Saturday, June 5, 2010

Supplementing the Dog

In my entry on what I feed Maisy, I mentioned that I give her a “supplement cocktail.” Because I’m a completionist, I simply could not let that go without further explanation! So, today I’m going to tell you about the supplements I give Maisy. All of them have been discussed and/or recommended by Maisy’s vet, Dr. Cara White.

Every morning, I mix up a cocktail for Maisy. Because I use a number of things, and because some are powders, others are liquids, and there is the occasional capsule, I use a scoop of canned cat food as the base for mixing it all together. (Thankfully, my cat Malcolm is willing to share.) Her supplements include:

Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics- This is a powder, and I give 1/4 teaspoon daily to aid in digestive health. My vet started her on it because Maisy was on a less-than-ideal prescription food at the time, and she wanted something to help Maisy “de-tox” from the icky stuff in that food. I have continued using it because stress can disrupt digestion, and Maisy had relatively regular bouts of loose stools. Since starting this product, she’s done very well, digestively speaking.

Animal Essentials Omega 3 Plus- This is a liquid supplement, and I squirt approximately 1/4 teaspoon daily into her supplement mix. It’s the only one I don’t measure exactly. This product includes both animal and plant based essential fatty acids, which are more complete than using just one or the other. Omega 3s are helpful for allergy symptoms, and generally help improve the skin and coat, which is why it was prescribed for Maisy.

A custom mix of five different Bach Flower Remedies: Vervain, Aspen, Mimulus, Chestnut Bud, and Rock Water. Maisy’s vet does a lot of homeopathy, and although I remain skeptical, it is hard to deny that some of it seems to help. After beginning this mix, Maisy’s reactivity did reduce. Was it due to training? A reduction in pain or allergy symptoms? Or did the flower remedy help? I have no idea. I do know that the Bach Rescue Remedy helps me a lot when I feel stressed, so I’m not willing to dismiss it entirely. Maisy receives 4 drops daily.

Ruta 30C- Another homeopathic remedy, this one prescribed specifically for Maisy’s occasional muscle twitches/spasms. She receives 3 drops daily.

Animal Apawthecary Tinkle Tonic- This liquid supplement is given daily, one week on and one week off. Maisy receives 0.5mL per dose. It contains a mixture of herbs designed to promote urinary health by disinfect, soothe and protect the urinary tract. Maisy’s vet recommended she take this product because of her recurrent UTIs.

Solid Gold Berry Balance- Another product recommended due to Maisy’s recurring UTIs, this is a powder that is given three times a week, 1/4 teaspoon per dose. It helps balance urinary pH and flushes bacteria from the bladder.

Maisy also has a few occasional or as needed supplements. Right now, she’s taking Standard Process Ligaplex II, one capsule twice a day. She’s been on it for a few weeks, and will be on it for a month or so longer. Her vet gave us this one because Maisy was very tender in the right shoulder, and the Ligaplex helps repair damaged connective tissue. I do think this one is working; she’s had far less stiffness on that leg since she started taking it.

Maisy receives Arnica, another homeopathic remedy, after her chiropractic adjustments and when needed for injuries. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, and it does seem to help Maisy’s adjustments “hold” better. I used it twice a day for several days after she was attacked by that off-leash dog.

Maisy also receives two things when we are going into stressful situations such as trials. The first is Rescue Remedy. I have no idea if it helps Maisy, but as I mentioned earlier, it really helps me feel calmer at trials, and it’s marketed for pets as well, so we both take it. She gets four drops on a treat.

The other is Comfort Zone Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP), which I buy in a spray form and then apply to her collar, my pants leg (on the heel side), and her mat or crate pad. I do think this one helps; Sara shared some with us at a trial last year when she saw that Maisy was really wound up. After using the DAP, she was able to calm down, focus, and go on to win high scoring mixed breed that day.

Whew! Who knew she received that many things? So… what do you guys use for supplements, and why? Did your vet recommend them, or did you choose them yourself? I can’t wait to hear what you do.


Megan said...

Maisy definitely gets are more complete concoction of supplements, but I do give them here too. The biggest one is Dasuquin with MSM. I used Glyco Flex II for at least a couple years and switched to Dasuquin with prompting from my vet and the other health care professionals the dogs see.

The dogs used to get a daily lutein supplement, and I should really start that up again with bilberry. I started Bailey on it because she is genetically affected with PRA, though at her last CERF exam, still unafflicted with the disease. There have been unofficial studies done on this disease and it has been recommended that affected dogs receive lutein and bilberry daily. In some cases it stopped the progress, in some it arguably reversed the effects. I'm willing to do almost anything to preserve her vision.

Other than that... fish oil. Based on our discussion today, I have no idea what kind I'll be giving anytime soon!

Crystal said...

I need to talk to our vet about glucosamine. She hasn't recommended it, but it might not be a bad idea for miss Maisy... although I've heard it doesn't do much for prevention.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Vito gets a cranberry pill each morning that the vet recommended based on his bloodwork. Can't remember exactly why but something to do with his urine or kidney?

Both dogs get fish oil, salmon pills, each morning as well.

Based upon the discussion on Dog Read this past month I learned I also need to balance the fish oil with vitamin E so will be on the lookout for that. Or 3 almonds for every gram of fish oil is recommended.

Crystal said...

The fish oil I use has added Vitamin E. I guess I don't know if the ratio is correct; maybe I should look into that a bit more.

Jules said...

Bug also gets a lot of supplements. :-) He had a bilateral iliopsoas strain (4/09) that then turned into a tender biciptal tendon followed up by taking a nasty fall in January (2010). Needless to say a lot of the supplements he takes are geared toward strengthening ligaments and reducing inflammation.

Bug takes Duralaction (for inflammation) 1/2 pill 2xday; Ligaplex II 1/2 pill 2xday; LD-Support Formula (Lyme Disease suport) 1/2 pill 2xday; Immune One Joint Mobility (a joint supplement that contains all sorts of good stuff [Bug had an allergic reaction to Gylco Flex and our chiro recommended this]) 1/2 tsp 2xday; Omega-3 Pet 1 pill 2xday; Vitamin E 400IU 1xday; Bug Off Garlic.

re joint supplements: there is research that suggests it is wise to administer it prophylactically. Where Maisy has some corgi in her, and they are known for their funky joints I would definitely urge you to consider it. There are lots of good options out there.

We also use DAP and love it. I have a plug-in for the bedroom where the boys spend the most time during the day. I notice an increase in their potentional for noise reactivity when it runs out.

Jules said...

ooops! I just double-checked, Bug gets 200IU of vitamin e - not 400!

Crystal said...

Jules, do you have any research handy on the prophylactic use of glucosamine? I'll look for some myself, but if you've got it... that's much easier. :)

We are seeing her vet chiro on Tuesday, so I'll ask about it.

Jen said...

our dogs get kefir, omega 3/6/9 (or solid gold seameal, whichever i have on hand) and the occasional splash of rescue remedy if the situation calls for it. I also take rescue remedy when needed (berry chews, mmm).

our foster, who is battling mange right now, has begun to take colostrum and has been taking omega 3/6/9, kefir, and Pet Natural's calm treat.

Jules said...

Crystal, It might be more anecdotal than I realized. My vet told me there was research to support prophylatic use and the rehab vet said the same thing. I would also swear I have read research saying the same thing on DoLittler, but can not find it. I do have one link from the AVMA I can share, but of course I am not a full member and can only read the abstract (July 2007, Vol. 68, No. 7, Pages 709-715).

Anonymous said...

Ira's on Athrisoothe, which contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. It made a HUGE difference in his energy level and movement when I started him on it. I give him twice the recommended dose on the bottle. He also gets fish oil, mostly for his skin and coat, and I haven't actually noticed a difference with it but I keep giving it to him anyway. For a while I put him on 5-HTP to see if it would help with his sep anx, but I couldn't see any difference, and put that one away.

Offleash k9 Training said...

Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the great work.Thanks for sharing in detail. Your blog is an inspiration! Apart of really useful tips, it's just really!
Northern Virginia Dog Trainers