Friday, May 15, 2009

Planning Ahead with Heartworm Nosode

Where we live in coastal Southern California, I don't worry about heartworm. My dog doesn't live outdoors, exposed day and night to the few mosquitos we have, and our area is not high risk anyway. I don't want to give my dog an internal pesticide if it's not needed. Now I haven't gotten her tested either, which is something I do recommend to those concerned about the risk.

In anticipation of our summer road trip to New Hampshire I'm starting her on a Heartworm nosode. I did it the last time she went a few years ago but haven't kept up on it (which is ridiculous when you read how easy it is), so I'm restarting her this week.

Quoted from the dispenser:

"Although there are no hard and fast rules for administering nosodes, it is suggested that a dose (3 drops of liquid remedy for a small animal and 6 drops for a large animal) be given:
  • 3 days for the first week
  • 1 time weekly for 3 weeks
  • 1 time monthly for 6 months and thereafter
  • 1 time every six months.
In case of exposure to a particular disease or an epidemic of a disease, a one time per week dose of the nosode may prove helpful. Detox is also recommended to accompany daily."

I'm going to take her advice this time and write it in my datebook. Easy this time as I'm already writing Vida's herb protocol in to keep track. Just one more note.

There are a lot of different opinions on dealing with heartworm. I'm pretty sure my beliefs would be different if I were living in an area where risk is high, like the gulf coast.

Here are a few links that discuss alternative treatments:
where I got my nosode

After reading some of these I may consider Black Walnut tincture too, but I'll have to do some good research to make sure it wouldn't interfere with her other herbs. I don't want to overdo it!

And of course the usual prevention tactics of keeping indoors or screened areas and spraying with deterrants (I found Ark Natural's Neem Spray did a good job of deterring mosquitos).

I'm glad my dog is healthy. No fleas yet this year, which I think is pretty good (almost June). No fleas on her that is, plenty on other folks dogs.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Dog Acupressure: Did you know...?

Acupressure isn't a lesser substitute for acupuncture. I don't believe one is better than the other, but that they are simply different ways of accessing the meridians, the energy channels of the body. Some dogs prefer one over the other, so pay attention to your dog's responses during treatments to get an idea of what they think.

Acupressure sessions are always adjusted for each animal's needs. One of the most significant benefits of acupressure from a qualified practitioner is that during the treatment adjustments are made as the dog reacts to every touch. There is no "one size fits all" in acupressure. I am always amazed as the dog's body gives me feedback as each point is manipulated. This guides me in my decisions about exactly how much pressure to use, which points on the body need attention, and which areas need special care with other methods or tools.

Some dogs are suspicious the first time they get acupressure. While we humans may know that acupressure is beneficial, some dogs are suspicious at first, especially dogs that have had painful veterinary procedures in the past. Since they don't know what to expect from this new "procedure" they expect what they've had in the past that may have hurt or frightened them. These dogs need to go slowww, so often their first session includes reiki, gentle tui-na massage, and only a couple of acu-points. They do best when their owner is with them, calming them and working with me. The most important thing is that they have a positive experience, so they welcome their next session.

Acupressure doesn't have to involve pressure. Acupressure isn't about trying to imitate a needle. It's about stimulating the energy system of the body. Some dogs are very sensitive to touch, and resist pressure. For these dogs I use a tool that emits red light, which can penetrate the skin and stimulate the energy of the acu-points. This red light spectrum also stimulates the cells themselves, and thus can be very valuable for assisting in the healing of injuries.

Acupressure can be powerful. Acupressure isn't just a fancy word for massage, but a powerful healing technique of its own. The benefits can be profound, and a session can leave some dogs napping the rest of the day as they rest their bodies and adjust to the changes. It's not unusual for them to drink a lot after a treatment, or need to relieve themselves during or immediately after treatments. Sometimes they even take a short break in the middle of a session, and then come back for more.

Dogs enjoy it! I can't tell you how wonderful it makes me feel when I return to a dog's home for another acupressure session and they greet me at the door, smiling & wagging, and walk me in. They often proceed to where we're going to work and lie down, waiting for me. This response from dogs is what convinces me that acupressure works. They understand that I'm there to help them, and take an active part in their own healing. It is this cooperative process that makes acupressure an amazing healing art.