I recently had a question about what can cause shaking, especially in the legs of an older dog. The most common cause of shaking legs in the young dog that I see is fear- these are dogs that do not want to be in the examination room! But for the older dog shaking at home, muscle weakness is often the root cause. Several systemic illnesses can result in muscle weakness. Kidney disease often causes loss of muscle tissue as well as imbalances in the electrolytes, various minerals that are essential for muscle function. Adrenal gland disease can also cause muscle loss and electrolyte imbalances. Cancer must always be on the list as well, due to the unpredictable nature of the disease. Systemic disorders are diagnosed with blood and urine testing, sometimes x-rays and ultrasound as well, usually on an outpatient basis. Therapy can include dietary modifications, mineral supplementation and physical therapy, as well as medications where needed.
Pain from arthritis is an often unrecognized factor in shaky legs and muscle weakness. When it is more difficult to get up and move, your pet exercises less, and muscles gradually atrophy. While leg joints such as hips, knees and elbows are often affected, don’t forget all the joints in the back. As many of us know, when the back hurts, everything hurts.
Acupuncture and cold-laser therapy are the basic tools that I utilize for my patiens with arthritis. Prolotherapy and stem cell therapy very successful, but are more “invasive” interventions, and must be done with sedation or anesthesia, so are not suitable for all pets. Massage is wonderful because it is usually available from travelling therapists who will come to your home. Some massage techniques are also very easy to learn to do yourself, and are a special close bonding experience for you and your dog or cat. Herbal and nutritional interventions such as high levels of omega-3′s from fish oil, green-lipped muscle extract, cucurmin (turmeric extract), MSM, glucosamine etc. can be very effective in reducing the pain and mobility restrictions of arthritis. Physical therapy is also a very valuable part of a multi-modal approach to arthritis, to help strengthen muscles and the tissues that support the joints.
For more on integrative arthritis care, please read “Arthritis Therapy: Integrative Approach”
There is great upcoming opportunity available, but only to the first 12 people to respond!
Hilary Watson, veterinary nutritionist, and Janet Craig, a licensed chef, are offering Canine Culinary 101, a workshop to train owners how to prepare home-cooked dog food recipes safely and in bulk using a community kitchen.
Normally these classes cost $55 per person; you receive 4 kilograms of food at the end of class.
A private class is being planned for Dr. Sherebrin and her clients, at a special reduced ratre of $10 per person.
Date: TBA, Bloor-Sherbourne area
A 3-hour cooking workshop AND 4 kilos of healthy prepared dog food for only $10.00!
What owners should bring:
• Tupperware storage containers or large
Ziploc bags that can hold 4 kg of food
• an apron
• a small cutting board
• a knife of choice
• a jar of HILARY’S BLEND supplement*
If you need to purchase a jar of Hilary’s Blend supplement, please let me know ASAP to allow time to order in stock.
No experience necessary! Novices very welcome!
Enjoy the company of other dog owners who
are as committed to their dog’s health as you are!
Pass this message along to any others who may be interested.
Differences between Holistic, Integrative, Naturopathic, Alternative and Homeopathic therapies and practices:
Do you use holistic, homeopathic and naturopathic interchangeably? Have you ever discussed holistic health and discovered that the other person was defining holistic totally differently? This is not surprising, since no accepted standards exist for holistic, holistic health, or holistic medicine.
Many people, myself included, define holistic as a whole made up of interdependent parts; an inclusive view of the animal in its environment, encompassing its relationships with other pets and the guardian (family). When applied to illness, it is called holistic medicine and includes a number of factors, such as dealing with the root cause of an illness; increasing client involvement; and considering both conventional (allopathic) and complementary (alternative) therapies.
Some people use Holistic as a synonym for alternative therapies. By this definition, “going holistic” means turning away from all conventional medical options and using alternative treatment exclusively. This meaning mainly relates to illness situations, and sometimes is used for controversial therapies.
Integrative Medicine is the combiantion of conventional and alternative therapies, using multiple modalities to gain the “best of both worlds”.
Naturopathic Medicine is focused on prevention and the use of natural treatment options to promote healing.
Alternative Medicine is defined as modalities of therapy that have not been taught or embraced by colleges of veterinary medicine, used in place of conventional therapies. This definition is very fluid, as different universities in different locations in the world all have variations in what is taught. Over time this also changes. For example, 30 years ago, essential fatty acid supplements were alternative, now they are mainstream. Alternative therapies can include a wide range of modalities such as: acupuncture, chinese and western herbs, orthomolecular medicine, nutritional supplements, low-level laser therapy, Tellington Touch, acupressure, Reiki, Craniosacral therapy, chiropractic, flower essences, ozone therapy, homeopathy, massage and many other modalities.
Complementary Medicine is defined as modalities that are not taught or embraced by colleges of veterinary medicine, used in addition to conventional therapies (see Integrative Medicine)
Homeopathy from the Greek words homoios (similar) and pathos (suffering) is an entire system of medicine, notable for its practice of prescribing water-based solutions that contain extremely diluted ingredients. The theory of homeopathy was developed by the Saxon physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) and first published in 1796. Homeopathy calls for treating “like with like” (law of similars). The practitioner considers the totality of symptoms of a given case. He or she then chooses a homeopathic remedy that has been reported in a homeopathic proving to produce a similar set of symptoms in healthy subjects. This remedy is usually given in extremely low concentrations.
It seems like all you hear about these days is prebiotics and probiotics. Television advertisements, food and drink packaging, supplements, all proclaiming that they are extra special because they contain prebiotics or probiotics or both. Continue reading Prebiotics, Probiotics, Antibiotics: What’s Bugging You?