Holistic Medicine

Carnivore Diet
by Stephen Tobin, DVM

Cats and dogs are carnivores.  The primordial dog is the wolf, so if we can duplicate the wolf's diet, we will know how to feed a dog.  Cats and wolves eat the whole animal they catch.  So of course, this diet should contain meat, bone, fat, skin, cartilage and organ meat. But there are things not available at the butcher shop that their wild cousins consume, such as brains, intestines and fur or feathers.  Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the brain, but are also available in usable form in fish oil.  Bacteria for the intestines are found in green tripe as well as in yogurt and probiotics.  While feathers and fur provide indigestible bulk for the stool, fiber from vegetables or bran can also serve.

The meat for these animals can be fed either raw or cooked, depending on preferences (either the animals' or the caretaker's), with the exception of pork, which should always be cooked, due to the possible presence of Aujesky's virus, which can be fatal to dogs and cats.

The following is a diet that is inexpensive, easy to prepare and takes little time.

  • Chicken leg quarters: Prepare 10 lbs. at a time.
  • Place on trays and bake in oven 1 hr at 350 F. 
  • When cooled, put in containers and refrigerate, with liquid in a separate container in the refrigerator.
  • When feeding, remove the long bones (leg bone, thigh bone, and needle-like fibula bone).  Everything else- meat, skin, cartilage,liquid, as well as pelvis, tail and backbones, can be fed.

  • Fish oil (cod liver, salmon, anchovy, sardine, etc) about 1 tsp/day for each 35 lbs.
  • Yogurt- plain, unsweetened, unflavored. 
  • 1 Tbsp/meal Organ meat- liver, heart, kidney, giblets. At least 2-3X/week.
  • Fiber-1/4 tsp to 1 tsp bran per meal, depending on animal's size, or veggies or juicing pulp, depending on taste.

Bones should also be available.  The best type for moderate to large size dogs are beef neck bones, or the ends of the marrow bones (knuckles).  Small dogs might need rib bones if the others are too large.

Cats do well on chicken bones such as pelvis, breastbone, ribs, neck and backbones.  Large marrowbones are worse than useless; they lick the marrow out and then ignore the flavorless bone, or if they chew the very dense bone, they may break their teeth.  Poultry longbows (leg, thigh, first wingbone) should not be given, as one chomp can break them into long sharp splinters.

If a cat refuses fish oil, you might try giving canned mackerel, or sardines in water, not in oil, as these fish contain lots of omega-3 fats.

If you have a number of large dogs and go through a lot of food, you might want to consider a heavy-duty meat grinder, at least 1 HP, able to grind the leg quarters, bones and all.  Butchers buy meat in 40lb boxes, so if you can find a butcher willing to sell you a box at a time, at a reduced price, this can be cheap and convenient.  Grind all 40lb of leg quarters at one time (only one cleanup), mix the added items in, put in containers for daily use, and refrigerate enough for 5-7 days, freezing the rest.

Lyme Disease and Homeopathy
by Stephen Tobin, DVM

I am a holistic veterinarian in Connecticut and have treated several hundred cases of Lyme disease in the past five years. After trying various homeopathic preparations, with only limited success, I found that Ledum in a 1M potency is about as close as you can get in a specific cure. I have used it in dogs, cats, and horses, and it does not seem to matter whether it is a recent infection, a year old, treated or untreated -- they all respond curatively. I have not had a single case that did not improve.

While I do not treat human beings, some of my clients with animals suffering from Lyme disease have taken Ledurn 1M for their own Lyme disease infections, after seeing the positive result with their animals. The feedback I have gotten is all positive. I have told numerous naturopaths and homeopathic MDs about Ledum. One homeopathic MD runs titers on all his Lyme disease patients, both before and after treatment with Ledum, and has found that there is a constant decline in titer after Ledum.

For treatment, I give one pellet of Ledum 1M three times a day for three days. I have been using Borrellia burgdorferi 60X nosode, a homeopathic preparation, as a preventative for Lyme disease in dogs. I give orally one dose daily for one week, then one dose a week for one month, then one dose every six months. In the past four years, i have had only two dogs out of over five hundred on this regimen that might have contracted Lyme disease, both of which readily cleared with Ledum.

While there is a canine vaccine for Lyme disease, I haven't found it very effective. One vet who uses it extensively told me she feels it provides protection for about a third of the dogs receiving it. I have seen a number of Lyme disease cases in dogs starting five to six weeks after vaccination (these also resolve with Ledum). In an April 1993 letter, the Cornell Veterinary School Diagnostic Lab wrote about a study of dogs with a clear history and diagnosis of Lyme disease: 56% had antibodies as determined by the western blot test only against the vaccine, with another 32% having antibodies against the vaccine and spirochete itself. In other words, more than half had Lyme disease because of the vaccine and almost a third had Lyme disease despite the vaccine.

One breeder told me that before she started using the nosode, at least one dog and one family member would contract Lyme disease each year, but since using the nosode as a preventative (for the family and dogs), they have not had one case. Her husband was bitten twice by deer ticks last summer and developed a rash the size of a dime, whereas in the past, when he was bitten by a deer tick and subsequently developed Lyme disease, the rash was "twice the size of a half dollar."

I know a number of naturopaths who use Borrellia burgdorferi nosode as part of their treatment protocol for Lyme disease. One client, to whom I have given the nosode for her horse, took it herself and told me that the Lyme disease she had been suffering from for several years cleared up.