Thursday, October 20, 2016


Yet another one of my heart supplements (for my [ Class B1 MVD ]) besides [ Ubiquinol ], [ Cardiotrophin PMG ], [ Asthaxanthin ] and [ pycnogenol ] (pycnogenol extremely high in antioxidants aiding in heart/eye health) is hawthorn. Just started on it couple weeks back. Mom cuts only the tip of a capsule, squeezes half of the contents out on a spoon for me to lick it off, and the other half goes to Cotton for heart health maintenance.

Hawthorn Supreme [ full link ]

Supports healthy cardiovascular function*
Optimizing heart health sets the foundation for improved quality of life and longevity. Hawthorn extracts have been well researched for supporting many different aspects of heart function and cardiovascular system health.* With organic Hawthorn berry, leaf and flower, Hawthorn Supreme promotes optimal heart function and healthy circulation.*

certified organic ingredients












Hawthorn Herb Improves Cardiac Function in Older Dogs [ full link ]

Older dogs in need of a general tonic will benefit most from this herb.

by Gregory L. Tilford
As a traveling, lecturing herbalist, I often hear the question of whether herbs might be helpful in treating old or debilitated dogs with chronic disease.

My answer: Yes – especially when used to supplement a good, natural diet and to strengthen or “tonify” the body’s natural healing functions. When used in this capacity, we refer to herbs as herbal tonics.

Unlike most conventional drugs, tonic herbs do not suppress or replace natural functions in the body. Instead, they serve to improve the body’s efforts to stay healthy. Tonic herbs are neither drug-like remedies nor foods, but stand somewhere in between, providing supplemental measures of support that help bridge the gaps between what a body needs from diet and what it needs in terms of specific, added support.

Most tonic herbs do their work by providing special nutrients, enzymes, and other chemicals that the body needs to bring deficient or overtaxed organs and systems into higher levels of efficiency.

Hawthorn (Crataegus species), a tonic herb that has been used for centuries to improve cardiac function and output, is a classic example. Hawthorn does not initiate any immediate changes in heart function, but does so very gently over time, without adding stress or interfering with other body functions. Hawthorn helps support the heart and cardiovascular system in ways that no food or drug can.

Preventative heart tonic
Hundreds of scientific studies have validated hawthorn’s usefulness as a heart tonic.
It is well known that hawthorn dilates both coronary vessels and vessels of the brain, helping to increase circulation and the transport of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.

It accomplishes this in a very effective and unique fashion: while it acts to dilate major vessels, it also increases blood flow from the heart to compensate for any reduction of arterial blood volume. In other words, it helps the body push more blood around by increasing cardiac output and decreasing blood flow resistance in the arteries, i.e., more blood flow at less pressure. This has been shown in studies performed with dogs, especially when used in small doses over an extended period.

Hawthorn also serves as a blood pressure regulator. Although the mechanisms of this activity baffle herbalists and scientists alike, the herb tends to gently elevate low blood pressure, and decrease high blood pressure. This is really quite amazing, especially when we consider the fact that hawthorn does this while increasing cardiac output. By helping with dilation of coronary arteries and strengthening heartbeat, hawthorn improves blood circulation without adversely effecting blood pressure.

Another well-documented benefit of hawthorn is its ability to steady and strengthen a weak or erratic heartbeat – such as that of elderly or energetically challenged dogs. In human applications hawthorn has been used as an alternative to antiarrhythmia drugs like digitalis, and to improve the effects of that and other cardiac drugs.

Hawthorn is also a great antioxidant. It scavenges free radicals that rob the blood of oxygen and may lead to various forms of vascular disease. Herbalists also use the herb to lower blood cholesterol.

All of these activities are largely attributed to a vast assortment of flavonoid constituents held within the berries, leaves, flowers, and twigs of hawthorn. Although flavonoids are also found in many other kinds of fruits (especially raspberries, blueberries, and other red or blue fruits), hawthorn is an especially rich source.

Studies have shown that flavonoids are essential in maintaining disease resistance and the integrity of smooth muscle tissues throughout the body. Some studies even suggest that hawthorn may help prevent myocardial damage in situations where the heart muscle is subjected to physiological stress. This means that animals such as race horses or working dogs who are constantly under cardiovascular stress will likely find preventive benefits from daily supplements of hawthorn.

And to top everything off, hawthorn is very, very safe. In fact, in the hundreds of animal studies that have been conducted with this herb over the past 100 years, hawthorn has shown extremely low toxicity in every animal tested. I place the risk of hawthorn berry toxicity on about the same level as that presented by rose hips, raspberries, or blueberries. In other words, I consider them all as medicinal foods.

Chronologically challenged
It stands to reason that this cardiovascular tonic is useful in the daily care of any older dog, but especially those who suffer from chronic heart problems such as arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, postsurgical dysfunction, or other cardiac anomalies that have weakened the heart’s ability to pump blood.

I consider hawthorn to be strongly indicated in virtually any case where damage to the heart muscle has resulted from heartworm infestation, bacterial or viral infections, or protracted chemotherapy.

I also find hawthorn useful in cases of renal failure, especially in early stages of the disease. When combined with ginkgo biloba (for small capillary circulation) and herbs that improve urinary function, hawthorn may be useful for getting more blood and oxygen into renal arteries and smaller vessels of the kidneys. This, in theory, is thought to slow degeneration of whatever healthy tissue remains in the diseased organs.

As a daily supplement
When combined with a good natural diet and other tonic herbs, hawthorn will act exactly as an herbal heart tonic should – to fill the special cardiac needs in the golden years of an animal’s life.

Other tonic herbs can be used in combination with hawthorn to round out the supplemental needs of older animals. These might include ginkgo or yarrow (for strengthening capillary walls and improving blood supply to the kidneys and extremities); garlic (for added antioxidant and immune system support); alfalfa and red clover (to nourish the blood, increase appetite, and raise energy levels); dandelion leaf (to assist in the removal of excess water); and oat tops (as a nervous system tonic).

In the natural pet product industry, the berries of hawthorn are the most commonly used part of this plant. This is probably because they make such palatable medicine. However, the flowering branch ends (leaves, flower buds, twigs, thorns and all) are fine medicine too, and can be clipped into small pieces and brewed into a decoction (a simmered tea). However, unlike the berries, the “twig tea” tastes awful!

If you are lucky enough to have a hawthorn tree near your home and a dog that likes red fruit, you can pick the ripe berries and feed them as tonic treats.

Or, when the berries become fully ripe, they can be picked, dried on a clean sheet of paper, and ground with a mortar or pestle (be forewarned that they burn out small coffee grinders!) into a coarse powder. The powder can then be added to your companion’s diet at a rate of one teaspoon per pound of food fed each day.

If your pup won’t eat the berries either way, try making a tea (with about a teaspoon of dried berries and a cup of hot water) and pouring it over his food. If that doesn’t work, you can use gel caps wrapped with expensive, imported Brie cheese (just kidding!). Better yet, you can use a liquid hawthorn tincture (one-half tsp. for small dogs; one-half to one tsp. for larger dogs). Alcohol-free, glycerin-based tinctures are quite sweet and easiest to feed.

-Greg Tilford is a well-known expert in the field of veterinary herblism. An international lecturer and teacher of veterinarians and pet owners alike, Greg has written four books on herbs, including All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs for Pets (Bowie Press, 1999), which he coauthored with his wife, Mary.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Eye Support Supplements (Vision Enhancement)

This is a new brand of supplements for us which we started couple weeks back. Vision Enhancement is for eye support and because my [ ultrasound scan ] shows that I'm developing cataracts on my right eye (left eye is thankfully still good). Mom decided to have me on this supp aside from [ pycnogenol ] which is very high in antioxidants and promotes eye health support as well. Another supplement we're on is [ Asthaxanthin ] which is yet another antioxidant supporting the immune system, cardiovascular system and eye health.

Mom cuts only the tip of a capsule, squeezes half of the contents out on a spoon for me to lick it off, and the other half goes to Cotton for eye maintenance. Cotton has perfect eyesight (from her ultrasound scan), so it just acts as a maintenance supplement for her... and because its a tad too much for me to eat one whole capsule on my own, she becomes my dustbin.

The eye supplements we're on are not limited to cataracts, but also Progressive Retina Atrophy (PRA) and glaucoma which can be common in some dogs. 

Vision Enhancement [ full link ]

Promotes healthy vision*
Our eyes rely on antioxidants to protect against the oxidative damage that occurs daily. Vision Enhancement promotes healthy vision while supporting normal eye function.* With naturally-occurring antioxidants such as Anthocyanins from Bilberry, Proanthocyanidins from Grape Seed, and Carotenoids like Lutein and Astaxathin, Vision Enhancement is a protective shield for the eyes.*

certified organic ingredients

Older Dogs and the Onset of Cataracts [ full link]

Look into your older dog’s eyes – and see your vet if clouds are present.

A dog’s eyes, like those of its human companions, change with age. The passage of time and the progression of certain illnesses increase the risk of canine cataracts, glaucoma, and other vision-related problems.
Fortunately, not all age-related vision changes are serious, and some that are serious can be prevented and even reversed. By being aware of the eye conditions that are common in aging dogs, we can do much to help our canine companions see well throughout their lives.

Cataracts make the lens of the eye opaque or cloudy, which gradually reduces vision to the point of blindness. In their early stages, cataracts cause blurring and distortion of vision, but they are invisible to the naked eye. By the time most owners notice them, cataracts involve more than 60 percent of the dog’s eye. Cataracts often accompany other illnesses, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism (low thyroid function).

Surgery performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist is the only treatment considered effective in conventional veterinary medicine – and is indicated only in cases where the cataracts are not a result of a secondary disease such as diabetes.

 Lenticular sclerosis
 Lenticular sclerosis, also called nuclear sclerosis, is very different from cataracts, though the two are often confused. “Lenticular sclerosis is a normal age-related change in the canine eye,” explains Jeff Wayman, DVM, of Belton, Missouri. “As the dog ages, the interior portion of the lens becomes harder and more compact, producing an indistinct greyish-blue haze. Your veterinarian can easily distinguish cataracts from lenticular sclerosis with an ophthalmoscope.”

Some veterinarians believe that lenticular sclerosis does not interfere with vision at all, while others say it causes slight blurring and interferes with depth perception. “This would be more of a problem if dogs had to read or if they were strongly dependent on central vision,” says Mike Richards, DVM, at, “but they don’t read and they don’t lose the ability to see movement, which is more of a peripheral vision ability. Most dogs with lenticular sclerosis will continue to see well enough to get around for the remainder of their lives.”

One of the most common causes of vision loss in dogs, glaucoma is caused by a buildup of fluid in the aqueous humor of the eye, which results in increased pressure. Several factors can interfere with the normal drainage of fluid from the eye, including structural problems with its filtration (known as primary glaucoma) or mechanical problems caused by a displaced lens or the accumulation of blood and other debris in the eye (secondary glaucoma).

Glaucoma can be chronic, in which the illness’s gradual progression may result in tunnel vision, or acute. Acute glaucoma is a medical emergency requiring veterinary attention. A common symptom of acute glaucoma is the sudden development of a red, painful eye. The pain, which may not be obvious at first, can manifest as lethargy, a loss of appetite, or excessive sleeping.

If this condition goes untreated for 48 hours, it may be impossible to save the eye’s sight, and when one eye has succumbed to glaucoma, the other usually follows. While dogs of any breed can develop glaucoma, those most associated with primary glaucoma are Northern breeds such as the Norwegian Elkhound, Siberian Husky, Malamute, and Samoyed, as well as the Bouvier de Flandres, Basset Hound, Chow, Cocker Spaniel, Shar Pei, Poodle, and Shih Tzu.

Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) damages the retina and optic nerve, resulting in partial to complete vision loss. “Early recognition of glaucoma is vital if vision is to be preserved in the eye,” says Dr. Wayman. “In my opinion, most glaucoma cases should be managed by a board-certified ophthalmologist if possible.” Conventional treatment includes drug therapy and surgery, including the removal of eyes blinded by glaucoma, as this disease can cause severe pain.

Retinal degeneration
Most common in Collies, Irish Setters, Miniature Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels, inherited retinal degeneration or PRA results in vision loss, usually starting with night blindness or difficulty seeing in low-light situations. Sudden acquired retinal degeneration (SARD) can occur in any breed and is believed to result from metabolic disorders such as Cushing’s disease. There is no conventional veterinary treatment for blindness caused by retinal degeneration.

Prevention of eye problems
Although injuries can be a factor, holistic veterinarians believe that the leading cause of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal degeneration, and other vision problems is inadequate nutrition.

In his book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, holistic veterinarian Richard Pitcairn notes that cataracts frequently accompany immune disorders and chronic diseases such as diabetes. “Many dogs with chronic skin allergies, hip dysplasia, and ear problems will develop cataracts as they get older,” he says. Removing the lens surgically may help, he explains, but unless underlying conditions such as diet are addressed, the eye will never be healthy.

Research on humans has shown that glutathione may help prevent cataract formation and correct damage from free radicals. Some studies have shown that many lenses affected by cataracts contain only 20 percent of the glutathione found in healthy lenses. Glutathione is composed of three amino acids, cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. Natural sources include eggs, broccoli, avocados, and garlic, and glutathione is sold as a nutritional supplement.

Wendell O. Belfield, DVM, a pioneer of nutritional therapy for pets, cites human studies that show vitamin C improves the vision of elderly patients suffering from cataracts. He describes one veterinarian who successfully treated hundreds of dogs with cataracts and related eye conditions using injected and oral vitamin E and selenium.

In addition, the famous vitamin E researcher Dr. Wilfrid Shute told Dr. Belfield how he treated a champion Doberman Pinscher that stopped siring and went blind with cataracts at age seven. After a few weeks of taking 300 International Units (IUs) of vitamin E daily, the dog sired several litters of puppies and, within three months, his cataracts cleared up.

Another veterinarian mentioned by Dr. Belfield successfully treated canine cataracts with 20,000 IUs of vitamin A daily for 10 weeks. “There are many different types and causes involved with cataracts,” he concluded. “My opinion is that a good diet and supplementation program will contribute to preventing them and may, as the above cases show, eliminate them should they occur.”

It is so difficult to treat glaucoma in dogs that prevention is crucial. Some veterinarians recommend vitamin C and/or the mineral selenium because deficiencies of both have been found in human glaucoma patients. Vitamin C was found to lower intra- ocular pressure in many studies, even in patients who did not respond to prescription drugs.

Cod liver oil has dramatically lowered intraocular pressure in rabbits, humans, and other animals, and oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flax seed oil, also help lower pressure. Bioflavonoids such as grapeseed extract and the herb bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) help prevent glaucoma by maintaining healthy collagen in the eyes. The herbs gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) may help lower pressure by increasing circulation in and around the eyes, while coleus (Coleus forskohlii) relaxes smooth muscles in the eye and helps lower pressure. For best results, consult an herbalist or holistic veterinarian to determine the best preparations and doses for dogs at serious risk of glaucoma.

Advocates of natural feeding plans claim that dogs raised on well-balanced raw food rarely develop retinal degeneration or PRA.

The same vitamins, herbs, and supplements that help prevent glaucoma and cataracts can prevent or slow the progression of retinal atrophy. Bilberry, which British World War II pilots used to improve their night vision, is especially appropriate. Because there are strong links between the eyes and the liver, many holistic veterinarians use herbs and supplements to support liver function while treating PRA. The herbs milk thistle seed (Silybum marianum) and dandelion leaf or root (Taraxacum officinale) help tone and repair the liver, as do supplements containing liver.

Acupuncture is an important support therapy for dogs with vision problems. It corrects energy imbalances throughout the body, stimulates self-repair, and strengthens individual organs, including the eyes and liver. Acupressure and massage are also helpful.

With a lifetime of good vision as their reward, any improvements we can make in our dogs’ food, supplements, and support therapies are investments worth making.

-by CJ Puotinen

CJ Puotinen, a frequent contributor to WDJ, is the author of The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats, and several books about human health including Natural Relief from Aches and Pains, published last summer.

That's the ultrasound scan of my right eye. Mom thinks this is one of the surest way to determine the onset of cataracts. Hopefully with all these supps, it can help to halt the deterioration.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Cardiotrophin PMG (Standard Process)

Cardiotrophin PMG is what Mom feels is primarily vital for my Class B1 MVD. We've been on it for over a year, probably started on it in Aug 2015. Since no medications are needed for my condition for that stage, Mom maintains it by giving me a few different heart supplements. So far so good for over a year without any deterioration and the sonagrapher is pretty pleased with the results. Click [ here ] for ultrasound posts.

Mom blends one tablet per day with our organic raw veg smoothie (for better absorption) and it's shared by Cotton and me. So that adds up to half a tablet for each of us per day.

Do note that this is a whole-food based supplement and is NOT a pet-grade supplement. However, it is widely recommended by many holistic vets for the use in dogs and cats with heart conditions.

It is also only sold through doctors and vets as Standard Process is a prescription supplement. So Mom imports it from a vet and if anyone wishes to tag along for the next order (details up in awhile) for cheaper rates, do email Mom. The order is NOT limited to just Cardiotrophin PMG, but any supplement from Standard Process range. However, a brief description of the animal is needed for the vet to ok it.

Consolidation will be up to 25 bottles as that's the maximum that could fit into the flat-rate shipping box. The order will probably take place in early 2017 so Mom's hoping to consolidate all orders for it by then. Each bottle is at USD16 (90 tablets) and a flat international shipping rate of USD65 (max of 25 bottles in a box) or a rough estimation of USD12 to a freight forwarder address in USA (excluding shipping fees from there to SG).

There is another supplement by Standard Process called Cardio-Plus, but it contains a whole lot of other ingredients unlike Cardiotrophin PMG which is primarily just bovine heart PMG extract. Cardiotrophin PMG is the one to go for if you're looking for a more ''focused'' direction like us.

Mom's reiki teacher recommends up to three tablets for me alone after doing applied kinesiology (aka muscle testing) on me. You can read up on muscle testing on your own if you'd like.

So anyways, Mom decided to stick with just one tablet per day shared between Cotton and me because it isn't organic, which means it contains binders, fillers AND calcium stearate. She doesn't wanna tax my liver to filter those out especially with calcium stearate (you can google about it if you've no idea what it is). The supplement is good, but Mom just wishes it didn't contain calcium stearate .

And so far, my Class B1 MVD is maintained at this stage for over a year. So for now, Mom will just stick to this dosage until next year's ultrasound scan.

On a side note, quite a few holistic vets actually recommend Standard Process supplements (despite it being a prescription supplement). Read [ here ] .

Back to topic, what is PMG you may ask? It is short for Protomorphogen. If you're a wordy person like Mom and likes to know EVERYTHING for our health, read on.

Protomorphogen™ Brand Extract ( LINK )
In the 1940's, Dr. Royal Lee pioneered a unique method of deriving extracts from the "cell determinants" of specific organs and glands for clinical use. Dr. Lee described in detail what these extracts contained and how they functioned in regard to cell regulation, maintenance, and interaction with tissue antibodies. It is clear both from the description of the extraction process and clinical use that these extracts differ from what is commonly referred to as "glandulars." Furthermore, because these extracts have a distinct clinical application and effect, they should not be confused with glandulars, or be referred to simply as "protomorphogens." Rather, Protomorphogen™ is the trademark owned and used by Standard Process Inc., as a brand name assigned to these uniquely derived extracts.
The cell determinant contains the thermostable mineral skeleton that forms the framework onto which the chromosome is then constructed. It is believed that this mineral skeleton, along with its associated nucleoproteins, forms the shortest unit of the chromosome. This unit, the cell determinant, is easily polymerized to form organized groups of cell determinants that in turn form the gene, and genes then form the chromosome. The basic structure of the cell determinant is predicated on the specific chemical affinities of the mineral components. Dr. Lee believed that the influence of the cell determinant is due, in large part, to the organized groups of mineral links that serve both as a template and a catalyst to initiate the formation of specific protein molecules. At its most basic level, the attached nucleoprotein moiety is simply attracted and bound due to this chemical affinity of the mineral skeleton. It follows then that the individual genetic pattern is actively formed over this basic framework.

While in the cell determinant state, there appears to be an affinity for lipid substances and a high degree of absorption onto connective tissue. The amount of cell determinant in the surrounding extracellular fluid has an impact on cell  division. It has been demonstrated that when cell determinant levels are low, cell division decreases. In similar fashion, when higher concentrations are present, cell division is inhibited. These studies show that stimulation is exerted by both homologous and heterologous cell determinants, while inhibition is exhibited by homologous cell determinants. It is critical to note that this stimulation effect is specifically related to normal cellular growth and not the stimulation of abnormal cell patterns.
It also appears that cell determinants can group to form cell-mediated growth factors. There are a number of cell-mediated growth factor cycles. These include the determinant cycle, which is specifically concerned with the organization of cell morphology, and the metabolic cycle, which is related to cellular energy mechanisms.

At mitosis, the chromosome discharges a significant amount of chromatin into the cytoplasm. This organizes the morphology of the cell cytoplasm. The metabolic cycle may be an augmented manifestation of the determinant cycle. It is interesting to note that synthesis and excretion of cell determinants is a dynamic process and appears to occur independently of the determinant cycle, since extracellular cell determinants continue to accumulate even after cell division ceases.
Cell determinants are found intact throughout the body and play a role in cell growth and regulation. Proper ratios of intracellular and extracellular cell determinants are critical for optimal cellular health. It appears that poor cellular function and abnormal cellular growth may have their roots in abnormalities of the cell determinant cycles. Based on this hypothesis, adding Protomorphogen™ brand extracts has been shown to help maintain cellular health. This effect is believed to be the result of keeping the cellular processes in proper balance. In an atmosphere of appropriate cellular balance, maintenance and normalization of the cell cycle can occur; especially in the presence of suitable, biochemical supportive nutrients known to have significant influence upon the organ in question, for example, vitamin A on the eyes.
The use of Protomorphogen™ brand extracts can aid in maintaining normal cellular metabolism and cell cycling. This is an important feature that should not be overlooked and is perhaps one of the most important aspects for using Protomorphogen™ brand extracts in the clinical setting. Of equal importance, it is essential to consistently provide proper nutritional synergists for cellular support.
This will improve the efficacy of the clinical application of Protomorphogen™ brand extracts.