If you want to learn about holistic animal remedies and therapies that can help your animal live a longer, healthier, and happier life, this e-zine is for you. It will primarily focus on dogs, cats, and horses but if a reader wants to learn about rabbits, chinchillas, ferrets, lizards, snakes, doves, parrots, etc., then I'll be more than happy to discuss health care for these animals as I've helped provide care for them for nearly 16 years.

News from Abroad and Around Town
Natural Balance Foods Recalled

This recall is for both pet and human foods. Natural Balance has announced that it is recalling it's Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs due to a supplier's recall. The affected formulas include 15oz cans of: Irish Stew, Hobo Chili, Chinese Take-Out and Southern Style Dumplin's with Gravy. The supplier, Castleberry Foods, found one instance of botulism in improperly sealed cans of human food, so it is taking precautions and recalling those specific foods. To find out more, click here.

Kingwood Barktoberfest hosted by Pampered Paws Boutique & Urban Paws Magazine
DATE: Saturday, October 6, 2007 - Rain or Shine
TIME: 10 am - 6 pm - Howlin' Hounds Walk begins at noon
LOCATION: Kingwood Town Center Park 8 North Main St. in Kingwood, TX
First Annual Kingwood Barktoberfest to benefit area rescue groups & shelters that work year-round to help homeless & neglected animals. Proceeds from this event will go towards making a difference in the lives of these animals. Many rescue groups will participate to raise awareness and support of various breeds.

Participants can enjoy a fun-filled day of activities to include: costume contest, pet photography, flyball & agility demonstrations, canine freestyle dancing, search & rescue demonstration and more!

The "Howlin' Hounds" Walk will begin at noon and is open to anyone who wishes to participate. A silent auction and raffle wil provide a chance for everyone to win some great items donated by area businesses.

Sponsors have the opportunity to display and sell at their booths - a great opportunity to reach a large number of people who love animals.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or for booth space information, please click here.

Helpful Tips

Summer Time: Preventing Heat Stroke and Sunburn
Before You Give Annual Vaccinations

Preventing Heat Stroke & Sunburn

For many of us, August is the hottest month of the year. It is imperative that your animals have water, shade, and proper ventilation at all times or they can end up with heat stress or stroke, and possibly die. Animals that are older, very young, overweight, or have heart and respiratory conditions are more prone. If you are bringing your animal inside at night and putting them outside during the day, think about how much of a temperature change you are having their body adjust to since the night is the coolest part of the day. It is especially harder for older and long-haired animals.

If you hose your horse off or bathe them, it is actually better to squeegee the water off afterwards because the leaving the water on can help hold in the heat. (Even llamas are prone to heat stress and hosing their entire bodies actually can heat them up - it is best to hose just their belly, chest, and legs.) For animals that are outside and have a more difficult time dealing with the heat, consider a fan. You can also put some ice cubes in their water, give them a homemade frozen pop (you can even make ice cubes with treats for smaller animals or put treats in plastic bottles or milk jugs for larger animals and then cut the plastic off) to lick/chew on, or a frozen water bottle to lay against (keeping in mind that in the heat, they don't stay frozen that long). Clipping is always an option, just keep in mind that the coat protects their body to a certain extent. Remember that animals with light-colored hair or pigmentation, especially short or thin coats, are more prone to sunburns. It's important to use a formula made for animals as human products may be toxic to your animals. Make sure you apply it to the exposed and thin areas and pay attention to the tips of ears and noses. Entirely Pets has lotions and sprays for dogs, cats, and horses. If licking isn’t a concern, then you can use sunscreen for babies.

Before You Give Annual Vaccinations
Many owners take their animals to the vet during the summer time for their annual check up and vaccinations. While annual check ups are a good idea, you need to seriously think about whether or not your animal needs shots. Sadly, vaccines can cause many health problems for your animals, including allergies, auto-immune disorders, liver damage, renal (kidney) failure, paralysis, laminitis/founder (in horses), leukemia, and yes, even cancer AND the diseases the vaccinations are supposed to protect them from. Keep in mind that giving shots is about 50% of most veterinarian practices but more dog and cat vets are realizing the possible harm shots can do and are adjusting what they recommend. Equine vets are more likely to recommend the normal series of shots so it's important for horse owners to do some research.

Many holistic vets are recommending that animals receive vaccines when they are puppies, kittens, or foals, boosters at a year, and then check titers annually thereafter. Studies done at the University of Wisconsin's Veterinary Teaching Hospital show that vaccines for distemper, parvovirus, and hepatitis protect for at least seven years. If a titer shows any antibodies, immunity is present. If it does not, immunity may still be present and is not showing up. If the animal was vaccinated before or had natural exposure, most likely immunity is present and you do not need to revaccinate. Another thing to keep in mind is whether to give your animal a modified live virus (MLV) vaccine or a killed virus vaccine. MLV vaccines do carry more of a risk of becoming virulent than killed virus vaccines but killed virus vaccines don’t always offer the same protection as the live vaccines and usually contain more dangerous adjuvants (adjuvants stimulate the immune system and sometimes cause inflammation at the injection site, which can lead to incomplete atoms interfering with the DNA and even causing a cancer that is frequently deadly at the site). It is also thought that live virus vaccines may last for life but it’s recommended that you do not expose other animals to those that have gotten a live virus vaccine for 10-21 days after receiving the shots because MLV vaccines shed through the feces and skin. With a rabies vaccine, killed is preferred because you do not want to introduce rabies with a live virus. (The live-vectored vaccine is up and coming and provides immunity from disease without introducing the disease into your animal and also doesn’t need adjuvants. It’s currently available for canine distemper and west nile virus and hopefully we’ll see protection offered against other diseases in the near future).

While it is important to protect your animal from rabies and you need to vaccinate according to the law (and some areas even have additional vaccine requirements), there is now a 3 year rabies vaccine. You can also have rabies titers checked by your vet to see if your dog, cat, or horse needs to be revaccinated. If the titer test shows antibodies, it proves to authorities that your animal doesn't need another vaccination because the last shot is still effective. Distemper and parvovirus shots are important for puppies because the diseases can be fatal. For kittens, panleukopenia (also called feline parvovirus, distemper, cat fever, or cat typhoid) and rhinotracdheitis/calcivirus) are important. Protection against tetanus for horses is important but your horse can have antibodies for a number of years. Some horse owners believe vaccinating against encephalitis is important but others don’t give this vaccine to their horses at all. You need to consider the benefits and risks.

Before you decide what shots to give your animals and when, you should answer some questions.

  • Did you adopt or purchase your animal? Is so, check the shot record so you don't give unnecessary shots.
  • Are you going to board your dog, cat, or horse? If not, consider not giving bordatella to your dogs and cats (also known as kennel cough) - it's something contracted in shelters and kennels and even considered curable with antibiotics. For horses, consider not giving the rhino/flu shot. Also, there are some boarding places that are holistic focused out there that do not require a healthy animal to have vaccinations with a letter from your vet - do some research and look for them. One such place that boards dogs in the Houston area is Urban Tails .
  • Do you live in an area or are traveling to an area where lyme disease is a problem? If not, then consider not giving this shot to your dog.
  • Is your horse in an area or are you traveling to an area where horses have been diagnosed with west nile virus? If not, consider not giving this vaccine because some horses have serious reactions to it, including foundering.
  • Is your animal stressed or sick? If so, then now is not the time to give any shots as your animal is more likely to have adverse reactions. Stress and vaccinations can weaken the immune system.

  • When giving shots, it's best to not give your animal more than one shot (at least a week apart) at a time to help avoid possible reactions. Remember, for any vaccinations you do give your animals, consider getting titers or at least consider spacing your vaccination schedule out where it’s every 3-5 years.

    This is a lot to think about. Educate yourself and do not be afraid to ask your vet questions. Weigh the risks versus the benefits. More and more owners are not giving annual vaccinations, especially to animals over three years. If you want to learn more, you can read Stop the Shots! Are Vaccinations Killing Our Pets? by John Clifton.

    Upcoming Workshops
    I offer classes and workshops at my farm and at other residences, farms, and businesses. If you are interested in any of the workshops or hosting one, please click here. If you host a workshop, you can attend F*R*E*E if you have 3-6 paying people (depends on travel time).

    F*R*E*E Introduction to Holistic Animal Care
    Learn how animal communication, reiki, animal massage, Bach flower essences, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and kinesiology can help your pet. This is your opportunity to learn more about holistic animal therapies. This is a F*R*E*E class but you must register to attend.

  • Saturday, August 18th 5:30-7:30pm
  • Saturday, September 15th 5:30-7:30pm
  • Saturday, October 27th 5:30-7:30pm

  • Basic Animal Communication Workshop
    Everyone has the ability to communicate with animals. It is only a matter of awakening this ability inside yourself. If you have ever wanted to know what your animal is thinking, feeling, their life purpose, or how to help them with a behavioral or physical condition, this workshop is for you. A group situation provides an ideal learning environment. Through photos of workshop participants' animals and an animal at the farm, you will learn to communicate with animals, including those that are in spirit. Deepen your bond with your animal and experience your relationship like you have never done before.
  • Sunday, September 9th 10am-5pm
  • Sunday, October 21st 10am-5pm

    Reiki I for People & Animals Workshop
    Reiki is a Japanese technique that promotes healing and can have amazing results. Reiki for animals and people helps heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. If your pet has emotional problems due to a traumatic situation, reiki can help release and heal those emotions. For behavioral issues such as nervousness or hyperactivity, it can help your pet relax and reduce their stress and anxiety. If your pet is sick or injured, reiki can help your pet heal more quickly. If your pet is facing a serious illness, it can help bring comfort and be a great complement to other forms of treatment. If your beloved pet is dying, reiki can help bring peace and comfort to you and your pet during this difficult time. Level I gives you the ability to do reiki on yourself, others, and animals, and is especially important for self-healing. Workshop participants will learn how to do reiki on one another and several live animals at the farm.
  • Sunday, August 12th 10am-5pm
  • Sunday, October 28th 10am-5pm

  • Canine Massage Workshop
    Bring your dog and learn the many benefits of massage, precautions, and techniques on a dog used to massage and on your own dog. If you have an older dog, a competition dog, or one you love and want to help as they age, this class is for you.
    Date: Sunday, September 23rd 10am-5pm

    Referral Credit
    Refer one person for an animal communication, reiki, or massage session or workshop and receive $25 off of a session or workshop or a $25 gift certificate to pass on to a friend (makes a great gift!). Be sure to tell your referrals to mention your name. (Not applicable to those hosting workshops.)

    F*R*E*E Monthy Drawing
    If you would like to enter the drawing for a distance reiki or animal communication session, please enter here.

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    Blessings to you and the animals you love!