Our Animals Need To Detox Too
We live in a time of amazing medical advances. Many of us are aware of the need to occasionally aid our bodies in the elimination of toxins that build up in our intestines and tissues. But how often do we think about the need to address toxin buildup in our pets?
We are living in a world in which toxins have been introduced at an alarming rate since the end of World War II. There is no burden of proof placed on industry to show that these chemicals are safe. It used to be that we considered acute toxicity or poisoning to be our only concern. Heavy metal exposure was measured in blood to diagnose poisoning. Not so anymore. Chronic heavy metal and chemical buildup in bodies gradually creates a greater ‘body burden’ that is increasingly difficult to overcome with innate detoxification mechanisms.
This process of accumulating poisons starts in utero these days. Toxins cross the placental barrier and affect developing fetuses as well as the newborn. Mammalian milk continues to channel these substances into young bodies. Our animals are exposed to many of the same chemicals that we are, and their abilities to manage this toxic load become easily overwhelmed. Let’s look at common sources of exposure for ourselves and our animals:
Air. Billions of tons of chemicals are put into the air every year, including mercury, sulfates and nitrates from coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Airborne toxins from Asia and other countries travel the jet stream, eventually settling onto virtually every continent on the planet.
Our indoor air is 10 times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA. Flame retardants, formaldehyde, paints, and nonstick or stain-resistant coatings such as those found in cookware or upholstery and carpets contribute to the mix. Home cleaning products can create an acute problem for birds that live in the house but chronic exposure for dogs, cats and smaller animals can be a problem as well. Think about how our pets are so good at cleaning up after us in the kitchen. Ingesting a little pine scented floor cleaning solution or chemical disinfectant is not a good idea, even in small amounts. Even household building materials can off-gas undesirable substances for years.
Food. We need no reminder of the recent pet food recall catastrophe in order to be diligent about the source of all ingredients in our animals’ food. If we are successful in obtaining domestic products free from foreign contaminants, ensuring that these are as organic as possible with no hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and fertilizer residues can still be a chore. Even organically grown ingredients cannot be protected from pollutants in air and rain and inevitably expose our pets to these toxins when they are ingested.
A study done by Gloria Dodd, DVM detected unacceptable levels of aluminum in many pet foods; even high quality canned pet food contained heavy metals. When Dr. Dodd analyzed hair samples from sick animals, she found that many of them contained high levels of heavy metals such as aluminum, lead and arsenic.
Water. Studies done by the Environmental Working Group on contaminants in tap water showed that in 42 states, some 260 contaminants were detected in public water supplies, 140 of which were unregulated chemicals! Using bottled water cannot adequately protect our pets, since 25-30% of it comes from municipal tap systems – and the testing requirements for bottled water are lower than those for tap water. Additionally, the plastics from the bottles can leach into the water.
Plastic feed and water dishes can contribute endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A. Phthalate, another endocrine disruptor, is used to soften plastic and can be found in animal toys and in the linings of canned foods destined for both human and animal consumption.
Grooming products and sprays we put on our pets often have toxins such as sodium laurel sulfate, phthalates, parabens, triclosan and preservatives in them. These go directly on our animals’ skin and penetrate into their systems.
Vaccines are often a source of heavy metals (mercury/thimerisol) which are neurotoxins and the carcinogen formaldehyde.
Heavy metals can reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, eventually leading to problems with immune function, muscle contraction, energy production, and repair of bone.
We don’t know all of the actions of toxins or the interactions of multiple toxins in low levels in the body. One thing we do know is that assaults on the cells and tissues of the body result in the formation of free radicals. Most of us are familiar with this term; free radicals are molecules that are unstable, they are missing one of a pair of electrons. Molecules like to be stable and will ‘steal’ an electron from a neighboring molecule in order to re-stabilize themselves. The molecule that was robbed now becomes a free radical and a chain reaction of free radical formation can occur; if this chain reaction cannot be stopped by the anti-oxidants in the body, oxidative stress results.
The point here is not to create a feeling of hopelessness or paranoia, it is to get the point across that our animals’ bodies get overwhelmed quickly and easily by the burden of toxins they carry around, and they need serious help getting rid of them and replacing elements that allow the body to function optimally.
Combating toxins and the damage they create in the body can be accomplished by a) removing the toxins and b) replacing and boosting network anti-oxidants, those nutrients that scavenge free radicals and act together to boost the production and function of each other in the body.
One very effective and safe modality for removing heavy metals and toxins from the body is through the use of ingested zeolites. Zeolites are minerals formed when volcanic ash hits sea water. Tiny honeycomb-shaped cages are formed in a mineral matrix that has a very strong negative charge. Since heavy metals and many toxins have a positive charge, they are attracted to the little cages, trapped and passively removed so as not to create a greater burden on the kidneys or other organs of elimination.
Network anti-oxidants are effective in scavenging free radical molecules and repairing tissues. Network anti-oxidants work in different ways and each play an important role in bodily function. They can also protect the body from the stress of infection, inflammation and the oxidation and degeneration of tissues association with the aging process.
Key network anti-oxidants include: CoenzymeQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamins E and C, and Glutathione. There are many others as well, and many are found in abundance in fruits, vegetables and green tea.
The body is designed to heal and the mechanisms are already in place. Removing the roadblocks to health and encouraging natural healing mechanisms is the most basic foundation we can lay for our animals’ long and happy lives.
Vivo Animals is extremely proud to introduce formulas that address these issues specifically. These are important products as they deal with detoxification of the body, which is something people are becoming increasingly aware of in this time of overwhelming environmental toxicity.
These products are not meant to compete with other vitamin/mineral mixes; they are designed to give as a top dress to remove heavy metals and environmental toxins from the body. The flagship product is VivoZeoComplete, a product that has a mineral detox base and a blend of antioxidants, blood flow enhancers and immune modulating ingredients. This product comes highly recommended with powerful field study results in the nutritional support of conditions such as laminitis (chronic and acute), insulin resistance/EMS, arthritis, slow healing injuries, and general aging concerns. It is also indicated for such inflammatory conditions as periodontal disease and inflammatory
I see only too often that people search for answers in a desperate state only after disease has set in. A goal at VivoAnimals is to change this paradigm and encourage a healthy lifetime by minimizing the damage done by toxins.
Dr. Zamzow is a consultant for VivoAnimals. VivoAnimals provides cutting edge natural health solutions for the animal companions in our lives. www.animaldetox.com 1-877-848-6628
About the Author
Erin Zamzow, DVM Dr. Erin Zamzow has worked to improve the lives of animals through holistic education, diagnosis and treatment. In 1986, she enrolled in pre-veterinary studies at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, where her impressive performance earned her admission into one of the most prestigious veterinary schools in the country, Washington State University. During her tenure there, she distinguished herself as an advocate for compassionate and responsible animal medicine. Her strong voice and clear vision were instrumental in the creation of WSU’s Alternative Surgery track. Since its inception, this successful program has strengthened the surgical training program while preventing the unnecessary death of hundreds of animals. Upon graduation in 1990, Dr. Zamzow joined the staff of the Animal Medical Center in Redmond, Washington. Two years later a desire to branch out into mixed animal practice in a more rural setting led her back to Ellensburg. Life as a small town vet supplied invaluable experience in emergency and surgical medicine. In 1996 Dr. Zamzow delved deeper into what seemed to be a frequently misdiagnosed and grossly neglected arena of veterinary science and entered the emerging field of Equine Dentistry. For the last 10 years, Dr. Zamzow has traveled extensively throughout Washington and California restoring optimum health and performance in her equine patients and educating communities about the importance of proper equine nutrition and dental care. With progressive, responsible science the hallmark of her practice, Dr. Zamzow continues to challenge established traditions when they no longer serve the best interests of the patient. Currently, she is working with organizations at local, state, and national levels to address growing concerns regarding toxins in the environment and the health risks they pose to humans and animals alike.
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