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 medical related question regarding my 6yo golden retriever who we adopted 8 months ago as he was physically abused.
Recently, Calin has started to lick his lips and swallow repeatedly. I live in Paris, France and tried explaining to our vet but I don’t think she really understands.
Though my second question is not medical related, perhaps you could still offer some good advice. In March this year, out of the blue, Calin started ‘attacking’ big trucks, buses, and vans whilst we’re out walking. By attacking, I mean lunging, barking and going crazy whenever one drives past. I’ve tried treating and sitting but without success.
A. First, thank you so much for adopting an abused dog. Many will adopt, but not all have the resources to adopt potential problems. Conventional veterinarians often do not understand problems that are not clearly “medical”. The swallowing could be over-treated from a conventional perspective by some veterinarians (ultrasound/blood work/checking the gums/ barium swallow, etc), but this is not needed if you will seek out holistic veterinarians and I am sure there are many in Paris.
In addition to working with a veterinarian trained in some holistic modalities there are many things you can try yourself, especially for the car reactions (I would like a vet at some point to treat the swallowing). You can use flower essences (simple Rescue Remedy, available at many stores, can be diluted 4 drops in 1 oz, then give a few drops of that before a walk and when you see a potential trigger approaching) are totally safe and can be purchased from many health food stores or online. There are some formulated for specific problems of animals (Spirit Essences, Green Hope Farms, Anaflora) and others that can be used for animals, especially if you can “muscle test” for which is best, or use an intuitive (Orchid Essences, Perelandra, Delta Flower and more). Tellington TTouch has videos, books and workshops on how to soothe anxiety in dogs. Your wonderful French Lavendar, made into an essential oil (with oils always use organic and food grade as dogs will lick!), is very calming and could be put onto a cloth collar you use only on walks.
As for the licking and swallowing, this can often be a sign of nauseua or digestion problems. Avoiding toxins (the increased swallowing could occur if you got new furniture or paint that is out-gassing, for instance), only doing the minimal vaccinations, and switching to a raw meat diet could possibly help your dog. If the behavior continues, please find a holistic vet who can treat the problem.