I just read a post on social media of a dog that was injured from being attacked at the dog park. The dog belongs to a college student, so the vet bills are a challenge and the guardian of the dog that did the damage has yet to come forward to take responsibility. It’s very unfortunate and sad, but it is the risk that anyone takes when going to a dog park.
I for one, stay away from fenced, off leash dog parks, but that doesn’t mean I have never gone to one. I have, but only when there are very few dogs, I prefer none, so I can throw the ball and allow my dog to run a little. It’s also good to take a puppy so that they can build antibodies to disease to eliminate over vaccinating, but that is a different topic.
As I stated at the beginning the risk of injury is a possibility, as is death when you take your dog to the dog park. Take a moment to think about when you go to a dog park. If there are other dogs there, they all come up to meet the newcomer to the park. They usually circle the newcomer and sniff. Meanwhile the humans do their own greeting with one another, not paying attention to the dogs. Eventually the dogs will take off running and the humans are absorbed in their world. No one is paying any attention to the dogs or what they are doing. The dog that got hurt, the person didn’t see it happen.
Most of the dogs that go to the dog park haven’t had a walk before going to the dog park. This is where you say, but that’s why I take my dog to the dog park! Yeah! The dog has been inside all day waiting for their human to come home. They are excited when you show up. You grab the leash and load up in the car to go to the dog park to get some of that energy out. Great! Some dogs do great, but then there are others that have all this energy and may be a little more aggressive than others. These are like the bully on the playground. Then there is a group that like each other and don’t want anyone else joining, but they are the ones that run up to the newcomer. They may gang up on the new dog and then they may get a little rough playing. The running may start, then the chasing and then the rolling. Seems harmless enough, right? It only takes one dog that has had enough for a fight to begin. It requires people to pay close attention of what is going on with dogs play. That means people need to know the signs of a stressed dog. How many people at the dog park are that knowledgeable? Remember most of the people are either talking among themselves or looking at their phones.
Then I hear people say that they take their dog to get socialized. Socialization is very important, but doing it at the dog park is not where you want to socialize your puppy or new dog. Remember, most people are not paying attention to the dogs playing. Then there is the group that surrounds the young newcomer or even a couple of overzealous dogs could damage your pup for a very long time and may cause them to be fearful of other dogs. This fear can then manifest as aggressive behavior with other dogs on leash. It’s very important to socialize puppies, but it needs to be done in a controlled environment with a professional trainer. Allowing a group of dogs to play together that are similar in age and size in a controlled environment will help your puppy learn how to play nice with others.
There are alternatives to dog parks that are small, enclosed area. In general, the small enclosed dog parks are more for the humans than they are for dogs. If you want your dog to get exercise, walks with lots of sniffing if very rewarding for the dog and relaxing for the stressed out human. Mental stimulation is so very important for a dog’s well being. Mental stimulation can tire a dog more that playing at the dog park. If you have a dog that has excellent recall, then going to an off leash trail is great for both exercise and mental stimulation. Doing training sessions is also a great way to build your bond with your dog and give them mental stimulation and confidence. Give it a try and use caution if you decide to go to a dog park. Pay attention to what is happening. It is your job to protect your dog as best you can.
Cancer in our companion animals is on the rise. I'm sure you have had a dog or cat with cancer or know someone that their beloved companion animal died from cancer. There are lots of different kinds of cancer that are affecting our animals. Some have never been seen in animals before. There are cancers that develop in the injection site from vaccinations. Did you know the reason they started to give the vaccination in the leg is because if a cancer develops, it's easier to amputate a leg than to try to cut it out in the neck. I recently had a client contact me because their dog was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer on his leg. Unfortunately, the vet looked at it months ago thinking it was a fatty tumor, which is totally benign. However, fatty tumors don't usually develop on the hind leg. It wasn't until months later that they sent me a picture of it and I knew immediately it needed to come off. It was so large though that they couldn't get it all and also because of the nature of the tumor. This type of cancer is very invasive and hard to get it all because it is in the connective tissue. It is too early to know yet how long this baby will last. Since the traditional medical community couldn't offer much hope, they turned to alternative healing methods.
The main thing they are doing is giving their dog CBD oil and spraying the area with CBD oil. There are many reports that CBD (Cannabidiol) has eliminated cancer. There are many uses for it and I have covered some on this website. The other thing that really helps with cancer and inflammation is turmeric paste. This is something that you can make very easily in your kitchen.
Lastly, Hemp Seeds are also a good choice to combat cancer. Their oil is high in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, both of which help reduce chronic inflammation. You can get the oil or grind seeds yourself.
Unfortunately, our environment isn't helping us keep our pets from getting cancer. There is an over use of pesticides and herbicides that our pets walk on all the time. We can only do the best we can by giving them good food and limiting vaccinations. May all you animals live a long and healthy life!
Foxtails are a nasty weed that can be found in lots of places and are a hazard to dogs. The foxtail barb will work its way into their ears, feet, eyes, or anywhere on their body. A dog can get it in their mouth or nose as well. The barb gets embedded in the dog and can go undetected until there is an abscess and that's the problem is that we can't see them most of the time until there is a huge problem. I read a story in the Whole Dog Journal about a dog that ate grass and accidentally got foxtail in his mouth. He ended up going to the emergency vet where he was sedated to get the little barbs out that had lodged in his tonsils! However, five days later he had to go back to the vet because he had an abscess in his cheek where a barb had been missed. I have had dogs that have gotten them in their feet. The barb will work its way into the pad and be very painful. If your dog gets into foxtail, I would suggest trying the homeopathic remedy, Silica which pushes foreign objects out of the body. Keep a very close eye on your dog for any signs of pawing at their mouth or rubbing their ears, or licking their feet. Watch for swelling or heat that may mean there is an infection. If you suspect your dog has gotten a foxtail, seek medical attention. Nasty, nasty weed!
I was just listening to Dr. Will Falconer, a homeopathic veterinarian outside of Austin, TX. His website http://vitalanimal.com/ is full of very wonderful information on how you can have a healthy animal. I have spent years talking to people about vaccinations and the harm they do to our animals. Dr. Falconer also discusses the ways that vaccinations harm and kill our animals. I have not vaccinated my animals, except for ONE rabies shot at six months of age. I don't use harmful flea control or a pesticide to kill heartworm. Now if you bring this up to a traditional veterinarian, they will pressure you and some will go as far as saying you will kill your animal. Find another veterinarian!
There are ways to have a healthy animal without vaccinating. Before I go there, think about when a puppy gets their first shots. They are usually around 6 weeks of age. Their tiny little body that is developing is blasted with at least 6 different diseases in a vaccination. Their immune system is developing and then the immune system is hit with the vaccinations. Guess what happens next? They develop allergies because their poor little immune system is in overwhelm and it doesn't know what is good and what is bad. It is usually dogs that get hit with all the vaccinations, but cats will get vaccinations that are harmful like feline leukemia. With dogs, they are next put on heartworm and flea prevention, sometimes in one pill or a pill and the great stuff you put on their back. Now the immune system is freaking out! Then you go to your vet to get some help. The veterinarian is very concerned so they give you a special food and/or maybe Apoquel for then allergies. Great, now you have a pill that suppresses the immune system and a food that is poison. You may think I'm exaggerating, but check the ingredients. It probably has by-products, BHA/BHT, corn and the list goes on and on. I'll talk more about food at another date. As for Apoquel, I have had clients call me that after their cat or dog was on this medication, they develop cancer within a year. Of course, tradition vets believe it's a miracle drug. Maybe you are thinking the same thing, think again, please!
Back to what to do about avoiding vaccinations. First, go to a veterinarian that will support a protocol that limits the vaccinations. One of the things I did, and vets say never to do, is I took my 5 week old puppy to a dog park and to a park where wild animals live. It is recommended to only leave them on the ground for five minutes and in doing so, there will be a natural immunity. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? You can check the immunity by a blood test called a titer. Before you get that next rabies shot, check the titer. The research shows that one shot shows immunity, so far, seven years.
Heartworm is the other scary disease that traditional veterinarians want you to give your dog poisons to prevent. I haven't given the heartworm pesticide in at least 15 years. I have not had a dog with heartworm either. Why? I give a homeopathic nosode to prevent heartworm. I also give an herbal parasite remedy. That's what I do and you can check it out for yourself. I'll tell you this, you are giving too much heartworm pesticide if you are giving it monthly. You may want to review the life cycle of the heartworm and change your habits. If it takes at least 2 months for larvae to form and maybe 4 months or more before the adult worm, why is the pesticide given monthly? The same reason why there are prescription diets and over vaccinating. It isn't because they are concerned about the welfare of the animal.
Diet is the next key to healthy animals. I will discuss this in a later post. So stay tuned!
My dog Ramon, has been having some back issues which is causing his hind legs to be very weak. Over the last year, we have been doing several things to help him walk better with some success. We started with acupuncture, then we did the under water treadmill and Chinese herbs. This all helped him a lot and at the start of summer him was walking so well that the vet doing the physical therapy released him and told us to go swim him at the lake. So this summer he got to spend time doing what he really loved and that is swimming in the lake chasing balls. The only problem, he started to get worse instead of staying at the same level he was when we stopped the treadmill. So we kept trying different ways to get his back legs working. We were walking him in the water thinking that would be similar to the treadmill, but when he would get out, he could barely walk. His walking continued to decline and we were getting desperate as to what to do for our boy. He is only 11 and we hope to have him around for a few more years! Besides, he is still happy and enjoying life, so it was clear we had to keep trying.
That's when I went to talk about the use of cannabis for our companion animals. I hadn't researched it much before, but after the talk, I felt this just may be the thing that could help. I started him on CBD which comes from the hemp plant. Hemp and marijuana are similar, but hemp has very low THC and high CBD, while marijuana is high in THC and low in CBD. Research has shown that CBD works as an anti-inflammatory and pain control. It also is very good for neurological disorders. The vets that I had taken Ramon to felt that his condition was a congenital spine disease and so the nerves going to his back legs are not getting the signal all the way from the brain to the legs. Since this is a neurological problem, I figured I would give the CBD oil a try. After two weeks on the oil twice a day, he is doing so much better! He isn't walking long distances, but he is walking and every day there is a little more improvement.
Here's an article where you can read more about the use of CBD for your companion animals. Here is a link for the CBD that I have Ramon on which doesn't have any THC in it and is very pure.
CBD has also been used to treat cancer tumors successfully. At the talk I attended, there was a slide of a dog with a tumor in his mouth. The tumor was large and after a month taking CBD, the tumor was almost gone! How great is that!
Check it out for yourself and decide if CBD is right for your pet!
So you go to your veterinarian for your dog or cat's annual visit and the vet says, "It's been a year since the last shots, so we need to give them again." Oh well yes, I want to protect my baby dog or cat from getting any disease! I hear this all the time because the calls I get are because their animal has some disease like cancer, skin problem, or a behavior issue. There is solid research proving that annual vaccinations are not necessary. In 2011 the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) stated that canine vaccinations should be given once every 3 years or MORE! There is research showing that the core vaccinations, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus are actually good for the life of the dog. There is also a study going now called the Rabies challenge to see how long a dog is immune to rabies. The data is still be gathered, but I have had clients that have had a blood test called a titre done to show immunity and after 14 years, there was still immunity after 2 rabies shots. Rabies is required by law, but there is no difference between the one year vaccine and the three year vaccine as vets would like you to believe. Most states only require rabies vaccination once every three years. However, there are vets that will continue to give it every year!
The other thing that happens frequently when you take Fluffy in for her annual vet visit and she has been itchy, but the vet says it won't matter to bombard her immune system with vaccinations! If the vet would have taken a moment to read the package insert that comes with all vaccinations, they would have seen that the animal must be 100% healthy to give the vaccination. Instead poor Fluffy gets all the vaccinations to protect her from rabies, distemper, parvo, and who knows what else, while she is suffering from a compromised immune system! If your dog or cat is not healthy, challenge the vet that wants to give vaccinations.
Positive versus Dominance Training
You have a new puppy! Now what? Time to find a trainer, but who? There are so many dog trainers, how does one choose where to go? The number one criteria is the method in which the trainer uses. I have been faced with people calling themselves dog trainers and they are using outdated methods of training. Those trainers that think you have to be the boss over your dog are heading down a path that could make your new puppy fearful and possibly aggressive down the road. The trainer that is using treats, toys, and/or praise to help your pup learn, is the trainer you want to work with. They will help you build a bond between you and your new member of the family that is based on respect.
There is a lot of science behind positive training. Patricia McConnell, PhD, a behaviorist that frequently does webinars with the ASPCA says "Yet, the idea that we must “dominate” our dogs lives on, zombie-like, in spite of years of research and experience that demonstrates “being dominant” over our dogs does not improve obedience. In fact, we know that using positive reinforcement results in the best behavior, the fewest behavioral problems and the richest relationships." This also is true for any trainer that uses prong or shock collars, or choke chains. The positive trainer may use things like a halter or a no pull harness for those dogs that really like to pull.
For anyone who has a dog that has behavior issues that have come from the trainer that uses outdated, dominance methods, call me. I use flower essences that could help with some issues. Check back for the next blog posting regarding those vaccinations you are giving your puppy!
In 2015, I was volunteering at LaPlata County Humane Society as a dog walker. Brixie was a shelter resident who had arrived as an owner surrender. Shortly after her arrival, she started to show signs of a allergies. After a couple of months, her eyes were almost swollen shut and her ears were also very puffy. She was receiving treatment from the medical staff, but the stress of being isolated in the shelter was not helping her get better. After talking with the veterinarian and the director of the shelter, they agreed that placing her in my home as a foster would help with the healing. It took a couple of months, but she finally healed, and was adopted shortly after.
Brixie at her home in California!
Periwinkle, a lab mix, was a stray dog picked up by the LaPlata County Humane Society. She was very stressed at the shelter and was developing behaviors that could have led to her being euthanized. The volunteers at the shelter saw this and asked if I would foster her. Of course, I had to say yes. Periwinkle was really a lot of fun although she did have some issues as shelter dogs sometimes do - but she also was willing to please and learn. She was with us for about six months and during that time I did a lot of training with her. She was adopted by a great couple - their family included another dog they had adopted from the Humane Society.
Periwinkle with Timmy - his BFF!