Size of the Medication Dose Matters. A lot!

Size of the Medication Dose Matters. A lot!

unhappy wolfhound with lyme disease unable to standIn the mid-1990s, I was called out to see Justin, an Irish Wolfhound who was unable to get up.

This was a big problem because he weighed 180 pounds.

Examination and history strongly suggested Lyme Disease.

At that time, anti-biotics were the only Lyme treatment that I knew. When Eva saw the recommended whopping dose for Justin’s size, her face flushed and she gasped.

She said the there was no way that he could tolerate such a “high” dose of medication. She thought that they definitely would make him sicker than he already was.

I prescribed the low end of the (supposedly) effective dose and left.

Eva called a few days later with an update. Justin was almost back to normal. But as she predicted, he had also developed abdominal pain, violent diarrhea and vomiting after the first high doses of drug.

She had then taken matters into her own hands and only given a fraction of the dose from then on.

After the dosage reduction Justin started walking around more normally, eating and holding it down, and his stools firmed up.

I hung up the phone and tried to understand why this happen. Weren’t anti-biotics safe? After all, they were often prescribed “just in case”.

Drug doses were supposed to be used to maintain therapeutic levels of the medications. Yet Justin responded dramatically to a much lower dose. This didn’t make sense.happy pup after successful lower of his antibiotic dose

The Science of Hormesis and Dose

A few years later I came across publications referring to the Arndt Schutz rule. It explains what happened with Justin and other patients who had responded to very low doses of medications.

In a nutshell, it says that low doses can stimulate the body to do its’ job, but higher therapeutic doses can be toxic.

Low doses lead to healing. High doses lead to toxicity.

I thought that this was interesting research, but not applicable to most patients. Boy was I wrong!

Homeopathic Doses

Other problems with conventional drug doses and the scientific literature on hormesis led me to researching homeopathy.

I had never heard about this area of medical science. Even after decades of scientific inquiry including working with researchers in biochemistry and molecular biology labs.

What an eye opener! I learned that the very, very low doses of homeopathic medicines were highly effective at stimulating the immune system. In fact, before anti-biotics were discovered, most of the homeopathic MDs were able to save their patients in the midst of otherwise fatal epidemics.

The survival statistics were compelling!

Many of the top, conventionally (“scientifically”)-trained, MDs flocked to homeopathy because of these successes. These men, and back then most were men, were open-minded. They saw these amazing treatment outcomes and wanted their patients to have the best.

The AMA was started soon thereafter partially to stop this migration .

Size Matters

Fast forward to present day. Modern medicine has made amazing strides in understanding how the physiologic process of the body function. Sometimes even at the genetic and molecular levels.

Nowadays the best medicine, both for people and pets, is always individualized. We’re learning that one size does not fit all.

Some pets can not tolerate higher doses of specific drugs like Ivermectin.

Most pets react to high doses of most drugs.

All pets die from treatment with poisons like arsenic and strychnine.

Yet these same poisons are commonly used at very low doses in homeopathy to save many lives. The tiny doses of nanotechnology are being actively researched and adopted into modern medicine

The size of the dose matters.


Holistic Actions for Pets That Vomit

Holistic Actions for Pets That Vomit

What Throwing Up Can Mean for Your Pets

If you have a dog or cat who has a history of throwing up (vomiting), you may be worried. You want to stop the vomiting and help. This is natural and important.

You can help the most by learning more about the symptom of vomiting. Once you know more, you can use that information to make better decisions about what to do. Both quickly and through your companion animal’s life.

You can learn a lot by reading and researching on the internet. Veterinarians are often best able to share important information with you. Doctors should educate you while healing your pet.

There is a difference between healing and just resolving the immediate problem. Healing both relieves symptoms and improves the patient’s life. 

 In all ways. Not only symptomatic relief.

For example, in our recent Lyme webinar, we discovered that Lyme is an over diagnosed and over treated disease. Overall healthy dogs exposed to Lyme don’t get sick. The strong immune system neutralizes any harmful effects from the Lyme bacteria. Anti-biotics may relieve the acute symptom, but they also can contribute to future problems.

In patients who throw up, using Prilosec or Pepcid to temporarily relieve symptoms is common practice. Proton pump inhibitors and H2 blocking anti-histamines may (or may not) relieve the symptoms. But your pets deserve longer term relief without the potential side-effects of medications. The holistic and homeopathic methods of understanding your pets are here to help. Their scientific framework can even help predict which patients may benefit from or suffer a side-effect from any medicine.

Any dis-ease symptom may resolve in the short term, but the quick fix doesn’t improve future health or dis-ease resistance.

Why is closely examining specific symptoms so important? Because understanding them is a way of learning more about the body and the healing process. The more we understand the signs and symptoms produced by the body, the more we understand how the body works. 

Our Windows On the World.  Symptoms are a clue that there may be a deeper issue.

We (the Holistic Actions community) can help you become empowered. With the information you need along with the holistic interpretation leading to Holistic Actions to stop the vomiting by making informed holistic decisions.
Let’s start our understanding of “vomiting” by differentiating it from regurgitation.

The Difference Between Vomiting and Regurgitation

Vomiting is active. It may appear as though the whole body is involved in the effort and you’ll see the stomach muscles contract. Often, they’ll vomit several times in a row.

Regurgitation is passive. It does not involve the forceful contraction of stomach muscles. Both vomiting and regurgitation can occur right after eating or drinking, or up to several hours later. In both cases the vomitus can look just like the food that was eaten.

If you don’t observe the act, then you can’t tell the difference. In order to fully describe vomiting, you have to observe it. Could there be an environmental modification or other holistic action that could stop the symptom (vomiting)? Perhaps you can just move a houseplant or switch food batches.

Other environmental and preventable causes include “garbage gut”, consumable toys (and toy parts-especially eyes and squeakers), strings, ribbon. garland, etc.

Another consideration is the frequency. Is the vomiting sporadic? Is it common (but not “normal”, even for cats)?

Your observed and described details along with your veterinarian’s physical exam findings, and diagnostic tests can determine the cause of the vomiting and predict effective holistic actions.

Common Causes for Throwing Up

1. Dietary “indiscretions” and overeating (as seen with “scarf and barfers”)
2. Toxicities and sensitivities (foods, plants, etc.)
3. Foreign Bodies
4. Drug induced (many)
5. Infectious and inflammatory
6. Motility dis-orders (like am bilious vomiting syndrome)
7. Hormonal (e.g. associated with heats)
8. Vomiting as one part of a group of “syndrome” symptoms (e.g. Cushing’s, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, etc.)
9. “Normal” vomiting? (common but not normal)

The best outcomes in dogs and cats that vomit can be seen when you look at the full picture of the individual. The holistic medical framework lets you do just that.

When Do You Take Your Pet for an Emergency Evaluation?

These are all times to take your pet into your vet or the emergency ER.

1. Persistent vomiting or retching
2. Moderate (like a tsp.) to large amounts (like a cup) of blood in vomit
3. Toxin exposure (and ingestion)
4. Breathing and choking problems (use your quick home exam)
5. Pain or isolating
6. Unproductive retching or bloating
7. Puppy or kitten repeated vomiting (was there a recent vaccination?)
8. Abnormal home exam (e.g., vitals, gum color and moistness, skin recoil, gum capillary refill)

When in doubt err on the side of caution.

What to do if you go to the ER?

1. The examination will help rule out an acute foreign body and any needed (indicated) lab work can quickly rule out dehydration from internal fluid shifts (as in HGE) and vomiting.

2. Supportive care with fluids, resting of the gastrointestinal system and observation.

3. You can spend (or save) a lot of money with emergency hospital diagnostic testing. Most of the time, quick screening tests (BUN, creatinine, red and white count etc.) are the only tests that are urgently needed.  You can save hundreds of dollars by asking the ER doc if the tests can be done instead later by your family veterinarian.

The goal of your trip to the ER is to have a vet use their expertise to tell you if your pet has a life-threatening problem, and if so, starting to treat. Not to run expensive (and sometimes not indicated) tests “just in case”. Newly minted veterinarians may be prone to this and often staff animal ERs (I know, because I was one myself in 1985).

The more details you can share with the medical personnel, the faster the problem will be solved. Details like, how much and how often your pet vomits are critical. Knowing the contents of the vomitus is also very helpful. What’s in it?? Is there a “real” hairball, large amounts of blood (bright red, black, clots?) or foreign material. What is the consistency, color, does it have a strong odor? Are they any known triggers? How problematic and persistent is the vomiting? These factors help determine symptom context and significance.

Environmental sensitivities (modalities) are the best way to individualize your pet. This is how your companion animal’s body responds to various stimuli. Even though this information may not mean much to the ER vet, it is very important to know in order to resolve the internal cause for the vomiting.

Modification of symptoms by factors like when they happen, if they are better or worse inside or outside, response to environmental temperatures. Is there vomiting related to eating or drinking, pooping or peeing? Better alone or following you everywhere and wanting to be close are especially important in vomiting pets.

Other important clues include multiple symptoms happening at the same time (concomitants), like diarrhea + vomiting, etc.

It’s the ER vet’s goal just to rule out and treat emergencies. But as the full time guardian of your pet, you want to be sure you have all of the information you need to do the best.

It’s also important to know how and when to induce vomiting when it is associated with a foreign body or potentially toxic ingestion (like. In the case of a toxin, induce vomiting immediately using hydrogen peroxide. You can use a turkey baster to orally give as much as needed until vomiting starts. The peroxide bubbles up in the stomach to start the vomiting reflex and then it just becomes plain H2O (from H2O2).

Foreign body ingestion is another great time to induce vomiting. It’s better to prevent future potential obstructions than to have to treat them.

However, don’t induce vomiting when the ingested material can damage the throat when it comes back up. When there has been a caustic substance ingestion or eating of a sharp foreign body, it’s best not to induce vomiting.

After the emergency is over review your pet’s lifestyle paying special attention to possible predisposing factors to the vomiting. Many vomiting causes can be found in the diet, activity level, environment and in over and unnecessary supplementation. Adjusting these periodically promotes healing in your pet’s body.

Prescription and over the counter medicines are also a big cause for vomiting. Avoid them when possible. Higher doses and longer duration of use can be especially problematic. Vomiting from arthritis medicines and other anti-inflammatories, anti-biotics, etc. is common.  Sucralfate is one medicine prescribed commonly in vomiting pets that is usually safe to use (though not in pets with kidney dis-eases. It’s not absorbed well and works locally to coat and soothe vomiting-related problems.

Fasting is the single most effective but simple and safe Holistic Action that you can take. Resting the gut while it heals and regenerates works wonders.

Once the acute problem calms down, you can further support the body by feeding small bland meals, using liquid aloe vera, and supplements like Alicaid, Nutrigest, probiotics + probiotic multipliers, digestive enzymes, etc. It’s important for you to understand that supplements are supporting the natural healing process, but they’re not eliminating the underlying problem. Doing so may be enough to resolve acute vomiting, but not in chronic vomiting. To fully address the underlying chronic problem, you will need to understand the vomiting in context including your pet’s individuality.

Now What?

The current non-holistic advice is that there is no need for any action if the vomiting resolves. Some vomiting is “normal” after all. Especially if your dog or cat is eating (at all), and is bright and alert. Right?

However, by interpreting the (seemingly) isolated vomiting within the full context of your companion animal’s totality, you can make good use of this information. If you are working with a veterinary homeopath, we can use these early warning signals to prevent future severe vomiting episodes.

Here are some Holistic Actions that you can take. Today!

1. Define the problem- is it vomiting or regurgitation (or even a retching cough)?
2. Restrict Food and Water
3. Determine if ER needed for supportive care
4. Support with Fluids, aloe?
5. Question use of steroids and anti-biotics (rarely indicated)
6. Observe and record in detail
7. Homeopathic treatment (modalities and concomitants key)

Even if you are not working with someone who can interpret common but abnormal vomiting (or other symptoms), you should at least record the symptoms for future reporting. A great place to do that is Dr. Christina Chambreau’s “Healthy Animal” journal.

Here’s where your observing and describing and recording come in handy. Start now and practice. Good observers are usually made, not born that way.

There are many ways to holistically resolve vomiting. Perhaps the most important take-away is for you to continue building up confidence in yourself. You are a critical part of your holistic vet care team. Embracing this fact will help you care for your pet when dealing with vomiting or other symptoms.

Educate yourself on the holistic medical scientific framework. Doing so will help you to solve both acute and recurring health challenges. Even better, knowing the significant factors will help you promote wellness and prevent dis-ease.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff


There Are Risks from Suppressing Skin Dis-eases So Learn Your Holistic Options

There Are Risks from Suppressing Skin Dis-eases So Learn Your Holistic Options

Antibiotics Can’t Hurt. Right?

Sarah was a sweet Maltese. Everyone loved her. She loved everyone and everything. And everyone loved Sarah. Even dog-hating people and anti-social dogs. Her sociability and energy allowed her to have a great life.

Sarah enjoyed long daily walk and playtime. She went to doggy daycare almost every day. She was physically healthy overall. Like her health conscious guardians, she ate a fresh diet and went for routine wellness checks.

The only problem was that she’d periodically develop itchy skin, rashes and red, smelly ears.

Whenever she was not acting “right” in any way, she was rushed to the veterinarian. Anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories were usually prescribed.

After all, they couldn’t hurt, right?

One morning, Sarah’s guardians saw a few itchy pimples on her skin. Sarah was acting fine otherwise so they went to the vet after work that night. Just to be safe. An anti-biotic was again prescribed. Sarah’s pimples vanished within a few days.

A few weeks later after work, Sarah started twitching and developed a vacant stare. After lots of tests at the ER and consultation with a neurologist, Sarah was diagnosed with a seizure disorder and idiopathic epilepsy.

This abnormal behavior continued almost every day so Sarah was started on anti-convulsants.The drugs made her pretty lethargic for a few weeks but then she seemed fine. Sarah’s life returned pretty much to normal.

Sarah was lucky. Her health challenge was successfully treated. But could it have been prevented? Many similar stories end badly.

Here’s something simple you can do that can save your beloved companion animal’s life. Try not to suppress skin symptoms. Like Sarah’s pimples.

Are these Skin Symptoms Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

Why not? Because every sign and symptom (see below for the difference between them) has a relative degree of importance. For example, it’s better to have an external symptom such as a skin or ear problem rather than an internal one such as a brain or liver dis-order, e.g. causing seizures.

This seems obvious, right? Uh, uh. Not in today’s reductionistic (where dis-ease is reduced to one part) and mechanistic (the living body is seen like a machine with separate moving parts) medical mindset.

Our common sense, intuition and scientific studies say that, unlike reductionism, life is a connected continuum. Everything is connected. Whole-istically.

Holistic understanding and evaluation of life’s decisions leads to better outcomes. Both for health maintenance as well as dis-ease treatment. After all, you don’t buy a car without exploring your available options. You look at the bigger picture. You collect information, read reviews, and get opinions from others.

Don’t our beloved companion animals deserve the same?

You Can Learn To Make the Best Decisions

(and do what feels right when treating your dogs and cats)

The most effective decisions are made this way. By evaluating all of the available information. Medically speaking, you (and your holistically-oriented doctor) weigh all of the benefits and risks.

In Sarah’s situation for example, was her overall and longer term health considered when treating her skin pimples? Was anti-biotic disruption of her body’s delicate bacterial balance even considered? How about the potential immune and other imbalances secondary to the drug use?

Was a holistic or reductionistic decision made?

Enter Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM) and Holistic Options courses and school. You’ll learn the simple framework that will allow you to help decide what is best for your animal companion.

You can do it!

The best decisions are those you make when you have all of the information and consider it holistically.

Holistic medical decisions can lead to better quality and longer lives for our pets.

You don’t need to be medically trained to effectively use this method. There’s only a few things to learn. The relative importance of the symptoms (like skin pimples vs. seizures) is just one of them.

Learn to holistically promote wellness. Not treat isolated symptoms reductionistically.

How you approach and treat symptoms is critical to the quality and length of life. For all beings.

Know Your Treatment Options

Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on your conventionally-oriented family veterinarian or MD to see the bigger picture of health or present them all to you. Especially when it comes to gentle holistic and natural treatments.

But how do you know what to do?

That’s why the Holistic Actions! for Companion Animals Academy and resources are here!

Our online resources are highly reliable and well researched. They will help you make the best holistic medical decisions.

Here you’ll find online courses, audio and video seminars, access to cutting edge research, analysis, etc. available 24/7. They’ll show you the gentle and effective methods that can be used to holistically help . Best of all, at the live group classes and discussion groups, you can ask your specific questions about holistic and homeopathic preservation of health.

Find out more about the Holistic Actions! Academy and Holistic Medical Decision Making method.

Or start by taking the Holistic Essentials course which goes over the five essential parts of the holistic life.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff

PS-A sign is an objective measure of dis-ease, like a blood test result (yes, diagnostic test results are also important when making holistic decisions). A symptom is subjective. Pre-verbal children and non-verbal animals only have signs. Using this definition that is. But is that really the way that life works?

Your child may not yet speak but she sure can still communicate. The same is true for animals.

For simplicity sake, signs and symptoms can be considered together.