April 21, 2009
Posted By Dr. Harvey
A follow up to Waldo’s Story.
We have had a wonderful response to Waldo’s story (Read Waldo’s Story below) and wanted to give you more information on Kefir. So as promised, here it is.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus Mountains some 2000 years ago. This mountainous region is known for its extraordinary human longevity. Some researchers attribute the longevity phenomenon to the use of this wonderful fermented drink. Kefir, which means ‘feel good" in Turkish, is an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly bacteria that help balance intestinal flora which in turn helps to maintain optimal health and strengthen immunity. It is prepared by adding Kefir grains to cow, goat, or sheep’s milk. It is often called a liquid yoghurt, but is actually a *cousin to yoghurt and contains different types of good bacteria.
Health Benefits Abound
The numerous health benefits derived by drinking Kefir are now well documented. Humans as well as animals can experience improvement in overall health by using this ancient drink.
Kefir contains beneficial yeast as well as the friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt. When used regularly, the naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in Kefir combine to help balance intestinal flora and boost immunity. Kefir is known for its ability to improve the immune system, can produce a relaxing effect on on the nervous system and can provide a healthy digestive system.
Using Kefir Following the Use of Antibiotics
The use of antibiotics can destroy the balance of the good bacteria in the intestine, this can cause a decline in overall good health in humans and animals. Using Kefir after a course of antibiotics can help to reestablish the correct intestinal balance. I have seen dogs and cats in very weakened conditions improve dramatically with the addition of a small amount of Kefir to their daily diet.
Full of Good Nutrition For the Nervous System
The exceptional nutritional content of Kefir offers a wealth of healthy benefits to people and animals in every type of condition. More than just beneficial bacteria, Kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with its natural healing powers.
Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in Kefir, is well-known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Kefir also contains calcium and magnesium both of which are critical for a healthy nervous system Kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
Lots of Vitamins and Enzymes
Kefir is also rich in vitamin B12, B1, and vitamin K, Kefir is an excellent source of biotin, a B vitamin which aids the body’s absorption of other B vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The many advantages of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the normal function of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping promote healthy looking skin, boosting energy and promoting longevity.
Good for Puppies and Kittens
Mature dogs and cats will benefit from Kefir in their diet. In addition,just a small amount of plain Kefir is wonderful for puppies and kittens and will help to establish a good intestinal balance at very young age, which will be beneficial for healthy growth. Most animals love the taste of Kefir and consider it as a treat.
Easy to Use
Kefir can be found in most health food stores and is sometimes available in conventional supermarkets. It can also be prepared at home. It is actually quite easy to prepare. Starter Kefir grains can be purchased in many places, including many online sources.
The grains look like cauliflower and are added to milk to cause the fermentation and create Kefir.
Kefir has a tangy and refreshing taste that is great alone or with fruit and can be used as a base as a truly healthy smoothie. It can be taken daily and is tolerated well by most people.
There is a good deal of information to be found on the internet about this terrific superfood. I encourage you all to read more and give it a try for your companions and for yourself.
Some Helpful Links
April 16, 2009
Posted By The Staff of Dr. Harvey's
Another Truly Amazing Rescue Story
In one month we have two amazing stories about Boxer rescue.
These pictures are so amazing we wanted everyone to see them. We thank Lisa for sharing Waldo’s story. We also thought you should all know about Kefir.
Lisa refers to this great fermented product as Kefir yoghurt, but it is actually not yoghurt. While there are certain similarities, they are different products. We will write a separate blog post very soon that will explore the tremendous benefits of this little known superfood.
But for the moment, please read and enjoy this heartwarming story of rescue. Discover how health can be found with love and a combination of natural and traditional healing.
My family and I were ready to adopt another Boxer. Friends of mine, in the rescue group we volunteer with, Second Chance Boxer Rescue called to say they transported a beautiful brindle boy. They thought he may be a perfect match for our family. They stressed that this poor guy was in need of some serious tender, love, and care. He lived most of the first year of his life in a garage and outside. Considering he had just turned one, I am sure it had been a long year for him. I thought it was best for me to meet this poor boy first so I could gauge his personality before introducing him to our 6 1/2 year old, 82 pound Boxer girl at home.
My First Reaction was to Cry
Doing rescue work for 5 years, I have seen and transported some really sad situations. My first reaction to Waldo was to cry. This poor boy was very neglected. He had a very serious case of Mange. This happens to young dogs that have not fully formed their immune system. Therefore, they cannot fight this off. It is a mite that lives under the skin. Mainly this comes from being stressed out (locked in a garage or outside) , poor diet and or lack of food. At no time would any true animal lover allow their dog to get to the point this poor guy was.
" I Gave Him a Hug and Told Him He Was Beautiful"
Waldo basically had some hair only on his neck area and face. Every other section of his body was hairless. Either gray skin where brindle fur should have been or an obvious hot pink skin where white fur should have. I got myself together (holding back those much wanted tears) and gave him a hug and told him how beautiful he was. Being a true Boxer lover I saw beyond the pink exposed skin. As soon as I looked into those sad eyes I just knew he was meant to come into my home. Having done volunteer work with my rescue group, I knew it was even more important to take in a boxer that truly needed a second chance. Keeping in mind that our rescue group had about 15 beautiful, healthy Boxers that would be adopted soon. I knew most people could not see the beauty I saw in this boy. I think most people would of stopped at the hot pink skin. This made me want him more and truly look forward to nursing this boy back to the healthy puppy he should be.
First Thought: Call Dr. Harvey
One of my first calls was to Dr. Harvey. We’ve been friends for about 2 years, ever since he helped my Boxer Abby who was diagnosed with Lymphoma. We were informed that untreated she would be dead in 3 months. Thankfully, with the help of Dr. Harvey, our Abby lived a very happy 9 months from the day she was diagnosed. Having this history with Dr. Harvey, there was no question that he would be the one I called first to help us with this “hairless Boxer”.
What to Do For Mange and More
I explained to him what a horrible case of mange we were up against. This was not the only medical issue Waldo had. He also came with a double ear infection to the point that both ears resembled cauliflower sprouts. You could not even see his ear canals. The daily regimen included: 1 oral syringe of Ivermax daily for mange, (2) antibiotics 2 times a day for infection, Ointment in both ears 2 times a day, and a peroxide bath which needed to stay on him for 10 minutes once a week.
After telling Dr. Harvey all of this he said “well he’s on everything that he needs to be on”. But there is one and only one thing you need to add to his daily feedings and that is Kefir yoghurt. Of course I said what is that and why? Dr. Harvey said it is the best yoghurt one can buy and it is best for the immune system. That was the pups biggest problem. I immediately went out and got Kefir yoghurt and Waldo has been getting this since he’s been with us.
Waldo has been with us for almost 11 weeks. The turn around in this pup’s appearance, personality, and health has been amazing. His ear infections are gone. He’s off the mange medicine. He still requires the antibiotics, but not for much longer. All of his fur is almost completely back. He’s gained almost 7 pounds. Most of all, I am so happy to say, those sad eyes that I originally saw, now sparkle all of the time.
Special Thank you
Dr. Regan (Squan Animal Hospital) with all of her unconditional devotion and experience to helping Waldo. I have to be honest if it was not for you I really don’t think he would of made it.
Dr. Harvey for his Kefir recommendation as well as his creation of the best dog food on earth Canine Health I know this was also a large part in getting Waldo onto the road of recovery.
Roz and Betty for thinking of us when you both transported Waldo.
Liz for all of your guidance on how to bring a new pup into our home, introduction with Sandy and everything I called you daily for lol!
Gregg for never saying “no” to me when it comes to helping Boxers in need.
Sandy for immediately loving Waldo, understanding his sickness and young age and loving him unconditionally no matter how he looked or smelled!
This is an amazing story that needed to be told.