A veterinarian’s insight on how natural remedies can enhance the health and well-being of dogs and cats.
Like most of my colleagues, I have always been proud of the amount of schooling and knowledge it takes to be a veterinarian. We must have intimate knowledge of multiple body systems in multiple species. During one appointment, you wear your “dermatologist” hat; the next, it might be an “ophthalmologist” hat. It is in this diversity that a veterinarian finds interest as well as challenge. We are always looking for the best treatment options for our patients. A good practitioner always keeps an open mind and a willingness to learn.
AN INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL REMEDIES
It was in this context that my eyes were opened 15 years ago to the benefits of natural remedies. During that time, I met Bob and Susan Goldstein, the founders of Earth Animal. We began with discussions on how natural remedies, in conjunction with traditional medicine, could benefit my patients. This led to Dr. Bob and I working together in an integrative approach to disease. We collaborated in addressing cancer, where the addition of natural remedies can lessen treatment side effects by boosting tissue protection and reducing pain and inflammation. We also worked together on diseases of all the major body systems — skin, gastrointestinal, and urinary to name a few. In case after case, I could see the positive benefits an integrative approach brought, both in desired outcomes and in lessening the impacts of traditional treatments.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING
As time has passed, Dr. Bob has taught me the benefits of stand-alone remedies on the body systems of our furry family members. For example, using remedies to boost the immune system serves to fight off disease from both outside invaders and from within.
We have learned that 75% of the immune system lies in the gastrointestinal tract of all animals. Knowing this, the benefits of a natural, prophylactic GI remedy for gut health cannot be overstated. Recent studies show that a healthy gut has a positive impact not only on the immune system, but also on the mental status of our companion animals. Mental health has a huge impact on their quality of life, as it does ours, and it is important to keep that balance. Anxieties can be targeted and reduced by a multi-natural approach. Combining remedies to improve gut health, boost immunity, and gently calm animals can have wonderfully positive impacts on their daily lives.
There are natural remedies for all major body systems and diseases in animals. I personally continue to explore and learn about the many positive impacts these can have on the lives of our four-legged companions, and strongly encourage you to do your own research into their many health benefits.
Dr. Kris Hansen earned his bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith in Geneva, NY where he majored in science. He received his DVM degree from Ross University, graduating with honors. In 2000, he opened his own practice in Bridgeport, CT where he is driven to deliver excellent medical and surgical services with both expertise and compassion. Since 2006, he has worked with Dr. Bob Goldstein, VMD, practicing integrative medicine with his patients and researching its benefits.