Category Archives: Pet Medical Issues

Essential Oils and Pets

Aromatherapy for Pets

Veterinarians, rescue groups and clients all ask me how I manage to work with nut-case rescue dogs and aggressive dogs. For almost 30 years I have been working with essential oils which is NOT to be confused with what I call “smell pretty” junk. Luckily, in the past decade or so, true essential oils became available in the United States, which meant that I did not have to travel out of the country to get them. One first has to understand the difference between the types of oils and not the trendy versions that started in the late 1990s and have escalated to untold and untrue proportions.

There are three types of oils and only ONE defined essential oil in the true sense.

  1. Perfume grade
  2. Smell-pretty grade
  3. Therapeutic grade

Perfume grade is obviously your perfume. Smell-pretty grade is the stuff you plug into your walls or use for your laundry, like dryer sheets.

Most oils are cut with the same ingredients they use in dry cleaning chemicals. Not only are they dangerous but smell nothing like real essential oils and offer no therapeutic benefits and they feel greasy. When I do classes I ask people to bring whatever oils they have, almost the entire class brings in their lavender oil. Whether you purchase them from the grocery store or health food stores here is the 99.9% reality. They are fake oils cut with commercial chemicals. Every bottle of lavender oil I have ever seen in my classes says the same thing. Not for internal use or do not ingest. True 100% therapeutic grade essential oils are good enough to ingest (with certain oils excluded). People do not, please do not be sucked in by the ads on television!

Because of their protein-like and lipid-soluble structure our body’s cells and blood can immediately absorb them, since they are so much alike. The three things both therapeutic grade essential oils have in common with the human and animal body are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The average single oil, as opposed to a blend which has more, have anywhere between 75 and 400 chemical constituents. There are many types of oil properties such as anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-viral and so on.

Having run Denver Afghan Hound Rescue for almost 30 years, you rarely get in normal dogs. They have been poorly bred in breeder puppy mills, abused, neglected and any other thing you can imagine. Most of the dogs I have taken in were not dogs that could be placed, a rescue cannot keep them all and killing all the ones that had issues was really not a great option. Consequently, that sent me on the path of how can I try to “fix” these kids. The same is true with grooming and training dogs. Whether they were never properly groomed trained or the pet caretakers always let the dog get away with being aggressive the outcome would be the same. The vet always said the dog had to be drugged. Not only is that really dangerous but that also teaches the pets to be fearful and never teaches them anything else.

Pure therapeutic grade essential oils have properties that the fake ones do not. They can alter the DNA structure and brain wave patterns. Combined with flower essences, it is an unbeatable combination. Now, by law, I have to state the following. Not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any physical or mental issue. Not approved by the FDA. Not being approved by the FDA makes me give a great sigh of relief considering that many of the pharmaceutical drugs they approve start killing people and the FDA pulls it off the market. But Hey! I thought you all tested and approved it!

Pure essential oils have been known to work on not only emotional issues but physical issues as well. People are now realizing that everything from aggression, (not brain damage induced) to fear of thunder and separation anxiety can be treated without the use of toxic and damaging drugs. You can use lavender to help stop bleeding, Deep Relief or Panaway for bone injuries, Peace and Calming for doggie nerves and hundreds of others. Deciding what oils matched with what flower essences can sometimes be time consuming at the very least you know you are using healthy, non-toxic methods. One of the best parts is that essential oils and flower essences can cause no harm. The only possible danger is using them incorrectly such as essential oils on your hands then touching your eyes so you should always consult a trained professional as well as always keep your veterinarian informed on what you are doing.

In people, therapeutic grade essential oils have been known to assist in fighting off bacterial and viral infections, lung infections, skin conditions, blood conditions, mild depression, anxiety and even has kept many cancers in remission. If there is a physical or emotion issue, there is a therapeutic grade essential oil. For example, if you are getting the cold or flu the first thing to take is Thieves and oregano internally. If you cannot sleep you can take a capsule of lavender or vetiver. In the kitchen, if you are cooking and do not happen to have the fresh lemon in your fridge, you grab your therapeutic grade lemon essential oil and keep on cooking. I, as well as my kids, and now many of my patients, take therapeutic grade essential oils daily.


Pet Medical Issues and Terms

Commonly Heard Medical Terms for Pets

Every day clients hand me pieces of paper from their vet and say, “Mimi, can you put this in English?” When I was in veterinarian practice, one of the most entertaining things was when people would come in spouting medical terms. For some reason, if they looked it up on the internet or read it in a book, they new as much as someone who spent years in school. Nine times out of ten they had absolutely no idea what they were saying let alone what it meant. They also had no idea how or what parts were connected to what and what each part played upon the other. However, they could parrot just about anything.

Truly, vets spend years in school and many of them, during the first few years, walk around mumbling to themselves. The next few links will highlight some of the common verbiage you will run into — only this time in English.

I will continue to add more medical issues periodically. So, time to crack the e-book and mystify your vet the next time these things come up leaving him or her wondering how you knew what exactly did what.



Auto-Immune Disease in Pets

Common Auto-Immune Diseases for Pets

Back in the early 1980s, very little was known about the below issues in animals. By the early to mid 1990s, whenever a veterinarian was baffled, almost every dog had an auto-immune issue. I had the misfortune in 1981 of my Afghan Hound, Baby Kaseme, of being diagnosed with Lupus. By 1982 a fellow veterinarian and I knew more about these issues than most vets in the country. Working closely with veterinarians in Europe we were lucky to come up with a very effect treatment program without the necessity of medications using the holistic approach. What our research also showed was that many lab tests were inaccurate as well as many symptoms mimicked those of auto-immune illness. Please research on your own if you hear any of these in relation to your pets. Also, always get a second opinion and look into other treatment options. More and more allopathic veterinarians are warming to the holistic approach and working together it is possible to keep the animals in remission since none of these can be “cured”.

Addison’s Disease

This is an adrenal gland issue of which is located just forward of the kidney. It is made up of two main parts the medulla and the cortex both of which produce hormones. The cortex hormone maker is the one concerned in Addison’s since it produces what is called corticosteroids. In Addison’s there is a deficiency of the corticosteroids hormone. Left untreated animals can die of shock. Blood sugar plummets, potassium soars upward, the heart rate slows causing arrhythmia. Caught early, this can be treated well with medication if you opt for the allopathic route.

Von Willebrand

There are three classified types but what is more important with the pet caretaker to understand and simply put it is a blood clotting disease. It is a very complex issue but one if you are a breeder and have a bred that is predisposed, DO NOT BREED YOUR DOGS! These dogs will hemorrhage easily, sometimes the platelets (we learned this word in the lab test results area) will drop drastically. Allopathic treatment is medication.


There are two types of Lupus, systemic lupus erythematosus and discoid. Discoid effects the skin while systemic affects the entire body.

Discoid is usually seen with pigment lose on the nose and can effect the face. Just because you see your pet with a pink spot on the nose do not run and call your vet’s office hysterically screaming I KNOW MY DOG HAS LUPUS. Many dogs pigment on the nose change as they age. As with people, direct sunlight can make it worse but it can usually be treated topically.

Systemic Erythematosus is rather rare, as I unfortunately found out and affects the entire body. It is an auto immune disorder in it’s simplest terms means that the good cells can no longer tell what is good or what is bad so they kill everything in sight even the healthy cells. This results in arthritis kidney disease, skin disease and blood disorders. Let untreated it can be deadly since once an attack happens it will cause damage to a specific organ. Generally every time there is an episode, that same organ goes under attack again. Allopathic treatment is medication.


This is another adrenal gland issue caused by an excess production of hormones. Although the adrenal glands produce a number of hormones the culprit in this one is called cortisol. Cortisol can only be produced when the adrenal and pituitary gland are functioning normally. The two type of Cushing’s is when either the pituitary gland is producing too much of a hormone and the other when the adrenal gland is diseased. Left untreated it can lead to diabetes, congestive heart failure, liver or kidney failure. Allopathic treatment is medication

(Note on author: The advantage of opinions is they cannot be wrong and they cannot be right. Consequently all written material is strictly my opinion based on over 30 years working with animals. I do not believe in “experts” for one finds out quickly that there is always someone who is smarter, better educated and a wider life experience. If I was an expert and knew everything I would opt to be dictator of the world, not working with animals. I do not believe in statistics since for every con argument there are equal pro arguments to challenge those statistics. Consequently rarely, if ever do I use them.
All information is copyright by Mimi Davis d.b.a. Curbside Clippers. (Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved) Any use must have prior permission.

Pet Cancer Types

Commonly Heard Pet Cancer Names

The cancers below are words you never want to hear either from a human doctor or a veterinarian. Unfortunately I have encountered all of these in my own “kids” over the years as I am certain some of you have encountered in your personal lives. There are more available treatments than there were 25 years ago but not by much. There are medications that can help reduce the pain but all in all I just refer to them as the kiss of death. The important thing is to make sure you ask your veterinarian exactly what the best guess is on treatment. Do what you feel is right for your pet not what is right for you. (more…)


Joint Problems with Dogs

There are many joint issues with dogs which people can spew out the acronyms but have no idea what part is injured, how it connects to other parts and half the time where that body part is. Here is a English version.


This is simply an abnormality in the normal development of bones. Bones grow by initially forming a cartilage template, onto which calcium is deposited to form bone. This can affect the elbow, shoulder, stifle (folks that is a knee) and hock (folks this is the ankle). (more…)


Pet Blood Work Terminology

Blood Tests – What Did You Just Say?

The overall lab test for animals is like blood work for humans. It will tell you just about any info you want on organs and how well they are functioning. The blood test acronyms are rather mystifying when you just see letter abbreviations.

CBC – (Complete Blood Count) The most common blood test. It analyzes the three major types of cells in blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The CBC counts these cells, measures hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells), estimates the red cells’ volume, and sorts the white blood cells into subtypes. AKA, are you healthy

RBC – (Red Blood Cells) Responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. In a low count, it could indicate hemorrhage, parasites, bone marrow disease, folic acid deficiency.

WBC – (White blood cells) Everyone’s main defense of fighting infection. Low levels can suggest high infections or chemical poisoning. Low levels can suggest bacterial infection, blood disorders or a whole slew of other stuff which you then hav to go back to the other blood work to narrow down.

HCT – Hematocrit or PCV (Packed Cell Volume) — not to be confused and transposed to PVC the plastic pipe. Provides information on the amount of red blood cells present in the blood. Low levels can indicate anemia from hemorrhage, parasites, nutritional deficiencies or liver disease.

Hb – (Hemoglobin) Carries oxygen to the blood. Low levels might indicate hemorrhage, anemia, and iron deficiency.

Reticulocytes – Red blood cells stuck in adolescence, i.e. not growing up. Decreased count can sometimes be associated with anemia. Increased count could be associated with hemorrhage or hemolytic anemia.

PLT – (Platelets) The major players in blood clotting. Decreased numbers can indicate bone marrow depression, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, systemic lupus, severe hemorrhage or intravascular coagulation. Increased numbers may be associated with fracture or blood vessel injury.

MCV – Measures the average size of the RBC.

L/M – (Lymphocytes) These white cell babies grow like wildfire when there is a chronic infection.

CA – (Calcium) Blood calcium levels can be associated by diet, hormone levels and blood protein levels. Decreased levels can be associated with pancreatic disorder. Increased levels can be suggestive of tumors or possibly kidney disease.

PHOS – (Phosphorus) As with humans, this level can be caused by kidney issues, diet and others. Decreased levels can be issues with malnutrition, the body not able to absorb foods correctly or certain malignancies. A high count can indicate kidney failure.

Electrolytes – Necessary minerals needed and consist of chloride, sodium and potassium Gatorade is what athletes chug down and people should take with the flue if there is vomiting or diarrhea . Can also indicate a cardiovascular issue.

CHOL– (Cholesterol) Too low usually indicates an overactive thyroid gland, intestinal issues. High levels can have many possibilities including under active thyroid, liver disease, and kidney disease.

ALT – (Alanine aminotransferase) An enzyme that is found primarily in the liver and is released into the bloodstream when there is liver damage

ALKP – (Alkaline Phosphatase) An enzyme made in the liver and bone. High levels indicate bone disease, liver disease and low levels can be seen in bone deformities.

TBIL – (Total Bilirubin) Bilirubin is produced when the liver breaks down hemoglobin, remember from above the red blood cells that carry oxygen.

TP – (Total Protein) This is the amount of protein in the blood. There are two major types of proteins in the blood: albumin and globulin. It helps take a look at liver and kidney function.

GLOB – (Globulins) – Decreased levels indicate problems with antibodies, immunodeficiency viruses or risk of infectious disease. Increased levels may indicate stress, dehydration or blood cancer, allergies, liver disease, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes.

ALB – (Albumin) This is a protein synthesized in the liver a commonly known as any protein that is soluble in water. It has many functions but simply maintains the pressure that causes fluid to remain in the blood stream instead of leaking out into the tissues.

BUN – (Blood Urea Nitrogen) This is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Another liver and kidney profile to see if both are working correctly.

CREA – (Creatinine) This is a protein produced by muscle and released into the blood and a major kidney tester.

GLU – (Blood Glucose) This is the sugar fix of the blood. The blood makes this from foods, proteins and fats but mostly from carbohydrates. It is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. This is where you would find diabetes, hyperglycemia or HYPOglycemia.

AMYL – (Amylase) An enzyme produced in the pancreas and salivary glands that helps in the digestion of starches. Elevation of blood amylase is common in pancreatitis. Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic and/or kidney disease.

UA – (Urinalysis) Because urine removes toxins and excess liquids from the body it can be helpful in finding many problems including metabolic disorders or kidney disease

(Note on author: The advantage of opinions is they cannot be wrong and they cannot be right. Consequently all written material is strictly my opinion based on over 30 years working with animals. I do not believe in “experts” for one finds out quickly that there is always someone who is smarter, better educated and a wider life experience. If I was an expert and knew everything I would opt to be dictator of the world, not working with animals. I do not believe in statistics since for every con argument there are equal pro arguments to challenge those statistics. Consequently rarely, if ever do I use them.)
All information is copyright by Mimi Davis d.b.a. Curbside Clippers. (Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved) Any use must have prior permission.

Other Pet Medical Concerns

Commonly Heard Medical Issues for Pets

Some of these are minor others can be deadly. The biggest concern in the list is the first one below. If your large breed and deep chested dog begins to vomit water and food, paces and cannot eat or drink, run do not walk to the nearest hospital. I received a “free” Borzoi or Russian Wolfhound from a well-known breeder/judge who wanted to off-load a dog as I call it, so she could breed more. With my background in vet medicine I was lucky and noticed the symptoms immediately. Within 24 hours of my “free dog to a good home” we were in the emergency hospital at 1:00 am and a $2,500 emergency surgery. Continue reading