Two visits with Maggio to the Marda Loop Vet in Calgary in the last month. We’ve seen Dr. Wanda Vockeroth there for Maggio’s odd and puzzling skin issues (allergies) earlier in his life and she put him on a couple of different Chinese herbs that have made all the difference! I totally call these herbs a God-send.
In the first two years of his life, he had multiple flare-ups, equally multiple courses of antibiotics – even Prednisone, with no real resolve or help for how to address the underlying cause. Then, at age 2 when his whole face turned into welts, and he was given Prednisone to help clear it, I finally said “that’s enough!” There must be a different way.
We did search…and we did spend some dollars in the search 🙁 but finally, our road took us to Dr. Vockeroth. And I’ve never looked back! It was a journey with her, too – no over-night answers, but each visit took us a step closer to finding relief for him. And the big relief for both of us was – we were looking for a way to support his own immune system now, rather than suppressing symptoms with drugs!

I’ve been SO impressed by the results, I can’t find words to accurately describe the change from “before the herbs” to “now”. Of course there’s a bit more to the process than just adding a few granules of herbs – like an elimination diet to figure out exactly what role foods played in his miserable skin issues…
But, Point being – the change and improvement is remarkable and I recommend Dr. Vockeroth highly to anyone interested in a holistic approach / trying to resolve issues resulting from/ affecting immune system (well, what health issues don’t?)
As I learned more about Maggio and his “triggers”, his overall health just got better and better and by figuring out diet (he is, and always was on Raw) as well as these supplements, Maggio has had several years of phenomenal health! He’ll be 6 in a couple of months.

But just recently…something odd/ non-skin related / has been drawing my attention. Maggio is a retriever who normally does not have a slow or low gear for games like retrieve. His only gear, really, has been to retrieve and play at 150%.
Eager and at full speed when he goes out to get his retrieve-object. Equally eager and fast to return. So when earlier this winter – after about 20 minutes of retrieving/ running in the woods and playing outside – he started to run out for the toy, take the toy in his mouth — only to look for a place to lie down to “get a rest” or roll around — I had to wonder what was going on.
Something’s not right…

So, we paid a visit to Dr. Vockeroth to get her to take a look. Jammed up in the front/ shoulder muscles as tight as can be, but also jammed up in several other areas of his body. Starting with the least invasive way to address what seemed to be happening – she gave him a full osteopathy treatment and sent us home with instructions to give arnica, daily stretching and massage (boy did HE ever love that!!), easy on walks/running for a couple of days, gradually back to exercise and come back in 3 weeks to re-check.
Wednesday we went back….he’s not 100% but the signs are quite subtle, so we are getting referred to a rehab specialist now. He’s not lame, not limping, not picking up feet and not favoring legs. But his forward reach is definitely not what it should be. He “STIFF” but it’s subtle; there’s something going on…

Mostly you’d actually not even know, but definitely obvious when he went over a few jumps the other day as I was training Pinot for agility. He came out of the house and joined us in the back yard and got excited about the idea of doing some jumping and clearly said “will you throw my toy, too if I go over a few of these?” Bars as well as jump standards went flying as he plowed through the jumps – unable to get himself over. No more jumping for this boy until we figure this out! I feel so badly and yet again wish dogs could talk. Our hopes to continue to train and prepare for Open Obedience will be put on hold for sure…
Let’s wait to see what the rehab specialist can tell us next.

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Comments ( 2 )

  • BlazingstarFeb 08, 2012

    I hope Maggio is OK. Flat-coats do tend to throw their bodies around without a care… especially when retrieving. Think of how they slam on the brakes and throw their bodies into the bumper/toy/ball, often twisting at the same time – it puts a lot of stress on their bodies. Ours have sometimes needed chiropractic work, especially as they have gotten older. If you do a lot of heeling, with the dog turning to look at you, that can put some stress on the neck.

    I would suggest trying a joint supplement – we use Annamaet Endure and I can get you the info if you are interested. The rehab specialist may do laser light therapy too, which we have also found to be very effective in the case of soft tissue injuries (both Puffin and Lupine have needed this and it worked wonders).

  • Annette Young, MA, CPDT-KAFeb 08, 2012

    Thanks, Liz.
    I will keep you posted and keep that in mind. and – Please do send me the info on the joint supplement you use!! We're trying homeopathic Traumeel twice a day right now, and I have just started him on "System Saver", so I am interested to see…
    I'm keeping a very close eye on his running obviously and what he is doing on walks…absolutely he has had a tendency to go FULL OUT with not much worry for his body 🙂 so obviously he needs a bit of "babysitting" for the time being. Good to hear you have had good success with laser light therapy — will ask the specialist about that, too!

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