Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Quite a few years ago, I had my first accidental introduction to the fact the an animals nose is like a thermometer for a pets nutritional health and not just it's temperature and well being.  A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel attended my practice with terminal cardiac failure.  The main reason for the referral was not to help with the heart condition, but to see if I could do anything for the patients appetite.

As it turned out this was one of the turning points in my understanding of  how simple supplements could turn a patient around.  I decided that Brewers Yeast was full of B vitamins including Vitamin B 12 (commonly known or seen to be an appetite stimulant).  In addition I felt that the dog could do with some multivitamin and suggested that nettle and kelp were a good source of many nutrients.  I also suggested they try the dog on some fresh meat and ideally green veg blended into the food and either fish oil or flax oil (turns out the dog liked the latter or as I now know was self selecting the best supplement for itself)

The result was rather astounding as the owners insisted on coming for a repeat appointment just so I could see how well the dog was doing! When I saw the dog I too was amazed at the patient at the first consult was suffering from weak legs and really looked like a lost cause. The owner also pointed out that the dry cracked pale nose now just six weeks later was starting to become darker much less cracked and had a bit of a shine.

I was fascinated and now wanted to know what had turned this pet around not just in physical appearance but also when I listened to the heart it too had improved with no additional drugs! This was my first lesson in the true power of natural supplements.  Over the years that followed I discovered the benefit of fresh meat for heart dogs providing the amino acids L-Carnitine, Taurine and Co Enzyme Q10 in their natural all of which can distinctly help with DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy)! Co Enzyme Q10 is depleted by some heart drugs and this in turn leads to cardiac failure as can the loss of many other vital nutrients. Thus the improvement in the heart, but it was a picture in Patrick Holford's book the 9 day liver detox diet that later put together in simple terms what I had learned in college.  The drugs the dog was on needed nutrients to help them be metabolized (broken down) in the body at the cost of the dogs health.  The diuretics were leaching potassium (along with zinc and many other trace nutrients due to the increased water through in the kidneys) while thickening the blood by dehydration to draw fluid out of the lungs something the flax oil helped by thinning the blood somewhat and helping fluid retention in the right rather than the wrong places in the body.  The Brewers Yeast helped replace some of the lost nutrients affecting coat and nose colour along with the Kelp providing replacement potassium copper zinc magnesium and calcium all of which led to the nerve conductivity in the muscles improving leading to better walking! The trace minerals in the kelp and nettle also helped colour the nose as do berries such as Blue Berry and many other dark berries.

Some times a nose is just black and sometimes a nose is just plain pale, but sometimes it is a sick nose that used to be dark and shiny and that can make all the difference.



Sowpath das said...

nice post

James Terrier said...

The search for natural remedies will continue - both for humans and pets. I've read somewhere that acupuncture is an alternative treatment for dog arthritis and I have to say it has made me curious. My neighbor's dog is quite old and the owner said that they went to a certified acupuncturist to help find relief. I was quite taken aback to see their dog after a month with a new gait and she attributed it to the natural treatment method. She also sent me a link where I can find some information regarding acupuncture and other holistic medicine for dogs: http://dogsaholic.com/care/holistic-medicine-for-dogs.html