The Canine Healing Crisis… It’s a Good Thing!

The Canine Healing Crisis
It’s a Good Thing

My dear friend and partner at Animal Talk Naturally, Kim Bloomer and I wrote this little article due the the great amount of emails from people confused about why their dogs appeared to be developing symptoms of previous problems after being switched to a more nutritious raw diet.

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”.

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 the elimination 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. 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.

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 ©2006-2008 Dr Jeannie Thomason & Dr Kim BloomerFor more information on Detoxing and nutrition for you dog,  you can go to The Whole Dog website and read our Articles of Interest, look in our Dog Nutrition Category right here at Whole Dog News Blog.  🙂

1 Comment

  1. this is a great blob…

    One thing I’d like to say is that this article has been put together well….

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