Although we no longer have dogs, due to my severe dog allergy, I want to leave this info here.
First, this page is to tell you what has worked for our rescued dogs. It is not veterinary advice. I was a licensed Animal Health Tech for years, but I honestly learned more about caring for sick animals through my own experience of finding the treatments I myself require to survive.
It is also alarming to know that the #1 killer of adult dogs is now cancer. Toxins cause cancer. Food preservatives, pesticides, fragrances, cleaning products, medications, vaccine additives and much more are toxic substances.
Feeding- I start new dogs on a high quality food. We feed foods that contain no by-products, no artificial dyes, flavors or preservatives, no corn, wheat or soy.
Here are websites to see how your dog food is rated!
We feed Diamond Naturals Senior 8, Sportmix Wholesomes, and the 2 dogs with IBD get California Natural grain free venison and potato. One dog (now deceased) required a diet of raw meat, vegetables, added vitamins & minerals and grapefruit seed extract to cure his skin problems caused by candida overgrowth. Raw meat diets definitely have advantages over processed dog food, but is beyond our budget for the 10 dogs here.
In my experience, the 3 major causes of Chronic Illness /un-wellness are undiagnosed infections (which produce bio-toxins) , industrial toxins (man-made chemicals) and over-vaccination (please visit http://www.truth4dogs.com). These things can cause the immune system to fail, endocrine dysfunction, digestive dysfunction, joint problems, neurological problems (seizures & hallucinations), behavioral problems (fear & aggression) and a myriad of other disorders.
Blood work- First, I have my vet take a blood sample, prepare it for shipping, and I send it overnight to Hemopet (www.hemopet.org). Dr. Jean Dodds runs a research lab, is a world-renowned veterinary endocrinologist and is more accurate and less expensive. The “Thyroid 5 Plus” profile gives a full blood workup plus full thyroid panel for only $145. This enables us to see the liver/kidney status and thyroid levels before I begin treatment. Here is a list of low thyroid symptoms:
In the past 11 years, we have taken in or fostered more than 20 dogs. The majority proved to be low thyroid. Several tested in low normal values, but low dose thyroxine improved their behavioral issues almost overnight. Dr. Dodds describes some dogs as “subclinical hypothyroid” if they fall in the lower 50% of normal and have symptoms of low thyroid, especially aggression or fear. Our low thyroid dogs had any combination of the following problems: extreme fearfulness, aggression, skin infections & conditions, allergies, digestive problems, hair loss, poor coats, seizures, hallucinations, obesity and underweight, and joint/ligament problems. The fearful and aggressive dogs showed a dramatic change after only one or two doses of thyroid supplement- nothing short of miraculous.
Detoxification- If then, the dog has decent kidney and liver function, we begin detox. We have had success using Zeolite Pure, which is a natural mineral that binds many toxins and also toxic heavy metals and removes them from the body. It is also excellent at binding ammonia, a common bacterial toxin. Our dogs are responding to zeolite with more energy and joyfulness than they had before. Remember, it is toxins that cause most disease, including most thyroid disease.These toxins remain in the tissues until we use something to bind them and remove them. Try a few weeks or more of zeolite before proceeding to anything else.
Our other favorite detox product is Dr. David Jernigan’s Neuro Antitox. I myself need it to stay alive, as it detoxes Lyme toxins. It also saved our burro and dog from the effects of rattlesnake toxins. I am not sure how or why, but it worked. The burro had been sick 2 years after a bite and the Neuro Antitox cured her chronic illness. Nothing else had worked, including remedies from a veterinary homeopath. JERAS is a huge fan of all of Dr.Jernigan’s formulas. We consider him to be brilliant and his understanding of chronic disease and natural healing is simply amazing.
Chlorella, milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid, red clover and bentonite are other detoxifiers. Phosphatidylcholine is also a great help in restoring the integrity of cell membranes and can be bought as such or you can use lecithin.
Pathogens- Because I feel many dogs have undiagnosable, mutated bacterial diseases, such as Lyme, I use Jernigan Nutraceutical herbal products. I always start with 1-2 drops a day and slowly increase. If there are adverse reactions, I stop, and maybe try again later. Their Neuro Antitox formula removes many bacterial and other biotoxins. To actually assist the body in fighting off infection, I have used Microbojen, Virogen, Borrelogen and Allermac. All these can be used in combInation, but only adding one at a time and building up very slowly- such as increasing by only 2 drops/week. I usually do not use more than a total (all formulas combined) of 1 drop/day/pound body weight. These remedies are 20% grain alcohol, but at that rate, a 30# dog gets no more than 6 drops of grain alcohol a day.
Lyme disease can also cause unexplained aggression in dogs. Our Patty had improved on thyroid medication, zeolite and Jernigan products, but it took doxycycline to transform her into a new, calm and non-aggressive dog.
Gastrointestinal function- Most ill dogs have abnormal gut function and gut flora. We use olive leaf extract in their food (anti-bacterial, fungal & viral). Another good herb is grapefruit seed extract which is very potent against intestinal yeast overgrowth. Zeolite and bentonite are great for absorbing bacterial toxins in the gut. Probiotics are needed, to replace good bacteria. An excellent brand, which survives the dogs stomach acid, is Acidophilus Pearls by Enzymatic Therapy. We get our vitamins and herbs from Swanson Vitamins. A gluten free diet is also essential. Try grain free foods that use “rare” sources of protein, such as venison or bison. With supplements, always add only one thing at a time, start low and work up, and monitor the dog’s response. Keep a journal.
Supplements- I myself take a lot of nutritional supplements and I use various ones for the dogs. All of them get a pinch of buffered vitamin C powder, twice a day, with their meal. All dogs get about 1/4 of a Twin Lab pancreatin capsule with each meal to aid digestion. Other supplements I regularly use are: adrenal extract, liver extract, chlorophyll, vitamin B complex, glucosamine/chondroiten (joints), phosphatydal-choline and essential fatty acids/fish oil caps.
Vaccines-– I feel strongly that excess vaccinations are literally killing our animals. I urge you to Google articles written by Jean Dodds and other holistic vets. Visit Truth4dogs.com. Rabies should always be given alone, not at the same time as other vaccs. and not at the same time as surgery. AVMA & AAHA have new guidelines as of 2006, but many vets are still vaccinating yearly. In my opinion, this constitutes malpractice. New guidelines call for combo vaccine boosters every 3 years, no more corona, and Rabies every 3 years or as required by law.
AAHA/AVMA guidelines: http://secure.aahanet.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?
Please see these links:
Dental care- Most dogs over the age of 2 have some gingivitis. Wild canids eat raw bones daily and clean their own teeth. We brush our dog’s teeth 3 X a week with Triple Pet natural paste and doggie toothbrushes, which are softer than human brushes. If a dog arrives here with tartar, I let them have a real bone- shank or knuckle- and monitor the chewing. They usually will knock the tartar off their own teeth in a few chewing sessions. For an old dog with more serious issues, it’s off to the vet for a dental cleaning. All the dogs at JERAS get an all natural piece of rawhide every day, and look forward to it. I monitor chewing, as I have had to remove a piece from someone’s throat on a few occasions because they were gagging. I feel the joy they get and dental benefit far outweigh any choking risk. We have enjoyed thousands of rawhide treats over the years and no one has been harmed. Our favorite rawhide source is Jeffers. We get American made, bulk chips- very reasonably priced. You can order any Jeffers products through the banners on our home page and get a discount, plus, we get 6%. We also get real bones from them and the dogs get real bones twice a month.
Wounds/skin problems- Our favorite wound treatments are Path-Away, EMT Gel and Vetericyn. They are non-toxic. EMT Gel is a collagen that protect wounds and speeds healing and Vetericyn is a new form of safe chlorine which kills even resistant strains of bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Path-Away is a brand new, plant based antimicrobial with amazing antimicrobial action. They also will give JERAS $2 for every bottle sold- just mention us when you order.
Lastly, love alone does not cure disease, but it goes a long way to help heal. Dogs which have been lost, abandoned and abused desperately need to know they are valued and loved. They will thrive with the right physical care and a person who shows them how very special they are.
Swanson Vitamins- http://www.swansonvitamins.com/
The Whole Dog Journal- http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/
Path-Away (mention us!)
Jeffers- click on our website banners for discounts
Dogs Naturally Magazine- we sell subscriptions and get $10 each. See the affiliates page for info. http://www.jersanctuary.org/available-merchandise/
If you find any of this information helpful, please consider making a donation to help us care for our animals.