Internationally known homeopathic veterinarian, Dr. Christina Chambreau, is a lecturer and author of the Healthy Animal’s Journal. She is also the editor of the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. Ask her a question by leaving a comment on the Animal Wellness Magazine Facebook page. She’ll choose two questions to answer every week!
Q. I have a 15 month old rescue dog and am having trouble with her eating habits. She eats WAY too quickly (you can tell it causes her discomfort). I know this could cause serious health issues so I have tried wetting her food, putting obstacles in her dish (upside down bowl), and am at the point where I feed her by hand. It does not seem to be helping all that much. Is there something else I should be trying?
A. There are certainly some dogs and even cats that eat so fast it causes nausea or even vomiting. You have already tried several things I would have suggested and I know that hand feeding for life is not a good option.
Another short term option would be to feed a meal in three parts. Put down 1/3 of the food and let her wolf it. If no stomach discomfort, wait 15 minutes (you experiment with the length of time needed) for the 2nd, then the 3rd part.
There is a bowl from http://www.brake-fast.net/ that appears to help slow down eating.
I have had some dogs who just could not really get the nutrition they needed from a processed food diet (even a high quality one) so they were constantly hungry and ate super fast. Once they were switched to a raw meaty bone diet, they eventually calmed down and ate normally. Others continued to eat fast on the raw meat diet.
Recently, while teaching in Alberta, I learned the incredible power of clicker training. This could be used for this issue. Go to http://theponyfairy.com for more information. Though much of it is for horses, Monty could help you with this.
Also, TTouch may decrease some of the anxiety that may be occurring prior to meal times or decrease nausea afterwards. http://www.ttouch.com/
Most importantly, in addition to the temporary helps above, begin to look at the 7 Keys to Good Health and the Early Warning Signs of Illness at my web site, www.MyHealthyAnimals.com and work with integrative veterinarians to build the very best health for your dog. Your goal could be to live to over 21 years and not having to hand feed most of the time!
Q. There are lots of copperhead snakes where we live. Besides Benedryl, do you have any suggestions for a DIY homeopathic snake bite kit to carry on our dog walks?
A. Yes, on polling a number of other holistic veterinarians, I can suggest several things that would be good, though not necessarily homeopathic, and a few homeopathic remedies, as well.
Most importantly, Activated Charcoal for any bites. Add water to make a paste to smear on the bitten area. Multiple sites and veterinarians attest to success with this.
Orally or topically, Osha Root tincture has been used. From a veterinarian, Dr. Pat Jordan, who lectures in the Blue Ridge area: “Most copperhead bites are not bad at all, certainly not deadly.” She has seen Osha root, plantain and activated charcoal used.
Dr. Doyle, who worked on the Hopi Reservation, once tried an old-time remedy with success – apply chopped onions to the bite and strap it on there with a bandage.
(Osha root is called Bear Root in Hopiland).
There is a homeopathic snake bite kit – http://www.naturalhealingkits.com/Snake-Bite-Natural-First-Aid-Kit with instructions and 8 homeopathic remedies.
Remedies used with success and suggested by various veterinarians:
Lachesis mutus, Crotalus horridus, Cedron, Echinacea, Apis mel, Ledum, Vipera, Belladonna and Arsenicum album. As always with homeopathy, it is important to know enough about the different remedies to select the best one based on the reaction of the dog to the bite. If your dog has had successful response to homeopathic remedies in the past, you can better select the acute remedy.
The best of all is to maximize health so your dog’s response will be minimal.