Natural Home Remedies for Sick Dogs

Natural Home Remedies for Sick Dogs

Complimentary post provided by Sabrina Burke at Chasing Tails

Seeing your beloved friend in pain can really tug at your heartstrings. But as with all of us, dogs are likely to experience some type of pain over the course of their lives.

There are various causes to the pain your dog experiences – whether it’s everyday aches and pains associated with aging, such as joint pain, or from an illness or injury.

In many instances, it’s essential to get your vet’s advice as to what to do, so check with them first. If you don’t want to use standard dog pain reliever medicines, you can turn to natural remedies if your vet supports this. What you can use depends on the nature and extent of your dog’s pain and the circumstances surrounding the pain.

Here are some options for natural pain remedies for dogs that you may wish to consider.

Make life easier for your pet

The first way to help your pet with pain relief is to make them as comfortable as you can. If your friend enjoys climbing up onto soft furniture to be with you, get a dog ramp for the bed or sofa.

Give your pet extra affection, as we all crave extra pampering when we aren’t feeling our best.

Glucosamine

A common cause of chronic pain for dogs is arthritis, particularly for older dogs. Joint supplements can be very effective in helping your dog feel less pain and enjoy more mobility.

The most common kind of joint supplement for arthritis contains glucosamine. Glucosamine is a natural substance found in the body. The glucosamine in supplements is usually either extracted from shellfish or fabricated in a laboratory. Glucosamine helps lower pain by repairing the cartilage in the joints, which leads to lowered rates of inflammation and, consequently, less pain.

Chondroitin and MSM

Another popular ingredient in supplements for dogs for pain relief is chondroitin. Chondroitin is an essential component of our cartilage, preventing it from breaking down. Chondroitin can even stimulate cartilage repair processes.
Chondroitin is often combined with another substance called methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM. MSM is a naturally-occurring compound in our bodies, as well as in animals and plants. The essential element of MSM is sulfur, which can be produced in a lab as a powder for supplements.

Turmeric

Many people report the benefits their dogs get from eating food with turmeric. Turmeric comes as a powder, paste, or liquid. There are even chewable treats for dogs containing turmeric, as well as pet foods with turmeric.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is simple to give to dogs. You can provide fish oil supplements, of course, or whole fish. Anchovies or sardines are good sources of oily fish for your friend. Some prescription dog foods have high amounts of fish oil.

CBD Oil

Cannabis-derived oils and supplements are becoming greatly popular. Many people have reported all kinds of benefits for their pets.
CBD oil comes from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant. But before you think marijuana, CBD contains almost no THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. You’re not giving your dog something that will make your friend ‘high.’
Most of the CBD results for pets come from anecdotal reports of owners, as there hasn’t been enough research yet. But given the high amounts of testimonials, you may want to try this for your pet.

Alternative Therapies

There are several alternative therapies that you could try, instead of or in addition to supplements:
 Aromatherapy. As with humans, essential oils can help relieve stress.
 Massage. Dogs can enjoy massage therapy to improve blood flow, lower their stress levels and relax their muscles, resulting in less pain.
 Hot or cold packs. Try a hot gel pack or an ice pack for your dog. Check with your vet to see which one would be applicable for your friend’s pain.

Before trying any of the above therapies, check with your vet or with a holistic vet. Make sure the person delivering the treatment is a licensed practitioner.

Natural herbs

Some natural herbs can help dogs with pain. A few examples – in addition to turmeric, mentioned earlier – are cinnamon, hawthorn, and Boswellia serrata (resin from the tree of this name.)

A note of caution

One thing to remember is to never give your dog friend painkillers or any other substances that are meant to treat pain in humans. If your vet or holistic vet has prescribed supplements for your pet, only give the recommended dosage.
When in doubt, or before giving your dog any new substances or foods, check with your vet.

Keeping pets and the community safe

Keeping pets and the community safe

As the coronavirus started to spread a month ago, you probably saw information on creating an emergency plan for your pets in case you or a family member fall ill and can’t care for them. Minneapolis Animal Care and Control reminds us that the best place for our pets is at home and/or being cared for by someone they know, and having a detailed plan and emergency kit packed for your pets helps ensure this can happen. Right now it is also important to have more than one temporary caretaker lined up in the event one of them is unable to take on the responsibility.

MACC has other tips for emergency planning for pets here: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/animals/emergencyplanning

But the current pandemic has shown some other issues with pets that MACC would like you to be aware of.

  • MACC Field Staff has also seen a significant increase in the number of stray and loose loose this spring. This is most likely caused by more kids and family members at home, and dogs sneaking out of doors or gates that aren’t properly latched.
  • And dog bite/incident calls have also risen this spring – an 87% increase in calls between March 1st and April 8th this year compared to last year. Nearly half of the cases reported were in conjunction with the aggressor dog being off leash. More people are taking their dogs for walks, and not always keeping them leashed as is required by law.
  • Cats are also slipping out of the house: MACC has seen a huge increase in the number of loose cats that have been injured by cars or dogs.

As you spend more time at home, please make sure to pay special attention to your pets’ surroundings. Make sure doors and gates are secure, and take special care with kids to make sure they aren’t letting pets escape. When walking your dogs, keep them leashed at all times and honor the social distancing guidelines for other dogs as well – not all dogs like to be close to other dogs!

Currently Minneapolis Animal Control  is only responding to emergency calls (sick, injured or dangerous dogs) so we need to work together and do everything we can to help keep our pets, ourselves, and our neighbors safe.

What to do you find a stray

Find a safe place for the dog to stay.

Call on any tags if the dog is wearing a collar.

Walk the dog around the neighborhood and/or knock on doors to see if someone recognizes the dog.

Have the dog scanned for a microchip, most vets will do this for you.

Ask local vets to see if they received a report of a missing pet or have that dog on record as a client.

Take photos of the dog and post online:
• Facebook pages for Lost/Found
• Animal Humane Society Found
• Neighborhood group pages
• Craigslist (Pets section and Lost & Found sections)
• Nextdoor app
Lostdogsmn.com

Make posters to hang up in the area it was found.

Message us with a photo, location, date found, etc. and we’ll post to our page and help network.

Always try to require proof of ownership (veterinary records, bill of sale, photos of you and your pet together, etc.) from anyone who wants to claim a lost dog. You want to be sure they are going to the right home.

Call Minneapolis Animal Control to make a FOUND report. If someone is looking for the dog, they can reach out and connect you with the owner.

If you can’t keep the dog safe, or if the dog is sick, injured or dangerous, please call Animal Control at 612.673.6222 or call 311.

We are unsure exactly what the policy is on the intake of stray dogs at Animal Control at this time, please call them and ask questions.

 

 

Family Pet Resources

Family Pet Resources

We are glad to have you as part of the Save-a-Bull family! We’re here to support you, and your dog, in times of need and every day. Here are some resources if you need help with vet care, housing, training and more:

VETERINARY CARE

 

Animal Humane Society
Financial assistance, domestic violence resources, foster homes for active and retired soldiers/veterans, low-cost veterinary care, senior citizens
https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/health/financial-or-domestic-assistance

Care Credit
No-interest payment plans
https://www.carecredit.com/vetmed

Frankie’s Friends
Grants to partially cover emergency or specialty pet care
https://www.frankiesfriends.org/

Magic Bullet Fund
Assist with treatment costs for dogs/cats with cancer
https://themagicbulletfund.org/

Minnesota Spay & Neuter Assistance Program
Low cost spay and neuter
https://mnsnap.org/

Mission Animal Hospital
Veterinary services at reduced cost to low income families or on government assistance programs. Financing options available.
https://www.missionah.org/

Red Rover Relief
Urgent care grants, domestic violence grants
https://redrover.org/relief/

The Mosby Foundation
Assistance with sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs
https://www.themosbyfoundation.org/

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation
Medical care grants
http://www.onyxandbreezy.org/

The Pet Fund
Assistance with veterinary care costs
https://www.thepetfund.com/

Ruff Start Rescue
Reduced cost microchip and shot clinics
https://www.ruffstartrescue.com/

A Rotta Love
Reduced cost microchip and shot clinics

https://arottalove.org/

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 EMERGENCY

Red Rover Relief – COVID-19 Emergency resources
Veterinary care grants, emergency boarding grants, pet food, emergency plans for pets
https://redrover.org/news/coronavirus/

 

TRAINING/BEHAVIOR

Wag & Train

Training and behavioral needs
https://wagandtrain.com/

Animal Humane Society
Pet behavior resources
https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/behavior/pet-behavior-resources 

Twin Cities Obedience Training Club
Puppy, obedience and agility classes and more
http://www.tcotc.com/

 

MORE RESOURCES

Handicapped Pets Foundation

Donate mobility equipment to pets in need
https://www.hpets.org/

People & Pets Together
Offers free pet food in times of need
http://www.peopleandpetstogether.org/people-and-pets-together-food-shelf/

Pets for Patriots
Connects veterans with homeless pets
https://www.petsforpatriots.org/

My Pit Bull Is Family
Pit bull friendly rental listings and resources for North Minneapolis families
https://www.mypitbullisfamily.org/

Cornerstone
Protection for pets in crisis and crime victim situations
https://cornerstonemn.org/emergency-services/protection-for-pets/

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control
No-cost kenneling for victims of domestic violence
http://www.minneapolismn.gov/animals/safe-kenneling

The Zebra

Sourcing tool to evaluate homeowners insurance plans that cover pets 

https://www.thezebra.com/homeowners-insurance/coverage/does-homeowners-insurance-cover-pets/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Dogs Look for a Holiday Miracle

Special Dogs Look for a Holiday Miracle

Nothing is better than fun little surprises during the holiday season! Well, this month we got our fair share of surprises here in rescue. We’ve taken in three very special needs dogs this month and one vet appointment after another has revealed some not-so-nice surprises as each of these dogs requires more and more medical attention.

Here are the stories of Kenga, Chunk and Irish – all of whom are in desperate need of a holiday miracle.


KENGA
Pitbull Mix
5 months

When Kenga arrived to rescue we assumed she’d be a happy healthy puppy. Her ragged and patchy fur told a very different story. She was excessively skinny and was having trouble keeping her food down so we took a trip to the vet to try and get some answers. X-rays led them to believe that Kenga might be suffering from Esophagitis, a temporary inflammation or infection of the esophagus, or Megaesophagus a more permanent condition where the muscles of the esophagus do not work and food and water cannot be moved into the stomach.

Kenga was put on a two week trial to figure out exactly what here prognosis is. During this time she is on medication to try and decrease the swelling and fluid in her throat, to prevent infection, and to keep food down.

Kenga is currently eating from baby highchair since she needs to eat sitting up and then stay that way for 20 minutes after eating to keep the food down. A middle school shop class in Wayzata has offered to build her a Bailey Chair to help her eat more comfortably and that should arrive soon!

Kenga has a follow up visit scheduled for the December 21. If she is diagnosed with Megaesophagus she will likely have to live with medication, a special diet and a Bailey Chair for the rest of her life.

 

 

Update 12.18.18: It is with great sadness that we have to share the passing of our little Kenga. Since we introduced her last week, her health declined rapidly. Despite treatment and medication, her esophagus continued to swell and press on her trachea which was very painful and made it impossible for her to breathe. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to let her go.  Kenga’s foster, Autumn, has been an amazing comfort to her throughout her short journey. If loved could have saved Kenga, Autumn was the right person to give it a try. Rest in peace, sweet Kenga.


CHUNK
Old English Bulldog
6 months

Chunk has already had a very long journey in his short life. He originated in Europe where he was sold to a local breeder and shipped to Minnesota. When he arrived, the breeder found that he had a multitude of health problems and refused to breed him to prevent his issues from being passed down the genetic lines. He surrendered Chunk to rescue with the hopes that we could address his problems and offer him some quality of life.

This amazingly handsome dog was believed to have hip dysplasia, cherry eye, a deviated septum and some major trouble breathing. We took him in and immediately scheduled a vet appointment.

The good news: At this time Chunk’s hips are not causing him any physical pain. Vets did not recommend any surgery if/until there is discomfort. His third eyelid is folding up and drying out, giving the appearance of cherry eye. But then it moves back into place, re-hydrates and is “normal” again. Again, we’ll watch for any signs of discomfort and address his eye’s needs at that time.

The bad news: Chunk is having a hard time breathing normally. He will require surgery to widen his nostrils and may need to have his pustules and/or tonsils removed as well. Once he is out, the surgeon will also look at what repairs are needed for his elongated soft palate and they will move forward with whatever is needed to make the surgery successful for Chunk.

Chunk is scheduled for surgery on January 8. We’re hopeful that the doctors will be able to fix his breathing and that will offer him some relief as we continue to treat and monitor his other issues.

Chunk’s estimated medical costs are $1,500


IRISH
American Bully
6 weeks

Our youngest little patient, Irish, is the most severe of our holiday miracle cases.

At only six weeks old, the tiny puppy was having trouble walking on his back legs and was incontinent. It was clear he had some spinal issues, possibly scoliosis. We scheduled an appointment with our vets who referred us to a neurologist for a full work up of tests, including an MRI. We were worried that scoliosis in a puppy this young would most certainly lead to paralysis as he grew up, with nothing we could do to help him.

After his MRI, the neurologist consulted with other canine neurologist around the country before calling us. The MRI confirmed that Irish has scoliosis and that the vertebrae in his back that “dip” are not causing any compression, they are formed and stable. What is causing a 20% compression of his spine is an accumulation of spinal fluid on the cord. Basically, a cyst of fluid is pushing the dip further down and compressing the spine –causing his partial paralysis and incontinence.

We were relieved to find out that there was a surgical option to help Irish! But it gets tricky: in an adult dog, the surgeon opens the cyst, relieves the pressure on the spine and movement returns. There is a lot of research and case data on these types of surgeries and the outcomes have the potential to be amazing. There is however, NO data on this procedure in puppies because there is no record of his condition showing up in a puppy, ever! We have virtually no information to help us anticipate the outcome of surgery or the potential of re-occurrence.

This leaves us with only two options:

1) We do nothing and he becomes fully paralyzed and incontinent; or

2) We attempt the surgery and hope for the best possible outcome. We don’t know if the fluid pushing on his spine has caused any permanent damage to his cord, but the neurologist is hopeful since the spinal canal before and after the dip in his back is fully formed and functional.

Irish will always have scoliosis, which is manageable, so we have decided to do the surgery and give him the best possible chance at a full life. Surgery is scheduled for January 7. We’re working with Irish to build some strength before his surgery and he’s taking some pre-surgery meds that will help him handle the hours of anesthesia necessary to perform the surgery. If he starts to decline or lose more movement before then, the surgery will be pushed up to the next soonest available date.

Spinal surgery is always risky, and more so on a puppy as small as Irish. But we’re sure that with all the love and support he’s getting, that Irish will be able to fight through it!

Irish’s medical costs and surgery are expected to run $3,200-$4,000 and include a two-day hospital stay and specialized neurologist team.


Thanks to our Heal-a-Bull program, we are able to offer these dogs the best possible chance by providing the medical care they need. If these dogs have touched your heart, please consider a donation to help with their care and follow us on social media for updates and more information.

 

We are not accepting applications for any of these dogs at this time. Until the status of their health is known and fully stabilized they will not be available for adoption or for an adoption waiting list.

 

Beyond the Clinic: Community Outreach

Beyond the Clinic: Community Outreach

One of the things we have learned from our spay/neuter clinics is that there are many good people out there who love their dogs and simply don’t know how and can’t afford to give them the care that they really need. The low-income and homeless communities really don’t have any resources for their animals, and unwanted litters and serious health conditions are hurting the pets in those communities. This is one of the ways our spay/neuter clinics have grown to include a Community Outreach Program. While its a small program, it helps those who don’t even have the means to come to a clinic or who need services that aren’t necessarily provided by the human organizations that help them.

SAVE-A-BULL RESCUE’S COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM

Save-a-Bull’s Community Outreach Program aids bullies and their owners who are in need through providing resources and assistance for vetting, food, winter dog clothing and basics such as leashes and collars. The main goal of this program is to keep dogs with their people; to empower the people to get what they need so that they can take care of and keep their pets. We do not want to take their dogs away from them and we do not report to local animal authorities unless the situation is truly needing it.

The people this program benefits are often clients of our spay/neuter clinics who need help with follow up care or with more complex medical issues that were discovered during the routine spay or neuter. Rather than turn these people away because the issue is outside of the scope of the clinic, we find a way to make sure they get the care, medication and attention they need to see their dogs through these issues.

Another way the Community Outreach Program helps beyond our clinics is out on the street. Save-a-Bull Vetting Manager Ian is a nurse/outreach case manager who works for an organization that provides assistance and street level outreach for folks that are long term homeless with addiction and/or mental health. Street level means that he goes directly to their camps and into the woods to find the people in need. Often times these people have dogs and the human organization doesn’t provide any assistance for those dogs, so Save-a-Bull can help make sure they have the basic supplies – food, bedding, warm coats, vaccinations and medication and vet care if needed.

MEET CHINA

China and her owner lived on the streets together for 12 years. She had been with him since she was eight weeks old and when it was discovered she had untreatable cancer, her owner was devastated. When the time came to let China go, the homeless owner’s only option was to drop her off at a shelter to be euthanized. He refused, it was important to him to be with her in her time of passing. Our Community Outreach Program made this final farewell a possibility. By providing a vet appointment at a clinic he was able to hold China while she left this world and grew her wings.

Because Ian is out and about all day he runs into people with dogs who need help on a regular basis. The stigma of a pit bull living on the street might be too much for some people, but Ian says “I run towards the pit bulls instead of away from them when doing outreach.” (Learn more about Ian’s work here.)

While our program is small, and there is no formal application process to get help, we do our best to keep our ears and eyes open and offer help where needed. Our volunteers actively hand out clinic flyers to the owners of dogs in need of spay or neuter and alert our vetting team of homeless people that may need assistance. Your donations on Give to the Max Day will help support the resources this program and our clinics have to offer our community, thank you.


Supporting spay and neuter and community assistance programs will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day. 

 

Foster Care Gets Even More Personal

Foster Care Gets Even More Personal

The past couple weeks have been hard ones for two dogs in rescue – and for their foster families.

Spiral, a 14 week old puppy recently underwent surgery to amputate a deformed front leg, and Ravioli, who’s been in rescue for over a year, fell ill to an ongoing neurological issue/injury. Both dogs are getting all the care they need thanks to Save-a-Bull’s ability to pay for surgery, MRI’s, exams, medications and more.

The foster’s for these dogs have already gone above and beyond to get them to appointments, keep up complicated schedules of medication, and attend to their recovery in their homes. In addition to that, they’ve both set up personal fundraisers on Facebook to try and raise money to recoup some of the expenses the rescue is paying out for their treatments.

Lorelei Noire, Save-a-Bull Foster Manager, and her husband Ian, SAB Vetting Manager and board member, are caring for Spiral. When Spiral arrived in rescue we knew her leg would need to be amputated, but she also needed some TLC to gain weight and get healthy before hand. Ian and Lorelei took care of Spiral and got her ready for the big day. Now post-surgery they are helping her recover and adjust to her new life as a tripod. You can read her story and donate to her fundraiser here:

Nan Hildebrandt, Save-a-Bull Marketing Manager and board member, and her husband Todd, SAB Brewery Tour Manager, have been fostering Ravioli for more than a year. A young dog with crazy high energy, Ravioli has been a non-stop challenge to keep up with until he suddenly presented with all-over body pain and loss of energy. Nan and Todd have taken Ravioli to multiple late-night emergency vet visits looking for answers and are working day and night to keep him comfortable while he stays on four weeks of strict kennel rest. Read more about Ravioli’s condition and donate to his care here:



Save-a-Bull is fortunate to be stable enough to cover the medical costs of illness and surgeries, both planned and surprised. But as the money for care goes out, it has to come back in so we’re ready for the next dog who needs us. We are so very grateful for foster families like these that go above and beyond the physical care of our dogs, but also help us address the financial needs as well.

If you want to help, please consider a donation to either Spiral or Ravioli’s medical expense fund, or with an overall donation to Save-a-Bull Rescue. Every dollar counts and no amount is too small!

Everything we do for these dogs is possible because of the support of our community. Together we’re able to make a difference in these lives and in countless others to come! Thank you for your support and for sharing our passion.

Are you compassionate and caring and interested in being a part of our foster network? We promise not all cases are this hard! We’re looking for loving families to care for puppies and dogs who are waiting to find their forever homes. We’ll provide everything you need and you’ll be paid in puppy kisses and gratitude. Click here to find out more then fill out a foster application to get the process started.