View all posts filed under 'Integrative Therapies'

Flea & Tick Prevention

Wednesday, 27. April 2011 13:49

Well Spring is upon us and this marks the start of flea season with all of its challenges if you own pets. For years at The Big Bad Woof, we have recommended holistic products exclusively to all of our customers both using internal and topical products to help repel and kill fleas and ticks. Some of our favorites are:

  • Earth Animal Flea & Tick Prevention products
  • Natural Chemistry’s Shampoos and Sprays
  • K9 Granola’s Flea Preventative topicals and internal tablets
  • Pet Naturals Protect
  • Shoo tags natural repellents worn as a tag on the collar

The last two years we have had a problem with our older female dog who gets a staph infection from flea bites. After counsel with both our traditional vet, Dr. Rebecca Bolch, and our integrative vet, Dr. Leanne Lipton, we are resolved to the fact that we need to use a topical pesticide for her which will be less damaging at 12+ years old than another staph infection. Which to use?

Both vets agreed that Advantage was the safest for her in this case but my partner and I were still worried in case there were side effects. Fortunately, we brought this up to our  colleague, Dr. Christine Bessent and she had a great suggestion which makes sense to us to help mitigate the effects of this pesticide on our old dog.

Start with Herbsmith’s Clear AllerQI on the day you administer the topical, then follow up with an additional 4 days using Clear AllerQi to help dispel heat and cool the system, based on traditional Chinese Medicine.

“According to Chinese medical theory, the liver acts as a pump that provides the smooth flow of energy, or Qi (pronounced “chee”), within the body. When allergies lead to Liver Qi Stagnation, an imbalance within the liver, the “pump” overheats and produces skin that may be hot to the touch. The herbs in Herbsmith Clear AllerQi ® harmonize the liver and clear this heat without hindering the dog’s overall vitality.”

So we are going to use both an Eastern Herbal Formula and a Western Preventive and hopefully protect our wonderful girl Tumo this year from another vicious cycle of staph >>> antibiotics >>> probiotics >>>and round we go again.

Category:Integrative Therapies, Local Products, Pet Wellness | Comment (0) | Author:

Our Pets and Toxins

Sunday, 27. June 2010 7:45

An study from the Environmental Working Group, Poluted Pets, by Olga Naidenko, Rebecca Sutton, Jane Houlihan, April 2008, begins: “ In the first study of its kind, Environmental Working Group found that American pets are polluted with even higher levels of many of the same synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, including newborns. The results show that America’s pets are serving as involuntary sentinels of the widespread chemical contamination that scientists increasingly link to a growing array of health problems across a wide range of animals—wild, domesticated and human.”  

While this may not be news to a large number of petowners, the extent of the problem is significant. It is therefore more than ever imperative to make the lives of our pets as toxin free as we can, because in doing so we make our own lives healthier. Multiple and layered illnesses have increasingly been seen in clinic in the human animal, as well as pets over the last several years in part due to this.  The contamination comes from many sources; poluted tap water, commerical pet foods, lawn and garden chemical residues and indoor environment; air, off gassing of manmade materials in the home, commercial products for; cleaning, clothes washing and other home maintenance products, various commerical pet grooming products and flea protection products, cat litter, toys with toxic ingredients, etc.  There are also those chemicals used in the urban environment and general airpolution.  Animals absorb surface chemicals directly through the bottom of their feet, through nosing, licking or eating things off the ground and through grooming themselves thereby absorbing chemicals in ways that a human would not.  All of this puts great stress on a many of the body’s systems and functions.  It is therefore important to purchase products that are safe and luckily there are increasingly more to choose from and places to get them. 

There is much we can do in controlling toxic contaminants for ourselves and out pets, but of course much we can’t readily controll.  But if we provide clean, organic food, filtered or spring water, non toxic products throughout our homes; cleaning/maintenance, laundry, sprays, organic/non toxic products to groom pets, non toxic toys, collars, etc. it goes a long way towards helping our pets and ourselves maintain health. Consider for a moment that we and our children hug our pets, place our faces in their fur and pick up chemicals that may linger there.  Anything we do for our pets can therefore have a beneficial impact on our own health as well.

To read the full article or for more information go to:

Category:Integrative Therapies, Pet Wellness | Comments (2) | Author:


Thursday, 27. May 2010 7:10

Skin diseases such as for example eczema, is  known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as shi zhen or damp rash and are generally either chronic or acute conditions.  In TCM diagnosis and treatment is based on what is called pattern discrimination; the disharmonies, stagnations, deficiencies, wind, pathogenic influences, Heat or etc. within the body that affect the whole body health.  The assessment establishes whether there is a pattern of Damp Heat or a pattern of Blood Dryness as seen from the TCM perspective.  A Damp Heat pattern will include red, weepy skin lesions that are itchy, plus other signs and symptoms the TCM practitioner establishes.   With Blood Dryness the lesions are dry and may also be itchy.  The lesions may be more or less red or perhaps even pale plus other signs and symptoms established by the practitioner after a thorough examination of the patient. 

Eczema may have a basis in other allergies.  In dogs, some breeds seem also to be more prone to skin diseases than others; for example golden retrievers, terriers, poodles, Dalmatians, schnauzers.   In dogs the cause for eczema can be internal and/or external parasites, fungus, yeast, fleas, chemical substances and drug reactions and others in addition to dietary and environmental allergies and sensitivities from a western perspective.  Therefore thorough pattern discrimination is important. In TCM no health issue is seen in isolation, but always on the background of overall health.  Once a TCM diagnosis is established the practitioner writes a treatment option for either herbal formulas or acupuncture or both, as well as dietary recommendations, which directly correlates to the specific person or animal’s TCM diagnosis.    The herbal formulas for the two types of eczema will be different and may include topical treatments.   If the condition has elements of dietary allergies, the diet must be checked and changed.  If there are external causes for the eczema, these need to be eliminated not only on the animal, but also in the animal’s environment for treatment to be successful.

 While an acute condition is easier and quicker to treat than chronic, enough time needs to be allowed for the treatment to work and to bring harmony back to the body.

Category:Integrative Therapies, Pet Wellness | Comment (0) | Author: