My very good friend Susan has a little man named Kirby. He’s a 13-year-old Papillion who has been eating our recipes since we wrote the cookbook, Dinner PAWsible, in 2009.
Kirby only receives rabies vaccine when required by law and receives very little other conventional treatments, i.e. no heartworm prevention and no chemical flea control.
Therefore, when Kirby started having seizures, Susan was beside herself with worry. She contacted me for my recommendations; I suggested that she go to her local veterinarian, have blood work run, and get a really good physical examination to make sure there was nothing else going on to cause the seizures. She did that and Kirby was proclaimed “healthy” based on the veterinarian’s observations, exam, and lack of abnormalities in the blood work. It was presumed that if Kirby started having seizures at the age of 13 he must have a brain tumor and the recommendation was to start him on phenobarbital.
Being the very intelligent woman who thinks things through like Susan does, Susan knew there were side effects associated with phenobarbital, namely effecting liver function. Therefore, she asked me my opinion, sharing with me the laboratory work and results of Kirby’s examination. (If you want…Again, having the opportunity to talk with another vet, and someone I respect and trust so much – was so comforting to me. Beyond words how comforting it was.)
While it was possible that a brain tumor was causing Kirby’s seizures, after all he is an older man and cancer becomes more common with age, one easy to treat possibility still remained: Kirby could have toxic buildup in his system causing his brain to have seizures.
Even though Kirby had a diet of well-balanced recipes made with human food, often organically raised, he still had a lifetime of exposures to chemicals. Pesticides, pollution, drinking water, chemicals, infrequent vaccinations, and just our general environment contribute to the toxic exposure in all things.
My suggestion was to start Kirby on a liver detoxification diet, which can be found in Dinner PAWsible on page 204, and start some herbal therapy. My role as a healthcare advisor is not to diagnose or treat, simply to provide alternative suggestions that maybe worth pursuing before following conventional, aggressive, sometimes irreversible treatment. Fortunately, we had a diagnosis already from a practicing veterinarian.
Regardless, Kirby ate 4 meals a day of phase 1 of the liver detoxification diet, even though he wasn’t really a fan of fish, and started taking herbal treatment (Di Tan Tang). Over the next several weeks, his seizures decreased in severity and frequency, and he started acting more like himself, even humping the cat like he always used to do!
Now, Kirby’s back to normal, he is eating chicken instead of fish in the detoxification diet, and eating much better (he really doesn’t like fish), and his mom is ecstatic!
The purpose of a second opinion is to provide information that isn’t known by conventional practitioners. It is not everyone who has an alternative veterinarian in their back pocket; these days with the Internet, everyone truly can via phone consultations.