H-Log 1

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

This series of blogs I have called H-Logs are inspired by the writings of Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the master and discoverer of Homeopathy.

His Organon of the Medical Art is a manuscript he wrote and perfected over six editions, the sixth and last of which was completed in 1842 but was not published until 1910, long after his death in 1843.

Reading and re-reading this precious text, as any dedicated homeopath is wont to do, I am inspired to relate some of the insights that he had into the practice of medicine. The marvel of these proclamations and observations I will leave to you, bearing in mind that his work and medicine was dismissed by the conventional medical establishment of the day as being too radical. Two hundred years later it is still dismissed by the same conventional establishment, this time for being implausible and outdated.


The first of our readings may lead you to a different conclusion regarding which system of medical thinking is the one that is truly outdated and way overdue for an overhaul.


Aphorism 104 begins

“Once the totality of the symptoms that principally determine and distinguish the disease case – in other words, the image of any kind of disease – has been exactly recorded, the most difficult work is done…….”


The following is the commentary that has been ascribed to this statement.

“In their treatments, the physicians of the old school made it extremely easy for themselves in this regard. They made no exact inquiry about all the patient’s circumstances. Indeed, the physician often interrupted patients in the account of their individual ailments in order not to be disturbed in the rapid writing up of the prescription, which was compounded of several ingredients that were unknown to the physician as to their true action. No allopathic physician, as said, insisted upon learning all the exact circumstances of a case, and still fewer of these circumstances did he ever write down. When he saw the patient again after several days, he was aware of little or nothing about the few circumstances he had heard at first since he had seen so many other, different patients since then.

He had let it all go in one ear and out the other. At subsequent visits, he only asked a few general questions, made as if he felt the pulse and looked at the tongue before writing another prescription (likewise without reason) or continuing the first, in more handsome portions several times a day, then hurried off with elegant gestures to thoughtlessly visit the fiftieth or sixtieth patient of the morning. This is how the most cogitative of all pursuits – the conscientious, careful investigation of the state of each single patient, and the special cure to be grounded thereon – was practiced by people who called themselves physicians and rational medical-art practitioners. The result was almost invariably bad, as is natural. Patients had to go to such people partly because there was nothing better and partly for the sake of etiquette and established convention.”


Given that this was written in 1842 one has to wonder or at best hope that much has changed over that time with regard to understanding the true nature of disease as it affects individuals.

A difference nowadays is that the prescriptions of pharmaceuticals are far more readily available, expensive and furthermore with ingredients almost entirely unknown by the prescriber, as to the mechanism of action or effect on the individual patient. My own observations of the differences in notes taken by homeopaths and regular practitioners is more to do with not understanding the significance of the symptoms or the disease being related and furthermore no knowledge on part of the regular practitioner of what to do about it. Homeopaths are interested and glean valuable insight from factors disregarded by conventional medical practitioners.


Hahnemann was, perhaps not surprisingly, not well liked by his colleagues of the day for his outspoken criticisms and unfortunately the effects of this disharmony has permeated into modern times with many of us facing similar conflict with our contemporary colleagues.

We could, in jest, speculate that Dr Hahnemann created a miasm of his own that has been inherited by practitioners of homeopathy over the past two hundred years. We are our contemporary colleagues ‘itch’ that will not go away and it has been hard for us to advocate for our medicine against a wave of criticism and ridicule persisting over almost two centuries.


It appears also and yet again that the principal beneficiaries of this rift are the producers of drugs, the pharmaceutical companies. They have found ideal prescribers in conventional practitioners who have become increasingly reliant on these prescriptions to do their work of healing their patients for them. Prescribers, who either don’t know or don’t want to know that they are not seeing the true nature of disease and definitely not providing cures.


Allopathic (pharmaceutical) medicines do not ever cure disease.

“You will need to be on this drug for the rest of your life” Really? I don’t think so!


Worse still is that we seem to have accepted that disease is incurable and that we must continue to prescribe pharmaceutical cocktails to enable and prolong life lived with chronic disease.

Homeopaths and animal owners who seek our services do not accept this premise.


In fact, disease is cured by the animal itself if it is properly supported to regulate the innate healing mechanisms held within. Homeopathy amongst some other excellent, simple and life affirming practices like species appropriate nutrition and rest, are primary tools for cure, if cure is possible.


The overarching problem, as I see it, is that we are still looking for a common language in which to communicate and a new school in which to learn our medical-art, as our conventional schools dig themselves deeper and deeper in to the mires of corporate greed, cleverly disguised and referred to as ‘stakeholders’.


I wonder where the term ‘stake’ here originated since we used to use them to drive out demons once upon a time.



Thirty years on

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

It is 30 years this year since the BVSc graduating class of 1987 out of Melbourne University entered the profession.

This posting is dedicated and addressed to my graduation class as we celebrate our 30th

Happy 30th Anniversary!

We are united in our history and our profession irrespective of how we choose to live or practice and I am very grateful to belong to the Melbourne Uni class of ‘87


Dear class of ‘87,

I am choosing to write you a letter, of sorts, over other ways to communicate at this time, for two reasons.

One is, that having recently lost my Mum in a car accident and me having to go through all her stuff, I found letters I had written to her back when that is what we did. It reminded me of the simple things that we would anticipate and that brought us joy. No mobile phones or internet in 1987.

The other is that you can read this or not whenever you like. You will be spared the need to pay attention in a group gathering, one for which I also apologise, that I cannot attend.

Well, we are officially dinosaurs since the BVSc course was superceded a year or two ago. We truly do belong now to a past era but we are still here and will be for some time to come I hope.

Congratulations on surviving and thriving in a rapidly changing world and a shifting professional landscape over three decades.

To start with, consultations are now being conducted online and students no longer even need to turn up to lectures to get live stream recordings from the comfort of their own bedrooms. No more dragging oneself to the 8am lecture in a trackie over the nightie.

I shall miss the reminiscences of our bygone student times, waiting for phone calls on the sea green STD phones the size of bar fridges in the foyer of Kendall Hall or waiting for mail, yes paper letters, to be delivered, if memory serves me, to our pigeon holes adjacent to the common room. And those old vinyl 70’s lounge chairs that are probably worth a bit on ebay these days. Though I really doubt that any of you will be truly reminiscing these mundane things.

Those of us with children may be relieved that we have grown them successfully this far but also lament that so much more is required of us these days with burgeoning student debt that affects the entire family. We, ourselves, were truly blessed to study at the tail end of the Whitlam legacy. I have only recently begun to truly appreciate this as I realise I would still be paying off my student debt after thirty years if we faced the same situation as our vet graduates of 2017. Sobering thought.

I will be missing your happy memories and humorous reflections of our student days and also the snippets of lives lived over many years in practice, catching up on who of us is now famous or doing ground breaking research or leading government. I have to say that we all deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back for having survived many things over thirty years. Bad things like the corporate takeover of our profession, the disavowing of our intelligence, integrity and skills as big business determines what we sell, to whom, how and when, for a vast majority of us in private practice in 2018.

I will be missing the conversations you will be having about how much harder it is these days to get paid what we are worth as veterinarians when, for many of us, it is these businesses themselves that are skimming our practice profits, creating a lot of the discontent our clients blame on us and arguably potentiating many of the chronic diseases we are battling in small animals. I encourage you to recall and reflect upon the difference between idiopathic and iatrogenic disease.

Those of us in academia or with specialist skills may be less aware of the plight of the average vet in private practice and I am sorry to miss the conversations with experienced vets such as yourselves about what we need to do to shift the focus in private practice back to valuing skills, expertise and common sense over largely unnecessary merchandising. I am embarrassed that many modern veterinary clinic waiting areas and drug storage areas look more like a products aisle at a local supermarket than a professional animal health care service.

We are an extremely fortunate group of professionals who largely have autonomy in the way we practice and I think it is up to our generation to remind our successors that being a good vet is not necessarily about just knowing the dose rates, reading the labels or believing everything we are told by those with vested interests.

How many of us, I wonder, saw the writing on the wall back in the 80’s when our small animal nutrition lectures and the bulk of our information on this subject were presented to us by a dog food company and a trip up the Hume to Uncle Bens. I see it is far worse nowadays rather than better.

I realise that to many of you this may sound like a grizzle of “back in my day” but it is a true representation, from my point of view, of the changes we have encountered over our three decades and a worrying trend for the future of veterinary medicine.

No matter how truly grateful I am to be your colleague and to have had the privilege of being a vet student at a leading university, I do believe that we are the ones who ought to be determining our future direction as veterinarians and not the companies who have decided that they own us.

This is what I do for a living. I write blogs to help people find out about stuff they may be confused about regarding animal health. I treat and cure animals largely and incidentally without prescribing any pharmaceuticals at all and I teach people how to feed their dogs and cats species appropriate diets.

You will have noticed that there are links throughout this letter blog if you are interested to know more.

I give lectures, talks and interviews, write articles for papers and magazines and manage to find time to enjoy keeping myself fit and healthy with home grown foods and home made produce.

Like many of you I have the joys and responsibilities of young adult children still at home and who require much more from me than I had ever imagined. I am still involved in vet practice. Having attained my Membership of the London Faculty of Homeopathy by examination in 2012, I continue to provide veterinary services through my private consultancy, Paws to Heal in Geelong.

Life is good. I hope you all have a very happy reunion with many happy returns of the five or so years we all spent together all that time ago.

See you for our 40th in 2027.

With love, Saranyu


Medicine, Money and the Media

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

I have come to realise that these three things are intimately connected and it is a terrible shame that we have allowed this to happen.

Once upon a time education and medicine were public services to which all people in Australia had a right of access and could trust to act in their best interests.

It alarms me to discover that a majority of funding to the media, which can by no means be termed free media, comes from large pharmaceutical companies and that these same companies sponsor chairs of medicine at many leading medical and veterinary schools across the world. Melbourne Veterinary School also has a chair of internal medicine sponsored by Hills, a leading pet food manufacturer.

Conflicts of interest must be declared in all scientific publications and applications for professional appointments and yet it seems that this is not the case when we see media reports such as the one appearing this week in the Melbourne Herald/Sun concerning the link to feeding raw chicken and the onset of neurological disease, Acute Polyradiculoneuritis(APN) in dogs.

This particular post has been prompted by this report


Join the dots and decide for yourselves what motives are likely to be influencing the decision to publish media reports like this.


There is a vicious cycle being driven by profit to ensure that no factors other than the unprofitable and increasingly popular options are targeted for blame for an alarming rise in inexplicable diseases. Moreover, our National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia, a body that ought to be acting in the best interests of science and health, has decided to not provide funding into natural medicine with no satisfactory explanation regarding the reason for this decision.


There is no big money to made in promoting real foods and natural medicines.


The benefit to the health of people and animals is not considered a good enough reason to explore these options. Practitioners who advocate for sensible health programs and raw food diets for pets are increasingly subjected to ridicule and derision.

The above report is the most recent of many such attempts to frighten pet owners about common sense feeding and vilify natural health options that are out of the control of commercial interests. Good food cannot be owned by patents and should only be profitable to the primary producers and butchers as individuals supplying a quality service.


I wonder whether the veterinarians and researchers themselves are even aware of the corporate agenda behind their work as they genuinely strive to find answers to baffling diseases. Diseases that have coincidentally arisen in direct proportion to the dramatic rise in use of unnecessary pharmaceuticals and antiparasiticides in animals over the past twenty years. Unlike chicken meat as food, these chemicals do have the capacity to produce a large range of immune mediated and neurological diseases


Dogs have been eating chickens for centuries and yet APN is a recent phenomenon.

As a scientist myself I find it difficult to accept the postulates in this paper regarding the onset of autoimmunity in APN being triggered in the manner described. I am waiting to examine the trial data from the above report to see whether the control group of dogs was also fed raw chicken since it is quite common and harmless to have elevated levels of bacteria in raw fed dogs.

It is much more likely that animals afflicted with this condition, are resulting from epigenetic factors yet to be identified.

The upside of media reports of this kind is that it raises the issue for discussion and gives us all the opportunity to have conversations about what might really be going on.

I am grateful for such opportunities as they provide a legitimate platform for presenting this information and for giving pet owners reassurance to feed their pets real foods and to encourage them, with sound scientific evidence, to stop using unnecessary chemicals.


Science in Medicine

Thursday, October 12th, 2017


Science is defined in the Oxford dictionary as the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Something that is NOT scientific therefore is the refusal to investigate and study phenomena that we don’t understand and to NOT seek to discover more about our natural world.

Sadly this is where our government and peak academic institutions in Australia are determined to lead us in current times. This has been made more apparent by the 2015 NHMRC review into homeopathy, which has been manipulated to justify blocking funding for research into these and other natural medicines.

Science has been high-jacked and not, as you may imagine, by the homeopaths, acupuncturists and those who make considered and informed choices regarding the employment of judicious vaccines (so called the anti vaxxers in a successful attempt to elicit prejudice) but by the very establishment that we ought to be able to trust to act in our best interests.

It appears that science is being redefined and limited to suit a personal, corporate or political agenda and many Australians are unaware that the fate of their medical system is in the hands of those with vested interests in keeping us in the dark.

Despite the seriousness of this situation, it is tragically hilarious that highly educated and albeit, well meaning groups of medical and biological scientists in Australia (such as Friends of Science in Medicine or FSM), can be so self congratulatory over achievements that ought to be an embarrassment to any self respecting scientist. The FSM website, for example, abounds with success stories involving shutting down schools that teach natural medicine and homeopathy (which, by the way, is one of the first truly scientific practices in medicine that was ever established), and shaming and forcing people to vaccinate their children against their will, or their own better judgement.

It appears that the FSM has been formed specifically to ridicule and eradicate systems of medicine and science that they do not care to investigate or understand. A terrible side effect of this, whether intentional or not, is to limit personal choice of healthcare and to influence, to our detriment, the type of medical research being undertaken as well as limiting the range of medicines that are made available to the public.

I don’t think it is legitimate to label or tarnish all members of an organization just by their affiliations but I see that it is also not always wise to consider somebody to be an expert by virtue of their qualifications alone. I personally know some of the members of this group and they are very good people with a high intelligence and a lot of experience to offer. Unfortunately, perhaps it is too difficult or challenging for many of these same people to admit that they do not know everything and I also suspect that they themselves may not be aware of the full workings of the FSM machine.


Science was developed specifically so that we could explore that which we do not understand.


Many people may not realise that for every highly educated and respected member of FSM there is an equal number of men and women with equally impressive credentials that have made the effort, or have been fortunate enough to develop the capacity, to see that there is evidence for many of the things to which FSM is vehemently opposed.

It appears however that the passion on both sides of this virtual barbed wire fence stems from different bases.

Personally, my objection to groups like FSM and the near violence of their assertions is on the grounds of social justice and the refusal to acknowledge freedom of choice to use medicines in a fully informed manner.

I understand that the position of some of the members of FSM is that the public is being misled by what they consider to be pseudoscience, which is a term that has been developed to label things, as yet, not understood. The degree of animosity, with which some individuals struggle to contain, however, is far greater than could be expected. It suggests a much deeper personal insult to their perception of our world and a rigidity that is causing distress to more than themselves.

We are being let down and disappointed by the very people who have spent their lives trying to make our health better. It is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a political and corporate agenda that governs the western world and it is not healthy.


The so called ‘powers that be’ have for a long time not been natural or divine.


My advice to my suffering colleagues, who are worried about the use of homeopathic medicines and feel the need to band together in groups to defend the world from the evils of nature, is to lighten up, be happy and admit that you don’t know everything.

The damage done to our own selves and others through anger and prejudice are hard to repair and the power that we give to the ego is more destructive to our health than any of the medicines we could ever use.


45 Science Is Desperately Searching …

Science is desperately searching
For the cosmic key.
Nature already has it.

Sri Chinmoy, Science and nature, Agni Press, 1996




Science has made
Many grandiose discoveries,
But it has also encaged
The heart..

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 33, Agni Press, 2003


Cure is possible

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Healing takes time.

It seems we are so used to instant results in a modern world that perhaps we forget how to assess normal clinical improvement. We are inclined to be impatient as veterinarians and animal owners alike, in a world where instant results have become the norm.

The main thing is to help the animal feel better in itself, in its energy and demeanour and then other symptoms can improve over time. This is the objective of treating animals with integrative medicine and homeopathy.

Suppressing symptoms is not curing.

When faced with a serious disease diagnosis it is understandably difficult to not panic about treatment options but time has taught me that healing takes longer than we often expect for a number of reasons, some of which I will outline.


With the over reliance on allopathic or ‘reductionist’ medicines, we have come to expect instantaneous responses and we are misled into believing that this is to be expected. It is not necessarily true when treating chronic disease properly. We can get fast responses when treating acute or sudden trauma and illness but with time and an integrative approach we can also cure chronic disease with homeopathy, targeted nutritional therapy and other non-pharmaceutical medicines.

It may surprise many veterinarians that a large number of animals walking into the consultation room on first presentation do not actually need anything more than a thorough physical examination and a gentle touch to reassure them that they are being heard and helped. Help comes in assessing the options for why the owners may worry that their animal is unwell. If an owner feels there is a problem then there always is; it is often just not as serious as we are primed to expect, except in true medical emergencies.

This does not mean that we do nothing for chronic cases but within the confines of a standard veterinary consultation, which is probably ten to fifteen minutes, there is not a lot of time to get the animal and the owner into a position conducive to gleaning any accurate information regarding the true health disturbance.

I encourage all veterinarians therefore to take more time to make animals and clients comfortable and observe all the time what the animal is doing. Make appointments longer even if that means charging more since people want value for money rather than just a list of expensive options. Animals will be trying to tell you what is wrong if you cultivate the art of listening.

You can also learn to listen through touch.


As a referral practice, many of my clients come to me dismayed by the range of expensive options outlined to them in the name of best practice. Best practice has become a bit of a threat to many of us in as much as we worry that if we do not offer imaging or pathology tests that we will be considered professionally negligent. I am not diminishing the importance of these practices in cases where there is a demonstrated need. Our job is to diagnose and treat disease and these two skills are intimately dependent upon each other when we are employing conventional medicines because a wrongly prescribed pharmaceutical can indeed be very dangerous. With the professional practice of homeopathy, where the threat of ‘wrong medicine’ no longer exists, we have a safer, effective and complete healing option at our disposal in cases where cure is possible. Holistic medicine originates from the ‘whole’ picture approach to disease and treatment options as we peel back the layers of influence that have contributed to maintaining a picture of ill health.

It is a false premise that many diseases are incurable and this seriously needs addressing so that my colleagues can regain their power as healers, strengthen their skills as physicians and feel happier about their abilities and the outcome and cost of their treatment options.

It is normal for animals changing from conventional medicines to natural medicines to experience what appears to be a worsening of disease symptoms. Misunderstanding this process accounts for a lot of the criticism directed towards the natural medicine approach.

The animal must learn how to use medicines differently and detoxify from the chemicals present in drugs. This can make them appear worse for a while and this is where the clinical skills of the veterinarian are crucial in identifying the strength and direction of the animal’s true response to therapy.

A homeopathic approach to disease treatment involves adding strength to the animal’s natural healing force and gentling or supporting them to cure. Years of vaccinations, antibiotics and chemicals need time to clear from the body.


My simple advice to my veterinary colleagues is as follows;

Vaccinate less, minimize the prescription of antimicrobials and other chemicals and recommend species appropriate raw foods that improve the gut microbiota as an essential healing tool.


Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, describes cure as “The physicians highest and only calling…” but also as the “….rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health…”


We should all continue to strive for this highest ideal in our calling as Veterinary Physicians.



Do not give up!

Do not give up —Never!

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 29, Agni Press, 2002



“Never give up”
Is the only secret
To achieve fulfilment
In life.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 38, Agni Press, 2004

Antibiotic Resistance

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

It is generally accepted that the over prescription of antibiotics is the number one cause of emerging and continuing development of antimicrobial resistance.

And it is antimicrobial resistance that is the number one health concern worldwide such is the dependency we have created.

It is easy to assume here that this means simply not prescribing antibiotics for viral or non bacterial disease and in a sense this is correct but not entirely.

The entire truth is that there are very few instances at all that antimicrobials are well indicated even when bacteria are present. We need to be clear here to differentiate between pathogenic bacteria and normal commensals but it is only when these get out of balance that true infection occurs. A good and healthy population of commensal (normal) bacteria can keep the bad ones (pathogenic) in check.

It also depends on where they are found, for example gut bacteria getting into the urinary tract are considered pathogenic but that does not mean they are necessarily dangerous.

Bacteria are omnipresent, this means that unless you live in a hermetically sealed and sterilised room that there will be bacteria everywhere. In actual fact there are more bacteria on and in our own bodies than any other cell and this is a very good thing.

The guideline must therefore be extended to include the definition of inappropriate prescription of antibiotic and I wager this encompasses more than ninety percent of antibiotics prescribed.

In my own practice I have prescribed and used antibiotics two or three times in over ten years. All of these cases did not get better with the correct antibiotic because it is not antibiotics that cure patients it is their own immune systems.


If the immune system is working properly it will do the following

  • Elevate the body’s temperature as a healing and protective response to prevent infection and to generate inflammatory mediators to assist tissue repair.
  • Encourage the animal to rest and restore by virtue of the above normal and healthy response
  • Recruit cells to heal damage to tissues and organs
  • Alert antibodies and invasion control cells to attack foreign particles
  • Restore homeostasis


If this is interfered with by the inappropriate intervention of antibiotics then these good responses are arrested and the animal has to wait longer to heal.

Many people observe that their animals feel better almost immediately that they are put on antibiotics and this leads to the false assumption that they are necessary. Antibiotics kill bacteria but as complex molecular structures they do a host of other things include disrupt inflammatory pathways. This anti-inflammatory effect is something we have come to accept as a positive side effect but in fact it prevents the body from doing its job properly and consequently weakens the immune system of the animal.

Please ask your veterinarian to explain why antibiotics are necessary in the cases you present to them and if the answer is to PREVENT infection or IN CASE there is infection please reconsider the necessity to use them. Waiting and monitoring and testing are all appropriate alternatives to giving antibiotics preventatively because it is the animals vitality and not the absence of bacteria that is crucial to cure.

All veterinarians are acting in the best interests of the animals in their care but it is also your animal. There needs to be active communication and decision making occurring if we are to continue the benefits of antibiotic usage for serious life threatening diseases, that owing to depleted immune systems these individuals will depend upon long term.


All animals have the innate capacity to heal themselves given the correct support without the aid of antibiotic therapy unless they are already too debilitated to be beyond cure, in which case they can only be palliated.


When we prescribe antibiotics to an animal we are not curing it and I bet that most of these animals will cure themselves as quickly without the antibiotic if there were more medical choices available that assisted rather than impeded healing.

A major impediment to reducing antibiotic usage is the perception that there are no alternatives.

Try homeopathy, colloidal silver and herbal medicine as well as targeted nutritional therapy as a mainstay of prime health and healing. They are timed honoured, effective and optimum ways to support animals to cure.

Puppy Farming

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

There has been a lot of discussion and publicity about puppy farms in recent years and the general consensus is that we, the Australian public, don’t like them. They are not the way we would like to see society developing. I am not sure how much the average Australian really knows about puppy farming but it is not ideal nor sufficient to leave it to the law makers to fix this problem.

The law is a blunt instrument even with the best of intentions.

It works well in black and white cases like, it is illegal to kill people or use red pen to fill out official forms but in situations where some activities are legal, like breeding dogs, it makes it extremely difficult to say someone can do it and someone else can’t.

We should be questioning whether it is ethical in a modern society to “farm” dogs and then more clearly define the distinction between ethics and the law.

The RSPCA defines a puppy farm (also known as a puppy factory or puppy mill) as ‘an intensive dog breeding facility that is operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioural, social and/or physiological needs.’

This ought to be easy enough to identify utilising an evidence based approach to animal welfare but the sheer numbers of these establishments and their covert operations make it very difficult to police from an animal welfare perspective.


The Victorian State Government, to give it credit, is attempting to tackle the problem of puppy farming but the recently released draft legislation as an amendment to the Domestic Animals Act is creating some consternation amongst many groups of people from those who like to keep entire dogs and may like to have occasional litters, to the organised large scale registered breeding establishments of which many of us may be unaware.


It is admirable that the Victorian government wants to eliminate puppy farming but the issue is how to administer and police the situation better than we are currently doing without a massive injection of resources we can’t afford. Targeting offenders without overly restricting honest stakeholders in the pet breeding and welfare industries is proving very difficult.

Out of these discussions arises the possibility that we may even want to take a look at how big these ‘good’ breeding establishments could get before they also come close to being considered ‘farms’.

I see quite a number of psychologically damaged dogs, more than I did twenty years ago, in my practice and it is often revealed that many of these dogs come from ‘puppy farm’ environents. Unfortunately there is also a stigma attached to pet shop puppies as many of them are also found to be rejects from dog breeders or, more likely, outlets for puppy farms as well.





It has become a problem to identify these animals so it is not surprising that the pet owning public are finding it hard to tell the difference but as long as we feel we are rescuing these ‘poor’ animals that tug at our hearts, then the problem will be perpetuated. Fortunately pet shops have been better regulated now for a while and there are better systems in place to do background checks on animals being supplied.

A lot of rescue dogs I work with are also ex breeding animals from these ‘next to zero human contact’ puppy farms and they take some time to rehabilitate into families and good homes if it is even possible for them.


In the attempt to legislate against puppy farming there has been some concerns generated within the industry around dog breeding and keeping. Numerous community and commercial groups as well as individual one off home breeders could easily be disadvantaged and the amendment needs a lot more consideration before it potentially harms those it is trying to protect.





In my opinion, many of these issues considered to be things to be fixed by law, are not really things we should be trying to fix by legislation at all. Mandatory vaccination in humans and compulsory desexing of pet dogs are both excellent examples of ill advised, knee jerk, concepts that could have serious and long lasting ramifications and ought not to be the subjects of legislation. Perhaps puppy farming can be addressed better and cheaper by the public’s refusal to support them.

Perhaps the best foot soldiers in this war against puppy farming then are the consumers themselves being better informed and more vigilant.

There is a lot more talk, education and information filtering through and what is required is a reporting system at all levels of merchandising; pet shops, home breeders, rescue shelters and councils so we can all do our bit to end this ‘half life’ for farmed dogs.

If, en-masse, we do not accept online sales of pets, which is where many of these animals are sold and if we do not see the parent dog or dogs and if we have any reason to think this puppy is not from an establishment that provides for the best needs of the animal, we ought to refuse to accept the animal and report to an appropriate authority to investigate breeding activities. This authority already exists under the auspices of the RSPCA Inspectorate.


Puppy farms nearly always have a suspicious thread of history when you enquire and alarm bells ought to be heeded.


If there is to be legislative change we can maximize chances of a best outcome through proper consultation with primary stakeholders and experts in this area.







In the context of this post, consultation can be defined as discussions undertaken by an authority, Vic Government in this case, that has an agenda to pass an Act or a restriction on activities in a community, with those most likely to be affected.

In my observation and past experience, consultation of this kind is usually far less than thorough with the following identifiable flaws.

*Prior knowledge of the agenda is assumed and therefore not necessarily provided to those being ‘consulted’.

*It rarely allows time for respondents to prepare adequate responses to specific and important issues contained within the agenda.

* It is used as an excuse that consultation has occurred when in many cases it occurs after the decision has been made to implement an agenda and leaves little room for change.

* Frequently described as ‘ticking the box’ to claim it was done.

Proper consultation should involve;

Proposals being clearly outlined to stakeholders prior to the preparation of policy so that all relevant issues are clearly identified and a common agenda can be formalised. Proper consultation utilizes the skills of the stakeholders to identify the necessity and help build the structure of the policy.


Policies that affect law abiding and well intentioned businesses and practices will be best formulated with input from experts in the field and it always astonishes me that they are often the last people to be approached or properly consulted.

We should be better at these things by now.

We should be making better use of all our best people.











Why do I think that
I think better,
Why do I think that
I know better,
Why do I think that
I do better
And why do I think that
I am better
In every way?

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, part 179, Agni Press, 1993


I do not want to know
The future of this earth.
I wish to see a better face
And a better heart
Of this earth.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 16, Agni Press, 1999



Monday, September 26th, 2016

Once you have been in the profession or the world for long enough you start to see recurring patterns and the opportunity arises to reflect on the outcomes of routine decisions and practices.

“It looks increasingly likely that we are making our pets less healthy by desexing them.”

Since expressing my original thoughts about desexing a few years ago more information and discussions have come to light to indicate that we really ought to reconsider this ‘routine’ surgical practice in companion animals.

Whilst my original post is still largely valid, I have been wondering about the validity of claims regarding health issues arising from the deprivation of sex hormones, some of which we already know to be true. We have known forever, for example, that female canine urinary incontinence can be directly linked to oestrogen deprivation from ovariectomy (removal of ovaries).


Whilst it seems that the inconvenience and risks of incontinence is generally considered to be a price worth paying to prevent oestrus behaviour, it stands to reason that other, lesser obvious side effects may also be occuring. Some of us are old enough to remember that veterinarians used to reimplant ovaries or remnants of them subcutaneously after surgically removing them during the spey procedure. This was so that the oestrogen could still be available to the dog’s brain and so that urinary incontinence was less likely to ensue.

Rather than leave ovaries insitu, which is how the Americans and Europeans are now proceeding, it was considered better to establish a new blood supply so that hepatic conjugation could render the ovary less likely to induce symptoms of ‘heat’ whilst still providing the required amount of oestrogen for other bodily functions. Perhaps we should reinstate this practice or at least look at why it was stopped. It seems there are good reasons for keeping ovaries that outweigh the possible disadvantages.

It is worth considering that perhaps many of the prevalent diseases we struggle with in our canine patients may indeed be related to desexing or oestrogen deprivation (males have oestrogen as well).

It is good to see many of my veterinary colleagues writing blogs about this important issue and as a profession we may need to think more widely about options as we move towards integrative medicine.

The health implications of desexing are explored more fully in Dr Karen Becker’s expository You Tube.








Traditional (gonadectomy), spaying and neutering not only potentially shortens the lifespan but also has been correlated with various illnesses.  Obesity (sometimes not even responsive to extreme calorie restriction), osteoarthritis, Anterior Cruciate Rupture, diabetes, hypothyroidism, prostatic cancer, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, juvenile vulva are just a few conditions that are overly represented in spayed and neutered pets.

Research in the human field has indicated that oestrogen deprivation contributes to cognitive dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and lowered immunity to infections.

“I can pretty much bet that any female veterinarian over age fifty has at least wondered about the real side effects of ovariohysterectomy in animals”

Whilst there are many opinions and divergent ‘facts’ being presented about longevity and side effects, by far the most sensible reason for desexing is prevention of unwanted litters. It is really up to each individual to assess all the other information at hand and make sense of the data that will vary in quality and accuracy with small sample sizes and a huge range of variables. For owners in Victoria, Australia looking for the modified ovary sparing spey and neuter surgical options I am pleased to see that some of my integrative veterinary colleagues are providing these services in light of these more recent findings.

Desexing stops unwanted litters and surgical sterilisation became common practice in Western countries for good reason in animal welfare shelters like RSPCA and the like, in an attempt to curb the rise in unwanted animals and indiscriminate breeding of cats and dogs.

The unfortunate reality is that desexing has not appeared to have made a significant impact on this terrible situation but on the contrary, the culture of routine desexing has perhaps damaged the long term health of many pets.


RSPCA statistics that are readily available show that despite rigorous early and
compulsory desexing programs that over a fifteen year period the total numbers of dogs and cats presenting to them has only reduced by a fraction over 1% (down from 117,690 in 2000 to 99,400 in 2015). This could be considered a failed experiment in reducing unwanted pets and other factors beyond the scope of this discussion, need to be more vigorously pursued than the culture of compulsory desexing.

“Most of these unwanted and surrendered animals do not arise from the breeding of loved family pets and ‘responsible’ pet owners.”

I object to the proposal of the South Australian government therefore to make it compulsory for owned pets to be desexed for a number of reasons most of which are outlined in this post. Most municipalities of Australia in fact, are adopting similar hardline and poorly informed regulations that warrant scrutiny and challenging, since clearly it is only disadvantaging the public already doing the right things by their animals. If we look more closely at the data we will see that the main reason (over 70%) for surrendering an animal is for inappropriate behaviour. I postulate that these problems could also arise in part from cognitive changes and increased anxiety after desexing and hormone deprivation amongst other things that require more detailed analysis. The brain is the largest sex organ and the gonads are important helpers and players in maintaining a wide range interactions that we are still discovering or rediscovering.


It may be correct that statistics show that dogs have longer lives from desexing, probably only because they don’t get run over on the roads so much these days on their way to biologically driven trysts.

Good fences and good training make good pets and it is wrong to judge people who  choose to leave their pets entire as not being responsible pet owners when most of them will be making informed choices.



7312. I Have The Right

I may not have the right
To think for you,
But I do have the right
To think of you.

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 74, Agni Press, 1983


You have the right to correct the world constantly.

Sri Chinmoy, You, Agni Press, 1973

3567. A right question

If you have a wrong question,
How can you expect a right answer?
If you have a right question,
Then rest assured, the correct answer
Will immediately follow it.

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 36, Agni Press, 1982


Chemical Warfare; is it fair?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Most of us have been engaged in chemical warfare in our homes for many years without really thinking too much about it.

Apart from environmental toxins that we do not actively choose to expose ourselves to, as highlighted in a recent New York Times article implicating flame retardants with hyperthyroidism in cats, there are many other examples that we do have a choice about.

We owe it to ourselves and to our pets to make better decisions about the products we use on them and in our home environment. We have to stop using our pets and our gardens as pest control and toxic waste dumps.

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“Our reluctance or refusal to acknowledge that all the chemicals we use in or on our pets every month for the inconvenience of fleas, the minor risk of heartworm or the near to zero risk of many parasites is directly damaging the ecological balance of soil and water systems and consequently our health and the health of our planet.”

Soil and water grow our food and our food determines our health but we still pile on the chemical assault in the name of ‘best practice’.


Slowly messages are filtering into our lives. I am relieved that we finally understand how dangerous glyphosate (the purportedly ‘non-toxic’ Roundup poured onto our earth in gallons for years) has been shown to be to our health through damage to our intestinal floral balance. Glyphosate causes serious chronic disease.

Many, many people have been made sick to bring us this ‘news’.


We have been aware for a very long time that the run off from superphosphate fertilised pastures has contributed to toxic algal blooms in waterways, depleting oxygen and nutrients to aquatic life.

It appears through my own research that we also know that the faecal excretion of ivermectins (antiparasiticides) given to horses, cattle, sheep, dogs will be active in the soil for weeks to months killing soil inhabitants. Apart from the widespread use of these chemicals in agricultural practice, large numbers of dogs receive these chemicals every month in the guise of “all in one” heartworm and parasite control.

Invermectins kill soil organisms and insects essential to a healthy ecological and environmental balance. Even when we pick up after our dogs, the faecal material still ends up back in the soil or water along with the active chemical cocktails it contains.


Our war on these ‘lesser’ lifeforms with whom we share our planet is contributing to us killing ourselves through our failure to see that we are all part of the same universal system each with a specific role to play. We cannot survive without the organisms we have been killing because there is an ecological balance that is designed for the greater common good. Until we reclaim this harmony we cannot expect the “One Health” initiative to ever hold traction. One Health surely must look at the health of the Earth as supporter of all life.

Rachael Carson warned us over fifty years ago in Silent Spring that we were doing this but powerful companies that have invested millions of dollars in research to find better poisons keep pushing their agenda towards profits and stopping those in opposition from being heard. They profit in the short term by keeping us all sick and selling us medicines but in the long term we all go down together. The insidious rise in chronic diseases result in elevated stress and anxiety disorders with the poorer nutritional values of foods, silently but surely weakening us further.

“The current war on disease that has driven us to a state of near frenzy is none other than the ghosts of our own deeds past, returning to plague us for our misguided failure to act wisely and sooner.”

There are no ‘new’ diseases, just the same forces trying to restore balance in a counter attack. These forces will keep knocking at our door until we either, listen and change our approach, or we become so damaged by weakened immune systems that we have an intractable dependence on drugs and diseases with even greater resistance to them. By the way, vaccination is not the answer.

Contrary to wide held popular belief, vaccinations generally weaken and confuse the immune system. There is no vaccination against ignorance.images-5

It is easy to believe that we have already gone past the point of no-return in saving the health of our planet but fortunately individuals do make a difference.


Progress may seem slow but it is surely happening through the Herculean efforts of people such as MADGE, GeneEthics , and a host of organic and biodynamic farmers and organisations who have found strength in numbers to fight against multinational corporations who believe that they own our food and our health.

“Unfortunately, most of my veterinary colleagues and other medical practitioners are still largely unaware of their own power to change this paradigm as the corporate approach forms the basis of our training and is delivered in the name of science.”

Thankfully there are those amongst us who continually strive in peaceful ways to reinstate good principles of health and nutrition. Moreover, home gardens and sustainable communities are making a comeback in a peaceful rebellion against adulterated food supplies and poor decisions to implement failed and harmful farming technology. In the pet world, people are vaccinating their pets only as needed which is usually only once in their lifetime and choosing to use natural parasite control largely through sensible dietary means.

We must find time to think seriously about what is important and what we are doing. Education and information dissemination and the persistence of individuals who strive to practice medicine from integrative or holistic perspectives are bringing us closer to balance and harmony with our environment.

The ultimate force that keeps us moving forward is nothing other than hope.

We must find gratitude that despite the problems we have brought down on ourselves that there is hope that we will wake up and start very soon to be better citizens of the world.


Every morning
I love to watch the dawn
Of my heart’s hopeful smiles.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 112, Agni Press, 1987

If you have
A beautiful hope,
Make it sleepless.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 3, Agni Press, 1998

Be brave!
You must fearlessly face
All the problems
That are attacking you.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 47, Agni Press, 2007


A New World of Peace

Monday, March 7th, 2016

This is an announcement that Dr Pearson will be unavailable for consultations between April 3 and June 15 this year (2016) and Paws to Heal will be closed during this period.

We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause and recommend that you visit your local veterinary clinic for any problems that may arise over this time.

Geelong Animal Emergency Clinic is recommended for out of hours attention.

Dr Pearson will be joining the North American Peace Run Team  and will be running in a relay with fifteen other peace runners from New York to San Francisco on the first half of the US Peace Run 2016.

For those interested in learning more about the SriChinmoy Oneness Home Peace Run, please read on.

Otherwise Dr Pearson will see you later in the year and would like to thank you all for your continuing patronage and friendship.


The Sri Chinmoy Oneness Home Peace Run is history’s largest and longest running torch relay, having visited over 140 nations since its inception in 1987. It is non-political, non-religious and non-commercial. A relay team carries a peace torch from town to town, visiting schools and community groups along the way.

The core message of the Peace Run is that peace begins inside the heart of each individual. The burning flame symbolizes the flame of aspiration that we all carry inside our hearts. It also, of course, is a major source of immense excitement for the children.1447-28.jpg.450x0_q85


The run was inaugurated by world peace visionary Sri Chinmoy in 1987 as a grassroots volunteer initiative whereby those being inspired by the message of peace and wishing to be involved, take leave from their family commitments and workplaces to immerse themselves in an unforgettable adventure for however many weeks possible.

This year I have the privilege of being invited to participate in the US run and can think of no better way to see and experience a country than on foot, step by step. This will be the longest run I have done to date, taking only one to two weeks a year most other years and am eagerly anticipating the next few months.

I am often asked why I do this event. This you tube alone is all the answer I ever really need.  Be sure to watch it full screen and full volume.

The following photographs also speak for themselves.










As a team we visit schools and communities throughout the run and conduct simple presentations to the children and public in a mutual sharing of enthusiasm and inspiration for a more peaceful world. The children often spend a lot of time and effort leading up to the visit making drawings and composing poems to present to the runners.

We sing songs (the Peace Run Song) about peace and about the Run. We show the children how to access their own inner peace using a simple exercise that they can practice anywhere and anytime.











In recent times amidst global turmoil and an escalating refugee crisis it is very easy to forget that peace begins with individuals and equally difficult to muster the patience and kindness necessary to bring this about. In our daily duties and difficulties it is often hard to find time for peace in our own lives and the Peace Run provides a perfect opportunity for people to hold the torch and connect with thousands of others around the world for a brief but significant moment with a common purpose. The Run tries to visit as many countries as possible so that the message is universal.

Sri Chinmoy tells us that when we are following the spiritual life, we have to know that our real freedom is in identifying ourselves with the rest of the world, with humanity at large.

The Peace Run is an immersion into an ideal world for a brief period where happiness, joy and peace can be felt and shared in a microcosm of perfection that the Run carries from town to town. It is a self energizing event as the runners receive inspiration from people from all walks of life that we meet along the way.

I look forward to my time on the Peace Run because it reminds me that there is hope and the possibility of a better world through heart power. This power keeps the Run on the road and keeps us all alive.

You can follow the Run on a daily basis at this link.

Peace Does Not Mean the Absence of War
October 26th, 1987

Peace does not mean the absence of war.
Peace means the presence of harmony,
Love, oneness and satisfaction.
Peace means a flood of love
In the world-family.