Over the last couple of months my husband and I had noticed our Carolina Dog, our Schatzie girl, had been going a bit downhill. I could not figure out why either – mostly because I wasn’t questioning things thoroughly as I ought to have been. It’s like the plumber’s house – his is always the one with the leaks it in it as he’s always busy fixing others plumbing issues. Well the same was true for me with running an animal naturopathy school in addition to my wellness network.
Of course excuses are just that – excuses. I ought to have been DOING something about it. While I digress as I often do, I also realize we are often too close to our own animals to see the problem clearly until hindsight.
Let me also say that King, our American Bully, is a rough ‘n’ tumble kind of guy with lots of energy and exuberance, always wanting to play hard, wrestle, etc., with Schatzie. He is only 3 1/2 years old after all but Schatzie is now approximately 9 years old give or a take a few months. Having only been naturally reared these last two years with us, that puts her biologically older than a wholly naturally reared dog. Additionally, she not only weighs less than King but doesn’t have the muscle density that he does.
Put all of that together and Houston we do have a problem waiting to happen – or did. King has been known to knock Schatzie down into very unnatural positions which we had feared could cause a break or injury of some kind eventually. We are grateful that didn’t happen (and now won’t as this story will eventually reveal) but it did contribute to why Schatzie became ill in a long and round about way. To be fair, she also contributed to her own illness as well – before she even came to us.
She would jump her fence to get out and roam, we were told by her previous owners – which is how she came to us in the first place. Funny thing is, once they gave her to us, she has never tried to jump any of our fences or to leave even when off leash. She is content to stay and we are so glad! However, as one of the three veterinarians we had to visit recently for diagnostics told us, it did contribute to the structural imbalances she was suffering from.
So what happened I’ve been asked?
Schatzie started eating a little less each day which is SO not normal for her as she normally will eat anything any time given half a chance.
The spring in her step left her.
She was often very grumpy with King and she is very patient normally. I think exceedingly patient!
Usually when she wants to go investigate what is going on in our lower yard (which is fenced-in horse fencing as we live in a semi-rural area which is fast becoming more citified and noisy) she will start making whining sounds, hair on back raised, tail at full flag, wanting to go show anyTHING lurking SHE is the alpha in our neighborhood lol. She started showing only a faint interest in doing that.
Then for our morning walks her bossy “let’s hurry up and GO already” sounds were dissipating until one day they stopped altogether.
I had no idea what was going on and sadly thought all those years of toxic rearing were coming home to roost. I thought she was too young to go but after seeing how she was raised I wasn’t surprised either.
Then one morning about about 3-4 weeks ago she started vomiting up her food. She’d eat and then an hour or two later vomit it all up. She’d eat one day and hold it, then the next day she’d eat and vomit. She had excessive thirst, and generally looked punk. And both her eyes looked funny and yellow – are you thinking what I’m thinking yet? Yes, well that’s what the diagnosis ended up being at the first vet office – liver disease. She was jaundiced but only barely so.
She sent us off to another bigger hospital that she works at once a week that could do all the bloodwork, full chem panel and/or other diagnostics such as X-rays, etc. if needed. That resulted in the same diagnosis.
Let me make this even longer story a bit shorter and say that what the veterinarians suggested would not have helped her recover. In fact I believe the contrary. Drugs, antibiotics and hospital stay was all they could offer. The drugs had side effects that were downright scary. Her blood work showed clear and clean – which surprised them but not me as I’ll explain shortly. It was her chem panel that showed serious issues with her liver. Their training showed them the problem and they were taught a certain way to treat that. I took part of the treatment which was to run fluids in her which I did myself at home with their reluctant support. They were very nice but baffled at how we could want to handle things ourselves. They don’t understand as their training doesn’t allow for variations and also they aren’t used to pet owners being knowledgeable or such strong advocates because quite frankly more aren’t than are these days – although I am seeing a shift in that for which I am very glad.
I did inform them of my own training both former and current but it is like that sailed over their heads – but did not baffle me as that is pretty much how it is with the status quo.
We did not feed Schatzie the standard prescribed diet for liver disease – their prescription canned junk food. Oh that would not have been a good thing at all especially since she was already receiving the best nutrition for a carnivore (a raw meat, bone and organ diet).
We did not give the prescribed drugs – they did not prescribe anything for pain which was surprising but maybe because of the state of her liver I don’t know. I knew she was in extreme pain though as she was shivering, panting and walking hunched over. That’s okay because I was able to facilitate an ease of her discomfort through a wholly natural approach.
What the vets couldn’t understand was how she could have such a clean CBC but her chem panel be off so much. I knew – it was because of her proper nutrition. Even though she showed zero sign of infection they STILL wanted to prescribe antibiotics as a “preventative“. That would’ve been a VERY bad choice which I definitely declined and told them I would before they ever suggested it. Conventional pharmaceutical antibiotics (as opposed to nature’s immune enhancing support) could never work as a preventive contrary to popular medical usage. They destroy the immune system not support it.
They wanted to keep Schatzie in the hospital for at least two days and run fluids. We said no and brought her home to do it ourselves in the quiet, cool, dark of our home rather than the noisy, crowded, boisterous craziness of the vet hospital. They kept forgetting I am a former vet tech so I know what it is like there and it is not conducive to good rest that will help facilitate recovery.
I put together a natural support regimen that included essential oils*, supportive whole food supplements, very good water (and Pedialyte until her body had flushed what needed flushing and was properly hydrated agin), bone broths (until she could eat again small amounts several times per day), etc.
The lightbulb moment happened when I was deep in prayer over Schatzie – it was a God thing no doubt. I felt like we were going to lose her and the vets pretty much felt the same way. Something in her eyes told me otherwise. Then as I was praying God brought to mind how Shadrach, had had almost identical symptoms years before. So I checked Schatzie’s spine to see if I could feel any sort of subluxation. Even though I am not a chiropractor, animal or human, I know what that feels like because of Shadrach’s issues. I have also been in chiropractic care for most of my adult life so I know a lot about chiropractic care. I have interviewed on our show animal chiropractors, listened, learned, experienced and advocated on chiropractic.
Sure enough I felt two areas in her spine that could be subluxations. So after much searching and some hassle, we went back to Shadrach’s original holistic vet who offers acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic care. His former animal chiropractor had moved to CA so of course that was no longer an option for us.
This vet said Schatzie was in great shape and would do well after her chiropractic care. Guess what? She has! She has had two adjustments along with some acupuncture and all symptoms of liver disease have virtually disappeared. Why? Well look up “vagus nerve” and you’ll see that is connected to pretty much all organ systems. If that is cut off through a subluxation, well then organs can and will go out of balance and cause major illness. Not all liver disease is a result of a subluxation but it always pays to rule that out first. Which is what I did.
Schatzie is back to her original happy, healthy self including eating her full one meal per day again with no digestive issues. The only prescription from the holistic vet we received was mushroom therapy of which I’m very familiar. She also said I had definitely located the correct subluxations. Additionally she said for us to continue doing what we are doing. On the second visit which was this past week, she was actually very surprised to see the vast improvement with Schatzie. She didn’t want to admit it which was funny on one hand but on the other I know that a lot of their training now includes lots of continuing education in client retention and marketing. She knows we won’t need her as often as she had thought we would. My own regimen of support for Schatzie accelerated her recovery – of that I have zero doubt. However, keep in mind, most vets aren’t used to having clients that will do any of this on their own.
Lastly, we have had to be very strict with how King plays with Schatzie to keep her spine aligned – I am doing a technique I learned at the convention I went to that is helping her body to learn how to keep itself aligned. Funny how that worked out isn’t it? Because King is so smart and willing to please, he really does seem to understand and is no longer jumping on Schatzie or rough housing with her…once in a while he will try but we remind him and he calms right down. He is very tuned in that way. When I had a broken ankle, he was very calm and easy around me rather than his usual zoomie running self 🙂 I’m so blessed to have these two dogs in my life.
Lastly (really this is FIRST), I had a team of people praying for Schatzie. I know that is the real reason she is doing so well! God is the Healer.
My reasons for sharing this:
1. Know that just because I am a trained animal naturopath does not mean I have arrived – I don’t believe that acquiring a title means you have all the knowledge you’ll ever need or that you have attained all answers. Not by a long shot! I learn from every client and my own animals. This is a wellness journey not a destination. This includes veterinarians too – even if they aren’t inclined to agree or admit it.
2. Know that we also struggle with decisions and issues with our own animals and need guidance outside of ourselves when it involves our own animals and sometimes to brainstorm with colleagues to better aid a client.
3. YOU are your pets best advocate because you love and live with them. So it behooves you to learn at the very least the basics so you can truly advocate for them. If I had done what I had been advised to do, Schatzie would not be alive now – of that I am also very certain.
How do you learn? Well you can take the long road, learning a little here or a little there, or invest in a structured educational program if you are interested in also helping/guiding others as I do, or you can take a program that removes the guesswork for you. It’s all up to YOU. And yes I do have a program for both of those for you.
“Wellness is not a ‘medical fix’ but a way of living – a lifestyle sensitive and responsive to all the dimensions of body, mind, and spirit, an approach to life we each design to achieve our highest potential for well-being now and forever.” ~Greg Anderson
Until next time…
Have a positively tail waggin’, NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!
DISCLAIMER: All information contained in Aspenbloom Pet Care is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prevent or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the body or pets and the author, publisher, and contributors accept no responsibility for such use. Anyone or their pets suffering from any disease, illness or injury should consult with their physician or veterinarian. The ONLY essential oils we use and refer to in ALL our posts and articles are Young Living Essential Oils. The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: Photograph of Schatzie the Carolina Dog/aka American Dingo by Dr. Kim Bloomer. Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved.
Kim Bloomer, V.N.D., N.D. is an animal naturopath as well as being certified in small animal nutrition, with years of experience in animal wellness. Dr. Kim is a published author, writer, blogger, host of the DOGgone Truth podcast. Dr. Kim offers Animal Naturopathy Mentoring and Courses. Subscribe to her DOGgone Newsletter for updates. Copyright ©2005-2024 Aspenbloom Pet Care, Dr. Kim Bloomer, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author/Publisher. This article is intended to be educational. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a qualified animal health professional. Dr. Kim Bloomer and Aspenbloom Pet Care, do not assume any legal responsibility for misuse of the products discussed in this article. The only essential oils referenced on this website are Young Living.