Category Archives: PurePet

PurePet Alternative Vets in DFW Area

Hieronymus Rhett Thomas O’Brien Puppy getting his Acupuncture treatment!

Hello! There is absolutely a time and a place for the practice of Western Medicine.  An old friend who was getting his doctorate and was the son of a surgeon used to say, very aptly, that ‘they call it the practice of medicine because that is exactly what we are doing…practicing.’  WM excels in trauma cases and is sometimes the only or the very best option.  Recently our Doberman had a neurological spine injury.  An MRI and Surgery were recommended by one vet and putting him to sleep over quality of life issues by another if there wasn’t swift improvement.  A friend of mine just had spinal surgery performed on her Doxi. Her pup is gradually improving and healing after the surgery.  My neighbor with a Dachshund, in commiserating with me when I was seeking help last June for our Doberboy, Rhett, explained that surgery was recommended but all he could afford were NSAIDs. He took his beloved pup home sans surgery, gave him his pain and anti-inflammatory meds and slowly the dog healed all on his own.  That was a decade ago.  Now elderly, the dog can hop up on furniture and trot up and down stairs with no issues.  And our Rhett is fine now after going from being unable to run, falling down repeatedly trying just to walk and with a badly stumbling gate, to back to normal all with CMT (Canine Massage Therapy) Acupuncture and an Assisi Loop.

When Rhett was a puppy, I began looking for alternative vet options and they seem to be slim. So here is what I know for those in the Dallas area. These are recommended vets whoose first thought is not the pharma reps drugs or surgery but rather a more logical, thoughtful and holistic approach.  And again, I wish to stress here that I am NOT slamming all Western Medicine workers or modalities.  But we have options far older and less invasive.  When faced with potential surgery or a few needles to fix my boy, neither guaranteed to work by the way, it made, to me, the most sense to do the least invasive thing on him and move from there, with patience and attention.  Rhett had to have bloat surgery last Christmas and that was very hard on him, the pain of the very long incision and days of healing enough to where he could sit and then more time to be able to lay down.  The poor guy stood and whined.  He’d bunch up pillows under himself to sort of melt into place to rest.  He was miserable.  But his tummy torsioned and surgery was necessary.  For folks wondering, god yes he was on heavy pain pills but nothing knocks the worst pain out.  So if you are looking at engaging a more holistic vet, from advice on what if any annual shots are recommended to homeopathic and Asian herbs & treatments, here are a few options for you; Patricia Ballard of Alternative Vet Clinic, reached at myqivet@gmail.com works The Colony area and has semi-retired. Those in the Dallas area, I schedule CMT, Canine Massage & Acupressure therapy. Out in the Plano area, Sean at Paws & Claws Animal Hospital. In the White Rock Lake area, East Dallas Vet Clinic has recently added Acupuncture. Lisa Molidor is the DVM that does this work and is terrific to work with! She also makes house calls for acupuncture work. At EDVC I also adore Kevin Gibbs. He has experience that lends him to a unique & detailed perspective on his recommendations and treatments. And, lastly, Spot On Wellness, Dr. Hartai who is just brilliant. There are no other words. He travels and has several places around the metroplex where you can seek out his chiropractic and acupuncture mad-skills.  There is also Dr. Pam with Vitality Pet Care but we tried for 3 years to get an apointment after being told she would see us as we were referred by another vet to her.  Nope.  I ended up doing my own mojo magic with what I know about Kidney disease and my boy and he is fine so far, thank you very much.  I was recently able to secure an appointment with Dr. Ballard with Alternative Vet Clinic who just told me to keep doing what I was doing.  She taught me well.♥  Recommended Reading: Dr. Goldstein Nature Of Animal Healing 

Canine Acupuncture For Neurological Issues

Look closely, I call this ‘DobieTenna’ as Rhett has a needle in his head that appears to be receiving signals.

 

 

 

 

Hieronymus Rhett Thomas O’Brien Puppy (Big dog, big name) just had his 8th birthday in April.  His short name is Rhett.  He has always been a powerful dog and is so muscular that we have called him the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Dobermans as he is beautifully and massively built while at the same time, very agile.  We have downsized significantly but in our old place, we joked that he learned agility just navigating the rooms of the house without bumping into anything.  Agile.  Strong.  Rhett is also very personable, stubborn and demanding.  Fortunately he is equally as sweet and patient as he is demanding and stubborn or there’d be trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a photo of the full scope and Rhett is being a very good boy.  At this point he has had several treatments but I want to take you back to June 4th.  I had lost my job just a few days prior.  We were in the throes (and holy bejeebus we still are) of a master bathroom remodel.  Funds are exceedingly tight.  I am a bit depressed but rah rah trying to stay upbeat when that Monday, after a good walk with my husband, Rhett begins acting all weird.  He’s weak, especially in the back and particularly his back right leg which he cannot put any weight on.  He’s panting, shivering and falling down.  After the trip to the emergency room where they take a wait and see approach, I figure we should try acupressure massage therapy on him.  I call someone to the house I know well and this does help but he is not at all right and needs a lot more.  I search out an acupuncturist and locate Spot On Wellness, for those in the Dallas area, he rocks.  Dr. Hartai does an initial treatment but it’s clear there are neurological issues that could be anything from Wobblers, some degenerative disease, a tumor or acute injury only now manifesting visibly.  He referred us to a neurologist for an MRI.  I actually started a gofundme to help out but beyond the first $600 which I am so thankful for,  nobody has contributed more recently so we are out of pocket about 2k and completely on our own on this because while there were discussions about chiropractic and acupuncture etc when I signed up with the insurance, apparently I am missing a rider I needed to have that would have covered all of this, less a $500.00 deductible.   I immediately got an appointment but also noted significant improvement from the first treatment.  The acupressure had helped a bit but the needles more.  It was recommended he have twice-weekly treatments and as he could not get in or out of the car well, that meant paying someone for house calls too.
Thinking logically through all this, I want to validate how the non- invasive treatments would work for my boy.  I already do not have funds for this anyway.  But I cannot allow my boy to suffer.

Should I spend the $500.00 deductible now to put Rhett through the MRI drama that will eat up at least 3k just for the test and more thousands for surgery yet  have a majority of that covered ($500.00 deductible and then insurance pays 80%) and KNOW what the issue is and treat it in a Western Medicine way which would mean I definitely wouldn’t have any cash for acupuncture treatments,  or be patient through the process of watching how acupuncture does for him?  Not easy decisions when your loved one is suffering, scared and weak and has no idea why or what happened.

IF you want my opinion right now, I find it utterly silly that dosing our boy with narcotics and putting him through an MRI scan and surgery to resolve is covered by my insurance but far less invasive and easier on everybody acupuncture isn’t…without paying more for a rider I didn’t know I needed until this happened and I called to begin filing the claim.

I am familiar with acupuncture, having work done to alleviate heartburn, hip flexor issues, hand issues, and swallowing issues with acalaysia, this weird disorder brought on by stress.  There is magic in this ancient practice.  Rhett went on twice weekly vet treatments plus at home massage therapy.  His improvement weekly was marked and uplifting.  Joyful.  From June 4th to today, 7/12, Rhett has gone from barely being able to stand up without falling down, to being able again to get up into his favorite chair, the tall bed, feel motivated enough and well enough to go see who is at the door. And bark.  He had even lost his bark.  Rhett can tell us who is at the door by how he barks. We know instantly if it’s someone we know, someone he likes or doesn’t.  And he has this amazingly resonant bass bark that rumbles inside your chest cavity that will floor you if you are not prepared for it.   When asking him to ‘speak’ for treats, he begins in a whisper.  You have to tell him louder and then he complies, gradually amping it up as asked to do so.  We did not train him to do this, it’s all his personality and peculiarity as a unique soul inhabiting our home and intertwining into our lives.  Rhett was able to again walk, then hike a leg to pee then trot, then canter and then gallop all without falling down.  His hind legs are still weak and his gallop is not full on but he can chase a squirrel in the backyard and look like he means it.  In truth he just wants to play with the squirrels, having played catch and release with them and rabbits as a puppy.  He loves and is fascinated by all life, all cats, all squirrels, all living creatures.  He doesn’t, as some dogs do, lump one cat into another or one squirrel as good as another, no…he literally wants to have a relationship with each being he meets.  He will nuzzle injured birds, and try his level best to appear small and non-threatening to meet another potential friend while on walks.  At parties, he knows how to mix and mingle with guests but also understands who is allowed in.  I have seen his full-on wicked Doberman side exactly once and guarding warning exactly twice and yes it is quite the frightening and magnificent spectacle to behold.  I understand how a Doberman or other powerful animal can be scarier than a gun.  Primarily because he knows exactly when to turn it on, he has fooled 99% of the people who know him into thinking he is a wussy lapdog.  A dear friend and neighbor, Keith once witnessed all 115lbs of Rhett engaging in play with our 7lb rooster and allowing the rooster to chase him away from the hens.  We joked that this was embarrassing and must never be spoken of.  Rhett bobbed and weaved and had fun with the rooster who I think really was trying to protect his harem of hens but Rhett meant no harm at all.   I have watched Rhett gracefully escort people he considers lost, off our property as well as look like he is hungry to tuck into the man who opened our front door unannounced. He has never needed to bite anyone as his warning has always sufficed.  Like my Boxer boy before him, I stand amazed at their brain and how they work things out all on their own, given the proper loving care, socialization and raising, really mostly all things we do with our human kids. I have had folks say…so he’s 8, right?  And Dobermans live, what to be 10?  Rhett has some 12, 14 & 16-year-olds in his line and sure, while he does have an expiration date like we all do, I love him and want to keep him around on this earthly plane just as long as possible.  He, like all spirits, will not be replaceable once he is gone.  Yes, oh you bet we will get another dog and love again, but it will not ever be the same.  It never is. That is the point, one of our lessons to learn here.

Life is precious.  Rhett depends upon us as any child would.  So he is getting therapy, it’s helping so much and I wanted to share this out for anyone in a similar boat not to throw in the towel too quickly or perhaps succumb to surgery too soon either because I feel as if I just watched a miracle unfold before my eyes as I watch my boy get back to his old strong and stubborn and exceedingly sweet self.

To speed healing, in addition to the vet work, I have him on some anti-inflammatory supplements.  We are using Infinite Hip and Joint, which is organic with Turmeric, glucosamine and .chondroitin and MSM, all great for us to take to keep us limber.

For his omega 3s and because all fish is toxic (there is plastics and pharma drugs in all fish plus mercury and other poisons thank you humans and factory farming for ruining fish) I give him seaweed, such as  Spirulina, Chinese Chlorella and Klamath Lake Blue-Green Algae and for his B12, Braggs Nutritional Yeast, which is a great way as a vegan (I am, he’s not) to get your B12 and is so delicious on popcorn.

Assisi Loop Option, the ActiPatch.

Your vet can prescribe an Assisi Loop, which is an electromagnetic field which pulses but you don’t feel it.  When near a conductor (such as tissue) the device will induce current flow, bringing oxygen into the area to speed healing while calming the pain signals.  The currents work in tissue from outside the body, no need to shave the fur, the magnetic fields penetrate through fur, hair, casts and bandages. You MUST have a prescription and the device will set you back $300.00 and for that, you will receive a minimum of 150 15-minute treatments.  Very simple to use, you push the button and it auto shuts off after 15 minutes.  (They do have one that is constantly on.)  After the battery is spent, the device is trash and you must buy a new one.  I have one now, but while I was waiting, and in a hurry to try this on myself and my dog, I located this device, the ActiPatch,  on Amazon.  There is a cheaper version but it doesn’t shut itself off.

Unless your pup requires acute care, such as post-surgery, you want the model that you can turn on and off for treatment so that you are not wasting the battery life.  For less than $30.00 you get 720 total hours of therapy (with ON/OFF switch) which yields 4 cents per hour of therapy.  This is a mini-me version of the Assisi loop which is more powerful.  The Actipatch is the ‘human’ marketed version, there is also the identical one marketed for pets that costs more and you don’t get the wrap.  Ha!  So order this one and save money plus get tape and a wrap and try it on yourself as well!

See my other post on dog food recommendations, but it is very important to feed properly a clean diet.  I really like Dr. Harveys and the man will actually get on the phone with you too.

Rhett’s go fund me for any interested Animal loving parties ♥

https://www.gofundme.com/treatment-for-heironymus-rhett

 

 

CANINE KIDNEY Renal Disease & Dangerous Pet Food

 

 

Happy Boy!

 

 

 

 

Rhett has suffered kidney damage since he was just a year old (2011). He has been on a high grade mostly raw diet and has no kidney issues in his line.  Rhett’s Grand-dad passed away last year at 12 1/2 and he has some 14+ relatives so he comes from healthy stock.

His kidney trauma is due to bad greedy people,  egregious practices and misbegotten crap passed off to the consumer as something made in America but was actually produced using tainted meat from China.  Waggin Train and Canyon Ranch dog treats made by Nestle-Purina.   Read my Petfood Rant for more details and check out this link too: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/waggin-train-chicken-jerky-treats-recall.

Putting my steam aside a moment, as you can see, Hieronymus Rhett Thomas O’Brien Puppy is a very happy boy.  I am a natural, plant-based, alternative kinda girl.  As I have been treating Rhett with help from various others, since 2011.  I stopped his tainted treats in 2014 when I finally connected the dots, because he finally got massively sick immediately after eating the treats, wouldn’t stop vomiting, so it was obvious.   They say there is no cure for kidneys, that they progressively scar and stop doing their job and that we only notice the signs when the kidneys are down to their last 20% or so of function.  I really like to think of the body as a miracle machine, capable of vast healing given the time, herbs and pure living.   But at the very least, what I know for sure is that eating clean, getting exercise and lots of love couple with the right herbs and daily detoxing, can all only help prolong your dogs quality of life.

Foods and HerbsDETOX  The Lifestyle –  Everyone that looks at Rhett exclaims what a healthy handsome Doberman he is.  While he has lost 18lbs of muscle over the years, I believe one of the reasons he looks so stunning is the food and herbs I give him and it’s also what I don’t give him too.  First I read Martin Goldstein’s Book, The Nature of Animal Healing. I love this book as a reference and great natural guide. It is a wonderful balance between allopathic and homoeopathic modalities.  KIBBLE –  I read all ingredients and avoid most kibble which is done via an extrusion process and is just not a good thing to feed your dog or kitty. I go for the boutique and healthier ones, where the company makes it themselves, using low heat and then I only provide as a snack food.  Just something for my kitties and Rhett to snack on in between meals.  I tend to mix up the kibble, but right now I am feeding Ami Cat, vegan for our kitties and Halo Vegan Garden Medley for our Doberboy.  The reasoning against kibble as an animals only fare is similar to when we high heat cook our food.  Whenever anything is cooked above 118, it loses vitality, vitamins and moisture and enzymes.  Basically, the food is now dead and you may notice labels that state ‘vitamins and minerals added etc’ and that would be why because we have trashed the value in that food.  When you eat only dry food, your body takes moisture to break it down and it is very dehydrating.  For example, a cat typically doesn’t drink a ton of water but on kibble only, your cat will drink a lot more in an attempt to hydrate.

You can provide  Black Walnut, for worms, including heartworm.  I buy the capsules and break one up in his food.  Rhett is 100 lbs currently.  So I dose him like a human.  So if you adopt this, I believe the book provides guidance there too, but dose accordingly which may mean half a capsule or a 1/4th monthly.  Rhett had been given all his typical puppy shots up to 8 months old.  After that, all he has ever had is a fractional rabies dose (because it is the law) and one Parvo shot because parvo was prevalent in our area.  There is murcury and other poisons in our vaccines…I have no freaking clue why but I shun them.  Also, many are not vegan.  Think about it….do YOU personally get shots every year whether you need it or not?  The last time I had a shot was as a child when I had no say so.   Because we reside in an area (Dallas) that is pretty much open season with Mosquitos all year long, I give keep Rhett on Pawhealer Empiracle Heartworm Support, just a 1/4 tsp daily 7 days on, 7 days off, and every quarter I give Rhett a black walnut capsule to cleanse.  If we get any semblance of a solid winter that lasts a week or longer, I stop the heartworm prevention during that time just to give the boy a break and pick it back up as the weather warms up.  With his kidneys compromised, I try to minimize any conceivable toxin that he could come into contact with, from air pollution, impure water, floor cleaners and polishes, laundry detergent, dog shampoo and conditioner, flea control.  I believe it is due to all of this management, that Rhett has not once needed emergency care (yet) for his kidney concern.  We would not have known he had one except by his bloodwork.

One of the treatments I use, which I mix in with Rhett’s food, is Dr Harveys Kidney Health For years, I have been a fan of Chinese healing herbs and modalities and have taken Astralagus for some years now as well as medicinal mushrooms, so it’s great seeing these magical compounds in this whole food supplement, along with Rehmannia Root and other herbs, all organic by the way, to help reduce inflammation (a precursor to cancer and other ills) strengthen the immune system, the kidneys and adrenals, and detoxify the blood and system.   See my petfood blog, but I also, primarily, feel Dr Harveys mix-ins, such as their Canine Health and veg-to-bowl when I want to create a meal with either no grains or when I want to add my own, such as brown rice.  What I love about Dr. Harveys, other than the man will get on the phone with you, (not kidding!)  is that with kidney issues, you have to reduce the protein.  With a healthy, organic mix in, it makes the meal prep very easy.  You control the protein source and amount, mix that into the bowl that you have hydrated following the easy directions en voila, a meal is served.  I make up batches at a time to last a couple or three days.  Dr. Harveys makes food for kitty too.  ♥

Another tool in my toolkit is Pawhealer Petigreens, which is all organic greens and digestives that help detox the system and are great for kitty as well.  Coming from my Hippocrates Health Institute training, I am gladdened to see wheatgrass, barley grass, loads of chlorophyll, which is one molecule off from our blood cells.  It is a powerhouse detoxifier!  I also have everybody in the house on Digestive Enzymes and probiotics.  For the furkids, I recommend  Dr. Mercola Digestive Enzymes.

Purify your water.  (Read my blog on water purification) There is plastics and pharmaceutical drugs in all municipal water supplies and no drop is pristine these days.  Get a Zero water pitcher or whole house system…see my blog, but please purify all of your water and if you have pets, they deserve fresh pure water too!  I add minerals back, using either mineral sticks or liquid trace minerals into the water once purified.  You need them for the bones and teeth.  Teeth and mouth are another dead giveaway to a pup suffering Kidney Disease.  Rhett has never had to have a vet clean his teeth.  Rhett will be 8 April 17th 2018. I have been using brushless toothpaste treats by Ark Naturals and Ark Naturals Plaque Zapper, little fizzy packets you add to the water bowl since he was a young boy.  I do periodically brush, but he really doesn’t like it and doesn’t have alot of ‘stay still’ patience for me to work as long as I need to. I also use a natural tooth gel, that I can apply weekly to his canines and back molars area, 2 drops front, back on each side.

For household cleaners, check out my other blog which is geared towards Mid Century Modern design, but I review and talk about best and safest ways to clean your home, top to bottom in a safer way.
https://mcmhomeanddecor.com/hardwood-floors-how-to-clean-and-maintain-them

Read all labels and be mindful of your protein source.  Think about what kidneys and livers do…they purify the system.  So you really don’t want to be feeding your kidney deficient pup liver or kidneys because they will have toxins that could overload your pup’s system that is already struggling to detox.

Variety!  Now, I believe it is important to provide variety at mealtime.  It’s healthier and there is so much we can benefit by adding different plants, legumes etc into the diet.  That stated I recommend a couple of books – Feed Your Best Friend Better by Rick Woodford and Dr. Pitcairn’s Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats which is a plethora of information as well as a few recipes.  I realize everyone is busy and my husband jokes I make time to fix something from scratch for the dog but not for us, but even if you do this on the odd week-end, and Dr. Harveys mix-ins the rest of the time, varying your oils and protein sources, then you are adding some variety to your pup’s diet.
With Kidney Disease, we concern ourselves primarily with the BUN, the Creatine and Phosphorus.  When the Phos gets out of whack, we are really going downhill.  A friend tipped me to using a phos binder, such as RX Vitamins Phos-Bind.  While Rhett’s phos values are normal, I am adding a binder as a preventive measure.

IF you are one of the many who are suffering due to bad pet food, or an unknown cause, one way you can help others and detox emotionally is to simply  share your story and I encourage you to post comments below.  It helps to get it out and, also, if it is due to a bad product, it helps make others aware.

I vote with my wallet. So, this means I boycott Nestle-Purina and Petco because they are equally culpable, having watched me for years as I checked out, spending between $300-$500 monthly at their store, with them smiling back at me and Rhett, letting me buy these tainted meat treats which they already knew the story on.  They smiled and said not one word of warning.  And yes, I hate them for that. But I also despise them for continuing to keep this poison on their shelves knowing full well what it was doing and would continue to do to our loved ones.

I own no stock in Petsmart.  I own no stock nor do I purchase any products made by Nestle-Purina. If they made air, I wouldn’t breathe it.  How did we get so freaking greedy that it actually makes sense to us to cut so many corners, turn a blind eye and begin ageing out and killing off the client base?  How, exactly, because I really want to know this answer, does that model actually work, long-term, as a profitable business model?  Who continues to shop with you after something like this?  It’s insulting and cruel is what this is.

For you guys suffering watching your fur kids suffer, try to stay positive and try these meals and treatments and just love them while you have them.  In the end, we are all spirit.  Mine will be haunting Nestle-Purina, Monsanto and a few Factory Farms.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANINE BLOAT – GD & GDV Explained

 

Rhett –  Proof that sometimes shite just happens and also a great and  shining example of exactly what Western Medicine does RIGHT! WM excels at mediating trauma. They saved my boys life. And now I continue working my mojo magic on him at home.  I always seek the natural, the holistic, herbal or laying on of hands approach before I even remotely think about Hospitals or Western Medicine and their knives and pharmaceuticals.  I have thought this way since I was a young child and no ideas as to exactly who and what planted these seeds in me because my family was all about the Western Medicine man.

The reasoning in both allopathic and the older modalities is brilliant.  All life is duality. I believe in the herbs, foods and flowers of the field to prevent issues and keep us healthy and heal us when ill, however, there are times when you do everything right and end up in an emergency situation, which is exactly what happened here!

I am thankful I paid attention  to Rhett’s odd behaviour and tied that into the knowledge gained by  a couple of great resource books I had read, (links posted below) which allowed me to understand the full scope of the emergency that this was, act quickly on my gut, and get him to the vet before too much damage had been done already.  It’s a great way to begin a new week by not dying today.

Bloat is always serious and life-threatening in our canine companions.  But under this one moniker, there are actually two stages that happen or can happen. The first is you have gas and air that causes the stomach to fill up (gastric dilatation) and the dog is unable to burp or relieve the pressure.  When this happens, the stomach also sometimes begins twisting (volvulus).   We don’t know exactly why it happens, but some breeds, primarily your large dogs, those with big chests, can be prone to bloat.  There are discussions about ways to help prevent it, such as providing moist foods, avoiding kibble, not exercising too much ahead of or directly after a meal and breaking up meal portions into 2 or 3 smaller meals.
We did all that and still….

And further, Dr. Rutherford says in his article:

“Clinically, bloat is when the stomach fills with gas and becomes distended, but the dog cannot burp or relieve the pressure exerted by the gas. Bloat with twisting or GDV is when the dog’s stomach fills with gas (and often fluid) and twists 180 to 360 degrees on it’s axis between the esophagus and duodenum or the entrance and exit parts of the stomach. When “simple bloat” or gastric dilatation occurs and the stomach swells, a great deal of pressure is put upon the surrounding organs including the liver and lungs interfering with the dog’s ability to breath, and the blood supply to the stomach wall is decreased.

This is very painful for the dog and quickly becomes a medical emergency. When bloat is complicated by twisting, gastric dilatation, and volvulus, the situation worsens rapidly. In addition to the pressure exerted by the gas distending the stomach, the twisting stops the blood supply to the stomach wall and the tissues themselves begin to die.”

The two books that I use as reference material areMartin Goldstein The Nature Of Animal Healing and Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats. Both books have their own offerings with a natural bent and are great guides with what we can treat at home in a gentler kinder and effective way and when we can do something to help while we also seek the vet for treatment.

Rhett an hour prior was happy, playful, and seemed just fine.  He wanted to romp around, but we didn’t because I was busy getting firewood and chores done, the house staged for when my handsome husband would walk through the door and we could begin a nice Friday evening and Saturday off together.  But as soon as Michael walked in the door, Rhett began acting strangely, laying down oddly, or sitting funny, pacing, panting a bit here and there, trying unsuccessfully to vomit and going room to room clearly feeling uncomfortable.  Michael thought he was hiding because he had gotten into something, some goody he didn’t want to let go of.  And I had let him out just before Michael walked in the door and wasn’t watching him.  So perhaps he licked a frog (he really likes licking frogs) or he got into something else, right?  But he wasn’t hanging out with us as usual and when he was laying on my bed, I looked him over.  His tummy appeared a bit bloated.  When I felt it, I got that sinking feeling as it was ‘taught like a drum’.  By the time we made it to the vets, it was far more obvious that I had made the right decision.

Rhett’s X-rays showed volvulus, twisting of the stomach between the endpoints or where the tummy connects up with the esophagus on one end and duodenum.  I briefly thought about giving him charcoal capsules but I sort of figured out I was too late for that.  If I had perhaps done so earlier, when there were absolutely no symptoms, sure, maybe that would have helped.  But we didn’t know our boy was going to bloat so here we were in a Friday night emergency.

As you might already guess, this is a very painful condition that, left untreated, escalates quickly resulting in certain death as few as a few hours later.  It is NOT a good death.  Rhett was so quiet, no whimpering, no vocalization that would let me know just how bad he hurt.  But his mannerisms told me he wasn’t at all comfortable and so I had to go on my gut.   As I responded and got him to the vet so  quickly,  Rhett was mobile, he was clearly ill, but able to move around, was lucid and basically not yet in shock.  This meant they were able to stabilize him quickly, set him up with fluids and otherwise prep him for surgery.  Once the surgeon untwisted his belly, while very bruised, the tissues engorged with blood and became nice and pink again.  His spleen was intact, he had no permanent damage done to any of his internal organs.  This photo was taken 9 hours after surgery. He could barely stand and was not at all comfortable or apparently happy to see us.  About 6 hours later on the same day, though, he clearly was happy to see us and go home!

During surgery, Rhett had a gastropexy where they attached the stomach to the right side of his body.  In this way, he should never have a twist again.  At the vets I also learned that when a dog is being neutered, you can have them do the gastropexy at that time, saving potential damage and drama from this!  Great information to know when shopping for a new puppy!

 HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?As I noted earlier, we don’t know exactly what the cause is for the twisting or Volvulus when bloat occurs but I just had an epiphany on that one…thinking about this typically hitting the large chested pups, and how bloat presses and makes breathing a challenge, could it be possible that the dog, in trying to deeply breathe, suddenly twists the stomach?  What is known, however, is that once this occurs, the dog is prone to the condition and each time it is worse.  Hence doing a gastropexy when in surgery.  I thought I was doing everything right here.  I fed a varied diet, with fiber, probiotics, 2-3 smaller meals daily with a few snacks in between,  and I limited romping around just ahead of or after mealtime.  Additionally, I primarily feed Dr Harveys, but all of Rhett’s food is home cooked, it is not dry kibble or anything that generally expands once in the stomach.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES – While I feel that I am proof you cannot completely prevent this from happening, I do believe there are things that minimize the risks.
CHARCOAL – Firstly, there is activated charcoal, such as Natures Way.  If you feel your pup is gassy and uncomfortable, give him some charcoal.  This is not something you want to add to his meals because in the detoxification process that charcoal is brilliant for, it can also wipe out the vitamins in your pups food.  You can also provide a treat which may be easier to administer, such as Darford Naturals Charmint Dog Treats.
PROBIOTICS –  I like Primal Defense, to keep the gut healthy and working optimally. I also like that it comes in a capsule or powder with a scoop to just mix in food because our entire family takes this.
GINGER – Such as Dr. Wakde’s Ginger Powder, which can be sprinkled into food, both dog and human, aides in the prevention of gas buildup.
THYME – Fresh or Dried Thyme, such as Spicely Organic Thyme Powder,  sprinkled into food can also help.
PRE-PLANNING – You never want to be here where I was and am right now.  It is soul crushing to see your dog child in such misery and possible early demise.  Honestly, I was proud of the way I cared for Rhett and never saw this coming.  That stated, I read up on this condition because he is a barrel-chested dog and I looked for a vet that was open 24×7 nearby. It happens to be a great place (For those in the Dallas area, I highly recommend Hillside Vet Clinic, where we have been taking our pets for over 2 decades) and I was able to meet with the surgeon prior to kissing Rhett goodbye and leaving for the evening.  The next bit of pre-planning is sort of like a fire drill where you assemble and quietly make your way to the exits.  You want to stay calm for your family member.  Why introduce further trauma and drama?  So be calm.  When working with the folks who will potentially save your pets life, it isn’t their fault the prices are so jacked or that you are even there.  So be polite, patient and absorb the message. They have a stressful job to do.  They will be the ones on the other end of the phone either with grave news or telling you he made it and coaching you through next steps.  Either way, it’s not easy work.

EMERGENCY USE, Cannot Get to the VET immediately or you must stabilize your pup so he can make it to the vet:  The Canine Bloat Kit is something that, now I am aware of it, I will keep on hand!  The kit has everything you need to relieve the enormous pain your pup will be going through with this condition and allow you time to get him treatment. Below is a link to purchase.  https://naturesfarmacy.com/canine/bloat-kits-and-supplies/deluxe-bloat-kit.html
COSTLY SURGERY – This is not cheap and I was mandated actually to pay before they would even proceed although I had told them yes, proceed.  What I liked is that I was provided the best case and worst case scenarios and pricing accordingly.  I didn’t let grass grow, I got my boy to the vet asap.  It actually took them longer to prep and schedule him for his surgery than it took me to notice the signs, make a diagnosis, load him into the car and haul him to the vet! Because my actions were swift, the damage was greatly minimized so that made for the best surgical outcome and less money.  For numerous reasons, bloat is not anything you want to mess around with, get your pup to the vet and quickly.  It was more than 2 hours later when Rhett went into surgery so you want to allow time for the length of time everything takes once your pet is there.
RECOVERY – Rhett is home and healing, we were thankful that he was released the following day, just under 24 hours later.  He is in a lot of pain and is on meds for that.  He kept me up all night whining the first 2 nights home.  And he sure didn’t want to eat anything even though the vet wanted him to.  I have read that it’s tender inside the tummy as well as outside at the scar site and so pups may not feel like eating for a couple of days.  As I type this, Rhett is whining.  But he is eating a tiny amount of food, able to pee and poop on his own and noticed a squirrel on our walk this morning.  Apparently, there is no laparoscopy on this kind of situation.  This means a big ole cut to the gut.  Rhett’s incision site is clean but about 8 inches.  We equate the pain level to what my husband went through during his first hernia surgery where they did it ‘old style’ and he was in unbelievable pain while on the mend.  It took my husband 4 days to go number 2.  When he finally attempted it, he wound up passed out on the bathroom floor. I worked from home and held conference calls for work.  Folks would interrupt to ask ‘Excuse me, what is that moaning sad sound in the background?’ and I would explain my husband had recent hernia surgery and is feeling like death.  Conversely, his laparoscopy (short small opening and swifter healing with far less pain involved) a few years later to fix what never took the first time, was lightyears different.  Michael was up the same afternoon fixing himself lunch!  I have no other comparison to draw upon but assume Rhett feels much like my husband did and is suffering so great right now.  He will heal, however, and every day he does get better!  In hindsight, I would have done more of the above stuff I noted, the ginger, the charcoal treats.  I have all this on the roster moving forward now just in case, god forbid, even with the gastropexy, it somehow tries to happen again.   Rhett is a farter and while that sounds funny, maybe all of this pain (and expense) could have been prevented with a bit less gas. Well, it is time to walk my boy and see if I can get him to eat again.  I hope that this has helped you and yours.  Kindly leave a comment below, and sharing is appreciated.

PS.  We have had Trupanion since Rhett was a puppy, never once used the insurance, which kept creeping up annually.  With a $500.00 deductible and for whatever odd reasons, they will not cover an exam (apparently nobody ever needs to be examined prior to any remedial treatment, making this expenditure silly and unnecessary so oh gosh, why on earth do we examine, people, prior to just jumping right on in with meds, scissors, blades hooray!)  My personal take on this aside, they were super nice every time I called them and asked as if they really cared, how Rhett was doing and paid attention to what I said with comments in all the right spots, so, wow, I think really that they do care about our fur family members :).  The bill was paid at 90% less the aforementioned exam and deductible which you can select based upon your individual needs.  They have gone up each and every year.  I almost cancelled it a few times because it was just wasting money.  BUT…what if?  So right now, Trupanion is about 2k ahead of the game and they just raised the monthly rates again (grumble).  But, when you are in the midst of a dire emergency and the bill could be (and in this case was) thousands, it sure feels great to know that at least a fair portion of the invoice will get reimbursed…and quickly I might add again.  Trupanion, all kidding you aside, thank you.  Thank you for being there, for all the very nice people who listened to me and conversed pleasantly and, ok, thanks for taking my money all these many years.  🙂

Pupdate! Rhett has now fully healed judging by his sweet but oh so willful personality shining as it always has, hopping up and down, cornering us for walks, pulling on leash, grabbing up his squeaky beaver, Hedgehog and other stuffies, rolling on his belly for morning rubs,  hopping up on the sofa or bed in such a way as to take up as much room and all pillows possible (and yes, refuse to budge one iota) demand extra attention, extra treats and generally eat us out of house and home.  His 8-9 inch scar is healing nicely and his hair is beginning to grow back.  We’ll probably always see a scar, but the bitches at the dog park always think having a scar is hot.

 

Petfood Rant

As a few of you know, Rhett, our resident Doberman, has battled Kidney Failure since 2011, since he was just a year old. This is due to Nestle-Purina Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats, which were Rhett’s favorite.  That and duck.  Rhett is a German Dobie with a few 16 year olds in his line.  His great-grand-dad, Buddy, passed away last year at 12 1/2.  Nobody in his line has kidney issues.  I will never get un angry over this injustice, this unkindness, this inhumanity over money, this refusal to remove crap from the shelves of stores that is killing our pets.  I remember when I finally found the culprit, after feeding these treats to my boy, not realizing it was slowly killing off his kidneys.  I took 2 bags of this shite back to PetSmart where I bought them.  I used to spend $300-$500/mo at PetSmart between toys and treats for Rhett and my kitties.  But that day I took the misbegotten bags of Canyon Creek Ranch treats back, with their American Flag emblazoned on the packaging, I asked to see the manager.  I explained the situation and it became clear he knew already.  The answer I wanted to hear did not come, that they had already removed or would remove the products from this company off the shelves immediately.  No, instead I was told they were going to ‘Phase them out over a 2 year period.’  That was in 2014 and I have not spent one dime in that store since.

Logic No?
If I owned a corporation, sure I would want to save as much money as possible, but NOT to the detriment of my client.  No, I want to please them, make the highest level of quality product for them, retain them and hope their health holds up so that they can buy more from me!
Since exactly when did killing off the client base make sense to anybody?  I see it in both human and pet foods but am completely mystified as to why.  It makes no sense.  Even if there is a wee bit of savings initially, you are killing your customer.  Who’s to say you are not sued?  Who’s to say, your secret will not go public and make your products and your company an embarrassing outcast? Many of these corporations also make human food so if you are poisoning our pets, are you poisoning us too?  So many questions arise with questionable ethics displayed.

Several Shades of JADED – I read labels, I was educated on pet foods and biologically appropriate foods etc.  I just had no idea that the high dollar treats I was feeding my boy would be tainted with anything other than pure goodness like the bags promised.  After this happened I went totally off the rails of typical pet foods and went alternative.

Here is a great info book, Buyer Beware, about the pet food industry crimes.

Here is a great link and you can sign up for recall notices too. http://truthaboutpetfood.com/

I encourage you to read labels and vote with your wallet.

PurePet – Pet Food Review – Dr. Harveys

This is Rhett (Full name Hieronymous Rhett Thomas O’Brien Puppy).  He turned 7 this April.  See my separate Pet Food Rant.  I am passionate about creating a tipping point in the food industry where we hold companies accountable, with our awareness and wallets, to producing good quality foods for us and our pets.  I spent a year studying with Hippocrates Health Institute and want to share what I know to help anyone who wants to listen.  🙂

Go Organic – This is the very best way to avoid GMOs, pesticides and questionable meats and other ingredients that will otherwise be present in the pet food you buy.  The label should tell you it is certified organic and many times will also tell you it is GMO free.  The best of both worlds is seeing both statements on the label.

GOOD FOOD – You can make foods at home, and it is really easy once you get the hang of it.  I use Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats.  It is a great resource to look up  health questions, natural remedies,  as well as some great recipes.   I make up my Healthy Powder and am ready for home made yumminess on the week-ends.  Rhett is used to eating a varied diet, much like how we eat, so I like to change up his flavor profile so he doesn’t get bored.
Another terrific reference book is Martin Goldstein’s he Nature Of Animal Healing. There are some great natural ways to mitigate heartworm (Black Walnut) amongst other remedies. This is one of my ‘go to’ books when I want to look up a problem and how to resolve it.

Dr. Harveys Canine Health and the entire line is just fantastic!  First you have dehydrated dog food, that comes complete, you just add hot water to re-hydrate, like Oracle. Next, you have mix-ins, like  eg-to-Bowl, Oracle, Paradigm, and, Canine Health which has grains that I use predominately.  Mix-ins are great to add in your protein of choice and particularly good for situations like mine, where you have to limit your protein.    What is great about it is that it’s organic, healthy wholesome ingredients created by a man that truly cares about your dog, cat or bird.  I know the ingredients are organic, non GMO and all I have to do is add water, high quality oil and protien source for the mix-ins and let it sit and hydrate a few minutes into a delicious meal for my boy.

I have used Dr. Harveys since Rhett was a puppy but recently, after my holistic alternative vet retired, I was left floundering with how to continue to treat Rhett’s kidney issues.  The vet we use for his regular blood work, just tossed a bag of Science Diet KD at me and that, I already knew, was the wrong path.  Their eyes glazed right over as I ranted about GMOs, corn in the KD, pesticides if the food is not organic etc.  My chart at the vet just says I am refusing ‘standard treatment due to lifestyle choices’ which sounded vaguely judge-y. I find the stance very interesting because they are IN the health care business.  Your vet should be primarily concerned with making your pet live the longest, highest quality life possible.  Sadly, they seem mostly to understand how to prescribe more shots and prescriptions that make the pharmaceutical companies rich and provide sub par foods that kill your companion far faster.  Ah…I am using my brain, what I know, and attempting to make the right choices here.  So, no, I am NOT buying the crap.

COMPLETELY FLOORED
So as I mentioned, our alternative vet retired and I know enough to be dangerous so I have kept him going, however, I really wanted some guidance. The vet we use for Rhett’s bloodwork suggested Dr. Pam who is the only other alternative vet in my area now that Trisha Ballard has retired.  I have tried for 2 full years to see her.  She has refused both years, claiming to be just too busy.   Frustrated, I wrote to Dr. Harvey one day when ordering a sample of the new Paradigm food.  Lo and behold, Dr. Harvey called me back.  He has been checking up on Rhett ever since, offering help which is very appreciated.

Sickness and death happen to us all.  None of us gets out of here alive.  That stated, we can all let food be thy medicine and do our best to support companies that truly care, do our research and make the better choices that improve our quality of life.  The first thing people always say when they meet Rhett, is ‘What a handsome and healthy dog!’  Rhett looks like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Dobermans.  I believe it is the food that is helping him achieve that appearance.

TOXINS – RAW VS COOKED ETC
When you cook anything, particularly at high temps, you ruin the natural enzymes and you create toxins that the body has to rid itself of in the digestion of the product.  Raw or low cooked foods are best, for us and for them.  I go for fresh organic meats for my boy so that his body doesn’t have to work so hard at digesting it.   Then I add in greens, like wheatgrass, Chinese Chlorella, Klammath Lake blue-green algae, Rehmannia along with walks and massage.

Some other sites I go to frequently are:  Onlynaturalpets.com, Petwellbeing.com, pawhealer.com and fiveleafpharmacy.com.

 

Hope that this information helps you and I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

 

PurePet – The Humane Dilemma

Most of us have an affinity for our fellow earthlings, we are curious, fascinated, protective but not all of us have cultivated compassion or respect and how we treat our fellow animals dovetails into how we also treat each other.

Pet.  The word seems to demean but really, it doesn’t, or shouldn’t.  A pet is something treasured, held upon a pedestal, something adored, loved, something set apart which brings joy to life.  I realise they can also pee on the carpet, wreck the potted plants and chew through a sofa (untrained and unsupervised) but the point is that this word,  when created, was meant as a description and meant in the most positive of ways.

Humane comes from human.  Anything inhumane is something considered barbaric, subhuman, a treatment beneath us, shocking and atrocious, what one wouldn’t ever do.  And yet barbarism, as well as amazing grace and altruism is within our scope, how we are all wired, even the meekest of us.

I have studied the animal condition at great length, read books, watched films and seen what cannot be unseen on the atrocities of farm animals, both dairy and the meat industry.  Perhaps it is simply that social media is now a thing which brings it all to light, but there seems to be far more violence perpetrated upon our fellow animals these days, from kicking a cat to tricking a dog into picking up a firecracker.  It makes my heart ill to see these innocents mistreated because I know now, how they tick, how they think.

As a kid I was not as patient with a bird as I should have been and once over punished a cat I adored.  Both forgave me but the pain of my actions, both immediately afterwards and later have served to remind me that I, too, have the capability of evil, of unkindness,  a set of expectations that, when not met, harbour such impatience within me.  I have evolved, grown in my awareness and understanding, however these two childhood episodes confirmed for me that I am not exempt from and must ever be mindful of my ill-actions, to take power over them, so that I walk the planet ever mindful to cause less harm.

I often wonder about God.  I was brought up that we were created in his image and we are to have dominion, guardianship, over all the animals, land and sea.  I know how we treat them., and I often wonder, what happened because we have fallen so far.  How did we travel such distance in our nature from a creator who made all of them and us in his image?  Or perhaps our creator just has far more control over himself than most of us do.

Animals continue to amaze and inspire me.  They generally have a lot of self-control and patience, such as with their young and with us too.  They are clear in their messages, in their communication of their needs and wants and can be exceedingly loyal and loving, and forgiving.  I like the way that they tend to live life in the present, and with hope for goodness.  Now, I typically wake up in a good mood, but my mind may be on various things, my daily morning chores, for example. I have timelines in my head.  And I used to have a corporate job to go to.  Now that I don’t need to pad down to my office and check the laptop by 7 am, I have really enjoyed observing my bed mates in the morning.  Our Doberman, Rhett, likes his belly rubs and rolls over (generally ONLY in the morning after waking) for a belly rub.  I brush his fur, clean his ears, brush his teeth, tell him how handsome he is and he totally gets everything I am doing.

If the kitties have already gotten up, they run over to me when they hear me stir.   It’s time to share the joy of a new day with me.  I am honored by their sweet greeting.  I am glad for the time not to rush all this, as I had done for countless years.  None of us knows the hours or the days we have left so treasuring now is what they have taught me.

Once Rhett’s feet hit the floor, he grabs a toy and this lets me know his mood.  I also like that his first thought for the day is fun.  What is our first thought for the day?  How often is our first thought on fun?

When I leave the house and return, there again, I get the marvellous greeting home.  They bring such dimension to our lives, each one in their own special way.   We are rushing around, driven by work, chores, finances, keeping house and socializing.  Our fur companions are focused on joy, on play, on being with us, living in the present, getting some yummy food, excercise and relaxation.  When you watch and learn about farm animals or all the exotics in the wild, if you spend enough time with them, you see all these amazing and unique personalities come into play and learn from each experience. And, like any relationship, time adds layers of complexity, of grace and trust and adds to the sweetness of life.

When it is said that the meek shall inherit the earth, I often wonder who that will be.  PS That’s Loki inside the planter and Hydra next to it.

Recommended Reading:

Wayne Pacelle Humane Economy 

Wayne Pacelle The Bond

Dominion Matthew Scully

Carl Safina Beyond Words