7 HIDDEN SIGNS YOUR ANIMAL NEEDS TO SEE A VET
Many of us who are caretakers of companion animals are well versed in understanding the behaviours of our animal family members. We are cognizant of when they are hungry, when they need to go out and even when they want cuddles. Some of us are conscious of the acute sensitivities of our animal companions such as loud noise, potent smell and how our home environments affect our animal friends’ well-being. Even fewer of us are aware that every action, thought, feeling and belief affects our animal friends on very subtle levels. As these fewer of us are aware, if left untreated, these external factors can create blockages within an animal’s energy field and eventually become manifest as illness in an animal’s physical body. Aside from environmental factors that can affect an animal’s health, there are often physical symptoms which animals exhibit that go unnoticed until it’s too late.
Within the ideology of Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is a concept called observation. The concept, in a nutshell, suggests that we observe our animals while they are healthy so that we are able to spot the first sign of a downward shift. This is to say that when we first adopt an animal, after the animal has been given a clean bill of health, it is crucial to take note of how the animal appears and behaves. This way, when there is even a minute shift in the animal’s appearance or behaviour, we will be made aware of it immediately. Suffice it to say that upon this immediate awareness, we will take the animal to our holistic veterinarian. By doing so early enough, more often than not, we can prevent many traumatic experiences for our animal friends and ourselves. We may even be able to save their lives.
Among many, there are 7 common signs to watch for in our cats, dogs and other companion animals. It is paramount to observe these 7 aspects of our animals’ bodies regularly. This observation is best begun after the animal has received a clean bill of health and should be carried out weekly for the duration of the animal’s time with us. Listed below are 8 of the signs to keep watch for:
- EYES- An animal’s eyes are a prominent feature when it comes to gauging an animal’s health. The eyes speak volumes about the health of the inner organs. For example, if an animal who normally has the whites of her eyes as solid white, the first sign of bloodshot eye-whites is a sign that one or more inner organs is off balance. Or, if an animal’s normal state is to have slightly bloodshot eyes, very red eyes or purple eye-whites may be a symptom of an inner organ issue. It is our job as caretakers of the animal to understand her normal state and what is off balance. Eye white-colour correlates to several internal organs. Thus, if the eyes are off, it is more than likely that so is an inner organ. By recognizing this at an early stage, we are likely to be able to salvage the balance of the organ through holistic or homeopathic care.
- EARS- Just as the eyes represent inner organ health, so do the ears. When the ears of our animals are healthy, they will contain just enough moisture to regulate the inner workings of the ear. However, when we find ear infections, dark gunk in the ears, hair loss in the ear area, excessive moisture or excessive dryness in the ears, we can be sure that these symptoms are a reflection of an inner organ imbalance. We must note what our animal’s ears look and smell like in a healthy state so that we are able to note the very first sign of imbalance.
- TONGUE- In their natural state, different animals are born with different tongue colours. Different breeds of dog or cat also differ in tongue colour. It is important to take note of what colour and texture our animal friends’ tongues are so that at the first sign of imbalance we will be made aware. Within the scope of Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are several areas on the tongue that correspond to different inner organs. If one area of the tongue is swollen, discoloured or in pain, there is a good possibility that the corresponding inner organ is off balance. In addition to the tongue-organ map, we must also document our animal companion’s natural saliva colour, texture and tongue coating. While this may be challenging to gauge, their saliva is a crucial sign of inner organ health. To exemplify, let’s say our dog or cat usually has clear saliva and a clear tongue coating. One day we wake up to find that their saliva is slightly yellow and the coating on their tongue has a purplish tinge. This, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a clear indication that the live needs immediate attention from an animal care professional. While this may seem to be straightforward, it is not so much. Some breeds of dog have naturally purple tongues. This is where observation can become tricky. If we did not know that our dog has a naturally purple tongue and we read the above statement ‘purple tongue is likely a reflection of a damaged liver’, we may become frightened and worried without reason. This and many other reasons are why it’s important to get to know our animal friends’ natural, healthy states.
- COAT/SKIN- As many of us are aware, the coat and skin of an animal is a direct reflection of an animal’s digestive health. If an animal is not receiving adequate nutrition from her/his food, the skin and coat will suffer. Unfortunately, many cat and dog food brands that are recommended by medical professionals are completely devoid of nutrients and cause severe malnourishment in animals. It is imperative that we all read every ingredient list of every food we are considering to feed our animals. It is imperative that we do not blindly trust medical professionals just because they tell us to. If we are the caretakers of animals with dry skin and coat, the very first thing we must to do is to look at what our animals are eating. If they have been eating a nutrient-poor food for a substantial length of time, we may only notice symptoms of malnourishment once it’s too late and the organs have begun to fail. By taking note of what our animals’ skin and coat look like when they are in their healthiest state, we will be able to ascertain the first signs of poor digestive health should their coats and skin become coarse and dry. Or, in certain cases of organ imbalance or early stage failure, an animal’s coat and skin can become oily or greasy. If an animal has accidentally ingested poison, the coat will appear greasy as well. Noting a healthy skin and coat can make all of the difference in the world in terms of keeping their inner organs balanced and toxicity free.
- GAIT- An animal’s gait (posture and way they walk) is a tell tale sign of bodily health. A with humans, through the central nervous system, the spine is connected to all major inner organs. Should we notice our animals suddenly walking ‘funny’ or straining to stand up or sit down, we may want to consider that their spinal health may be influencing the stability of an inner organ. Additionally, if we find that an animal is favouring a certain side when she walks or runs, we can be sure that this is a reflection of her spinal health as all aspects of an animal’s skeletal system are interconnected. Perhaps more commonly, should we notice early enough that our cat or dog is limping, we will likely be able to treat the issue long before it becomes a matter of surgery.
By noticing how our animals walk while they are healthy, we will be able to notice the first sign of a skeletal imbalance. Should we find the imbalance when it first occurs, we will most assuredly prevent traumatic surgery for our animal companions.
- ELIMINATION PATTERNS- By far and away the most significant indication of an animal’s health is his elimination patterns. The elimination of an animal is directly connected to his digestive system. If an animal is not ingesting adequate nutrients, he will have poor elimination habits such as constipation, diarrhea or a combination of both. Consistent bowel movements are a sign of proper inner organ health. Nutrient poor food often also leads to bladder crystals, UTI’s and early organ failure. It is critical to research species appropriate diets for every animal in our care. Animals should not be consuming corn gluten, pork by-product, tri-glycerides, hydrogenated vegetable oils, chicken flavouring or any other non-food ingredients that are commonly listed in ‘prescription diets’. ANIMALS NEED WHOLE FOODS to encourage longevity and a healthy quality of life.
By noting what an animal’s elimination habits are while they are healthy, we will be able to discern if what we are feeding them agrees with their bodies. Should we choose to feed processed foods, we will be able to recognize how our animals’ bodies process these foods by how they eliminate their waste. Dogs and cats should never have prolonged diarrhea or constipation. If they do, their bodies are clearly unable to process what they are eating. If they do, it’s time to change their diet to a whole-food based diet. To learn more about species appropriate diets, see your local holistic veterinarian.
- UNUSUAL HIDING BEHAVIOUR- Unlike humans who are most often very vocal if they are feeling unwell, animals will hide. This is because in nature, if an animal’s wellness is compromised, so are his defenses. This is to say that if an animal’s body is injured or compromised in any way, the animal believes that he is more vulnerable to predators. The animal believes that he is lesser able to defend himself against predators and is likely to be killed. Therefore, in the animal’s mind he has a better chance of survival if predators are unable to find him. Of course there are not likely predators in the companion animal’s home, however the ‘hiding’ behaviour is genetically linked to his wild ancestors. If an animal who is not usually timid has begun to remove himself from social situations or is found hiding for an unusual length of time, this is more than likely because he is feeling unwell or is injured in some way. This is generally a symptom of a deeper issue that should be examined by a professional holistic veterinarian.
The above six aspects of health are just a few of the many notable signs that we can find to observe the health of our animal friends. These six aspects are six symptoms of inner organ health. This means that alone, each symptom is not its own health concern but it is correlated to deeper issue of imbalance within the body. Should we seek care from a medical doctor, she will likely solely address the symptoms of the issue and not the root cause. Should we seek care from a holistic doctor, she is trained to address the root of the issue and not the symptoms. Should we choose to treat the symptoms alone without treating the root cause, the symptoms are likely to return. However, should successfully treat the root itself, neither the root nor the symptoms will recur. For more information on how seeking holistic care can save your animal’s life: https://soulsticespirit.com/2017/03/19/thinking-of-going-holistic-how-to-prolong-and-improve-your-animals-quality-of-life/.
Making ourselves aware of how our animals look and behave while they are healthy can allow our animals to stay healthy. To reiterate, understanding our animals while they are healthy allows us to spot the very first shift in health. Treating the beginning stages of this shift, more often than not, can mean the difference between life and death for our animal family members. Just as it is their role to take care of us as best they can, it is ours to do the same for them. Let us honour their bodies by regularly ensuring that they are balanced; inside and out.
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