Hello Pups and Kittens, welcome back to The Groomer Next Door Podcast. This week we're joined by an amazing holistic Veternarian. you might ask "why practice holistic medicine?
I began my foray into holistic medicine by learning chiropractic care for animals. But, after a few years of using chiropractic treatments on my patients, I was ready to move on to other areas and learn new therapies. I focused on Traditional Chinese Medicine, where I use things like the characteristics of the feel of the pulses, and the colors and coatings of the tongue to make a diagnosis. Areas of warmth or cold in the body, the animal’s personality, the season of the year, and the pet’s diet all play into the diagnosis. I am also fascinated by how every disease can be correlated to a season, a personality, and the diet eaten.
Once I started treating more patients with alternative methods, I started seeing the problems associated with over-vaccination of pets. I started discouraging my clients from vaccinating every year. Now I recommend against using topical flea and tick preventatives and heartworm preventative medications year round, since I live in an area where fleas and mosquitoes disappear during our long cold winters. It no longer makes sense to me to apply chemicals to our pets every month. There are many natural alternatives available that are much safer.
I no longer recommend prescription diets which are made with poor quality ingredients when I know I can make the pet healthier with an alternative raw or home cooked diet using whole foods. Unfortunately, those vaccinations, parasite preventatives, and prescription diet products provide a huge revenue stream to veterinary practices, so many traditional veterinarians insist on annual vaccinations and year round parasite treatment. Even though my focus has become more about holistic medicine, traditional medicine has continued to play a huge role in the treatment of my patients. I never want them to be in pain, and if a traditional medication needs to be part of their therapy plan while we are working on natural healing, I won’t deny them the medication. Traditional medicine and surgery saves many lives. By integrating the best of both worlds, Eastern and Western, I have more tools available in my toolbox to help the animals I love.
The Integrative Approach
At my practices, I integrate traditional and alternative therapies, in an effort to find the right balance for each patient. No two patients are the same, hence their illnesses and symptoms are never the same. No cookbook treatments can be used. Sometimes it takes perseverance to find the right combination of therapies to solve the problem. Most clients that seek out alternative therapies understand that it takes time for the body to heal itself, especially after years of poor diet, over-vaccination, and over- medication.
When it comes to diet, one of the benefits of home prepared diets is the interaction between the pet and their owner. Taking time to plan a diet and put together variations helps clients bond with their pets. Watching the reaction to a home prepared meal instead of dry kibble in a bowl is priceless. Taking the time to play with pets in the yard or going for a walk around the neighborhood is great exercise for everyone involved. Leaving work a little early because your pet has been home alone all day is good for both of you. Animals, like people, are social creatures.
It’s a balancing act to find the right treatments that work for both the pets and their owners. I love watching the transformation of the pets and their owners when we find the right balance and see improvement in their lives.
The integrative approach combines the use of traditional veterinary medicine with complementary therapies. It involves minimizing the overuse and misuse of conventional medications. Integrating therapies like chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, cold laser, nutritional therapy, and Chinese or Western herbal therapies may allow the use of far fewer traditional medications.
1. Proper Diet
First and foremost, feeding the proper diet is the foundation upon which any integrative pet care program begins. Simply put, your pet IS what he or she eats. Minimizing harmful byproducts and chemicals is essential. You need to become a label reader. Know which ingredients are good and which are bad. Whether you are feeding commercial, home cooked, or a raw diet, whole, fresh, organic food ingredients are best. If a food is suitable for human consumption and is something you would consider part of a healthy diet, your pet can probably share with you. You should avoid grapes, raisins, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and onions, as these can be toxic. If something qualifies as junk food for people it will also qualify as junk food for pets (think chips, pretzels, candy). Each pet is different and there is no “one size fits all” diet that I can recommend across the board.
2. Minimize Vaccines
The second step in working toward a more holistic treatment plan for your pet is to minimize vaccinations. In the past, the veterinary community has advocated annual vaccinations for dogs and cats for common diseases like Distemper, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, and Lyme disease. More recently, research has shown that immunity from vaccination may last years, so veterinarians have backed off and most now recommend vaccinating less often. Vaccinations do not give instant protection from disease. The injection contains small amounts of the virus or bacteria which are killed or modified to prevent the injection from causing disease. The animal’s body recognizes the components of the disease and builds an immune response against the disease. Unfortunately, when the body is constantly bombarded with disease particles, the immune system can go into hyper-drive, causing an overzealous response. This overzealous response can cause the immune system to react against the cells of the body.
3. Minimize Medications
Chronic use of medications can degrade the body’s ability to recognize disease-causing organisms. The liver and kidneys are the filtration system for the body, constantly weeding out toxic substances. While medications may help treat one symptom or disease, they may cause other symptoms or set up a cascade of events that may eventually result in the demise of the individual.
From Needles to Natural
After using traditional Western veterinary medicine to treat her animal patients for many years, Dr. Judy Morgan discovered a better way to help them live longer, healthier lives. In From Needles to Natural, she shares her journey from traditional to holistic veterinary medicine and helps pet owners understand the differences between good advertising and good health for their animal friends.
With more than thirty years of experience as a practicing veterinarian, Morgan blends her personal story as a lifelong animal lover with this collection of professional opinions about animals and animal care. From Needles to Natural covers a variety of topics including pet nutrition and food therapy, pet food labels, veterinary chiropractic care, acupuncture, and understanding the array of vaccines and medications. Morgan, who has produced a full webinar series on YouTube, discusses alternative and supplemental treatments for pet illnesses. While narrating heartwarming tales of the pets she’s treated, Morgan dispels the myths about effective pet care and teaches pet owners the benefits of feeding and treating an animal holistically.
Dr. Judy Morgan is a nationally renowned veterinarian certified in acupuncture, food therapy, and chiropractic care for dogs, cats, and horses. A sought-after speaker and blogger at both the local and national level, she integrates Eastern and Western medicine in her two award-winning practices in New Jersey.
Canine Kitchen Capers
Hue Grant and Judy Morgan DVM work tirelessly to give their nine rescued spaniels the best lives they can. Because they are well educated on the poor quality ingredients commonly used to make processed pet food, they realize that home cooked meals using high quality, real food ingredients helps their dogs live longer and maintain vibrant health. Dr. Morgan is a Certified Veterinary Food Therapist with over thirty years experience and understands the importance of providing well balanced healthy meals to pets. Hue is a self ordained chef and loves spending time in the kitchen whipping up new concoctions for pets and their humans.
Together, they have taught many pet owners how to prepare food for their own pets, making puploaf and puppins into everyday household words. Because many people have never cooked for their dogs, the first attempts can have comical results. Some people don’t cook for themselves, some are great chefs, and somejust seem to invite comedy. Those comedians were nice enough to share their stories for the entertainment of pet owners everywhere. In addition to providing healthy recipes for dogs, Hue and Judy have included recipes for humans and some recipes that are sharable meals. You’ll learn how to order take out, how to order room service, and how to whip up something for the kids after spending all day cooking for your dogs. This book will leave you laughing along with pet owners on a quest for better pet health.
What’s For Dinner, Dexter?
The pet-owner bond is strengthened when owners feel they are contributing to their pet’s well-being and good health on one of the most intimate levels of human bonding: food. Home cooking for your dog can be fun and easy. By using Chinese Medicine theory, you can keep your pet healthy using fresh, wholesome food ingredients. Learn to use food as medicine by following the simple guidelines in What’s For Dinner, Dexter?
Over 50 main dishes for your dog, some travel meals and snacks.
Dr. Judy Morgan’s Naturally Healthy Pets
with Dr Judy Morgan
Join host Judy Morgan DVM, CVA, CVCP, CVFT, world renowned author, speaker, and holistic veterinarian for an exciting show where you will discover healthy options for raising your pets in a more holistic manner. Not sure which vaccinations should be given or how often? Not sure which food is best for your individual pet? Not sure what to use for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention? Find out the answers to your questions in this weekly show where we interview the top experts and showcase the latest products that will help your pets stay naturally healthy.