Archives for Holistic category

Pet Euthanasia: 10 Points To Help You Decide

Hello Everyone,

Here is an excellent and heartfelt article by Dr. Andrew Jones about euthanasia. Rick and I have had to make that terrible and extremely difficult decision twice: for our poodle/terrier mix Cubby, who had liver disease, and then again for Skittles, our corgi/terrier mix who had throat cancer. With Cubby, I feel we held on too long and she suffered needlessly, whereas with Skittles, we may have been too hasty. I hope with Roxie and Gypsy we will be smarter pet parents and make the decision, if necessary, at the best time for each of them.
Pet Euthanasia: 10 Points To Help You Decide

By Dr. Andrew Jones

There were many months at the clinic I have had to euthanize far too many dogs and cats.

They generally were all been for very legitimate reasons..Cancer ( 4 patients), Paralysis, Bleeding Disorders, End Stage Kidney Failure..etc..

It seems that more of this happens during the Holiday Season.

I’m not sure if that is true, or if it had more of an effect on me.

Most clients make the decision in a very thoughtful, sensitive and respectful way- they weigh out the quality of their pet’s life, with their own needs to keep their pet alive.

I was often asked if now is the time..I always then asked my clients questions regarding quality of life, pain or discomfort in their pet and how they are feeling.

It’s not easy.

If any of you have gone through this, you know just how agonizing and difficult it is.

I am honored that we have this option with our dogs and cats- I watched my Grandmother waste away from Lung Cancer, only to be given narcotics for the last month of her life to keep her comfortable.

But the point is to respect this right- AND not treat it frivolously.

Here are some things to consider to help you make this serious decision:

1. Eating and Drinking. Is your pet able to eat and drink normally. My dog Hoochie ( a Lab cross) was a food hound, so when his appetite ended, I knew it was time soon.

2. Pain. Is your pet in pain often? ASK your Veterinarian this. Does the pain control medication help?

3. Activity levels. Can she still go for walks?

4. Housetraining. Has your pet lost bladder or bowel control?

5. Senility and aging. Does your pet enjoy interaction with you, or could she care less?

6. Does your pet have a terminal illness such as Cancer?

7. Are you willing to explore ALL the options for treating their disease OR do you want just palliative care?

8. Are you keeping your pet alive for your own Issues around death..or is this in the best interests of your pet?

9. Have you asked a friend if you are making the right decision? It helps to have a 3rd party.

10.Discuss and be aware of what euthanasia is, HOW it will happen, What will happen with your pet afterwards ( ie burial or cremation), and How you will get support to deal with your grief. I have NEVER felt so low and such a deep sense of loss than when my last dog Hoochie died.

I hope this helps some of you.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew J

Here is the link to the original article: Dr. Andrew Jones: Pet Euthanasia.

Take Care, and please give your dogs a hug for me,


Sep 14, 2012 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Doggie Language Poster by Lili Chin

Hello All,

I thought this was terrific as I’ve seen Roxie and Gypsy use most of these on a regular basis. Gypsy uses “I’m your lovebug” every morning to elicit a belly rub as part of our good morning routine, and Roxie is fond of “Ready” which she uses every day during her fetch session.

You can check out her website to see more examples of her charming illustrations: Doggie Drawings by Lili Chin.


Aug 17, 2012 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Fireworks and Furry Family Members

Hello to All from hot and humid San Antonio,

This article from Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets caught my eye, as the Fourth of July holiday is upon us, and our little twelve-year-old dog Roxie is terrified of fireworks (and thunder, and gunshots, …)

We have an Anxiety Wrap for her, and we have used Rescue Remedy with some success. The key for us is remembering to put the wrap on her and administer the Rescue Remedy well before the start of the noise-causing event.


Fireworks and Furry Family Members

By Dr. Becker

Every July 4th there are pet casualties, so I thought I’d take this opportunity well in advance of Independence Day celebrations to remind dog and cat owners of the dangers associated with this particular holiday.

Many Pets Fear Fireworks Displays

Fireworks displays can be stressful and frightening for pets, so if you’re planning to take your pet along, I recommend you rethink that idea. Even normally calm dogs can get spooked and disoriented by the noise, lights and crowds involved in a fireworks display. You certainly don’t want to frighten your pet or put him in a situation where he might bolt or become aggressive due to fear.

Even pets left at home can be frightened of the loud noises that seem to go on and on the evening of July 4th. Your dog or cat has a much better sense of hearing than you do, so loud, unfamiliar sounds can be especially unsettling. And this goes double if your pet is getting up in years.

Even small firecracker or sparkler displays by neighbors or family members can upset your pet.

Signs your pet is afraid of fireworks or other loud noises include shaking, vocalizing (barking or howling), excessive drooling, looking for a place to hide, or escape attempts.

Keeping Your Pet Safe on July 4th

With a little advance planning, you can prevent problems with your pet over the July 4th holiday. It will be much easier for you and your family to relax and enjoy the celebrations if you’re not worrying about your pet’s health and safety.

Insure your pet has a current ID tag. Every year on July 5th many dogs turn up miles from home — afraid, disoriented, exhausted and dehydrated. And animal shelters across the U.S. get an influx of ‘July 4th dogs’ who escaped during fireworks celebrations and are found by animal control agents and concerned citizens who drop them off at the nearest shelter.
Remember to feed and walk your dog in the late afternoon or early evening, well before the fireworks displays begin.
Don’t leave your pet alone outside on the 4th. If she becomes frightened and panicked, even a fenced yard may not keep her safe. She could injure herself trying to escape. If she gets out she could run away, be hit by a car, or stolen by a stranger.
Keep your pet inside the house, preferably in an inside room without windows. Create a little safe haven for your dog or cat with bedding, a toy or two, and a few treats. Turn on a TV, radio or other music to help muffle the noise from outside. If possible, leave someone at home with your pet.
If you bring your pet along to the celebration (which I don’t recommend unless you have an unusually laid back dog or cat, or you just have no other choice), don’t leave him unattended in your car. It’s apt to be hot enough to bring on heatstroke even if you crack your windows, not to mention if your pet panics, he could hurt himself or cause damage to your vehicle.
Keep your dog or cat a nice safe distance from any backyard or neighborhood fireworks displays, and make sure to store personal fireworks where your pet can’t get them. Pets have been known to ingest unexploded fireworks as well as debris lying around after the display is over. Also keep in mind your pet is covered in fur that can easily catch fire.

Do What’s Best for Your Furry Companion

Some pets aren’t bothered at all by fireworks. Others may get a bit jumpy, but are generally fine as long as their owner is nearby to soothe them as necessary.
Other pets become extremely frightened, especially dogs with noise phobia.

As a general rule, most dogs and cats are more comfortable left at home with their normal routine during July 4th celebrations. But you can still include your pet in festivities like picnics, trips to the beach or lake, or family gatherings. Just make sure your four-legged family member is tucked snugly inside your home, with access to a safe haven, before the fireworks begin.


Here is the link to the original article:
Mercola Healthy Pets: Fireworks and Furry Family Members


Take Care Everyone,


Jun 28, 2012 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Ten Most Toxic Foods to Dogs

Hello to All,

We have all seen lists of foods that our dogs should not eat, but this is a great visual reminder. I would add macademia nuts, caffeine, moldy food, Xylitol (an artificial sweetener used in gum and toothpaste), other artificial sweeteners, and MSG to the list of no-nos, and I have given Roxie and Gypsy small amounts of garlic without a problem. Thanks to Lea Ann Goettsch of Green Dog Delicacies for posting this on Facebook:

Take care, and give your dogs a hug for me!


Jun 19, 2012 | 1 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Homemade Dog Food

Flea and Tick Season 2012: It’s Early and It’s Ugly by Dr. Karen Becker

Flea and Tick Season 2012: It’s Early and It’s Ugly
Posted By: Dr. Becker on May 04 2012

Story at-a-glance

Thanks to an unusually warm winter, flea and tick season is expected to come early and be especially bothersome this year. In fact, the season is already underway in some areas of the U.S.

Before you take all the dire warnings to heart and run out to buy every chemical pest control product you can get your hands on, keep this in mind — controlling fleas and ticks is a simple recipe with just 3 ingredients: keeping your pet pest-free, keeping your home pest-free, and keeping your yard pest-free.

With planning and diligence, you can accomplish those three things with all natural – not chemical – pest control methods. And if you do encounter a situation where the use of chemical agents is unavoidable, there are ways to minimize the damage these products can cause.

By Dr. Becker

Well, the good news for many of us across the U.S. is we had a mild winter with above-average temperatures and not a lot of snow.

The bad news is warm winter weather means an early and heavy bug season, specifically for fleas and ticks.

These pests are surfacing from their dormant life cycles sooner rather than later this year.

In fact, many veterinarians are predicting a 2012 flea and tick season that will be the worst in a decade.

And it’s already underway in some parts of the country.

No Need to Panic

Widespread panic is more or less what the sellers of chemical pest preventives would like to see as a result of an early and heavy flea and tick season this year.

But before you start having nightmares about massive flea infestations or blood-bloated ticks all over your dog — which could easily prompt you to run out and buy every chemical pest agent you can find – take a deep breath.

Everything you need to do to control pests on your pet this year falls into these three easy-to-remember categories:

Keep your pet pest-free
Keep your home pest-free
Keep your yard pest-free

I strongly discourage pet owners from automatically applying harsh chemical agents to repel or kill pests. I see animals every day at my Natural Pet clinic that suffer from the side effects of toxic chemicals and drugs they were exposed to for any number of reasons, including pest control.

And to make matters worse, many of these pets still get fleas and ticks even with the use of toxic chemical agents.

That’s why I believe in using natural pest repellents and other non-toxic pest control methods whenever possible.

If you live where fleas and ticks are prevalent during the warmer months, vigilance in keeping your pet, your home and your yard pest-free should allow your four-legged companion to enjoy his summer right along with the rest of the family.

All Natural Tips for a Pest-Free Pet

If fleas are a problem, comb your pet with a flea comb at least once a day, every day during pest season. Do the combing on a white towel or other light colored cloth so you can see what’s coming off your pet’s coat and skin as you comb.

Flea ‘dirt’ (actually flea feces) looks like real dirt, but when suspended in a little rubbing alcohol or water will dissolve and release a red color (blood) allowing you to discern real dirt from flea dirt.

Drop the combings into a bowl or other container of soapy water and flush it down the toilet when your combing session is over.

Bathe your pet. A soothing bath will kill fleas (via drowning), help heal skin irritation, and make your furry companion feel more comfortable and less itchy. Also, clean animals aren’t as attractive to fleas. Pick a non-grain (no oatmeal) shampoo specifically for pets.

Be aware that some pets have a condition called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which is sensitivity to flea saliva. This is actually a very common condition in dogs. It’s not the bite of a flea that causes most of the itching, it’s the saliva. And the saliva can cause irritation way out of proportion to the number of fleas on your pet.

That’s why lots of dog owners assume the terrible itching their pet is enduring can’t be flea related because they don’t see any fleas. In fact, a pet with FAD can be made absolutely miserable from the saliva of just one or two fleas. And it can make her uncomfortable for many weeks – long after the fleas are dead and gone.

If ticks are a problem where you live, the best way to control them is through daily grooming and nose-to-tail body checks of your pet. You should examine your dog or cat closely for ticks whenever he’s been outside, and at least once a day, regardless.

If you should find a tick attached to your pet, it must be removed carefully and safely.

Don’t squeeze the tick, pull on it, press down on it, burn it, or otherwise try to kill it while it’s still embedded in your pet. You don’t want to inadvertently harm your dog or cat, and you don’t want to cause the tick to secrete more saliva into your pet or leave pieces of the rostrum (the ‘sticker’) embedded in your pet’s skin.

The safest way to remove a tick is with a twisting motion. Our Tick Stick tick removal tool is great to have on hand if you ever need to get a tick off your pet.

In addition to the above suggestions, I also recommend you make liberal use of an all-natural pest repellent like Natural Flea and Tick Defense, which is effective against flies and mosquitoes as well. It contains all natural ingredients — safe oils and pure water.

Other safe alternatives to chemical pest repellents include cedar oil (specifically formulated to be applied to pets) and natural food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) (both of which can be applied directly to your pet’s skin and coat – follow label application instructions), and fresh garlic (it must be fresh, not processed — work with your holistic vet to determine a safe amount for your pet’s body weight).

Don’t waste your money on garlic in pill form or brewer’s yeast pills. The B vitamins found in brewer’s yeast responsible for boosting the immune system can be naturally delivered by feeding your pet a meat based, living food diet. I don’t recommend feeding allergenic brewer’s yeast to pets.

Powdered garlic or garlic in tablet form has lost the medicinal component, Allicin, found in fresh garlic. Garlic pills can be dangerous to pets.
DE can also be added to your pet’s food if your pet has internal parasites. DE is not effective against heartworms as they are present in the bloodstream, where DE isn’t.

All Natural Tips for a Pest-Free Home

Your first line of defense against a flea infestation in your home is to keep your pet pest-free using the suggestions outlined above.

Vacuuming all the areas of your home your pet has access to is a given in controlling fleas indoors. Vacuum the carpet, area rugs, bare floors, upholstered furniture, pillows, your pet’s bedding and even your own if your pet sleeps with you.

Use the crevice tool and other nifty attachments to vacuum along the baseboards and around the corners and edges of furniture. Don’t forget to vacuum hard-to-reach places like under furniture, beds and closet floors.

Dump the contents of your vacuum as soon as you’re finished and get them out of the house.

If feasible, designate a single sleeping area for your pet – preferably one you can clean easily. Fleas accumulate in pet sleeping spaces, so if you can limit those, it will be easier to control the situation.

Your dog’s or cat’s bedding should be vacuumed daily and washed frequently.

You can apply a light dusting of food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) on your carpets, bare floors, and pet bedding. Make sure the DE is food grade, not pool filter grade as the latter is toxic if ingested.

Like diatomaceous earth, cedar oil can be applied to your environment and pet bedding, as well as directly on your dog or cat. It is an all-natural insect repellent. Pestigator.comi has a wealth of information about the use of cedar oil as well as a wide variety of cedar-based products for indoor, outdoor and direct pet application use.

You can apply sodium polyborate powder to your carpets and wood floors to get rid of fleas at the larval stage. Instructions at Fleabusters.comii state you should keep pets and children out of the room while you’re applying the product, but they can come into the area safely immediately afterward. The powder works for a year once it’s applied unless you have your carpets steam cleaned.

All-Natural Tips for a Pest-Free Yard

Keep your grass mowed, weeds pulled, and bushes trimmed. Clear away debris as it accumulates and do regular inspections of your property for places where pests are apt to hide and multiply.

Food grade diatomaceous earth can also be used to control pests in your yard. However, it doesn’t work immediately and must be reapplied frequently (monthly for best results). To use dry with a powder applicator you’ll need about 1 pound per 500 square feet. You can also mix it up as a paste and apply it with a hose-end sprayer, using 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.

Mosquito Barrieriii is an all-natural, liquid garlic based solution that can be sprayed on your lawn. Its repellent effect should last about a month according to the manufacturer.

Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that eat flea larvae. Many people have had success using them in their gardens and yards to keep the flea population under control.

Under the right conditions, nematodes work quite well. They can be applied with a lawn sprayer and have been known to reduce the flea population by 80 percent in 24 hours.

More research is needed, but it seems nematodes are most effective in moist, sandy soil away from direct sunlight. The worms don’t survive in the hot sun. (Fortunately, neither do fleas.) Nematodes can be purchased at some pet stores, nurseries and online.

When a Chemical Preventive or Treatment is Unavoidable

I can’t overemphasize the need to avoid the unnecessary application of chemical products due to their known and suspected levels of toxicity.

However, if you’re faced with a situation in which you have no choice but to use a chemical pest preventive on your dog or cat, here are some ways you can reduce the danger, especially of spot-on products:

Follow dosing directions precisely. If your pet is at the low end of a dosage range, step down to the next lowest dosage. Be extremely cautious with small dogs and do not under any circumstances apply dog product to your cat.
Don’t depend exclusively on chemical treatments. Rotate natural preventives with chemical ones. An every other month rotation works well for many pet owners at my practice. Many of my clients are able to apply one round of chemicals in the spring and another in late summer and completely avoid infestation while dramatically reducing the frequency of chemicals used.
Monitor your pet closely for adverse reactions after you apply a chemical product – especially when using one for the first time.
Since your pet’s liver will be tasked with processing the chemicals that make it into the bloodstream, it can be very beneficial to give your dog or cat a supplement to help detoxify her liver. I recommend milk thistle, which is a detox agent and also helps to actually regenerate liver cells.

You can get milk thistle through your holistic vet, who should also guide you on how much to give your pet depending on age, weight and other prescribed medications. I recommend one dose daily for seven days following any flea, tick or heartworm application.

I also recommend chlorella, a super green food that is a very powerful detox agent. Your holistic vet should also advise you about how much chlorella to give your pet.

If you use both these cleansing products throughout the summer, you can help protect your pet’s liver from the toxic effects of chemical pest preventives.

The Bottom Line

No matter what combination of pest repellent systems you use, including chemical agents, your pet can still attract pests and parasites. In fact, even animals loaded with chemicals to the point of toxicosis can still, for example, acquire heartworm.

My advice is do all you can to avoid pests, relying on natural preventives as much as possible, and then have your vet run a SNAP 4Dx test every six months to check for the presence of heartworm and tick-borne diseases (Lyme, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia).

Also, again thanks to the mild winter we had, I’m seeing a lot more positive fecal results for GI parasites. I recommend you have your vet check a sample of your pet’s stool twice a year as well.

May 07, 2012 | 0 | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Unlocking the Animal Mind

Hi Everyone,

I recently finished reading Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness by Franklin McMillan, D.V.M.

Dr. McMillan explores the connection between an animal’s emotions and their behavior. In other words, why our pets do what they do. He includes lots of examples from his practice, and I very much enjoyed reading them all. In one story, he talks about a 9 week old puppy named Bogie, whose pet parent was trying to house break him. She would scoop him up as soon as she caught him in the act, immediately take him outside, where he would proceed to play, nip at her ankles, anything but his business. The author explains that from Bogie’s point of view, this is wonderful! Everytime he squats in the house, his favorite person gives him lots of attention and takes him outside to play!

In the chapter “The Mind/Body Connection” he tells the story of Rico and Pablo, two cats who had lived together for 16 years. When Pablo became ill and was euthanized, Rico never was the same. A once robust kitty was now extremely ill.

The chapter “A Peaceful End” really got me as the author discusses the anxiety we pet parents have when making a decision about euthansia. From personal experience, Rick and I have been in that situation twice. One time with Cubby, a poodle/terrier mix who was suffering from liver disease. We felt we waited too long in her case. Then with Skittles, a corgi/terrier mix with throat cancer, where perhaps we were too hasty in having Skittles put down.

In full disclosure, if you choose to purchase Unlocking the Animal Mind: How Your Pet’s Feelings Hold the Key to His Health and Happiness through any of the links I have provided, I will receive an affiliate commission from



Mar 24, 2012 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Stray Dog

When I Die

Ok, this brought tears to my eyes:

Makes me think of our three little girls, Pebbles, Cubby, and Skittles, who have all gone over the rainbow bridge.


Feb 08, 2012 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs, Stray Dog

38 Benefits of Owning a Dog

Hi Everybody,

Here is a neat graphic from showing 38 benefits of owning a dog. Many of these you already know, but some will surprise you:

To see a larger version (one you can actually read), click here for the PDF, then change the percentage (I found 75% works perfectly for me).


Jan 05, 2012 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions

Hello Everyone,

This is an excellent article by Jan Rasmusen, who is the award-winning author of Scared Poopless:

Why Vets Don’t Recognize Vaccine Reactions

You take your perfectly healthy dog to the vet for “her shots.” Early the next morning, she has a seizure — her first seizure ever. You rush your dog back to the vet or an emergency clinic and ask if the seizure had something to do with the shot. Odds are, the vet will tell you, No, it’s not the shot! She might a genetic disorder or possibly even a brain tumor. The timing is just a coincidence.

Or … your dog is suddenly having trouble walking after rabies vaccination. Or he suddenly becomes aggressive. You ask your vet if the condition could be tied to the rabies shot. No, it’s not possible, the vet says. He says has never heard of such a thing. But something tells you the condition and vaccine are related.

Of course, not all veterinarians are reluctant or unable to recognize and deal with vaccine reactions. In fact, the practices of vets trained in homeopathy, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, etc. often revolve around treating reactions caused by vaccination. And, happily, many conventional vets are becoming increasingly worried about over-vaccination and vaccine reactions. But these vets are not the norm.

Many people have written me that they have had to fight with their vet to even get a vaccine reaction considered and noted in their dog’s or cat’s file. The vet doesn’t even want to call the vaccine maker to report or inquire about the reaction. After you do extensive Internet research, your suspicions grow. You see another vet, or maybe post on this blog looking for answers or you e-mail me. You wonder: why are vets so reluctant to admit that a vaccine (or vaccine combo) caused a reaction? Here are some potential reasons why.

Primary vets don’t see every vaccine reactions because pets are often treated at emergency clinics or by specialists and not reported back. An emergency clinic vet told me about a Basset Hound she had diagnosed with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. She asked the client if the dog had been recently vaccinated. Finding that he had, she called the Basset’s primary vet to inquire about the vaccine. The primary vet, surprised by the call, asked, “Do you see a lot of immune-mediated disease after vaccination?” She told him she did, usually about 3-4 weeks later. Astounded by the news, he admitted he was glad he hadn’t vaccinated his own dogs in 8 years. He continues to vaccinate clients’ dogs annually.

Vets lack sufficient education. Dr. Ronald Schultz, a member of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Task Force (in 2003, 2006 and 2011) and the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group, has said: “Our new [vet school] grads don’t know a heck of a lot more about vaccines than our older grads. And I’ve figured out why this is. They know a lot more about basic immunology, but they don’t know about vaccinology and the two are not the same.… So we haven’t gone very far from where we were ten years ago or twenty years ago with regard to training veterinarians about vaccines.” (Hear Dr. Schultz talking about this in our Safer Pet Vaccination Benefit Seminar DVD. )

Most continuing education is done by drug company representatives calling on veterinary practices — to sell vaccines. Their message is that vaccines are safe and reactions are extremely rare. Vets buy the products and the message. Despite studies showing that each additional vaccine given during one visit dramatically increases the chance of an adverse reaction, reps peddle products with as many as 7 vaccines to be given at once — with no warnings. Hear safety claims enough and the claims become the truth, whether they are true or not.

Vets don’t want the blame for harming your pet. No veterinarian wants to harm an animal. It’s more comfortable to blame the problem on coincidence, genetic defects, other medications, etc.

Vets don’t tie the reaction to the vaccine unless it happens almost immediately. Here is what the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) tells dog or cat owners to watch for after vaccination. Note that most reactions listed are only those happening almost immediately:

Discomfort and swelling at the vaccination site
Mild fever
Decreased appetite and activity
Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
Swelling of the muzzle. face, neck or eyes
Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
Respiratory distress occurring 2-5 days after your pet receives an intranasal Bordetella [kennel cough vaccine]

This list fails to include reactions like shock and death – 8.3% and 5.5% respectively of reactions reported to the USDA. It also doesn’t include vaccine reactions happening within three or more days after vaccination – despite a major study published in the AVMA’s own Journal in 2005. And what about reactions occurring weeks, months and even years after vaccination?

Here is the list first handed out in 2007 by Dr. Ron Schultz regarding adverse events known to be induced via vaccines:

Common Reactions:
Hair loss; hair color change at injection site
Refusal to Eat
Oral ulcers
Moderate Reactions:
Behavioral Changes
Weight Loss (Cachexia)
Reduced Milk Production
Facial Edema
Atopy [allergic hypersensitivity]
Respiratory Disease
Allergic uveitis (Blue Eye)
Severe Reactions Triggered by Vaccines:
Vaccine injection site sarcomas
Anaphylaxis [life-threatening shock]
Arthritis, polyarthritis-HOD hypertrophy Osteodystrophy
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Immune Mediated thrombocytopenia (IMTP)
Hemolytic Disease of the newborn (Neonatal Isoerythrolysis)
Disease or Enhanced Disease which with the vaccine was designed to prevent
Myocarditis [inflammation of the heart muscle caused by infections, viruses, or immune diseases]
Post vaccinal Encephalitis or polyneuritis
Abortion, congenital anomalies, embryonic/fetal death, failure to conceive fertility

Vaccine manufacturers generally test vaccines for reactions for only one year, with the exception of the 3-year rabies vaccine. Testing is expensive so they do only what is required to get approval. After approval, vets seldom report reactions and the USDA rarely takes action unless an inordinate of animals become seriously ill or die. Even then, vaccines are rarely pulled off the market unless they affect human health. Thus, vaccines are considered safe and reactions don’t really happen!!!

Vets may worry that they did something wrong. Did your vet fail to tell you about possible reactions? Did he/she vaccinate an unhealthy dog against vaccine label warnings? Was the vaccine given less than two weeks after another vaccine, increasing the likelihood of a reaction? Or given with multiple other vaccines or medications? Or given without examining the dog or cat first? Or was the wrong vaccine used? Or had the vaccine been improperly refrigerated?

Vets aren’t taught how to treat many of the reactions. Conventional vets generally treat vaccine reactions with corticosteroids, antibiotics (just in case they’re needed) and/or Benadryl no matter what the reaction is. Conversely, holistic vets treat reactions with diet, supplements, acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy and a whole bag of tricks. You have to “believe” in reactions to want to learn how to treat them.

Vets worry they failed to get your “informed consent” before vaccination. Informed consent means that the vet should have told you about possible reactions and also explained why the shot was necessary before vaccinating. Unfortunately, the great majority of revaccination of adult dogs is unnecessary and never explained. (See Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Steps to Eliminating Unnecessary Shots.) If your dog had a vaccine that wasn’t needed and then suffered a reaction, your vet might worry about a lawsuit or reprimand from state authorities — or unwanted attention from the media.

Vets don’t want to lose your business.

Vets don’t want to bother reporting the reaction to the vaccine maker. Despite repeated requests by veterinary organizations to report all suspected reactions, it is suspected that only 1% are reported. Reporting is time consuming.

Vets are told by superiors not to admit responsibility. This can be a particular problem for junior members of a practice operating under the rules of the senior partners or practice owner.

Vets have to believe vaccines are safe. Vaccines are a big part of veterinary business, both for the direct income derived from vaccines and the office visit, but also for income from medications and other sales and services stemming from the visit — and also for income derived from treating reactions. If they see reaction after reaction, particularly from unnecessary vaccination, they may feel the need to change their policies or change jobs. Please read Lifelong Immunity – Why Vets Are Pushing Back for more details on why veterinarians continue to over-vaccinate.

No matter why your vet isn’t at least considering a vaccine reaction, when something adverse happens after vaccination, it is important to educate yourself. Allow only those vaccines required given your dog’s age, locale and lifestyle. Ask to read the package insert to learn about what reactions are possible. (Don’t presume the vet has read it.) Learn to recognize a vaccine reaction when you see one and push your vet to consider a reaction if you suspect one. And read What to Do When Your Dog Has a Vaccine Reaction for help in treating your dog, reporting the problem and contacting the manufacturer to try to recover your expenses.

There’s an old medical adage: when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. That is, when something bad happens to your dog after vaccination, think vaccine reaction, not brain tumor! Trust your instincts!

Related links:
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure
Post your dog’s rabies reaction and read other readers’ stories here: The Rabies Vaccine and Your Dog: Side Effects
Protecting Dogs From Vaccine Reactions
Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely

DVD: world-renowned scientists Ronald D. Schultz, PhD and W. Jean Dodds, DVM spoke at our Safer Pet Vaccination Benefit Seminar in March 2010. A 2-hour DVD of the event, along with articles by the speakers, is available here. Or learn more about it at All proceeds less actual shipping costs benefit the study of the rabies vaccine.

To access all of the links mentioned in the above article click here.

Jan Rasmusen has other excellent articles about vaccinations on her blog Dogs 4 Dogs.

You may also want to take a look at my June 17 2009 post To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate, that is the Question.

To the Health and Longevity of Your Dogs,


Dec 19, 2011 | 0 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs

Roxie’s infected leg and 2.5 pH water

Hi to Everyone, and hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day Weekend!

This happened a while back and some of you have already heard the story. However, I think it bears repeating as it is such a testament to the power of using low pH water for healing and disinfecting.

As background information: We have an Enagic Kangen Water® machine. We LOVE our machine. Not only because of the myriad of positive results Rick, myself, Roxie, and Gypsy have had from drinking the water, but also for the many, many uses we have found for the other pH waters from the machine.

Roxie and Gypsy had gotten into a nasty fight. Roxie’s right front leg was badly injured, so we wrapped it up. Gypsy, however, had managed to break a tooth in the process. Her right canine tooth was dangling and causing her a lot of pain. We were so focused on Gypsy, getting her to the vet, seeing a doggy dental specialist, that I am ashamed to say we forgot about Roxie. About three days after the fight occurred we finally unwrapped her leg. It smelled horrible. It smelled like rotting flesh. I was in a panic, and thinking the worst thoughts about the outcome.

But, it occurred to me we had seen a Japanese Video where they were treating diabetic patients’ gangrenous limbs using only 2.5 pH water. (The low pH, or strong acidic water, is otherwise known as hypochlorous acid.) We figured we had nothing to lose, so we soaked Roxie’s leg in the 2.5 pH water for about 10 minutes, changed the water, then soaked it again. The smell was gone. Her leg ended up healing just fine. So, if someone asks me what the value of our machine is to me, I would say priceless.

You can see for yourself what makes Kangen Water® so special by watching this 22 minute video: Kangen Demo, and you can get a free e-book and newsletter by clicking on the “Kangen Water for Pets” icon on the right. For a quick look, Rick recently set up this website: Orange Bad – Purple Good .

Take care,


Sep 06, 2011 | 0 | animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs