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Dogs are People Too

I love my dog.  She is treated like family.  Since I don’t have any 2-legged kids of my own, Dixie and my cats ARE my kids.  That being said, she is still a dog and sometimes we need to be reminded of that.

Losing Bosco and Moose last year within the span of 3 months was really tough on both me AND my husband.  Moose was his sidekick.  He went everywhere with him.  And when Moose crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I think something broke inside my husband.

When Bosco and Moose were so sick, we fed them by hand.  It seemed a natural thing to do – chicken, roast beef, Vienna Sausages, sandwich meats and American cheese became their staple.  They also had pieces of Fresh Pet dog loaf, which, after awhile, Bosco wouldn’t eat.  He was picky about his food to say the least!

Well, after our boys passed, my husband continued the tradition of feeding Dixie by hand.  It seemed to start innocently enough – chicken and roast beef and dog loaf in the morning and at night.  Then in the morning, mid-morning, lunch time, dinner time and after dinner.  Yogurt bones and peanut butter bones that had been reserved for an after dinner treat were suddenly given as a lunch-time snack AND a dinner snack.  At over $5.00 a bag, I finally put my foot down.  I am not a millionaire.  I can’t spend $40 a month on dog treats!   Not to mention we still had 3 huge bags of dry dog food that hadn’t been touched for months.

I was then told that I would be feeding the dog from now on.  Since I work, it’s going to be a juggling act in the mornings, but…so far, so good.  Before the boys got sick, I used to cook up a chicken, add vegetables and dog vitamins.  That would be warmed up in the mornings and stirred into their dry dog food.  So, that’s what I’ve been doing.  Dixie still doesn’t want to eat out of a bowl, and admittedly, I’m handing her the food (while moving my hand closer and closer to the bowl), but I think we’re making progress.  She gets one yogurt or peanut butter bone at night.  She gets a gravy bone after she finishes her breakfast.

For dinner, I cook up a roast of some sort and mix that with canned dog food.  And she still gets a small piece of cheese as a treat.

I love my dog.  I love my husband.   But Dixie is only 9 years old.  I want her to stick around for another 5-10 years.  I’m hoping she’ll drop a few pounds, be more energetic and want to chase rabbits again.  (Don’t worry, they are WAY too fast for her to catch!)

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The Rainbow Bridge

There is nothing harder in this life than to say goodbye to a loved one.  Even when that loved one has 4 legs and fur.  Our beloved Moose passed away on December 26.   As I’ve mentioned, he struggled for a long time with a myriad of issues.  He was going on 15, which is old for a big dog, but his passing has left another huge whole in our hearts.  Dixie, our Border Collie mix, seems lost without her brothers, both which left us too soon.

Good-bye dear Moosie.  I hope Bosco met you on the other side of the Bridge.  You are missed every day, and will always be loved.

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Holiday Miracles

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You know that Moose has been struggling for a long time with laryngeal paralysis and a host of other ailments.  Well, you can probably add kidney problems right along with everything else.  For the past several weeks, he’s been very wobbly and continuously fell down when trying to urinate, walk past his sister, or even walk around the living room.  Last Friday he couldn’t get up on his own.  He looked like death warmed over and I really thought he wouldn’t make it through the night.

Moose is nothing if not a fighter though.  I did a lot of research in my 2 favorite homeopathy books – Dr. Pitcairn’s and Homeopathy for Dogs (I also have Homeopathy for Cats) and decided to try a little Plumbum Metallicum.  The description on the label says for paleness, BUT….the Homeopathy for Dogs book states:  “This remedy may be indicated in those conditions where excessive wasting over the lumbar region is accompanied by a tendency to paraplegia or weakness of the hind quarters.  Other signs of incipient paralysis may arise such as difficulty in retaining saliva.  Extreme constipation is invariably present.”  Moose IS constipated, but hasn’t eaten much over the past few days.  However, since giving him the Plumbum Met. twice a day since Friday, he’s eating better.  Not great, but better.  Also, he has been walking on his own, going outside and coming back without falling over once.  He’s still a bit unsteady, BUT….to go from having my husband and I having to lift him up on his unsteady feet, to him getting up on his own truly is a miracle.  (And a good homeopathic!)

I also gave him one dose of Mercurius vivus for his uremia.  Uremia can cause ulcers in the mouth, bad breath and increased saliva, which contributed to his unwillingness to eat.  He’s been smiling all day today, which makes me very happy.

Something else I just started giving him (because I am a little slow sometimes!) is Vetoquinol Epakitin Antioxidant Supplement for Dogs & Cats.  I’ve been giving it to Henry for months and it seems to have slowed her kidney digression, so I thought….gee….why not try it on Moosie?  I sprinkle it on lunch meat (one of the few things he’s been eating).  I am cautiously optimistic.

References:  

Dogs – Homeopathic Remedies, George Macleod, MRCVS, DVSM, Vet FF Hom
Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
Vetoquinol Epakitin Antioxidant Supplement for Dogs & Cats – purchased from Chewy.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tcairn

Laryngeal Paralysis, Part II

Moose, our elderly Chocolate Lab has been suffering from Laryngeal Paralysis for months.  That, along with what I believe is Cushing’s Disease and a liver disease of some sort makes for a very thin, stark coated dog.  Just a few days ago, he was still sucking in air like he couldn’t breathe and we just wondered how much longer we were going to have him around.  We discussed surgery, but…..with his poor health and age, it didn’t seem like much of an option.

I did a lot of research in my favorite animal homeopathy books and found that a daily dose of Vitamin E and Selenium would help muscular dystrophy.  Now, truthfully, I don’t know if Moose really has muscular dystrophy, but….his back legs have been very weak and he falls down a lot (especially when he’s trying to pee!).  So….the Vitamin E and Selenium would help strengthen his back legs.

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When he got up this morning to go outside, he seemed like his old self.  No sucking in air, no falling down, nothing but a big ole grin on his face.  It was really nice to see him so happy.

I know a lot of homeopathics aren’t supposed to be given with food, but frankly, I can’t get them into my animals any other way.  This is Moose’s morning meds:

I use 2 pieces of lunch meat.  On one piece I sprinkle Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate, purchased at a health-food store), Causticum and Lachesis.  The Causticum and Lachesis are for his throat, the Vitamin C is just a good thing to give all around to help boost the immune system.  On the other piece of meat I’ve been giving him a liver booster from PetAlive and it’s called Immunity & Liver Support.  It contains Dandelion, Echinacea, Ashwagandha, and Milk Thistle.  I break up a Selenium pill and cut open the Vitamin E to squeeze onto the meat.  I roll each piece up and he’s pretty good about eating them.  Once in a while, he’ll fiddle with it in his mouth so all the Causticum falls out.  I swear, that boy could tie a cherry stem with his tongue!

Right now he has a runny nose.  I think it’s either allergies or a side-effect of his other health issues, but I’ll give him Kali Bich. at night to try and help that issue.

I am certainly not a Veterinarian, nor do I have any type of medical background, BUT….I have been using homeopaths and herbs on myself and my pets for over 20 years.  If Moose continues to be stable with the stuff I’m giving him, then both my husband and I will be happy.  When the day comes where he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t grin, and he can’t walk, then we’ll discuss our options, but until that day arrives…..I’m going to support him with anything I can.

Laryngeal Paralysis

First of all, Laryngeal Paralysis does NOT mean a death sentence for your dog.  Sure, it sounds scary, and to hear your dog wheezing like he can’t breathe is VERY scary.  Because, in all reality, he’s having a real tough time breathing.  His larynx is closing.  This happens in a lot of large breed dogs, and it happens due to a variety of things.  Our Chocolate Lab Moose, I honestly believes, suffers from Cushing’s.  The Vet wouldn’t confirm that, but he has lost most of the hair on his tail, has liver problems, fatty tumors and warts.  The poor baby.  Top that off with wobbly back legs and laryngeal paralysis and you’d think he’d be a good candidate for euthanasia.  It’s not that I don’t believe in that….but….if there are options I can use to make him feel better, to keep that goofy grin on his face, than that’s what I’ll do.

There’s not a lot of information about laryngeal paralysis in dogs on the website.  Well, there’s not a lot regarding homeopaths.  A lot of people talk about surgery, but….my heck, Moose is 14 years old.  I’m not going to put him under anesthesia.

One good website I found is http://treatment.hpathy.com/homeo-medicine/homeopathy-paralysis/.  I’ve been giving Moose Causticum and Phosphorus.  Also, anti-oxidants really do help out in situations like this.  The Causticum I try to give him 2x a day for about 10 days.  He was very wheezy for the first couple, then he started breathing normally again.  I need to remember to give him the Causticum at least once a month after he recovers or we’ll be back to square one again.  The anti-oxidants are also very good for his throat and his liver.  You can buy really good ones on either Chewy.com or Amazon.com.

As for the wobbly legs, I’ve been giving him Vitamin E.  Once in a while I try Rhus. Tox. but so far I haven’t seen any improvement.  Doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying though.

Moose with his little buddy Ralphie

Moose with his little buddy Ralphie

Moose has been our sickest baby in a long time, except…..our middle dog Bosco, died last week, very suddenly.  Turns out he had lymphocytic leukemia.  We never knew.  He never exhibited any symptoms of illness except for eating very little the last week before he died.  Broke my heart into a million pieces.  He was my baby boy.   I beat myself up about it.  If I had only known….I might have been able to help.  He was only 9 years old.

Enjoying the hot Vegas sun

Bosco, enjoying the hot Vegas sun

Dogs and Vomit

Last weekend, my husband and I had one of the most disgusting 3 days we’ve ever had.  We own 3 dogs which he takes for a long 2 mile hike every weekend in the open space behind our house.  They love it!  They get to run and act crazy and sniff out all the activity that went on while they weren’t there.  Lots of people walk their dogs out there, and then there’s the rabbits, the lizards and the coyotes.

Unfortunately, there’s also people that think the open space is their own personal dumping ground.  When my husband brought the dogs home Saturday night, two of them looked a little green around the gills.  They wouldn’t eat their dinner and by Sunday, they were both vomiting.

Dogs, especially big dogs like ours, don’t just throw up a little.  They throw up gallons!  First, all their food from the night before, then all the water they drank to get the taste out of their mouths, then bile.  I was just very, very glad that we have tile floors instead of carpet.  The carpet would have been destroyed.  We used 12 rolls of paper towels over the next 3 days.

When dogs get ready to eat, mentally I guess, they produce something called bile in their stomachs.  It helps break down their food.  If the food isn’t forthcoming the bile needs to be released or it will tear up the lining of their stomachs.  It’s bright yellow and smells ghastly.

I gave them Pepto Bismol, I gave them Nux Vomica, a trusty homeopath, and Belladonna, another one to always have on hand for fevers and inflammation, and I worried about them.  Dixie was fine.  She still ate her food and her treats while the other two dogs just hung their heads and looked miserable.  My husband thinks they ate something on the walk.  I don’t know – could have been doggie stomach flu, which they do contract, but….for Dixie to NOT get it, it does give me pause.

By Tuesday, Moose was back to normal.  We timed their vomiting episodes – almost an hour and half to the minute.  I left work early Monday to help clean up the constant mess, slept with Bosco downstairs while my husband slept with Moose upstairs.  Dixie stayed in her own room.  Moose didn’t throw up after Monday.  He was perkier, but not all together better.  Bosco vomited Monday night and again Tuesday morning, but after that, there was no more.  Moose started eating again on Tuesday – just little things.  Bosco still wouldn’t eat.  He’s overweight anyway, so I wasn’t overly concerned, but still…..you want your babies to eat.

They say to feed them bland foods like rice and hamburger, or chicken broth.  Neither dog wanted anything to do with those foods.  They ate some dog treats, a little cheese and then Moose just started eating normally again.  Yesterday was the first day Bosco ate a full meal.  For a couple days, we fed him canned cat food.  My only concern was that he was going to start purring!

If not for you, then keep Pepto on hand for the dogs.  Don’t give it to cats – it contains aspirin which is deadly to cats.  Keep Belladonna and Nux Vomica for inflammation, fevers and nausea and indigestion.

We probably could have taken them to the Vet, but…..I honestly don’t know what they could have done differently.  24 Fast, introduce food slowly, and meds to calm their stomachs.

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Cars and Dogs

There’s nothing like taking your dog for a ride – his ears flapping in the wind, the drool dripping from his mouth and covering the windows.  It’s fun!  You enjoy it, the dog obviously enjoys it, but what do you do when you want to go shopping, or go to a restaurant and sit down and enjoy a good meal?  Well, you leave the dog in the car, right?  Leave the windows cracked slightly, make sure they have some shade, perhaps give them a bowl of water, right?

It gets hot in Vegas.  A few weeks ago, it was 120 degrees outside.  In the shade.  Right now, it’s only 82.  You think leaving your dog would be okay – just for an hour, in a parked car in the shade, perhaps a parking garage.  The weather can change in an instant and often does.  82 outside becomes 92 inside a car, whether they are in the shade or not.

Do me a favor next time you think about taking your dog with you when it’s hot.

Take a coat with you (because dogs have fur, right?).  Then drive to a parking garage and park your car.  Put the coat on, roll the windows down about 3 inches and keep a bottle of water handy.  Now, just sit there for an hour.  Do not turn on the car, do not roll the windows down farther.  Tell me how much you enjoyed it.

You love your dog?  Love them more by leaving them home.  Please.

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