It is almost a miracle the way veterinarians can diagnose. Often in minutes, thousands of health problems, from minor infections to heart disease. From a single drop of blood, they can tell when dogs and cats have liver problems or if they have been exposed to bacteria. Urine screens quickly reveal problems with the bladder or kidneys. And sophisticated tests like ultra sound and magnetic resonance imaging make it easy to pinpoint problems deep inside the body.
This precision doesn’t end with the diagnosis. The hallmark of modern medicine is that there are very specific treatments for specific problems. Once you understand the physical causes of illnesses, the thinking goes, all you have to do is “fix” the problem, and the illness will go away.
As we know, however, it doesn’t always work like this. Suppose that two cats have been exposed to the same germ. One cat may get sick, while the other stays in the pink of health. Or suppose that two dogs have been exposed to the same cancer-causing chemicals. One dog may get grievously ill, while the other is unaffected. Why, given the same situation, do some pets get sick and others do not?
That is the question holistic veterinarians have been asking for a long time. Even though they recognize that certain things, such as bacteria, can cause illness, there are clearly other factors that determine whether or not pets get sick. Many of these factors, it seems, can’t be seen through a microscope or detected with standard medical tests. And yet they appear to have a tremendous impact on your pet’s health.
The Power Within
Just as the world is filled with disease-causing organisms, the body is filled with defenses to resist them. In fact, no matter what your pet is confronted with, her body is well designed to fight back. Studies have shown, that cats that have suffered serious nerve injuries can recover complete nerve function. When pets take medications, the liver produces extra enzymes to detoxify them. The main reason a pet gets sick, according to holistic veterinarians, is that something is interfering with the body’s natural healing powers.
The key to self-healing is a strong defense system, which protects dogs and cats from everything from flu germs to cancer cells. More than their mainstream counterparts, holistic veterinarians believe that a weak immune system plays a key role in causing disease. Antibiotics fight infections, but they don’t affect whatever weakened the immune system in the first place. This is why holistic veterinarians focus less on things that cause disease and more on those that affect the body’s defenses.
Some veterinarians believe that there is a type of energy, or life force, that surrounds and flows into every living thing. You are not aware of this energy. You cannot see it or feel it, and scientists still don’t know how to measure it. But it every bit as real as the invisible germs that surround us. When this energy is flowing freely, dogs and cats have a superb ability to resist disease. But when the energy is blocked or unbalanced due to such things as stress or injuries, pets become vulnerable to illness. And once they get sick, the energy becomes even more unbalanced, making it harder for them to recover.
Everything that dogs and cats experience, from the quality of afternoon light to an upsetting afternoon, can affect the body’s energy balance. But a few things in particular, such as diet, stress, and exercise, play the biggest roles in determining whether pets get sick or stay healthy.