The kind of problem that Millie encountered is extremely common in dogs. The only thing that sets this situation apart is that, for once, the problem was dealt with correctly, through understanding and removing the underlying cause. As a result, her body was able to resolve the issue on its own.
The circumstances that led to the inflammation are very clear. The job of white blood cells is to encapsulate, escort and/or otherwise neutralize undigested wastes and harmful substances that would otherwise proliferate in the bloodstream when a dog is over- or mis-fed. Millie’s history as a raw fed dog meant that her contingent of white cells was not being regularly taxed like it is when dogs are overfed or fed commercial pet food on a daily basis since puppyhood. So this resource was available when it was needed after the owners went back to kibble feeding. Despite her body’s best efforts to eliminate waste expediently, after a few months, the accumulation of waste and toxins began to outpace her body’s ability to eliminate them. For reasons unknown to all, they were significantly deposited in the area just behind and surrounding her left eye. In response to that accumulation, the body released a contingent of white cells and also directed heat, fluids and other resources to the area (aka “inflammation”) to dilute the wastes and accelerate healing.
The medical profession regards inflammation to be a mistake that needs to be rectified by anti-inflammatory drugs, and hypothesizes incorrectly that it is caused by bacteria. Their normal strategy revolves around attempting to rid the body of bacteria. This is not only impossible and irrational, but fundamentally a very harmful approach, because it leaves intact the real causes (the waste that the bacteria are there to feed upon) and introduces new and dangerous toxins – antibiotics (which literally means “against life”) – to a body that is already overburdened with waste and toxic debris.
In Millie’s case, this additional harm was averted but in most it is not, and is compounded by the heroic diagnostic measures that owners are often frightened into submitting to. All day long, vets see dogs and cats who are prime candidates for sudden or slow death from chronic disease. On one hand, it’s no surprise that they jump to the worst possible conclusions. But on the other, there’s no excuse for the ignorance about disease causation that pervades the veterinary industry, and they can’t escape their part in perpetuating the epidemic of sickness by claiming they don’t know how to stop it. If the vet that examined Millie had any notion at all about what must be done to reverse sickness, a prohibitively expensive test like an MRI would have been the absolute last resort. Before that, simple, conservative methods constituting removal of cause would have been employed. If the vet industry was guided by reason or rationality rather than remuneration, the methods we used with Millie would be the usual course of action.
These crisis situations are cyclical and self-limiting. The body creates inflammation to deal with high levels of internal pollution and when the excess is eliminated, the crisis ends. It sometimes happens that “infection” or inflammation seems to rage uncontrollably, but this is only because the causes continue unrecognized and unaddressed. More often than not, since the body cannot keep up this valiant fight forever, inflammation eventually ends, with or without veterinary intervention. If drugs have been administered, they always get the credit for “curing” the inflammation, when what really happened was that the body was able to overcome the original problem in addition to the harmful remedy, or had managed via the aborted inflammation to eliminate enough excess to regain functionality. Obviously, a much better approach is to remove the cause of the problem and not further burden the body with the task of eliminating harmful drugs, which can be life-threatening if the dog in question is very old or already severely compromised. In those situations, death due to “complications” (caused by drug therapy) is quite common, although the “infection” always gets the blame.
Since the cause of the waste accumulation in Millie’s case was the routine feeding of commercial pet food, all that was necessary was to withhold food until the body was able to naturally eliminate the accumulated wastes. It should be noted that even after 5 days without any food at all followed by one day of only fruit, Millie was still quite overweight. We need to remember that canids of all kinds are biologically adapted for long periods of food scarcity, even while they normally (in the wild) don’t carry much reserve fuel on their bodies to begin with. A dog as rich in fuel reserves as Millie could probably last many weeks or even months without food.
Millie returned to her owners completely healthy in 7 days.