Functional Medicine Respects Pet’s God-Given Lives

The natural approach to pet care involves preventing, or at least reducing, disease. This occurs through regular laboratory testing to allow the doctor to restore minor deviation from the norm in a functional medicine approach (restoring proper function to any diseased body systems before they fail and cause clinical disease.) When disease does appear, the proper use of herbs and other natural medicines are chosen to correct imbalances, support the immune system and damaged organs, and assist in body detoxification to reduce or eliminate ongoing tissue injury.

Note that there are no "drugs" that do any of these things. Drugs can make the pet feel better, which while temporary, is not always a bad thing, and can begin the "killing process" when infection or cancer occurs. However, long-term healing, which is different than temporary treatment must rely on the body fixing itself, assisted by diet, environment, natural medicines, energy medicines such as homeopathics/cold laser/acupuncture and frequent monitoring of organ function and inflammatory markers.

As a practical example, many functionally treated pets with diseases such as allergies and disorders of the bladder, GI system, arthritis and cardiac and nervous systems may rarely receive conventional medications for their illnesses. Instead, medications are titrated to the lowest effective/least toxic dose, based upon a personalized approach to medicine when needed. Pets with cancer rarely receive chemotherapy, but thrive and are often cured using detoxification and immune support, again relying mainly, if not totally, on natural medicines.

This functional medicine approach results in the typical pet living two to five years longer than average; cancer patients typically live six to 12 months longer, and many cures are seen. Even cases considered “hopeless and untreatable/incurable” by conventional standards live much longer than expected, resulting in very few euthanasia cases in a typical holistic practice.

Getting back to nature makes sense. Experience plus a healthy faith life has shown me that God has given all of us the ability to heal simply by supporting our inborn healing mechanisms without poisoning vital organ systems with unnecessary medications. Incorporating personalized functional medicine is often the difference between wellness and illness; life and death.

Dr. Shawn Messionnier is founder of Paws and Claws Animal Hospital in Plano. For more information contact (972) 867-8800 or visit



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