Archive for the 'Dog health' Category

Canine post-acupuncture

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Day after acupuncture. Jazz is showing a preference for the bed where we gave him the treatment, which is temporarily in the dining room. He sleeps very soundly, all night, when he used to be up at 3 am every morning. His appetite is voracious, he is eating everything I put in front of him, including new stuff like oatmeal and spinach.

He seems a little dazed in the mornings, like he’s had a couple beers.

Canine acupuncture

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Jazz has his first treatment. I hold him still from the front, while the vet approaches him from the back, putting the needles along his spine (about a dozen). Jazz doesn’t seem to notice until she tries to put a few in his legs. The vet notices that his temperature runs very warm. He’s always been like that, I tell her, but apparently it’s unusual for this type of dog. We hold him still for a few moments, he doesn’t exactly relax but he stops trying to escape. After she takes the needles out, he stalks away and flops down on the floor, his back to us. Then he gets sleepy, he comes back to us and tries to curl up on a pile of blankets on the floor, he passes out in a completely awkward position. Ten minutes later, he is up and hungry, stalking through the house, chewing on a cardboard box until I get him his dinner.

We are also using Chinese herbs (Rehmannia Eight) twice a day, and a more varied home cooked diet. In a few months, we’ll test his numbers.

Other resources:

Vet Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Protecting Your Pet’s Health

The Well-Connected Dog: A Guide to Canine Acupressure

Shiatsu for Dogs (Allen Photographic Guides)

There are no bad dreams

Monday, May 11th, 2009

God turns clouds inside out to make fluffy beds for the dogs in Dog Heaven, and when they are tired from running and barking and eating ham-sandwich biscuits, the dogs each find a cloud for sleeping. They turn around and around in the cloud… until it feels just right, and then they curl up.. and they sleep. God watches over each one of them and there are no bad dreams.

-Cynthia Rylant, Dog Heaven

Dog Heaven

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Dogs don’t know about beginnings, and they don’t speculate on matters that occurred before their time. Dogs also don’t know — or at least don’t accept — the concept of death. With no concept of beginnings or endings dogs probably don’t know that for people having a dog as a life companion provides a streak of light between two eternities of darkness.

Stanley Coren, What Do Dogs Know?

The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions

How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do

How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication

Canine Kidney Problems Begin

Friday, April 17th, 2009

A year ago, we noticed Jazz drinking excessively. His blood work revealed minor kidney problems, an ultrasound showed nothing. He began a renal diet dog food which was very hard on his digestion. After 3 months, his bloodwork returned to normal and we were told we could stop the diet. It took another 4 months for his digestion to return to normal.

A few months later, we noticed that the duration of his urination was approaching a minute - back to the vet. His numbers were elevated again, they recommended other renal diet dog food and subcutaneous fluids every week. However, he wouldn’t eat the food, and the time spent waiting at the vet to get the fluids was exhausting for him and us.

The vet suggested a home cooked diet - white rice, hamburger, egg, and white bread (it’s widely available on the internet). Jazz reacted better to this food, but it didn’t seem healthy to me.

Finally, I called a holistic vet/acupuncturist recommended by the animal hospital. We’ve had one conversation after she looked at Jazz’s records, during which she recommended a more balanced diet for him, with more whole grains and vegetables. We are testing what he will eat until his first appointment in a few weeks. She comes to the house, I am waiting eagerly to see how he’ll react to acupuncture.

Brown rice is a go, so is multigrain pasta. Spinach and carrots, surprisingly yes. No to yams.

Dog heaven

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Enough said.

Will I See My Dog In Heaven

Four Paws from Heaven: Devotions for Dog Lovers

No Dogs in Heaven? Scenes from the Life of a Country Veterinarian

Spirit Dogs: Heroes In Heaven

Angel Dog Austin: A Love Story About a Heavenly Dog

Dog stress - energy & communication

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Probably because he’s blind, Jazz gets a little nervous when there’s a lot of activity in the house. He’s generally laid back, and he’s happy when he’s out in the world with action around him - the park, street fair, beach. But he prefers the home environment calm.

Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer,” talks a lot about the energy that you project. I suspect that Jazz is picking up our energy in the home as stressed - cleaning, packing, rushing out to work. The counselor suggested that I sit down with him and whisper to him, explain what was going on around him, what was going to happen. I found a variation worked better for us: sitting next to him, closing my eyes, and imagining from his blind perspective. For example, if we’re getting ready for a road trip, I imagine bounding out the front door, my paws on the driveway, then being lifted into the car and buckled into a harness, settling down with a treat. I imagine the hum of the engine and the motion of riding along. I think about the smells, the textures and the tastes - not the sights. And not with words.

This seems to work, but not because I think I’m “communicating” with him. Instead, I think it quickly changes my energy and he picks up on that. It’s hard to stay stressed when you’re pretending to be a dog.

We also, as I mentioned before, use Rescue Remedy for him, as a supplemental treatment. It’s still up to us to adjust our energy.

Bach Flower Essences Rescue Remedy Pet

Bach Rescue Remedy Pet (0.35fl oz)

Rescue Remedy for Dogs

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Jazz has canine “panic attacks.” It took us awhile to figure out the triggers, because even though he’s blind, he’s generally a laid back little guy. He doesn’t like to be woken up abruptly and walked. He doesn’t like to be tethered outside. He doesn’t like to be left alone in the car at the beginning of a drive.

For awhile, he was having attacks every time we came home in the evening. My therapist, who uses Bach Flower treatments, suggested that I was coming home with too much conflicting energy - relief to be home, excitement to see Jazz, rushing to feed and walk him. She asked me to take a moment before I came into the house to relax, breathe, and center myself.

We also use Rescue Remedy (now available in a pet formula), which I picked up in the pet store. When he has an attack, I spray it on the back of his neck and he calms down within a few minutes. I use a few drops in his water as a preventative before we travel or go to the vet.

Once I used it before friends came to the house to help us move furniture. Jazz was so relaxed, sprawled on the kitchen floor, that someone said it was like he was “stoned.”

Please see the links below for additional information and resources:

Bach Flower Remedies for Dogs

Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats : Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements

The Whole Dog Journal Handbook of Dog and Puppy Care and Training