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Interview With Veterinary Naturopath
Dr.Kim Bloomer & Shadrach (of course)
It's not just in the human health arena that a natural approach and more holistic view is being taken.
Natural remedies and products for dogs (and all pets) are increasingly in popularity as concerned pet parents do their best to protect their dogs health and wellbeing.
Dr Kim Bloomer VND,
is a veterinary naturopath (with a degree from Kingdom College of
Natural Health) and is a proficient, and popular, blogger and writer on
natural pet health.
Kim worked in traditional veterinary medicine
for many years and is now dedicated to sharing her knowledge and
passion for natural health care
for dogs and cats. She is also a regular contributor to many pet
publications, has co-authored a book 'Whole Health for Happy Dogs', and
has a weekly online radio show, 'Animal Talk Naturally'.
Shadrach is Kims' big, handsome Neopolitan Mastiff, who is also a proficient blogger at Bark-N-Blog.
Shadrach was rescued when just a pup, and now owes his excellent health
and wholesome good looks to his 'all natural' diet and lifestyle.
you've ever wanted to know more about natural pet care, pet nutrition
and natural holistic alternatives to conventional pet care - this is
Dr Kim and Shadrach have very generously given some
very thought-provoking answers to my questions, and I hope you will all
find them as enlightening and fascinating as I did. Enjoy!
Since the time of this interview, Shadrach has sadly crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge. RIP big boy, you were an inspiration and tremendously loved.
Okay, let's get this interview started.....
The questions I ask Kim appear in bold print, her (and Shadrach's) answers follow.
Kim - I know that you have been involved in natural healthcare
for quite some time, and are passionate about it. Can you tell us what
initially sparked your interest in using natural foods, remedies and
products when caring for Shadrach?
First Sue let me take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me and Shadrach to share here on your site.
I have been involved for some time now. I’ve been interested in natural
health for humans most of my adult life. I was a Fine Arts Major at the
University of NM with a dance
emphasis. Nutrition and diet are critical to a dancer. So I began
delving into supplements, nutrition, etc., then. I strayed back and
forth over the years but ultimately it was my dog Shadrach, a Neapolitan
Mastiff, who led me to be ever vigilant, ever focused on caring for
myself, my husband, AND him the way God and nature intended.
Shadrach came to live with us he had been nearly starved to death he
was so horribly malnourished and he had been abused. I had never had a
rescue before so I didn’t know the baggage I was going to have to deal
with – emotionally and physically. I started researching on his breed,
Keep in mind I was a former veterinary assistant – I went back and forth between the world of dance
to veterinary medicine over the years with some years overlapping. I
had worked in traditional veterinary medicine for years prior to
Shadrach coming to live with us so I thought by doing things the way I
was trained would be fine. After all it had worked for all my other
dogs, hadn’t it? NOT.
I embarked upon a journey with Shadrach
that has taken me down paths I never dreamed existed.
Shadrach - You must be very happy that your mom is working so hard to
make sure you stay strong and healthy. Can you tell us a couple of the
biggest differences you’ve noticed in your health since you went 'all
Hi Sue, YES I am tail waggin' happy, WOOF!
I can barely remember not being fed… I try not to remember
anyway. I used to have a lot of bad dreams when I first came to live
with my forever humans but not anymore. I’m pretty much the boss of my
house now, WOOF! As Mom said, I was pretty malnourished and also
not treated well by my other humans. They were mean to me. I don’t know
why bepaws I didn't know anything but dog language then. I wanted to
learn, but they thought I should just know it I guess.
I am still
not totally healthy bepaws I have baggage Mom says. She means from my
parents and grandparents, etc. You see this ill health stuff carries
over into our genes. That’s pretty scary. But Mom has REALLY helped me. I’ve
been through an initial detox off of the vaccines by a holistic
veterinarian. And I even got acupressure and chiropractic adjustments
that have helped me for other things. Something one of the vets noticed a
few years ago is that I have a very shiny coat and white teeth for what
she considered to be an 'older' dog. What she failed to realize is that
six years old isn’t old for a dog – UNLESS they are not naturally cared
for, WOOF! So we poo pooed that. I’m almost ten years old now.
Three years ago the traditional vet found some arthritis in my elbow and
she said I’d never run again. She wanted to give me Rimadyl, HORRORS!
But my Mom said NO WAY! Mom said I’d not only still be able to run and
play but I wouldn’t get those awful drugs. Mom created an all natural
protocol for just me! You see each dog is unique and individual
so it’s best if humans really know their own dog and then can work
together with a professional like my mom to create the best natural
regimen unique for their dog.
My regimen has changed some over the years
to accommodate my changing body…right now I’m even on Traditional
Chinese Medicine! Mom is working with a practitioner bepaws that isn’t
her area of expertise. Natural health is slow but sure…it is not a quick
fix and there are no magic bullets. I still have a shiny coat, I
still run and play, and I still have white teeth, and SMALL poop for a
big guy like me, WOOF! And I NEVER have to take drugs of any kind, and I
never have to go to the vet for dentals, ear problems, fleas, none of
that stuff, WOOF!
Kim - I’m sure many dog owners (myself included) would like to turn to more natural remedies,
health practices and alternative therapies, but find the volume of
information and huge range of products confusing, and a little
intimidating. What would you consider to be the three most important
things we could do to start off on the right foot?
true there is a LOT of information out there now about everything. We
have information overload these days. I’d say seek out websites and
people who are truly trained and knowledgeable in what you want to know
and learn. For every truth there are ten lies to refute the truth. But
as Mahatma Ghandi said, "An error does not become truth by reason of
multiplied propagation nor does truth become error because no one will
The three things...
Get your dog on a natural species appropriate raw diet. Nutrition is
the foundation of health. Dogs are opportunistic scavenger carnivores.
We’d not feed our horses hamburgers so why we feed our dogs things
unnatural to them like grains is absolutely, utterly astounding to me.
To learn about raw diets go to www.rawlearning.com, www.rawfed.com and www.rawmeatybones.com . Also check out our audio program sets from our online radio show, Animal Talk Naturally on this subject:Nutrition for Our Carnivore Pets, Vol 1Nutrition for Our Carnivore Pets, Vol 2
2. Stop the overvaccinating. Listen to the Animal Talk Naturally shows we have done with veterinarians on this subject here Pet Vaccines: What You Need to Know,
and a VERY vital one coming up with a veterinarian who is REALLY
telling it like it is, Dr. Patricia Jordan, on April 15, 2009 at 2:30 PM
Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/animaltalknaturally we’ll be discussing her new book that is very revealing about the agenda behind vaccines called "The Mark of the Beast".
Become proactive in your dog’s health. We can only do that by educating
ourselves. If we all knew and understood the true nature of our animals
all of the above would be moot. When we bring an animal home to live
with us, it is OUR responsibility to know their needs, their nature,
their behavior, ALL of it so that that animal can thrive and not just
hang on by a thread surviving. These are OUR animals – not the vets, not
the health care practitioners, but ours.
We owe it to them to know
about them and honor that by caring for them accordingly. They need
exercise, they need REAL food, and they need our interaction as the
social creatures they are. Studying their wild cousins like wolves,
coyotes, foxes, wild dogs, etc. can clue us in to what they need. It is
not optional if we love them and want the best lives for them, optimal
Shadrach - Nobody likes needles, so having to be vaccinated less
often sounds enticing! But many dogs may be afraid that they’ll get sick
if they don’t get their yearly shots. What would you say to them?
Sue, what is scary to me really is the shot not the needles. I’m a
pretty fearless guy as my Mom can tell you, but what’s IN the shots give
me the shivers, not the needles, WOOF! I think my Mom addressed the
"why" REALLY well above.
Did you know that Dr. Stephen Blake
said that ALL of the cases of distemper and parvo he has treated have
come from what? VACCINATED dogs! Yep! I’d be far, far more afraid of
what is in those vaccines than any naturally occurring disease that will
play itself out when allowed to do so and with a properly supported and
strong immune system that comes ONLY from proper CARNIVORE nutrition,
Let me just share some quotes with you to hip everyone to
the facts – and these are conservative answers as one vet we know says
that he has tittered dogs up to FIVE generations that had titers for the
vaccines, even though NONE of the dogs in those five generations had
been vaccinated ever! Do you know what that means? It means the
protection was passed through the parents, WOOF!
Donna Starita Mehan, DVM
"Routine vaccination has adverse side-effects, either short or long
term. With vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and
severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically.
Most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune
system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a
very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system."
Dr. Ronald D. Schultz, Ph.D
"Annual revaccination provides no benefit and may increase the risk for
adverse reactions. The percentage of vaccinated animals (those
vaccinated only as puppies) protected from clinical disease after
challenge with canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus and canine
adenovirus in the study was greater than 95%."Current and Future
Canine and Feline Vaccination Programs. Dr. Ronald Schultz is a
Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the
School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-Madison. Schultz, R.D. - Current
& Future Canine & Feline Vaccination Programs. Vet Med 3: No. 3,
233-254, 1998 more.A chart provided in the report shows immunity
levels for all vaccines currently given to dogs lasting a minimum of 5
years with most lasting 7-15 years!
Don Hamilton, DVM
Yearly "boosters" are unnecessary, provide no benefit if given (will
not increase immunity). Thus boosters are either a legal issue (Rabies)
or a manipulation issue (inducing clients to come in for examination
rather than directly suggesting an examination).
Charles E Loops DVM
"Homeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have
maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they
provide benefits. Vaccinations represent a major assault on the body's
immune system.... Vaccine induced chronic diseases range from
life-threatening conditions such as auto-immune crises to conditions
destroying the quality of life of an animal as in chronic skin
Kim - With
summer approaching, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other pests are on the
horizon. Many of the commonly used preventatives/treatments are made
from very strong chemicals – however they are effective. I noticed a
recent post on bark-n-blog
referred to the dangers of over-the-counter flea treatments in
particular. What natural alternatives to these products would you
recommend, and how effective are they?
First let me say
that those very strong chemicals are as effective at killing our pets as
they are the pests they are targeting. Yes, they kill the fleas, ticks,
etc. but over time they will kill our pets also. Whatever we put ON our
pets goes IN to them. Over time they will harm the liver, kidneys, and
so on – ever wonder why you have to wear gloves to put those toxins ON
thing to remember is that if the immune system is strong, then the body
will naturally be able to fend off the parasites. Those same parasites
are also in place to motivate the immune system to grow stronger. And if
your dog is fed a natural, species appropriate raw diet, then the
immune system will be strong and that is not attractive to parasites.
They want a weakened host – which most dogs that overvaccinated and
kibble-fed are. I haven’ used any form of parasite or pest control on
Shadrach for years and we never have any problems with any of that.
A great article to read on heartworm prevention is by my colleague Dr. Jeannie Thomason: www.thewholedog.org/heartworm.html and we also did a show on this in February entitled 'Heartworm Prevention, Naturally If you feel the need to use something try a natural substance such as FOOD-grade diatomaceous earth. I get mine at www.earthworkshealth.com/pets-animals.php
, which I use in my yard and even eat myself because humans get
parasites too. I make aromatherapy sprays for dogs also. Be Free is the
tick/flea deterrent I offer.
However, a raw fed dog will do best at
repelling these parasites naturally!Fear not, as fear is what drives the economic machine of all of this.
Shadrach - You’re a big guy (and handsome with it!). Can you tell us a
little bit about the diet that keeps you in such great shape?
Thank you for the handsome compliment Sue – Mom tells me that ALL the time so it MUST be true, hehe. My diet is VERY simple, WOOF! I’m a SARFER. That means I am fed a Species Appropriate Raw Diet.
I do NOT eat that stuff in a bag or can, WOOF! I eat raw meaty bones NO
veggies & no grains! I eat chicken, beef, sometimes lamb and
buffalo, and I’d love to get me some venison but all the humans eat that
up, sigh – and that means bones and all humans, not just the meat.
been raw fed for a lot of years now and I’m really glad bepaws I didn’t
like any kibble at all. When I first came home to live with my humans I
ate any and everything but after I got my first taste of REAL dog food
(ie raw meaty bones), there was no going back for moi, hehe. Mom
posted some good sites for learning about raw feeding above. And Dr. Tom
Lonsdale and Dr. Johan Joubert are my favorite veteriarians bepaws they
are on a mission advocating for raw feeding of us dogs! They’re both
coming on Animal Talk Naturally in April, again.
They’ve been on a few
times and you can check out those audios here Animal Talk Naturally Presents: Drs. Lonsdale & JoubertYou
might wonder why we keep sharing all these audios for you learn from
but it’s bepaws we know they are a great way to learn. Recently my Mom
and Dr. Jeannie learned that their college, the the Kingdom College of Natural Health, will be incorporating over 120 of their audios into their curriculum for natural animal health, WOOF!
- It seems that allergies of all sorts are becoming more and more
common in our dogs, often turning into chronic conditions. Can you tell
us how you feel commercial pet foods and mainstream healthcare have
contributed to this, and what we as dog owners can do to help our pets
avoid these problems?
You know Sue, I’m going to sound
like a broken record here but if the dogs are being fed a proper,
species appropriate raw diet, then allergies will not be a problem.
Allergies often lead to chronic conditions in the body because after
all, allergies are a symptom alerting us to a dysfunction within the
body, a body out of balance. Rather than suppressing those
symptoms with allergy drugs the prudent thing would be to instead search
out and find the cause of the problem.
Treating allergies with allergy
medicine is like repeatedly finding a puddle in the same place in your
home but instead of searching out the leak you just keep drying up the
puddle. If you don’t find the leak you’ll end up with a major plumbing
problem in your home before too long. The body is no different. Most
of the allopathic drugs are symptom suppressors, but from a
naturopathic viewpoint that is NUTS! The body is alerting us to a
problem so rather than seek it out and address it, suppress it with
drugs until the body is so out of balance that there is often no turning
back makes zero sense to me – and to the body also!
healthcare sees germs and viruses and bacteria as the enemy but in truth
they are not the enemy. They can only thrive in a body that makes it
suitable to thrive. In other words if the body is a good host the germs
will arrive! That is a sick body. The germs don’t come and make the body
sick, the body is sick so the germs arrive. Mainstream medicine
has it all backwards but sadly there is a lot more money to be made when
animals and people are sick rather than in preventing them from
becoming sick in the first place. It has its place for diagnostics and
ER but not as the panacea end-all-be-all we’ve come to believe in.
pet foods in my opinion are another of the major culprits along with
the overvaccinating. Honestly, naturopaths look at vaccines in general
as toxins not as health aids at all. And feeding processed foods whether
for animals or humans is still junk any way you slice it! Pet 'foods'
are processed foods.
As I’ve said repeatedly dogs are
opportunistic scavenger carnivores but we’re feeding them a diet of
cheap grains, floor sweepings, rendered dead animals, and human food
industry refuse we proudly call 'balanced and complete' dog food in bags
and cans. You can read more about what is in pet foods by doing a
recognize one fact: balanced and complete cannot happen in every single
meal for human or animal. Balance comes over time by eating a diet rich
in the nutrients your species needs requires. Dogs are not omnivores
contrary to popular belief. Dr. Jeannie and I have recently written an
article debunking that myth that will be published in Natural Horse Magazine. Funny thing that a horse magazine is publishing the article! We
show through the dogs' own anatomy the fact of their carnivore state.
this: the pet food industry is selling YOU the food not your dog. They
appeal to YOUR sense of taste not your dogs’ because after all YOU are
the one spending the money for the food not your dog. It’s Economics 101
plain and simple. Also consider that your veterinarian is taught what
little nutrition they learn by the very pet food industry that desires
for your pets to be on this food. That should be illegal because that is
racketeering at its finest.
My profession, naturopath, focuses on
nutrition as the foundation for health, period. So we are trained and
well versed in nutrition. Nutrition is one of the eight laws of health.
Get that one right and you’re on your way to true health – and the same
holds true for our dogs. Everything I’ve just shared is contrary
to mainstream health so is it any wonder our dogs, our animals, are
suffering from such ill health as they are?
and Shadrach - With a website, two blogs, a radio show, ongoing
research, and participation in so many other areas of animal health,
what is next for you two? Any new projects in the works?
Well I plan on continuing with my blogging as long as I have breath,
WOOF! AND I plan on spending as much time in the sun as possible as that
is some grrreat Vitamin D! And I probably will chase more rabbits as
the weather warms up since those rascals come out in force then. I will
search out more places to bury my bones…I especially love it when Mom
starts her summer gardening bepaws those are the BEST places to bury my
bones much to her consternation hehe. Oh and I plan on taking naps, yep
naps. AND playing in the water hose my favorite!
Those are my summer
goals anyway. I’m perfecting the art of drool begging too – it’s like
nothing you’ve ever seen if you’ve never seen a Neo Mastiff drool beg
hehe. Those are my goals and aspirations for now, WOOF!
That’s my Shadrach! Right now I’m studying for my doctor of naturopathy
in human health. I have a ways to go so that is a constant for now.
with our radio show audios being incorporated into our college’s
natural animal health curriculum we were also named adjunct professors.
That will add to the load but it’s a happy addition for both me and Dr.
Jeannie. Dr. Jeannie and I are also collaborating on a new book
that shares our philosophy about animal health and nature.
Our goal is
to have that finished by the end of 2009 and ready to publish. It has
inspired an additional book for me on all my life experiences with
animals and what they have taught me. That book will follow our
Shadrach - Is there anything else that you’d like to pass on to dog or
puppy owners who are reading this interview, and would like to learn
more about natural healthcare for their pets? Any special tips or
'nuggets of wisdom'.
Yes Sue there is. For us this is
what being a 'doctor' means – to heal and bring health not treating
disease. The original meaning of the word 'doctor' is teacher. The word
physician was derived from the Greek root 'physis' which means 'nature'.
So we are nature teachers in the truest sense of the meaning. Our
goal is that many animals will be able to live the lives they were
intended to live by helping their owners learn their true nature, their
true needs…not what is dictated to us by the media, or by medical
propaganda or for economics.
The truth: because the goal is to heal not
harm. As healers, our mission should always be about the healing
not about the economics. If people would realize that and take back
their power the animals would benefit greatly. Be empowered by getting
informed! Seek out those who can help you learn. Join online groups. Dr.
Jeannie & I have one, 'Natural Health Care for Dogs' on Yahoo at http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/NaturalHealthCareForDogs/
If you are empowered with the knowledge then you can take back control of your dogs’ health AND your own!Fortunately
there are many veterinarians who are educating themselves on these
issues and following their passion to truly care for animals as they
deserve not as economics demands.
I am honored to shoulder with and support the work of these brave and noble veterinarians.
Wow, thanks you guys!
I really can't thank Kim and Shadrach enough for taking the time out of their extremely busy lives to share such a wealth of information with us.
were a joy to work with, and I really hope that you've found this
interview as intriguing and thought-provoking as I did. Do take the time
to check out the links and references that Dr Kim included, they're
well worth a visit.
Kim and Shadrach - Good luck with ALL your current and future ventures, you're awesome!
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