Hello Dog Lovers Around the World:
Spring is finally here at least in New York City where I live. This is great for our four legged friends who can enjoy the outdoors and start getting back into a more energetic life style. Its a time when many dogs (and some of their owners) loose that extra weight they put on during the colder months.
There are some things we have to be concerned about in the Spring to help our dogs stay healthy. Among them are the beginning of tick, flea season and Heartworm season.
Heartworm disease can be passed to dogs (and outdoor cats) by mosquitoes. If you live in an area that is just starting to warm up, you might be heading off to your veterinarian to have your dog tested for Heartworm disease. If you have cats that go outside, you might want to talk to your vet about putting the cat on Heartworm preventive medicine as well.)
Many owners of dogs in the United States keep their dogs on Heartworm preventative medicine all year long and if you live in an area where it is warm year round, you should consider putting your dog (or outdoor cat) on it too. However if you only had your dog on this medicine through the warmer months last year and then stopped the pills, it is time to visit the veterinary to get this blood test and start your dog on Heartworm preventative again. Interceptor and Heartguard are two of the leading Heartworm medicines. However, there are a few new ones coming out that have flea and tick protection as well. So, talk to your vet about which seems best for you and your dog.
In terms of flea and tick protection, there are many products on the market. In the United States some names or these products are Advantage (which is flea protection only) and Frontline (with flea and tick protection). New Frontline Plus is supposed to be more effective. There is even a new product that states you can use it only one time if the dog has fleas and it kills all fleas within 24 hours and then is out of the dogs system. These are all products that are applied topically to the dog. This is the time of year to talk with your local veterinary about the pros and cons of these different products.
If you have a dog that is in your back yard and he develops fleas, one problem is trying to keep the environment clean. There are some products that address this problem in a novel way. You might try using NEMATODES. These are bugs that enjoy hunting and destroying flea larvae and cocoons. BIO FLEA HALT is one product is one product that is sold at Pet Stores. The same product is called INTERRUPT if sold by a veterinarian.
These bugs are applied outside in the area you are trying to clean up once very four weeks and have special watering instructions (from the manufacturer) to prevent the ground from drying out too much for these nematodes. Another distributor is Bug Buddies 1-800-210-BUGS (2847). They offer a great selection of biological insect control -- nematodes and beneficial insects of all species as well as diotomaceous earth.
They provide good and knowledgeable service and a wide range of competitively priced products. I have never had to use these but have learned about them through other veterinarian who suggest this for their clients.
I would really appreciate it if any subscribers who decide to try these products, would be kind enough to write in and let us know how and if they work to control fleas in their yard or property.
QUESTIONS FROM SUBSCRIBERS
In the last few months, I have received many questions from subscribers. I think many subscribers might be wondering many of the same things. So in this issue I would like to share some of these questions with you.
The first letter is from Michael and highlights a common problem that dog owners face, especially in the Spring when there is an increase of thunderstorm activity.
Hi Dr. Elliot,
Spring is approaching which means thunder and lightning season. My dog
Jake is 10 years old and until about 4 years ago was fine with thunder.
Now he becomes completely freaked out at the slightest hint of it. He gets
into bed with me (all 100 lbs. of him) and shakes and pants and can't be
consoled until the storm passes. Is there some kind of homeopathic remedy
that he can take to help this problem. Maybe there's something I can give
him on a preventative basis through the spring storm season. He really
seems to suffer during these storms and I really want to help him. Thank
you very much. Michael
Thank you for bringing to light such an important problem with many animals,
Fears of thunderstorms can be a big problem. I don't have to tell you. I
lived with a dog for 13 years who was terrified of thunderstorms. I had to
hold him for 1/2 hour until the sedatives I used to give him started to
work. If I even thought it was going to thunder during the day while I would
be out, I had to put him into a crate for the whole day so he would not
destroy the house or hurt himself. It was awful. So I really empathize with
I started treating him homeopathically for other medical conditions.
Believe it or not, he was completely cured him of his fear of thunderstorms
after a few months of homeopathic treatment.
This is a long winded answer to your question. Homeopathy can definitely
cure a dog of this fear.
I don't know anything about your dog or the rest of his physical condition
However, if you would like to try to treat it on your own let me suggest the
Try giving him Phosphorous 30C (3 pellets) one dose (in his mouth and
separate from any food), . Then wait, even if it's a few weeks of months.
See what happens next time there is a thunderstorm. If he gets all excited,
you can repeat the dose when he starts to get worked up.
If there does not seem to be any lessening of his fears and behavior then
you can try another remedy.
One other remedy you can keep in the house and give whenever your dog seems
very fearful, is Aconitum nepalis 200C. Aconitum is very good for animals
when they look terrified.
Just give 3 pellets and wait a little bit. If there is no reaction you can
repeat the dose two more times, perhaps 15 minutes apart. If after three
doses there is no response, and you had it, you could also give it at a
higher concentration (1M) at least once or twice.
If nothing happens I would assess it in a couple of ways. Perhaps the dog
needs a higher dose, or perhaps this is not the right remedy. Aconitum used
this is being used as an acute remedy for an acute situation.
The Phosphorous is more of a deeper acting remedy. I would call it a
constitutional remedy. This means it will act on the basic constitution of
There are many other remedies that might help in this situation, but to
really help I would have to take the full case and then analyze it.
If these recommendations do not help, I would suggest you contact a
veterinary homeopath in your area for assistance. I definitely believe this
condition can be cured since I saw it with my own eyes. It was amazing. I
only wish I had known about it 12 years earlier.
The next question comes from Debby and Ross about their dog, Ross.
Ross apparenty suffered with Hip Dyspasia and had surgery to help correct the problem.
Ross is 13 years when he was about 6 yrs he had operation to have
hipball joint chopped off. He works on muscles only and he is getting
weaker at back end he is still lively and mobile but stiff and finds it
hard to get up when tired he does not like to rest if i am outside(we have
a livery yard) can you suggest a homeopathic remedy for him a friend did
suggest rhustox if so what quantity do i give him and how often. thank you
ross and debbie
Dear Ross and Debby:
Many dogs with hip problems have the operation you described. It is very
important both before and after this operation that you keep your dog's
weight slightly below normal to help make the burden on their hips as low as
possible. Many of the dogs that suffer from this problem are initially
So the first thing you can do, if your dog is overweight or even normal
weight is to help him diet ( you should be able to feel his ribs slightly
without a lot of fat between the ribs and outside of his body).
Homeopathic remedies can help with this problem.
Rhus tox is one that can be helpful. It is indicated when the dog seems to
have more problems initially getting up and starting to move but seems
better throughout the day. There are many other remedies that could also
help in this situation. However, if you would like to start with Rhus tox,
start with a 30C dose (3 pellets is one dose). I would suggest that you just
give one dose and then watch and wait for a week to see if it makes any
different in his mobility.
It is ok to repeat it but when to repeat it is sometimes best assessed by a
However, if there is no improvement after one dose in one week, try
repeating it again. If still no improvement after another week, try giving
it daily for three days, if still no improvement, it probably is the wrong
A trained homeopath would then assess whether it would be appropriate to try
Rhus tox at a higher potency or change to another remedy.
Some of the things you would be looking for is your dog's mental attitude.
Many times the first indication a remedy is starting to work (before you see
physical changes) is seeing a change for the better in the mental attitude
of the dog. For instance, you might see the dog playing more, seeming
happier in general, sleeping less, being more involved in the family or
playing with other animals in the house.
This would indicate the remedy is hitting the dog on an positively on the
emotional level and will then continue to work on the physical level.
If you see this improvement it would be better to wait and give the action
of the remedy a chance to work deeper. In homeopathy, as difficult as it is,
it is better to wait and watch before repeating the remedy very often. This
is often difficult for owners who want to see a quick response and of
course, who don't want to see their pet suffering any longer than necessary.
Please start with the Rhus tox 30C once dose, wait a week, then assess his
mental attitude and physical condition. If there is no change, repeat Rhus
tox 30C again and wait another week. If still no change, try repeating the
dose three days in a row. If still no change, stop the Rhus tox. Please feel
free to write me back and tell me what happened.
However, if you see any discharge or negative effect of the remedy, stop and
wait to see what happens. This means the remedy is working on some level and
you need to give it a chance to settle out and then assess the action.
Please feel free to write again and let me know how Ross is doing.
And the last question comes from another Debbie about lumps and bumps on her dog.
Any homeopathic remedy for lumps?
He has become full of lumps (non-cancerous) according to the vet. Just
fatty tumors he says, as they are easily moveable. I don't think they hurt
him but he is uncomfortable when they are touched. Thanks
The type of lumps you are describing sound like lipomas. They can appear anywhere on a dog's body.
They are benign, soft fatty tumors, that are usually encapsulated on their own shell and lie under the skin. Sometimes they can grow quite large. If they interfere with the dog's walking or cause pain because of their size, they might have to be surgically removed.
However, without knowing anything else about the case, you can try giving the dog Thuja 30C. Give this remedy at least one time (3 pellets in his mouth). They wait 3 to 4 weeks to see if there is any response. If the dog is responding well, you won't see the lumps go away right away. What you might see is an improvement in his energy, he might seem happier, have better appetite, etc. That means the remedy is working in the right direction. You can repeat it in about a month. And then wait again to see if he seems happy. If it's working the in the right direction you might also see some of the lumps getting smaller.
You might want to contact a veterinary homeopathy for long range treatment and to help you interpret the dog's reaction to the remedy. With homeopathy you are better off waiting at least a month or two before repeating remedies. It's always better to wait and watch. Rather than dose the animal too frequently.
The holistic thinking behind these types of lumps is that the can occur because of over vaccination. So I would encourage you to cut down on all vaccines that are unnecessary. In New York State, the only vaccine that is mandatory is the Rabies vaccine (first due at 3 months, boostered one year later, and then required every three years). All other vaccines after the puppy series are open for discussion with your veterinarian.
Feel free to contact me again and let me know how your dog is doing.
Keep writing all those excellent questions. They all highlight important issues and problems many other pet owners are facing.
Wishing you all a Happy Spring and Holiday Season.
Happy Tails to all,
Jill Elliot, DVM
Some new products
have been brought to my attention for woms and fleas (and other biting insect) control. Since this was the topic of my latest article, and since so many of you live in many different locations throughout the world, I thought this NATURAL product might be of interest to you. I have not used the product yet. However feel free to contact the manufacturer if you have any questions.
I recently received this e mail from Dr. Dan Moore:
Just thought I would pass along some
info on two equine products we make because although not on the label, we
have found them quite effective in dogs. One is called "Worm Check (tm)" for
internal parasites. The other is called "Bug Check (tm)", for biting insect
control. Both of these products contain Diatomaceous earth and Garlic,
plus a few other beneficial herbs which really
seem to make them more effective. (Artemisia, Clove oil) We have done
hundreds of parasite exams and are getting great results on all species of
parasites. We are even starting to include a free parasite exam with each
purchase - so we prove to the horse owner it effectiveness. The only
species of parasite we have not totally proven is Bots, only because we have
to kill the horses to tell for sure - I just can't do that!
The Western Horseman magazine just did an article on Worm Check just this
April. Horse Illustrated did a buyers guide on Wormers and did NOT mention
us in the write up because we are not technically a drug dewormer, BUT they
did put a picture of us right between Quest and Panacur, two very popular
dewormers for horses. YEA for positive press!!! Worm Check for horses, is an
easy to administer paste type product. Bug Check is a powder you put on
their feed. Bug Check also contains Grape Seed to fortify the skin and
serve as an antioxidant and also Thiamine, which helps repel all biting
insects. Since I am on a mission to stop all the indiscriminant deworming
and use of pesticides which are being used in our equine friends I thought I
would go ahead and mention them now since it was brought up on this forum. I
have had these on the market for almost two years now but just did not think
it appropriate to promote them before now. Feel free to pass it on if you
wish. More information is available online at www.thenaturalhorsevet.net or
you can call toll free 877-873-8838 to order. My direct number for technical
questions is 423-926-1361.
This is a second from Dr. Dan Moore to a question about how effective this product is in dogs.
I am finding it equally effective in dogs - with the exception that dogs
don't like the taste as well as horses, and cats generally don't like it at
all. Clients have reported the tapes "just poured out" after using in both
horses and dogs. BUT we do have more testing to do and need to make it more
palatable for pets before we market it. Also best results require a follow
up treatment in 3 weeks.
Dr. Dan Moore
The Natural Horse Vet(tm)
"Helping your horse over the Net"
Use Bug Check -- Just a little on the feed each day keeps the flies away --
Subscribers, please let me know if you use this product and if you find it effective. Thank you.
Jill Elliot, DVM