Today’s Posting is primarily for Pet Owners and is longer than usual but hopefully contains some helpful information for Dogs and their Human Counterparts.
Warning: Unappetizing and somewhat graphic descriptions to follow – Please, postpone dining.
After draining my pitiful excuse for a bank account on auto repairs, it was time to hit the road back to North Carolina where dreams of cooler temps and lower humidity danced before Valet Boy’s fevered hazel eyes (little did I know). But, first a diversion….
Ah, the Song of the Open Road sung in the key of I-26 to Charleston, South Carolina.
Charleston remains one of my most favored travel destinations. When I was flush, I used to take my girlfriends there for romantic weekend getaways (not all at the same time, of course).
These days, it’s economy all the way. But, that’s not so bad when you have dear friends who live there and are always willing to open their homes, hearts and kitchens to you. Nubby (not her real name), husband Thom and daughter Em are like most families in this age of pinching pennies and “Stress Management at Home in Your Spare Time” – Meaning: Life is not a cakewalk. Everything takes work.
It’s survival of the fastest, fittest and firstest, baby, so strap yourselves in good and tight. And don’t look down!
When you’re under stress of any kind, whether it be financial (like Valet Boy and a few million of his closest friends), relational, medical – what have you – Just trying to “Deal” can have you running close to “E” on the old Personal Strength Gauge. It’s that way for almost everyone these days – really. It doesn’t matter if you’re the President, Billy Graham or Mr. & Mrs. Joe Blow….You think Osama wakes up in his filthy border territory dirt-hole every morning singing “The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow” at the top of his rabid lungs?
I smack dab guarantee you, He Does Not. My point here is this – even the promise of Paradise and 77 Eager Virgins waiting for you on the flip side, is NOT ENOUGH to keep the wheels greased day in and day out….well, not for normal people at any rate.
But, having good and true FRIENDS does a lot to help keep the ol’ emotional account balance from dipping into the overdrawn column.
It was to these dear Charleston friends I came and swiftly proceeded to abuse their hospitality by treating it as my own soapbox for abused animals.
Valet Boy is a dog lover. Yes, it’s true. And apparently that goes both ways because most dogs seem to like me too. I believe that our Canine brethren are excellent judges of character and that is why they adore Valet Boy.
Now, when it comes to activism, Valet Boy has never been one to carry the banner into battle. My friend Hali B. in California, however, is a true Animal Rights Activist – She puts action behind her words. She gets her hands dirty in the kibble, so to speak. Hali is an inspiration to me. While Valet Boy coughs, sputters and rolls over to play dead, Hali is out there raising awareness, helping with animal adoptions and doing her best to stop Puppy Mills and other cruel animal abuse.
But, when I arrived in Charleston, there presented itself a prime opportunity for piggish Valet Boy to truly don the mantle of obnoxious saviour and, in all his Aquarian splendor, torture these poor over stressed pet owners into submission.
Nubby and family live with an aging Golden Labrador named Sandy (A rescued animal-Yay for Nubby & Fam!) who has always paraded through the house with an aroma of “old cottage cheese stuffed in a gym sock left over from one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders”. And even that is being kind. In very plain parlance, poor Sandy just plain stinks. And I mean B-A-D. Plus, the poor thing has a penchant for losing her hair in clumps that would plop onto the carpet as her wobbly hind legs tried to keep up with the front ones.
Nubby and Hubby explained Sandy’s condition this way: “We were all out walking one day, back when we lived in California, and Sandy fell into an agricultural waste slough. That’s when the trouble started and she’s never been the same.”
But, that was about 8 years ago. Surely, they would’ve done something for the dog. I know dogs like stinky things, but really…Hold on there, Valet Boy…Don’t jump to conclusions.
“We’ve taken her to vets, had shots, treatments. Something might help for a little while, then once the treatments stop, she’s right back where she was. They said she had a yeast infection, hyperthyroidism and cancer.” Well, that’s a lot for one old dog to bite off, not to mention the family and their resources.
So, the vets would dole out the steroids and antibiotics, shampoos, creams and ointments to the tune over the years of somewhere approaching $15,000. Meanwhile, poor old stinky Sandy just kept slipping further and further.
Thank Heavens for Valet Boy!!! Right? Not so fast there, Buck-o.
Once VB starting spewing his Animal Abuse Rhetoric and bringing Nubby close to tears, and/or violence, it was time to get down to business. First, VB went on-line to research Canine Yeast Infections. OMG!!! There were 80 Million Pages of info, but once I jumped into it, well…there was no turning back.
What I learned – and that amounted to a lot more than I had ever wanted – was that this condition is more than just a little prevalent, much to the dismay of thousands of frustrated and very sad pet owners.
Canine Viral Papillomas can primarily exhibit itself in the ears (as a likely Hobbit forest) and on the feet (as open sores), but whoa Nelly that ain’t all! The dog loses its hair and its skin takes on an elephantine appearance. If you have to ask “What’s that?” then your dog doesn’t have that problem. You know it when you see it.
There is also a lot of itching, scratching and chewing on body parts going on. Maybe even a little whining too.
Canine Viral Papillomas can begin both as an exterior affliction or in the intestinal tract – the animal’s gut. Sometimes this is refered to as “leaky gut syndrome” because of….well, because there is often some drainage from the caboosal area.
The smell of a yeast infection is a dead-giveaway and believe me it ain’t like a school day field trip to Colonial Bakery to see how bread is made!
The obvious thing to Valet Boy – and why wouldn’t veterinarians act upon this is the question – antibiotics kill beneficial organisms, while changing the body’s pH balance to a more alkaline base, allowing fungi and mycotoxins to flourish.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals. Because of their pharmacological activity, some mycotoxins or mycotoxin derivatives have found use as antibiotics, growth promotants, and other kinds of drugs; still others have been implicated as chemical warfare agents.
Armed with this information, the next step was to find a low-cost at home fix. Why do I say “at home fix”? Well, that’s simple. The real animal abusers in this case (to my way of thinking anyway) have been those Vets who would rather push the drugs than treat the animal’s disease. While we’re on the drug subject, let me just say to pet owners facing this, or possible similar issues, the drugs WILL NOT WORK. The prednisone, steroids, antibiotics ALL of THAT will only mask the symptoms!
YOU have to KILL the FUNGI by shifting the body’s pH balance back to a more acidic base.
There are tons of helpful websites, so I won’t go into all of the home remedies here, but at the end of this post there will be some links for those who are having yeast problems with their pets. And Yes, CATS can get the viral papillomas too!
Since yeast hates acid, we had to find a way to safely introduce Sandy to more acidity. In comes Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Apparently, it is important to use only Raw Organic as the other stuff is far too filtered and “purified” to be of any health benefit.
The directions said to add a couple of spoonfuls to their drinking water. Fine. Except, Sandy is not the only dog in the home. There is also cute 2 year old Max, an indeterminate mix breed – but for the fact that he stands only about seven inches off the floor, thus it should be safe to assume there’s a little bit of Wiener-Dog in the gene pool. Max did not like the vinegar in the water at all and tossed his cookies whenever he drank it. So, nix the water bowl treatment option.
Next: Mix 50/50 or 3 to 1 water to vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz the skin & coat, careful to avoid open sores because we know that can burn. Well, the first time went pretty smoothly, but that was the only free pass we got. Spraying her made her itch and scratch even more furiously, not to mention that fact that she smelled like a “sock stuffed with Rough Rider cottage cheese” SALAD. Henceforth, when Sandy saw the purple spray bottle, she booked a quick flight to “Get Me The Hell Outta Here”!
The following step was the simplest and apparently the most enjoyable for Sandy. A radical change of diet.
Now, Vets had changed her diet previously, but that gets pretty darned expensive and once you stop…well, there you are…right back at the starting gate.
We had to eliminate all sugars from Sandy’s diet. That meant finding Grain Free High Protein Dog Foods. So, Valet Boy hightailed it over to the closest health food store – Earth Fare – and picked up a couple week’s worth of canned grain-free dog food. Both EVO and Newman’s Own are pretty good, but you’ll want to add some grain-free dry food to that mix as well for bulk.
ADD to the daily meal about a half cup of PLAIN YOGURT. No fruity sweetened stuff. Remember that’s the enemy. Now, it’s impossible to find completely sugar-free yogurt because it is made with milk and therefore has lactose (milk sugars). Just try to find yogurt with the least amount and certainly NO ADDED SUGAR.
Don’t be discouraged because it’s going to take probably about 3 weeks before you notice any improvements. It’s only been about 10 days since Valet Boy subjected the poor dog and its family to this torture so the jury is still out….Though I felt there was a little less of the itching, scratching and chewing by the time I hit the highway back to NC. For those who are interested, I will follow-up with Sandy and her Human Family and see how the treatments are progressing.
And that’s where we are – which is the end of this excrutiatingly long-winded post.
Thanks for reading,
FOR PET OWNERS ONLY: Here are some helpful sites with at home remedies for Canine Yeast Infection: I might also recommend Googling The Great Dane Lady. She has a web site filled with helpful hints. Good luck.