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INSIDE THIS ISSUE D 5 d H B CO VER STORY Boo-Ya! Photo Fun! We asked our fans on Facebook to post Best of Both Worlds: East Meets West their fun Halloween photos for a chance to win a prize. See them all, page 14


Four Legged Life: Intro into Reiki Meet Nedra Abramson, a certified acupressure and Reiki instructor who brings out the healthy best in dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, goats, snakes, and yes, even goldfish. See Story 12

WRITERS/COLUMNISTS Kathy Boehme, DVM Mark Carlson Scott DiLorenzo, DVM Mariko Lamb Arden Moore Judith Pierce Stefanie Schwartz, DVM Sindi Somers

Learn how the Acacia Animal Health Center in Escondido is combining Western medicine with traditional Eastern treatments to improve the lives of local pets. See Story 6

Alternative Therapies in Rabbit Care Winner! Thorgi must save his people!

Holistic or homeopathic treatments can be safe options to incorporate into your rabbit’s nursing care plan, in concert with other medications your veterinarian may recommend. See Story 20

CARTOONIST Barbara Fuscsick Puppy Paws Productions

ADVERTISING INFORMATION Casey Dean (619) 573-5615 San Diego Pets Magazine is published by Dean Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 601081, San Diego, Ca 92160-1081. No part of this publication may be duplicated or reprinted without express consent from the publisher. Editors reserve the right to edit all content. Submissions are welcome, and may be edited for content and clarity. Please forward all unsolicited material to the editor. Views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to approve or accept advertising orders and content. All contents are copyrighted 2013. All rights reserved.


@SanDiegoPets San Diego Pets Magazine P.O. BOX 601081 San Diego, Ca 92160-1081 (619) 573-5615 Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | OCTOBER 2013 5

Dr. Carmine Bausone (left) is co-owner of Acacia Animal Health Center and director of the Integrative and Holistic Medicine Department. Here he is applying acupuncture needles to Golden with Shelly Reynolds, a client education specialist.

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aking care of your pet’s well being means more than just bringing him to the veterinarian when he is injured or sick. It means keeping a watchful eye out for changes in daily habits and behavior that may be signs of misalignments, neurological dysfunction or muscular-skeletal stress causing pain in your beloved pet. Just as the signs of pet pain or discomfort are vast, so too are the treatments available. While conventional Western medicine and techniques are certainly effective in recognizing and treating disease and certain illnesses, alternative therapies also have their niche in the healing sphere. In fact, the two complement each other in many ways. That is why Acacia Animal Health Center in Escondido combines the best of both, providing comprehensive fullservice veterinary care to all animals –





domestic and exotic alike. Acacia employs traditional veterinary services, surgeries and dental care alongside alternative treatment modalities that can offer relief from chronic, debilitating pain without the employment of traditional pharmaceuticals or surgery. “Any species, whether it’s a dog, a cat, a bird or an exotic, can be treated holistically as well as with Western therapy,” said Dr. Carmine Bausone, co-owner of Acacia and director of the Integrative and Holistic Medicine Department. Some of the unique holistic treatments available at Acacia include herbal medicine, laser therapy, dietary therapy, prolotherapy, and the clinic’s range of veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) and acupuncture services. These non-invasive healing techniques are often used in conjunction with one another to help ease

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chronic pain and arthritis in older pets or improve sports performance in competitive animals. The health care center’s alternative therapies are also combined with the traditional Western therapies for treatment of disease in order to accelerate the healing process, lower the risk of side effects, and decrease medical dosages to ensure the fastest and most complete recovery from disease or cancer. After a VOM or acupuncture treatment is complete, Dr. Bausone said animals often demonstrate that they are feeling better through physical signs of relief like increased alertness, a more relaxed attitude and a more comfortable demeanor. “Afterwards, almost all these animals shake, like after a bath, but they always stop shaking if it hurts in an area,” he said. “I’ve seen dogs just shake their

Compassionate pet care and more than 50 years of experience: Acacia Animal Health Center offers a team of dedicated veterinarians, registered veterinary technicians, and support staff deeply committed to optimizing the health and well-being of your pet.

head or shake all the way through their back; I’ve seen dogs shake their head, then their butt and don’t shake anything else in between. That’s where you know there are still issues.” The treatments, whether it be VOM, acupuncture or a combination of holistic remedies, often take weekly visits for four or more weeks for complete healing to occur. “These subluxations and things don’t work themselves out in one week. Most of the time, you have to work them out, relax the muscles, treat those trigger points, get the massage going and bring them back again. If you only do this once, it’ll only give them temporary relief,” said Dr. Bausone. “We’ll also have them come back once a month or once every six weeks for continued maintenance.” Once an animal feels better, he may demonstrate healthier attitudes and behaviors, he said. Whether it is a cat’s purr or a canine’s full-body shake from

head to tail, healthy responses are key indications that an animal is feeling better. Often, unexpected supplemental healing effects occur after treatment as well. “There are a lot of very good organic things as well as the muscular-skeletal benefits,” said John Harrison, certified VOM practitioner and licensed practicing human chiropractor. “We’ve even had people tell us their dogs don’t cough at night or snore when they sleep.” Harrison, who partnered with Acacia in 2008, works with the other veterinarians to determine whether VOM techniques – a type of chiropractic treatments for pets – would be appropriate for the animals who visit Acacia. “I’m basically complementary to the


Acupuncture is well respected in Western medicine today. Numerous studies point to success in using acupuncture to treat animals, and the veterinarians of Acacia Animal Health Center are pleased to offer this treatment modality for your special pets.

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With veterinary treatments as vast as the myriad pains that may be ailing your pet, sifting through the endless maze of therapies available can be a nightmare. Below is a holistic veterinary primer to help clarify key alternative therapies. ACUPUNCTURE: The art of manipulating needles in specific points on the body to create therapeutic responses to disease conditions. The stimulation from the acupuncture needles promotes pain relief and healing in specific types of conditions and diseases, such as arthritis and other forms of chronic pain. It may also be used to supplement other remedies to treat disease. HERBAL MEDICINE: Herbal medicine uses plant parts, such as leaves, roots and flowers for their medicinal qualities. Herbal medicines are often used in conjunction with other treatments to benefit a sick or healing animal and are used to treat a wide range of ailments, including nearly every disease Western medicine treats. VETERINARY ORTHOPEDIC MANIPULATION (VOM): Veterinary chiropractic care. VOM is a drug-free non-invasive treatment that works by restoring the animal’s spine and joints to normal function. It is most commonly used to address acute and chronic pain from injury or disease, support performance in competitive animals, and assist senior pets with age-related discomfort. PROLOTHERAPY: Also known as non-surgical ligament and tendon reconstruction, this treatment involves injection of a dextrose solution into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes inflammation in these weakened areas, increasing the blood supply and stimulating the tissue to repair itself. Prolotherapy is used to treat many different types of musculoskeletal pain in pets. DIETARY THERAPY: Consists of analyzing a pet’s diet and making changes based on the unique needs of your pet. Many common pet ailments stemming from allergies – such as skin disorders, respiratory issues or digestive distress – can be controlled, improved, or even eliminated by changing what an animal eats. 8 OCTOBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets

PLATELET-RICH PLASMA THERAPY (PRP): Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is used for treatments such as arthritis, joint injury and bone repair and regeneration. Whole blood is collected from the patient, treated, and put through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets and obtain the PRP. Then the PRP is injected into the injury site to stimulate healing of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and soft tissue. LASER THERAPY: Effective in pets with injuries, acute pain, chronic conditions and post-operative pain, it can also be used for immune stimulation and the treatment of various internal medical conditions. Non-thermal photons of light are administered to the body and absorbed by the injured cells. The stimulated cells experience an increase in circulation, causing an antiinflammatory reaction. STEM CELL THERAPY: Stem cell technology extracts adult stem cells from your pet’s own body fat and returned back to the animal’s body. Once implanted, stem cells have the ability to stimulate regeneration, reduce inflammation, and assist in the repair of damaged tissue. Typically used for pets suffering with joint pain, hip dysplasia, arthritis and tendon, ligament, or cartilage damage. MYOFASCIAL RELEASE THERAPY: Myofascial release is a specific type of physical therapy, especially effective in treating acute and chronic pain conditions. Myofascial release therapy addresses the fascia, or connective tissue, of the body and works to release restrictions. Fascia is very tough tissue that surrounds every muscle, bone, organ, nerve, and blood vessel. Gentle sustained pressure and movement therapy allows the fascia to relax and release these restrictions. – source:



veterinarian,” he said. “The veterinarians do the first examination and take all the proper x-rays and decide if this technique is best for the animal. I’m working hand-in-hand with Dr. Bausone and the other vets when they feel that this would be a very good adjunctive therapy for this type of animal.” This comprehensive and collaborative approach transforms many pets who are aging, increasingly sedate or tire easily from activities. “We can utilize this equipment, and we see lots of increases in return to play, getting better, going up and down stairs easier, things like that,” said Harrison. While traditional veterinary medicine and therapies provide necessary treatment modalities at Acacia, the veterinary center’s unique alternative therapies serve as another healing mechanism to provide relief from chronic, debilitating pain without the use of conventional pharmaceuticals. For more information about Acacia and its

Dr. Bausone enjoys being greeted by his dogs, Snickers, Jack and Gunnar.

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Western, Eastern, Holistic and Integrative Medicine: What’s the difference?

There are many different means to the same end when it comes to veterinary medicine. Most veterinary hospitals use traditional Western medicine to treat patients. However, there are other schools of thought, such as Eastern and integrative medicine. Holistic medicine is a descriptive term and can utilize any system of medicine including Eastern, Western and integrative. It considers the animal as a whole being and encompasses a wide variety of alternative and traditional therapies designed to promote healing and overall wellness. Holistic practitioners look at the pet’s overall physical, mental and emotional wellbeing before recommending treatment. Western medicine is the most popular type of medical treatment in North America and Western Europe. This practice is scientifically based and uses diet, medication and surgery to treat illness. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) covers a diverse body of medical theory that originated in China and has developed over two millennia. It is based on the concept of balance (Yin-Yang) using acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, food therapy and Qigong. In Eastern medicine, diagnosis is made through recognition of “patterns” that are characteristic for areas of imbalance within the body. The goal of therapy is to restore the underlying balance. Many of these therapies have also undergone scientific research and this type of study is increasing. Integrative medicine embraces the incorporation of alternative therapies into mainstream Western medical practice. This type of medicine combines Eastern therapy, such as acupuncture, herbs and food therapy, with attributes of Western medical techniques, like emergency medicine and critical care, advanced dental and surgical methods and highly sophisticated diagnostic tools. Integrative medicine is an ideal option for wellness-oriented care. Though each therapy is different, Western and Eastern medicine are not mutually exclusive. One can combine both systems of medicine along with a holistic approach to each pet in an effort to improve life quality and longevity. Dr. Kathy Boehme is a practicing veterinarian and partner at The Drake Center for Veterinary Care in Encinitas. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree from the University of Florida in 1989 and has recently completed her certification training in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Herbology. Dr. Boehme believes in a holistic approach to health and has a special interest in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), herbology and food therapy. The Drake Center, an AAHA-accredited small animal hospital committed to providing the highest standards of care in anesthesia, dentistry, pain management, patient care, surgery and emergency care, has been named Best Veterinary Clinic in San Diego by Ranch & Coast Magazine the last four years in a row. 10 OCTOBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets

Behavior Bytes Stefanie Schwartz,

DVM, MSc, DACVB Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Dear Dr. Schwartz,

My Lulubelle is a 4-year-old Beagle and the sweetest girl ever, but sometimes she gets anxious before I leave home. I have heard that Rescue Remedy® is good for anxiety in pets. What are your thoughts? Lulubelle’s Mom

Dear Lulubelle’s Mom,

Rescue Remedy® is a plant-based cocktail manufactured by the Bach company. Rescue Remedy® contains impatiens, star of Bethlehem, rock rose, cherry plum and clematis; none of these have any documented psychoactive properties.

Edward Bach, a bacteriologist in the 1930s, had an interest in homeopathy. His company continues to produce remedies using his formula. Any benefit associated with this product is more likely a coincidence (time, after all, heals so many wounds). Homeopathic preparations often are tinctures, meaning that the active ingredients are diluted and dissolved into alcohol. If you choose to try their products, be sure you select the alcohol-free version made for pets.



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Dear Dr. Schwartz,

Is it true that natural products are safer to use than conventional prescription drugs? Thanks for your reply. Kokomo’s Dad

Dear Kokomo’s Dad,

Products that are labeled as ‘natural’ may not be any more natural than another; there is no restriction on the use of this word for marketing purposes. Many prescription drugs are actually derived from plants: digitalis (foxglove), penicillin (penicillium mold), atropine (belladonna), and many more, including drugs used to treat cancer.

There are potential side effects associated with herbal remedies. Be aware that patients who are prone to plant-triggered allergies can develop sensitivities. Recognized side effects for a few popular psychoactive plants include blood clotting problems (Gingko), excitability (valerian root), and sensitivity to sunlight (St. John’s wort). Side effects may be the result of poor quality control by the manufacturer; ‘alternative’ treatments are not regulated by the same system of controls required by mainstream drugs. Nonetheless, herbal remedies can be very effective therapies, but you are best to consult with an experienced herbalist or holistic practitioner (someone who is open to alternative treatments). I

have often worked with pet owners who prefer to use psychoactive herbs if their misbehaving pet is a candidate for pharmacotherapy. Let me know if you think I can help! Dr. Stefanie Schwartz is a board-certified veterinary behaviorist based in Southern California. She sees patients at California Veterinary Specialists in Carlsbad and at The Veterinary Neurology Center in Tustin, CA. For more information, call (949) 342-6644 or visit

Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | OCTOBER 2013 11

Intro Reiki into

Arden Moore,

ACCBC, ADCBC Pet trend, behavior and safety expert


hen Nedra Abramson first meets a dog, cat or other pet, you won’t see her rushing up to them, giving bear hugs or mindlessly patting their heads. Instead, she typically takes a few moments to assess the pet’s mood and energy before approaching slowly and thoughtfully. As a certified acupressure and Reiki instructor, Abramson knows the right therapeutic touch to employ to bring out the healthy best in dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, goats, snakes, and yes, even on goldfish. This Carlsbad resident left the world of television production and event planning for nonprofit groups a few years ago to pursue her true passion: using the ancient healing arts of acupressure and Reiki to ease arthritic pain, provide relief for chronic asthma, hasten post-surgical healing and employ calming techniques to fend off stress and fear in her animal clients. Reiki originated in Japan and this technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing literally translates to “spiritually guided life force energy.” Acupressure was born in China around 600 BC and centers

on maintaining a free flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”) inside the body so that a pet – or a person – can remain healthy and fight off disease and pain better. “Reiki and acupressure work well together to balance out the meridian points on the body and promote harmony and balance,” explains Abramson. “They are used as preventatives as well as helping minimize pain and discomfort associated with asthma, arthritics and other chronic conditions.” She works with veterinarians and other pet professionals by complementing their Western medicine (the need for medication or surgery) with her non-invasive ancient Eastern medicine techniques. I first saw her talents two years ago when I hosted the 2nd annual National Dog Party Day™ in San Diego. She performed a hands-on demonstration on Nani, the famous Hall of Fame surfing Bernese Mountain Dog. Despite being in a room full of partying dogs and people, Nani quickly relaxed as Abramson zeroed in on a specific target on her body. Since then, Abramson has earned

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many positive testimonials on her websites from people with ailing pets. Susanna V, owner of Billy, a 15year-old African Pygmy goat with arthritis, writes: “The first few sessions Billy was a bit unsure of what was going on. Nedra would give Billy the time and space he needed to become accustom to the feeling and she would let him tell her when he was ready for more. It didn’t take long for Billy to begin to relax and enjoy the hands on and energy flow. Billy now stands still for the sessions and even points with his nose to areas he wants treated, or will move his body into Nedra’s hands to indicate an area he wants worked on.” Although the majority of her clients are dogs and cats, Abramson has aided a beloved goldfish coping with ick in his fish bowl and a snake who lost her appetite after surgery. “I put my hands on the outside of the fish bowl and the goldfish swam back and forth and finally stopped inside the bowl between my hands and received my energy and got rid of the ick,” recalls Abramson. “I used Reiki on a boa constrictor named Rosie, who had a tumor removed and wasn’t

eating. I was able to help her regain her appetite.” Abramson is not only a healer, but a teacher. Her two websites – and — are full of practical tips and insights into these healing arts. She happily will show you how to locate specific points on your pet to keep them healthy and bolster your bond. She assisted me recently when I needed to fly from San Diego to Winston-Salem, N.C. with my cat, Zeki, a certified therapy and pet first aid cat. I was concerned about the long flight and Zeki having to spend many hours inside a carrier. A few days before departure, Abramson emailed me a detailed sheet complete with helpful photos showing calming acupressure points I could use on Zeki to make the trip more pleasant. I heeded Abramson’s instructions: “Hold points lightly. You don’t need a lot of pressure for it to work. If she yawns or licks her lips or closes her eyes and relaxes, these are signs you are doing a great job.” It turns out that Zeki responded best to an acupressure point called GV 20. It is a point right between her ears and according to Abramson, is a relaxation point that clears the brain and calms the mind. I used this point on Zeki before we delivered talks to hundreds of attendees at the Pet Sitter International conference, inside our hotel room and on shuttle buses en route to the airport. I am grateful to Nedra Abramson for guiding me in how to keep Zeki calm and content during our travels. She truly can be your pet’s best natural health ally.



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Founder of Four Legged and creator of National Dog Party Day, Arden Moore is an animal behavior consultant, best-selling author, professional speaker and certified pet first aid master instructor. Enroll in her pet first aid classes to earn certification. Each week, she hosts the award-winning Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio. To learn more, visit,, and

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Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Avoid Toxic Foods to Av

Toxic Foods to Avoid Scott DiLorenzo,

DVM Associate Veterinarian at Animal Urgent Care and Specialty Group

With Halloween just around the corner, most of our households will be filled with copious amounts of sugary snacks. Many people are aware of the toxic effects that chocolate can have on our pets. In addition to chocolate, there are numerous other “people foods” that can cause significant illness in our canine and feline friends. Chocolate

The active ingredients in chocolate (caffeine and theobromine) are found in varying degrees in chocolate and related products. The general rule of thumb is, the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous. While a small piece of white chocolate may not result in any side effects, the same amount of baking chocolate or cocoa powder may be lethal. The fat content in most chocolate can also result in a life threatening condition known as pancreatitis (see next month’s article). Side effects of chocolate intoxication include restlessness, tremors, elevated heart rate, arrhythmias, seizures, and even death. As for all of these items on this list, early decontamination is the most effective treatment, so have your pet seen by your veterinarian immediately.


A relatively recent phenomenon, grape or raisin ingestion has been shown to cause kidney failure in certain dogs. While the exact mechanism remains unclear, some dogs have developed kidney failure with the ingestion of as little as six raisins, while other dogs who eat similar quantities remain unaffected. Symptoms do not typically appear until the animal is severely affected, and include vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea. Typical treatment involves aggressive IV fluids for multiple days in hospital to help diurese the kidneys. Since it is unclear which dogs will be affected, it is recommended to avoid giving any grapes/raisins to your dog and have them seen immediately if you suspect they have ingested any.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener primarily found in different brands of chewing gum, including Orbit, Stride, and Trident. Side effects include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver toxicity. Signs of hypoglycemia usually develop first, and include disorientation, weakness, and seizures. All dogs suspected of ingesting xylitol-containing products should be promptly evaluated by their veterinarian.


Foods containing garlic, onions, or related plants (shallots, scallions) can cause anemia (decreased red blood cells) in our dogs and particularly in our cats. The red blood cell in cats is more susceptible to oxidative damage by these foods, and as such, tend to be-

For more information on all things toxic to your pets, visit 16 OCTOBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets

come more affected. Symptoms of anemia typically do not show up until three to five days after ingestion, and include weakness, pale gums, and increased heart and respiratory rate. Depending on the severity of the anemia, your veterinarian may recommend a blood transfusion and treatment is usually successful if caught early.



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Bread Dough

Ingestion of raw bread dough can cause a variety of harmful effects to your dog if ingested. First, the yeast expands resulting in severe distention of the stomach. This in turn can result in death to the stomach wall and decrease blood flow to the heart. Secondly, the yeast gives off ethanol as a by-product which can severely intoxicate your dog, resulting in depression, coma, and death. Prompt evaluation by your veterinarian is recommended.

Moldy Food

Certain fungi that grow on decaying food can give off mycotoxins which can affect many body systems but primarily the central nervous system. The end result is uncontrollable seizures that can result in rapid death if not treated promptly. It is best to avoid feeding your dog any spoiled or outdated food, particularly cheese, bread, pastas, fruit, and prevent access to any decaying organic matter (compost piles, garbage, silage). Scott DiLorenzo, DVM is an associate veterinarian with Animal Urgent Care and Specialty group in Escondido, seen here with his dog, Winnie. He is the North County chapter representative for the San Diego Veterinary Association, as well as an advisor for Furlocity online pet accommodations. In his free time, Dr. DiLorenzo enjoys all things outdoors, including surfing, soccer, and riding motorcycles.

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What Am I Going to Do With You?


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ogs are a lot like kids and spouses. They do things that are incomprehensible to others. I’ve lost count of how many times my two Labradors, Musket and Saffron have pulled some stunt that made me shake my head and mutter ‘What am I going to do with you? Crazy dogs.” These aren’t the usual dog quirks, like turning around several times before lying down, or licking their butts before giving you a kiss, or taking an inordinate amount of time to pick a spot to pee on. No, these are weird. Let’s take an example. By 8 p.m. both of them are pretty much done for the day. And they both choose very inconvenient places to lie down. Like doorways or on the bathroom or kitchen floor. In other words, right where we need to be. But the place they most like is my side of our bed. It is queen-size, but it might as well be a baby crib for all the space it had when one of my dogs is sleeping on it. They stretch out all four paws, covering as much area as possible. If I tried to lie down on an unoccupied space, I heard a loud sigh. Then they shift to block me. They’re still sound asleep.





After I settled in, I felt four paws on my back. Pushing. How can a 60pound Labrador take up a 80”x 65” mattress? Believe me, they can. How about this one? Just imagine you’re driving down a narrow alley. There is just enough room for two cars to pass one another if they each hold to

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their side of the alley. With me so far? Okay, you’re not quite in the middle, but off to one side. And suddenly, another car appears ahead, and wants to pass. Does the driver choose the wider space? No. He aims for the narrowest slot and squeezes through, scraping the wall and the paint off your car. That’s what Musket does. When I walk down the hall to the TV room, I tend to hug the right wall. He gets up from the floor of the TV room and comes towards me. And even if there were three wide unobstructed feet of clearance on my left, he always aims for the six narrow inches on my right. Only I won’t know it until I feel his furry butt jamming himself past me. Does that make any sense at all?



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“What am I going to do with you?” Musket loves to sniff the ground while on a walk, but he does not just smell the roses, he vacuums the greenery. One time, he inhaled something irritating and spent the next 10 minutes sneezing. Now that was funny, at least to me. After I wiped his nose and got whatever he’d inhaled out, he went right back to sniffing in the same spot. Hello? Did we learn anything? As anyone who has read ‘Confessions of a Guide Dog’ knows, Musket is very food-driven. He loves treats. I recall when a treat rolled under the bed. He went for it, straining, stretching, reaching…and got stuck. He was totally wedged under the bed, and could not get out. Only after I lifted it was he able to crawl back. After he got the treat. “What am I going to do with you?” Saffron has her own quirks. While we were training at Guide Dogs together, she ate a bee. It was flying around her face and SNAP! it was in her mouth. Now that was one surprised dog! And I’m sure the bee was a bit ticked off. It stung her tongue and they gave her Benadryl. Now, would any intelligent or even semi-intelligent animal learn from that? Sure. Not my Saffron. She still snaps at bees, flies, butterflies, dandelion tufts, and probably even hallucinations. “What am I going to do with you?” She’s intensely curious and has to be in on everything. An open door, she’s through it to see what’s on the other side. A noise, she’s running around to investigate. When I go up or down the stairs, I only manage about three steps before Miss Zippy has shot past me and is waiting at the landing. If I could see, the only end I’d ever catch sight of would be her butt. I’m not even sure what her face looks like. Oh well, I guess I can live with their quirks. What am I going to do with them? The answer, of course, is love them even more. They make life fun and interesting.


MARK CARLSON lives in San Diego with with his wife, Jane and Guide Dogs, Musket and Saffron. A docent at the San Diego Air & Space Museum and aviation historian, Mark writes for several national aviation magazines. He is a featured speaker for many local adult education programs. His first book, ‘Confessions of a Guide Dog – The Blonde Leading the Blind’ is a humorous memoir about the adventures of life with Musket. It is available online at, and Contact Mark, Musket and Saffron at Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | OCTOBER 2013 19

Alternative Therapies in Rabbit Care


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olistic or homeopathic treatments, also known as alternative therapies, can be safe options to incorporate into your rabbit’s nursing care plan, in addition to medications your veterinarian may recommend. They can also be a good alternative to harmful chemicals or medications with potential or known negative side effects. Homeopathic remedies can consist of herbal tinctures, flower essences, natural antibiotic compounds, or quick dissolving pills containing herbal medicines. Homeopathic remedies are easy to administer as they can be given with baby food, mashed banana, by syringe or in water. No needles!

Common Uses for Homeopathic remedies include: • Arthritis, joint stiffness • Upper respiratory symptoms • Wounds or infections • Flea or mite infestation • GI slowdown • Nausea, lack of appetite • Urinary tract issues • Behavioral Issues It’s always best to work with your veterinarian or a certified homeopath who knows rabbits well. You don’t want to take unnecessary chances with your rabbit’s health. If your veterinarian does not support alternative therapies but you want to try them, set an appointment with a veterinarian who trained in alternative care. To find a veterinarian in your area, visit Rabbits are known to get sick late at night on a weekend, when your veterinarian’s clinic is closed. Homeopathic remedies can get you through the night until you can get your bunny to the clinic. For example, if your rabbit is suffering a gastrointestinal slowdown and painful gas, you can help relieve his discomfort and get him through the night.

To relieve the gas, use a pediatric formula of Simethicone, such as Little Tummies or Mylicon drops. A 1cc syringe given each hour for approximately 2 to 3 hours can help break up painful gas bubbles. Arnica Montana, which usually comes in a pill form, can relieve pain. Dissolve 4 pills in a tablespoon of water and syringe by mouth. Lastly, for nausea and gas, Nux Vomica (also a pill form) can relieve the nausea and gassy feeling. Along with these remedies, you need to keep your bun warm, gently massage his tummy to let the gas pass, and get him up and running around to also help pass the gas. Again, this is an emergency routine to help until you can get your bunny to the veterinarian.

Other common herbal and homeopathic remedies that can be used with rabbits are: • Chamomile Tea or Dried Chamomile flowers – relieves digestive upset • Probiotic powders – helps restore normal gut flora • Cranberry extract – helps with urinary tract infections

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• Colloidal Silver Hydrosol – treats watery and inflamed eyes (have eyes checked by veterinarian for corneal problems) • Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) mixed with glycerin (6 drops GSE to 1 oz. glycerin) makes a great ear cleaner and has natural antibiotic properties • Colloidal Silver Gel or Crème – great healing treatment for wounds • Veterycin – natural wound cleaner with great healing properties • Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – a natural flea treatment that kills fleas by drying them out Another very popular homeopathic line of remedies is Bach Flower Essences. These flower-based remedies are great for mental and behavioral issues.

Common uses are:

• Stress, vet visits, traveling, adjusting to a new home or changes in the home – Rescue Remedy (a combo of 5 essences) • Adjusting to a new home – Walnut, Honeysuckle



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• Bonding rabbits – Walnut, Vervain, Beech, Holly, Vine • Fear – Aspen, Mimulus • Support during illness – Crab Apple, Gorse, Gentian • Past abuse – Star of Bethlehem, Walnut, Olive There are some great books and online sources that can teach you more and help you to work in concert with your holistic veterinarian to provide a good treatment plan for your rabbit.

When Your Rabbit Needs Special Care. Traditional and Alternative Healing Methods, By Lucile C. Moore and Kathy Smith.

If you’re interested in trying some alternatives to traditional medicine, ask your veterinarian about holistic and homeopathic remedies or treatments that might help your rabbit back to his healthy self!

~ Judith Pierce, San Diego House Rabbit Society

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Animal Communication B y

Custom Braiding Custom made dog collars and leads. Made Local. (760) 726-3042

Dog Beach Dog Wash Do-It-Yourself•Service•Accessories 4933 Voltaire St., San Diego, CA 92107 (619) 523-1700

Four Legged Life Pet event speaker Arden Moore Dog/cat behavior consults Host dog parties • (760) 433-3480

Home Buddies by Camp BowWow Dog Walking, Pet Sitting & Dog Training Bonded and Insured (619) 889-7767

Kittycare La Jolla Professional Pet Sitters Experience with Special Needs Animals Certified Pet First Aid & CPR (858) 352-6988 •

Leash Your Fitness Fitness class for you and your DOG. Classes / events throughtout San Diego. 619-822-3296

Linda Michaels, MA Victoria Stilwell-licensed Private/Customized Force-free Dog Training La Jolla to Carlsbad (858) 259-9663


I had been invited into the home of a beautiful Samoyed named Panco. Her lovely, caring mom had some concerns about Panco’s well being and was seeking help with end of life decisions. Panco had experienced seizures and while at the veterinarian for this condition, it was also discovered that she had a large brain tumor. Panco wasn’t able to get around as easily as she used to and her body wasn’t feeling well. Despite all of this, Panco had bright eyes and a big smile. She was a joyous being exuding love. During our communication session, we addressed a variety of topics. One question her mom asked was if there was anything Panco wanted to tell her. Panco replied with great enthusiasm, “I like ice cream!” I laughed, as this was definitely a first! I get that question a lot, but never before had I received that answer! Soon after, Panco’s mom met me at a pet store, so she could get supplements and some Yoghund “ice cream” for Panco (Yoghund is a frozen yogurt treat and ice-cream alternative made for dogs). Following that visit, I received an email from Panco’s mom saying that, “She loved her frozen yogurt!” Recently, I received another email from Panco’s mom letting me know

Project Wildlife Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education 887 1/2 Sherman Street, SD, CA 92110 Wildlife Information Line 619-225-9453

Puptown Doggy Daycare 205 16th Street. San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 234-5278

Safe Dog I.D. Collar Was developed because strangulation accidents kill or injure countless dogs every year. Veterinarian approved. (760) 471-7036



22 OCTOBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets





Ginger that they had made the difficult decision to put her down. Panco’s health had declined and it was time. I felt sad, but glad she was out of pain. I had to make that same decision for my beautiful best friend, Ginger just three months prior. So I knew all too well the shock and overwhelming emotions that can come with euthanasia and saying goodbye to a beloved companion. While at the same time knowing that having a way to ease their suffering and free them from pain is truly a gift we can give to our animal friends. People often ask me what I do as an Animal Communicator, and how I do it. My work has to do with energy. If you have ever taken a physics or science class, you most likely have learned in some way that everything is energy. I agree with this concept, and it is how I do, what I do. We are energy, our pets are energy, our thoughts, experiences, emotions and memories are all stored as energy. Photo by Alex Roberts



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Photo by Alex Roberts

When I am doing a reading, healing or engaging in a telepathic communication session, I am tuning into energy related to the soul involved. When I read the energy of animals and people, it’s like reading a book. A book I know nothing about. The story unfolds as I sit down and focus on the energy. I never know how a being will respond to a question, as was the case with Panco! It is the energy of the soul that I am able to read and communicate with whether they are physically present in a body, or they have passed on. Their energy still exists. While knowing this, however, my body still grieves the loss of loved ones. Grieving is a natural process of letting go. I am still in that process with Ginger. In addition to crying many tears and having the support of others, it has been meditation, energy healing, reading and soul to soul communication that has helped me to heal and move forward. While I greatly miss being able to hug Ginger and share my life with her physically, I am relieved she is no longer experiencing her body’s pain. It is also comforting to know that Ginger isn’t really gone. Love to my beautiful friends, Ginger and Panco and so many others. Thank you for being a part of my life. I wish you well as you continue your journey. Sindi offers animal communication sessions, energy healing and reading, nutritional guidance, training, euthanasia counseling, pet loss support, grief counseling and will accompany you during veterinary visits. Sindi can be reached at 619-797-0705 and Visit her online at, and Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | OCTOBER 2013 23


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Emergency Hospitals BONITA/CHULA VISTA Pet Emergency & Specialty Center of South County (619) 591-4802 885 Canarios Court, #108, Chula Vista, CA 91910

CARLSBAD California Veterinary Specialists 7 days 24 hours (760) 431-2273 2310 Faraday Ave., Carlsbad, CA 92008,

ENCINITAS VCA North Coast Veterinary & Emergency (760) 632-1072 414 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024,


Animal Shelters & Humane Societies ACCEPT STRAYS & HAVE ADOPTABLE PETS BAY PARK/MISSION VALLEY County Animal Services

Baja Dog Rescue (619) 407-9372

5480 Gaines St., CA 92110 (619) 767-2675 Hours: Tues-Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The Barking Lot (619) 796-2253

BONITA County Animal Services

Cat Adoption Service (760) 550-2287

5821 Sweetwater Road, CA 91902 (619) 767-2675 Hours: Tue-Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

CAMP PENDLETON Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter 4th St. Area 25 Bldg. 25132 CA 92054 (760) 725-8120

CARLSBAD County Animal Services 2481 Palomar Airport Road, CA 92011 619) 767-2675 Hours: Tue-Sat 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Animal Urgent Care of Escondido 7 Days 24 hours (760) 738-9600 2430-A S. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025,

CHULA VISTA City of Chula Vista Animal Shelter


CORONADO Animal Care Facility

Animal ER of San Diego (858) 569-0600 5610 Kearny Mesa Road, San Diego, CA 92111 M-F 6 p.m.-8 a.m. Sat/Sun 24 hours

LA MESA Pet Emergency & Specialty Center 7 Days 24 hours (619) 462-4800 5232 Jackson Drive #105, La Mesa, CA 91942,

MISSION VALLEY VCA Emergency Animal Hospital 7 Days 24 hours (619) 299-2400 2317 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, CA 92108

MURRIETA California Veterinary Specialists 7 days 24 hours (951) 600-9803 25100 Hancock Ave. #116, Murrieta, CA 92562,

OCEANSIDE Mission Animal & Bird Hospital 7 Days 24 hours (760) 433-3763 655 Benet Rd., Oceanside, CA 92058

130 Beyer Way, CA 91911 (619) 691-5123 Hours: Sun & Mon Closed, Tue-Fri 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sat. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Furry Foster 858-848-PETS (7387) German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue Greyhound Connection

It’s The Pits (Specializing in the Bully Breeds) (858) 484-0985

1275 N. Marshall Ave., CA 92020 (619) 441-1580 Hours: Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

ESCONDIDO Escondido Humane Society 3450 E. Valley Parkway, CA 92027 (760) 888-2275 Hours: 7 days 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

OCEANSIDE San Diego Humane Society-North (For dogs) 2905 San Luis Rey Road, CA 92058 (619) 299-7012 Hours: 7 days 10 a.m.-4 p.m. San Diego Humane Society-North (For cats) 572 Airport Road, CA 92058 (619) 299-7012 Hours: 7 days 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

ACCEPT OWNER RELINQUISHED ANIMALS BAY PARK/MISSION VALLEY San Diego Humane Society-San Diego Campus 5500 Gaines Street, CA 92110 (619) 299-7012 Hours: Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.


Veterinary Specialty Hospital 7 Days 24 hours (858) 875-7500 10435 Sorrento Valley Road., San Diego, CA 92121

Forgotten Paws Animal Rescue

EL CAJON City of El Cajon Animal Shelter

Friends of Cats 15587 Olde Highway 80, CA, 92021 (619) 561-0361 Hours: Tue-Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego 858-779-9149

Independent Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Animal Emergency Clinic (858) 748-7387 12775 Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064 M-F 6 p.m.-8 a.m. Sat/Sun. 24 hours Veterinary Specialty Hospital (760) 466-0600 2055 Montiel Road, Suite 104, San Marcos, CA 92069

Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego

1395 First Street, Coronado, CA 92118 (619) 522-7371 Hours: 7 days 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.



Non-Profit Groups A Passion For Paws (Akita Rescue) (818) 925-4827

Last Chance at Life All Breed Animal Rescue (760) 433-3763 x224 (Schedule an appointment) List Srv 4 Therapy Dog Teams Open Arms Rescue (Dogs under 15lbs) (760) 470-7643 Operation Greyhound (619) 588-6611 Paws of Coronado (619) 522-7371 Pit Bull Rescue of San Diego (858) 693-7331 Rescue House (760) 591-1211 San Diego House Rabbit Society (858) 356-4286 San Diego Spaniel Rescue (619) 922-0545


San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society (619) 593-2123

Rancho Coastal Humane Society 389 Requeza Street, CA 92024 (760) 753-6413 Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tue 11:30 a.m-5 p.m.

Second Chance Dog Rescue (619) 721-3647

RANCHO SANTA FE Helen Woodward Animal Center 6461 El Apajo Road, CA 92067 (858) 756-4117 Hours: 7 days 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Upward Dog Rescue (858) 345-2434


Westie Rescue of California (619) 579-6395

National Cat Protection Society 9031 Birch Street, CA 91977 (619) 469-8771 Hours: Tue-Sat noon-5 p.m.

Wee Companions (619) 934-6007

24 OCTOBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets

Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | SEPTEMBER 2013 25




eggy was only days old when a little girl discovered her, abandoned outside of a laundry mat. She was brought to the local police station in the hopes that someone there might be able to help this orphaned kitten. Fortunately, Officer Abney, knew just what to do. He took Peggy to the San Diego Humane Society’s kitten nursery, where she would receive the 24-hour care she so desperately needed during the most fragile period of her life. The San Diego Humane Society’s kitten nursery provides around-the-clock care to kittens under the age of 8-weeks. These very young kittens need to be bottle fed every 2 hours, and need special care to ensure both their physiological and behavior needs are met in the absence of their mother. Most animal shelters don’t have the resources to be able to staff a nursery 24/7. The staff at the kitten nursery enveloped the delicate life in safety and love, providing parental nurturing and nourishment. Over the weeks, Peggy grew healthy and strong, making lots of new friends (both kitten and human alike) in the process. Not surprisingly, Peggy was adopted the very day that she was made available for adoption, and one of her kitten friends was adopted with her, too!

About the San Diego Humane Society & SPCA The San Diego Humane Society offers San Diegans a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, prevent animal cruelty/neglect, provide medical care and educate the community on the humane treatment of animals.


Holistic Care and Animal Communication Workshops Presented by Sindi Somers at the San Diego Humane Society’s central campus on Gaines Street. Preregistration: $25 per workshop or $55 for all three. Holistic Dog Care 101 Saturday, October 19, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Nutrition and natural remedies for dogs. Holistic Cat Care 101 Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Nutrition and natural remedies for cats. Animal Communication 101 Saturday, October 19, 2-4:30 p.m. Learn techniques and watch a demonstration. More info at, or call (619) 797-0705, e-mail

Sunday, October 6, Starting at 11 a.m.

12th annual Bowling for the Animals (SNAP) Bowling with Miss Kitty and friends at Poway Fun Bowl! ntId=1268577

Thursday, October 24, 5 - 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 27, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Pupologie's annual Dia De Los Perros

8th Annual ‘Howl-O-Ween’ Ocean Beach Canine Carnival

Costume contests, photo booth, games, and more. See their Facebook page for more info.

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Ocean Beach & Dog Beach Dog Wash, with costume contest and parade, vendors, food and games. Registration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($7 for single dog, $10 for groups of dogs, & $10 for floats). Parade from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m., with Prizes at 3 p.m. At Dusty Rhodes Park. (see ad on page 3)

Saturday, October 26

North County Pet Fair Come enjoy this Halloween themed Pet Fair with your whole family! Trick or Treat in your costume and a photo-booth too! There will be door prizes, free tours, and service dog demos. (see ad on the back) Sunday, October 27, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

SoCal Parrot’s Picnic Picnic with the Parrots is a day filled with fun activities, educational talks and opportunities to interact with goats, chickens, ducks, and of course see wild parrots! Join the Flock to attend for free. (see ad on page 3)

26 OCTOBER 2013 | | Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets

San Diego Pets Magazine OUR NEW WEBSITE IS OPTIMIZED FOR MOBILE DEVICES! San Diego Pets Magazine has so much more online! Check out our events page for a more in-depth list. Plus! We invite you to add your own events to the community calendar for free!



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Be Your Pet’s Health Ally!

Pet First Aid/CPR classes with a real cat and dog! 760-433-3480

Facebook/Twitter @SanDiegoPets | | OCTOBER 2013 27

San Diego Pets Magazine, October 2013  
San Diego Pets Magazine, October 2013  

East Meets West: Holistic Health Care for Pets! Boo-Ya! Photo Fun (Facebook contest winners) Toxic Foods to Avoid. And, so much more!