Sunday, February 03, 2013

Djanga....Distemper Post Care

Do you have a dog or a puppy with distemper?  Did they recover and now a year has gone by and you are noticing some side effects of the illness?  For those of you have read my previous articles about Djanga my beautiful little survivor you might find the information I am about to share to be useful.

Happy 2 year birthday to Djanga.  2 years has gone by and we have been illness free now for a year and a half, with the exception of some side effects.  Djanga still suffers from a tick that causes her jaw to open and close slightly like she is chewing gum.  She has night tremors (aka Cluster seizures) that so far have been manageable.  Towards the end of her illness she suffered from a stroke which also created side effects... her teeth grew in sideways and thank goodness because they never catch her tongue.  Her tongue hangs out of her mouth the majority of the time but this does not seem to bother her. When she plays with other dogs she lifts it up and puts it back in her mouth to protect it and when she is at rest.. well it's a rest. Many people laugh about how it looks.. but there is no way that you can look at her without smiling.  Djanga's parents were Blue Heeler and Australian Shepard but she never really grew to full size due and now weighs about 10 pounds.  Some also tease and say she looks like a Jeckel or a Hyena, but to me she is the most beautiful miracle and I call her a "Djanga".  She is her own breed.  She still acts just like a puppy who is unbelievably happy to be alive.  She is a constant reminder of what it looks like to overcome obstacles and to be so grateful for a new day.

I have been managing her side effects with a  homemade recipe (click here), veggie treats, about 10 pieces of Acana 'Wild Prairie' (a high nutrient dry food and the only dry food I recommend), and supplementation now for the last year and a half and her recovery has been amazing.  However,  over the past few months I've noticed in her sleep she has tremors (aka: cluster seizures or epilepsy).  If I had to describe them I would say she falls into a deep sleep and then she looks like she is having a bad dream, some nights the tremors are worse than others.  I try to catch her every time she does this by waking her up, calling her name works the best, and then I generally rub her to help calm her back down. Luckily, they don't last more than a second and the occurrences vary from night to night.  At times when I wake her she'll have a blank stare as if she'd just been to another world and back again. It's so scary to see her go thru this, but I know now that this is a symptom of the epilepsy.  To help break her out of the trance I keep calling her name and rubbing her sides gently but quickly.   Also, To help make sure I can catch any tremors I have allowed her to sleep in bed with me.  

In an effort to understand what causes tremors or epilepsy I started digging deeper into natural remedies.  Below I have listed some ways that  may be able to help her and provide others with some really useful information that may be able to help people and doggies struggling with similar issues.  My hope is to discover a recipe that will help Djanga recover from the damage originally created by the 5 vaccination 's given to her at just 4 weeks old by helping her immune system regain it's strength and ability to heal itself.  Watching her recover from everything she has already faced has given me hope that anything is possible, if you are willing. 

Continue giving her the home made diet... to see my homemade recipe (click here). If you are unable to feed your dog a homemade diet, pay attention to food items that may be problematic to epileptic dogs. For example, many dog foods now use natural preservatives such as rosemary and sage extracts - these are known to be able to trigger seizures in some dogs. Also, does your pet food contain grains or fillers these have been known to compromise your dogs immune system. You may also want to feed your dog smaller meals 3-4 times a day to keep his blood sugar stable, since low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a contributing cause of canine seizures, especially in small breed dogs.

Vitamins and Supplements
In addition to my  homemade recipe (click here) here are some good suggestions for daily vitamins and supplements that are beneficial to the nervous system which can help canine seizure or an epileptic dog
  • Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1 is essential for helping brain function.
  • Fatty Acids: Fatty acids (fish oil, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, or borage oil) can reduce inflammation and degeneration of brain tissue.
  • Dimethylglycine (DMG): DMG is a compound that is produced naturally in both humans and animals. It forms an intricate part of animal and human metabolism. It also has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fugal properties. In animals, DMG also has anti-seizure effects.
  • Amino acids: The amino acids L-taurine and L-tyrosine can increase the resistance to seizures. The amino acid L-tryptohpan can soothe the brain and is therefore beneficial for dogs with seizures.

Herbal remedies

Dogs prone to seizures are usually emotionally sensitive. Tension, stress, sudden stimulation or over-excitement can trigger an episode of seizure in these dogs. Herbs that have calming effects can be used to help dogs prone to seizures. Here are some useful herbs for canine seizures:
  • Skullcap: Skullcap is a nervine and is effective in moderating overactive synaptic activities in those parts of the brain where seizure episodes are triggered.
  • Passion flower: Passion flower is an herb that is frequently being used to soothe the nerves and support the nervous system.
  • Valerian: Valerian has stress-relieving effects and is often used to reduce overexcitability, tension and anxiety. It soothes the nerves and relaxes the patient.
Other herbs that have a calming effect and are beneficial to the nervous system include St.-John's Wort, Oat, and Chamomile.

Flower Essences for Canine Seizures

Flower essences work very well on dogs and cats at an emotional level as these remedies were developed to deal with emotional disturbances. They help balance the emotional attitudes of your pet, and can in turn heal the body for physical problems such as seizures. One flower essence blend that is specifically indicated for dog seizures is Animal Flower Essences. Another flower essence blend that is very beneficial to epileptic dogs is Bach Flower Essences Rescue Remedy. This remedy can dramatically calm an anxious, scared, or excited dog. Immediately before or during an epileptic episode, try rubbing a few drops of Bach's Rescue Remedy on the dog's ears. This will sometimes moderate the seizure and calm the dog.

My Current Plan (10-20lb dog)

  • Feed 2x's daily
  • 1 capsule opened and poured per meal
Dandelion root powder (make sure to grind to powder)
  • 1 teaspoon per meal
  • 1 teaspoon per meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon per meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon per meal
  • 1 dropperful twice daily 
  • 1 dropperful twice daily
Snacks - Carrots, Celery, Cabbage, Acana Dry Food
  • Mid-morning, Mid-afternoon, Mid-evening
Following the above guidelines you can apply the following to other dog(s):
  • 0-10 lbs decrease the above by 1/2
  • 20-60 lbs increase the above by 1/2
  • 60+ increase by 1
I realize that my current plan does not contain everything mentioned above as possible solutions to help a post distemper doggie and like anything in the natural world sometimes it takes a little experimentation until you find the right solution that helps the patient.  Therefore, I will be adding the following to see if I can help her remedy her tremors and I will write a new post with my findings in hopes that we can help others who may be looking for the same sort of solution.

Adding to the Djanga Plan:

  1. Dimethylglycine (DMG)
  2. Skullcap: Skullcap
  3. Animal Flower Essences
  4. Milk Thistle 

*Please note that by adding this to her plan I'll be introducing each item one at a time, one a week to see if I notice any changes.  Documenting the results if any are produced and keeping note of what seems to be working while removing anything that seems to be causing and adverse affect.  I have never known any natural remedies to cause an adverse reaction unless it had some sort of chemical in it; however, if you notice anything that does not seem right with your puppy or dog you should stop whatever new item you have been using to determine if it is causing this reaction. As dogs can have allergic reaction if you feel that your dog is having one it is always good to have Benadryl tablets on hand, I know this is not natural but in an emergency can be a quick add to a dangerous situation.   Also, know that natural remedies sometimes take a little longer to see a direct change.  Please be patient with your own trials as you are rebuilding immunities and every case is different.  What may help Djanga may not be the solution for you?  But by trial and elimination you can put together a recipe that seems to work better for your situation. 

Physical Therapy:

Another great way to help your dog is thru rubbing.  Here is another doggie owner who has alot of experience with helping her dog with a more hands on approach.  Watch the quick video to learn her method.


To be continued....

 Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Angels for Pets unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experiences of I'm Holistic. I'm Holistic encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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1 comment:

Kallum Mittler said...

Distemper in dogs is a variety of disease that can infect puppies and make them seriously ill. It was once highly deadly and killed over half the dogs that developed the disease before a vaccine was developed. Knowing here how to prevent or treat distemper

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