26 January 2013

How I Discovered Holistic Vet Medicine

For many people, when the cat gets sick, they take the cat to the local vet and the vet treats the cat.  It's only when this treatment 'fails' that the owner may question the vet or the general approach to veterinary medicine.

And such was my case.  I had Emily, a Persian mix, and for some reason, she stopped eating.  After about 10 days, she became jaundiced and I took her to every vet in town.  Each one told me the same thing -- "Best to euthanize her now because she has less than a 10% chance."  Finally, I took her to the local vet college and they agreed to treat her to show her students how a cat dies from liver failure.  Not a great prognosis.

So, for a few days, I followed all the directions.  And she got worse -- much worse.  The solution was to give me more medication to treat the side-effects of the other medication.  Still she got worse.

In a desperate attempt to save Emily's life, I called an animal healer and then a holistic vet.  The healer suggested several herbs and a raw liver mix and then insisted I call this one vet.  So I called.  We were on the phone for about an hour.  He asked me some "weird" questions which didn't seem relevant and then prescribed a homeopathic remedy which I had no clue what it was.  I had nothing to lose, so I tried it.

Nothing happened the next day -- she got neither better nor worse.  Then Saturday, she began to act perkier and to throw up every half hour, for most of the day.  On Sunday, she didn't vomit and let me force feed her and was even more perky.  Whatever that little white powder was worked!  (She made a full recovery and lived another 15 years.)

This is my story.  And it's not dissimilar in broad respects to how other people have turned to alternative treatments.  Cat is gravely ill -- try any alternative possible.

But this whole episode with Emily had two significant effects on me and the way I treat my cats:

  1. These alternative medicines, be they herbs or homeopathic remedies, do actually work.  From what I have seen, they work a lot better for some conditions, such as IBS or mild URI caused by viruses.  And most alternative medicines have few, if any, side-effects.
  2. I don't trust most vets.  Vets do make mistakes -- some are honest mistakes, others are driven by money, and a few because the vet doesn't look at the individual cat.  The more educated I am, the better I can check that the vet doesn't make mistakes.


Barbara said...

Very interesting, Linda. How do you administer these prescribed herbs to the cat -- in a capsule, mixed with food, ...

L.M. Hornberger said...

Depends on the herb. Some like echinacea as an extract or milk thistle powder powder are fine mixed with food. Others like slippery elm I prefer to make a 'tea' and syringe it in. A few like golden seal (which can work wonders!) taste so horrible that the only way to get a cat to eat it is as a capsule and then pill the cat.

Cherie Williams said...

Linda a question not about slippery elm but colodial silver, alot of people talk about it in oz, but reports that is can turn a cat blue is this true

L.M. Hornberger said...

Thanks for the idea, Cherie! I've not used colloidal silver much and am still trying to sort out reality from hype, which can be tricky. I'll post something on it at some point.