Hi there this is Lyndall Pinchen, Canine Naturopath from Canine Vitality and in this week’s blog I wanted to talk to about the difference between suppressing disease and truly healing from it. There are many of you out there right now that own dogs who have been or currently are on a variety of drugs that work by suppressing symptoms and the disease process. In the short term, this looks great and  brings both you and your dog a great deal of relief from whatever symptoms have been affecting them. Suddenly you can relax again as you think the crisis is over!!

But you know, here’s the thing. While in the short term it might appear that all of a sudden your dog has miraculously recovered from the symptoms, inside their body, a different story is going on. SO today I want to share with you how these drugs are really affecting your pet’s health, what true healing really is and some alternatives to this conventional approach.

So, firstly what are the most common drugs prescribed to help suppress symptoms and disease? Well, really there are many of them but one of the most commonly prescribed and well known of these are STEROIDS. These come in a variety of forms- maybe you have been given Neocort topical cream for skin rashes, while Cortisone, Macrolone and Prednisolone are prescribed internally often for allergies and autoimmune diseases as well as inflammatory conditions, acute or chronic. There are other variations of these but these are the most common forms given. Other drugs including pain killers and antibiotics also can have this suppressing action.


So what exactly is the action of these drugs? Drugs such as steroids work to SUPPRESS or subdue symptoms. And while they appear to do this very effectively , what is really happening is that the disease process has now been pushed deeper into the body. You see, when your dog becomes unwell and shows symptoms of any sort of disease, from a holistic perspective we look at this as the body’s way of showing that something is out of balance. And those symptoms are the body actually trying to rebalance by getting rid of toxins, infections etc. SO really we don’t want to suppress the symptoms but instead, find out the cause of them.


However, if we use suppressing drugs such as steroids, in the long term, it will create an even bigger health problem for your dog. And maybe some of you have experienced this first hand. Have you ever had your dog on a steroid medication for say, an itchy rash?? When you first start using the steroid, it seems to miraculously clear away the rash often within hours to days. However, when you stop using the medication, you may notice that the symptoms often return either straight away or within a  short time period. This is because all the drugs have done is actually mask those symptoms without getting to that underlying cause. And of course that now means that that relatively minor rash can soon become a very major problem, not only affecting the skin but other parts of the body may become involved.


It’s very easy to think that conventional drugs have performed some type of miracle just because they provided short-term relief of pain or discomfort. But we end up pushing the disease deeper into the body as a  result of using these medications that are prescribed for their ability to control or inhibit symptoms- symptoms  that are the natural defensive functions of the body.  Suppression of the disease process can easily lead to increased chronic disease and immune dysfunction , both of which we are seeing together in epidemic proportions in our dogs today. So the more we rely on these drugs, the more likely it is that the disease will seek out other ways of manifesting in the body and therefore become more serious and chronic.

Now I know what you are thinking…it’s all very well Lyndall to tell me all of this but my dog is suffering without these drugs!! might have a dog right now that is relying on one of these suppressing drugs to just get through their day. Maybe they are suffering from an ongoing skin condition where they are scratching and tearing themselves apart everyday without the drug, or maybe they are suffering from one of many autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis ….the list goes on. And it is the medication that is helping to keep them functioning right now. There are 100’s of diseases that our dogs are faced with that are routinely treated using drugs like steroids and pain relievers .  

And having seen many many dogs suffering from diseases where these drugs are being prescribed, I can truly understand your frustration as a dog owner. Of course we don’t want to watch our pets suffer and there is a time when these medications can be life saving in the short term. So while I do not advocate the use of ongoing medications, there can be value in the short term especially if the condition is life threatening. The problem lies in the long term as I have mentioned and this is where using a natural approach can really make the difference. So rather than just suppressing those symptoms, if we use a natural approach that follows the laws of nature, we can work towards TRUE HEALING which is very different from just suppressing those disease symptoms.

One of the best ways to help the body heal fully and completely is to put into it foods and supplements that build health rather than suppress it. SO this of course means looking at the most appropriate and anti-inflammatory diet and for dogs this will be an organic raw diet for the great majority of dogs. I love to prescribe The Complete Meal to all my clients as the highest quality raw diet.  In some cases it may be necessary for a short time to use a natural and lightly cooked diet to aid the healing process.

IN addition to this, we want to focus on a few other principles:

*Start building GUT health but using bone broth and nourishing herbs and nutrients including Slippery elm, Glutamine, Marshmallow, Licorice root and Quercetin

*Avoid chemicals like flea, tick and worming products and opt for natural alternatives. Click here to learn more about our range of natural alternatives

*Avoid vaccinations where possible ESPECIALLY if you are dealing with an allergy or autoimmune disease diagnosis or cancer- use titre testing as an alternative option

*Consider a gentle detox tonic or plan for your dog- this is always best done under the supervision of an holistic practitioner and you can rad more about my herbal detox formula here- this is general and suitable for most pets


*Reduce stress levels in your pets and use natural herbs and supplements including magnesium

*HERBS including turmeric, licorice root, sarsaparilla, along with antiinflam nutrients and herbs including fish or hemp oil, coconut oil, quercetin, digestive enzymes, spirulina and alpha lipoic acid and other antioxidant nutrients can all be implemented to reduce inflammation help bring symptomatic relief along with internal balance.

*Of course I always suggest that you work with a practitioner to help put together a simple plan that can be followed as it can be pretty confusing to try ad work this all out yourself and you can rung the risk of giving the wrong combinations or incorrect doses etc- it’s just easier to get help!! And if you are struggling now with your dog’s health issue and are looking for answers, I can assist you with helping to get your dog’s body back in balance and work slowly to reduce medications where possible and in a measured and careful way- please do NOT ever attempt to stop medications cold turkey especially if you dog has been on them long term. You can contact me by emailing to the details on the screen or going to my website at and send me an enquiry form.

Well I trust you enjoyed todays post on “Don’t confuse SUPPRESSION with TRUE HEALING!” While it

may be that your dog is currently on one of these suppressing drugs, there is still hope and so much that can be done to start to rebalance the body naturally working towards true healing. And remember that for the most part, using a natural regime will actually reduce side effects and any potential long term damage. Once we start to work with Mother nature, we start to see the body move towards a place of healing, strength and balance as opposed to just masking any symptoms.

Well that all for now- please remember to like, comment and share this post and subscribe to my youtube channel for all the latest happyhealthydogs tips straight to your inbox. I look forward to talking to you soon!!