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KARMA DOG TRAINING APPRENTICE PROGRAM

THE HOLISTIC DOG

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The Holistic Dog ** Disclaimer: None of the following information is meant to function as veterinary advice or diagnosis for issues in dogs, nor should you use this information as such. Always refer owners to their veterinarian, or if you are trying to talk to them about holistic options, recommend an alternative vet in their area. Be very cautious about making statements that could be taken as “diagnoses” or “treatments” by owners for their dogs. Mentioning different health issues that may affect behavior, and alternative methods of therapy for certain physical or behavioral issues is being comprehensive and informing the owner. However it should never cross the line into “diagnosing” a dog or making recommendations for treatment. A Veterinarian should be the one to actually make a diagnosis or treatment plan for any medical issues in pets. ** This ebook is organized a bit differently than the others: all of the links, articles, videos and resources will be listed at the end, rather than throughout the text. If something is mentioned that is not fully explained, it is likely that it is elaborated on in the resources section at the end.

Holistic Approach: Holistic: “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather that with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts” –Webster’s Dictionary, 2012 You’ve probably realized by now that dog training isn’t just about training dogs to start or stop doing certain behaviors. It’s so much more than that. There is no other domestic species on the planet that permeates every aspect of our lives like dogs do and vice versa. Because of this, when a dog needs training, socialization, problem prevention, or behavior modification plans put in place, there is a lot to consider. No training plan is complete without taking into account every part of the dog (breed, intelligence, anatomy, personality, activity level, emotions, socialization, previous learning, & training) and his environment (owners, extended family, schedule, house size and activity, neighborhood, weather)…and more. Because there are so many components to every dog/owner combo, you as a trainer must be comprehensive and have many components to your training! To be a holistic dog trainer means to address all parts of the puzzle individually and then combine them to make the picture whole, rather than just focus on one or two aspects while neglecting the rest. Understand how the dog-human puzzle fits together. From the most microscopic of moments – a moment together on the couch – to the global picture – two All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


species, evolving alongside each other for thousands of years, learning to speak a common language through training. Operating separate, yet united lives from feral village dogs to 24/7 therapy and service dogs, and how every aspect of the puzzle, from diet, surroundings, and even the weather, influence each part of the puzzle to create a complete picture! (wow) It’s not just sit, down, stay, get paid. Well, it could be, but you would be a very mediocre dog trainer at best. Traditional training and methods often focus very heavily on eradicating or addressing one “problem” behavior, or focus mainly on getting the “obedience” or “commands” in place. This may cover the bare minimum for a resilient, young and confident dog who just needs some basic training on one issue or another. But for dogs who are sensitive, have a history of health issues, are older or live in atypical circumstances (single parent with kids, homeless owner, owner travels a lot, lives on farm, lives at workplace, owner is disabled or ill, family member recently passed away, etc) this “one size fits all” training won’t work – you’ve got to think globally. Even for simple training issues, it won’t hurt anything, and will only make your training plan more effective, to incorporate in some holistic information and techniques. It will get the owner thinking down a path of seeing their dog, their relationship with their dog, and their dog’s behavior as an always evolving system, sensitive and comprised of many parts, effected and effecting the environment around him - rather than an “input-output” machine that you set once and walk away from. Once a dog has learned something, many owners don’t take into consideration that if something changes – the dog has a stomach ache, the family moves, a screaming child is nearby….that this will affect the dog and his behavior and ability to perform previous tasks. Dogs need upkeep! And they need their human guardians to adapt and manage their interactions. It will pre- answer questions the owner may have had later on, and may function preventatively for future behavior or training issues as the dog ages In this portion of the curriculum, you will learn about the canine body systems and the most common disorders and illnesses that affect them, internal and external parasites, alternative views on vaccines, and be introduced to a wealth of resources and information about holistic ingredients, remedies, therapies and alternatives. You will also learn about how to (and teach an owner how to) determine normal vital signs in a dog. The body is a Whole, living system, each part effecting, influencing and being effected by all the others. Knowing the canine body and physical health is knowing canine emotional and mental health. An abnormal vital may not only be a sign of poor physical health, but can be a sign or cause of poor mental health, emotional state, and poor performance in training. …enjoy! All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Chapter 1: Preventative Healthcare and Parasites

Vaccines:

Many supporters of alternative and holistic veterinary care recommend not giving multicombination shots (containing vaccines to more than one disease)

The main preventative measure for health issues we use in dogs in vaccinating them. There is much debate in the veterinary and dog training world about the necessity (or even dangers) of traditional, routine vaccinations - especially when given in bulk to very young puppies. On either side of the extreme you have those who believe that every dog should be vaccinated for every illness possible, and receive a booster as often as recommended by the manufacturer, and that not doing this is irresponsible and putting the dog at certain risk of contracting a disease. The other extreme sees vaccines and modern medicine as the root of many behavioral, physical and mental issues on pets ranging from incontinence and cancers to fears and aggression. There is some decent research that links certain vaccines to a higher incidence of health and behavioral issues. One must be educated and balanced on the subject to make sure they don’t get swept into the extremist viewpoints on either side. We all pretty much know the benefits of vaccinating pets regularly, (preventing diseases), so here will be focusing the counter arguments to vaccinating from a science based and holistic perspective.

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Main things you should know about vaccines in relation to training, behavior and possible side effects: - They are required for attendance to a puppy socialization class: Unless the owners have access to a lot of other puppies, humans and objects in a safe, clean environment that has not had exposure to unknown dogs, and has been thoroughly sanitized with a quality cleaner that can kill parvovirus (this is very very unlikely), the threat of the puppy growing up to have behavioral issues due to lack of socialization is far more dangerous and likely than any adverse vaccine reaction. Until there is a shift in the way we vaccinate puppies, currently a puppy runs the risk of getting poorly under socialized if not vaccinated. - They are required for daycare and boarding: The owners will have a very hard time finding somewhere to house their dogs while they are at work or on vacation if the Parvo, Distemper, Rabies and Bordatella vaccines are not up to date. - If a dog bites someone and is not up to date on his rabies vaccination, he may be quarantined at a local shelter in isolation for up to 6 months. This could be devastating for the dog’s training and behavioral development, and is far more likely to cause emotional and behavioral issues than the rabies vaccine is to cause adverse side effects. - Puppies and dogs may behave differently on the day they are vaccinated. This could be a combination of the general stress and excitement of a trip to the vet, and some actual side effects of the vaccines. Scheduling a consult or follow up session the same day a dog or puppy is vaccinated is not a good idea. - Some vaccines have been statistically associated with adverse effects in research studies. Others have a bad reputation from hearsay and Anecdotal Evidence: Non-scientific observations or studies, which do not provide proof, but may assist in research. (Dictionary.com, 2012) - Vaccines do no work while the mother’s colostrum is still present in puppies’ body. The colostrum not only fights off diseases the vaccine protects against, but it cancels out the vaccine itself. - Vaccines come in a “one dose fits all” administration, meaning a 5lb Chihuahua will receive the same amount of the vaccine as a 120lb Mastiff.

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Newborn puppies receive passive immunity to disease from the colostrum in mom’s milk within first 24 hours of life.

Colostrum: A substance secreted in mother’s milk that contains antibodies to everything puppy may catch, usually only present in the milk during the first 18 hours or less of suckling. This is called … Passive Immunity: The puppy is inheriting his mother’s immunity through her milk, before he is able to produce his own antibodies. The antibodies from mom can stay in the puppy’s system anywhere from 6 weeks to 16weeks. Active Immunity: Antibodies to disease the puppy generates on his own, or by being stimulated to generate through vaccination. The kicker: Any vaccinations the puppy receives while the colostrum is still in his system will be ineffective and attacked by the antibodies in the colostrum. This is why, traditionally, puppies receive several rounds of vaccines, usually around 6 weeks, 9 weeks, and 12 weeks – because we don’t know if and when the passive immunity of the mother’s antibodies has worn off. A vaccine given at 9 weeks, while passive immunity is still happening, will essentially be cancelled out and totally ineffective. If the passive immunity wears off around 12 weeks, then a vaccine given at 12 weeks would take effect and cause the puppy to start generating his own antibodies. The risk of catching a disease comes during the period when the colostrum (passive immunity) wears off, but the puppy’s own antibodies (active immunity) has not kicked in yet. For instance, if the passive immunity wears off at 10 weeks, the puppy is exposed to Parvo Virus at 11 weeks,

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and doesn’t generate his own antibodies, or become vaccinated until 12 weeks, he will likely become ill. This is important to know because it is likely that almost all puppies entering a puppy class at 8 weeks of age, are still protected from disease not by their first round of vaccinations they were required to have as entry to the class – but by mom’s milk! It is actually the second and third vaccinations that are most important for puppies in a class, because it is much more likely that the vulnerable period when mom’s antibodies wear off, and the puppy has not yet started making his own, would occur closer to around 12-16weeks.Therefore, it is a good idea to not only require proof of first vaccinations, but second and third vaccinations for a puppy to continue attending a class. Some alternative vets even claim that dogs only need to be vaccinated once during puppyhood to have protection against the disease for their lifetime. Getting a titer done to see if the dog still has antibodies present in their blood stream to protect against certain viruses is an alternative option to booster vaccinations, however it is not an exact science. The absence of antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean the dog doesn’t have immunity (sometimes antibodies are only measurable in blood when the dog has recently been exposed to the disease, otherwise they lay “dormant”, which doesn’t equal ineffective, it just means the antibodies aren’t in measurable numbers in the blood stream in titer tests.) Below is a chart that helps you visualize the passive immunity, active immunity and the vulnerable period during puppyhood.

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In the previous diagram, puppy A still had passive immunity from his mother up until 16 weeks of age. The vaccine he received at 14 weeks was cancelled out by the passive immunity still in his system. He received a vaccination at 18 weeks of age, and it takes about 1 week for the antibodies from vaccination to build up to a protective level. So, this puppy is vulnerable to contagious disease from 16 weeks until 19 weeks. Puppy B’s passive immunity wore off around 8 weeks, his vaccination at 5 weeks was cancelled out, and his next vaccination was at 10 weeks. He was vulnerable to contagions from 8wks-11weeks. Most puppies admitted to puppy class are required to have one round of vaccines, which likely didn’t have any effect on their immune systems, and at some point during the class, their passive immunity will wear off. It is a matter of luck whether it wears of the same day they get vaccinated, or a week before, leaving them vulnerable. Luckily, well run puppy class will not be held in a room with unvaccinated adult dogs, will require all puppies be carried, not walked from the car into the room, and there is a foot bath at the entrance to the class, killing any pathogens that may have been clinging to people’s shoes. If these steps are taken, the chances of a puppy who is at the vulnerable stage in his immunity catching a disease are very low, and puppy socialization class is still highly beneficial. Some alternative viewpoints state that puppies only need to be vaccinated one time for each disease and will have immunity for life. Others take it even further and claim that we should allow puppies to build their own antibodies to diseases rather than relying on vaccines, and although some puppies may die, it will create future generation of very immune-strong dogs that fight off disease naturally, rather than through vaccinations. It is up to owners whether they want to take the risk with their own puppy, but legally, they MUST at least get the rabies vaccination because this virus is contagious and deadly to humans. Most veterinarians with an alternative, conservative approach to vaccination also agree that giving multi-combination vaccines (shots that include more than one vaccine delivered at one time) are more dangerous and cause negative side effects more often than individual vaccinations. It is more expensive for an owner to get each vaccination done at a separate time for their puppy, however if they are willing to spend the money, it may be a healthier option for their puppy. For example, traditionally, puppies are given a “3,4,5 or even 6 and 7-way” shots: one 6-way shot would carry antibodies for: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospiroses, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Caronavirus.

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An alternative would be only vaccinating for the most serious diseases: distemper and parvovirus, and doing them separately on different days to not “overload” the puppy’s system. Scientific Research and studies: A study done on the correlation between vaccines and arthritis in 1997 on 4,000 dogs showed an increase in inflammation of the joints (arthritis) after vaccination. More recent studies have shown other negative side effects of vaccinations, including the dog’s body attacking its own DNA. Please see links to full article at end of book.

Some of the side effects mentioned anecdotally by owners, rescues and shelter staff include: - Lethargy - Inflammation around injection site or all over body - Swelling of face and paws - Appearance of or increase of allergies - Arthritis - Changes in dog’s mood, including irritability - Changes in dog’s ability to focus and concentrate - Increased level of hyperactivity - Temporary or permanent mood changes - Temporary or permanent loss of function of limb closest to injection site - Symptoms of the virus itself - Cancer - Shock - Death These are all side effects observed on the day of, shortly after (within weeks) of vaccination. The symptoms could have been related to the vaccines or coincidental. For instance a puppy who becomes more moody or distracted after his last set of vaccinations around 4 months, may also just be developing normal “adolescent” traits of a dog entering puberty. More data would need to be collected, but their reports and observations should not be merely dismissed. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


If an owner is describing any behavioral changes in her puppy or dog around the same time as getting vaccinated, you should inform the owner that it could potentially be a vaccine reaction and to seek veterinary attention. While all of this information makes vaccinating a dog seem like a very dangerous and unhealthy thing to do, we have to keep in mind that it does have its benefits, and if it were not for vaccinations, much of the canine (and human!) population may have been wiped out by now due to various infections, viruses and plagues. What we need to be asking ourselves is what is the minimum amount of vaccinating a dog needs to stay well immunized against the life threatening contagions (rabies, parvovirus, distemper), are there alternatives, and if so, is anyone making an effort to make alternatives available to owners. (you can help with that! Education, education, education!) As our knowledge of canine health, disease and how the immune system works grows, we may be surprised to learn that only one vaccination during puppyhood (after colostrum has worn off) is all pets need to have a “life time warranty” against disease. There are few alternatives readily available for owners who do not feel comfortable with vaccination. Rabies vaccine is required by law, and their puppy may not get proper socialization due to vaccine requirements to enroll in puppy class. Adult dogs may not get the mental and physical stimulation they need due to vaccines being required to attend dog daycares. However, if an owner is working closely with an alternative veterinarian, they may be able to use alternative methods to protect against contagious diseases combined with good management of the dog’s environment. One option is using “nosodes” in place of vaccines, however the effectiveness is controversial. There are plenty of alternative viewpoints and research out there for those who are interested. A long list of alternative and holistic therapies for pets will be provided at the end of the reading.

Internal Parasites: The other main preventative measure we take with dogs is protecting them against parasites. There are internal and external parasites that can infect a dog. It is hard to prevent internal parasites, and most dogs, even healthy ones, have one if not more types of internal parasites. Most healthy dogs can live day to day with a certain number of internal parasites and not be bothered or even show any symptoms. Rather than prevention, most dogs are cleared of any worms they may have by yearly “de-worming”. Usually parasites will not effect a dog’s training or behavior unless it is a serious infestation causing anemia or intestinal pain and blockage, ectoparasites like fleas or mange which cause distracting itching and irritability, or heartworms, which can cause lethargy. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Zoonotic? (Z?) = Humans can catch it from the dog

Internal parasites: Roundworms: /

Tapeworms:

/

cause:

/

ingesting eggs in feces “potbellied” look

/

stunted growth, diarrhea, weight loss / Yes

/

intestinal blockage, visible in feces “potbellied” look

/ ingesting eggs in fleas or animal with adult worms

symptoms:

/

/ YES (children)

Hookworms: / passed from mother in uterus / anemia, lethargy, malnutrition or milk, ingesting larvae in the pale gums soil, penetration through paw pads, Ingesting infected animal Whipworms /

ingesting eggs in feces

Giardia

ingesting eggs in feces

/

ingesting eggs in feces

/

/

Coccidia

Flukes

/

/

/

Ingesting animals caught / From water source (like snail, Crayfish, or raw fish)

watery feces, bloating extreme diarrhea, bloat

/ Yes

/

No

/

Yes, rare

puppies and immune / compromised dogs may have extreme watery diarrhea and bloat

migrate to lung and liver may cough, have respiratory problems, liver damage, etc

Z?

Yes, rare

/

Heartworm / bitten by infected mosquito / Adult worms migrate to heart / Heavy infestation will cause coughing, Intolerance for exercise, abnormal heart rhythm and gum color, shock, death

No

extremely

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rare


Roundworms, Coccidia, Giardia, Whipworms:

Tapeworm

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Hookworms

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Intestinal Parasite Alternative treatments: ***please ask owner to consult with their regular vet or an alternative vet for dosage, frequency and duration, and to make sure it is safe for their individual pet *** Note: for parasites such as flukes that have migrated to other tissues and organs in the body, or Heart worms, these treatments will not be affective.***

- Raw turmeric + salt added daily to food - Cloves, ground and added to homemade dog biscuits or treats - Ground Cinnamon mixed with raw honey every morning ***no honey for diabetic dogs*** - A small amount of fresh garlic shredded into food *** use sparingly, cousin to onions - Wormwood (supplements found at health food stores), dilute, as pure oil can be toxic - Fennel plant and seeds (grows wild on west coast, or can buy as supplement) - Pumpkin Seeds ground into powder and mixed with food + laxative 24 hrs later - Grapefruit extract and seeds, ground and mixed with food + laxative 24hrs later - Food grade diatomaceous earth, mixed with honey, peanut butter or canned food Pineapple – contains Bromelain, mostly effective on tapeworms, can be given in capsule Papaya seeds – contains papain and Carpain, can grind seeds into food – bitter! - Cayenne capsules - Grated carrots for puppies - High fiber diet, psyllium seeds, pumpkin, sweet potato – best to feed after giving other ingredient to kill the worms, fiber helps “flush” them out. - Enemas – best to do after giving other ingredient to kill the worms, enema “flushes” them out. Can do at vet’s, or can do yourself, if dog will hold still

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Flukes that infect intestines, liver and lung

Alternative Therapies for liver and lung flukes: Flukes are abundant in the environment and incredibly easy for dogs to catch, especially if the dog lives or plays near water, likes to eat grass, or small creatures he finds near the water, such as crayfish, fish and snails. The fluke worm first goes to the intestines, and then migrates to the lung and/or liver. It cannot reproduce within the dog’s body, so, if the initial worms can be purged, then the next step is just to manage re-exposure. Many times a dog has flukes and is asymptomatic: not showing any visible signs of illness. If the dog ingests a lot of fluke worm eggs, he may begin to show signs of liver or lung issues. Traditional treatment may be the best route to go with this type of parasite, because the liver and lung are such vital organs and the fluke is very hard to get rid of. However, there are supplemental natural remedies and owner could use to help reduce side effects of the traditional de-worming medication, as well as boost the immune system and provide respiratory or liver support. Examples are listed under “alternative treatments� at the end of this document. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


The best thing an owner can do is try to be preventative: If they live or walk their dog near a water source, they should NOT let their dog eat any nearby grass or animals such as fish, snails or crayfish he may find. The owner should also discourage drinking the water and bring fresh water with them for the dog to drink instead.

Heartworms

Heartworms are contracted when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying the larvae. The larvae travel around in the bloodstream for up to 6 months, and until they mature into adult worms. Adult worms settle in the right portion of the heart. These worms cannot produce more adult worms in the same dog: the dog must be bitten by another mosquito containing larvae. In order to create microfilaria (that turn into larvae), there must be a male and female heartworm present in the dog to reproduce. They produce the microfilaria, which are ingested by another mosquito who bites the dog, the microfilaria develop into larvae inside the mosquito. The mosquito bites another dog and the cycle starts over again. The more times the dog is bitten by an infected mosquito, the heavier the heartworm infestations becomes. Some dogs only have a few adult worms, others have so All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


many, the worms fill the right chamber of the heart, spill over into their lungs and pulmonary artery and cause major damage. A dog with a mild heartworm infestation may be asymptomatic. A moderate infestation may make a dog somewhat exercise intolerant, and possibly cough. A heavy infestation of worms will make a dog very exercise intolerant, cough, lethargic, retain fluid in their belly area, potentially pass out, become cyanotic (blue gums and tongue) during exercise, and may go into shock or literally “drop dead”. These are symptoms that you, as the trainer may notice in a dog, particularly a new rescue straight out of the shelter or off the street, or with a family who has not had a chance to bring their dog to the vet, or had little knowledge about dogs or dog ownership. If you observe these signs or symptoms during your session, stop the session immediately and inform the owners to take their dog to a veterinarian to check for heartworms. Heartworm treatment can be expensive, if the owners cannot afford it, they may be able to find a low cost or charitable organization or clinic to do it for free, but diagnosing it as early as possible is the first and most important step – every day counts!

Traditional heartworm treatment: Uses very harsh chemicals similar to chemotherapy drugs (arsenic) and sometimes the treatment can cause just as much damage as the worms themselves. Traditionally there is a “fast kill” method and “slow kill” method of treating heartworms: - The fast kill method involves 2 or 3 injections of the potent and toxic chemical into the muscle, usually one day apart, or a month apart. Aside from the toxic chemical, the main danger in this method is that when the adult heartworms die off, they release a bacteria that can cause the dog to go into shock. Alternatively, a piece of the worm may become lodged in a blood vessel as it is flushed out of the heart, cause an occlusion and kill the dog. - The slow kill method involves giving the same chemical used as heartworm preventative (heartguard), either weekly or monthly to prevent the larvae in the blood from maturing into adults, while giving the adults time to die off. While this method may be less expensive and dangerous, it only kills the immature larvae in the blood – not the adult worms, which will continue to live in the dog’s heart and lungs until they die naturally. This can take years. There are pros and cons to each method, and a good quality veterinarian will take the time to decide which method I better for a particular dog.

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Alternative Therapies for Heartworms: Heartworms in dogs is a serious parasitic illness. The heart is the most sensitive and vital organ in the body – the heart is the one organ that ensures every other organ and tissue in the body receives oxygen rich blood. Any compromise to the heart is a compromise to the entire health of the body. Heartworm parasites, like flukes are another hard to kill organism. The danger of spending time trying different holistic or “all natural” methods to kill the worms may be more harmful to the dog than the treatment with the chemicals themselves. There are some alternatives offered out there, and there are also supplemental treatments now that can be given in conjunction with the Heartgurard, or Immiticide to help reduce side effects, and make the use of the drugs as safe as possible. One option is giving the antibiotic Doxycycline to the dog before and during treatment. Heartworms have a bacteria living inside them that some researches think may have a Symbiotic relationship: (both organisms benefit from each other) with the adult heartworms. Possibly helping it obtain nutrients or fight off the dog’s immune system attempts at killing it. Some veterinarians and researchers believe it is this bacteria inside the heartworm that can cause the organ damage or shock a dog may go through when many adult worms die off at once, and the bacteria is released into the bloodstream. Administering Doxycycline regularly to the dog before and during treatment may help kill more worms faster, while also protecting the dog from a bacterial infection or shock. Some alternative vets believe administering the antibiotic ONLY may be enough to cure a dog who has a light infestation of the parasite, if given over many months. There are other, more natural remedies also proposed in treating heartworms, but these are “use at your own (well, really the dog’s) risk as there is no formal scientific research into the effectiveness. All antibiotics, but Doxycycline in particular can be hard on the stomach. There are other holistic and supplemental remedies available, please see links at end of book.

Behavior and training implications: *** It is very very important that any dog undergoing heartworm treatment be prohibited from any exercise and kept as quiet and still as possible *** The fact that dogs who are heartworm positive must be kept very quiet and still can mean that owners or shelters & rescues and up with a very frustrated and under-stimulated dog on their hands. This is especially true if the dog is young, or an energetic breed, such as a herding breed or terrier. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


As a trainer, can you think of some remedies and prevention for this problem? It is highly unlikely that the vet will even think about it or mention it to owner. Mental stimulation is almost as good at wearing a dog out as physical stimulation, if it is truly challenging. If the dog is being kept in a large crate or small pen, and taken out a few times a day for a slow walk to relieve himself, then every other waking moment of his day should be dedicated to mental games and exercise. Physical therapy may also be a good idea for these dogs so there muscles and joints are being used, even though they are not active. The worst thing the owner or caretaker of the dog can do is toss his kibble into a bowl and walk away. Food should be dispensed in kongs, ice cubes, other hollow toys, and during training throughout the day.

Great training exercises to do with inactive dogs are: - Leave it - Watch me - Find it (can hide under cup or blanket) - Touch - Target - Speak - Head down (placing head down while lying down) - Ashamed (paw over face) - Bang! (roll on side) - And of course…the relaxation protocol!!! (you will learn all about that next semester)

If at any point the dog becomes worked up or too excited, you could walk away and come back later when the dog is calm. The whole aim of the game is stimulating the dog’s mind and getting his energy out – without increasing his heart rate or blood pressure!

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Another thing to consider is making sure the dog is on a diet that is heart conscious (low fat, low sodium, minimal and natural ingredients, high omega 3’s, etc) And that his environment is kept as low stress and possible. Heart worms are much more common in the southern and southeast areas of the United States than in the Midwest or northern areas due to mosquito populations. All dog owners in every state should at least consider giving some sort of heartworm preventative during the warmer months, even if heartworm is very rare in their area. They may choose an alternative prevention to something like Heartguard – but that’s better than nothing!.

Distribution of reported cases of heartworm disease in veterinary clinics in 2010

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Traditional Heartworm preventative

Heartworm Infestation

In addition to parasite that live inside the dog, there are those who thrive outside the dog, in his skin and hair…

External Parasites:

Even if you can’t see the fleas…you can see the evidence they leave behind! All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Fleas: are probably the most common external parasite dogs (and owners) unfortunately have to deal with. They are more common in warm and moist areas, but they are everywhere! Aside from being bad enough because they bite, cause itching, skin irritation, allergies and are just gross – they also carry the tapeworm larvae…so it’s a two for one special with these lovely parasites. Fleas bite their host to feed on their blood, and lay thousands of eggs in the roots of the hairs of the animal, as well as in carpet and bedding. Modern day fleas seem to be growing stronger and more immune to the chemicals used to prevent or kill them. First it was dips, then flea collars, and sprays, then once a month chemicals applied directly to the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades (starting with Frontline), we’ve bombed houses with toxic chemicals, sprayed our pet’s fur with poison, and now there are pills that can be given once a month that work on the external parasites from the inside out! Fleas are just an itchy irritant to some dogs, but some dogs are very allergic to the flea’s saliva. Even one bite can cause the dog’s whole body to react, beginning a vicious cycle of itching, and scratching, causing more discomfort, which causes more licking, scratching and gnawing. The wounds may become rusty and scabbed, even infected. Often there is hair loss. Ingesting fleas also causes tapeworms. Tapeworms are usually only serious or even fatal in small puppies or already ill, immune-compromised dogs with many tapeworms. The most dangerous side effects of fleas are in very young puppies who have a heavy flea infestation which makes them very anemic: They don’t have enough blood, specifically red blood cells (which carry oxygen), to perfuse the extremities and skin. These puppies appear very lethargic, have pale gums, may breath rapidly in an attempt to make up for lack of oxygen perfusion, and tend to have visible fleas crawling around in their fur. For these puppies: The first thing and most helpful thing anyone can do is just dunk the puppy’s whole body up to his head in warm, mildly soapy water. Cover your arms and neck and surrounding area – hundreds of fleas are going to be jumping in a mass exodus off the puppy or congregating at the top of his head. The warm soapy water will kill most off the fleas that jump, and you can use a warm mildly soapy (use tear free baby shampoo) sponge to capture and wipe off the fleas piling up on the puppy’s head. The warm water will also stimulate his system, getting his blood pumping as you gently rub his body all over. When you feel you have gotten almost every flea off the puppy, dry him as best you can and wrap him in a WARM towel. In his weakened, anemic state, Hypothermia: (A drop in core body temperature below what is normal for the species), can kill him. The puppy should then be seen by a veterinarian ASAP. At this point, depending on how severe the anemia is, the owner can now decide what route to take for treatment – traditional, chemical, or conservative and holistic. Keep in mind that any chemicals put on or in a dog’s body must be filtered out by the body. For an animal who is All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


already weak – having to process and metabolize chemicals may just put more burden on his system. If the puppy has a mild or moderate anemia, but is otherwise ok, then a holistic, natural method may be taken. Puppies who are extremely anemic or have a concurrent disease, such as worms or a virus, may need immediate and advanced veterinary care, including floods, possibly a blood transfusion, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Many times a dog has tape worms and the owner is unaware. Being able to recognize the signs of tapeworms in feces will help catch the infestation before it begins effecting the dog’s health. Whenever you are with a client’s dog and he defecates, always make a point to briefly look at the feces (it’s not glamorous, sorry). What you are looking for are little white things that look like rice. These are the packets of eggs the adult worms shed in the dog’s intestine. Make sure to pick up the feces and throw it away, and spray down the area so another dog doesn’t get infected! Many owners will also be 100% sure their dog doesn’t have fleas. Many times, they do – it’s just not obvious and the owners are not seeing them. A good indicator that a flea has been on a dog recently is the appearance of an allergy to the bite, or the presence of “flea dirt”. Dogs who are allergic to fleas can have a Systemic reaction: the whole body responds, not just the local area that was affected, or in this case, bitten. Owner’s many times mistakenly think there is no way their dog’s itchy, red or patchy skin could be attributed to a flea allergy, because they haven’t seen any fleas on their dog, or their dog just “doesn’t have fleas” – but all it takes is for one flea to bite the dog, and an allergic, visible reaction can occur. The most typical flea allergy looks like an “itchy butt” on a dog, where they respond with obvious itchiness when their rear end is scratched, usually with or without some red bumps, patchy fur or thin fur, scabs or crusty skin in that area. The Inguinal Area: the area on the underside of the dog in the pelvic area and inner thighs, is also often red, with or without bumps, and seems “itchy”, sometimes with scabs from perpetual scratching.

Flea dirt: is the excrement left behind by the flea. There’s no way around it – it’s gross. There is only one thing fleas eat: blood. So, there is only one thing fleas eliminate: digested blood. (Hopefully you are not eating while you read this) If you or an owner find some dark, dirt looking “stuff” in a dog’s fur, and you are not sure whether it is just crud he picked up from the environment, or a sign of fleas - Here is how to test it:

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The wet paper towel test: Get a paper towel and wet it slightly (so it’s damp, not dripping) with warm water. Part the fur in the area of the debris, and place the towel to the skin and hold it there for a second or two. When you remove the paper towel, if there is a red “bleeding out” of color around where it touched the dirt, then it is blood. Alternatively, you can use a flea comb and brush the dirt out of the hair, then wipe it off with the damp paper towel. If it turns red, whether the owners want to admit it or not – their dog has fleas!

Red spots on paper towel after dampening flea dirt

Ticks: Are the second most likely ectoparasite: a parasite that lives outside the host’s body, vs endoparasites - like worms, which live inside the host’s body. Depending on what region of the country the dog is in, there are different types of ticks he may pick up. The same preventative the owner uses for fleas may or may not also work on ticks. Unlike fleas who briefly bite to feed and then move to another area, ticks latch on and continually suck blood directly out of the vessels and feeds until it can no longer, then will naturally drop off. Unfortunately many ticks release harmful toxins, bacteria and disease into the dog’s body.

In the United States, the ticks you will find on a dog are: - The Deer (Blacklegged) Tick – * The tick that causes Lyme Disease * - The Lone Star Tick – Can carry Erlichea - The American Dog (Wood) Tick - can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - The Brown Dog Tick - can carry Erlichia *Most widely distributed and common tick to find on dog* All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Tick Identification:

Lyme Disease: Is an illness transmitted through bacteria in the deer tick’s saliva. The main symptom most owners may notice is a “shifting lameness” one week it’s the back left leg, the next it’s the front right, etc. They may also have a deceased appetite and seem depressed. If an owner reports (or if you notice) these symptoms in a dog, it could be lyme disease, especially for dogs that have a lot of access to the outdoors and woodsy areas, have been on a camping trip lately, or recently went missing and returned. Obviously if the owners remember pulling a tick off the dog within the past month, that is a big indicator. “Dominant clinical feature in dogs is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression. More serious complications include damage to the kidney, and rarely heart or nervous system disease. Kidney disease appears to be more prevalent in Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and Bernese Mountain dogs. Experimentally, young dogs appear to be more susceptible to Lyme disease than adult dogs. Transmission of the disease has been reported in dogs throughout the United States and Europe, but is most prevalent in the upper All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard, and the Pacific coastal states.” – PetMed, 2012 Tick Paralysis: This is a more rare tick caused illness than lyme disease, and only occurs when a pregnant female tick has been feeding on a dog for a long time, and is releasing a certain toxin into the dog’s body. The dog slowly becomes paralyzed, usually from the hind limbs up, ending with facial and respiratory paralysis. In the early stages, the dog may vomit, regurgitate, seem unsteady on his feet, appear weak in the hind limbs, and have a fast heart rate. If there is no other known cause for these symptoms, and the dogs has had access to the outdoors in an area where ticks are, the dog may have “tick paralysis”. Fortunately, this illness is rapidly solved by just finding the tick and pulling it out. The proper way to pull a tick out of the skin: Using a pair of tweezers, grab the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can, and pull straight out away from the skin, not at an angle. You can then clean the area with hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol (it will hurt!) or soapy water. The dog’s owner should watch the spot for weeks and make sure there is no infection around the area, and also be on alert for the aforementioned symptoms of Lyme disease.

Holistic Alternatives for flea and tick prevention or treatment: There are tons! An owner just has to do a bit of legwork researching (or you can provide them with some ideas) to find what alternative works best for them and their pet and household, but there are definitely many, many alternatives to traditional veterinary prescribed chemicals when it comes to flea and tick prevention. Below are some ingredients that can be made into a spray or applied as a topical solution just like you would frontline, but this is by no means a complete list. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


- Diatomaceous Earth (food grade): Rub against the direction of the dog’s fur first, then with direction of fur second. It is a powder. Reapply once a week, or less often if it seems unneeded. - Citrus: Most insects hate citrus. Something as simple as cutting a lemon, orange or lime in half, squeezing it a little so the surface is uneven, and then rubbing it around on the dog’s fur may be enough to repel most fleas and ticks. - Essential oils: you can combine your own, or buy an already made concoction. Citrus oils and especially an oil made from geranium (diluted…never apply essential oils directly to the skin!) tend to be good repellants. - A mildly soapy bath: fleas can’t cling to wet fur, so they slide off into the water and drown. Using a natural based shampoo with a citrus smell will act as a repellant afterward. - Cover the dog up: Ticks sense body heat when the dog walks by and drops off tall grass or branches onto the dog’s back. If a dog is going to be walking in an area with ticks, as long as it’s not too hot, putting a shirt on the dog can prevent the ticks that drop from getting a hold of the skin. - Vacuum! Regularly cleaning the carpet and dog’s bed will prevent flea eggs and larvae from turning into adult fleas. The carpeting and bedding can then be sprayed with the same essential oils as used on dog’s fur. - Tags: some holistic pet brands manufacture tags that attach to the dog’s collar and may repel fleas and ticks - Tablets: There are natural remedy tablets with ingredients ranging from different herbs to Garlic that change the smell and taste of the dog’s skin, causing fleas and ticks to be deterred. Garlic is a cousin to the Onion, but given in small doses is safe for most dogs.

Mites: Ear mites are a common external parasite for outdoor dogs that do not receive proper hygiene, grooming and care. Most Ear mite infestations are prevented by simply housing a dog in a sanitary environment, allowing them access indoors, and regular grooming the dog does for himself, and also any grooming owners can provide. Ear mites are easy to see: they look like a bunch of oreo cookie crumbles or clumps of black dirt inside the dog’s ear canal. The best way to tell if a dog has ear mites is to take him to the vet and they will swab some of the material onto a microscope slide and take a look. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


The mites feed on the wax of the ear, and cause the dog a lot of itching, burning and discomfort. Usually a secondary ear infection occurs with a heavy ear mite infestation because of the constant scratching the dog does, combined with the already dirty state of the ear. Ear mites are easy to prevent by just taking good care to not leave the dog outside for extended amounts of time, in dirty environments, and regularly clean the ears with gentle solutions regularly. Dogs with heavy, fur-filled, droopy ears are more prone to having an unnoticed bad ear mite infestation because the inside of the ear is never exposed unless someone goes looking!

Ear mites

Holistic treatment of ear mites: - Warm a tablespoon of olive oil, avocado oil, or canola oil. Make sure it is warm, NOT hot. Add vitamin E as an anti-inflammatory to speed healing. Hold the flap of the dog’s ear back and gently use a dropper to place the oil into the outer ear canal. Don’t put it on the ear flap – put it in the canal. Quickly put the ear flap down and massage the ear to distribute the oil evenly. Prevent the dog from shaking his head. After massaging for several seconds, use a cotton ball to swab out the mites. Make sure there are no mites left visibly in canal or ear flap. Follow up with warm mildly soapy water to clean off oil, then can add aloe or vitamin E to make sure ear is moisturized and healing. Repeat if seems necessary. If after 1 week, ear mites are still found, a trip to the vet may be warranted! If there is a secondary bacterial or yeast infection All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


due to the ear mites, you may be able to treat it naturally using no antibiotics, but if it is very bad, antibiotics may be necessary.

Mange Mites: There are two types of mange mite infestations a dog can have: Demodectic and Sarcoptic. Demodex actually lives on the dog’s skin normally as part of the natural “flora” of bacteria and mites present at any given time. When a dog’s immune system is balanced and the dog is not too stressed, the number of demodex mites is controlled by the dog’s own body and does not cause any issues. Sometimes when a dog is highly stressed, immune-compromised, and especially when young, the number of demodex mites can increase and become a problem. It can be anywhere on the body, but it usually begins on the face, around the muzzle, eyes, neck, then under arms then moves to back and belly and rear end. It causes redness and hare loss, sometimes with flaking skin. Demodex Mange is NOT Zoonotic, or contagious from dogs to humans. It isn’t even contagious from dog to dog, with the exception of a nursing puppy sometimes showing patchy or flaky areas on their paws and muzzles due to transfer of demodex while nursing. Demodex, although looks “itchy” is actually not itchy to the dog. Any itching and scratching a dog does while infested with demodex, is likely due to a secondary bacterial, yeast or fungal infection. Sarcotpic Mange or “Scabies”, on the other hand, is VERY itchy, and is HIGHLY contagious from dog to dog, and also to people. While they patchy hair loss may be hard to tell apart with the two types of mange, scabies often shows more scabs and open oozing, due to the frantic itching and scratching. Scabies also usually shows up anywhere on the body, but often begins in the ear and on the elbows, then spreads to the entire body.

The main differences between Demodex and Scabies are: - Scabies is incredibly itchy, Demodex is not - Scabies is contagious, Demodex is not

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Demodex

Note that there is hair loss and redness, but no open sores and localized to face

Sarcoptic Mange

Note there are open sores all over body

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Alternative/Holistic Remedies for Mange: It is impossible for an owner to diagnose which one the dog has for sure from home, so the dog should see a vet. After the diagnosis, the owner can choose holistic and natural remedies, however if there are secondary infections with scabies, antibiotics may be necessary if the dog is very ill. Usually dogs with Scabies are in poor health condition that continues to deteriorate as the scabies gets worse, it is unlikely that completely natural, non-anti-biotic methods would work fast enough to relieve the dog’s suffering and give his immune system a chance to “reboot”. Traditional medicine may be needed. For demodex: Pumping up the dog’s immune system may be all that’s need. Treatment should involve lowering the dog’s stress level, and giving a high quality, nutritionally complete diet, and making sure the dog is getting adaquite sleep. For Scabies: Please view “all natural wound cleaning and dressing” and “natural immune boosters and antibiotics” at end of reading. These remedies could be done in conjunction with traditional veterinary treatment.

Fungus Amongus! Ringworm….The most misleading name in all of parasitedom Ring “worm” is actually a fungus. It is called ringworm because it looks like a round shaped worm just under the skin. Ringworm is highly contagious from dog to dog (or cat) and to humans. It is very itchy, and spreads to different locations of the body as the dog itches and scratches. Ringworm usually only effects young or immune compromised and stressed pets. If not treated early on, secondary bacterial infections can occur due to constant scratching.

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Ringworm on dog

Ringworm on human

Alternative remedies for ringworm: As long as there are no secondary infections, a diligent person may be able to eradicate ringworm from their dog (and themselves) with natural, holistic remedies done at home.

- Anti-Fungal Shampoo: Make sure the ingredients are mild, or what the vet prescribes may be better - Apple Cider Vinegar: You can treat the areas locally, or if there are several of them, you can bath the entire dog in a diluted water/vinegar solution‌it will make the whole house smell though! All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


- Tea Tree oil has been found to be very effective against fungi: make sure to dilute the oil in water or another roil, such as olive oil, as pure tea tree oil on the skin may be too harsh - Papaya: The wonder fruit! Effective against not only internal parasites (well, the seeds, anyway), the raw fruit of the papaya can be rubbed on the effected skin several times a day - Garlic: rub raw garlic clove on the affected areas several times a day - Lime dip: mix lime juice and warm water and give the dog a dip, follow up a few days later with another one. You can mix in pure aloe juice in to make it moisturizing. - Aloe: rub raw aloe onto the affected areas several times daily. If after 2 weeks of combining the treatments of the owner’s choice together, as well as thoroughly washing all bedding, the dog is showing signs of NEW ringworm spots, or, the old spots have not diminished at all, it may be necessary to take the dog to the vet and do it the ‘ol fashioned way!

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Chapter 2: Body Systems, illnesses, traditional and alternative treatments In order to cover the common illnesses and ailments that a dog can have, you need to know the way the canine body works. The body is organized into systems:

Musculo-Skeletal – A combination of the skeletal and muscular systems. Includes all muscles, the bones, skull, ligaments, tendons, joints and cartilage

Nervous – Includes the brain, spinal cord and nerves

Circulatory – Includes heart, arteries, veins and capillaries

Respiratory – Includes the nose, pharynx, trachea (windpipe) and lungs

Digestive – Includes the mouth, teeth, salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and pancreas

Endocrine/Exocrine – includes a portion of the pancreas, pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenal glands and sex organs

Urinary – Includes the bladder, kidneys and ureters

Integumentary – is the skin! (includes the ears and ear canal)

Lymphatic – includes lymph nodes, fluid and lymph vessels, spleen, bone marrow and thymus gland

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The Musculoskeletal System: Includes bones, ligaments and tendons, skull and joints

The Skeletal System is comprised of all the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, the skull and spine. It protects all of the body’s inner organs, provides the structure and shape of the body, allows for locomotion, and red blood cells are created in the marrow of the long bones, such as the femur.

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The muscular system is one of the largest systems in the dog's body. It is comprised of many proteins that have the ability to contract and cause movement. Some of the muscles, such as the heart and intestines, contract involuntarily. Most are voluntary, such as all of the outer muscles that cause movement. The muscular system and skeletal system are inseparable, and tissues such as ligaments and tendons connect the two together.

Function: locomotion, protecting organs, pumping heart, aiding digestion and elimination Musculoskeletal ailments that may effect behavior:

* Luxating patella: The kneecap), is not fitting properly into the groove that holds it. It sometimes “pops out of place” or luxates. This is actually usually not painful for the dog, but instead just uncomfortable. - What it looks like: The dog will usually look like they are “skipping” or “hopping” with one back leg held up momentarily, then it will pop back into place, and the dog will walk normally. Sometimes you may see the dog may a kicking motion, this is them popping it back into place. It is most common in smaller breeds like yorkies, min pins, Chihuahuas, miniature poodles, malteses, etc, but can happen to any dog. - How it may effect behavior: Normally a luxating patella won’t have any effects on training or behavior. - Traditional Treatments and their effects on training and behavior: If it’s not serious, normally nothing. If it is, normally a surgery. Whenever a dog has surgery, there is usually a recovery period of restricted movement. The dog may get frustrated or bored. Some of the medications the dog is given during and after the surgery can cause constipation, stomach upset and lethargy. - Alternative Options: Because it isn’t painful, usually nothing. If the dog has surgery, supplemental care can be given to help with the gastrointestinal upset, relieve constipation, decrease inflammation and pain naturally, and encourage quick healing. (See complete list of remedies at end of document)

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Means Inflammation of the joint. Also another very common musculoskeletal ailment. It can happen to any joint, and any dog at any age, but is most common in the hips, elbows and knees of larger breed older dogs. Arthritis can mimic other illness and diseases, and vice versa.

- What it looks like: It usually manifests as a decrease in activity and increase in stiffness over time, with sudden worsening of symptoms after long periods of not moving, exercise or exposure to cold. Reluctance to go up or down stairs, jump on or off things, stiffness and trouble getting up and possibly limping, especially after exercise. most importantly, for behavior and training, a dog who has painful arthritis may be irritable, frustrated, and snap at family members or other dog when they try to pet or play in previously accepted ways. - Traditional treatments and effect on behavior: Arthritis is commonly treated with NonSteroidal-Anti-Inflammatory-Drugs (NSAIDS). Rymadyl is an example of an NSAID used in dogs. Rymadyl can have serious negative effects on the body, therefor causing changes in the dogs behavior. Gastrointestinal discomfort and bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea and lack of appetite may occur. In more serious cases liver and kidney damage can occur. All of these side effects can effect the dog’s temperament. A dog with a lack of appetite or upset stomach will not be motivated by food during training. Any discomfort may increase irritability and decrease threshold. Other treatments may be steroids (like Prednisone), which can cause irritability among other things. Dogs who feel energetic and want to run around but it causes them physical pain may be frustrated and destructive and begin exhibiting new problem behaviors. - Alternative treatments: Alternating cold packs and warm packs may help with swelling and inflammation. Cold packs reduce swelling initially, then warm packs help get blood and fluid moving, delivering any medicine to the site and making the joint limber. Stretching and physical therapy can be done at home daily as well. Owners should be taught methods to massage and stretch limbs and joints to prevent damage and injuries. Training may be necessary to desensitize the dog to being handled in that way. Swimming is a GREAT therapy for arthritis. Dogs with arthritis should avoid cold weather and slippery floors, and remedies for pain and inflammation can be given. Keeping arthritic dogs at the lowest weight possible without being too underweight will greatly help ease the wear and tear on their joints. Obesity and arthritis are a deadly combination. Owners should avoid giving dogs foods that cause or exacerbate inflammation. If the dog is frustrated and under-stimulated, using training and food puzzle games to keep the mind busy may ease behavioral problems.

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* Muscle, Tendon and Ligament injuries: Dogs can pull muscles and tear their ACL, just like us. Larger dogs are more prone to this, especially overweight dogs that have sudden bursts of energy and stop quickly. For example, an overweight lab running after a ball and stopping suddenly once he gets to it. This is a common cause of knee and ligament injuries.

- What it looks like: these types of injuries are usually Acute: meaning they happen suddenly, rather than building up slowly over time, like arthritis does. A dog may suddenly wince or wimper in pain after making a quick movement or turning at a strange angle, often just after jumping off something or running to fast. They may hold the affected limb up or limp. They may start licking and chewing at the area due to the sensation. Strains and injuries can happen anywhere – such as pulling a muscled in the neck from a vigorous game of tug-owar, but they normally happen in the legs. One of the most common injuries is a torn cruciate ligament in the knee (the fat lab running after the ball scenario) -Traditional treatments and effect on behavior: NSAIDS and steroids for the pain and inflammation, and then usually either restricted movement and rest, or surgery to correct the injury (if possible). The aforementioned side effects of NSAIDS and steroids are the main issue regarding behavior. Dogs may also become more destructive or exhibit problem behaviors due to restricted movement before and after surgery.

* Fractures and breaks to bone: Broken bones do not go unnoticed as they are excruciating and usually swelling and loss of function of the body part effected is immediate. Broken bones always need veterinary attention ASAP. Sometimes small fractures may go undetected or brushed off as a muscle injury or arthritis.

- What fractures may look like: Likely limping if in leg, either obvious signs of pain and distress or possibly little to know signs if dog is unexpressive (what breeds would that be? ď Š ), has high pain threshold or is distracted by something in the moment (i.e, if dog fractures toe while in hot pursuit squirrel). Obvious swelling may be apparent, and dog may wax and wane with pain or All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


use of limp depending on how it’s healing, how cold it is, and what area of the body the fracture is in, and of course, how extensive the fracture is. *Knowledge of first aid procedures may greatly help you or an owner if in the presence of a dog when they receive a bone break or fracture. Please review first aid for pets at end of document *

- Traditional treatment of fractures and effect on behavior and training: It depends on how severe it is. Some fractures heal themselves with little intervention, others may require rest and relaxation, others may require surgery. Typical side effects of restriction of movement and exercise can occur with healing or post surgery process. Typical side effects of pain medications and anti-inflammatories may occur. Arthritis can occur later in life at fracture site, especially if it is within elbow, paw or toe joints.

- Alternative treatments for fractures: Again, depends on severity of fracture. Subtle fractures may heal with TLC, remedies that increase bloodflow to the bones and healing processes like anti-oxidants. The dog will likely need to be diagnosed first using some sort of imaging (radiography, CT, MRI) and then a traditional, holistic or combination (usually the best!) approach can be taken afterward.

The Nervous System: Includes Brain, Spinal Cord, Nerves

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The nervous system is made up of the brain, the spinal cord, and nerves. One of the most important systems in a dog’s body, the nervous system acts as the control system. It sends, receives, and processes nerve impulses throughout the body. These nerve impulses tell muscles and organs what to do and how to respond to the environment. There are three parts of the nervous system that work together: the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the peripheral nervous system (all of the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord and infiltrate the rest of the body) and the autonomic nervous system (the parts of the nervous system that operate involuntarily on their own, such as the impulses that tell the heart to beat)

Function: Where thought processes are generated and memories are stored, to produce, conduct and receive electrical impulses throughout the entire body that control voluntary and involuntary movement and processes, conduct sensations

Nervous System ailments that may effect training and behavior:

* Any issue with the brain - Malformation of skull or brain: The most likely malformation of the skull would be “Syringomyelia”. Some dogs may have an irregular shaped skull (often due to how we have bred them to look) that can put pressure on the brain at the base of the skull just above the neck. It is believed that the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) pressure increases, also putting pressure on the nerves that generate out of the neck and spine. This pressure causes irritated and over-excited nerves that tingle, shock, ache, throb have a “drawn” feeling (like many people report with sciatica in their legs), etc. *** Dogs most commonly effected with this issue are Cavalier King Charles, Chihuahuas, Brussels Griffons and other dogs that may have domed shaped skulls. *** Malformations of the brain may occur in utero (the dog is born that way), or during development due to outside factor (see trauma and disease), and can cause seizures, unpredictable or “spaced out” behavior, episodes of spinning, trouble learning, expressing and possibly aggression. - What Syringomyelia looks like: symptoms range from mild itching and whipping head around to bite on back or legs, walking in circles, pain in the neck and upper spine, restlessness, aggression when handled (due to pain), difficulty with learning or trouble concentrating, tail chasing, spinning, hopping while walking, rubbing head or pressing head against objects, frequent scratching and shaking (as if wet) and chewing on legs and paws. Many times the dog All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


may vocalize while doing these things. Some dogs “Fly Bite” which looks as though the dog were biting at something flying by their face. - Traditional Treatment of malformed skull and effects on training and behavior: First, an MRI may need to be done to diagnose it. Then sometimes surgery and or drug therapy may be used. Surgery can be done to alter the shape of the affected area in order to relieve pressure to the CSF. Drugs often used are NSAIDS, drugs that may increase urination or weight, or drugs that can cause sedation. Surgery may alleviate symptoms temporarily, and drugs have side effects on liver, kidneys, cause excessive urination, drinking and weight gain, as well as sedation. - Alternative Treatments for Syringomyelia: Some owners have had success with acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, and light therapy. Medical Marijuana is controversial but possibly effective treatment as well, as it is used to treat humans with the same disease.

- Epilepsy: Epilepsy in dogs usually first occurs when the dog is fairly young, between 6 months and 2 years, although can first occur in dogs as old as 5 yrs. “Epilepsy is a recurrent seizure disorder that may be idiopathic or acquired. Acquired epilepsy has an identifiable cause, such as a mass of scar tissue in the brain following a head injury. Idiopathic epilepsy occurs in up to 3 percent of dogs and accounts for 80 percent of recurrent seizures. The cause is unknown, although an imbalance in chemicals that transmit electrical impulses in the brain has been suggested. Seizures, usually of the grand mal type, begin between 6 months and 5 years of age.” – Pet Med MD, 2012 As a dog trainer, keep in mind that for some dogs, stress, excitement and overstimulation can be triggers for seizures. Also keep in mind they may be most likely to happen as the dog is falling asleep or waking up. A dog having a seizure is at risk of Hyperthermia: An increase in body temperature outside of normal range, and keeping the dog cooled off, and protected from hitting his head, or injuring himself or anyone around him is top priority. - What Epilepsy looks like: Seizures come in a few varieties, but the most common with Epilepsy is grand mall seizures, which are similar to grand mal seizures in humans. Dogs may paddle their legs, blink hard and rapidly, vocalize, tremor, and many of their muscles clench, which can cause dangerously high fevers. Some dogs defecate or urinate, and may bite their tongues do to All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


clenching of mouth muscles. Before a seizure a dog may sense it is coming on and become agitated and restless. After a seizure most dogs go through what is called a Post-Ictal-Period: When their brain is basically recovering and returning to normal, they may seemed spacey, tired, lost or “out of it” for a few minutes or even the rest of the day. During a grand mal seizure, the dog is unresponsive to calling his name or touch. Less common seizures are more localized seizures where the twitching and loss of control may only be in the face, or seizures where the dog just seems “lost” and out of it but still aware of your presence and able to respond when you call his name or touch him. *** Side effects of Epilepsy or any other affliction of the brain may be an increased likelihood of “compulsive” or “strange behavior”, such as licking the floor or objects, pacing, or other repetitive or seemingly “obsessive” behaviors. Owners may complain about the dog constantly licking the floor or their skin or clothes, barking at objects in the house, pacing in the house or yard in the same patterns, suddenly seeming lost or stuck in corners, not recognizing their owners, etc. *** - Traditional treatment of Epilepsy and effects on behavior and training: Epilepsy in dogs is one of the diseases that has some of the most archaic drugs still in use. A common drug used to suppress the seizures is Phenobarbitol, which can work well to stop the seizures, but may make dogs sleepy, gain weight, and is hard on the liver. There are other medications that can be used, some pills, some liquids, but all have negative effects on the body because the must be metabolized out of the system and are given usually twice a day, every day, for the rest of the pet’s life – and don’t even stop every seizure! In addition to long lasting medications that work around the clock to stop the seizures, short acting medications may be added on top for severe cases, or if a dog is prone to cluster seizures. Cluster means several seizures that happen back to back. This is particularly dangerous for the dog’s brain and body temperature. Once the dog begins having the first seizure, the owner can give the short acting medication and it may prevent the rest of the seizures from happening. This is usually something like valium or a similar medication. Effects on behavior and training are usually a slightly sedated dog, or limitation on types of treats you can use due to extra strain on liver and kidneys already burdened with filtering drugs (so avoid fatty salty stuff!). -Alternative Treatments for Epilepsy: Light Therapy, Acupuncture, Medical Marijuana and diet change have all been reported by owners to have mild to extremely helpful effects on decreasing the frequency and intensity of seizures. Please read the first aid portion on what to do if a dog has a seizure.

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- Present illness or scar tissue from past illness: Any past or present illness that can effect the brain, such as parasites that have migrated into the brain, a history of Distemper, Epilepsy, prolonged severe fever, etc, can cause behavioral changes later on.

-What it may look like: Unpredictable behavior that comes and goes- such as sudden lethargy, confusion or aggression, difficulty learning and training, difficulty bonding with owners or other dogs (not in a normal “undersocialized”, fearful way, but in a more total lack of interest or acknowledgment way), the dog may have seizures, spells of dizziness, or trouble with coordination. Symptoms may worsen with lack of sleep, over-excitement and stress. A dog that is experiencing damage to his brain as a result of a current injury or illness, for example a parasite, will likely not have a history of issues, and then suddenly present with signs that get worse and worse, as opposed to a dog who had Distemper as a young puppy, and has off and on Neurological issues his whole life as a result. -Traditional Treatment and effect on behavior and training: This would entirely depend on the diagnosis, but if behavioral changes are a result of damage in the past, - likely nothing. If it is something current, then traditional methods of resolving whatever the issue is would likely take place. - Alternative Treatments for brain trauma: Again, this depends on what is causing the scarring or damage to the brain, but if it’s parasites that have migrated to the brain, it’s unlikely a holistic remedy will help quickly enough. If it’s scarring from previous trauma or illness, antioxidants, medical marijuana, light therapy, acupuncture and other herbal remedies have had good results.

- Direct Trauma: If a dog receives a blow to the head that is strong enough to causes bruising or bleeding in the brain, this can cause behavioral changes or issues with training later on, depending on

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what part of the brain was damaged. This can happen from abuse, falling, being in an automobile accident, or sliding into a hard surface during playing or other activities. - What it may look like: A dog with a history of trauma to the brain may be a little wobbly on his feet, have trouble with turning, may turn often (walk in curved or spinning pattern), may favor one side of his body over other, may press head into things, seem detached at times, have trouble learning, absorbing training, or bonding with owners and other dogs. May have seizures. -Traditional treatment for head trauma and effect on behavior and training: After the trauma has already happened and the dog had recovered, traditionally most dogs don’t receive any further therapy or treatment. - Alternative treatments for head trauma: Assuming the dog recovers from the initial trauma, many alternative remedies and treatments may be beneficial to stave off some of the residual symptoms. Like most other neurological issues, light therapy, acupuncture or pressure, adequate sleep, reduction of stress and stimulation and possibly medical marijuana have been shown to alleviate some behavioral issues as a result of previous head trauma.

- Masses: If a dog has a mass in their brain, depending on where it’s located, it may push on structures of the brain that control emotions, sleep cycles, energy and behavior. If a dog, particularly a middle to older aged dog begins behaving in unpredictable or strange ways that cannot be associated with a stimulus in the environment, the stimulus may be inside their brain. Brain masses can be anything from unknown scar tissue, a cyst filled with tissue, blood or other fluid, or a tumor.

-What it may look like: Similar symptoms as history of brain trauma or scarring, especially seizures. Dog may also begin sleeping longer and deeper, pant when not hot, have a decrease in appetite and seem depressed.

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- Traditional treatment for brain masses and effects on behavior and training: Depending on what the brain mass is, how big it is, and where it’s located in the brain, many veterinarians will recommend either radiation, chemotherapy, surgical removal of the mass, or just supportive care if these treatments seem fruitless. Radiation and Chemotherapy can be extremely damaging to the brain, ear, eye and throat tissue when directed toward the brain. Dogs experience the same side effects from traditional cancer treatment as humans do, including hair loos, burning of tissues and scarring of skin, nausea, vomiting, damage to internal organs, immune system, lethargy, liver and kidney toxicity, etc. Even if the mass is eliminated, the side effects from the treatment may be more than the body can handle. Older dogs with no history of seizures or head trauma who begin showing signs consistant with a brain mass should be seen by a veterinarian ASAP to make a diagnosis so the owners can then choose what method of treatment they want to persue. - Alternative treatments for brain masses: For dog owners who do not want to pursue traditional treatment of a brain mass in their dog, a more holistic an d natural approach may be an option. Supplements, remedies, light therapy, acupuncture, diet change and medical marijuana may be helpful.

- Degeneration, Stress, and Deprivation: Degeneration can be age related, or a disease. Age related changes to the brain are referred to collectively as “Canine Cognitive Dysfunction”, and occurs in 50% of dogs over the age of 10yrs old. Just as in humans, stress and deprivation – such as from sleep, mental stimulation, or oxygen, can cause the brain to not function properly, effecting general behavior and trainability of the dog. If age and illness are ruled out, stress and lack of sleep should be considered for causes of behavioral changes.

- What it may look like: Stress and Deprivation: Increase in lethargy, irritability, lack of concentration, appetite, depression, difficulty learning and remembering, disinterest in normal activities. Degeneration due to illness or age: All of the same +, confusion, getting lost in house, seeming to not recognize known people or dogs, + more signs. -Traditional Treatment for stress, degeneration or deprivation: Most veterinarians are fairly good at recognizing typical age-related behavioral changes in dogs. If the diagnosis is made, All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


some may recommend supplements or special diets. If the brain is degenerating due to illness, drug therapy and supplements may help slow the process, but a disease that degenerates the brain is likely fatal. - Alternative Treatments: Depending on the cause of the under-functioning brain, many things may be helpful, including a reduction in stress and stimulation, or, and increase in exercise and mental stimulation if the dog is deprived of stimulation. Many supplements and remedies may provide improved memory or “happy chemicals: in the brain. If the dog is experiencing a decrease in oxygen from seizures, brain trauma, or degeneration, alternative therapy can be helpful in decreasing symptoms, but brain degenerating disease is likely fatal.

As a trainer, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of cognitive dysfunction in older dogs.

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* Any issue with the spine - Malformation Sometimes a dog’s spinal column or spinal cord may be malformed. This could be the way the dog was born, or it can happen over time as a result of anatomy, trauma or disease. If the malformation presses or constricts the spinal column or nerves at all, it can cause a range of symptoms that may effect the dog’s behavior. - What it may look like: A malformed spine can begin to show signs acutely (suddenly), or get worse over a longer time (chronic). The owners may notice a decrease in the dog’s activity level, desire to jump on and off things, and moving or bending away from touch, especially from being pet on the back. The dog may begin to show signs of aggression when being picked up, reached for or pet. The dog may begin to walk as if he’s “drunk” in his hind limbs. Any of these signs may point to a medical issue within the spine that needs to be seen by a vet ASAP. -Traditional Treatments and their effect on training and behavior: Depending on why the spine is malformed, traditionally the vet may recommend drug therapies, surgery, or restriction of physical activities. Usually steroids are used to manage inflammation, and other drugs to reduce spinal fluid pressure and help with the pain (if there is any). Not all malformations that effect behavior/ability to walk are painful. As with any chronic pain, a dog with a chronically painful spine may become irritable, aggressive or depressed and have trouble learning due to lack of sleep and stress. -Alternative Treatments: Depending on the cause, the dog may respond well to alternative therapies instead of, or in conjunction with traditional. Chiropractic adjustments, massage, natural remedies for inflammation, pain and nervous system health may help alleviate some symptoms. Light therapy, acupuncture, and medical marijuana may be useful. Physical therapy to keep the muscles strong and the joints limber, especially swimming in warm water may help the dog stay strong and alleviate pain.

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- Trauma: If a dog receives a direct blow to the spine that causes it to become malformed either immediately, or over time, this can have an effect on the dog’s physical and behavioral health. If the dog has fallen, been abused physically, been in a car during an accident, or hit the end of a leash while running fast, these could affect the way the spine forms or grows. -What it may look like: The dog may have a permanent malformed spine, or “kink”, may appear painful at times, especially when it is cold out, or the dog has been motionless or very active. Arthritis may form around the original area of trauma later in the pet’s life. - Traditional Treatment and effect on training and behavior After the initial trauma, other that providing medication for pain and inflammation, further treatment is unlikely. Typical side effects of pain medication and steroids is to be expected. -Alternative Treatments: After the initial trauma, chiropractic care, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and other physical therapy to ensure the muscles stay strong, natural remedies to protect the joint, increase blood flow to the spine, decrease inflammation and pain.

- Disc disease: Just like people, dogs can get slipped discs in their backs, or bulging or hardened discs that put pressure on the spinal cord. This pressure can be painful and also cause different levels of paralysis. Dogs most susceptible to disc disease or long-backed, short-legged dogs, especially Dachshunds, Corgis, Shi Tzus and Pekingese and Lhasa Apso. Miniature Poodles and German Shepherds are also at higher risk. -What it may look like: Dogs suffering from a slipped disc will have similar symptoms to dogs with a spinal cord problem, because the disc is pushing on the spinal cord. A dog with a slipped or ruptured disc may seems tender and painful around his back, not want to be picked up or petted, may suddenly cry out in pain “for no reason” whip his head side to side as if something is irritating his back, be lethargic, avoid play or jumping, and may lose partial or total loss of his hind limbs. They may be irritated or show signs of aggression or trouble sleeping due to pain. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


-Traditional Treatment: As with most pain and inflammation related problems, steroids, pain killers and possibly surgery tend to be the traditional route for disc issues. Comprehensive vets will usually go over weight management, and activities to avoid letting the dog do, such as jumping on or off things, but do not tend to branch out from there. -Alternative Treatments: If the dog is losing function of his limbs, it is a very serious situation. A dog who has become paralyzed in his hind limbs has a much better chance of walking again if the pressure is removed from his spinal cord as quickly as possible. Some dogs can make a full recovery with just restricted movement and anti-inflammatories. With either route – alternative therapies can definitely be used to help the dog recover and heal faster. Physical therapy to make the spine and muscles supporting the spine stronger may prevent future issues. Maintaining blood flow to the spinal cord is the most important thing, and any remedies that encourage this, as well as speed healing and decrease inflammation may be helpful.

Normal vertebrae, spinal cord, and disc anatomy

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Ruptured discs can cause pain and paralysis

- Masses When talking about masses, most people assume the worst. The four letter word – Cancer. However, not all masses are cancer. A mass just simply means any growth of any type of tissue or body structure that is abnormal. These abnormal growths either cause no problems at all, may block blood flow, spinal fluid flow, put pressure on sensitive body parts or may be cancer. Any mass in the spine can put pressure on the spinal cord, acting just as a ruptured disc would and cutting off blood supply and flow of CSF to the rest of the spinal cord. -What it may look like: A mass in the spinal cord is going to cause similar symptoms to spinal cord trauma or a slipped disc, except maybe over a slower, more progressive amount of time. -Traditional treatment and effect on training and behavior: It depends on what the mass is. A mass that is not cancer and not putting too much pressure on the spinal cord may be managed with rest and anti-inflammatories when there is a flare up. Cancer would need to be removed ASAP, and radiating the spinal cord would likely cause it to die even more than the mass would. A mass that can be surgically removed would probably do the best. Typical side effects of a dog in pain, frustrated and bored, and on pain medication and steroids would likely follow. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


- Alternative Treatments: Many humans have had phenomenal results with natural and holistic cancer treatments, either in place of or supplemental to traditional treatments. Many dog owners have also reported positive results from raw foods and other special diets,supplements, detoxifying remedies and possibly medical marijuana. These options should be explored by any owner interested, however masses are not to be taken lightly, especially when in such sensitive regions of the body and the spinal cord.

- Degeneration The main disease of degeneration a dog will have that effects their spinal cord is called Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). This isn’t a specific disease, nor does it have a specific cause, it basically means for some reason, the spinal cord is dying. It is progressive: meaning it continuously gets worse over time. Breeds pre-disposed to DM are German Shepherds, Corgis, Poodles, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Irish Setters and Boxers. It usually happens in dogs 8 years or older but can happen as early as 5 years. - What it may look like: DM is usually first noticed by the owners as the dog dragging his hind legs a bit when walking, or seeming to be unstable on his hind feet. The nails on the hind limbs are usually very short due to the dragging. This can be an early indicator if the owner does not see the dragging. The disease progresses until there is loss of muscle and complete paralysis in the legs, along with incontinence. DM itself does not appear to be painful, although secondary issues as side effects may cause pain, such as wounds or sores from dragging feet or laying in urine for too long. - Traditional Treatment of DM: None. This disease is considered incurable. - Alternative Treatments of DM: Anti-oxidants and other vitamin and mineral remedies may slow the degeneration or even cause a temporary remission. Physical therapy, especially warm hydrotherapy will help keep muscles toned. Some owners have reported improvement by adding diatomaceous earth and black molasses to the dog’s diet. Some alternative veterinarians suggest heavy metal toxicity may contribute or trigger the onset of DM, although most vets agree it is likely a genetic autoimmune disorder. Canine wheelchairs can extend the quality of a dog’s life with DM because unlike many spinal disorders, DM is not painful – the decrease in All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


quality of life comes from not being able to move. A wheel chair can be a new-lease-on-life for many dogs diagnosed with DM

Just because a dog has DM, doesn’t mean he can’t have fun!

* Any issue with the nerves - Pinching A pinched nerve can happen for different reasons, but it’s almost always very uncomfortable and painful. Nerves generate out of the neck and spinal cord. They then branch out and continue branching all the way to the tips of the nose, digits and tail. Nerves can be pinched because of the way the dog’s body is put together, because of bad posture, bulging, slipped or degenerated discs, malformed vertebrae or other reasons. Pinched nerved can happen anywhere between the base of the skull and the pelvis, or anywhere in the body there is joining of two structures that could press on or overlap a nerve. A pinched nerve may be a painful distraction to some dogs during training, or may be the cause of “strange behavior” the owner is noticing, such as “random” yelping out in pain, decrease in activity, aggression when handled, or whipping head around toward area of pinched nerve. Some dogs may lick or chew at the area trying to relive the sensation. Some pinched nerves are very painful while other cause tingling sensations that the dog finds annoying.

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-What it may look like: pinched nerves can cause ongoing chronic pain, or sudden shooting pains. A dog with a pinched nerve may act similar to a dog with a bulging disc or arthritis (which he may actually have, and could be causing the pinched nerve). The dog may have an altered gate, occasionally wince in pain, not want to jump on or off things or avoid certain positions. - Traditional treatments and effects on training and behavior: traditional treatment of a pinched nerve may be to change the structure that is pinching it (for instance, if it is a bulging disc). If the cause cannot be determined, the vet may recommend anti-inflammatory or other drugs to decrease the “excitement” of the nervous system. These drugs can have the usual side effects ranging from digestive issues to lethargy that may effect a dog’s behavior, ability to learn or respond to training. - Alternative Treatments: Holistic remedies for inflammation and pain may help in conjunction with or in place of traditional therapies. Physical and hydrotherapy may be helpful.

-Trauma: Any direct trauma that breaks or displaces a bone or vertebrae may place pressure on or sever a nerve. The scar tissue after it heals could also interfere with nerves. - What it may look: Very similar to having a pinched nerve, but following a traumatic event. - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: Similar to pinched nerve, likely rest and restriction of activity will follow. - Alternative Treatments: Holistic remedies for inflammation and pain may help in conjunction with or in place of traditional therapies. Physical and hydrotherapy may be helpful.

- Illness: Some illnesses can cause nerves to be stimulated or inflamed, causing strange “crawling” sensations or pain, such as diabetes, cancer or connective tissue disorders.

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- What it may look like: similar to pinched nerve, but concurrent with some diagnosed illness, likely waxing and waning in sync with symptoms of illness. - Traditional Treatment and effect on training and behavior: management of illness, as well as typical anti-inflammatory medications. - Alternative Treatments: holistic management of underlying disease and nerve symptoms, similar to pinched nerve.

- Idiopathic Sometimes a dog may have nerve inflammation and pain and the cause may be unknown. Idiopathic: means cause of ailments is unknown - What it may look like: same symptoms as all of above, except no known reason or cause. - Traditional Treatments: Similar to all of above - Alternative Treatments: Similar to all above

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The Circulatory System: Includes Heart, Arteries, Veins, Capillaries

The circulatory system is the body's transport system. It delivers all of the oxygen and nutrients to all organs and tissue throughout the body. It carries white blood cells which attack infection and “invaders� in the body. Oxygen and nutrient-rich blood is carried to tissues by the arteries, while used blood is carried away from the tissues by veins. The smallest vessels that infuse the lungs, organs and skin with blood are called capillaries. It is the capillaries that absorb the waste and carbon dioxide and transport it to the veins to be returned to the lungs to be expelled. The circulatory and respiratory systems work hand in hand. New red blood cells are made in the bone marrow of long bones, and the spleen holds extra blood cells.

Function: Carry blood and all substances within blood to and from every tissue in the body.

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Common circulatory problems that may effect behavior:

* Heart Disease: Heart disease refers to any and all chronic (happens over a long period of time) or progressive (continually gets worse) issues with the heart. Though the causes and diagnosis may differ, the symptoms of heart disease are fairly consistent. What it may look like: Heart disease may cause many different symptoms that are also common symptoms of other health issues. Owners should take their dog to the vet if the symptoms cannot be explained by other means, last longer than a couple days, or seem to interfere with the dog’s quality of life at all. Common signs of heart disease may include: exercise intolerance, seeming “depressed”, aloof or not as involved in usual activities, panting or rapid breathing when not exercising, coughing, anxiety and restlessness - especially at night, decrease in appetite, swelling in the abdomen, chest or legs, fainting, blue gums and tongue, infections in toes or tips of tail due to poor blood perfusion. Some types of heart disease cause a slow pounding heart rhythm, while others cause fast and faint heart rhythms. Some heart diseases cause skips in the beat that can be felt. An owner may describe their dog as seeming more disinterested in play, other dogs, “cuddling” and eating, and think their pet is depressed. Heart disease that is structural (meaning due to a valve malformation, for example) may see signs very early on in their dog. Most heart disease, however, present in mid to late life, and is exacerbated by obesity, stress, lack of sleep and poor diet, especially diets too high in salt and fat. Any breed can get heart disease, although it seems to be more common in pure breds, vs mutts, and most common in toy breeds and large to giant breeds. - Traditional Treatments and effects on training and behavior: There are many different afflictions of the heart, so this would depend on the diagnosis, but common treatments are heart friendly diet changes (which still typically tend to be commercially processed kibble or canned food), medications that act as diuretics (causing increased urination), change the rhythm of the heart, cause blood vessels to dilate, or do other things. Heart drugs may cause various symptoms from lethargy to frequent urination (including house soiling). -Alternative Treatments: Depending on what stage of heart disease the dog is in, traditional drugs may be unavoidable, but many holistic vets have had positive results with using alternative methods either in conjunction with, or in place of drugs. Research has proven the All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


vitmin B’s to be invaluable in heart health and disease prevention, especially that of vit. B4. Vitamin E, D and C, Coenzyme Q-10 and a low sodium diet with fresh, raw veggies has also proven helpful for many dogs. Omega 3’s are important for heart health. The key for using holistic remedies with heart disease likely lies more in prevention than treatment, but is also helpful after the fact.

Boxer Dogs are predisposed to heart disease. Note the build up of fluid in this dog’s abdomen. Many owners do not recognize signs of disease, or attribute them to something else, such as just being “chubby” in this case. If the dog has not seen a vet in a long time – YOU may be the first to inform the owner that their dog’s appearance is abnormal.

* Vascular Disease: Like heart disease, there can be many causes and types of vascular disease. Vascular disease just means any chronic or progressing affliction of the blood vessels. Vascular disease is almost always going to be a hardening, constricting, dilation or inflammation of blood vessels. It can effect any dog but again, seems to be most prevalent in toy and large to giant pure bred dogs. - What it may look like: You will see most of the same symptoms as with heart disease, perhaps excluding the coughing and fluid buildup in the abdomen. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


- Traditional Treatment and effect on training and behavior: traditional treatment (if even diagnosed) would likely consist of drugs that either constrict or dilate the vessels, and antiinflammatory drugs. These medications may cause restlessness, lethargy, or typical stomach and liver/kidney issues associated with inflammatory medication. - Alternative treatments: Some herbal, vitamin, antioxidant and mineral therapies may be useful, as well as natural blood thinners such as omegas. Natural anti-inflammatory may help vessels that are inflamed.

* Bone Marrow Disease: The bone marrow is where the red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets (used for clotting) are created. Any disruption with the marrow can create problems with this vital production. The number one cause of disruption in blood cell production is cancer (leukemia and multiple myeloma) however other diseases or previous diseases can also effect the health of the bone marrow, including Erlichia (caught from tick) and Parvovirus. Toxicity from some drugs can effect bone marrow such as NSAIDS, chemotherapy drugs, and some medications used to treat epilepsy. Sometimes the bone marrow ay make too many of one type of cell, not enough of one type of cell, or not enough of all cells. Some dogs predisposed to bone marrow issues are Boxers, Bulldog and Bully-type breeds, Rotties, Bassets, Scottish Terriers, Labradors St. Bernards and Airedale Terriers.

Traditional Treatments and effect on training and behavior: If cancer is the cause, then chemotherapy or radiation may be recommended. If drug toxicity is causing it, then the drugs need to be discontinued. If a disease, such as parvovirus is the cause, than upon healing from the disease, the dog should recuperate. Most dogs handle cancer treatment pretty well, although may become nauseas or lethargic.

-Alternative Treatments: Herbal and holistic treatments can be given in conjunction or in place of traditional treatments, although with an issue as serious as cancer, likely chemo and/or radiation will be necessary if the owner wants to significantly increase the survival time and quality of life for the dog. Raw foods, supplements, herbs, physical therapy, minerals, and medical marijuana may all be useful in helping relieve the symptoms and effects of bone marrow issues. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


* Diseases of the blood: - Anemias: Not including bone marrow issues (where the bones are not creating enough blood cells), the other main cause of anemia are things that attack the red blood cells (RBC) and cause them to rupture. This causes the dog to be anemic, or not have enough RBCs to carry oxygen to, and wastes away from the tissues. This may be happening due to a parasite, illness or disease. A common cause of non-bone marrow related anemia is “Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia” (IMHA) and happens when the dog’s own immune system attacks its RBCs. Some breeds predisposed to this are Cocker Spaniels and Miniature Schnauzers. This tends to be a very debilitating disease that can develop slowly or come on suddenly, but always requires hospitalization for several days. -What it may look like: Anemia normally causes pale gums, eyelids and tongue, although with IMHA, there will be a yellow or orange-tint. Dogs may be lethargic, weak, tired, panting and have a rapid heart rate. -Traditional Treatments and effect on training and behavior: Dogs with anemia may need a transfusion, medication to rid themselves of a blood-born parasite, or may be hospitalized for IMHA. They may be given immune-suppressors which can cause secondary infections. - Alternative Treatments: Herbal remedies that support blood and liver health, suppress the immune system and give supportive care may be useful.

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The respiratory system: Includes the nose, sinuses, larynx, pharynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, diaphragm

The respiratory system is responsible for taking in oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide. Because dogs do not sweat through the skin, the respiratory system helps regulate the dog’s body temperature. The lungs work hand in hand with the heart to deliver blood to the body. The capillaries blood vessels to transport oxygen to the body and absorb carbon dioxide back out through the lungs.

Common respiratory health issues that may effect training and behavior:

* Asthma and allergies - Asthma and allergies can look very similar, and one can exacerbate the other. They both can cause discomfort and respiratory distress if they are moderate to extreme, or last over a long time. Some dogs are predisposed to allergies, usually white haired, pink skinned dogs, including white shepherds, boxers and bulldog breeds. Allergies that effect the respiratory system are usually not food related (unless the reaction is severe), but related to allergens the dog is All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


inhaling, such as pollens or other substances. Owners who smoke may be causing their dog’s respiratory allergies. Asthma is a similar respiratory problem that can be caused by allergies, or a separate condition on its own. The Maltese dog may be prone to having asthma. - What it may look like: Allergies in dogs looks very similar to allergies in humans: running nose, sneezing, coughing, running eyes, squinting, itching and inflamed, red skin sometimes with bumps or hives. A dog with respiratory allergies may seem constantly uncomfortable, have trouble sleeping, become irritable or even aggressive when handled. They may be underweight due to lack of appetite (eating is difficult when you cannot breath through your nose), and may be difficult to train due to lack of concentration and constant irritation, coughing, sneezing and itching. They may be tired or lethargic due to frequent doses of antihistamines. The allergic “attacks� may come seasonally or during wind and weather changes due to increases in allergen, especially pollen. Asthma tends to come and go with exercise, cold weather, and inhaling allergens. Pollen, grass, dust, smoke and other substances can cause an asthmatic episode, as well as physical exercise, walking outside into cold weather, and a stressful experience, such as getting into an altercation with another dog or a visit to the vet. The dog may breath rapidly and shallow, seem distressed, making wheezing noises when inhaling or exhaling, paw at their face or throat, hack, cough, and may turn bluish in color if not receiving enough oxygen. - Traditional Treatments and effect on training and behavior: Traditionally respiratory allergies and asthma are treated with antihistamines (Benadryl) and steroids, such as Cortisone. The steroids are usually given as an injection. Sometimes bronchodilators (medications that make the airways dilate so it is easier for the dog to breath) are prescribed. Antihistamines can make a dog drowsy and unmotivated, while steroids can cause weight gain, excessive thirst and urination (including potty accidents), irritation and agitation. Bronchodilators are usually safe, but some dogs may experience seizures, restlessness, vomiting or diarrhea with blood and shakiness. - Alternative treatments: This is an area where acupuncture, herbs, immune boosters, vitamins and other supplements and nebulized (water vapor emitted by nebulizing machine in very small droplets) infused with holistic remedies can be very helpful.

* Malformations and structural Problems A malformed structure in the respiratory system can cause trouble with breathing or oxygenating of the blood. Common issues are collapsing tracheas (most common in toy breeds), All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Laryngeal Paralysis (most common in middle-aged to older large breed dogs), Elongated Soft Palate (most common in squish-nosed breeds such as bulldogs and Boston terriers) and small nose openings and narrow tracheas (also most common in squish-nosed breeds). Other issues with the airways, lungs or diaphragm may occur.

- What it may look like: Dogs with laryngeal paralysis, collapsing tracheas or “brachycephalic syndrome” (squish-nosed syndrome) tend to make a lot of noise while breathing, ranging from coughing and sputtering, to snoring, to roaring sounds coming from their throat. They may turn blue if overly excited or exercising and not able to obtain enough air. - Traditional Treatment and effect on training and behavior: Squish nosed dogs may need surgery to widen their nose openings and cut off the too-long portion of their soft palate. Broncho dilators may be used, dogs with laryngeal paralysis may have their larynx folds “tied back” in surgery, and dogs with collapsing tracheas may have permanent rings put in to prevent collapse. Anti-inflammatories and anti-anxiety medications may be used for dogs who have allergies in conjunction with a structural problem, as the constant coughing and sneezing exacerbates the issue, and the anxiety of the dog from feeling like they cannot get enough air can actually make them even worse at ventilating (think kid having an asthma attack). - Alternatives: The surgeries are fairly safe, fast, don’t require heavy anesthesia, and may vastly improve the dog’s quality of life. Though alternative/holistic remedies may work well for mild cases, or as a conjunctive therapy, dogs with moderate to severe breathing issues due to a structural issue may fair best from just getting the surgery! The same remedies used for allergies and asthma can be applied to these conditions.

Note very small openings on French Bulldog’s nose

VS

Normal Sized openings on Golden Retriever

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As a body language side-note, please also note the very tense and worried expression on this Golden’s face! Eye brow ridges are clearly visible, closed mouth, ears held slightly low and back

* Pneumonia & Diseases: Dogs can get lower respiratory infections, just like we do. The infection could be caused by bacteria, parasites a virus or fungus. When the lungs are infected with anything, this is called Pneumonia, and it can be mild or severe. Typically the air sacs on one or both lungs will begin filling with fluid, normally pus and become hardened. Pneumonia can be very serious and even fatal if untreated. -What it may look like: A dog suffering from pneumonia will have trouble breathing, cough, may have discharge that comes out of their mouths when coughing, will likely have a fever, lack of appetite, be dehydrated, make gurgling or bubbling noises when inhaling, seem distressed and if severe enough, may turn blue in color, especially during physical exertion. - Traditional treatment and effects on training and behavior: Pneumonia is serious. Upper respiratory issues may be treated successfully with alternative methods, but once an infection is in the lungs, it is considered a lower respiratory infection, and difficulty breathing and even sepsis (when an infection spreads into the bloodstream and infiltrates the whole body) could occur. It is likely the dog will be prescribed antibiotics, bronchodilators, pain medication, and other medications. A dog with Pneumonia should avoid physical exercise, stress, smoke, allergens, and will likely need some time to recover from their ordeal before being on their “training game” again. - Alternative Treatments: As stated above, it is almost certain the dog will require antibiotics, or anti parasitic. However, a holistic approach to supplement traditional treatments can be very effective (as with any illness or injury) at helping the dog heal faster. A nebulizer with antimicrobial herbs, followed by compression on the dog’s chest as hard as he will tolerate (not constant pressure, but repetitive smacking with an open, cupped hand, much like you might do to your own chest if feeling congested) will help loosen up hardened infection and get medicine deeper into the tissue. A diet that is appropriate for healing and a least taxing on the digestive system as possible so it can focus on healing the lungs, and a quiet, peaceful environment are key. There are supplements and herbal remedies that support lung health, and the dog should be kept in a smoke, pollution and allergen free environment while healing. Acupuncture, light therapy and massage may help stimulate the immune system and relax the dog to provide faster recovery.

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Nebulizers turn water into vapor for the dog to inhale. Remedies and medicines can be added to the vapor, which reaches the small air sacs at the bottom of the lungs.

“coupaging” or smacking the sides of the dog’s chest after using a nebulizer helps break up infectious material so the dog can cough it out.

* Cancer As with any organ in the body, an affliction to the lung tissue could be cancerous. Any changes to behavior that involve the respiratory system should be evaluated by a vet ASAP to rule out cancer. - What it may look like: Similar to Pneumonia, with less coughing and more listlessness, wasting, lethargy and decreased appetite. - Traditional Treatment and effect on training and behavior: Similar to other cancers, the options are chemo, radiation, surgical removal of the mass, or just supportive care of the dog until quality of life is too low. Effects of treatment on behavior are typical side effects of chemo, radiation or recovery from surgery. - Alternative Treatments: Cancer is already serious, but cancer of the lung is even more so due to the necessity of healthy lung tissue. A dog can have a limb or even his jaw removed – but All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


lung tissue is vital! If the tumor is very small and the dog healthy other than that, an aggressive alternative approach involving diet change, removal of all respiratory irritants, and natural anticancer and anti-microbial agents as well as immune boosting remedies may slow or even knock the cancer into remission, however it is unlikely it will disappear.

* Trauma and scar tissue Direct trauma to the lungs can cause them to not work properly. This can include falling, being in a fight, getting hit by a car, or being physically abused, even during “training”. Dogs can get bleeding inside their lungs, pockets of air (not the kind that’s supposed to be there), collapsed lungs and fluid or air build up outside of the lungs in the chest cavity, making it difficult to inhale. In severe cases of trauma, almost always after being struck by a car, the contents of the abdomen, including the stomach, liver, intestines and spleen, can end up herniating through the diaphragm, putting immense amounts of pressure on the lungs and making it very difficult for the dog to breath. Scar tissue from previous injuries is not useable tissue by the lung. -What it may look like: it will alsmot always be in context of following a traumatic event, however the owner may be unaware, (for instance if their dog ran away fro a couple days and just returned, he may have been hit by a car, kicked by a person, fallen from a wall, etc). The dog will be in obviouse respiratory distress and be taking short, rapid breaths, may be staggering, turn blue, etc. - Traditional Treatment and Effects on training and behavior: This is a medical emergency. Surgery is always required for abdominal hernias, and hospitalization for fluid or air pressure on the lungs is necessary for all but very mild cases. Different pain killers and respiratory drugs may be used. Effects on behavior are typical of pain killers, being in pain, and recovering from trauma and surgery…this dog will need lots of TLC! - Alternative Treatments: similar to conjunctive therapies for Pneumonia, any therapies or remedies to speed healing and increase the effectiveness of the lungs would likely be helpful.

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The digestive system: Includes mouth, tongue, esophagus, stomach, Small intestines, colon (large intestine), rectum and anus.

The digestive system is made up of organs that break down the food the dog eats into the vital nutrients the body needs. After food is chewed and swallowed, it travels down the esophagus and enters the stomach, where it is further broken down by the stomach acid. After that it enters the small intestine where the proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals are absorbed into the blood stream. Then the excess food that the body doesn't need or can't digest is turned into waste into the large intestine, travels down the colon, rectum, and is then eliminated.

Afflictions of the digestive system that may effect training and behavior: * Allergies and Intolerances: Food intolerance is when the digestive system has trouble breaking down and absorbing a certain type of food. This is a digestive issue, and is different from food allergies, which are an immune response. Although food allergies are an immune response, because they effect the digestive system, we will include them as a digestive system affliction. Food allergies seem to be increasingly common in pet dogs, and may be connected to the increased fillers and processing of commercial dog food compared with ingredients from decades ago. Some breeds that seem to have more issues with food allergies are: Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Collie, Dalmatian, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Schnauzer, Retriever, Shar Pei, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Dachshund, and West Highland White Terrier. The most common allergens in food are: All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Beef, Dairy, Chicken, Lamb, Fish, Corn, Wheat, Soy, and Yeast. Food intolerance can be for any food, but it is normally dairy, corn, soy, wheat, certain vegetables, and more. The dog’s digestive system has trouble breaking down the substance and may experience gas, bloating, pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

- What it may look like: Food allergies can manifest in the digestive system, the skin, ears, and other areas. The dog may have itchy skin, hives, bite at their paws, sides and haunches, be puffy, have diarrhea and even nausea and vomiting. The symptoms would not wax and wane with seasons or exposure to outside, be seem to cycle more around when the dog is fed, and what ingredients he was fed. Food allergies can cause a dog much discomfort and distraction, causing training to be difficult, especially because using treats may exacerbate the problem. Dogs with food allergies may have trouble sleeping or be irritable.

- Traditional Treatments and effects on training and behavior: Traditionally if a vet rules out other types of allergens and thinks food may be the culprit, he or she may immediately recommend a “novel protein” diet (a type of protein the dog has never had in his system before, likely venison or duck or rabbit). Or, the dog may start a veterinary digestive/allergy diet such as hills lamb and rice. If the owners can afford it, and stick to the plan, a formal allergy test can be done, and diet exclusion tests, which involve starting out with very basic foods and slowly adding in ingredients until allergic symptoms return. Anti-inflammatories, steroids, and antiitch medications may be prescribed to deal with the symptoms. If the issue is food intolerance, the easiest thing to do is just not feed the dog the ingredients that cause him discomfort.

- Alternative Treatments: Obviously diet change is the first priority. Because ear infections and yeast infections of the foot are common issues with allergies, proactive cleaning and care should be taken to prevent this. Probiotics can be given to aid digestion. Preventatively, new puppy owners should start their puppy off on only a couple types of protein so that they can have many options to switch to should the dog develop allergies later on. Herbs that aid digestion can be used, as well as pineapple, which helps break down proteins. Acupuncture may help.

* Irritable & Inflammatory bowel & Parasites: Irritable bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory bowel disease can look similar, however inflammatory bowel disease is a specific diagnosis involving different subtypes of inflammatory diseases of the inner lining of the intestines, while irritable bowel has a broader and sometimes All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


unknown cause, referring to non-inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic GI problems. Parasites are included here because the usually have a close association with both disorders. Allergies and food intolerance can also trigger these disorders. Boxers are prone to bowel disorders, although any dog can have them. Irritable bowel is more associated with stress as a trigger then inflammatory bowel disease, and is usually less constant, chronic and serious. Parasitic infections can trigger both, especially Giardia and whipworms. It is thought that in some cases, the dog has an over active immune system that is attacking its own intestinal lining. Dogs with IBS or IBD are very hard to train with if they are not motivated by toys or access to resources, as using treat rewards is almost completely out of the question. If they are motivated enough by their normal food, this can be used during training. Stress and changes in routine or environment can cause bad flare ups, and leaving these dogs at a kennel while the owners are on vacation is probably out of the question. -What it may look like: Dogs with GI disorders tend to have a lot of diarrhea, have a hard time absorbing nutrients, have a poor coat, be dehydrated and underweight and may lack en energy. This tends to be a chronic problem that may have “flare ups” but never truly resolves. Eating foods the dog has trouble digesting can cause a flare up. In serious cases the dog may have bloody stool and become anemic. -Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: High doses of steroids may be used to suppress the dog’s immune system, which may decrease the inflammation, but also slows healing if there is infection, will leave the dog susceptible to other diseases, and can cause irritability, exacerbate aggression and can cause Cushing’s Disease or Addison’s disease later one (adrenal/corticosteroid related diseases). Antibiotics may be used, which help in the short term, but long term may cause even more negative side effects in the gut due to further unbalancing the intestinal flora (the good bacteria that live in the gut). Restricted diets, steroids and antibiotics tend to be the main treatment for these disorders. The dog would also be thoroughly tested for parasites, and maybe even treated for them even if they are not detected, just for good measure. - Alternative Treatments: Alternative vets may be hesitant to put the dog on immunesuppressing doses of steroids. Acupuncture, massage, decreasing stress, pumpkin, rice, a closely monitored diet, fiber and intestinal soothing holistic remedies may be enough to manage the symptoms without harsh medications. Probiotics may help the body fight it’s own inflammation. Natural anti-inflammatories and anti-parasitics (if necessary) may be effective.

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*General Gas, Bloating, Constipation & Diarrhea: Sometimes a dog may have general digestive issues that have not been diagnosed as any particular disease, allergy or disorder. Sometimes these may be underlying illness (such as parasites), intolerances or allergies to food that have not been detected. Too much “junk food”, eating of spoiled food from trash, or stress and anxiety can all contribute to general GI issues. Gas can be caused by lack of beneficial bacteria in gut, spoiled food, hard-to-digest food and food allergies or intolerances. Bloating is usually a side effect of gas or constipation. Constipation can be caused by lack of fiber or trouble processing or absorbing fiber, dehydration, or an overabundance of foods like peanut butter that cause constipation. Diarrhea can be caused by any of the above and stress or anxiety. -What it may look like: Most owners (if they pick up after their pets) will quickly recognize if their dog is constipated or having diarrhea. It is also hard to miss gas!  Bloating may be harder to notice, especially in already-chubby dogs, or long/thick coated dogs. Dogs with digestive issues may have many audible garbling sounds coming from their abdomen, may burp often, have bad breath, eat grass, seem hesitant to eat or initially excited at the “idea” of food, but then do not actually eat it. A dog with gastric upset may hyper salivate, east grass and leaves, gnaw and scratch at his stomach or seem withdrawn or irritable. - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: After the vet and owner have decided they cannot find a link or trend to the digestive issues, often drugs are prescribed to manage the symptoms. Medications may range from antacids to drugs that coat the lining of the stomach to fiber pills or laxatives. Some digestive medications may prevent nutrient absorption, cause ph changes in the stomach (which may be for the better). - Alternative Treatments: Acupuncture, homemade diets experimentally excluding the ingredients that most upset the dog’s GI system, using digestive enzyme and probiotics, high or low fiber foods accordingly, and avoiding stressful situations may help relieve and manage the digestive issues.

*Pancreatitis: Dogs can get Pancreatitis just like humans. It is when the Pancreas, and organ within the Endocrine System, becomes inflamed and swollen. Though the Pancreas is not technically a digestive organ, (it’s not actually an organ at all, it’s a gland), when it is not functioning correctly it can cause digestive issues. An overly fatty diet can cause pancreatitis, especially if it is sudden All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


(getting into the trash and eating a lot of junk food) vs. chronic (a dog that is always fed a notso healthy diet). The pancreas can become shocked trying to digest the fatty food overload and and overproduces digestive enzymes. Some medications and other diseases can also put dogs at a higher risk for Pancreatitis, including some medications used as dewormers and immunesuppressors. Dogs with epilepsy and hypothyroidism, and Miniature Schnauzers are at a higher risk. Dogs with a history of pancreatitis may be on a restrictive diet so take care when using treats for training, and also know the symptoms, should an owner contact you shortly after a training sessions using many treats and say their dog is vomiting a lot and seems uncomfortable. -What it may look like: Pancreatitis usually shows up as sudden vomiting, diarrhea, swollen or painful abdomen, lethargy, fever, anorexia, hunched posture and dehydration. Vomiting is the most common symptom. - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior. Typically dogs with Pancreatitis have been put on a “nothing by mouth” protocol temporarily while the Pancreas heals. Ths means no fluids or food by mouth, only intravenously (through IVs in veins) or feeding tubes. More recently some vets have argued that this has no effect on the healing time of the Pancreas. There is not much treatment done in a modern hospital, all care is more supportive, meaning giving fluids and pain medicines, and riding out the illness. Dogs with a history of Pancreatitus will be put on a restrictive diet, meaning only low fat treats may be used for training, and in moderation. One type of treat rather than a mixture of many types may be best. - Alternative Treatments Herbal supplements an remedies that are detoxifying and support glandular health (because the Pancreas is a giant gland) may be helpful, along with TLC, a low fat diet, plenty of fluids, and natural anti-inflammatories, as the enzymes the pancreas admits to break downt he fatty food start to eat away at the pancreas itself, causing damage which then causes inflammation. The inflammatory response as the body tries to defend itself is the “it is” in Pancreatitis. So, any natural foods or remedies that decrease free-radical, inflammation and promote healing may be beneficial. A food like Pineapple may help due to it’s antiinflammatory property AND it’s ability to act as an enzyme and break food down naturally, so the Pancreas doesn’t have to work so hard. Two birds with one stone!

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Ingesting a large amount of fatty food suddenly can cause Pancreatitis

* Cancer Dogs can get cancer of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver and intestines. These types of cancer are often aggressive and debilitating. If a dog cannot get the nourishment he needs, it becomes a vicious cycle of a not being able to fight the cancer due to malnutrition and becoming more malnourished due to the cancer. - What it may look like: ANY new symptoms having to do with the digestive system could be signs of cancer, including all of the usual suspects: lack of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, disinterest in normal activities, seeming to be in pain, hunched posture, gurgling stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, regurgitating (like vomiting, except without the contractions of the stomach), tender or swollen abdomen, fever and more. Any signs that last more than 48 hours should be observed by a veterinarian immediately, especially in middle to older aged dogs who have never shown any issues with food allergies, intolerances, and have little history with digestive symptoms, especially vomiting and anorexia (lack of appetite). - Traditional Treatment and effects on training and behavior: As with most cancers, radiation and chemotherapy are an option, depending on what the body can handle. The dog will likely be put on a bland diet and given medications to manage the pain, and possibly a feeding tube and IV fluids to manage the weight loss and dehydration. A dog with cancer of a digestive organ is not going to be receiving training so, N/A. - Alternative Treatments: acupuncture, light therapy, a healing anti-inflammatory diet, immune boosters, vitamins, supplements, diet change and medical marijuana to stimulate appetite and help with pain may all be helpful options to use in conjunction or in place of traditional therapy. The dog will likely still have a shortened life, but the goal is remission and to keep the dog All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


comfortable for as long as possible. This may be better done naturally than with harsh radiation or chemo, although will likely not be as effective or quick at killing the cancer cells.

Integumentary system: The Skin!

The Dog’s skin protects his internal living tissue, bones and organs from the outside world. It protects against invasion of foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. The skin traps in moisture, preventing dehydration, while also allowing for sweating (through the paw pads only!) which disperses heat. Abrupt changes in temperature are moderated by the skin, as the skin acts as a conductor to help heat up the body in the sun, or disperse heat out of the body when overheated. The skin contains the important Cell receptors that communicate touch, pressure, pain, temperature and texture to the dog, and also acts as the storage space for fat to be burned as energy. The skin creates vitamin D when in contact with the sun, and acts as the anchoring point for the all-important fur coat. The inside of the ear canal is considered a continuation of the skin

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Common Afflictions of the Integumentary System that can effect training and behavior: * Contact allergies and Dermatitis: Dogs can be allergic to things they touch, such as grass, wool, dust and cleansers. As discussed fleas can also cause severe allergic reactions. Dermatitis just means inflammation of the skin (derma) and can be a result of, or independent of contact allergies. Allergies can cause irritability, lack of sleep and secondary infections from all the scratching. -What it may look like: Itching, hives, redness, hair loss and swelling in association with contacting a substance that triggers an allergic reaction. The dog may chew on the bottom of his paws, drag his belly on the floor, rub his back on the floor and scratch often. Dermatitis can range from red puffy skin to crusting and oozing wounds if infected. - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: Steroids and Benadryl and antiitch creams and sprays. Side effects are the usual associated with these treatments. - Alternative treatments: Immune boosters, wiping skin down immediately after contact with allergen, natural remedies that calm and soothe the skin, natural anti-inflammatories and creams, acupuncture and decreased stress may be helpful.

* Parasites, Yeast and Fungus: As mentioned earlier in the reading, parasites and Ringworm (fungus) can wreak havoc on a dog’s skin and coat. Parasites cause secondary allergic reactions, which cause itching that leads to infections. Ringworm is also itchy and causes hair loss and is highly contagious. Another ailment of the skin that we have not discussed is yeast. Many people do not realize that dogs can get yeast infections. Dogs with skin issues tend to have trouble focusing due to the discomfort and constant need to itch. They may also be tired from not sleeping well, or irritable from lack of sleep and perpetual discomfort. Any breed that is prone to allergies, thin or no fur (such as Greyhounds and Chinese Crested) or wrinkles (the aforementioned breeds) are predisposed to yeast infections. - What this may look like: You already can recognize fleas, ticks, mange and ringworm. Yeast likes ant areas that are warm, dark and moist. On a dog this can be the genital areas, the ears, and on very wrinkly dogs such as Sharpeis, Bloodhounds and bulldog breeds the folds in the skin that never see the light of day! It may be oily damp, darkened in color and smell yeasty in All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


the skin folds. The dog may be sensitive or guard being handled in these areas. - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: Antifungals and antibiotics, flea preventative and baths, powders and drying agents, antibacterial wipes. Treatments may cause repeat infections due to killing off beneficial bacteria and decreasing dog’s immune system overall. - Alternative treatments: All-natural wipes and sprays, tea tree oil is very effective, an assortment of natural anti-microbial remedies, increasing the dog’s immune system and natural “flora”(probiotics) on the skin, keeping wrinkled areas dry, vinegar wiped in skin folds followed by baby powder or diatomaceous earth to absorb wetness. Very low sugar and starch diet - * no yeast!

* Ear Inflammation, Infections and Hematomas The ear canal is a continuation of the skin system – it is just inverted skin leading all the way into the inner ear. Therefore, ear infections are not just an ailment of the ear, but actually an ailment of the skin. It is very common for dogs with general skin allergies and issues to also get ear infections more frequently. Dogs with long, pendulous ears are more prone to ear issues (Bassets, Blood Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, etc) as well as dogs who frequently swim (Water dogs used for fetching fowl or doing watersports, in addition to any dogs that frequently swim in lakes or pools). Hematomas are a common occurrence with dogs who have been suffering from ear issues (can be anything from mites to infections) and have been shaking their head back and forth (as if getting out of the bath) repetitively so much that blood vessels in the ear flaps burst and create pockets of blood that look a bit like tumors form the outside, but feel fluid filled. Dogs with ear infections may be irritable, lethargic, withdrawn, guard their ears and head and growl or wince when handled and not come when called if result is “squishy face” (owner grabbing either side of dog’s face and ears and squeezing and shaking head). - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: As usual…the big three: pain killers, anti-inflammatories (usually steroids) and antibiotics. Hematomas are usually treated by preventing head shaking, compression on the hematoma to reduce its size, and sometimes fixing the ears to the head so they can not swing around when the dog does shake. The ears are usually fixed with a head wrap up rather than down so the ear canal can breath, and a hole is normally cut over the canal so air and medication can get into the canal. Side effects are typical for those drugs used, including a chronic reoccurrence of ear issues due to steroids inhibiting healing and antibiotics disrupting normal flora, as well as GI issues or secondary yeast infections due to beneficial flora being eliminated by antibiotics. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


- Alternative treatments: Garlic has been shown to be helpful in preventing and treating mild ear infections (ingested and topical), garlic and mullein drops, grapeseed extract and oil, teatree oil, apple cider vinegar, healing agents like vitamin e, coconut, and aloe vera may speed healing. If the infection is more than mild, then antibiotics may be necessary, but these natural remedies can be used in conjunction. * probiotics added to the diet as well as placed directly into ear canal is very important *

* Cancer Skin cancer in dogs can be benign and slower growing or serous and aggressive. There are three main types of skin cancer a dog can have: Mast Cell Tumors grow in the areas of the body that contain mast cells, which are an immune cell. Some veterinarians think that chronic skin irritation and inflammation can lead to Mast Cell Tumors, Melanoma, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Dogs with skin cancer may have nausea, be in pain, or avoid certain activities that exacerbate the pain, such as fetching and eating hard kibble (if it’s in the mouth) or lying in certain positions (if it’s over another part of the body). - What it may look like: Cancer of the skin is usually easily visible as long as the dog does not have very long or thick fur, and usually easily felt, unless the dog is very overweight or has very loose, floppy excess skin. * Mast Cell Tumors: Usually like pink lumps, similar to pencil erasers, under the skin, although they can look like many other types of tumors, so are called the “great imitator”. They can occur anywhere, but tend to occur on the trunk of the body, inside flap of the ear, legs and toes. They contain abnormal mast cells which release histamine, which can cause a severe allergic reaction if released from the tumor. If you or an owner finds a lump that looks like a possible Mast Cell Tumor DO NOT manipulate or squeeze it and have the dog see a vet ASAP. Dogs with Mast Cell tumors may have stomach ulcers or bleeding problems, black or bloody feces or vomit coughing and general signs of allergies as a results of the histamines contained in the Mast Cells. * Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Usually occurs on areas of the body exposed to sun, such as the nose and tops of toes or any area of thin fur, and the inside of the mouth. Sun exposure is not always the cause, although seems to be the leading factor. Squamous tumors usually appear lumpy and warty and red with possibly crusting and oozing ulcerations. They tend to occur on very light pigmented areas of the skin, or areas where pigment changes, such as white to black.

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* Melanoma: Usually occurs in pigmented areas of the skin (black). These can look similar to Mast Cells tumors except they are black in color and occur in pigmented areas of the skin, including inside the mouth, on toes, nose and belly. They tend to have a more irregular shape to them, like many bubbles stacked on top of each other. Like Squamous cell, Melanoma is often cause by exposure to the sun. - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: Traditional treatment of skin tumors is going to be surgical removal if possible +/- Radiation and Chemotherapy if necessary. The typical side effects of chemo and radiation can be expected (infections, hair loss, gut issues due to killing of all beneficial bacteria as well as cancer cells). - Alternative treatments: Many owners and alternative vets speak of the importance of diet change with any cancer. Cancers feed on sugar, so eliminating sugar is important. Cancer thrives in weak immune systems, so boosting a healthy immune system is vital as well. Certain types of mushrooms, herbs and foods have been shown to have natural cancer cell fighting properties, as well as medical marijuana. Lowering stress levels in the dog is very important as stress weakens the immune system. Any dog with cancer needs plenty of sleep because during rest is when the body repairs itself.

Mast Cell Tumors look like raised eraser ends on a pencil early on. They tend to be very pink and commonly occur on the sides or face, legs or toes, and inside the ear flap.

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Squamous Cell Carcinomas are common in the mouth and inner thigh and pelvic region, toes, nose and around the anus. It tends to look like warty raised lumps often occurring where the skin is very light colored. It is usually crusty or oozing. Areas of exposure to sun in short or thin hared breeds may also be common locations.

Melanoma often occurs on pigmented areas and is blackish/bluish in color, and bubbly looking, with more irregular shaped lump than a Mast Cell, which is usually more round and evenly outlined.

* Anal Gland problems Anyone who’s been close to a dog when he expressed his anal glands can attest to the way they smell. The anal glands are located on either side of the anus, at about “5 o’clock and 7 o’clock”. They are two sacs of fluid normally partially emptied every time the dog defecates. It is speculated that the purpose is scent marking. The glands can sometimes become impacted (blocked) or infected. This can cause much pain and discomfort and the dog may shriek All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


“randomly” in pain, “butt-scoot”, become aggressive when picked up or handled, especially near his rear end, and whip his head around toward his bum as if he’s under attack. Dogs with infected or swollen anal glands may be withdrawn, not enjoy playing and be highly distracted during training.

Locating the Anal Glands - Traditional Treatment: If they are just impacted, most vets will express them using warm water and their fingers to get the backed up fluid out…it’s stinky!! If they are infected, or abscessed, they will likely prescribe antibiotics, wait for the swelling to decrease and then express them later if they still need it. - Alternative Treatments: Most alternative treatment centers around diet change. According to many holistic vets, diets high in sugars, carbs, dyes, preservatives and processed foods can contribute to anal gland issues. Harder stool is better for expressing anal glands. A general detox of the body and immune booster + probiotics may be helpful. If the glands are abscessed, a combination remedy of different natural anti-microbials may help in place of antibiotics.

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The Endocrine System – Includes all of the glands that excrete hormones and the Pancreas

The endocrine system consists of glands that produce hormones. Hormones are chemicals that control body functions, such as metabolism, growth, and sexual development. The glands, which include the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, thymus gland, pineal body, pancreas, ovaries, and testes, release hormones directly into the bloodstream, which transports the hormones to organs and tissues throughout the body. The hormones in the endocrine system are produced by the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands, pancreas and testicles or ovaries. Endocrine disease occurs when there are imbalances in the hormone levels. When the levels of a particular hormone are too high, it is “hyper� and when it is too low, it is Hypo. Levels can become imbalanced when too much or too little of a hormone is produced, excreted or absorbed.

Function: To produce, store and secrete hormones throughout the body. Glands of the endocrine system: The pituitary gland: is a small lump of tissue in the brain that releases hormones that control the other glands of the endocrine system. The pituitary gland is comprised of two parts: the anterior (front) and posterior (back). The posterior part is actually not a gland, but nervous tissue that controls hormones necessary during pregnancy. The anterior part of the pituitary All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


gland secrets hormones that effect the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, the testes/ovaries, and growth hormones. The Pineal Gland: is a small gland in the brain. It produces the hormone melatonin that helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. The activity of the pineal gland is slowed by stimulation from the photoreceptors (light receptors) of the retina inside the eye. This light sensitivity causes melatonin to be produced only in low light or darkness. Increased melatonin production causes sleepiness at night. The Pancreas: produces the enzymes that digest food, and insulin which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Thyroid: Is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck that controls the body’s metabolism, growth, and the levels of other hormones in the body. Adrenal Glands: produce corticosteroids like epinephrine and cortisol that control the body’s response to threats (fight or flight response) and also fight inflammation and immune response. “Gonads” (Testes and Ovaries): produce testosterone and estrogen Growth hormones: thought they are influenced by the thyroid gland, they are produced in the pituitary gland and absorbed by tiny blood vessels that surround the gland. They determine how tall a dog will be, how long the bones are, etc.

Afflictions of the endocrine system that can effect training and behavior:

* Thyroid Issues: Any issue with the thyroid could cause hypo (under) or hyper (over) thyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is rare in dogs. Most thyroid conditions are going to be hypothyroidism. Many owners may not know their dog is hypothyroid and find the side effects frustrating. - What it may look like: Dog is “lazy” lethargic, has slow heart rate, dull hair coat or hair falling out, is overweight regardless of diet, may be irritable or aggression may worsen. - Traditional treatment and effect on training and behavior: supplements of thyroid hormone to bring levels up to normal. These drugs may cause an increase in heart rate, energy and weight loss. There are usually very few negative behavioral effects of this drug noticed, although at high doses, personality change, thirst, increased urination and agitation may occur. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


- Alternative treatments: Acupuncture, diet change, thyroid support supplements and exercise have been shown to have positive effects on the thyroid gland in some dogs.

* Diabetes Diabetes happens when there is not enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down after a meal. The problem can occur in the pituitary gland or pancreas, or sometimes, an unknown (idiopathic) reason. This can be a debilitating and serious disease if left unregulated and undiagnosed. - What it may look like: weight gain, increased thirst and urination, poor circulation, frequent infections, labored breathing, lack of appetite or overeating, seizures, confusion, stumbling, cold nose, tail and paws. - Traditional Treatments and effects on training and behavior: Normally it can be controlled well with insulin. If it is very mild, the vet may recommend diet change to start, and add insulin in afterward if the blood sugar levels do not respond. A diet low in “junk� foods is essential, especially sugars in unnecessary carbs. Insulin should not cause negative side effect unless too much is given, in which case the dog may become weak, stumble, seem lost and confused, pass out, have seizures or slip into a coma. It is very important the owners are educated on exactly how much to give and when. Dogs that do not eat a normal meal but get their normal insulin dose may have a dangerous blood sugar drop. - Alternative Treatments: The first plan of attack when treated holistically (assuming the dog does not have life threatening high glucose levels) is diet change for several weeks and exercise. Exercise burns off blood sugar very fast. Dogs should be vigorously walked after eating. Meals should be small and spread out evenly (two or three times) rather than one large meal at the beginning or end of the day. Herbs and supplements may be helpful. If these methods are not having any effect, than traditional routes should be taken as the long term effects of high blood sugar levels is far more dangerous to the dog than the side effects of taking insulin.

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* Cushing's Disease Cushing’s Disease is when the adrenal glands produce too much of the steroid cortisol. It is normally caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland or directly on the adrenal glands that causes the adrenals to become overactive. However it can also be caused by overuse of steroids (to fight allergies and inflammation), and can even be triggered by dogs exposed to high levels of stress for a long period of time. It normally effects dogs who are 6 years old or older. Because Cushing’s is an overproduction of steroids in the body, dogs may get frequent infections as a side effect. The most common infections are bladder infections or ear infections. Dogs with this illness may tire easily, not be very interested in training and may be irritable or tired due to trouble sleeping (steroids are a “flight” hormone, not a relax hormone!) Older Female dogs are more likely to get Cushing’s than males, and some breeds may be predisposed, including Poodles, Boxers, Dachshunds, Beagles and Boston Terriers. - What it may look like: Symptoms include increased hunger, thirst, urination and panting, obesity, lethargy, hair loss, muscle weakness, fat pads on the shoulders and neck, insomnia and pot-bellied appearance. - Traditional Treatment and effects on training and behavior: In many cases, treatment involves surgically removing the tumor on the pituitary or adrenal glands. Other treatment includes lifelong medication, requiring regular follow-up veterinary visits. Some of the medications used to treat this illness can have bad side effects, including lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, incoordination, vomiting, diarrhea and liver damage. - Alternative Treatments: Natural remedies for balancing and normalizing adrenal glands are Dandelion, Burdock, and Astragulus. These herbs are known to help detox and balance the adrenal system. Doing the relaxation protocol and therapeutic massage daily may help reduce cortisol levels and release chemicals in the body that counteract cortisol. Natural cancer fithing remedies may be used to reduce the size of tumors, and immune boosting herbs, vitamins and minerals can be used. If traditional treatment is used, liver detoxing and support should be used to combat side effects of drugs.

* Addison's Disease Addison’s disease is the opposite of Cushing’s disease: The body is not producing enough cortisol. It is most commonly diagnosed in young female dogs, and some working, herding and sporting dogs are predisposed, especially the Great Dane, Poodle, Wheaten Terrier, West highland White Terrier, Springer and English Spaniels, German Pointer, Rottweiler, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


- What it my look like: This illness is called “the great imitator” because it can mimic and be is commonly misdiagnosed as many other illnesses and ailments. Symptoms include vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, weakness, tremors, pain in joints and hind quarters, seizures and lethargy. - Traditional Treatment and effects on training and behavior: Steroids. This is one of the few scenarios where steroids cause more good than harmful side effects…Dog with Addison’s disease NEED them. Steroids are important in coping with mental, physical and emotional stress, lowering inflammatory responses and keeping potassium, sodium and calcium levels balanced. Medications used to treat Addison’s cause excessive thirst and urination, may cause weight gain or thinning of coat and potentially irritability as the dog adjusts. - Alternative Treatments: Though steroid treatment is vital, natural remedies can be used in conjunction to support the adrenal glands, liver, immune system (which will be stressed by the addition o steroids into the body) and calm the dog. It is important that a dog being treated for Addison’s avoids stress as much as possible and gets enough sleep. Massage and acupuncture may be helpful.

Cushing’s disease tends to cause loss of coat on body and pot-bellied look.

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* Other Endocrine Diseases When the pituitary gland isn't fully developed, a dog can be deficient in several hormones, resulting in pituitary dwarfism. A tumor in a dog's pancreas can cause large volumes of insulin to be secreted causing HYPOglycemia – the opposite of diabetes. These diseases are very rare.

German Shepherd dog with Pituitary Dwarfism next to dog of normal size.

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Reproductive / Urinary Systems: includes all reproductive organs, bladder, kidneys, and ureters

The urinary system is responsible for removing waste products from blood and eliminating them as urine. The genital organs are involved in reproduction.

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Common Afflictions of the Genito-Urinary systems that may effect training and behavior: Reproductive: * Intact Behaviors (not spayed/neutered): Owners of intact dogs may see behaviors and physical changes begin during puberty that they find troubling if they are not expecting them or have no experience in handling them. Onset for puberty in small dogs can be as young as 4 -5 months and last until 8-10 months, and as begin late as 6- 8 months in giant breed dogs and last until 12-16 months. This is the time period when the dog starts to exhibit “secondary sex” characteristics and behaviors. - What it may look like: In male dogs, depending on the breed, this will include the appearance of testicles, more muscle on the body and broader head and neck. The dog may begin to lift his leg while urinating and may begin marking. Marking is one of the most common behavioral complaints of owners with intact dogs. Dogs who were intact for years and fixed later in life many times continue to mark long after being “fixed”. This is a common problem for male dogs adopted at 2,3,4,5 years of age from shelters who were recently neutered. No one noticed marking behavior in the shelter because pee is pee when they come in in the morning to clean! Once the dog settles in a new home, he begins marking anything vertical he can pee on, such as walls, curtains, doorways, furniture, and objects sitting on floor, particularly new objects introduced into the house. ** Marking is normally small amounts of urine deposited frequently on specific locations and objects, whereas normal urination (when the dog just needs to go!) is large amounts of urine, less frequent, in areas as close to the door or normal potty area as possible, and on the floor, rather than objects, corners or walls.** Male dogs will have a very strong urge to roam, find females, map out where other males live, and develop a large “territory” to explore, mark and look for mates. A male dog can detect the pheromones of a female dog in heat from miles away. This can cause great frustration, which can be redirected into aggression or destruction around the house, and most male dogs will do their best to escape out of doors and fences. Training intact males can be very challenging, as some will choose going hungry for days over following the scents of other dogs, and marking. They may ignore treats and have zero prey drive (don’t care about toys) and only want to sniff and pee on EVERYTHING. This is very frustrating for owners both inside the house and especially during leash walks. Male dogs fixed later in life may retain these behaviors as they have practiced them so much, working for treats or caring about what the human wants is a foreign subject for them. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


In female dogs, owners may notice a bloody discharge from the vulva (outer visible area of vagina) and behavior changes such as being more irritable, withdrawn, restless, agitated or even aggressive, particularly around other dogs or when being pet or picked up by people. Female dogs in heat may create “dens� using towels and other soft material, and may either eat more than usual or less than usual. Intact female dogs will squat often to mark outside, and may do it inside the house as well. ** Dogs almost never receive the amount of socialization and conditioning they need, especially in countries where spaying and neutering is the norm, to behave appropriately around intact dogs. Male dogs tend to become highly aroused, agitated, or even aggressive around each other if one or both dogs are intact, and same for females. THIS IS NOT NORMAL BEHAVIOR FOR DOGS! as is commonly believed. Feral packs of intact dogs learn to use body language and socially savvy methods to avoid confrontation and fights at all costs, and two intact males can coexist peacefully together around a female dog in heat. In the domesticated world, however, almost every dog is socially stunted in this area, and aggression and inappropriate behavior around intact dogs is unfortunately common and can lead to very violent fighting. *** - Traditional treatment for undesirable side effects of sexual maturity in dogs: SPAYING AND NEUTERING! - Alternative treatment: SPAYING AND NEUTERING! Side note: Training can be helpful in modifying undesirable behaviors, and some owners may be opposed to fixing their dog. If the owner is responsible with their dog, and ensures they never can roam or escape, causing unwanted litters of puppies, and are dedicated to training, it is possible to live in harmony with intact dogs in a household, breeders must learn how to do it, and owners of show dogs who are not permitted to be altered, must learn to do it as well. Beginning socialization around intact dogs and positive training methods to reward calmness, leaving the other dog alone, and games to put sniffing and marking on cue outside, as well as house training and preventative measures inside can help if not solved the issues. Owners need to use common sense and pro-active measures to prevent issues, for instance, if a female dog is close to heat, she should not be around dogs that rough house. If a male dog is intact, introducing another dog or ANYTHING to the house may trigger marking, so confinement and putting marking on cue or setting up only ONE acceptable potty patch in the house to mark on may be helpful.

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* False pregnancy, cancer and pyometra in female dogs: Intact Female dogs can sometimes have what is called a “false pregnancy”, where the hormone levels in their body lead them to believe they are pregnant, or even that they have recently given birth. This Phenomenon is not well understood, but it may be seen in dogs with imbalanced hormones and within a few days of being spayed. These dogs may begin displaying unusual behaviors that can be quite concerning to the owner! Cancer of the uterus or any other reproductive organ is very serious but also rare. Cancer of the uterus and ovaries can be prevented by spaying. Dogs experiencing a “false pregnancy” may become withdrawn, obsessive about their “puppies”, defensive, groom and clean their space more, steal items, seem agitated and have trouble sleeping. This can make communication and listening skills poor at best. - What it may look like: During a False Pregnancy, the dog may create a “den” in a small, secluded space and fill it with blankets or other soft material. She may not eat, may become defensive and may begin carrying around and hoarding items like socks or stuffed animals. Abdomen and mammary glands may become swollen. A dog with cancer of the reproductive organs may have a swollen abdomen, or mammary glands, fever, vomiting, discharge out of the vulva, lethargy and lack of appetite. Pyometra is when the uterus becomes infected. The uterus becomes filled with pus. It causes a high fever, extreme pain, vomiting, lack of appetite and the infection can spread into the rest of the body causing shock and even death. Pyometra is a serious illness that can be prevented by spaying. - Traditional treatments and effect on training and behavior: Normally false pregnancies are just left to run their course unless the dog is severely affected. The dog may receive laxatives to help with the fluid retention, anti-anxiety medication or hormone treatment. After the false pregnancy has disappeared on its own, most vets recommend spaying to prevent future ones. Cancers of the reproductive organs can be treated by removal of the organs (if possible), radiation and chemotherapy. Pyometra is treated by removal of the uterus and a heavy course of antibiotics, pain meds and anti-inflammatories. - Alternative treatments: natural hormonal and reproductive balancing and supporting remedies, plus ample sleep, low stress and quiet environment possibly combined with all natural or prescribed laxatives may be helpful for false pregnancies. Supportive natural remedies can be used to balance and supplement reproductive system, boost immune system, heal and decrease inflammation during surgery or chemo/radiation. Pyometras must be treated surgically as they are life threatening, but healing and immune boosting remedies can be given supplementally, as well as rest, relaxation, and healthy diet.

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During a False Pregnancy, the dog may collect and guard socks, stuffed animals, toys or other objects as if they are “puppies”

* Testicular and Prostate issues in male dogs: Intact male dogs can get inflamed, infected or cancerous prostates and testicles. Any signs of abnormalities should be taken seriously and seen by a veterinarian ASAP. - What it may look like: bloody urine (orange or brown tinge to urine), frequent urination, dog seeming to be in pain when urinating, fever, decreased appetite, painful around rear end or lower abdomen, drinking excessively, one or both testicles not visible after age of puberty (stuck in abdominal cavity), pain when testicles are touched during vet exam or by owner, frequent licking or attention to penis/rear end area. Visible lumps or enlargement, cysts, lesions and pus may be visible on or around penis area. - Traditional treatment and effects on training and behavior: Infections will likely be treated with antibiotics, although neutering may bring health faster. Anti-inflammatories (either NSAIDS or Steroids) for inflammation and pain medicine for pain. Tumors may be surgically removed, and prostate cancer is very serious – likely resulting in chemo/radiation and neutering, *although neutering a dog does not guarantee no future prostate cancer occurring. For testes that have not descended, usually surgical removal is recommended, as they can cause cancerous growths later on.

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- Alternative treatments: The usual regimen of foods, herbs and remedies that act as immune boosters, natural anti-inflammatories and pain reducers. Many holistic vets cite a completely organic diet containing RAW foods (not particularly meat, but emphasis on vegetables and lowsugar fruits) to decrease the onset or severity of testicular and prostate issues. There is a new “natural” treatment for reproductive tumors and cancers on the scene called Natural Cliniptilolite powder, or “Zeolites”, which claims to detoxify the body of the agents causing or triggering the cancerous cell growth, such as toxins, pesticides and heavy metals. In a study, all 22 of the 22 dogs administered this treatment benefited from it, with 14 making a full recovery. Some of the dogs were diagnosed as “terminal” and “untreatable by traditional vets. It is up for debate whether intact male dogs should be mated to “relieve” any build up or stagnation of fluids and prevent issues. Some say it doesn’t make a difference, others claim it is very unhealthy for the dog not to be.

* Stones and Infections Dogs can get bladder and kidney stones just like us…and they’re just as painful and serious! Once a dog has had one episode, it is likely he will have more unless major changes are made to his diet, routine and environment. Dog breeds most likely to get urinary stones are: shih tzu, miniature schnauzer, bichon frisé, lhasa apso, and Yorkshire terrier. Female dogs are much more likely to get urinary stones than males, and bladder stones are more common than kidney stones. The most common cause of the formation of stones in the urine is inflammation of the urinary tract combined with too alkaline urine. The normal minerals that are suspended in the urine solidify and collect in the bladder and sometimes the kidneys. Things that cause alkaline urine are diet and infections. Frequent urinary tract infections and stones tend to go hand in hand. - What it may look like: frequent urination in small amounts, a previously potty trained dog having accidents, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, painful or strained urination, blood in urine, change in odor of urine, visible swelling or discharge out of urethra, pain in lower back, walking in hunched position, excessive thirst, flare ups after diet change or eating treats or human foods. - Traditional treatment and effects on training and behavior: IV fluids to dilute urine, urinary diet change (for example, Hill’s c/d), antibiotics and anti inflammatories - Alternative treatments: There are many. Thee dog’s diet must encourage an acidic ph of 66.5. Switching to an organic diet low in unnecessary minerals and salts, high water intake All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


(owner can give subcutaneous – under the skin- fluids if dog not drinking enough), rest, relaxation and acupuncture may all be helpful. Herbal and food remedies: - Bathing dog weekly in apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and green tea solution will kill surface bacteria that tend to contaminate urethra and cause urinary infections - Mixing apple cider vinegar, orange and lemon an cranberry into chicken or fish and feeding - Grapefruit seed extract (oral) - Goldenseal (oral) - Parsley (oral) - Slippery Elm Bark - Licorice ** Owner should consult with pet holistic medicine specialist for appropriate amounts and administration ***

Bladder and kidney stones can be very painful for the dog. Above are examples of some stones removed from a dog’s bladder.

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Lymphatic System: Includes all lymph nodes and fluid, spleen, bone marrow and thymus

The lymphatic system is a highway of lymph vessels carrying lymph fluid, connected by lymph nodes and ducts. Lymph carries fluids around the body back into the blood system‌it’s a giant filter and transport system. Fats are transported from the small intestines to the blood vessels, new lymphocytes (a specific white blood cell that fight infection and disease) are made in the lymph nodes, as well as antibodies to various infectious diseases the body has already been exposed to. The lymphatic system transports important nutrients from the place they are manufactured into the blood stream so they may be delivered, and transfer harmful agents out to be filtered and eliminated.

Function: the main function of the lymphatic system is to collect and transport tissue fluids, nutrients and toxins to and from locations around the body.

Common afflictions of the lymphatic system that may effect training and behavior:

*Lymphoma (cancer) and Lymphadenopathy (Enlarged Lymph Nodes) Lymphoma is when too many lymphocytes are produced. It is one of the most common forms of cancer in dogs, and Golden Retrievers are a common dog to develop it. Lymphadenopathy usually occurs when the body is fighting off an infection, disease or foreign agent. The lymph All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


nodes become very swollen and even hard. They are easily felt and on short haired dogs even seen, beneath the skin. * do not massage the lumps, as it may spread infection around the body* - What it may look like: Lymphoma: Non-painful, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, vomiting, pale gums, weakness, loss of appetite, GI issues, skin issues, and many more (because lymphocytes travel to almost every single part of the body, many different symptoms in many different body systems can be observed). Lymphadenopathy: Painful, hard swollen nodes, fever, signs of infection. - Traditional treatment and effects on training and behavior: Lymphoma: Chemotherapy with multiple chemo drugs, supportive care. Chemo provides an average of 1 year of remission in most dogs. Lymphadenopathy: depending on cause – antibiotics, anti inflammatories, pain medicine, fluids to reduce fever and flush body, treatment of underlying disease if present. - Alternative treatments: Lymphoma: The best combination would likely be chemo + alternative holistic care, however an owner may choose alternative methods only. Research has shown that diets high in fat and low carb and sugar starve cancer cells. Also antioxidants like vitamin C and E can heal damaged cells as a result of the cancer or chemo and radiation. Acupuncture may help balance the body and improve the immune system, and as always, plenty of rest, relaxation and a peaceful environment is likely to extend the pet’s life or at least improve its quality. Lymphadenopathy: depending on cause, supportive care may be all that is needed, or traditional treatments may be necessary with holistic remedies to support immune system and healing. There are many herbs, foods including mushrooms out there that are designed to support healing and immune system health, which will translate to lymphatic system health!

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Chapter 3 : Vital signs, what they mean and how to check them Vitals are basic information we can get from a living being to determine basic health status, such as heart and blood flow, ability to breath and deliver oxygen to the body, how hydrated the body is (water is the most basic life essence of any living being!). Knowing how to recognize what are normal and abnormal vitals in a dog could give us warning signs that an underlying disease (such as heartworms) is present. Being able to quickly asses a dog’s vitals can let and owner know whether or not a situation is an emergency. “Vitals” is derived from the word “vitality”: A lively or energetic quality, the power or ability of something to continue to live, be successful, etc. – Merriam-Webster dictionary, 2012 Take into consideration that every dog is different, and their “Baseline” vitals (what their body does normally, when not under stress) may be different than another dog. What’s important is to know what’s normal for that dog. For instance, toy breed dogs will naturally have a faster heart and respiratory rate than giant breed dogs. Greyhounds have a naturally slow heart rate due to having a higher number of red blood cells than other dogs (They are true athletes!). Because they can carry more oxygen in their blood, their hearts do not need to pump as many times to deliver the oxygen to the body. Palpate: Using your hands to feel or detect something on the dog’s body, for example: you could palpate a lump under the skin, the muscles on either side of the spine, and a dog’s heart beating through chest wall. Mucous membranes (mm): A lubricating and protective membrane that lines the surface of tissue, organs, and particularly those that have contact with the air. The ones we are concerned with are the gums, inside of the cheek and inside of the eyelids. Capillary refill time (crt): This refers to the amount of time it takes the blood to refill an area of a mucous membrane after being “blanched” out by applying pressure with finger. On a dog this could be the gums, cheek, inside of eyelid, vulva (female dog) or penis (male dog), but for practical reasons will almost always be the gums or inside of cheek. Perfusing: This means delivering blood (which carries oxygen) to an area that needs it. A dog that is in shock or has low blood sugar or diseased blood vessels is not perfusing well. Shock: Shock is when the body’s systems begin shutting down. Shock happens because the body is not getting the oxygen via blood it needs to vital areas. This is normally due to rapid loss of blood pressure. Shock usually cause unconsciousness and then death if nothing is taken.

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To check a dog’s heart rate: You can either palpate the heartbeat directly by placing your hand on the dog’s chest (you will be able to feel it better on the left side of the dog’s body better) Or, you can count the heart rate by palpating the pulse of an artery. The femoral artery on the inside of the dog’s back leg is usually the easiest. Another place you can palpate a pulse is on top of the dog’s back paws. Being able to feel this pulse takes practice and skill. It’s a good thing to know how to do because it’s a less invasive and easier way to check the heart rate of a dog who doesn’t like being handled because you can do it discretely and further away from his face, and it’s a good indicator of blood pressure: If a dog’s blood pressure is very low, it is unlikely you will feel a strong pulse on his back leg. If you feel a strong pulse, there is a good chance he is perfusing blood to his organs. * When in Shock, the body will make the internal organs, heart, lungs and brain top priority. If the blood pressure is dropping, the body will choose to supply to the vital organs over the extremities, such as the legs and tail. So, if you can feel a pulse on the back paw, the dog likely has decent blood pressure and is not in shock *

To Take a dog’s respiratory (breath) rate: You can place your hand on the side of the dog’s chest, or simply watch the chest rise and fall. If it is hard to tell, you can place something “fluffy” like feathers or a tufts of string or cotton in front of the dog’s nose and count how many times it blows back and forth. You can also place a small mirror in front of the dog’s nose and count how many times the mirror fogs up with condensation.

How to do the math: Asking a dog (especially a dog that’s not feeling well) to hold still for an entire minute while you count their heart rate or breath rate may be heard. They tend to start getting wiggly after a few moments. The easiest way to do it is stare at your watch or a wall clock for 15 seconds and count the number of breaths, pulses or heartbeats. Then multiply that by 4. If the dog will hold still, you could do it for 30 seconds and multiply that by 2. For example: Place your hand on the dog’s chest, wait for the second hand to start at “12” and begin counting the heartbeats until the second hand hits the “3”. If it was 20 beats, the dog’s heart rate is 80 beats per minute.

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In General, these are the normal parameters for dog vital signs (per minute): Heart Rate:

Breathe Rate:

Size/Breed

At rest

After moderate activity

Toy

70

-

160

Medium

60

-

140

Giant

60

-

130

GreyHound

50

-

120

Size/Breed

At rest

After moderate activity

Toy

70

-

160

Medium

60

-

140

Giant

60

-

130

Greyhound

50

-

120

Temperature:

All Breeds: 100.5 - 102.5

Gums/CRT:

All Breeds: Pink, Moist/Between 1 and 2 seconds

Pulse:

All Breeds: Should be palpable on femoral artery

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Checking heart rate by take femoral pulse

Checking Heart Rate by palpating chest

* The two should always match up: i.e: if you place your hand on the chest, and also the femoral pulse, they should happen at roughly the same time, eveyr time*

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Adapted from: “How to Check Dog's Gums Dog Gum Color Exam” by : Mia Carter, Jan 12, 2009 * Text within asterix added for supplemental information * “…At some point, every dog owner will ask, "Is my dog sick?" When that inevitable question arises, dog owners should examine their dog's vital signs and this includes checking to see if the dog's gums are pale or discolored. A normal, healthy dog will have pink gums, which can range in color from a shade of light pink to a darker salmon color. Due to this natural variation in gum color, dog owners should check the dog's gums before illness strikes. In short, if a dog owner doesn't know what the dog's gums look like normally, it will be difficult to detect changes that could indicate that the dog is sick.

What does it mean if a dog has pale gums? Pale gums - usually a very white/grey in color - suggest that the dog is sick. Pale gums can occur as a result of low blood pressure, shock, internal bleeding, anemia or any other number of illnesses. * The most common time you, as a dog trainer, will see pale gums is in a puppy or very small dog with a flea/tick infestation, an adult dog with an intestinal parasite - such as hookworm infestation, or in an adult dog with an undetected illness, such as cancer* It's important to remember that a dog's gums will be paler immediately after waking up from sleep and conversely, the dog's gums will be pinker than normal immediately after exertion or exercise. So to avoid skewed "results," it's vital that a pet owners avoid checking the dog's gums right after sleep or exercise. A dog with pale gums is seriously ill; if a dog owner discovers that his pet has pale gums, a visit to the veterinary clinic (ASAP!) is recommended.

What does it mean if a dog's Gums are discolored? In addition to having pale gums, a dog may also develop discolored gums, depending on the medical problem that's sickening the dog. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


A dog with jaundice * a liver disorder * will exhibit yellow gums. A dog who is cyanotic: receiving insufficient oxygen will have blue gums *and tongue*. Meanwhile, a dog who is suffering from heat stroke with have brick red gums. * Do not confuse this with dark red inflamed areas surrounding teeth of dog with inflammation due to poor dental health, take the overall color of gums and inner lining of lips * * The most common times you will see blue or brick red gums as a dog trainer is : Blue: Brachycephalic breeds (squished nose), such as pugs, bulldogs & Pekingese who are turning blue due to not being able to breathe well. Brick Red: brachiocephalic breeds or any dog who is overheated due to not being able to disperse heat from their body during vigorous training * Just like a dog with pale gums, a dog with gum discoloration will require immediate veterinary attention.

Other things to look for when examining a dog's gums: In addition to checking a dog's gum color, dog owners should also check the gum surface and capillary refill time. The dog's gums can be examined to determine if a dog is suffering from dehydration, a condition that's commonly seen in a sick dog, since a dog who feels ill will often stop eating and drinking. To check for dehydration: slide a finger across the surface of the dog's gums. A healthy dog will have wet, slick gums; a sick, dehydrated dog will have dry, sticky gums. * A dog under a lot of stress or who is very nervous will almost always have “tacky” feeling gums due to panting. The best time to asses what’s “normal” for a dog is at home, when at rest, by his owners* An owner who suspects that his dog is sick should also check capillary refill time, which helps the pet owner determine if the dog's blood pressure is normal. Check capillary refill time - the amount of time it takes the tiny blood vessels to fill with blood — by firmly pressing a finger on the dog's gums for three full seconds. When the finger is removed from the gums, the spot will appear paler than the surrounding skin. It should take about 1.5 seconds for the paleness to disappear. If the spot takes longer than 1.5 seconds to return to normal, this could indicate low blood pressure - a finding that suggests that the dog is critically ill. If the area fills in in less than one second, this could indicate high blood pressure, or another issue. Any abnormalities noted in mucous membrane color or refill time should be seen by a veterinarian ASAP.” – Mia Carter, 2009 All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Normal Gum Color, including black pigmented areas:

Brick Red gums, not normal! Possible causes: overheating, other health issue

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Blue colored gums and tongue, not normal! Possible Causes: Dog is not getting enough oxgyen due to respiratory problem, choking, or other health issue

Pale Gums, not normal! Possible Causes: very low blood pressure, any blood-feeding parasite, internal hemmoraging, cancer, other issue

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Chapter 4: Food, nutrition and supplements: Clearing the fog about complete and balanced diets for dogs: Many owners are confused about what their dog needs to be healthy, what’s “good” and “bad” for them, what type of food to feed and ingredients. There are commercially produced dry foods, wet foods, semi-wet foods, “raw” diets, organic, hypoallergenic, and many many more. Every few years a new type of diet (much like with humans!) seems to become all the rage for feeding the pet dog. The truth is, every dog’s body breaks down, absorbs and utilizes nutrients differently. Some dogs have “stomachs of steel” while others seem to get digestive issues if they even look at a piece of food. Some dogs have allergies, problems with their teeth or mouth making it hard to chew either very hard or very wet food. Some dogs are athletes while others are couch potatoes, and some dogs feel like they are starving, regardless of the amount of food they receive. Owners need to get to know THEIR dog’s body and what it responds best to. Finding the right diet for a dog is a balance of the owner’s financial restrictions and time limitation. A person completing an externship during medical school that has him or her up at 5am and arriving late in the evening, probably does not want to dedicate ANY time to cooking and preparing a complicated meal for his or her pets. Meanwhile, a retired couple or person who works from home or takes special interest in human nutrition may relish the time spent learning about and preparing home-made diets for their pets. A note on RAW diets: Dogs do eat meat, and they are fully capable of digesting raw meats, tissue and bones. Thus doesn’t mean it’s the best diet per se, but it has been reported by many owners to reduce problems with digestion, gas and allergies. Other owners may not like it due to the messiness, and risk of bacterial infection for themselves, their dog, or any children in the house. Raw food contains salmonella along with potential other organisms that can make humans and pets ill, particularly if their immune systems are not up to par. A note on Organic and novel protein diets: If you walk through any higher-end pet store, you will see a wide variety of dry and wet commercially prepared foods that have novel protein sources such as quail, deer (venison), white fish, buffalo and other types of meat. These diets are designed under the premise that novel proteins are less likely to cause allergic reactions, and may be leaner or more nutritious than beef, pork, chicken or turkey. Many of these bags have titles that evoke the vision of our beloved pet dog running wild through a snow covered forest and pausing at the edge of a cliff to howl at the moon. While the images may be pretty, and the idea on the right track for allergies: DOGS ARE NOT WOLVES, and do not need a “wild” diet, and “all meat based” diet, or anywhere near the amount of bones, tissue and meat that a wild wolf does. Dogs are domesticated, and gave evolved as semi-hunters, but mostly All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


scavengers and their digestive system and teeth have changed along the thousand year path from wild roaming wolf-like dogs to the dog sitting on our couches today. What’s most important is that a diet is free of ingredients that are unnecessary, harmful or hard to digest, and has a good balance of the good stuff dogs need, such as complete proteins (doesn’t matter the source!), vitamins, minerals, fiber and roughage. If a dog can easily digest chicken, is not allergic to it, is behaving normally mentally, physically and emotionally, than that is a suitable protein source for THAT DOG. Commercial foods have the advantage of filling in the empty or lacking nutrients outside of the basic protein, with supplements and ingredients that contain omegas, the vitamins and minerals. For some owners, they may not need to purchase that $60 bag of dog food or order that messy expensive RAW food online, if their dog is doing just fine on what they are currently feeding. As with humans, organic is likely better than non, as research has suggested negative side effects or the Genetically Modified Organisms, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and fertilizers that are often in non-organic foods. Preservatives outside of natural ones that are absolutely necessary to kept the food from spoiling should be avoided, along with added sugars, salts, food dyes artificial flavorings. Intact dogs may require higher protein levels, as well as “athlete” dogs, while dogs who are prone to gaining weight and have slower metabolisms probably do not need as much of everything – protein, sugars, carbs and calories in general. These dogs may feel hungrier throughout the day, so healthy fillers like carrots and green beans, cauliflower or low-sugar fruits can help them feel more satisfied. Consistancy: Some dogs may benefit from crunchy dry food as it helps keep their gums strong and scrape tartar off their teeth. Older dogs may need a wet food for ease of digestion and chewing. Semi-moist foods tend to be relatively unhealthy due to high amounts of preservatives and additives to keep them fresh. Owners feeding a commercial diet may want to offer both wet and dry versions of the food of their choice to reap the benefits of both!

Understanding nutrients and what they are used for: “Vitamins are classified into two types: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. They are divided into these groups according to how they are dissolved and stored in your body. Fatsoluble vitamins reside in your body's fatty tissue and liver and are used as needed by your body. By contrast, water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and generally are not stored in your body.” - Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, 2012, WebMD. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


Water soluble vitamins are flushed out of the body much faster than fat soluble, which accumulate and are stored for some time. Water soluble vitamins: All B vitamins and Vit C Fat soluble vitamins: A, E, D, K Minerals are stored all over the body, but mostly in the liver, spleen and bones. Some minerals like sodium, potassium and calcium are needed in decent amounts to keep the body’s important functions operating normally. Other minerals, such as copper, zinc and selenium are needed in smaller amounts but also serve important functions. If a dog ingests too much of any particular mineral or vitamin, particularly trace minerals or fat soluble vitamins, toxic levels may be reached, causing a host of side effects ranging from redflushed skin, hair loss, loose stool and nausea to agitation, weakness, tremors, vomiting, and seizures. Owners who give their dogs a multivitamin, or supplements should be aware of the proper dosage, signs of toxic levels, and should NOT give their dogs the supplements every day. The body needs a couple days off a week to metabolize and flush out excess amounts. Large amounts of nutrients put strain on the kidney, heart and liver. For owners who want to create their dog’s diet from scratch at home, they must make sure they are including the right amounts of various ingredients and nutrients to complete a balanced diet. Below is a list of nutrients found to commonly be deficient in “home-made” diets, after scientific study by veterinary nutritionists. Below are excerpts adapted from “Dishing on Diets”, published in Whole Dog Journal, 2012, by Mary Straus that lists commonly deficient nutrients in homemade diets for dogs

“Vitamin D is primarily found in fish, so any recipe that does not include fish may be short on vitamin D unless a supplement is added. Vitamin E was short in every recipe I’ve analyzed, unless supplements are added. Zinc was at least a little short in most of the recipes I’ve analyzed. Significant amounts of zinc are found in red meat, with lesser amounts in pork and poultry. Choline, a member of the B vitamin family, is often short in recipes I analyze. Copper is plentiful in beef liver, which has 2.7 mg copper per ounce. Chicken, turkey, and pork liver provide very little, so diets that do not include beef liver are always low in copper if not supplemented. All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


EPA and DHA are omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fatty fish and fish oil. If you do not feed fish or supplement with fish oil, the diet you feed will be short on EPA and DHA. Some eggs have decent amounts of omega-3, depending on the chicken’s diet. Linoleic acid (omega-6 essential fatty acid): Found primarily in poultry fat and plant oils, so diets that include little poultry, or that use only skinless breast, which has little fat, will be deficient in linoleic acid. Calcium: 35 percent of the recipes analyzed were short on calcium. This was likely due to the multitude of recipes that do not include a calcium supplement B vitamins: Vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), and B5 (pantothenate) were short in 14.5, 40.5, and 27 percent of recipes, respectively. Most recipes met the rest of B vitamin needs. Selenium: Just over one-third of recipes were found to be short on selenium.” Below is a detailed list for owners who are interested in preparing home-made diets for their dogs, supplementing their commercial food, or are just curious about what’s in the table tidbits they are giving their dogs! (Adapted from Allegretti and Sommers, Fougère, and Ackerman) Nutrient

Function

Thiamine (vitamin B1)

Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism; important to nerve function

Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism; important for normal vision and skin health

Niacin (vitamin B3)

Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism; important for nervous system, digestive system, and skin health

Pantothenic acid

Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism

Biotin

Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism

Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)

Part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism; helps make red blood cells

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Folic acid

Part of an enzyme needed for making DNA and new cells, especially red blood cells

Cobalamin (vitamin B12)

Part of an enzyme needed for making new cells; important to nerve function

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Antioxidant; part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism; important for immune system health; aids in iron absorption

Vitamin A (and its precursor*, beta-carotene)

Needed for vision, healthy skin and mucous membranes, bone and tooth growth, immune system health

Vitamin D

Needed for proper absorption of calcium; stored in bones

Vitamin E

Antioxidant; protects cell walls

Vitamin K

Needed for proper blood clotting

Mineral

Function

Sodium

Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction

Chloride

Needed for proper fluid balance, stomach acid

Potassium

Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction

Calcium

Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, immune system health

Phosphorus

Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance

Magnesium

Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health

Sulfur

Found in protein molecules

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Iron

Part of a molecule (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body; needed for energy metabolism

Zinc

Part of many enzymes; needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, immune system health

Iodine

Found in thyroid hormone, which helps regulate growth, development, and metabolism

Selenium

Antioxidant

Copper

Part of many enzymes; needed for iron metabolism

Manganese

Part of many enzymes

Fluoride

Involved in formation of bones and teeth; helps prevent tooth decay

Chromium

Works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels

Molybdenum

Part of some enzymes

Food Sources of Vitamins and Anti-Oxidants: Vitamin A

Carrots, spinach, liver, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, fish oil, eggs, turnip greens

Vitamin D

Marine fish oil, fatty fish, egg yolks, dairy products, liver, beef, cottage cheese

Vitamin E

Plant oils, leafy green vegetables, seeds, wheat germ, bran, whole grains, liver

Vitamin K

Liver, leafy green vegetables, milk, cabbage, fish

Vitamin C

Fruits, vegetables, organ meats

Vitamin B

Whole grains, nutritional or brewer’s yeast, liver, beans, green vegetables, spirulina, nuts, dairy products

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Food Sources of minerals: Calcium

Milk, yogurt, tofu, sardines with bones, raw bones, bok choy, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower

Phosphorous

All animal tissues, eggs, fish, milk

Magnesium

Spinach, broccoli, green beans, tofu, tomato juice, beans, whole grains, seafood

Potassium, Sodium, Chloride

Fruits, vegetables, milk, grain

Zinc

Spinach, broccoli, yogurt, beef, poultry, whole grains, vegetables

Sulfur

All protein foods (meats, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes and milk)

Iron

Red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, legumes

Iodine

Iodized salt, seafood, dairy products, kelp

Selenium

Seafood, meat, whole grains, brown rice, vegetables

Copper

Seafood, nuts, whole grains, seeds, legumes

Manganese

Nuts, whole grains, leafy vegetables

Chromium

Lean meat, vegetable oils, brewer’s yeast

Cobalt

Liver, kidney, fruit, vegetables

Fluorine

Available in water

Molybdenu m

Legumes, cereals, organ meats

Silicon

Cereals, vegetables, beans and peas

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Behaviorally speaking: B vitamins can be very important for physical energy and mental calmness. Omegas are very important for the brain The amino acids found in complete proteins are essential for the brain, although research has suggested that high amounts of protein may exacerbate agitation or aggression in dogs already prone to these emotions/behaviors. Anti-oxidants are important for repairing cell damage that happens as a result of any stress, whether physical, mental or emotional Unfortunately there is very little research into the effect of food and nutrition on dog behavior. Research in rodents has shown a decrease in aggression in rats when given tryptophan (the chemical in dark meat turkey that causes drowsiness). Ideally more research would be done into the correlation between the ingredients we are putting into our dogs and the behaviors we are getting out.

Creating a perfectly balanced and healthy diet from scratch can be tedious and time consuming, but very rewarding for some dogs and owners!

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A good indicator of a healthy, balanced diet is a shiny thick coat.

Interesting fact: Dogs will periodically feel the need to go lye in a sunny spot during the day. This may not just be because they are cold – it’s how they get their vitamin D! Because dogs have fur covering their skin, they lie in the sun, the sun triggers oils to be excreted from their skin containing vitamin D, and the dogs lick their coat afterward, causing them to ingest the vitamin D orally.

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Chapter 5: Exercise and Physical Therapy

When talking about solutions to behavioral issues, trainers need to be careful not to put all their eggs in one basket, or present something simple as if it is a magic pill. This can often happen with the topic of exercise. Many times complicated issues involving reactive or emotional dogs, gets smoothed over with a “he just needs more exercise!” solution, and if only it were that easy! Rarely might you come across a dog, who really does just need more exercise to solve all of his training or behavioral issues? Perhaps. However all too often it seems that many owners, uneducated dog trainers and self-proclaimed dog “experts” attribute every fearful, misbehaving, biting and obnoxious behavior a dog has to a lack of physical stimulation. If this were the case, than the more a dog is walked, theoretically the less he should be chewing on the owner’s furniture, growling at their baby, or howling for hours when left alone. Sadly, what the owners will likely end up with is a very fit and trim dog who is still chewing on their furniture, growling at the baby and howling for hours when left alone. At least he will look good doing it! Exercise IS indeed important for a dog’s overall wellbeing, including their mental and emotional health, and their ability to cope with stress and maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Individual dogs need different amounts of exercise to feel content, and certain breeds are predisposed to need much more physical and mental stimulation than others.

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Dogs who will likely require a great deal of physical stimulation are: - Sporting and herding breeds - High Drive Dogs, such as Belgium Mallanois, Poodles and German Shepherds - Some Hounds - Dogs under the age of three (large breed) or two (small breed) - Some terriers

There are different types of exercise, and just saying a dog needs “more of it” is probably not descriptive enough. Does mindless ball chasing back and forth count? What about just running on a treadmill? Hiking around outside on a trail? Agility? Should there be any training involved, or interaction with people at all? Sight hounds are known for their incredible bursts of speed, endurance to chase something, and their high prey drive, While Bully breeds are known for their tenacity and love of playing tug and high-contact “sports”. Herding breeds enjoy a very specific type of exercise that is often as much mental and strategic as it is physical. Research suggests that similar to humans, dogs must receive around 20 minutes of vigorous exercise for a chemical change to happen in the body (the release of chemicals that can cause a calmer state of mind and contentment throughout the rest of the day) Vigorous exercise causes the body to use up sugar rapidly. Owners of dogs with hypo (low) glycemia (blood sugar) issues should be careful not to exercise the dog to the point of dangerously low glucose levels. Diabetic dogs may benefit greatly from 20 minutes of vigorous exercise about 10-20 minutes after eating a meal, as it will prevent the blood sugar spike and may help lower the amount of inulin the dog must take.

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How to gauge if a dog needs more physical exercise than what he/she is currently getting, and if this may actually help their training and behavior: - Owner reports that dog usually seems restless at home, not in an anxious way, but in a “I really wish I were doing something right now” way. - Dog does not seem winded at all after walk or whatever daily exercise is, and heart rate is not much more elevated than at rest. - Dog’s behavior improves after more-than-normal amount of exercise. - Dog is not sleeping well at night, and it is not anxiety related or environmental (i.e crying baby) - Dog is overweight, yet does not have a disease that would cause this, and does not get many treats or “table scraps” - Dog seems frustrated, under-stimulated, and is often making up his own games or activities around the house to occupy himself. - Dog pulls hard and is reactive to sights and sound on walk for first half, then walks nicely and is relatively calm during second half.

If any of the above are true, then adding more vigorous physical exercise on daily basis into the dog’s routine may curb problem behaviors, especially behaviors such as boredom barking and destruction, restlessness and frustration. What type of exercise the dog will benefit from depends on the dog’s energy needs. A young mixed breed dog may just need to get some mindless bursts of energy out – chasing tennis balls works great for that! Other dogs may crave certain types of exercise, such as thinking, prey or team oriented games. Herding breed dogs may feel infinitely better if they can actually use their genetics and practice herding something around for a while. Many cities have a herding club or classes within an hour’s drive. High energy dog’s that like having a purpose may enjoy flyball, while dogs who enjoy doing high energy activities as a team with their owners may relish agility. The dangers of the wrong kind of exercise: Some dogs need more exercise, but not necessarily aerobic (vigorous physical) exercise. It’s amazing how much a bit of thinking can wear out a brain AND body. Do you remember being in school, and feeling exhausted at the end of the last class? You probably spent most of the All material Copyright to Author (HM), printing or distribution of this material prohibited.


day sitting on your rear end in a chair, however all that brain-work made you tired. The best type of exercise is balanced exercise. This would be exercise that is stimulating for the body, mind and emotional state of the dog…WITHOUT reinforcing or teaching negative behaviors or having negative side effects. Negative side effects of too much exercise can be exhaustion, overheating, joint pain, tendon and ligament injuries, an overstimulated dog, and poor listening skills. Overstimulation and poor listening skills: You’ve probably seen this before. Dog is wild-eyed and panting, continuing to engage in activity (usually tennis ball chasing, or playing with other dogs at dog park or daycare), beyond point of what seems like casual fun. The dog may be obsessing over activity, becoming demanding or frustrated if deprived of activity, and seems more on edge, agitated and “over the top” than he should be. This dog is stressed, even though he is engaging in an activity he “enjoys”. When exercise becomes over stimulating, the negative side effects start to outweigh the benefits. Dogs who are allowed to just “go at it” with whatever the exercise is, become solely interested in the activity itself, and develop very poor listening skills…think about this situation: dog at dog park racing around clobbering every other dog, playing roughly and never taking a break, meanwhile owner is calling him, telling him to calm down, knock it off, “it’s time to leave!” , etc… The problem with overstimulation is not only how stressful it is on the dog’s system, but also it builds an association in the dog’s brain that gets stronger and stronger with each repetition, until soon the dog is not able to engage in the activity WITHOUT being highly aroused…the mere sight of a tennis ball gets his heart racing and adrenaline pumping, or he loses all ability to interact with another dog without it being highly active and rough play. This is a problem!

Mental and Emotional Exercise: The best kind of exercise regime would be a BALANCED one that encompasses physical, mental an emotional challenges that the dog can be successful at and find rewarding. Mental exercise: Is training! Anything the dog can learn and repeat, and add upon to continually improve and shape the behavior, will keep his brain challenged and create “good stress”. Good stress keeps the dog sharp, focused and improves listening skills. Teaching a dog to offer a certain behavior before getting to engage in the activity he enjoys will keep him focused, listening and cause him to be mentally full and satisfied at the end of the day – not just physically worn out!

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Emotional exercise: Can be any game that involves impulse control, or the dog challenging himself emotionally, such as engaging in something the he scary (maybe walking across a creek or shiny surface, engaging with an unfamiliar object, such as a parking cone or vacuum cleaner, etc). Self control and learning to be CALM around stimulation is great emotional exercise. An example of a balanced exercise regime: Going for a jog with the owner: The owner and dog’s normal routine: She picks up the leash and the dog begin spinning in circles and jumping up and down. He even grabs the leash in his mouth as they are walking out the door and pulls her down the driveway, he’s so excited and anticipating the run. They take off running for 30 minutes and it is always a struggle to keep him focused when they must stop at curbs, as he either wants to keep running or sniff around and greet other dogs. She must jog several blocks out of her way because the dog begins lunging and pulling as they pass by the local school when the kids are having recess, and she doesn’t want to deal with it. They return home and the dog pulls her back up the driveway and after she takes the leash off, the dog seems overstimulated, panting and grabbing her pant legs as she walks by, trying to get ready for work. It’s frustrating for her, and seems to be getting worse after each jog, so she considers discontinuing bringing him with her. Owner and dog’s new routine: The owner teaches the dog to sit on a mat before having his leash put on, then practices “touch” with him down the side walk to keep him busy and not grabbing the leash in his mouth. Instead of just taking off running, the owner incorporates mental exercise into the jog, such as having the dog run slower and faster on cue, She changes directions randomly to catch the dog off guard and keep him focused, and she rewards him for making eye contact with her while running. H now must sit or down stays at curb while owner jogs in place, before getting released to briefly sniff around or roll in grass/meet other dogs. The owner incorporates emotional exercise into the jog by jogging past the school where kids are out playing and rewarding the dog with treats as they jog by. She starts far away then works closer each job, while also beginning to wait until they have passed the school to offer the treats. She also incorporates in a calm 30 second down stay before and after the jog so the dog does not become spastic and over excited beforehand, and can learn to calm down quickly after returning. If the dog completes the down stay calmly after the walk, he gets released to enjoy a Kong on his own, away from her while she gets ready for work. This is a great example of balanced exercise that tackles three areas of the dog to challenge him holistically, while also ensuring that the negative side effects of taking her dog on a daily vigorous run do not outweigh the benefits.

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Dr. Sophia Yin has a great article on overstimulated dog play at dog parks and how it can negatively affect the dog’s behavior: pay special attention to the body language of the overstimulated and too-rough dog (the brown and white bulldog) in the photos and video. This a dog that typically unknowing dog trainers, friends, neighbors, family and the owners themselves might say “hmmm...I think he just needs MORE exercise, he needs to get it out of his system!” However, the type of exercise this dog is getting is actually reinforcing hyperactivity and poor impulse control…not helping it! Review her two cents on this topic here: http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/bonnie-and-porter Overstimulated dogs may at and seem “happy” (and part of them is!) on the surface, however their happiness is a conflicted mix of stress, conflict, excitement and poor impulse control. These dogs need a more balanced exercise regime that incorporates thinking and emotional exercises in with the physical stimulation.

Dogs bred for a specific type of exercise may need to engage in this excersie in a controlled manner in order to feel fulfilled.

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Flyball is a great way for the highly energetic and intelligent Jack Russell to channel his energy in a positive and controlled fashion

Exercise that lets owner and dog work together as a team is great for bonding and increasing listening skills. In agility, the dog must be extremely observant of the owner’s direction while also being very agile and fast!

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Exercise is not a magic pill for hyper dogs, sometimes, it just reinforces hyper behavior!

Happy and focused‌Not overstimulated!

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Congratulations! You have just completed the last ebook for the introductory level!

You need to: - Review quizzes and make sure you don’t get ANY questions wrong - Review any topics or sections you feel you need to brush up on - Make sure you complete ALL shadows required for the introductory level *** Make sure you have signatures on your shadow log for all sessions you shadowed **** - Contact your student director and schedule a time to take the hands on exam. Sign up for the exam just like you would a session on the student calendar. Review: - Teaching all the basics (sit, down, stay, recall, watch me, go to place, leave it and loose leash walking) - Recognizing basic body language in adult dogs and puppies *especially signs of anxiety and fear * - Recognize tools and equipment used in dog training and know how to use them/ fit dogs with walking equipment - How to potty train and set up a confinement and potty training area for a new puppy - *** Bring your shadow log with you to the exam*** - After passing your hands on exam, the student director will give you a password to access the online exam.

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GOOD JOB!!!

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Month 3: Holistic Dog  

Private use only.