more aggressive with the energy building techniques and you may want to support a diet, bland diet or enzymes. But while you support you need to be or you want to be working on curing the underlying disease because you’ll notice they are cured when you’re able to stop supporting the body. That’s always the goal.

Nature gives us all we need. Work with nature, follow nature. The solution to sustainability is in nature and indigenous people that live off the land and take care of themselves by herbal and they’re working and doing what people are designed to be doing or kitty are designed to be doing, that kind of health care that we’re moving to. And that brings us back to individuality and the fact that what you were describing the beginning, as far as knowing what every individual’s kitty needs, and people that have the goal of personalized medicine, we talk about personalized medicine in veterinary medicine, still a little bit but in people it’s now more precision medicine, using therapies as a tool, like I’m a carpenter with a hammer and screwdriver and I’m trying to decide which to use, meaning it’s not truly individualized. When the genome was discovered and described, we thought that was going to be the answer, but it wasn’t. The answer is all the stuff that you’re talking about.

Pam Roussell 45:21

Yeah, it is very individualized, yeah. And that’s why I think, some pet parents hesitate to take their cat to the vet all the time, because they think they’re just going to be put on this prescription food diet and they’re just going to run all these expensive tests, but they just feel like they’re nickeled and dimed, but they don’t get anywhere with that, so it’s very frustrating. And they’re spending a lot of money, they want answers. So, it’s very hard. Do you have any recommendations for viewers and people that are in that boat?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 46:00

Oh, my goodness. I’m not sure I’m allowed to say, of course, I do, and let’s spend 50 bucks a month, at holistic actions we’ll learn all of these things, you’ll get immediate support. We include weekly webinars and one-on-one calls to decide what to do and the ability to write on a forum. But that still has to be combined with your vet exam and diagnostic tests done by your vet. And who is the ultimate decider on what to do? You are, the pet parent. So, yeah, definitely go to a vet. That’s one of my top recommendations is to go for an exam, any indicator diagnostic tests, a lot of times pet parents ask for specific tests based on the kitty’s symptoms and find out what’s going on internally.

Pam Roussell 47:03

So, are there specific tests that you would recommend for GI issues? And can you let us know what those are that maybe pet parents should be asking for?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 47:13

Oh, the thing is maybe just ask for GI panel. There are panels. Texas A&M was the original and still doing amazing research in pancreatitis and IBD and B12 and pancreatitis, everything. But now lots of commercial labs are running a test like the pancreatitis test, test like [inaudible 47:44] test which asks for the pancreas’ ability to digest because chronic inflammation, as we discussed is something you don’t want and chronic inflammation, the pancreas can end up a kitty with a pancreas that doesn’t make him feel wells, that can be tested in a lab, and now they’re even doing tests for the microbiome.

Pam Roussell 48:09

That’s very cool. Do you mean like the fecal test?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 48:13

There’s the fecal test, there is the blood, there are all kinds of stuff available.

Pam Roussell 48:18

Very interesting.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 48:21

Mental stuff problem, breath stuff, oral stuff, it’s amazing. Everything that we’ve talked about, that you’re teaching about, is being verified in science. Just some things are going to take a long time, like the energy stuff that actually Erwin Schrodinger wrote about… they were developing quantum physics. He’s a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and friend of Einstein, they know all this stuff, they knew E = MC2.

Pam Roussell 48:54

Yeah, I love quantum. I think it’s fascinating. It’s kind of the world I live in.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 49:01

Then you may want to look at a Quantum book called Quantum Doctor by Amit Goswami.

Pam Roussell 49:07

Okay, I’m going to write that down. Oh, cool, Quantum Doctor. Okay. That’s the name of the book, Quantum Doctor?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 49:17

This is, yes. And this is what we’ve been talking about the whole time.

Pam Roussell 49:24

Okay, Anatomy of an Illness because I can put this in the notes of the show.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 49:31

And that’s just the book by a journalist named Norman Cousins who had an incurable painful disease in the 60s. And I think the book came out in the early 70s. PS., his method, which was based on laughter and candy camera re-runs and Mark’s brother films, he’s method has become like neuroimmunology, which is the relation of the brain, the immune system, and everything in the body. And UCLA now has Norman Cousins Center, where they study the stuff at a molecular level, and the beginning to work with the Greater Good Center at Berkeley with gratitude, happiness, how all those things are related to molecular mechanisms in the body.

Pam Roussell 50:26

Yeah, which is all energetic?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 50:28

It is, exactly.

Pam Roussell 50:30

Exactly. It’s kind of hard to see if our pets are laughing, but they’re happy, and their energy is good, and they get excited and they like to play, their overall BEAM is good. And you have some GI symptoms here or there, like diarrhea or vomiting but their overall BEAM is really good and it may be just a little minor indiscretion of some kind. And if one, two, or three of those Beam attributes are off, there could be some more underlying issues, chronic illness of some kind that you would recommend going in to get some diagnostics to see if you can really try to pin down some of those issues, correct?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 51:26

Well, you’re asking the wrong guy. I’m an information gatherer. But as a scientist, I want all the information to make a good decision. Getting the information does not guide what you do. And that’s why going to a vet for an exam and diagnostic test, is always really a good thing, even with acute diarrhoea than normal. You know, when your kitten has the four “P” symptoms, persistent, prominent, problematic, or peculiar, you know something is going on, no matter what the vet finds.

Pam Roussell 52:07

Yeah. Let’s go back to what you were talking about with food earlier. Do you find food – let me clarify – inappropriate food for cats causes a lot of these GI issues, like not a raw diet, like not fresh food, like the dry food, the processed, and all of that. I find that a lot in clients, if they change that it can be life-changing for their cats.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 52:43

Absolutely, it often is and that’s actually one of the reasons why HA, Holistic Action was started, I was contacted by somebody who’s, in this case, was a dog who had chronic diarrhea in the house several times a day and just wasn’t happy. They have been to six veterinarians, and none recommended a raw diet.

Pam Roussell 53:09

It’s really frustrating. In this day and age, there’s so much information out there on fresh foods and raw diets for cats. To me, it just seems like either the vets don’t want to know or their blinders and they just like, “That’s not what I was taught, so I can’t recommend it”, or they hear you… I don’t know, what are your thoughts?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 53:35

That’s a great point. And I’d say that eyes are opening even among veterinarian scientists, scientists always keep an open mind and look at things but, the upside of it is scientists, by virtue of the molecular focus that we’ve got, have a molecule focus, we look at one thing and yeah, whether it’s a veterinarian MD or someone in the lab, we know what we know. This holistic stuff is way too much, way too much outside of the purview of…

Pam Roussell 55:13

Outside of the box.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 55:13


Pam Roussell 54:15

I think a lot of them sometimes feel threatened because it’s not what they were taught in vet school by the pet food manufacturers in their three hours of nutrition, that’s the fact. So, I think some of them get very defensive and some of them are very fearful, because they don’t really understand, in my opinion, the biology and the short GI tract, and they don’t look at the biology of cats, they look at the process, the pet food industry, and what they’re putting on the shelves, and they don’t really look at how cats are designed to eat biologically. And when you can honestly take a look at their biology and how they’re designed in the wild, it makes perfect sense how to feed a cat.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 55:13

And the mother’s intuition is almost always right and if it’s in accord with nature, it’s almost right and species-appropriate, that was not really something we learned in vet school.

Pam Roussell 55:28

No, and it’s unfortunate because that’s such a huge part of an animal’s makeup, their DNA.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 55:36

And we did learn it in one class in zoo medicine.

Pam Roussell 55:40

Zoo medicine, yeah, for zoo animals.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 55:45


Pam Roussell 55:47

But there’s just this truncated… there’s no common sense between zoo animal and housecat, it’s like, but wait a minute, they’re cousins, they’re what? 99% biologically the same? There’s a disconnect that they’re not making the connection with the crossover. It’s like you’re dealing with the same animal here. But you know what I mean?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 56:12

Yeah, that’s actually why I adopted the Bengal, it is a little bit closer to the leopard cat that they came from and she is indeed, even with a wild cat, like some mountain lion, or some big cat comes to the house and it makes this awful – excuse me – it’s just a screechy cry. My cat makes the same noise and it eats anything, being very much unlike the kitties that we are used to. She’s being picky. Cats are not really supposed to be picky. I don’t think Aviva has ever vomited since we had her, she had a diarrhea diagnosis when we adopted her and that went away with the raw diet that she now craves.

Pam Roussell 57:12

Yes, I agree. It’s so healthy, so much better for them. Well, Dr. Jeff, this has been so fun and so informative. Is there anything else you want to share with our viewers like maybe your Holistic Actions group and what you guys do? Where people can find you? Please share.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 57:36

If that is okay, sure. is the website. In the middle of 2022 is our One Health Medicine year, the theme is One Health Medicine, one health is the concept of people on the planet can all work together in a sustainable way and that’s kind of the key is sustainability. And we’re there to inform you guys. I may not be your veterinarian, it’s really great to have an open mind, and local veterinarians, and an increasing number are working with us around the world, really.

And January through March is the winter bundle, which is 13 webinars, unlimited access to the forum, unlimited access to the courses like the pancreatic course, the urinary course, kidney course, all that. And One Holistic Medical decision-making call to figure out what to do, all that is part of the winter bundle January to March. And if you’d like we could maybe run some sort of contests for [inaudible 59:09]

Pam Roussell 59:09

Whatever you want, I’m totally open. Sure, do whatever you… yeah.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 59:14

Yeah, we can talk about that afterward. You can put it below. Awesome,

Pam Roussell 59:18

Absolutely. I just think in this day and age, we need a team, it’s like, there are so many people looking for a more holistic approach with their cats, but they cannot find an integrative or holistic vet in their area. And so they’re having to partner with a local vet for all of their medical diagnostics, etc. But then they’re doing telehealth medicine with somebody else that’s more integrative that can help them look at it from a different perspective.

And so, I think that’s probably the wave of the future, since one person obviously isn’t going to fill all of those checkmarks these days. So, having a team, I think it’s cool, because then you can get all the different perspectives, and you can just come together and go, “Okay, let’s look at this case, let’s look at this kitty or this dog from all these different aspects.” And it’s really cool to get that collective thought, how can we team up to help this animal get well?

Dr. Jeff Feinman 1:00:28

Exactly. In that direction of human medicine, where you have a medical team and we are having a veterinary team and journaling may be the most important things that you can do for your kitty.

Pam Roussell 1:00:41

Yeah, and keep learning, keep learning. There are so much out there these days that’s available to us. And there are studies, more and more studies coming out that it’s so cool, finally, we’re starting to see more and more. So, it’s, it’s good, there’s just so many more tools that are being developed and are available, instead of just the traditional allopathic path a lot of people have been on. So, it’s great to be able to say there’s something else we can do, there’s something else we can try, there’s something else we can test, just to have people have –give them a little hope and optimism that there are answers out there, we can find them, we just have to get out of our box a little bit.

And that’s probably why the people that are tuning in and watching this, whether it’s tonight or tomorrow or next week, or whenever they find this, that’s probably why they are doing that, they’re getting out of their box because they’re hungry for information. And that’s why I do what I do. And I’m sure that’s why you do what you do. And I love helping people find and just learn and it’s fun, learning is fun.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 1:02:00

It is. It is a big part of that growth mindset of you can only get better and that is the mindset of healing for your kitty, that your kitty body is healing and if you collect enough info and have a good team and you keep a good journal, your kitty will get better.

Pam Roussell 1:02:21

I agree.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 1:02:22

Don’t give up. Where there is life, there is hope.

Pam Roussell 1:02:25

I agree. Thank you so much. Thank you guys for tuning in and watching tonight, I appreciate you guys. I hope you are having a great Friday, and Dr. Jeff and I are going to put our heads together for some sort of a contest and I will be posting all the details on the channels, but until then, have a wonderful weekend everyone and we will see you next time.

Dr. Jeff Feinman 1:02:48

Okay, thank you. Bye.

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