Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Healing my elderly dog naturally- update

Since my last post 3 months ago, my old dog has been doing incredibly well on all three herbal supplements; Chanca Piedra pills, Milk Thistle alcohol free extract, and Pet Alive Kidney support . In fact he hasn't had any urinary accidents in the house at all. I hardly ever notice any blood in the urine compared to what he was experiencing before I started  him on the treatments. I'm still not exactly sure what was wrong with the dog. The veterinarian indicated she thought it had more to do with the liver than the kidneys. I thought perhaps he had kidney stones as the incontinence and blood in the urine would come and go, regardless of the cause, he seems to be doing much better now. The Chanca Piedra is recommended for bladder, liver, gallbladder and kidney issues http://piedrachanca.com/  which may be part of the improvement. At one point he started throwing up and I was afraid that it had something to do with the herbal supplements, so I stopped all three for a few days. The blood in the urine came back and I figured out that the vomiting was a result of the dog eating out of my compost pile, and not the herbal supplements so I put him back on the 3 supplements and his urine cleared up again and he was fine.I have re- ordered the herbal supplements numerous times, and continue to give them to him in the same amounts( approximately .50ml-about 1/3 of the dropper applicator of the Pet Alive Kidney Support and the same amount for the Milk Thistle Extract one time a day , one Chanca Piedra pill covered in peanut butter ). Once in a while if I still notice a reddish color in the urine, I will give one extra Chanca Piedra pill, totaling, 2 pills for that day, for my  now, 45 lb, elderly dog

My dog just turned 15 years old .He seems to be doing quite well, he sleeps peacefully on his comfortable, memory foam, dog bed. He wanders around outside on my acreage, but doesn't go too far. He's taken to preemptive barking when I let him out. It's probably because he's old, and doesn't see to well, and wants to scare off any trouble that might be out there. Unfortunately the younger dog doesn't realize this, so they are often times like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, off barking and chasing imaginary windmills together. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Healing my elderly dog naturally

This is my 14 year old rescued Australian Cattle dog Pascual. I got him when he was two years old and he has been in good health most of his life. Recently he was having some trouble with incontinence. One day, he was laying in his dog bed. He couldn't get up,or hardly move, his eyes looked glassy and seemed to be strangely staring out into space. I thought he was going to pass away within the hour. I kept thinking if he's going to die wouldn't it be better for him to go here at home on his dog bed, than at the veterinarian's office. I was very distraught. I have used all kinds of alternative medicine over the years and thought to myself "well I might as well try a homeopathic" I gave him a dose of homeopathic arsenicum 30c, and within 20 minutes he started to revive. I reconsidered my options.  Since he seemed to rally, I took him into the veterinarian's office. She ran some tests and thought the problem had more to do with his liver than with his kidneys. She gave me a course of antibiotics for him and seemed to indicate "he's 14, we can try the antibiotics, or spend a lot more money on expensive testing and treatments, but let's see what happens".
The antibiotics helped somewhat but he still seemed to be having problems with incontinence, huge puddles of urine, sometimes with various shades of blood in the urine. I then searched around on the internet for alternative treatments. He was drinking a lot of water, much more than normal, so I thought he might have some kind of kidney stones. I settled on a daily treatment, for my 50lb dog, of  one daily dose of the following three products :Royal Break-stone(chanca piedra)http://www.vitacost.com/whole-world-botanicals-royal-break-stone-liver-gall-bladder-support-400-mg-120-vegetarian-capsules-3?csrc=GPF-PA-Herbs-691195003091&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=691195003091&gclid=CJ-qnpSHub0CFRSPfgodYUgA8w,I give him one capsule of the chanca piedra/royal break stone, covered in peanut butter, milk thistle alcohol free extract, about 5 drops in his mouth http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-milk-thistle-liquid-extract-alcohol-free-2000-mg-1-fl-oz-1,http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-milk-thistle-liquid-extract-alcohol-free-2000-mg-1-fl-oz-1, and  Pet Alive Kidney Support http://www.nativeremedies.com/petalive/products/pa-kidney-support-dog-cat-urinary-tract.html.The chanca piedra, Royal Break stone was the only product I wasn't sure about  how it would work for the dog,  because it wasn't specifically recommended for dogs, but I figured I'd watch him and if there was a problem I would stop. He's doing incredibly well on all three products, He started eating again, and regaining the weight he had lost. He barely has any incontinence
problems anymore and when he had  one, after months without a problem, it was tiny, about 1/4 cup worth not 1 quart worth of urine. I'm quite pleased with all these products, and glad that the dog is doing so much better.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wild Goose Chase

Well sometimes dog crates are useful for carrying animals other than dogs in them! My friend who has a small farm including chickens, ducks, goats, sheep and a LLama, recently saw some geese in the front yard of a property while driving on the highway to town. She thought to herself " boy I'd really like to get some nice big geese like those" Well in an odd stroke of rural synchronicity, the man who lived in that house somehow knew that she had a farm full of animals. The very next day after my friend saw the geese, the man came knocking on her door asking if she had lost some geese. She said no, and he offered them to her because they had shown up on his place and he was feeding them but didn't really want them. I suppose there may be something to the mindset of asking the universe and then receiving your request. She called me up to see if I would help round up the geese and transport them back to her house. I decided to take my old 12 year old Australian Cattle dog with me as he is intelligent, a mind reader, and relatively mellow around livestock as compared to my younger Australian Shepherd who is learning but not so quick to understand my wishes and not quite so reliable. I have recently had the Aussie Shepherd with goats, but on a leash with a large link choke chain and a few corrections, Woodhouse style, before he fell in line. I loaded up my car with a large dog crate, my dog, a puffy winter jacket and gloves, for my protection, and drove to my friend's house where we loaded up her car with a large dog crate, fencing and protective gear.Before heading off, I had to sarcastically mention, as I am at heart, rather a rational, analytical, person " pardon me for asking but how much do geese cost to buy them, and is it worth all the risk of injury and trouble to get some free ones?". But of course as she is my friend, and who can really pass up a rural adventure and the chance for a good story?, so off we went. With three adults, one elderly Australian Cattle dog and a large piece of sturdy fencing(not chicken wire) we set about our task. My friend had had some previous experience herding and rounding up poultry and discovered that this sturdier, larger about 5ft by 7ft piece of rigid but wavy fencing was best. After a few humorous attempts with people going in one direction and the geese spooked and moving away from us, we got the dog on a leash and opened the door into a shed and the dog made some high pitched yipping sounds, and the three people made a semi circle, walking in towards them, so the geese quickly ran away from us and into the shed. We then put the fencing on top of them,as they were cornered in the back, and then we put a large dog crate with the door open and some food trailing up to and into the dog crate, on the opposite end, and then pushed on the back of the fencing, that was over top of the geese and like toothpaste moving up the tube, herded them into the large dog crate, relatively easily, with no one getting bitten, flapped at, or injured, just hissed at by the biggest goose whose neck seemed as big around as my thigh almost. Phew, we were thinking, we might have had to grab them like a football, as the book said and lift them into the crate! My little rescue Australian Cattle dog seemed pleased at the job he'd done. We were all relieved that it went relatively quickly and easily including the part where we two women lifted a dog crate full of 4 large geese into the car, and then out and up a snowy, icy, hill to the enclosed poultry area without dropping them. There were a few tense moments of geese distress when we accidentally tilted the dog crate while walking up the hill, but not too unsettling for the geese when everything was said and done. The geese are now doing well with their new poultry family.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

walking dogs and contemplating the global economic crisis

The dog in the above photos is Fletcher, an affectionate, energetic, Cattle dog/ Border collie mix available for adoption http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22366778
I was trying to get my mind around the issue of people unable to provide for their horses, a topic I wrote about in my previous blog post. I talked to a woman who views personal responsibility to one's animals as never ceasing, no matter what. I feel this way towards my own animals, and consider myself an educated, resourceful, woman but wonder about those unfortunates who find themselves living at the margins of survival, who may not be well informed. I do ask myself whether rapid economic turmoil, with it's broad sweeping, devastating effects, would constitute mitigating circumstances? I understand that having a punishment for neglect, may deter some people from acquiring large animals in the first place, that they may later be unable to feed if the market price for hay goes sky high again, and the economic recovery wanes. Fear of being unable to provide for large animals in an uncertain economic environment, is part of the reason why it is hard to even give away large animals these days . I suppose fear of punishment could also induce a person to get out of their dysfunctional stupor and find a solution to their problem before it goes too far. Some of the legal solutions, according to our state law if one can not find another home for their horses,though humane, seem brutal to horse and owner as well, which you can read bout on this link http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title25/T25CH35SECT25-3514.htm .I wonder if the tough emotional choice leads people to indecision. It's just such a sad situation all the way around, and sends me walking and helping the dogs as I try and make sense of it all.
Apparently inability to provide for one's horses is somewhat of a global problem as the economic crisis is unfortunately a global phenomenon . Here's a disturbing story out of the United Kingdom on the topic http://www.horsecarecourses.com/horse-sense/2012/01/thousands-of-horses-in-the-uk-being-abandoned-.html
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine only and I am not affiliated with any organization

Friday, March 9, 2012

more thoughts on the state of the economy- woman" pimped herself out for hay"

I came across this newspaper article from our Inland Northwest U.S.A. area http://www.krem.com/video/yahoo-video/Animal-Hoarding-suspect-pimped-herself-out-for-hay-141680423.html , it's rather sad.

The economic downturn has really hit people with animals, especially large animals,hard. There are food banks and government food assistance, for people, but few food banks or assistance programs for animal food. This year I chose to donate food directly to families and I also gave dog food for their pets. A local man went to jail for animal cruelty because his horses were starving. I am always against cruelty to animals but in this situation I think it was more a case of a lack of a market to sell the animals,combined with the rising cost of hay leaving some people with few options. Previously, I had helped the man round up an injured horse that he treated. I can't imagine him being neglectful on purpose.I'm not sure what throwing people in jail at great expense to the tax payer will do to fix the problem( other than assuring that they get food clothing and shelter, and the animals get taken somewhere where they will be cared for).
Perhaps there should be an educational campaign in the form of flyers sent out to all county residents informing people what to do if they find themselves unable to support their animals.There are rescue groups for horses (links here and here) and local humane societies. In this economy, the gas money to trailer large animals to auction 50 miles away is probably unaffordable for some animal owners, and animals are going for so little money at auction they may as well give them away for free on Craig's List (assuming of course that they have access to a computer). Petfinder also has listings for large animals that one can search for by specifying the type of animal (horse, goat, etc.) under the slot for "animal".
Unfortunately, hard times for people translates to hard times for their animals as well. I hope we as a society can draw the distinctions between cruelty and lack of information. I'm trying to figure this all out for myself. If some people are"cruel" to their animals because they have fallen into poverty and can't feed them, aren't the people who wrecked the economy "cruel" for driving these people into poverty? Please take care of yourselves and your animals and help educate others to do the same

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An interesting book- Harrison Forbes" Dog Talk: Lessons Learned from a Life with Dogs"

I really enjoyed Harrison Forbes book "Dog Talk: Lessons Learned from a Life with Dogs"
http://http://www.harrisonforbes.com/st-martin.html I appreciate the way the book tied together his early experiences with dogs, carrying the theme of love and loss and the temporary nature of some of his relationships with dogs throughout the book. I was touched by his candor in describing the many challenges he encountered training dogs for personal protection.This is an exciting read, the chapters revealing the tremendous risk and reward involved, working with this subset of dogs. It was inspiring to see the combination of personal strength, intuition, sensitivity, and skill Harrison displayed in the various scenarios with the dogs he worked with.

I Loved the editing job of Beth Adelman http://www.linkedin.com/pub/beth-adelman/7/90a/602 in this book. She would be my dream editor for my manuscript, if I could only figure out how to make that happen. I want to publish my book somehow, but with my lousy grammar skills, and subjective viewpoint of my work, I really need the team effort of a great editor. I feel Beth Adelman, being a person who cares about animals herself, understands the subtle, interconnected nature of dog and human interactions.She has the ability to weave the human and dog stories into an interesting, compelling, whole, and would be a great fit for what I've tried to do with my manuscript. So nice to see such a beautiful team effort. Great job on Harrison Forbes "Dog Talk Lessons Learned from a Life with Dogs"

Just in case Beth reads this post, here are some links to stories in my manuscript/ book that I posted, and some blog post high points








Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Dog Walker's View of the Economy

Well, for the last couple of months I have been going to the shelter, but most of the dogs are not good or reliable walking with other dogs, this can sometimes be due to recent spaying or neutering, so I've just have been playing with them in their indoor kennels for a brief time. Unfortunately photos taken in indoor kennels aren't the greatest. This is Waylon http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/21693268 , in the above photos, a Walker Hound, or as I have been trying to walk him but due to the weather , he has been cooped up a lot, I have deemed him more of a Runner Hound than Walker hound! He's a sweet boy who comes when called and often sits when he comes. I tried to walk him with my Aussie Shepherd, Cash, but there was a bit too much grumbling between them, he was just too cute to pass by, so I now walk him and then walk my dog later. At least I'm getting a lot of exercise. I'm always so amazed at how many pure bred or close to pure bred dogs come through our shelter. Over the last 4 months I have seen a young pure bred ;Australian Cattle dog, Shi Tzu, Walker Hound, Labrador Retriever, Yorkie, Dachsund, as well as others. As far as I'm concerned the mixed breeds usually tend to be among my top favorites, but I just wanted people to know that animal shelters are full of all kinds of good dogs and a lot of purebred ones as well.

Observations on the Economy
Over the years I have walked many shelter dogs, all over the college town where the shelter is located, and in and around my small rural town 15 miles away when I have foster dogs. I've seen business come and go, houses sit for sale for a long time, a few foreclosures but not devastating numbers of them. Lately there are more humble business on main street; thrift stores, antique shops and medium priced restaurants, verses high priced boutiques, and there seems to be a bunch of new restaurants opening up. In this area with 2 Universities within 8miles of each other, we never had a ridiculous boom and there is hardship, but not a terrible bust either, as in some ares of the country. From my dog walkers perspective, the economy seems to be picking up. The last two years brought store closings, and the lumber mill in my small rural town went from no logs on deck and down to one shift of workers, to a full yard of logs and full or close to full shifts of workers presently. So from the street level at least, the economy seems to be improving, not booming, but reviving, with stores that cater to more basic necessities. I also noticed this phenomenon when I was back in New Jersey last summer. The stores on the Main shopping district had changed from high end boutiques and fancy restaurants to thrift stores,and more modestly priced shops that used to be on the side streets, had moved to Main street. There were empty storefronts on Main st in New Jersey as well, which I haven't seen in years past, and quite noticeably, a lot more homes for sale then I'd ever seen before in the town I grew up in . Restaurants where still being patronized but there were fewer upscale restaurants and more pizza places and medium priced luncheonette type restaurants.

I had one sad incident on the bike path in my small town in Idaho a year and a half ago, where a little girl asked to pet my dog, and I got talking to her. She said she had a dog but it had broken it's leg. I asked " did you take it to the veterinarian?" as I was just trying to make conversation. She blurted out in an incredulous matter of fact way" oh no, we can't afford that" my heart sank, and then she proceeded to tell me some story involving bartering and finagling to get some kind of secondary homemade treatment for the dog.

I have heard heart breaking stories of families that have lost jobs, and homes and as a result have had to rehome their pets as well. It's been so hard to watch families that had a dream of mother, father, kids, a home, a dog and a white picket fence as has been the American dream, and see parents squabbling and breaking up over economic stresses, homes lost and with them dreams, hope, and family cohesion lost as well. Children who once experienced stability,now setting patterns of fear and mistrust and anxiety at an early age, and the poor dogs, once so ensconced in the warmth and routine of their families, uprooted and having to fend for themselves and learn to trust again in a new situation. Of all the family members, I think maybe it is the dogs who, if given a new home where their needs are met , adapt faster than their human counterparts. They don't seem to carry as much post traumatic stress, but even dogs understand when spouses start yelling and someone packs a suitcase , as I was told recently by a man, that his dog got very nervous when this happened, as the dog had seen this before and knew something scary was about to take place, as when the last time the dog was separated from his family. So I have seen in our country a change back full circle, from a once humble retail landscape to an exuberant, upscale revival, then empty store fronts, before returning to the previous more humble retail landscape, all the while getting exercise with my economic and sociological education, and helping to walk the shelter dogs.