April 2017 - In This Issue:
Spring Greens
Spring is a great time to consider adding leafy greens and green vegetables to your animal's diet. Greens help cool the body and calm the liver, which helps prevent inflammation, itching, and even seizures. Green vegetables moisten tendons and ligaments, helping prevent injuries to these tissues as your animals get back outside to exercise and play. Fresh or frozen kale, collards, chard, mustard greens, beet greens, turnip greens, spinach, and broccoli all support the liver and add coolness. For cats and dogs, greens are best absorbed when they are either cooked or steamed. Of course our horses and rabbits prefer raw. Raw vegetables are fine for cats and dogs to chew on, but they won't absorb as much nutrition from them as they do the cooked. If your animal doesn't eat cooked vegetables whole, try pureeing or finely chopping a bit and adding it to their food. Start out with very small amounts, relative to the size of your animal friend, to avoid intestinal distress. Please note that parsley is slightly different, as it is a blood strengthening green, which means it is terrific for animals who seek warmth, who often have dry skin or coats and cool extremities.

Food for Thought

Did you know that 80 percent of commercial pet food is made by just five companies? (Nestlé, Mars, Proctor & Gamble, Del Monte, and Dole). Those might not be names you associate with high quality pet food. Using dogfoodadvisor.com is an easy way to research pet food. The site also allows you to sign up for food recall alerts. A catfoodadvisor.com is coming soon; catinfo.org is a  great resource for feline nutrition available now. In the Madison area, we are lucky to have a number of knowledgable suppliers, including Nutzy Mutz and Crazy Catz. AnShen fully trusts their products; as we shop there, too! Check out Harmany Equine for quality horse supplements. Please do contact us with any questions you have about feeding your animal companions.

Patient Profile - Wood Personality

Skeeter is a very active two-year-old Labrador Retriever who desires very physical, interactive exercise daily. She is adaptable to new experiences, constantly vigilant in asserting herself above the other dogs in the house, and craves social interaction with people and other dogs. She is attuned to her person and follows her around closely during the day and sleeps at her feet at night. In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine terms, Skeeter is governed by the wood element. Wood is associated with the liver, the organ in charge of directing the function of all other organs, as well as the tendons, ligaments, and skeletal muscles of the body. Common personality traits of wood are dominant behaviors, fast movements, alertness, very responsive to stimuli, and quick adaptation to change. Wood individuals tend to be muscular, athletic, and highly competitive. When out of balance, wood personalities are susceptible to allergies, neurosis, depression, irritability or aggression when frustrated, eye problems, and athletic injuries-especially injuries to tendons or ligaments. Foods that support the liver and keep wood in balance include beef, rabbit, chicken, and most importantly, dark leafy green cooked vegetables. A key part of a daily routine in the life of the wood personality is vigorous exercise to keep them in balance. If you have a dog companion who is a wood personality, you know that these are dogs who "need a job."

Physical symptoms of wood personality imbalance
    *    Dry, brittle nails
    *    Migraines
    *    Eye issues
    *    Sinus issues
    *    Hernias
    *    Uterine fibroids

Foods that support wood personalities
    *    Beef
    *    Rabbit
    *    Chicken
    *    Cooked dark leafy greens
    *    Figs
    *    Pork

Deer Tick
Bug Off!

This is the time of year when many of us begin treating our animals with new medications such as heart worm and flea and tick preventives, given orally or topically and lasting more than a month. Once a medication is ingested, it is not possible to do anything about the reactions you may see, such as vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, drinking too much water and bad gas. Topical products can cause seizures and other neurologic problems in animals who have never previously experienced these issues. Another newer medication for allergies has a very high rate of cancer in the dogs on which it was tested. If you have a herding breed, you may want to consider having your dog tested for the MDR-1 mutation, which causes these dogs to be particularly sensitive to many medications, including ivermectin, a component of most heart worm preventives. Safer options to consider are topical essential oil products made specifically for flea and tick control, such as Dr. Mercola's™s Spot On. Essential oils are not safe for cats unless specifically formulated for them professionally, such as Dr. Mercola's flea and tick collar for cats or the Spot On formula for cats. Never use dog products on cats.   Other options for warm weather pest control are adding Bug Off , a garlic and nutritional yeast supplement for horses and dogs , or adding a little apple cider vinegar with olive or coconut oil (to minimize the vinegar taste) to the diet of horses and dogs. Of course, remove standing water every chance you get and clean up manure. Homeopathic and Chinese medical treatments are excellent choices to make your animal friend's life force so strong that he or she resists disease, staying healthy naturally. Ask us what we recommend for your specific animal friends during their appointments.

Hope bio photo
Boarding Dogs and Vaccinations

As we treat our animals with homeopathy or learn more about the dangers of over-vaccination, many of us are foregoing some (if not all) of their annual vaccinations. That's great news for our animals, but it can pose a problem if we need to professionally board them. Almost all professional boarding facilities require proof of current vaccinations. If you are a current AnShen client who is avoiding vaccinations, you might consider Hope's House the next time you need to board your dog. Our Patient Coordinator, Hope Rutten, has been boarding dogs in her home for the past six years and does not require current vaccinations. Hope's House takes a limited number of boarders to ensure care, including health and feeding requirements, is focused and specific to your dog. If you have questions about availability or would like to set up a meet and greet appointment, you can contact Hope at info@anshenvet.com. 

Homeopathy - Topicals

Cat scratching
It is important that we are keen observers as we engage with homeopathic treatments for our animals. Are your animal companions biting, scratching, or chewing at their skin, rubbing themselves on the carpet, or shaking their heads? These behaviors can seem obsessive, and our animal companions appear to be distressed. Disease must leave the body in some way during healing. This may result in diarrhea, vomiting, discharges from eyes, ears, nose or other orifices. It often results in skin problems: rashes, bumps, sores, and itchiness. The body will heal itself from the inside out, so as the healing process progresses within the mind, internal organs and structures, the problem may come out through the skin and but will be transitory in nature. If you find yourself coping with an itchy companion, there are a few topical treatments that can be used. 

Topicals for Itchy Skin 
  • colloidal oatmeal 
  • slippery elm solution 
  • aloe vera gel 
  • almond or olive oils 
  • green tea solution 
  • calendula or echinacea solution 
  • goldenseal solution 
Topicals for Raw Skin 
  • calendula
  • aloe vera
  • almond oil 

The easiest products to use are the olive or almond oils and aloe vera gel. These require no preparation or mixing and can be gently massaged into the affected areas or applied as a poultice with a cloth. I have used these types of topicals on skin eruptions (acne-like) and to relieve discomfort within ear canals. 

Topicals for Waxy Discharge from the Ears
  • almond or olive oils 

Topicals for Watery or Mucus Discharge from the Ears
  • green tea
  • plain yogurt
  • calendula solution
We can give you specific instructions on how to use these topical treatments, so please contact us first before applying.


The fourth annual  PuppyUp  walk is Sunday, May 7th. Please consider participating, as a walker, supporting a walker, or purchasing a tribute sign. 

Farewell to Dr. Cassie

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you I will be leaving Anshen on March 31st. My fiancé, Nick, and I were given an opportunity to pursue my career as a conventional and alternative medicine doctor in Mount Vernon, WA. I will miss you all and will take so many fond memories with me. The clients that have opened their arms to me in my brief stay with AnShen will forever be with me, and the patients that I fell in love with have taught me lessons I will take with me moving forward. Thank you all for trusting me with your furry friends' care, and I will miss you all!

Dr. Cassie Torhorst

Anshen Housekeeping Odds & Ends

  • If your animal is sick it is not the time to cancel your appointment. We can help, as we treat the whole patient and not just a particular malady. We can also help prevent illness by making your animal strong prior to vaccinations, anesthesia, chemotherapy, or travel. If you have any questions about whether or not an appointment is appropriate, just give us a call or email.

  • Thank you to everyone who took the time to take the survey we sent out in January.  We received a lot of great feedback that will help us serve you better!

  • Worried about spring allergies? Contact Hope now for an appointment!