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

 

old-dog-cover

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 prophalactically 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, andnatural 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 Practioner

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 Having Surgery Here Are Three Great Points To Help With Post Operative Pain And Inflammation

dog cast

If your pet is going to have surgery post operative pain and inflammation management is a very important part of a good recovery.  Pain can cause inflammation and inflammation can definitely cause pain. Check with your vet and make sure he or she is ok with adding this to your post operative plan.. The sooner you can get your pet back in balance the sooner he or she can start rehab if needed. These points will also work after an injury to reduce inflammation…Always see your vet if your pet has any sudden changes in gait ie limping or breathing or behavior…

These points were reviewed in an evidence based study explain how and why they work so click on the link below for all the details

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1416-anti-inflammatory-acupuncture-protects-from-adhesions

Points and diagram below happy pointing
GV20 dorsal midline between the ears there is usually a bump where the point is
GB7 On the dorsum of the head just above and inside of the edge of the base of the ear
ST36 find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee. If your pup has had knee surgery just do the point on the other knee, until the affected knee gets stronger and further in the recovery process

 

post surgery points st36 gv20 gb7

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

Boxer Puppy in Rear Seat of Car

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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Is Your Pup A Little Constipated ? We Have A Few Points For That

dog-pooping_0

This Summer has  been very hot and dry lots of flaky skin and allergies. In TCM the Lung/ Large Intestine Meridian is directly connected to the skin. So if the skin is dry odds are the your pup is lacking moisture which can result in constipation.

So how is your dog pooping? Not the most flowery subject but an important one.

Poop gives us so much information on how are dogs are doing. Digestion and gut health are big factors in our well being, as well as our pets.  So if your pup is having a bout of constipation, it may just be he or she  isn’t getting quite enough water in his or her diet, the diet itself, or it could be something more serious.

Constipation can happen on occassion to your pup throughout their lifetime. If it does not resolve in a few days you definitely want to make sure you see your vet, as it can be a symptom of a more serious problem in the colon.  If constipation goes on too long it can result in megacolon.

Great article below by  Dr. Becker on how to identfy constipation and what to do ; Also  a study on good points for constipation, and a few for you to try on you or your pup.  Happy Pointing…

Dr. Becker’s Comments:

Your dog is constipated when he either has difficulty pooping (and feces produced are dry and hard) or isn’t pooping at all.

If solid waste stays in your dog’s colon too long, all the moisture in it will be absorbed and stools will become dry, hard, and difficult to pass.

If the situation is left untreated, your dog’s large intestine can actually stretch to the point where it can no longer do its job effectively. This is a chronic condition known as megacolon, and is actually more common in cats than dogs. Our goal is to prevent pets from ever having such chronic and longstanding bowel issues.

 

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2017/07/23/dog-cat-constipation.aspx

 

Acupuncture  study for constipation

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1517-acupuncture-relieves-constipation

 

A few points to try from the study:

LI4 is on inside of the dew claw on the front paw.
ST 36 find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee.
ST25*  On the ventral midline 2 cun lateral to the umbilicus. Find your pups belly button it is usually a bit raised and bumpy and then depending on the size of your pup the point will be anywhere from one to two finger widths off the belly button
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

 

 

 

points  for Constipation

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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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