Illustrated Articles

Alternative Therapies

  • Aminocaproic acid is an anti-fibrinolytic agent (an agent that prevents the breakdown of fibrin, a protein needed for proper blood clotting). R.M. Clemmons, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Florida Veterinary College advocates its use in the treatment of degenerative myelopathy (DM), a condition in which nerve tissue breaks down, in German Shepherds.

  • An antioxidant is any compound, whether vitamin, mineral, nutraceutical, or herb that protects against cellular damage from reactive oxygen species, including free radicals, single oxygen atoms and hydrogen peroxide. Some of the more well-known antioxidants include ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), beta-carotene, and enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.

  • Azodyl is a nutritional supplement that may decrease azotemia, a condition in which there is too much nitrogen—in the form of urea, creatinine, and other waste products—in the blood. Azotemia occurs in both dogs and cats that have chronic kidney disease (CKD). In theory, Azodyl works by adding nitrogen-consuming bacteria into the intestines. Azodyl should be considered an adjunct (secondary) treatment for CKD.

  • 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.

  • Tellington TTouch® was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones as a method of behavioral modification and animal treatment without the use of force. Today, it is used on animals and people to reduce tension and also treat some stress related problems.

  • Bilberry is an herb whose fruit has been used in human herbal medicine for centuries. Bilberry, related to blueberry, has antioxidant properties, and is most commonly taken internally in people to help with disorders of the eyes including macular degeneration (deterioration of part of the retina or back of the eye) and cataract formation.

  • 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.

  • Tea is second only to water as the most popular beverage in the world. Both black and green teas are made from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.

  • Calcium is a major structural component of bones and teeth, and is an essential dietary mineral. Various forms of calcium are available for supplementation.

  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis), or pot marigold, is very commonly used in herbal medicine as a topical anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Its soothing effect is due to its ability to scavenge free radicals (which are products of inflammation), preventing them from causing further inflammation, and to its ability to inhibit lymphocyte proliferation (a white blood cell associated with the immune system).

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