Thursday, April 08, 2010

Ingredients for this week's dog tea

In anticipation of burns starting soon, I've made a new tea for Vida.

Clockwise from the top:

+ fresh Comfrey leaf
+ fresh Plantain leaf
+ dried Astragalus root
+ dried Calendula flower
+ fresh Bison bone
+ dried Slippery Elm bark

Yes, I've resorted to cooking a bone with the plants to get easier compliance. This is because I really want to be sure she's drinking it full strength when asked.

I've formulated this tea to help with the impending burns, to see what I can do to have less severe burns produced during the radiation process. While I did make a wash with aloe juice and calendula/comfrey tea, and I've started irrigating her mouth with it a few times a day, I think that the more frequently I can put helpful herbs on that tissue, the better.

This was made with one liter of water. The bone, astragalus, and slippery elm went in cold water which was brought to a boil and simmered for about 45 minutes. I then added the flowers and fresh leaves (which I minced). I turned the heat off and left it for over an hour before I strained it out. She loved it!


It turns out that Vida's been getting out more quickly from treatments because they changed the gas they were using. I don't remember being told they were using gas at all with the IV, but hey, they probably expect most people don't want to know the details.

They switched from Isoflurane (very commonly used) to Sevoflurane (more expensive). The Iso- gets them both sedated and then awake in about two minutes. The problem is that when they wake up their cognition comes back before their motor skills do, which can obviously be stressful for some dogs. Vida's first action was to try to bark, small muffled barks at first, which indicates her stress. So a few days ago they switched to Sevo-, which gets them sedated and awake in about thirty seconds, and when they wake both cognition and motor skills return simultaneously, which is much less stressful.

I haven't been able to break through her serious nerves beforehand - full body shaking, poor thing. But I have to say, when she comes out, she's not doing that at all. She's happy to leave, but she's much more relaxed. The nervous system is very powerful. You can't always get it to do what you think is best, no matter how many times you give flower essences and press on acu-points. Sometimes you just need to let them be nervous, knowing that it will be over soon.

So that's 8 down, 11 to go. Tomorrow is Friday, then she has the weekend off.
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