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Blog Canine Massage Wellness Maintenance

Stay Home and Massage Your Dog with Me

Stay home and massage your dog with me!

Let’s make sure our pets are not emotionally effected by our emotions while dealing with this pandemic!

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Blog Senior Dogs Wellness Maintenance

Rescued Senior Dog, Sassy’s Canine Aquatic Therapy Session – Summer 2015 Part 2

Sassy enjoying water

This is a continuation of:Sassy’s Canine Aquatic Therapy Session – Summer 2015

To Keep Her Muzzle Above Water

The biggest concern was that she is not strong enough to keep her head above water. So I wanted to try using this noodle nunchuck for kids that I found at the store for Sassy.

Noodle nunchuck for kids
noodle nunchuck for kids

I was hoping that she could rest her chin above the noodle, but unfortunately, Sassy didn’t care for it.

She would rather not have any assistance and do it in her own way. She is just a very independent dog!

Despite this limitation, Sassy is getting more and more comfortable. It is never too late for senior dogs to learn new things.

Senior dog owners, don’t give up!

She can actually swim moving all four legs on good days. Check her out in the video below!

FB video to Sassy swimming
Video via Facebook

Not too bad, is it?

She always walks a lot better with more confidence after an aquatic session.

I’m so proud of her!

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Blog Senior Dogs Wellness Maintenance

Sassy’s Canine Aquatic Therapy Session – Summer 2015

Canine Hydro Therapy with Sassy & Eri Suzaki
Fun Session on a Warm Day in Late Summer.

When Sassy’s family took her to the beach, they noticed how much she loved water.

She kept walking into the ocean despite the 15-year-old’s limited mobility.

That is how they became interested in providing water therapy for Sassy.

A Relaxed Body but Not Enough Strength to keep the Head Afloat

My face in the photo looks so serious!

The reason is because I realized that Sassy wasn’t quite strong enough to hold her own head up above water.

If I moved my hand from under her chin, her nose would go under water and she’d produce bubbles from her nose.

We freaked out every time that happened, but the funny thing was that Sassy was the only calm one!

She was so relaxed and gracious as if she was enjoying a nice snorkeling session!

Plan B Next Time!

Although she was fine with her nose going under water, we were a little concerned.

So I kept my hand under her chin to keep her head up for most of the session.

However without my hand there, I know it would’ve been so much easier for her to move her forearms.

So next time, we’ll have a Plan B, C or even D just in case.

Stay tuned!

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Blog Pain Management For Your Dogs Wellness Maintenance

4 Health Benefits of Giving Your Dog a Foot Bath

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4 Health Benefits of Giving Your Dog a Foot Bath

The followings are the primary benefits:

  1. Improves circulation (Nutrients will be carried throughout the body where necessary)
  2. Speeds up metabolism (senior or less active dogs can burn calories efficiently)
  3. Alleviates chronic pain (i.e., arthritis)
  4. Prevents injuries by loosening & softening the muscles

Why the Feet?

Soaking the feet (in humans as well as dogs) increases blood flow by dilating the blood vessels in the legs and feet.

This alleviates blood congestion in internal organs.

It also relaxes tense muscles and elevates body temperature.

Prep a Foot Bath – In a Bucket Or In Your Tub

[lightbox link=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/foot-bath2.jpg” thumb=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/foot-bath2.jpg” width=”1200″ align=”none” title=”foot-bath2″ frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

Essential Oil Recipe For Arthritis & Chronic Pain

  1. Warm water: 100ºF ~ 110ºF (37ºC ~ 43ºC)
  2. Baking soda:  Approx. 1 tablespoon ~ 1 cup (Adjust depending on how much water you will use.)
  3. Essential oils: Roman Chamomile : Helichrysum = 1:1 (For a small dog in a small bucket, 1 drop each. For a larger dog in a tub, a few drops each.)

 

If you are not familiar with essential oils, I recommend you to read my past article “Aroma Therapy: Relaxing and Effective Way to Care For Your Dog“, too.

Safety Notice

When you buy a bottle, make sure it is 100% essential oil without additives like these.  ↓ ↓ ↓

doTERRA Roman Chamomile Essential Oil 5ml

Young Living Helichrysum Essential Oil 5 ml

 

*DO NOT APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS ON DOGS WITHOUT DILUTING*
** ESSENTIAL OILS ARE VERY POTENT. DO NOT OVER USE IT **

I hope that your dog will be all warmed up, relaxed, comfortable and enjoy spending time with you!

 

 

Note: Aroma therapy sessions and classes are no longer offered. We currently offer canine massage, cold laser and exercises. (2018)

Categories
Blog Wellness Maintenance

What Can You Do While Your Dog Is Still Young? 4 Tips to Maintaining the Well-being of Your Dog

[lightbox link=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/chuky-green.jpg” thumb=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/chuky-green.jpg” width=”1200″ align=”none” title=”Chunk” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

Massage Sessions With A Senior Dog With Declining Health…

I recently had the opportunity to have some massage sessions with a large 13.5 yr-old dog at an emergency hospital where she was admitted and received 2 major surgeries. Unfortunately her condition worsened, and her family eventually decided that it was time to let her go.

The reason the vets decided to bring me in was mainly for improving circulation.

Improved circulation is a preeminent physical benefit of massage. Many additional benefits derive from this primary effect.

Some of the additional effects of massage:

  • Promotes healing by increasing the flow of nutrients to the muscles and carrying away toxins and excess fluids
  • Releases endorphins, which are natural pain killers
  • Softens muscle tissues resulting in better range of motion, prevention in atrophy (muscle wasting) and injuries
  • Releases serotonin, which is a “happy” hormone.

She was a senior that had been laying down most of the day with tubes hooked up to her body.

Also she had some chronic/geriatric issues such as hip dysplasia and atrophy. Her legs would cross or knuckle due to less sensitivity in proprioception.

So do you see why the vets wanted to include massage sessions in the dog’s recovery process?

Caring For A Large-Sized Dog Is Not Easy!

As I visited her at the hospital twice a day, I got to see closely how vets and vet techs work in the back room.

Boy, I have a whole new appreciation for them. What they do is not easy!

Before a session, I had to ask a vet tech to help me get the dog out of bed and take her out to pee.

Halfway through session, I had to ask a vet tech to help me get the dog up and change sides.

It is NOT easy helping a large dog with mobility issues, especially with some sensitive areas/joints, as you can imagine.

Being Able to Walk Until The Very End

Ideally, all dogs should be able to walk on their own until the end. This is one of my biggest hopes for every dog. I’m not just saying this because it is physically hard for you to assist a large dog. But being able to stand up on their own is crucial to the dogs’ mental health. Being able to walk gives dogs confidence.

When I first met with the dog at the hospital, she was still able to walk little bit. I remember one of the vets said to me hopefully; “She hasn’t given up!”

What Can We Do While Our Dogs Are Still Young?

Dealing With Joint Diseases And Injuries

Consult with your trusted vet and do your own research as to what options may work best for your dog.

If you decide not to go with a surgery, make sure you fully understand (1) the prognosis and (2) what type of care and support is necessary to manage the condition under control.

Muscular & Skeletal Maintenance

  •  It is important to let the tired muscles full of lactic acid rest before allowing your dog to do more physical activity
  • Apply a heat pack while your dog is laying down resting

 Typically, behind the shoulders and lower back is a good place to apply heat to release tension from the dog’s body.  No matter how young the dog is, the muscles need to be loosened and relaxed regularly to prevent injuries.

  • Pay attention to how your dog walks and notice any abnormalities. REMEMBER: Dogs are good at hiding pain.

 

Diet

  • Revisit your dog’s diet. Does the food contain preservatives? By-products? Are you open to the idea of cooking for your dog or adding raw food?
  • Consider adding joint supplements BEFORE you start seeing some signs of discomfort. ChodroPaw is what I personally used on my dog, Chuckie that helped him tremendously.

  • Hydrate your dog’s body. If your dog’s main food is dry kibble, try adding veggies/fish/meat stock.

Preventative & Maintenance

  • Consider providing massage regularly
  • Consider providing acupuncture regularly
  • Consider providing chiropractic adjustments regularly

 

Every little thing you do for you dog each day will determine how gracefully your dog ages.

Let’s start making changes today.

 

 

 

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Blog DIY Ideas for Your Dogs Wellness Maintenance

DIY Heat Pad For Your Dog & Learn Why It is Beneficial For Your Pets!

[lightbox link=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/heat-pad-application.jpg” thumb=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/heat-pad-application.jpg” width=”1200″ align=”none” title=”Heat pad application” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

A Well-Circulated Body Is The Key

Where I live, summer seems to have extended a little into fall this year, and for someone who feels cold all the time due to bad circulation, I am thoroughly enjoying it!

However, as we approach the colder seasons, I would like to suggest adding heat therapy for your dogs (and for you as well :)).

Why?

Because good circulation is the foundation of a healthy body. This goes for people and all animals.

A Vicious Cycle

Blood/lymphatic circulation is slowed or interrupted

Nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy muscles will not be carried throughout the body

Because the muscles are not receiving enough nutrients, motor power of body decreases

Because the joints are not moved correctly due to less power created by muscles, joints will be stiff (pain)

Untreated stiff joints will eventually result in less or no range of motion (pain)

Because joints are not mobile, circulation will be further slowed and body waste and toxins will remain in the body longer (Long-term negative effect on the body)

Your Dog May Have Bad Circulation Anytime, Even In Summer

It is certainly easier to manage arthritic or any other geriatric pain in warmer weather, but don’t assume your dog is well-circulated just because it’s hot, especially if your dog is:

  1. a senior or less-active or 
  2. a small/toy breed that spends long hours in an air-conditioned room

Making A Heat Pad For Your Dog

Now that you see the importance of a well-circulated body, here is a DIY project for you: A hand-made heat pad for your dog.

There are so many different kinds of heat pads online or in stores, but here is a really simple way to make your own.

What You Will Need:

  • Any type of grain (i.e., rice, oats, or even beans) Try and see the difference between the sizes and shapes of the grain.
  • Cotton cloth of your choice
  • Thread
  • Needle

[lightbox link=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/heat-pad-contents.jpg” thumb=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/heat-pad-contents.jpg” width=”1200″ align=”none” title=”heat-pad-contents” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

Simply sew up 2 pieces of cloth (rectangular or any shape you would like) in 3 directions, and then flip them over. Put in the grain of your choice and sew the opening to make a little pillow.

Optional:

  • Add some herbs in the heat pad
    Make sure you pick a scent that your dog likes regardless of what the herb is known to be good for.
  • Make a pocket that you can slip your heat pad into [Shown in the photos]
    This way, the heat pad stays clean and you can easily wash the pocket as necessary

How To Use It

  1. Throw the heat pad in a microwave (for proably less than a minute. Please adjust according to the power of your microwave.)
  2. Gently apply it on your dog’s back, leg, tummy or wherever your dog allows. It is best to do this when you are relaxed in the evening, while you’re just hanging out petting your dog.
  3. If you know how and if your dog allows, massage.

Other Ways To Help Circulate Your Dog’s Body

 

Reference

Here is a video instruction for using a heat pad for the hind legs. (The content was intended for a detox program in the past)

You can see my Chuckie who departed last year at age 17. He still looked great then :)

Categories
Blog DIY Ideas for Your Dogs Wellness Maintenance

DIY Exercise Mat For Your Dog

Here is a really simple & easy DIY project for you. Try having your dog walk on this obstacle mat slowly with some treats & encouragement. Sometimes, this could be more fun and effective than just a normal walk outside.

What you need:

  • Door mat (or bath mat ) x 1
  • Floating tube x 1 ~ 2
  • Towel x 1
  • Crazy Glue

[lightbox link=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/diy-dog-mat.jpg” thumb=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/diy-dog-mat.jpg” width=”1104″ align=”none” title=”DIY Dog Mat Instruction” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

How to:

  1.  Have a door mat or bath mat ready. It can be substituted with a thick towel as well.
  2. Cut a floating tube in a length that will fit within the width of the mat.  Place them in an appropirate distance between according to your dog’s size.
  3. Glue the tubes onto the mat.
  4. Cover the surface with a towel or a sheet in a similar material.

That’s it! You can glue the towel onto the tubes and the mat, but it is up to you. If you’d prefer to wash the towel often, leave the towel unglued.

The Longer You Walk Your Dog The Better?

When you think about exercising your dog, you tend to just think about the distance and not so much about the quality of exercise. We tend to think that longer you walk the better to build muscles. But, it is not exactly true, especially if your dog has some over-worked muscles. Over-worked muscles are tight and full of lactic acid. If your dog will keep using the already tired muscles, your dog will likely injure easily.  Why? Because tight muscles are not flexible enough to withhold a shock, twist or landing.  So, rest in between exercises is important in order to maintain healthy muscles. Ask any person who goes to the gym religiously about over-worked muscles.

Notice When To Take A Break

Dogs are good at hiding pain and would love to go for a walk even if they have to skip or hop here and there to compensate the problem area. If you are not watching carefully, you may not even notice this. It is hard to tell anyway because your dog is so excited to go outside and play with you!  But it is our responsibility to maintain our dogs’ physical condition!

So, let’s say you and your dog had a long weekend of having fun outdoor, hiking, swimming, etc. Monday comes, your dog seems little stiff especially in the morning getting out of bed. In this case, keep your walk really short.  If your dog is not interested in going out at all, then skip it completely.  Instead, do a little game in the house using an exercise mat like this.

Playing On the Mat

Have your dog walk slowly on the mat by bending the knee; not hopping or jumping over. Try using some treats to encourage him/her to move forward or add the “stay” command here and there (if he/she knows it). The key is to have him/her walk slowly going over the tubes while properly bending the knee.

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Blog Wellness Maintenance

[MUST WATCH VIDEO] Aroma Therapy For Your Dog

Aroma Therapy sessions have always been stand-alone services with Canine Therapeutics, but effective August 1, it will be an add-on service to a massage session.

In case you are not sure what Aroma Therapy is, I would like to give you a quick overview. But, first, watch this video. This is probably the best way for you to get an idea of what an Aroma Therapy session looks like.

What Is Aroma Therapy?

Aroma Therapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils for medical and therapeutics purposes.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are aromatic liquid distilled from plants, shrubs, trees, roots, leaves or seeds.

How Do Essential Oils Work?

  • Physically: antiseptic, anti viral, antibacterial, initiate cell regeneration, etc.

    Example

    Tea tree has powerful antiseptic properties and is often used as a teeth and /or ear cleaner. Also commonly used to ward off insects.

  • Psychologically: aromatic molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream from the nasal cavity to the limbic system (responsible for emotional responses, smell, reason and formation of memories.)

    Example

    Roman camomile with sadative properties is often used for anxiety or depression. Similarily, Bergamot, Marjoram, Lavendar, Valerian…etc., and many others are used to calm, relax, wipe out negative feelings or elevate mood.

How Do You Use Essential Oils?

  • Direct application onto the skin via massage
  • Inhalation via diffuser
  • Oral intake (generally not for small domesticated animals)

Our Services

Warm essential oils are applied directly on your dog’s skin while massaging, demonstrated in the video.

Products Used

Essential & Carrier Oils: 100% Pure organic oils are used. Depending on the type, oils are purchased from:

Disclaimers: Canine Therapeutics follows the standards set by the National Association For Holistic Aromatherapy. At this point, Canine Therapeutics is shying away using endangered or threatened oils; such as Agarwood (Aquilaria sp.), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) and Sandalwood (Santalum album).

 

NOTE: Aroma therapy sessions or classes are no longer offered. We currently offer: canine massage, cold laser & exercises. (2018)

 

Categories
Blog Wellness Maintenance

Moxibustion: A Thermal Therapy for Your Dogs

Moxibustion…I’m pretty sure you said “Moxi–whaaaat??”

It may sound weird and foreign but what it can do for our dogs is huge.

Moxibustion, A Heat Therapy Intended to Stimulate Circulation

Moxibustion (mox·i·bus·tion)

In Japanese = Mogusa (Mugwort)
In Latin = Combustio (Burning)

Moxibustion is a heat therapy, intended to stimulate circulation through application over acupressure points for smoother flow of blood and qi/chi, as well as pain reduction. Commonly used for pain associated with:

  • over-worked muscles
  • irritated skin
  • herniated disks
  • cancer

[lightbox link=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mogusa-moxibustion.jpg” thumb=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mogusa-moxibustion.jpg” width=”1200″ align=”none” title=”Mogusa (moxibustion)” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

Moxibustion with Loquat Leave Extract

Now, just burning mugwort alone will create dry heat. But, if applied with loquat leave extract, it will be wet heat, which has been proven to alliviate pain for a longer period of time versus dry heat.

[lightbox link=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Loquat-leaves1.jpg” thumb=”https://k9therapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Loquat-leaves1.jpg” width=”1200″ align=”none” title=”Loquat Leaves” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

You’ve seen loquat trees, right? Have you eaten the fruit? So, why we use Loquat leave extract?

Loquat leaves are rich in amygdalin and contains vitamin B17. Well known remedies include:

  • anti inflammatory
  • smoother flow of blood (natural blood thiner)
  • pain reduction
  • relaxation

Through combining the heat therapy using mugwart and loquat leave extract, we can achieve an effective treatment particularly for pain reduction purposes.

The loquat leave extract we used are:

  • alcohol free
  • pesticide free and grown specifically for moxibustion therapy use
  • abundant in magnesium, zinc and other minerals as it is cured with concentrated natural sea salt

Add Moxibustion To Massage = A Powerful Tool For Your Dog’s Aches & Pains

So, if you are like me; wanting to make sure you dog is feeling comfortable, free from pain with use of very little or no use of synthetic medication, give moxibustion a try.  If you think your dog will be fearful or irritated with the heat or smoke, it is totally understandable.  But sometimes, if we step back a little, breathe and be open to new things, you will be surprised at how open your dog will be, too.

Is this totally ridiculous? Do you think it’s scary? Let me know what you think. Your comments are welcome. :)

 

(※This add-on service is no longer available. – 2020)


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Blog Wellness Maintenance

The Reason Why The Dog Doesn’t Sit Straight And One Way To Help Correct Your Dog’s Posture

This is SO exciting for me.  This is HUGE!  Take a look at this video and I hope you will be excited as much as I am. :) What happens in this video: The dog with patellar luxation will sit completely differently after some TTouch strokes were applied.

The Reason Why The Dog Doesn’t Sit Straight

puppie-218x293I’m sure you have seen a dog sitting on (one side or both) of the bottom directly without bending the knee(s) before. What’s the big deal? The big deal is that the dogs must have a reason why they sit like that. Usually, if dogs have discomfort or pain in the legs, they compromise the way they sit. Let’s imagine this. When you need to squat but if you have pain in your knee, what would you do? You really don’t want to bend the knee becasue it hurts, right? Then, you would try squatting by bending the other knee only, shifting your weight onto the side of the working knee. If you always have to squat with one leg, I would assume;

  • Your working leg will grow tighter due to having to have to work extra hard,
  • Your working leg may eventually become sore or painful from dealing with weight that is more than what one leg should handle

Same idea for dogs.

If the dog keeps compensating for something and shifting body weight around…

Over-worked muscles will be tight and sore.

The muscles will lose elasticity and flexibility.

Because the muscles are not flexible enough to withstand jumping, twisting or any other fast movement, the dog is more likely to injure the muscle.

The muscles around the origin of pain will atrophy because it is not being used.

The spine may be misaligned with habitual improper posture and misuse of limbs. Make sense so far?

TTouch

For those who are not familiar with the name “TTouch”, it is called Tellington TTouch and it was developed by Dr. Tellington.

TTouch is a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence – a little like “turning on the electric lights of the body.” (http://www.ttouch.com/)

TTouch is well-known as a training tool for animals with behavioral problems, but I must emphasize that it is also effective in terms of bringing body awareness to animals. If the posture has been compromised for a long period of time, dogs are so used to it and normally have habitual movement and posture developed. Dogs usually don’t pay much attention to their hind legs anyway.

 

Reset The Body For Success

By activating the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence via TTouch, we can encourage the dog’s body to “reset” itself on the cellular level. When TTouch strokes are applied, it is known as activating all 4 brain waves. That means that the dog is reset and ready to absorb something new. In other words, you can set the dog up for success in terms of learning how to learn. In this case, sitting using (bending) the knee.

Look at Dewey sitting so much better at the end of the video compared to the beginning part of the video! The more the dog stands in a proper posture, the more we can expect the body to develop and maintain muscles in balance.

Dewey Before and After TTouch

Combining TTouch is a great idea for all dogs in addition to massage for general wellness. Leading the dog to have proper posture is like having the dog take an initiative of the body, while (a person) massaging the dog is the opposite; a passive (and accepting) way to feel good about the body.

Now do you see why I’m so excited??

 

If you would like to try TTouch on your dog, this is a great reference book to get started.