Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil: Calms & Heals Without The Ouch

Lavender OilOne of my favorite topics as of late is essential oils. Now I know what you may be thinking, it’s a bit farfetched to expect an oil to do anything outside of cooking and being well, oily, and you couldn’t be more wrong. Essential oils deserve a category for themselves when it comes to alternative medicine, and they are quickly carving that spot out. If we go back to the roots of modern medicine, we’ll find that it all started with Hippocrates and his theory that disease came from our environment, not from superstition or displeased gods. The first medicines came from plants, herbs, and spices. Why are we then surprised when essential oils, basically the life blood of plants, have such healing properties?

The best part about the oils is that they are 100% natural, no additives, no toxins, nothing. They come from what makes these plants survive, the life blood, and with that comes great healing properties. The premise behind oils has to do with the frequency of the body, frequency of the oils, and creating an environment where the immune system functions at a high enough frequency to prevent sickness and/or to heal disease faster. For more information and details on oils, I always consult Jill Tack of the Pet Beastro as she is my residential expert naturopath. I will continue to post about various oils that can help your animal heal and function at an optimum.

Lavender OilThis issue I’d like to focus on lavender. Now I know you’ve heard of the plant lavender, the color lavender, the smell lavender, but perhaps you hadn’t heard of lavender oil. Lavender in particular has amazing properties that works well for calming and healing. Does your animal have aggression issues? Anxiety? Lavender should be your go to. What about open wounds? Any bites or scratches? Allergies or skin issues? Lavender can help with that too. How about dandruff? Sleeping issues? Lavender is your man!

At this point I think I’ve made it crystal clear how much lavender essential oil can do for you and your animal, all that’s left is for you to try it and see the difference it makes all on your own. No need to take my word for it, look at the research and be impressed all on your own. The only thing I caution is purchased an essential oil that is not of the highest quality. I recommend Be Young Essential Oils, they can be purchased through a representative or at certain natural shops. For questions regarding essential oils and or where to find them, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Salt On Dogs Paws

Salting Your Drive; A Pain That CAUSES Pain In Your Pup

During these winter months we do everything in our power to avoid slip and falls on the ice. We get up early to plow the driveway (whether by shovel or blower) so we can go about our day. Sometimes if it’s sunny enough we get lucky and that snow starts to melt, problems happen when the sun goes down and that water freezes over again. Time to bust out the salt, problem solved…or is it problem created? At least for your pet that’s the case.

Most melting salts contain chemicals and substances harmful to your pooch’s paws. Have you ever gotten back from a walk and noticed your dog profusely licking at his paw pads? Digging and biting at them even? And when you go to check them out they seem bright red and raw! Their paws are not safe in the winter, and the best way to prevent aggravation is to wash their feet the minute you get home. Another great way to prevent hurt paws is by utilizing puppy booties. I know, I know, it may seem silly but they protect against both frostbite and salt aggravation.

In addition to being harmful to the actual feet of your pup, the salt can do even more damage if ingested in certain amounts. Those exact amounts vary based on your animals size. Regardless it is best to keep your animal from eating large amounts of snow and ice where salt is being use or could have drained. To be pet-friendly this winter, look into using salts that don’t contain harmful chemicals such as calcium chloride and sodium chloride. There are a few products currently available, just be sure to read the label before you buy!

Protecting Against Pet Frostbite

Frostbite: What You Need To Do To Protect Your Furry Friend

bootiesBeing in the Michigan area we all know how cold it can get during the winter, so we bundle up. Did you ever think how important it is to bundle up your animal too? All those coats, sweaters, and boots aren’t just to be fashionable, they actually serve a serious purpose! Animals can experience frostbite just as people do, except we may not be as aware of their suffering. The most affected areas are those first to lose bloodflow, such as the ears, nose, genitals, and toes. Leaving your pet outside for an extended period of time can predispose them to frostbite.

What’s The Mechanism Behind Frostbite?

It’s quite simple actually. When the body gets cold, blood vessels constrict in order to conserve heat and keep the organs warm. The ears, nose, and toes are furthest away from these important organs so they are the first to lose blood flow in an effort to protect the body. In doing so the tissues in these areas will quickly start to lose nutrition (carried by blood vessels and stored in the blood). If an area of the body becomes the same temperature as it’s surroundings, after several hours  it can die completely.

How Do We Prevent It?

Animal Frostbite

The best way to prevent frostbite is to keep your animal warm and inside. When letting the animal out, do so for limited amounts of time. Never let your animal outside when he/she is wet as this can expedite the frostbite process.

If My Animal Gets Frostbite, What Do I Do?

The first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. They will give you instructions on how to handle everything. From what I’ve seen, the best thing you can do is warm the area back up slowly and keep it warm using warm water, never hot. Using any indirect heat is a BAD idea. Always dry the area thoroughly and keep the animal warm when transporting to the vet.

What’s The Ultimate Lesson Here?

Frostbite is COMPLETELY preventable! Be vigilant of your animal and keep them nice and warm and crisis can be averted.

Pet Immunity During Winter

Building Your Pet’s Immunity This Winter…

Pet Immunity During WinterOne thing I’ve learned this winter is that our own pets get colds and flus no different than their owners. I know this because my poor little man, Mowgli, came home from a weekend at the kennel with a productive cough, stuffy nose, fever, and bloodshot eyes. Of course I was incredibly worried, and after some research my nerves were calmed down. Poor little guy was fighting the common cold, only for our fur babies these common colds can last a significant amount of time. Naturally I consulted some veterinarian friends and they confirmed that this is not uncommon after spending a night at a boarding facility. I was most concerned with whether or not this was to be expected EVERY time I’d take him overnight, or if this was something other animals could catch from my little guy. Turns out both answers are a yes.

In order to help prevent future problems, I spoke with my number one naturopath who advised some essential oils to be used prior to any visit to a kennel. These specific oils help guard the body and increase the immune system. In addition my pup gets adjusted before and after his visit, not only for his immune system health, but for his musculoskeletal system help. Those pups can be rough out there and it’s best to get him checked afterwards to avoid any long-standing issues.

Funny cat picture cold

The best ways to prevent the cold this season in your pet is to be very conscious of their activities, monitor their eating habits, and playtime. If they seem rundown it’s always in their best interest to increase vitamin C intake as well as colloidal silver. Any citrus essential oil is a nice way to boost the immune system, and of course getting adjusted helps to ensure the nervous system is functioning at an optimum, thus allowing the immune system to work at its full potential. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian and keep in mind there are alternative ways to help your pet be healthy!

Dr. Christina at The Pet Beastro

Curious to know a bit more about chiropractic? Watch the attached video and see if it answers some questions!


Weather Changes For Your Pet

Weather Changes & YOUR Pet…

Weather Changes For Your PetLiving in Michigan, we get much of what we Michiganders call seasons, though lately it’s been mainly a cool summer and an even cooler winter. Needless to say with the weather changes we experience, I’ve had a lot of inquiries as to whether or not this can affect our animals. The answer, undoubtedly, is yes. Not only is the temperature dropping and rising without warning, the pressure in the atmosphere is also changing. These rapid changes in pressure and temp. are difficult on our own bodies, and naturally take a toll on our animals as well.

With people, drop in atmospheric pressure also causes our blood pressure to drop. So why not with animals as well? Does it seem that your pup or kitten is just a little more sluggish when the cold starts to come on? Perhaps they don’t mind foregoing that afternoon walk for a nap in front of the fire instead. Well it isn’t that they are lazy necessarily, rather they get exhausted more quickly from less activity. The colder the weather, the more energy it takes to heat the body, regardless of how furry your four-legged one may be, the amount of energy necessary to keep them going increases!

Weather Changes For Your PetWhat else can this drop in temperature cause? Joint pain! Some studies have found that colder climates can increase the viscosity (or thickness) in fluids throughout the body. Increased thickness of fluids means less lubrication for your joints, leading to increased joint pain. People experience joint pain in the colder weather and often times before a storm, one would think our animals can experience the exact same thing, and one would be correct!

With December having arrived, do what you can to keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible. Make sure they are getting examined annually and monitor them throughout the winter months. One of the best ways to improve and maintain joint health is through chiropractic care. Get those furry family members adjusted and keep them happy throughout the holiday season!

Ear Infections and Adjustments

Ear Infections and Adjustments…Can it Help?

Ear Infections and AdjustmentsSomething I’ve been quite intrigued with lately is the increasing number of ear aches and ear infections happening in the small domestic animals. In 25 years of having animals I cannot think of a single time where one of my little ones had an ear problem. Then again, growing up I’m not sure I would’ve known what to look for to know something was going on with my pet’s ears. After doing a little research, it’s fairly simple to tell when something isn’t quite right in the ear of an animal.

Common Signs Include:

Excessive ear scratching, colored discharge from the ear, loss of balance, dizziness, running into things, difficulty hearing, redness, swelling, etc.

As always when these are present it is important to see a veterinarian and decide a method of treatment. There are multiple options that include medication and holistic approaches. Some treat with oils, others with packing the ears, others with specific drugs, and then some just let the infection run its course. Regardless of what you choose it’s important to monitor the animal’s progress.

Ear Infections and AdjustmentsIn humans, research has shown that chiropractic has a high success rate in helping to prevent and alleviate ear infections, especially in infants. Being aware of this I decided to compare the anatomy of these small animals to that of an infant. It appears that the anatomy is quite similar, with only a few minor exceptions regarding size and length of the canal itself. With that in mind, it would stand to reason that dogs and cats under chiropractic care could benefit from adjustments, especially while experiencing an ear infection.

My goal of course is to keep the animal as happy and healthy as possible so these ear infections can be avoided altogether. Unfortunately some of our pups are more prone to infection due to outer structure of the ear and activity level (lots of swimming…). The main point is to recognize that chiropractic is just one more option when it comes to alternative therapies for your animal experiencing an ear infection or those that tend to get them more often than not!

Winter Affect Pet

How Will Winter Affect My Pet?

Winter Affect PetOne of the most concerning parts of living in the Midwest is the blustering winters. For most they are a few months of cold, wind, snow, and ice. While we may understand the importance of “caution black ice” signs, the same cannot be said for our four-legged friends. These guys depend on us to guide them on their walks, whether it be around the block or back in pasture. Too often they take a tumble and limbs go flying. It’s hard enough keeping track of two feet, let alone four!

When these falls happen, as they are bound to, it is beneficial to get your loved one checked by an animal chiropractor. Whether they landed on their tailbone, side, face, toes, etc., the strain on the muscles surrounding the joints will cause pain while the joints themselves can easily be affected. The best way to prevent further injury from these sorts of falls is to get adjusted and most importantly, watch where you’re walking!