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Immune System Health and Anti-Aging
許多的貓咪疾病是因慢性發炎而起. 尤其是因為年紀漸長而產生的一些退化性疾病, 像是關節炎, 腎臟病甚至癌症. 這些發炎並不會直接殺死細胞, 而是在細胞周圍的細胞間質累積發炎產生的有毒副產品與其它廢物. 這些毒素會使細胞與血液中的氧氣, 營養進入及廢物排出降低,而形成一個寄生蟲, 致病物與不正常細胞容易生長的地方.
Many feline diseases are caused by chronic inflammation. This is particularly true of the degenerative diseases of aging, such as arthritis, kidney disease, and even cancer. Such inflammation not only kills cells directly, but also deposits toxic inflammatory by-products and other “sludge” in the extracellular matrix that surrounds the cells. This toxic build-up reduces the flow of oxygen, nutrients, and wastes between cells and blood, and creating a fertile environment for parasites, disease-causing organisms, and abnormal cells that can thrive in such damaged environments.
所以,我們我們應該如何保持免疫系統的健康, 且防止老化而產生的疾病? 基本的步驟有:
So how do we keep the immune system healthy and prevent the signs and diseases of aging? The basic steps are:
1. 提供一個最優質的飲食(新鮮且完整) Providing an optimal diet based on fresh, whole foods.
大部分的寵物食品(尤其是乾乾)是由牲畜屠宰場所遺留下來不要的東西經過處理,加入成癮物與防腐劑而組成. 任何預防疾病(或是治療)都應從飲食開始下手. 世界上所有的治療方法都對吃垃圾食物的病患沒轍! 健康的基礎是均衡, 自家製作的新鮮,有機,完整的食物. 當身體是由那些必需物支持著, 維持細胞健康, 修復損壞細胞及內在的修護就可以開始.
Most commercial pet foods (especially dry foods) are made with the leftovers and unwanted parts from livestock slaughter and processing, and loaded with additives and preservatives. Any disease prevention (or treatment program) begins with diet. All the treatments in the world will not help a patient who eats “junk food” (as many commercial pet foods are!). The foundation of health is a balanced, home-prepared diet of fresh, organic, whole foods. When the body is supported with the building blocks needed to maintain healthy cells and repair damaged ones, healing from within can begin.
以貓咪來說, 飲食需以80%的肉與20%的非澱粉類蔬菜構成, 最好是自家製作為最理想. 再加入高品質的EPA與DHA補充物(綠唇貝肉,魚或鱈魚肝油)以幫助預防老化相關的肌肉減少; Omega-3還具有強力的抗氧化與抗發炎功能.
For cats, a diet of 80% meat and 20% non-starchy vegetables, preferably home-made, is ideal. Add a high-quality supplement containing EPA and DHA (green-lipped mussel, fish or cod liver oil) to help prevent age-related muscle wasting; the bonus is Omega-3s’ powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
如果你無法自己製作貓咪飲食, 試一些市面上有的(冷凍)生食, 冷凍脫水糧或是高品質的低碳水化合物罐罐. 如果你怕餵生食,肉類可以低程度的煮過. 如果是餵處理過的食物, 可以考慮加入一些新鮮的磨碎或切丁肉塊.
When a home-prepared diet is not possible, try ready-made (frozen) raw food, freeze-dried or dehydrated diets, or a very high quality low-carbohydrate canned food. Meat can be lightly cooked if you are concerned about feeding raw (though we highly recommend eventually transitioning to raw). (Click here for a balanced homemade diet recipe.) If processed foods are fed, consider adding fresh ground or minced meat.
另外一個值得注意的飲食問題是體重控制. 過重的寵物有較高的風險會得到許多的疾病, 像是關節炎, 糖尿病, 心臟病及癌症. 食物並不代表愛; 貓咪寧願和你有高品質的相處時間, 而非大餐或是額外的點心. 身體的脂肪並不會就乖乖的待在那; 它會不停的產生發炎訊號. 讓貓咪保持在理想的體重對於健康的生活是必需的.
One other significant dietary issue needs mentioning, and that is weight management. Overweight pets are at increased risk of many diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Food does not equal love; your cat would rather have quality time with you than a big dinner or a few extra treats. Body fat doesn’t just sit there quietly; it continually churns out inflammatory signals. Keeping your cat at an ideal weight is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
2. 只提供乾淨,純化過的水 Offering only clean, purified water.
很多很多的乾淨水對身體解決發炎,清除死細胞與發炎信號及其他廢物是很重要的. 依你住的地方不同, 水質也不同. 蒸餾水以長期的吸收來說並不適合, 因為它沒有礦物質; 但其可以用以做為(在獸醫的指示下)短期的排毒. 因為貓咪並不喜歡喝水, 在食物中加額外的水或是用非塑膠的噴泉. 濕食(包含自家製作, 冷凍脫水糧及生食)是貓咪的水分攝取很重要的來源. 許多只吃濕食的貓咪不會常去喝水, 因為就像他們的野生表親們, 他們從食物中攝取大部分的水.
Plenty of clean water is essential to the body’s ability to resolve inflammation, and to clean up dead cells, inflammatory markers, and other waste products. Depending on where you live, the quality of tap or well water ranges from wholesome to highly toxic. Distilled water is not suitable for long-term consumption because it pulls minerals from the body; but it can be used in a short-term detoxification program that is closely monitored by your veterinarian. Since cats are not a great water drinkers, add extra water to the food, or try a non-plastic pet fountain. Wet foods, including homemade, reconstituted freeze-dried, and raw diets, are also important sources of moisture. Many cats who eat only wet food will not drink water very often because, like their wild cousins, they get most of their water from their food.Click here for a detailed article about water.
3. 限制疫苗施打 Limiting vaccinations.
疫苗所產生的抗體會造成發炎反應, 而任何的加強因子均會延續這個反應. 許多獸醫同意過度的施打疫苗會明顯使貓狗的慢性疾病產生比例增加. 這並不表示你的寵物不該接受任何的預防針注射--幼犬與幼貓所施打的危病疫苗仍然很重要; 狂犬病疫苗則是法律規定要施打的. 但大多數美國的寵物在一生中被打了許多不必要的預防針.大多數的加強型疫苗對成犬/貓來說是不必要的. 如果你的獸醫建議你施打多次或每年一次的預防針, 考慮找另外一個更了解其中風險的醫生吧.
The antibodies produced by vaccines cause inflammation, and every additional booster perpetuates it. Many holistic veterinarians agree that over-vaccination is a significant contributor to the rising rates of chronic disease in cats and dogs. This is not to say that pets should not receive any vaccines—puppy and kitten vaccines against life-threatening diseases are still important; and rabies vaccination is required by law. But most pets in the U.S. receive many unnecessary vaccines over their lifetimes. Most booster vaccines (other than legally mandated rabies vaccines) are unnecessary for adult pets. If your veterinarian recommends multiple or annual vaccinations, consider finding one who is more aware of the risks. For more information please read our in-depth article on Vaccination.
4. 減少室內的空氣汙染, 院子的化學物及其他的毒物來源 Reducing indoors air pollution, yard chemicals, and other sources of toxic exposure.
這會減緩免疫系統的過度反應且讓身體能清除廢物及修復. 為了毛小孩好, 檢查家裡及院子所使用的東西是很重要的. 清潔用品是第一個要注意的項目; 如果你用的地板或地毯清潔劑含有有毒化學物質(大部分都有),而毛小孩們的鼻子總是會碰到地板(大部分都會), 那他們正在不斷的毒害自己. 選擇自製, 天然及環保的清潔用品可以長期的降低毛小孩的毒物累積.
This will calm the over-reactivity of the immune system and allow the body to cleanse and heal. For our furry companions’ sake, it is important to examine our home and yard care practices. Cleaning products are the first place to look; if the floor or carpet cleaner you use contains toxic chemicals (as most do), and your companion’s nose is continually close to that floor (as most are), then the body must continually detoxify itself. Choosing homemade, natural, and green cleaning products can go a long way to limiting the toxins your companion accumulates. (Click here for more information on going green.)
5. 將電磁波降到最低 Minimizing electromagnetic radiation.
降低這個低能量但會造成慢性發炎的原因. 讓毛小孩的床離這些電子物品越遠越好. 晚上時, 確定所有的電子產品都關機. 不只是因為電磁波, 所產生的光也是. 就算是非常小的光亮也會中斷他們的睡眠, 而停止身體的自然修復循環.
Limit this cause of low-grade, chronic inflammation in and around your home. Keep your companion’s bed as far away from electrical components as possible. At night, make sure all electronics are turned off. This is important not just for the radiation, but also light. Even the tiny glow from power indicators can be disruptive to sleep, and inhibit the body’s natural healing cycles.
6. 使用安全, 無毒的去蚤產品 Using a safe, non-toxic flea control program.
大多數的去蚤產品是農藥, 會使身體吸收過多的毒物而停止自然的清除過程. 跳蚤控制是維持健康的重要部分, 但是很多的產品(如:Advantage, Frontline, and Revolution)都含有大量的農藥. 這些毒藥會經由皮膚被吸收到動物的系統內; 而部分會經由尿液與糞便排出, 有些成分可能不會完全清除, 而會造成毒素累積在細胞間質. 口服藥錠也沒有比較好. 一個最近由美國環境保護署提出的報告指出所有的市售去蚤產品都會造成寵物生病甚至死亡; 環保署正在鼓勵誠實的標示, 但這不代表產品更加安全. 有很多的天然去蚤產品可以提供一個代替化學農藥的有效, 無毒的選擇. 他們需要多一點點的力氣. 每隔一陣子就要在毛小孩的皮膚上點上幾滴. 但長期來說, 這對他們的健康來說是值得的.
Most flea products are pesticides that can contribute to the toxic overload of the body and inhibit natural cleansing processes. Flea and tick management is an essential part of health, but spot-on flea control products such as Advantage, Frontline, and Revolution, are heavy-duty pesticides. These poisons absorb through the skin permeate the animal’s system; while a portion of them is eliminated in through urine and feces, some components may not be fully cleared, and can contribute to the toxic sludge build-up in the extracellular matrix. Tablets given by mouth are no better. A recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency makes it clear that every commercial flea product can cause illness and even death in pets; the agency is now encouraging more truthful labeling, but it is not requiring safer products. There are many natural flea/tick control products that offer effective, non-toxic alternatives to chemical pesticides. They take slightly more effort than putting occasionally a few drops on your companion’s skin, but they are well worth it for the long-term health of your friend.
7. 將壓力降到最低 Minimizing stress.
壓力會抑制免疫系統是已經被大量證明的事實. 毛小孩會經歷壓力, 比我們想像的還多. 例如. 有分離焦慮症的狗狗每天在主人去學校或工作時,都活在極大的壓力中. 在多貓家庭的貓咪, 常會有領域競爭的壓力.
It’s been abundantly proven that stress suppresses the immune system. Our furry companions can and do experience stress, as much or more than we do. For instance, dogs with separation anxiety live in extreme stress every day their guardians go to work or school. Cats in multiple-cat households are frequently stressed over territorial competition.
當然, 貓咪可以感知人類夥伴的壓力-- 你和其它家庭成員的壓力越大, 貓咪所感受,吸收及體現的壓力越大-- 會表現在外在的行為上或是會在內在作用產生疾病或癌症. 管理好我們自己的壓力會是增進寵物的良好生活中最重要的步驟.
Of course, cats are acutely aware of the stress levels of their human companions—the more stressed you and other family members are, the more your cat feels, absorbs, and manifests that stress—whether by acting out behaviorally or internalizing it as illness or cancer. Managing our own stress may be the most important step we can take to improve our pets’ well-being.
你也可以用其他方式降低貓咪的壓力, 像是能量療法, Tellington Touch (一種結合物理療法及按摩的治療方式), 按摩及花朵精油.
You can reduce cats’ stress in other holistic ways, such as energy therapies, Tellington Touch, massage, and flower essences.
"室內擺設"會對降低貓狗心裡及情緒上的壓力有幫助. 這包括: 可放食物的玩具; 感覺擺設(像是窗台已讓他能鳥瞰外面, 訓練寵物的影片及貓咪家具讓他爬跟抓, 可以增加立面的領域); 及新奇的東西(如紙箱或紙袋). 但是與人類家庭有充足且有品質的遊戲與摸摸時間是最重要的方法.
“Indoor enrichment” can be helpful for both dogs and cats to reduce mental and emotional stress. This may include: food-dispensing toys; sensory enrichment (such as a window perch for bird-watching, pet-directed videos, and cat furniture for climbing and scratching, as well as to increase vertical territory); and novel objects (like cardboard boxes or paper bags). But adequate quality play and petting time with the human family is truly the most important “enrichment” tool.
8. 提供足夠的運動 Providing adequate exercise.
一般的體能活力是自然的免疫增進劑及壓力減輕劑. 運動對健康的心理與生理都很重要-- 人類與貓咪都是. 在他們的自然狀態, 貓咪會在很大的領域中巡邏及狩獵生物. 我們越讓他們接近這個自然的生活方式越好. 體能對寵物的體重控制, 消化道健康, 排毒, 免疫健康, 肌肉組織, 呼吸道健康及心理與情緒穩定性很重要.
Regular physical activity is a natural immune booster and stress reducer. Exercise is crucial for the health of the mind and body—human or cat. In their natural state, felines roam large territories and hunt for a living. The more we can mimic this natural lifestyle, the better. Physical activity is vital for pets for weight control, digestive health, detoxification, immune health, muscle tone, respiratory health, and mental and emotional stability.
遊戲很好, 因為這可以提供運動及歡樂. 沒有什麼比貓咪在追逐雷射光點或逗貓棒時的滑稽動作還好笑. 貓咪需要運動而經常性的遊戲會是一個很理想的方式. 或者, 試試用溜貓繩帶他出去走走. 慢慢的讓他接觸這個活動會增加他的接受度.
Play is wonderful, because s it provides both exercise and the joy of fun and laughter (on your part!). There is nothing more hilarious than the antics of a cat chasing a laser beam or feathers on a pole or string. Cats need exercise, and regular play sessions are the ideal way to accomplish it. Or, try a kitty harness and go for walks. Introduce this activity gradually to increase the chance of acceptance.