Izzy’s joy

March 19th, 2014

izzy1Izzy has one of the best noses of any dog I know. I usually have a treat jar in my office and when Izzy comes I have to hide it, otherwise he is obsessed with getting into it the whole appointment. I usually give one treat before an acupuncture treatment and one after and usually I can hide the treat for after on top of one of my picture frames but not from Izzy. The one time I tried he was climbing the walls, he knew it was there.

March 7th was a special day this year. It was the day that Izzy made it to two years after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called lymphoma. It is rare to get two years after lymphoma diagnosis and I always feel like if we can reach this milestone that the future ahead is much brighter.

If you want to talk about dogs with boundless energy Izzy would be up there. He often comes to see me after running or swimming at one of the local dog parks and he still has energy. A whirlwind of it all contained in a poodle body. But he is also one of the sweetest dogs out there, he can snuggle up to you with love, give you kisses and one look into his beautiful eyes and he has captured you.

I work with a lot of dogs with cancer, or in Izzy’s case who have had cancer, but Izzy is unusual in that he was only three years old when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. His wonderful people, Pete and Elise, made the decision to pursue chemotherapy for him because he was so young and lymphoma is quite an aggressive cancer.

izzy3However almost immediately after starting chemo Izzy’s energy dropped. He was no longer a happy, energetic dog but was instead lethargic and sick and his people, who loved him so much, felt like they could not continue the treatments that could help him but also were making him so sick. Luckily he was working with one of my favorite veterinarians, Dr. Tim Kraabel and he made a recommendation to try some acupuncture. I had briefly worked with Izzy’s people with another elderly dog who had since passed and they jumped right on board with that recommendation. Between Dr. Kraabel and Pete and Elise they identified that the prednisone that was part of his chemo protocol was a large part of what was making him ill. Dr. Kraabel recommended stopping it permanently and also stopping all the chemotherapy for a short time until we could get Izzy to a better place.

And so Izzy came to my practice.

From the first acupuncture treatment, Izzy was back to his normal energy. We also started him on a few different herbal formulas and supplements to both support his body and immune system and also to help fight the cancer. He did so well that we made a decision to continue his chemotherapy, although with longer intervals between the different drugs and he went through the full course without any major issues.

We have had one small setback when Izzy developed a second form of cancer in the form of a small skin tumor. Luckily it was removable and with one herbal addition it has not come back. Chemotherapy can predispose a dog to secondary cancers and while we knew there was a risk of that, you still hope that it doesn’t happen.

Izzy is such a wonderful illustration of what can happen when you get a team of people working together. Without Izzy’s people and their dedication to him and openness to explore and pursue all avenues of treatment for him he would not be here. Without the herbal and acupuncture treatments he would not have made it through chemotherapy and most likely would not have done so well after it. Without the chemotherapy he would not be here. And without Izzy’s determination to fight this fight none of this would have happened. We had a team where we could all communicate and trusted each other. We each had a part that we did well which came together in a way to give Izzy life.

I’m hoping that Izzy will have many years ahead of him to swim and run and love. To be a normal dog who can move through the world with joy and excitement. Perhaps he will finally slow down when he is in his golden years and maybe sleep a little more and run a little less and maybe come back to see me so I can treat him for arthritis.

No one knows what Izzy’s future holds but we do know that he is here now and by everyone’s prediction he shouldn’t be. But I always wonder, who are we to decide such things, especially when Izzy still has so much joy to show the world.
izzy2

Mast Cell Tumors Grade 3 and internal mast cell cancer – finding the right herbal treatments for your dog

March 8th, 2014

I told myself I couldn’t write an article on the more aggressive mast cell tumors (grade 3) and internal mast cell cancers. Yes, but sometimes you realize that you need to try to get the information out there even if it is difficult. For lower grade 1 and 2 tumors and prevention see Mast Cell Tumors of the Skin – holistic approaches.

Why are more aggressive mast cell cancers difficult to write about? The main reason is that they present very differently dog to dog, they spread differently and the herbals I use to treat them can vary quite a bit dog to dog.

Before I start one quick comment. Grading of disease is subjective. There are certain signs that pathologist look at to grade tumors but it doesn’t always carry with it how aggressive a tumor will be. I have seen grade three mast cells where removal was cure and grade 1 mast cells that went on to spread through the body. So all is not lost if your dog is diagnosed with a more aggressive grade of this cancer. Each dog’s cancer is individual, like the herbals used.

So the must dos for these cancers

  1. I always recommend that grade three tumors be removed if possible and your dog’s health will allow. Because there tumors are usually more highly aggressive, it is better to not watch and wait. And herbals are going to work so much better if the tumor can be reduced to microscopic levels.
  2. Acupuncture – you know me, I’m the acupuncturist. However, I am the acupuncturist who has seen so many dogs with cancer live wonderful full lives in spite of diagnosis and those who only had a few months live them better and without pain.
  3. Cancer Diet – this is a must for these guys. No grain, least processed and lots of meat. See You are what you eat a fighting cancer machine.
  4. Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang with E Zhu and San Leng – this is my main go to herbal for lower grade disease. I also use it for most of the more aggressive tumors as well (although not all). If the tumor is in the skin or may or has traveled to the lungs this is a must
  5. Artemisinin – once again a must in almost all the disease I treat. If you have read any of my other articles you will know this is one of my favorite supplements to fight cancer.

From here it gets tricky but please continue along – the following I mix and match depending on how they fit the dog and how the cancer presents.

  • Xiao Chai Hu Tang – this is a must for any dog with internal mast cell cancer in the organs. It can also be helpful for cancer which has traveled into the lymphatic system, the more aggressive grade three tumors, cancer in the lungs and/or any dog who has a disconnect between their front and back end. Click on the link for more information about this supplement
  • Si Miao San – I don’t use a lot of Si Miao San for cancer but I get animals I treat where it fits very well and then it is useful. It works best for dogs who are prone to inflammation and inflammatory diseases, sun seekers who run hot and pant a lot, dogs who are prone to itchy red bellies and dogs who carry a lot of dampness like the pits and bulldogs. This one will also help for cancer in the lymphatics.
  • Hoxsey Like Formula/Cancer Detox Support – A must if the tumor can not be removed or is highly aggressive and there are signs of spread after removal.
  • IP-6 -one of the supplements I sometimes use. This one seems to work well for mast cell cancer that is grade three, internal, or where grade 2s can not be removed completely.
  • Yunnan Baiyao A must for any internal cancer with a risk of bleeding

I highly recommend finding an herbalist to work with. I see dogs that don’t match exactly what I have written above, acupuncture is awesome and there is nothing to replace having a guide in all this.

As with all supplements and herbals, please check with your animal’s regular vet before using this herbal.

Return to Integrative and Holistic Methods for Treating Cancer in Cats and Dogs

We did it, we bought a building!! Welcome Kingdom of Basil Wellness Clinic for animals and their people

February 26th, 2014

I have long wanted to expand my practice and have a clinic where not just animals but also their people could go for excellent holistic health care. Today we bought a building in West Seattle where that dream can come to life!

I am very excited to introduce you to Kingdom of Basil – a wellness clinic for companion animals and their people and a small herb shop for animals. I have long believed that our healing between people and their animals is connected. Good health for us helps our animals and good health for our animals helps us.

I have a wonderful group of practitioners who are going to be part of this adventure. In addition to my own practice, we will have massage and acupuncture for people and animals and naturopathic medicine for people. I’m hoping to expand the herbal shop to people in the future and be able to offer some classes and support groups as well.

Diane will be with us full time running the office and will be able to meet and help many of you in person that she has only been able to meet over the phone. She will still work on Saturdays at Lien Animal Clinic.

We are hoping to move in April 1st and begin our journey. This date may change as we get the clinic ready to open. In the meantime please check out Kingdom of Basil’s website for information on some of our practitioners. There are a couple people who will be involved without profiles up yet.


If you are a facebook user please like our Kingdom of Basil page to get updates on our progress.

I promise to send our more updates to you as we move along in getting things ready to move in including directions to the clinic.

For those of you that are wondering, our new address will be 9431 17th Ave SW, 98106. We are excited to join a part of West Seattle that I feel like is rapidly changing and growing!

How to help our elderly animal companions with the seasonal change to spring

February 17th, 2014

Did you know that spring is one of the hardest seasons for older dogs and cats?

Often times we think of fall with the dark coming and winter with it’s cold short days as the most difficult but coming out of the dark into spring is also a large time of transition and when I unfortunately loss many of the older animals I work with.

I think part of it is that spring is a time of rebirth. Many new animals come into the world, flowers spring out of the earth and the winds bring change into our lives. The other side of this is that many animals who are near the end of their lives choose the transition of spring to do it in. Whenever there are new beginning their are also endings.

From a practical standpoint I think the ups and downs of weather in the spring as particularly hard on our older friends. It is warm one day, freezing the next, dry than wet and the wind can come in and weaken those who are already vulnerable.

From a Chinese medicine standpoint, our bodies change with the seasons. In the winter we hold more blood in our core, preserving our warmth in our organs. In the summer we send more blood out to the extremities which can cause the inner body to be more deficient. In spring we began that process of pumping more blood out. In yin and yang terms we externalize our yang and if we don’t have enough yin to hold to the yang in our bodies it can cause behavior changes such as anxiety, sleep disturbances, organ failures or if yang is not held at all death (the ultimate separation of yin and yang).

So what can we do to help?

  • Consider putting a coat on your older dog when you take them outside, especially one that covers the neck area. The Chinese say that external pathogens can easily get into a body which is already weak and that they come in through the neck.
  • Consider adding some of the tonic foods to your animal’s diet. Bone marrow or a broth made with marrow bones is awesome. Make sure your animal is getting enough protein i.e. meat. Shiitake mushrooms or a mushroom supplement such as MUSH can be helpful. Tender spring bitter greens such as spinach or dandelions help to keep blood moving well.
  • In the older ones consider using infrared light therapy. See Infrared Light Therapy for dogs and cats.
  • If you are in an area where acupuncture is an option it can be helpful with some of the issues of transition.
  • In older dogs the formula Xiao Chai Hu Tang can be helpful to balance yin and yang and to help with times of transition. Do not use this formula if you have a dog in kidney failure without the direction of a veterinarian.
  • Help your older cat and dog to get some exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to help with brain function and to help keep blood moving well.
  • Love them every moment. All of us will pass at some point in time. Unfortunately our dogs and cats live shorter lives than us. Sometimes no matter what we do they are ready to move on and all we can give them is our full love and acceptance.

We are bought young but we can change – how the veterinary community is courted

February 16th, 2014

An addition to Dog’s Naturally Magazine’s Why Vets are Getting Away With Murder posted by Natural Pet Pantry.

I remember looking up at the large brick building of Bustad hall, holding my arms closer to me as I walked up the few steps to the building, that would consume a good portion of my life for the next four years. I’d made a split second decision to change my path from medical school to vet school about two years before and here I was walking up to my first day of class. I was excited and nervous and wondered what this journey was going to be like.

Walking into the cubby room with its slight smell of cleaners and wood, I went to my little slot in the wall pulling out a stack of papers with information I would need to navigate the first week and a cute little luggage tag from one of the companies that sold cow dewormers. Hmm that was nice, they were welcoming us onboard. I had no idea.

I soon learned that is was a regular occurrence. Before our first anatomy exam colored pencils appeared in our boxes – color pencils that were exactly what we would need to make the exam easier. There were often pens, pencils, and notebooks, candy for those hard days of studying, all from drug companies. You name it, if it fit in a cubby, it would appear.

I learned that almost every day you could get free lunch, usually the yummy local Pullman pizza, if you were just willing to sit through another presentation by a drug company. And believe me I went to many of these lunches. At the time school cost about $9000-10000 a year including books. The minimum we could borrow as students was $18,500 a year, 2% of that would be taken out as fees. Most of us were living on under $8,000 a year, even in the 90s and in Pullman quite a small amount of money. Believe me every pizza lunch counted.

Our animals were a different story. Almost all of us arrived with animals. I had three cats, two guinea pigs, two rabbits and latter added my two dogs in addition to having my own human child. We all loved our animals but here we were barely having enough money to eat decently ourselves. Luckily I had spent two years volunteering at PAWS animal shelter before going to vet school and they had taught me quite a bit about nutrition. I had my cats on a food called Nature’s Recipe, which was considered one of the best foods by the natural foods people back then (it has since changed ownership and quality). Yes back in the days when I thought just dry kibble was ok for cats. I actually had to drive over to Seattle to get this food, as there was almost no choice in Pullman. The hay for the guinea pigs and rabbits was easy.

In addition to drug companies courting us, every month Science Diet/Hill’s would come and give any vet students, who wanted food for their cats and dogs, food at an extremely reduced price. Almost all students took advantage of this. I learned a couple years later in nutrition classes that cat and dog nutrition was taught along the lines of what Hill’s prescription diet to use for what disease condition.

I wouldn’t feed my animals Science Diet and had learned from the PAWS folks about some of the dangerous preservatives and rendering floor meat in their foods. At the time I was already interested in holistic medicine and learned that there was a small holistic medicine club at WSU. When I went into my first meeting of about five people I learned the president was stepping down and that the club would dissolve if no one took over. Not wanting that to happen, I because president of the holistic club myself. I started to think, what if we could introduce other fellow students to better quality pet foods?

I send some letters, yes before I used email, out to a few of the nature food companies that I liked asking if they would be willing to give out free or discounted food to the vet students at WSU. Precise pet food got back to me and said they would be interested and asked if I could see how many students would want that. I was excited! Not only was I going to be able to get a decent food for my own animals but the vet students around me would also have access to something besides Science Diet. As I put small notes in the student cubbies I had no idea that there was a problem with what I was doing.

The next day I was cornered by another vet student who told me, “are you crazy, do you know how much money Hill’s gives to this school?!”

That was the beginning of people stopping me in the hall to tell me I couldn’t give away free food, that I would hurt the school if I did. I soon learned that not only did Hill’s give out highly discounted food to the vet students but they also gave quite a bit of money to the vet school and here was the clincher. If any other food company gave out food not just on campus but in the city of Pullman to vet students they would not just stop giving food to students but would pull out all funding from the vet school. Wow!

I knew from the experience of others that vet school was not somewhere to go against the system if at all possible. So short story – no natural food was given out.

A couple years later, Iams, which was a decent food back then, found away around this rule. They rented a small storage building just past the city limits of Pullman and once a month we could drive out there and receive free food from them. They had one natural kibble without preservatives and that is what my dogs ate until I graduated.

If you ever wonder why things are how they are, this is a large part of it. As veterinarians we are bought early in our career. We are taught that homemade and raw natural foods are wrong, we are courted by drug companies even after we graduate.

But remember that we are still free thinking individuals. Much can change. One of the largest cat only clinics in my area is now selling raw food. All our local neurologists are trained in acupuncture. Vets are now using Milk Thistle and SamE to treat liver damage. There are more and more vets that are following the minimal vaccine protocol. We are smart folks and our profession can change. As our clients before more and more interested in good nutrition and holistic medicine themselves it will carry over to their beloved animals. It already has started. We need to listen to the people who are connected to the animals we care for. We need to listen to the animals we treat, listen to their bodies and not be afraid to embrace new ideas.

Kingdom of Basil Herbal Formulas

February 1st, 2014

chjlmltLong overdue, here are short descriptions of the formulas sold through my etsy shop, Kingdom of Basil. Please click on the names for more information about the formulas (when available).

  • Back Support Formula – I use this formula mostly for animals with disc disease and conscious proprioception deficits (i.e. toes drag or turn under) and/or pain related to nerve or disc compression.
  • Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang/ Chemotherapy Support Formula – This formula helps to support animals going through chemotherapy. It especially helps to support the immune system.
  • Calm and Peaceful Formula – This formula is used to calm down anxious dogs. It should not be used in cats.
  • Cancer Detox Support – I use this formula for many of the cancers that are inflammatory such as osteosarcoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and lymphoma. Works best in dogs who run hot. Boneset can be added if there is bone involvement to help with pain.
  • Cat Kidney Support/Liu Wei Di Huang Wan – this formula supports older cats with kidney dysfunction.
  • Eight Treasures – This formula helps support the immune system and digestion in older and weak dogs. It can be especially helpful for dogs who are emaciated.
  • Ge Xia Fu Zhu Yu Tang + – This formula helps to support dogs with liver tumors. Often combined with Xiao Chai Hu Tang
  • Heart and Brain Support – Containing ginkgo and hawthorn this formula supports blood flow, brain function and heart function.
  • Jade Wind Screen – This formula is used to stimulate the immune system and work with animals with chronic or reoccurring respiratory infections.
  • ravenhong

  • Liver Support Formula – This formula supports the liver especially in animals with elevated liver enzymes.
  • Modified Chai Hu Jia Long Mu Li Tang – I mainly use this formulas for animals with hemangiosarcoma of the abdomen or heart.
  • Senior Dog Support Formula – A supportive formula for older dogs with joint issues. This formula helps with longivity, organ health, pain and mobility.
  • Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang+ – A formula I use for animals with tumors in the lower abdomen especially the kidneys, prostate and bladder. I often pair this formula with Xiao Chai Hu Tang.
  • Si Miao San – a strong anti-inflammatory formula. Used to support dogs with Cushings, it can also help with inflammatory disease of the skin, gut and joints. Many of the dogs that do well on this formula run hot but like to sunbathe.
  • Stop Diarrhea Formula/Zhi Xie San – Helps stop diarrhea in dogs
  • Xiao Chai Hu Tang – This formula is one of the most widely studied for cancer worldwide. It is very helpful for cancers of the abdomen, lung metastasis, and lymphoma. It is also supportive of the immune system and often used with chemotherapy. It can help with chronic cough. It treats a Chinese syndrome called Triple burner obstruction. It is also used in some autoimmune diseases.
  • Xiao Feng San – a formula for mild itching
  • Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang + – This formulas is often used for tumors of the upper body and for lung metastasis. It can also be helpful for skin cancers, especially mast cell tumors. It is often paired with Xiao Chai Hu Tang for cancer. It promotes healthy blood flow to the lungs and is also used to support dogs with chronic and acute cough and/or heart disease.

Making herbal anti-itch shampoo for dogs

January 25th, 2014

I’ve been really enjoying exploring some new products recently. I’ve always wanted to make a good anti-itch shampoo for dogs and today I made one that I think will be excellent.

Here is my ingredients.  My herbals are a combination of a formula called Xiao Feng San which really helps with itch, calendula flowers to sooth the skin and oregon grape to fight any infection in the skin.

Here is my ingredients. My herbals are a combination of a formula called Xiao Feng San which really helps with itch, calendula flowers to sooth the skin and oregon grape to fight any infection in the skin.

First I made a tea out of the herbs, boiling everything together and then straining.

First I made a tea out of the herbs, boiling everything together and then straining.

Here's the final product.  Tea, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and lavender essential oil.

Here’s the final product. Tea, jojoba oil, aloe vera, castile soap and lavender essential oil.

Kingdom of Basil Anti-Itch shampoo

  • 5 cups of water
  • 60g of Xiao Feng San
  • 15 g calendula flowers
  • 15 g oregon grape root
  • 12 T of aloe vera
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 12 ounces of castile soap
  • 80 drops of lavender essential oil

Put herbs in a pot with water, bring to a boil and reduce heat, let simmer for about 20 minutes. Cool and drain. In each shampoo bottle put 8 ounces of drained tea, 3 tablespoons of aloe vera, 1/4 teaspoon of jojoba oil, 3 ounces of castile soap, and 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix and use. Shampoo will have some sediment from the herbs.

It is best to wash an itchy dog with lukewarm water.

I buy all my shampoo making products from Mountain Rose Herbs. Xiao Feng San can be purchased through my herbal shop Kingdom of Basil.

Making more herbal ointments

January 20th, 2014
An herbal ointment for warts and topical viral infections - St. John's wort, licorice root, cat's claw bark and echinacea purpurea root.

An herbal ointment for warts and topical viral infections – St. John’s wort, licorice root, cat’s claw bark and echinacea purpurea root.

Wart ointment and hot spot ointment herbs ready to go, with coconut oil from mountain rose herbs

Wart ointment and hot spot ointment herbs ready to go, with coconut oil from mountain rose herbs

Both herbals with coconut and sunflower oil in a water bath.  They sit at low heat for 3-5 hours.

Both herbals with coconut and sunflower oil in a water bath. They sit at low heat for 3-5 hours.

Grated beeswax to add to the strained oils

Grated beeswax to add to the strained oils

Back in the water bath to melt the beeswax

Back in the water bath to melt the beeswax

Final ointments cooling in their tins.  The brown is the anti-viral and the bright yellow is for hotspots.

Final ointments cooling in their tins. The brown is the anti-viral and the bright yellow is for hotspots.

The final product!

The final product!

So far these are just for my clients and family but will sell them at the new store, Kingdom of Basil when it opens and hopefully also on my etsy.com herbal store .

Diets for cats and dogs with cancer -You are what you eat, a fighting cancer machine (repost)

January 19th, 2014

Good nutrition is very important in any animal fighting cancer. You are what you eat and with cancer we need a diet that feeds and supports the body but starves the cancer. In fighting cancer with herbs and holistic medicine, we are relying on the body to do the fighting. This takes a strong immune system and a lot of energy. You need good food for this.

Cancer cannot utilize fats but loves to use carbohydrates, especially processed ones. Protein is somewhere in between.

A diet high in protein, moderate in fat and with no grain or very low grain is ideal. Home-made cooked, or raw diets are best. If that is not possible then a good quality high protein, canned commercial diet or a hydrated freeze dried raw diet can be substituted.

If your animal is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation you should not use a raw diet (freeze dried is fine). However for these animals a great option is a cooked diet. After they are done with these treatments the food can slowly be transitioned to raw if desired.

If your dog or cat is very debilitated from cancer and has not been on a raw diet before stick with a cooked or freeze dried food.

Commercial raw diets can be cooked as a more simple way to make home cooked food for your animal.

Below are a couple diets I have been using for years for my clients who have time to home cook. It is not an exact science so feel free to play around with them. Scroll down to see some of the commercial diets I recommend (canned, freeze dried and raw).

Sample cancer diets

Dog (approximately for a 40 lb dog per day)

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or raw meat including liver and organ meat (if you use fish or pork make sure it is cooked)
  • 1 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1/4 cup yam, sweet potato or pumpkin, cooked or canned
  • 1/8 cup nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews
  • 2 T yogurt with live cultures
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Nordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil
  • a calcium supplement (see below)

Cat Cancer Diet See Making Crazy Awesome Homemade Cat Food

An alternative cat food recipe is Making Crazy Awesome Cat Food Part Two.

For homemade dog food (cats are hard to add extras to their food)

  • If possible I also recommend adding reishi, shitake, and/or maitake mushrooms to the diet. Mushrooms are strong immune stimulates and have anti-cancer properties. Add them in as some of the veggies. Mushrooms should always be cooked as the cooking releases their helpful properties and when they are not cooked they are mildly toxic.
  • When picking vegetables, broccoli and other leafy dark green vegetables should be considered. Many studies have been done on broccoli’s effects against cancer. See the article Broccoli Fights Cancer.
  • The pumpkin, sweet potato, yam, and cod liver oil are high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes mechanisms in the body that kill cancer cells and cause cell differentiation. Consider adding other sources of vitamin A such as liver and carrots.
  • A calcium supplement needs to be added to any diet made for cats and dogs. There are many ways to do this.
    • There are many commercial products such as Animal Essentials Natural Seaweed Calcium.
    • Bone Meal Powder can also be used. Use one teaspoon for an average sized dog.
    • Many people prefer to add a Centrum Silver a day for average to large sized dogs.
    • If you are feeding a raw diet you can feed raw chicken necks for calcium.
    • If you are using eggs in your diet consider smashing up the egg shell and adding it to the diet. One egg shell provides enough calcium for an average sized dog. 1/8-1/4 of an eggshell provides enough for a cat.
  • If you are making raw food make sure the meat is frozen for at least 48 hours to kill off any dangerous parasites.
  • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and cashews are high in trace nutrients, minerals, vitamins and good fats. If possible include these in your diet. Cats sometimes do better with a little almond butter. Avoid macadamia nuts which are toxic to dogs.

If you are using a commercial canned food I recommend the following

  • Weruva is a great food that seems home made. They have many varieties so make sure you find a grain free one. I have found this food much cheaper on Amazon.com
  • Instinct is completely grain free and very high in protein.
  • Taste of the Wild is another quality food I use in a lot of the dogs I work with.
  • There are other good ones out there but make sure they mostly contain meat and are grain free.

If you are using a commercial raw diet ideally pick one local to your area. I really like Darwin’s for raw dog and cat food and Rad Cat for cats.

If you are looked for a good freeze dried raw Stella & Chewy’s is my favorite and even picky animals including cats seem to like it. With any of the freeze dried foods I recommend hydrating them.

I hate to see dogs and cats with cancer on dry food but if that is the only option then a no grain high quality diet such as Orijen can be used.

Remember that any food in the belly is more important then the best food sitting uneaten. Sometimes animals with cancer are so sick that they have very little appetite. In that case give them anything they will eat. When they are feeling better, focus on trying to get them to eat what is best for them.

Return to Integrative and Holistic Methods for Treating Cancer in Cats and Dogs.

Helping anxiety in an old friend – Calm and Peaceful Formula

January 3rd, 2014

calmphotoOne of the older dogs I work with recently developed severe separation anxiety, involving doing injury not just to the house she lived in but also to herself. Her western vet had put her on Xanax and Prozac but the Prozac didn’t seem to do anything and the Xanax sedated her so much she acted like a zombie dog on it.

On a recent visit in, her human mom brought in a tooth she had pulled out on her crate while she was away at work. We were very concerned that she would contain to injury herself if nothing was done. In addition not only did she have separation anxiety while her person was working but she also had quite a bit of anxiety at night making it so no one was sleeping well.

We started her on a calming formula to try to settle her nerves and anxiety yet let her still be herself and not always sedated. So far she has been much calmer throughout both the day and the evening and can now stay by herself when her mom is working.

Her formula included the following ingredients

  • Hops – I’m sure most of you are familiar with this important ingredient of beer. Hops is known to help with anxiety and insomnia
  • Passionflower – helps to calm the nervous system and has anti-anxiety actions as well as being a mild sedative. This plant is also used in some epilepsy treatments.
  • Valerian Root – This herb is often paired with passionflower for treatment of anxiety and insomnia. It also is mildly sedative.
  • Skullcap Root (Huang Qin) – Skullcap helps to calm the nervous system and also supports the liver.
  • Chamomile – Calming and so much more. We all know about taking a cup of chamomile tea.
  • Ginkgo Leaf – Did you know that Ginkgo trees are 270 million years old and one of the oldest species on earth? They were around when the dinosaurs where. Did you know that they were the only plant to survive the hiroshima atomic bomb, staying alive and thriving to this day? Pretty cool trees! They also help with memory and dementia by supporting blood flow to the brain. Makes seen that something that old would help with memory! If there is a blood flow issue causing anxiety in your dog friend, this is the herb to help.
  • Catnip – Calming and a great anti-anxiety herb for humans and dogs. Not so much with cats.

calmphoto2I’ve added this Calm and Peaceful Formula to my etsy shop, Kingdom of Basil.

As it can cause sedation it should not be used with other sedating herbs or drugs without veterinary direction. It also should not be used long term in young dogs as a replacement for training. It can be used at a low dose long term in older dogs.