Archive for the ‘Dog Health’ Category

Pierson is Terrified of the Vet

February 17, 2014
Pierson Head Down Looking Up

Is it time to go to the vet again?

My poor Pierson has a vet appointment tomorrow. Don’t worry, it is nothing bad. It is just time for one of his vaccines and his annual checkup. So why poor Pierson? Because he is absolutely terrified of the vet. At his last appointment, he peed all over the place. Pierson can be skittish at times, but this was the only time he’s been so terrified that he peed. What happened to my poor baby boy to make him so scared?

When I first got Pierson he was nervous at the vet, but not terrified. He did just fine on that very first day I caught him and took him in for a checkup. Three days later I took him to the emergency pet hospital because he had a severe bloody nose. He had to stay overnight. And while I doubt the experience was pleasant for him, he was not terrified when he went to the vet a couple weeks later for booster vaccines. Nor was he when he went another couple weeks later to be neutered.

It was probably a combination of all these vet visits that made last year’s annual checkup visit so terrifying. So I vowed to do some things to make Pierson’s experience more pleasant this year:

Travel Calm, Maya, and Me

Travel Calm helps keep Maya from acting so excitedly on car rides.

Canine Calming Remedy
I have a product called Travel Calm, which I use for Maya when we take long road trips. Maya gets excited in the car and this stuff helps her to relax. Travel Calm is an all-natural product from Earth Heart. It contains bergamot, lavender, tangerine, and other calming ingredients. Earth Heart also makes a product called Canine Calm. It is the same thing as Travel Calm but Travel Calm also contains ginger to help with car sickness. Pierson doesn’t really need the ginger, but it won’t hurt him either and I don’t have any of the Canine Calm.

Pierson Wearing the Thundershirt 003

Doesn’t Pierson look comfortable in his Thundershirt?

Pet Anxiety Shirt
Another product I have is the Thundershirt. I’ve tried it on Pierson before and loved how it fit. But for him, his anxiety about the vet was just too strong. However, with a combination of the Thudershirt, Travel Calm, and the below methods, I believe this shirt will make a positive difference for him.

Visit the Vet Regularly
For the past couple of days I have been taking Pierson to the vet for a visit. He doesn’t go to get a checkup or anything. He just goes so that he can hang out for a bit. Even though Pierson is just stopping by to say hi, the staff has been very helpful. If they have a moment or two, they come and introduce themselves to Pierson while at the same time bribing him with tasty treats.

Take Maya
Sometimes when Pierson is afraid of something but my dog Maya isn’t, Pierson calms down. Maya absolutely loves going to the vet so I will take both her and Pierson at the same time. Perhaps her attitude about the vet will help influence his attitude.

New Vet?
I don’t know if these few visits are enough to help, but I’m hoping so. I’m also thinking of having the new doctor check on Pierson. The two doctors at this office that Maya and Pierson usually see are males. But they have a new doctor who is female. I’m interested in seeing if this can make a difference. We’re going to the same vet office, but seeing a different doctor. If all this doesn’t make a difference, next year I may have to try a new veterinary office.

Wish us luck! I will try to follow up later this week to tell you how his vet appointment went. Let’s keep our paws crossed and hope for the best.

How Bad Would My Health Be Without My Dogs?

January 23, 2014
Maya on the Couch

When I’m not feeling well, I put a sheet over the couch and call the dogs up. Maya loves to cuddle with me. Mentally, it really helps me feel better.

Did you know about 1/4 of people with fibromyalgia are considered disabled? I do not consider myself disabled. Over the years I have learned how to manage most of my symptoms. Maya and Pierson help a lot. I imagine that without them, my symptoms would be far worse.

I wrote a post in November about how I was starting up a treatment that was supposedly going to cure my fibromyalgia. Well, it didn’t. I did everything I was supposed to. I did not have the support of a doctor, but that is only because there are no fibromyalgia specialists in my area. I did, however, buy a book that explained the treatment in detail. It required an over the counter drug, so I was able to implement everything to a T.

Anyway, since it didn’t work, I have to continue to manage my symptoms. This is where Maya and Pierson come in. Most days are pretty good, but I still have some bad ones. Yesterday, for example, I had to go to the emergency room. Before you worry, I was okay. I went at the suggestion of my doctor even though I was reasonably certain it wasn’t serious. It was my fibromyalgia acting up again.

Yesterday, I had an unexpected and terrible pain in my jaw and my mouth started to feel tingly. I was in extreme pain for several minutes before the pain slowly started to dissipate. This pain was unusual for me so I called my doctor and she told me to go to the emergency room.

Apparently, the painful jaw and tingling of the mouth is a symptom of a stroke. So when I got to the hospital, they immediately checked me in and began running a bunch of tests. All tests came up normal. They didn’t find anything wrong. Whew!

When I got home, I did my own research. I searched and searched about jaw pain until I finally found one that sounded like it could fit my situation. It said about 1/4 of fibromyalgia patients experience jaw pain. And the pain is more in the muscles than in the jaw. So there it is folks! I wasn’t having a stroke. It was just yet another symptom of my fibromyalgia. Ugh!

By now, it is well known that there are several health benefits to having a pet. I wholly believe this to be true. Sephi, Maya, and Pierson have been wonderful blessings in so many ways, including my health. Regular exercise is one way I am able to keep most of the fibromyalgia symptoms at bay. Maya and Pierson are great at helping me with this. We walk and play together all the time. Stress can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms as well and my dogs are great at helping me to alleviate stress.

Pull No More dog harness

Walking makes me feel better, and Maya too! :)

If you ever tell anyone you’ve heard pets provide health benefits and they don’t believe you, tell them you know someone who knows it is true. Attribute it to the placebo effect if you want. Whether my dogs are the sugar pill or the medicine, the fact remains that they are still a real remedy. They provide not only health benefits, but they hold the key to happiness. I don’t even want to imagine what my health and my life would be like without them.

Pierson and Mr. Monkey Dog Toy

Pierson’s cuteness helps lighten my mood whenever I’m not feeling well.

Thank you, Amy Shojai, for letting me reference your article about the health benefits of dogs.

Scoop That Poop at the Dog Park

January 20, 2014

Scoop That Poop Logo

We’ve had unusual weather here lately, as I imagine most of you have as well. One day it is below zero and the next it is light jacket weather. Well, I took full advantage of one of those nicer days by taking Maya to the dog park. We hadn’t been since before the holiday, so it was nice to be able to go again. Most of our visit was nice, anyway…

I don’t understand why so many people still don’t pick up after their dog, despite all the signs and the free dog poop bags! I guess they see that one person was too lazy to pick up after their dog and so they assume it is okay they don’t either.

It’s not okay. I feel that in a dog park, it is even less okay. After all, some dogs visiting the park might be carrying harmful bacteria, a virus, or they might have worms. Yuck! :p I don’t want Maya to get sick. Nor do I want her to accidentally step in some and track it in my car. She could also bring it home to Pierson.

"Don't be a turd. Scoop that poop."

“Don’t be a turd. Scoop that poop.”

I have to admit our dog park is not as bad as it used to be. When I first moved to this town, the park didn’t have any signs or any dog poop bags. So someone is making an effort. I also believe volunteers come by from time to time to scoop. Perhaps I should get on that volunteer list. Or I could just go out there and do it. I have a great poop scooper called Scoopy the Poo.

Scoopy-the-Poo Dog Poop Scooper

I have this except in red.

Do you think people who see me scoop that poop will realize perhaps they should pick up after their dog? Or do you think they will figure that since someone else will scoop it, they don’t have to? I have a feeling many people will think the later. Perhaps I need to wear a vest saying, “VOLUNTEER”. What do you all think?

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday – Maya’s Owie

October 16, 2013
Maya Wearing Pawz Purple Shoe

“Do I have to wear this?”

Maya is wearing purple shoes (well, one shoe anyway) like Sugar’s. She can’t live up to the famous Sugar (from Sugar the Golden Retriever), but Maya sure loves to imitate her. Maya, however, won’t wear this purple shoe from Pawz for long. I put this on her to keep her from licking or chewing on her owie. And I can only leave it on her when I am able to keep an eye on her.

Maya Trying to Take off Purple Pawz

“Why does being in fashion have to be so uncomfortable?”

Maya’s owie started out as in insect bite. We had chiggers really bad this year. The bite should have gone away by now but Maya kept licking it and licking it. Since I’ve been having her wear the purple shoe once in a while, her owie is now healing. The following is the before photo.

Insect Bite on Dog Paw

Chigger bite plus excessive licking. Poor Maya!

For pet photos that are more fun (and painless), check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop link below.

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Time For Dooty Duties

September 23, 2013

Scoop That Poop Logo

Do you pick up your dog’s feces? I do, every single day. It never fails that when I take Maya & Pierson for a walk, one of them takes a crap. Even if I let them outside in our backyard beforehand, there is just something about taking a dump in someone else’s yard that pleases them.

Even if I don’t take them out for a walk, I still pick up daily from our backyard. I used to do it once a week, but then I got the notorious poop-eater, Pierson. Pierson only eats Maya’s stool, so I have Maya on a poop schedule and pick up her excrement immediately twice a day… three times if she decides to go on the walk too. Honestly! You’d think I overfeed my dogs with all the turds they churn out.

Here is what Pierson has to say about dog droppings:

Scoop That Poop Campaign 1

Scoop That Poop Campaign 2

I forgot to get a photo of Maya taking a poo. Since she is on a schedule, I won’t have a chance again until this evening.

And here is the scoop on poop brought to you by Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dogster:

Scoop That Poop Infographic

Also, check out the ScoopThatPoopCampaign and a video from Sugar:

How many synonyms for dog waste did you see in this post?

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Mutt Mixer Adventure and Misadventure

June 8, 2013
Maya Mutt Mixer 1

Maya, lots of dogs, and lots of people at the Lawrence Humane Society Mutt Mixer.

What is a Mutt Mixer? It is an event put on by our local humane society here in Lawrence where the public is invited to bring their dog over for some outdoor fun. Our dogs and adoptable dogs hang out in one of several large fenced areas. Everyone has a good time socializing. We people get to ‘mix’ with other dog people while the dogs ‘mix’ with one another. This event gives the adoptable dogs get a chance to get out of their pens, practice their socialization skills, and show off their cuteness in hopes of getting adopted.

Maya Mutt Mixer 2

Lots of dogs at the Mutt Mixer. Maya is going to go introduce herself.

Maya Mutt Mixer 3

Ooops! Someone’s getting a really good sniff. Hi Maya!

Maya came with me to this recent event and had a great time. She loves socializing with other dogs and with people too. I had a good time as well for the same reasons. Unfortunately, Maya started showing symptoms of a doggy cold about a week later. I’m not sure if she caught it at the Mutt Mixer or not, but the vet seems to think so. Fortunately, it is not serious. She just has a slight runny nose and sneezes from time to time. She is almost over it, but now Pierson has it.

We were warned at the Mutt Mixer that although the humane society is not currently having issues with bordetella, there is still a possibility of it. Bordetella often happens when you get a large group of dogs together, even if you take all the precautions and keep the facility clean (as our humane society does). I signed a waiver saying I understood this. Before I attended the event with Maya, I also confirmed with my vet that she was up to date on her bordetella vaccination. So I don’t blame the humane society in any way for Maya getting sick.

What is bordetella? I call it a doggy cold. Like our common cold, there are many strains. So even though Maya had a bordetella vaccine, she still caught it because it was a different strain. Like our common cold, it is relatively mild and doesn’t last long. Also, like our common cold, it is harder on the young and old and it can be complicated if there are other health concerns. And like our common cold, the symptoms can vary. Mild symptoms include coughing, sneezing, or runny nose. More concerning symptoms include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, or even pneumonia. Maya has visited the vet and she does not have any of the more severe symptoms. Read more about bordetella, or kennel cough, on PetMD.

If having large groups of dogs together increases the likelihood of someone contracting bordetella, this means Mayta could just as easily get it at the dog park or doggy day care. I’m interested in knowing what you think of our Mutt Mixer event. Do you think Maya might have gotten sick from it? Would it make me irresponsible to take her to the next Mutt Mixer event in July? What are your thoughts?

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Fit Dog Friday – Getting Fit with My Dogs

April 26, 2013
Dog Pierson in Group Walk

I’m working on Pierson’s dog aggression by going on group walks with other dog owners. It’s dog training and exercise at the same time.

My dogs are very fit and healthy. It helps that I am careful about what I feed them and how much. And that I keep them relatively fit by taking them for regular walks and playing fetch with them. But I have not been so good at keeping myself fit and healthy. So this Fit Dog Friday is mostly about me and a little about how my dogs Maya & Pierson contribute.

Benefits of Keeping Fit
I’ve been very focused lately on losing weight in a healthy way. Since mid-December, I have lost 18 pounds. Now, thanks to a little initiative on my part and to great partners like Maya and Pierson, I am only 5 pounds away from reaching my goal weight! Besides the benefit of losing excess pounds, I also get to buy new clothes, I have fewer problems with acne, my fibromyalgia symptoms are less severe, and I feel like I have more energy.

Healthy Diet
How did I do it? I did use some Herbalife products. However, these products were merely a support. What really helped me lose weight were the lifestyle changes. I’ve always generally eaten healthy foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and baked but not fried meat. But I’ve also been eating too many sweet foods. So the first thing I did when I really made up my mind to lose weight was to eliminate those sweets (for the most part).

Walk, Walk, Walk
The second thing I did was exercise more. It hasn’t been enough to just walk the dogs. Now we walk faster, more often, and further. Sometimes, instead of driving to the convenience store for a cup of coffee, I will walk the mile distance with Maya or Pierson. I’ve even taken one of them with me when I walked to the UPS store to ship a package. I also walk to the grocery store if I just need a few things, but Maya and Pierson don’t get to go because they are not allowed in the store and I don’t want to leave them tied up outside for that long.

Fun Activities with the Dogs
Maya, Pierson, and I have also been doing more fun activities together. Instead of just playing fetch with the dogs, I try to get involved with the games. Seeing who can catch the thrown ball becomes a contest to see who can get to the ball first. Although I always lose this game, Maya & Pierson love it when I chase them. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’ve also been taking Maya to dog park more often. Our dog park is around Clinton Lake and is not fenced. So from the dog park, we are able to walk the wooded trails to an area by the lake for Maya to swim.

Dog Walking Group
I’ve recently joined a group of other dog owners who have trouble with their leash-reactive dogs. In this group, we actually walk spaced out so that our dogs can’t hurt one another. The distance apart depends on the dog. I have to be the furthest away because Pierson’s behavior is the worst amongst the group. His behavior is especially bad at the beginning of the walk. But after about 10 minutes of walking and rewarding for good behaviors, I can decrease the distance between him and the dog ahead of us. After a few of these group walks, Pierson still has to walk a few feet behind. But this group has really helped him decrease that distance.

I can see us doing even more fun activities this spring. My husband and I are talking about going camping and hiking. I’d also like to teach Pierson some agility, which means less time for me sitting at the computer and more time outdoors. What other fit activities can you think of that Maya, Pierson, and I could do together? What do you and your dogs do to stay fit?

For more Fit Dog Friday posts, check out the link below:

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Pierson’s Seizure

January 12, 2013

Pierson with Falling Snow

January 10th, 2013, Pierson’s Gotcha Day – Except for the tapping on my keyboard, my office is virtually silent. It’s evening, late enough to be dark out but not quite dinner time. I have the lights off so the only light is from my computer screen. All is peaceful. I’m working on fun dog stuff online while Maya lies at my feet and Pierson rests beside my chair.

Suddenly, Pierson starts thudding around on the floor. My first thought is that I had rolled the chair leg onto his long hair and he was trying to get up but couldn’t. But when I pull the chair away, he’s still doing the same thing. Is he playing with something? Is there a bug on the floor that he’s trying to catch? I don’t know. I can’t see. The lights are off.

I quickly turn on the lights to see him on his side. He’s making motions like he is trying to get up but can’t. I quickly kneel beside him to see if I can tell what is going on. His eyes are rolled back. His upper body is moving oddly but his back legs are stretched out behind him and not moving, as though paralyzed. The paw of one of his front legs is curled up close to his chest.

I rest my hand on his side to calm him and keep him from trying to move around too much. Alarm bells are going off inside my head but I remain outwardly calm and try to make my voice sound as though all is normal. He stops moving around in that peculiar way and tries to get up but his legs won’t cooperate. I massage his muscles thinking perhaps he had a muscle cramp.

Even if it was just a cramp, I have to make sure. I have to call the vet. My phone is in my pocket but I don’t have the vet’s number saved on it. The number, where is it? I have to call them as quickly as possible before they close for the day. The computer is right there. I could look it up. But I remember that the number is also on a refrigerator magnet in the other room. I go to get it and Pierson tries to get up to follow me. His legs still won’t work properly and he falls.

I make him stay and quickly retrieve the number. The receptionist answers. Thank goodness, they’re not closed yet. Help is close at hand. She asks a few quick questions then puts me on hold to get the vet on the line. When I get back to Pierson he seems a little shaken but fine. He gets up and is now walking normally. I sigh heavily with relief.

I kneel beside Pierson and he is shaking, but otherwise okay. The vet gets on the line and asks me what happened. As I explain it, I realize that what I am describing was probably a seizure. My vet agrees. After further discussion and helpful information from the vet, I decide it probably isn’t necessary to bring Pierson in immediately unless he has another one.

If we suspected Pierson had been hit in the head, exposed to something potentially harmful, if the seizure had lasted for several minutes, or if he kept having them over and over again, the vet would have strongly urged to bring him in right away. But none of these was a factor. It was probably an isolated incident. It’s okay if I wait to bring him in the next day for a check-up. Pierson went the next day and we are still awaiting test results.

Upon further research regarding seizures in dogs and canine epilepsy, this is what I have found:

  • Although I didn’t notice this in Pierson, there is sometimes an event called an ‘aura’ that occurs before the seizure. This can include restlessness, panting, demand for attention, or desire for seclusion.
  • Move stuff out of the dog’s way so they don’t hurt themselves.
  • Do not put anything in the dog’s mouth. Dogs can’t swallow their tongues so don’t worry about that.
  • Don’t touch the dog as this may prolong or trigger another seizure.
  • Be calm.
  • After-effects of the seizure include disorientation, stumbling, drooling, etc.
  • After-effects can last a few moments or even a few hours.
  • Seizures can occur for many reasons including brain trauma, poisoning, and heat stroke.
  • The most common reason for a seizure is a disorder called idiopathic epilepsy. It occurs in as many as 5% of all dogs.
  • Dogs can live long normal lives even though they may suffer from idiopathic epilepsy.

If you think your dog has had a seizure, call your vet. It could be an emergency situation or everything could be fine. Pierson is doing well, back to his normal silly self. He hasn’t had another episode. The vet did not notice anything of great concern when we went in the next day so we can now just sit back and relax… thank goodness.

Review of Kinn Kudose Pill Concealer for Medicating Pets

January 5, 2013
The Kinn Kudose pill concealer base, bottle with apple/chicken baby food in it, and pill casings that will disintegrate when your dog eats it.

The Kinn Kudose pill concealer base, bottle with apple/chicken baby food in it, and pill casings that will disintegrate when your dog eats it.

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Kinn Kudose pill concealer. When I first saw the product online I was a bit put off by the price. But when I got it in the mail I was pleasantly surprised. This isn’t some cheap flimsy product. It is very well made. And if you are medicating pets regularly, it is very useful.

At first I had a difficult time with it. One of the recipes it suggested was a peanut butter with oil recipe. It calls for smooth peanut butter and that is what I used. But I used Smucker’s Natural Peanut butter which is just peanuts and salt, no sugar or other additives. Even though it was the smooth variety, this particular brand was not as smooth as the peanut butters which have additives. So when I tried to squeeze it out of the Kudose bottle, it wouldn’t work. I guess the peanut chunks were too big and got stuck in the nozzle.

So I went and bought some baby food, which was another recipe Kudose suggested. It suggested chicken and gravy but I ended up buying sweet potato with turkey and apple with chicken. These worked very well and squeezed right out of the bottle. In fact, it came out so easily that the first pill I made was overfilled and I made a mess. But after making a couple more, I was able to make them quickly and easily.

The Kinn Kudose pill concealer with a pill case in it, the bottle on top, and sweet potato/turkey baby food being put inside.

The Kinn Kudose pill concealer with a pill case in it, the bottle on top, and sweet potato/turkey baby food being put inside.

Maya takes medication on occasion. I hate it when I try to hide the pill in soft cheese and she still manages to spit it out. Sometimes I would just skip the pleasantries and drop the pill in the back of her throat and close her mouth to make her swallow it. Not fun, but at least she ate her medication. But with the Kinn Kudose pill concealer, medicating Maya is 100x easier.

While the initial cost of getting the Kinn Kudose base dome and bottles might be considered pricy, it is a onetime cost and well worth it. The only other thing you would have to buy afterwards is more pill cases. These cases are just under $5 for over 100 of them.

The pill cases dissolve quickly so that the goodies and medicine you are putting inside gets digested by your dog. So you will want to make a pill as needed, not in batches. Simply open the empty pill casing and put the larger piece in the proper slot of the Kinn Kudose base. Put the medication in the casing. Then take the bottle of whatever goodie recipe you decide to use and set it directly over the pill casing onto the base. The attachment on the bottle makes it very easy to just simply set it and fit it over the top. Squeeze gently until the pill case is full, take the bottle away, then take the other piece of the pill casing and place it over the top.

After medicine is put in the pill and it is filled with the treat (in this case it is sweet potato/turkey baby food), put the pill together.

After medicine is put in the pill and it is filled with the treat (in this case it is sweet potato/turkey baby food), put the pill together.

Ta da! In no time at all and no mess, you have a delicious tasting pill. Both my dogs gobbled it up!

Pierson really wants the pill from with the apple/chicken baby food in it.

Pierson really wants the pill from with the apple/chicken baby food in it.

Maya really wants to try a pill from Kinn Kudose with sweet potato/turkey in it. No meds this time, just a treat.

Maya really wants to try a pill from Kinn Kudose with sweet potato/turkey in it. No meds this time, just a treat.

For more information about Kinn Kudose, visit their website, Kinninc.com. They also have a pill splitter/crusher so that you can break pills in half or crush them for mixing.

Dose Your Dog with Care and Your Vet’s Supervision

January 4, 2013

MP900431808 Bulldog and Vet

We have a guest post today from a friend in the UK. This article has some very useful information about common pet issues and conferring with your veterinarian before medicating your dog with prescribed drugs or over-the-counter meds.

In 2012, the FDA investigated more than 4,000 online pharmacies and seized counterfeit and expired drugs worth more than $10 million. Experts say online vendors of popular pet medications work the same scams and frauds as Internet purveyors of human medications, and they warn pet owners to purchase their prescription pet medications only from real world pharmacies they know and trust. Experts also very strongly caution dog owners to administer pet medication for dogs exactly according to the doctor’s instructions, because uses and doses absolutely depend on a dog’s size, weight, age, breed and overall health. Just as you should not self-medicate for serious health conditions, so you should not experiment with over-the-counter and home remedies for your dog except with your vet’s knowledge and permission and then you can take help of reputable online vet stores for ordering vet products.

Most commonly prescribed pet meds
Perhaps not surprisingly, antibiotics now top the list of most commonly prescribed canine medications. Because bacterial infections prompt well over half of all dogs’ visits to vets’ offices, doctors prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Clindmycin, and Cephalosporins for hundreds of canine complaints. These powerful medications have proven especially effective against oral infection, dental diseases, and treatment of serious wounds. Many vets will prescribe one of these anti-bacterial agents while they wait for lab results to determine other therapeutic options.

As your dog gets older, he naturally becomes susceptible to more congenital and chronic diseases. German shepherds, for example, frequently develop hip dysplasia, and many veterinarians refer to pedigreed boxers as cancer machines.  Golden retrievers similarly suffer inflammation and soreness in their joints, and they frequently develop  hot spots  or chronic skin irritations. Doctors most often prescribe Rimadyl, an NSAID much like ibuprofen and Celebrex, to relieve joint pain and restore some freedom of motion. For hip dysplasia, most vets recommend Deramaxx which relieves swelling and provides excellent pain relief. Both these medications are steroid-free and FDA approved for veterinary use.

Other common canine remedies
If your adult dog suffers from phobias or anxiety, your veterinarian may prescribe mood- or behavior-altering medication. Adapted from formula for psychoactive drugs that treat anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders in humans, these drugs require some time to build-up to effective levels in your dog’s system, and you may need to try several different meds before you find  the magic bullet  that treats your dog’s specific condition. Just as clinicians will not prescribe psycho-active drugs for people until they carefully have observed and diagnosed their conditions, so vets take great care to assess your dog’s behavior and moods before they recommend treatment. Even after careful scrutiny, vets usually prescribe minimum does of anti-depressants and mood regulators, because they sometimes aggravate pets’ problems instead of relieving them. As you request mood-altering medications for your dog, make sure you tell your vet about all the other prescription and over-the-counter drugs you give your dog, because dogs are just as vulnerable to drug interactions as humans.

Many pet owners very strongly recommend Rescue Remedy as a safe, effective, inexpensive alternative to prescription medications for behavioral and mood disorders. In the 1930s, British homeopath Dr. Edward Bach first formulated Rescue Remedy as one of his thirty-eight all-natural remedies for the full range of human ailments. In the last few years, Bach’s formula have gained widespread acceptance among American naturopaths and aromatherapists. Cautious vets often suggest Rescue Remedy before they resort to stronger medications. Available in pills, drops or spray, Rescue Remedy blends five different floral essences to support calm, compliant behavior in dogs, cats and horses. The formula includes helianthemum, clematis, and impatiens, ingredients many naturopaths recommend for treatment of human anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive and mood disorders.

Nutraceuticals
As they celebrate their second birthdays and mature from adolescents to full-fledged adults, many dogs develop adult onset food allergies. They most often develop sensitivity to corn and wheat derivatives, the ingredients in most inexpensive dog foods. You easily will recognize the symptoms of food allergies diarrhea and urgent need for frequent relief plus scratching and licking to relieve dry and itchy skin. If your dog has suffered from loose bowel movements for more than two or three days, he may be severely dehydrated, and your vet may ask you to come in for an injection of lactated Ringer’s solution; it’s the same remedy ER Doctors use for their patients suffering dehydration or heat stroke.

Food allergy symptoms often disappear within just a day after introducing grain-free dog food into your dog’s regular diet. Your veterinarian may, however, recommend dietary supplements, now known as nutraceuticals, to compensate for poor nutrition and diarrhea’s after-effects. Canine caregivers frequently prescribe omega fatty acids, potassium supplements, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamin K1. These supplements may look familiar, because many people also use them to supplement their diets.

Experts note that housebound dogs are far more prone to physical and behavioral problems than dogs that spend most of their time outdoors. Outdoor exercise helps maintain dogs’ immune systems, keep their joints and bones healthy, and prevents obesity. San Diego County, California, veterinary technician Diane Hutchins advises, For complete health and happiness, your dog needs the same things you do lots of exercise, proper portions of healthy foods, and tons of love and affection.


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