The "holistic dog" movement

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by *blackrose, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Realized the above may have come across as being facetious. I was being sincere in that quote meaning situations like that would not be included in research debating the topic in my head:) When it happened though it did make me feel a bit validated even though I realize it shouldnt.

    My overall thoughts though do lean towards I think we are just skimming the surface in understanding a lot of this and some of the data is off because of that....but I TOTALLY understand why others disagree as well.
     
  2. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    Most of the people I know that have pets with constant health issues aren't doing anything. Period. They're feeding a crap grocery store food, not practicing preventative care (heartworm, flea/tick, deworming, etc), not bringing their pet to a vet when issues do arise, etc.

    From what I've experienced, the people (at least that I know/interact with) that are very conscious/aware of their pet's health are always doing what's in their pets best interest, and their pets are healthy and happy. I don't know many people that are "natural-ing" their pets to death - their pets aren't suffering from any health problems that could have been prevented/treated with Western medicine. So maybe I'm just lucky? However, I can see how movements can quickly go towards the extreme, and that's where you have problems. I feel like extremism (in any direction) is not a good thing.

    That being said, I definitely have a strong interest in alternative/holistic medicine. I feed my pets good quality food. I believe in raw/homecooked diets. I give them "natural" supplements. I do limited vaccines. My dog sees a chiropractor. My FLUTD cat is being treated solely with a raw diet and supplements, rather than a prescription diet/medications. I specifically sought out a veterinarian who practiced alternative medicine.

    On the other hand, I use heartworm preventative, because heartworm is scary stuff and it's prevalent here. I keep my pets up-to-date on rabies and distemper (every three years) because a) it's the law and b) I fully believe in herd immunity. If I had a puppy, I would vaccinate, and I would encourage others to do so. I have a dog on behavioral medications because it makes her (and everyone's) life easier when she's not crazy.

    I think both sides definitely have their place - they should be complementary. If it works for you and your dog (and isn't endangering anyone else), by all means, continue. If not...then you need to figure something else out.
     
  3. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Completely 10000% agree.

    It's scary.
     
  4. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I thought I should add that I am very minimal when it comes to vaccines -- Jackson had his puppy shots and one year old boosters and he's now 5 1/2 and I'm unsure if I'll ever vaccinate him again, besides rabies per the law every 3 years.

    I only use flea/tick topicals when necessary, maybe 3-4 months out of the year. I use heartworm meds monthly/yearly because I don't feel the risk of heartworm is worth not giving the preventatives.

    I think vaccines are extremely important, but NOT year after year, or even every 3 years. Any vet giving yearly vaccines would be crossed off my list immediately. I still think 3 years is too much. An every 5 year protocol would be more ideal IMO.

    I try to feed a decent food, and Jackson just happens to look better and do better on grain free foods which is the main reason I feed it. I have no problem with some Purina foods, Science Diet or Royal Canin like a lot of people on internet forums do (and I used to). And I in fact have become very distrusting of a lot of the newer holistic companies. Good luck trying to find out if they have vets on staff, who formulated their foods, their quality control process, what their factory is like, finding exact numbers, ash content, things like that. That's why I'm feeding Farmina right now because it has the ingredients that I like but it also has the quality control and testing in check.

    But I have seen some very scary things on the internet regarding heartworm, raw food, even homecooking. People not balancing things right, people feeding raw and then people online telling them their vet is basically ALLWRONG!1! and stupid and it's normal to go through 'detox' and lose hair, have bloody stool, get a broken tooth, etc... quite scary. Or people want to homecook and don't realize you can't just cook chicken and rice for their dog year after year without nutritional deficiencies.

    And then folks have a sick dog and are so terrified to feed it an RX food because of what they read on the internet about these brands. They have a sick dog that is finally feeling better on an RX food and then they want to go and change it because 'RC is soooo bad!'


    But yeah I would say I am somewhere in the middle overall. I like a little bit of both, and prefer a lack of chemicals when possible, etc, but am not going to stress about giving my dog heartworm meds every month that could potentially save him from getting heartworms, etc.
     
  5. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    yeah, no neurologic conditions in kids these days, they're all gone :) no ventilators or muscle disease either, all gone :) Gone are the days when polio was diagnosed by a set of symptoms of muscle aches and maybe fever for a few weeks and enter a specific blood test. They are far more specific in their diagnosis these days, but I can't say the site of kids in braces and crutches have completely disappeared. ANyway, even at it's height, 95% of people infected with polio never have a symptom. So yeah, the liklihood that your child or dog will ever be affected by anyone else's decision to not vaccinate is minimal compared to the risks and choices you'll make for your own dog or child

    Whooping cough has never gone away and just fyi, the current outbreaks have nothing to do with waning vaccine rates. There isn't a researcher around that doesn't know that. Now those paid for talking heads on tv or a newspaper might tell you different, but then they probably know as much as the general public about what's going on anyway, they just get a check to deliver a certain message. anyway, waning immunity has everything to do with switching from whole cell to partial cell vaccines in the 90's.

    I love the "herd immunity" and germ pool statements. You do realize that herd immunity is reached at a little over 60% vaccination rates right? and here we sit near 90 or above in some cases and people still want to say it's because people aren't vaccinating :) and those that don't or choose to live a more natural way are just little germ pools oozing with stuff that will kill you and your babies and puppies LOL.


    like I said, the level of understanding is lacking in the general public on both sides.
     
  6. CrazyDogLady

    CrazyDogLady New Member

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    I give puppy shots at 12-16 weeks, and give immune support for a bit before and after. We feed decent grain free kibble with some raw a few times a week, mostly for the dental benefits. We have titers run on the adults yearly, and if they are low on a certain antibody we vaccinate for that only. Heartworm isn't a huge concern here, and we use topical flea meds only in the summer (or if we have a real mild winter with no real freezes we use it every other month or so) Luckily we have dogs that can do decent on ol Roy (not that we would feed it lol)
     
  7. Ozfozz

    Ozfozz Highbread Dingbat

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    My dogs are as well, and I ended up switching vets over it. What part of JUST RABIES was confusing to the guy I'll never know. But it really pissed me off especially since Rigby just had a full round of everything else less than a year prior. Also had a nice chat with him for prescribing broad range antibiotics as a "precaution." Because of over prescribing, antibiotics are going to be entirely useless likely within our lifetime.

    Regardless, I feel that too far in either direction is harmful, vaccines and medications have their time and place. Without them our life expectancy would still be within the 30's range no doubt. Adversely too many chemicals are going to cause problems as well.
    I like to do the "natural approach" where I can. But I understand the importance of certain "chemicals"
     
  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Thank you for wording the thoughts that I couldn't. I really can't think of any cases I've seen where the illness has any relation to the owner being "natural/holistic" with their pets. Not saying it doesn't happen but I don't see it as a big ordeal.

    This is me :D My cat was put on Hills c/d after having a urinary blockage and it was my life's mission to get him off of it. When his IBD started getting really bad on it, that was when I decided now I HAVE to switch him... and I've found other diets that he does great on, that I am happy with. But vets want me to put him on a hydrolyzed diet and prednisone and call it a day. I just can't be comfortable doing that UNLESS I can't find something else that works.


    Some people are just clueless and uneducated. Period. About all things. That's never a good thing. I might do things a little differently but it's all with a lot of thought and research, and it works out just fine for us :)
     
  9. Quint

    Quint Captain

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    You've done a wonderful job of demonstrating this!
     
  10. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    awwwww, aren't you cute :rofl1:
     
  11. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I'm very middle of the road. My dogs are fed good quality grain free kibble, get supplements, have gotten acupuncture and swim therapy, but they also get heartworm prevention year round, flea and tick prevention year round (Sally is VERY allergic to fleas), are are UTD on their vaccines. Sally has gotten a cortizone shot or two for a bad allergy attack-if she is at the point where nothing is easing her symtoms and she is miserable I take her to the vet for a shot. Jack gets an NSAID for his elbow if he is having a very sore day. I don't think that traditional medicine has all the answers, but there is definately a segment of alternative medicine is pretty sketchy IMHO.

    As for me, I will always be current on my tetnus shot. My body tolerates it with nothing more than a little arm soreness, and I hang out in barns, outdoors, around animals, work in a factory, and am a klutz. If I ever have kids, they will be UTD on their vaccinations.
     
  12. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I've really only interacted personally with one person who was 110% into the "holistic" thing, and then some. She quite literally viewed her dog has a human being and there were countless times I wanted to just say to her, "Lady...he's a DOG. His mind doesn't work that way. Please take a step back, LOOK at the body language your dog is screaming at you, and maybe he'll stop being so anxious and growly all of the time." But, anyway, that wasn't the point. The dog had a horrible hot spot on its foot that started off as a small thing, then turned into this flaming area of infection that was starting to go up the leg. She was so dead set against using "traditional" medicine that she fought with it for using "natural" remedies and supplements. It didn't improve. She finally took the dog to an animal communicator, because she thought he must be so uncomfortable and the animal communicator said that the dog wanted to be seen by the the clinic I worked with. She finally brought the dog in and we were able to treat it with, you know. Antibiotics. Steroids. Antihistamines. All horrible, horrible things. The dog recovered quickly.

    I guess my thought is, science has given us these technologies. No, that doesn't mean we need to use them ALL them time, no, that doesn't mean that alternatives are not out there, no, that doesn't mean they aren't without side effects and consequences and should be used casually...but they're there. Utilize them.

    I've also heard numerous times over the past few days that, "I don't need to use a flea prevention on my dog. I just bathe them with dawn dish soap. Kills all of the fleas, and it's safe." Um, okay. And all of the flea eggs and larvae in your home and yard are being treated/killed...how? But apparently bathes in dawn daily is better than actually doing something to control and treat the actual issue. Because the ways to control and treat the actual issue are "bad" for the dog.
     
  13. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Honest question, HOW does that happen? :lol-sign: I mean, like, does your vet take the animals into the back without you for vaccines? Maybe it's just that my vet does the vaccines in the exam room, with the owners, but if I saw them getting out more than one vaccine (and I only wanted one) I'd be questioning it :p
     
  14. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Well, in my case as I said, yes, it was my husband. The vet shouldve clarified what they were doing but he never mentioned to only to rabies even though I told him he had to...he just didnt listen as is pretty typical for him. I have had to stop them before from doing extra...frustrating but I know its just routine for them so its easy to miss notes and special instructions (though it SHOULD be something they catch too)
     
  15. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    with one of our cats we took her in to be spayed. I told them no vaccines, we'd do them after she recovered from the surgery and then it would be only rabies. I was made to sit in a room and get a talking to :) and then told them what I used to do for a living and said thank you. I signed 2 different papers stating that i was refusing vaccination at that point and had to acknowledge the risks in front of 2 staff people.

    They took her in back and told us they call when we could pick her up. when I did we were charged for 2 different sets, i don't remember exactly which ones and rabies :) needless to say I was a bit pissed. I asked how that could happen when you paraded me thru from office to office signing documents trying to pressure me into saying yes to something I told you no to, and signed in front of 2 of your staff. I asked where those papers were. Funny they weren't anywhere to be found. They simply told me it was their "policy" I asked them under who's protocols at any vet school in the US is vaccination during surgery part of best practices.

    Nothing ever came of it, what would? I just never went back
     
  16. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Happened to me and Auggie. I told them just rabies on the phone, told them just rabies when I got there, the tech went out to draw up the vax... and came in with everything drawn up. I was torn between telling them "I SAID JUST RABIES" and the fact that having the stuff already drawn up meant they'd just have to waste it - plus I knew the tech would get yelled at by both the vet and the head office tech, and I liked her and didn't really want her to get yelled at. So... I decided not to say anything, and he got a round I didn't want him to get. I'm not mad about it because I was the one who decided not to say anything and I let them give it to him - but it was annoying.
    I don't use that vet anymore. My new vet just said "okay" when I told her only rabies for Auggie, I had to sign a form saying I refused them, no big deal. They do keep sending me reminder cards and calling to tell me he's overdue though... no, no he's not.

    Georgie got her last annual done without me because I brought her to the old vet to get her OFA x-rays. They said "we'll just do her annual while she's under," and I asked them to bring her into a room when her x-rays were done and do the annual with me there, and they said okay... next thing I know they're telling me she's awake, her annual is done, and do I want to see the x-rays because doc will be done with his next patient in a minute so we can look at the x-rays together. What?? That is NOT what I asked for. If I hadn't wanted her to get any vax that day, I'm sure they would have given them to her, since they were apparently doing what they wanted without listening to what I asked for.


    My new vet also does appointments where you bring the animal in the morning, drop them off, and they do the appointment when they have time during the day... without you there. I would never do it, but I could understand why some people might, and it could easily happen there too.
     
  17. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    You guys go to some pretty nervy vet clinics :yikes: I can't imagine being told you didn't want to do a vaccine, and then just doing them anyway. o_O
     
  18. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I think in our case it was just a mistake... just doing everything routine and not thinking. Not to excuse it, because that's actually almost worse (you kinda should be paying attention to your individual clients, not just treating everybody the same each time in a pattern...), but I think that's what happened.

    OTOH I'm not sure what they were thinking with Georgie's appointment. Maybe he just doesn't care because I've taken all my dogs to another vet anyway, so he just did whatever he wanted.
     
  19. xpaeanx

    xpaeanx Active Member

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    I've gone to vets that didn't even ask me if I wanted things like lepto or bord and just gave them!

    I'm at my current vet bc they don't ask if I want x(rabies, bord, distemper, lepto, hw, fecal, etc) they just give me what I said when I called. Love them so much.
     
  20. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking. Here the receptionist will put in if client asks for only rabies, or whatever, when the client calls to schedule, but then the room assistant comes in and goes over all general info (what they are due for, how the dog is doing, etc etc) and THEN draws up vaccines.
     

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