Saturday, March 17, 2012

Toxins? What Toxins? Jasmine's Fur Analysis

Toxins. Fascinating topic. On one hand we have holistic vets talking about the toxic load our dogs have to bear, and on the other hand we have those who keep saying that there is no evidence of such things.

In the earlier article we took a look at the results of a study examining some of the toxic chemicals in the environment and their effects on the health of our dogs.

Clearly there is evidence, one just needs to look for it!

A failure to observe and document something does not negate its existence.

My dog nutrition course instructor, Dr. Ava Frick, DVM, utilizes fur analysis to assess dog's metabolic rate, energy levels, sugar and carbohydrate tolerance, stage of stress, immune system and glandular activity.

Hair tissue mineral analysis is used for biological monitoring of trace elements and toxic metals.


We decided to get fur analysis done for Jasmine, hoping to gain new insights that could explain some of her lingering mysterious issues. It is totally non-invasive, so there is no downside, except, of course, the cost. But if we could get to the bottom of Jasmine's elusive episodes, it would be well worth it.

What I found particularly disturbing are the toxic metals that were found.

I really hoped that we would have been doing much better on that front.

What seems particularly shocking, are the high levels of aluminum.

Aluminum can come from aluminum cans and cookware, aluminum-containing antacids, anti-perspirants, baking powders, drying agents, processed cheese, bleached flour and drinking water.

Except for the water, Jasmine is exposed to none of those. We filter the water we give them to drink and cook with. I guess the filter is not good enough and we need to look into reversed osmosis instead, and see what that will do.

Interestingly, all example fur analysis I saw are showing extremely high aluminum levels. There was not a single one that wasn't showing this.

The nutrient mineral analysis is also thought provoking. Most of her values are just about where they should be. Sodium is elevated, which points to presence of inflammation. This agrees with the blood panel and urinalysis findings.

Potassium levels, however are showing extremely low, which is interesting because the blood panel is not showing a problem with this mineral. Low magnesium does, however reflect the blood levels, which were at the low end of normal. Manganese is not tested for on the blood panel, I wonder why.


Based on Jasmine's fur and saliva analysis, we received following interpretation and recommendations.

Jasmine's thyroid and adrenal glands are not keeping up with the body demands. 

With Jasmine's thyroid hormone supplementation, the theory is that the adrenals are unable to keep up with those levels.

This is interesting in the light of Jasmine's medical history. She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in the process of trying to find the cause of her episodes that were getting quite bad at that time.

After starting thyroid hormone supplementation, the episodes went away for about half a year. We all thought that the problem was solved. But then the episodes returned. There also seems to be a cumulative nature to them.

Perhaps the thyroid and adrenals need to work in some kind of sync? 

If that is true, then, theoretically, the very low thyroid hormone levels were messing with the balance. As the treatment was started, things temporarily leveled out, but later the thyroid hormone levels got ahead too far for the adrenals to keep up. Which would have brought back the episodes.

It is an unorthodox theory but it could explain things.

The recommendation is to start suggested supplements and then slowly lower the thyroid medication. Interestingly, Jasmine's TCVM vet also felt that she would do better on a lower dose.

We will, of course, do this with extreme caution, testing the levels along the way.

Biological reason for the high aluminum levels are the elevated sodium and the below optimal function of the adrenals.

Many organs are not running at optimal frequency. 

Not really to the point of disease, but some may be overworking and others not doing what the body needs them to do. This agrees with the TCVM findings.

The results are showing evidence that Jasmine is positive for bacteria of some kind. 

This worries me, after her fall tick encounter. It was a deer tick. We had it tested and it [the tick] was positive for Lyme. (I will write about all that soon) Jasmine's blood tested negative when we ran the test, but that might have changed.

The lab is having a spring special on blood test bundles (yay!), so we'll be testing for Lyme, Erlichia, Heartworm, and run complete blood cell count, blood chemistry and thyroid.

Good news is that Jasmine's present diet requires only minor adjustments.

Here are the supplements indicated by the results of her fur analysis.

PRODUCT PURPOSE
SP Canine Whole Body Support Everything
SP Chezyn Zinc and minerals for helping sodium level and organ function
SP CalSol Calcium
SP Lactic Acid Yeast Digestion, gut pH and function
EndoMet Endo-Dren Endocrine organs, adrenals especially
Pro-Inflazyme Joint inflammation and pain

Jasmine's main vet is being great. 

He reviewed all the findings and recommendations. This stuff is fairly foreign to him but he is open to it. Just because some of the concepts are different, doesn't make them wrong. Once I get all the recommended supplements we will give this a go and see where it takes us.

Hopefully some place awesome.
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9 comments

  1. Wow this was really informational and I am glad you have a vet that is willing to explore other options.

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    1. Hi Jo, it's an interesting stuff, isn't it? Our vet is awesome. We found him when we were pursuing stem cell treatment. We just love him. He is smart, experienced, but open to knew and different things.

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  2. Wow, this is very interesting! I always wonder what my cats are absorbing when they lick my armpits, which they like to do...

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  3. Wow, that's kinda scary when you think of all the steps you're taking and I'm not doing filtered water at all.

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    1. Yes, pretty scary. Now, we don't have any evidence that it's coming from the water yet. Apparently it could come even from some foods. So we are investigating where it's coming from so we can eliminate it.

      Could kind of explain, though, that given a chance Jasmine will always rather go for puddle water.

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  4. I read an incredibly interesting article once about the aluminum content in cereal grain (particularly barley. I can't find it for the life of me now, but it seemed to me that feeding cereal grains as the base of the canine diet did put them at risk for heavy metals. Not that it has any bearng n Jasmine, but something I found very interesting and that pushed me to a grain free diet.

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    1. Yes, it is also mentioned in The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and you might be able to find it under Dr. Dodds' articles.

      Not sure whether it's the way the grains are grown or an inherent problem.

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  5. I just stumbled upon your page and saw that Jasmine had a fur analysis and was put on a supplement regimen from Standard Process. I, too, am taking Ava Fricke's canine course and was just about to have my dog tested as well as put her on the whole body support for chronic allergies. How is Jasmine doing? Did she respond favorably to the supplement regimen?

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    1. Hi Kim, nice too meet you; would love to connect with you.

      With Jasmine it's a complicated situation, since she's had so many things wrong with her over the years. With her, there always "has to be" something wrong. The question is, what would things be like, or would she still be alive, weren't we doing all the things we're doing.

      Between each of the disasters, she's doing quite awesome. But there always have to be some disasters. So I don't think Jasmine is a good example to judge whether something works or not (also many things in the pot in trying to keep her body functional, everything from nutrition, supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic ...)

      That said, I'd definitely get the analysis done.

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