Natural Pet Care Peabody MA
You’d have thought she was a model coming straight from aphotographer’s studio. “Strike a pose,” Dan Mullaney would tell Tiffany, and she’d move into position for the camera, ready for the perfect photo. “There was no doubt she knew exactly what she was doing,” Mullaney says. Tiffany Louise, a most precocious sable Pomeranian, was quite the little lady.
So when Tiffany’s fur started falling out in 2002 and she began having seizures, Mullaney and his wife, Teri, launched a desperate crusade to help their beloved pet. Her doctor, a respected conventional veterinarian, ran tests and diagnosed Tiffany with liver failure. Her prognosis: two months to live. The vet suggested that the Mullaneys give their dog milk thistle (Silybum marianum) and a commonly prescribed pharmaceutical drug, which the Mullaneys quickly had to drop because it made Tiffany even sicker.
Unwilling to accept the finality of their vet’s report, the Mullaneys sought a second opinion. Their search led them to Shawn Messonnier, DVM, a holistic veterinarian near their home in Plano, Texas. Based on details in Tiffany’s blood work, Messonnier, author of the Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats (Prima Publishing, 2001), arrived at a different diagnosis:
Cushing’s disease, a glandular disorder that causes the overproduction of the hormone cortisol and, consequently, obesity, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and other conditions. “Many vets mistake Cushing’s for liver disease,” says Messonnier, “because there are similarities in blood-test results.” He suggested several natural therapies such as a whole-foods diet, a multivitamin supplement, an herbal supplement and a glandular support formula.
Cushing’s can be fatal on its own or can lead to other life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, liver and kidney failure and congestive heart failure, but Tiffany rallied on the holistic treatments. And even though the Mullaneys had to say a tearful good-bye to Tiffany just before her 14th birthday in January of this year, Mullaney says, “I don’t have any scientific proof, but I believe the holistic approach bought us another 21/2 wonderful years with Tiffany—and that’s a lot better than two months.”
Complementary avenues for healing
Over the last decade, the U.S. medical community has slowly begun to recognize the importance of alternative and complementary therapies, and now the same process is under way in veterinary healthcare, explains Allen Schoen, DVM, a pioneer in integrative veterinary medicine and author of Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live (Broadway, 2002). Indeed, veterinary medicine looks a whole lot different than it did in 1982 when Carvel Tiekert, DVM, founded the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA). More vets than ever are answering public demand for alternative care for all types of pets, including birds and exotic animals. “Membership in AHVMA has increased 50 percent in the last 10 ...
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