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.