Pet Health: Protecting the Fragile Health of Our Pets

Guest Post: Elliot Harvey's Natural Health Column:

With the phenomenal success of former Vice President Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth” describing global warming, it seems like everyone has overlooked a more immediate danger to you, your family and your pets: toxic chemicals that induce diseases and kill before any planetary changes can consume us!
Our bodies and those of our dogs are permeable; which means they are constantly changed by our interrelationship and interactions with our environment. Cancer and disease does not occur in a vacuum and may not necessarily all be inherited. Diet, environment and lifestyle have a direct influence on genetic expression. Genetic inheritance does play an important role in the health of your pets, but the genes themselves do not give rise to the disease. In most cases, the diseased state results when the diet and/or environment for each individual dog acts to alter the expression of genes in a way that results in a disease. The quality of the food and cleanliness of the water provided to your pet, plus the toxins in its air and environment, combined with the stresses your pet must endure living in a pack dominated by another species, are all factors that alter the expression of your pet's genes and contribute in a major way to its state of health—good or bad!
All these factors lead us to consider a different and more immediate inconvenient truth—chemicals, toxins, biocides! Annually, over 30,000 chemicals are produced directly or as by-products of manufacturing, with a handful of these actually assessed for their impact on people or if they are toxic to dogs.
Dogs are more vulnerable to environmental toxins because their exposure is greater. Although your shoes come into contact with freely dispersed chemicals used in your home, more than one-third of your pet's body comes into direct and constant contact with the same toxins. Since many pesticides are heavier than air, your pet's breathing areas are likely to have higher pesticide concentrations because they breath the air closer to ground level. Their exposure to chemicals is far greater in both their home environment, and while exercising in parks, fields or on walks through the neighborhood. On outings, pets sometimes drink from stagnant water as well as lakes, streams, rivers and creeks where exposure is increased by the presence of agricultural runoff chemicals.
An often ignored danger is the half-life of many chemicals. For example, pentachlorophenol (PCP), a dioxin-like chemical is a chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticide and fungicide. It has been used as an herbicide, algicide, defoliant, wood preservative, germicide, fungicide, and molluscicide. PCP is an antibacterial agent in disinfectants and cleaners, and is widely used to protect timber from fungal rot and wood-boring insects, but may also be used as a pre-harvest defoliant in cotton, a general pre-emergence herbicide, and as a biocide in industrial water systems. Its use as a wood preservative provides the potential for entering the environment and a strong likelihood of bio-accumulation in the environment. It is persistent in soil, having a half-life of up to five years. PCP residues have been found worldwide in the soil, water, and air samples. PCP residues are also found in food products, which is why residues are found in human and animal tissues and body fluids. The worst is yet to come! In animal studies, PCP caused nasal squamous cell carcinomas, necrosis of the liver, damage to the kidneys, and hemangiosarcomas in the spleen and/or liver. It caused liver damage and immune system alterations, and skeletal anomalies. In humans it has been linked to Hodgkin's disease, acute leukemia, and soft-tissue sarcoma.
During the rapid growth stages of puppies and kittens and young dogs and cats, their bodies add new tissue faster than at any other period in their life. Developing cells are more easily damaged than cells that already have completed development. During this rapid growth period, cells divide very quickly, making it more likely that a cellular mutation will occur, possibly initiating cancer in the future. Exposure of an immature organ or system such as the central nervous system or immune system to toxic compounds could prevent normal maturation. The hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands and gonads regulate growth from conception through the first 12 months. High levels of endocrine disruptors–chemicals recognized to be estrogen-like, adversely effect normal development.


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This post was written by Elliot Harvey MH of Author of “The Healthy Wholistic Dog,” Elliot has years of experience in animal health and wellness. Pet Assure is not affiliated with and does not endorse Great Life Performance Pet Products. Pet Assure is presenting this guest post for the benefit of its readers and retains no financial interest in any future transactions.

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