I have a young dog now — she just turned 2 — and she seems to be as healthy as they come. She is food-motivated and hasn’t met a kibble, canned food, or fresh food product she doesn’t like, and the same goes with treats. The only medicine she takes is for flea and heartworm prevention. She can run and hike with me, and she loves doing zoomies at the dog park and in the backyard (and sometimes in the house, too, ack). She has lots of energy.
My last dog lived to be at least 15 years old but was just a shell of herself when she died. A terrible bone-spurred elbow late in life meant she was on pain medicine, along with a thyroid supplement, a pill for mild incontinence, and probably a number of other meds I have now forgotten. When x-rays showed the condition of her elbow, I threw everything I could at her, including cold laser therapy, acupuncture, B-12 shots, Chinese herbs, fresh-cooked food, and lots of TLC, of course. It was comforting for her Western-oriented veterinarian and her holistic veterinarian to support one another’s modalities, putting her care and comfort first by being on the same page to do whatever we could for her.
It sounds like my good friend Carl T. Hall, The Caninologist for Bay Woof, is grappling right now with how best to help his pooch, Trixie, who is nearly 17 — wow! See what he has to say about his experience in “Contemplating Pain Relief.”
Pain is also a theme that Dr. Ilana Strubel of A Well Adjusted Pet, Veterinary Rehabilitation and Integrative Wellness Center, touches on this month. She is a certified veterinary acupuncture therapist — just one of her many impressive credentials — and she explains how and why the ancient Chinese art can help canines in pain. See her article, “Consider Acupuncture for Pain Control in Veterinary Medicine.”
And Dr. Rachel Feigenbaum of Lotus Veterinary House Calls combines Western medicine with holistic medicine and sees many patients with cancer. Learn what she recommends for her animal patients to maximize their health and wellness in “Optimize Wellness Rather Than Battle Cancer.”
Here’s hoping that your dog — and mine — has many healthy and happy years ahead.
Main article photo by: Courtesy Green Dog Rescue Project