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Acupuncture for Dogs (Pets)

Acupuncture (as well as other holistic treatments like acupressure, chiropractic care, Chinese herbs, natural stem cell enhancers, message, Reiki, and ACT allergy treatments) for dogs, cats and other pets are gaining popularity around the world as an alternative or complementary non-medicated treatment.

What is Acupuncture?

Canine Acupuncture
Picture Source: http://www.lhasaoms.com

Acupuncture is a non-drug treatment modality that was developed about 5,000 years ago by the Chinese. By inserting tiny metal needles into specific points (called "acupoints") in the body, these doctors in the early days discovered that they could cause physiological changes, control and suppress pain, and stimulate organs or body parts.

Acupoints are not random but run along "meridians", which connect the entire body and are the pathways through which the "Qi" (pronounced as "chee"), or life force energy, circulates. Although the meridians run deep in the body, they surface at certain points on the skin. These acupoints are where the meridians can be accessed in order to create change in the associated organs or structures. According to Chinese acupuncture literature, there are 12 major meridians and 365 acupoints in the body.

In Eastern medicine, it is theorized that disorders or diseases occur when the "Qi" is out of balance. Acupuncture is one treatment option that can be used to rebalance the body and create harmony of Qi.

Acupuncture forms part of an ancient Chinese method of diagnosis and treatment known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). (Besides acupuncture, TCM includes the use of herbs, medical massage, food therapy, and other therapies to rebalance the "Qi".)

In acupuncture for dogs, the "acupoints" which veterinary acupuncturists use are sometimes called "transpositional points", the locations of which are transposed to canines from the human acupoints.

What Kind of Illnesses Can Be Treated by Acupuncture for Dogs?

Acupuncture is NOT appropriate for major acute diseases or emergencies (e.g. broken bones, overwhelming viral or bacterial infections).

Image Credit: CLINT EGBERT/XPRESS

However, it is a great alternative or complementary treatment for chronic diseases.

Acupuncture for dogs can be used to treat a variety of dog health conditions, mainly for pain relief (e.g. caused by osteoarthritis or injuries, etc.) and for treating dogs with neurological conditions, such as epilepsy. However, there are other dog health issues that can benefit from acupuncture as well.

You may want to consider canine acupuncture if your dog is suffering from any of the following problems:

  • Musculoskeletal Problems: osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, chronic degenerative joint disease, intervertebral disc disease, tendonitis, sprains and muscle spasms.
  • Neurological Problems: epilepsy, stroke, deafness, coma, paralysis from disc disease.
  • Urinary Disorders: incontinence, cystitis, urine retention.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems: colitis, chronic idiopathic diarrhea or vomiting, gastroenteritis, rectal prolapse.
  • Respiratory Disorders: sinusitis, rhinitis, asthma, chronic coughing, pneumonia.
  • Systemic Inflammatory Conditions: chronic skin inflammation, allergies,lick granulomas.

In addition to the above, more and more veterinarians are now incorporating acupuncture as a part of canine cancer treatment protocol, either to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy, boost the immune system and improve quality of life, or to actually inhibit the growth of the cancerous tumor itself.

What Does an Acupuncture Treatment Involve?

Dog Having Acupuncture Treatment
Picture Source: http://www.fourpawsacupuncture.com

Each treatment is individualized to each dog patient. The acupoints selected, the number of needles, and the length of treatment all depend on the type and severity of the dog’s condition.

Acupuncture for dogs is usually performed with small, tiny metal needles.

Most dogs do not mind (and do not even feel) the needles being inserted. Most of them seem to feel relaxed and comfortable. Some go right to sleep during treatment!

Generally speaking, one treatment lasts for 10 to 20 minutes. Most cases are seen once or twice a week at first, after which the number of treatments can be reduced depending on progress.

Besides metal needles, there are some variations that are proving quite successful as well, including:

  • Aquapuncture: This involves injecting the acupoints with a solution of vitamin B12 and saline. The solution puts pressure on and thus stimulates the point for a longer period of time and is a good technique to use if the dog does not want to stay still for 20 minutes.
  • Electroacupuncture: This involves connecting electrodes from a small battery-operated unit to the needles in different acupoints. A very gentle current is passed through the points and down the meridians. This type of treatment encourages the flow of energy, blood and lymph along the meridians and speeds up healing.
  • Laser Acupuncture. This involves the use of lasers rather than needles on acupoints and can be beneficial for dogs who absolutely don’t want anything to do with needles.
  • Moxibustion: This is a very old Chinese treatment modality that involves heating the acupuncture needles with a dried herbal incense. It stimulates blood flow and can be an excellent treatment for older arthritic dogs with sore and stiff joints and tight muscles.

Safety and Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Dogs

Acupuncture for dogs is very safe IF the acupuncturist has received formal training, and most importantly, is licensed.

The effectiveness of canine acupuncture depends on a few factors, such as:

  • The acupuncturist’s experience and technique.
  • The condition of the dog, e.g. how long the dog has been sick, and how serious the health problem being treated is.
  • The number, length and consistency of treatments.

Cat Getting Acupuncture – Image Credit: CLINT EGBERT/XPRESS

Occasionally a positive response may be seen after only one treatment, but more often than not, 4 to 6 treatments are needed. Sometimes it can take up to eight treatments before results can be seen.

According to Dr. Karen Becker (a holistic vet who also uses pet acupuncture in her practice), about 25% of patients have a very positive response to acupuncture, showing major improvement to the point of fully recovering from the condition. Another 50% of patients experience dramatic improvement but with some symptoms remaining; while 25% have no response at all.

If you look at these figures, it seems that acupuncture works quite well on a rather high percentage of patients. It is definitely worth giving this treatment modality a try.

(Our dogs have experienced acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic care as well as having taken Chinese herbs and StemPets stem cell enhancers and Goji Juice. I have a cousin whose dog avoided back surgery because of acupuncture and both my husband and daughter have had successful experiences with acupuncture and other natural treatments.)

Where Can I Find Acupuncture Veterinary Professionals?

If you are interested in acupuncture for your dog, ask your holistic vet or access the websites of The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture or International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

Here is an informative video in which Dr. Becker talks about pet acupuncture:

Give your pets a head start for a healthier, happier and longer life with StemPets and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

Related:

Alternative Dog Arthritis Treatment Series Part 1 – An Introduction

Dog and Cat Vaccines are Not Harmless Preventive Medicine

Laser Therapy is Good Medicine for Humans and Their Companion Animals… Any Animals

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Dog Massage? Isn’t Petting Enough?

Pet owners get the point of acupuncture

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Toxic Chicken Jerky Pet Treats Pulled from Store Shelves!

Pet Treats

Story at-a-glance
  • First, the good news. Nestle Purina PetCare and Del Monte have voluntarily recalled their chicken jerky pet treats imported from China. The brands removed from store shelves are Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats, along with Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats.
  • Now for the not-so-good news. The reason for the recall is a potential issue of unapproved antibiotic contamination supposedly unrelated to the problem with these very same treats that has resulted in thousands of sick, and hundreds of dead pets.
  • Interestingly, it was the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) that found the antibiotic residue in the treats. They used a new, highly sensitive test to analyze the products in response to growing consumer concerns.
  • So for now, the chicken jerky treats that may have been sickening or killing pets since 2007 are no longer on store shelves. Let’s hope if they do reappear, they will be safe for your pets.

By Dr. Becker:

In a truly spectacular coincidence, the very same brands of chicken jerky treats suspected of causing sickness and death in hundreds of dogs since 2007 have now been identified as being possibly contaminated with “unapproved” antibiotics. (Apparently the antibiotics are approved for use in China, where the treats are made, and in other countries, but not in the U.S.)

According to NBC News, right after the first of the year, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) informed the FDA it had found trace amounts of residual poultry antibiotics in several lots of Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats, as well as Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats.

Treats Have Been Voluntarily Recalled

Fortunately for U.S. pet owners and potential future pet victims, it seems the suggestion of antibiotic contamination was enough to prompt Nestle Purina PetCare (makers of Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats) and the Del Monte Corp. (makers of Milo’s Kitchen products) to voluntarily pull their chicken jerky products from store shelves across the country.

The New York agriculture agency discovered very low levels of four drugs not approved for use in U.S. poultry, and one antibiotic that is approved for use, but for which quantities are strictly limited. The antibiotics found were sulfaclozine, tilmicosin, trimethoprim, enrofloxacin and sulfaquinoxaline.

The agency used new, highly sensitive technology to detect the presence of the antibiotics. The tests on the jerky treats were conducted in response to “growing consumer concerns.”

Whatever the reason, I’m extremely thankful NYSDAM took it upon themselves to run the tests. And while discovering antibiotic residue in food products is never “good news,” I’m grateful, in this case, something was found in those treats that caused them to be pulled off the market.

Treat Manufacturers and FDA Make Predictable Public Response

Needless to say, a spokesman for Nestle Purina says the issue with the antibiotics is in no way related to the issue with these very same chicken jerky treats that have allegedly sickened over 2,200 pets and killed well over 300.

The FDA also weighed in. From the agency’s January 9 CVM update:

Based on the FDA’s review of the NYSDAM results, there is no evidence that raises health concerns, and these results are highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illnesses FDA has received related to jerky pet treats. FDA commends Del Monte and Nestle-Purina for withdrawing these products from the market in response to this product quality issue. FDA also welcomes additional information about NYSDAM’s testing methodology, which is different and reportedly more sensitive than currently validated and approved regulatory methods.

As those of you who have been following this fiasco are aware, the FDA has conducted its own “extensive” testing and has to date been unable to find anything in the chicken jerky treats that would cause pet illness or death. Consequently, the agency maintains it is unable to take action to get the treats recalled, or even to effectively warn consumers of the potential for harm to their pets.

At Least for Now, Suspect Treats Are Off Store Shelves

It’s a small victory, but one that brings a sigh of relief. Tragically, for those pet owners who lost beloved companions, the recall does not help.

According to NBC news, a woman from New York whose 2 year-old pug died suddenly in 2011 after eating Waggin’ Train chicken jerky treats, said in a statement:

"How many lives could have been saved if, six years ago, when there was first doubt that the safety of our companions was compromised, the FDA and all manufacturers of imported chicken jerky had issued a precautionary recall until the toxin was found? How much pain and suffering could have been avoided if only they had met their moral obligation six years ago and did the job the taxpayers pay them to do?"

Related:

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

Pet Jerky Death Toll Update: 360 dogs, 1 Cat According to FDA

A Raw Food KIBBLE?

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!

Pupcakes

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.

Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.

Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Raw Pet Food on the Market?

Megacolon: A Terrible Outcome for Constipated Pets

Resources:

Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food

See Spot Live Longer – How to help your dog live a longer and healthier life!

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals

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Keep your pets healthy and help extend their lives with:

StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

February 1, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pet Recipes, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

If I Should Die Before My Dog…

"If I Should Die Before My Dog – "

We prepare for the what-if’s in our lives by establishing what would be needed in the event of our death or inability to care for our children. We buy insurance against the possibilities of loss to our cars, homes, valuables. We buy health and life insurance, even pet health insurance. But what about our pet’s needs if something happens to us? The book, "If I Should Die Before My Dog – " is an excellent tool in careful and complete considerations for your dog.

Now, I’m not very good when it comes to the subject of dying. In fact, I’m a wreck. I once took a "Death and Dying" course as part of my psychology major. I flunked the class because I stopped going to it; I just couldn’t handle all that talk about dying! But I’ve learned over the years that there are some issues we must face, make decisions about and prepare for, whether we’re comfortable or not.

I have four children, now all grown, and I’ve recently updated my estate planning documents. Should I pass away or become unable to handle my affairs, arrangements have been made. When the kids were small I had plans in place, and included contingencies for their care by trusted people who knew them well.

But my pets? Much less so. Even for the famous pets that have made the news because of huge sums of inheritance left in their humans’ wills for the pets themselves, the need for their emotional well-being still exists. Each dog is a unique individual, with needs, desires, even fears that only you may know about.

Having worked with cats that were either rescued or relinquished, I saw firsthand the sadness, confusion, even depression these precious animals experienced. Ask anyone who spends time with these pets, they’ll tell you the same. It’s not just humans who feel a great loss when they lose those they’ve had a close bond with. It breaks my heart to imagine that might be the scenario for my beloved pets one day.

As a foster mom, I know the importance of knowing the details of a pet’s preferences, needs, quirks, likes and dislikes, known vocabulary. I’ve seen how it has helped provide for the best fit for both pet and adoptive family, and afforded the most consistency for the pet in such a time of great upheaval in its life.

My copy of "If I Should Die Before My Dog – " is going to go right with the paperwork that entails my will and other legal documents that have been prepared in the event of my passing or inability to manage things. Having said that, I’m now going to go get the tissues my leaky eyes have sorely needed while reading through and filling out the book.

While no one will ever take the place of you in your pet’s life, at least whoever takes over for you will have the information needed to make daily life as comfortable as possible. This book really is an important part of being a pet parent and providing the best for your dog.

A Dog Lovers lasting guide…….A beautifully illustrated interactive book that one fills in all of the information about their dogs life in the event they can no longer care for them to help ensure your pets are taken care of.

A thought provoking check list for dog lovers, who unfortunately and with much sadness can no longer take care of their dog.

This book will assist those who want to prepare for their dogs future in an easy to use format that will guide them through the process of telling the "story" of their dogs life, for their pets "Next Guardian".

None of us can predict the future, but in the event situations arise such as death, health impairment or left with no other choice but to give them up, this book will be there to assist your beloved pet with the transition from one home to another. 

Author photo.jpg

About the Authors – Joe and Cathy Connolly

Joe and Cathy Connolly have spent a lifetime owning, training and caring for dogs. Cathy grew up with a Collie breeder, dog groomer and dog handler while attending many different dog shows and eventually went on to work with other breeders as she grew older. They live in beautiful Northern Michigan with their 3 furry four legged children, one large dog, one small dog and the entire family is supervised by one bossy calico cat.

 

Related:

Providing for Your Pet’s Future Without You

In Pets We Trust

Also see:  Every Dog’s Legal Guide

While providing  for your pets after you are gone, good nutrition and some supplements are equally important to care for them now and for their longevity: StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

January 28, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments