Pets and Meditation

A year ago, after hearing about all of the benefits, and with a bit of skepticism, I started meditating.  Like every other pursuit in my life.  I was obsessed with learning the different methods of meditation.  I read books on meditation, took classes on meditation, and listen to lectures.

It didn’t matter which venue I was in,  I kept on hearing certain buzz words.
Words like, mindfulness, “runaway mind”,  breath,  observing thought, and letting go, were all topics of meditation education.

One thing that I couldn’t grasp was that all the instructors  said the best meditation was done in a quite, serene setting.    Most people today have  busy, hectic schedules.  It is difficult to find the time, or a tranquil setting,  for meditating….so then what??

I came to the epiphany ….Pets are our ambassadors of meditation!!!  Here’s Why.

What follows are mindfulness tips that you can learn from your pet and apply to your own life to help you reach life goals.

1. Live in the here and now:

Dogs and cats  are very much here and now focused. They don’t sit around and ruminate about the past. They  don’t lay awake at night, consumed with  worry and anxiety. Instead, dogs tend to think about what is happening at this exact moment in time.Living in the here and now sometimes means begging for food and working you to toss them a treat.

2. Focus on self-care: Cats seem to relish in self care and happiness.. grooming themselves insistently.  Did you ever notice your pet dog likes to curl up next to you and take naps? Have you ever spotted pet , occasionally wiggling around with a silly smile on his face?
They almost have a special power that enables them to be joyful. Happiness, however, cannot occur unless they are well rested. This is why they get cranky when they feel they are not getting enough sleep.

3. Forgiveness: Dogs do not hold grudges. They do not however hold onto feelings of resentment, anger and sadness. It should be noted however that dogs do know how to make you feel guilty if they feel neglected!
Every pet owner knows – that look they give you that says, “Hey – you forgot me.”

4. Make the most of every moment: A sad reality for many dog owners is that their pet pooch only lives for an average of 10-12 years (give or take). Cats 15-19 years.  Pets are aware of their limited time on earth too and therefore make the most of every moment they are here.

Does your dog seem to have a need to put a paw on you, even when sleeping close by? They do this because they are truly making the most of the moment.  Does your cat jump on your computer keyboard or nudge a book your reading…And hey – you have to admit that is super cute.

5. Breath: At the dog park / walking, or petting your cat on the couch…you take time to breath and savor the moment!

6. Self-acceptance: Most pets accept who they are. They do not put on airs or pretend to be something they are not. Sure, your little fur-child may think they are a prince or princess but that’s because you have lovingly spoiled them. In truth, dogs know what and who they are and live their life accepting this reality, including their strengths and limitations.  As a pet owner you  have to be both humble and present when picking up your dogs poop!

 
7. Awareness of other

Pets  ability to sense the emotions of their owners. Anyone with a  pet  understands this concept. When you are happy, they amplify your state of joy. When you are sad, they come around more frequently to help cheer you up.

Dogs have “tuned into” you through observation and mindfulness.

What is clear however is that Pets  truly are the ultimate mindful creatures. We can learn a great deal about living in the here and now by just watching what they do and how they live their lives. If one of your life goals is to live more mindfully, I suggest you hang out with your Pets.

Andrew Frishman, DVM practices at:
Progressive Animal Hospital
149 Route 202 & Lovell St,
Somers, NY 10589
http://www.progressive-vet.com
(914) 248-6220

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get a Second Opinion!

 

There are certain things that are indisputable in this world.   The sky is blue, rain comes from clouds, fire is hot and ice is cold.  Similarly, if you break a shoe lace you need to replace the lace, with a new one.  If someone approached you and told you “ice is hot”  “fire is cold” or,  “you don’t need shoelaces in your shoes”,  no amount of arguing could change your mind.

I have been practicing Veterinary Medicine for over 20 years.  There are certain things that are indisputable.   If a pet has a broken leg it needs to be repaired.  A dehydrated pet needs fluids to rehydrate.   Malnourished pets need proper nutrition.   The list of indisputable ailments is endless.   Likewise, there are certain treatments which I know will work beyond a reasonable doubt .   Surgery will repair a displaced fractured bone.  A blood transfusion will raise a pets blood count when it is low.  Novel therapies like Acupuncture and Platlet Rich Plasma will help older pets with arthritis.

One of thing I bring up in every presentation I give is how important it is to know who your Veterinarian is.   In my opinion, this is the most significant factor to consider when making a decision about the welfare of your pet.  The right veterinarian is what creates the best likelihood of a good outcome.

In the past I’ve written about veterinary clients who have lost thousands of dollars on additional tests at other animal hospitals.

Right now I  have a new clients whose dog I diagnosed with a torn knee ligament.  He is going for a second opinion, to confirm that his dog truly needs to repair his knee.

I commend this client for being so thorough.  All pet owners have some level of hesitation when working with a new veterinarian.  Some people think they are going to offend us by asking us tough questions.  Ask us whatever you want!  You are not going to offend us, we know you have to get comfortable before allowing us to do any procedure on your pet.  We Get It!

Then comes the question which I am going to say bluntly  but, usually people ask much more politely:  ” How do I know your not doing unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures to boost your profits”.   The answer is you cant be 100% sure.  However there are a lot of things in place that would prevent that from ever happening.  I have a great staff that cares deeply about every pet that walks through the door. I also have firm roots in Westchester, with a lot of connections and history here.  My entire family and most of my friends live locally.  I have spent a lifetime building my reputation, within the community so, I can do what I do today.   I have everything to loose if I break that trust.

I strive to make your pets welfare easier for the pet owners by being patient, and transparent.  Part of our approach is to share our lives and ideas with you, so that you can get to know us as real people.

So, I encourage any pet owner to get that Second opinion.

Andrew Frishman, DVM practices at:
Progressive Animal Hospital
149 Route 202 & Lovell St,
Somers, NY 10589
http://www.progressive-vet.com
(914) 248-6220

 

'I'd say you have an arrow through your head, but you may want to get a second opinion.'

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do Animals Self Medicate?

Self Medicating animals

If one has not been living under a rock for the past few years and has read anything related to human or animal health the same “buzz words” appear again and again. Words such as holistic, herbal, organic, gluten free, low carbohydrates, vegan, and vegetarian are everywhere.

I have been a veterinarian for nineteen years. I practice Integrative medicine which combines traditional and cutting edge medicine with time proven natural methods such as nutraceuticals, herbs and acupuncture. Through the integrative approach I have achieved excellent results.

The following is a partial, but fascinating list of animals in nature who self -medicate with plants and insects:

Some lizards are believed to respond to a bite by a venomous snake by eating a certain root to counter venom.
Baboons in Ethiopia eat the leaves of a plant to combat an intestinal parasite.
Fruit flies lay eggs in plants containing high ethanol levels when they detect there offspring may be infected by a parasite.
Red and green macaws, along with many animals, eat clay to aid in digestion and to kill bacteria.
Female spider monkeys in Brazil add plants to their diet to increase or decrease their fertility.
Pregnant lemurs nibble on tamarind and fig leaves and bark to aid in milk production.
Pregnant elephants in Kenya eat the leaves of some trees to induce delivery.
And there is a variety of reasons why our pets eat grass! They could be eating grass to improve their digestion, to treat intestinal worms, or to fulfill some unmet nutritional need. Of course, there is always the possibility that your pet may simply like grass. Of course if there is vomiting or your pet seems sick a veterinarian should be seen.

Scientists researching self- medicating animals are convinced that humans can learn from animals especially in finding new medications. Much of early medicine likely came from medicine men watching animals self- medicate. While antibiotics, technology and other advances in equipment have revolutionized medicine, these have only been available in the last 60 years. So, what we think of as modern medicine is barely 200 years old. People lived healthy lives long before that and had existing health care systems which relied on herbal medicines, foods and body manipulations for treatment and prevention of disease. Only in the United States has modern medicine completely replaced older forms of medicine. The World Health Organization recently indicated that 80% of the World’s population relies on herbal medications and acupuncture to complement cutting edge mainstream medicine, Is nothing new….just watch the animals!

Andrew Frishman, DVM practices at:
Progressive Animal Hospital
149 Route 202 & Lovell St,
Somers, NY 10589
http://www.progressive-vet.com
(914) 248-6220

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Things You Probably Dont Know About Your Veterinarian.

images

I have been a practicing small animal veterinarian for the past 16 years.   Being a veterinarian is a “calling”, a way of life, to call what I do a “job” doesn’t do my profession justice.

On any given day my heart will soar with elation after doing a C-section and delivering healthy puppies, just to have my heart “torn out” watching a family say good bye to there long time furry friend that has incurable cancer.

When people hear that I am a veterinarian they think of Puppies and kittens and how lovely everyday must be.

My calling comes with the awesome responsibility of caring for the health and well being of small animals.

I spend many sleepless nights,  making sure the pets I see, get the best medical care.

I want the general public to understand the kind of questions I am forced to answer on a daily basis.

Ask yourself…how would you would respond to each scenario?

A)  A Lethargic, vomiting dog comes in….”Doc, I know you want to do a blood, and Urine Test, to check for toxins, and organ function, but I don’t want you to do the X-ray ….even though my dog may have swallowed something that could perforate his intestine. …….money is tight right now for me.

B) An X-ray of a dogs back reveals a slipped spinal disc. This condition causes pressure on the nerves and weakness in the limbs…the owner declines pain medication and anti-inflammatories..because her friend told her “That Olive oil and Tea Tree oil rubbed onto the back” is just as effective (and less toxic) then my Therapy.

C) A client wants to have her healthy 3 year old dog euthanized because it is scratching her young child.

D) I successfully save a cats life by doing emergency surgery to relieve a bladder blockage in a cat…..the cats owner calls the following day angry that the nails were not trimmed “Well enough”.

Things you should know:

1.  We Lose Sleep Over Your Pets

Your Visit is just the “Cover of the Book”. Veterinarians do not “turn off” caring about our patients when we leave the hospital.  I cannot count how many nights over the last the last 15  years that I have stayed awake at night worrying about a cat being able to pee without pain or a dog diagnosed with cancer. My Wife can’t tell you how many vacation days I have stopped by the clinic “just to check” on a patient or see “one appointment”.     I consider being a veterinarian my vocation, and I admit to being challenged by the balance of my professional and personal time.  All the dedicated vets with whom I am acquainted face similar dilemmas.

2. We Know More Than Dr. Google

Many veterinarians are a bit nerdy and introverted.  We “get” animals.  People?  Not so much. We don’t hide our surprise very well when you are super wrong about diagnosing your slightly plump, two year-old cat’s liver shunt after she threw up twice yesterday-because you read all about it on the internet.  Sometimes, a hairball is just a hairball. There’s a really good chance that we know what we are talking about, but successful veterinarians learn to share their passion for veterinary medicine with their clients.  We want to help you use the internet to find good information concerning topics like nutrition and digestive health in cats.  We hope to gain your respect by combining our enthusiasm for your pet’s well-being with the latest medical knowledge and some really neat surgical skills. Trust is the most important component of the  relationship between Pet owners,  your vet, and your pet.

3.  We are speaking for your pet.

We have trained our entire lives to provide the best care for your pet.    A good veterinarian makes diagnostic and treatment plans based on what is best for your pet.      I feel like I am the voice of your pet.   If your pet could talk he would want me to ask you  for the diagnostics and treatments plans that I offer in order, to return to optimum health.

4.  We have a unique bond with your animal. 

Throughout life everyone develops different relationships with different people.   Some examples of relationships are,  the student-teacher relationship, the coach-athlete relationship,  and the parent-child relationship.  I think that you would agree that the parent-child relationship is much deeper, then the relationship between a child’s teacher, coach, or mentor.   The relationship between veterinarian and an animal patient, is as deep as any parent-child relationship.    We have dedicated our lives to optimum wellness for your pet, and our decisions can often be the difference between life in death of a beloved pet.  Like a parent to a child,  a veterinarian feels deeply responsible for your pet,  our tests and treatments are always in the best interest of your animal.

5.  We Hate Discussing Money

Veterinarians became doctors to heal sick animals .  Nobody told us when we were saving baby kittens that we would have to charge for our services someday.  Nobody told us that a digital x-ray machine would cost eighty grand or that clients would judge the expertise of our hospital by owning this kind of high-tech equipment.  Advances in veterinary medicine allow us to offer terrific treatments, and we get very excited about telling you what we can do.  Unfortunately, all of this great care does have a cost.  A good veterinarian will give you a solid estimate of fees for service and then be willing to have a frank discussion about what is reasonable for you and your pet.  “Here’s a pet peeve: owners who don’t want to pay for diagnostic tests but then cop an attitude because you don’t know what’s wrong with the animal. Since you wouldn’t let me do the blood work or X-rays, how the heck do you expect me to know?”

6.  Sometimes Money Does Not Matter

We are here to advocate for those who cannot speak .  If true pain and suffering are present, all the money in the world may not save a pet’s life or cure her disease. The day may come when we need to be open and honest and tell you that the loving choice to make for your dog or cat is euthanasia.  We hate talking about it and we hate doing it.  Your pet’s life is precious to us, whether we have known you for five minutes or seventeen years.  Because it is all about the animals, we say those tough words and we do what we can to guide you through those tough times.

7. Veterinarian KNOW they have the most important job in the world

Every time we help a pet, we help a person.  The classic example is the 80-year-old grandma who has nothing in life but her cat. She’s a widow with very limited social contact, and the cat is what connects her to life. So when we help her cat, she’s really the one we’re helping.

Every time I save a life, every time I fix a patient, that makes everything worth it. And I love it when a client says, ‘I wish my physician would treat me as nice as you treat my pets.

Andrew Frishman DVM

Progressive Animal Hospital

149 Route 202 and Lovell Street.

Somers NY 10589

(914) 248-6220

http://www.progressive-vet.com

New clients mention this article for a discount on your first exam.

 

References:

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, a traveling veterinary surgeon

Dr. Collen  DVM ” The Poop from the Waiting Room”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Find a Veterinarian You can Trust.

iStock_000005012679XSmall

There are important qualities to look for in finding a reputable Veterinarian you can trust.

1) Staff–  The staff in a Veterinary hospital is like a family. They spend countless hours together. They enjoy the heart warming enjoyment of creating health in your pets and they feel the devastating loss when euthanizing peoples cherished pets.  The Veterinarian is the leader of the staff, imparting integrity, humor, and a sense of purpose.  As a pet owner one can instantly get the sense if the Veterinary staff is happy and content with their Jobs.  Ask yourself,  Does the staff have a sense of pride and respect for the Veterinarian and facility?  Do they make you feel welcome and give you the personal attention you deserve?

2) Examination–    Does your Veterinarian take a thorough history, and find out the history leading up to your visit?  Does your Veterinarian put his/her hands on your pet?  Do you feel your Veterinarian takes his time and gives a full “head to tail examination”.   Does your Veterinarian address the reason for your visit,  as well as other health issues?

3) Diagnostics–  This is a sensitive subject, for  Clients, and Veterinarians.  Diagnostic tests are essential to understanding the health or illness of your pet.   In a “perfect world” every pet would be receive what I call the “core diagnostic tests” when they visit the office.  Core Diagnostic tests consist of a blood test, urine test, and an x-ray.

There are hundreds of additional tests that can be run based on your given pets presenting illness.  Choosing the appropriate tests to arrive at a speedy diagnosis will keeping your expenses down.   It is important to find a Veterinarian with many years of “real world” clinical experience, to know the quickest, least expensive way to diagnose your pets health.

A good, trustworthy Veterinarian understands that pet owners have a budget they are willing to spend on their pet.  Eventually diagnostic tests and treatment can be cost prohibitive.   A great Veterinarian will arrive at an accurate diagnosis without exhausting your bank account, leaving finances for the treatment and medication of your loving pet.

4) Treatment–   Your Veterinarian should be trained in Integrative Veterinary Medicine.  A new movement today in medicine is t0 incorporate modern, main stream, Western medicine, with the best of other, natural forms of healing into a single more expansive, Integrative Medical System. This is based upon the concept that there is only one medicine, medicine that helps patients recover from injury and disease.  Practitioners of Integrative Medicine combine the best of traditional medicine (modern pharmaceuticals)  with alternative forms of healing (herbs and acupuncture)  to treat their patients based upon what problem the patient is suffering from.  The goal is not only to treat the symptoms but the underlying root imbalance causing the illness.

Traditional medicine, the medicine taught by modern, Western medical schools, is great for diagnosing and treating acute disease.  On the other hand, it is not always the best at preventing and treating disease.  Certainly, judicious use of vaccinations has helped protect against diseases of early life; but, short of this, modern medicine has not yet embraced methods to keep most diseases from happening, particularly chronic diseases like auto-immune disorders and cancer.  Only now are diet, exercise, and nutritional supplements being considered as part of  total health and physicians are beginning to encourage patients to seek help from less “traditional” medical systems.

5) Hospital Set up /Management – Privately Owned vs Corporate

There is a movement in today’s economy for many Veterinary hospitals to be owned by large off site corporations, as apposed to the privately owned veterinary hospital, in which the owner is on site.

To use an example,  there are many restaurants in your town….some are small “Mom and Pops” privately owned restaurants in addition every town has corporately owned restaurant “chains” like “Applebees”, and “Fridays”.
Benefits of Privately (owned) Veterinary Practice:

General practice Veterinarians- have a well rounded “real world education”.  With advances in technology, and the  internet,  general practitioners are able to do  high end diagnostic test and imaging (once reserved for corporate, specialty hospitals).    In multi-doctor corporate practices each doctor specializes or is “pigeon holed” into doing specific jobs limiting their real world knowledge and clinical experience.  In privately owned practices Veterinarians  can be very laid-back and practices can maintain a more relaxed, family-like atmosphere. Decision making can be straightforward and there are no standard protocols that need to be followed.

Corporate owned Practices:

Pet owners  can expect to have much less autonomy in a corporate system and there may be more red tape involved in getting even simple requests filled.                                    Corporations may find it difficult to relate to hourly staff.  It can be frustrating to balance the needs of the staff and the needs of the organization.   As a result, there is often large “turnovers” in staff.
Since the corporations own many veterinary clinics and are the big-dollar earners, the needs of the individually owned clinics may be second, third or fourth down the line in importance.

6) Cost– Relatively speaking, Veterinary health care is a great deal!  The cost of veterinary care has actually risen very little over the past 20-30 years, especially when compared to the cost of human care or any other service.  Your Veterinary bill is a reflection of the cost of maintaining suitable facilities equipment and support personnel to provide the level of care that is expected in animal medicine today.

Veterinarians can only make their clients aware of available products and services and guide them regarding the most important health options for their pet.  Ultimately, it is up to each pet owner to make the final decision.  Veterinarians are willing to go the extra mile for pet owners, but expenses have to be covered.  This includes salaries for assistants, costly equipment such as x-ray, ultrasound, drugs and anesthesia, and of course the expense of professional services.

I believe that all veterinarians should be “upfront ” with their charges.   My clients always appreciate receiving a written treatment plan with the cost associated to the treatments,  prior to receiving medical care.

Payment plans  and pet insurance should be offered and available.

7) Specialists: A trustworthy vet,  should have access, and be willing to refer, to veterinary specialists, as needed,  for complicated surgeries or cases.

At Progressive Animal Hospital, the total involvement extends not only to your pet but,  the entire family.  The extra caring and meticulous attention to detail reflect our commitment to providing an exceptional standard of quality service.

A. Frishman DVM

Somers NY

Progressive Animal Hospital.

http://www.progressive-vet.com

914 248-6220

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ever Try Drinking a Glass of Water When Your Not Thirsty?

1239662_10201163205817102_1658264066_n

Natural Medicine is all about finding and creating a balance in the body in order to achieve optimal health.  When there is an imbalance in the body an individual gets sick.  In natural medicine  the body can have two different general  types of imbalances, either an excess (too much) imbalance, or a deficient (too little)  imbalance.

The easiest way to understand this is to think about when you get thirsty.  Intuitively your body knows that it needs to consume water to restore optimal balance/ health. After drinking the appropriate amount of water you feel satiated, and stop drinking.  Now imagine drinking a cup of water when your not thirsty.  You probably could do it, but it would be difficult.  You would have and “excess” of water in your body and feel “out of balance”.

How do you know if you are out of balance??  or not in optimal health??  An experience natural health practitioner is able to ask you questions, look at your tongue, feel your pulse, and look at diagnostic blood test/X-rays from your regular doctor and determine what type of imbalance you have. A good natural health practitioner has years of intensive training,and clinical experience to diagnose your imbalance and determine if acupuncture, herbal therapy, massage, and/or chiropractic, is appropriate to restore optimal health.

As a veterinarian, all the same principles apply to treating my animal patients.  Years of training have allowed me to determine if there is an imbalance in your pet, and prescribe the best treatment plan using acupuncture, herbal, and food therapy.

It is frustrating to me when I hear people self prescribing herbal therapies to both their pets, and themselves,without a thorough evaluation / exam with a trained professional.

To just pick up some “natural supplement/herbs” at a health food store because “you heard it was good for a certain illness (ie urinary tract infections or anxiety), is not truly understanding the delicate balance your body has.   By taking the wrong natural supplement, it can be like “drinking a glass of water, when your not thirsty” or adding something to your body it does not need.  Take the time to seek out a good holistic Veterinarian or human holistic doctor and find out if how to restore balance to you, or your pets body

Andrew Frishman DVM

(914) 248-6220

http://www.progressive-vet.com

petfixer71.wordpress.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Does My House and My Cell Phone Relate to My Pets Health?

d23[1]

As a chill in the air begins to set in this Fall season, many people become acutely aware of their environment.    Home owners begin adjusting their thermostats and make sure their boilers are in working order.     If the home is too hot and ventilation is poor this will cause residents to become uncomfortable.  If the home is too cold and drafty this will also lead to irritability. The goal of a home heating system is to provide a comfortable, balanced environment.  A healthy comfortable home is an obvious necessity to every home owner, it goes without question.

Another device that everyone is familiar with is the cell phone.   In order for a cell phone to work efficiently the battery, or power source, must be functioning.   The cell phone will not get any reception if it is not within range of a cell tower or the correct bandwidth.  There are some days we wrestle with our cell phones in order to get them to function and not to “drop calls” or poop out and loose power.

Our home environment and our cell phone maintenance has become an intuitive part of our daily life.  If only we were all so aware of the balance that needs to be maintained in our pets’ bodies in order for them to lead healthy lives.

Natural medicine is based on the understanding that balance is essential for our pets’ body to function to its potential.  Just like our homes, our pets’ body has an internal ” heating and cooling system” to help maintain a balance, to achieve optimal health.  Just like our cell phones our pets body has an internal energy source (similar to a battery) that supplies them with energy.  The energy in our pets’ body has to flow or be aligned correctly, like the reception on a cell phone, in order for our pets to be healthy.

Imbalance is the essence, or underlying cause, of all disease.  The beauty of natural medicine is recognizing and treating the imbalance to arrive at a state of optimal health.  Natural medicine doesn’t just treat the symptoms, such as aches and pains, but finds the underlying imbalance to cure things permanently.

The other day I saw “Chauncy”, a  7 year old, Wheaton Terrier.  He had been stiff, in pain  and extremely weak in his hind limbs, for several weeks.  The owner had been giving anti-inflammatory medication with no improvement of symptoms.   On examination, Chauncy’s tongue was pale/ purple in color, the ears, and back were cool to the touch.
All of the diagnostic tests such as blood work and x-rays were negative for any abnormalities.    Natural medicine had a perfect explanation for Chauncy’s  ailment.

Just like a house in Fall/Winter with a weak boiler/heat source  Chauncy’s body was “Damp and Cold”.

Chauncy suffered from “Damp / Cold Arthritis”  Chauncy was treated with an oral herbal formula that was warming, and was given Acupuncture at points to help stimulate internal heat and circulation.  The owner was instructed to apply warm herbal compresses to the back two times a day.

Needless to say today Chauncy has made a full recovery.    His owner says ” he is running around like he is a puppy again” with no pain or mobility issues.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment