Category Archives: natural supplements


I realized a couple weeks ago I realized that I have changed a few of the things I give Bailley and wanted to share these things with all of you as well as amend her medication page.

Cody brought a very mild case of Kennel cough home. He and Peyton were recently vaccinated. Peyton did not get it at all. Cody had a snotty stuffy nose. Phoebe (9) and Bailley (16) got it the worse. With Bailley being pretty bad. I had a couple days that Bailley did not want to eat. She had trouble standing and coughed so bad she could not sleep. Phoebe cough non stop. I am telling you this because these circumstances lead me to a couple new wonderful things.

To treat the kennel cough every one got nebulizer treatments twice a day for 10-20 min each. We have a human nebulizer with a mask that works well with the flat faced dogs. Ours is similar to the one below. I bought it on craigslist.

I used a saline solution which I keep on hand for different reasons. One for each treatment. The saline I buy is here

I have hydrocodone syrup on hand for Bailley when she has extreme attacks of coughing due to her heart. It was very nice to have but after a couple days I started to wish I could give them something else in the morning so they would not b groggy. A fellow breeder recommended this cough syrup. It worked with all the dogs and I have used it on the grand kids as well. The dogs got it twice a day. Morning and before bed. Bailley got Hydrocodone before bed as this helped her sleep for at least a few hours. You can give this syrup 1 cc every 6 hours.


Another breeder friend told me about a supplement she used to get rid of Kennel cough. Vibactra Plus. I did some research on this and found it could be very useful not only for the distressed situation Bailley was in at the moment but also all the time.  Vibactra Plus


It is around 30.00 a bottle. I got mine on ebay. About a week into using this I saw a marked difference in both Phoebe and Bailley. Phoebe was all but over it with a few coughs here and there and Bailley’s cough sounded more like it was a heart cough than a kennel cough


She was doing much better. As you can see in the video she started getting back to her old self. She was moving around like her body was not achy anymore. She started eating regular food (for her) again. We went through two rotisserie chickens over a two week period that is all she would eat. Since this video was taken she has shown more improvement.

After all seemed to be over with the Kennel cough, it seemed Bailley was left with a heart cough that was a little more often than before. Over the Christmas holiday her vet had to call in a new script for Lasix  (furosemide) For some reason the pill form was sent. She has always had the liquid. I noticed when she was sleeping there was a wheezing in her breathing. I suspected the Lasix was not doing its job. I had a little of the liquid left so the next day I gave her liquid just to test my theory. I was not sure if it was my imagination but she seemed better with the liquid. So I went to Walmart and had the liquid re filled. What did I have to lose? The script is around 11.00. It was worth it to me just to see if it would be better. There is definitely a difference in how her body responds to the liquid. She is almost back to her regular cough which is almost non existent. Only when she wakes from sleep or stress.

I thought it was important to tell the story about the Lasix because your vet is your dogs Dr but, you know your dog and your vet can be more effective with treatment if you are diligent at home with being observant.

So on top of all of this going on I realized Bailley was very gassy. I mean to the extent that every time she coughed walking down the drive outside to potty, she sounded like my husband when he gets gassy. For a little dog this was impressive but I felt like it might hurt her a bit. Not only that but it scared her. She would dart away from each one like someone was poking her in the bottom. Now she gets baby gas relief drops in the morning (if necessary) and after dinner. Her gas is much improved. I do believe the excessive gas is part of her health issues.

So one more thing I have to tell you about. Several months back I noticed she seemed to have chronic infection going on and it seemed to be bladder or urinary track related.  She has been on Ketoconozole for two years now as well as all the other medication she takes. Everything she is taking damages the kidneys and liver. I found a product called Renafood. She gets one every evening with her food. We hide it just like everything else. She has been taking it for almost three months and has not had infection since. Her bloodwork has never shown signs of kidney failure but I believe it is imminent with age and lots of meds.


To see the modifications in her meds and supplements check out her meds page.


6/18/2015 HEART HEALTH

I am not using this post to get into the science of why a dogs heart fails. To much science for the morning. I am going to tell you how I chose to help strengthen Bailley’s heart with supplements and nutrition combined with prescription meds.


Signs of heart disease

  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing / unwarranted or excessive panting
  • Laziness or being reluctant to exercise, along with an unwillingness to lay down or Inability to rest comfortably
  • Swelling of the Abdomen
  • Exhaustion and Lethargy

From everything I have read only a small percentage of dogs are actually born with an inherited heart problem. Most are acquired. I believe Bailley’s heart has been effected by her cushings and before we knew it the damage was pretty bad. Bailley has always had once a year check ups with blood work. Last year we went one and a half year and I regret it so terribly bad. That 1/2 of a year would have saved a lot of damage to her heart that can never be reversed. The heart is no like the liver, once its damaged it will never get better. The heart is a muscle and muscles, once stretched do not go back. Bailley’s heart is about 3 times the size it should be. It is so big you can see in the x-ray it is touching her trachea.  She also has a grade 4 murmur.  Murmurs are graded 1 – 5.

I do not believe in once a year vaccines. I do however believe in once a year check ups. Even if all you do is take your dog for an exam.  If your dog is over six I strongly suggest blood work every year as well. You will end up saving money and gifting your dog with a longer quality of life.

Currently Bailley is on Benazepril to dilate the vessels to lower the load on the heart. She is also on a tiny dose of Lasix twice a day to prevent fluid from building in the body or around the heart.

I have also chose a low sodium diet as this is highly recommended for humans as well as pets with heart issues. I am cooking her food so I know whats in it and I do not have to depend on pet food companies to be honest about whats in the bag. I have also chose a few supplements that have been proven to strengthen the heart muscle making it work more effectually.

CoQ10 is unanimously agreed upon by all heart specialists to be very beneficial. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring coenzyme that young dogs have in plentiful supply. But as they age, your pet’s ability to produce CoQ10 decreases.

CoQ10 supplements come in two forms: Ubiquinone and Ubiqunol. Ubiquinol is a reduced form of CoQ10 and is the supplement recommended. Supplying your pet with extra CoQ10 can insure  the quantity to maintain a healthy heart muscle. I wish I had known about this before my baby got sick. I would have started giving when she was 6 or 7 to help maintain the muscle and possibly prevent the extensive damage she has now. I have started Phoebe on this and she is now 7. Bailley takes 100 mg daily. Combined with her prescription meds it has been shown to reduce heart muscle abnormality, it has also proved to  slow of the progression of clinical signs of heart disease giving pets greater quality of life for longer periods.

L-carnitine – exists in just about every cell in our body. Some pets may be low and supplementing will save their life.  Carnitine is one of the better-researched supplements and appears to be of benefit in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy.  Pets that are taking anticonvulsants, particularly phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital, (for ceasures) may need extra carnitine. Bailley get 500 mg a day

Taurine – is great for Dilated Cardiomyopathy and retinal issues in dogs. Bailley get 500mg per day.  The jury is out as to weather giving Taurine post diagnosis of heart disease helps but studies show it cannot hurt and can be beneficial.

Hawthorn berry – Hawthorn dilates both coronary vessels and vessels of the brain, helping to increase circulation and the transport of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Another well-documented benefit of hawthorn is its ability to steady and strengthen a weak or erratic heartbeat. Hawthorn is another supplement you can give in the golden years to help make the heart more effective. It is given to a dog with diagnosed heart disease. Hawthorn Berry is a very helpful supplement when treating canine heart worms. I will start all of my dogs on this supplement by age 6 – 7. Phoebe has started taking this as well. Bailley gets 510 mg a day.

I have been giving all of the above to Bailley for over a month. Blood work has proved none of this to be harmful. Exam and blood work have shown these supplements are helping.

I know this was a boring post with a lot of boring info but I thought it would be good to put all of the information , I found useful in one place for the next person who is searching for a way to help their baby.

5-04-2015 – Magical Pumpkin

Last night was a rough night for us. Bailley had a couple of coughing episodes, which cause me to wake from any sleep stage I am in and comfort her.  She seemed like she could not get comfortable and ended up sleeping right against me. I have a very hard time sleeping if any living being touches me while I sleep. I was up every hour.

I am also worried Bailley is slipping back into cushings symptoms. I have noticed the last two nights she is panting. I am making an appointment to get blood work done next week. I am looking forward to knowing where we stand. very scary stuff for us.

So the title of the post is Magical pumpkin. I wanted to share a trick that will prevent constipation and diarrhea. A tablespoon of pumpkin. I give all of the dogs a tablespoon of pumpkin each night. It helps keep everyone regular and they love it. They gather around the kitchen at night in a row anxiously waiting for their turn to get a spoonful of pumpkin. This is also a good training time because the younger ones get very excited and have to learn self control, if they want their bite. All treats are dispensed in the order of age. I feel like this teaches the hierarchy in the group. At present time we have Rocco and Brodie and that makes five adults and one puppy boy in the house.

Pumpkin is also good when your dog has diarrhea or constipation. It is loaded with fiber and beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. If diarrhea or constipation is caught in the beginning giving canned pumpkin will save you a visit to the vet. Usually all you need is a little pumpkin and things will return to normal. Here is a photo of the one I buy. Be sure to get just regular canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.


A parting fun video taken yesterday in the drive. Everyone gets along here. The cat even fills in as a baby sitter when our newest addition is outside. Not sure what it is about the cats but the dogs love them. One cat comes running everytime he hears the door open for the dogs to potty. Brodie breeds the cat every night when he is here. Peyton nibbles his ears and throws herself on him. Bailley will give him a growling nip if he brings his nonsense her way. I guess shes to old to be bothered. I may never figure out what is going on behind the scenes of the cat/dog obsessions, I am just happy everyone gets along.

5/19/2015 S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

During our journey I discovered many things can cause liver damage in dogs. I also discovered the liver is an amazing organ that can regenerate its self.  It is, next to the heart, one of the most important organs in our body. The liver is responsible for many things. It filters toxins from our blood, aids digestion, regulates sugar and cholesterol levels and helps fight infection.

What an amazing organ our liver is. Makes me feel a bit nasty because the liver seems to be the bottom feeder in our body and I love chicken livers!!!!!

SAM-e is a substance that is produced by the body in humans and dogs. It effects all cells in the body, especially liver cells. Normally the liver produces SAMe from an amino acid methionine which is present in food. If for some odd reason the liver gets damaged at all it cannot process food and produces less SAMe.

By giving SAMe it helps the liver to protect its self from farther damage. Increasing the SAMe also gives the liver a chance to regenerate. SAMe is quoted as supporting a healthy mood and joint comfort on the front of the box.

Liver damage in our fur babies can be caused by many things including – aging, genetics, infection, medications, certain plants, mold, heart worms, fatty foods, the list goes on and on.  If left untreated the liver cannot remove toxins from the body and eventually will cause brain damage and death.

Sometimes it creeps up unknown until a blood test reveals ALT levels are high and the liver is not functioning as it should. Then there are times when symptoms will come on suddenly and the dog is taken to a clinic to find out why he or she is sick. Regardless of the reason, SAMe can be the livers best friend.

I normally put Bailley on SAMe for a month here and there just to prevent her medication from causing liver damage. At her original diagnosis her liver was a tad bit enlarged and she started SAMe when we got home. Small dogs like Bailley would get 100mg SAMe a day. SAMe should be given on a empty stomach. I normally give one hour before breakfast in the morning. I give with a tiny amount of bait to get her to take it. This presents a BIG problem when she is in her “nothing tastes good” stage.

There is a difference of opinion as to which form of SAMe to give to dogs. There are many veterinary SAMe brands on the market. To be completely effective it should not be broken in half. SAMe has a protective coating which helps protect SAMe from stomach acid.  That being said I have used both veterinary SAMe and people SAMe. They both have the same effect on the liver. I buy Nature Made 200mg tablets. I break them in half and give her 100mg. It is just more convenient and cost effective. My pharmacy has a sale for buy one get one free. I always take advantage of the sale.  It is a good idea to have SAMe on hand for yourself and for your dogs. If for some strange reason your dogs ALT levels are high, a month or two on SAMe will bring them back where they should be. Sometimes its just some strange thing they got into. This should be monitored as it could be something a bit more serious that may require more aggressive form of treatment.

Here is a photo of the SAMe I buy


05/15/2015 – CoQ10 Ubiquinol

First let me stat off by giving you a link that I found very useful for explaining CoQ10 for dogs

I decided to start Bailley on CoQ10 because it seems many vets unanimously believe it is a staple for heart disease patients along with prescription meds.  There seems to be a difference of opnion of how to dose CoQ10. Holistic vets recommend 1 mg per lb of body weight conventional vets recommend 15 – 30 mg per dog a day. The lowest dose I could find were 25mg. I have started her on 25mg once a day since Friday 05/08 I have seen no side effects and she is bopping along the same as she was.


There are a few other supplements that are suggested for dogs with heart disease but I do think one could drown in a sea of supplements promising strength and healthier well being. I am all on board for that but in the best interest of my little 12 lb dog, she would be consuming more bulk in meds than she consumes food. I think we are going to stay this course for now and see how it goes. Bailley will be 14 and 1/2 on May 29th. I honestly had doubts she would come this far. She looks healthy and is almost as active as some of my other older dogs.

Her cough seems to make an appearance less often. Maybe about three time a day. Once, possibly, during the night.

We are just taking it day by day and the last few days have been good ones. It seems many of the old stringy hair that was left on her rat tail are starting to fall out. They are being replaced by thick shiny hair that is now about four inches long.

Today is bath day for my two show dogs. If I start now I will hopefully finish before 3:00 ;o) We have a dog show this weekend so I probably will not post until Monday. Before signing off here is a picture of Emmy & Ella – Hope they win something this weekend!!!!


05/08/2015 – HAWTHORN BERRY

After we got the cushing’s symptoms under control I felt like her heart was the bigger issue. I continued my search but this time I was looking for things I could do to help her heart function. We started at a grade 3 when this all began and in April It was changed to a grade 4!  I feel like my poor Bailley just can win for losing. It is my understanding that the Cushing’s is the root of all the damage.

I have read that research has proven hawthorn berry to be a valuable herb in the treatment of cardiovascular problems and promotes heart health. Hawthorn can also help to reduce the incidence of angina, which is a spasm of the blood vessels and improve the smooth muscle walls of the rest of the circulatory system, improve blood pressure, improving circulation and treating symptoms of mild heart failure and reduces atherosclerosis. Hawthorn works by widening blood vessels, especially heart blood vessels, which results in increased heart blood flow.

All of this sounds great to me. I have tried to read articles and learn about how and why Bailley’s heart is not working properly. I have tirelessly poured through tons of medical articles with pictures. The pictures are the highlight!! It is all quite mind boggling to a layperson. I think I have a general grasp on what is going on and I am thinking natural herbs can help.

A part of me thinks there is some slight improvement since she started taking Hawthorn berry. I will continue to observe and report. These natural herbs are not to replace prescribed medication but are supplemental measures of support that help bridge the gaps between what a body needs from diet and what it needs in terms of specific, added support.

DOSAGE: I started her on one 510 mg vcap a day. I am finding out that I should possibly break open the vcap and give her half in the am and half in the pm. I will start this today.


I am very hesitant to write this but I do think Bailley’s cough is improving. I noticed yesterday she only coughed maybe three times. The length of the cough seems to be less. The only change has been the Hawthorn berry which I started 4/28. Could this be the reason for improvement?  I will continue to monitor her. I started writing down each time she coughs this am. I tend to get busy and each day becomes a blur so I figure writing it down will help me be confident in what I am noticing.

The Hawthorn berry I bought is pictured below. I bought it on Ebay for 10.79 and free shipping.


I am currently doing a bit of research on a few other supplements for heart health in dogs. Seems the more you dig the more you find.

Im guessing if I took care of myself like I do Bailley I would be much healthier.  I currently take one prescription med and for the life of me I could never remember to take it.  I now put my med by hers and I remember to take it. Heaven knows I would never forget to give my sweet “B” her meds.