ENCHEPHALITIS in DOGS – Meningitis - Spinal or Brain Inflammation - Brain Tumor Cancer
--ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT --
Natural and Nutritional Approaches
Intro: I am going to make this short. (EDIT- This is turning out to be long.) I am not going to argue with people about the treatments they use. I just want to share my success using natural nutritional methods for Encephalitis. Hopefully, this information will help some dog owners. Encephalitis / Meningitis or Brain Cancer is scary for a dog owner. It is rough on the dog. The symptoms are so off-the-wall and dramatic that it becomes difficult to describe how bad they are. Anyone who has ever gone through this with their dog grasps how indescribable and seemingly hopeless the situation can be.
Watch some YouTube Videos on this to get an idea of how dramatic the symptoms are…
Be sure to read information found around the web about Encephalitis and Meningitis.
Perhaps, this write-up will save some dogs and their owners a lot of grief. I almost did not write this up, but I would want someone to share these things. So, I am sharing this.
(By the way, I know a lot about Biological Chemistry and Toxicology and Nutrition and Supplements as my degree is along these lines.)
My wife and I have a Maltese and two Shih Tzu’s.
One Shih Tzu, Lacie, is a puppy about 2 years old. 17 pounds. Recently, she got Encephalitis or a form of Meningitis (or a brain tumor).
Encephalitis. There is a lot of information about what this is on the internet. The symptoms are just like you read around the web. It started slowly with some odd behavioral characteristics, such as walking with the tail and head down and a less lively, excited attitude. As time progressed, symptoms accelerated very rapidly with all kinds of worrisome features: head twisted to the side, non-stop walking often circles or figure eights, panting, loss of muscle coordination especially with legs, a type of blindness, strange behaviors such as walking up to the wall or a corner, etc. Even eating was a problem, because of the inclination to crook the head to the right and trying to grab food. The behavior and physical distortions were sudden and alarming. Within a 36 hour period, we took her to three vets. She had several tests done at these Vets. Lacie had not slept and in fact would continuously walk, even in her small kennel bed…in circles, often panting frantically. (Just so you know, sleep deprivation will kill a human in 7 days or less.)
Lacie had been prescribed two strong antibiotics, an opoid for pain, and prednisone (steroid). Her hyper-panting and “franticness” and non-stop pacing for 36 hours became terrifying for her and us. We became frustrated at the Pet Emergency Room, because they would not give Lacie something to help her sleep. We left, and my wife gave her valium (5 mg) for this 17 pound dog. That is quite a dosage, but we knew that Lacie would die of stress/exhaustion/no rest if we did not do something fast.
My wife gave me the go ahead to do my natural stuff.
I did. The success was dramatic and rapid.
We decided not to do the major Encephalitis tests, the MRI, a spinal tap, or possible treatments such as chemo. One reason is the expense. Another reason is that the chemo and the risks might lower the quality of life for Lacie, or make death a terrifying experience. A further reason is that on most forums, dogs with encephalitis go through hell with the conventional medical route.
One Vet had a good perspective: Let’s try the antibiotics and steroid. See if that helps.
My wife and I cut out the steroid (see below), but continued to give the antibiotics until we were out.
NATURAL AND NUTRITIONAL APPROACH
It is difficult to list all the supplements I used and am currently using (and why). The “why” is important.
You are going to have to do your own thorough research, gaining an understanding of what and why and the mechanisms involved. Use your higher order thinking skills. Use thorough inspection and caring attentiveness with recognition, understanding relative importances. Don’t parrot me or some “authority”, nor be a puppet to a fad or a stifled conventional idea. Become your own expert.
I approached this Encephalitis / Meningitis (or a possible brain tumor) from many different angles using natural nutritional methods.
When you explore the literature about Meningitis, you will see many different types and possibilities. One possible cause could be from mycotoxins. These toxins produced from mold can cause health issues for dogs or people. Grains are sometimes a source. So, I threw out the organic dry dog food just in case. I stayed with a good canned version of dog food, while also using grass fed hamburger and organic chicken.
Within two days of natural remedies, Lacie returned to a “close to normal” state, even some spark and play coming back.
~~~~ INFLAMATION ~~~~
Just so you know, in the medical journals there is a theory that most diseases are a result of inflammation. Regardless, whether or not this theory is the case, inflammation plays a strong role in most diseases. While it is part of the normal body process of repair, at certain steps (and there are “steps of sequence”) inflammation possibly can hinder health.
If you are serious about utilizing natural methods for addressing inflammation, you need to search the internet so you are in-tune to the mechanisms involved.
Prednisone – This is a corticosteroid, but a pharmaceutical version that may not entirely represent the body’s natural corticosteroid. It brings down inflammation. But it has tough side effects, a long list. There are many different side effects which can happen (both short term and long term), but for our puppy it caused a sensation of “hard to breathe” and thus non-stop panting and its subsequent “franticness”. Not every pet or human is going to experience the same side effects. However, one common side effect of long term use for both humans and animals is that it weakens the immune system and can mess up other body processes such as the adrenal glands (e.g. cushings disease).
[ It might be wise for you to research how corticosteroids naturally play a part in the body. Too much or too little causes a mess. ]
So, the “panting” side effect was one reason to stop the Prednisone. Another reason is because Prednisone weakens the immune system. If the Encephalitis was caused by a virus or bacteria or fungi or parasite, then the lower immune system would be self-defeating in order to combat these foreign invaders.
Prednisone has its place. It brings down inflammation.
However, many other things can bring down inflammation. (There are a variety of internal body chemicals which cause inflammation. Thus, different supplements can address these different aspects of “cause” of inflammation in regards to these body chemicals.)
So, inflammation is what I first addressed. I will list things which I used (and am using). It is up to you to do your homework on these and why they work. Some of these can probably remedy allergies, asthma, and a host of other ailments for humans (if overall nutrition is much, much more than “adequate beyond the norm”).
-- Quercitin and Bromelain (high gdu) and Turmeric (curcumin) mixed. [This mix is important to take on a relatively empty stomach with just a tad bit of food. ] See “fibrin” below.
-- There is a product called “Zyflamend” which has great components, but I am not keen on the Big Corporation who bought out the original makers of Zyflamend. Its components can not only bring down inflammation, but they can help the immune system and even fight against cancers.
-- Boswelia (Frankincense resin)
-- Fish Oil (a high quality fish oil)
-- Some of the supplements which I utilized for other purposes also can help with inflammation ( e.g. melatonin ).
-- On the web, there will be many supplements mentioned for inflammation, but be a bit cautious with some of these which might not set right with dogs (e.g. some types of berries extracts or grape seed extract or resveratrol).
I should say this. Some supplements have an alcohol sugar called xylitol in them. It is fine for humans and can have health benefits, but not for dogs. Dogs react badly to alcohol sugars. You can read about it in the “info” section of a non-profit website called “Dogs Against Fluoridation” .
So, watch out for some additives to the “taste good” type supplements.
Because my wife and I weren’t quite sure what was causing the Encephalitis, I quickly gave doses of certain supplements to address some of the possible unknowns, such as cancer or a virus.
~~~~ CANCER (brain) ~~~~
Vitamin D -- I hit Lacie with a large dosage of Vitamin D (5,000 IU). This is the amount an adult might utilize in a day. Every so often, I give her more Vitamin D. Vit D has many health benefits, especially for the immune system and it definitely helps against brain cancer according to scientific studies. [Sidenote on Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol. The body’s hormones start in their manufacture from cholesterol. For Vitamin D3, a form of the cholesterol lies in the oils part of the skin. When the sunshine hits it, it changes into cholecalciferol. With humans this will absorb down into the body within a few days. For many animals, they lick their fur to obtain the Vitamin D3. Of course winter and northern latitudes make it difficult to obtain sufficient Vitamin D3, especially if one is spending a lot of time indoors. ]
Quercitin and Curcumin -- These help against brain tumors. (See above on inflammation)
Vitamin E – This not only helps against brain cancer, but is an excellent overall, oil-based antioxidant.
Melatonin – (the sleep hormone derived from serotonin) – This has been shown to cause regression in brain cancers for humans in at least one scientific study (where large doses of 200 mg per day were given).
More on Melatonin…
Earlier you read about the non-stop pacing and being awake for 36 hours. The day following my wife giving Lacie valium, with Lacie still unsettlingly panicky and pacing in figure eights with her body all distorted, I gave two doses of 5 mg of melatonin; one in the afternoon, one in the evening. She slept like a puppy and woke “refreshed” and in a mild state. These are heavy doses even for adults. Since it is a hormone, on younger people and dogs it probably is not wise to take on a routine basis, because the body will stop producing it naturally. Older people have less liability, because they make fewer hormones. I do not want to upset the natural body routine of the production of hormone. However, there are many therapeutic aspects to melatonin.
For example: Melatonin can help protect against brain damage from Encephalitis / Meningitis.
The pineal gland is the main trigger for melatonin manufacture, but it often needs some sunlight as a prompt. Fluoride can build up in the pineal gland because of its calcium content, thus causing a mess of things as far as the body’s natural processes. [Fluoride is not a natural nutrient for the body’s metabolic processes.] The pineal helps to govern other glands in the body. Previous to the pineal gland are other glands / parts of the brain which help to prompt the pineal gland. The website “Dogs Against Fluoridation” has some information on Fluoride and how it can harm your pet.
Cat’s Claw – This herb might help against brain cancer. It serves the dual purpose as part of her regimen to help with memory and mental faculties.
Mushrooms - There are all kinds of great mushrooms which can help with cancer and the immune system. Information is easy to find on the internet. I am even using a mushroom, Lion’s Mane, to help rebuild dendrite activity (see below on “mental faculties”).
Epicor and AHCC – anti-cancer stuff
Inositol and IP6 – This is often used against cancer. However, the inositol has another advantage. Classified often as a B vitamin, it can help “pump” brain chemicals past the blood brain barrier. (In fact, it is sometimes used to cut cocaine because of this aspect.) I do not want Lacie to have permanent brain damage. In the beginning days, my wife and I thought for sure that Lacie would have permanent nerve and mental damage. Read further down for some of the things that I did (am doing) to help make sure that no permanent brain damage occurs.
~~~~ VIRUSES ~~~~
Conventional Medicine has very little to offer in the fight against a virus. Antibiotics are only good against bacteria and some parasites, but not viruses.
Elderberry. This is the one supplement which I am unsure of as far as “dog tolerance”. But I gave it to Lacie at the “get go”. Elderberry can stop the replication of viruses.
Lysine. I started giving Lacie about 3 grams a day of the amino acid Lysine (L-Lysine). (One gram equates to 1,000 mg.) Lysine can help a healthy, nutritionally stable body defend against about 50% of the viruses, such as the herpes type or viruses with that kind of structure. Many people have success with this amino acid against herpes and shingles.
A healthy immune system often can handle some viruses, but there are many herbs and supplements that can be used as time goes on. Many of the supplements I am giving Lacie help to fend off viruses. Example: Olive Leaf extract, which I give Lacie on occasion, also is useful for Meningitis.
I plan to occasionally add different herbs and “adaptogenic herbs” in Lacie’s diet as time goes on, while giving her a rest from some of the other supplements she is getting now.
Vitamin A and Carotenoids - I gave Lacie a good dose on day one. Then I follow with some on occasions. This is very important for the eyes and for the immune system. (Remember, she was partially blind, walking into walls.)
~~~~ GENERAL NUTRIENTS ~~~~
B-Complex – The B’s are very important, because the body depends upon them to make thousands of chemicals. Be sure to get a good quality B-complex which has as many forms of the B’s and in their proper form. Examples – B-12 in the methylcobalamin form and also the methyl folate (not folic acid). There are different forms of B-3 and you want both. Same with B-5 and B-6.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin – I give these to Lacie on occasion to ensure that she does not have permanent eye damage.
Vit. C on occasion
Nutritional Yeast - This is a real winner! Not only does it contain all kinds of nutrients, but dogs love it! It is “spicy”!
Magnesium - I use the powdered form which you put in hot water, because it absorbs much better than a pill. The powder is magnesium carbonate with citric acid. A chemical reaction occurs with the hot water leaving magnesium ions (atoms), which go straight to the system. I mix up a small amount and put it in the water bowl. There are different brands. I must stress that this is a very important mineral.
This mineral is so important, that I can't cover all the benefits. Magnesium is more important than calcium, and a person or dog needs more magnesium than calcium. Magnesium regulates calcium levels and other mineral levels. It regulates Vit. D. You cannot overdose on magnesium...if you take too much the body expels it (you get diarrhea and hospitals use magnesium to "clean" out a person). A person or dog can overdose on calcium, because the body cannot easily dispose of extra quantities and so it ends up in kidney stones or arteries or wherever. Magnesium is needed to make all the hormones.
Magnesium and calcium "balance" in the body. They are messengers to the cells in the muscles and nerves. Literally, magnesium ions (atoms) will go into a muscle cell and expel the calcium ion, which causes the muscle to relax. How a person contracts or tightens a muscle is that calcium ions go into the cell, pushing out the magnesium.
It is a primary nutrient for the nervous system, of which the brain is a part.
Magnesium helps to detoxify the body and helps to prevent harmful substances from being absorbed.
For people, this is the first thing to go for if...
...there is a leg cramp, a backache, a pulled muscle, or any kind of muscle or nerve issue.
...there is high blood pressure
...there is PMS or menopause
...there is dementia
...there is a sleep problem
...there is anxiety or nervousness
...there is constipation (just take a lot)
Magnesium calms the nerves and relaxes the muscles.
Pills don't absorb that well for calcium and magnesium.
Calcium – I often use a powdered form that takes hot water to activate, then put it in the water bowl.
Selenium – This is another mineral which I give Lacie on occasion.
Trace Minerals – I add these to the water bowl.
Grapefruit Seed Extract – (This is GRAPEFRUIT, not “grape”) – I started putting a few drops in the water bowl on day one for several reasons. Our other two dogs drink out of the bowl, and I did not want them to catch a virus or microbe from Lacie. Grapefruit Seed Extract is excellent for killing parasites and microbes. In fact, if I ever get salmonella or Montezuma’s Revenge, I just take this… and within 8 hours everything is fine.
Chondroitin and Glucosamine and MSM, Collagen, Egg Shell Membrane –
These help rebuild tissues.
I should mention that part of the inflammation process is the build-up of “fibrin”. Fibrin can act like a “sealant” which could cause swelling because fluids and gases don’t escape. Think of a balloon as you blow it up…it swells. The bromelain mentioned above in inflammation helps to break down the fibrin and poorly formed collagen. Bromelain has many therapeutic aspects in itself. One example is that it helps to compromise the protective layers of microbes and viruses, making them more prone to being attacked by the body’s immune system.
I want to provide Lacie with the nutrients which help to rebuild tissues.
Super Greens - There are many mixes out there with a variety of grass sprouts and other nutrients such as spirulina and seaweed. I use one that lists the exact quantity of each nutrient because I know that this is a high quality product (rather than a super green product with just a list of contained substances). The one I use also contains a decent amount of probiotics and probiotic strains, which is important because of the antibiotics.
Other probiotics -- I give other probiotics on occasion in order to re-introduce different strains.
Chlorella – This can help on a variety of fronts.
Cilantro and Parsley -- I put a bunch of these two in a blender with some water, while adding some Nutritional Yeast for flavor. After it becomes a liquid mash, I screen/push out the water using a tea strainer. All three dogs love it, but I do mix it with their food.
I better explain “why”. Parsley is great for the kidneys and helps to eliminate toxins and waste products, while yet providing some excellent nutrients. Cilantro is known for “grabbing” certain toxins, especially heavy metals or aluminum.
In fact, one of the more fascinating scientific studies I have ever read talks about cilantro. Short Story: People came in with a STD (sexually transmitted disease), chlamydia. They were given antibiotics. Soon, they were pronounced STD free. A few patients came back in later and said: “Doc, I haven’t been messing around, but I got the STD again.” A clever scientist realized that the microbe was “hiding” in areas of the body, protected from the immune system by small amounts of heavy metals. The patients were given cilantro, and the STD was resolved.
Occasionally, I will add chia seed or ground flax seed to the diet.
Amino Acids –
Occasionally, I supplement these other amino acids: Glutamine, glycine, taurine, NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine). Three of these help the body to make the amino acid glutathione. It is well worth your time to research these amino acids. Each has some unique characteristics. For example: Glutamine is a top priority amino acid in helping the body to repair or to rebuild tissue. It is also the precursor for GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid), which is a neurotransmitter. GABA helps to promote a “normal calm” along with helping in better “focus”.
Homeopathic Remedies -- These work on a different principle entirely than the nutritional or herbal approach. Occasionally, I will use different homeopathic remedies on Lacie. There is no real liability to this approach.
On occasions, before and after this crisis, I give all the dogs anti-parasitic supplements. Examples: Black Walnut Tincture, Wormwood, Cloves (and/or clove oil) – Grapefruit Seed Extract – Zeolite, d.e. (diatomaceous earth). Zeolite can have anti-cancer benefits.
Just so you know, I do not do all of these supplements all the time.
And, there are other supplements which I use on occasion that are not mentioned.
~~~~ MENTAL FACULTIES and NERVOUS SYSTEM ~~~~
Above, I mentioned a few things which help with the nervous system and mental faculties. (e.g. Magnesium, GABA, Lion’s Mane, the B-Complex Vitamins, general nutrition, etc.)
Other things which I give Lacie are Huperzine A, Vinpocetine, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Bacopa, PS (phosphatidyl serine) and a high grade, (glass jar – non GMO) powdered lecithin.
Lecithin is a food. It is a concentrated food. You can’t really overdose on the stuff, much like MSM.
Uncooked, yellow egg yolks contain lecithin. Lecithin helps to emulsify oils, which is why cooks will use egg yolks to blend oils with water.
Lecithin is comprised of huge amounts of two major chemicals which the body uses. Phosphatidyl- inositol and phosphtyl-choline. (Usually not written with the hyphen, but I want to tie in these substances.) Lecithin also contains some phosphatidyl serine (PS).
Being the phosphatidyl form, these chemicals more easily penetrate the blood brain barrier.
Choline and inositol (in the phosphatidyl form).
These two nutrients (often classified as a B vitamin) are needed by the body in quantity.
Every cell (and there are trillions) contain choline in the membranes which helps substances get absorbed by the cell, but also help to protect the cell from intruders like viruses and bacteria.
The gut (intestines) really need these nutrients. And in turn a more healthy gut helps with the absorption of nutrients.
Choline and Inositol are MAJOR brain chemicals. Choline (especially when the body turns it into the "acetyl" form) is the real chemical that makes the ticker tick upstairs. Almost all dementia patients have low acetylcholine levels. The B-Complex Vitamins are necessary in the manufacture of acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters. 30% of the brain is made up of lecithin, 60% of the myelin sheaths are made up of lecithin, which cover the thousands of miles of nerves.
98% of the women over age 45 are deficient in their optimal intake of lecithin (its components) per scientific studies.
Taking lecithin can remedy all kinds of situations. Just a few... Helps a person to have a better quality sleep, not waking up in the middle of the night. Helps prevent gall stones and kidney stones. Helps to balance cholesterol. Helps with gut issues. Helps with sex, and in fact, is integral to sex. Helps with the dietary intake/absorption of healthy oils, like fish oil, flax oil, hemp oil, and olive oil and coconut oil.
It is NECESSARY for proper brain function: that is, for focus, concentration, and memory (both short term and long term), for mood and 'not being depressed', for anxiety and nervousness, for PMS emotions, for hormone stimulation, for healthy pineal gland and hypothalamus, etc.
And there are many other benefits to lecithin.
Most lecithin is rancid, being a semi-oil. Exposure to air in manufacturing causes the oils to oxidize. So, if you can, try to find a high quality lecithin (typically in a glass jar).
Lecithin comes in pills, liquid and powder. One tablespoon of powder is equal to about 7 or 8 softgel pills.
I give all the dogs substantial quantities of powdered lecithin.
I did not mean to write a “book”. I don’t have time for it.
However, I wanted to share our story. Perhaps it may help some dog owners.
It does not matter to me which approach you use to help your dog, “conventional medicine” or “alternative nutritional”. These are individual decisions.
I wish everyone success in keeping their best friend healthy and happy.