Friday, June 26, 2009

Holistic Vet

So glad it is Friday.... busy week!

As you know, Reagan and I saw Dr. Julia last week. I thought Dr. Julia was a nice compromise. She was well versed in a number of holistic approaches (acupuncture, kinesiology, nutrition, Bach flowers, Chinese herbs, chiropractic, homeopathy, homotoxicology, and western herbs) and she was a veterinarian of conventional medicine. She had lots of tools to draw from.

The staff marvelled at how well behaved and sweet Reagan was. She was either relaxing on her fleece pad, squeaking her stuffy goat, or practicing sit stays. Kudos to me! I must be doing something right!

I had typed out 2 pages of history and printed out Reagan's blood work results for Dr. Julia to review. I indicated that trying a cooked diet was probably my next step. She agreed that raw food is not for every dog and Reagan may be one. However, she recommended going with a commercially prepared diet instead of cook. She also was concerned that Reagan may be headed towards a chicken allergy and a hypo-thyroid problem.
Dr. Julia suggested that I avoid poultry all together. She said Reagan was a cold energy which might make sense because Reagan is much more heat tolerant than the other greyhounds and quick to need a coat when temperatures drop. Per the holistic point of view, if you are cold energy, you should eat hot energy food. Poultry is cold energy and red meat his hot energy. I don't understand any of that and I don't believe it is based on any science. It does not mean it is wrong though.

Dr. Julia recommended a very high quality venison and buffalo kibble. I was not interested in going that exotic yet. Ideally, it would be best if Reagan did well on beef and/or lamb since that increases my choices of food and treats I can use.

I decided to start with Blue Buffalo Lamb & Rice since I had some already. I had tried feeding it to Jet, but he did awful on it.


Sientay L said...

A chicken allergy? Wow. I don't think I've ever heard of a chicken allergy.
Can you see any difference yet in Reagan, or is it still early?

BrittBeah said...

Allergy or obsorbsion issue?
You can have her allergy tested if that is the issue. I want to say it runs a few hundred but is worth it to know what you need to avoid.

Pam said...

Jen, I think it's very interesting your holistic vet recommended a kibble diet. I've become a big believer in doing what works!

We used Blue Buffalo Salmon with Isaac for several months because it was high calorie and fish-based. (He loved fish and we were trying anything to get him to eat!)

OTOH, we tried a BUNCH of different food for the adoption kennel, trying to find something that worked for the transition to a mosty kibble diet and didn't cause massive blowout. After many, many tries at higher quality food, we finally settled on plain ol' Pedigree kibble... the stuff in the 52 lb. bags from Costco or Tractor Supply. Feeding 52 dogs, we mix one bag of Pedigree with 10 lbs. of track meat. (Yes, the "dreaded" 4D stuff). It has been working well now for more than a year.

So, just go with what works!

Snobound said...

I look forward to hearing more on her progress. This holistic vet thing is very interesting although way out of my league.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I want to say she looks better, but its so early. Her skin is definitely not as dry and flakey and she had not lost more hair... just not sure if its growing in yet.

Britt, we do know she had problems absorbing nutrients since her B12 was low.... just not sure of the exact cause or why. The holistic vet was going on her gut about the chicken allergy. In her experience, she has seen dogs like Reagan turn into full blown allergies where the skin does itch and develop sores. She could be right or wrong. I'm certainly going to play along for now.

Pam, I definitely thought it was interesting too. I needed to hear it from a vet who would recommend what works whether its raw food or kibble. I know Dr. Toby would not recommend raw food at this point so I wasn't going to listen if he recommended kibble (that's probably why he suggested cooking :-).

I'm hoping to have some before, in the middle, and after pictures after another month or 2 so we can see the progress.


Laura with the Kudzu pack said...

This vet sounds similar to the vet practice we use. Yeah, the whole hot/cold energy, Chinese seasons for problems, etc. is beyond me but we often see good results. I like the idea of, as you say, having lots of tools to draw on.

Hope you get good results. I only know of one dog with a chicken allergy. It is odd but one can develop allergies to almost anything. You are having quite an adventure. Reagan is proving to be a good teacher, just not of lessons you likely wanted to learn. ;)

Wishing the best to Reagan & hope the after pictures show a in full coat.

gyeong said...

I am also a big believer of whatever works, especially for the kids. Hope Reagan starts feeling better soon.

Jemma the Chihuahua said...

Jemma has food allergies to chicken, turkey, eggs, and processed grains (i.e. kibble). It really is a hassle though because chicken is in so many commercial diets.

Her skin not being as dry and flakey is a good sign! :)