Animal connection dog cat

Natural (Holistic) Solutions for Your Dog or Cat’s Anxiety

Anxiety affects pets as much as people. Traditional veterinarians might prescribe smaller dosages of the same anti-anxiety medications – such as Valium and Paxil – used for humans to treat pets. These drugs often have powerful side effects. Unless your pet is completely and dangerously out of control, natural solutions for anxiety are safer and as effective.

Determine the Cause

Natural solutions for your pet’s anxiety aren’t one-size-fits-all. It’s crucial to narrow down exactly what stresses your pet. Sometimes the answer is obvious, such as Fourth of July fireworks. If you’re not sure about the trigger, observe your pet carefully. Have there been any changes in the household recently? Is the pet experiencing a new routine? Inappropriate elimination in cats – a euphemism for going outside the box –often results from anxiety. Have your pet examined by your holistic veterinarian to determine whether your pet’s anxiety derives from a health or psychological issue. If it’s the latter, explore natural therapies for treatment.

Essential Oils

If you have a dog, keep lavender essential oil on hand.  This aromatic oil helps calm agitated canines – and it smells good. Lavender oil boasts soothing properties, but like all essential oils, it is quite powerful. That’s why it’s important to dilute essential oils with carrier oils, such as sesame or sweet almond for use with cats. However, dogs need the oil to be applied in a “neat” fashion and therefore the oils do not need dilution. One rule of thumb – mix 10 drops of essential oil into .5 ounce carrier oil.

Let your dog sniff the oil from the vial, or place a few drops on a bandanna and tie it around his neck. Try putting a drop or two in your hand and then petting your dog down the length of his body, or apply a drop around the ears. Another option: Use a diffuser and allow lavender oil to permeate the room. Lavender is one of the few essential oils safe to use on cats – very sparingly. Never place lavender directly on the cat, but a drop or two on the bedding in the cat carrier can ease feline travel nerves.

Other essential oils with soothing properties for dogs include:

  • Valerian – aids in calming noise anxiety
  • Vetiver- subdues nervous dogs
  • Ylang ylang – helpful for separation anxiety.

Purchase only high quality, therapeutic-grade essential oils for your pet’s therapy. View our line of Young Living Oils

Flower Essences

Flower essences are similar to essential oils in that they derive from plant-based materials. While many essential oils have medicinal properties, flowers essences heal only on the emotional level. Perhaps the best-known flower essence is Rescue Remedy, a distillation of five flowers – cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, Rock rose and Star of Bethlehem -essences designed to restore  calm in stressful situations. Available in a vial or as a spray, it’s another must-have for pet owners. Unlike essential oils, flower essences are safe for felines.

Certain flower essences are created for very specific issues. For example, gentian restores confidence, while larch boosts the esteem of scared animals. They sound like the same thing, but there is a subtle difference. Work with your holistic veterinarian to find the right flower essence for your pet’s problem.

Compression Shirts

If thunder or similar loud noises terrifies your dog, he or she doesn’t necessarily need anti-anxiety medication. What may help is a compression shirt, a garment using gentle pressure to make the dog feel secure, much like infant swaddling. While compression shirts won’t help all dogs with noise anxiety, many owners report good results. That’s especially true when essential oils, flower essences and other complementary therapies are also used.

Professional Help

If your dog suffers from severe separation anxiety, high-stress levels, or other behavioral concerns you’ve probably tried all the standard methods to resolve the issue. If nothing has worked, contact Pattie, Animal Connection’s owner, and animal telepathy, expert.

Learn more about our Behavior Consulting services here.

 

 

 

References Noted:

http://thebark.com/content/essential-oils-and-dogs

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/essential-oils-for-scared-dogs/

http://animalwellnessmagazine.com/flower-essences-for-anxious-dogs/

https://www.caninejournal.com/thunder-jacket-for-dogs/

Dog with Vestibular Syndrome

Natural Treatments for Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs

Old age ain’t for sissies, and that’s as true for dogs as it is for people. Elderly –and sometimes middle-aged – dogs may develop vestibular syndrome, which also goes by the name “old dog vestibular syndrome.” Another term is “canine idiopathic vestibular syndrome,” with idiopathic meaning “of unknown origin.” Although symptoms of vestibular syndrome are scary, the good news is it’s not a life-threatening condition and most dogs recover fairly well.

Vestibular Syndrome

The vestibular system, located in the brain and inner ear, maintains the body’s balance and orients it to its position in space. When the vestibular system is out of whack, the affected creature no longer has a sense of where his or her body is positioned. Vestibular syndrome comes on rapidly, which is one reason it’s so frightening to dog owners. A perfectly healthy older canine suddenly develops various neurological issues. Signs of vestibular syndrome include:

  • Head tilt
  • Circling
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty walking or balancing
  • Falling over – one side only
  • Nystagmus – eyes moving back and forth
  • Rolling
  • Wide stance
  • Other neurological problems
  • Loss of appetite – due to nausea from balance problems
  • Vomiting – also resulting from nausea.

Some of these symptoms are found in serious diseases, such as strokes, severe infections or brain tumors. That’s why it is always necessary to get a definite diagnosis from your animal care provider.

Natural Treatments

Severely affected dogs may require sedatives to help them relax, or motion sickness drugs to stop vomiting. If your dog is less afflicted, natural remedies such as lavender essential oil can help them calm down. Rather than place the oil directly on the dog, put drops on the collar or a bandana around the neck. Other natural methods and means to help dogs with vestibular syndrome include:

  • Acupuncture – treatment can help a dog suffering from vestibular syndrome. Try to have the first acupuncture session as soon as possible after diagnosis. Some dogs show improvement within a few hours.
  • Gentle exercise – inactivity in an old dog only makes his joints stiffer and can delay the recovery process. Your vet will advise you on suitable ways to walk your dog, such as using a special harness to help keep him upright.
  • Physical therapy – a veterinary physical therapist can design exercises specifically for your dog and his symptoms.
  • Floor mats – invest in some inexpensive floor mats with good grip, and place them around your dog’s bed and other places she likes to rest. The more secure footing provided will help her get up and moving.

If a practitioner is available, you may want to consider reiki, T-touch, or energy healing to help your dog recuperate.

Food and Water

Because your dog feels nauseous, they may not want to eat or drink. It’s easy for a dog with vestibular syndrome to become dehydrated and require intravenous solutions from the vet. One way of getting nourishment and liquids into your pet is by feeding chicken broth with some boiled chicken. It’s gentle on the stomach and a good start to getting your dog eating and drinking again. Make sure your dog always has water available and offer it regularly if reaching the bowl on his own is problematic.

Time Heals

The most natural treatment for vestibular syndrome is tincture of time. Most dogs recover from vestibular syndrome within days or weeks, although a head tile may remain permanently. A second instance of vestibular syndrome is rare, but does occur. If your dog does experience a recurrence, you’re less likely to panic the way you did initially, but it’s still wise to have the vet examine your pet.

 

References

http://vestibular.org/sites/default/files/page_files/Vestibular%20disease%20in%20dogs%20and%20cats.pdf

http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/oct/old_dog_vestibular_disease-11847

http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/vestibular-disease-in-dogs/856

http://peterdobias.com/blogs/blog/14495125-vestibular-syndrome-in-dogs-natural-treatment-and-prevention

dog is cleaning itself biting the ticks and fleas

Adapting Your Dog’s Diet to Fight Fall Allergies

Autumn is allergy season for humans and canines alike. Because we’ve had so little rain this season, allergy-prone dogs are suffering more than ever. There are ways to help fight your dog’s allergies, and some of them consist of dietary changes and supplementation.

Inhalant Allergies

In fall, leaves drop from trees and plants start dying off. In this season, molds and other inhalants trigger allergies in susceptible canines. While bathing, air purifiers, regular vacuuming and other ways of keeping allergen numbers down on your pet and in your home help, it’s also essential to keep your dog in prime condition so his immune system can fight off allergies.

Bring your dog to the vet for a definite diagnosis if he begins experiencing upper respiratory issues or eye discharge in the fall, typical symptoms of autumn allergies. However, those are far from the only symptoms of canine fall allergies.

Skin Reactions

Allergic reactions in dogs often take on the form of skin conditions. While these allergies are usually caused by food or fleas rather than pollen and molds, that’s not always the case. A dog who constantly licks his paws in autumn to the point where they are raw and bleeding may suffer an environmental contact allergy. Other reactions indicating an inhalant allergy include:

  • Hair loss
  • Ear infections
  • Constant scratching
  • Reddened areas on the stomach or paws.

Scratching soon leads to secondary skin infections. Because these symptoms also correspond with food and flea allergies, a vet visit will get to the bottom of it.

Human Grade Food

Ask your holistic veterinarian about a devising an allergy fighter diet for your pet. Such a diet consists of human-grade meats, vegetables and small amounts of fruit. If making dinner for your dog isn’t practical, feed him only the highest quality commercial dog food. Look for foods containing human-grade ingredients, and avoid those with grains, sugar, artificial coloring or rendered products.  

You may also add digestive enzymes to your dog’s diet to support his immune system.

Raw Honey

Raw, local honey is a natural method for treating seasonal allergies. Your dog will also love the taste. If you don’t have a source for raw, local honey, ask your vet or inquire at nearby health food store. Bees produce honey from local plants, and consuming local honey means ingesting local pollen. The idea is that your dog’s body becomes desensitized to pollens through honey consumption.

Nutraceuticals and Supplements

Nutraceuticals are foods marketed specifically for health benefits. They have medicinal properties, but aren’t medications per se. Certain nutraceuticals, sold as supplements, can boost your dog’s immune systems and possibly lessen or eliminate allergic reactions. Fish oil capsules contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help the body fight inflammation and boost its defenses. You can feed your dog the same type of fish oils you take yourself, but ask your vet about the proper dosage for your pet.

Another nutraceutical, methyl-sufonyl-methane (MSM) is used primarily for joint pain relief, but can also help dogs dealing with rhinitis, skin issues and other fall allergy symptoms. MSM is a form of sulfur, found naturally in the body.

Quercetin supplements, known as “Nature’s Benadryl,” can calm itching. This bioflavonoid acts as both an anti-inflammatory and antihistamine. As an antihistamine, it suppresses the allergic reaction, much as Benadryl does for people. Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory properties not only treat itching, but soothe congested bronchial tubes. White willow bark has pain-relieving properties.  Again, your vet can recommend the right dosage and administration schedule for your dog.

A Healthy Weight

Overweight dogs will suffer more from fall allergies than dogs of normal size. Not only does a fat dog have more difficulty breathing, but too much weight stresses his entire body. While your vet can recommend a diet plan, fall isn’t the best time to start a rigorous exercise program for a dog prone to allergies. Take your dog for longer walks when the pollen and mold count is low, or introduce him to an indoor form of exercise, such as swimming at a canine aquatic center.

Fall allergy season is tough, but take heart. Winter has its downsides, but very cold weather kills off many allergen sources.

Male veterinarian examining Great Dane on cancer in vet clinic

Neoplasene: Safe or Dangerous for Your Dog?

A canine cancer diagnosis is devastating. If your dog has cancer, you want to do everything possible to help him. Neoplasene, a treatment derived from bloodroot, may help with some cancers. Even though it is a natural substance, it does hold potential dangers. If you decide to go this route, it is imperative that you work with your holistic veterinarian every step of the way. Neoplasene is available only by prescription.

 

Neoplasene

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadanesis, has long been used in herbal medicine to treat skin issues, including warts and fungal infections. This native wildflower appears each spring in the eastern woodlands of North America. Native Americans also used it for red dye. Only certain components of bloodroot are used in the making of neoplasene.

Neoplasene causes cancer cells to die – but it can also kill healthy cells, so extreme caution is necessary. Neoplasene treatment may lessen the cancer’s spread, or metastasis.

 

Canine Cancer Treatment

Neoplasene is only effective for certain canine cancers. These include:

  • Fibrosarcomas
  • Hemangiosarcomas
  • Nasal tumors
  • Mammary gland tumors
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Perianal cancers

Neoplasene doesn’t cost as much as common cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, but it is labor intensive and unpleasant to apply topically. When the tumor cells die, they leave behind a gaping hole – perhaps down to the bone – requiring vet care. Your vet may initially inject neoplasene into a tumor, and the growth will necrotize – die off – within a week. After that, you must apply neoplasene salve to the wound at least twice daily. When done correctly, scarring is minimal for small tumors. That’s not the case with large growths.

Don’t force off the dying tissue, even though it appears repulsive. Unless your veterinarian indicates otherwise, merely clean the area with a hydrogen peroxide solution daily.  

There is an oral form of neoplasene used for cancers that have metastasized. The dog will likely require this supplement for the rest of his life. However, oral neoplasene usually causes nausea and vomiting, so it is accompanied by specific diets designed to combat these side effects. Your vet will recommend a diet for your dog’s therapeutic needs. Raw and dry food diets are out. Neoplasene is mixed with food, as giving it directly to your dog will almost certainly result in vomiting.  During the neoplasene regimen, your dog can’t receive any treats and is put on a strict twice-daily feeding schedule. His access to water is also limited.

 

Neoplasene Precautions

Your dog can’t lick or eat the neoplasene ointment, so he may have to wear an Elizabethan collar or other device to keep him from getting at the wound. Elizabethan collars, the so-called “cones of shame” are uncomfortable and your dog will have to wear one for weeks. That’s just one of several precautions during neoplasene therapy:

  • The salve may cause pain when placed on the wound, so your vet may prescribe analgesics for your pet. Certain painkillers have their own side effects. Dogs receiving neoplasene therapy cannot receive anti-inflammatories.
  • Do not give your dog any supplements, including vitamins, without your veterinarian’s consent.
  • Buck Mountain Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of neoplasene, warns, “Prolonged contact with healthy tissue is to be avoided.”
  • Pregnant or nursing dogs should not receive neoplasene.
  • Treatment for any other common dog disorders must cease during neoplasene therapy. That means no arthritis supplements, whether prescription or natural.

Neoplasene won’t “cure” cancer, but in combination with other holistic treatments, including diet, it can help your dog live longer with a good quality of life. In a best-case scenario, your dog succumbs to the infirmities of old age, not cancer.

A picture of a vet brushing dog's teeth

How to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Naturally

The majority of dogs suffer from some type of dental disease, and signs of dental issues are apparent as early as age 3. It is not natural for dogs to have plaque and tartar on their teeth, and it doesn’t happen to their wild carnivore cousins. This buildup, which leads to dental and periodontal problems, is preventable via holistic dental techniques. These techniques focus on the entire dog, not just the mouth itself.

Poor dental health affects more than the teeth or gums. The bacteria from tooth infections can travel throughout the body, leading to heart, lung, liver, and kidney disease. Even if your dog already has signs of teeth troubles, it’s not too late to begin a holistic approach, with guidance from your veterinarian.

 

Conventional Teeth Cleaning

If your dog requires conventional teeth cleaning, that means undergoing anesthesia. The vet uses an ultrasonic scaler for removing large pieces of plaque and tartar, and then each tooth is cleaned via a hand scaler. It can take several hours for your dog to recover from the anesthesia. Although deaths from anesthesia are rare, they do occur. If you use a holistic approach to canine teeth cleaning starting when your dog is young, he may never need to undergo veterinary cleaning under anesthesia. One caveat: If your dog is very small, dental issues are more common. That’s because little dogs still possess the full complement of 42 teeth, crammed into their tiny mouths. Brachycephalic breeds – those with short noses and “pushed-in” faces – are also more likely to need professional dental cleaning. These breeds include the bulldog, pug, and Boston terrier.

 

Food for Dental Health

The best foods for your dog’s dental health are those designed for the way canines naturally eat. That means most of their teeth adept at tearing apart animal protein – meat – with a lesser number intended to crush this food prior to swallowing.

A typical commercial diet is one of the primary causes of canine tooth decay. Such diets often contain sugar and are full of carbohydrates – a recipe for dental disease. Your holistic vet will recommend the best food for your dog, and that typically consists of a commercially made, gently cooked or raw diet or a high protein, low carb dry diet. Add a good quality digestive enzyme to their food or a pinch in their water bowl will keep their teeth cleaner and their breath fresher, too. Look for dental chews that contain essential enzymes and are free of sugars and rice products for safe, effective chewing.

 

Regular Brushing

Your vet or your groomer can instruct you on the best way to brush your dog’s teeth. Even if your dog resists at first, he’ll probably come to tolerate brushing and develop a taste for canine toothpaste.  Toothbrushes designed for children do well for small dogs, while you can use adult-sized toothbrushes on larger animals. Always use soft-bristled toothbrushes. Look for canine toothpaste containing antibacterial enzymes to limit bacterial growth. Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth twice daily, just as you do your own. If that’s not possible, brush them once daily or as often as you can.

 

Signs of Dental Issues

If you’re brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, you’ll notice any dental issues right away. Also watch your dog eat, so you can see if there’s any change in his chewing pattern or if he experiences eating difficulties. Signs of dental issues include:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pawing at the mouth.

Take your pet to the vet as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. Even when using holistic dental techniques, dental problems can occur. In some dogs, genetic issues make them prone to dental disease.

A holistic approach to dental health benefits your dog’s entire body. Because your dog consumes an appropriate diet and good dental health minimizes the risk of systemic infection, you’re likely to have your best friend around for a long time.

 

References

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/15_4/features/Maintaining-Canine-Dental-Health_20501-1.html

http://animalwellnessmagazine.com/alternative-dental-care/

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-disturbing-cuase-of-dental-disease-in-dogs/

overweight dog

Natural Treatment for Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

It’s not unusual for aging canines to develop the endocrine condition known as Cushing’s disease.  Formally known as hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s disease generally results from a benign tumor on the pituitary gland. This gland “rules” the endocrine system and produces various hormones, and the growth causes it to overproduce adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH. In about 20 percent of cases, a tumor on one or both of your pet’s adrenal glands induces excess cortisol production. Cortisol is a natural steroid, but excess amounts leave your dog’s body vulnerable to all sorts of maladies.

Standard treatment for Cushing’s disease involves powerful medications which can cause serious side effects. Some of these drugs are contraindicated in dogs suffering from kidney and liver disease and other afflictions common in senior dogs. Find a reputable holistic veterinarian to see if a natural treatment regimen may benefit your dog with Cushing’s disease. Natural treatments are more helpful to dogs diagnosed in the early stages of hyperadrenocorticism.

Symptoms

Suspect Cushing’s disease if your older dog develops any of the following symptoms:

  • increased thirst and urination
  • constant hunger
  • hair thinning and loss
  • muscle weakness
  • frequent panting
  • darkening skin
  • recurring infections
  • lethargy
  • insomnia.

Since these symptoms mimic those of other diseases, it is crucial that you have your dog tested. A simple blood test reveals excess cortisol in your dog’s system. An ultrasound shows whether there is a tumor on the adrenal glands. Approximately half of such tumors are benign – but that means there’s a 50 percent chance of malignancy. For some dogs, surgical removal of the tumor is an option.

 

Diet

Changing your dog’s diet may ease many of the Cushing’s symptoms. Your vet may recommend a raw diet or suggest home-cooked meals. If your dog is not currently consuming grain-free food, it’s time to make the switch. Avoid dry foods and feed your pet as little processed food as possible – that includes treats.

 

Acupuncture

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture has many uses, and regular treatments can help regulate hormones and relieve symptoms. Tiny needles inserted into the corresponding acupuncture point are no longer the only game in town. Veterinarians can now use lasers on these points with the same effect as needles. Nervous dogs or those that tend to squirm a lot at the veterinary clinic may do better with lasers than needles.

 

Herbal Remedies

Certain herbs help control Cushing’s symptoms. Dandelion helps restore normal functioning to canine adrenal glands. Another common herb, ginkgo biloba, slows down the adrenal glands’ release of cortisol. Astragalus boosts the immune system, while burdock helps eliminate toxins from the body. Various Chinese herbs, such as Si Miao San, are useful for treating dogs with particular symptoms. These include overweight canines experiencing constant panting.

 

Supplements

Your vet can recommend supplements to help your dog fight Cushing’s disease. Common supplements that help reduce the inflammation occurring with Cushing’s disease include:

  • fish oil
  • flaxseed oil
  • glucosamine
  • turmeric.

Melatonin may help your insomniac dog regain a regular sleep schedule.

 

Specific Regimen

Natural remedies may help your dog in his battle against Cushing’s disease, but don’t start making dietary changes and giving your pet herbs and supplements on your own. Your dog needs a specific treatment protocol that only an experienced holistic veterinarian can develop. Your vet must see your dog regularly for blood testing and an overall evaluation.

Keep in mind that natural treatments may work for a while on your dog, but you might eventually have to go the conventional treatment route. Your vet will let you know when it is time. If your dog does require conventional medication – such as Trilosten – he may require a smaller dosage if he continues to receive dietary and herbal therapy and acupuncture treatment.

 

References

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/natural-solutions-for-cushings-disease/

http://animalwellnessmagazine.com/herbs-for-cushings-disease/

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm151209.html

Vet holding homeopathic globules for a little maltese dog

How Homeopathy Can Help Older Dogs

There’s only one thing wrong with dogs. They don’t live long enough. It’s hard to see your best friend struggle with the physical and mental debilities that accompany aging. Veterinarians have powerful medications available for treating ailments common in senior canines. These drugs often have just as powerful side effects.  

The basic principle of homeopathy is “like cures like” and treatments consist of  natural, diluted substances given in minute doses. These substances work with the body’s natural healing powers and sort of “jump start” them. Skeptics claim it does not work, but even they admit it does no harm.

Natural remedies, such as homeopathy, may offer an effective and safe substitute for certain conditions. While you can purchase homeopathic remedies over-the-counter or online, for best results consult a veterinary homeopathic practitioner. You’ll receive learned advice on dosage, potency, and frequency of use, as well as the most effective therapies. They will also instruct you on the proper way to give your dog the diluted remedies – there’s great specificity in the way pellets must go into the mouth, for example.

 

Arthritis

If arthritis is limiting your dog’s mobility – and his quality of life – Arnica montana can help put a spring back in his step. Arguably the best-known homeopathic remedy, arnica helps relieve sore joints and muscles. While it is available in pellet form for therapy, it also comes in cream and gel versions for topical application to the joints. You would give your dog the pellet form several times a day to alleviate the chronic condition, and administer the gel or cream if the joint seems particularly sore. Arnica is never applied topically to open wounds.

Rhus tox is another good choice for arthritic dogs. If your dog has difficulty rising from a prone position, Rhus Toxicodendron is the go-to remedy.

 

Periodontal Disease

Older dogs frequently suffer from gum disease. While it’s important to follow your vet’s recommendations for treating periodontal disease, homeopathy treatments can lessen the pain associated with chronic gum issues. Hypericum perforatum  – St. John’s Wort – especially benefits any type of nerve injuries, such as that from loose teeth affected by periodontal disease.

 

Urinary Incontinence

As dogs age, their bladder sphincter muscles weaken, causing incontinence. It’s especially common in spayed females. Since incontinence can indicate various issues, including infections and bladder stones, always have your vet examine your pet. If the diagnosis is weak sphincter, homeopathic remedies may stop the leaking. Homeopathic remedies that may alleviate urinary incontinence include:

  • Bryonia – a good choice for dogs who leak urine when moving.
  • Cantharis – this remedy is better known as Spanish fly, a purported aphrodisiac that can make users seriously ill rather than amorous. In diluted homeopathic form, however, cantharis supports bladder function and helps quell the urge to constantly pee.
  • Causticum – especially helpful for aging dogs with weak bladders.
  • Pulsatilla – another remedy for bladder weakness, which also aids dogs suffering from separation anxiety.

 

Cognitive Dysfunction

Besides physical issues, many older dogs experience cognitive decline. A dog with cognitive dysfunction may appear disoriented, become restless at night, start eliminating inappropriately and exhibit other behavioral and personality changes. Remedies that may lessen symptoms include:

  • Arsenic – this poison is safe in homeopathic doses and it useful for restless dogs who pace at night.
  • Conium – improves the dog’s ability to focus.
  • Rhus tox – aids the anxiety common in dogs with cognitive problems.

 

Along with herbal and other natural remedies, homeopathic therapies can give your senior dog a new lease on life. He’s comfortable, more active and better resembles the dog of a few years earlier. You can’t give your best pal a greater gift.

 

If you’re looking for natural or herbal remedies for your pup, checkout our online shop today!

 

References

http://www.dogchannel.com/holistic-dog-care/natural-remedies-for-the-aging-dog.aspx

http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/homeopathic-remedies-for-dogs.html

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/12-homeopathic-remedies/

http://yourolddog.com/arnica-for-dogs-and-how-to-safely-use-it/

http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/dog-incontinence-remedies.html

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/homeopathic-treatment-for-dogs-an-acute-materia-media/

https://www.petremedycharts.com/Learning%20Center/Homeopathy/Homeopathic%20Remedies/Homeopathic_Remedies/Arsenicum_Album_Homeopathy_for_Animals.html

Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon, Lemongrass Effective Flea Repellent

The Perfect Ingredients for a Natural Flea Repellent

The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and that means … prime flea season. OK, it also means a lot more pleasant things, but if you have dogs and cats, it’s the time of year for flea control. You can purchase effective flea control products over-the-counter or from your vet, but many of them contain toxins that can harm your pet. Mother Nature has provided us with many ingredients for natural flea repellents. These may take a little more work on your part than commercial products, but they’ll only harm fleas, not Fido or Fluffy.

 

Simple Flea Repellents

You probably already have the ingredients for a simple natural flea repellent in your cupboard. Apple cider vinegar and water, mixed in a 50-50 solution, is an excellent, safe flea repellent for use on dogs and cats. You can substitute white vinegar, but pets don’t like it as much when they lick their fur.

Fleas detest vinegar and tend to stay off animals doused in it. You will have to reapply the solution daily – which may not make your pet too happy. Have a flea comb handy and check your pet every day for evidence of the pests.

 

Essential Oil Flea Repellent

Properly used, essential oils are the perfect ingredient for canine flea repellents. Cats, however, are sensitive to most essential oils, so don’t use these repellents on them. Although essential oils are natural, they are strong, so it’s crucial to dilute them properly.

A holistic veterinarian or essential oils practitioner can provide you with recipes for flea control. Purchase only therapeutic-grade essential oils. Flea-repelling diluted essential oils suitable for spraying on hair or skin include:

  • Lavender – place a few drops of lavender mixed with a carrier oil on your dog’s hair, or add about 15 drops to a small water bottle and spray your dog regularly. Since lavender reduces anxiety, using it as flea control also calms nervous canines.
  • Lemongrass and cedarwood – mix these two essential oils with water to create a flea spray. Your holistic practitioner will give you the exact amounts based on your dog’s size. Mist your dog while brushing his hair and exposing his skin so you can spot any fleas. Use this treatment once or twice weekly to keep him flea-free. It also keeps ticks at bay.
  • Peppermint – your dog will smell sweet, and any fleas will die. Peppermint affects the insect’s’ central nervous system, while not bothering your pet in the least.  

Although pennyroyal is effective for killing fleas in both herbal and essential oil forms, never put it directly on your dog. Place it around your dog’s bedding or on your carpeting.

 

A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet contains the ultimate ingredients for natural flea repellents. That’s because fleas hone in on animals with compromised immune systems, along with puppies and kittens whose immune systems are still developing. Feed your pets high-quality foods without grains and fillers. A good diet doesn’t mean you can ignore flea control, but it’s unlikely your pet will become infested.

 

A Clean Environment

The number of fleas on your pet’s coat is just the tip of the iceberg. Fleas on your dog or cat invariably mean fleas in your home. Battle these pests by vacuuming daily and washing all your pet’s bedding in hot water. Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth lightly on your pet’s bed, your carpets, baseboards, and anywhere you suspect fleas are lurking. DE, as it is known, is harmless to people and pets but kills fleas. It consists of fossilized algae shells, and while its tiny particles don’t harm larger animals, they are sharp enough to cut through insect exoskeletons.

By using a combination of natural ingredients, you and your pets can enjoy a perfect, flea-free summer.

 

References

http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/holistic-healthcare-library/fleas-ticks/53/the-natural-approach-to-flea-control.aspx

http://www.fleaguide.com/homemade-flea-spray.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/259278-essential-oils-that-naturally-repel-fleas-ticks/

http://www.pet360.com/dog/health/how-natural-flea-and-tick-repellants-work/gYZ1XK4KUU60oUHjuVuW-A

vet checking on a dog for heartworm

Natural Heartworm Prevention

It’s important to protect your dog against potentially deadly heartworm infestation. Conventional prevention generally involves using a powerful dewormer or other medications available only by prescription to kill microfilaria – baby heartworms – in the animal’s bloodstream. These drugs have potential side effects.

However, there are alternative, natural ways to prevent heartworm disease, recommended by holistic veterinarians. Using a natural mosquito repellent in conjunction with a raw diet might preclude the need for monthly heartworm medication.

Heartworms

Heartworm, or Dirofilaria immitis, infestation in dogs has been documented in all 50 states. Affected dogs may have dozens of heartworms in their bodies, with some of them reaching several feet in length. Heartworms congregate not only in the heart, but also in the lungs and blood vessels. The more worms in the body, the greater the risk.

Heartworm Transmission

Mosquitoes are the primary method of heartworm transmission in dogs. Female heartworms living in another member of the canine family’s bloodstream – whether a domestic dog, fox, coyote or wolf – produce microfilaria. When a mosquito bites an infected canine and consumes a blood meal, it also picks up the heartworm larvae. The microfilaria remain infective for the next two weeks, so any dog or cat bitten by the mosquito in that time may have heartworm larvae transmitted to them via the bite wound. In six months, the microfilaria matures into adult heartworms.

Heartworms can live in dogs for up to seven years, and in a cat for up to three years, according to the American Heartworm Society. If you effectively repel mosquitoes from your pet, theoretically, heartworm larvae aren’t transmissible.

Wondercide

Wondercide protects pets naturally against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, and it’s effective for treating the house and yard against pests. It is safe to use on dogs and cats. Wondercide contains only food-grade ingredients, and all of its products contain cedar oil. The odor of cedar cause insects to flee – no pun intended. Wondercide also contains silica, which kills pests via suffocation. Just a minute amount of silica is enough to close insect breathing pores.  

Choose from three natural Wondercide fragrances for your pet’s pest protection:

  • cedar
  • cedar and rosemary
  • cedar and lemongrass

Raw Diet

A raw diet strengthens a dog’s immune system, which helps keep parasites at bay. Canines naturally evolved eating raw meat and some herbs, and cooking foods remove many essential nutrients. Many holistic practitioners recommend a diet consisting of raw meat, including bones and organs. A raw diet helps keep the dog’s digestive tract clear so parasites are not attracted.  A healthy immune system may kill off heartworm larvae on its own. Keeping your dog’s heart muscles strong also involves giving him plenty of exercise.

If the dog on a raw diet does develop heartworm disease, his strong immune system helps him stay well during heartworm treatment, which is a difficult process.

Heartworm Disease Symptoms

Dogs in the early stages of heartworm infestation often show few symptoms. As the heartworms grow, so do the signs of infestation. These include:

  • persistent cough
  • exercise intolerance
  • appetite loss
  • weight loss.

Dogs with a high heartworm load may develop a swollen abdomen, heart failure, or even die suddenly. Heartworm disease symptoms in cats are often more subtle with sudden death being far more common.

Heartworm Treatment

If your dog shows any signs of heartworm infestation, they require immediate treatment. You will require the services of an emergency pet care professional for diagnosis and eradication of canine heartworms.

References

http://www.wondercide.com/natural-flea-tick-mosquito-control-for-dogs-evolv/

https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm-basics

http://dogs.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Natural_Cures_for_Canine_Heart_Worms

sick dog under a blanket

Pet Emergencies: The Most Common Issues and How to Address Them

It never fails. Your pet appears sick or injured after your veterinarian has closed for the day. If you live near a 24/7 veterinary hospital, that’s where you must take your animal. Those in rural areas might live considerable distances from such a facility or not have transportation. In each case, when do you know your pet must receive attention as soon as possible and when can it wait until tomorrow? Here are some common issues found in dogs and cats and the best way to address them. Always call your animal care practitioner for advice!

Motor Vehicle Accidents and Other Trauma

If your pet is hit by a motor vehicle or experiences another type of trauma, that’s a veterinary emergency. If the animal is conscious, they may try to bite or scratch, so take care when moving him. If possible, put the pet in a carrier or box, or wrap him gently in a blanket. If you have clean bandages or similar material available, cover any open wounds. Call the emergency hospital and let them know you are on the way, so trained staff can move the animal from your car.

Even if your dog or cat seems fine after an encounter with a vehicle, they still needs an emergency vet visit. They could suffer from internal bleeding or other complications that aren’t immediately apparent.

Bleeding

While an animal with severe bleeding requires emergency treatment, the American Veterinary Medical Association advises taking pets with less serious bleeding to the emergency vet if the bleeding doesn’t stop within five minutes. If your pet bleeds at all from his mouth, anus or nose, coughs up blood or has bloody urine, an immediate trip to the vet is imperative, according to the AVMA.  

Poisoning

If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, time is of the essence. Signs of poisoning include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting – especially of blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing up blood
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Collapse

If you know what your pet ingested, your vet may advise you to induce vomiting by giving the animal a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Do not induce vomiting if you don’t know what is poisoning your pet or without consulting a vet or poison control center. Get your pet to an emergency veterinary hospital at once. If your pet threw up, bring a vomit sample to the vet. It may provide the answer as to what poisoned your pet.

Choking

If your pet is choking, you may not have time to get him to an emergency vet even if there’s one fairly close.  Taking care not to get bitten, look into the mouth and see if you can view and/or remove the blockage. The ASPCA advises performing a modified Heimlich maneuver, consisting of a sharp rap to your pet’s chest.

Eye Injuries

Eye problems are always an emergency. Without prompt attention, pets with eye issues may lose some or all of their vision.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Sometimes these gastrointestinal issues require emergency treatment, but they often can wait until the next day. It’s an emergency if:

  • A kitten or puppy experiences vomiting or diarrhea. Young animals easily dehydrate and die.
  • A dog repeatedly tries to vomit but nothing comes up. That’s a sign of “bloat” – formally known as gastric dilatation and volvulus – which is fatal without emergency surgery.
  • Continuous vomiting and/or diarrhea.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea with blood.
  • The pet has diabetes or another serious disease.

Seizures

Watching your pet go through a seizure is a scary experience, but it isn’t always an emergency. Animals experiencing a seizure may lose consciousness, convulse, fall over and “paddle” their legs uncontrollably. They may defecate, urinate or hypersalivate. If the seizure lasts only a minute or so, and no other seizures follow, you can likely wait until the next day or so to take your pet to the vet, although you should always call your vet for advice. If the seizure lasts more than five minutes or the episodes occur in succession, your pet needs immediate attention.

References

http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/common-emergencies-in-dogs/754

https://www.vets-now.com/pet-owners/pet-care-advice/top-pet-emergency/

https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/animal-emergencies.aspx

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/emergency-care-your-pet

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/basics/signs-of-poisoning-in-dogs-and-cats/