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We are delighted to introduce Dr. Jeanne Fowler, DVM to our Super Foods Pet Market family. Dr. Fowler practices Integrative Veterinary Medicine combining Alternative Modalities such as Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation and Chinese Medicine along with Conventional Therapies and Surgery. She opened her practice in 1979 in Traveler's Rest, South Carolina and has been using alternative modalities with her patients since 1986. Dr. Fowler obtained certification from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 1987 and is also certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine and Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation. She studied Homeopathy in the U.S. with Dr. Pitcairn, DVM, and in Great Britain with the illustrious Homeopathic Veterinarians, George McLeod, DVM and Christopher Day, DVM. Dr. Fowler is also a Veterinary Prolotherapist.



Ask The Vet
  • Q

    I have a two year old male German Shepherd, Jude, who has been in good health until recently. He suddenly started having seizures 4 to 5 times a month, sometimes twice in one day. Is there an alternative treatment for this?

  • Answer close [x]

    German Shepherds are susceptible to inherited epilepsy which usually manifests at 2 to 3 years of age. I would ask your local veterinarian to run a super chem. and thyroid panel. Occasionally hypothyroidism or liver pathology can be at the root of seizures.

    If you are vaccinating yearly, consider also running blood titers to determine the immunity your dog already has before giving any more vaccinations. Over-vaccination can contribute to the problem.

    Eliminate wheat, corn, soy and dairy in his diet and feed a natural diet, preferably homemade. Food allergies can also be a factor in seizures. I recommend Standard Process Min Tran. It is a calming balance of minerals that can help stabilize the neurons and prevent overactivity. In Chinese medicine seizures are Liver Wind Rising. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Formulas can be very helpful. Seek the help of a veterinarian certified in these modalities.   

  • Q

    I recently heard of a puppy that was diagnosed at 8 weeks with juvenile diabetes.  Is this a congenital  or is it an autoimmune disease?  Can early vaccination trigger this problem?  What nutritional protocol would you recommend?

  • Answer close [x]

    Diabetes mellitus occurs more frequently in certain breeds, such as the Samoyed, Miniature Schnauzer, Toy and Miniature Poodle and Pug. Yes, over-vaccination may contribute to the onset of diabetes in breeds that are susceptible. Early vaccination can disrupt the vital force at a vulnerable time and it rarely provides immunity since maternal antibodies block the vaccine from taking effect anyway. 

    Canine diabetes  is similar in many ways to human diabetes. The pancreas is unable to secrete insulin, so blood sugar metabolism is disrupted. The body is not able to use its sugar, so it is passed out in the urine.  Diabetic animals may be overweight or thin and they drink and urinate excessively. It usually occurs at about 7 to 9 years of age. Juvenile onset isn't common. It is diagnosed by testing blood chemistry and urinalysis. 

    Meals and exercise should be very regular. Most do well with two regular meals a day. This is especially important if you are treating conventionally with  insulin. Do not attempt treatment, holistic or conventional without a veterinarian to guide you. 

    Many alternative veterinarians recommend a Paleolithic diet. Susan Wynn and Steve Marsden have a nice diet in their text.

  • Q

    Sam is a male cat about 14 years old.  He is red and white, sweet, affectionate and sociable.  He was a stray who I took in four years ago.  He was already neutered which is about as much as I know of his past.  He tested positive for FIV when I took him to my vet four years ago. My veterinarian practices homeopathic medicine and alternative modalities and treats my cats naturally. He is on a raw food diet with vitamin supplements and vegetables.  Sam's symptoms began about 1-1/2 years ago.  His gums are swollen, inflamed and when he is worse, ulcerated, which prevent him from eating. My veterinarian has been treating him with Depo-Medrol® for the inflammations and giving him subQ fluids.  I have been using anti-viral essential oils and doing  Reiki and the R.I.F.E. machine on him.  Is there anything I can do to clear him of this virus?

  • Answer close [x]

    FIV is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, a lentivirus which only affects cats, but is closely related to human immunodeficiency virus. It is spread by contact with blood and bodily fluids, so cat fighting and sexual intercourse can spread it.  

    It can exist in a carrier state with no symptoms for many years. So your cat should be neutered and indoors away from other cats. A vaccine exists, but doesn’t give very good protection, so even the conventional vets don’t recommend it. 

    I would advise caution in feeding raw food to a cat who has an immunodeficiency disease especially when giving potent immunosuppressive drugs. This cat could contract a bacterial infection from the raw meat that could be deadly to him. Unprocessed natural food is great. But with FIV, I would slow cook the meat in a crock pot. This allows the enzymes and nutrients to live, but protects the immunosuppressed cat from infection.  

    In the presence of Depo-Medrol®, homeopathic medicines are antidoted out. And while herbal medicines may be given to support immune function, you are suppressing immune function with Depo-Medrol® So it is like driving with one foot on the gas pedal and the other foot on the brakes. 

    There are no guarantees when dealing with FIV. But if you are interested in treating naturally, you may consider slowly backing down on the Depo-Medrol® These are powerful drugs which take over and therefore shut down the body’s natural production of its own hormones. If you stop suddenly, it could be disastrous. 

    If you are interested in pursuing a more holistic approach, I would discuss with your vet gradually tapering off the Depo-Medrol®. There are natural plant sterols like Moducare®, CoEnzyme Q-10, and Duralactin® to address the gum inflammation. They can be started while weaning off the Depo-Medrol®. While tapering off steroids, I give Standard Process Drenatrophin to support the adrenal glands to return to normal function. 

    During the weaning, symptoms may worsen. That’s because the Depo-Medrol® only suppressed them. When symptoms are suppressed, they settle in deeper and are harder to clear. Not only that, but to treat holistically, symptoms are our guide to what is out of balance and how to fix it. 

    After weaning off the steroids, the case should be taken by a classical veterinary homeopath. We look at all symptoms physically, mentally and emotionally, and find the similimum, the one remedy that fits the whole case. Based on symptoms, we prescribe a series of related remedies to clear each layer of disease. In the presence of FIV, you may give the FIV nosode. A nosode is a homeopathic dilution of the disease causing organism. 

    Traditional Chinese Medicine can also be helpful. A full Chinese exam and history should be taken to exactly characterize the underlying imbalance that allowed the FIV to take hold. Chinese herbals and acupuncture are tailored to the individual and its symptom picture.  

    I hope this information will help you. FIV is a very serious disease and no one can give you a guarantee of cure. But over the years, I have found that bringing the patient back into balance is better for length of life and quality of life in these conditions.

  • Q

    My dog gets ear infections that heal with the medications my veterinarian prescribes, but they keep coming back. What can we do naturally to treat them and keep them from coming back?

  • Answer close [x]

    The drugs used to treat the infections are intended to kill the invading organisms (bacteria, yeast) and suppress the inflammation. They do not address the underlying imbalance in the dog (the terrain) that attracted these organisms to grow in your dog’s ears in the first place. 

    From a holistic perspective, continually suppressing symptoms causes the imbalance to set in deeper pathology and makes it harder to really heal. The pattern of imbalance needs to be addressed. Homeopathy can be very effective with such cases. All symptoms, physical, mental and emotional are analyzed to find the similimum, the one remedy that most closely fits the case. There are some first aid remedies you can use at home for acute cases. If the condition is chronic, a professional veterinary homeopath should deal with the case. 

    If the ears are in the early stage of infection and are just becoming red and itchy, give Aconitum 12c or 30c, one to two pellets every 3 to 4 hours until better. When there is a thin discharge and the pet is restless and seeks warmth, give Arsenicum Album 12c or 30c, same schedule until better. 

    If the pet is painful when touched and becomes irritable, and the ears have a semi-liquid wax, give Hepar Sulphuris 12c or 30c every 3-4 hours until better topical treatments can also be effective. If the discharge is watery, smelly and thin, flush the ears with a solution of one cup distilled water and one teaspoon of Calendula Officionalis tincture. 

    If the ears are painful, but have little discharge, Aloe Vera gel can be applied in the ears. If using commercial Aloe Vera, avoid brands that contain sodium benzoate as a preservative. This is poisonous to cats. If they groom it from their ears, they will become toxic. 

    If these first aid remedies do not relieve your dog’s symptoms, seek the help of a holistic veterinarian.

  • Q

    My tom cat keeps getting abscesses. Why is this happening and is it possible to treat this myself without going to the vet for drains and antibiotics?

  • Answer close [x]

    The answer to your problem lies in your cat’s lifestyle. Un-neutered tom cats and cats that spend time unsupervised outside have the risk of getting into fights with cats and other creatures. These puncture wounds can form abscesses. Interacting with strange cats, especially fighting, puts them at risk for contracting Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV) or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). The presence of these viruses can, in turn, make the fight wounds more vulnerable to abcessing. This is why I recommend that you blood test for these viruses and neuter your cat. He may be in a carrier state without showing symptoms. Any cat in the carrier state should not be allowed to go outside or have any contact with other cats. If your cat tests positive, you should seek veterinary care. Alternative therapies such as Homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be very beneficial in such cases.

    For first aid therapy, if the cat is irritable and painful to touch, give homeopathic Hepar Sulphuris 12c or 30c. Give 2-3 pellets by mouth two to four times a day until better.

    Topical Echinacea Angustifolia can be used to prevent the draining abscess from closing. Clean the abscess twice a day with Echinacea infusion. This formula is from my teacher, Dr. Richard Pitcairn. Bring one cup of distilled water to a boil. Pour it over one teaspoonful of dried herb or 1 tablespoonful of fresh herb. Cover and steep 15 minutes. Then extract the liquid by straining it through cheesecloth. Immerse a washcloth in the solution and apply it to the abscess. Refresh this every five minutes. You may also take a syringe with no needle and flush the solution into the opening of the abscess.

  • Q

    My dog has eaten a homemade natural diet all his life. I have limited his vaccinations to the minimum. In spite of this healthy natural lifestyle, he has allergies. Can you tell me why?

  • Answer close [x]

     A chronic disease in an animal whose lifestyle should not create disease is explained in homeopathy as a miasm. All chronic disease is the result of one of more than three basic influences acting abnormally on the vital force: Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis. As I understand Hahneman’s theory, in our original state, we were disease free. In our ignorance, we suppressed symptoms and pushed disease deeper into our bodies and created original disease.

    Psora is the first miasm, the beginning of all sickness. Without Psora, the other two chronic disease patterns wouldn’t have manifested. The continued attempt to rid the body of visible symptoms over many generations has caused disease to root itself deeper. Psora, from the Greek word meaning “itch”, is an intrinsic weakness that roots itself in the skin. If suppression continues, the miasm would progress to affect deeper organs in the body. Miasms are a fault in the balanced response of the body, a functional disorder.

    This is best resolved by classical homeopathy, a series of related remedies prescribed in a manner to release the miasm over time. An untrained practitioner could suppress the condition and unbalance the patient further. Suppression in one generation can worsen the next generation. Likewise, true healing in one generation can free the next generation of the miasm. So it is a blessing to have homeopathy as a tool to return to a state of balance and harmony. 

    Reference:

    1. Dr. Richard Pitcairn, DVM
      Veterinary Homeopathy Professional Course 1996-1997
    2. Saxton and Gregory
      Textbook of Veterinary Homeopathy
  • Q

    My dog is microchipped. If he is lost, does the microchip company’s recovery service take care of everything that needs to be done to get him back?

  • Answer close [x]

    Since the advent of microchipping and universal readers, more pets than ever are being reunited with their people. Even if your pet is sheltered, accidents happen; pets dig out of fences, charge through invisible fences, break free of leashes. Microchipping saves lives. Some microchip companies offer a service that alerts a network of volunteers to help locate lost pets. But that alone may not be enough.

    I work part time in the admissions department at the Greenville Humane Society. I see the pets that fall through the cracks in the system. The numbers alone are staggering. Last quarter, Greenville Humane Society took in 3779 animals. Of those numbers 1977 were euthanized. Only 144 were reunited with their original owners. Most shelters can only hold animals for about five days before euthanizing those they cannot adopt or send to rescuers. So one of the very first things to do when your pet is missing is to go, in person, to your local Humane Society to search for yourself. I’ve seen several people show up on day six and describe animals that had just been euthanized the previous day.

    If you move or change your phone number, you must notify your microchip company. We have recovered several microchipped pets with invalid owner information in the microchipper’s system. Luckily we have found some of these people on MySpace. Some shelters may not have the time or skills to devote to this kind of search.