Desiree, my rescued German Shepherd dog, has been an absolute pleasure to have around. Housetrained after a few short days, she responds eagerly to her new name. But on visits to the dog park, she would just lie down on the gravel. She was even lying down on the sidewalk when she got too tired to stand.
She’s exhausted, the poor thing. She appears to have pulled one too many all-nighters.
In recent days, however, I’m very happy to report that a michievous friskiness has informed Desiree’s demeanor. She actually trots down the street with her head and ears held high, and the smile on her face is so contagious that it very often causes passersby to smile back.
Still, it’s going to take some time for this dog to fully bounce back from the physical neglect she suffered with her previous caretaker.
Desiree is seriously skinny and desperately needs to put on weight, yet she maintains the high standards of a food critic when it comes to her diet. She won’t eat just anything that’s put in her bowl; it must meet with her approval or she has no problem leaving it there untouched.
One variety of food Desiree actually deigns to inhale is Wellness Duck and Sweet Potato, so she now gets a can of this stuff twice daily, combined with dry food.
Daily doses of coconut oil and Omega 3s are helping to condition Desiree’s desert-dry coat, which, sadly, is bald in large patches due to demodectic mange. Even more concerning, Desiree had been walking with a limp and favoring her right forepaw, which would pronate dramatically each time it made contact with the ground.
So we paid a visit to Dr. Babette Gladstein, VMD, whose practice gives new meaning to the term alternative therapies. Assisted by her “nurse,” a Mexican Hairless (a.k.a. Xolo) named Chiquita, the vet practiced not one but several different alternative therapies to help Desiree feel better.
Among the healing techniques used was acupuncture – note the needle poking out of the top of Desiree’s head, inserted at the “calming point” – plus something I’d never heard of before: Aquapuncture, in which a liquid solution of Vitamin B-12 is injected subcutaneously at several different acupuncture points along Desiree’s body, to give her a much-needed boost of energy.
As mange is an unfortunate result of an immune-system breakdown, Dr. Gladstein also prescribed a supplement called Transfer Factor Canine Complete. Its potent combination of colostrum, eggs, amino acids, probiotics, and essential fatty acids are just what Desiree needs to grow in the glorious haircoat that is her breed’s birthright.
Then it was time for the doc and I to don protective eyewear for the K-Laser part of the program, in which Desiree is flashed with Class 4 laserbeams at very close range, to promote healing of her inflamed elbow joint and mangey skin.
Finally, to help Desiree achieve optimum urinary continence – the poor thing has had some difficulty holding it in longer than 4 hours, which has necessitated frequent outings (and cost me a lot of sleep) – Dr. Gladstein also demonstrated how I can help Desiree do her, ahem, kegel exercises.
Did I mention that this vet gives new meaning to the term alternative therapies?
K9 kegels happen when a human gently inserts the tip of one rubber-gloved index finger into a dog’s anus, approaching from the top of the opening and pointing down and in. As my dog’s sphincter muscle responds to the presence of the fingertip, it instinctively contracts – and those contractions give the muscle a workout that tones it right up.