Working here at the Center I used to always think about alternative medicine and holistic treatments solely for humans. However there is a whole other world of similar care out there for our more furry friends.
My husband and I are the proud parents of two canine children, Nitro (a Dachshund mixed with a Jack Russell Terrier) and Shelly (a Border Collie mixed with a Shetland Sheepdog). My husband and I have been very blessed in that our dogs have not had any serious medical conditions.
This summer, Shelly began breaking out in multiple small rashes on her under belly and developed pustules. She seemed so uncomfortable and could not stop itching. I took her to the veterinary office and they explained to me that her condition was very common in her kind of breed. They said that during the summer months bacteria grows in her fur causing these skin issues. I asked if I could just increase the number of baths I give her and they told me that increasing the baths might not be very effective. Instead they prescribed my dog an antibiotic that is used to treat certain infections that are caused by bacteria.
Within just a few days Shelly’s skin issues cleared up. However, the veterinary office instructed me to keep Shelly on this antibiotic for 30 days. Within a couple of weeks of the antibiotic I was coming home to dog mess in my home. I should interject here that Shelly is a very well behaved and well-trained dog. I have never had any house breaking issues with her so this was very unusual.
I did not immediately think that the prescription would be the culprit in this situation. I told myself I would just give it a few days. Well, after a couple of days and SEVERAL carpet shampooing sessions later, I noticed some blood in the stool. I immediately called the veterinary office. After the receptionist spoke with the doctor I received a call. I was told that the antibiotic could be causing Shelly to be constipated and her pushing was probably the main reason for the blood. They instructed me to stop the antibiotic and they called in a prescription to help with the diarrhea.
That night I did as I was instructed. Within a day or two Shelly was back to normal. I was very appreciative that my dog seemed to be doing much better thanks to the help of the veterinary clinic.
About two weeks ago, I received a call at work form a woman who heard about what our office did and she was curious to know if we could refer her to a veterinary office that practices the same ideology. I was puzzled by this question at that moment but looking back I do not know why. It makes great sense to care for your pet’s health in the same way you care for your own.
If only I had looked up the antibiotic the veterinary office called in I would have known the potential side effects it can cause humans and ultimately my pet (upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, mild skin rash, severe skin rash, itching, hives, difficulty breathing or swallowing, wheezing, unusual bleeding or bruising, sore throat, painful mouth or throat sores, vaginal infection). Sometimes the potential side effects can be worse than the condition you are treating for!
My dogs are very important to me. I always say to my co-workers, friends, and family, “I never knew just how much I love my dogs until something is wrong with one of them”.
By now, the majority of you readers out there have heard about the AAEM (American Academy of Environmental Medicine). But have you pet-owner-readers out there heard about the AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association)? You can look up veterinary clinics that use alternative approaches to medicine for your pets just as you would for yourself. It is good to know that our pets have choices too.