The Seasons Are Changing…So If Your Pet Is Approaching Their Senior Years Or Has Arthritis Now Would Be A Good Time To Start Working On Your Pet To Prevent Cold Weather Flare Ups

 cute old golden

Arthritis will strike approximately 65% of dogs over the age of 10. And it’s not just a canine disease: Up to 30% of cats will suffer the pain of arthritis sometime in their life. Arthritis can strike any joint in the body, but the most common places we see it is in the spine, hips, elbows, and knees. In dogs especially, arthritis of the lower spine – called spondylosis – is extremely common, and probably the most common cause of rear limb weakness in older dogs.

Signs of spondylosis include difficulty getting up from a lying position, especially on slick surfaces, muscle wasting in the hips and thighs, dragging the rear feet when walking or trotting, and pain in the lower spine when manipulated.

The seasons are changing and Fall is here.. If your pet has arthritis, now is a good time to start working with him or her before the cold weather and winter sets in, as that can be a big trigger for arthritis flare ups.

If you have an older dog or cats odds are they will develop a bit of osteoarthritis. There are ways to minimize and hopefully prevent this. A species appropriate diet is very helpful. Exercise in moderation is also a great way to keep their joints happy and healthy. In addition weight control keeps a lot of stress off their joints.  Hydrotherapy and Acupuncture or Acupressure can be used prophylactically to help prevent or delay the onset. If your dog has been diagnosed with OA the above still applies but you can add a few more modalities eastern and western to the list to maintain a good quality of life.  There is information below and a new study published human based but interesting on acupuncture worked even better if used for a duration of at least a month and did not have the side effects of analgesics

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a common disease that causes joint stiffness and pain. Dogs suffering from osteoarthritis will experience intermittent lameness and difficulty with exercise. The most effective course of treatments for osteoarthritis is a combination therapy of analgesics, to reduce pain, and natural treatments that include:

  • Healthy diet and exercise
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Heat therapy
  • Comfortable environment
  • Chondroprotectants/
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser Therapy

Osteoarthritis gets progressively worse over time. Without treatment the dog can become severely debilitated. There is no cure for the condition. Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and slowing the degradation of joints.

Maintaining Healthy Weight with Diet and Exercise

Maintaining a healthy weight is the first step to alleviating joint pain. Extra weight means additional strain on the joints during movement. If a dog is overweight, a diet and exercise will be necessary to reduce stress on the joints.

Regular exercise can maintain joint flexibility and build or preserve muscle mass. Short walks of approximately 20 minutes should be done several times a day. The dog should be kept on a leash and restricted from activities such as jumping or standing on the hind legs. If a dog appears more uncomfortable and stiff after exercise, the regimen should be changed to an appropriate comfort level. The dog should not engage in activities that cause exertion or bouts of lameness. Physical therapy exercises, such as range of motion exercises, can also improve flexibility and strength.

Hydrotherapy for Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Some dogs may have difficulty even with short periods of exercise. Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, can provide beneficial exercise without putting stress on arthritic joints. The buoyancy of water prevents the weight of the dog from impacting the joints. The dog can then attain muscle strengthening and increased flexibility, without becoming sore or experiencing joint fatigue. Hydrotherapy can be done at canine rehabilitation centers or at home with:

  • Underwater treadmills
  • Physical therapy pools
  • Outdoors (lakes or ponds)
  • Sink or bathtub (for smaller breeds)

Heat Therapy for Osteoarthritis Relief

Moderate heat applied directly to the joints can increase circulation, enhance tissue healing and flexibility, and reduce stiffness. The heat should be low to moderate but not hot to the touch. Heat therapy can be easily done at home using:

  • Heat packs
  • Hot water bottles
  • Microwavable heat disks
  • Warm towels

A Safe and Comfortable Environment

Dampness and cold can aggravate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. A warm and soft place to sleep can prevent the dog from experiencing joint stiffness after periods of inactivity. Keeping the dog warm outdoors, with protective clothing, can also provide relief. Slippery surfaces indoors put an arthritic dog at risk for injury. Place non-slip rugs or mats in areas the dog uses to prevent falls or sprains. Ramps can assist a dog with osteoarthritis with stairs or jumps.

Read more: Natural Treatments for Osteoarthritis in Dogs

 Laser Therapy is another amazing option with good results.  Cold therapy laser is the newest FDA approved treatment modality to help combat the destructive inflammation of arthritis. Cold therapy laser uses infrared laser beams to stimulate what’s termed as Photobiomodulation, or light-initiated changes in the way that cells react. By applying high power infrared light to the cells in a joint, they are stimulated to actually heal themselves

Read more http://acupetvetcare.com/arthritis-pain/

Acupuncture reduces pain and improves functional mobility for patients with osteoarthritis. Researchers from the University of Manitoba, Canada, conducted a meta-analysis of 12 trials consisting of 1,763 patients with osteoarthritis. All trials compared true acupuncture with sham acupuncture, conventional treatments and no treatments. The study finds acupuncture effective in reducing pain intensity levels, increasing mobility and improving quality of life scores. A subgroup analysis reveals that patients receiving acupuncture treatments for intervention periods greater than 4 weeks have greater reductions in pain intensity levels than patients receiving acupuncture over a shorter duration of time.

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1365-acupuncture-calms-arthritis-pain-increases-mobility

Here are the main points from the study and a few others that have been used successfully.

Be sure and find a licensed Veterinary Acupuncturist or a Certified Animal Acupressure Practitioner

Happy Pointing

 ST34 Lateral aspect of the thigh 2 cun above the outer border of the patella

Xiyan, ST35A  35B  two points on the lateral and medial side just distal to the patella

ST36 find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee

SP9 Medial aspect of the of the pelvic limb in the depression of the caudal border of the tibia and the gastrocnemius

GB34 Between the head of the tibia and head of the fibula on the lateral side of the back leg down from the kneecap. The point is found on the lateral aspect of the hind limb between the head of the tibia and fibula

 

KI3 BL60Top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on either side it is kind of like our Achilles this is actually two points KI3 and BL60

Bai Hui Dorsal midline in the lumbar sacral space

arthritis points blog

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If Your Pet Is Fighting Cancer? Acupuncture May Be A Good Modality To Support Your Current Regiment

pug warrior

So there has always been a question if it was a good idea to use acupuncture on cancer patients either human or animal, as there was/is a theory that acupuncture may strengthen the cancer cells . This study addresses that and not only does acupuncture help strengthen immune system it appears that it may even help the body fight off the cancer cells.  Granted this is just one study but hopefully there will be many more as this would be a great non invasive option to help in the fight against Cancer.

New research confirms that acupuncture benefits the immune system and improves the psychological state for these patients. Blood samples prove that acupuncture enhances the immune system’s NK (natural killer) cells .

The research team commented that NK cells are “a first line of defense against the metastatic spread of tumor cells.” Data shows that decreases in NK cell numbers and activity correspond to the progression of cancer. NK cells are immune system lymphocytes that are part of bodily responses to pathological concerns including tumors and virally infected cells. The new study shows that acupuncture benefits NK cell numbers thereby supporting the immune system.

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1324-acupuncture-lowers-chemo-side-effects-ups-immunity#sthash.ENTeYigm.dpuf

Chemo can be tough on the body and the immune system so the points  from the study will support the immune system and help with nausea and fatigue.  Always check with your vet  to make sure they are ok with other modalities and/ or find a vet who is trained in TCM and acupuncture  to add to your team.

 

chemo pprotocol

Points to try…
Front Legs
LI4 Is on the medial side between the dew claw and 2ndmetacarpal bone if no dew claw where the dew claw would be
LU 7 Inside of the front leg just above the crease in the wrist
PE5  Inside of the forelimb about 4 cun* above the crease in the wrist
 TH5 On the outside of the forelimb about 2 cun* above the wrist
Back Legs
ST 36 Find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee
SP9   Inside of the leg a bit below the knee ( in the depression of the caudal border of the tibia and the  gastrocnemius muscle
GB39   3 cun above the lateral malleolus or ankle bone
LIV3 Between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bone

Cun “small measurement”  the find the distance between the wrist and the elbow put your finger there;  half that distance half it again and half it again, The distance between your finger and the wrist is 1 cun so it will be a personal measurement for each animal

 

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If Your Dog Is A Little Stuffy Or Congested Due to Seasonal Allergies , These Points And Tips May Help

 

 

sneezy dog

Pollen counts on average are elevated this year, which  can create an opportunity for  allergies to become more pronounced for you and your pets.    If you notice your pup is a little snuffy or drippy  you will want to check with your vet first to be sure it isn’t anything serious .

Here is some info and a link from Dr. Becker;

“According to a survey conducted by Novartis Animal Health, over half of pet owners aren’t aware their fuzzy family members can also spend the spring season feeling miserable thanks to pollens and other environmental allergens.

Two Categories of Pet Allergies

There are primarily two types of allergies: food allergies and environmental allergies. If your pet gets itchy during spring, summer or fall, they are probably reacting to seasonal, environmental allergens. But if their symptoms continue year-round, it’s more likely the sensitivity is to something more constant in the  environment, or to something in their diet.”

click on link below for full article and some good tips and supplements

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/06/22/pets-seasonal-allergies.aspx

Below are some points to try out on your pup to help alleviate sinus congestion and support the immune system

Acupuncture relieves nasal congestion due to rhinitis. Research published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture  confirms that acupuncture exerts an anti-inflammatory action, enhances immunity, and is effective in the prevention of immunological related disease.

For the full article click below …and scroll down for some good points for your pup…Happy Pointing

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1530-acupuncture-relieves-rhinitis-prevents-oral-ulcers

 

Yin Tang   center of the fore head at the medial edge of the eyebrow ridge.
 GV20 dorsal midline between the ears there is usually a bump where the point is
 GB 20 Right behind the skull or occipital bone one finger off the cervical spine on either side in the divots.
LI20 widest part of the nostril in the nasal labial groove ( they may not love this point so approach and use gently)
LI4 on the inside of the dew claw or the bump on the inside of his front paw where a dew claw would be
GV4 On the dorsal midline in the depression between L2 and L3
LI11 In the outside or lateral crease of the elbow.
 St36 Find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the   little groove on the lateral side of each knee

Points for allergies and Sinus blog2

 

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If You Or Your Pet Are A Little Near Or Far Sited This Point May Help

 

dogs-in-glasses-1

 

This is a great point for humans and canines. I have used it on my senior clients with good results and now there is science behind it ..

GB37 has been used for the treatment of eye related disorders for over a thousand years. The advent of functional MRI imaging has allowed for researchers to measure the specific regions of the brain activated by acupoint stimulation. Clear evidence from this study demonstrates that GB37 acupuncture needle stimulation activates areas of the brain responsible for vision. Researchers carefully noted that the activation of the visual cortex lasted longer than expected following the acupuncture point stimulation. They also referenced this lasting effect as the “sustained effect of acupuncture” and note that future study designs should take into account acupuncture’s ability to make lasting changes. The researchers note that some studies seek to measure an instant on and off effect rather than measuring the duration of acupuncture’s physiological effects.

http://www.healthcmi.com/acupuncturist-news-online/693-mriacupuncturevisiongb?goback=%2Egde_2328513_member_213799169

Here are a few other points to help with vision for you and your pet

GB 37 is from the study the others are just good ones to support eye health. Your pup may not love the points close to the eye but try them on yourself and see what you think :-)

Also note if you or your pet experience any sudden change in vision or acute eye irritation consult your Dr. or Vet immediately as this could be a sign of a medical emergency

 

eye points blog

GB37  five cun above the lateral malleolus (ankle bone on the outside of theback legs)

LIv2 on the back legs where the 2nd toe meets the paw

LIv3 between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones of the back legs  Distal point for eye issues, also benefits hock pain and removes toxins from the body Tonifies liver

Acupuncture Points Around the Eye

There are several powerful acupuncture points around the eyes that promote eye health. These points bring Qi and blood to the eyes to nourish the tissue and improve the condition of the eyes.

Jingming (BL1-1) – When translated, Jingming means Bright eyes. This point is located in the inner corner of the eye. It is one of the primary points to bring Qi and blood to the eyes and is used for eye problems of all kinds including early-stage cataracts, glaucoma, night blindness, conjunctivitis and blurred vision.

Zanzhu (BL-2) – This point lies in the depression at the inner end of the eyebrow. Like Jingming, it is a primary point for the eyes and is used for all types of eye problems. Some of the indications to use this point include headache, blurring or failing of vision, pain in the supraorbital region, excessive tearing, redness, swelling and pain of the eye, twitching of the eyelids and glaucoma.

Sizhukong (TH 23) – In the hollow at the outside end of the eyebrow. This point is used for eye and facial problems including headaches, redness and pain of the eye, blurring of vision, twitching of the eyelids, toothache and facial paralysis.

Tongziliao (GB 1) – Located on the outside corner of the eye. This point is used to brighten the eyes as well as for headaches, redness and pain of the eyes, failing or blurring of vision, photophobia, dry, itchy eyes, early-stage cataracts and conjunctivitis.

 

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If Your Pup Gets A Little Car Sick, We Have Some Good Tips and Points To Help

carsick dog

 

Summer is almost over,  and for a lot of families they have one more trip before school starts.  If its a car trip and you have planning on taking your pup, these tips and points may help.

Here are  some great tips from Dr. Karen Becker :

Prevention tips:

  • Most dogs don’t get carsick on an empty stomach, so make sure there are several hours (at least two) between her last meal and a ride in the car. Don’t withhold water, however.

And keep in mind this may or may not work for your pet, as some dogs need a little something in their stomach to prevent motion sickness. If your pet dry heaves or vomits bile in the car several hours after eating, before your next outing, try giving her a couple tablespoons of food or a few treats to see if she does better with something in her tummy.

  • If your dog travels in a crate (which is the safest method of canine travel), move it from spot to spot in the car to see if the location of the crate makes a difference in how he’s feeling. Some dogs do best if the crate is placed in the rear compartment of an SUV. Others do well on the back seat. Some small dogs prefer their crate to sit on the floor of the front passenger seat where they can see the driver, but not much else. (This location is typically fine in colder weather, but be careful during the summer months, as forward compartment floor space can heat up quickly.)

If you use a harness or other type of restraint, again, try moving your dog from seat to seat if possible to learn where he feels most comfortable.

  • Change your dog’s perception of traveling in the car. Pick a place close to home (no longer than a 10 minute drive from your house) that your dog enjoys. It could be the dog park or a nearby hiking trail.

Either bring someone along to calm your dog while you’re driving, or speak gently and reassuringly to him along the way. Once you reach your destination, devote your attention to your dog, playing or hiking with him, and make the outing fun for him.

On the ride back, again, do whatever works to calm your dog’s nerves. Once you’re home, have another vigorous play session and then let him rest. Repeat this routine at a minimum once a week so your dog learns to associate car rides with fun destinations and playtime with you.

  • Stop frequently on long trips, as some dogs need breaks to prevent motion sickness. A good guideline is to stop after an hour or two and let your dog out (on a leash, of course) to relieve himself. You can also offer him a drink of water or some ice chips to chew.
  • Diffuse the essential oil of lavender in your car by adding a drop to your pet’s collar or place a few drops on a cotton ball close to your pet; use a custom blend of stress relieving essential oils on a Sniff-It (created by my client, Lou Ann!); try Bach Flower essences such as Scleranthus, Rock Rose, or Rescue Remedy; offer ginger root a few hours before traveling.
  • For severe cases of nausea in big dogs, I use a commercially available peppermint oil blend in caplet form. Also consider trying a variety of homeopathic remedies based on your pet’s particular symptoms, including Cocculus, Argentum, Ipecac, and Aconitum.
  • Try a T-Touch anxiety wrap. (Video demonstration).
  • This one may seem a little weird, but it can’t hurt to give it a try. As you’re driving along, point out scenery and other animals to your dog if she’s able to see out the window. Call her by name in an excited voice, and point or turn your head in the direction of the thing you want her to notice.

She may or may not catch on initially, but dogs that ride around a lot with their owners often wind up looking like little furry people as they gaze out the window and take in the sights. The idea with a stressed or potentially carsick dog is to involve her in her surroundings, generate a little pleasant buzz in the car, and provide a distraction for her.

  • Consider driving with the windows down as much as possible (not all the way down, just enough to let fresh air in). It’s not a great idea to allow your dog to stick her head out the window, but if it seems to help her feel more comfortable, make sure she’s very securely harnessed in, and invest in a pair of “doggles” (protective eyewear for dogs) to protect her eyes from sudden rushes of air, bugs, and flying debris.

For the full article click here   http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/08/28/dog-car-sickness.aspx

 

If you have  a pup that does not do well in the  car,  or has motion sickness or gets a little dizzy  these two points are very beneficial. In addition if your pup has vertigo these points are also a great help.

If car trips short or long  are not fun for your pup try doing these points before the ride and if there is a second person in the car possibly during the ride and see if it helps.

Note that any sudden onset of dizziness or staggering should be checked out by your Vet immediately as it may be a far more serious issue than motion sickness …

The choice of acupuncture points is consistent with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory. PC6 and ST36 are   indicated for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, hiccups  among other things

Click on the link below as it explains how and why these points work…  It is quite intersting

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1496-acupuncture-relieves-dizziness-and-vertigo#sthash.cq09XKPS.dpuf

PC6 is located 2 cun above the transverse wrist crease between the tendons of the palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis. PC6 is a luo point and a confluent point of the yinwei channel.

ST36 is 3 cun below ST35 and is one finger breadth from the anterior crest of the tibia in the tibialis anterior muscle. Or find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee

points for car sickness blog

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