Chi is a 16 year young kitty. He’s a purring machine who loves everyone!

One morning, he woke up sneezing and discharging from his nose.

That’s it. He was fine in all other ways. There was nothing abnormal about any of his B.E.A.M. (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) symptoms.

What should you do to help Chi?

  • Rush him right to the ER?
  • Wait and see what happens?
  • Make a routine veterinary appointment for next week?

That choice is easy to make. Here’s how:

  1. Start by looking closely at the symptoms. Details like the presence or amount of blood, color and amount of the discharge, etc. will help you decide.
  2. You can then use B.E.A.M. to look at the whole picture. Whole-istically.
  3. Even if you wait for a vet exam, you can still start helping him as soon as you see the new symptom.

Proactive Dis-ease Management

STEP 1: Pause (“paws”).

Take a breath and look at everything happening with Chi. If the symptom is not critical like a trauma, profuse bleeding, bloating, etc. take some time to re-frame it.

Health challenges are not “problems”. They are gifts.

Any symptom that you observe is a way to improve overall health. How you think about and approach symptoms matter a lot.

STEP 2: Is this something that has ever happened before?

Brand new symptoms are much more likely to be caused by a recent change in lifestyle or something in the environment.

STEP 3: Look at the symptom location.

Is it on the outside of the body like Chi’s discharge, a hot spot, etc? As with skin and ear symptoms, sudden discharges are usually not medical emergencies.

STEP 4: Check in again on the B.E.A.M. symptoms.

STEP 5: Act.

You can do something immediately. Even if you don’t rush right to the ER. For example, you can describe and record what you are seeing in a journal, or use an acute homeopathic medicine. Consulting with your veterinarian is helpful and sometimes essential.

What you do matters. A lot!

Why do symptoms matter so much?

Because symptoms are direct reflections of what’s happening in the body. They are clues that there’s some internal imbalance.

Just like you should do at a crime scene, leave the clues alone when you first see them. But don’t ignore them. Become a crack detective and help solve the case!

The symptom clues tell you that something is not right internally. In fact, even before expensive lab tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, etc. are able to measure it.

Conventional medicine sees the abnormal symptom and wants to stop it. The problem is that eliminating the symptom without addressing the imbalance increases the chance of recurrence. Even worse, symptom suppression can lead directly to more serious problems.

Pediatricians realized this years ago in relation to children’s ear “infections” (which are not usually infections). Doctors used to prescribe anti-biotics to make the symptom quickly go away and make your child quickly feel better. This approach worked. Temporarily.

Why only temporary? Because the underlying imbalance was not addressed. It is now known that giving anti-biotics for new ear symptoms in children predisposes to future ear problems. Like life-threatening asthma that develops after suppression of a skin rash, red ear or other allergic dis-ease.

OK, but what should you do NOW? Chi is sneezing and discharging up a storm today.

It depends on the context of the nasal discharge. If any of his BEAM symptoms were abnormal, then yes, a vet visit and exam in the next few days would be indicated.

Whenever you are uncertain about what to do, a trained veterinarian can help you decide. The vet will start to interpret the symptom. But it’s only a start.

If your vet is holistically-minded, she will then help you put her interpretation of the symptom in context. However, you may need to do that part yourself. Otherwise eliminating the symptom may be the main goal. Not overall health.

For Chi that meant not just giving him anti-biotics because he had a worrisome symptom. In the complete context of his health, the sneezing and discharge were just demonstrations of his body doing its’ job. He did have to live with the symptoms for longer than if they were artificially stopped. But then again, he had been living happily, only with close monitoring, for years. No medications. Despite other problems like asthma and heart dis-ease.

You don’t need a veterinary degree or any medical background at all to apply Holistic Medical Decision Making.

You can learn how in any of the Holistic Actions! Academy courses or classes.

Learn more by joining our community below. 

Be well.

Dr. Jeff

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