Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A New Plan

...for the itchies.

We went yesterday for the first time to a Holistic vet. It was different but what he said made sense! He gave us a new plan for attacking the itchies that includes -
Taking chicken out of his diet and increasing the amount of beef and fish.
Giving him some herbs and some liquid that I have to squirt in Rugby's mouth but he doesn't have to swallow three times a day.
Rugby also got acupuncture yesterday, and some vitamins too. 

He sent us home with articles to read, which I really enjoyed. They were filled with dog care facts (nutrition, fighting fleas and ticks, proper heartworm medication use, etc), some of the stuff I knew and some of it I didn't. Every dog owner could benefit from reading them and it is a shame that all vets don't give them to their clients!

I left pretty happy, since I agreed with this vet on alot of his points. This was a very nice change to our past vet experiences. We spent a LOT of time with the vet (about an hour) - also surprising since most vets kind of do a 'drive by' and have their vet techs do the rest.

The only thing he said that I didn't agree with was that he prefers harness to collars?? Ewww. No comment.

For a little more exciting news, Rugby met Karrie's 3rd foster dog over the weekend. She had to work so we agreed to drive him to the adoption event that morning and leave him with some other volunteers. I think it is best if I don't mention the events of the day, and move right on to some pictures.

Here are a couple of Jed and Rugby...

And one just of Jed since he is so cute -

He MIGHT already have a new owner lined up but he tested positive for some sort of tick related disease I have never heard of and they won't sell him to someone untill he has been neutered.


  1. I used to feel the way you seem to about harnesses, but now I wouldn't go back. Everybody has their own feelings on it, but from what I've read, it's much healthier for the dogs to wear a harness, and that's really what I care about.

    Good luck to Jeb on finding a home!

  2. I'll be interested to see how Rugby does with the new recommendations! Don't let the harness thing offend you - I have two thoughts on that matter. 1) Many dogs are not properly trained how to behave on leash (unlike your Rugby), so pulling on a collar can cause pinched cervical nerves - the vet probably sees a lot of this & suggests harnesses to avoid the problem. 2) I do use a harness occasionally, like if we are going on a long hike (as opposed to a daily training/walk). That way Brutus can pick his way along the trail (which is hilly/uneven) and not need to worry about me accidentally tugging on him & messing with his balance. I actually let him lean against the leash a little under those circumstances, and this way that doesn't get transferred back to a collar and effect our everyday training. So there you have it :)

    Michelle & Brutus

  3. We're interested to see how things go at the holistic vet. We don't have one around here. We really love our vet, but would love to get a different outlook on things once in awhile. Please keep us posted!

    Stella, Gunther and Betty

  4. I hope those itchies go AWAY now Rugby!!

    Great photos!


  5. The itchies are a big deal here every summer. Anything that helps tame allergies is welcome!

  6. Here is my personal list of what harnesses are good for:

    1) Working Dogs (service dogs, search and rescue dogs, police dogs, etc)

    2) Tracking

    3) Buckling up in the car

    4) For letting me know the dogs most likely to eat Rugby.

    5) For letting me know which owners will have no possible way to stop their dogs should they decide they WILL eat Rugby.

    Harness are way to easy to chew through and maneuvered out of. For me in order to put a dog in a harness it needs to have a significant amount of training. If it has enough training for me to trust a harness, than the dog can be trusted off leash, and will be going naked instead.

  7. Margot linked me to your blog, as my mutt Duncan and I will be stepping into the AKC ring for the first time April 9th in pursuit of a CD title.

    Congrats on the CDX!

    On to today's post- I think the harness vs. collar is like index finger vs. elbow- yes, you can walk an untrained dog in a harness, but you're going to need a set of biceps to do it.

    I think your list missed a couple of very important uses of a harness- roading to fit up a dog for field or show, carting or sledding, and as a really amusing way for someone ~else~ to go skiing on dry land.

  8. Grammy agrees with you on harnesses! We have been trained to not pull on a collar when we are on a leash.

    Some of our elders used to have itchies too until Grammy figured out that they had allergies to corn. She took that out of their diets and no more itchies. She thinks that there are many reasons for itchies, but food allergies are often a cause.

    The Country Corgi Crew