Microsoft word - july 2012 cody

Cody May 2012 Cody, a lovely Newfoundland, had ongoing issues with his skin for years. He suffered from a condition called atopy as well as recurrent fungal infections that caused him to be consistently itchy making him scratch, chew his paws and have sore ears. The only way his symptoms were made bearable was by dosing him with steroids, to suppress the itch, and anti-biotics as well as anti-fungals but he’d come to a point that even with these on board he was still itchy, smelly and uncomfortable. When I first examined Cody, I found that his coat was dry and his skin had flakes making it look like he had dandruff. He also had a very musty smell to his coat which is often present with persistent fungal infections and also a thick mucous discharge in the corners of his eyes indicating a low grade ongoing inflammation. In addition to this I noticed that when he walked he was quite stiff and he had a lack of muscle mass, especially along his lower spine and back legs. This is common in dogs with back issues. From a holistic point of view we recognise that the presence of an infection represents an imbalance in the body. When we rebalance the body and boost the immune system, getting to the root of the problem, we often get resolution of the problem and end up with dogs that smell much better, are no longer itchy and are a lot happier. Next I addressed Cody’s diet, which is a crucial key in helping to manage and resolve itchy skin conditions. I was very impressed with the well balanced homemade diet that Cody was being fed by his owner, Eileen. It included meat, bones, vegetables and a variety of important supplements such as MSM and glucosamine to support his joints as well as fish oil. Good quality fish oil supplements are free of heavy metal contaminants and contain high concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are very important for health and well being; they help to support joints, give the skin and coat an extra barrier of protection, boost the immune system and they also have natural anti-inflammatory properties. The prednisone (a type of steroid) that vets may use to try and manage dogs with itchy skin has some negative effects, one of which is suppression of the immune system. When used long term, it can make it more difficult for us to help the body to rebalance and to heal itself naturally. Since Cody had been on these drugs for years, I warned Eileen that it may take a while before we made significant headway with Cody’s skin issues (usually we see results for most dogs within 2 to 4 weeks). For Cody we devised a treatment plan using a therapy called NIS (Neurological Integration system) to help boost his immune system and get his body to naturally rebalance and to stop his infection. We also put him onto a herbal / homeopathic tonic to help his joints and detoxify his body. The presence of toxins act as “spokes in the wheel” of healing. An analogy would be running a car; you may put in all the best fuel but if the engine is clogged up with waste then it won’t run smoothly or go at all. We also made some adjustments to Cody’s diet to exclude grains and red meats, as these can sometimes aggravate skin conditions, added in a multivitamin as well as anti-oxidants to help combat damage by free radicals (which often compromise the immune sytem and may cause damage to joints and other tissues in the body) and increased the amount of probiotics in his diet to help restore the “good bugs” in his body that are instrumental in assisting the body to combat infection. Cody revisited 3 weeks later, he had hardly been scratching or chewing at his paws at all and was so much happier in himself. When I examined him I was delighted to find that his eyes were brighter and no longer had the thick mucous in the corners, his coat was a lot less flaky and he smelled almost normal, indicating that we were making good progress with his skin but his movement was still stiff. We repeated the NIS treatment and this time paid closer attention to his spine and hind legs. After this treatment, Cody’s movement improved and he was able to walk around smoothly with much less discomfort. Over the following months, he continued to make good progress. Although he occasionally has mild relapses, Eileen manages to keep his symptoms under control and recently reported that “his coat looks fabulous and he now trots around like a sprightly youngster with attitude”. Itchy skin conditions can be extremely frustrating for pets, their owners and their vets. Although some dogs may need drugs such as steroids or anti-histamines to manage a serious itchy skin condition, there are many options available to help get to the root of the problem and reduce or eliminate the need for these drugs but to help ensure a successful outcome, the sooner these are applied, the better.


Wellness & routine – spay and neuter

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