Dogs on the whole are social animals and creatures of habit. They live their lives by association with people, other animals and acute observation of their surroundings, as well as by studying the smell, sight and sounds of others. Working dogs can live happily outside in kennels, if that is what they are used to, so long as they are provided with a dry, comfortable bed and draught free accommodation, with plenty of fresh, clean water available’
Most dogs however, live indoors as pets and are quite contented with the set routine of the household, whatever that might be. They are not so keen on continual changes but are adaptable and want to please their owners. Dogs need a bed or space of their own, although are usually happy to lie anywhere in the vicinity of their owners. Dogs seem to flourish best with regular feeding times and a reasonable amount of exercise. In the wild, dogs do not take regular exercise and would only move around to seek food when hungry.
Length of pregnancy: 63 days
DISEASES AND CONDITIONS
These glands are situated just inside the anal sphincter and the duct that empties the anal glands opens into the rectum. They can be troublesome particularly in certain breeds eg miniature poodles, spaniels and Pekingese and may need to be emptied manually.
Symptoms of gland problems
Signs are varied and often confused with those of worm infestation. The animal may walk along in the sitting position rubbing its bottom on the ground. Following diagnosis homeopathic remedies can be given to help limit the problem and to help control the infection and generally alleviate the condition.
Indicated when the glands are infected Hepar Sulph 6c or 30c dose three times daily for 5 – 7 days. Repeat after a week or so only if required. Regular treatment for 3 to 5 days monthly for a few months can be helpful in some cases.
When the glands are overactive and cause irritation pulsatilla 30c dose three times daily for 3 to 5 days as required.
Useful in chronic cases with constant but mild irritation and discomfort Silica 6c dose three times daily for 10 days and then twice a day for longer if necessary until the condition settles.
If there is an abscess present or if one has burst Calc Sulph 30c dose three times daily for 7 to 10 days.
For local applications after an abscess has burst of if a fistula has formed Hypercal
Solution. (20 drops of mother tinctures Hypericum and Calendula to half a pint of cool, previously boiled water. Bathe affected area 2 – 3 times daily.
Hypericum/Calendula cream or ointment. Apply 2 – 3 times daily as necessary until any soreness has been alleviated.
Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM).
Progressive hind limb incoordination with gradual loss of control of the hind legs. This in turn, causes difficulty in rising from the sitting or lying position, crossing of the hind legs, knuckling of the feet and worn toenails, eventually leading to paralysis. Urinary and/or faecal incontinence may occur as the condition progresses, particularly in older animals.
This remedy is of importance and seems to help to slow down and/or alleviate the symptoms Conium 6c or 12c dose three times daily for ten days, then twice daily until condition improves. The remedy can be given less frequently if possible, depending on the condition and the response to treatment.
If conium does not seem to be helping opium 6c may be tried dose as for Conium.
Eclampsia (Lactation Tetany)
The condition occurs in lactating bitches and is caused by a shortage of calcium in the blood (hypocalcaemia). It can happen at any time during the birth of puppies but seems to occur during the first 2 – 3 weeks after whelping, or towards the end of lactation when puppies are 7 – 9 weeks old.
Sudden onset of panting, restlessness, nervous hypersensitivity and excitability, followed by stiffness, with muscular spasm and twitching prior to collapse and death. Intravenous injection of calcium by a vet is necessary to save the bitches life. Homeopathic remedies can be used to help control the symptoms and also to help prevent the condition developing at all.
Use as soon as any of the above symptoms are apparent Calc Phos 30c dose three times daily for 5 – 7 days.
If there is excitement, with rapid breathing and restlessness Belladonna 30c dose every 1 – 2 hours up to four doses before using the calc phos.
For persistent cases where twitching of muscles and staggering gait are apparent Stramonium 30c dose 2 – 3 times daily for 3 – 7 days until improved.
Calc Phos 30c dose once daily for 5 – 10 days after whelping. If there has been a previous history of eclampsia, calc phos should be given once a week during the second month of pregnancy.
Fading Puppy Syndrome
Puppies up to two weeks of age can be affected by this condition. The puppies are
Usually healthy and vigorous and sickle well for the first 24 – 48 hours or so. The cause can due to a single factor or a number of factors combining together. These include bacterial infection commonly E. Coli or Streptococcus, toxoplasmosis, various viruses including parvovirus and distemper, heavy worm infestation, chilling, congenital reasons or just insufficient care and feeding from the dam.
Sudden onset, some puppies (may not be the whole litter), become distressed and cry out a lot, cease to suck, rapidly lose weight and become weak, cold to the touch, muscular tremors, stretching of the limbs and spine, blood in the urine, diarrhoea and fits may follow leading eventually coma and death.
In addition to treatment given by your vet, homeopathic remedies can be very supportive and help to build the puppies strength, they are safe to administer from an early age.
Useful for weak puppies who are dehydrated and debilitated Phos Ac 6c or 30c dose every 10 – 15 mins for the first hour then every 2 – 4 hours for the next day or two until improved.
An alternative to Phos Ac if there is prostration in addition to the above symptoms China 3c or 6c dose as for Phos Ac.
For restless, cold, weak puppies, possibly with diarrhoea Ars Alb 6c or 30c dose as for Phos Ac.
If the puppies are collapsed and appear close to death Carbo Veg 6c or 30c dose every 5 – 15 mins for up to 4 – 6 doses and then if improving change to another remedy indicated by presenting symptoms.
False pregnancy is due to hormonal balance and tends to occur 6 – 9 weeks after the season. Mammary glands develop and produce milk, there may be varying degrees of restlessness, whining, nervousness, digging and nesting. Less commonly there may be depression or even aggression, increased appetite, sluggishness and apparent swelling of the abdomen.
Most useful remedy for this condition Pulsatilla 30c dose three times daily for 5 – 7 days and repeat after a week if necessary.
The remedy of choice with signs of indifference, depression, nervousness or aggression Sepia 30c dose three times daily for 5 – 7 days and repeat after a week if necessary.
Asafoetida may be an alternative for restless, irritable and nervous bitches. Urtica, calc carb, or Bryonia can be used to reduce the production of milk.
Grass seeds usually barley-type awns with spiky, arrow shaped hairs become trapped in the ear canal or penetrate the skin, possibly in the foot, then gradually work their
way up the limb often causing small abscesses as they progress.
Ear. Sudden and intense irritation of the affected ear, with incessant scratching, rubbing and often holding the ear downwards with the head on one side, the ear is painful to touch and while scratching and rubbing the animal cries out.
Limbs. Possibly some initial discomfort with a degree of lameness. Followed in a few days by the formation of a small abscess over the area where the grass seed is positioned. It can be weeks or even months before the condition reaches the stage where it affects the animal enough for further examination.
Use at once if there is obvious shock, distress and/or abnormal behaviour whilst waiting veterinary attention Aconite 30c dose every 5 – 15 mins up to 4 – 6 doses until improved.
The slightest touch causes pain and crying out. Very unsettled and restless Chamomilla 30c dose 3 – 4 times daily for a few days until improved.
Infected, with or without a discharge Hepar Sulph 6c or 30c dose every four hours up to four doses, then three times daily for a few days until improved.
Any of the above remedies may be used if the presenting symptoms indicate that they could be helpful.
This remedy can help to bring the grass seed (or any other foreign body) to the surface, it is often successful, but may take 2 – 4 weeks or longer to achieve this result Silica 6c or 30c dose twice daily with either potency for a few weeks if necessary until the problem is resolved.
The condition is diagnosed by X-ray and is characterised by the appearance of the hip joint. Normally the joint will be a well formed ball and socket. In dysplasia the socket will be shallower which allows for movement in the joint which sooner or later leads to arthritis. The tendency to this condition is hereditary and bitches can have their hip X-ray ‘scored’ by veterinary experts before being used for breeding. The scientific name for the dislocation of a joint is ‘luxation’ and hip dysplasia is a ‘subluxation’, meaning an imperfectly formed joint which cannot function properly.
Variable degrees of lameness, due to the improper formation of the joint
Indicated for the luxation of joints; helps to ease the pain or discomfort colocynth 30c dose three times daily for a few days or as necessary to give relief.
Calc Carb and Calc Phos are ‘constitutional’ remedies and can be useful in the treatment of this condition under the guidance of a homeopath.
Homeopathic remedies are very useful treating this condition.
This condition usually develops following a visit to boarding kennels or dog shows, or anywhere that dogs congregate.
The cough is usually an irritating, niggling, dry and persistent one. A distinguishing feature of kennel cough is that it is little heard while the dog is still, but is brought on by any sort of movement. The dog may not appear to be ill if the infection is a mild one and may keep eating and behaving normally, except for the repeated bouts of coughing. In the acute form of kennel cough the animal may be off its food and obviously ill with a temperature and running eyes and nose.
The remedy of choice in mild cases if the cough is accentuated by movement Bryonia 6c dose 3 – 4 times daily for 5 – 7 days until improved.
May be preferred if the cough is dry, spasmodic and accompanied by retching; particularly if bryonia not helping after 2 or 3 days Drosera 6c dose 3 – 4 times daily for 5 – 7 days until improved
For the more severe case with breathing difficulties, wheezing and incessant coughing, worse in the open air and when accompanied by retching or bringing up of mucus Ipecacuanha 6c dose 3 – 4 times daily for 5 – 7 days until improved.
Osteochondrosis is a disturbance of normal bone formation usually affecting the larger breeds between six months and eighteen months of age. It affects the growth of bone and the cartilage of some joints, with thickening of the affected joint. The shoulder joint is most commonly affected but the condition may also occur in the elbow, stifle and hock. It is important not to over exercise puppies and long walks should be avoided until the dog is at least a year old.
Variable degrees of lameness and/or pain around the affected joint, the thickened joint may be felt by touch and examination, in addition there may be an unusual posture.
To ease the pain when lameness is apparent Hypericum 30c dose 3 – 4 times daily as necessary until relief
Calc Carb, calc phos and calc flour can be useful in treating this condition. The most appropriate remedy in the correct potency needs to be prescribed by a homeopath.
Pancreatic insufficiency, acute pancreatitis
Pancreatic insufficiency. Excessive hunger, weight loss, emaciation, diarrhoea with ‘fatty’ covered stools, eating faeces, passing a lot of wind and dry harsh coat.
Acute pancreatitis. General malaise, unwell, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, fluid and/or pain in the abdomen which may appear swollen and distended, sometimes sudden death.
If there is acute vomiting and diarrhoea Ars Alb 30c dose 3 – 4 times daily for 5 – 10 days until there is improvement.
For persistent diarrhoea with slimy blood-stained motions and a lot of wind merc Sol 30c dose 3 – 4 times daily for 5 – 10 days until there is improvement.
Iris Versicilor and Haronga are two useful remedies for treating these conditions, and should be discussed with a homeopath.
This is a serious infection caused by bacteria infiltrating bones. The diagnosis can be confirmed by X-ray.
A rise in temperature, local swelling and pain, which may be considerable, high doses of antibiotics may be vital to treat this condition.
May be used in conjunction with, or to follow antibiotic therapy in a prolonged case. It is helpful too if a sinus has formed which persistently discharges Hepar |Sulph 6c or 30c dose three times daily for 7 – 10 days and repeat if necessary.
Aids the healing of bones and relieves any pain in the affected area Symphytum 30c dose three times daily for 10 days.
In young puppies under five weeks of age it affects the heart muscle causing heart failure, weakness, collapse and death. Other symptoms may be difficulty breathing, reluctance to move, bluish mucous membranes, and a swollen abdomen. The infection may only affect some puppies in the litter and there may be sudden deaths with few or no symptoms. The puppies that do survive are left with weak hearts and frequently die weeks or months later. In older dogs the virus causes loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, often containing blood, dullness, rapid dehydration followed by death.
Homeopathic Nosodes are available for the prevention of parvovirus.
Use immediately if parvovirus is suspected Aconite 30c dose every 10 – 15 mins in the first hour, then hourly for 4 – 6 doses.
Very affective in the treatment of vomiting, especially if the vomit contains blood phosphorus 30c dose hourly up to 4 – 6 doses, then four times daily as necessary until the condition is resolved.
For acute vomiting and diarrhoea, this remedy can be life saving Ars Alb 30c dose hourly for four doses, then four times daily until the condition is resolved.
For blood in the faeces, often with much straining and discomfort Merc Corr 30c dose four times daily until the condition is resolved.
Pining and Grief
The animal may become depressed and may cry out piteously, whine, bark incessantly, destroy woodwork, or just go into a decline and refuse to eat or take an interest in anything. They may show the above symptoms if they suffer grief such as losing another dog they have lived with for a long time or from losing their owner.
For the depressed sulky animal that is pining or suffering from grief Nat Mur 30c dose three times daily for 5 – 7 days until improved repeat when necessary.
Usually the remedy of choice for grief Ignatia 30c dose 3 – 4 times daily for a few days until an improvement in behaviour is apparent.
Useful in the normally active dog who is ‘full of life’ Phos Ac 6c or 30c dose three times daily for 3 – 7 days as required.
For the dog that barks incessantly pulsatilla 30c dose 2-3 times daily for 3 -4 days. Repeat after a few days only if necessary.
Prostate problems may be due to senility or hormonal in origin. Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) due to infection may also occur from time to time. Enlargement of the prostate gland occurs mostly in older dogs but may also be seen in the younger animal.
Constipation, sometimes accompanied with ribbon like faeces, straining, bleeding from the penis or prepuce, and/or blood in the faeces, may be a temperature, loss of appetite, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, an arched back and difficulty passing urine.
Sebal Serrulata, Conium, Pulsatilla, Nux Vom, Thuja, Merc Corr and cantharis are all remedies that can be used to treat this condition. It is important to find the right remedy to match the presenting symptoms under the guidance of a homeopath.
Sudden and possible painful swelling on one side of the cheek or under the lower jaw may be caused by a salivary cyst or an obstruction of the salivary duct.
Blockage of the duct, especially that from the submandibular gland with a dry mouth Calc Carb 6c or 30c dose hourly for 4 – 6 times, then 3 – 4 times daily for a few days if there seems to be an improvement in the condition.
Gland swollen and tender with a copious production of saliva Iris Ver 6c dose four times daily for three or four days if an improvement id apparent.
Swelling and consequently overactivity of the thyroid gland, the most likely cause is the formation of a tumour in the gland
Symptoms: increased thirst and appetite, restlessness, diarrhoea, muscle weakness, increased heart and respiratory rates and loss of weight.
In this condition there is a lack of activity in the thyroid gland. It tends to be seen in older animals and may occur spontaneously or be due to an inflammation of the gland.
Symptoms: Lethargy, low body temperature, a sparse and course coat often with hair loss, a slow heart rate and increase in body weight.
Thyroidinum. Iodum, Flor de Piedra, Spongia Tosta and constitutional remedies may be called for in the treatment of these conditions under the guidance of a homeopath
Many of the common diseases and conditions that occur in dogs can be found in the section ‘general conditions’. This section contains some of the specific conditions from which dogs suffer
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