How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
| ||Veterinary Medicine: Endangered Dogs and Cats||
Veterinarians are frustrated. They treat pets engulfed by relentless disorders with multiple and seemingly unrelated clinical signs. They frequently can do little more than temporarily relieve their patients and make them more comfortable, but are unsuccessful in reversing the decline in vitality and health, or the course of disease. Many times veterinarians have no choice but to euthanize hopelessly sick pets, even young ones. On a daily basis veterinarians see animals like the following cases I have worked with:
- Georgette, a beautiful three-year-old Golden Retriever, developed the canine equivalent of breast cancer. Another veterinarian had removed the mammary gland tumor and treated the dog with radiation. Within weeks, however, an adjacent mammary gland became cancerous. The vet removed the new tumor and again treated the dog with radiation. At this point, the veterinarian was extremely pessimistic about the chances for survival and indicated to the owners that the dog probably had no more than three to six months to live.
- Miles, a seven-year-old Airedale weighing just over a hundred pounds, had developed aggressive behavior and had bitten his owner on two occasions. Just prior to these attacks, a strange expression of rage suddenly appeared on Miles' face. Something had to be done or else Miles would probably have to be euthanized.
- Buster was dying. This six-year-old domestic longhair male had been previously diagnosed with feline leukemia and treated with chemotherapy by another veterinarian. By the time I treated the cat, he had chronic diarrhea, was losing weight, and unable to hold his food down. Buster had anemia and white gums, typical of advanced disease, and major hair loss, a side effect of the chemotherapy. A blood test revealed that the cat had serious hormonal imbalances affecting his immune system. He was overproducing killer cells that were not only attacking the leukemia virus but also his own tissue.
- Bob, a three-year-old male mixed breed dog, and Cherry, a five-year-old shorthair female cat, shared the same household and the same daily diet of lamb and rice kibble. Their owner, like most people, believed that this type of diet was safe and hypoallergenic, meaning food that does not cause allergic reactions. Yet, his dog and cat had developed diarrhea and vomiting. Both animal companions had flaky skin and weight loss, signs of improper food absorption, and were clearly unhealthy. The concerned owner brought the animals to my clinic, puzzled over their illness.
- Candy had been a national field trial champion at the age of two, but a year later, the Brittany Spaniel had refused to run, point, and fetch. She had been bred but could not conceive. Candy also developed "valley fever," a mysterious and hard-to treat fungal condition that damages the lungs.
These cases are examples of an insidious, unsuspected epidemic that sickens, weakens, and kills companion animals before their time. Pure and mixed breeds. Males and females. Neutered, spayed, and intact animals. All are at risk. Many are suffering because of this unrecognized epidemic. As a result, veterinarians are seeing the following manifestations of ill health:
- More chronic diseases, particularly chronic health problems among younger animals that previously affected mostly older animals.
- Middle-aged animals with the appearance and organs of old animals.
- More animals with weakened immune systems.
- More cancer.
- More animals unresponsive to conventional treatment.
- More relentless skin allergies with inflammation, ulceration, and itchiness.
- Severe hypersensitivity to food and insect bites.
- Conditions among many breeds that were originally thought to affect only one particular breed.
- Inability to develop protective antibodies from vaccinations.
- Miscarriages and sterility.
- Aggressiveness, rage, and strange behavior.
(Excerpted from Pets at Risk: From Allergies to Cancer, Remedies for an Unsuspected Epidemic ISBN: 0939165481)