Animal Stories

How I got involved in holistic animal care

The story of Bella, my special needs frenchie:

I adopted Bella, my French Bulldog, at 2 1/2 years old from a breeder, likely a puppy mill, in Oklahoma in 2007. She couldn’t be a ‘working girl’ (breeding female) anymore as she had developed a vaginal prolapse and needed to be spayed as a result. The breeder chose to re-home her. I was living in San Diego so I flew to Oklahoma, rented a car and drove her back home. It was July, very hot, and I didn’t want to risk having her flown to me. 

It was immediately clear that she had never been loved as she was starved for affection. We bonded deeply during that 3 day trip across country. I had no clue about the special needs that came along with her. The first thing I noticed is that she had severe separation anxiety. The first time I left her in a crate for a few hours to go to the store, when I returned the towel I had in the bottom of her crate was completely soaked—not from urine but from saliva. She had panted and drooled the entire time I was gone. It scared the dickens out of me!!  Needless to say, she was never in a crate again!!  Over the years I tried many things for her anxiety, which helped hugely,  but she was never cured completely. Some of the things I tried were: a thunder shirt, homeopathic medicines, music for animals, flower essences, essential oils and more.

Very early on, she started having itchy paws and wicked, room-clearing gas, which I discovered was a result of environmental and food allergies. This led me to research holistic nutrition and the use of vitamins, herbs and supplements. After trial and error, I was able to get her on a routine that worked for her and the humans around her. From the very beginning, Bella had accompanied me to work every day at my Acupuncture clinics so having her gas resolved was appreciated by all (patients, staff, colleagues, etc.)! 

The first time she received flea medication she got hives within 24 hours which lasted for almost a year. This started a new line of research and treatments—special shampoos, conditioners, rinses, ear washes, more homeopathic medicines, etc. After that, she had to have more holistic forms of flea medications and Essential oil sprays. I didn’t want to risk that reaction again!

French Bulldogs, are susceptible to disc problems. They have one vertebra that is misshapen. Bella ended up with a slipped disc and instead of the surgery that was recommended, I took her to a Veterinary Chiropractor where she received chiropractic adjustments and laser treatment. This was hugely beneficial and she recovered completely after only several visits saving much money along with pain and recovery time for Bella.

She also had pancreatitis several times for which she received conventional veterinary care and holistic care for follow up including more homeopathic medicine and gemmotherapy. As part of her ongoing holistic treatment, Bella received laser puncture and in her senior years, I added Vet CBD.

This is not the complete story of Bella’s healthcare challenges but is enough to highlight the extent to which she was able to benefit from holistic therapies and strategies. Caring for her and her special needs exposed me to the world of holistic animal care. I learned a great deal and as a result, I soon had many of my human patients asking me for guidance with their pets.

Bella lived to be 15 1/2 years old. She had a good quality of life up until the end when she let me know she was finished by not wanting to eat anymore. The vet who came to the house to ‘put her down’ told me that she had never seen a French bulldog live past the age of 12. I am very grateful to her for the years of love and companionship and for all that I learned from the experience.

Other Success Stories

Stories about Rosie and Sophia

I am very lucky to have a very healthy farm family for the most part. However, given time something is bound to occur.  As it happens, in Feb. 2024 Rosie (mini-donkey) and Sophia (Katahdin sheep) both started limping really badly on their left front legs within 2 weeks of each other.  Upon inspection, neither of them had any obvious injury, swelling or infection but were clearly in pain. I gave each of them a general health protocol treatment combined with a localized pain/injury protocol treatment using the laser as the main tool. They responded amazingly well and quickly, needing only 2 treatments each for a complete recovery. 

The story of Annie:

Annie, my current dog, is a 2-year-old English Chocolate Lab Retriever. As anybody who has ever had a lab can attest to, keeping them alive through their puppyhood is daunting to say the least. They will eat anything and everything it seems!  She was a puppy in the middle of COVID and so there were masks seemingly everywhere. I tried to keep track of them but she got ahold of one and ate it. Unfortunately, part of it got caught up and she was unable to pass it which led to emergency surgery. 

Thankfully the surgery was successful. However, the vet told me that at the end of the surgery, her large intestine was not working properly—there were no bowel sounds or apparent movement. After bringing her home I monitored her for bowel sounds and I wasn’t hearing any. As soon as she was clear of the effects of anesthesia, I did Acupuncture on her. Within 5 minutes, I started hearing bowel sounds, and the next time she went out to urinate, she also had a bowel movement. This is an example of how effective and powerful holistic therapies can be in an acute situation.