DEAR DR. FOX: I'm responding to a query from one of your readers, asking for help with feline asthma. One of my cats, Tummy, had bouts of pretty bad asthma three to four times a year. After he was diagnosed, he had several cortisone shots before I moved on to trying some alternative therapies. I had already done those other things that you mentioned to your reader regarding food sensitivities and other possible triggers. Then I started Tummy on some acupuncture treatments with a local practitioner who made house calls. I used Greta McVey (marylandpetacupuncture.com), and her treatments seemed to help. -- P.L., Silver Spring, Maryland
DEAR P.L.: I appreciate your confirmation of the benefits of alternative and complementary veterinary medical treatments for your cat. I advise pet owners to be open to unconventional treatment protocols and seek out those veterinarians who offer what is generically termed a "holistic" approach to animal health and treatment, as I detail in my book "Healing Animals & the Vision of One Health."
The best medicine is prevention, and a holistic, integrative approach to companion animal health. We are in the 21st century. It is time for a revision of vaccination protocols, to quit feeding highly processed commercial pet foods and over-medicating pets, especially with so-called preventive medications like those sold to keep fleas and ticks at bay, when there are effective -- and much cheaper -- alternatives available that pose far less risk to animals' health.
For further information, contact a holistic veterinarian in your area. A searchable list can be found at holisticvetlist.com. Veterinarians wishing to learn more are encouraged to become members of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association at www.ahvma.org.
POPE FRANCIS SPEAKS FOR ANIMALS AND ALL LIFE
In his wide-ranging encyclical letter, "Laudato Si'," Pope Francis has incorporated much of the philosophy and terms of the animal liberation and "deep" ecology movements to which I contributed in some of my writings and in a DVD a quarter-century ago.
-- "The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves."
-- "Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another."
-- "The Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures."
-- "... Our indifference or cruelty toward fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings."
-- "Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of life begin to crumble."
-- "It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly."
I applaud and pray his letter will touch every nation and community worldwide and that its assertions and directives will be embraced by all religious and secular authorities for the good of all.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 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 DrFoxVet.net.)