About Cat Lane
Catherine Lane, Dip.CFN Chartered Herbalist
Three things inform my life and work; the love of the earth and all her creatures; a profound sense of the spiritual, and the sense of calling to work with health, especially in nutrition and herbalism. I found my way to this role, as a canine nutritionist and herbal healer, via a long and winding road.
Many aspects of my early life led me here, beginning with early childhood when I accompanied my veterinarian father on his rounds and helped at his small but lively clinic. For as long as I can recall, dogs, cats, birds, horses and indeed, even insects fascinated me and felt like members of an extended family. Until I was about ten, I could never decide if I wanted to be a veterinarian or an entomologist – and saw no reason not to be both!
But life had other things in mind for me. Through a couple of other eras, I studied nutrition and herbalism (for my own health issues) took the Tellington Touch practitioner’s training (which I have not completed, after many years, but found the trainings to be incredibly useful in my work with animals, especially my rescues) and eventually, through the need to help my own dog deal with multiple health issues, I came to canine nutrition.
Formal study followed years of personal investigation and research, and in 2001 I began consulting professionally. By 2005 I had the Possible Canine website, and from there I have remained immersed in the art and science of working with nutrition and herbs, for both human and canines.
They say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating and this certainly applies in this case. By virtue of careful and knowledgable adjustments of my patient’s diets, the dogs get better, which allows confidence in the multiple aspects of diet formulation. Each formula Catherine provides is calculated to fulfil the individual’s requirements, based on age, physiology, health, and activity level.When choosing a diet to provide a healthful environment for a dog’s development, one can chance it and pick a food off the shelf, being guided by that food’s advertising. I would far rather people seek the expert advice Cat offers, absolutely for the good of your canine companions.
I often say to my patients that if I do not know something, I will refer them to someone who does. I use only professionals; people in whom I have total trust and have seen the benefits of their knowledge. I can wholeheartedly support Catherine. You will be advised very professionally and you will develop an admiration for her knowledge and sensitivity in this complex field.”
Yours in health,
B.Vet.Med, Ph.D, M.R.C.V.S.
Here, then, is the requisite list of Things I’ve Done – so far, at any rate.
- two years undergraduate Religion at Carleton University, Ottawa (1990/91)
- Diploma in Canine Nutrition and Fitness, Companion Animal Science Institute, 2008
- Graduated Herbal Medicine making with the Chestnut School of Herb Medicine, 150 hours
- Chartered Herbalist Diploma, 600 hours, Dominion College, 2010
- Completed 500 hours clinical coursework with Tieraona Low Dog, Foundations in Herbal Medicine
- Canine Anatomy and Physiology with Sheilagh O’Sullivan, at E-training for Dogs
- currently enrolled in the Herbal Immersion program at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, with Juliet Blankespoor (1000 hours)
- Associate Member of the CIVT (College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies)
- Associate Member of the American Herbalist Guild
- numerous short courses including:
- Sean Donahue ( Herbal Nervines) Kiva Rose (Energetics)
- Lisa Ganora (Understanding Plant Constituents)
- Sevensong (Herbal First Aid)
- Patrick Fratellone (Cardiology and Herbs)
- Herbal Formulation and Materia Medica with Paul Bergner at North American Institute of Medical Herbalism
- Herbal Pharmacology with Guido Mase.
- I recently completed the online course Applied Clinical Nutrition with Thomas Easley at the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine, as well as in An Integrative Approach to Systemic Inflammation and am now taking a third short course with Thomas, An Integrative Approach to the Structural System and Pain Management.
- I am a dedicated lifelong learner, with interest in all aspects of plant medicine and healing for all species, as well as canine, feline, equine and avian nutrition
- 5 of 6 Tellington Touch practitioner trainings completed
Since 2001 I have worked thousands of cases, most of which are intensive diet and herbal consultations that involve the development of both recipes and herbal protocols for dogs with a wide variety of health issues. These consultations provide online support during transition, and follow up to ensure the protocols are successful. In addition, I do some proactive diets for healthy adult dogs; growth and senior diets; most of my work focuses on specialized dietary care for conditions including cancer, allergy, IBD, liver and kidney disease, osteo-arthritis, various forms of heart disease, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, diabetes, pancreatitis and obesity, as well as specialized diets for performance dogs. I have been mentored by Dr. Eddie Beltran at Blair Animal Hospital as well as worked on cases with distinguished veterinarians around the world. My work is often focused on diet as a first approach but includes herbal and supplement support as indicated. I have a special interest in canine cancer, heart disease, and GOLPP (Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy) for personal as well as professional reasons.
In my early days, I set up and ran ThePossibleCanine yahoo group, as well as donated many hours of time to the Canine Nutrition section of AllExperts. For one year I was a special guest once a month at CKCU’s morning show Special Blend, doing a two hour phone in and featured -topic spot. Two of my articles on canine nutrition have been featured in the well-known publication The Bark, and I look forward to more coming out this year in several magazines. I have also been honoured to join the regular contributors at Plant Healer Magazine – several of these lengthy features on a variety of canine and feline conditions, are also available on my blog.
In 2006 I set up my foundation course on canine nutrition, offering objective and factual information to a public often confused by dog food company hype, veterinary bias and raw diet stridency. This has been a very successful and popular programme. In addition I teach the online course Practical Herbalism for Common Canine Conditions, and for those interested in going deeper into canine nutrition, the very popular Canine Dietary Formulation course, in which students learn to use the NRC (National Research Council) nutrient guidelines for dogs, to formulate balanced diets for adult dogs. The course outlines may be viewed here.
In past I have held seminars, short sessions and full-day courses, as well as speaking to breed groups and retailers. I have spoken with Dr. Beltran, at Therapeutic Paws of Canada events, and privately. Although I have only been able to adopt four rescue dogs, and contribute a few articles as time allowed, to the Roster, I support the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Eastern Canada specifically and am always open to donating my knowledge to any rescue group who might need to consult with me.
I am deeply committed to bringing core knowledge to the general public, to assisting dog lovers in their quest for better health, and to ensure people understand that there are options available to them. Education is key. My deepest truth is that health is multifactorial and often mysterious; that we start with the science we have and remain open to innovation. We do the very best we can with what is available to us. I strive to empower people with options and knowledge. My ethic is to leave no stone unturned in helping the difficult cases I often deal with, and to enhance my own knowledge indefinitely.
This work is spiritual for me, much more than simply my “day job”. I am fortunate indeed to be able to do something I love, and to strive to help animals in a unique and powerful way. This is my ethic; simply to help, not promote a specific diet, food or supplement, or in fact, any ideal other than holism and rational, precision- based dietary planning. And to that end – please enjoy the blog, comment as you wish and send me topics you would like to see addressed.