May 9, 2016

Four Ways to Treat Your Dog Without Surgery

If your dog has, for example, joint pain and the vet recommends surgery, you might want to try these conservative (less expensive) remedies first.

1. Medicine 2. Therapy  3. Diet   4. Rest

For my dog, Babe, I have tried numerous treatments and products over the last 10 years. Surgery really is not an option for her anyway, since she is a senior now and is a tripod, so I have explored many alternatives. There was no drug that gave her any permanent relief and side effects have always been a concern, not to mention they stop working after a while, too. She does well  with massage, but it's very temporary. And she rests a lot.

However, we found the most promising results with her diet and nutrition. I won't list all the vitamins and formulas we tried, but I will reveal the one that gave her the most relief. It's called The Missing Link. We get it at at right around twenty bucks. It's a powder that's mixed into her food and it goes a long way.

I also changed her diet to grain-free and eliminated anything with chicken, eggs or milk products to minimize her issues with allergies. Beef and lamb are the most available ingredients at stores in our area and she likes them.

Read this press release to learn more about the information: Your Dog Without Surgery

Dec 20, 2011

Babe's Progress With Winston's Again

After letting Babe's condition deteriorate after she'd made such good progress with the Winston's Joint Care Formula last year, we were finally able to buy more a few months ago, and she's doing very well again.

When we get it figured out, there will be a video here, too!
Meanwhile, you can visit my Winston's page here:

Jul 7, 2011

A Warning About "Natural" Insect Repellents

This story is a warning about insect repelling collars, including "natural" collars and products.

Babe is especially bothered by flies and ticks, and would suffer with fleas, too, if we had any around here. Last summer I had to resort to using the usual chemicals from the veterinarian, just to keep the ticks off of her.

Then a few months ago, I found a collar that was advertised as completely safe because it used a natural ingredient...geraniol. That's just the oil from the geranium, a simple, lovely flower. How bad could that be? Well, as it turned out, pretty bad.

Geraniol is toxic to some animals, and dogs seem to be especially affected, but at varying degrees. Babe is especially sensitive to it, and I had to remove her new collar within a couple hours of putting it on her. That night, she lay motionless on the carpet, not responding to anything I said or did. I thought she was going to die.

I dripped water into her mouth, put cool cloths on her head, vigorously massaged her, etc. Naturally, it was the weekend and no vets were in, so I had to wait until Monday morning. But traditional vets, as a rule, aren't familiar with natural products and I had to find a holistic vet on the Internet who had some information. That's when I learned that geraniol is toxic. Why is this being sold, and why is it touted as safe?

Babe recovered fully, and was not that close to dying, since her exposure was minimal, but if I had left it on her, she might have.

I returned the second collar, still in the packaging, for a refund and warned the company about it. Now I'm warning you. The product is called Defy the Fly. And since the company seemed less than mildly interested in my tale, I suspect they're still selling this thing. Just be careful you don't get one as it could make your dog sick.

Here is a natural pest control tag that is based on homeopathic principles:

[Be sure to use the coupon code SAVEPETS to get 5% off your order, and the store will match it with another 5% to be donated to the animals in Japan.]

Sep 4, 2010

Babe Doing Better With Her "Wheelchair"

With the unpredictable winter and spring weather mostly cleared up, the summer has been spent using the wheelchair more often. It got a little too hot from time to time, but Babe didn't mind it as much as I did. She has become more adept with her new wheels but still hasn't figured out that she can run now, without tiring as much.

I'm working on making a video to show her progress, but with all that goes on around here, it will be a little while yet.

Apr 25, 2010

Babe and her Skunk Ordeal

This has been a difficult time for Babe, with all the cold and rainy weather here in the midwest. She prefers to stay indoors 90 percent of the time, and we don't blame her. We do, too! But you know, dogs have to go outside several times a day, no matter what.

Two days ago, the sun was out for about an hour, and I decided to take all three dogs with me to the mailbox out on our country road. It's a nice little walk for all of us. For some reason, I kept Buck and Jager on leash, and only Babe had complete freedom to go at her own pace, as well as take her own path.

When she ramped up the pace and seemed to be zeroing in on a target, I knew something was up. A rabbit? One of the cats? A stray dog? We certainly get enough of those dumped out here by irresponsible owners in town who "can't keep the dog anymore."

Luckily, it was a very windy day, so when the skunk got Babe in the face with a very direct hit, it didn't create the usual cloud of stink all over the place. That part of it pretty much blew away and across the corn fields to the south. It was one time I was grateful for all the wind we've been having this year.

However, Babe didn't come out so well. It burned her eyes, and she rolled on the wet grass for such a long time, rubbing her face into the soft tufts of grass like a wet wash cloth.

The nice weather didn't last very long and we all had to go back inside... well, all of us except Babe. She was banished to the garage, unfortunately. She barked almost all night, but it was too cold to bathe her.

Today, then, that's what we did. The sun was out most of the day, with little to no wind, and it was a pleasant 60 or so degrees.

So I found a homemade skunk remedy online and mixed up a gallon of it. The recipe is below. Babe wasn't thrilled to be getting a bath in the middle of the yard, but when it was over, she seemed to understand what it was all about and literally danced for joy as we headed back to the house. I towelled her off and she was allowed inside. Oh joy! Smiling from ear to ear, she flopped onto her Indian blanket, let out a huge sigh of relief, and snoozed. I suspect she didn't get any sleep for the last 2 nights.

Of course, these things always happen just as the weekend arrives, when no one is open in town, and I have to find home remedies for everything. Just like last year, when she and our other dog found a porcupine over Labor Day. There was no waiting for Monday, and I didn't have the needed items to do it myself. So we had to make an emergency run to the vet for a very expensive weekend call.

Meanwhile, back to this weekend's adventure:
The remedies I found for skunk odor removal all seem to be based on 3 basic ingredients - hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap and vinegar. One recipe also includes salt and another adds baking soda. But the differences are slight and involve amounts, proportions, timing and methods.

Thus, I've attempted to make this somewhat of a one-size-fits-all recipe that you can modify as needed for your own situation, should the need ever arise.


Container: a one-gallon milk jug works best.


  • Hydrogen peroxide, 3% solution, 1 quart
  • Dishwashing liquid, usually blue Dawn is favored, 2 Tablespoons
  • Vinegar, usually apple cider, but white distilled is OK, 1/2 to 3/4 gallon

Optional ingredients:

  • Baking soda, 1/2 cup or more
  • Salt, 1/2 cup or more

Basically, always use the first 2 ingredients, then add any of the next 3 as you wish.

Pour the solution onto the dog and rub into the fur. Let it sit, from 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse off with clear water. (One "recipe" recommended spraying with vinegar, let it dry overnight, then shampoo normally the next day.)

If you have it, follow up with dog shampoo as you would for a regular bath to remove the odor of vinegar, if you used any. Or, ideally, if you have a specific skunk odor removal shampoo, use that, of course.

As for tomato juice, no one recommends that anymore. It just doesn't do the job. However, there is some evidence that it can help to break down the skunk odor oils, making the other remedies work better.

Well, Babe isn't exactly her old sweet-smelling self yet, but she's allowed in the house again. I just don't want her hugging on me yet...

Mar 28, 2010

A Little Setback For Babe

Poor Babe. It's been a rough time for her for about a month now. We ran out of her Winston's Joint Care product in January, and her condition has been deteriorating slowly ever since.

January was a tough month, and although our loss of employment was temporary, it drastically impacted our ability to keep up with the household bills. When it comes down to having to choose between keeping the lights on or buying more supplements, well, you know what we had to do.

It's been devastating to watch Babe getting worse and knowing how bad she must feel. But it's been a learning experience, too. We know now, without a doubt, how much it has helped her. Often, when people take supplements, they are suspected of imagining they are better because they expect or want to be. But how do you psych a dog?

The truth with dogs is, you don't, and with humans, you don't have to. The problem is, there are critics who don't like it when you heal yourself, so they denigrate you and discredit whatever you're doing. The fact that it works always seems to escape them.

There are those in the animal care professions who don't like the natural approach either, because it represents an "unproven unknown" (no matter how much valid research they've ignored), and it also looks like risking some income loss if they aren't using expensive medical care, such as drugs, surgery and other modalities.

But they don't need to feel threatened financially. They could just jump on as representatives and do what's best and right for the animals by joining a company that has been providing effective solutions for more than 20 years... without side effects.

That kind of care, with those kinds of results will get them noticed, increasing their clients' respect for them as a result of helping their pets, and thus, no loss of income.

In summary, here's what we learned with Babe:

  • It took about a month to see some signs of improvement at the beginning.

  • It took another couple of months to see Babe transform into "a new dog."

  • When her supplements ran out, it took less than 3 months to notice that the benefits had apparently all disappeared. Babe is now pretty much back to where she started. She can hardly get up after sleeping and it takes a few minutes to get moving. Once outside, she is able to run again, though not as fast, and she tires easily and wants back in so she can rest. This is known as the "arthritic cycle" and is common in humans, too.

The deterioration was mitigated somewhat by having a younger dog here for the past 6 weeks, because it motivated Babe to be more active... not because she wanted to play, but because she wanted that dog out of here. When chasing her didn't work, she finally resorted to brutal attacks that we feared would result in killing the young dog. (We had to move that one on to a new home quickly.)

During that time, though, we didn't realize Babe's condition had declined quite so much, because animals often hide their discomfort and their weaknesses if they feel their status in the pack is threatened. So we feel pretty certain Babe was in severe stress, and her pain may have made her crabby and intolerant of the new dog, though instinct is no small factor here, too.

We've been giving her what's left of the glucosamine we have on hand, but it's just not as helpful. So, as soon as we can manage it, we will be ordering more Winston's!

Dec 30, 2009

Babe's Progress, continued...

This dog is doing amazingly well. After nearly 3 months of using her new nutritional supplements, Babe is enjoying greater mobility and apparently a lot less pain. We have been able to help her very effectively with this 3-pronged approach:
  • Nutritional supplementation: She is so good about taking her daily "vitamins." Read about those here: Better Health For Dogs
  • Wheelcart: Her "wheelchair" has provided the ability to still get around while at the same time allowing her stressed leg some time to rest.
  • Massage Massaging areas of physical stress in any body is beneficial, and for Babe, this is very true. She loves being massaged! Well, who wouldn't? With my background as a chiropractor, it's not difficult to locate her trigger points and to provide therapeutic treatment to help her relax and heal.

The bottom line for Babe has been Rest, Massage, and Nutrition. We learned that glucosamine just wasn't enough, and medical drugs represent a risk we aren't willing to take with her. Feel free to share any information you have about your animals with physical disabilities and how you are handling it.