Let me first define what the vagus nerve is before I share the stories on each of these fantastic dogs that have graced our home over the years. “The vagus nerve has two bunches of sensory nerve cell bodies, and it connects the brainstem to the body. … The nerve is responsible for certain sensory activities and motor information for movement within the body. Essentially, it is part of a circuit that links the neck, heart, lungs, and the abdomen to the brain.” (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318128 Everything you need to know about the vagus nerve).
Years ago when we had our amazing Neapolitan Mastiff, Shadrach, (on the top right in the photo with the lovely green eyes – he passed away April 5, 2011) we experienced what can happen when the vagus nerve is hindered in doing the job it is designed to do. I’ll explain as we go along in this lengthy post.
Shadrach started having some weird symptoms. He was about age 10 if I remember correctly – he had other health issues also which I go into in my story about him on my podcast and in my book. During our daily walk he just stopped wanting to walk one morning. My husband had to walk back to our house (which wasn’t that far) while I sat waiting with Shadrach, get the car and come back and pick us up. I later talked by phone with my veterinarian friend, Dr. Johan Joubert (not the famous wild life vet although both are from South Africa – who sadly passed away in 2011) about it. He basically said it sounded like liver disease and due to Shadrach’s age, he probably didn’t have long to live. That sure wasn’t something I was ready to hear but then I never would be with him, he was “that” dog! So I decided to continue to research and see if I could do something to help him. I was going to do what I could before I made that ultimate decision for him.
I decided to first do a raindrop technique on him – this was always my first resort and regular support I used for him – being a giant breed dog he had joint challenges among other things. Let me back up a few years to the initial issue where this arose…
A few years prior Shadrach had fallen down a cement arroyo (typical in our southwestern state to have these for flash flood runoffs). He was running on wet grass and when he tried to stop he slid sideways down the arroyo. I wasn’t there, my husband was out with him. He was scratched up a bit but we never thought too much about it as he appeared to heal from those superficial wounds. Later though Shadrach began to walk funny and knuckle over on his front right leg. I was so upset – too upset and a relative novice in this natural health game so I wasn’t thinking clearly on how exactly to help him.
I decided to go to a holistic vet, who wanted me to get X-rays first from a conventional vet to rule out a break before she would do anything for him. So I did and it wasn’t broken. All the conventional vet wanted to do was give him some NSAIDs for his arthritic joint issues which is what she diagnosed – this would only mask his problems not heal him. Rimadyl in fact, God help us all. I declined that treatment and continued doing the raindrop technique to support him while adding some very supportive supplementation to his already excellent diet – which the vet DID comment on, saying he looked so healthy, with a shiny coat and clean teeth. Yah, that’s how it is with the raw fed dogs..but I digress.
It turned out that Shadrach’s back was out of alignment so the holistic vet sort of adjusted him – she didn’t quite get the job done. That’s why I prefer to use certified animal chiropractors (they go to school for four years to learn this) over veterinarians who most often simply add chiropractic into their practice after a short class they take. She also did some acupressure on him, and prescribed some herbs to support his liver as well. His leg started to improve and during the process I found a great animal chiropractor who lived here who was able to adjust him properly. Bottom line, Shadrach’s vagus nerve center was hindered due to having a subluxation in his spine which was causing his liver not to have the correct information it needed from the nervous system to operate correctly. If Shadrach had not received the initial chiropractic adjustments he would’ve undoubtedly died of liver failure.
While the diagnosis was accurate on a failing liver, the truth is that the vagus nerve needed to be “released” to properly do its work then there would’ve been no liver failing diagnosis. I wonder how many people and animals have died with improper treatment simply due to this one thing? In fact, ALL of my dogs since my Golden Retriever Fridge (his story is shared in an article series I’ll share in this post), I believe have had this issue. I’m going to attempt to explore at least part of the why also – I’m just now learning this aspect of my spiritual journey so I hope it helps you AND your dogs as well.
We had to take Shadrach to chiropractic care regularly after this about every two months for the duration of his life. It truly would’ve been better to go more often but money was a serious issue for us at that time (did you know there is a spiritual connection to that as well?). Shadrach received weekly raindrop technique from me after that also. I attribute the chiropractic, raindrop, raw carnivore diet, and an entirely natural lifestyle to his longevity in spite of all the challenges he endured in his life. He lived to be nearly 12 which is typically unheard of in his breed UNLESS they are naturally reared! We didn’t get him until he was about 4 1/2 months old, and didn’t start him on this natural lifestyle until he was approximately 4 years old. Yet, with all of his health challenges, he still lived a good quality life without the intervention of mankind’s toxic chemicals masquerading as health care. Instead, he is the reason I went to a wholly natural lifestyle for my dogs (as well as my husband and me) and why I went back to school to learn better so I could do better. Here is the article series I mentioned…
A Tale of Three Dogs, Part One Fridge
A Tale of Three Dogs, Part Two Shadrach
A Tale of Three Dogs, Part Three Meshach
These three stories are shared in the book by my friend, Aleksandra Mikic, How to Vaccinate Your Dog Without Vaccines
Meshach was our beautiful Great Dane puppy as stated in the article above. He’s the one on the top left in the first photo.
What even got me to want to write this article in the first place was due to an article that came out by Dr. Karen Becker at the end of May 2020 on seizures in dogs and helping them using alternative therapies. While that was nothing new to me since that is all I use – natural therapies – it was when she mentioned the vagus nerve that my ears perked a little more attentively. In the article she states that, “…the device uses electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerves and works somewhat like a heart pacemaker.” This device is a “wireless collar device” that Dr. Fiona James of the University of Guelph in Canada and her team are working on to help seizure patients lessen the frequency of their seizures. I wonder if the word “frequency” could also be used in a different way as “negative ion vibrational frequencies” – it’s all very interesting. It’s no wonder that I also used the raindrop technique to support Meshach as well as calming essential oils – all considered vibrational wellness methods. You can read all about this method to stimulate the vagus nerve (and more) in this article, Alternative Therapies for Seizure Disorders in Dogs. The conventional approach to seizures typically uses only pharmaceutical drugs which often leads to the decline of the liver and heart. So it’s interesting that this device will help the nervous system through the vagus nerve which in turn will support the liver, heart, etc., which is what is being harmed in the first place.
I find it interesting although not at all surprising that the drugs always cause side effects that can be far worse than the actual incident/illness/disease. In fact, Dr. Doug Corrigan explains that much better than I can in his book, How Essential Oils Work. One of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading on oils as he connects dots often left out in typical aromatherapy books.
Something to also note is a primary contributor to this destruction of the nervous system and the escalation of seizures in so many dogs nowadays -among other things – is vaccines. If you ask to read the material safety data sheet (if they’ll give you one) and informed consent, you’ll notice that seizures are typically listed as a side effect. That is oddly left off of many articles sharing this information on alternative methods. Much of what is shared in Dr. Becker’s article I’ve used for seizures in my own dogs. If you read the article series above that I wrote, you’ll know that Fridge (petite mal) and Meshach (grand mal) both suffered from seizures. One due directly to the vaccines he received, the other due to the passed down distorted DNA in his genome. Dr. Doug has a great class on the DNA also you may want to check out.
Here are two articles I wrote – in my passion the first, in my sadness and frustration the second – because things haven’t gotten better:
1. Vaccines: One is Too Many
2. Destruction of the Canine Species
Meshach’s story broke my heart to say the least. I’ve not been the same person since. I think in that kind of heartbreak we aren’t supposed to be the same. We can grow from that…I’m just not sure which way I’ve grown since then. I don’t even feel like the same person inside any more. Before Meshach and After Meshach are two different people. I don’t know if I can say I’m better, I can say I’m wiser to the ways of the world – and leaning into the ways of God far more. In fact, that’s what I’m much more interested in nowadays – Him. HE is the Solution waiting on us to realize it all. I know now that the Vagus Nerve is something I was supposed to learn much more about and I know why too….
Today before I began writing this post, I took the next short video class from the Oily App guys on Healing. It’s funny how Andy Jenkins (the instructor) stated that all things are already ours in God. Jesus. Him. It was in response to a question from a person who said if they used oils would they fall down the Alice in Wonderland new age rabbit hole (my interpretation) if they began using essential oils. That’s a common question from Christians who don’t understand health, healing and natural modalities. They’re used to conventional methods primarily. It’s sad because if they knew that the word “pharmaceutical” is derived from the word Greek word pharmakeia = sorcery, they’d be far more interested in using herbs and essential oils for their well being instead. That is rapidly changing thankfully. So Andy’s simple response was, yes you could BUT consider that everything is already ours in Christ Jesus when we are His. It’s ALL His already, so in Him it becomes ours too. He states (based in scripture 1 Corinthians 3) that wherever we discover truth, it becomes ours. We don’t need to fear or reject it because ALL truth comes from one place: JESUS. He IS the Truth. So if it is spiritual, health, financial, business, relational TRUTH, etc., then it is ours to those who are in Christ Jesus. WOOT! I’ve linked to where I’ve been learning the TRUTH of what he says over the last several years. ALL overlap though so be aware of that also.
That’s a powerful place to be – in Him. He has recently revealed this truth on the Vagus Nerve to me. I’ve been going through it in my own life for many years now, after a car accident when I was 22. That was my 2nd accident where I was rear-ended. Both times while stopped at a light. Interesting huh? First my neck was injured (I was 17), then my lower back (22), and in the third accident (38) in my my neck again and the right side of my back (yes, I was stopped a light that time too). So that means my vagus nerve has been blocked or challenged or both since then. I haven’t had a miraculous healing YET on that. I DID have one miraculous healing that presented as a kidney stone. So you see, every dog of mine since that first accident has been affected in their vagus nerve. Most of what is wrong with our animals IS us. It may sound weird to some of you I know, but go back to what I just shared from Andy Jenkins. I’m thinking what is wrong with me has contributed to what’s been happening to my dogs.
You’ll probably wonder why I stopped and made this so spiritual at this point, but I’ll address that at the very end of this post.
SCHATZIE & KING
This precious girl came to us at the age of approximately 7 years old. We were her third owners. She was a Carolina Dog and what an absolutely extraordinary and beautiful dog she was – inside and out. I thought I was in the love with the breed, when really I was just in love with her. Yes, she was my Beauty Queen, my girl who brought a balance to my overly male home. I’m not going to go into depth here on her story as I’ve shared her vagus nerve story in depth in my article here, Schatzie Girl is Teaching Me. I don’t mention that, but that’s exactly what it was. I’ve stated here that losing my two previous beauties was beyond difficult, but after her I felt something in me further break. I think it was because at the same time my colleague and I closed our online school in animal naturopathy as well as our very long-running podcast (2005-2018) that we’d worked so hard to build for years. It was growing, but my partnership /friendship with her was withering and in essence died alongside of Schatzie. Schatzie lived with me during those difficult years of growing two businesses and ultimately losing one, and nearly the other. In hindsight, I wished I could’ve had more time just to be with her. She was my running partner. My journey into the wilderness partner. We had some interesting encounters together. It was a very spiritual time I realize now too – each one has been. Each one has drawn me closer to God. This girl took me to a whole new level though.
In the end she was having grand mal seizures also. Non-stop the last day of her life. The vet and I concurred it was most likely a brain tumor – she had a few tumors on her body that basically erupted the last couple of months of her life. She had slowed down. I knew her days were coming to a close, but I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I’m usually in denial when they are at that stage. I never want them to leave me. Ever. However, I don’t want them to linger in illness and pain either. At any rate, Schatzie ended up in chiropractic and acupuncture care also for the last 3 years of her life. She came to us with health issues which the raw diet greatly helped in the beginning. However, it was King’s jumping on her in his youthful exuberance that brought about her back/vagus nerve problem that we began to notice the same thing in her as in Shadrach. She too began vomiting, not wanting to eat (and she would never turn down a meal), so I knew what to look for after she was diagnosed with liver disease also. Interesting isn’t it? And my approach to her care was similar to Shadrach’s although more intense I think as I had learned so much more by then. I was more aggressive with her and she rebounded in 2015 as the article above explains.
She came to live with us four months after we got our boy, King – our American Bully. The two together were an absolute dream team! Best duet I’ve ever heard sung in my life. Yes I think in terms of music a lot because I do believe life is a symphony. Just take a look at my FB and Instagram bios! King was so lost without her too. Since he has been my husband’s hard and fast sidekick (jokingly I call him my husband’s Toto – ‘take your little dog Toto too’ I’ll shout lol), he and I had to work on our relationship after Schatzie died. It was a bit of a struggle the first month or so and then he and I just rocked it after – we still are. It was SO awesome to me! Does King have a vagus nerve challenge also? Well, did I mention he’s had some health issues as he’s
aging and now 8 1/2 years old?
The same year (2015) when Schatzie began having her liver (aka vagus nerve challenges), King presented with a CCL tear – the equivalent of the ACL in humans. The following article series explains all we’ve gone through with him. He is still with us. He still gets a weekly aroma massage, daily exercise, and I’m using literal vibrational tuning forks on him as well. King is doing very well actually for which I’m very grateful!
CCL Tears in Dogs: Our Personal Journey, Pt1
CCL Tears in Dogs: Our Personal Journey, Pt2
Dog ACL Brace: Natural Recovery
This brings us up to the current date of June 2020. We got Ezra, our Carolina Dog puppy at the end of September 2019 during the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah. That’s when things began to really change and get interesting. I knew something new was coming because God told me that during an intense prayer time with Him. I was asking what shall I do now that the school was closed? I’d gone to the Young Living Convention in July, had fun all summer with friends and family. Then suddenly we were asked if we wanted another CD (Carolina Dog) except this time a naturally reared puppy. We didn’t hesitate long before we said yes. I wanted a male. Ezra (we named him from the book in the Bible of the same name – a seer/prophet/priest) was the only male born. I saw him in a simple one picture vision before he was born. His breeder Susan sent me the picture of him right after he was born and it was the exact same vision I had seen. Black and Tan tiny puppy held in her hand. I wanted another ginger colored one like Schatzie – even knowing I could never replace her. I just thought the breed was super cool. I never questioned why we were Schatzie’s third owners. I now know why if Ezra is any indication of how they are when they are young. Super intense, super high energy. Working breed. Wild in nature still.
Ezra has started showing some signs of a vagus nerve issue possibly starting also. Did he come to us that way? Epigenetically yes. Now I’m digging into the spiritual aspect of all of this finally. Ezra has been the single most difficult dog I’ve ever had. My friend Bre who has had challenging dogs most of her adult life (she and her husband are dog trainers) knows whereof I speak. Ezra has definite behavior issues. We’ve had him now for over 8 months – longest 8 months because we’ve been in the midst of a plandemic (I did not misspell that), riots, chaos nationwide as well as worldwide, lots of weird stuff as you all know. In the midst of it all Ezra – as our own personal chaos. He’s here for a reason. For something I didn’t know I even needed to learn. He loves me and I love him but that doesn’t make this an easy thing at all. I’m sure I’ve a lot to learn or he’d not be here. He tries me at every turn.
Look under the Categories in the sidebar of the blog, for the Chronicles of Ezra and also The Allegories to read the stories I’ve written about him that include podcasts as well. Have I been blessed by this dog? Yes. Have I learned a lot? Yes. Do I want to continue? Not always. Every time we turn one corner with him another presents. Is this spiritual mostly? I believe the answer is yes. In fact I believe all that is going on in the world is one epic spiritual battle that if we could literally see it, we’d all die of heart failure on the spot. Because of Ezra though, I was prepared in a way I may not have been when all this insanity began.
In Ezra’s case, I do believe his is more likely epigenetic damage meaning DNA issues passed on (reference Dr. Doug’s course on this). Ezra’s dam (mother) had the rabies miasm and ultimately died from a sarcoma recently. She may have already been in decline (dogs hide it SO well) but having this last litter of puppies maybe took the last of her vital force. All said, she loved being a mom, that was evident to me even though I lived so far away in another state. At any rate, that damage has been passed on, and with Ezra being the only male and the runt of the litter, well he may have gotten more of that damage than his four sisters. By the way I do mention epigenetic issues in my courses and often on my podcast. Ezra has a very sweet side to him – but he can be a Jekyll and Hyde too. I’m certain he feeds off of our emotions as well – which have been up and down during this time in the world. I also know this is a spiritual battle as
I’ve said several times now. However, I’m seeking to learn here in the temporal/natural while I seek out the supernatural. Just as I have done for each of his predecessors. I’m sharing in the hopes it helps you. If you’ve read this far, then you must need some answers or just to know that you’re not alone in your searching.
In the following article these dog behavior problems alongside of the health problems I’ve mentioned previously in this long discourse, vaccines are left out of the equation. Why? Because they are too controversial most likely, but I’m always one to say that if it is left out yet it is a known contributor then DIG deep into that to find out why. The why is always there alongside the Truth. It always is. This is another article by Dr. Karen Becker, titled: Unwanted Dog Behaviors. Sadly breeds were targeted rather than the deeper cause of vaccines or epigenetics in general. Look at the breeds mentioned – they are by their very nature sensitive, energetic type breeds so of course it may appear to be a breed thing. Check out this quote by veterinarian Dr. Patricia Jordan (author of the book, Mark of the Beast: Hidden in Plain Sight) which she shared with me and my colleague years ago:
“Mercury and aluminum are PROTEIN MUTATORS in their own right and DNA is PROTEIN! Related genomes will respond in RELATED FASHION so breeds that have related genomes respond to the assault in the same fashion making it LOOK like a breed or tribe thing but it is in reality a RELATED GENE DAMAGE THING: chronic diarrhea, parasitism, leaky gut, food allergies, IBD, pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, anal gland saculitis, etc., are all autoimmune issues and this means induced by the vaccines“.
Here are some of the issues mentioned in the article:
“14,000 Dogs, 264 Breeds, 7 Behavior Problems
The research team examined the prevalence of the following 7 unwanted canine behaviors:
Noise sensitivity (including thunder, fireworks and shots)
Fearfulness of humans, other dogs and unfamiliar locations
Fear of surfaces and heights
Inattention and impulsivity
Younger dogs were more apt to damage or urinate on items when left alone, they were also more often inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive and chased their tails more than older dog.”
Ezra has MOST of the above symptoms (he’s not afraid of heights or surfaces, quite the contrary). He is super reactive to sounds, including normal household sounds like the ice machine on the freezer, running water, a door creaking. And yes, he is also receiving massages and we manipulate his back using acupressure to help him. He runs with the agility and speed of a Cheetah, common to his breed. But he jumps, spins, leaps also and roughhouses with King. Should he have this issue in his back already? No. Does he have a Vagus Nerve issue? I don’t know. But look below at the spiritual connection to the vagus nerve then maybe you’ll be questioning some things with your own dogs as I am:
The book, Vagus Nerve Compassion Portal: the anatomy of God’s link within our spirit by Carl Armstrong goes into the scriptural connection, in fact connecting our spirit, soul and body as the triune beings we are – and I believe animals are as well. About the book in part states, “Using electronic monitoring (note – go back to the study on the device being used for dogs with seizures), scientists have made exciting new discoveries about the Vagus Nerve’s role when a person exhibits compassion and empathy toward another. The Vagus Nerve seems to have an ‘intelligence‘of its own and serves the brain as well as critical organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, bowels and essentially all the organs of the abdomen. Having a ‘gut feeling’ about something is often reported, even though by conventional thinking, it just doesn’t seem logical.
Parallel to modern Vagus Nerve discoveries, the book explores an ancient Proverb: ‘The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. The question is asked if the Vagus Nerve is the vehicle by which the human spirit expresses itself? And might the human spirit be the portal through which the Holy Spirit interacts with us? As the scriptures state: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
Scientists say the Vagus Nerve is where compassion activates and the scriptures say, ‘But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?‘”
The scriptures the author mentions retold in the NKJV:
1. “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27 – in the Hebrew the heart would really be the “bowels or belly” – the very depths of our physical being.
2. Jesus speaking, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (crucified and risen).” John 7:38-39
I may not have mentioned yet, but the articles I’ve shared here explain more about the “other” issues my dogs have had. All go back to the Vagus Nerve spiritually if you have connected the dots along the way. The question still BEGS why – and I aim to discover the answer to that – I’m not alone in this though as the articles below will reveal. I’m learning because God obviously wants me to DIG into this, so I am.
In closing…Vagus Nerve issues can manifest as a result of chronic stress and emotional trauma. Toxins, EMFs, infections, etc., all contribute to a malfunction or disfunction of the vagus nerve. Search this blog as I have written on all of this a lot. In conjunction with caring for the physical we must care for the emotions/mind/will (the soul) together with the spiritual in us in order to help our dogs – WE need healed so they too can be. I don’t see any other way. I hope this has at the very least opened your eyes to look a little deeper into what may be the true cause of your dog’s illness or even behavior challenges.
Additional Article Resources:
1.12 Ways to Unlock the Powers of the Vagus Nerve
2.I Now Suspect the Vagus Nerve is the Key to Well Being – I like how in this article the author relates this as a way to “tune” our bodies, as we are a beautiful instrument (see my course below – Faith, Dogs, Oils)
We are so interconnected that my hope is you’ll see how every single part of our bodies and that of our dogs matters. No part is extra or disposable. AND that we are a spirit, that lives in a body and has a soul (mind/will/emotions). God molded us from the dirt He created and breathed His own life/breath into us. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7, NKJV
It stands to reason that our entire immune system is built from breathing the life around us, digging and playing in the dirt (watch animal babies and children), bathing in the sun, etc. It doesn’t come from injections of any kind. Not from processed food-like products. Not from toxic chemicals that we tend to slather on our skin in to supposedly protect from the sun (that sun gives us Vitamin D among MANY other things – God didn’t create it as decoration) or microbes. I’m certain my discourse on this topic has only just begun. I hope you continue DIGGING in to learn – much as our dogs do.
Have a PAWSitively, tail waggin’, NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!
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. Copyright ©2005-2023 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.