Introduction

Welcome to Mickey's blog, a blog about a dog who has been there for me and made me smile even when I thought I couldn't any more. A dog who was sent to me by a loving God who knew I needed him as much as he needed me.

Mickey's story is much like other adopted dog's stories. Left at a kill shelter at only six months because his owners didn't want him any more. He waited and waited, but because of his age and because of his energy level he was never taken home and so awaited his death. But Mickey was one of the lucky ones, the rare few who are rescued by those non-kill shelters to be given more time to find their forever home. After waiting patiently for over a year, we finally found each other at a Petco in Austin.

Five years later, Mickey is my companion, best friend and and athlete. With elite and master titles in multiple Agility venues, he competes all over the state, traveling from hotel to hotel. Not only that, he's a Canine Good Citizen and loved by everyone who meets him.

Unfortunately, the unthinkable has happened. And though its fairly common in working, athletic dogs, I was devastated and distraught. Mickey was diagnosed with an ACL tear/rupture on April 3rd 2009 and after a long weekend of research and studying the procedure, he was admitted into Central Texas Veterinary Specialty Hospital for a much needed TPLO surgery by Dr. Kerpsack.


*I'm not a vet and and in no way am I liable for any information on this blog. Please contact your local vet for information on medications or treatments.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day Twenty Two



GOING ALTERNATIVE


So, I've come up with some alternative methods I'm going to use to help Mickey recover quicker and for his bone to heal stronger. I've always been in to the alternative type medications, treatments and so on. But mostly it's been for my horses, because my horses are ALWAYS hurting themselves. Like just today I used comfrey oil on my show dressage horse. I rubbed his legs down with it to help reduce the swelling he's built up (wind puffs - for you horse people reading this) from standing in his stall (because of all the absurd amount of rain dumping on central Texas right now, and I don't have a covered arena). Not only that, he has a hard bony swelling/growth on his mandible as a result of four surgeries from a broken jaw (he snapped it clear across when he caught his lower front set of teeth on a near by blanket bar and yanked his head up as hard as he could to get free). The swelling/growth is supposed to eventually disappear, and it has been slowly (though there is still some trickling puss coming from the most recent entry sight for his last surgery, do too a degeneration of the bone - long story). Anyway, long story short, I use herbal stuff on him and all my other four horses for all their many problems. My list include (but is not limited to); Dried (cut or powdered) lemon balm, comfrey, echineca, silppery elm, marshmallow, chaste tree, devil's claw, raspberry root, ginkgo, and others ; Compressed Comfrey Oil ; Various Aromatherapy mixtures and types such Lavender, Lemon Balm, ect. ; And many different Bach Remedy mixtures including Rescue Remedy, Vervarian, Aspen, Cherry Plum, Cerato ect. I've also used acupuncture, massage therapy, red light therapy, hydro therapy, laser therapy, chiropractic therapy, magnet therapy and others as alternative to medication and surgery. So, naturally, I would start moving my treatments on over to Mickey. Who is going through a very valid reason to use them.

My first thought was that I should start feeding him something internally that will reduce inflammation (inflammation not only happens from surgery, but also during recovery and stressful physical therapy) and encourage bone and cartilage growth. I jumped to all my natural healing books and found some useful information. Which I'll list in a moment. My second thought was that surely there was some sort of poultice or compress or something I could apply topically to help reduce swelling and encourage muscle building. Here is everything I've decided to go ahead and start doing.

Internal
  • Comfrey - Natural Anti-Inflammatory, heals wounds, bones, entire system, cleanses & purifies, encourages healthy blood flow.
  • Slippery Elm - Draws out impurities, encourages healing
  • Devil's Claw - Natural Anti-Inflammatory, mild pain killer
To feed Mickey basically "plant" material, that he wouldn't choose to eat normally, I took some ideas off the web as well as added my own. He gobbled it right down!

I took about 1/4 cup of the three previous stated herbs in a powdered state, mixed them all together thoroughly. Then, I added just enough water to make the mixture "tacky" so that it would stick together and form clumps. Clumps about the size of a nickel or quarter, a size I thought he would be comfortable eating. (slippery elm is a very "tacky" substance and without that "medium" this recipe would need another ingredient such as all natural unsweetened peanut butter or something else "tacky".) Then, I added just a slight bit of honey to make it sweet (though I don't know if I would do that next time, I think he would eat it without the honey). and mixed it all thoroughly. (At this point it looked like a thick mass of nasty junk that was tacky and disgusting looking. lol. ) I rolled the "clumps" in a very slight bit of all-natural unbleached whole wheat flower to keep them from sticking to everything and to each other. Then, (this is the part that made him want it) I layered the ball in a thin layer of his Nature's Variety Raw Instinct Canned Food (which I use as agility "jackpot" treats - but any canned food will do). He inhaled it.

The rest of the "ball/clumps" I put away in the fridge (without the canned food on it, because I didn't want that to dry out and fall off) to use only once a day. Herbs are such a guessing game most of the time that its hard to tell exactly how much to feed your dog. I'm no vet or herb specialist, I just guessed a small amount would do for a medium dog as compared to how much I use for my 1400 lbs horse (which actually isn't as much as you'd think). Also, you're never supposed to feed your animal or yourself herbs for a long period of time. Especially comfrey as it can cause liver function problems if used excessively.

External
  • Comfrey Oil - Massaged onto bruised or damaged muscles/skin will encourage healing and draw out excessive heat. Will encourage healthy blood flow as well as strengthen new growth of muscle and bone.
  • Comfrey Compress - Another tool to get the body to absorb the comfrey, except this is a warm infusion absorbed into a light weight/clean cloth and placed directly onto the injury sight. In essence, you are making comfrey tea and soaking it in a cloth and wrapping your dog's leg in it. I place a plastic wrap over the cloth to keep the moisture and heat in so it doesn't cool down as fast. Warm skin absorbs things faster.
  • Icing - and of course the ultimate treatment, icing. Reduces swelling and encourages blood flow.

Anyway, I have updated movies of Mickey's walking. Plus, a video of his first massage (which he didn't think was exactly a super idea, but I think he's starting to like it. It was the noise that bothered him at first I think.). And, pictures! Of the "clumps" as well as of Mickey and his attitude....





HEY! I don't have an attitude...



With his comfrey compress on..



The clumps... ewww... one with the canned food, the rest without

video

Walking away from camera

video

Its kinda hard to video when you have to walk him too...

video

Getting a massage while he's eating some dinner..


1 comment:

  1. I'd always wanted to be my dog (spoilt rotten)... after seeing the massage video, I'd like to be your dog!!

    ReplyDelete

Please keep all comments positive and open minded with a positive attitude. Suggestions and ideas are always welcome. Please keep all questions directly related to Mickey or this blog.