Pet Health Articles

Dogs + Alternative Therapies

  • This is a broad topic that includes a variety of therapeutic options including herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, nutraceuticals and supplements. There are few controlled studies to show that any of these treatments are effective in pets.

  • There are receptors coating the surface of every cell with a nucleus that help to facilitate communication between cells. Biological response modifiers are large sugar molecules (immune polysaccharides), or sugar and protein molecules (glycoproteins) that interact with receptors on the surface of immune system cells.

  • Calcium supplements are given by mouth or injection and are used on and off label and over the counter to treat low blood calcium levers in many species. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects are uncommon but may include constipation. Do not use in pets with high blood calcium. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Dimethylglycine is a highly unusual supplement, in that it is extremely popular despite the fact that all of its touted effects have largely been refuted by clinical and laboratory testing. It is most widely used as a performance enhancer by athletes, and in dogs and horses that are bred for racing purposes.

  • Enzymes catalyze (enhance through increased rate of chemical reaction) virtually every function in the body, from digestion to tissue repair, and from hormone function to energy production. Without them, these same processes would occur much too slowly to be compatible with life.

  • The herb ephedra, known in Chinese medicine as Ma Huang, comes from the plant species Ephedra sinica and Ephedra equisetina. The active ingredients in herbal ephedra are bronchodilating alkaloids, including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norephedrine, and norpseudoephedrine.

  • Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is an herb that has mild antimicrobial (antiseptic), anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. As the name suggests, it appears to have a special effect on the eye.

  • Most omega fatty acid supplements are made primarily from fish oil or flax seed oil (see the separate handouts on these products in this series), although some products may include other oils such as evening primrose oil, hemp oil, or borage oil.

  • Flower essence therapy or flower therapy was developed by physician Edward Bach during the 1930's. During his years in practice, Dr. Bach developed the belief that people could be grouped based upon their emotional states, and that these emotions were the root cause of many of their diseases.

  • Ginger is a well-known tropical herb whose root is used in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Herbal Medicine. The fresh root may be used, or it may be prepared as a tincture, powder, tablet, or tea.