Biologically Appropriate Raw Food for Pets

   Detoxification and Healing Crises in Your Pets

Content Courtesy of Cindy & Rick Scheyer, Pet Health & Nutrition Educators
Organic Whole Food Health, inc.

When you change your pet’s diet from commercially prepared devitalized foods and introduce them to real whole foods and support their body with high quality supplements, pets will usually go through detoxification. During detoxification, your pets will experience several healing crises. They might experience vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, itchy skin, draining eyes and ears, and cysts showing up in different parts of the body. They may be lethargic, or if they have had neurological problems or seizures, these may return for a short time. All their old symptoms may return. You will freak out at what is going on. You may think that their health is deteriorating. You may think that your pet is even dying (they are not!). That is why it is vital that you understand why this is happening. These symptoms of detoxification can start immediately after changing the diet and starting your pet on supplements, or symptoms may take days, weeks or months before your pet’s body is strong enough to detoxify.

Most often when humans or pets are given the supplements, you notice good energy, and overall good symptoms. Once the body builds up reserve energy, which could be a few days, a few weeks, more than a month, the body will start the detoxification process. So when dogs get on the healthy diet and the supplements, the majority will show excellent positive symptoms right away and then out of the blue and overnight they will go from being healthy to feeling terrible. I always say that the healing crisis is like being hit by a Mack truck out of nowhere…..You just didn’t see it coming.

The symptoms during a healing crisis for a pet will occur through areas that are already weak or diseased. For example, pets who have skin problems will detoxify through the skin. The itching or sores on the skin will get worse at first because the system initially heals internally and releases the toxins through the skin. Sometimes during a healing crisis, a pet may experience loose stools for a few days or even weeks. Often the stools will be encased in mucous. Worms might even come out in the stools during healing crises. Your pet may stare off into space, start to pace, or have a seizure. They may have strange behavior such as aggression or anxiety.

How long will it take to go through such healing crises after improving diet and giving supplements to your pets is hard to predict. But the older the pet or the sicker they are, and the longer they’ve been on commercial and devitalized foods, the longer (and stronger) the detoxification process will be.

The detoxification process will also likely not be a one time event.  As the body heals at deeper levels detoxification symptoms can reappear from time to time over the course of the healing process. In extreme cases it can feel like a roller coaster so strap on your emotional seat belt. You have to remember that your pet developed their diseased condition over time and it will take an equal amount of time for the body to reverse this and heal itself. It may not be a fun process for you and your pet but it is the only path to better health and it beats the alternative of drugs and procedures that lead to a shortened lifespan.

The following article is about the process of a healing crisis. Even though the article is written about what humans go through during healing crises, the same information is also applicable to pets as they go through similar healing crises experiences.

What to Expect as You Go Through Healing Crises

Information paraphrased from Dr. Bruce Fife’s book: The Healing Crisis, pgs. 79-86.

Nature’s way of purging harmful toxins from the body and restoring health is through the healing crisis. Crises can be so mild they are unnoticeable or so dramatic you almost think your life is about to end. In order to remove chronic degenerative diseases from the body and achieve health and well-being, you must go through the cleansing process which is usually through several healing crises. Prepare yourself mentally for it. Look forward to it. Because without these healing crises, you cannot naturally heal. When it comes, be happy that you (or your dog) are healing. No two people are alike. Everyone has a different lifestyle: eats differently, has unique genetic makeup, and varying habits. Everyone has different levels of health. The symptoms you encounter, their frequency and severity, will be completely different from those of anyone else. So you can’t compare yourself with others.

Often, chronic conditions from which you are suffering will temporarily get worse. If you suffer from arthritis, joint pain may increase. If you are troubled with chronic migraines, you may have terrible headaches. An eczema or psoriasis problem may run wild. Hemorrhoids may flare up. PMS may intensify. Allergies may get worse. Asthmatics may experience breathing difficulties. Blood pressure may increase. Any number of other symptoms may surface during this time that may appear unrelated to existing health conditions. Sometimes these conditions improve after the crisis. Sometimes it takes several crises to cleanse the offending toxins from the body and stimulate healing before you start to feel better. At times, health problems can improve immediately after a crisis, and at other times, they may linger or improve very slowly.

The crisis can come without warning, but generally you will know it is close at hand by the way you feel. You will have a surge of energy and a greater sense of wellbeing just before the crisis. For example, if you have eczema, you might experience an improvement in your skin appearance after improving your diet and taking whole food supplements. All of a sudden, eczema erupts not just in your regular skin spots, but new spots on your skin will develop eczema. This is how it usually works. Your detoxification organs become stronger and more efficient, energy level increases, you feel great, better than you have for months. Cleansing and rebuilding are proceeding at an accelerated pace. This explosion of activity can only come about when the body is strong enough to handle intensive housecleaning. Then the bottom drops out. The body pulls out so much junk that has been stored in the tissues that unpleasant symptoms appear. Your body’s elimination systems have been temporarily overloaded. You may feel lousy but be grateful that your body is healing.

How does the healing crisis work?

The first healing crisis will come according to the health of the individual. A young person may have a crisis after only a couple of weeks, while for an elderly person it may take three months or more. Older people have the effects of many more years of poor living habits to correct than younger ones. So, generally, the older you are or the sicker you are (or your dog is), the more severe and more frequent crises will be.

The type of healing program you use will also determine the speed of healing and cleansing. Fasting, for example, is one of the quickest methods of cleansing and can easily initiate a healing crisis.

A healing crisis can come as a result of anything you do that improves your health and strengthens the immune system. Converting to a natural foods diet and eliminating your exposure to processed foods and environmental toxins can bring on a healing crisis. If you take whole food supplements to overcome nutritional deficiencies you may experience healing crises. One health practitioner commented that he encountered many people who would use supplements for a few weeks then stop because they claimed that they made them sick. The supplements didn’t make them sick, it made them healthy enough to purge disease-causing toxins from their bodies. They made themselves sick from their lifestyle and dietary habits. They did not recognize the cleansing crisis for what it was and interpreted it as a sickness.

Some people, when they experience their first healing crisis, think it’s a disease crisis and give up and say, “The diet and supplements didn’t work – I got sicker.” You can’t expect to clean years of junk and rebuild an entire body in just a few weeks. Some health care practitioners estimate that it takes seven years to thoroughly clean toxins out of the body and rebuild with new healthy tissues. During this time, periodic healing crises should be expected. To some people, seven years may seem like a long time, but as the body cleanses and rebuilds, strength and vitality will continue to increase. Within months you can experience a remarkable improvement in health. Annoying symptoms depart, but complete healing takes time. While detoxing, you do not grow older and sicker, but functionally younger and healthier. You may see improvements in your health almost immediately. The longer you eat wisely and utilize detoxification methods, the healthier you will be. If you return to habits that burden the body with poisons and pollution, good health cannot be maintained. 

So what do you do when a crisis strikes?

One of the biggest misconceptions people face with the healing crisis is the belief that they have caught some hideous infection. If they go to a doctor who is not familiar with this aspect of natural healing, he will diagnose it as an allergy or an infection and will prescribe antibiotics or other drugs that will suppress the healing process. Although the drugs may bring temporary relief, the cleansing process will be halted, and toxins will remain in the body and be reabsorbed into the tissue. To eliminate these toxins, the person must go through the cleansing crisis all over again.

The symptoms of cleansing are part of a curing process and are constructive. Don’t try to stop them with medication or even medicinal herbs. Natural whole food supplements, however, may be beneficial and can speed healing. For example, the use of enzymes therapy (enzymes taken between meals), can speed up the cleansing process.

Let nature take its course. If you are eating properly, these symptoms are not deficiency conditions or allergic reactions. The symptoms generally will last only a few days to a week or so. (Usually a day or two with dogs). During this time, no drugs should be taken, as the body is trying to eliminate toxins. Taking drugs will only hamper the elimination process and just add more toxins into your system.

You don’t need to do anything special other than slow down and allow the body to cleanse and heal. Listen to your body. One wise person described his experience and how he reacted: “I developed a nagging headache, pain in my neck and back, lack of energy, dry mouth, and depressed appetite. The symptoms began Sunday afternoon and gradually intensified reaching a climax on Tuesday. Knowing that symptoms are the body’s way of communicating and healing, I tried to follow what my body was telling me. Normally I exercise every morning, but because I felt unusually fatigued, I refrained from exercise for a couple of days, and I slept a little longer than normal. Since my mouth was dry, my body was telling me I needed to increase my fluid intake to wash away toxins, so I drank more than usual. And I ate less. I relaxed in a tub of hot water to ease tension in my back. By Tuesday night I started to feel better. Wednesday morning all the symptoms had gone. I felt my normal self, not particularly better or worse than I had before the cleansing crisis. But when I went to exercise that morning, I did notice one new development. My eyesight was dramatically improved. I still needed glasses to get around, but I was able to see things in clear detail that were fuzzy shapes just days before.”

The symptoms you develop during a crisis will guide you as to what to do. If you are tired – rest. If you are thirsty – drink. If you have a fever, your body is trying to build up heat, keep yourself warm and let the heat run its course. And it’s the same for your dog! Allow him/her to go through the detox towards a better life of health and vitality.


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