Over a period, various animals have shown myriad changes, especially in relation to diseases and behaviors exhibited by them. Most veterinary doctors have noted an increase in the frequency of chronic diseases, including but not limited to skin allergies, teeth disorders and cancer, among others (Wolfensohn & Lloyd 2013). In the same vein, pet trainers have reported a change in the behaviors of pets during and after trainings due to the fact that most of them have shown loss of interest and relatively high levels of aggression towards owners (Dawkins 2006). Given this background information, there is need to understand the various causes of such diseases and behavioral changes.
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Naturally, all organisms have a natural way of healing themselves when subjected to disease-causing organisms. For example, when they are protected from harsh environmental conditions and offered a well balanced diet that is able to provide essential nutrients, which promote the natural immune system (Korte, Olivier & Koolhaas 2007). However, most animal owners use traditional animal management practices that weaken animals’ immune systems, thereby rendering them susceptible to various acute and chronic diseases. With increased animal diseases and behavioural changes, there is a need to establish an integrated, holistic and natural approach in the management of these animals (Dawkins 2006). It is paramount to note that the management of the health systems needs to focus on an integrated approach to the management of these animals to have healthy and useful animals.
The concepts of animal health and behaviour have attracted a lot of research in the field, and the results are shocking. This has prompted a holistic healing process that encompasses an integrated practice in which an animal is allowed to heal both physically and emotionally. Holistic veterinary is a wide branch that aims at making an animal’s body function to its full capacity (Korte et al. 2007). This can be done through ensuring that the healing process treats the whole animal and, at the same time, helps to initiate the natural body’s healing processes, which can enable the animal to heal itself in case of a disease. Research has shown that most diseases that traumatise both humans and animals are as a result of ineffective immune systems. This failure can be attributed to various factors, such as pollution, poor diet and consistent treatments that overwork the body with drugs. In fact, such animals tend to survive on the drugs that fail to trigger the natural body immune systems that would enable them to improve health outcomes (Korte et al. 2007).
Cases of cancer have increased in animals, especially with regard to dogs and cats (Korte et al. 2007). Such cases are believed to be caused by weakened immune systems and the vaccines that animals receive frequently. It is argued that some vaccinated animals experience itching of the skin, while others excessively lick their paws, implying that they would experience some autoimmune disorders, attain poor quality lives. In addition, mood disorders, such as being aggressive towards people who tend to get close to them, are also noted (Wolfensohn & Lloyd 2013). Many cancer cases have devastated pets, especially in relation to the traditional healing process that requires many medications. Although most pet owners believe in processed food, pets fed on such foods have shown poor health outcomes and unwanted behaviours. The food has unbalanced nutrient content or lack vital nutrients needed to maintain the natural immune system, resulting in the development of diseases. Furthermore, research has shown that most chronic diseases in animals and change in behaviour are attributed to allopathic and traditional healing methods that offer limited therapeutic benefits. For example, many vets give antibiotics to animals to help them to fight infections (Dawkins 2006). As a result, such antibiotics kill the normal flora of useful bacteria that aids the organism in digestion and protection. Some key aspects of the body’s defence system are the white blood cells, but antibiotics are known to lower the number of white blood cells, suppressing the immune system of organisms. Steroids are used widely in the treatment of life-threatening diseases, although some vets have used them in cases of minor infections. Continuous use of these medications induces gastrointestinal irritation and suppression of the immune system. It is against this background that many vets advocate for a comprehensive approach to the management of diseases and, by extension, protection to animals.
Traditionally, religion has played a vital role in promoting the animal welfare through the belief that suggests no animal should be harmed, but should be protected. It calls for the proper care of animals for the reason that those who mistreat them would be punished in the future (Vanhonacker et al. 2008). A notable religion is the Buddhism in which all animals have rights like associated with humans. By enjoying such beliefs, animals should be protected and their lives preserved. In addition, they should be considered sacred. Although the Buddhism religion has been at the forefront in promoting animal welfare, it has had various negatives. The Buddhists’ belief in second life is demeaning to the animals as it considers people who do wrong in this world will come back as animals in their second lives (Vanhonacker et al. 2008).
Recently, there has been a surge in the interest in relation to the natural holistic way to animal health. Even though the interest is widespread, conventional medicines are very important and need to be considered in an attempt to balance between conventional drug use and boosting animals’ immune systems to protect them. Holistic approaches encompass the use of all possible natural ways to prevent an occurrence of diseases. Therefore, it requires that, in cases of an infection, there should be an integration of all comprehensive fields to ensure that natural care is given appropriately. This can include blood tests, nutritional and other environmental factors that can cause infections. There is a need to formulate laws to govern animal welfare and protect them against frequent infections (Vanhonacker et al. 2008). Health system management needs legislation to enforce the laws that will protect the animals like humans in the field of medicine and protection. Such legislation requires an incorporation of not only conventional, but also natural and holistic ways that would ensure the most natural methods to heal animals. Some animal protection laws state that in case an animal gets sick, it should be eliminated to avoid infecting others in the neighborhood. Such laws do not promote the welfare of animals and do not encourage the holistic approaches to dealing with their health issues. Some nations, in a show of solidarity, have formed organizations and parties to advocate for animal rights. In Germany, The Animal Protection Party, plays great a role in protecting and encouraging proper treatment of animals. Allowing such parties in national realms shows the willingness of the leadership in promoting animal welfare.
Dawkins, MS, 2006, ‘A user’s guide to animal welfare science’, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 77-82.
Korte, SM, Olivier, B, & Koolhaas, JM, 2007, ‘A new animal welfare concept based on allostasis’, Physiology & Behavior, vol. 92, no. 3, pp. 422-428.
Vanhonacker, F, Verbeke, W, Van Poucke, E, & Tuyttens, FA., 2008, ‘Do citizens and farmers interpret the concept of farm animal welfare differently?’, Livestock Science, vol. 116, no. 1, pp. 126-136.
Wolfensohn, S, & Lloyd, M, 2013, Handbook of laboratory animal management and welfare, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.