What are holistic medicines? Are they miracle cures? Hocus pocus? Strange potions brewed by druids at midnight? Hardly – in a nutshell holistic remedies involve treatments that are intended to cure the entire individual. The holistic approach to achieving optimal health takes into account biological, nutritional and preventative aspects as well as environmental and lifestyle factors. It does not focus on suppressing symptoms of disease(s) - it aims to heal underlying imbalances and to stimulate the body's own healing mechanisms. Herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, improved nutrition and massage are tools used to eradicate the ailment(s) thus in turn making the symptoms withdraw.  

Remember you are your dog’s medical mentor in charge of their welfare i.e. health, well-being and prosperity. Every decision made from their puppyhood to adulthood can have lasting effects. As a responsible owner it is essential to understand the traditional as well as non-traditional approach to dog care.

.Important: It should be noted that holistic and alternative medicines do not rule out conventional use of treatments in emergencies or in the situations where alternative approaches don’t provide acceptable results.

Holistic/Complimentary Remedies

Aloe Vera

Perna (GL Mussel)

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits of Oatmeal    
Colloidal Silver Chiropractor    
Manuka Honey      
Omega Oils (Fatty Acids)      
The best source of aloe vera is a freshly cut leaf from an organically grown aloe vera plant. The juice can be extracted by simply squeezing it out of the tip of the leaf. Alternately, a whole leaf may be placed into a food processor and then the juice can be pressed out of the pulp created by the food processor. The active properties of aloe include barbaloin and isobarbaloin. Aloe has purgative, cholagogue, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, and anthelmintic effects. Aloe powder is a strong purgative and can be effective with constipation. Scientific studies have shown that aloe is highly effective when applied topically to burns, especially in the early stages following the burn. As a vulnerary, it speeds wound healing and cell growth.
Recently, some companies have begun marketing aloe as an immune enhancing herb. Some of these companies claim to have developed cold processing (and other secret or proprietary) techniques that extract individual components from the Aloe Vera juice. Two of these products are called Acemannon® and Manopol®. In some conditions, these products can be very helpful. Normally, we recommend that the juice of the plant be used.
The main uses for Aloe include:
  • Wound management
  • Burns
  • Constipation
  • Treating bowel disorders where there is inflammation
  • Immune boosting
  • Anti-inflammation

Dosage: Dogs 1-3 drops per pound of body weight, twice daily

Courtesy WellVet.com

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Every home with dogs should have apple cider vinegar. It's a remedy with multiple uses for dogs: alleviating allergies, arthritis, establishing correct pH balance. You can also give Apple Cider Vinegar to cats and horses.
As written in an excellent, 1997 article by Wendy Volhard: "...If your dog has itchy skin, the beginnings of a hot spot, incessantly washes its feet, has smelly ears, or is picky about his food, the application of ACV may change things around. For poor appetite, use it in the food - 1 tablespoon, two times a day for a 50 lb. dog. For itchy skin or beginning hot spots, put ACV into a spray bottle, part the hair and spray on. Any skin eruption will dry up in 24 hours and will save you having to shave the dog. If the skin is already broken, dilute ACV with an equal amount of water and spray on.
Taken internally, ACV is credited with maintaining the acid/alkaline balance of the digestive tract. To check your dog's pH balance, pick up some pH strips at the drug store, and first thing in the morning test the dog's urine. If it reads anywhere from 6.2 - 6.5, your dog's system is exactly where it should be. If it is 7.5 or higher, the diet you are feeding is too alkaline, and ACV will re-establish the correct balance.
If you have a dog that has clear, watery discharge from the eyes, a runny nose, or coughs with a liquid sound, use ACV in his or her food. One teaspoon twice a day for a 50 lb. dog will do the job.
After your weekly grooming sessions, use a few drops in his or her ears after cleaning them to avoid ear infections. Other uses for ACV are the prevention of muscle weakness, cramps, feeling the cold, calluses on elbows and hock joints, constipation, bruising too easily, pimples on skin surfaces, twitching of facial muscles, sore joints, arthritis and pus in the urine. There are also reports that it is useful in the prevention of bladder and kidney stones.
Fleas, flies, ticks and bacteria, external parasites, ring worm, fungus, staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus, mange, etc., are unlikely to inhabit a dog whose system is acidic inside and out. Should you ever experience any of these with your dog, bathe with a nice gentle herbal shampoo -- one that you would use on your own hair -- rinse thoroughly, and then sponge on ACV diluted with equal amounts of warm water. Allow your dog to drip dry. It is not necessary to use harsh chemicals for minor flea infestations. All fleas drown in soapy water and the ACV rinse makes the skin too acidic for a re-infestation. If you are worried about picking up fleas when you take your dog away from home, keep some ACV in a spray bottle, and spray your dog before you leave home, and when you get back. Take some with you and keep it in the car, just in case you need it any time. Obviously for major infestations, more drastic measures are necessary. ACV normalizes the pH levels of the skin, makes your dog unpalatable to even the nastiest of bacteria and you have a dog that smells like a salad, a small price to pay! "

Courtesy earthclinic.som

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Writing in the medical journal, " The Lancet" in 1914, Dr. Henry Crooks found that "silver in the colloidal state is highly germicidal, quite harmless to humans and absolutely non-toxic. Rather than in a chemical compound, the silver in the colloidal state may be applied in a much more concentrated form, with correspondingly better results." Take a look at a few of the many different and varied uses for COLLOIDAL SILVER in everyday health and hygiene.
You should certainly find a use for Colloidal Silver in your first aid kit, your home and/or kennels:
  • Spray pet bedding and let dry
  • Dab on cuts, grazes, rashes, sunburn and razor nicks
  • Mix a little into your pet's drinking water, birdbaths and cut flower vases
  • Help reduce tooth decay, mouth sores and bad breath
  • Add to human and/or pet shampoos to gain disinfectant benefits
  • Add to suspected drinking water when travelling or camping
  • Spray onto burns for healing without scarring
  • Use to sterilise any household items like toothbrushes or washing up brushes
  • Spray on rubbish to prevent decay odours
  • Use on kitchen cloths and sponges to wipe down worktops and cutting boards
  • Dab onto acne
  • Spray in shoes, between toes, on skin to give relief to skin itches etc
  • Add to bath water, gargle and nasal spray
  • Aids recovery from colds
  • Spray refrigerator, freezer and food storage bin interiors
  • Use routinely in laundry final rinse water and always before packing away seasonal clothes
  • Spray plant foliage to help prevent plant diseases like mould and rot
  • Wipe telephone mouthpieces, headphones, hearing aids, eyeglass frames, hairbrushes and combs
  • Excellent for nappies and nappy rash
  • Wipe around toilet seats, bowls, tile floors, sinks, door knobs
  • Kills persistent odours
  • Rinse invalid's pillowcases, sheets, towels and bedclothes

Courtesy http://www.caninenaturalcures.co.uk

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Life many powerful herbs, garlic has been tested for a vast array of medical conditions. The following list includes the most common applications for dogs.
Garlic has a high sulfur content, and it is thought that the sulfur, excreted through the dog's skin, repels fleas, ticks, mites and other biting insects. The sulfur excretion can also help rid the dog of bacterial or fungal microbes that may be present on the skin, helping to heal itching, irritated skin.
Fleas aren't the only pests put off by garlic. Worms in the digestive tract are repelled by garlic. In a dog that has had repeated infestations of worms, garlic can be fed once or twice a week as a preventative.
Garlic is also a potent anti-fungal agent. It can be used topically on fungal skin infections.
Sulfur excretion also occurs in the dog's lungs, making garlic a strong expectorant. It encourages the expulsion of irritants such as dust, spores and pollen from the lungs, and helps kill any bacteria that may be present in the lungs. This makes it a perfect remedy for hay fever, seasonal allergies, kennel cough, or any other respiratory problems.
Garlic also kills bacteria internally. Any conditions or infections that are caused by bacteria, internal and external, can be treated with garlic supplementation. It can also help prevent wounds from becoming infected.
Owners of diabetic dogs, take note: Animal and human studies have shown that garlic can reduce blood-sugar levels. Researchers noted an increase in serum insulin and improvement in liver glycogen storage after garlic administration.
In humans, garlic's most publicized successes have concerned its ability to lower blood cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Because it improves circulation, dogs who suffer from arthritis will benefit from periodic garlic supplementation.
Garlic also promotes the production of white blood cells, thus strengthening the dog's resistance to infection of all kinds. That makes it a powerful treatment for dogs with low or compromised immunity (such as hunting dogs that are worked heavily in cold and wet weather, or show dogs that are taken to numerous shows or competitions). This would include exhaustion and other nonspecific conditions associated with a subtle decline in health. Garlic can help bolster an immune response following exposure to strange dogs.
Immune system support is also helpful for newborn puppies and their mothers. In this case, a smaller dose of garlic would be fed to the mother. Garlic is passed through her milk to the puppies, benefiting both by fighting infections. Due to this antibacterial action, as well as its ability to support digestive function, garlic combats diarrhea in puppies.
Human studies have demonstrated that allicin, the 'active ingredient' in garlic, increases the levels of two important antioxidant enzymes in the blood: catylase and glutathione peroxidase, confirming the antioxidant and free-radical scavenging potential of allicin.
Garlic has been shown to help re-colonize bacteria in the gut, so garlic supplementation can be beneficial for any dog that has been treated with conventional antibiotics, which can wipe out 'good' gut bacteria.
Garlic is widely thought to have anti-cancer properties. The research is promising enough that garlic is recommended for any dog with cancer.
If you feed dried garlic, whether in a powdered or granulated form, the important thing is to get garlic that has not been heat-treated. Also, if you are taking garlic tablets, it is important to know whether your brand is actually dissolving after you take it.
Fresh garlic is the least expensive option, and is the most potent form of the herb. But not everyone is willing to spend time chopping it up for their dogs to eat, and not all dogs will eat it, even if it is mixed into their food. You may have to experiment a little to determine which form is most palatable for your dog. The fussiest eaters may benefit from pure, cold-processed garlic oil, which several manufacturers produce in gelatin capsules.
Begin with a low dose, introducing garlic in increasing amounts over a week or two until you are feeding the entire dose. According to Self, an average dose of garlic for large dogs should be about one fresh, crushed garlic clove per day. If you feed pure, cold-pressed garlic powder or granules, the equivalent is about a half-teaspoon. The suggestion for medium-sized dogs is half a clove (or 1/4 teaspoon of powder); for small dogs, give just a quarter clove (or a pinch or two of the powder).
As with any drug or herb, it's important to watch for any sensitivities particular in your dog's body. Some herbalists say that a high daily dose of fresh garlic, given for long periods of time, can deplete the intestinal flora. If the condition you are treating is seasonal, or if the treatment is successful, slowly decrease the dose after the dog improves and maintains the improvement.

Courtesy http://www.preciouspets.org

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Honey has been used for medical purposes by the ancient Egyptians for thousands of years. However, with the advent of antibiotics, most people began to regard honey as merely a home remedy. Recent studies are now indicating that a special type of honey only found in the New Zealand region called, "Manuka Honey" actually has more healing properties than antibiotics and has been effective in treating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. This is a major breakthrough in the medical industry as Manuka Honey is now being recognized by medical professionals as an viable alternative to conventional forms of medicine.  

Based on recent studies, Manuka Honey has been known to effectively treat the following symptoms and health conditions:
Athletes Foot Ring Worm Insect Bites Common Cold Symptoms
Arthritis Scabies Lice Eczema & Dermatitis
Sore Throat Rashes Dry Skin Wounds & Abrasions
Acne Burns Nail Fungus Aches & Pains
Blisters Ulcers Gum Disease Foot & Body Odor
Cold Sores Infections Herpes Psoriasis
The Benefits of Manuka Honey
  • Manuka Honey has natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties;
  • Manuka Honey creates a moist healing environment that allows new skin cells to grow across a healing wound flush with the surface of the wound, preventing deformity of the skin and scaring;
  • Manuka Honey rapidly clears infection by destroying bacteria;
  • Manuka Honey repairs damaged skin and regenerates new skin growth;
  • Manuka Honey hastens the healing process;
  • Manuka Honey eliminates malodor by destroying the bacteria that cause it;
  • Manuka Honey can heal Staph infections and destroy antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA and VRE;
  • The viscosity of Manuka Honey provides a protective barrier to prevent wounds from becoming infected;
  • Manuka Honey causes scabs and dead skin cells to lift off the surface of the wound, leaving a clean healthy wound bed in which the regeneration of skin tissue can occur;
  • Manuka Honey stimulates the growth of tissue involved in the healing process;
  • Manuka Honey stimulates the formation of new blood capillaries and the growth of fibroblasts that replace the connective tissue of the deeper layer of the skin and produce the collagen fibers that give strength to the repair;
  • Manuka Honey has an anti-inflammatory action that relieves pain;
  • Manuka Honey has antifungal properties that can cure ringworm and other fungal conditions such as athlete's foot, jock itch and nail fungus;
  • Manuka Honey is all-natural and organic;
  • Manuka Honey has no known side effects.
Antibacterial Properties of Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey has an antibacterial activity, due primarily to hydrogen peroxide formed in a "slow-release" manner by the enzyme glucose oxidase present. Some honeys are no more antibacterial than sugar, while others can be diluted more than 100-fold and still halt the growth of bacteria. The difference in potency of antibacterial activity found among the different honeys is more than 100-fold. Manuka Honey is the only honey available that is tested for its antibacterial activity. It contains an additional antibacterial component found only in honey produced from Leptospermum plants: what has been called the "Unique Manuka Factor" (UMF). There is evidence that the two antibacterial components may have a synergistic action.

Courtesy http://www.benefitofmanukahoney.com/

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Why Massage?
Massage helps your dog achieve and maintain body health and wellness. Just like people, dogs can experience bumps, bruises, injuries or trauma. Look for the signs. A lack of willingness or resistance to move in a certain direction can signal that your pet has muscular discomfort. Tight or painful muscles in your dogs can also produce unwanted behavior.
Proper massage techniques can remove pain and muscle spasms. Massage can help the arthritic, the athletic, the weekend warrior and the hyperactive dog. Through the use of passive touch, effleurage, kneading, stretching and other techniques, muscle stiffness and inflexibility can be lessened.
With massage, the effects of the conditioning process for competition, the competition itself and recovery from illness, injury and surgery can be altered or eliminated.
Massage is defined as any systematic form of touch which has been found to give comfort and promote good health. Depending on the technique used, the after effect can be one of relaxation or excitability.
Benefits of Massage
  • The benefits of dog massage can be physical, mental and emotional
  • Massage is muscular in scope as well as energetic
  • Massage relaxes the body, reduces mental stress and anxiety and calms the nervous system
  • Massage reduces the heart rate and respiration which can induce mental relaxation
  • The stretching of connective tissues improves flexibility and range of motion of the joints
  • Massage helps an older or injured dog maintain posture and balance
  • Massage can release endorphins, speed recovery from injury or illness and reduce swelling and scarring
  • Massage can promote a feeling of well being and improve concentration by reducing pain distractions
  • Massage can help a shy or an abused animal develop a new level of calm and trust
  • Massage increases circulation of the blood causing better distribution of oxygen and nutrients.
  • Wastes and toxins are then more efficiently released from the body
Types of Massage
  • General Relaxation Massage
  • Range of Motion
  • Post Surgical Massage can reduce the effects of anesthetics, reduce pain and speed the healing process
  • Massage for Aging is designed to generally balance muscles and enhance circulation and immune system function
  • Sports Massage is designed to release toxins and increase circulation
  • The two types are:
  • Pre-Event Massage is quick, light and prepares the tissues for competition
  • Post-Event Massage reduces the toxins and therefore discomfort that may follow competition

Courtesy http://www.pawsitivekneads.net/

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Essential fatty acids are acids that cannot be synthesized by a dog and must be supplied in his diet.  

Dogs require one essential fatty acid (linoleic acid) that is classified as one of the "omega-6" fatty acids based on its molecular structure. These fatty acids are found primarily in vegetable oils and animal fat and are provided at appropriate levels in high-quality pet foods to:
  • Help regulate the blood flow to body tissues
  • Aid in clotting after an injury
  • Aid in normal reproduction
  • Support a pet's immune system
  • Help a normal, healthy pet maintain a handsome haircoat and healthy skin
Another important class of fatty acids is the “omega-3” fatty acids. Although structurally similar to omega-6 fatty acids and with important biological activities, omega-3 fatty acids are not currently recognized as essential in companion animal nutrition.
Because of their structural similarities, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids compete for the enzymes which convert these fatty acids into their respective metabolites, which serve as cellular signals important in a variety of biological processes including immune function, blood clotting and inflammation. Despite the similarities between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, their respective metabolites differ in intensity as cellular signals. The omega-6 derived signals are generally more potent than those derived from omega-3 fatty acids.
The potential of omega-3 fatty acids contributing to the health of our dogs is promising. A growing body of scientific research suggests that this class of fatty acids may benefit pets during certain life stages or when suffering from certain health conditions.
Understanding what omega-6 fatty acids can do for pets and the potential benefits omega-3 fatty acids may offer is a bit complicated, however, the bottom line is that at proper levels and in proper balance in dog food diets, these fatty acids can provide health benefits to our dogs.

Courtesy http://www.purina.com/dogs/food/FattyAcids.aspx

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Perna Canaliculus, or Green Lipped Mussel, is an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand. It has been commercially available as a food supplement in the United States since 1975. Perna Mussel was for centuries, a major part of the diet in local populations of New Zealand. The reported incidence of arthritic and rheumatic disorders was extremely low among coastal New Zealanders compared to those living inland  

In the 1960's, researchers from Britain and the United States began a search for marine organisms in an attempt to isolate possible natural drugs for the treatment of cancer. The New Zealand Fishing Industry Board provided Perna Mussels for the study. The green-lipped mussel was tested on human cancer patients, but to no avail. However, patients who were also suffering from arthritis reported less pain, joint stiffness, and improved mobility. Later, two human clinical studies using Perna Mussel showed improvements in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Perna Mussels are produced under government license and to government standards. Mature mussels are collected and chilled to below 40ºC within two to four hours. The soft tissue is separated from the shell, washed several times, frozen, and freeze-dried. It is then processed into a fine powder and added to products.

Perna contains a natural mineral balance similar to that of the human. It is made up of 61% protein, 13% carbohydrates, 12% glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), 5% lipids (including certain Omega-3 fatty acids), 5% minerals, and 4% water. Perna mussel also contains glucosamine, one of the building blocks of cartilage. Glucosamine, GAGs, and Omega-3 fatty acids are the compounds in the mussel believed to contribute to its beneficial effects. GAGs are the main components of cartilage and the synovial fluid found in joints.

GAGs increase the lubrication of the joint and increase water uptake into the cartilage. This water uptake, which decreases with age, is necessary for the lubrication and shock absorption of the joints. There are nine classes of GAGs, five of which are related to connective tissue. Two of these five are chondroitins, which make up the basic substance of both bone and cartilage. GAGs, provide flexibility, elasticity, and strength to cartilage.


Perna Mussel has been successful in managing degenerative joint diseases and arthritis in both human and veterinary health fields: it contains natural anti-inflammatory agents and many essential building blocks needed to rebuild the necessary components in joints. Perna has also been reported to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis and improved joint mobility. Ongoing research in both humans and animals continue to show that the use of supplements containing green-lipped mussel such as Joint Care Level 1 Primary, Joint Care Level 1 Primary Plus, or Joint Care Level 3 Premium, when used as directed, is an effective supplement for the management of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Courtesy Drs. Foster & Smith

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One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue is that he doesn't try to find out why - Unknown

Disclaimer: Information provided is not intended to replace or override any advice from your veterinarian.