CanEVA ELK VELVET ANTLER
HERBSMITH Clear AllerQi
Holistic Solutions for your Dog’s Allergies
years, Nancy struggled with the health of her beloved rescue dog,
Stanley. Stanley, a Golden retriever, suffered from a number of severe
allergies causing him to scratch the sides of his body until they were
raw. Stanley also developed weepy lesions on his skin causing his coat
to stink and feel gooey to the touch.
Nancy attempted to treat his allergies with a number of different
remedies. She went to a traditional veterinarian and was given
steroids to treat the constant itching. The pharmaceuticals caused
Stanley to develop polyuria/polydipsia (PU/PD), which is characterized
by the passage of large volumes of urine and excessive thirst. The PU/PD
led to frequent “accidents.” Nancy also tried using numerous topical
medicines, but found little relief for her suffering dog.
After two frustrating years, a friend of Nancy’s suggested that she
explore some holistic options to relieve Stanley’s allergies. Nancy
followed the advice and visited Christine Bessent, D.V.M. Dr. Bessent
recommended a formula of Chinese herbs called Herbsmith Clear
Allergies and acupuncture. This herbal formula is specifically
designed to treat dogs’ severe allergies. Nancy found this remedy to
be very effective with none of the negative side effects that she
encountered with traditional pharmaceutical treatments. Nancy is now
happy to report that Stanley’s allergies have been under control for
over a year. She is approaching the upcoming allergy season without
the anxiety that she had in previous years.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
There are many pharmaceutical options on the market that promise quick
results, but the ensuing side effects can be worse than the allergic
condition they are intended to treat. Dr. Bessent, founder of
Herbsmith, Inc., says there is an alternative way to address problems
like these. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a more natural,
holistic approach to veterinary care, has proven to be successful for
thousands of years.
“Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that allergies, like all
medical conditions, are symptoms of an underlying disharmony within
the body,” Dr. Bessent says. “To effectively treat the problem, you
must first address the underlying disharmony that is causing the
allergy to occur.”
An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen (from a food,
an inhalant or contact). These allergens cause the body’s defenses to
overreact, which leads to the overheating of a dog’s body. Some of the
associated symptoms include itchy and reddened skin, panting, and
restlessness. TCM states that the combination of warm (the heat of
allergies) and cool (the dog’s body temperature) often creates a
condition of “wind” within the body, which is what often causes
fiercely itchy skin. Another way that allergies can affect a dog’s
body is through the accumulation of phlegm. All of these symptoms
(heat, phlegm, and wind) stem from an imbalance in the dog’s liver,
referred to as “Liver Qi stagnation.” According to TCM, the liver is
the organ responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”),
which is the body’s overall life-force. The liver acts as a “pump” to
produce the smooth flow of energy throughout the entire body. When
that pump “overheats” as a result of an allergic reaction, the vital
fluids within the body evaporate and phlegm starts to accumulate. The
accumulation of phlegm causes the dog’s coat to give off a foul odor
and become greasy or gooey.
Any imbalance within the body can be explained using the model of “yin
and yang”, which is at the base of all TCM theory. Yin and yang both
exist within the body at all times. “Yin” represents the concepts of
cooling, fluids, quietness, and passive behavior. “Yang” represents
the concepts of heat, inflammation, outward energy, and aggressive
behavior. A healthy animal will have a perfect balance between the two
forces. According to TCM, any imbalance of the two is regarded as a
disease. From this perspective, allergies are commonly seen as an
excess of yang (heat) in the body causing the allergic
hypersensitivity. Dr. Bessent compares the body of an allergic dog to
a boiling pot of water. “In order to stop the boiling of the water,
you can either turn down the heat or add more water to the pot.”
Herbsmith Clear Allergies contains cooling herbs that bring down the
yang (or heat) within the body and yin tonifying herbs that increase
the fluids of the body overall, bringing the dog’s body back to a
Herbs used in TCM focus on a holistic way of treating diseases. In the
case of canine allergies, they work to bring down the heat within the
body, thus reducing inflammation of the skin and accumulation of
phlegm. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, the herbs address the root
cause of the allergy while still relieving the associated symptoms.
Types of Allergies
The two most common allergies found among dogs are to foods and
inhalants. Each of these allergy types affects a dog differently, but
they can be addressed using the same theories. There are some very
simple steps that can be taken to decrease the severity of your dog’s
When someone suspects that his or her dog has food allergies, the most
important step is identifying the food or foods that are causing the
reaction. It order to do so, the allergic dog should be reverted to a
very bland diet such as a single source protein diet, grain free or
other hypoallergenic diets that have minimized their ingredient base,
offer quality natural ingredients, do not include corn, wheat,
by-products or artificial colors or preservatives. After all signs of
past reactions have ceased, foods that the dog had eaten previously
should be slowly reincorporated into the dog’s diet, one by one.
Allergic reactions can take anywhere from a few hours to several days
to appear, so if the dog is showing no signs of an allergic reaction
after one week of eating a particular food, an additional food should
be reintroduced. During this process, if the dog starts to show signs
of a reaction (such as diarrhea, vomiting, gurgly stomach, or skin
irritations), the most recently incorporated food is revealed as the
allergen (or one of the allergens). That food should be permanently
eliminated from the dog’s diet. If someone is seeking an easier way to
diagnose your dog’s allergies, allergens can be detected through
specific allergy blood testing.
Another type of allergy common among dogs occurs as a result of
environmental or inhaled allergens. These allergies occur when dogs
breathe in particles such as mold, dust mites, dander, and pollens of
grasses and trees which can result in painful, itchy skin irritations.
“We could inhale the same pollens and not have any reaction, but
allergic dogs have a propensity to develop hypersensitivity causing
their whole bodies to become inflamed,” Dr. Bessent says. “This
disharmony is a result of too much heat and inflammation.”
Western medicine looks solely at physical allergy symptoms such as
itching, scratching and lesions, whereas TCM also recognizes the less
obvious symptoms such as restlessness, irritability and panting. All
of these signs indicate an allergic reaction, which reveals the
underlying issue of Liver Qi stagnation. In addition to using herbs,
Liver Qi stagnation can be treated using traditional Chinese
approaches like acupuncture and food therapy.
Food therapy, when combined with other approaches, can be a very
effective way to treat allergies in dogs. Chinese medical theory
states that food is like a medicine. The old adage that “you are what
you eat” applies here. Food is classified as having various properties
such as cooling, warming, etc. Allergic dogs should eat cooling foods
such as fish, duck and rabbit. The cooling foods help to bring down
the inflammation throughout the body. Foods like venison and lamb are
considered the warmest of proteins and, to an allergic dog, would
greatly increase the heat in the body and the allergic reaction. The
following are a few examples of cooling foods:
Yin, Tonic, Duck, Celery, Fish, String beans, Rabbit, Apple,
Whitefish, Banana, Cod, Pear, Barley, Flax seed oil, Brown
rice, Yogurt, Broccoli.
Incorporating cooling foods into an allergic dog’s diet may help to
resolve the underlying disharmony that is causing the reaction.
A Holistic Approach
When people see their dogs begin to itch generally their response has
been to visit a veterinarian who would typically advise the owner to
put the dog on antihistamines and corticosteroids. This approach,
however, may not be the best for the animal in the long run.
“Corticosteroids work great the first year by bringing down the
itching,” Dr. Bessent says. “The dog feels great and only has to take
a small amount. However, steroids damage the liver over time.”
The consequences of using corticosteroids can accumulate relatively
quickly. During the next allergy season the dog often has more
extensive allergies and the symptoms are more extreme. Instead of
allergies starting in August and September when ragweed is at its
height, the allergies start in July and extend into late October. The
itching increases and the dog develops more lesions. To quell the
symptoms, the dog is given more steroids and antihistamines, and the
cycle of symptom suppression continues. In addition, the long-term use
of traditional pharmaceuticals causes damage to the liver, creating an
even greater imbalance within the body. After years of treatment, the
dog is typically allergic to just about everything. Allergies often
continue into the dead of winter and can extend through the entire
Chinese herbs address the problem from a holistic point of view. In
the early stages, the dog will respond quickly to the herbs. However,
when the liver is damaged over the course of several years with
steroids, it becomes more difficult to resolve the underlying
disharmony. At that point, herbs can certainly be used to resolve the
issue, but the treatment typically takes more time.
Dr. Bessent started Herbsmith as a way to bring her years of
experience formulating veterinary herbal blends to a larger group of
pet owners. Her product line includes remedies for various different
ailments in canines and equines. Herbsmith Clear Allergies offers a
combination of herbs with cooling and yin-tonifying properties to
decrease inflammation and restore balance in the dog’s Qi without
damaging the liver.
The most important idea to remember about Chinese herbal blends is
that they do not just treat the symptoms of allergies. They address
the root imbalance, making for a happier, healthier dog.
“It’s really about the underlying disharmony,” Bessent says, “And when
you resolve that, the symptoms of the allergies go away.”
Herbsmith Clear Allergies helps to clear your dog’s allergies, without
the side effects caused by pharmaceuticals, and assists in restoring
balance to your dog’s system
Latin name: Taraxacum officinale (Asteraceane
Known best in North America
as a weed that pops up in freshly cut lawns,
dandelion grows wild in most of the world and is
cultivated as an herb in China, France, and Germany. Young leaves are
picked in the spring for tonic salads. In the early summer, before the
plant blooms, leaves are harvested for the manufacture of medicinal
teas, and tinctures. The roots of two-year-old plants are dug in the
fall, when they have their greatest concentration of the complex
carbohydrate inulin, for use in tablets and tinctures.
EVIDENCE OF BENEFIT
Dandelion leaves are a powerful diuretic. The
roots act as a blood purifier that helps both the kidneys and the
liver to remove toxins and poisons from the blood. The roots have been
used for centuries to treat jaundice. Dandelion also acts as a mild
laxative and improves appetite and digestion. It is useful for
eczema-like skin problems, boils, and abscesses, and is believed to
help prevent age spots and breast cancer.
Benefits of dandelion for
specific health conditions include the following:
Dandelion contains high levels of potassium, is
a rich source of iron and vitamins, and, ounce for ounce, contains
more carotene than carrots. Herbalists have used dandelion for
generations to treat anemia due to deficiencies of folic acid, iron,
and vitamin B12.
• Bladder infection and
premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Unlike
many conventional diuretics, which cause a loss of potassium,
dandelion leaves are rich in potassium. Using the herb as a diuretic
results in a net gain of this vital mineral. Because of its diuretic
effect, dandelion helps to relieve fluid retention in premenstrual
syndrome (PMS) and counteract urine retention in bladder infections.
By increasing potassium levels, dandelion aids in alleviating muscle
spasms and nighttime leg cramps.
• Constipation, hemorrhoids,
research has shown that dandelion root is a mild bitter, or appetite
stimulant. Bitters of all types activate a reflex that increases the
secretion of digestive juices by the
lining of the stomach. Dandelion root has a significant cleansing
effect on the liver by stimulating the production of bile, which
ultimately results in increased transport of a variety of potentially
noxious compounds to the stool. Increasing the release of bile also
relieves constipation without causing diarrhea and stops spasms of the
bile duct. Dandelion should be avoided, however, if you have
gallstones, since increasing the flow of bile could increase pressure
against the stones.
• Irritable bowel syndrome
Bulgarian studies of a five-herb combination including
dandelion found that more than 95 percent of IBS sufferers were
pain-free after fifteen days of treatment. This herbal combination
also improved regularity.
• Liver problems and
principles in dandelion increase bile production and bile flow in the
liver. This makes it useful for people with sluggish liver function
due to alcohol abuse or poor diet. It is restorative to the liver and
helps reduce the risk of developing gallstones, but you should avoid
it if you already have gallstones.
Dandelion is a rich source of boron, which helps
to raise estrogen levels in the blood, and in turn helps preserve
bone. It is also a rich source of calcium and a fair source of
silicon, which some studies suggest helps strengthen bone.
European herbalists frequently prescribe
dandelion tinctures as a weight-loss aid. Dandelion reduces water
weight through its diuretic effect. It may also help the liver
regulate blood sugars to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),
frequently an immediate cause of binge eating. Also, the increase in
bile flow stimulated by dandelion helps to improve fat metabolism in
the body. In one laboratory study, animals that were given daily doses
of dandelion extract for a month lost up to 30 percent of their body
CONSIDERATIONS FOR USE
If you have gallstones or biliary tract
obstructions, you should avoid this herb. Dandelion should not be used
as a substitute for pharmaceutical diuretics for hypertension. If you
are taking diuretic drugs, insulin, or medications that reduce
blood-sugar levels, you should use dandelion only under a physician's
supervision. People with known allergies to related plants, such as
chamomile and yarrow, should use dandelion with caution.
Dandelion also should be
avoided during antibiotic treatment,
especially treatment with ciprofloxacin (Cipro),
ofloxacin (Floxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), norfloxacin (Noroxin),
and enoxacin (Penetrex), since it may keep concentrations of these
antibiotics from peaking in the bloodstream, diminishing their ability
to fight infection.
DGP-Dog Gone Pain
DGP - Dog Gone Pain is a natural herbal supplement that
revitalizes older dogs both physically and mentally. It supports joint
function and enhances mobility and demeanor. Your dog can still enjoy
life! Bring out the puppy in your dog with Dog-Gone Pain.
Aches and pains
reduce your dog's enjoyment of life and our enjoyment of their
company. Running, walking, getting into the car or just rising to
greet you become painful ordeals. Dog Gone Pain helps your dog become
the same carefree and playful member of the family he or she used to
be‚ and wants to be again.
developed by leading Australian veterinarians & herbalists. It is an
all natural herbal supplement that contains the following ingredients:
Feverfew, Celery Seed, Wheatgrass, Boswelia, Bromelain, Papain,
Corydalis Root, Cayenne, Turmeric, Shark Cartilage and a Proprietary
Blend of Native Australian Herbs.
Each bottle of DGP contains 60 chewable tablets.
Give Dogs or Cats under 30 lbs., one tablet daily.
For larger dogs,
2-3 tablets daily depending on pet's body weight
(divide dose a.m./p.m. if possible).
The Whole Dog
The Whole Dog
Journal featured Dog Gone Pain in the May, 2006 issue and reported
excellent results. A study of older dogs with arthritic pain or
stiffness all showed an improvement. (A reprint of this article
or subscription can be obtained at the
Whole Dog Journal.) The
manufacturer also states that noticeable results will be seen in just
How It Works
It Might Not Be “Just A Noise” to Your Dog!
When young children hear a scary noise at night, they often run to
their parents. The response is usually something like “Don’t worry. It was
just thunder.” Or “It was just a noise. Nothing to be frightened of.”
Unfortunately, for a dog that is afraid of noise, no amount of explaining
or consoling will help. Noise Anxiety is a very real and very common
problem for dogs across the country. The estimates vary widely, but
somewhere between 5 million and 15 million dogs suffer from noise anxiety
severe enough for their owners to seek help. That’s a lot of anxiety!
Below is a brief overview of canine noise anxiety including symptoms,
causes, and remedies. If your dog suffers from noise anxiety, there are
choices available to help relieve her stress. Unfortunately, many
veterinarians are not well versed on the different treatments out there
and jump to prescribing medications. Make sure you do your research before
settling on a plan. But believe me, your dog isn’t alone in her fear and
you can help her!
|Symptoms of Canine Noise Anxiety
|Whining / Barking
||Seeking Tight Spaces
||Clinging to People
||Shaking / Trembling
||Pacing / Panicked Running
Noise anxiety can exhibit many symptoms and severity levels. On the
less extreme end of the spectrum, a fear of thunder may just cause some
shaking and clinging to her owner. On the other extreme, thunder may cause
panicked running, destructive chewing, defecating indoors, or even jumping
through a plate glass window! The table below lists many of the known
symptoms. Review the list to see which symptoms your dog may exhibit. Some
owners aren’t even aware that a negative behavior they are seeing is
actually caused by noise anxiety. For example, does your dog get upset
when you take photographs using a flash? That may be noise anxiety! The
flash may remind your dog of lightning and she becomes frightened that a
storm may be coming.
Determining what caused your dog’s noise anxiety may be difficult to
pinpoint, if not impossible. If you’re lucky, you may be able to trace the
start of your dog’s anxiety to a traumatic incident such as being too
close to a fireworks show or too close to a lightning strike and its
subsequent thunder clap. But more than likely, it won’t be anything that
obvious. Your dog may have a genetic predisposition for noise anxiety.
Studies have shown that some breeds have a higher incidence of noise
anxiety such as Collies, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. For some
dogs, noise anxiety gradually appears and worsens as they age for no
apparent reason. For other dogs, it appears as a puppy and stays with
But one thing that most experts agree on… when it comes to noise
anxiety, you never want to pet, coddle, or otherwise console the dog when
she’s exhibiting symptoms. Your dog will most likely interpret your
behavior as “You see! I do have something to be worried about!” It’s
important for the people around the dog to behave normally during events
that trigger the dog’s anxiety. In fact, a possible cause for noise
anxiety in the first place is her owner’s nervousness or fear of some kind
of noise. Most dogs are very sensitive to their owners’ moods. If her
owner has a fear of thunder, she may give her owner the benefit of the
What your dog is actually experiencing with noise anxiety could also be
numerous things. For some, it may be just the noise that bothers her… a
dog’s hearing is far more sensitive than a person’s and some loud noises
may even cause physical discomfort. But for others, it may not even be the
actual noise that frightens the dog. Dogs have highly developed senses of
smell… they may smell a thunderstorm long before they hear any thunder.
Dogs are more sensitive to barometric pressure changes than people… wide
swings in pressure may even cause pain in some dogs. Dogs also may react
to the buildup of static electricity in their fur when Thunderstorms
Whatever the case may be, there are treatments to consider for giving
relief to your dog.
Treatments for Noise Anxiety
So what are you to do? Different treatments work for different dogs.
There is no guarantee that any one alternative is best for your dog.
Besides the effectiveness at reducing symptoms, there are other issues to
consider when evaluating which treatment may be best for your dog. Some
treatments can be very time consuming for the owner (for example,
desensitizing). Some treatments can become very expensive and pose risks
of side effects (for example, ongoing medications). I suggest that you
review the options below. If you are just getting started with treating
your dog’s noise anxiety, I recommend beginning with the least expensive
and time consuming option (a wrap) and if that doesn’t produce the desired
results, continue with the other options. It’s not unusual for a
combination of treatments to ultimately be the most effective for a
Change the Dog’s Environment
These are the “common sense” simple things to try if feasible for
your circumstances. Try creating a safe haven for your dog (such as a
blanket-covered crate) or finding a location that will reduce the noise
level. Try turning on music or the television to help mask the sound of
the problem noise. If you know an event is coming (e.g. thunderstorm or
fireworks), try giving your dog a lot of exercise beforehand. None of
the above typically shows dramatic results, but they can help to reduce
This is a surprisingly simple and effective treatment for many dogs.
But unfortunately, most veterinarians have never even heard of it as a
treatment for noise anxiety. A “pressure wrap” is anything that wraps
around the dog’s torso and chest to provide a constant, gentle pressure.
Why does it work? No one knows for sure but it’s likely a combination of
making the dog feel comforted and secure plus distracting the dog from
concentrating on whatever it fears. This treatment has been around for
years and has been proven very effective for many dogs. You can try to
make one yourself out of an appropriately sized t-shirt, but it can be
difficult to put on and to get the desired fit. A product like
Thundershirt works very well. It is very easy to put on, is well made,
and is the least expensive commercial wrap available… just $36. And
Thundershirt offers a satisfaction guarantee… if it doesn’t work for
you, you can return it for a full refund. Pressure wraps often show good
results with the first usage, however some dogs require 2, 3 or more
usages before you see reduced or eliminated symptoms. A pressure wrap is
inexpensive, the least time consuming, and has no risk of negative side
effects. So why not try it?
Desensitization is one of the most common behavior modification tried
for noise anxiety. In a nutshell, in a controlled environment, you begin
by exposing your dog to a low level of the noise that bothers her. As
she gets accustomed to it, you increase the levels louder and louder
over time until she learns to tolerate the real deal. It’s good in
theory but has limitations in practice. It’s very time consuming… if it
works at all for your dog, you will likely have to give periodic
treatments weekly for the rest of the dog’s life. And many dogs are too
smart to react to the “staged” noise; they can tell the difference
between a CD playing a thunderstorm and the real thing. If you want to
give it a try, several books are available on the subject.
With its patent-pending design,
Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming
effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited.
Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over
80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using
Thundershirt. Thundershirt is already helping tens of
thousands of dogs around the world, and is recommended by
thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers.
As for WHY
Thundershirt’s gentle pressure works to calm a dog, experts such
as Dr. Temple Grandin believe that pressure has a calming
effect on the nervous system. Using pressure to relieve anxiety
has been a common practice for years. For example:
TTouch dog trainers use
pressure to address a wide variety of anxieties.
Veterinarians use pressure to
relax cattle when they are administering vaccinations.
People with autism use pressure
to relieve their persistent anxiety.
Children with certain
behavioral problems use pressure shirts and weighted vests to
relax and focus.
Parents use swaddling to calm
an inconsolable newborn infant.
Until now, there just hasn’t been
a well-designed, inexpensive pressure wrap commonly used for dog
anxiety. Thundershirt is changing that! Thousands of veterinarians
and dog trainers now recommend Thundershirts for their anxiety