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!
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!
This is a continuation of:“Sassy’s Canine Aquatic Therapy Session – Summer 2015“
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.
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!
Not too bad, is it?
She always walks a lot better with more confidence after an aquatic session.
I’m so proud of her!
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.
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!
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.
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The followings are the primary benefits:
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.
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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.
When you buy a bottle, make sure it is 100% essential oil without additives like these. ↓ ↓ ↓
*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)
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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:
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?
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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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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 :)).
Because good circulation is the foundation of a healthy body. This goes for people and all animals.
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)
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:
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.
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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.
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 :)
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aroma Therapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils for medical and therapeutics purposes.
Essential oils are aromatic liquid distilled from plants, shrubs, trees, roots, leaves or seeds.
Tea tree has powerful antiseptic properties and is often used as a teeth and /or ear cleaner. Also commonly used to ward off insects.
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.
Warm essential oils are applied directly on your dog’s skin while massaging, demonstrated in the video.
Essential & Carrier Oils: 100% Pure organic oils are used. Depending on the type, oils are purchased from:
NOTE: Aroma therapy sessions or classes are no longer offered. We currently offer: canine massage, cold laser & exercises. (2018)
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.
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:
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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.
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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:
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:
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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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.
I’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;
Same idea for dogs.
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?
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.
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.
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.