The phrase “complementary medicine “ or “holistic medicine” includes a large group of diverse practicing methods including Traditional Chinese
Medicine, chiropractic, aromatherapy, western herbal medicine, glandular therapy, nutritional therapy, homeopathy, flower essences, and others.  
The holistic veterinarian is concerned about the present and past medical issues of the pet, and will request a full history of the pet starting from a very
young age to present.  The veterinarian is interested in the physical and emotional condition of the patient including diet, housing, stress factors, living
conditions, and any other important factor.  After reviewing the above information and doing an exam on the pet, the veterinarian can provide a treatment
plan.   The treatment will depend upon which modality the veterinarian uses.  It may include acupuncture, herbal supplements, chiropractic, food therapy,
or homeopathic remedies.

The topic of discussion in this article will be Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  This modality has been practiced in China for thousands of years and
only recently has been brought to the United States.  Acupuncture first began in human medicine approximately 3000 years ago and the acupressure
points found in humans were than transposed to animals, especially horses and livestock.  With the rise of dogs and cats as companions, the techniques
were then modified to fit these species.

TCM encompasses several tools including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, food therapy, and Chinese massage.  Some veterinarians practice just
acupuncture and others incorporate all of the above modalities into their practice.
Acupuncture involves the moving of Chi, the vital energy source within the body.  This energy flows along channels called meridians.  Acupuncture
involves stimulating specific areas along these channels called acupoints which helps in energy flow.  Different acupoints are selected depending upon
which disease or ailment is present.  Acupuncture is most commonly used in dogs and cats to treat arthritis, skin conditions, gastrointestinal disease,
hormonal issues, and basically any other imbalance in the body.   Treatments are done with very fine acupuncture needles and usually begin as weekly
sessions than extend to monthly visits.  

Chinese herbal medicine is commonly used with acupuncture and they both complement each other.  Herbal medicine uses plant parts and plant extracts
to treat medical conditions.  These herbs have been used successfully for thousands of years throughout the world.  In many countries, herbalists are still
active practitioners of human medicine.  The human herbal formulas have been adapted for small and large animal for hundreds of years.   The herbs we
use today are both grown commercially and are also found in the wild.  Single plants or herbs can be used as well as combination of plants called
formulas.  Each plant in the formula has a specific action to help treat a medical condition.  Herbal formulas can only be prescribed by a veterinarian after
a full history and an examination is completed.  The herbal formulas are safe and are commonly used in dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, and livestock.  They
are available in capsules, powders, small tea pills, and ointments.

Food therapy involves treating specific medical conditions with selected diets.  Each food contains a specific energy which may be cooling, heating, or
neutral.  For example, garlic and venison have hot properties.  Watermelon and turkey are cooling, and an example of a neutral food is beef or corn.   You
would select a cooling diet to treat a dog with heat signs (such as itchy raw skin), and a warming diet to treat an older geriatric dog with cold signs (seeks
warmth and has a cold back and extremities).  Cancer patients do best on a neutral diet.  All the diets involve home cooking.  A veterinarian certified in
food therapy can recommend a diet and balance the diet properly.

The last modality of TCM is called Tui-na or Chinese massage.  This modality involves bodywork or massage to treat illness and injury.  Various body
stretching and manipulations are commonly used for treatment of arthritis, neurological disease, weakness, pain, and internal disorders.  Tui-na is used
on humans, horses, dogs, cats, and livestock.
To find a veterinarian in your area that practices holistic medicine, contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical association at
CANINE INFLUENZA – Boosting the Immune System

The canine influenza is a virus like a human flu. Antibiotics do not attack viruses only the secondary infections that are caused while the immune system
is low. Vaccinating during this time is not a good idea because it will only overload the immune system. The main secondary problem that I have read
about in the reports is pneumonia along with a high fever and dehydration. If your dog starts to cough, which sounds similar to kennel cough, go
immediately to your Veterinarian so your dog can be started on board spectrum antibiotics and be monitored. If your Vet suspects the Influenza, he/she
may take a blood sample to send to the lab for verification.

The morbidity rate, which is the percentage of dogs that will contract the disease after exposure, is 80%. With proper care they will recover easily. The
mortality rate, which is the percentage of death due to the disease, is 5 to 8 % which is considered low.

The best thing you can do for your dog is to boost their immune system, be aware of your surroundings with other dogs, and seek medical attention
immediately. A dog that is healthy has the best chance of a rapid recovery.

Here is a list of some Immune Stimulating Herbs, Vitamins and Natural Remedies

Astragalus – boost the immune system and generates anticancer cells in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant and protects the liver from toxins. Most
effective when used long term on a daily basis. It increases the body production of interferon, which helps to protect against virus invading the cells.
Caution: DO NOT use this herb in the presence of fever or if you are on immunosuppressive therapy or blood thinners.  .

Goldenseal - strengthens the immune system at the onset of a cold and very effective on skin infections, cleanses the body and has antibacterial
properties but is not useful as a systemic antibiotic. Caution:  DO NOT take goldenseal internally for more than 1 week, during pregnancy and be
cautious if there is a ragweed allergy. DO NOT take if you have diabetes.

Echinacea –short term boost to the immune system making colds and flu shorter and less severe. It is not a long term immune system enhancer.
Caution:  DO NOT take Echinacea internally more than 14 days as it will loose its effect. DO NOT take if there is an autoimmune disease such as lupus
and if you are trying to get pregnant. It can decrease fertility.

Vitamin C - had a direct effect on bacteria and viruses. Vitamin C should be taken with bioflavonoids which are natural plant substances that enhance
absorption and reinforce the action of this vitamin. Laboratory test suggest that the flu viruses are 10,000 time more infective if Vitamin C levels are low.  
500 mg daily is adequate for a 40 to 60 lb dog but and you need to increase to 500 mg twice a day when fighting an infection. If you are taking more
Vitamin C then you body can handle you will get diarrhea, decrease the dosage.

Maitake, Shitake, and Reishi - these Chinese mushrooms boost the immune system and help the body resist disease including viruses and cancer. Use
as a complex for only three months at a time, stop a month and then resume. Caution: DO NOT use if on blood thinners.

Elderberry - one of the most effective herbs for preventing and treating upper respiratory infections, constipation and fever. It is best used in the form of
Sambucol, a patented herbal medicine from Israel that is active against various strains of viruses. Caution:   Do not use uncooked berries; they will cause
nausea and vomiting. Large doses of Elderberry juice will cause diarrhea

Siberian Ginseng – has proven ability to prevent upper respiratory infections.  Siberians ginseng is considered an adaptogen in that it normalizes body
functions. Taken eight to ten weeks before the flu season it reduces the incidence of the disease by more than 95%. It stimulates interferon which
interferes with every stage of viral infections. Make sure it is Siberian Ginseng as an eleuthero extract or actually contain real Siberian ginseng  
(Eleutherococcus senticosus ). Caution:  DO NOT use too close to bedtime as it can cause insomnia   ( just what we need, the dog wanting to play or go
for a run at 3 in the morning ). Do not use in males with a prostate disorder, if you have high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or related

Noni Juice (morinda citrifola ) – research indicates that Noni strengthens the immune system, regulating cell function and  regeneration of damaged cells.
Noni is considered an adaptogen and has a wide range of use. Make sure the product is of good quality and not diluted with water or with added sugar.
Not all products are equal here.

There are other herbs that could also help like olive leaf and ginger but I wanted a plan that only included a few remedies that was not too complicated.
Most herbals and supplements dosage directions are based on a 100 pound person so you can adjust the amount according to the weight of your dog. A
50 lb dog use half the suggested amount and a 25 pound dog use 1/4 the suggested amount. I will base the following on a medium size dog 40 to 60 lbs.

A sample program:

Astragalus   One capsule twice a day with for 3 weeks then one capsule a day for        

Vitamin C    500 mg of Ester C with bioflavonoids daily with food. Increase to 1000 mg                        
             if fighting an infection.

Maitake, Shitake, and Reishi Complex   One capsule twice daily with food for 3  
                                                  weeks then once a day for one week for 3 months

Siberian Ginseng   One capsule twice a day for 3 weeks then once a day for maintenance

Tahitian Noni Juice   ¾ of an ounce a day for 3 weeks then ¾ of an ounce every other                 
                         day till desired effect.  Maintenance dosage ¾ oz 3 times a week.
                         A always on my shelf favorite

Colloidal Silver – a healing agent and disinfectant. Is effective against more than 650 diseases and is good for fighting colds and flu taken internally and
topically used on wounds for bacteria and fungus. You can use a spray to coat the inside of the mouth. It is believed that viruses are unable to replicate
because the silver destroys their protective protein coat.  A always on my shelf favorite.

An Idea that may help: Viruses need a host cell to replicate. They enter thru the cell membrane. If  the environment is  healthy  and the condition are not
as ideal to the replication process maybe we can lessen the degree of illness, shorten the duration of the illness, and make it easier on the body to fight
the illness thus lessening the chance of secondary infection.

At the first sign of a cough, place a dropperful of Echinacea and Goldenseal and Elderberry in the mouth. Hopefully it will remain in their mouth for 5
minutes.  Echinacea and Goldenseal in the liquid form taste bad (try it yourself) but works very well in stopping the virus from replicating. I suggest using
a spray bottle and adding some Noni Juice to enhance the effect and help with the taste. If the dog is coughing frequent dosing is recommended at the
beginning and then tapering off some everyday.

Dog coughing     Day 1 – spray or syringe into mouth every 2 to 3 hours.
                 Day 2 – spray or syringe into mouth every 3 to 4 hours.
                 Day 3 and 4 – spray or syringe into mouth every 4 to 5 hours.
                 Day 5 and 6- spray or syringe into mouth twice a day.
                 Day 7 and 8 - spray or syringe into mouth once a day.

I plan to use this mixture while at a dog show spraying their mouths before and after showing and again at bedtime. When returning from the show all the
dogs in the kennel will be sprayed for 5 days every morning and night. In any event it will sure do a number on any periodontal disease they have. You
can also syringe the mixture into their mouth running it along their gum lines. I use this method with the Noni for any gum irritations.

For an easier method you may want to spray their mouths with just Colloidal Silver. If  
I have sick dogs I will use the Noni mixture and in between the Colloidal Silver spray.

Jeanette Saproni       North Node’s Dog Niche   Home of North Node Siberians
Songbird Reiki  K9 Massage and Reiki for all animals and people
Siberian Husky Health Foundation Trustee and treasurer

This article is to provide information on complementary health care for pets. It is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription for any disease.
Siberian Husky
Health Foundation
P.O. Box 282
Neffs, PA 18065-0282
"Breaking trail for a healthy future for all Siberian Huskies"