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Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ February 2014

Holistic Health

Preventing Cancer in Pets:  Avoid Toxic Chemicals

By Anna Pritchard

Third in a Series

To recap:  preventing cancer in pets can be divided into three important areas:  feeding the proper diet, vaccinating the least, and avoiding and eliminating exposure to toxic environmental chemicals.  We’ve discussed the first two in previous issues.  Now, let’s talk about exposure to toxic chemicals.

Avoiding and Eliminating Exposure to Toxic Environmental Chemicals

Small animals are very sensitive to toxins of all sorts — chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, etc.  They do not detoxify them from their bodies easily.  These toxins are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and negatively affect the animal’s immune system and other cells of their bodies.

The immune system is of key importance.  It must be healthy so that it can kill off any cancer cells right from the start so that cancer never gets a foothold.  The chemicals can also affect the cells of our pet’s bodies, causing their cells to behave abnormally, which can lead to cancer.

Dr. Richard Pitcairn, in the third edition of his bestselling book, Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, says, “The dreaded disease cancer is becoming increasingly common in our time.  Research suggests that environmental pollutants and chemicals in food are major factors in the development and support of this group of diseases.  ...The condition of the thymus gland and its associated lymphatic tissues and immunological functions is extremely important.  If an animal can be kept in excellent health — with good food, adequate exercise, access to fresh air and sunshine, and a stable emotional environment — the immune system will be strong.  ...Prevention is really the most we can do and it is very important.”

Dr. Pitcairn recommends helping your pet avoid exposure to carcinogens as much as possible.  Some of these influences to avoid are:

Other suggestions are to avoid close proximity to other sources of EMF and radiation such as Smart Meters (even if there is a wall in between).  If possible, opt-out of Smart Meters on your home or, at the very least, shield them.  There are an increasing number of anecdotal reports of pets getting very ill and even dying from exposure to Smart Meters and smart phones.

Use environmentally safe and fragrance-free household cleaning products.

Unless they are organic or antibiotic-, pesticide-, and hormone-free, avoid feeding pet foods high in organ meats and meat meal (both are concentrators of pesticides and growth hormones that are used to fatten cattle, which can promote cancer growth), preservatives, and artificial colors, which are known to cause cancer in lab animals.

It is also a good idea to supplement the diet with vitamins A, C, and E.

Remember that our pets lie on or are close to the ground and get more toxin exposure than we do.  Some practices that will help decrease their exposures are to:

Dr. Chambreau said in her lecture that flea and tick prevention makes dogs and cats sick and there is the potential for severe toxicity and death.  She advises using natural flea and tick control.  She discusses the safe use of flea, tick, and heartworm medication on her website at www.myhealthyanimals.com.

Dr. Royal advises avoiding plastic bowls for pet food and water because “even small amounts of bisphenol A (BPA) leaching into water or food are a cancer risk.”  Unfortunately, some pet food can linings also have BPA.  “There is a movement to stop this practice, but some companies still use it as a preservative and for other reasons.  The good news is Dr. Royal says that the “small aluminum cans tend to be BPA-free.  Large steel cans are likely to have a BPA lining.” Her website, www.royaltreatmentveterinarycenter.com, periodically compiles a list of companies claiming to use cans that are BPA-free.  It is best to call companies for definite information.

The last recommendation is about kitty litter.  It should be as pure as possible — without fragrance or chemicals — and should not be the clumping type because the sticky substance used to cause the clumping may be licked off of the cat’s paws and some say it may possibly cause intestinal obstruction.  Whenever I speak to my cat’s holistic vet, she reminds me not to use it.

In conclusion, some holistic veterinary practices have expanded to now be called “integrative”/holistic practices.  “Integrative” means that the veterinarian is holistically trained and uses (or has staff members trained in) a number of natural healing modalities such as nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, flower essences, chiropractic care, massage, Reiki, and glandulars, etc.  “Glandulars” refer to nutritional supplements that contain the hormones and glands that an animal would get if they were in the wild eating its natural diet.  My cat’s holistic vet recommended them for her; they give her so much energy that I can’t give them to her every day.

In addition, Dr. Chambreau recommends consulting with a person who is an “animal communicator” when your pet is showing behavior that you or your veterinarian can’t understand.  She highly recommends taking your pet to a holistic or integrative veterinarian to increase the chances of your cherished companion living a long, healthy, and happy life.

I would like to add a suggestion I heard recently that you set aside some time to play with your pet every day and give him or her lots of love.  That way, your pet will be emotionally healthy, which helps the immune system and will help him or her to be able to resist illness.  Plus, it will foster a close bond between you and your wonderful four-legged companion.

[Pritchard is a licensed massage therapist, certified Montessori teacher, nutritional counselor, Doctor of Naturopathy, and R.N.  She also is trained in reiki for animals.  She lives on Ladson Road and can be reached at (contact details redacted).]   ■

Part 1: Feeding the Proper Diet Part 2: Vaccinations

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