(continued from September 2012 issue)
If your animal has mobility issues, it is important to have a diagnosis from a vet. Is it arthritis, hip dysplasia, or something more serious, like cancer? There are a number of health issues that could affect your animal’s mobility. A traditional vet can help with diagnostics. A holistic vet is helpful in utilizing holistic methods, especially difficult cases. You can find them at www.AHVMA.org or do an internet search as not all holistic vets are members.
Prevention and treatment always starts with great nutrition. Please do not overlook this as it is crucial. Keep in mind an overweight animal is more likely to have mobility issues. You need to work on getting the core diet right, first. How do you know what is ideal for your animal? You muscle test. Every animal is unique so their diet should be catered to their individual needs. If you don’t know how to muscle test, we offer an instructional ebook here.
· What type of diet should be fed? Should the diet be raw, canned, can/dry combo or cooked? There is a proper diet for each individual animal. You really need to muscle test to know what method is best for your animal.
· Grains contribute to inflammation issues. Most dogs and cats do best on a grain-free diet. Horses can also benefit from this.
· Chicken and lamb are hot meats in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). See our July 2012 issue about TCM. Hot meats “heat” up the body, so are not ideal with inflammation. Look for a cool meat like turkey or neutral like beef and bison. Remember to check labels as chicken is added to so many products. If you want to see all the meats, vegetables and fruits that are hot, cold and neutral, we offer a detailed TCM charts here. It really helps if you can focus on cool or neutral foods.
· Dairy can cause inflammation in the body. Think twice about offering milk, cheese or other dairy based products, including supplements.
After you have the proper core diet for your animal, then you can look at supplements that can help prevent and treat mobility issues.
· Omega 3 fatty acids produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Consider offering cold water fish such as salmon, cod, or herring or even easier is a fish oil supplement. If they have cancer, flaxseed oil may be a better choice because too much fish oil can offset the balance and tumors may grow.
· Glucomasmine and chondroitin sulfate are two very popular joint supplements. Glucosamine is mainly purchased as glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl). My mare, Tara, is on a glucosamine product called Animed Aniflex. Joint Check for dogs and cats and Joint Check (click on their many great products) for horses contain all 3 supplements. The Muscle & Joint Support by Pet Alive (Click on Pet Alive and then you can look at their great products.) can be helpful for dogs and cats. Both of these companies have great products that we use. How do you know if one of these supplements is right for your animal? You muscle test of course! You test the individual supplement like glucosamine sulfate.
· MSM is another popular supplement. This is what really helped Tara in the beginning. She now receives 20,000mg and my other horse receives 10,000mg of AniMed MSM. And when I wondered if it would help my dog Bandit, I muscle tested. After giving him 10,000mg of MSM daily for just a week, I started seeing great results. I had to increase it some as he aged but he never dragged his legs again, and he lived until 16. Dogs seem to process MSM differently than horses and larger amounts are needed. Interesting side note is that to really help some people, you need higher dosages, too, like 10,000mg. So you can see how the amounts for people and animals really vary. Some animals are sensitive to MSM in that it irritates their stomach. This does not happen that often but is something to be aware of.
· Astragalus, boswellia, devil’s claw root, turmeric and yucca can also help with mobility issues. Herbs can be great but can be like putting a patch on the situation. Some herbs have side effects so you need to use with caution. We’ve especially seen that with Chinese herbs. It’s important to get the core diet right and focus on joint supplements that can have longer lasting results and normally without side effects. Then look at herbs if needed. Arnica is an herb often used as a topical gel or cream for pain relief.
· DHEA a naturally occurring steroid produced by the adrenal glands that can help to put muscle on the hindquarters of dogs, especially males. I learned this from the holistic vet I worked with and it did help Bandit, who was 14 at the time. It generally comes in 25mg capsules and is offered every other day, or daily for several weeks then take a break. Muscle test to see if this could help your dog.
· So how do you know the proper amount? Yes, you muscle test! If you go by the recommended amount on the container, it is for the average animal but you will notice there is usually a weight range. If you give too much, you are wasting the product. If you don’t give enough, you may not see any positive results even though it is the best supplement for your animal. So getting the right amount is crucial. And realize that sometimes you need different amounts than what a product has, like they may have perfect amount of glucosamine sulfate but not enough chondroitin sulfate. You then either buy additional chondroitin or purchase both supplements separately. See what is more cost effective.
· You also have to realize the products and amounts can change over time. How do you know when it’s time to adjust? That’s right, you muscle test.
There are a number of natural remedies to help prevent and treat mobility problems. The best way to know if any of these methods will help is to muscle test. You can also muscle test any applicable amounts along with the duration.
· Animal Communication is a way to find out how your animal is really feeling. Nobody wants their animal to be in pain. Animals view pain differently than we do and think of it more a part of life. Generally they try not to make a big deal about it. So it is hard to know what they are really feeling. You can ask them how they are feeling and you can also ask to go inside their body. Usually the latter provides a more accurate picture of what is going on. This is the most popular consultation we offer and the most popular class we teach. It really changes your life while deepening your relationship with your animal.
· Energy work such as reiki can have amazing results. This is healing energy that is inside of you, that you can offer to your animal. It’s very easy to learn basic energy work. We will be having a teleclass on that soon. If you would like to get on our waiting list for that class, please click here.
· EFT is a form of energy work that works on acupressure points. We have found that more animals muscle test for energy work like reiki rather than EFT though.
· Flower essences are created from the essences of flowers, rocks and water. They work on a deep emotional level. If the cause of the mobility issue is emotionally based, then flower essences have the ability to resolve the issue. They also help the animal to be more accepting and comfortable with their situation. A custom blend is ideal, as no two animals are alike.
· Aromatherapy can helpful. Frankincense and lavender can help with inflammation. Peppermint can help with pain. There are many oils that could be helpful that also work on an emotional level. A custom blend is always best. And if mixing a blend, the carrier oil is important, too. Extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil and sesame oil have warming or anti-inflammatory properties. Keep in mind there are a variety of ways to offer aromatherapy along with precautions. See April 2012 issue for more information about essential oils. Earth Angel Oils has wonderful essential oils, including those created just for animals.
· Crystals may help with mobility and discomfort such as amber, carnelian, chrysocolla, citrine, fluorite, jade, malachite and sulphur. There are so many to choose from and the best way is to muscle test. We make collar/halter pouches that hold crystals and we muscle test to find out what crystals are best for your animal.
· Color therapy has the ability to help soothe and heal. Blue, green and yellow can work well with mobility and pain issues. There are various shades, though, and the best way to know which color is best is with muscle testing.
· Homeopathy can be used to help acute or chronic conditions, though chronic conditions can do best with a vet that specializes in homeopathy. Arnica is often used for pain relief and belladonna may help inflammation. Equine Joint Relief by Pet Alive (Click on Pet Alive to see their wonderful products.) is a homeopathic remedy that may help horses. It is best to muscle test to find out what remedy can help.
· Acupressure and acupuncture can offer relief from pain and aid mobility. There are acupressure practitioners that work on the acupressure points without needles. More vets are learning acupuncture (with needles) and seeing the value in it. When I used to work with a holistic vet, she used acupuncture a lot. I saw dogs have improved mobility after an acupuncture session.
· Massage is great for prevention and treatment of mobility issues. Depending on your animal’s situation, you may need to discuss with your vet if massage is safe. Because it is physical manipulation of the muscles, there are precautions.
· A chiropractic adjustment may help with mobility if the body is out of alignment. It seems active and large dogs need them more. I’ve had all three of my dogs adjusted. Horses benefit especially after a dental float, because the procedure often puts their poll and spine out of alignment. I know as it has happened to my horses.
There are many ways to help treat and prevent mobility issues in your animals. Keep in mind the key to success is muscle testing. If you do not know how to, you can learn with our instructional ebook. Muscle testing is the key to finding the best methods and saving you time and money!
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