Canine Healing Crisis
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The Canine Healing Crisis
It's a Good Thing

by Dr Jeannie Thomason & Dr Kim Bloomer

The words:"Healing crisis" together actually sound like an oxymoron don't they? While these words may sound odd, they are in fact a good thing in the long-term perspective of natural healing.

Today many pet owners are becoming very disillusioned and frustrated with conventional care, which includes pharmaceuticals, so-called prevention medicines, and vaccines. They desire a more excellent way to care for their pets that will not only ease their costs but also bring a quality and longevity of life to their pets in order to share life with them more abundantly, the way God intended.

So you've taken all the steps to ensure your pet's quality of life by eliminating the commercial foods, vaccines, and prevention medicines and switched to natural, species specific feeding, immune system support through nutritionals, and natural preventions such as essential oils, etc. After a few months your pet starts to seem worse or have worse symptoms than they had previously on the conventional care. Here is where due diligence, fortitude and endurance will come in very handy. Your pet has now entered into the Twilight Zone. Not really but, it can certainly feel like it as you learn all about the detoxification process or "healing crisis".

Detoxify means to rid of poisons or the effects of poison. Poison is defined as any substance that has an inherent tendency to destroy life or impair health. Pesticides, chemicals, devitalized food and vaccinations all set up toxic situations in the system. The body must rid itself of these poisons. We see symptoms of detoxification with vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, itchy skin, draining eyes and ears, and cysts and tumors, to name a few. After your pet start eating fresh foods, their bodies will detoxify because they now have the nutrients to build healthy systems and no longer will have the need to suppress disease

Let's back up a bit and understand that symptoms are the key here. Symptoms are there to alert us to an underlying cause. Modern medicine is always so eager to address those symptoms rather than get at the cause. That is so we can be swayed into believing we've been miraculously cured in a matter of hours, days or weeks. Depending on the age of your pet and how long it has been un-healthy. Natural care can take far longer, but the outcome is real, not imitation through masking. By treating symptoms and not the cause, you are only adding more fuel to the fire and actually just suppressing the problem/cause. Eventually you'll have a raging wildfire of disease racing out of control by only treating symptoms. It is far better to ease symptoms and go after the cause in order to eliminate the disease altogether.

Symptoms of a healing crisis or "detox", often, at first, appear to be identical to the disease or illness you may be trying to eliminate and heal in your pets. If your pet was not visibly sick to you before you switched over to a more "natural" form of care, then the symptoms can be skin problems, ear problems, digestive problems, etc. For example if your pet was suffering from skin allergies which drove you to seek a more natural form of care, then during a healing crisis those same skin allergies may seemingly surface again after your pet has been on a natural care regimen for a few weeks or even months. Yes, it can take that long, sometimes longer before the body is able to process out the toxins behind the symptoms.

Since you have now begun to feed a more natural diet (especially raw), the body is now, finally, able to assimilate nutrients it can use and desperately needs. Once the immune system can finally utilize all those valuable, necessary, essential nutrients, the body then takes action to get the junk or toxins out. Before the nutritional support was there, your pet's body was doing well just to survive. Now your pet can begin to thrive!

Once this cleansing and purifying process begins, the stored wastes and toxins in your pet's body start to be broken up, pushed through the blood stream and eliminated. As this cleansing system begins to work more efficiently, reactions can occur as the result of the stored toxins being released faster than eliminative organs (i.e., kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, bowels) can remove them from the body. Now your pet is in a healing crisis. Often times, pain and symptoms during the healing crisis are more intense than that of the chronic disease, but it is temporary and necessary, and your patience is critical in seeing this through.

At this point in the healing crisis, you may be very tempted to give your pet an antihistamine for the itching or antibiotics or even steroids, DON'T! This will only prolong the natural healing process. These things will work to suppress the immune system. It is the immune system that is finally working and doing its job of ridding the body of the toxins and "dis-ease". Let it do its job. Let nature take its course.

All pets react differently to healing and detoxing, depending on their age, health, and how long they were given commercial diets, vaccinations, etc. Your pet's symptoms may range from non-existent, to mild to severe. Some symptoms you might notice are: diarrhea, vomiting, itchy skin, pustules or oozing skin, ear infections, eye discharge, anal gland problems, and so on. These reactions are the body's own way of ridding itself of the accumulated toxins.

Most pets show a healing response within a month. However, from what we have observed, the duration needed for the healing crisis and emerging health, averages out to be about 1 month for every year of life. It can be slightly longer for those with a history of medication usage like antibiotics, steroids and antihistamines. The length of treatment seems proportional to your cooperation and patience. While it can take up to several months to see total health emerging in your pet, it all depends on how much toxic build up there was or is in the first place.

There are natural means of supporting the immune system and easing some of the symptoms of the healing crisis that will not interfere with the detoxing/cleansing process taking place.

For instance, a simple solution for the dog with skin problems is constant bathing. Have you ever been hot and sweaty and felt itchy all over? That's a form of detoxification. The bacteria builds up on the skin and causes the itchiness. Taking a bath or shower will relieve the discomfort by getting rid of the poisons that are sitting on the skin. The same is true for your pet. Whenever the body is detoxifying through the skin, that skin needs to be kept free of poisons that are coming out of the system and causing the itching. Some animals may need to be bathed every day for a few days. Even though it takes a great deal of time, effort and care during that healing process, keep in mind how intense that itching sensation is.

CAUTION Use only a shampoo with all natural ingredients and no chemicals or harsh detergents in it. We recommend Young Livings, Animal Scents shampoo Or Spa Scents Revitalizing Shampoo

In fact, only products that are pure enough to be ingested should be put on your dog or cat because everything that's put on the outside goes inside via the skin and while they're grooming themselves.

Sometimes a healing crisis or detoxification will manifest its self in the form of loose stools for a few days or even weeks. The stools have the consistency of mashed potatoes or thick pudding. That is a cleansing.

Often the stools will be encased in mucous. A healthy system gets rid of the mucous because it is no longer needed. You may also notice Worms in the stools now because the worms cannot live without the mucous. You may also notice your pet's urine may have a strong odor for a few days. Again, this is a cleansing. As your animal gets healthier you will notice more urine and your animal will urinate for a longer period of time at each urination, which is a very healthy sign.

The whole process of cleansing and detoxifying is a magnificent manifestation of healing.

* NOTE: If your pet has diarrhea, which is the consistency of water, this is a whole different matter and you may have something going on besides detoxification. Do not confuse the two. Diarrhea needs immediate professional attention because if it persists it causes dehydration which can be fatal.

You may notice that the eyes are draining. Everything from a thin watery discharge to thick mucous in varying colors will drain from one or both eyes. All is well. Let the toxins come out. The animal is getting rid of poisons out of any and all organs and/or body openings that he or she can. I often hear stories from clients that tell me about the first signs of improvement they see are that the pet's eyes are so bright and clear now. Other comments are: "She's just like a puppy again." "He's as playful as a kitten". The sweet temperament and the playful personality will begin to emerge. A great sign of healing in your pet's body!

Do keep an eye on your pet's general health and temperature and certainly DON'T AVOID treatment by your "holistic" veterinarian if your pet goes off its food for more then 24 hours and/or maintains a high temperature for more then a day or two.

Just remember, in order to reach the point of re-newed health, he/she must go through the detoxification. For some animals you may not notice any aggravations. For others, it may be a constant uphill road. There is no way of predicting. What you do know for sure is that each day your dog or cat eat good fresh food and you eliminate the toxic chemicals in your home, they are going in the right direction, towards good health!

While we can't cover everything behind all the factors involved that can contribute to a longer or shorter healing crisis, we hope you'll not only stay the course and finish this healing race, but also remain steadfast in your own research into natural health.

*A consultation is highly suggested before any preventative program or treatment is started. A consultation includes a personalized diet and holistic program suggestions that are custom-tailored to your own dog's individual and personal needs. While we will continue to provide educational articles and information for you, most of these are general in nature. We therefore encourage you to tailor a program specifically for your pet's needs. This is particularly imperative in pets with complicated health issues, or if you've done a lot of outside reading and have conflicting information.

Copyright Dr.Jeannie Thomason & Dr. Kim Bloomer

A consultation is highly recommended before any preventative program or treatment is started. A consultation includes a personalized diet and holistic program suggestions that are custom-tailored to your own dog's individual and personal needs.

Copyright 2003 -2008 This article is the sole property of Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason, Dr Kim Bloomer and The Whole Dog and is for educational purposes. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the authors.