By Dr. Jeannie Thomason
We have all been indoctrinated to believe that we should routinely use medications to repel or more factually, kill fleas, ticks, and all pests and parasites – before they kill our pets.
Have you ever wondered why some dogs and cats have severe flea problems, while others are hardly bothered by the little pests? Fleas being present on your pet can be an indicator of the animal’s general health. Parasites in general, and fleas in particular, are most attracted to the weak, unhealthy, or very young animal whose immune system is not functioning well. The best flea prevention is to reduce your pet’s susceptibility to fleas by improving his/her health.
In the conventional veterinary industry, the fact that parasites (worms, heartworm, fleas, ticks, etc.) will attach themselves to a sick animal before they will attach to a healthy animal, is hardly ever made known to the pet loving public however, I want you to know the facts about fleas and ticks – the “wholistic” truth!
Pests and parasites such as fleas, ticks and worms have been around for as long or longer then our domesticated dogs have been. Wild canines and their domestic cousins have evolved to co-exist with parasites. This co-evolution means that healthy animals are able to keep parasites in check naturally (without the use of pesticides).
We have all been indoctrinated to believe that we should routinely use toxic chemicals to repel or more factually – to kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes as well as worms.
Routine vaccinating, deworming and applying chemical pesticides has been so ingrained in most of us that everyone unthinkingly steps right onto the relentless cycle of chemical worming and using some form of toxic flea and tick product.
We have all been led to believe that keeping our dogs flea and tick free, routinely is a simple solution and “prevention”- whether we actually see evidence of the pests and parasites or not.
After all, all you have to do is just put a few drops of chemical pesticide on the dog’s back and give him or her a heart worm chew every month and those “evil pests and parasites” will never bother your dog in the first place. The veterinarian tells you that you MUST be vigilant to use these products to have a “healthy” puppy or dog. After all, it’s just prevention, just in case. Just the responsible thing to do, right?
Pasteur’s Germ Theory Vs. Naturopathic Theory
To understand this mentality, we need to look at Pasteur’s germ theory of disease. This theory subscribes to a drug-based system that suppresses symptoms and attacks all pathogens. The conventional theory and approach to pests and parasites is to attack and kill them with toxic chemicals. Medications are given routinely, most often without even first checking to see if the puppy or dog even has a parasite problem.
The naturopathic theory and practice is contrary to the conventional. Instead of keeping toxic substances routinely applied or given orally to continually kill/destroy all pests and parasites that may decide to make your canine companion their host; we support the body naturally to keep the internal terrain/immune system and the body’s vibrational frequencies at their peak of health and balanced so that parasites will not be attracted to the animal in the first place and if attracted, will not long thrive there.
A naturopathic/truly holistic approach understands that when a dog does has an infestation of fleas or a high worm load, it says much more about the dog’s over-all health than it does about the parasites.
Parasites are opportunists, always looking for somewhere to thrive and complete their life cycles. Parasite infestations (whether fleas, intestinal worms, heart worms, mites or ticks) are a sure sign of an imbalance that indicates a weakened immune system. The whole picture of the animal’s health needs to be taken into consideration and addressed.
In other words, the presence and activity of pests and parasites are dependent on the host’s state of health, or lack thereof.
One of the pioneers of the “Nature Cure” movement, Dr. Henry Lindlahr, cited many cases in his book in which the activity of the parasites was clearly a benefit to the host, and in which the parasites disappeared as mysteriously as they had appeared when their work had been done. This observation implies that parasites are more than mere opportunists; they offer a cleanup service to a dis-eased host.
Pests and parasites are attracted to hosts having immature or compromised immune systems. Could it be that the presence of pests and parasites are there to help boost the immune system in some way — to help clean up the dis-eased, toxic laden blood? Might they actually have an important role in healing? A necessary place in nature?
Almost every species on earth has some kind of parasite, in fact, usually several, living in or on them. However, the immune system has evolved to cope with a certain amount of parasites and pests. Furthermore, this relationship has been found to have a beneficial effect on the host’s immune system. Does this sound crazy to you?
While there are some parasites living in large numbers that can cause serious illness and even death, for the most part, hosts and parasites peacefully co-exist as long as the balance of both host and parasite is maintained.
Parasites play a crucial role in the ecosystem both in nature and internally. Parasites also provide certain health benefits, keeping the immune system “on its toes,” so to speak. In other words, a beneficial balance of parasites is good for health.
Attempting to eradicate them completely is not necessarily the best thing to do.Dogs naturally share a symbiotic relationship with several varieties of internal parasites. However, in small, balanced numbers, this relationship is not only normal but in the long run, healthy. The parasites gain a host that enables them to mature and perpetuate their life cycle while the dog obtains a measure of resistance to further parasitic infection.
There can be exceptional circumstances where a dog’s immune system is highly compromised, and the trade off for eliminating the infestation offers a quick removing of parasite burden. In these exceptional, crisis circumstances, this buys time to address, natural support for the immune system, and improves the dog’s whole health naturally. However, please be aware that all chemically based products and pharmaceutical drugs have negative consequences for health, especially regarding liver toxicity.
In looking at how to best deal with an overload of pests and parasites, we need to logically question the routine use of neurotoxic flea, tick and internal parasite (worms – intestinal or heart worms) pesticides. It has become quite clear that this paradigm of killing everything, isn’t achieving the intended result, and we now have a growing problem with the parasites becoming resistant to the chemicals being used.
So, how can you deal with pests and parasites that live on and in your dogs in out-of-balance numbers? How can you aid your dog in being healthy enough to resist an out of balance load of pests and parasites?
You can start by taking these simple steps as soon as possible.
- get your dogs on a raw, species specific (carnivore) diet
- discontinue use of pesticides and dewormers
- remove all toxic chemical-based products currently in your home and yard and replace them natural, non-toxic alternatives
Pests and parasites problems are exacerbated by the fact that our domestic dogs are no longer fed a raw carnivore specific diet, and are fed from bowls (not off the ground).
Species Specific Nutrition
Good, proper nutrition from foods appropriate for the species (carnivore) can actually strengthen and boost the immune system by providing the proper nutrients and keeping the body’s natural electrical energy/frequencies functioning at optimal levels.
The food you feed your pets should provide all of the nutritional components which are necessary for all the organs and systems of a healthy body to perform in harmonious unison. A truly healthy and properly functioning body does an amazing job at preventing dis-ease and healing itself. However, it requires the energies and nutrients of a species appropriate diet to be healthy in the first place. In terms of feeding the proper diet to our companions, this means that we must learn to look beyond our own needs, opinions, and agendas to address the natural needs of the animals that we are responsible for by feeding and raising them according their species and nature. Dogs, are carnivores and need to be fed accordingly for optimal health.
Probiotics and Enzymes
Probiotics and digestive enzymes are highly recommended to aid the animal’s immune system come into balance. By assisting the transport of nutrients through the body and aiding in the breakdown and removal of waste products, probiotics and digestive-enzymes help alleviate allergy symptoms brought on by lack of proper nutrition and toxic overload.
Most dogs are kept locked up inside the house most of the day, only going out to go potty or for the occasional short walk. Our dogs need to spend time every day exercising, getting fresh air and sun bathing whenever possible, just as they would in a wild environment. Exercise moves the lymph and aids in keeping the toxins being released from the body. It keeps the circulation of blood moving and filtering as well as keeping the muscles and digestive system in good working order.
Lifestyle, Pests and Parasites
The domestic lifestyle of living indoors, being vaccinated, being exposed to toxic chemicals and being fed processed pet food, has in reality,made our dogs even more vulnerable to parasitic infestation and weakening of the immune system.
People that have dogs or cats with fleas, skin problems, allergies, digestive problems and behavioral problems are spending hundreds of dollars at the veterinarian on so called flea prevention, wormers, antibiotics, steroids, tranquilizers, and other medication. The sad but all too truthful fact is that these toxic pesticides, antibiotics, steroids, and other medications take a serious toll on our pet’s internal organs and especially the immune systems. The animal’s problems become a never-ending cycle of medication and sickness. Skin problems, allergies intestinal parasites and flea infestations are in reality, just the obvious outward signs or symptoms of nutritional deficiencies and toxin overload.
My hope and prayer is that you will begin to look at pests and parasites in a different light and THINK about how to have a truly healthy pet whose own immune system will keep things in balance instead of the reductionist mindset that says to “kill” everything before it kills you or your dog. Nature is and can be our friend.
If you would like help and support as you change your thinking and move forward into a more natural and healthy lifestyle for your dog (or cat) and yourself, you may be interested in having a consultation.