Tom Farrington looks at the benefits of Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding for animals and how using this kind of diet used with homeopathy — a gentle medicine that also works with nature — can show great results in restoring health. IMAGE ABOVE: The red lines shows the acupuncture lines
One only has to look at the difference between dogs and horses teeth to know that the former is wonderfully adapted to the life of a primary carnivore (meat eater) and the latter to munching on hay, grass and grains. Cats are even better adapted than dogs, so much so that they are obligate carnivores, where a diet without meat can actually lead to death! This degree of adaptation is one of the reasons why I am such a fan of Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding commonly known as the BARF or Raw Food diet. In fact I am in favor of Biologically Appropriate Feeding in all species. In cats and dogs this means feeding a fresh meat diet. While this type of feeding was very common a number of years ago, at the risk of showing my age, it may in fact actually have been quite a number of years ago. Since the advent of canned and kibble (dried nuts) convenience food and slick advertising, the general public has unknowingly and unwittingly started feeding carnivores a carbohydrate rich diet they were never equipped to deal with. The reason for this is that it is virtually impossible to make kibble inexpensively without large quantities of carbohydrate!
The result of this change in diet components has been catastrophic for our pet’s health, which now shows in the top conditions claimed under pet insurance around the world (http://press.petinsurance.com/pressroom/346.aspx). Conditions such as skin allergies, ear infections, anal glands, arthritis, intestinal issues such as diarrhoea, flatulence, diabetes, thyroid illness and cancer all have much of their root in the modern high carbohydrate convenience diets, Worse than that, carbohydrates are often disguised under terms such as Nitrogen Free Extract (NFE), which in fact has nothing to do with nitrogen nor is it in fact an extract. NFE is an inaccurate estimate of the soluble carbohydrate of the feed, such as starch and sugar (think of soft drinks in humans, which are now coming under severe scrutiny for their part in the obesity epidemic in humans). If one just looks at the NFE of many pet foods (really the sugar content) it can be anything from 40 to 65 per cent and it is often this high in diabetic foods where carbohydrates are a known trigger factor and this is there despite the fact carnivores can convert proteins to carbohydrate in their liver and thus have no primary requirement for such sugars either way. This is one of the reasons why I am such a fan of biologically appropriate diets and even more so of homemade diets, where one has control of the quality of what actually goes into the diet.
For example, if you have a pet with cancer, an immune problem or a neurological (Nervous system) problem, you would want organic ingredients in the diet, which do not contain herbicides (known carcinogens) or pesticides (known to affect the nervous system) — just look at the poor bees and how their population has been decimated by nicotinoids which we daily apply as flea products to our pets and then we stroke our pets absorbing some ourselves as we do so, but at least we are not constantly licking and cleaning our skin/coat, as they do taking in everything from herbicides to fire retardants! It is no wonder pet cancer rates have now skyrocketed past those in humans.
This is why, as a homeopath, I follow one of the major tenets set down by Samuel Hahnemann MD (1755-1843) Founder of homeopathic medicine:
The physician must know the obstacles to recovery in each case and be aware of how to clear them away so that the restoration of health may be permanent. Hahnemann, Samuel (2013-04-22). Organon of the Medical Art (Kindle Locations 1030-1031). Birdcage Press. Kindle Edition.
To this end, one of the first things I do with a patient makes complete common sense, but is so often overlooked. I start by trying to remove as many obstacles to cure as possible before I give any treatment. Diet is, as such, a major obstacle to cure in many cases and changes to it often result in no treatment being required other than the actual change to diet itself to a biologically appropriate diet. The best example of this is in cats, where, if the diet is changed early enough, even severe diabetes can be completely cured without the need for ongoing medications, once diabetes is well established this is not so easy. An interesting feature than can indicate the early onset of diabetes in the cat is the way a cat walks — flat footed to the hock due to weakness in the hind legs. associated with diabetic neuropathy. Note the flat to hock hind feet in the picture are classic of a cat with diabetes rather than standing on its paws. In the case of this cat, its walking returned completely to normal on a fresh meat diet and a few supplements with no need for ongoing insulin injections or diabetic drugs.
Other examples of obstacles to cure are often behaviours, such as the dog that jumps down out of the car or off a high bed or even, as in one case I had, jumps the gate (in this case it was not to escape the dog did it, but just to lie outside it!) In all these cases the pets presented with foreleg lameness, which was not getting better over time despite being on strong medical pain killers and in a number of cases on homeopathy or herbs, all of which were just allowing the painful arthritis to get worse by hiding the pain that was saying there was something was wrong in the first place. In the case of the dog jumping the gate, both front carpal (wrist) joints were swollen and arthritic, but just simply leaving the gate open to avoid him jumping it lead to the arthritis resolving completely, not something you see often, admittedly I did give some homeopathic Calc Fluor to help reduce current and prevent further abnormal arthritic bone growth. Another case used to require the homeopathic Bryonia alba for neck pain, which was resolved completely when the owner changed from a low roofed car to one with a higher roof. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to removing obstacles to cure, but one can’t cover everything in one article. With diet, the potential range of symptoms and causes is enormous, but an interesting point is the acupuncture line (red lines in photographs) for the stomach runs from the ears around the eyes down the face and then down the chest, along the stomach and down the hind legs and the acupuncture point line for the small intestine, which runs from ear to eye down face and along front legs; it is amazing how often problems with symptoms such as itching, redness or eruptions along these lines are dietary related, thus the location of the symptoms around ears, eyes, mouth, itching of face, under the stomach, abdomen and all the legs! As a result, these days I look to do elimination diet whenever I see problems in these areas. The difference is I use a BARF diet for elimination, which removes not just carbohydrates, gluten and casein found in kibble and canned diets, but also food storage mite, so commonly found in dried foods if not before being opened definitely after being opened, something dogs in their natural environment and diet just do not have to cope with.
It is remarkable when obstructions to cure have been removed as per Hahnemann’s aphrorism how little will often remain to be cured. The BARF diet also has major application not just in diabetes and skin conditions, but also in dietary intolerances such as Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS), flatulence, Indigestion; again, I often use the BARF diet in combination with homeopathy — a gentle medicine that also works with nature for these conditions. For example Lycopodium is a remedy, where there is a problem with what are described as farinaceous foods (these are cereal and carbohydrate based foods) commonly a problem for people who are coeliac or gluten intolerant and the problem is even worse for our pets, who as carnivores rather than omnivores were not designed for them in the first place. Lycopodium is just one of many homeopathic remedies for these symptoms, but it is characterised by constant stomach upsets, offensive wind being passed, burping just to mention a few symptoms. In addition to those pointers, Lycopodium patients will commonly be averse to hot rooms and will be good guard animals, as they are territorial and protective of their family. Even as I write this article, I was interrupted by the owner of a horse in of all places California, whose horse had developed acute bloating with major temperamental problems along with soft – loose droppings. On the basis of the symptoms I asked was there a dietary trigger and the owner said yes she had just given the horse a new probiotic, which had now been stopped, but the erratic behavior, bloating and loose stools had continued. Lycopodium was the suggestion and the time and the email was to say the Lycopodium seems to have done the trick! This just scratches the surface of what diet and homeopathy can do.
Tom Farrington, Pets and People Homeopathy, Rosscarbery. 087 2494059