Please note: The information contained below is not intended to replace the consultation with your animal's veterinarian nor to bypass emergency treatment. This information is intended to provide relief of discomfort until one can seek out veterinarian care or to restore natural balance after administered care.
After Antibiotic Therapy:
Antibiotic therapy destroys the inappropriate bacteria and also the beneficial bacteria found in the stomach and intestines. The "good" or beneficial bacteria is referred to as the "normal flora" of the animal's gut. The normal flora is responsible for healthy digestion and should be in great quantities in the bowel. The natural balance of the normal flora is disturbed when there is an infection and will remain out of balance, after the course of antibiotics, until the numbers of beneficial bacteria can be elevated again.
One easy way to raise the levels of beneficial bacteria is in yogurt. Not all yogurts contain "live cultures" (beneficial bacteria) but Dr. De Grasse has found that Mountain High yogurt is a good brand of yogurt that contains live cultures of beneficial bacteria without additional additives. Dr. De Grasse recommends the non-fat variety of yogurt so as not to disturb the pancreas, liver or gall bladder. Use caution when selecting a yogurt as many of them contain high amounts of added sugars, artificial additives and colors.
Caution must also be used until one is sure that the animal is not lactose intolerant. Some animals will not "like" the taste of yogurt while others will not be able to metabolize the yogurt. Allergic reactions can also occur and can be exhibited in a wide variety of symptoms, some life-threatening. But if the animal is not lactose intolerant, the yogurt is an easy method of restoring the normal balance of normal flora. Dr. De Grasse also uses yogurt to provide a natural calcium source for her growing puppies and the yogurt can be used to "settle" a sour stomach in the elderly animal. The yogurt coats the stomach and acts similar to an antacid.
However, if the animal is lactose intolerant, beneficial bacteria can be acquired in freeze-dried form, liquid "cultures" without the lactose base and in strict vegetarian form that should not invoke an allergy reaction. There are also some forms of "normal flora" supplements that contain harmful or questionable additives or preservatives and are sold as animal supplements. Dr. De Grasse recommends "human" quality when seeking supplements for her animals unless one is sure of the ingredients. Not all supplements are created equal!
After Surgery Care:
When an animal is put under a general anesthetic for a surgical procedure, there are several events that occur that the lay person should be aware of. The first event is that the muscle tone is taken away (the muscles are totally relaxed). The relaxed muscles allow the surgical procedure to be completed with ease but there side effects that may need attention.
The relaxed muscles require that a tube be inserted into the throat of the animal to facilitate breathing. This procedure is called intubation. In the process of inserting the tube into the animal's throat, it is very easy to cause a misalignment of the cervical vertebrae (neck). A very slight pressure can cause the vertebrae to move because the muscles that would hold it into place are relaxed! If a misalignment should occur - it is not the fault of the veterinarian. It is simply a side effect of the relaxed muscles.
The necessary positioning of the animal for the surgical procedure can also cause spinal misalignment due to the relaxed muscles. Dr. De Grasse has observed many slight misalignments of the lower lumbar vertebrae (low back) with spay or neuter procedures due to the positioning of the legs while under anesthesia. Pressures applied to the body, such as the application of a cast to the extremity, can cause a misalignment due to the necessary movements to align the fractured bone. Sometimes pressures are applied while supporting the fractured extremity and can cause misalignment of the adjacent joint. For example: a rear leg fracture can result in a misalignment of the hip. Again, this occurrence is not a result of improper care but a side effect of the removal of muscle tone.
The second event that occurs with a general anesthetic is that the bowel activity is slowed or stopped temporarily. Usually the bowel will recover on its own but in the elderly or obese animal, there may be a slow recovery. This slow recovery can result in constipation and can lead to complications such as an increase in surgical pain due to straining, a bulging disc due to straining, a reduction of eating due to the reduction of bowel activity, an increase of gas within the bowel which increases pain and the possibility of an ileus ( a paralysis of the bowel) which can be life-threatening. Monitoring the bowel activity and utilizing the holistic bowel program can help to restore normal movement quickly and safely.
Pain surrounding the surgical procedure, medications required or the stress from the surgical procedure itself can manifest as spinal misalignments. This is the body's attempt to bring nervous balance back to the body and can be facilitated with chiropractic care. A simple screening of the animal's spine with the necessary chiropractic manipulation can speed the animal's return to health. The return of spinal alignment may avoid a potential spinal complication later and is logical preventative care, in this doctor's opinion. (It is similar to checking the tire alignment on your car after you accidentally hit the curb - no damage is apparent but there could be a slight alignment change that could cause uneven tire wear over the next year. "Fix it now or pay for it later"!)
The Kidney or Bladder Stone
Do you remember your old high school experiment when the hard boiled egg was soaked in white vinegar? After a short while, the egg was able to bounce like a rubber ball due to the change of the calcium in the egg shell! Well, drops of white vinegar in the water that is drank can assist in the change of the hard calcium into softer consistencies which allow easier passage out of the body. This little technique is not intended to replace any veterinarian approach and is merely offered as a holistic consideration in the prevention of or in the assistance in the removal of the stone.