Living with FeLV, from Animal Wellness Magazine

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How is FeLV treated holistically?

Living with FeLV, from Animal Wellness Magazine

Lexus was given a conventional anti-viral drug called Interferon for her illness, but reacted badly to it by developing fevers after her injections. She was also lethargic, and panting after light exertion. Her caregiver sought homeopathic help from Robin Cannizzaro, DVM, who began treatment for both her respiratory and mental symptoms. Lexus now eats a variety of raw foods and some high grade canned. She receives various antioxidant supplements including vitamin C and Immuno-DMG Liquid (an immune boosting medicine from U.S. Animal Nutritionals).

Although Lexus continues to test FeLV positive, she remained symptom-free until February of last year, when she had a severe asthma attack which was quickly alleviated with a properly administered homeopathic remedy. After her attack, Lexus was started on a product called Ambrotose (a glyconutrient produced by Mannatech Inc.) and has remained symptom-free ever since. She no longer has fevers, lethargy or poor appetite, has gained some much-needed weight, and happily rules her guardian’s house.

Lexus’ caregiver has since adopted several more FeLV positive cats as well as several that are FeLV negative. All the former are under Dr. Cannizzaro’s care. None have died, nor have any of the FeLV negative cats contracted the disease.

So a diagnosis of FeLV is not always a death sentence. Conventional medicine offers little in terms of a cure, but many homeopathic veterinarians have successfully treated the symptoms. Cats will often still test positive, but are symptom-free and able to live normal lives.

Read the full article from Animal Wellness Magazine

Article from the Brooksville Rotary Club Bulletin

August 23rd Program:
Holistic vs. Traditional Veterinary Care
Presenter: Robin Cannizzaro DVM

Robin Cannizzaro, D.V.M. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, Veterinary
Medicine.

Robin gave an informative discussion of Holistic Veterinary Care. She employs
Homeopathy, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal therapy along with traditional veterinary
medicine. She started offering alternative treatments in 1996. She found that her clients
problems were not being satisfactorily solved with traditional medicine alone, and that whole
Natural Medicine treated the entire individual animal.

Holistic medicine looks at the whole individual with an analysis of physical, nutritional,
environmental and social factors.

She does a complete diagnostic work up and applies Holistic medicine, homeopathic
treatment, and or acupuncture. Overall there is less need for running expensive tests.
Traditional medicine has severe limitations, and holistic methods c an provide treatments with
fewer side effects and is usually less expensive to the animal owner. Animals tend to live
longer and lead a healthier life. Animal owners are more sati sfied. Robin stated that there is
nothing she cannot treat from mild illnesses and problems to chronic illnesses.

Flea medications have long term effects as they are poisons and animals become less healthy
and actually get more fleas. Healthy animals have fewer fleas.

In discussing diets, she dislikes commercial animal foods, especially treats, as they are
contaminated with unhealthy preservatives etc. She likes owners to cook their pet’s food –
vegetables, meats, and stated that uncooked vegetables and fruit are very healthy for animals
and that raw meat is OK to give to your pet. Do not cook the bones you give to pets to chew
on. They will crack or break up if cooked when the animals chew on them.

She stopped doing surgery as she became so busy with her holistic medicine. (She refers
them out.) She stated some animals who may be deemed to need surgery, sometimes do not
according to her criteria.

Many dogs have allergies to foods particularly, and a healthier diet keeps the animals
healthier.

There were many questions from Rotarian animal owners and lovers.

View Bulletin

Article from The Pet Connection

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“All we’re doing is stimulating the body to heal itself.” explains Dr. Robin Cannizzaro, who’s a certified practitioner of veterinary homeopathy in St. Petersburg. “That’s the critical difference between homeopathy remedies and (conventional) medications which just cover up symptoms but really don’t address the underlying imbalance that has caused the condition to surface to begin with.”

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Homeopathy for Insulin Resistance and Laminitis

Holistic Horse Magazine, Issue 65

Acute diseases are characterized by sudden onset of symptoms that are uncharacteristic for the individual, causing a sudden change in mood, reactions to stimuli, or physical characteristics.

Chronic diseases are characterized by symptoms that are either ongoing over months or years, or seem to repeatedly appear and cause suffering for the individual, such as diabetes, migraines, or arthritis. When symptoms flare up in a chronic disease state, the individual’s personality, and modalities (preferring warmth or cold for example) are unchanged with the presence of the symptoms.

It is critical to first clarify if the symptoms that command treatment are acute or a flare up of chronic disease. This helps us focus on symptoms that are very unusual for that individual, thus giving those symptoms more weight.

July 2002: Alchemy, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (purchased as a four-year-old and training in dressage), was diagnosed with insulin resistance. Symptoms included a dull hair coat, bossy, pushy, mischievous and prone to have accidents, cuts and scrapes. His back was sore to the touch. He had a radiographic history of bone chip in his right front ankle, and right eye injury resulting in corneal transplant surgery.

After a homeopathic computer analysis, I focused on what needed to be fixed at the time: Alchemy’s busyness, anxiety, fear and tenderness concerning his back, and I looked for a remedy that covers cartilage and developmental defects in the young.

Sulphur 200C was given once by mouth.

Alchemy responded well over the next several weeks. His back soreness improved, his busy characteristic was less, the front ankle bone chip appeared to have been resorbed (bone chips can be resorbed by the body if proper healing takes place).

August 2002: Within a week of minor surgery to stitch a deep laceration on his right rear heel, Alchemy had a sudden colic. He was painful, subdued (this is important because he was characteristically busy), depressed, quiet, looking at his side and not passing manure.

I gave him Nux vomica 200C every 30 minutes for 3 doses. I did not use the repertory this time and my basis for choosing this remedy was based on his abdominal pain, lethargy, quiet demeanor and its close relationship to Sulphur.

February 2004: Alchemy was doing well until he suddenly developed laminitis in both front feet.

I used several homeopathic remedies over a period of months with varying success to help treat him, such as Aconite, Nux vomica, Belladonna, and Sulphur.

July 2004: Alchemy’s third bout with laminitis culminated in one of the worst abscesses out of the coronet band I have ever witnessed. He had hot, painful swelling up his leg. He was supporting his weight on three legs, not eating well, had a fever, refused to move (very unlike him) and tried to bite me when I attempted to touch his affected foot (again, very unlike him).

I gave him Hepar sulphur calcaria 200C every hour for two doses.

I chose this remedy because he was not a biter, the pain was so severe as in Hepar sulph that he would offer to bite. Hepar sulph is a huge abscess remedy with tremendous pain, presence of offensive pus and extreme sensitivity with the abscess.

Alchemy left his stall and began grazing within two hours of getting the remedy. I had drawn blood to check for metabolic diseases and found him to be insulin resistant. Coupled with laminitis, this is almost a sure performance horse killer if not an outright death sentence for horses.

I knew we had to institute changes in addition to homeopathic medicine to affect the best possible outcome. His diet was changed to stricter low carbohydrate, his grazing was limited, and his hoof care was performed by a Strausser-trained hoof trimmer.

Alchemy recovered after sloughing off half of the sole from his right front foot. He later suffered a mild laminitis episode with no change in his overall demeanor or behavior and I treated him with Sulphur 1M one dose. The mild episode required no computer analysis because he was not moved out of his constitutional state of Sulphur this time.

I have regularly repeated Alchemy’s blood work to check his blood insulin levels and blood glucose and I am happy to report that over the one and one half years, his levels have become normal to close to normal with every test. I have not limited his grazing at all for almost five years (unheard of in insulin resistant horses). He has not had any bouts of laminitis in over five years. We are currently working on fourth level in dressage and successfully showing third level. He’s the only horse I know of able to show at this level with his history and with no drug interventions or limitations!

Alchemy’s case shows us that career ending diseases (frequently leading to loss of use or euthanasia) do not have to become reality when using homeopathy to treat.

Safe topical skin treatments

Topical antibiotics and wipes or antifungal wipes do not cure problems but manage symptoms. There are many side effects of antibiotic topicals and antifungal topicals not the least of which is that use of these topicals can actually cause the opposite infection. If you frequently use a topical antibacterial, you will favor the growth of yeast, and vice versa.

Try one of these safe topical treatments instead:

Tea tree oil diluted at least 50% topically has antifungal properties and can be used to treat ringworm or other fungi. DO NOT USE UNDILUTED; it burns the hair and skin.

Aloe vera from the plant or from a bottle has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is great for hot spots, sores, itching lesions of any kind.

Calendula is antibacterial and antifungal also and has benefit with abrasions or mildly open sores as it has strong healing properties. This plant can be found at health food stores in tincture, cream, or ointment. It has strong epithialization properties and works better to close wounds than anything else I have experienced.

Olive leaf extract comes in capsules or tablets orally and is effective against bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.

The benefit of the above topical skin treatments is that they do not disturb the natural checks and balances of the skin. Drugs are not selective in their killing of bugs, they kill the good and the bad. We need the normal bacteria and yeast that normally exists on our skin to keep each other in check.

This is why so many dogs who get chronic treatment with antibiotics end up with yeast or malessezia infections of their skin or ears. Ever chased an ear infection that started out as a bacterial infection then became a yeast infection? or vice versa? It’s the same phenomena.

The killing of secondary bacterial or yeast infections does not treat the underlying imbalance of allergies and you are destined to fight a life long battle with this strategy.

Remember, all topical treatments are often not deeply curative for the condition, but they are safe alternatives to the drugs, wipes etc. in common use that do not cure at all.

Robin L. Cannizzaro D.V.M., C.V.A.
June 9, 2004

Foster dogs, special concerns

It is important to consider that most of the rescue dogs that come into foster care are already very stressed due to their personal loss. In spite of whether they are strays, from a shelter, or given up by their person, the stress level may interfere with successful vaccination or cause them to decompensate for any illness not immediately evident. More vaccine NEVER translates into MORE protection. We may erupt an ailment after vaccinating or simply cause undue stress to an already stressed system.

Most of the foster dogs that come into foster care are adults and either have had extensive prior vaccination history or are simply NOT very susceptible to these puppyhood diseases. Most of these dogs have one or more existing medical issues that need to be treated and therefore, vaccine titers are much less harmful than vaccinating. I would suggest that a person who acquires a dog with unknown or an “overdue on vaccines” status, do antibody titers to measure protective levels.

If the foster is a puppy, depending upon age, a vaccine titer should be done or, if the puppy is young and healthy enough, a single combination core vaccine is advisable. I suggest the animal health company Merial who now has core vaccine combination available. They continue to seek ways to research vaccines and provide safer adjuvant (the substance used to bind modified live or killed vaccine). Most reactions occur as result of leptospirosis vaccine or adjuvant.

Here are the steps you should take when you first acquire a foster or unknown dog:

Take them to your Vet and have a heartworm test, fecal and full physical exam done.
Treat any conditions that are found.
Slowly transition to whole food diet with 60 to 70% meat and organs, and 30 to 40% nonstarch vegetables. Add a multivitamin made for dogs, a human grade ingredient natural vitamin, not synthetic. Remember calcium supplement bone meal may be used to balance the calcium phosphorus ratio.
Determine habits, good and bad, and use only positive reinforcement to correct.
Keep yourself safe, remember you do not know this dog.

Do not hesitate to utilize the knowledgeable people around you for information and support for the expertise they can provide.

Robin L. Cannizzaro D.V.M., C.V.A.
June 6, 2004

Vaccine Protocol

The core vaccines as determined by the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association are

  • Distemper
  • Parvo virus
  • Rabies

It is important to note that is never impossible for a species or age group to NEVER get a disease for which that species may be prone. You should make your decision to vaccinate based upon strong evidence of disease prevalence in your particular area.

Adult dogs of any breed are generally NOT susceptible or have greatly reduced incidence of disease from Distemper. This is a puppyhood disease and is RARELY found in adult dogs.

Adult dogs are NOT susceptible to Parvo virus. This too is a puppyhood disease.

Leptospirosis, Adenovirus, and Para are considered non core vaccines. Their incidence is generally low, and some of these are treatable diseases. Moreover, the strain used in the common leptospirosis vaccines is not protective for the strain acquired in the infectious disease state.

Giardia vaccine, corona, bordetella (kennel cough) vaccines are not generally protective and are NOT recommended under ANY circumstances.

Vaccine guidelines should include the following:

  1. Age
  2. Incidence in your area
  3. Health status of your pet
  4. Previous medical and vaccine history
  5. Life style and possibility of exposures

It is important to realize that vaccinating is most commonly driven by fear: the fear of “getting an infectious disease”. Much current research has conclusively shown that adult dogs have immunity far past one year for most vaccines given. In fact, most vaccines will last a lifetime after the puppyhood vaccine is given.

The Rabies vaccine requirement varies from state to state; some states require a vaccine every 3 years, some require a vaccine every year. The three year licensed vaccine MUST be used in order for the state to recognize three year coverage. The one year licensed vaccine is good for much more than one year, but the states and counties do not recognize this.

Prior to giving any vaccines, your pet’s health must be evaluated by you and your vet. If your pet has the following ailments, then they may be exempt from getting vaccinated with rabies vaccine and should NOT be vaccinated with any other vaccines:

  • Autoimmune diseases (autoimmune hemolytic anemia, autoimmune thrombocytopenia, lymes disease, other tick borne diseases, pemphigus, lupus etc.)
  • Seizures
  • Addisons disease
  • Cushings disease
  • Any infection anywhere
  • Cancer
  • Any organ failure or compromise of any organ system, temporary or permanent
  • Vaccine reactions
  • Chronic vomiting or diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis

The vaccine inserts themselves are careful to state “to be used in healthy animals only”. Believe me, the veterinarian will be liable if anything goes wrong, NOT the vaccine company.

Vaccine reactions do occur and are not as uncommon as one might be lead to believe.

Watch out for these types of vaccine reactions:

  • Lethargy
  • Vaccine site swellings, abscesses, granulomas
  • Vaccine site cancers
  • Autoimmune diseases: autoimmune hemolytic anemia, lupus, pemphigus, autoimmune thrombocytopenia, allergic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune complexes against organ tissue, kidney and thyroid
  • Possibly cancer
  • Seizures, post vaccine induced encephalitis or meningitis
  • Paralysis, autoimmune
  • Fever, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Anaphylactic reactions, swellings, respiratory distress, hives
  • Lymphoma
  • Decompensation of existing illnesses either currently under treatment or unknown at the time of vaccinating

It is important to note that judicious use of vaccines for those individuals that are at greatest risk is fine to consider, but the abovementioned considerations MUST be taken into consideration with regard to the best interest of the patient.

Most states will accept an exemption letter from a licensed veterinarian if your pet is too ill to receive a rabies vaccine. Check with your state board and your local veterinarian. If he or she refuses to comply with your wishes, find one that will.

Puppy Vaccines
According to lectures on the subject of puppy vaccines given by Ronald Schultz, PhD, Schultz, professor and chair of pathobiological sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, a leader in vaccine research and funded by the vaccine companies:

A single combination vaccine (with core vaccines) may be given at 14 to 16 weeks of age and is protective for the life of that pet in the MAJORITY of cases. At this point no maternal antibodies should be left to neutralize the vaccine given.

There are what he calls, vaccine NONresponders. These are dogs or puppies that no matter how much you vaccinate them, they will NEVER produce protective immunity. Therefore, WE MUST NOT CONTINUE TO TRY TO VACCINATE these pups.

It is important in the first 6 months to pay close attention to exposure and sanitation to minimize the chances of acquiring infection. We have lead people to believe that ALL dogs are susceptible to Parvo and Distemper and this is not true. We cannot however, measure who is and who is not.

I suggest that a person who acquires a dog with unknown or an “overdue on vaccines” status, do antibody titers to measure protective levels. According to Dr. Schultz, any antibody titer level is considered protective. The antibodies measured are part of the memory cell production to protect an animal. It is false to say that the titers are unproven and meaningless.

The only way an animal will have antibodies against any disease is through natural exposure or vaccination. If an animal is not well enough to vaccinate for rabies according to state law, do a rabies blood titer to help assure any handler, foster home, prospective new owner, and the general public that this pet is protected. I would suggest only doing vaccine titers for the other core vaccines, distemper and parvo.

Not all veterinarians agree and profit and beliefs can get in the way of what is best for our pets and fosters. Dr. Jean Dodds and Dr. Ronald Schultz are leaders in research on vaccine and endocrinological diseases. It is difficult to dispute research, although it’s not perfect. It is difficult for some people to change, as information changes.

Not one of us has ALL the right answers, and those of us in the veterinary profession open enough to pay attention to the clinical and scientific evidence before us are most likely to advise the safest procedures that we are aware of to date. Please be patient, as the information may change before us, but not one shred so far is likely to lead us down the path of continuing to overvaccinate.

Robin L. Cannizzaro D.V.M., C.V.A.
June 6, 2004