How to Listen to and Learn From Your Pet’s Symptoms to Take Effective Holistic Action

How to Listen to and Learn From Your Pet’s Symptoms to Take Effective Holistic Action

Learning to view your pet’s symptoms as trustable, intelligible communications that can provide clues to underlying imbalances and guide holistic health interventions is one of the most important things you can do.

This is often a difficult task, since almost all of us have been conditioned to view symptoms as an enemy that we must medically defeat. But symptoms are not our enemy but our ally, and this reversal of perspective is one of the most rewarding you can take; not only for your pet’s life, but for your life. 

When your pet’s symptoms are not viewed as something to fear but as something valuable to which you can listen and from which you can learn, it quickly becomes apparent that they offer a breadtrail to the very solutions you are seeking — holistic actions that don’t just cover up or quiet down symptoms, but that create new levels of inner balance and vitality to make your pet’s system even more resilient against dis-ease.

A Quick Word About the Difference Between Signs and Symptoms

It bears noting here that what we’re calling in this article “symptoms” are understood medically as “signs.” Technically, symptoms refer to indications of distress or dis-ease that are subjective and therefore invisible, such as the particular quality of pain or the experience of having a nightmare. 

Because animals aren’t able to tell us about symptoms, we must technically go on signs. Signs are indications of distress or dis-ease that may not be outwardly visible, such as elevated white count, fever, and so forth. Another way to understand the difference between symptoms and signs is that the first is subjective and the second is objective. But for the purpose of this article, we’re just using a single term — symptoms — to refer to both.   

The real question now is how you can have a “conversation” with your pet by listening to their symptoms in order to learn from them? The 4 P’s methodology we’re about to teach you will give you tools for doing this and transform your capacity to respond appropriately to what your pet’s system is telling you.  

Without Further Ado…The 4 P’s!

The 4 P’s offer a listening framework to help you approach symptoms with the right mindset and the right questions. 

  1. Pay attention to Problematic symptoms: Health challenges that may limit your pet’s life, like obesity or chronic allergies.
  2. Pay attention to Prominent symptoms: Those that most loudly say, “Pay attention to me!” Acute dis-ease symptoms fall into this category.
  3. Pay attention to Persistent symptoms: How often do you see the symptom? Hourly symptoms are usually more significant than weekly.
  4. Peculiar Symptoms: Have you ever seen this symptom before in your pet or anyone’s pet or does it strike you as particularly odd or usual?

And here’s two other P’s that help you work with your pets bodies and symptoms and not suppress them:

  1. Approach symptoms with Patience: Deep and permanent healing occurs slowly.
  2. Approach symptoms with Perseverance: You might need a new approach or different (not just a second) opinion. Don’t give up!

BEAM — Another Helpful Framework for Listening to and Learning from Your Pet’s Symptoms


BEAM should be improving over time.

This basic BEAM model of four symptom categories provides an additional framework for understanding and assessing symptoms. BEAM stands for Behavior, Energy, Appetite, and Mood. The Beam models helps shine the light on optimal long term health and to provide an overarching context for viewing symptoms.

When it comes to holistic strategies for your pet, BEAM should be improving over time. It’s extremely important to track changes in BEAM symptoms, especially if they are Prominent, Persistent, Problematic or Peculiar.

So ask yourself, which categories do my pet’s symptoms fall into? The more categories in which symptoms appear, the more urgent is the need for intervention to restore or improve your pet’s inner balance and vitality.   

Symptoms that Change In Response to Environmental Changes (“Modalities”)

Pay especially close attention to symptoms that change depending on the context. They are among the clearest communications you will receive from your pet’s system. These symptoms may appear…

  • When you get ready to leave the house or come home from work, with your pet becoming especially clingy or needy, or going off by themselves at specific times of day or night.
  • In weather conditions like heat, cold, rain, wind, etc.
  • During or after: eating, drinking, waking, defecating, urinating, etc.,
  • In relation to certain foods. (Fresh feeding of a variety of foods makes symptoms like this much easier to recognize.)
  • And more!

Symptoms that occur at the same time, or what are known as concomitant symptoms, can also be very significant. For example vomiting along with diarrhea, increased drinking along with sneezing, etc.

Additional Considerations and Questions for Collecting Clues

Keep a daily log of symptoms and carefully record any changes, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Changes in your pet’s usual patterns and habits as viewed through the BEAM model are especially significant, even if they appear to you to have nothing to do with your pet’s problem. Where relevant, record the answers to the following questions in your log to collect the clues you need for helping your pet. 

Teenage girl and her dog studying together

  • When did the problem begin and what circumstances were associated with it or may have brought it on?
  • Have there been previous illnesses such as ear and eye “infections”, allergies/skin diseases, colds, skin growth removals, urinary problems, etc.?
    • Specifically, which treatments were used, for how long and what doses were any drugs used? What were the results? 
    • How about new symptoms associated with a medication (no matter how benign you were told that it is)?
    • Are there any conditions that started along with the main problem you’re concerned about? 
  • Is there a time of day, night, month, or season that the symptoms are better or worse? Are they better or worse before or after eating, sleeping, moving, resting, or when your pet is occupied with a favorite activity? (Anything that makes the symptoms better or worse is extremely important to note.)
    • Do symptoms appear at a specific time, season, phase of the moon, temperature/barometric pressure etc.? For example, is joint stiffness worse when it is humid?
    • Do the symptoms remain the same or do they change character or shift from place to place?

Narrow Your Focus to Gather Even More Clues!

The real breadcrumbs to the solutions you’re seeking are found in the details! By focusing on the following areas, you’ll be led that much closer to the right holistic actions to take for your pet!  


  • How is your pet’s appetite? Does she beg for food and always appear hungry? Is there an increase or decrease in appetite? 
  • Does your pet’s appetite seem excessive or are they inexplicably picky?
    Does your pet seem preoccupied with particular kinds of food or with particular flavor profiles or textures? (Salty, sweet, fatty, sour, spicy, egg-like, or ice cubes?)
  • Does your pet trying to eat non-digestible items like dirt, rocks, sand, stool, pencils, etc.?
  • Is your pet fed in a crate, and if so, why? 
  • Does your pet eat out of a bowl or need to be hand-fed? 
  • How fast does your pet eat? Does she take a few bites or eat all of the food right away?


  • Have there been behavioral changes such as being easily startled or starting from sleep or seeming sensitive to being touched? 
  • Do these behavioral changes improve or worsen with diversion such as a walk or car ride? Is your pet’s reaction to you opposing certain behaviors (like jumping up on somehow) any different than usual? 
  • Is your pet behaving differently with guests or interacting with strangers in ways you’ve never before witnessed? Does your pet actively avoid interaction or retreat to a room by themself to seek solitude? 
  • Has your pet become more or less reactive to small animals, other dogs or people? How long after an encounter with one of these does reactivity occur?  Is it expressed through jumping, lunging, barking, growling, trembling, or cowering?
  • Does your pet appear restless or unable to settle down? 
  • Do they suddenly begin to avoid hard surfaces or seek out hard surfaces to lie on, and rest in positions they have not favored before? 
  • Do they prefer sun or shade more frequently than normal, or do you notice unusual or extreme behavior changes in relation to temperature changes?
  • If your pet is involved in any kind of training, do you notice an increase or decrease in focus, a change in excitement level or loss of motivation in response to using food, toys, and praise as a reward? 
  • Do you notice a sudden reluctance to sit, heel, etc., or a sudden change in your pet’s attitude toward training? 
  • Is your pet vocalizing and/or moving in their sleep in ways you’ve never seen before? If so, are you seeing whining, barking, snoring, paws or legs twitching (all paws?), or they’re legs moving as though they are running?


  • Does your pet suddenly no longer want to be brushed or pet or seek out brushing or petting when having avoided it in the past? 
  • Do they suddenly react to brushing or petting in an unusual way such as spinning, whipping their head around, trying to bite you, moving head from side to side, licking the air, or “dancing” with back legs?
  • How does your pet react to running water? Does your pet suddenly avoid baths or resist getting out of the bath? 
  • If your pet is a cat, has their been a reduction or cessation of grooming? 


  • Is your pet losing unusual amounts of fur or shedding at unusual times? If so, is the hair falling out evenly or in bunches or tufts? 
  • Do you note dandruff, dry or brittle fur, a change in your pet’s coat in terms of thickness, shine, dullness, or oiliness? 


  • Discharge details are very important. Are you noticing any discharge  from our pet’s nose, eyes, or sex organs? , Is it scant or copious, thick or thin, or sticky? What is the color and odor? Does it appear to be causing irritation to the tissues it’s being discharged?


  • If your pet is an intact female; how old was she when she first came into heat, how far apart are the cycles, are there any behavior changes or physical symptoms that accompany heat?
  • What does the vaginal discharge before, during, and after the heat cycle look and smell like? 
  • Has she ever been pregnant? Did she breed and conceive easily? 
  • How did she carry, any problems delivering? 
  • Did she have plenty of milk? Were there any problems associated with nursing?


  • Is your pet favoring or protecting a specific foot or holding her paw up? 
  • Do you notice soreness or swelling to the paw or legs, and when it is genty pressed on, does an indentation occur, and if so, for how long does it stay before returning to normal? 
  • Does the swelling feel soft or firm, an dis it hot to the touch? 
  • Does your pet exhibit pain with rotation of what appears to be an afflicted joint?
  • Can your pet lie down and get up quickly and easily? Do they lie down with their back legs or front legs first? 
  • Do they yelp or cry out when they lie down, spin prior to lying down? 
  • When they lie down, does their back end go down fast but front end slow? 
  • Does your pet yelp or cry out when getting up or attempt to use a wall or some other source of support for standing? 


  • Do you notice any masses or growths on your pet? What is the size of these growths? Are they open and expelling fluid or bleeding or emitting odor? 
  • Are masses soft or hard, painful, and movable?
  • Have their been any changes in the shape, size, or growth-rate of a mass? 


  • Does your pet pant excessively or have trouble breathing? 
  • Is your pet coughing? If so, what does the cough sound like? (Hacking, rasping, wheezing, wet, or dry?)
  • What is the frequency of your pet’s coughing, the time of day it occurs, and the duration of the coughing episode? 
  • Does the cough coincide with or seem to be triggered by waking up, when on-leash, or after eating or drinking?
  • Is your pet sneezing? If so, what is the frequency, time of day, triggers, length of the sneezing episode, and how many sneezes in a row do you count? 


  • Do you note any skin changes or lesions? What is their exact location and color? Are they dry or moist, thick or thin, scaly, or pimply? Are their warts or other growths? Are they dry, flaky, powdery, red or inflamed? 
  • What about open sores, clogged pores or cysts, or changes in skin pigmentation? What is the appearance of skin overall?
  • Is the skin itchy and does your pet seem to get relief from scratching or does that seem to make it worse? Does heat, cold, exercise, wearing a collar, etc., make it better or worse? 


  • Does mucus or blood appear in the stool? Does defecation coincide with waking, eating, drinking, etc.?What is the frequency and urgency of defecation? (Does your pet rush to the litter box or to the door at a certain time of the day?) 
  • What is the odor, color, and consistency of stool? Are the stools very smelly (do they burn your eyes from 6 feet away?). Are they hard, dry, large, pasty, bloody, frothy, slimy, thin, watery, slender, or flat?
    • Normal stools are well-formed and are easy to pick up (and don’t leave mush on the ground).
    • Soft-formed stools may look the same (or a bit wetter) but are harder to clean up
    • Pudding stools are the consistency of soft serve ice cream.
    • Watery stools are in liquid form.
  • Does stool shoot out like water from a hose with (or without) gas? Is there straining before, during, or after passing stool? Does your pet continue to try and eliminate even after they have defecated? Do you hear (or smell) gas before, during, or after passing a stool? How about noises from the stomach?


  • Is your pet drinking less or more than usual? Is there thirst for large quantities at one time, small frequent quantities, or little thirst? 
  • Is there a preference for cool fresh water vs. room temperature or warm water? Is there a preference for water that comes out of the tap, backyard hose, or bathroom toilet?
  • Is your pet a “sloppy” drinker? (Does the water go all over the place after a drink?)


  • What is the color, how frequent or urgent is the need to urinate? 
  • Have there been any accidents or periods of incontinence?


  • Is vomiting active or passive? Does vomiting seem painful to your pet? Is there retching? 
  • What is the vomitus odor, amount, color, and consistency? (Foamy/frothy, lumpy, liquidy, etc.)
  • Do there seem to be identifiable food triggers, activity-related triggers, or specific times of the day you witness vomiting? Does it seem in any assoicated with, drinking, going out or coming in, or defecating? 
  • Do you notice weakness after vomiting?


  • Do you notice any male or female sexual issues? Trouble breeding, masturbation, excessive mounting behavior, or penile or vaginal discharges related or unrelated to heat?

The More Clues You Collect, the Better Off Your Pet Will Be! 

Holistic Action is here to help you interpret your pet’s symptoms and use them as a trustable guide for taking effective holistic actions — actions that don’t just cover up or quiet down your pet’s symptoms, but that create new levels of inner balance and vitality to give them the happy, healthy life that every dog and cat deserve!

Thank you for visiting us here at Holistic Actions! We wish you the best of luck on your holistic pet care journey! 

Be well.

Dr. Jeff 

What To Do About Vaccinosis Prevention and Treatment

What To Do About Vaccinosis Prevention and Treatment

This article has been adapted from the introduction to the Holistic Actions! vaccinosis webinar ebook.

If you’d like to be notified the next time we have a webinar about vaccination or when the vaccinosis course is released, please sign up below.

 Click here to read more about the benefit/risk of vaccinations.

Vaccinations can negatively effect your pet’s health.

Most holistic and homeopathic veterinarians strongly advise minimizing vaccination. Based on years of clinical experience and research.

However, sometimes vaccination is unavoidable. Especially for the legally required rabies vaccine.

You can help prevent vaccination-associated problems.

Talk With Your Holistic Veterinarian

  • Will they write a rabies exemption for an ill animal?
  • Will they give smaller doses to your healthy animals?
  • Are they on board for no rabies vaccine if titers are “protective”?

This is where having a good relationship with your holistically-minded veterinarian can really pay off!

If You Absolutely Have to Vaccinate

1. Check and record all of the Early Warning Signs of Internal Imbalance, the BEAM symptoms (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) and any other symptoms. If possible, wait until your dog or cat is in the best possible health.

2. Give Jackson Galaxy’s Spirit Essence – Vaccine Detox for 1 -2 weeks before the vaccine and 1-2 weeks after the vaccine. This is a totally safe flower essence combination formulated by expert veterinarian Jean Hofve.

3. Learn Reiki (for classes go to web or local health food stores and local integrative human and animal practitioners). This gives you the ability to “take the bad out of anything.” Hold the syringe in your hand and treat it till your hands are not hot. If challenged, say you have heard all the problems caused by vaccines and want to pray over it. Once in the car (if you are not at a friendly, understanding vet) Reiki the injection site till hands not hot. Then offer Reiki to the whole animal until she no longer draws energy.

4. Check daily for changes in or the appearance of any of the early warning signs of illness, BEAM changes or any obvious illness and if seen, seek out a holistic practitioner immediately (hopefully you already have one).

5. We do not suggest routinely using homeopathic remedies after vaccines.

Thuja, Lyssin, Sulphur, Silica, etc. are not routinely indicated, in a cookbook manner, after vaccination. Giving anything “just because” is not effective, sometimes not safe, and not real homeopathy. The rabies jab is not your pet’s totality of symptoms (individuality).

These steps will help your pets from developing vaccinosis.

Sign up below to receive holistic living tips right in your inbox.

Is the Food you Feed Helping or Hurting Your Pets?

Is the Food you Feed Helping or Hurting Your Pets?

Food has been used as a safe and effective medicine for thousands of years.

Living food is vital and gives our pets the nutrients and energy they need to survive, thrive, and heal. The freshest foods promote wellness and speed this healing. fresh and vital foods help healingProcessed pet foods have most of their vitality removed.

The high heat and pressure used during manufacturing destroys most of their living parts and healing properties. These de-vitalized foods then need these essential nutrients added back to them.

Dry and wet dead foods can predispose your pets to nutritional, allergic and autoimmune dis- eases. Even fatal poisoning from toxins in the ingredients.

Most of our pets love food and live to eat. They have to eat whatever we give them and rely on us to feed them well and deserve better than this.

Fresh, living (vital) food is ideal and what their bodies crave. If you feed kibble or canned foods try mixing in some fresh food with their next meal and see what gets eaten first.

Real food is known to help resolve diabetes and obesity, mouth and dental dis-eases, skin and ear problems, inflammatory bowel and heart dis-eases etc.

The freshness of the food we feed our companion animals directly influences length and quality of their lives.

Help your pets today. Feed Fresh Food.

Here is the food vitality scale. Where does your pet food fall on it?

Click on the image to download the food vitality scale.


Practicing Proactive Prevention and Treatment to Best Help Our Pets (Brain Tumor Case)

Practicing Proactive Prevention and Treatment to Best Help Our Pets (Brain Tumor Case)

Seemingly without warning, your beloved companion animal develops a life-threatening illness.

Sue and Bear’s story can help you decide what to do.

Bear is a playful eight year young Bulldog. All of a sudden he started having seizures.

His worried guardian brought him to a neurologist who ran diagnostic tests that showed a large brain tumor.

Why did this happen?

Sue had tried to do everything right. She fed local raw meats in variety, minimized vaccines and drugs, didn’t use any flea or tick poisons, etc.

Important Questions – HMDM Method

What happened and what can Sue do now?

Her HMDM (Holistic Medical Decision Making) STEP 1 goal is to get Bear as healthy, in any way, for him to have the best quality of life for as long as possible.

That brought Sue to HMDM STEP 2. Investigate the problem and learn all of the possible treatments.

Her neurologist laid out the current conventional options. These were steroids and other chemotherapy, surgery and Cyberknife (radiation). None of them would save Bear’s life, but they might buy him a few months.

This didn’t seem like much time. Especially considering all of the side-effects and quality of life lowering limitations of each.

So Sue quickly (she didn’t have much time to help Bear) moved on in her research. And learned more about everything from special diets, nutritional supplements, acupuncture, etc. that were claimed to help seriously ill dogs.

Bear had already tried some of these holistic treatments prior to skin tumors had been removed. None of them seemed suited to this dire situation.

A week went by and Bear was getting worse. It was time to move on to HMDM STEP 3.

The Answer and Holistic Action!

During Sue’s research, Bear’s guardian learned more about the holistic and homeopathic perspective. One that was not currently accepted conventionally, but which could help.

The brain tumor might have resulted from a subtle internal energetic imbalance.

The idea being that the imbalance first resulted in seemingly minor problems like his skin tumors. Even though they were removed, the underlying cause persisted.

It therefore made sense to address this underlying problem directly. Even if most US veterinarians said that it was not “real”. As Bear’s guardian learned, this was not the case elsewhere.

She therefore chose to find a veterinarian who could treat this way and work alongside her neurologist. Her veterinary team was complemented by holistic practitioners of massage, Reiki, flower essences and other gently supportive methods. Everything possible to give Bear the best possible life.

Fine-tuning the Vital Force

Sue was then introduced to the homeopathic concept of regaining health by listening very closely to Bear’s body. Apparently it had been “talking” to her all along. Through the externally visible and internally measurable symptoms.

They could then be used to treat him. Veterinary and MD homeopaths had hundreds of years of successful clinical outcomes. Even in critical cases and during otherwise fatal epidemics.

Treating and monitoring Bear using this approach required commitment on Sue’s part. She started keeping a daily journal of symptoms and responses to treatment.

In order to best use this seemingly unrelated information she touched base with her veterinary homeopath every few days.frequent short checkins with your homeopath will help your pets

That way, she was best able to help. By frequently evaluating symptom changes, both the underlying energetic balance and any side-effects from conventional treatments could be reduced.

At this time, Bear’s story is not finished, but he continues to be a happy boy.

You can also learn to help your pets as Sue did. The free resources on this site will get you started. If you’d like to go even further, Holistic Actions! Academy is here to help.

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.


Why Routine Diagnostic Tests are so Important

Why Routine Diagnostic Tests are so Important

Your nine year young pup or kitty seems fine. But she’s not.

The veterinarian just called with the blood test results from her wellness check up: thyroid, liver and kidney markers were abnormal. On top of that, the vet said she has an infection because her white count is very high.

Uh oh! What should you do?

Don’t panic!

Diagnostic test results like these are internal and otherwise hidden symptoms. Not much different than the external and readily apparent symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea. Just not as obvious.

You wouldn’t have even known that there was a problem were it not for the “routine” testing that was done.

All symptoms are only indicators of an internal imbalance. Both internal symptoms like liver test abnormalities and external symptoms like vomiting are clues to the physiologic functioning of the body. Invaluable clues. Clues to be cherished and embraced.

The abnormalities can often be fully corrected. The amount of improvement depends on the progression of the underlying dis-ease. This can be measured.

Adding together all symptoms tells you what to do next

For example, if everything seems fine but one of the results is still abnormal, you know that continued care and monitoring is needed.

Non-invasive diagnostic testing is therefore very, very helpful.

However, how these tests are interpreted and acted upon can make the difference between life and death.

Holistically Monitoring Kidney Dis-eases at Home

Holistically Monitoring Kidney Dis-eases at Home

Problem = possible decreased kidney function.

Holistic Action! = monitor for early warning signs and kidney function at home while promoting healing by your pet’s body.

Meet Henry

Henry is a 6 year old Golden. His mom has been watching him drink much more than usual. Everything else about him is normal.

Nothing has changed with his BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) or other symptoms and his blood tests are all normal.

What can his concerned guardian do?

Wait and watch and reactively treat when problems arise? Or proactively prevent a problem before it starts?

Diane is holistically-minded and has heard about how dis-ease progresses. She knows that internal imbalance moves from the functional “nothing is wrong” except an external symptom level to the structural level where the kidney tests are abnormal.

She chose to be proactive so is watching Henry like a hawk and closely monitoring for any changes. She wants to know right away if something is wrong and nip any problems in the bud.

The Four Methods

There are four simple things Diane can do at home that reflect directly on kidney function.

These same four methods can be used to monitor any stage of kidney failure. Whether your pet seems fine, or has a named dis-ease like “Lyme nephritis” or “CKD” (chronic kidney disease).

  1. Measure the amount of water he is drinking.
  2. Keep a close eye on quantity of urination for Henry and size of urine clumps in cats.
  3. Use a sensitive dipstick test at home to keep track of protein loss in the urine.
  4. Monitor the concentration of the first morning urine with an inexpensive and easy to use device called a refractometer.

Along with these simple home tests, your veterinarian can pickup early kidney dis-eases at home by comparing any bloodwork that has recently been run to previous results.

Even when tests are “normal”, trends of the results can be very important.

For example, creatinine is one blood test that is run on most screening panels. There is a phenomenon called “creatinine creep” which can be a great internal symptom early warning sign that kidney function is decreasing.

Using these simple holistic methods of monitoring internal and external symptoms, you can help your pets live happier and healthier lives.

Join us at Holistic Actions! Academy to have our faculty help you to help your pets.

Stay well.

Dr. Jeff

What’s Your Pet’s BEAM?

[chained-quiz 2]

Holistic Help for Dogs and Cats With Cystitis Symptoms

Holistic Help for Dogs and Cats With Cystitis Symptoms

The problem? Cystitis (Urinary Tract “Infection” or UTI).

Solution and take home? An easy process to resolve and prevent it.


You come home to a puddle of urine on the kitchen floor or outside the litter box. Or maybe your previously well housebroken 5 month old puppy wakes you up overnight with a urgent request to go outside to pee.

“Inappropriate” (to you, but not your pet) urination, frequent, urgent, painful and otherwise abnormal urinations are common clues that your pet may have cystitis (UTI). What does that really mean?

Any “itis” is an irritation. That’s it. Not infection. A healthy and natural response by the body. Cystitis (bladder irritation), or enteritis (intestinal irritation), dermatitis (skin irritation) are clues that there is an internal imbalance causing an irritation and inflammatory response.

Inflammation is the body’s natural healing mechanism. Cystitis does not mean the there is an infection. The symptoms that you see are clues to what is going on internally.

Your working with the body to help these symptom clues has two effects:

  1. Gradually resolve symptoms by treating the underlying imbalance (better known as “dis-ease”).
  2. Improve overall health which reduces the chances for relapse.

Bacterial infections do not usually cause cystitis. Most commonly, the bacteria are only secondary invaders. Like a one-two punch. Inflammation causes the tissue irritation which sets the stage for bacterial overgrowth.

Healthy bladders (and other parts of the body) have built-in very strong protection against infection. These include physical barriers, natural anti-biotic properties of urine, and a powerful immune system.

Understanding the physiologic changes that occur in cystitis can help you decide how to help your pet. In cats (and some dogs) the most common causes are related to the environmental-emotional-physical connection. They trigger the inflammatory response and cystitis symptoms. Not an infection.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Evaluate the environment and litter box hygiene. Any change can trigger these symptoms. Especially in cats. If there are no obvious trigger that you can modify (like feeding dry food, a dirty litter box, new litter, a new pet) then go to step two.

2. Bring a urine sample (or your pet) to your veterinarian. The vet’s diagnosis and treatment recommendations add reliable information to your Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM Step 2). You can use of this information both for treatment decisions as well as for monitoring.

  • Try not to let any urinalysis findings (like crystals, white cells, blood, etc.) scare you into treating any way that you’re not comfortable. These abnormalities can resolve as the underlying dis-ease is treated.
  • What you do now will have a direct effect on persistence, recurrence and progression of the dis-ease.

3. Increase fluid intake and fresh food feeding. Stop any dry food. This is critical. Especially for cats. Adding organic chicken broth to the food is one great way to increase fluid intake. Make the food as soupy as your pet will accept.

4. Monitor both the urinary as well as the BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) symptoms. These will help you decide if your pet is improving overall. In addition to just urinary symptom improvement. Record them in your journal to decide your next step.

5. Re-evaluate the treatment. Is it holistic? Does it take all of the different factors, like environment and stress, into consideration? If there is no improvement or if only the urinary symptoms improve while overall health is declining (maybe your pet’s urinary symptoms are better but now s/he is lethargic, getting pickier, having diarrhea or vomiting, etc.) then move to step 6.

6. Discuss treating the underlying internal imbalance with your vet. If she says to just continue the anti-biotic, or rolls her eyes, then consider consulting with a truly holistic vet. Even if your vet calls herself “holistic”. You can find one on

7. Now’s also a great time to increase holistic support to promote natural healing. Homeopathic medicines, flower essences (especially those that help reduce fear and anxiety), Reiki, loving, soothing massages and T-Touch, play and other forms of environmental enrichment will help.

8. Congratulations! You did a great job. Your patience and perseverance with working through your pet’s symptoms has paid off with a happier cat who will have fewer problems in the future.

Holistic Actions! will always improve your pet’s quality of life and overall happiness.

Join us as at Holistic Actions! Academy to have our faculty help you to help your pets.

What You Can Do For Your Dog or Cat Having Seizures

What You Can Do For Your Dog or Cat Having Seizures

Homeopathic treatment can help any named dis-ease. As long as sufficient vitality exists.

Animals have convulsions for various reasons. What can you do if your pet has a seizure? And is already being treated with homeopathy.

Homeopathic Remedies

In my homeopathic practice, here’s what we do. Often the decision about what to give (homeopathically) is between Aconite (Acon.) and Belladonna (Bell.)

How do you decide which to use?

Based on the clues which the body generates secondary to physiologic changes which cause diagnostic test abnormalities. In turn, these symptom changes are secondary to internal energetic imbalances.

What clues? Symptoms. For any seizing patient whose symptoms correspond to the homeopathic medicine “picture”. For any named dis-ease.

For example:

  • Restless —> Acon.
  • Lying in one spot not wanting to move —> Bell.
  • Fear —> Acon.
  • Dilated pupils —> Bell.
  • Thirsty —> Acon.

1-3 pellets added to 8 oz.  water. Give 1 tsp. Succuss 10x and give 1 tsp. whenever needed. Dosing can be every few minutes to every few hours, days, or only once. Regardless, if the doses are not helping, you probably need to switch to the other homeopathic medicine (which you did not choose). Or perhaps to another based on the symptoms and your observations.

I hope you never have to use this.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff

Should You Use Supplements for Your Lame and Arthritic Pets?

Should You Use Supplements for Your Lame and Arthritic Pets?

The Problem: Increasing lameness, stiffness and arthritic problems in our pets.

The Solution: Individualized treatment while supporting your pet’s body while it heals. By optimizing lifestyle and using nutritional supplements (if needed).

 We all love our animal companions and we don’t want them to suffer. Fortunately there’s lots of ways to help them.

Ideal Scenario

Lifestyle improvements are really important, but sometimes are not enough.

Optimizing the internal underlying imbalance is critical, but not always practical.

That’s where nutritional supplementation is most useful. There are many, many ways to internally support your pets and help them have better lives.

How Do Supplements Work?

Unlike homeopathy and acupuncture, supplementation works on the physical body. Not the vital force (or chi, prana, etc.).

Nutritional supplements are like natural drugs.

They help the genes work better. The proteins produced from the genes support life and health.

Supplements are (usually) supportive and not curative.

Dr. Hahnemann coined the phrase “allopathic” for the medical practice based on the use of dis-similar substances. Whether using a natural herb, an artificial drug, or a supplement.

Allo- (or different) vs. homeo- (the same) and pathic (from dis-ease or suffering).

The rare exception is when a supplement fits the totality of the symptoms of the individual so well that it works “homeopathically”.

Supportive and Curative Treatments at the Same Time?

Homeopathy arose as a method of optimizing internal balance. Not covering up symptoms (as supplements can do). However, even the founder of homeopathy (Dr. Hahnemann) describes many ways to support the body during treatment of the underlying dis-ease (imbalance).

Herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes, were routinely used in the “olden” days. Naturopathic methods were integrated into conventional medical treatments.

That changed with the advent of the AMA and modern “scientific” medicine.

However, that has shifted again. By the 1970s, natural and holistic nutritional supplements were coming back! Nowadays, almost every veterinary practice has multiple supplements on their pharmacy shelves.There are new ones coming on the scene almost every day. Just like drugs.

Crippling Arthritis Be Gone!

One of my first experiences with nutritional supplements took place almost thirty years ago. A client of mine with a stiff older dog named Sasha asked me about omega-3 supplementation. Because it had been recommended by her own amazing informed and open-minded rheumatologist.

The pup’s guardian had started taking them. Within a few weeks, her gnarled, painful fingers and other joints improved! More than with any anti-inflammatory that she had taken. And without the side-effects of the medications.

This intrigued me so I started doing some research on the use of omega-3s for arthritis. Unlike there is now, at that time there was not much data on their effectiveness in animals (or people). Despite this, the woman requested that we try some for her crippled German Shepherd.

The next time I saw Sasha, she was like a new dog! Happier, more energetic and clearly feeling better. Her mobility was markedly improved and my practice was changed forever.

Specific Supplements I Use for Arthritis

I’d therefore like to share a few thoughts about the 10 most commonly prescribed nutritional supplements in my clinical practice for lame and arthritic dogs and cats:

1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Many, many beneficial efects both in arthritic dis-ease as well as heart, skin, brain, etc. challenges. The best sources are usually from anchovies and sardines. It’s best to stay away from salmon oil (which is highly contaminated with heavy metals). The triglyceride form is most natural, best absorbed and utilized.

2. Superoxide dismutase: Has a very short life in the body. It is often used in combination with other antioxidants. These reduce the harmful “free radicals” that worsen many dis-eases and promote aging and cancer. Nu-Pet antioxidant wafers are among my favorite sources.

3. Hyaluronic acid: A chief component of joint fluid and lubricant to many connective tissues. Previously only absorbed and used as injections such as Adequan. But now with Trixsyn and other oral well-absorbed HA supplements it is invaluable for the stiff pet.

4. Glucosamine sulfate: Another component of the joints and musculoskeletal tissues and one of the first supplements thought of in lame animals and arthritis. Other forms that don’t contain sulfer, don’t work as well. They need to be combined with chondroitin sulfate.

5. DimethylGlycine (DMG): A methyl donor which improves many metabolic functions. Often used in combination with other supplements. For arthritis I advise the chewable Glycoflex 1 + DMG.

6. Coenzyme Q-10: A critical part of any arthritis support program. Helps mitochondrial function, energy production and arthritis symptoms. But it is not very well absorbed. Ideally use a non-powdered and non-crystalline form. Xymogen’s Co-Q Max is my favorite one to date (but is also only available through your doctor).

7. Resveratrol and grape seed extract: Not whole grapes. Those can be toxic. But extracts are awesome antioxidants. They have many, many benefits. Resveratrol has even been shown to prolong life (in people).

8. Boswellia: An herb used for thousands of years that naturally works on same part of the inflammatory pathway as aspirin. It can quickly and effectively decrease arthritic pain when used judiciously.

9. Curcumin + black pepper: Turmeric root has also been used for millennia as a natural anti-inflammatory. It works wonderfully for arthritis. Its’ effect is increased by combining it with black pepper. As found in the popular “Golden Paste” mix.

10. Bromelain usually along with other enzymes: Also natural anti-inflammatories. Great for helping many uncomfortable dis-orders. Wobenzyme makes the most popular human enzyme of this type. But also talk to your veterinarian about Vetriscience’s Devcor + Mobility Pro. An awesome combination of enzymes and herbs that has helped many pets.


MSM is the one nutritional supplement that I rarely advise. Why? Because it’s very effective at covering up the symptom clues that help monitor and treat the internal dis-ease. Especially at higher doses like 100-500mg.

Does it work? Yes. But unlike with many other supplements it has a better chance of manipulating and harmfully altering the underlying problem.

Any supplement can have the same effect. MSM especially can mask the symptom clues. This defeats the purpose of restoring wellness.

Natural Nutrition is Best

If you’ve read this far, you probably really care about helping your pet. I therefore want to impress upon you the far superiority of optimizing your pet’s body naturally. Not with artificial supplements. You can harness the power of nature with nutritional items like the blueberry-kale slurry, bone broth and eggshell membranes.

What’s most important? The treatment goal of eliminating imbalance by monitoring the symptom changes of your pet’s body.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff

Arnica is Safer and Often More Effective Than Rimadyl

Arnica is Safer and Often More Effective Than Rimadyl

What to do after injury?

A frequent question I get from community members is what to do right after an injury. Whether the injury was from a bad turn during agility to being t-boned by another dog during play.

Here’s how you can help right away (without anti-inflammatories like Rimadyl):

  • Get the Arnica pellets from your emergency first aid kit. If you don’t have Arnica on hand, ask a friend or buy them in your local health food store. Arnica is extraordinarily useful anytime your pet experiences a “bruised” sensation.
  • Give one pellet of any potency (the highest potency available) that you have. Even better would be to a add a pellet to a bottle of any water. Whatever is available. Give about 1 tsp.
  • Now assess the situation using Holistic Medical Decision Making. This quick and easy process will help you decide what to do. For example, you should go to the veterinary clinic right away if the injury was severe. However, if it wasn’t, and if there isn’t an obvious fracture, you may choose to wait and repeat the Arnica. Especially if your pet is already feeling better after the first dose.
  • If you are using the liquid, succuss 10x and give another dose in 10 minutes if your pet isn’t already improving. To succuss, “whack” the bottom of the bottle vigorously usually against the palm of your hand. Succussions subtly increase the strength and effectiveness of the next dose.
  • Re-assess after each dose, and repeat if improvement is not continuing. Dose every ten minutes for an hour, then less frequently. 
  • Don’t wait for improvement if there was a major trauma like an encounter with a car. Start dosing on the way to the ER in order to get the best outcomes from any needed veterinary treatmen

We hope that you’ll never have to use this emergency procedure. If you do, please share your experiences.

Be well.

Dr Jeff