Archive for the ‘Animal Hospitals’ Category

Kindred Spirit Canine Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in Dogs (PTSD): Our Dogs, Our Selves

A recent article in the NY Times acknowledges that Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome seems to be documented now in dogs as well as people.
The dogs being diagnosed are service dogs in the U.S. Armed Forces.
It is no surprise to me that dogs exposed to such trauma experience what is now titled Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). As a veterinarian and an animal behaviorist, I have seen many cases over the past thirty years that I would describe now as PTSD. In the past, one would see evidence of this in dogs after car accidents and then being fearful of getting into cars, shaking uncontrollably or simply refusing to get in one, or after loud noises such as fireworks on the Fourth of July or thunderstorms. I believe we see this in many species, elephants after they watch their relatives slaughtered or horses after a traumatic experience with needles or getting into a horse trailer.  In a previous post I discussed PTSD in Chimpanzee’s in captivity.
Personally, I believe that there is not that much of a difference in the nervous system of other mammals and us. Hence, it is not unreasonable to believe that they can have similar behavioral issues as we do. Unfortunately, it takes dogs exposed to the ravages and trauma’s of war to classify these traumatic events as PTSD. There is evidence that dogs search and rescue dogs experience depression and PTSD as well. There were cases of that in the rescue dogs after 9/11.
Dr. Walter F. Burghardt Jr., chief of behavioral medicine at the Daniel E. Holland Military Working Dog Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base feels that “the four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts

As the article states….”By some estimates, more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by American combat forces are developing canine PTSD. Of those, about half are likely to be retired from service, Dr. Burghardt said”. The article gives multiple examples of behavioral issues in the war dogs.
Signs, diagnosis and treatment are similar to humans. Treatment consists of behavioral modification with desensitization or medications, or a combination of the two. Recently a colleague and friend of mine, Vera Paisner, a renowned human psychotherapist, developed a new approach in dogs and horses, extrapolating it from people. It is called EMDR, Eye movement Desensitization and Retraining. She has had some excellent success with a dog in an automobile accident and horses with needle phobia.

It seems only reasonable that we explore new more natural approaches for PTSD in animals as we still do not understand the modes of action of medications in people, how can we understand them in animals. In addition, if EMDR is documented to help animals, then any placebo effect has been eliminated and we can appreciate how it can be of more benefit in people as well.

 

Canine Pilgrimage Workshop

Canine Pilgrimage

Dog pilgrimage walk on the beach

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
From Daily Chore to Inspiring Spiritual Practice: Dog-Walking as Pilgrimage
Have you ever whined that once again the dog needs a walk?
Have you ever shivered with the unsavoury thought that you had to take the dog out in the cold and rain?
If you are like me, the answer to those questions is an unbridled “Yes! Arghhh!”
So it got me thinkin’ . . . . what if I started to ‘go on pilgrimage’ with my dear dog Paz? What would happen? How would that change my daily walks with him?
Would I enjoy it more? Would HE enjoy it more?  It has been an interesting experiment for me. So, what has happened for me so far . . . .
Now. I seem to be more in now. I don’t stop to smell all those dog-yummy smells, mind you, but I do notice the roses, the trees, my inner self and enjoy Paz’s whims more.
Perspective. The real trick to life is not avoiding or not having problems – it’s perspective. I find, when I’m out, on pilgrimage, I leave my routine, I leave my stuck places and get some perspective on what is happening back at the ranch. (OK, no horses here, but you know . . . !) Then I relax and can be more creative. I find that this can happen in even just a very few minutes in the most seemingly mundane of circumstances – if I’m wearing my pilgrimage hat.
Connection. As I relax I can connect more. With my dog, my self, and other living beings around me of all types! And that is just helpful all ’round.
That dang dog waiting at the door wagging his tail is really an astonishing opportunity!
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I am so excited to announce that my friend and colleague Dr. Allen Schoen is going to be co-facilitating this Dog-Walking as Pilgrimage walkshop with me. For decades he has been pioneering holistic, integrative veterinary medicine and human animal bond, practicing, writing and teaching worldwide. His latest work can be seen herewww.kindredspiritsproject.com where, as he says, his vision is: ”to assist animal lovers throughout the world to gather together and unite in order to nurture, transform, concentrate and focus the unconditional love that they share with their animal companions into compassionate action to help improve the quality of life, happiness and health of all beings.” Important work!
Pilgrimage is not something I’ve done, it is something I inhabit. It has taken me to many parts of the world and deeper into myself. I have noticed that when we frame a walk, a trip, a journey of any kind, as a pilgrimage, we shift from being a seer of sites to being a seer from our own hearts and souls. We CAN just walk out our front doors and be on pilgrimage whenever we have that urge to walk! Check it out in more detail atwww.nicolemoen.ca.
So I’ll be talkin’ about walkin’ and Allen will be gettin’ you tuned into bonding with your furry bud! REGISTER ATinfo@nicolemoen.ca
Join us for this unique walkshop and notice what happens for you . . . .
DETAILS:

Date: Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time: 10 am to 1 pm – please arrive by 9:45 am to give yourself time to settle in

Fee: Pay-what-you-can from $75 to $125 per person

Dogs: We will have 2 dogs to accompany us – Paz and Shanti. They are best friends! See photos below.

Location: Start and finish at A-110 Medana St., James Bay, Victoria, BC

Bring: Clothing to suit the weather

REGISTER ATinfo@nicolemoen.caplease send me the names and email addresses of everyone wanting to come!

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BOOKS:

If it calls you, and you don’t already own it, you may be interested in purchasing Allen’s book:
Kindred Spirits How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live
Check it out at the bookstores or buy it on-line here: http://drschoen.com/books_L1.html First book on the list.
Bring it with you. I’m sure Allen would be happy to sign it at the workshop!
And I’m thrilled to tell you that I have an eBook available that can help you to start to find your inner walker. It’s called:
10 Minute Pilgrimage How to Be a Pilgrim in Your Own Hometown
You can purchase it here: www.nicolemoen.ca – second box down on your right.
Paz and Shanti enjoying the beach with one of their people.   Shanti about to pounce on the unsuspecting Paz . . .
Wild abandon to the joy of the chase, of running, of being in their bodies . . . .
REGISTER ATinfo@nicolemoen.ca for From Daily Chore to Inspiring Spiritual Practice: Dog-Walking as Pilgrimage

Walk On!
Nicole
MOEN Pilgrimage
Hit the Ground Walking!
Slow and Sustainable Fall 2011 Launch
Watch for details at:
Victoria, BC, Canada

“I have arrived – I am home – My destination is in each step.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

World Small Animal Veterinary Congress

Dr. Schoen guided by Korean Hostess in Traditional Korean DressI just returned from the lecturing at the World Small Animal Veterinary Congress on Jeju Island in South Korea.  It was a joy to reconnect with old colleagues and friends throughout the world.  I saw veterinary friends from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand,  Australia, New Zealand, China, as well as from the U.S. and Canada.  It was fascinating to hear from them about all the changes over the past few years in each of their countries amidst all the environmental, economic, political, social and conscious events of the past few years.

One story that was common throughout all the discussions was how essential animal companions had become in the midst of the massive shifts and changes throughout the world.  The unconditional love shared by our kindred spirits was becoming even more vital to help support the human soul as we maneuver through the accelerated earth changes.  As cities throughout Asia increase in population density, increase in busyness, noise, financial abundance, it seems the desire to share the small apartments with animal companions increases.  Why is this I pondered.  My feelings are that with increased emphasis on financial success, a super efficient, multi-tasking mind stream, never-ending to do lists, the heart continues to shut down.  The stress with other families members heightens and the one and only place one’s heart can receive solace, comfort, loving kindness and compassion is from our kindred spirits, dogs, cats, and other animals that we can share our homes with.  I hear this over and over again wherever I travel to teach and share about the human animal bond and integrative animal health care.

With the increase in the number of companion animals, veterinary medicine, pharmaceuticals, pet foods, supplements, new, innovative diagnostic and therapeutic modalities also are on the rise.  The quality of veterinary care improves and inadvertently so do the costs.  The dance between quality and expense must be continually evaluated and balanced based on the financial ability of the human caretaker and the life of their  animal.  The questions inevitably arise such as what price is too much to save an animal’s life.  There is no black and white answer to this and it varies from patient to patient, human to human, situation to situation.  This can be an emotional roller coaster for the veterinarian as well as clients.  It is then an opportunity for veterinarians to keep an open, compassionate heart in the midst of economic realities.  Not always easy.

One partial solution that I lecture on is the benefit of integrative animal health care and true prevention through proper, healthy, natural, balanced, nutrition along with appropriate nutritional supplements.  In addition, the importance of regular exercise and heart to heart, loving connections that both help support a healthy immune system, thereby preventing disease and expensive intervention.  These messages seem to reverberate well with most veterinarians, whereby they often have an “aha” moment on how these holistic preventive measures are truly the essence of health and happiness for all beings.

These messages seemed to especially resonate with the veterinary students that attended my lectures and I interacted with afterwards.  The Korean veterinary students reminded me  that my last book, “Kindred Spirits, How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live”, had been translated into Korean and shared how it nourished their souls as they worked their way through the academic rigor of veterinary studies.  As four idealistic and excited veterinary students proudly  showed me around their beautiful island, Jeju, the Island of Peace, as it is known,  I was able to guide them through different mind/body exercises and meditations that might help them balance their lives as they entered this noble, yet challenging profession.  We sat by the beach, by waterfalls and discussed how natural health care, mind body medicine, loving kindness and compassion can be integrated into modern conventional medicine and surgery.  It was nice to see, that these messages were so well received by new up and coming veterinarians, the future of veterinary medicine and health care.

In addition,  I was happy to hear from professors at Korean and other Asian veterinary schools how my textbook, “Veterinary Acupuncture, Ancient Art to Modern Medicine” was used as the essential text on Veterinary Acupuncture  throughout the region.  After taking a self-created six month sabbatical from teaching, writing and veterinary practice, it was heartening to see that veterinary students and veterinarians throughout the world are continuing to recognize the importance of natural health care and the human animal bond in the healing of the world as we all meander through these intriguing global changes.  Loving kindness and compassion  through the support of our animal companions are essential in the planetary re-adjustments and healing.

 

 

Support Nutritional Supplements for Your Kindred Spirits and You

Nutritional supplements are an essential component to an integrative approach your animal’s  and your health care.  I have been using nutritional supplements in my integrative veterinary practice for 30 years.  I feel that are indispensable in keeping your animal healthy and in treating many disease conditions.  Periodically different organizations such as the FDA attempt to control and limit access to these supplements.  They state their concern about quality control, misrepresentation, scams, fraud, etc.  These concerns are certainly valid.  I too have these concerns.  I always try to find sources of the highest quality supplements with the best evidence based research behind them.  I have seen them help so many dogs, cats, horses and other species daily in my practice.  I feel that the FDA, DSHEA guidelines the way that they have used for the past decade has addressed many of these concerns.

Yet, sometimes, different organizations may try to restrict freedom of choice and access to supplements in an effort to overreach and create impossible financial barriers to small businesses that provide these supplements.  It seems like one of those times is now.

Dr. Mercola, a world renowned natural health practitioner presents in this video on  Nutritional Supplements the current attempt to limit access to supplements.  All practitioners interested in integrative and natural health care for all beings need come together to stand up for the ability to offer these supplements to our clients and patients in order to do what we can to keep them healthy and happy.  I invite you to watch this video, contact your government representatives to help preserve our right to natural health care.

May the force be with us!

 

Dr. Mercola..Nutritional Supplements

Sound Healing for Kindred Hearts Part 1 (VIDEO)

There are numerous approaches to help us heal and remain healthy in spite of the challenges of living in such challenging times. There are numerous stresses that challenge our senses daily. Noise pollution is one of those great challenges. Scientists realize that we are all vibrational beings, thereby impacted by all sorts of vibrations and wave frequencies. Sounds are simply vibrations, different wave frequencies,  like a tuning fork.  Sound vibrations are used both diagnostically and therapeutically with ultrasound, infrasound etc.  Sounds and vibrations can either be beneficial, supportive to good health or detrimental depending on the sounds and the vibrations.  There are studies that document that dairy cows produce more milk when they listen to classical music versus heavy metal.  There actually is a great book by a colleague of mine, a veterinary neurologist, called “Through a Dog’s Ear” which also includes a CD of music that has been found to calm dogs. The CD is available by itself as well. It has been used in animal hospitals, animal shelters, dog kennels and in private homes to calm dogs down. Continue reading Sound Healing for Kindred Hearts (VIDEO)