How to Use Clues From Your Animal Companions to Promote Optimal Health

How to Use Clues From Your Animal Companions to Promote Optimal Health

Learning to use your pet’s symptoms* as valuable clues for understanding underlying imbalances and addressing them holistically is one of the most important things you can do.

Though your pet’s symptoms can quite naturally cause you concern, they can help you crack the case by guiding you toward holistic actions that don’t just cover up or quiet down symptoms but promote optimal health.

*In this article, what we will be referring to as “symptoms” are understood medically as “signs.” To learn more about this distinction, read this article.

When Looking for Clues, Don’t Confuse “Common” With “Normal”

Just because it’s common, it does not mean that it’s normal.

In order to maintain and promote optimal health for our pets, it’s super important to understand the difference between common and normal. Just because it’s common, for example, to see certain breeds of dogs with excessively runny eyes, or cats that are a bit overweight, this does not mean that this is normal. (And by normal, what we mean is indicative of optimal health.)

This idea applies as much to people as to animals. Sure, it’s incredibly common for people to lack energy, to suffer from allergies, and to have trouble sleeping, but this doesn’t mean it’s normal. (Indicative of optimal health.) In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Following the Clues of Early Warning Signs

When an animal’s or human’s body is in a state of optimal health, all systems are in balance. For this reason, no external manifestations (symptoms) of imbalance or dis-ease can be found. Symptoms are basically warning signs from a living system that is saying, “Hey! Pay attention! Something’s not right, and I’m trying to give you clues about what the trouble is and how to help!”

In many cases, the fewer and more subtle the symptoms, the earlier the warning. The greater and more obvious the symptoms, the more urgent the warning since time is running out to prevent serious damage. In other words, you want to hone your pet detective skills to recognize and sleuth out even the most subtle of symptoms. The earlier you catch them the earlier you’ll solve the case.

A young thoroughbred cat is tired and frightened sitting in the hands of the landlady.

Common Clues (Early Warning Signs of Inner Balance and Dis-ease)

It’s extremely important to pay attention to and track changes in your pet’s BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, and Mood). Even subtle changes that may seem like “no big deal” can be a clue that pet’s system is losing its equilibrium.

Recognizing and taking holistic action to address these incredibly common yet completely abnormal early warning signs is critical to your pet’s quality of life and long-term health.

Look for these common clues:

  • runny or red eyes
  • intermittent loose stools
  • ”sensitive” stomach with vomiting, diarrhea and/or other gastrointestinal symptoms
  • straining to defecate
  • excess thirst
  • runny nose
  • red ears
  • excess ear wax
  • picky or excessive appetite
  • fearfulness
  • thin coat/excess shedding
  • intermittent vomiting
  • eating stool/dirt/plastic
  • gassiness
  • gum redness
  • frequent or difficult urination
  • loss of pigment
  • rough, dry nose or pads
  • stiffness
  • ear “infections”
  • anxiety
  • anal sac problems

Whew, Right?!

If you’re like most pet lovers, when you read down this list, you may be feeling something like, “Oh my gosh, my dog or cat shows one or more of these signs, but I thought it was perfectly normal and never thought much of it!”

We may succeed in silencing the smoke detector (suppressing symptoms), but that doesn’t mean the fire is out.

It really is a bit shocking when you begin to realize that almost all of the symptoms we take for granted as “normal” in animals and people alike are nothing of the sort. It’s a sad state of affairs when you realize that imbalance has become so normalized that we either don’t register it (since it’s the water we’re swimming in), or even mistake it for health!

When our or our pet’s symptoms start sending out warning signs and setting off alarms to get our attention, we behave like people in a burning house who are preoccupied with silencing the smoke detector rather than putting out the fire. We may succeed in silencing the smoke detector (suppressing symptoms), but that doesn’t mean the fire is out. In fact, when we behave this way, it’s more likely than ever that, given enough time, it will burn the entire house down.

Health is Freedom From Dis-ease

Optimal health is a natural state of balance where we and our companion animals find freedom from dis-ease.

Balance, of course, doesn’t mean that all forms of dis-ease can be entirely eliminated. All living things must contend with some degree of difficulty, discomfort, and eventually, death. But balance does mean that we and our pets can become free of the dis-ease that comes from not listening to the intelligence and wisdom of the body and its miraculous way of providing us clues that let us know it needs our help.

You can see this freedom in your dog’s lustrous coat or in your cat’s bright eyes. You can feel this freedom in their high energy and eagerness to run and play. Balance, which is the true meaning of optimal health, means freedom from medications and “allergens.” It means reductions in problems commonly associated with particular breeds and healthier offspring. And maybe the best part of all? Balance means enhanced life expectancy, which means the likelihood of you having many happy years with your pet.

Two dogs playing with stick on riverside

Don’t Consider the Case Closed Until You’ve Cracked These Clues

There are literally hundreds of symptoms that may signal an underlying imbalance and loss of vital energy related to not knowing the right foods to feed your pet or the impacts of vaccination. Below you will find many specific clues that you can use for solving the case, taking effective holistic action, and promoting optimal health.

Don’t consider the case closed until you’ve cracked these clues. In other words, continue to work toward restoring inner balance and vitality until there are no more clues (symptoms) to be followed. You’ll know you’ve solved the case and nurtured optimal health when your dog or cat is symptom-free! (Or very close to symptom-free since in some cases, symptoms cannot be completely resolved, though can almost always be dramatically improved.)

Behavior Clues: Fear of loud noises like thunder, police sirens, etc; barks too much and too long; suspicious nature; timidity; indolence; licking things, people; irritability; indolence; eating dog stool (possibly cat stool) – it seems to be normal to eat horse, cow and rabbit manure; feet sensitive to handling; aggressiveness at play; destructiveness; biting when petted too long (cats, especially on rump); hysteria when restrained; not covering stool and not using litter box (cats); clumsy.

Digestive Tract Clues: obesity or thinness; loss of teeth; bad breath; pale gums; red gums; *a red line where the teeth go into the gum, above one or more teeth; tarter accumulation; bad breath; poor appetite; excessive appetite; finicky appetite; sensitivity to milk, meat, or any specific food; craving weird things, especially non-food items like paper, dirt and plastic; vomiting often, vomiting hairballs  (or the hairball gagging type of vomit even if hairballs do not come up) more than 1-2x/year; Mucous on stools, even occasional; tendency to diarrhea with least change of diet; constipation; hard, dry stools.  In Addition for cats: thirst – a super healthy cat on good food will drink at most once a week and many will never drink as they absorb enough from their diet unless on dry food.

Movement Clues:  Stiff when getting up; early hip dysplasia; inability to jump up on furniture or counters; loss in the bounce in their step.

Skin & Coat Clues: “Doggy smell,” dry, oily, dull lack luster, excessive shedding; attracts fleas & ticks a lot; chronic ear problems – wax, need frequent cleaning, itchy, red; eyes: discharge, tearing, or matter in corner of eyes. “Freckles” on the face (cats) that appear with age; loss of whiskers; claws  fragile, shedding, hard to trim, twisted; not grooming well.

Temperature Clues: sensitive to heat or cold. Low-grade fevers – The typical (“normal”) range is: 99.5-101.5

Aging Clues: Energy and activity levels and eagerness for play should remain fairly constant after two years of age and only significantly decrease with advanced age.

Want Even More Help Using Clues to Promote Optimal Health?

Holistic Action is here to help you crack the case of your pet’s symptoms and use them as trustable guides for nurturing the inner balance and vitality that every dog and cat deserves!

If you’d like professional, personalized, one-to-guidance for creating a customized health and wellness plan for your pet, as well as access to an interactive, super supportive community of people who are interested in learning more about holistic pet care, think about joining our Gold membership tier!

Thank you for visiting us here at Holistic Actions! We wish you the best of luck on your holistic pet care journey!

How To Improve Your Dog’s Performance in Agility

How To Improve Your Dog’s Performance in Agility

 

agility dogs,vitality,hmdm,balanceAny pet may suffer an injury or develop a problematic symptom. Especially those canine athletes who do activities like agility, flyball, herding, etc.

This article applies the Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM) protocol to two common scenarios in agility. In both, HMDM was used.

HMDM is a proven method for making sound, scientific and safe decisions for your health-challenged pets. And it works no matter what method you use to treat your pet. Even if you decide to use medications or surgery which can quickly stop symptoms.

However, the goal of your treatment is probably enhancing your pet’s happiness, quality of life and athletic performance. Not just quickly stopping symptoms like lameness or anxiety with drugs.

Clinical experience and hundreds of cases prove that individualizing your pet’s treatment with HMDM is a highly effective method. Rather than just doing the same thing for all pets with similar symptoms.

In brief, the protocol has these 3 simple steps:

  1. Your Goal: such as a faster time through the weave poles
  2. Your Research: investigating available treatments, their effectiveness and risks : benefits
  3. Your Implementation: consult a vet homeopath, chiropractor, do massage, etc. Then evaluate the response to the treatment.

Vitality and Balance Using HMDM in Agility

Two common challenges for dogs that run agility are:

  1. Subtle gait abnormalities and weakness,
  2. Behaviors like timidity affecting performance.

These can both be reversed by individualizing with the tools of HMDM: by putting symptoms into context and interpreting them holistically.

CASE STUDY: Hitch In The Gait

CASE STUDY: Let’s say that your pup has a slight hitch in her gait and is running the agility course much slower than usual.

  • Your HMDM Step 1 – Goal: To improve her speed by resolving the subtle lameness or weakness.
  • Your HMDM Step 2 – Research: You remember that many of your friends in your classes use a great chiropractor and have seen how much chiropractic adjustments can help.
  • Your Step 3 – Implementation: Start seeing the chiropractor.

Your pup seems much better after each appointment. But even frequent adjustments don’t hold and your pup’s hitch comes back.

Now you repeat the HMDM process.

  • Step 1 – Goal: To permanently resolve the lameness.
  • Step 2 – Research: You ask for tips from friends or instructors in agility and you learn about potentially useful exercises.
  • Step 3 – Implementation: You buy a TotoFit Orbit to start core conditioning or you book an appointment with a physical therapistcore conditioning, agility, homeopathy

Even after strengthening your dog’s core for a few weeks, the lameness keeps returning. Your HMDM goal is still full recovery and you remember that during your research, you learned that homeopathy is another way to help even more.

The energetic imbalance that caused the lameness, to begin with, can be resolved with homeopathy. Homeopathic “fine-tuning” is the ultimate way of individualizing and working with your pet’s body.

You schedule an appointment with a professional homeopath. Your pup runs better on some days, not as great on others, but her BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite and Mood) continues to improve.

Now comes the hardest part of working with your pet’s body. That is using patience and perseverance while your pup heals. It may be a few months before your pup is ready to race through an agility course. But the wait and work are worth it because then your pup wins races like never before and just keeps getting better and better.

CASE STUDY: Confidence Building and Ending Fears

CASE STUDY: One day in class, your friend’s 7-month-old puppy refuses to do the teeter. Every time it bangs down, she jumps, starts shaking and tries to hide. On top of that, she has started peeing submissively when she sees some people and is barking aggressively (fearfully?) at other dogs. Turns out that she had a rabies shot a few weeks earlier. Your friend knows that these are signs of the rabies miasm and asks what you would do. You recommend that she use the HMDM protocol.

HMDM Step 1 – Goal: Resolve the imbalance from the rabies vaccine.

HMDM Step 2 – Research: Your friend is already increasing vitality and healing ability by raw feeding, avoiding toxins and most vaccines and providing lots of physical and mental stimulation in agility.

But that has not been enough. Her pup’s vitality is high, but it is imbalanced. Fortunately, she just saw the great results you had with homeopathy. You tell your friend that homeopathic treatment is a great way to reverse these symptoms. You describe how homeopathy will work with her pup’s natural vitality to help optimize her balance.

HMDM Step 3 – Implementation: She starts working with a veterinary homeopath.

Symptom clues lead to an individualized homeopathic medicine.  After just one dose, your friend’s dog is no longer jumping when she hears the teeter hit the ground!

She still doesn’t want to get on the teeter, but it’s a step in the right direction. Over time and continued treatment, your friend’s dog is finally willing to get on it. The instructor advises your friend to keep the teeter height low at first, but in a few months, it’s back up to the full height.

And the happiness in your friend’s dog’s face when she runs the full course (including the teeter) is wonderful to see! Oh, and the submissive peeing and “greeting dis-order” (barking aggressively at other dogs she sees) also improve.

These are other great effects from optimizing her balance with homeopathy to stop the rabies miasm symptoms. In six months her confidence is restored and she is back to living her life to its fullest.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Quality of life and happiness for our beloved companion animals.

What To Do About Vaccinosis Prevention and Treatment

What To Do About Vaccinosis Prevention and Treatment

This article has been adapted from the introduction to the Holistic Actions! vaccinosis webinar ebook.

If you’d like to be notified the next time we have a webinar about vaccination or when the vaccinosis course is released, please sign up below.

 Click here to read more about the benefit/risk of vaccinations.

Vaccinations can negatively effect your pet’s health.

Most holistic and homeopathic veterinarians strongly advise minimizing vaccination. Based on years of clinical experience and research.

However, sometimes vaccination is unavoidable. Especially for the legally required rabies vaccine.

You can help prevent vaccination-associated problems.

Talk With Your Holistic Veterinarian

  • Will they write a rabies exemption for an ill animal?
  • Will they give smaller doses to your healthy animals?
  • Are they on board for no rabies vaccine if titers are “protective”?

This is where having a good relationship with your holistically-minded veterinarian can really pay off!

If You Absolutely Have to Vaccinate

1. Check and record all of the Early Warning Signs of Internal Imbalance, the BEAM symptoms (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) and any other symptoms. If possible, wait until your dog or cat is in the best possible health.

2. Give Jackson Galaxy’s Spirit Essence – Vaccine Detox for 1 -2 weeks before the vaccine and 1-2 weeks after the vaccine. This is a totally safe flower essence combination formulated by expert veterinarian Jean Hofve.

3. Learn Reiki (for classes go to web or local health food stores and local integrative human and animal practitioners). This gives you the ability to “take the bad out of anything.” Hold the syringe in your hand and treat it till your hands are not hot. If challenged, say you have heard all the problems caused by vaccines and want to pray over it. Once in the car (if you are not at a friendly, understanding vet) Reiki the injection site till hands not hot. Then offer Reiki to the whole animal until she no longer draws energy.

4. Check daily for changes in or the appearance of any of the early warning signs of illness, BEAM changes or any obvious illness and if seen, seek out a holistic practitioner immediately (hopefully you already have one).

5. We do not suggest routinely using homeopathic remedies after vaccines.

Thuja, Lyssin, Sulphur, Silica, etc. are not routinely indicated, in a cookbook manner, after vaccination. Giving anything “just because” is not effective, sometimes not safe, and not real homeopathy. The rabies jab is not your pet’s totality of symptoms (individuality).

These steps will help your pets from developing vaccinosis.

Sign up below to receive holistic living tips right in your inbox.

Flower Essences for Lame and Arthritic Pets

Flower Essences for Lame and Arthritic Pets

Flower Essences (FE) can help your pets with both physical and emotional health challenges. They are great for lame, stiff and arthritic pets.

Unlike supplements that act like natural drugs, FE are 100% safe. They are made by putting specially chosen flowers in water and exposing to sunlight.

Most of them focus on emotional states like fears, grief and shock. However what affects the mind also affects the body. The latest mind-body research shows that problem emotions can cause physical symptoms. They work best when you can match the emotional state of your pet with the physical health challenge.

Your lame, stiff and arthritic pets will feel better and be happier from FE. 

Don’t give up just because one specific essence isn’t helping your pet. You can try one for a month but if it is not helping, just switch to another. There are hundreds of individual essences. Every one has different properties and improves different symptoms. You have two major options to select FE:

  • Single essences that you may combine yourself
  • Combinations labeled for your pet’s problem

Combinations specifically for lameness problems in animals are sold by several companies. Each also has single essences you could explore. Senior combinations may be used for any aged animal who is showing signs associated with aging.

There are also specific combinations for emergency and painful situations. Each is made from different essences, so one company’s formula may resonate more with your dog or cat. All are 100% safe, so try one after the other until you find the best for each person and animal in your home. All are equally good for you as well.

Administering Flower Essences

Flower Essences are very easy to use! They can be given by mouth, added to food or water, applied topically (especially to sore joints), or sprayed in a problem area (like the car they are nervous about riding in).

FE work best when they are given very frequently. The more problematic the symptom, the more frequent the administration.

Your arthritic pet who just wiped out on the floor and is panting and anxious may need a dose every few minutes!  Administering them in different ways (oral, sprayed, rubbed in, etc.) up to six times or a day often works best.

The standard recommendation from the Bach FE company (makers of the highly effective Rescue Remedy) is to put four drops of Rescue is put into a mixture. That then can be sprayed or massaged on the animal or misted in the air.

Two drops of each chosen flower remedy in a 1 oz bottle of spring (or filtered) water.

FE specially formulated for lame, stiff and arthritic animals:

Bach Essences: 

  • Beech: intolerant animals who have trouble relaxing emotionally that develop stiff joints/arthritis.  
  • Rock Water: Stubborn animals who seem rigid and hate change. Physically and emotionally inflexible animals. Use it when you see even a little lessening of flexibility in spine or legs (remember aging does not cause loss of flexibility). 
  • Willow: resentful animals with arthritis.
  • Agrimony: Stoic, hide their problems, hide when people argue. Often skin or GI tract problems occur along with the joint problems.

Jackson Galaxy Essential FE (originally Spirit Essences):

  • Creak Away: Rigid thoughts and behavior patterns can ultimately create stiffness in the body and can make an animal grouchy and unhappy. This combination helps disperse this blocked energy and restore free flow throughout the system.
  • Graceful Aging: This combination addresses being stuck in certain habits, being grumpy or impatient.  
  • Intensive Care – Relieve pain, calm panic, ground the emotional and physical systems. May be needed for weeks after surgery or an accident.

Green Hope Essences:

  • Run And Play: Addresses health and wellbeing of bones, joints and muscles. Is also good after joint or bone surgeries.
  • Animal emergency care: Fear, trauma, shock can challenge the electrical system, hindering the ability to respond to any healing treatments. This combination stabilizes the system thus calming him.
  • Senior citizen: Helps reverse the declines to whatever degree is possible in areas such as flexibility, energy level, hearing, and more.

Anaflora:

  • Recovery Remedy: Helps after both physical and emotional trauma. Speed regeneration of nerves after an accident.
  • Senior: Eases arthritis pain as well as strengthen kidney and bladder function.
  • Many single remedies that Sharon (the owner) can help you select.

Pet Essences:

  • Arthritis and Achy Pain: Stiff, sore, achy joints and muscles. Arthritis-type symptoms experienced when jumping or walking, especially in older animals.
  • Elder Comfort: A gentle blend of FE that help an older animal feel more secure and comfortable.
  • Fracture Repair: Helps the body repair and deal with broken or cracked bones.
  • Graceful alignment: Learning to walk in a balanced way after an accident, surgery, fight or even illness.
  • Skeletal support: Balances the emotional attitudes that may affect the skeletal system.

New Millennium Essences

  • Animal Arthritis: Blend of flower essences to help animals to deal with arthritis in the joints, at both the emotional and physical level.

All of these choices may seem overwhelming at first. But you don’t need to let them be. All you need to do is choose the one which seems to match your pet’s health challenges best. Since they’re so safe, it’s no problem to try a different one to see if it helps more.

Holistic Actions! community can help you decide which to use. HA! members can post questions in the Facebook Group. Fall of 2017, full supporting members will also have access to a private discussion forum on this site.

It’s also not too late to join us for the live webinar. You’ll learn many other ways to help your lame, stiff and arthritic pets.

Be well.

Drs. Christina and Jeff

Join Holistic Action! Community and Receive Great Tips For Your Holistic Journey