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Question
I have a 10 year old shepherd that was diagnosed with DM. I know that there is no cure, but is there anything that I can do to slow the effects? It's hard to just sit and watch him struggle with getting up and walking.

Answer

I am so glad you asked an integrative vet this question. Yes, there is a LOT you can do to slow the effects. I do not know where in Il you live, but there are a lot of well trained integrative vets there. If close to Wisc, the healing oasis has some leaders int he chiropractic field. I would call all and ask of their experience treating Degenerative myelopathy.  


In the next issue of the IVC journal (I am asst editor) is an article on Degenerative myelopathy. I am giving you a few excerpts so you can see there is much you can do. Because I am giving you only a little bit of the article, do not share this on the internet or with friends. In a few months, the winter issue will be online at www.ivcjournal.com and you can share that.

1.
"Therapeutic laser is of special interest in the area of nerve regeneration, particularly in human medicine... and when they develop nervous system decline as occurs in degenerative neuropathy/myelopathy."  (Dr. Robin Downing - www.downingcenter.com (Colorado)

2. Following by several authors based in Phoenix AZ - integrativevetmedcenter.com
"Therefore, diet and exercise appear to play key roles in slowing or halting the progression of degenerative myelopathy." (Marsden, 2014). Find an integrative vet trained in pulse and tongue diagnosis who will work with marsden by phone if not already trained by him.

"Acupuncture and herbal therapies may help slow the progression of the disease, while improving quality of life and relieving GI symptoms."  (Xie, 2013). Find one trained at the Chi Institute by Dr. Xie, who could consult with him.

Methods reported to help

   Chiropractic adjustments to address vertebral fixations from cervical to lumbosacral spine.
     
   Massage for circulation, tone and static range of motion/breaks down calcification

   Swimming: alternate day sessions recommended

   Walking: can be alternated with swimming

   Underwater Treadmill

   Stretches


   Avoid processed foods and avoid over-feeding

   Homemade fresh food or raw diets

   Acupuncture, cold laser (daily to twice weekly),

   Essential Oils

•   Homeopathy" (I have had success keeping a dog ready to be euthanized going for 5 more years, and other dogs whom I could not help much). Definitely look for homeopathy.

OK, are you totally confused with all the options yet? I want to give you hope. If you wish to consult with me by telephone for guidance on all of this, go to my website and read about my pet health coaching practice.

When I only had my conventional veterinary training, I would often be as frustrated as you. The holistic philosophy has taught me that there is an underlying vibrational imbalance that causes most problems and the healing goal is to resolve that imbalance. To better understand this perspective, read the first few chapters of Don Hamilton's Homeopathic Care of Cats and Dogs or the few pages in my book, the Healthy Animal's Journal (available at Www.ChristinaChambreau.com).  Now that the multitude of holistic modalities is available, I can tell you to never give up. Try one after the other, and record the changes with each.

FIND A VET
You can go to the web sites for each type of holistic practice and use their referral list to find one near to you:
Read my article on selecting and working with holistic vets (http://christinachambreau.com/learn-more/free-articles/selecting-and-working-wit) and ask each one (speak to the vet) their success with degenerative myelopathy.
1. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine: www.IVAS.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
5. Osteopathy can be excellent - www.WAEO.org

YOU BE THE HEALER  
I also strongly recommend getting some training in understanding the wide range of approaches to health so you can be in charge of what you choose for treatments for your dog. You can learn Reiki (which can take the "bad" out of vaccines and any needed drugs, or even make food healthier), massage, HTA, TTouch, acupressure, flower essence therapy, aromatherapy, all of which are 100% safe to use for any problems (see REIKI below). There are many more approaches you can do to help heal your animals with some training since they need to be used more carefully - homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chinese herbs. In addition to classes (see below), there are many very good list serves filled with people experienced with not vaccinating and feeding raw meat diets. Go to yahoogroups.com and look for “Just say no 2 vaccs” and “Raw Paws”. As with human health approaches, there are many different opinions, so you need to experiment and see what makes your animals more or less healthy. Keeping a journal can help you decide what is working and what is not working (www.HealthyAnimalsJournal.com).

Start with learning Reiki.

A practitioner (or you) offers it from a distance (you sit on your couch, offering it to all life in your home) as some animals are too sensitive for direct touch, though he may come to you for hands on,  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.


Ask the vet you begin to work with what they suggest you do at home (not good if they have no suggestions).

Use the fewest chemicals, remembering that there are chemicals in vaccines, so NO vaccines anymore for this dog, not even rabies. Each animal is an individual and will respond differently to heartworm, flea and tick preventatives. Some are very sensitive to chemicals used in the yard or the house and in vaccines - they will become profoundly ill. Others will be triggered by these chemicals to just not have full health.  Chemicals in foods can cause allergic type reactions, so again feeding a fresh diet from local ingredients will be best. Healthy yards have lots of weeds. House cleaners can be made from foods and microfibril cloths clean like a charm. Healthy animals never get fleas and ticks

I hope this helps you and your dog.  

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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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