Thursday, October 31, 2013

Curing Bolt's Injury The Natural Way

It was a Monday night and I was just finishing feeding the kennel. I was completely alone here, without a handler, without Jachym, but even more importantly, without any neighbors.

This remote life has already taught us many practical things - most of all, to be careful, precautious and be used to effectively and calmly handling different situations.

Our dogs generally do not fight. It is something I am extremely proud of and we have put a lot of time, effort and training skills into getting our many different generations of dogs to live in harmony in our large pack.
But they are animals - living beings with moods, their own ideas and feelings, and sometimes things happen.
When Bravo and Bolt got a little misunderstanding during the feeding and somehow got hold of each other on their tethers, which never happened before, I thought that a regular shout out from me would work. But they got hold of each other in an unfortunate way, which stressed them both out, causing more adrenaline to build up. In brisk seconds, Bolt was on the ground, unable to move to get away, fight back or respond. I managed to stop this freaky accident quickly and was just starting the routine check of the boys´ bodies for wounds, when I noticed Bolt heavily bleeding from his front leg. One quick look through the fading beam of my dying headlamp revealed a deep puncture in the area of the artery. The color of the blood - very dark, confirmed the location and I instinctively grabbed Bolt´s leg and pressed hard on it. 
I managed to unclip him and with my fingers still pressing hard against the spot spilling blood, I carried him to the dog kitchen.

Things run before your eyes like in a movie, when in a situation like this. My brain automatically dictated to "keep calm and don´t panic". I heard myself, but I am not sure if it was only my thoughts or actually my voice: "Create a plan. Step one: apply REIKI, step two: what first aid materials do we need. Step three", etc. 

The images of my beloved leader Bering back in Czech Republic, being bitten in similar unfortunate way, when the injury got his blood vessel and deciliters of blood splashed out of him within seconds, were all running before me. We did save Bering´s life then, our vet was 20 minutes drive away and we were two people to provide first aid to him, plus my dad who got the car ready and took care of the other dogs, and I could monitor and control the bleeding while Jachym drove.

The thoughts of needing to do a four hour drive to the vet, leaving all the dogs and entire household behind with no one to look after them was something I was hoping not to happen. The actual fear for Bolt bleeding to death while I am driving him was huge, but the need to focus on providing him the first aid was much larger and suppressed all my negative thoughts.

Through applying REIKI I managed to slow down the bleeding. Bolt was incredibly cooperative, he lay on the floor calmly, letting me work.
Analyzing what materials I need, I checked the wound and saw the bleeding slowed down. Knowing exactly what to aim for in the dog pharmacy and where exactly those items are located, I briskly left Bolt and in seconds was back with sterile compress, ox-e-drops for washing out and desinfecting the wound and one of those self sticking bandages.

Priority #1 - stop the bleeding was achieved via intensive REIKI and pressure application (for those of you who work with REIKI, I absolutely recommend adding the first symbol in such situation, to get immediate and strong effect. That would of course apply only if you work with level 2).

Priority #2 - disinfect the wound. This is more complicated to do with such type of wound and not just any kind of disinfectant can be used. That is why I chose to work with NZYMES OX-E-DROPS (the 2%, diluted solution) - I can safely apply them on any kinds of wounds, even if they are close to the eyes, exposed veins, etc.)

Priority #3 - bandage the wound, tight enough to keep pressure, not too tight to cause swelling.

Priority #4 - give the patient Bach Flower RESCUE Remedy. 4 drops directly on his tongue. Preferably, you would want to administer the drops sooner, ideally at the same time as applying the pressure. But when I worked only as one person, I had to reprioritize. The Rescue Remedy calmed Bolt down even further.

Priority #5 - move the patient to a safe, cozy place where I would have him under control. See picture above.

Luckily, in this case, this is where all the emergency, first aid steps stopped. Bolt settled comfortably in the large crate in our kitchen and I could take off the compress, check if the wound would bleed again (which it luckily didn´t) and change it for a nice red self sticking bandage. 

There was swelling almost all the way to his carpal joint and it was obviously painful.

In the morning everything looked clean, the swelling was the same and Bolt didn´t use the leg at all, but looked fine otherwise. 

I caught my friend who is a vet tech, on Facebook chat, and she consulted a vet for the next procedures. The vet said: "it´s not gonna work out without antibiotics and painkillers. It´s for sure inflamed or abscessed by now". We chatted some more and I mentioned I´d really like to try the Natural Way, since Bolt looked good and there was actually no signs at all of inflammation. "I will put him on antibiotics the minute I see inflammation", I said.

Thinking about the advice of holistic veterinarian Dr.Annmarie Weber, DVM from Orsa Djurläkarn clinic, and about the many successful experiences we´ve had in the past with honey (these were all previously only with using honey internally (here you can see one of my most favorite honey remedies), and having the gut feeling about the whole situation, I opted for the following treatment:


>> I applied raw honey directly on his wound and the most swollen area around, in the morning and evening. I bandaged it immediately, so that Bolt won´t lick the tempting tasty honey. Raw honey has many healing properties, but particularly it contains enzymes, which promote healing, and it is a natural antibiotic. Length of treatment: first three days, twice a day.

>> I cooked Carrageen (red sea weed), which acts as a very strong natural antioxidant, with its high content of C vitamin, vitamin A, E and some other antioxidants. It is known not only as a strong immune system support, but it speeds up recovery. Length of treatment: 1 heap table spoon in food twice a day, for one week.
If you´d like to learn more about my uses of Carrageen, such as the Carrageen Cure, you can find it in my e-book Feeding Your Pets The Natural Way - Recipes, Remedies and Health Tips from Katerina´s Canine Kitchen.

>> I added probiotics to his food for an extra support of his immune response and for speeding recovery. Length of treatment: 1/4 tea spoon of probiotic powder twice daily in food, for one week.

>> I split Bolt´s food portion to twice a day, adding raw trout to his diet and substituting some of the red meat, heavier to digest. Raw meat provides digestive enzymes, one of the key ingredients for health and proper digestion.

>> 3 drops of concentrated Ox-E-Drops to each food portion as well, for one week.

>> Twice a day, I cooked Calendula tea from dried blossoms and added it to each food. Calendula has amazing healing and antiinflammatory effects, and it is wonderful to put directly on wounds as well, but not on deep or abscessed ones, due to its properties which quickly close the wound. So in Bolt´s case, only internal use of this powerful herb. 
Read this great Dogs Naturally Magazine´s article on the use and benefits of calendula for dogs.

On day 2 the swelling was gone. The wound was perfectly clean and it was already closing up by itself! My friend didn´t believe her ears! 
But not only that, Bolt was already completely perky and no limping! I know how long these injuries usually keep a dog on three legs, and out of the team and training. Especially when we decide for a natural approach, things may take a bit longer, although with minimal bad impact on their health. We´ve had a lot of good results in treating bite caused wounds more  natural way, but this fast was something I did not quite expect!

I am sorry I did not take pictures of the wound when it was more fresh. I thought I had enough time! :) 
These pictures show it exactly one week after it happened. 

Close-up, day 8. No swelling, bruising, totally clean, well healing wound
Real pitty I don´t have pics of the fresh wound for you to see.

Bolt says: "All mom is saying is true! And all those natural things smell so nice!"

Since it started closing up quickly (within two days), I could go to the last step of the treatment, using the Emu Oil and Herbs Liniment/Wound Healer from Mountain Ridge, which I swear by. It contains essential oils from several powerful herbs, such as lavender, calendula, chamomile, rosemary and others, blended in emu oil, which is the most effective carrier of healing compounds. I LOVE all the emu oil based health care products by Mountain Ridge, they are all 100% natural and I cannot imagine not having them in our dog pharmacy. They are an absolute must in our kennel and I highly recommend them.

In Bolt´s case it was enough to massage gently a drop into this wound and a couple more drops thoroughfully intot he muscle surrounding the wound, just once a day.

Just look what a good, cooperative patient he is!

This is what I believe to be one of his last treatments, made on day 8 after the injury. He is fully recovered, can work in the team and I can already see there will be no scar left either.

Yes, and ALL of it 100% NATURAL WAY!

I am not recommending anyone to avoid veterinary care, nor do I call my self a vet. I practice some natural, holistic methods on my dogs for a number of years and I consult most cases with my vets that I trust. Many things can be done at home, many can´t. 

When you appear in a situation like Bolt´s, in the middle of nowhere, at night, with veterinary care hundred of kilometers away, sometimes you have to do things on your own. And this post is to show you how it can be done, especially since some of you, my readers have inquired about it.

Wishing your animals and you loads of health and happiness!


ainnirbard said...

I was wondering about this the other day when I read about your night experience. Thanks for answering my question!

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