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Question
Four year old male named Mickey had a three pound weight loss in two weeks. Lethargic and just did not act like his old self. Went to vet and creatinine level was 9.2.  With 72 hours of fluid it went to 2.6. One week later follow up blood test showed number up to 4.4.
Vet suggestion is biopsy but he said ultrasound showed nothing so probably nothing will come from doing it. We are at a loss and just want to know if there is anything we can do in your opinion.

I know you provide holistic suggestions but right now that appears to be our only untried option.

Thank you

Answer
Renal failure in dogs can be difficult to treat even with holistic options, especially in a young dog. I wonder if it began shortly after vaccines?  Vaccines often trigger renal failure in young animals.

Because this is a serious illness, I strongly recommend finding an integrative veterinarian with whom to work. This is a person trained in many different approaches, including using conventional drugs only when absolutely needed. Working with one can increase the chance that your cherished companion can live a long and healthy life after recovering from this current problem, if recovery is possible. There are good ones and great ones, and a few homeopathic veterinarians will consult by phone or email. Read my comments at the end on working with and selecting a holistic veterinarian.
You can go to the web sites for each type of holistic practice and use their referral list to find one near to you:
1. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine: www.IVAS.org, www.avaa.org & www.TCVM.com
2. Homeopathic veterinarians (these can often help you by phone if no other holistic practitioners are nearby that you like): www.theAVH.org and www.DrPitcairn.com.
3. Chiropractor - www.animalchiropractic.org
4. Wide range of other treatments: www.AHVMA.org, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and www.civtedu.org.  

There are many things you can learn that may help support your dog's healing.

Personally, I think every person who lives with or works with animals must know at least Level I Reiki. The practitioner offers this energy and the animal comes over to get it (or places her hands upon the animal), or it can be done from a distance, even around the world with the intent for healing to occur. The energy flows through the healer into the animal. This is based on directly applying Chi (energy) to rebalance the energy field so it no longer needs to produce the physical symptoms. It is a very good adjunct to any healing modality, especially to relieve pain and inflammation. I have seen cats and dogs who began to eat again when their food was treated with Reiki. It also "takes the bad out of" things. By doing Reiki on smelly water in restaurants I have been able to drink sweet tasting and smelling water. Use Reiki anytime that you must give injections, vaccines, drugs, flea or heartworm drugs, or other substances with potential toxicity. Reiki is great to calm animals, relieve discomfort, and can deeply heal some problems in some animals.  

1. http://www.reiki.org  . http://www.ReikiTails.com  is a great practitioner in Maryland who knows a lot about cats.
2. Get a free treatment at www.interdimensionalhealing.com.
3. Great information on Reiki - http://www.reikicourse.org. Kathleen Prasad is a wonderful teacher and works with my favorite sanctuary and holistic education center, BrightHaven www.brighthaven.org. Kathleen leads a free monthly telechat for anyone trained in Reiki and using it with animals.
4. http://www.animalreikisource.com/. If you cannot find a Reiki Class near you (same class for people and animals as it connects you through an "attunement" to the healing energy of the universe, making you a channel of healing), three groups offer long distance, free, attunements.
5. www.AnimalReikiAlliance.com has articles and Maryland holistic practitioners listed.
6. http://theholisticcare.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13,
7. http://freereikiattunement.com/
8. www.ReikiBlessings.com offers free Reiki attunements, classes and training on-line    and animal classes, too
9. Long distance healing and training is at www.animalhealers.homestead.com/  
10. Christine at cbearse@earthlink.net, www.awakeningrainbows.com. To receive free distance Reiki send her your first name only, city and state, and whether or not you have had any Reiki training.  She invites you to include your pets as well.  She uses a teddy bear and does a full body Reiki distance treatment for one hour each Sunday evening from 9 p.m. until 10 p.m. EST.

Another wonderful healer, Deena Spears works long distance with Sound Tuning. www.Singingwoods.com. I have seen many animals and the people in a home be healed by her work.

And a team of over 100 healers will send free healing energy until you say not to. Email Barbara at nancelot01@aol.com with your healing request, name of animal, species, color & age. In the subject say request through Dr. Chambreau

You can also learn other healing methods such as acupressure, Healing Touch for Animals, Tellington T-Touch, flower essences, nutrition and essential oils.

If you need more help finding the best approaches for your dog, you can email me individually (HealthyAnimals@aol.com) after reading all this. Good healing!!!

WORKING WITH AN INTEGRATIVE VETERINARIAN

Holistic medicine takes the perspective of treating the whole animal. Even if there is a current problem, for example diarrhea or itching, a good holistic veterinarian will ask questions about what problems there have been in the past, what changes in the household or the environment may have triggered the current complaint and if there is anything that makes the current complaints better or worse. They will also evaluate the overall energy level of the animal. Their goal is to make the animal healthier for life, not just to get rid of the current symptom. They will educate you and explain what they see when physically examining your animal.

Some of the modalities that integrative veterinarians may use in addition to conventional include acupuncture, herbs, flower essences, homeopathy, chiropractic, network chiropractic, nutrition, glandulars, Reiki, Tellington touch, healing touch, long distance healing modalities. Some of these have certification programs with a year or more of courses, exams and evaluation of clinical ability. Others are either self-taught or not regulated. Some individuals are wonderful with your animal -- others great at explaining to you what is happening with your animals. A few are good in both areas. Few veterinarians are perfect, and we all have bad days. Your animal should at least be comfortable with your choice and you should be able to get your questions and concerns addressed.

Once you have done the internet work suggested above, how do you select one to start with and then how do you know if you are getting good service and what can you do to help them help your animals?

Ask the veterinarian you are interested in:
1. Ask what modalities are used?
2. What is their training?
3. Is their goal overall health or to merely treat the current complaint? This may be the most important question.
4. What organizations they belong to & how recently have they gone to conferences or taught?  (Just because they belong to AHVMA, or AVH, does not mean they are trained or capable in those modalities.)
As she treats your animal, a good holistic veterinarian will usually:
1. Ask about the history, overall energy, what might have caused the current problem, the environment and what makes the symptoms better or worse.
2. Their physical exam will be gentle, complete and they will show you (you may need to ask) what they mean by “gingivitis, big lymph nodes, heart murmur”, etc.
3. They will be willing to answer your questions and explain why they are recommending a particular treatment.  
4. If they recommend conventional treatments (antibiotics, prednisone, etc.) they will explain to you why they choose this over holistic, and give you a chance to request the more holistic treatment.
5. They will not do anything (vaccinate, treat) without asking you first.
6. They will recommend fewer or no vaccinations and a raw meat or at least more holistic diet.
7. They will schedule follow up appointments until your animal is really healthy.
(See symptoms of chronic disease)
What you can do to help your holistic veterinarian
1. Keep a dated journal of any problems, even little ones.
2. Write down any treatments given.
3. Call if symptoms worsen, or they are less energetic and less happy, or you have concerns.

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Dr. Christina Chambreau

Expertise

I can give you the holistic approach to any problem, mostly for dogs and cats and some farm animals and horses. Depending on the condition and the type of animal, I will be able to give very specific treatment suggestions such as what flower essences, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, diet changes, lifestyle changes or herbs that may be helpful - not drugs. I can also suggest where you can go for further education or to find a specialist in a specific holistic field. I can help you understand why your animal is ill and what improvements can be expected. I do not check messages more than every one to two days, so PLEASE DO NOT ask about EMERGENCIES - call your local veterinarian. I cannot diagnose your animal. I cannot prescribe specific treatments. I am no longer very current with conventional treatments, so cannot answer questions on those. I am not an expert on birds or small critters. I am not an expert in breeding, birthing or babies.

Experience

I graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and began using homeopathy in my practice after a client introduced me to it. By 1988 I was using exclusively holistic treatments. I began lecturing in 1987 and have spoken at veterinary conferences, health food stores, people's homes, churches, veterinary college conferences - anywhere people want to learn more about keeping their animals healthy.

Organizations
Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (I helped found this one) American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association National Center for Homeopathy American Veterinary Medical Association

Publications
I have written in many magazines, journals and newspapers. A few include Bark Magazine; Journal of the AHVMA; Baltimore Dog Magazine; Whole Dog Journal; Tiger Tribe; Wolf Clan. I have also been frequently interviewed on radio and TV. I am Associate Editor for the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, so often have articles there.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Certified Veterinary Homeopath (CVH)

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