Sunday, December 26, 2010

Healing a Dog with Vitamins and Antibiotics: Cancer, Arthritis, and More

Ten days ago my dog Toffee was very ill. Her stomach was so sick that she did not keep any food in her. Toffee hadn't been doing well for a while. My wife took her to the vet and got her blood tested. The day after she returned from the vet, Toffee ate out of the garbage and got really sick. Then the vet called and told us he thinks Toffee has an aggressive cancer. Her stomach did not get better for a week. The vet put Toffee on diphenoxylate with atropine. It did not cure her and made her appear even sicker. She no longer wanted to eat.

I wrote about Toffee in April of 2008. So - almost three years ago Toffee was in crisis and treated with the vitamins I described in that blog. The results then were awesome. I treated Toffee for less than a year and then just left her on her new diet - mostly eggs, rice, and peanut butter. She had been quite healthy and the use of vitamins for dogs is much less well established.

This time Toffee's response to vitamins was as close to miraculous as it gets. She was obviously better in 10 minutes and back to a normal stomach in less than two days. Then I put her on tetracycline (an antibiotic active against mycobacteria). The antibiotic also made her obviously better. Now - 10 days later - the antibiotic and vitamins working together have got her back chasing deer despite being thirteen. Here's the doses I used:

125 mg/day of niacin for 4 days - then 60 mg a couple of days then none (I was worried the niacin was making her sick)
2000 mg/day of vitamin C for 4 days - then a switch to 500 mg Ester C tablets
400 IU of vitamin D for 4 days then none
2500 IU of vitamin A twice per week
50 mg TTFD (special thiamine) 4 times per week
125 mg twice per day of tetracycline for two weeks (none the first five days)

This treatment was the cause of agonizing discussions. The vet suggested that the dog might need the chemotherapy to get her stomach straightened out. I told the vet I thought chemotherapy was aggressive and not in Toffee's best interest. After some heated discussions we faxed Toffee's bloodwork to our prior vet for a second opinion. Meanwhile Toffee was getting steadily worse. Both vets recommended more testing - neither prescribed any immediate treatment.

Toffee is the most beloved member of our family. What does it mean to act in Toffee's best interest when everyone has a different opinion? How many times have I written about having much to gain and nothing to lose? It's easily written but not so easily accomplished. Time was ticking by and there was a choice - go with the vet or treat Toffee ourselves. The vet's option didn't look too good for Toffee - blood drawings, x-rays, waiting, and then probably chemotherapy. But the vet's advise is backed up by the system. What were we going to tell the kids when we followed our own path and the dog deteriorated further?

Well - you know the end of the story. Toffee's response was as miraculous as it gets.

Our strategy seems like just incredible common sense - attack microbes (tetracycline), boost the immune system (the 5 vitamins that prevent deficiency disease), and accelerate wound healing (extra vitamin C and niacin).

I can't keep this column impersonal. I'm tired of achieving better health outcomes by following my own common sense than I get by following the advice of physicians. Through painstaking research I've ended up with such and obvious strategy. Master the best pills (and sunshine) before adding complexity. Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine are all proven miracle drugs for the treating a pandemic vitamin deficiency disease. Antibiotics are proven miracle drugs. My experience suggests that our society stands to see a step-change improvement in health using just these pills and sunshine.

My advice is incredibly practical. My theory ends with these simple facts. Vitamins A, D, B1, B3 and vitamin C are special because they are miracle cures for the pandemic deficiency diseases that have long inflicted humanity. There are no other miracle cures for pandemic deficiency diseases. Antibiotics are miracle cures for hundreds of microbial infections that plague humanity. Vitamins and antibiotics are safe, inexpensive and readily available. If you're sick, why not work with this short list of cures? It's not as easy as it sounds. Nothing is perfect. There are close to a dozen classes of proven antibiotics. 12 antibiotics and 5 vitamins is 17 pills to optimize. Too much of any one, although safe, will cause discomfort. Too little may cause you to miss finding your cure.

A last word. I feel strongly that most chemotherapy approaches will do dogs more harm than good. Dogs are not humans. There simply isn't any good data proving the effectiveness of chemotherapy for dogs. Everyone knows about the side effects of chemotherapy. Dogs live in the present. You can't persuade a dog that chemotherapy is their best hope for a longer life. Diagnostic testing, blood drawing, poking, and prodding are all frightening for dogs. They can't understand that we're helping them. I don't think it's right to treat dogs this way unless the outcome provides a major benefit with near certainty. If you think like I do, following our strategy of vitamins and antibiotics is almost a no-brainer. If you want help or courage, don't hesitate to write and ask.

Prevent Chronic Prescription Drug Use, Cancer, Osteoporosis, Cavities, Heart Disease, Chronic Pain.... Use Vitamins and Antibiotics

Here's my latest advise on starting vitamin doses. Vitamins cause side effects. It's not easy to get the maximum effect without causing some temporary discomfort. If you're worried about vitamin safety, please don't hesitate to ask for help. For that matter, don't hesitate to ask for help with doses for any reason.

1) Lie flat in the sun in a bathing suit near noontime on most sunny days. Try to avoid substantial darkening of the skin. Use sunblock on your face and never burn yourself.

2) Take 2000 mg/day of vitamin C. This is the level recognized by the Food and Nutrition Board to cause no adverse effects for 95% of the population and only very mild adverse effects for the rest. It is as close to a risk-free dose as is possible. Keep in mind, eating anything every day carries risks. A small fraction of the population is intolerant of daily doses of all but the most benign food items.

3) Take 10,000 IU of vitamin A once per week. One 10,000 IU dose of vitamin A every week, not every day. Vitamin A is frequently toxic. It's OK to take more, and it's necessary to be getting more from your diet (the RDA is 5000 IU). Just be really really careful. I'm not going to recommend higher doses of vitamin A supplements until I understand it better.

4) Take a 250 mg time-release niacin tablet once per week. One 250 mg time-release niacin tablet once per week. If the single dose is bothersome, break it in half and take the half tablets once every four days or so. There's really no need for a digital routine. It's fine to take the niacin and vitamin A tablets on some of the days when you're worried about your health and to not take any when you're feeling fine. Regularly drink 2 cups of dark roast coffee to enrich your dietary intake of niacin.

5) Take 50 mg tablet of enteric coated TTFD (a thiamine precursor) once per day. There are no known side effects. You'll never know you are taking this supplement. Taking it won't make you obviously better.

The vitamins alone typically don't provide big, obvious benefits. Taking antibiotics along with the vitamins increases the odds of experiencing an obvious cure that is complete within days or weeks. You need to get the antibiotic from a physician. Ask for an antibiotic that is broad spectrum and effective against bacteria without cell walls (mycobacteria).

Reduce Chronic Prescription Drug Use with Vitamins and Antibiotics

Surgical procedures and drug prescriptions are steadily on the rise. 50% of adults 18 to 60 take at least one prescription drug. 80% of seniors take at least one prescription drug and it is not uncommon for a senior to take 5 or more prescription drugs. Tens of millions of surgical procedures are performed each year when biopsies and other dignostic procedures are included. Surely many people would prefer safer and less expensive alternatives.

Almost by definition, the cause or causes of chronic diseases are not well understood. We know that genes, the environment, and behavior all play a role. As knowledge accumulates, an increasing number of chronic conditions are proven to have multiple causes.

There's not much practical that can be done about genes. I don't believe that genes alone often completely predetermine chronic disease conditions. I believe behavior and the environment are usually contributing factors. Micro-organisms and micronutrients are important factors. Attacking micro-organisms, boosting the immune system, and accelerating wound healing constitute a sound strategy for preventing and healing chronic diseases.

I've only recently come to appreciate that micro-organisms may be playing a significant role in chronic disease. Obvious bacterial infections are common and often respond within hours to antibiotic treatment. Bacterial infections such as Lyme disease are difficult to detect and require weeks of antibiotic therapy to resolve. Some cases require years of antibiotic treatment to resolve. Micro-organisms are a proven cause of a handful of cancers.

Potent anti-biotics are one of the miracles of modern medicine. They are relatively safe medications, and, since they generally work quickly, they are rarely the cause of chronic discomfort. Potent, readily available antibiotics include amoxicillin, tetracycline, cephaliexin, and metronidazole. Each of these antibiotics works by a different mechanism. There is good reason to try them all if a micro-organism is a possible cause.

It is highly unusual to live a life depend upon antibiotics for survival. In the vaste majority of cases, antibiotics are used as temporary assistance to natural immunities. So - it seems like common sense to use immune boosting nutrients in combination with antibiotics. Micro-organisms frequently cause damage that requires wound healing. So - again it is just common sense to use nutrients that can accelerate would healing in combination with antibiotics.

If you're taking one or more prescription drugs for a chronic disease, there's much to gain and little to lose by giving vitamins and antibiotics a try. You have to get the antibiotics from a physician. The vitamins are obtained from sunshine and the local grocery store or pharmacy. The most important vitamins are the five that prevent deficiency disease. These are vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Vitamin D in high doses is best obtained from full body exposure to mid-day sunshine. Good doses of supplements can be found here.

There's no point waiting for double blind, placebo controlled studies - they are not possible. Sunshine can not be administered double-blind. Doses of vitamin C of >2000 mg/day can not be administered double-blind because of immediate reactions of the intestinal tract. >200 mg/day doses of niacin cause flushing and immediate intestinal tract reactions. One nutrient at a time studies - including double blind, placebo controlled trials, have already established that vitamins A, B1, B3, C and sunshine are safe and effective. Extra vitamin C and niacin are associated with accelerated wound healing in addition to boosting the power of the immune system.

If you're taking a prescription drug for a chronic disease, there's no need to give up on a real cure and a future without dependence upon prescription drugs. The body has an amazing ability to heal.