Animal Acupuncture - Is It Safe? And can you really treat my dog?
Animal acupuncture is a wonderful thing and Oscar had it regularly to keep his back muscles in good order and to alleviate any spasms he had in his stomach. Having the acupuncture on a regular basis kept him topped-up and fighting fit.
If you want to know more about it, then here is some more information from Emma, the practitioner of Natural Veterinary Care and Oscar's therapist and vet.
What conditions can be treated?
In animals, acupuncture is primarily used to alleviate pain associated with musculoskeletal pain such as arthritic joints, post orthopaedic surgery and back pain. However, it can also be used as an aid to treatment in certain skin conditions such as allergic skin disease and some functional conditions such as recurrent constipation in cats and irritable bowel type problems in dogs.
What Can You Expect From Animal Acupuncture?
An acupuncture session will usually last around twenty to thirty minutes. The initial consultation will last longer in order to enable me to gather your pet’s full history and perform an examination. In addition, I will need to contact your regular Veterinary Surgeon to obtain consent for treatment prior to our first consultation.
A course of four to six weekly treatments is usually recommended, followed by a maintenance treatment every four to six weeks depending on the problem and how your pet responds. Acupuncture can almost always be claimed for on pet insurance, providing the condition that the animal is receiving acupuncture for is covered by the policy.
With animal acupuncture, isn’t it hard to make them lie still?
Most animals tolerate needle placement extremely well. I have even had some dogs fall asleep during treatments! During animal acupuncture, if your pet does become sleepy during or after the treatment, this is usually a sign that he or she will respond well to acupuncture. Having said that, if your pet doesn’t become sleepy this does not mean that there will be no response. Approximately 80% of animals will respond well to acupuncture.
The number of needles placed and the length of time they are in place for during treatment is individual to the patient, and you will probably see one of three things following treatment:
If you feel your pet may benefit from acupuncture or have any questions please contact me!
I am also able to provide home visits – please contact me for details.”
If you have a dog with a debilitating condition where more medication is all that is recommended, I cannot encourage you enough to give this a try. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
Animal acupuncture is fast becoming recognised in the main stream as a safe, non-intrusive treatment for many ailments, which is great; the added benefit with acupuncture is that there are no side-effects that perhaps traditional western medicine may have. If you have any other questions about this treatment, please feel free to comment below or contact me directly.
Yet another chicken jerky recall!
Dogs are becoming seriously ill and even dying from contaminated chicken jerky, particularly from China. Do NOT give your dog jerky bought in a pet store or supermarket!
It angers me that every year I see recall’s of commercial pet food and treats because of serious contamination...and nothing is changing. Have a look for yourself online, there have been so many recall’s over the years.
Pet owners are being hoodwinked by the whole commercial pet food industry and it’s our dogs that are unwittingly paying the price.
Dried chicken, or ‘jerky’, is considered a natural treat, supposedly with no additives, just plain old chicken…dried…something that should be delicious and healthy.
But what I didn’t realise, until a few years ago, is that the chickens that this jerky comes from are from birds not considered fit for the human food industry – it’s all the left-overs…
So What Birds Are Used I The Dogs Treats Involved In The Chicken Jerky Recall?
Well, animals that are used in commercial pet food are known as the 4 D’s – Dead, Dying, Diseased & Disabled. So that’s all the birds that die in the overcrowded, sunless barns and are left being trampled on lying on the faeces-covered concrete floor; those dying of disease like cancer or raging infections; or disabled…disabled in that they are unable to get up because their legs have given way due to their bones growing too quickly from the growth hormones pumped into them, to make them get big and fat, in an unnaturally short space of time. Sound appetising?
It’s also worth noting that any animal carcasses that are to be used for the pet food industry, including those of the birds used in the chicken jerky recall scandals, are flung into large vats and stored for days before being transported to the plants that process the rotting meat.
I stopped giving Oscar store bought chicken jerky, primarily, because I didn’t agree with how they treated battery chickens, but it's more than that. It’s also about the quality of the meat, and it’s not good. ‘Natural’ treats are great, but not when the source of them is bad.
Be aware of what you feed your dog, they rely on you to do the best you can by them.
That’s why I stopped buying store bought treats and started to make my own, so I knew what went into them. Don’t let your dog be a victim of things that can be avoided like the chicken jerky recall scandal. Treats can be simple to make, but If you need a bit of guidance, my free guide can help you – download it from here and start taking control of your dogs health – every little helps, as they say :)
DOGS BODY LANGUAGE – WHAT A TAIL CAN TELL YOU
You can gauge a lot from your dogs body language.
Dogs communicate with each other almost exclusively without sound, so it’s handy to be able to pick up things such as fear or aggression while out on a walk, so you can cut in before things escalate in ways you don’t want.
Have a look at this quick video from the online dog trainer Doggy Dan, all about what a tail can tell you…
Being able to interpret quickly and with a high degree of accuracy any dogs emotional stage is very useful as it gives you a good indication of that dogs’ intention.
As explained in the video you can tell the emotional states of your dog (or others) from the angle of their tail and there are 5 very distinct positions – they are as follows:
5 States A Dog's Body Language Will Tell You
The 5 states are easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for and reading your dog will go a long way to understanding their needs and keeping them safe.
Obviously, if your dog has a docked tail it is going to be a bit harder to tell, but in most cases you can still see the angle of ‘stump’.
Even if your dog has a short tail from being docked, you can still tell – it may be a little harder to see immediately, but the tell-tail (no pun intended) signs are there.
Can you read your dogs body language?
PROTEIN FOR DOGS – THE TRUTH THAT YOU WON’T HEAR FROM THE COMMERCIAL PET FOOD INDUSTRY
Protein for dogs is essential for optimal health…
Protein is a major building block to health and is needed for growth, maintenance and repair of the entire body, so without good quality sources, a dogs body will deteriorate over time.
Certain, ‘essential’ amino acids can only be gotten from ‘complete’ proteins such as meat, dairy, eggs and poultry. These amino acids are broken down, absorbed and reformed to create new proteins that are used in the body.
It is also necessary for the production of antibodies, which fight against infection and illness, and is the main nutrient that keeps your dogs coat shiny and bones strong. Protein is a major component of all muscles, tissues and organs and is vital for practically every process such as metabolism, digestion and the transportation of nutrients and oxygen in the blood.
Why Is Protein For Dogs Particularly Essential?
Our domestic dogs are carnivores and are most similar to wolves - they only differ by a mere 2% genetically from their wild ancestors; their digestive systems are just the same.
In the wild a wolf will mainly live off the prey they have caught. From this, they will eat various parts including certain bones, muscle meat, organ meat (kidney, heart, liver etc) and the stomach contents.
So, with that in mind, would it not make sense that to thrive, a domesticated dog’s food should simulate, as much as possible, the natural diet? And be fed food that the stomach can easily draw nutrition from?
The answer is… yes, of course!
What if the commercial food says it meets the minimum required amount of protein for dogs?
The majority of commercial foods today fall way short of providing your dog with the essential healthy foundation of protein that he or she will need in order to thrive. And I mean ‘thrive’ not just ‘survive’…
You must be aware that the minimum amount of protein that must legally be in commercial dog food, for an normal adult dog, is ONLY 18% ! As long as the food meets this standard, then they can claim it is ‘balanced’ and meets all protein requirements.
This is not enough – as I have mentioned above, it is essential, and in LARGE amounts. This should equate to at least 70-80% of their diet. Check the labels and make sure protein is high on the list – check out my blog on dog food reviews for more info on this.
As well as low levels of protein for dogs, a lot of commercial dog food has low quality protein which comes from undesirable sources such as soy, wheat and corn. These are all extremely hard for your dog to digest – if at all – and provide no nutritional value whatsoever.
Why do they use these forms of protein?
Quite simply… because it’s cheaper.
Did you know that most breeds of dogs should genetically, live longer, sometimes even up to double what is normally accepted as a ‘good’ age, when fed a species appropriate diet (i.e. a fully balanced raw diet) as opposed to a commercially processed one?
Make sure your pet is getting a good quality food as without it, he could be facing the future with a multitude of health problems such as cancer, diabetes, digestive problems, allergies, heart failure and even death at an early age, as the body wears out from lack of proper protein for dogs.
Keep your dog safe and healthy and make an informed choice.
To your dogs health!