By Dr. Becker and Dr. Nancy Scanlan, Executive Director, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
Mercola Healthy Pets is committed to advancing research in integrative veterinary medicine and has partnered with several organizations to accomplish this goal.
The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AHVMF) is the only independent organization that exclusively supports research and education in integrative holistic veterinary medicine in the U.S. By matching the generous donations of visitors to our site, Mercola Healthy Pets has helped fund many important research studies through the AHVMF.
During this holiday season, we would like to take a few moments to reflect on some of the wonderful projects your donations have made possible.
Mercola Healthy Pets Readers Have Helped Raise Almost $800,000 for Research and Education in Holistic and Integrative Veterinary Medicine
Mercola Healthy Pets and the AHVMF fund ONLY cruelty-free animal research. We support the education of future holistic and integrative veterinarians through scholarships for veterinary students, and by funding integrative veterinary programs in veterinary schools. Donations are raised with a Silent Auction at the AHVMA annual convention, and from public and other corporate donations, including those provided by Mercola.com and visitors to the Healthy Pets site.
To date, Mercola Healthy Pets readers have helped raise $780,000 for the AHVMF, which has allowed the Foundation to fund several essential projects and research grants. It is critically important to raise money for holistic veterinary research so we can continue to offer alternative treatment to animals facing significant health struggles – animals with chronic or life-threatening conditions for whom conventional medicine has run out of options.
Your Donations Are at Work at Louisiana State and the University of Tennessee
Mercola.com-funded education grants have allowed the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine to hire a veterinary acupuncturist as a full-time faculty member.
The donations from Mercola Healthy Pets readers have also allowed the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine to establish the first fellowship in integrative veterinary medicine.
You’re Helping to Fund Herbal Medicine Research and Several Studies on Alternative Canine Cancer Therapies
The most recent education grant funded by Mercola.com was awarded to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine to help establish an herbal research center.
Dr. Justin Schmalberg, Clinical Assistant Professor of Integrative Medicine for the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, who proposed the project, has noted that since acupuncture has become somewhat mainstream, it is relatively easy to get funding for acupuncture research. But for herbal medicine studies, it is almost impossible to find funds, so the Mercola grant is much needed and appreciated.
The AHVMF is also supporting a project at UF that explores the quality of life effects of two alternative therapies -- acupuncture and a Chinese herbal formula -- when added to conventional treatment for canine lymphoma. Patients in the study will be tracked to see whether these adjunct therapies may also prolong their lives.
The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is also studying the effects of acupuncture on lymphoma in pets, but in this case, to determine whether it can help ameliorate the side effects of chemotherapy.
Two other cancer projects include a study of a homeopathic protocol for osteosarcoma, and research into whether a universal cancer marker exists in dogs.
In humans, holistic medicine often improves quality of life as well as lifespan, and if veterinary research proves this to also be the case with dogs, it will encourage veterinary oncologists to use it more in their practices.
Your Generosity Is Also Helping to Pay for Rabies Vaccine Duration-of-Immunity Studies, a Study on Anesthesia-Free Dental Cleanings, and a New Therapy to Treat Feline Kidney Disease
The Foundation is supporting two vaccine studies to determine if the rabies vaccine lasts longer than 3 years, and whether small breeds can respond to a half dose, rather than a full dose, of vaccine. Both studies will help support pet owners and veterinarians who wish to vaccinate dogs less often than is currently recommended by the traditional veterinary community. By spacing vaccinations farther apart and giving smaller doses to smaller animals, there is less chance of adverse side effects.
A study of anesthesia-free dental cleanings will help verify the ability of properly trained veterinary dental technicians to adequately clean teeth without anesthesia, providing no major dental work is needed. With adequate research to support the practice, pet owners will have a basis for asking for non-anesthetic cleaning for pets with a risk of anesthetic complications.
Kidney disease is one of the top killers of older cats. The Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine is investigating whether an extract of fatty tissue can help repair or restore some degree of kidney function in cats with renal disease. This therapy has the potential to help cats live longer and better lives. Currently, the only option for improving kidney health in a cat with renal failure is an expensive and complicated kidney transplant.
Your Donations Have Also Made It Possible to Conduct Holistic and Integrative Research in Large Animal Medicine
The AHVM Foundation also supports work with horses and farm animals. Studies on acupuncture for chronic equine laminitis (founder), laser therapy for equine tendonitis (and bowed tendons), and normal behavior of hogs when raised on pasture instead of in confinement, are all being supported by AHVMF grants.
There is also a grant for the study of a Chinese herb (Yunnan Baiyao) that has the potential to help horses that are “bleeders” as well as those with life-threatening problems such as a ruptured uterine artery. Horses with heaves can be helped by other funded research.
Mercola Healthy Pets… and YOU, Our Readers… Are Making a Huge Difference in Helping the AHVM Foundation Pay for Essential Holistic and Integrative Veterinary Medicine Research
Integrative holistic veterinary research funded by the AHVM Foundation does not receive any financial support from standard drug companies. However, two herb companies, Natural Path and A Time To Heal, have made generous contributions.
Also, a new humane muzzle company is donating a percentage of every sale to the Snickers Fund, in memory of a pony named Snickers, to help with research on equine insulin resistance.
But the Foundation’s biggest commercial donor by far is Mercola.com, which has generously double- and even triple-matched individual Healthy Pets reader donations over the last three years.
For 2015, the Foundation will be seeking proposals for nutrition research, research in arthritis and other causes of lameness in older animals, and more research in cancer.
We’ll be running another AHVMF fundraising campaign here at Mercola Healthy Pets during 2015, and we hope – having read about some of the wonderful work your donations are helping to fund – that you’ll be able to help out again in the coming year.If you’re inspired to make a donation to the Foundation today, you can do so here.