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Question
Last Thursday, my cat started bleeding from her rear end a little bit every now and then.  Friday and Saturday she acted normal with the bleeding increasing a bit.  On Sunday and Sunday night, things went downhill very fast.  She seemed to lose control of her back legs, urinated seemingly without control, and acted extremely strangely.  We took her to the vet first thing Monday morning, and he told us that she had two heart murmurs, some signs of kidney problems, and the bleeding got worse but he could not find anything in particular.  He gave us the option of running more tests that would cost about $1000-1500, but we just can't afford that.  He didn't give her very good chances of making it, and recommended putting her down.  We decided to take her back home with some steroids and make her as comfortable as possible and let it play out.  She is 14, and until this happened acted perfectly normal and healthy.  She went from acting fine to seeming near-death in just a few days.  I'm afraid it's cancer, but I'm surprised that it would happen this fast.  We're shocked out how quickly things happened, and not even the vet can tell us what's wrong for sure without testing that we simply can't afford.  Any help is appreciated.

Answer
Dear Elizabeth,
I am sorry your cat is so ill. 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 it is still possible. There are good ones and great ones, and a few homeopathic veterinarians will consult by phone or email. You can go to the web sites for each type of holistic practice and use their referral list to find one near to you. Depending on where you live in VA, there are very great ones for you. Try Dr. Kocen if you live near Springfield, dr. Storozum if near Lynchburg, Dr. Harmon or Dr. Lundquist if near Leesburg. Many practitioners are members of only one or two of the organizations, so you do need to go to every site to find who is near you:
1. Wide range of other treatments: www.AHVMA.org, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and www.civtedu.org.   
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. Chiropractic and Osteopathic - www.animalchiropractic.org; http://equineosteopathy.org/ (they treat dogs, too)
4. TCVM (Acupuncture and Chinese medicine): www.IVAS.org, www.aava.org & www.TCVM.com
5. Herbal - www.VBMA.org
6. Postural rehabilitation dogs and horses - http://www.posturalrehabvets.com/Postural_Rehabilitation/Find_a_Practitioner.htm
(a handful are in Europe)

There are also lots of practitioners and approaches that are used by trained people that you can find by searching the Internet.

SELECTING AND WORKING WITH AN INTEGRATIVE VETERINARIAN

Just because they say they are holistic, or are listed in one of the above sites, they may be very conventional in their approach. Holistic medicine takes the perspective of treating the whole animal. Even if there is a current problem, for example diarrhea or itching, a good integrative 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.

Read more for longer term help once this emergency is past on my site in the articles section.

You are not alone in not having the money needed for intensive western diagnostics, especially when they ofen offer no treatment options. this is one reason I love holistic care. There are less expensive approaches, and they may or may not work. There are many ways you can find money to treat your cherished animals. Some veterinarians, especially integrative ones, will be willing to barter with you. What skills do you have? Can you clean their parking lot, sidewalk, clinic? Are you a bookkeeper or accountant? Are you great with the internet and able to help them build a web site? Could you get new clients for them? Call the veterinarian of your choice (especially an integrative one), ask to speak with the veterinarian and tell them your financial situation and that you would like to build up credit for future problems. Ask if they will take payment plans and think what you could offer as collateral. Ask if the clinic has its own fund to help those in need. Call multiple veterinarians, especially integrative clinics. You can also save significant money in the future by following the following holistic approaches - do not vaccinate and find local sources of free food ingredients. This will take some time and research, then will be easy and inexpensive.  I also have a list of more specific help you can get. Email me at HealthyAnimals@aol.com for this.

Immediately email for Reiki help.
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 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. Great information on Reiki - http://www.reikicourse.org.
2. 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. http://www.animalreikisource.com/.

3. 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), the following groups offer long distance, free, attunements.

a.   http://theholisticcare.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13,
b.   http://freereikiattunement.com/
c.   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.
d.   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

4. for a fee: www.ReikiBlessings.com offers many types of energy healing classes- search a bit to find the reiki ones or email them. Long distance healing and training is at www.animalhealers.homestead.com.

Enjoy every moment you have with your cat right now. Review your entire life together, the good and the challenging. Do not grieve until you cat is passed. Offer her any foods at all that she wants - meat, fish, bagels with cream cheese, etc. Play music. Be happy with her.

also, you can try Rescue remedy from the health food store which is good for temporary symptom relief . Buy the people one, not the pet one. Put 4 drops in an ounce of water in a jar and give a few drops in every meal and every few hours in between. Rub on your hands before you pet her. Put a drop or two on her blankets. You cannot use it too often. It is totally safe. It is great for people too - for anxiety, stress, shock, grief and more.  Other flower essence companies have combinations for animals that will help with many problems if you can get the help you need to hve her hang in there - www.SpiritEssences.com, Anaflora.com; GreenHopeEssences.com; petessence.com. Many other companies with single remedies can help you select essences. They are totally safe.

My goal as a holistic vet is to have a animal live a long, happy, healthy life and die in her sleep. Often, though, I am still very pleased with a long, happy, healthy life and a few weeks of a severe, sudden illness and then they pass. what I do not want is long, slow, deterioration of health over months and months or years and years, so you have done well by her even if she is choosing now as time to leave.  

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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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