Part II: Talking To Your Vet with Dr. Zac Pilossoph
Dr. Zac and I discussed the importance of having an open line of communication with your vet. In this podcast, we discussed how to properly use prescription medications like Apoquel, over-the-counter meds like NSAIDs, and antibiotics. At the end of our discussion, Dr. Zac explained how telemedicine is going to change the veterinary space. I played the role of the average pet parent as he played the role of the conventional veterinarian throughout our discussion.
The Pharma Talk
Dr. Zac and I both learned a lot on both sides of the Apoquel spectrum. The majority of complaints I have received are from pet parents who have lifelong prescriptions to Apoquel.
Apoquel, like most prescription meds, is meant to be taken short-term. And, in the short-term, it does exactly what it’s supposed to. It stops the body from creating that ‘itchy response,’ according to Dr. Zac. The medication was meant to act fast to relieve constant itchiness while looking for the cause and finding a better solution.
According to Dr. Zac, “when you take into account what Apoquel does in the short-term, it does prevent the body from creating an itchy response, and it does it very quickly. That is where the medicine was meant to act. Once that happens, then we find the solution. We find out what is going on. It’s used for short-term reactivity, not a lifelong medication.” He went on to state “just because something can be given long-term, it doesn’t mean it should be. It gave me a solution to help a human feel less bad about their dog having a decreased quality of life. Then I asked, why is this dog always itchy?”
The goal of medication is to be one problem-one solution. But, the body is a machine with all kinds of working parts. All the systems work together. What affects one system affects another. A medication that solves one problem a body system may cause another problem in a different system. For example, a medication that treats pain effectively may cause problems with the digestive system.
NSAID’s are an excellent example of this. NSAIDs are meant to put a band-aid on pain caused for inflammation. That’s all they are – a band-aid. They don’t treat the root of the problem. They just mask it. NSAIDs should be used very short-term while another solution that solves the problem is searched for.
Now, let’s take antibiotics into account. Antibiotics are useful, but they can cause a lot of harm if they are used long-term. They alter the gut biome and result in antibiotic resistance. The immune system is not building up if antibiotic use is constant. Then, if a condition arises, antibiotics will not be effective since the body has built up a resistance and the immune system will have a difficult time fighting the bacteria because the body wasn’t given a chance to fight in the beginning.
Our Responsibility as Pet Parents
As our pet’s caretaker, our pet places her life in our hands, which means it’s our responsibility to search for a holistic solution to a problem. Western medicine is helpful for short-term use, but holistic medicine is known to be effective for lifelong use. It’s also our responsibility to continue utilizing holistic medicine if it’s in the best interest of our pets.
In many cases, pet parents stop CBD to see what happens and whatever the ailment is comes back slowly but surely. It’s important to remember, with CBD, there is a flower that’s feeding our pet’s body rather than suppressing it. It’s not turning anything off. It’s not turning off any kind of bodily response. Instead, it’s turning things on. That’s why I love cannabis medicine so much. The cannabis plant grows, you squeeze the flower, essential oils are released, and it can be applied to so many conditions.
Trusting Your Veterinarian
This leads us into a conversation about trust in your veterinarian. Alternative veterinarians, or holistic veterinarians, must have your trust just as your family veterinarian would. They’re looking out for the best interests of your dog or cat. In order to protect those interests, an open line of communication must be present between you and your veterinarian.
Unfortunately, holistic veterinarians are hard to come by in our current society. There are definitely a handful of holistic veterinarians available, but when we look at the United States as a whole, they’re sparse and you may not have one nearby.
Dr. Zac has entered the telemedicine space to build a network of trusting veterinarians for pet parents. The “telehealth environment is literally in the same position as the cannabis environment, there are a lot of grey zones that are intimidating. There are buzz words that are not permitted- just as with the cannabis space. It’s important to follow a law and follow the rules. But, there’s still a lot of grey zone here that can help empower pet parents, according to Dr. Zac. He went on to state “telemedicine empowers people at home in their own environment, allows free communication, and permits brick and mortar medicine when applicable.”
In veterinary school, conventional medicine is mainly what is taught. Western medicine is a large focus of the program. In order to become a holistic veterinarian, additional education and training is required. As Dr. Zac states, learning is lifelong. Of course, this applies to every veterinary professional, but it’s a critical part of being a veterinarian. There’s always new science in both holistic and western medicine.
“After finishing vet school, we put ourselves in the shoes of the pet parent. In order to maximize the quality of life, what can we do? Use versus abuse is taken into account with every medication. How can I complement what I am doing in brick and mortar medicine?” He went on to state “alternative medicine and telemedicine were extremely intriguing to me. Things like soft and hard tissue manipulation, cannabis, massage therapy, soft tissue work in specialization are all among my main interests. I prefer to take a multi-modal approach,” he said.
Dr. Zac and I are now joining forces to offer you one-on-one consultations.
Receive a full regimen for your CBD use (how to find their dose, how to administer, what is safe), but Angela & Dr. Zac will work with you to create a well–rounded, holistic protocol with proper diet and supplements to address your furry friend’s specific needs.
It’s time to take charge of your pet’s health! Book your consultation now >>
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years, and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.
About Dr. Zac Pilossoph
Dr. Zac Pilossoph is a nationally recognized veterinary professional. Dr. Zac graduated top of his class from the Tufts University Veterinary School of Medicine with a postgrad focused on emergency/critical care and Neurology. In addition to launching several novel platforms in the wellness field, Dr. Zac is one of the premier global veterinary cannabis educational experts. He is one of the most nationally recognized and active relief veterinarians. Dr. Zac also sits on the board for several different veterinary non-profit organizations and continues to break down barriers. Going over and beyond his Veterinary duties, Dr. Zac has partnered with the CBD training academy. Learn more about Dr. Zac >>