Fur Mineral and Heavy Metal Analysis

Fur Tissue Mineral AnalysisFur mineral and heavy metal analysis (FMHM) looks at the level of important electrolytes and minerals in the body. It also screens for toxic metal exposure. These values can tell us a lot about the health of the animal including gut health, metabolism, carbohydrate tolerance, stress level, immune system function, level of inflammation, gland activity and nutritional status.

Order a Fur Analysis

Blood levels of minerals and electrolytes (things like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium) need to stay in a narrow range to support life. The body maintains this balance by pushing or pulling these minerals and electrolytes from the tissues (including fur) of the body. For this reason, fur samples are often a more useful way to assess the nutritional and metabolic state of the individual. For example, if calcium in the diet is low or it is being lost due to a metabolic or disease state, the blood level will be maintained at a normal level. However, the calcium level in the fur will be low.

Fur samples give us a picture of average levels over about the last 3 months, so it guides our supplementation and treatment where the patient really needs it. We aren't over-treating transient issues. We use the information gained through FMHM analysis along with a complete clinical history and routine blood tests to assess which organs are most likely being affected by any imbalances. When looking at blood tests, we use a narrower normal range than presented by veterinary clinical laboratories. This  is because "normal" ranges reported by laboratories include patients that have disease but are preclinical - they appear healthy, but have early organ dysfunction. By combining all these tools, we can greatly improve our ability to treat disbalances before they become serious illness, reduce stress, improve athletic ability, improve quality of life and enhance longevity.

We can use FMHM to evaluate stress level, gland activity (adrenals and thyroid), metabolic rate, gut health, carbohydrate handling/sensitivity, dietary requirements, immune system function, inflammation level, and exposure to environmental toxins.

An example of two relatively common issues we see are under functioning thyroid (dogs) and over functioning thyroid (cats). If we see a high calcium/potassium ratio on a fur sample, this indicates a slow thyroid. In this case, the thyroid may still be able to produce enough thyroid hormone to test normal on a blood test.

Using FMHM analysis allows us to treat early and prevent issues from worsening to a state that is dependent on drug therapy. We can correct the functional problem in the glands, metabolic disturbances, stress and inflammation before they cause irreversible physical changes to the tissues.

We recommend FMHM analysis for all patients under our care with symptoms or known disease every 3 months until we have corrected any abnormalities, then every 6-12 months. For healthy individuals, we recommend yearly FMHM analysis to check for any early issues and maintain optimal radiant health.

Collecting and Submitting a Sample for Fur Mineral and Heavy Metal Analysis

The accuracy of a mineral analysis depends upon many factors. While the laboratory is responsible for the technical aspects of the test, the results will only be as good as the sample that is sent. The more care that is exercised by the person taking the sample, the more accurate the results will be.

Fur Sample Guidelines

Fur that has not been washed for more than four or five days is more prone to environmental contamination. If a salt-based water softener is used in the home, hair sodium levels may be affected. Dogs that swim in the ocean regularly will need to be kept out of it for several days and washed 1 - 2 days prior to collection.

  • The sample should be taken between 4-20 hours after washing. This allows the hair to re-equilibrate after washing.

  • Conditioner may be used but should be washed out. Leave-in conditioner is not recommended as it may affect the sample.

  • If your pet's fur is unable to be washed, clean the fur with rubbing alcohol before taking the sample.

  • 125 milligrams of clean hair is needed (approximately one (1) tablespoon)

  • Fur sample should not be any longer than 1 ½ inches in length, cut off any long ends

  • For long-haired animals, use the end closest to the skin

  • Do not pull up on the fur to tense the hair when cutting with scissors. This could result in cutting the skin. Use a comb as a barrier between the skin and scissors.

 Collecting the fur sample:

  • Use clean scissors or clippers to collect the sample. Clean the scissors or clippers with rubbing alcohol and cotton ball before use

  • Collect at least one (1) full tablespoon of clean fur. A problem at the laboratory arises when too little fur is sent

  • Put fur in a clean paper envelope. Do not put fur directly into a plastic bag

  • Print your name, your pet’s name, date collected, and area of body where the fur was collected on the envelope.

  • When retesting, samples should be taken from the same general area as the original sample, if at all possible.

  • Fur does not deteriorate with time and the sample can be stored in a clean, dry environment indefinitely

Test Form:

  • Please fill out all highlighted sections of this form, print and send with the fur sample:  FMHM Test Form
  • This form MUST be filled out and included with the fur sample.

    Send Test Form and fur sample to:

    Animal Healing Arts
    Fur Analysis

    PO Box 7227

    Cotati, CA 94931

    Once received, we will contact you to schedule a consultation in 4 weeks to review the results.

    Please contact us with any questions: 707-584-7387