Apr 27, 2011

Another alternative

I found a new alternative medicine veterinarian for Cas (months ago!). I decided on Coastal Holistic in Pacifica, CA after a few referrals. We've been to about 6 acupuncture appointments there so far. I take him once a month; they advised treating him two weeks after his chemotherapy treatments.

The first vet we saw was Dr. DeLeeuw. I was recommended to see Dr. Molly Rice, but unfortunately, she was out of town and booked until early December. I didn't want to keep Cas waiting that long, so we took a chance on Dr. DeLeeuw.

She was very sweet, and I felt comfortable talking with her.

Starting with our next visit, we saw Dr. Rice. She likes to treat him with acupuncture followed by chiropractic adjustments.

Aside from that, I discussed alternative medicine options for Castor with Dr. Rice. She prefers to wait until her patients are finished with chemotherapy to use alternative medicine options (herbal chemo's).

So, we waited.

In the meantime, she had us give him probiotics (Jarro-Dophilus) and fish oil pills. She also helped us decide on a food - finally! We chose Orijin's Regional Red formula. It was the only non-raw food diet she would feed her pets. (I am not yet willing to deal with the time and costliness of a raw food diet. I also am unconvinced that it's orders of magnitude better than something like Orijin.) I think it's kinda awesome that it has wild boar in it. (Danes were bred to hunt them!)

She also reiterated what many others have said: Turmeric Rocks!! She said we can just sprinkle some on his food. Many believe it to have many, many fabulous healing properties, including protecting against cancer. Here's a 2007 Scientific American article, "Spice Healer," about the history of is medicinal use.

Cas really doesn't mind going to Coastal Holistic. It's quite amazing, given his usual trembly fear. It's probably all of the freeze-dried anchovies that Dr. Rice bribes...I mean gives him.

Cas finished chemo about three months ago. We just started him on a low dose of Artemisinin a couple of weeks ago. Her plan is to have him on it for a month and off for a month. So far he's handing it fine; it's such a small dose for him. Dr. Rice said she didn't want to change a lot with him, since he's doing so well. (YAY!)

She also highly recommended putting him on a blend of mushrooms. In fact, she said that is the number one thing she'd give him, and any pet for that matter. She says they help with many ailments and give amazing boosts to the immune system. I have not looked into support for those statements yet, but I plan to soon.

Specifically, she recommended he eat Corioles (a.k.a., "Turkey Tail") and a blend of Maitake and Reishi from gmushrooms.com. I may start him on some soon. Maybe.

I will say that my experiences with Coastal Holistic and Dr. Rice have been fantastic. More importantly, Castor has had great experiences (for vet trips, anyway). Dr. Rice has said, repeatedly, that she is so happy we do this for Castor BEFORE he has any major musculo/skeletal problems. She said she usually doesn't get to see animals until they are in bad shape, when there's limited help she can provide.

The acupuncture and/or chiropractic manipulations help his muscle and spine tremendously. If nothing else, it really eases pain and tension in his body. Rob and I massage him pretty regularly. Before our last visit, when I ran my thumbs down along side his spine, his back muscles twitched like crazytown. Right after his treatment: no more spasms. None. It's incredible how much it helps him.

Cas and I both fully recommend acupuncture (and chiropractic care), especially for beloved tripawds...as long as you find the right vet!

(Note: We never heard back from Dr. Fong about a refund. I've just let that go. He lost the best doggie patient ever.)