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    Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviourist

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  1. I like to start with blood tests - work from the inside out. A general blood work-up but also a specific test for Thyroiditis. This last, I prefer to have the bloods (which are spun down to serum) drawn and I send them over to Dr Jean Dodds (USA) ..... I trust her length and breadth of testing far more than I do any others, especially here, where it doesn't pick up thyroid issues until the condition is somewhat degenerated. If you do this, having Dr Jean Dodds also conduct a saliva test for protein/food sensitivities could also prove a helpful guide. Itching signals inflammation/heat, so looking for foods which help cool the system is another (not independent) angle. There are a variety of veggies that go towards cooling the system that you can add to your dog's food. Shredded lettuce is one of many. I don't know them for their specific cooling qualities as such, so a google search might help you. Just make sure the veggie is also ok for dogs to eat. If you can get to a Vet who works with chinese herbal remedies as well as conventional - this might afford you some valuable help. Also look up the thread here for Calendula Tea rinse use.
  2. I haven't been on this board for ages! A big coincidence that I've dropped in here. Delighted to see Calendula Tea continues to help many - such a benign treatment that is so incredibly helpful :D . If Steve is around she is free to counter me, but to answer your question IMO I don't think there's any harm offering the spent flowers at one go. If she's fed more than once a day, perhaps feed half with each meal. Listen to your dog. If she doesn't eat it, or goes off from eating it, then perhaps it's too much. Regards the Addisons Disease - I don't think the spent Calendula Tea flowers would be contraindicated, but that's only my guess. But on the note of Addisons Disease, I'd strongly recommend you research "LDN" (Low Dose Naltrexone). In fact, the topic of LDN in the treatment of auto-immune related conditions could well be my next "Erny's Calendula Tea" thread. I have spent the past 18 months researching/reading on LDN. Not many Doctors or Vets know about it but it is proving to be somewhat of a miracle drug, one which has barely any known side effects (mainly a bit of sleep disturbance in the early days). It isn't a drug that goes straight to the "condition" but rather, it tricks the mind to increasing the functional ability of the Immune System two and up to three-fold. This in turn brings the immune system to be able to fight and bring balance against the diseases which cause the troublesome symptoms we recognise. This counts for humans and it also counts for animals - it is being used in dogs and cats and I am about to embark on using it to help my own dog. It is used by humans for such a huge range of conditions : ME/CFS; MS; certain Cancers (including lymphoma); Thyroid conditions; and so, so much more!! Some doctors have even reported it halting the progress of Alzheimers Disease. I've read a little of personal reports where there has even been some improvement in this condition, although whether that's attributed to LDN or coincidence remains to be proven. There is so much yet to be proven and documented in its use. I take it myself, for my own reasons and whilst for years there seemed nothing that made any discernible difference, finally I am onto something that is bringing some really good results! I spent almost 12 months deliberating before trialling it, feeling very dubious about it being too good to be true. But finally building the confidence I needed, took the plunge and I don't think I'll be regretting it. Apparently the reason it's not widely heralded by the drug manufacturers relates to a patent on its original form, which is "Naltrexone". This was and is used to help people break their addiction to opiats. The standard dosage for Naltrexone is 50mg. With Low-Dose Naltrexone, the standard dosage ranges from 0.5mg to 4.5mg. And when used at this lower dosage, it works differently and this is where it is now being recognised for its therapeutic advantages. Unfortunately the patent discourages drug manufacturers from spending the tonnes of money required for rigorous testing. That and the fact that LDN is quite cheap. Because LDN is used "off label" it has to be compounded down to these low dosages by a compounding pharmacy. The trick is in finding a Doctor/Vet who is willing to prescribe it. Compounding pharmacies do exist. But there are forums out there and if you take the time to read and read and read you will hear so many reports from those who have been using LDN for years, from those who have only just started out on it and from those about to embark on it. Honest stories that give reports of both trials and tribulations. So, long story (I haven't changed, lol) short, for your dog's condition, read up on it. If you want a link to the LDN Pets forum let me know and I'll put it up.
  3. Using a leash, or using a crate (to which a dog should be crate trained first) is merely an aid to teaching your dog what you want. It does not have to be considered as a life-long measure (as that would not equate with "training") but simply as a benign way of teaching your dog what you do want whilst also preventing the habit of his history of learnt behaviour.
  4. It could be what the others have mentioned. But it also could be a sudden drop of progesterone - this is more likely in the event that she was desexed following ovulation. If this was to be the case, keep her in a calm environment and don't push her threshold levels, as nervous behaviours (which can exacerbate to aggressive behaviours) may become learned behaviour.
  5. Start with blood work up - especially a full thyroid panel test. That's my suggestion to begin with. Then think more on not what he is allergic to, but WHY is he allergic to it, why isn't his system coping. I'd avoid using any and all outside chemical treatments (directly and indirectly) as this can knock a system needing support, even further - where possible. I've covered a lot in my boys checkered and very sensitive health history and come a long way. To take that extra step I've recently seen dr Anne Neville at east west vet (vic). She said I'm on the right track with what I'm doing and have done for my boy. We've changed nothing other than adding in some Chinese medicines the purpose of which is to remove heat from his body (I knew he was a 'hot' dog, so to speak) and give further supplement towards stabilising his gut. One extra addition to his food is lettuce as it is a cooling food, which I think is great although doubt by itself it would solve - just one extra thing to supplement his already very good diet with. Am also treating via physiotherapy as skeletal and muscular issues can sometimes affect digestion (and if digestion isn't right this can manifest in so many other different ways including skin issues). I'm not saying this is what you should do for your dog and I hope it is a more simple matter for you to find a solution to than mine, but just an insight as to where to begin your focus - ie from the inside out. But blood work plus faecal test is a good first base to begin with. For the thyroid test, I wouldn't bother with Aussie testing and would only have faith in the testing via dr Jean dodds in USA. ETA : I also found dr Jean dodds saliva test a good guide to help steer on the right path. This will give you an indication of what food proteins your dog might be sensitive to. To me, it's not conclusive, but it was a starting base to work from. If you do the thyroid test via dr Jean dodds would be handy to get saliva test done at same time. A couple of disadvantages is that the saliva test is based on sensitivities to meat proteins in the USA. IE cattle over there may be raised on food different to ours. That's why to me the results are a guide more than a 'given'. Also, they don't test for roo meat sensitivities as that is not a common meat source for USA. ETA : just read that the symptoms only seem to occur when you've been to the Bay. If this is the case and it's easy to avoid, all the background testing and supplementary treatments might not be worth the effort. Glad you're able to manage the symptoms with the good Ol' calendula tea :D
  6. I have to say I was quite disappointed in this thread people suggesting you should use rinses on your dogs rather than going down the diagnostic route at least to begin with. We need to stop touting calendula rinses as a miracle cure and suggest them as supplementary to actual diagnosis. I agree that ANY topical application ("rinses") should not be "touted ... as a miracle cure". I don't think that's been the case here though, nor in most of other posts written of it - posts I've read and also those I've written, suggest it as an aid to provide some relief whilst investigations to diagnosis are conducted. Where has it been suggested that calendula rinses are a miracle cure and that they should be used rather than going down the diagnostic route?
  7. Ok, so I'd go ahead with the hair-DNA test AND I'd ask for thorough blood test to rule out (or in) heavy metal toxins. (Don't want to be a scare mongerer, but fertiliser contaminants can remain in the soil for a long, long period of time - beyond current owner?? So whilst it is maybe unlikely to be an issue, bare it in mind.) I'm no Vet so I can only give you what I've learnt through personal experience. The Calendula Tea would only help the skin damage itself, not the cause of it.
  8. A couple of things first spring to mind in giving you some ideas/tips -: A further test you could run that might give you some more insight is a hair-DNA test. I run mine through Ross Wilson at Coburg Health and Nutrition here in Victoria. Not all or many people believe in them but I have found it helped me. The good thing is that you can arrange this simply by sending a hair sample in by post. You don't have to say what your dog's symptoms are. The only thing I do though is to let them know what medications my dog might have been on at the time (if any). This makes the result report very interesting as the symptoms of what they suggest can indicate to you as to whether you can place your faith in it. I hope that makes sense. I was skeptical at the beginning so that is the way I approached it. The second thing I thought of (this, in response to your "what other chemicals" question) is the possibility of lawn fertiliser. Mercury (for one thing, not necessarily the only) can be found in some fertilisers. Our dogs walk and roll in it and then lick themselves. A quick and easy way of ingesting mercury (and other contaminants)!! In fact, google around for information regarding heavy metal toxicity. If that is a possibility, the hair-DNA test should help to identify too. Your dogs likes to lick walls and floors? Is it an old home and what type of paint has been used? Blood tests can be done for heavy metal toxins and if these haven't been run, it is something I would ask for. But blood tests are only 'sensitive' to a certain extent and if they come back as negative I don't believe that doesn't mean there isn't a certain level of toxicity there. So I'd still be inclined to run the hair-DNA text as well. For your dog's skin care (including feet) in the meanwhile that you're working through all this, have you tried wash/rinsing with Calendula Tea? This won't cure the other issues but it may help to sooth your dog's skin symptoms whilst your investigations continue. I'm glad you've contacted Dr Jean Dodds - that's one base I would have suggested be covered, if you hadn't already. Sorry - I'm flicking back to the OP to check on info as I type, which means my post is a bit all over the shop. Is there a possibility that the 3 dogs with thyroid issues are related in lineage? This question as an 'out-there off-chance'. Good luck with your searching to find out what is going on with your dog. He's in good hands by the sounds and your friend and yourself are being super thorough.
  9. thanks Erny for the info. Does the DNA Hair Test tells the genetic issues? I am new to this but I always assumed we can only test DNA for what type of dog breed and genetic / cell issues? No - the hair-DNA test has nothing to do with identifying genetics. It's a test where the hair tells the story of what is missing (in-depth nutritionally speaking i.e. vitamins, minerals, etc). IOW, it tells us what the body needs.
  10. +1 That is a theory I thought was a reasonable one as well, and it possibly is something worth trying as each dog is an individual. However, I gave my dog a bone which was still frozen and if anything, it caused him to become impatient (or maybe he didn't like the cold sensation on his teeth??) and so he swallowed it in big pieces rather than chewing through as he normally would, which is easier if unfrozen. So what I'm saying is to use caution with this.
  11. Good to hear this nice, welcoming news, Lorello. Good for you and for your Vet for getting your dog back :)
  12. I second this ^^ . Thanks Rappie.
  13. Agree with CrazyCresties. Pups don't know that the bones given were cut into swallow-able pieces. They simply learn that bite sized pieces can (and will) be swallowed. By nature, it's common instinct for animals to consume their food quickly when they can. When my boy first came home with me (8wo) he didn't want to give time to chewing either. I started him with chicken necks as anything larger was a bit big for him then. But I held on to the end of the chicken neck so he couldn't just inhale it and until he learnt to chew on it.
  14. Rubbing a dog's nose in his urine just encourages more anxiety. It is completely unnecessary. Agree (i.e. increases anxiety) and the action of rubbing the dog's nose in it does not pair with the soiling action and the fact that the action was done inside. We (humans) tend to presume so much of what a dog will take into account when we punish in such ways. Rubbing a dog's nose in its excrement as an intended means to toilet training has also tracked back in cases to : 1. Aggression 2. The dog hiding where it soils. Don't do it. To the OP - if your dog is now cocking his leg inside this could correlate to a dominance/territory instinct, rather than a toilet training issue. Check your leadership stance (i.e. your relationship with your dog, which should be a healthy, respectful relationship on both sides) and be mindful of what you're using to clean up the soiling with, being careful to avoid ammonia based solutions. Go back to toilet-training strategies - mainly the one of vigilance and supervision - and remind your dog that any indication he's about to soil inside will gain your disapproval. Send him outside and when he soils there, reward. Clean up his mess in his absence to avoid him potentially perceiving you identify some importance/value of his (inappropriate) urination.
  15. I have had some successes via Hair-DNA testing and following the supplements recommended that accord with what the hair dictates. The hair is a pretty quick indicator of things being right or wrong. There are some who don't believe in this and maybe there are Hair-DNA testers who aren't that crash hot. I use Coburg Health & Nutrition (Ross Wilson) here in Victoria. The beauty of it is that your dog doesn't have to visit .... it's just a matter of sending a hair sample for testing. When you're stuck and feel at a dead-end, anything is worth a shot especially when it doesn't involve invasive or stressful measures. $125.00 for the initial test. Re-testing after the first is free. The supplements can be exxy though, but if they work it's worth it.
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