AGING, HEALTH, LONGEVITY
Companion animals today do not live as long as they did fifty or even thirty years ago. Natural healing methods help a dog or cat to live comfortably longer, without debilitating dis-eases. Delbert Carlson, DVM, and James Giffin, MD, list cat life expectancy at about fifteen years. Smaller dogs live longer than the large breeds, with large dogs reaching old age at ten years. Only ten percent of dogs live past age ten, according to these experts, even though animals in their twenties were not uncommon even up to the 1940’s and 50’s. Something is changing for the worse, and commercial diets, over-vaccination, and chemical drugs are a major part of the problem.
Supporting a pet holistically through old age can add comfortable and pain-free years to her lifespan. While specific dis-eases must be discussed in their own right, a few general tips can make a positive difference. Older pets are less able to assimilate food and absorb nutrients and vitamins from their diets. Therefore a quality preservative-free diet is essential. They need fewer calories because of decreased activity and less protein is recommended for overworked aging kidneys. It must be noted that commercial diets can cause kidney failure in older dogs and cats, but natural diets do not.
Aging animals may become incontinent (watch for urinary infections in both cats and dogs), and are often constipated. Careful observation is needed here to prevent emergencies. Older animals are less able to throw off toxins from their bodies and because of this may develop skin problems, tumors, body odors, or appear matted and unkempt. Daily grooming and a gentle body massage weekly checks for problems and keeps the animal clean and comfortable.
Using holistic methods rather than harsh chemical drugs with side effects helps to strengthen older animals, lessens the degenerative effects of chronic dis-eases and extends lifespans.
Nutrition: Aging pets do not need in their diets preservatives, sugar, salt, and poor quality food. A natural homemade diet, possibly chopped up small for easier digestion, is a must, or use a preservative-free pet food with supplements. Poor food has reduced our dogs’ and cats’ lives by half or more. Don’t wait until your animal is old to start giving her good food, but don’t hesitate to change an older pet’s diet now.
Naturopathy: Digestive enzymes are highly important in helping an older pet to assimilate nutrients, both in foods and supplements. Feline or canine enzymes are available from several natural pet catalogs and an increasing number of pet shops; give a quarter teaspoon to a teaspoonful per meal. Human enzymes from a health food store are also positive: give one-half tablet per meal for cats and small dogs, more for larger pets. Kelp provides missing iodine and minerals, bee products and garlic build immunity, and garlic is an internal antiseptic. Give aloe vera juice with liquid chlorophyll daily to prevent constipation and help the aging animal detoxify. Chlorophyll is also a blood sugar balancer. Cider vinegar in the water bowl or on food acidifies the urinary tract, adds potassium and other minerals, and aids tissue repair and healing. A teaspoonful of wheat germ oil daily helps dribbling in older female dogs.
Vitamins and Minerals: Feed the supplements listed with the optimal diet, varied as below. Both elder dogs and cats require more of the B-complex vitamins and vitamin E, and less vitamin C in their daily diets. For dogs, use half the adult dog amount of vitamin C but double the E (see the method chapter on Nutrition for size and dosage tables).
For cats, give 500-750 mg of vitamin C daily, and 50 IU of vitamin E.4 Use a low potency human B-complex supplement (10-20 mg) that is yeast free, or use brewer’s yeast if the pet is not allergic to it, and don’t forget the trace minerals powders. Additional B-l 2 is positive. Give 5-10 mg of zinc daily to aid the immune system. Give 10,000-25,000 IU of vitamin A with 400-800 IU of vitamin D weekly. Crush all tablets into food, and pierce gel capsules with a pin, squirting them into food. Raw thymus glandular, germanium, and coenzyme Q10 all oxygenate the cells and support the heart and immune system. Raw kidney extract is positive for pets with reduced kidney function. Buy these for humans and use proportionate to your pet’s weight.
Herbs: Hawthorn is a general circulatory system strengthener that helps the heart, balances blood pressure, and is a gentle protection from stress. It may be used daily long-term. It is recommended for pets with heart dis-ease. Ginkgo biloba may help in preventing or reducing senility. It also strengthens circulation, as does ginseng or ginseng with royal jelly. The best general herbal nutrient is alfalfa (since 2012, GMO so check your sources), which is also a detoxifier and helpful for arthritic joints and hip and bone problems. Yucca helps arthritis and is a natural steroid, and dandelion gently cleanses the liver. Horsetail grass adds silica and calcium for urinary problems and arthritis. For debilitated animals, slippery elm is a nutrient that may be used with honey or honey and water as a food.
Homeopathy: Remedies are given to fit specific symptoms; where there is a specific dis-ease, see that section. Crataegus (homeopathic hawthorn) may be used daily as a heart strengthener. Also for daily use try combination cell salts, called Bioplasma, in 6X or 12X potency. English homeopathic vet Francis Hunter suggests Baryta carb for senility in cats or dogs with incontinence. Give three times daily in the 30C potency for three or four days and repeat when needed.5 Aconite or Ignatia may also help the senile pet that is upset or frightened with no apparent cause. Use Carbo veg for a coughing or wheezing animal that is exhausted, and has constipation with gas. It is also good in cases of collapse where the animal is overweight with poor circulation, little activity, and chronic dis-eases.
Acupuncture/Acupressure: Check the Diagnostic/Alarm points weekly during a gentle body massage; this can reveal and often release problems early. Be familiar with the Resuscitation points also shown in the method chapter. (This would be point #8 on the Cat Chart.) For specific dis-eases use the appropriate points on both charts. Cat Chart #22 is a systemic tonic.
Flower Essences: Hornbeam strengthens and Peach is for longevity. Essences specifically for aging are Redwood when the dog or cat is arthritic, or Helleborus where the aging pet has a degenerative dis-ease. Thyme helps senility, and Centaury Agave or Bells of Ireland energize and rejuvenate.
Gemstones: Red stones for the Root and Feet chakras help to energize and revitalize. These include Garnet, Ruby, or Red Jasper. Pink or green gems strengthen the heart: Rose Quartz, Pink Tourmaline, Kunzite, Aventurine, or Bloodstone. Jade heals the kidneys, and Amber or Citrine the urinary and digestive tracts. Make any of these into elixirs or place in the pet’s aura; test with a pendulum for what the animal needs.
SOURCE: Narayana Verlag; 79400 Kandern Tel: 0049 7626 9749700 Except from Diane Stein: The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs & Cats. 2 Books: 1. Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats: Diane Stein: 9788170218500: Amazon.com: Books and 2. Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats: Diane Stein: 9780895946140: Amazon.com: Books