The animal described below has experienced the value of integrative and holistic veterinary care. Act now to make a difference
Thank you to the AHVM Foundation, for providing brilliant veterinarians the platform to utilize the knowledge and expertise collected, and to support their integrative endeavours to strive for better treatments for our beloved family members. There is nothing more worthy of our support.
Andrew Starr (the Dog) (letter provided by guardian)
Andrew, the dog is a Boston terrier (male)
Andrew joined our family at about the age of 6-7 months of age
And so the story begins:
Age 9 months: I noticed that he did not want to jump up on a chair and since my last dog became paralyzed, I instantly recognized the red flag and went to my local veterinarian who diagnosed Andrew with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Immediate surgery was recommended so there was Andrew at only 9 months of age having surgery and being housebound in a cast for the next three months of his life.
Note: I was warned that usually when one ligament blows the other one will go within the year. To date 10 years later that has never happened. I attribute this to the following series of events.
I was one of the fortunate pet guardians having been exposed to alternative options when it came to animal care from 12 years of education through my work with Animal Wellness Magazine. Though my efforts were to spread the word about Integrative Veterinary Care, little did I know that it would be the main component of keeping my own Andrew alive starting here.
We followed all the post operative instructions to the letter and as soon as Andrew was released with his gold star, I immediately enrolled him in swim therapy, set up acupuncture treatments and got him on a nutritional supplement program to help him heal, recover and hopefully strengthen his remaining legs. We hoped to prevent any further incidents.
Age 2: I noticed something odd about his posture, gait and again suddenly a hesitation to make certain moves. Off to the Vet: Diagnosed with degenerative spinal disease: I began immediate treatment once again with acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and supplementation. Within a month all of the symptoms I had been seeing were no longer visible to the eye. I can say that 10 years later there had been no further degeneration that disabled him in any way.
Age 5: Andrew began to have seizures. My integrative vet and I had a discussion of options available and was told that the usual recommendation to control seizures was through pharmaceutical drugs. I was hesitating about these drugs and we discussed other options of a more natural nature.
My integrative vet did some special evaluations to identify where the seizures were generated from (the result showed the seizures were somehow worsened by stress from the liver). We addressed the condition with a series of supplement therapy and homeopathic remedies and I am thrilled to say that we have been 5 years seizure free. (Note the normal drug used to maintain seizures could have caused damage to the liver, which was the main organ involved in causing them). Still Andrew flourished and he even made the cover of Animal Wellness magazine, as an all “holistic dog”.
Age 7: Andrew had a very angry looking wart on the front upper part of his leg. A needle aspirate was taken and the diagnosis was mast cell tumor (which is the “C” word, I prefer to call it). After surgery removed the tumor and confirmed the diagnosis as a stage 3/4 mast cell tumor we discussed further treatment options including drug therapy, which I was not so keen on doing. In my mind, due to the weakness in the liver, we should find another option. Once again our integrative vet spent a lot of time discussing all options, we chose alternative options of treatment as we had seen Andrew respond so well in the past challenges and were warned that we were taking a risk. Mast cell tumors can pop up like wild flowers once this process has shown its ugly face.
We did a series of individualized programs involving nutritional supplementation, homotoxicology, herbs, flower essences, and topical essential oils. In the next two years Andrew did have (4) more removed, but the level of testing each one in the biopsy got weaker and weaker.
May I say 3 years without the site of another one of these demons.
Andrew truly responds well to natural options, that is apparent to us by now and with each challenge has seemed to push through to the other side and made us pet guardians feel like we are making the right decisions for him. (It is always a very hard call, you never know if you are doing the right thing or the wrong thing) It is all up to us and that is tough.
Just when you think you can take a deep breath, the gong strikes again and heavy this time.
Age 9: Late one evening we were sitting on the bed, Andrew stood up to come toward me and I could see that his balance was completely off (like a drunk person wavering) I reached out to him and in that second he collapsed in my arms, vomiting and urinating at the same time. His eyes wide open, but he began a very heavy snoring. Off to emergency for a new diagnosis which was ventricular tachycardia (his little heart was going about 300 beats per minute) with no normal control of the beat.
As we left Andrew in the emergency room ICU case, we did not know if we would see Andrew again. They kept him alive through the night and transferred him to a cardiologist early the next morning. My regular vet was in constant communication through the night with the emergency doctor and then again with the cardiologist. Andrew went though days of heavy medications, lethargy, and vomiting, but he was alive and everyone was surprised. This type of episode is deadly in many animals. His cardiologist was happy we could take him home but did not expect him to live very long.
When we were able to take him home, there was no option to using the conventional medication required and we diligently followed all instructions. Once we were able to work with our regular vet again, we began the discussion of how to help Andrew the best way possible with the options now in front of us. We changed the program to meet these needs and got him on the right homotoxicology medicines and supplementation program of herbs and nutrients. We have had a few little bumps in the road and the cardiologist team truly thought Andrew would no longer be with us 16 months later. But he is, they have seen what the addition of homotoxicology and natural supplementation have done for him, as it cannot be denied. On our last visit to the cardiologist he brought in a series of other doctors to discuss how well he was doing on the integrative program and how glad he was we were doing it.
Andrew has been raised as a “natural dog” in every sense of the word, he has had more challenges than any one dog could ask for, but he sensed “the right course of action” with each challenge and shined like a “star”
Being involved in the world of alternative health for humans or animals I am exposed to what some may call “miracles” every single day. We must remember that miracles come from Mother Nature herself and no one can deny that force.
I am reaching out to help others to know that there are options in health care that work and keep their furry loved ones, healthier, happier and longer in our lives. To sustain these options we must help in any way we can to support the Foundation to continue their research and development to educate and make these options more readily available.
This is just one of the amazing stories in the world of utilizing “holistic medicine” for quality of life
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