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How I Got Here

After being separated from the US Air Force in 1959, I returned to my “Home of Record” San Jose , California.  Due to a gross lack of funds, I was not able to enter into veterinary practice. Therefore, in order to support my family, wife and two little ones, I took a position with the US Department of Agriculture as a veterinary meat inspector.  In addition to this position, on weekends, I relieved veterinary practitioners. Finally in May in May of 1962 I had enough capital to enter into veterinary practice, not enough to locate in an affluent area of town, but rather in an average hard working middle class area where many families lived from “pay check to paycheck”  My colleagues said I would never make it my area of choice.  I was determined to prove them wrong.  Since these wonderful pet owners had  limited funds to spend on their pets for traditional veterinary treatment protocols, I set out to find alternative cost effective protocols for my clients.

This led me to the County hospital library on my lunch hours and after work reading obscure articles and professional published papers. Because I was not a hospital staff member, I was not permitted to “check out” any books or periodicals, I had to make notes, since during these years, there were no copy machines, as we have today, no internet, computers nor IPhones this was 1963. On one visit to the library, I happened upon an article in a nutritional journal about a country doctor, Dr. Fred Klenner who in the 1940’s successfully treated polio patients during an epidemic in one of the Carolina’s. His success was accomplished by injecting his patients with vitamin C.  His success with this vitamin was the impetus for my quest to find effective solutions to medical problems encountered in my fledgling practice.  Vitamin C?  This is a liver metabolite synthesized by the liver of dogs and cats; this probably not be effective since this “vitamin” is already in both species.  “Desperate people will do desperate things,” and I was desperate, since canine and feline distemper was a significant problem in the area.  After several months of trial and error, I finally established a dosage that was successful in treating this deadly disease.  Since there had never been a successful conventional treatment treatment protocol, I was ecstatic, thrilled and most joyful for my success.  In 1967,  I wrote and presented a scientific paper to a veterinary journal for publication( Vitamin C in the Treatment of Canine and Feline Distemper Complex).  Though my paper was published, it was rejected by  the profession which included educators, researchers, and practitioners, and also some breeders and fanciers, they considered my efforts “quackery.”

My clients were steadfast and continued tp support me and my unorthodox treatment protocol.  These wonderful people expected me to always have solutions for their pets’ medical problems, if not at lease try. They often referred their friends and relatives, some of which were from neighboring cities.  This led me on a thirty seven year of learning, and experimenting with different nutritional supplements treating specific diseases and new surgical procedures.

There were vitamin/mineral combinations I required for certain conditions that were not available on the commercial supplement market.  Having been trained in compounding pharmacy, I decided to attempt to formulate my own formulas that would satisfy  my requirements for treating, preventing, and controlling specific pathological conditions.  My formulas were developed exclusively for my patients,and their loyal owners, these clients, by word of mouth spread ant told of their experiences with my formulas which brought about a demand, from pet owners, from coast to coast and north and south.

And by the way, I am no longer referred to as a “quack,” I am now said to have been ” years ahead of my time.”  There are three veterinary schools researching vitamin/mineral treatment protocols and are having the same positive results These Schools of Veterinary Medicine have validated that which I had accomplished forty years ago, and have provided me in my “golden years” a glimmer of hope that some time, in the future, nutritional treatment protocols will be”Main Stream” in the veterinary profession.

Mine has been, at times, a difficult fifty year journey, and it was a combination love and determination that would not have me abandon the animals I was trained to care for; now you know “How I Got Here.”

Wendell O. Belfield, D.V.M.

Minimum Daily Requirements/Recommended Daily Allowence

The first 25 years of the twentieth century, the US government established requirements for nutrients to prevent deficiency diseases such as Beriberi and Scurvy. The title or term associated was “Minimum Daily Requirements.” These “Requirements” did not have any other effects or intention to address any other medical problems.

During mid-century, some medical and veterinary professionals discovered administering nutritional supplements in excess of those recommended for deficiency diseases, had a profound effect on some diseases. Due to this phenomenon, these professionals requested the National Research Council to increase the Minimum Daily Requirement to include other medical conditions. This was denied, instead, they changed “Minimum” to what we have today “Recommended.”
There is much to gain should the “Recommended Daily Allowances” be increased since many pathological problems are due to our environment including poor diets. It is inconceivable the nutritional requirements are the same as recommended in early twentieth century. One would have to wonder what pathological conditions could be eliminated/prevented with a simple increase in the “Recommended Daily Allowances”.

What makes matters worse, this has been carried into our domestic animals including our pets. Ideally, instead of recommending “Minimums” an effort should be made to establish “Optimum” levels of nutrients. Since many diseases occur because of immune deficiencies, having optimum nutrition to ensure an optimally functioning immune systems would prevent many diseases. The whole idea of nutrition is to promote and maintain good health, which should be the goal of the National Academy of Sciences. Deficiency diseases are almost nonexistent in these modern times and it is time we focus on current nutritional problems by replacing the archaic “Minimum Requirement,” with more realistic nutritional values.

Gingivitis and Stomatitis

Gingivitis and Stomatitis are parts of a large group of conditions of the mouth or oral cavity. These conditions are manifested by inflammation and ulcers of the gums and soft tissues and difficult to treat via conventional protocols. The true cause is not clear, however, there are bacteria associated. For gingivitis it has been established the cause to be dental calculus or tarter that develops between the teeth and gums where bacteria thrive. When the bacteria reaches the alveolar(the socket into which the teeth are embedded) the teeth become loose and no longer able to function and must be extracted. The down side to this problem is the infection can enter the circulatory system causing septicemia and possible death. This problem can also affect the soft tissues of the mouth, stomatitis.

The conventional treatment is the administration of antibiotics and steroids. The protocol will temporarily destroy bacteria only to have the scenario repeat itself. Though antibiotics kill bacteria, they also impair healing as does steroids. Prolong antibiotic treatment protocol will adversely impact the kidneys causing them to fail. Ideally, when treating these two conditions as an adjunct to the antibiotic/steroid therapy a healing agent should be included. Since cells and tissues die via oxidation, antioxidants must be included in the treatment protocol, thereby preventing pockets for bacteria to develop and thrive. In the early stages of these conditions, when the gums and soft tissues begin to swell with increased redness, begin the antioxidants, prevention “is the name of the game.”

Degenerative Spinal Myelopathy: Posterior Paralysis

It is most heart wrenching to view a canine who has loss the use of it’s hind limbs wanting so desperately to be mobile. At best, all that can be done is to drag his/her hind legs. these limbs once an asset now a burden. There have been several approaches to the treatment of this horrifying problem like surgeries, steroid, and massage therapy and also acupuncture. This can be a pathological condition occurring at birth and not manifesting itself until later in life. This is a problem of misalignments (subluxation) between vertebrae. This misalignment causes inflammation, which over time, creates ossification at the base of the of the vertebrae (spondylosis), nature’s way of preventing movement between the articulating surfaces thereby initiating an inflammatory process affecting the spinal nerves supplying motor impulses to the hind limbs, causing posterior paralysis.In not too severe cases should the inflammation be addressed successfully, there is marked improvement in several weeks. In more severe cases, when degenerative changes are occurring, I have enlisted the help and support of a chiropractor. Presently, in veterinary medicine, this is a developing aspect of the profession. Though not yet a part of the veterinary curricula, there are “workshops” by knowledgeable veterinarians in the art. I have a friend and colleague who has learned chiropractic procedures and techniques that have become an integral part of her practice. She says it is a new weapon for her to use against diseases. There are large animal veterinarians practitioners adjusting the spines of race horses with great success.

Though posterior paralysis is the direct cause of degenerative spinal myelopathy, the spinal nerves emanating from the spinal cord does effect all organs and parts of the body from the cervical area(neck) to the base of the tail., heart,lungs,liver, kidneys, spleen, etc. can be involved. Should there be a problem of one or more organs in these areas resulting from a blood “workup”, you should consider the possibility of a spinal X-ray, especially in older canines.

There are four phases to this pathology:
Phase one: usually observed in the young and can be reversed via spinal adjustments.
Phase two: this can stop the progression via spinal adjustments
Phase three: can slow the process via spinal adjustments
Phase four: nothing can be done, the degenerative process is too extensive.The patient is on “borrowed time”

Hypersensitivity: A.K.A “Allergy”

As defined in The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language, “Hypersensitivity or pathological reaction to environmental factors or substances, such as pollen, foods, dust, or microorganisms, in amounts that do not affect most people”this would include companion animals.

Allergies are the most challenging condition for a veterinary practitioner to attempt to treat, prevent and control due to their complexities. All tissues of the body are susceptible to substances causing the allergy problem, then there is the mode of entrance into the body, most importantly the multitude of substances in the environment(allergens) that are the initiators of allergies. For more years than I can recall, the treatment protocols involve the administration of steroids because of their anti-inflammatory effects, antihistamines, antibiotics, elimination diets, and anti-antigen injections often referred to as “allergy shots.” As the medications dissipate, the symptoms return and necessitates additional treatment, this is often repeated indefinitely because the cause has not been eliminated.

That which was just described is referred to as “symptomatic treatment”, not getting to the cause but merely making the patient more comfortable. The reason these patients are having the allergy problem is due to an immune deficiency. You don’t treat the allergy, you treat the immune system (immunotherapy). Continuous administration of drugs, like steroids, can be most harmful causing Cushing’s Syndrome that can result in death. The only “drawback,” to immunotherapy, is it requires time to “kick” in, about six weeks. If immunotherapy not be implemented the patient will always have allergy problems.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis(FIP) and Canineparvovirus Vaccine

Many years ago when in practice, I received a phone call from a Siamese breeder with a most perplexing problem; all of her cats were testing positive for FIP. She replaced them with new FIP free cats. several months later all were testing positive for FIP. She could not sell any of her kittens. My query to her was do you have a dog who has access to the cattery? her reply was “yes”; has your dog been vaccinated against the canine parvovirus? yes was her reply. Your cats became sensitive to the parvo vaccination which contains the coronavirus so is the FIP virus they both belong to the same coronavirus family. Therefore, the FIP titer test was positive because of the commonality of the canine and feline coronaviruses. After maintaining separation of her dog from the cattery, the problem was solved. This senerio, I am certain, Has occurred in individual house holds where there were dogs and cats cohabiting. I cannot help wondering how many cats were euthanized because of this lack of knowledge and information.

Sodium: The Victim of an Erroneous Perception

Multiple times in a twenty four hour period the media is informing the public of the perils of sodium. This mineral is very important for life without it there can be convulsive seizures and possible death. Sodium is an electrolyte that is necessary for tissue balance. The initial research was exclusively done with sodium chloride, table salt, this is the culprit, for some unknown reason the researchers assumed, erroneously, the sodium ion was the source for causing High blood pressure, and hypertension; they failed to do comparison studies to determine if all sodium compounds had the same effects as sodium Chloride. On October 22, 1987 four physicians at the University of California School of Medicine at San Francisco published their results of their study of a comparison of table salt, sodium chloride to another sodium compound sodium citrate. The title”SALT-SENSITIVE ” ESSENTIAL Hypertension IN MEN, Is the Sodium Ion alone Important? These researchers say the findings indicate that salt, or sodium chloride and sodium cannot be used interchangeably.
Some veterinary practitioners have applied the sodium/salt concept to dogs and cats who do not consume salt as do humans and do not display human symptoms. A colleague who practices in New Mexico has had excellent results in treating rattlesnake bites in dogs with I.V. infusions of sodium ascorbate.

Sodium ascorbate a buffered form of the natural form of vitamin C has long been my choice for vitamin C. Ascorbic acid natural vitamin C is exactly what it implies an acid with a pH of 2.0 ,consuming mega amounts can cause acidosis leading to kidney failure and the destruction of red blood cells. by incorporating a mineral like sodium buffers the vitamin to a pH of 7.4 the same pH of the dog and cat.Though there are no nutritional requirements for vitamin C in dogs and cats, I have used it in my practice for more than thirty years with no adverse reactions. All sodium compounds are not the same.

I am placing my money on the researchers at the University of California not the fifteen seconds sound bites of the media.

Feeding Raw Meat Diets

It has been determined that Salmonella poisoning is being misdiagnosed. A pet on raw meat diets having an intermittent occurrence of vomiting and diarrhea can be a case of Salmonella poisoning. Often, when a case of vomiting and diarrhea is presented to the veterinary practitioner, he or she will successfully treat the symptoms and neglect to submit the fecal matter for laboratory testing for a possible cause for the symptoms.(1)

Since the Salmonella organisms can be shed poses a risk to those humans who are “immunocompromised”(poor immune system)and the American Veterinary Medical Association, Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend these diets because of human health risk. (2)

(1)Rebecca L. Remillard, PhD, Diplomate ACVN, MSPCA Angels Animal Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, Clinician’s Brief.
(2)Karen A. Moriella, DVM, Diplomate ACVD,ZOONOSES PUBLIC HEALTH

“What’s That I Smell?: Oh! Its My Dog Breaking Wind”

Now days our pets are part of the family, they share just about everything, family gatherings, walks in the park and also close quarters for an automobile ride.  The aroma of methane gas expelled from our pets’ rear ends is most unpleasant, to say the least.  Lynn, my assistant, brings one of greyhounds to work each morning, and more often than not, “what’s that I smell?” happens.  Back to the “drawing” board, recently, I formulated a pill to help prevent this problem, now in the testing stage, thus far it shows great promise.

Weak and Fragile Newborns

‘Spring is in the air’ this means new puppies and kittens will begin the odyssey of life. Unfortunately, some have a tough beginning, weak and fragile. This is the results of some pups and kittens, when in the womb, are at the end of the feeding chain. Though they are perfectly developed, they have been denied the same amount of nutrients received by their siblings. This I observed many years ago when practicing and Since there was no solution, by the veterinary experts, I decided to implement a protocol to address the problem. Going back to my pre-veterinary compounding pharmacy skills, I developed a pediatric formula that gave these newborns a fighting chance immediately after birth. Should you be interested, I call it Mega C Drops Pediatric Formula.