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The Nature of Animal Healing: The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog and Cat [Paperback]

Martin Goldstein D.V.M.
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Product Description

From Amazon

As an accomplished doctor of veterinary medicine, Martin Goldstein is well respected for his 25 years worth of experience in the field--experience he effectively utilizes in conjunction with his expertise in holistic medicine in his new book, The Nature of Animal Healing: The Path to Your Pet's Health, Happiness, and Longevity. Goldstein begins with a broad explanation of the origins of diseases in pets, then moves on to taking action against those diseases, not only offering thorough discussions of specific ailments--including cancer, allergies, and arthritis--and the holistic medicines available to help in the healing process, but also speaking to the "dubious legacy of vaccines" as well as the questionable quality of pet food. Finally, Goldstein turns his attention to the spiritual realm, addressing both the bonds that we have with our pets--and how those bonds aid in preventing and fighting our pets' health problems--as well as dealing with the death of a beloved pet. Goldstein's expert advice, inclusion of inspiring real-life cases, and thorough resource "compendium of holistic books, newsletters, Web sites, veterinarians, and associations" make this book a valuable addition to any pet owner's library. --Julia King --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Responding to an alarming increase in cancer and other diseases in ever-younger pets, Goldstein, founder of the Smith Ridge Veternary Center in upstate New York, offers a vivid and engrossing account of how toxic environment and poor diet are proving as deadly to our animals as they are to us. "Cancer is the far marker, the defining outer limit of how toxic our world has become, and of what those toxins can do to animals," writes Goldstein. Declaring himself one of a growing number of holistic veterinarians, Goldstein outlines an approach to healing that revolves around strengthening the immune system through diet and such holistic healing techniques as acupuncture and homeopathy, so that an animal can heal itself. Describing how he has treated an alphabet of medical problems, Goldstein reveals that the most radical vision is often enacted through small, commonsense steps?anemia requires iron, wasting diseases such as cancer indicate a need for increased protein. Although some readers used to conventional medicine will find Goldstein's views and proposed cures too drastic, the case he builds is exuberantly persuasive and actually inspiring rather than dire, which is not surprising since veteran Vanity Fair writer Michael Schnayerson is his co-writer. Goldstein also acknowledges the works of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, which in this case lends the notorious guru a bit of the author's positive, compassionate spirit. This is a life-affirming book that should interest any pet owner. 100,000 first printing.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The emerging field of holistic veterinary medicine has spawned a plethora of titles. This comprehensive book sets the standard against which the rest should be judged. Goldstein, a pioneering holistic veterinarian in private practice, explains, in language accessible to the lay reader, his approach to keeping an animal healthy in body and spirit. Using an array of healing modalities that includes conventional, homeopathic, chiropractic, herbal, cryosurgical, and immunotherapeutic protocols, he attacks conditions from fleas and worms to diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Their causes, he explains, are immune systems weakened by a diet of poor-quality, overprocessed commercial food; a polluted environment; the overuse of vaccinations, antibiotics, and steroids; and genetic mutations. The spiritual dimension to illness is also discussed. A chapter on euthanasia and dealing with the death of a pet concludes the book. Highly recommended for public libraries.AFlorence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"POSITIVE, COMPASSIONATE . . . VIVID AND ENGROSSING . . . This is a life-affirming book that should interest any pet owner."
--Publishers Weekly

"A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE FOR EVERY ASPECT OF HOLISTIC MEDICINE."
--Cat Fancy

From the Publisher

"The Nature of Animal Healing gives you chapter and verse on how to help your pet live a long, happy and healthy life. Dr. Goldstein's book is essential for all pet owners and highly recommended for all pet lovers."
--Dr. Andrew Weil

I'm as passionate about animals as I am about basketball. And Dr. Marty is the Michael Jordan of pet care. He has cured my dog of serious hip problems and made me a believer in his visionary style of medical treatment. I recommend this book for anyone who cares about the health and longevity of his or her pet."
--Ernie Grunfeld; President/General Manager of the New York Knicks

"I've been waiting for this book forever--not just for my beloved pets but for me as well. When you read it, you recognize truth, and rejoice that a caring human being and veterinarian finally addresses what we all instinctively know."
--Anne Archer

--"Martin Goldstein explores on a deep level the relationship between animals, humans and healing. He courageously steps out on the thin ice of controversy and says 'no disease is incurable.' This book is about his love and commitment to pets, their owners, and health."
--Martin DeAngelis, D.V.M.; Village Animal Clinic; Ardsley, NY

" . . . a vivid and engrossing account of how toxic environment and poor diet are proving as deadly to our animals as they are to us . . . the case [Goldstein] builds is exuberantly persuasive . . . . This is a life-affirming book that should interest any pet lover."--Publishers Weekly

"This book was very enlightening. It will broaden your viewpoint on how to care for your animals."

--Jenna Elfman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover


"POSITIVE, COMPASSIONATE . . . VIVID AND ENGROSSING . . . This is a life-affirming book that should interest any pet owner."
--Publishers Weekly

"A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE FOR EVERY ASPECT OF HOLISTIC MEDICINE."
--Cat Fancy

About the Author

Dr. Martin Goldstein's Smith Ridge Veterinary Center is in South Salem, New York. He received his D.V.M. from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. He has many cats and dogs, all of which are quite old and healthy.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

If animals could talk, here's what they'd say.

       For starters, about that food. Why, they'd ask, do you give me the same boring pet chow day after day? You don't have that kind of diet. You have different foods for every meal--and the foods you eat are real! Why wouldn't we want real food, too? Don't we have the same bodily needs? As it is, the dry kibble is boring, the canned food is gross, and neither kind seems to impart much nutrition. How, they'd ask, can a pet expect to feel peppy--never mind healthy--on that?

Perhaps, they'd add, having thought long and hard on the subject, there's some connection between poor food and poor health. Certainly you take us to the vet more than ever before. Yet why, they'd ask, do visits to the clinic often leave us feeling worse in the long run? We come in with a skin inflammation, we're given a steroid; for a while we feel better, but then the effect fades. We go back with a fever, get an antibiotic; the fever goes down, but something else comes up. We get vaccines--five, six, seven ingredients at a time--meant to protect us against disease, yet days or even months later we feel sluggish and sick. Just as we're finally shaking off the ill effects, back we go to the vet for more.

And if all that conventional medicine is supposed to keep us well, they'd ask, why are so many animals getting seriously sick? Why, in particular, is there so much cancer? Why are so many dying before their time?

Pets don't talk to me either, but they don't need to. I see the results of bad diet and misguided conventional medicine every day. Admittedly, my clinic is somewhat different from the standard veterinary hospital. Like the doctors on ER, we take more than our share of desperate cases--basket cases, as some of my colleagues in the field put it. Though I certainly see healthy pets, many of the animals I treat have been given less than a month to live. They have some form of severe, premature degeneration: arthritis, kidney or liver failure, hyperthyroidism, or, most frequently, some form of cancer.

If I were just seeing a small, steady trickle of extreme cases, year in, year out, you could stop reading right now. What, you could say, are the chances of your pet becoming one of those statistics? And if it did, that would just be fate, right? Bad luck out of the blue?

Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

Twenty-five years ago when I started out in practice, the pets I saw with these diseases were old. Their conditions seemed to be age-related, and slow-growing enough to be accepted. Of the cases I see now, many are young and don't live past the age of five. It's no longer unusual to see a three-year-old cat with kidney failure. Or an eighteen-month-old dog with part of its jaw eaten away by cancer.

If the age of these patients is troubling, so too is the rate at which their diseases now grow. Not that long ago--in April 1997--I treated a seven-year-old Rottweiler named Wrinkles who had a huge, mushroom-shaped tumor next to her rectum; the tumor, a spindle cell sarcoma, had already grown back after being removed by a board-certified surgeon. I dug in, with my hands and instruments, four inches to grasp the extent of it and cut it out. Then I froze the remaining diseased cells with liquid nitrogen, destroying nearly 100 percent of her clinical cancer. Two weeks later, Wrinkles' owner called to report that the tumor had begun growing back, and was already the size of a walnut. That was on a Thursday. I asked the owner to bring her in on Monday to prepare her for another surgery. By then, the tumor was the size of a grapefruit. It was a case that even I, who rarely gives up on any pet, conceded was hopeless; I put her to sleep.

Fortunately, we're able to save many of the pets we treat--to restore them to health, or at least to give them an extended period of happy life which they weren't expected to have. But the challenge grows as the conditions we see get more aggressive, more unpredictable, and more bizarre.

The fact that we're now treating up to thirty-five new cases of cancer a week, far more than just a few years ago, is in a sense misrepresentative: cancer-stricken pets from all over the country are flown or driven in to us now, through clinic referrals or, increasingly, the Internet. But ask your local veterinarian if he's seen more cancer in recent years. Of course he has. A 1998 survey of disease-related death among pets by the nonprofit Morris Animal Foundation bears this out. Of 720 canine deaths reported, 479 were cancer-caused. The next highest category was heart-related problems (12 percent), followed by kidney (7 percent) and epilepsy (4 percent). Among 468 feline deaths, cancer also ranked highest (32 percent), followed by kidney and urinary disease (23 percent) and heart problems (9 percent). This raises the obvious questions: Why? And can anything be done about it?

As a holistic veterinarian, I don't view cancer as a mysterious disease that attacks the body. It's the ultimate manifestation of ill health. It's what happens when the body's immune system, under siege for too long, at last surrenders, letting cell growth go awry. To me, it's clear that more and more pets are getting cancer and other degenerative diseases because they're being hit with more and more toxins that eventually mutate their genes, weakening successive generations.

The assault begins with those processed and packaged foods: that most of us give our pets. Mediocre at best, they often contain toxins in their chemical additives and preservatives, or in reprocessed "meat" unfit for human consumption. Other toxins are absorbed from tap water or ground chemicals. A great number of cancer-producing toxins in pets come, I believe, from certain conventional drugs meant to improve their health. All this is accelerated, of course, by animals' relatively short life spans. Just in the time most of us have been alive, many generations of pets have come and gone. With each generation, the incidence of genetic diseases, including cancer, has increased.

Cancer is the far marker, the defining outer limit of how toxic our world has become, and of what those toxins can do to animals. But almost every lesser manifestation of ill health is also aggravated by toxins that inhibit the immune system and keep an animal from healing itself. And all too often, when an animal desperately needs its toxins reduced, conventional medicine responds by adding more.

Some years ago, a white terrier named Blake was brought into our clinic. At twenty-eight months of age, he had skin that was darkened, flaky, smelly, highly inflamed, and so itchy that he'd scratched off half his fur. He was truly suffering. We see a lot of patients with skin problems, by the way, and we see more of them now, in worse shape, than we did a decade ago. A conventional veterinarian had initially concluded--correctly--that Blake had severe allergies to such items as grasses, wool, fleas, and molds. Also, he had a secondary bacterial infection of the skin. The veterinarian had deduced that the rugs in the house contained the most immediate allergens tormenting Blake, and so the rugs had been removed. At the same time, Blake had been put on a series of different hypoallergenic diets. He'd also been subjected to a battery of desensitization injections after undergoing allergy testing, treatments with cortisone, antibiotics, and medicated shampoos, and finally even chemotherapy. When nothing worked, the veterinarian recommended having Blake put to sleep.

First, we put Blake on dietary supplements, most of which were based on his individual deficiencies, determined by blood analysis. We also administered homeopathic remedies, initially by injection, then orally. We also gave him naturally derived injectable cortisone. As we did, we weaned him off all the prescription drugs he was on. Nine months later, Blake had perfect skin, his fluffy white coat had grown in fully, and he was a happy, healthy dog. My silent partner in Blake's revival? Blake. The dietary supplements gave him new strength, then Blake simply healed himself.

The rugs, by the way, eventually went back into the house. They did contain allergens, but with Blake's immune system back in top shape, they didn't bother him at all.

This is where holistic medicine begins: with the belief that the best way to cure an ill patient is to help him cure himself.

"Cure" is a risky word to use--in our society, it implies a promise of eradication of symptoms for life. However, a reasonable state of cure, more appropriately known as remission, in which the patient's pain diminishes and his sense of well-being improves, is definitely and readily attainable when the patient is able to martial his own immune system to combat ill health. The body's immune system is the best defense, far better than man-made drugs. Keep it strong, restore it if it's weak, and the body, which is one amazing creation, will do almost whatever needs to be done to heal what's ailing it. When health has been restored, it can be maintained--if the immune system is sustained.

Once, those words would have seemed naïve, if not blasphemous, to me. I didn't start out as a holistic veterinarian. I graduated in 1973 from Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, considered by most in the field to be among the top-rated in the United States, and began my practice with as conservative an outlook on medicine as any of my colleagues. Little by little, out of curiosity, I began opening up, trying "new" alternatives that predated conventional medicine, from acupuncture to homeopathy, and finding, to my surprise and delight, that they worked. Today, at the Smith Ridge Center I oversee in South Salem, New York, we still apply conventional medicine when needed: from setting broken legs to administering the occasional direly needed antibiotic. But we find that 95 percent of the cases we take on can be treated alternatively...
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