"There is NO PLACEBO effect in animals!"
Does your dog get dietary supplements? Is your pet on veterinary medications like heartworm prevention? Do you give yearly booster shots? Is that good or bad?
NATURAL MEDICINE: THE SKINNY ON SUPPLEMENTS
Barbara J. Andrews, Journalist, AKC Master Breeder - TheDogPlace.org
What about you? Are you on prescription medications? Do you know why? Are they helping?
Okay, I heard that. Three out of four people answered "yes" so let's agree there are life-saving drugs such as heart and diabetes medications. But... if your medicine cabinet is beginning to look like this, what you need is a good dose of reality.
You may be skeptical so let's look at real life examples in dogs and people. I have over 54 years of trial and error experience. I'm pretty healthy for someone well over 80 and the only prescription medicine I'm on are puffers for COPD after a lung abscess (survival rate less than 50%) and 2 lung surgeries. I take only half the prescribed amount because I also use natural herbs and Standard Process pneumotrophin PMG.
COPD is a catch all term. In my case, I caught a virus at the Westminster show in 2007 that turned into a lung abscess. Two open-chest lung surgeries and six weeks in hospital put me on the right side of survival statistics. I equate prescription inhalers to having leg surgery for a broken leg. Stuff happens…
Here's the takeaway for you. I grew up with parents who hunted, fished, and had a garden. There were no fast-food places and life moved at a leisurely pace. My biggest indulgence was a cherry coke and a bag of chips. Most of y'all grew up on packaged foods, "homogenized" milk, margarine, and sweet treats galore. Glad I wasn't born 20 years later…
But here's the thing. Like most people who show successfully, I learned how to condition my dogs and horses.
Some of you will remember that in the 50s and 60s, we didn't have much in the way of doggy vitamins or shelves crammed with packaged dog-food. I raised a lot of All-Time top AKC winners, sires, and dams on meat, eggs, fish and veggies, in that order. Not in just one breed but make that (O'BJ) Akitas, Miniature Bull Terriers and Toy Fox Terriers..
My seven Toy Fox Terriers get exactly the same diet today. Five of them have never seen a veterinarian except to get a rabies shot and certificate. The only "booster shots" they get are one mid-life rabies shot and a DHLP for my girls.
So what's the point? If you haven't figured it out I have some brain food supplements I'll share with you…J
The only thing I'm "selling" is something you can't buy. It's called common sense and experience.
Picture this, me, Bill, and Carlos Rojas sitting in our van in sweltering heat at an outdoor show in Georgia. For you newbies, Carlos broke AKC Group and Best In Show win records with his Dobermans. He shared with us that they glowed and were full of energy from bee pollen!
At first we were skeptical but then I realized there was truth to that. My daddy was a bee-keeper and so I know a lot about honey and pollen. Carlos said he used a product marketed for race horses. Devil D, Dino, and other All-time great Dobermans comprised a long history of winners. Carlos himself had that "something special" - part of which was a handler's love and unwavering enthusiasm for the sport and the dogs - but he also used bee pollen.
Fast-forward to 2012 when TV networks pimped the A/P feed that said "Experts are warning that taking natural bee pollen supplements may come with the risk of suffering a serious allergic reaction, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock." No doubt the use of honey and bee pollen cut into prescription medication sales and let's face it, pharmaceutical companies were and are still the biggest advertisers for TV, print and internet publication. Bee pollen fell from favor but I've got news for you. Google "thedogplace.org bee pollen".
Most exhibitors have discovered something that gives their dogs that extra bloom needed for the show ring. I would avoid any doggy supplement that claims to add "energy" but certainly there are herbals that do boost energy in people. One such product made headlines when it was banned in 2004...
Ephedra is an "ancient Chinese Medicine" herb used for expanding bronchial tubes, thus treating asthma and what we now call COPD. Like many such herbal supplements, Ephedra was also effective for weight loss and energy and that it got in the way of prescription diet drugs so of course it was banned by the FDA!
Americans spend exactly 10% less on herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies than the $400 billion we spent for prescription drugs last year. Even so, FDA slams anything that threatens pharmaceutical sales.
Some of you will remember Tri-Chromalean, the extraordinary herbal product in a yellow bottle that a very prominent lady judge sold at dog shows until FDA put them out of business and people had to go back to the prescription weight-loss stuff. (Before you ask, it was Judy Doniere.)
You don't see ad after ad for herbal supplements or homeopathic remedies in magazines, especially those you thumb through when you're waiting in the doctor's office. OK, so why then do you think natural supplements such as you can find growing in a pasture or shady woods (think mushrooms) have "been around forever"?
Homeopathic remedies continue to be used by savvy people. Could it be because they are so inexpensive that people can afford to experiment, to find what works best for them and their pets and livestock? Or is it because homeopathy, herbs, and natural remedies have been used since before man could record history? Science today has proven the symbiosis and knowledge of natural remedies in ancient civilizations who survived without a single piece of "script" from the medicine man.
Today there's chemically derived (patentable) prescription drugs or Herbal, Botanical or Chinese Medicine. All are indeed medicine; they are what nature provides for healing, for cleansing, and most of all, for optimum health. I'll leave you with a funny twist. Penicillin, one of the most valuable antibiotics, is just mold and one of the best pain relievers is Opium, the juice of a poppy seed. You probably get both when in the hospital. Hashish is a potent derivative from cannabis plants, a much more potent form of marijuana and it too is made into "prescription drugs."
Before you ask, Native Americans smoked other species of tobacco, probably because marijuana was not native to North America.
Well, that's all I know about natural medicine. It's been enough for me, what about you?
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