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Found a flea. What now?

DanielleDL

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Mar 16, 2022
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Ha! I love Bob Newhart and Mo Collins. Thanks so much for the laugh!
Nowadays, clinical evidence is considered, by Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), to be among the lowest quality of reliable research. However my opinion is that EBM should mean both evidence and Experience Based Medicine.
Very true. And I think that's where I feel a bit stuck these days: I can't necessarily trust the conventional research, but on the alternative side, there's a lot of faith-based and anecdotal evidence (which could be easily exploited by nefarious business people [just as much as the conventional side; there's more than enough proof of that too], or be just as biased because of the flaws in self-reporting). I'd be curious to know how you, personally, evaluate something for legitimacy?

In people, feelings of happiness, sense of purpose and feelings of awe, gratitude, etc., are known to activate healing mechanisms. The working hypothesis is that happiness also decreases dis-eases and increases longevity in dogs.

I couldn't agree more, which is why I'm trying to increase MY happiness along with Bobby's (the YouTube clip certainly helped!)
 

LilF

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Jan 3, 2021
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331
@Dr. Christina - Yes, I agree with you and @GinnyW . Bobby needs a full analysis and optimization plan. Would having a remote holistic vet, in combination with a trusted conventional-but-open-minded vet for things requiring an in-person visit, be just as effective as driving Bobby 40+ minutes (more if traffic is bad) to the closest holistic vet taking new clients (Whole Pet Veterinary was taking clients, last I checked). Cheryl's roughly the same drive time, but is across a bridge, and those can get really gnarly, traffic wise. [but thank you for the reference! I would still like to talk to her]). And I do like working with @Dr. Jeff, so if having a remote homeopath + conventional in-person combo is just as effective as the long-drive method, I'm totally happy with that. But if you feel that a 40+ minute drive once in a while might be better, just to have a holistic vet also be the person who inspects Bobby in person, then Bobby and I will tough that out. Just curious if that would outweigh the inconvenience/stress of the drive.
Danielle, I have worked with vets since 2005 over the phone that went very well (Dr. Marty Goldstein). I also as part of my team have tried to get a local holistic vet. But don't be fooled into thinking that all vets who call themselves holistic actually are. In the recent pet summit they mentioned this that some "holistic" vets do one or two things and you have to check and verify exactly what to expect. Some will "offer" this or that. My experience with one holistic vet was abominable. Always check certifications and ask what their experience is in treating this or that. My dogs lived a long time and one is still living because I had a terrific vet that I dealt with over the phone. I also made a few trips there over the course of their lives. It really depends on the vet and not whether you pick one locally (not all locales have good choices, like my area). Also, working with a homeopath by phone is fine. I have a team of people, a vet for JJ's laser, a couple holistic phone vets, this list, a homeopath, a vet who does acupuncture/chinese medicine (but I have found her info was wrong in hindsight so I don't like going there anymore---the worst faux pax was her telling me my dog's hemangiosarcoma had "grown from one side of the belly to the other" .Later an oncologist said that was not possible to know without a scan. Hence I put her to sleep right then and there because of bad information. Not that her situation was at all good but because of her false info, I did not try the homeopathy that was sitting in my mailbox that day. Bend over Lil---and be kicked in the pants....An earlier post you made about losing your intuition with depression--that is exactly correct. I was fearful with the bad information and my guiding light of intuition went dark. My message is that don't put all your eggs in one basket, i.e. vet. With your intuition and knowledge, a team approach has worked for me---I am happy my dog who died in December lived to 15 1/2 and the one I have now has actually improved at 15 1/2 with interventions like homeopathy, the right diet to get him to eat, supplements----all from a "team" approach. This doesn't work for all people who want to be spoon fed but with you and people like me, I want to know everything and make decisions with them based on what makes sense to me. Sorry for the long post again but your posts have resonated with me and I applaud you, albeit the anxiety it all causes, for your advocacy, compassion, knowledge and willingness to learn and try things.
 

DanielleDL

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Mar 16, 2022
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@LilF - Excellent post! I hear you about being wary. I do have an individualized evaluation with Dr. Jeff. He and I think a lot alike and he's sensitive to my fears as well (and makes me laugh, which is a bonus! I definitely need that.) And his accessibility and super fast response time is I think what really convinced me that he was the way to go. I'm still on a waitlist for another local holistic vet, because I'd really like someone to be able to evaluate Bobby in person if needed, but until then, I'm pretty happy with our allopathic vet for those sorts of things if I need her. She's open-minded, fine with me getting holistic help, and isn't pushy about allopathic medicine (and Bobby loves her, which is huge, cuz he's slow to trust, so his judgement of people speaks volumes).

And I'm so sorry that that one vet gave you tragically bad info. I've trusted bad vet advice in the past with my parrots (and one died much too young because of it). Making mistakes with our animals is the absolute worst. That's why I'm trying as hard as I can to chill the eff out, and get myself more balanced. I know that dogs sense/are influence by our emotions, and I knew I was a wreck due to current life situations when we adopted Bobby, so I vowed to work on myself in order to help him too. And as my father says, mistakes are going to happen; they do to all parents, pet or human. So I try to forgive myself for any past mistakes (hasn't happened yet, ha!) and learn (and that, I do).

I love the advice not to put all Bobby's healthcare eggs in one basket (we diversify our investment portfolios, why not our healthcare portfolios?) And your long posts resonate with me too (gee, I wonder why. Ha!)

But, ugh, the patience! The days just CRAWL waiting for things to resolve naturally. 🤪
 

GinnyW

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Mar 3, 2021
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280
Yes, to that last bit.... I try to see the entire picture sort of like a chess game: everything is present, and all can move. We can watch in wonder as the symptoms move about and change, but the important aspect is that we must not panic and interfere. We can change the environment, we can provide little hints of help here and there - all will influence the outcome, often way down the road - but it's a work in progress.
 

LilF

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Jan 3, 2021
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331
Yes and no Danielle (IMHO).

Regarding acquiring information, I think you're definitely doing a great job. However regarding cognitive overload, Bob's "stop it" therapy strategy may apply:


Also, I think it may be helpful to get on my food quality and bio availability high horse.

Nowadays, clinical evidence is considered, by Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), to be among the lowest quality of reliable research. However my opinion is that EBM should mean both evidence and Experience Based Medicine.

My own experience is that food quality and bio availability is super important, but the vitality (and energy) of the food is even more important.

In people, feelings of happiness, sense of purpose and feelings of awe, gratitude, etc., are known to activate healing mechanisms. The working hypothesis is that happiness also decreases dis-eases and increases longevity in dogs.

Regardless of what they eat.

Proof of principle may be the pets who have historically lived long (16+ for dogs, 20+ for cats) lives. In addition, there are cohorts like this rescue (owned by "Robin" from Batman) that feed WalMart brand kibble but optimize happiness, and the dogs live super long vital lives:

 

LilF

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Jan 3, 2021
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Thanks for this video. I love the Bob Newhart and Frazier shows. I could laugh my way back to great health watching those two shows, like Normal Cousins did watching comedy. I have a friend who has a rescue and he gets food for the dogs from Walmart too, whatever they have that is opened. His dogs live to 16 and they are Goldens. Had ONE case of hemangiosarcoma in all the years. The dogs are brushed and wiped down daily and blown off with the leaf blower. I think living in a pack and feeling so connected to their own kind and being loved and cared for does make a difference. I never thought MY happiness translates into THEIR longer life. I need to work on that. and as far as my hang ups.... STOP IT!
 

DanielleDL

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Mar 16, 2022
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101
@LilF - I absolutely agree (my health affects their health). And, yeah, that's awesome that food isn't a deal breaker for health. I'm still paying way more than I thought I ever would on dog food, but I'm also spending a lot of time on myself and being focusing on being happier overall and working more of Bobby's favorite things into the day. Butt scratches and sniff walks are free! :p
 

GinnyW

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Mar 3, 2021
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Really glad you two are getting the message here! Try like hell to do your best, keep learning - but don't agonize: a meal is a meal. One of my best friends inherited two Amstaff pups in her divorce; a single, attractive woman, she still knocked herself out to treat these guys right. She bought cases of chicken backs from a restaurant supplier, and fed nothing but two chicken backs each daily FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES! Yes, they could have done a bit better, but they lived long and happily with her constant love. I am proud to know her; she did right by them, when it could have been so much worse.
Fill their lives with love, and honor their pleasure - and you will be miles ahead of most pet owners, no matter how many adjuncts and supplements and designer food they buy.
 

DanielleDL

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Mar 16, 2022
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101
@GinnyW - So I should've let Bobby eat the dead rat he found in the park yesterday, cuz it would've made him extremely happy? 😂

But seriously, as I'm learning more, I'm getting better (it certainly helps that Bobby is recovering from his ear infection and is getting back to his normal happy self. If he's happy, I'm happy.). My husband helps as well. He's in the old school "He's a dog. He'll be fine" camp, and that kind of laid back attitude comes in handy sometimes. 😊
 

Dr. Jeff

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Great news that Bobby is feeling better!

Yes, food is not a deal breaker. Having the vitality/energy available to heal is the only one I've seen. IMHO that's why symptom suppression is so dangerous to equilibrium (by making pets more susceptible to dis-ease).
I have a friend who has a rescue and he gets food for the dogs from Walmart too, whatever they have that is opened. His dogs live to 16 and they are Goldens.

Yup! Super interesting. Longevity despite a poor diet!!

My own take home is that Vitality and happiness rules!

Here's another example of 16+ year vital G. Danes and 20+ year young HAPPY dogs who are eating food from Wal Mart:

 

DanielleDL

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Mar 16, 2022
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101
IMHO that's why symptom suppression is so dangerous to equilibrium (by making pets more susceptible to dis-ease).
I completely agree.

For future reference: How is full-blown ear infection treated holistically (symptoms: the outer ear was oozy, bumpy, and had a patch of puss. He had a head tilt and drooped ear, and was shaking his head frequently and he wanted SO badly to scratch his ear. He was frantically licking his legs, and even the air, and was clearly agitated. It was a bit scary.).

We ended up getting conventional treatment (Baytril Otic) because I feared him getting eardrum damage (and he was clearly distressed). I asked how much it would cost for a culture to see exactly what the infection entailed, but the test was about $400, so it wasn't feasible at this time (the urgent care appt + HW test (neg) + baseline CBC was enough for now). But I'm still curious as to how this kind of acute presentation is treated holistically. We're obviously continuing to treat him as if his system is out of balance (and we're on a wait list for Coastal Holistic in Pacifica, CA.). Bobby's body is also still itchy, so I'm using that as a guide as well since his ears might not be a reliable guide anymore due to symptom suppression.
 

Dr. Jeff

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For future reference: How is full-blown ear infection treated holistically (symptoms: the outer ear was oozy, bumpy, and had a patch of puss. He had a head tilt and drooped ear, and was shaking his head frequently and he wanted SO badly to scratch his ear. He was frantically licking his legs, and even the air, and was clearly agitated. It was a bit scary.).

Individualized treatment depends Danielle on the complete context of Bobby's total symptom complex.

For example, the three specific symptoms that you mentioned would be super useful for helping determine the most suitable homeopathic medicines.

In the case of a dis-ease that is not a flare-up of the underlying disorder (unlike an ear "infection" in a dog) this would be enough for you to choose a homeopathic medicine, e.g. to give Arnica for lameness after an injury, or swelling after a bug bite.

However, not for an immune flare-up manifesting as otitis.
 

LilF

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Jan 3, 2021
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331
@GinnyW - So I should've let Bobby eat the dead rat he found in the park yesterday, cuz it would've made him extremely happy? 😂

But seriously, as I'm learning more, I'm getting better (it certainly helps that Bobby is recovering from his ear infection and is getting back to his normal happy self. If he's happy, I'm happy.). My husband helps as well. He's in the old school "He's a dog. He'll be fine" camp, and that kind of laid back attitude comes in handy sometimes. 😊
 

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