303 pages – soft cover
This is a book by an accomplished veterinary homeopath who has an enormous repertoire of cutting edge healing methods, have proven effective in her years of practice. Dr. Deva Khalsa V.M.D. is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, a Fellow and Professor of the British Institute of Homeopathy and has lectured both nationally and internationally. She is the co-author of Healing Your Horse: Alternative Therapies and Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog.
A personal anecdote may best convey her approach. Many years ago my much beloved dog swallowed some poisonous substance and fell into a state of paralysis. I took him to the closest vet who was a competent allopath. He said that the poison had already been absorbed and there was not much to be done. I then rushed my dog to Dr. Khalsa who gave him an IV of vitamin C, did acupuncture on his liver points and gave Gelsemium 200. That night my beautiful pooch was playing with us in the park! I would say her motto is: Whatever it takes. You will see this approach in Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog 2nd Edition.
Throughout the book, whenever Dr. Khalsa introduces new information or concepts, she gives the reader background on them. With that deeper understanding, the reader can more easily derive answers to unique situations. The book is divided into four parts. Among other topics in Part 1, we find A History of Dog Food, with a discussion of what actually goes into commercial dog food (dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals etc.). Dr. Khalsa explains how to read dog food labels and how find nutritious and safe food.
In the chapters Nutrition for the Novice and Designing Diet we learn which seemingly healthy diets, including high protein diets can lead to disease, including cancer. The author talks about the importance of healthy intestinal flora and how critical proper pH is. We learn that there are vegetables, fruits, grains and herbs that can help keep a dog healthy and vital. The Cure is in the Cupboard discusses a number of herbs that can be used as natural medicines. Do you take vitamins every day? Why shouldn’t your dog have the same health advantages? In Chapter 7 Dr. Khalsa talks discusses nutritional supplements for dogs. Chapter 8 introduces the reader to holistic therapies for dogs, including acupuncture, homeopathy, Bach flower remedies, chiropractic and prolotherapy.
Nowadays many dogs suffer from allergies, which is the topic of Chapter 9. Conventional treatments are suppressive and lead to more serious problems. Dr. Khalsa shares her experience with Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET), a non-invasive method with lasting results. Other factors that cause or help allergy such as diet, nutrition, thyroid function, vaccination and homeopathy are also shared. The chapter ends with a list of safe topical treatments.
Chapter 10 delves into the issue of vaccination. I learned that Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy (25th ed) a major reference work for veterinarians, states that giving annual vaccinations to animals “lacks scientific validity of verification”. Tell that to your vet next time he suggests annual vaccinations. For those who choose to vaccinate, Dr. Khalsa presents a 15 point list of guidelines to help lower the risk of harm (eg. “Never administer vaccines to a dog who is on corticosteroids.”) In dealing with your veterinarian, Dr. Khalsa states that you must “be ready to stand your ground politely but firmly.” Specific remedies for effects of vaccines are also listed.
The chapter Cancer Prevention and Treatment is a must read, as one in three dogs in the U.S. will get cancer. Dr. Khalsa dedicates 26 pages to a discussion of factors which can trigger cancer in dogs (eg. flea and tick prevention products, lawn care products, early neutering, over vaccination, dryer sheets, diet etc.). She also discusses foods, critical nutrients and herbs which can help prevent this disease. The rest of the chapter shares information about diagnosis and treatment, homeopathic remedies for specific types of cancer (best administered by a vet) and Dr. Khalsa’s 9 point scenario for fighting cancer.
The chapter When It Comes Time to Say Goodbye is about how we handle the death of our beloved companions. Dr. Khalsa shares her deep spiritual sense about the impending loss of an animal friend, the most loving way to approach it, when is the right time, and her thoughts on afterlife. Her profound connection to animals will be felt by anyone who reads this.
In Part III Holistic Fixes A to Z, forty five pages are devoted to homeopathy and other holistic treatments for problems ranging from anal glands and arthritis to scabies and vaccine reactions. Here we see Dr. Khalsa’s eclectic approach, based on what actually works. For arthritis, along with some homeopathic remedies, we find mention of gold bead implants, acupuncture, various nutrients and cetyl myristoleate.
Part IV is The Canine Café, where you will find around 110 recipes that are meant to be both delicious and therapeutic (recipes for chubby dogs, nervous dogs, etc.). Finally there’s a resource section which lists organizations where you can find holistic vets and where to buy many of the products mentioned in the book.
This is a lovely book, printed on substantial paper and with many illustrations. It is useful for people already familiar with a holistic approach as well as for the novice. There is a lot of esoteric information here, based on Dr. Khalsa’s years of experience, and which the reader is not likely to find elsewhere. I highly recommend this book!