If Your Dog Has Reverse Sneezing Episodes, This Point May Help

Dog sneezing 91704460

Does your dog have reverse sneezing episodes? They sound scary but are usually pretty harmless.  Below is a great article by Dr Karen Becker on reverse sneezing and how to determine when it is harmless and when it may be time to check with your vet.

Also if your dog is reverse sneezing there is a point ( of course) that shortens the duration …

Reverse sneezing — also known as mechanosensitive aspiration reflex, inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, and pharyngeal gag reflex – is actually a fairly common respiratory event in dogs. It happens more often in small breed dogs, perhaps because they have smaller throats and windpipes.

Brachycephalic breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, with elongated soft palates, occasionally suck the palate into the throat, which can cause an episode of reverse sneezing.



Try this point and see if it helps your pup.

Presentation GV 14 blog


It is Flea Season Again ..So Here Is Everything You Ever Wanted Or Didn’t Want To Know About Them



Cribnotes… Fleas are no fun, can survive 100 days without food, one flea can drink 10ml of blood.( and dogs rarely have just one flea)

So best bet is prevention. There are lots of alternative or more natural methods to help prevent fleas, essential oils, diatomaceous earth(use with caution) to name a few  lots of baths and grooming. They have a cycle so it can take a while to eliminate them from your house.   If all else fails there is always Dawn dishwashing liquid baths and of course   the traditional methods of flea control too, which can be used initally to get rid of the fleas and then hopfeully more natural  preventative measures will keep them away.

Family: Pulicidae

Fleas are bilaterally-flattened wingless insects with three body parts, head, thorax and abdomen. The thorax has 6 legs arranged in 3 bilateral pairs, and the hindlimbs are enlarged and specially adapted for jumping (using elastic resilin pads rather than muscles).

Fleas undergo complete metamorphosis whereby grub-like larvae form pupae from which adult fleas emerge. The larvae are not parasitic but feed on debris associated mainly with bedding, den or nest material, whereas the adult stages are parasitic and feed on host blood. This family contains several genera and species that are important parasites of humans, domestic and companion animals and wildlife, especially rodents.
Ctenocephalides spp. [these species cause dermatoses in domestic animals]
Parasite morphology:

Fleas form four developmental stages: eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. The eggs are pearly-white ovoid bodies up to 0.5mm in size. Larvae appear as slender elongate brown grubs up to 5mm long, with each segment bearing a ring of bristles. Pupae appear as opaque ellipsoidal encysted stages surrounded by thin silk cocoons, often with detritus adherent to the external surface.

Adult fleas vary in size according to gender, female fleas are larger measuring up to 2.5mm in length, while males are smaller, sometimes measuring less than 1mm in length. All adults have three distinct body segments; head, thorax, and abdomen.

The head often bears genal ctenidium (spines), the dog flea C. canis and the cat flea C. felis have genal ctenidia with >5 teeth. The spacing of the spines is correlated to hair diameter. They are backward facing and used with setae to maintain position among the hair/fur of the host despite grooming.

Host range: Adult fleas attach to dogs, cats, humans, other mammals and occasionally chickens. Most fleas have promiscuous feeding habits and will try to feed on any available host. Most flea species are considered to be host-preferential rather than host-specific.

Site of infection: Adult fleas are blood-sucking ectoparasites living amongst the hair/fur on the skin of their hosts. They can also live off their hosts for extended periods in suitable micro-habitats (bedding, carpets, etc) awaiting the arrival of new hosts on which to jump.

Pathogenesis: Fleas have piercing mouthparts composed of cutting laciniae (back-and-forth action) and a stabbing epipharynx which enters small blood vessels. Saliva is ejected into the general area. Bite sites develop erythematous (reddened) papules or wheals, surrounding the central puncture site. Wounds may persist for days to several weeks and develop a crust of dried exudate. They are intensely itchy (pruritis) and may develop secondary infections if disturbed by scratching.

Fleas are particularly annoying pests on dogs and cats, and can cause severe allergic reactions; especially in inbred strains. Flea-allergy dermatitis is a hypersensitive reaction to components of flea saliva injected into the skin. Severely-affected areas exhibit significant hair loss (alopecia), moist dermatitis (wet eczema) or the skin becomes hardened and thickened. Animals aggravate conditions by licking, biting and scratching and they exhibit restlessness, irritability, and weight loss.

Fleas are blood-feeders (ingesting up to 10 ml per day), so heavy infestations may also cause iron-deficiency anaemia, particularly in young animals. Fleas may act as vectors for a range of viral and bacterial infections and Ctenocephalides and Pulex fleas are intermediate hosts for the tapewormDipylidium caninum in dogs and cats.

Mode of transmission: Fleas undergo complete metamorphosis (egg-larva-pupa-adult). The female usually oviposits on the host but the eggs are not sticky and therefore drop off the host usually in den/lair/nest/bedding where there is a good supply of debris and flea faeces on which the larvae feed. The eggs hatch within 2-21 days releasing maggot-like larvae which are legless and eyeless. Larvae cannot close their spiracles and are sensitive to low humidity. There are usually 3 larval instars which moult over 9-15 days before forming a pupa. The pupa completes development over several days to several months. Low temperatures, however, can extend larval and pupal stages up to one year. Adults can survive long periods without food (up to 100 days at high humidity).

Differential diagnosis: Animals attempt to groom infested areas, and an ‘itch-and-scratch’ syndrome may develop, sometimes associated with intense inflammation or allergic reactions. Adult fleas can be found in infested areas by visual examination (manually parting hairs or using a fine -toothed comb).

Treatment and control: Many chemicals have been developed to kill fleas. These insecticides can be used as powders, washes, sprays, pour-ons or impregnated into collars. They are generally organophosphorous compounds, carbamates, or pyrethrum and its derivatives. Several new generation ectoparasiticides have also been developed as spray or spot-on formulations, including fipronil and imidacloprid. Treatments should be repeated regularly to avoid re-infestation and also to reduce environmental contamination by eggs. Drug efficacy should also be monitored as there are growing reports of insecticide resistance developing in flea populations. Corticosteroids are often used topically or systemically for palliative treatment of flea-bite allergy. Control measures should include environmental management such as the provision of clean bedding, efficient waste disposal and rodent control. Several methods of environmental decontamination have been developed including the use of light traps, indoor insecticides and flea bombs (diflubenzuron, pyriproxyfen, methoprene).

More About Flea Meds

Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on products designed to kill fleas and ticks on household pets, especially dogs and cats. While some of these products are safe, others leave harmful chemical residues on our pets’ fur and in our homes. These chemicals are highly hazardous to animals and humans, can damage the brain and nervous system, and cause cancer. The April 2009 paper Poison on Pets II details a first-of-its-kind study by NRDC showing that high levels of pesticide residue can remain on a dog’s or cat’s fur for weeks after a flea collar is put on an animal. Residue levels produced by some flea collars are so high that they pose a risk of cancer and damage to the neurological system of children up to 1,000 times higher than the EPA’s acceptable levels.

Here is a great link from the NRDC to help you determine which flea meds are the least toxic and hopefully most effective.



Cat Parents  This Is A  A Must Read Post For You …


Now most cat pet owners know NEVER to use Flea meds for dogs on cats, but what some owners do not realize is that your cat sniffing your pup after a dose flea meds or sleeping in his or bed can result in the same toxic side effect.

Pyrethroid toxicosis, typically involving Permethrin, is one of the most commonly reported toxicities in cats to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Inappropriate exposure of cats to Permethrin products results in as many as 97% showing clinical signs with 10.5% ending in death if not treated early and aggressively.

Cats liver’s do not have the ability to process Pyrethrin so even small dose of this substance can cause a reaction. Pyrethrin is also commonly used in bug sprays etc.  So always read your labels and be sure that you do not accidentally apply dog flea meds to your cat. If you have a multi- pet household be sure to flea your dogs in an area away from your cats  and keep them separated until the medicine is absorbed.

Flea meds for cats are available but just be cautious as it is a poison so apply sparingly and carefully.

For more info see the excerpt and link below

Pyrethroid insecticidal products are neurotoxicants targeted toward the nervous system of fleas and other insects, and are used in topical spot–on and household products available over-the-counter and at veterinary hospitals. Topical flea control products are used commonly on pets due to ease of administration and overall good efficacy. Pyrethroids have replaced natural pryrethrins in may products to increase efficacy and stability. Products labeled for use on dogs-only and not intended or safe for cats are often mistakenly or purposely applied to cats. Cats are often intolerant of some insecticides and medications probably because of their livers reduced ability to metabolize some compounds. Adverse reactions can result from an unusual sensitivity at low doses, immune-based allergic sensitively or true toxic reactions at labeled or high doses.

Clinical signs of permethrin poisoning in cats range from facial tremors and ear twitching to generalized muscle tremors and seizures. Some cats salivate profusely and vomit, but this is more likely from ingesting insecticide during grooming or inhalation of mist if sprayed.





If Your Pup Has A Back Injury Or Is Going Through Physical Therapy Adding Acupuncture May Speed Up Recovery


old malinois

This is an interesting study on many levels. If Your Pup has a back injury or age related issues that effect the spine. It not only effects the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) but bone growth and density among other things. So adding acupuncture compliments physical or hydro therapy and may speed up the healing process. Even if it just age related, Acupuncture will help maintain bone density and muscle tone.

Researchers find acupuncture effective for increasing bone strength and preventing bone loss. In a laboratory investigation, electroacupuncture significantly enhanced outcomes by increasing the efficacy of physical therapy procedures. The application of electroacupuncture significantly improved bone density and strength when engaging in load-bearing exercises and treadmill running exercises. Based on the results of the study, the researchers conclude that acupuncture significantly increases bone strength and density, stimulates peripheral nerve repair, and increases the effectiveness of physical therapy procedures.


The peripheral nervous system (PNS) controls sensory and motor innervation of the limbs. Nerve damage has a direct effect on sensation and motor function, but it can also have a myriad of other effects. Neurotransmitters such as neuropeptides send chemical messages by way of the nervous system. The researchers found that “several neuropeptides may be local modulators of bone metabolism, influencing periosteal and medullary blood flow, angiogenesis, and nociception, in addition to having direct effects on osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Furthermore, a recent study showed that bone and periosteum are innervated by sympathetic and sensory nerve fibers, implicating the peripheral nervous system in bone metabolism and indicating sensory and sympathetic neurotransmitters have crucial trophic effects essential for proper bone formation.” [10] Thus, it follows that damage to the peripheral nervous system may also have a direct effect on bone health. The peripheral nervous system can regenerate muscle, bone, and skin, but the healing is slow and often incomplete; experiments have shown the importance of peripheral nerve fibers to bone homeostasis as well as fracture repair. [11] This pertains to human studies as well; it is becoming more widely recognized that strokes increase the incidence of hip fractures [12] and, “in patients with spinal cord injuries, a profound decrease of sublesional bone mineral density was measured in comparison with controls.” [13] Based on the evidence, it is reasonable to assert that restoring nerve supply is essential to proper healing after bone fracture. [14]

To read the full article click below 


Here are a few points from the study to test out on your pup.. The three acupoints the researchers chose for this study were lateral to the L4, L5, and L6 lumbar vertebrae. “Neurons of the sciatic nerve and lumbosacral plexus are beneath these acupoints. Since adequate connectivity in spinal circuits and peripheral nervous system integration are also important factors in nerve regrow, Jiaji-EA may help to facilitate sciatic nerve regeneration after the nerve injury via stimulation of the sciatic nerve and lumbosacral plexus.”

The hua tou jia ji form two rows, running the length of the spine from the neck to the sacrum. They are located 1/2 cun (or “body-inch”)* from the midline of the back. So for dogs approx 1 forefinger width for large and medium dogs and 1 pinkie finger width for small dogs

jia ji for spine


IVDD Is One Of The Most Common Neurological Disorders Seen In Pets. Here Is A Great Explanation, Tips And Points To Help Your Pup

B and D

What Is Intervertebral Disc Disease Or IVDD

IVDD is one of the most common neurologic disorders seen in pets, especially dogs Cats can also have IVDD,  but it is not as common

Intervertebral discs are cushioning pads of fibrocartilage that sit between most of the vertebra of the spinal column. The discs have an outer layer of tough fibrous tissue and a center that is more of a gel-like substance. They act as shock absorbers for the bones called vertebra in the spinal column.

Unfortunately, intervertebral discs are subject to degeneration, bulging outward, and even bursting or rupturing. When something goes wrong with a disc, the material inside escapes into the spinal column, pressing against the spinal cord or nerve roots, which causes pain, nerve damage, and sometimes, paralysis. This is the condition known as intervertebral disc disease or IVDD.

Depending on the location of the damaged disc, problems can occur anywhere in the animal’s body from the neck to the rear limbs.

Two Types of Intervertebral Disc Disease

There are two forms of IVDD in dogs — Hansen Type I and Hansen Type II.


Affected Animals:
Dogs are most often affected; rarely cats may develop a similar disease process. Male dogs are more likely to have disk degeneration than females. Factors that increase the risk of disk degeneration include genetic predisposition, excessive weight, and lack of muscular fitness.

Breeds genetically predisposed to degenerative disk disease include those affected with chondrodystrophy, or abnormal cartilage development. Affected breeds include dachshunds, beagles, cocker spaniels, Pekingese, French bull dogs, basset hounds, Welsh corgis, small poodles and other mixed-chondrodystrophoid breeds.

Large, older dogs without chondrodystrophy may also develop degenerative disk disease.

Here is a full explanation of IVDD and what can be done



So it is really important that if you have one of these breeds to always use a harness as not to pull on their cervical spine. Also if possible try not to let them jump off the couch or bed etc. Ramp training early on is something to consider. Alsp try and keep them at a good weight as obesity can play a big role in this as well. A species appropriate diet can also be a great preventative so there are things you can do to help your pup.

This is a pretty exciting study although human based it will work with canines. The above mentioned breeds are more prone to cervical spine issues so these are great points to have in case something happens but may also be used prophylactically. Obviously see your vet immediately  if your pup hurts their neck or back, but keep these points in mind for after care combined with vet recommendations.

New research concludes that acupuncture is more effective than medications for the treatment of cervical intervertebral disc herniations (CIDH). Local Neck AcupunctureA randomized, controlled study of 420 patients with CIDH consisted of two comparative groups. Group 1 consisted of 210 participants receiving electroacupuncture. Group 2 consisted of 210 participants receiving an oral medication. The results demonstrated that electroacupuncture “has better therapeutic efficacy than the medication group.” The researchers concluded that electroacupuncture “is better than medication in comparing both short-term and long-term therapeutic efficacies in treating CIDH.”

Here are the points

Full study results  see below



Is Your Dog’s Collar Creating Medical Issues?



Collars are very fashionable and should be used for identification, but not for walking or running  with your pet. Can you imagine something pulling on your neck to the point of choking you every time you went past a certain point. The wear and tear on your cervical spine would be enormous, as it is with your pet if he or she is always corrected with a collar .

You have seen dogs get so excited to see their friends or chase after something that they literally  choke themselves. Every time that happens it can actually damage the nerves, ligaments and discs around the cervical area and this can result in an early onset or escalation of the following:

Collars used for walking may aggravate the following in  dogs that are predisposed to:

  • Wobblers syndrome (Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes and other breeds)
  • Spinal cord disorders or Chiari malformation (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and other toy breeds)
  • Slipped discs in the spinal column (Dachshunds, French bulldogs)
  • Hydrocephalus or water on the brain (toy breeds and dogs with shortened heads)
  • Collapsible trachea (Yorkshire terriers and other small breeds)
  • Beagles as the discs their cervical vertebrae tend to bulge and the collar stress can truly aggravate this condition.
  • Seizures

In addition there is research that is now pointing to colllars as a contributer to thyroid issues…


…and possible seizure activity  per Dr Karen Becker

“Cervical subluxation can also cause seizures, and this is something many pet owners don’t realize. I see this type of seizure a lot in dogs that are chained outside. They run out the length of their chain chasing after a bunny, and when the chain snaps back against the neck it causes a high cervical traumatic injury of either the C1 vertebrae (the atlas) or C2, the axis.

The C1 is the first cervical vertebrae in animals, and it articulates with the brain stem. When there is increased cerebrospinal fluid pressure in the brain stem, it can lead to a seizure.”


So get your dog an amazing collar and keep your tags on it. But when you take him or her for a walk, or out to play be sure and put on their harness so they can have a happy, healthy and pain free time.