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Natural Remedies & Holistic Care

A Holistic Dog Behavior Consultant’s Opinion on Dog Door Aggression

As a holistic behavior consultant, I believe that most problems people experience with their dogs are not really dog problems but rather communication problems. Dogs don't have problems being dogs; they have problems being dogs who live with humans. Most humans don't even know how to communicate with each other! Every interaction you have with a dog teaches the dog something about living with a human.

Using Homeopathic Remedies to Help Your Dog

Last month, we looked at how homeopathy works to help a patient’s body heal itself. In this article, we’ll explore how you can use homeopathic remedies to help your dog – and suggest when your dog would be better off in the care of a veterinary homeopath. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, homeopathy can bring amazing cures of deep-seated illness. But it can also be used by the layperson to treat minor acute problems. What kinds of ailments can you tackle at home? “You can always treat injuries,” says veterinary homeopath and author Richard Pitcairn, DVM. The best candidates for at-home treatment include bite and puncture wounds, insect bites and bee stings, minor burns, and digestive upsets.

Holistic Veterinarians Take on The Annual Vaccination Schedule

Holistic veterinarians have long decried the annual vaccination schedule recommended by many conventionally trained veterinarians for all dogs. Many holistic veterinarians suspect that many of the complex ailments that plague our modern dogs – from allergies to digestive problems to aggressive behavior and so on – have their roots in immune system problems brought on by excessive and unnecessary vaccination. However, many of us are convinced by our veterinarians that our dogs won’t be safe unless they receive these boosters every year. Fortunately, a recent study indicates that most dogs retain humoral antibody protection from past vaccinations for longer than previously thought.

Veterinary Acupuncture is Becoming Mainstream

It is generally accepted that the practice of human and veterinary acupuncture had their beginnings in ancient China. According to legend, veterinary acupuncture was discovered when lame horses were used for battle and became sound after being pierced by arrows at distinct points. Regardless of the accuracy of the folklore, there is evidence that veterinarians practiced acupuncture around 2000-3000 BC. The early use of the technique on animals was probably prompted by the economic importance of horses, camels, elephants, cows, pigs, and chickens as sources of transportation and food. Now, veterinary acupuncture is used worldwide to treat all types of animals including many exotics.

Homeopathy: An Alternative Theory of Medicine

In the late 1700s, a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann discovered that China, a precursor for the quinine that was being used to treat malaria, actually caused symptoms of malaria when administered to a healthy person. Hahnemann made this discovery while translating a medical text on various drugs. He suspected that the source of China’s curative power had been misunderstood and he decided to give himself small doses of the substance to test his theory. Hahnemann discovered that small doses of China produced in his healthy body malaria-like symptoms that abated after two or three hours. In thus observing that a drug will cause in a healthy person the same symptoms it cures in a sick one, Hahnemann gained the key insight that drugs cure diseases to which they bear marked similarities.

Mastering Canine Massage Skills

Several readers have contacted me with reports of their growing massage skills. Learning and practicing each new massage technique is a thrill, and now that you have accomplished several techniques it is time to put them all together into a massage routine for your dog. The following routine is just a guideline to help get you started. Once you have tried it a time or two, you will naturally sequence the massage moves into a routine to suit you and your dog. Soon each massage will be different and will meet your changing needs and moods.

Extending Your Dog’s Life Holistically

Some dogs have a rough start in life. Consider BP, the 50-pound black-and-tan Shepherd-mix owned by Lucia Colbert of Cordova, Tennessee. BP was dumped in a neighborhood and left to fend for herself until rescued by Colbert in 1988. Colbert took the thin and sickly dog to the vet: BP had a host of internal parasites, including heartworms; part of her tongue was missing; and she had a chest full of buckshot (discovered later on a chest x-ray). “I knew she’s hadn’t had a piece of cake for puppyhood,” says Colbert. Once adopted, BP thrived. She enjoyed a good life with Colbert, a professional tennis player and triathlete. BP jogged daily with Colbert and sat by the tennis court while she taught.

Building Your Dogs Immune Health

Canine immune system disorders range from very common (such as seasonal allergies), to extremely rare disorders that afflict certain breeds (and even, in some cases, certain branches of individual breeds). Someday, the Canine Genome Project may well bring life-saving illumination to the process by which specific genes trigger specific diseases. At present, however, the inheritance of effective immunity continues to be a mysterious, if not star-crossed, commodity. Some dogs, like some people, are unlucky. However, the immunity that any individual dog is born with can often be improved with enlightened canine husbandry practices, traditional medical care, and complementary care from holistic health modalities.

Getting Daymie Off Drugs

August, 1991, was a fateful month for Betty King, a volunteer for Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo, California. That was when King first met Daymie, a dark gray miniature Poodle. “When the gal at the shelter held him up, he started coughing. He just looked awful,” recalls King, who was taking photographs of adoptable dogs for the humane organization. “I knew he would be euthanized if he didn’t get well,” says King. So she decided to take the sickly Poodle to a local veterinary clinic for treatment, get him well, then find him a home. “Who wouldn’t want to adopt a beautiful little Poodle?” says King.

Holistic Healing in The Form of Prayer

The second attempt to find a home for Suki, a five-month-old Akita, had met with failure. The well-intended, very loving couple were in tears as they brought her back to the Akita Rescue Family in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. The normal expectations they had of her falling into place as the puppy of their “pack” had been quickly dashed. Suki had relentlessly attacked Lika, their 13-year-old spayed Chow mix, so viscously that the formerly “alpha” female became fearful and intimidated. She spent the last days of Suki’s short stay in a hiding place under the stairwell.

Canine Massage Used For Damaged Muscle Tissue

Watching the smooth, even gait of a happy dog as it trots or gallops across a field is pure delight. It is obvious that all of the muscles and joints are working in harmony. We don’t often stop to think about the importance of muscles as a dog stands quietly at our side, but the same muscles that act antagonistically to move joints as the dog runs must cooperate to stabilize those same joints and change the limb into a rigid support when standing. It’s really an amazing relationship.

Petrissage – Another Massage Technique for Your Dog

In the last issue, we discussed the importance of effluerage for increasing circulation and preparing muscles for deeper work. Effluerage is often followed by one of several petrissage techniques. Petrissage is another French term that means “to mash or to knead.” Unlike effluerage, the hands do not slide over the tissues. Instead, the tissue is lifted from underlying structures or compressed against them. Also known as “digital circles” or “digital kneading,” this is a very common and useful petrissage technique.

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