If you wish to quickly print this entire book with the greatest of ease, please read the following page:
Constipation is a problem many dogs and cats suffer from, yet they shouldn't.
When you think about it, many humans also suffer from constipation. When you begin to realize the impact diet has on health combined with the fact that our pets are being fed like humans, that is, with low quality, highly processed and devitalized foods, then one can begin to see why constipation is such a problem with dogs and cats today.
Myself, I take a slightly different approach to the issue of constipation than others. Why? Well, one of my major influences in health is Chinese herbal medicine. Should you, as a human, ever go to a Chinese herbalist with a constipation related health issue, then you are not given fiber as a cure, but instead you are given herbs that bring moisture to the bowels.
When I first discovered and realized this Chinese approach to constipation, it made me look at this whole issue in a completely different way. Instead of
scraping the colon clean, we want to improve the balance within the body so there is enough moisture in the colon to allow the stools to gently be eliminated.
The Chinese say that when there is constipation, the body is too
hot. The heat burns all of the moisture in the body. This in turn makes the colon dry.
When the body is too cold, then the Chinese say it leads to problems like diarrhea as there is not enough heat to get rid of the excess moisture.
So it's all about balance.
In Chinese herbal medicine, all organs are connected to each other. So if the colon is not working properly, then chances are other parts are not working properly too. As a simple example, let's say your eyes are tired. To the Chinese herbalist, they see a connection between the eyes and the kidneys. So to help the eyes, the Chinese herbalist would also support the kidneys. All things are connected because the body works as a team, not as an individual. Unfortunately, I don't know what the colon is connected to but it doesn't matter. When we begin to help the whole body, we naturally begin to help the colon too.
Ultimately, the best way, in my opinion to help balance the body of dogs and cats is by feeding them a wholesome and natural raw meat diet. Hence, if your dog or cat suffers from constipation, this is the first thing to try to see if the constipation goes away.
Cats and dogs should never suffer from problems like fur balls either. When you think about it, only the leopard removes the fur of its prey before eating. All other carnivores eat the bones, fur, feathers, skin, meat and blood with no problems. There should be enough hydrochloric acid produced within the carnivore's stomach to break all of this down. So if your pet suffers from fur balls, then again, start with a natural raw meat diet.
Petroleum laxatives are not a cure for constipation and, in my opinion, they are not even a good remedy. Petroleum jellies essentially help the stools slide out. But the problem is, to achieve this effect, the intestinal tract and colon need to be lined with the petroleum jelly. This ultimately interferes with the absorption of nutrients.
Fiber is also not the solution. Why? Well, carnivores are meant to eat a low fiber diet. In fact, carnivores basically eat almost no fiber. But because their intestinal tract is so short, fiber isn't really needed anyway. Furthermore, fiber can or may actually irritate our pets more than it helps them. If anything, I like to feed raw bones to act as a
fiber supplement. Something like chicken necks is my preferred choice.
So this is where I start with constipation related issues — understanding constipation means the body is not providing enough moisture to the bowels — understanding that health, including constipation, begins with diet — understanding that constipation is ultimately a diet related health issue, that is, constipation began as a result of a bad diet. There are exceptions to this rule, especially in older pets, as you will soon learn. But I always first try solving constipation with a wholesome and natural raw meat diet. There are other things you can do to help more stubborn cases of constipation too. Keep reading!
The Colon Is A Muscle! It Needs Exercise!
Think what would happen if you sat around all day being lazy. Your muscles never got any exercise and as a result, they got lazy. Your muscles would begin to work less efficiently. Eventually, when you had to lift something or move something, it would be a lot of work. Eventually, you would just give up and go back to the couch to relax.
Well, the colon is like this. Except it's not lazy, it actually wants to work. But unfortunately, when constipation becomes chronic, then the colon becomes lazy for too long — that is, it stops working.
Here's what happens starting from the beginning, before the constipation starts.
At first, everything seems okay. Your pet has bowel movements, perhaps with a little straining. Perhaps the stools are a little dry or infrequent. No problem right? So you continue to do what you do, feeding the same diet not realizing that this is the calm before the storm.
If we were to address the issue of constipation right now by eliminating the bad commercial pet food or cooked meat diets and instead began to feed a wholesome and natural raw meat diet, then case solved. The body would naturally balance itself and the constipation would go away.
But if we continue along the same path then eventually the poor diet only makes the constipation worse. At this point, the waste begins to build up in the colon and begins to cake along the walls of the colon. But instead of just sitting there, the waste actually begins to harden like concrete.
At this point, the colon which is a muscle, begins to find its ability to perform its job very difficult. The hardened waste along the colon wall actually begins to prevent the colon from squeezing at all. With time, the colon begins to get lazy and eventually cannot squeeze anymore.
If we address the issue of constipation at this point, then we can begin to bring more moisture to the bowels, but the problem is, the colon is now too lazy to squeeze. This causes a problem requiring us to use certain remedies to help make bowel movements easier and to help moisten the concrete–like waste along the colon wall so it can eventually be removed too.
Older Pets Naturally Have A Weaker Colon Muscle
As any pet ages, as with any human, muscles naturally begin to get weaker. That's just reality. However, any pet that has gone through chronic constipation will be even more susceptible to constipation as it gets older. The colon will become a weak spot in the body.
Solving constipation early and before it becomes a chronic problem is crucial to health of all animals, and yes, that means humans too!
When my cat was almost 16, I switched him to a raw meat diet. Before I did this, he was essentially dying. He suffered from constipation along with fur balls. After I switched him to a raw meat diet, even at his age, the problems went away. Needless to say, this was an eye opener for me and the birth to my life as a guide to the benefits of a raw meat diet.
Later though, my cat started to get constipated again. I used some remedies, which I will mention below and that helped. But the day it all stopped was the day I knew my cat was ready to die. Two weeks later, he peacefully died. I was, for the first time, happily sad at the loss of a pet.
The moment my cat moved on was a magical experience for me in ways I never knew were possible.
Much of what I talk about in my book comes from personal experiences and constipation is no different.
So as we progress with this information, and all of the information in my book, I hope that my information becomes a tool to awaken you to the knowledge within. But not just knowledge about health, but about love. This is what my cat ultimately taught me.
Calcium Is Not The Problem
Some pets have calcium deposits in their colon, but calcium is not the problem.
Some vets mention that too much calcium can harden the stools and lead to constipation, but calcium is not the problem.
The real problem is a digestive problem!
So many health problems begin with digestion. Unfortunately, most vets see calcium related constipation issues a result of too much calcium. Vets like this are looking at the symptom and not the underlying issue.
Let's go back to basic chemistry and I must warn you, I barely passed chemistry! But imagine you have a tea pot or shower head with calcium deposits. How do you remove the calcium deposits? You simply soak the tea pot or shower head in vinegar.
Calcium needs an acid to be taken into solution. So when you soak them in calcium, the calcium is taken back into solution and you are left with a clean tea pot or shower head.
How does this relate to our pets and digestion?
Well, here's the thing. Our pets should produce massive amounts of hydrochloric acid in their stomach to help digest bone, skin, meat, blood, fur, feathers and to kill any bad bacteria. But this massive amount of hydrochloric acid is also needed for our pets to absorb and utilize the calcium in their food.
When you feed commercial pet food or cooked meat diets, then the body does not produce enough acid in the stomach. Commercial pet foods and cooked meat diets ultimately shut the digestive system down. This leads to calcium deposits throughout the whole body, not just the colon.
So you see, calcium is not the problem, it all begins with digestion. The body needs calcium for good health. So when a dog or cat has calcium deposits in their colon, we don't want to reduce the calcium we give, but instead we want to maximize digestion so the calcium we are feeding is fully utilized and absorbed. We achieve this first and foremost by feeding a wholesome and natural raw meat diet.
If the calcium in the diet is reduced, then this can ultimately lead to other health problems like kidney related health issues. So if a vet tells you the calcium needs to be reduced, really stop and ask yourself
Calcium is crucial to good health. Calcium is needed for good health. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body for a reason! If we reduce the calcium, what impact will this have on health?
At the same time, if we maximize the body's ability to properly and fully utilize the calcium, what impact will this have on the body? Can you begin to see how improving the digestive system will have an amazingly positive impact on health?
Ultimately, when the body starts to get its digestive system working properly, then the body can begin to heal itself. But the body does not heal fast. Nonetheless, a healthy diet then helps the body to slowly but surely remove the calcium from the colon. But I repeat, it doesn't happen fast.
The supplements and remedies mentioned below can help the body remove calcium deposits faster, but for pets with calcium deposits in their colon, then what you may also want to try is adding some organic apple cider vinegar to the diet. I don't normally suggest using apple cider vinegar because it's not needed. When the body is producing enough hydrochloric acid, then no additional acid is needed. But, when the pet is older or when there are calcium deposits in the colon, some apple cider vinegar can possibly help provide extra acid so the calcium in the food is fully utilized. Additionally, this can possibly help clean the colon similar to how the vinegar can clean the tea pot or shower head.
When using apple cider vinegar, I prefer to use Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar which can be found at your local health food store.
Helping The Colon Get Clean
So far we have learned that the colon is a muscle and it needs constant exercise to stay healthy. The best exercise for the colon is regular bowel movements that are normal.
The best achieve normal bowel movements is by feeding a wholesome and natural raw meat diet.
It has been said that 90% of disease is diet related and constipation is no exception to this rule. But when the colon has been constipated for an excessively long time, then it is not uncommon for the colon to need extra help.
The first thing I do is tell people to feed a natural diet and then to incorporate the following supplements:
The above supplements help provide the calcium the body needs. Calcium not only benefits the whole body, but in this case, the muscles and remember, the colon is a muscle.
We use the enzyme supplement to help improve digestion so food is more easily digested without getting clogged in the colon.
The glandular supplement is used to help balance the glands and organs of the body because when one part of the body is out of balance, in this case the colon, you know other parts will also be out of balance. So using a whole body glandular supplement can help restore balance faster.
Trace minerals are the spark plugs within the body. They are catalysts. They play a role in all bodily functions including helping the colon to work better.
This is where I start, but what happens if the constipation is still there? What more can we do?
It's at this point I bring in some additional remedies. I only use these remedies when absolutely needed and only for as long as needed.
When needed, I use one of the following remedies in addition to all that has been discussed above. Only use when needed and for as long as needed. In some older pets, this may mean for the rest of their lives.
Ching Sung Laxative Tablets
These little tablets are quite effective. For smaller pets, sometimes only 1/4 a tablet is needed. But depending on the severity of the constipation, you might need to give more. But, as an example, for an adult human, only 1 or 2 tablets are normally used.
You can find this remedy online or at a Chinese herbal store.
This remedy is cheap and effective. Once the bowels start to move, either reduce the dose or give every other day to help cleanse the colon. Once the bowel movements move naturally by themselves without any help, then you can stop. This is not a cure, but an aid or a tool to help remedy the problem. The hope is that a remedy like this simply gives the body some extra help and then, once up to speed, the body can take of itself and regulate itself again.
Magnesium oxide is easy to use but it requires a slight understanding of how it works. When you add magnesium oxide to water, it begins to oxidize. Within 20 minutes, all of the oxygen is gone. So you give or add just prior to feeding. For the magnesium oxide to work, you need moisture and acid. The acid will be found in the stomach and the moisture will be the water you add to the food. So add just prior to feeding.
It's best to buy magnesium oxide in powder rather than tablet. This way you can better adjust the dose given.
If you give too much, then the stools will become very wet and/or like diarrhea. So once the bowels start to move, you need to adjust the dose as necessary to maintain healthy bowel movements.
You can achieve this by reducing the daily dose or giving every other day. Personally, I would reduce the dose once the bowel movements are normal and still give every day. If you give every other day, your pets may still get constipated.
Once the colon is clean, then hopefully you won't need this product again.
Now the trick is to get the right dose initially to get the bowels moving. This can be achieved by either giving slightly higher doses every day until the bowels move or lower doses but given many times during the day.
If you give many times during the day, then you need to spoon the solution into the mouth. If you do this, you need to add the magnesium to a spoon with some water in it plus some apple cider vinegar for the acid.
For small pets, probably 1/8 teaspoon is all that is needed to start with while larger pets may need up to 1/4 teaspoon. It is very hard to give an accurate amount to start with because we don't know they will respond.
Most health food stores now sell magnesium oxide only in tablets. In the past, it was more readily available in powder. Many places also overcharge for Magnesium oxide. It should not be that expensive.
Just remember, with magnesium oxide, once it starts to move the bowels, if you don't reduce the amount then you will get diarrhea. If that happens, stop giving the product until the bowel movements are normal again.
Magnesium oxide can really help to oxidize the old fecal matter in the colon by bringing moisture to the colon, perhaps better than the Chinese remedy I mentioned. So just don't be surprised if you see things leave the body that have been inside their colon for a long time.
Just like the Chinese remedy, magnesium oxide is not a cure and should only be used when needed and for as long as needed. Once the colon appears to have had a good cleanse the colon is working well by itself, stop using the magnesium oxide.
Ultimately, the Chinese remedy is easier to use than the magnesium oxide. These are good remedies to have on hand in case of emergency. Ideally, we never want to use these forms of laxatives but in some situations, they are needed. In other situations, a simple change of diet to a wholesome and natural raw meat diet is all that is needed.
Learn More About Holistic Health and Nutrition For Pets
Keep reading by choosing another page or topic.