Unleashing the Power of Ozone and Ultraviolet

This was my first use of ozone and ultraviolet on a patient. I have utilized ozone on lots of patients as a sole oxidative therapy but this one needed a power home run!! (Thus the decision to add the ultraviolet application in conjunction with ozone.) A 16 month old, intact female Sheltie, Blue Merle patient presented to her traditional veterinarian at 12 months of age with an acute severe auto-immune polyarthritis/myositis (multiple joint pain and muscle pain to the point that she did not move and was constipated and dehydrated). She had a heat cycle the month before (11 months of age).

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This was my first use of ozone and ultraviolet on a patient. I have utilized ozone on lots of patients as a sole oxidative therapy but this one needed a power home run!! (Thus the decision to add the ultraviolet application in conjunction with ozone.) A 16 month old, intact female Sheltie, Blue Merle patient presented to her traditional veterinarian at 12 months of age with an acute severe auto-immune polyarthritis/myositis (multiple joint pain and muscle pain to the point that she did not move and was constipated and dehydrated). She had a heat cycle the month before (11 months of age).

Vaccine history: modified live at 8.5, 12.5, 16.5 weeks of age and no known problems. Diet: grain free commercial kibble her whole life and this episode happened in northern UT in December so ice and snow, no history of ticks etc. She was given both oral and injectable Rimadyl with little response and then had conjunctivitis and a cloudy cornea lesion in one eye at one week out from original presentation. By two weeks after her original presentation, she would not stand, had extreme pain and dehydration, OD 1/2 cornea now had a proliferative fleshy growth. Radiographs and blood work up did not reveal etiology. The suspected and working diagnosis was autoimmune polyarthritis and superficial keratitis. She had dexamethasone IV, Baytril IM, oral prednisone and Orbax and dexamethasone eye drops and Pepcid. She had a reduction in symptoms by 2 days after those treatments, however when the oral prednisone was reduced in dosage to once daily, the polymyositis/arthritis returned with both eyes now having proliferative lesions and she had gained 5 lbs! An increase in steroids, subconjunctival injections of steroids and addition of Imuran had the same alleviation of symptoms until the dosing was reduced. At this point the RDVM recommended euthanasia to the owner as he had no other options for her!! The dog was also due for her 16 month second rabies vaccination and she was getting pressured to get this done by animal control for licensure!! Her owner sought holistic help specifically IV ozone/UV therapy as she is a savvy consumer and knew about Dr. Shallenberger MD. We did O3UV treatments weekly for 4 treatments and also had reduced her oral prednisone to once every 4 days and stopped the Imuran immediately and she did great from the start. We continued the 5th treatment at 2 weeks, 6th at 3 weeks, 7th at 4.5 week intervals and by the 8th treatment, she was able to receive her rabies vaccination as a vaccine exemption had been temporarily issued by animal control for licensure. We also looked for the trigger of her autoimmune issues ruling out thyroid through hemopet, verified her distemper and parvo titers, and she had an ultrasound and ovariohysterectomy performed via an abdominal scope. The reproductive tract appeared normal so we never did find the trigger but suspect an occult infection with concurrent trigger of her first heat cycle. (We wanted to do the ovariohysterectomy before the next heat cycle.) Clinically, she had responded so well from the very first treatment, that surgery and rabies vaccination was possible and now we continue O3/UV treatments every 4-6 months. She has lost her 7 pound weight gain, her eyes have stabilized with small, superficial corneal opacification lesions that have been diagnosed as genetic corneal dystrophy. AND most importantly, she is off all medication and appears happy and healthy, very active with no symptoms of pain. She is now 26 months old and enjoys life with her owner who refused to accept euthanasia in her baby!!

I am happy to share more details about this case.
Kathy Backus DVM

WATCH out for medical marijuana and pets!

Recently I had a new patient that had suddenly started having seizures.  There was no known cause from routine screening blood tests.  The next option to try and figure out why would be an MRI which is expensive.  In traditional medicine, the next action plan at this point would be to start the dog on phenobarbitol.  But this drug to control seizures does have side effects.  I like for people to make fully informed decisions and the only way to make informed decisions is to have all the possible information.

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Recently I had a new patient that had suddenly started having seizures.  There was no known cause from routine screening blood tests.  The next option to try and figure out why would be an MRI which is expensive.  In traditional medicine, the next action plan at this point would be to start the dog on phenobarbitol.  But this drug to control seizures does have side effects.  I like for people to make fully informed decisions and the only way to make informed decisions is to have all the possible information.

So I took the time to discuss how a properly formulated CBD oil has been shown to control seizures, essentially medical marijuana.  This prompted the client to share that a family member had end stage cancer and was using medical marijuana and could they just use this?  The client further asked how to do so as the family member was smoking the medical marijuana.  And then added, and the dog sits right next to this person while smoking!  Light bulbs went off for me, I asked if the seizures happened to have started at the time they got the new medical strength marijuana and the answer was a resounding yes!  I explained that HUMAN medical marijuana can contain amounts of THC that is not harmful for the human but VERY dangerous for animals.  WHEN WE USE PRESCRIPTION STRENGTH CBD OIL, THE PURITY FROM ANY THC IS PARAMOUNT! The good news is that there is such a product for animals and its value is pure and controlled.  The even better news is that for this dog, he did not even need to use the CBD to control or reduce the seizures, we found the trigger, eliminated it and then he was back to his old self.  THAT is functional medicine at its best, a careful history and taking the time to ask enough questions to find the root cause.

Keep it simple silly!

This story deeply speaks to my heart on many levels.  On a personal level, holding the integrity and regard to elders is sadly lost in many ways in our culture.  With horses, it is beyond sad to send an animal to auction after ALL that he or she has given to you and your family.  When a horse becomes unusable due to arthritis or injury or aging changes make it unrealistic for the level of service that a horse did before, know of all that the horse has given to you and find a way to be there until the last breath even if the solution is a humane euthanasia.  That presence, that deep regard is simply the right thing to do.  Know better and do better.

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This story deeply speaks to my heart on many levels. On a personal level, holding the integrity and regard to elders is sadly lost in many ways in our culture. With horses, it is beyond sad to send an animal to auction after ALL that he or she has given to you and your family. When a horse becomes unusable due to arthritis or injury or aging changes make it unrealistic for the level of service that a horse did before, know of all that the horse has given to you and find a way to be there until the last breath even if the solution is a humane euthanasia. That presence, that deep regard is simply the right thing to do. Know better and do better.

My friend, Bonnie graciously allowed me to share her recent loss of Tala, a horse that had been with her for many many years. For me her story says it all. On the level of a professional, the care and responsibility of having a plan in place allows the death transition to be smooth and the details taken care of so that you can hold an open heart for your beloved animal. On the spiritual level, that presence to be a midwife in the dying process, is one of the most profound and sacred moments that we experience in our precious life lived fully. Don't miss it because you didn't plan or create a support network for you to process your grief. Finally, the gesture of a completely supported life in its entirety is significant given our collective human history with horses. We have taken ENOUGH, it is time to give back.

Here is Bonnie's story in her words.

This Monday morning I cried feeding. No Tala to whinny her morning greeting.

Friday morning at 5:45am I called the mares in for their morning grain, 3 came, Tala did not. With heavy heart I walked to the arena, used the flashlight & saw her body at the west end. When I called her, she lifted her head & whinnied a weak call. I put on her halter & pulled. She valiantly tried to stand but her legs collapsed. I ran for Don to help. By the time we were back she was standing on 3 legs with a useless left rear one. My neighbor, Warrie, came with his gun, bless his heart. Don managed to slowly walk her to the grave site dug last Sept. She actually pulled Don the last 30 feet up a slight raise & stopped at the edge of the grave. Don tailed her to keep up over the uneven ground. I fed her 3 apple horse treats which she slowly ate, hugged her & ran to get scissors to cut some mane. While I was gone she stood calm & still when she was shot. She picked a good day to die with a calm, pretty day, dead before 7, buried by 8:am. We left for Antelope Island by 8:30am to ride with my cousin, Sally, her & her horse's 1st endurance ride, which we both completed Saturday-"to finish is to win". I rode in honor of Tala.

Tala was my 1st endurance horse who taught me so very much. She carried me over 1,250 LD miles. I bought her at 16, conditioned her for a year, rode her in endurance from 17-27 years old in endurance, retired her to carrying children or small riders. She was the lead mare who led our small band out every evening into our mountain pasture while Rocket led (leads) them in every morning. She was a mentor mare who read trail ribbons, "talked" whinnied to me every time that she saw me. She had an opinion on everything with different whinnies for her different thoughts. She & I received the 1st Pard'ners Award in MRER. Endurance peers pick a horse & rider who epitomizes the love & respect they each have for one another, how well they take care of each other. I could think a gait & she would do it!

Tala was one month shy of being 35 years old, a grand old mare! The other 3 mares are mourning her as we are. They are subdued & very quiet. This photo was taken one year ago in April, 2016. We were privileged to have her live with us for 18 years. She was loved so very much. I will miss her terribly. RIP