C O L D R I V E R V E T E R I N A R Y C E N T E R
Allergies in dogs
Large dogs with an aggressive mindset are frightening to handle. "Zoe" was a dog who needed a wide berth, as anyone resembling a veterinarian had to maintain a safe distance from her. Zoe’s story is one of healing the mind as well as the body.
Zoe is a 7 year-old spayed Rottweiller-mix. Zoe’s caregiver telephoned CRVC October 19, 1999; she needed something to calm her dog just for the drive to the veterinary office. We were told that Zoe had seasonal allergies, itchy ears, a green discharge from the eyes, and she chews her paws.
Zoe’s exam at CRVC
We had our first look at Zoe on February 24, 2000. She was clearly nervous around strangers, posturing herself behind the owner. She growled if anyone approached her. The owner believed that Zoe had a traumatic experience as a puppy which had imprinted on her a fearful aggression to strangers. We agreed. At 89 pounds, she was capable of much injury.
Zoe had annual vaccinations from her adoption at age two until she was 6-years old. She was comfortable with the other dog in the family, but not with other dogs. She loved cottage cheese and received a serving almost daily. Her caregiver prepared home food, and gave Zoe a herbal medicine recommended by an animal therapist. She had been on aspirin for a year, and had developed a “bunny hop” gait, the right pelvic limb missing a step when running.
Time to relax
I took the patient history carefully and slowly, to allow Zoe time to relax. However she was not deterred by this gesture. I pulled up a chair for the owner, who sat down with Zoe at her side. While keeping the owner between Zoe and me, I placed my hand on the owner’s shoulder. We were pals, or at least Zoe needed to see that. I asked the owner to place her hand on Zoe’s shoulders and begin to pet the dog in a reassuring way. Using the owner’s hand as an extension of mine, I placed myself arm-over-arm with the owner’s, and we petted Zoe together. We maintained our synchronous glides over the dog’s body so that I could perform a cursory exam without Zoe bolting away.
I finished the exam with the same respect as I started, the owner’s scent now mine, and our scents mixed with Zoe’s. The consultation and exam took 1-1/2 hours, but left a more trusting patient and owner. With a breath of relief I wrote my findings in the medical record: her temperature was normal at 101.5 F; the ear canals were normal; the irises had a healthy, dense appearance (strong constitution); there was no pain on abdominal palpation. Zoe’s skin and coat were healthy. She was sensitive at BL-23, an acupuncture association point (kidneys). We obtained a blood sample for a nutritional analysis (BioMedical Profile) and ELISA food allergy test. A urine specimen was collected for routine urinalysis and a stool sample was submitted for parasitology.
Zoe was highly allergic to many grasses, broadleaf weeds, deciduous trees, and oaks. She had extreme food sensitivities to soybean, corn, rice, potato and carrot. Surprisingly the allergy test was negative for milk. I prescribed three different oral homeopathic antigen extracts for grasses, weeds, and trees, at $12.00 per 1-ounce bottle. The dose was ½ dropper of one extract at bedtime, rotating to another extract each day. This homeopathic allergy treatment (oral desensitization) took approximately three months, from March until late May, 2000.
Zoe stayed on a home made diet of fresh, whole foods,
avoiding the foods she was sensitive to for several months. She was given four
nutritional supplements based on her blood tests and urinalysis: an emulsion of
adrenal and thymus extracts; a
nutritional supplement formulated for eye
disorders (happened to contain what Zoe needed most); lecithin, and a digestive
June 20, 2000
At her first re-check, Zoe is much easier to approach, no longer aggressive! She has nodular red dermatitis and erythema (red color) of her ear flaps. She lost 12 pounds in 4 months. We treated an area of moist dermatitis (hot spot) on her face that was triggered by an insect bite. The owner is to apply aloe vera gel to the hot spot until it has healed. Zoe recovers nicely.
August 30, 2000
Zoe is back for an external ear infection which got worse after swimming. She is treated with a natural enzyme-based antibacterial medication. The owner calls back one week later to report that the ear medication worked great.
December 27, 2000
Zoe is back for a BMP re-check. Her disposition continues to improve, and it’s easy to examine her. She has a mild otitis externa (external ear infection), and now some trigger points (chronic muscle spasms) in her hamstring muscles, triceps, and lateral head of the quadriceps. We advise the owner to try acupressure at home, and dispense a traditional Chinese medicine for the ears. One week later the ears are no better. We prescribed a conventional antibiotic with DMSO as an ear drop, and this resolves the problem in one week.
A new dog
Zoe returns on April 16, 2001 for her annual re-check. Her allergies are essentially gone, she is happy, energetic, ears are healthy, and her points of muscle tension have dissipated. She shows no fear of me, and I am completely at ease with her, nose to nose! We marvel at her one year recovery from multiple allergies, and her good disposition. Her fearful aggression has gone. The “before” and “after” allergy test results speak for us, honestly and objectively (see below).
Zoe is a healthier dog now, with practically none of the itch and frustration she used to suffer from. She was treated with natural therapies, diet and nutrition- no cortisone injections, anti-histamines, or mood-altering drugs were required. To find out more about the natural way to treat allergies, contact us weekdays at (802) 747-4076.
ELISA IgE allergy test results for Zoe, 7 year-old Rottweiler-mix (below)
* = Borderline ** =
Positive *** = Highly Positive
William K. Kruesi, M.S., D.V.M. /2001
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