Introduction

The purpose of my phone consults is to support, advise, and guide people with ailing pets: bring clarity to the problem, recommend appropriate supplements, diets, and herbal treatments, and when possible refer to a competent veterinarian who can manage the issues more locally.

The clients I help have usually been to two or more veterinarians, and after months or years of drugs, surgeries, and antibiotics – and thousands of dollars in treatments and testing – have realized that conventional medicine is not working for their beloved pets. Conventional medicine does not have many options beyond drugs, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, antibiotics, and when all fails (or the pet owner runs out of money), euthanasia.

What is missing from this approach? Treatments such as steroids, antibiotics, and NSAIDS only control, suppress, or stimulate physiological functions, never giving your pet a chance to mend itself. In most cases, nothing is prescribed to support healing, or to allow the pet’s body to Repair (organ systems), Regenerate (healthy cells), and Restore (function).

The Process

Pet owners often surrender power to their veterinarian, placing the keys to their pet’s health and survival in the vet’s hands only. One of the main goals of a consultation with me is to give back power to the pet owner, and devise a treatment plan that is not dependent on the vet, technology, and drugs. With guidance, I believe a pet owner’s Fear and Despair can be transformed into Love and Action… at home.

No single thing causes sickness. Illness has a past, present, and future. Most, if not all, diseases have a wide array of causative factors that need to be evaluated, mollified and quelled. The factors that led to the creation of the disease need to be identified, examined, and eliminated whenever possible.

Before I am able to advise and guide, I complete a complex process of inspection and evaluation of the pet’s history: reviewing medical records dating back to their early years of development and to when the symptoms of disease first occurred, studying their response to treatments and medications, and looking at their current state of health and decline. I review vaccinations, surgeries, x-rays, ultrasounds, veterinary chemicals used in the past months and years, the type and brands of food, treats, and supplements given, and any physical and emotional traumas.

I believe a pet owner’s Fear and Despair can be transformed into Love and Action… at home.

The mind, body, and spirit of your pet must be evaluated. Much of conventional veterinary medicine is narrowly focused on treating an isolated disease, or organ, and not the WHOLE animal — but mind and spirit affect the body, and their contribution to disease should not be overlooked.

Exercise and time spent in nature is important to physical and emotional health

Exercise and time spent in nature is important to physical and emotional health

The home environment is also important to study and evaluate. I look at exposure to chemicals and pesticides, sanitation, as well as family dynamics such as the owner’s personal stressors that might affect the health of the pets. Many times pets, especially dogs, acquire a disease similar to their owner’s.

This lengthy evaluation process is essential because disease does not just appear. Most illness has been progressing “under the radar” for months or years. For this reason, learning to recognize subtle changes in your pet is critical, because you know your pet better than your vet. The veterinarian does not live with your dog or cat. I encourage pet owners to trust their instincts (and I give workshops to teach people how to evaluate their pet’s condition through observations of pulse, temperature, tongue diagnosis, body smells, and assessment of symptoms).

Most Common Reasons Pet Owners Seek My Guidance

  • Cancer Statistics show that 58% of dogs over 10 years of age and 33% of cats over 12 years of age will die of cancer-related diseases.
  • Allergies and Skin Problems Most conventional treatments include antibiotics, immuno-suppressive drugs, and a commercial diet. Because drugs do not cure the problem, and commercial diets do not support long-term health, many pets on these therapies develop side effects from the treatments: liver damage, increased infections, delayed healing, cancer, and auto-immune reactions.
  • Digestive Problems Conventional medicine uses antibiotics, suppressive drugs, and prescription diets to treat gastro-intestinal (GI) issues. In acute, short-term problems, these might be useful, but for re-occurring problems the use of these drugs will further destroy the gut microbiome and alter the GI immune system, resulting in more food sensitivities and chronic weight loss due to poor absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the gut.
  • Heart Disease Veterinarians recommend little or nothing in the way of support or prevention in the early stages of heart disease. Many small dogs can’t tolerate heart drugs and experience side effects such as low blood pressure, vertigo, poor appetite, and weakness.
  • Kidney Failure
  • Chronic Joint and Spinal Diseases
Dr. Basko can help you learn how to cook healthy meals for your pet

Dr. Basko can help you learn how to prepare healthy meals for your pet

Solutions

Because of the complexity of the above problems, and the many associated variables such as the use of drugs, chemicals and antibiotics that fail to cure the problem and are causing side effects, solutions are not simple.

There are alternatives to chemotherapy. If the disease is not terminal, herbs and supplements can help stabilize the immune system to keep the cancer in check or in remission. For terminally ill cancer patients, quality of life and longevity can be improved using various herbs and modalities that slow down the progression of the disease, increase comfort, and decrease pain. Hospice advice is available as needed.

Supplements that address heart disease can delay the onset of a more serious condition.

It’s possible to improve kidney function with proper diets, antioxidants, and herbal medicine.

Many joint and spinal problems can be prevented or mollified with proper supplements, exercises, hydrotherapy and acupuncture. Pain can be controlled without the use of drugs that become harmful with chronic or over use.

Conventional medicine, based on a “herd” mentality, labels the disease and then treats everyone the same. For true healing to occur, the pet must be treated as an individual, and the treatment plan customized to the unique and specific needs of the animal.

Massage is good!

Massage is good!

Treatment Approach

The foundation of health is fresh, high-quality food. This kind of food does not exist in a bag or can of pet food. I ask people who consult with me to make their pet’s food with my guidance and the information in my book Fresh Food / Ancient Wisdom: Preparing Healthy and Balanced Meals for Your Dogs.

I often recommend supplementation with medicinal plants and mushrooms, as well as antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

Basic treatment goals include improving immune system function, tonifying deficiencies such as anemia and poor organ regeneration, and mollifying the effects of chronic exposure to contaminated commercial food, drugs, and chemicals through detoxification. Pain and comfort control are also necessary, as is the quelling of symptoms.

If indicated and when possible, I help find a veterinarian that can monitor and maintain the pet with my recommendations, and add acupuncture, massage and chiropractic to the treatment plan.

Owner Commitment, Will and Intention

The initial phone consult is only the beginning of a process of observance, home care, and communication. Progress (reduction of symptoms) might seem slow at first. It takes the body about three months to regenerate healthy new cells. Follow up calls and emails are usually necessary to guide pet owners as the disease evolves and changes. Some people will need support calls throughout the healing process because their pet’s medical conditions are chronic and have been in progress for many months or years. If new developments arise during healing, such as a new problem, or side effects from past treatments, more consultations may be necessary.

Adding mushrooms to your dog's diet may be a part of the treatment plan

Adding mushrooms to your dog’s diet may be a part of the treatment plan

 

Depending upon the condition, three phone consults are usually necessary in the first 4-6 weeks of the treatment plan, with emails in between. Cancer, chronic skin problems, and allergies usually need the most support. Some clients might benefit from a once weekly consult because of the seriousness of the problem and the complexity of the treatment plan.

I ask pet owners to keep a health diary: note diet changes or special treats, take pictures of their pet, learn how to use their pet’s tongue condition and pulse to determine the level of seriousness or improvement of the condition. Sometimes it’s necessary to have additional testing done to confirm the disease, or to measure progress.

You know your pet better than your vet.

It is very important that the pet owner understands and believes in the treatment plan and is committed to doing what it takes to heal the animal: home food preparation, administration of pills, powders, liquid supplements and herbs, and maintaining a health diary.

And finally, consistent, detailed communication with me, via emailed health updates or scheduled phone time, is essential to achieving good results.

For More Information

You can initiate a phone consult by visiting our Consultation page. Clients who pre-purchase a bundle of 3 or 5 phone consults receive a 10 or 20% discount. Otherwise, pet owners can “pay as they go.” For more information, please email or call Valerie at 808-822-4229, Tuesdays from 9-12, or Thursdays or Saturdays from 9-5, Hawaii Standard Time.