Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Curing a Cat's Urinary Crisis Over the Phone

I got the first call about Willy as I was preparing to go to Boston for the marathon. Willy is a ten-year-old male cat, and his owner Ann had seen him straining unsuccessfully on the litter box.
Feline Urological Syndrome, or FUS, is a blockage that prevents a cat from urinating. Left untreated, the cat can become toxic and die, as it is unable to remove waste products from its body.
The Simones live in New York City, two hours' drive on a good day. Had his condition worsened, I would have recommended bringing him in for local care, like a cystotomy - a surgical procedure that effectively straightens out the kinks and clears all the blockages.
However, I also knew that the drive and the surgery would further compromise Willy's immune system by adding stress. Although I was prepared to recommend surgery, I instead treated Willy homeopathically, as well as with a combination of herbs and modifications to his diet.
I spoke with Ann about Willy several times over the weekend, even as my partner competed in the Boston Marathon. By Monday Willy was able to urinate again.
A lot of animals are stressed about cars, and whenever I can take some of that stress off by treating over the phone it's my pleasure.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Herbal Repellents for Fleas, Ticks, and Other External Parasites

I have two poodles in my family who enjoy spending quite a bit of time outside in this beautiful weather (you can learn a bit more about Bijou and Janvi by taking a peek at my Facebook account, if you're so inclined). Running around in the woods within our invisible fence, they have plenty of opportunity to bring home unwelcome friends, especially ticks. Now I'm a veterinarian, and I know that ticks function very much like slow-acting mosquitoes, but it's still pretty disgusting finding a bunch of those engorged buggers on my boys.
Enter Buck Mountain Botanicals, the formulator of the amazing cancer drug Neoplasene. They have a product called Parasite Dust for Animals, which is a combination of three ingredients (neem herb, yarrow, and diatom flour) and a triple threat for external parasites. As described in the clinical guide:
  • Yarrow functions as a repellent
  • Neem heals the wounds created by the parasites
  • Diatom flour dessicates the bugs

I pulled a few bloated ticks off of my poodle Bijou this morning and Terence poured a small amount of the dust on them as an experiment. Their little legs, which had been slowly wriggling, stopped moving within seconds. I've been told that this product even works on embedded parasites like scabies and mange, and I'm inclined to agree!