Last month Lew talked about the different health issues and injuries that can cause inflammation and pain in dogs and how a natural diet, exercise and supplements can help reduce both of these problems.
This month, we are sharing a very special story about a 5-year old Rottweiler girl named Neu-Rhodes Liberty Bell (aka Libby). Her story compliments October’s Newsletter about treating inflammation and pain in dogs and talks about treating injuries with additional alternative therapies.
Libby is owned by Melinda and J DeBruler and they live in Bellevue, Washington. They are a very active family and take their dogs hiking and camping on a regular basis. They have been feeding a raw natural diet for several years and have seen the benefits of quality nutrition. They also add fish oil to their dog’s diet and because of the high activity level, they add a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement and offer trachea chews.
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Libby suffered a serious injury last spring and as a result, Melinda and J made the decision to take some additional steps to help Libby heal naturally.
Here is Libby’s story:
Libby’s Story – From Injury to Recovery
In mid-May 2013, Libby developed an ever-worsening limp. We had an MRI done, which confirmed she suffered from insertional and bicep tendinopathy, which is basically tendonitis caused by overuse.
We went to see Dr. Tejinder Sodhi at the Animal Wellness Center in Bellevue. We learned that physical rehabilitation is a critical component of treatment. We were also told that recovery periods could be as long as 6 to 12 months with a slow return to function under a structured regimen of therapeutic exercises, regenerative treatments and activity modification. YIKES!!!
Honestly, we went into this with great skepticism. We have owned dogs for 50 years and had never done rehab therapy. However, we wanted Libby to regain full mobility and we wanted to avoid surgery. We reminded ourselves that if humans have tendon issues, it is often a long haul of physical therapy before healing is complete. So we committed to do whatever was necessary to help our Libby get back to being the active, crazy, fun-loving pup she was before her injury.
We initiated a program that included:
- Swim therapy
- Acupuncture treatment
- Laser therapy
In June, we began swimming, acupuncture and laser therapy three times a week. Libby was a trooper! She became so engaged with the swimming that she would race right back to the pool, step into the water and wait patiently for her session!
After her session, she would return home, ready for a nap or a "suck the baby" session…….
As we got further into the therapy program, our veterinarian continually reminded us to BE PATIENT! He told us during the course of treatment, we would likely see little improvement and believe nothing was working. However, with patience, we would suddenly turn a corner.
Our vet was RIGHT! Lo and behold in mid-September, Libby had NO LIMP!
It is now mid-October. Libby has been off leash numerous times – running, playing, and swimming just like before – and still NO LIMP!
We plan to continue Libby’s swimming and laser therapy for a few more weeks to further build her strength and assure she is healthy and completely healed!
During Libby’s physical therapy, we were also involved with helping Libby’s Uncle Lu fight his battle with cancer. For three months, we spent four days a week going to vet appointments. Yes, it was CRAZY, but we knew the commitment to the treatment schedule was critically important. We have seen the benefits of physical therapy and we now know it can be as helpful for our pets as for ourselves. And, just as with human physical therapy, it is important to ADHERE TO THE PROGRAM.
Lu especially liked visiting the Wellness Center, because he was allowed to play "paper shredder" while Libby went swimming!
We have seen several dogs and at least one cat at the center that were in for rehab therapy, including swim therapy, treadmill, treadmill in the water, etc. These treatments are good for post-surgery rehab, too. Really, it is no different than it is for us!
Sadly, on October 12, 2013, Lu lost his fearless battle with cancer and crossed over Rainbow Bridge. He will be sorely missed by all of us!
Be at peace, Uncle Lu!
All who knew you loved you!
Am/Can CH Neu-Rodes Grand Illusion of Tymtels "Lu"
CDX RE BH AD CS CI V Can.CD/TD CGN
12/16/03 – 10/12/13
We want to thank Melinda for sharing her story about Libby and her journey From Injury to Healthy. Melinda said in sharing her story, she hope others will benefit.
* * *
As Lew mentioned in last month’s newsletter, in addition to diet and exercise, several natural supplements help fight inflammation naturally. These include:
Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules: The EPA and DHA in fish oil (Omega 3 fatty acids) help offset the already over abundant Omega 6 fatty acids found in most foods. If there is too much Omega 6 in the diet and not enough Omega 3, the abundance of Omega 6 can cause inflammation. In addition to fighting inflammation, Omega 3 fish oil also helps support the immune system, heart, liver, kidneys, coat and skin. The recommended dose is one 1,000 mg capsule (180 EPA / 120 DHA) per 10-20 pounds of body weight daily.
Bromelain & Quercetin: Bromelain is an enzyme made from pineapple and is effective in reducing inflammation. When given together with quercitin, it also helps reduce allergic response. Together, Quercetin and Bromelain enhance each other’s anti-inflammatory actions and bromelain helps with the absorption of quercetin in the bloodstream. This supplement should be given at 300 mg once or twice a day for large dogs and 150 mg once or twice a day for medium dogs.
Yucca Intensive: This supplement MUST be givenWITH food and MUST NOT be given with either NSAIDs or steroids!! This supplement is a liquid form of yucca that can be given at one drop per 10 lbs of body weight once or twice daily. Yucca contains saponins, a precursor to steroids but without the harmful side effects, that helps fight inflammation.
Tasha's Herbspirin (use Willow Bark Liquid): This is an herb made from willow bark, which is a natural form of aspirin. It is beneficial for both inflammation and pain. It comes in liquid form, is easy to administer and can be given with food. For dogs 6 months to a year old, you can give 1/2 ml. For dogs over one year or an average of 50 pounds, you can give 2 ml.
Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids: Vitamin C with Bioflavanoids, given in high doses can reduce pain and help repair capillary damage. It is best to increase the dosage over a two-week period increasing the dosage at regular intervals until loose stools develop. Once loose stools develop, bring the dosage down to the last lower dose given. This supplement will also help with allergy symptoms.
If you would like additional information about the benefits of natural supplements for various health conditions, you can find more in-depth information about supplements in my book, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs”!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at B-Naturals!
Celebrate with your family, friends and your pets,
But remember to keep the cooked turkey bones away from your dogs!