The Animal Doctor by Dr. Michael W. Fox

Veterinarian Disciplined for Advocating COVID-19 Treatment

DEAR READERS: Dr. Margo Roman of Massachusetts -- a fellow advocate of the One Health initiative, a friend and a holistic, integrative veterinary practitioner -- has had an attack on her state license for advocating medical ozone therapy as a protocol for disinfection of PPE and as a possible coronavirus treatment.

Using medical ozone therapy 16 years ago, Dr. Roman successfully treated a cat with an earlier form of coronavirus. All the other infected cats in the same cattery either died or were euthanized because they were not given access to her care. (See her article “Ozone therapy: An efficient and cost-effective treatment for infections in animal patients,” Innovative Veterinary Care, volume 11, issue 1.)

As a veterinarian with doctoral degrees in ethology and medical science from the University of London, and with over 45 years consulting with owners about companion animal health and disease prevention, I can attest that Dr. Roman has been reading the emerging science and is utilizing the One Health approach that the American Veterinary Medical Association has advocated. The unjust attack on her license to practice has kept valuable educational information from the public.

Some background: In a recent scientific article, doctors Peter Libby and Thomas Luscher explored the hypothesis that COVID-19, particularly in its complicated later stages, is an endothelial disease. The reticuloendothelial system is a network of cells and tissues found throughout the body, especially in the blood, general connective tissue, spleen, liver, lungs, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Proteins called cytokines play a role in this system: They serve as key “danger signals” that shift endothelial functions from the homeostatic to the defensive. The endgame of COVID-19 usually involves an extreme autoimmune reaction called a cytokine storm.

Ozone therapy effectively has been shown to reduce inflammation, at least in part, through the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and activation of an anti-inflammatory cytokine. Ozone is a complementary therapy applied successfully for many years in the treatment of circulatory disorders, cancer, inflammatory diseases and various metabolic diseases.

As a final thought, we need more media coverage about the potential health benefits of nutraceutical supplements such as selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and glutathione that may help reduce the severity of the coronavirus infection. And various essential oils with antiviral, expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties -- such as thyme, goldenrod, cedar, cypress, myrrh, frankincense, peppermint, lavender, hyssop and rosemary -- should also be considered in treating COVID-19 patients. These can also help alleviate influenza symptoms and shorten recovery time.

Clinical evaluation of all potential therapies for infected patients -- and good nutrition and nutraceuticals to help prevent reduce the severity of infection for others -- would be wise at this time. The vaccine approach to this pandemic may not prove sufficient because of the rate at which this virus can mutate, becoming more contagious and lethal.

It is on public record in the U.S. that the pharmaceutical industry periodically seeks to have nonprescription, over-the-counter medicines and supplements taken off the shelves and be available by prescription only. Is this to protect the public? More likely, it protects vested interests in marketing prescription drugs, which are generally more costly and have more potentially harmful side effects. For additional information, see the Public Health section at drfoxonehealth.com.

(Send all mail to animaldocfox@gmail.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.

Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)