The Herxheimer Reaction Comes Before Recovery!
The Herxheimer Reaction, better known as a Detox Healing Crisis can occur when an animal or person is sick. This is the body starting it's own war with the disease.
Definition of ' Jarisch Herxheimer Reaction '.
Also known as Jarisch Herxheimer or Herx Reaction occurs when large quantities of toxins are released into the body as bacteria (typically Spirochetal bacteria) die, due to antibiotic treatment or rapid detoxification.( Wikipedia )
This is the body's own attempt to recover from illness.
Let's back up a bit.
What is a Detox Healing Crisis?
It's important to understand what a healing crisis is.
You need to know why and how it can happen, and what you can do about it.
This is fascinating!
Your dog's body is very wise. It will always aim for improvement and better health on it's own. It will never stop trying to heal itself.
As the body removes and discards the toxins from the tissues, they are transported through the bloodstream to the liver for cleansing. The liver is your dog's main detoxifying organ.
As this happens you'll need to interpret the symptoms and changes of a Herxheimer reaction. These symptoms can occur when your dog starts on a better nutritional program. Better dog nutrition, comes from the introduction of higher quality foods in place of the lower quality food being used previously.
The closer the food is to it's natural state, the higher the quality will be. In this natural state, the enzymes are still intact, and have not been destroyed by heat and processing. Amino acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements are all intact.
Here's what Stanley S. Brass, N.D has to say about higher quality food.
" When the quality of food coming into the body, is of ahigher quality than the tissue which the body is made of, the body begins to discard the lower grade materials, for the superior materials, which it uses to make new and healthier tissue."
Read that statement again carefully. The key phrase is...
The body begins to discard the lower grade materials.
Your dog's body will now start a process called ...
Cleansing or detoxification, is thought of as a peeling away of the layers. Think of the layers making up an onion. Layer by layer, your dog's body will release and let go of:
"It just does not get any simpler than this. Cell membranes that are:
(3) lacking in energy,
...cannot communicate effectively, resulting in significant deficiencies in energy production and consumption. These are the roots of all diseases."
This is a quote by Hugo Rodier, M.D. from his book
Sweet Death - The Epidemic That's Sweeping America
This book is an absolute must read if you want to understand the devastating effect of sugars and refined carbohydrates on our health. This goes for dog heath too. I cannot stress this enough. Dogs are carnivores and are simply not designed to metabolize and use, poor quality carbohydrates such as grains.
Help Your Dog Through the Herxheimer Reaction Process
There are three ways.
- Fasting for 24 to 48 hours. That means NO FOOD. Your dog's digestive system will have a chance to clear out. His body will concentrate on healing, not digestion. Believe me, your dog won't like this, and you may feel guilty, but it will do your dog good.
- Improve the quality of food. Find a premium quality ' grain free ' commercial dog food, or feed a species specific raw dog food, or prepare your own homemade dog food and add supplements. All of these options will provide a food of higher nutritional value.
- Cleansing Herbs will stimulate the body to start the detox process.
The symptoms of cleansing are some of the most misunderstood concepts of natural health. When you suddenly stop the use of low grade foods in favor of higher grade foods, your dog's body will react to this and a Herxheimer Reaction may result.
Symptoms of Herxheimer Reaction
The symptoms of cleansing are some of the most misunderstood concepts of natural health. When you suddenly stop the use of low grade foods in favor of higher grade foods, your dog's body will react to this change. This reaction is called a healing crisis or a Herxheimer Reaction.
This happens because the liver is working hard in an effort to rid the body of toxins.
more concentrated, darker colored urine,
mucous from the nose, or eyes
inflammations of the skin (rashes, hot spots etc)
inflammation of the ears
loss of appetite
lack of energy
An odd phenomenon of Herxheimer Reaction, is that it usually occurs AFTER the dog was thought to be getting better. Suddenly the disease seems to be back, even worse than before. So expect your dog to get worse before he gets better.
However, your dog is not sick again. The healing crisis will occur when your dog is strong enough to handle it. It will never happen when your dog is too weak.
Usually at this time, your dog will be unusually quiet, go off by himself, curl up and rest until he feels better. This is what a dog in the wild would do. So, let your dog rest and gather his strength.
This initial stage of Herxheimer Reaction can last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks. Your dog will conserve and internalize his energy. Repair and reconstruction of his internal organs and all body cells has begun.
Remember, there is a very strong connection between the length of time the dog has been sick, the quality of food eaten and the amount of time it will take to recover. Your dog is resting and repairing. It will take as long as it takes. You can't rush your dog's body. He is healing. Do not try to stimulate his body out of this stage.
It's at this critical time that some dog owners start to panic. They say..." Oh my Gosh, he's sick again, I thought he was getting better. I can't stand to see him sick again." So, they quit.
This causes the dog to fail in his attempt to heal himself and recover. He wasn't given enough time to complete this healing crisis. If they had only waited a little longer, their dog would have passed this critical time and he would have begun to feel even better than before.
Remember the layers. Herxheimer Reaction can happen several times. Each time with better results, until finally all toxins are shed and vibrant good health is attained.
This repeated process is called ' Retracing '.
Retracing is the process of bringing your dog's body back to the state of health he was born with. For example, if your dog had a skin rash and was given a drug to suppress it, the skin rash will reappear again. Get the picture?
Please allow your dog to work through this retracing process. The rewards are worth it. If you allow your dog to discard these accumulated toxins now, you will save him from more serious disease later in life.
Keep these ideas in mind
- Herxheimer Reaction ( detox healing crisis ) is the body's attempt to recover.
- Fasting for a short time is a very good and healthy thing to do.
- Replace lower quality food with higher quality food.
- The closer the food is to it's natural state the higher the quality.
- Herxheimer Reaction (cleansing and detoxification ) is getting rid of toxins.
- Herxheimer Reaction ( healing crisis ) will occur when your dog is strong enough to handle it.
- Your dog needs to conserve and internalize his energy while recovering.
- Retracing ( layers ) will continue until all toxins are shed
Summing Up the Healing Crisis
We live in a ' quick fix ' culture.
Please give your dog enough time to heal. The rewards are worth it.
Feel free to contact me for help and support.
From Herxheimer Reaction Back to Home Page
Go from Herxheimer Reaction Back to Cleansing