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Guest Post: Our Experience with Holistic Treatments

I believe that it's important for dog lovers to share our personal canine experiences in our own voice, which is why you will find occasional guest posts on Grouchy Puppy doing just that -- do remember Maggie's two-part series on pet adoption?

Today, Jana Rade is sharing part one of a two-part guest post discussing her experience with holistic treatments. Jana is a graphic designer by profession and never aspired to learning about dog health issues until she met Jasmine. Unfortunately, she received a crash course in the subject due to Jasmine’s many health issues and has since become an advocate for other pet owners and their four-legged friends.

Our Experience with Holistic Treatments

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was an oblivious dog mom. I figured that taking my dog to a vet and then do what they said was all I needed to do. In an ideal world, it should work that way. In this one, it often does not.

There were things they just dismissed instead of digging deeper for a diagnosis. And there were times when the treatment seemed worse than the disease.

And then there was the fact that Jasmine often had bad reactions to various drugs.


It became clear that whatever we were doing wasn’t getting us anywhere.

It was from sheer desperation that I started on the journey of learning everything I could about each of Jasmine’s problems, possible diagnoses and treatment options.

The very first we did, as a result of all my research was stem cell treatment. It was one of the best things we did for Jasmine. Does it qualify as holistic? Perhaps, perhaps not. I think it should, though, because it is using body’s own resources to help it along with its own healing process. After all, even though it seems to be implied, holistic does not exclude science or technology. It means treating the body as a whole. From that stand point, it is perfectly possible to use natural treatments allopathically and things such as physical therapy would not necessarily qualify as holistic, would they? And hyperbaric oxygen therapy could qualify as holistic as they come. I am very excited about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, btw. Either way …

Jasmine got treated with stem cells together with her knee surgeries, as well as for arthritis which she had in about every joint. I believe it got her five wonderful, active and happy years she wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Bad joints, however, weren’t Jasmine’s only problems. She had allergies, Inflammatory Bowel Disease [IBD] and was suffering with recurrent episodes of panting, pacing and distress which nobody could get to the bottom of.

It was her episodes which were the most baffling. Nobody could diagnose it. Everything under the sun was on the table and got ruled out. The last conventional attempt to figure this out involved taking x-rays of her heart and her lungs. Nothing was found. However, waking up from the anesthesia, Jasmine seemed in pain. Because she also had a bad neck, the vet figured it was hurting from the manipulation necessary to get the images and gave her a shot of a pain killer. This, however, resulted in severe drug-induced hyperthermia which almost killed Jasmine. It was a huge disaster that almost cost her life.

It was then when I felt that enough was enough and that we ought to venture outside the realm of conventional medicine.

We decided to try Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) to see whether we might find the help Jasmine needed. We started with food therapy, herbal therapy and acupuncture.

This approach really made a difference for Jasmine’s IBD. Until then, it was a challenge to get her to eat anything. Her belly was upset most of the time and she didn’t want to eat anything most of the time. After we started with the TCVM treatments, Jasmine became a normal hungry dog. Suddenly she wanted to eat and enjoyed her food. After such a long time of frustration with trying to get her to eat anything at all, we never took that for granted and every meal became a reason for joy.

TCVM approach also helped out with her allergies and episodes a lot. While the episodes never really went away, they decreased significantly in frequency and severity. While we never gave up on trying to do better and eliminate the episodes all together, we were thankful for the improvement she showed.

Don’t miss part two of this guest post…Jana's point of view changes about using a holistic approach to her dogs care.


In her blog, Dawg Business, Jana Rade shares her experiences and the lessons she has learned with others. She shares this message with all dog owners: At the end, your dog’s health is up to you!

Have you ever tried alternative veterinary medicine? How do you feel about holistic treatments?

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