Can't say thank you again enough for all of your support through our ordeal with Bryson's health crisis!
It's been a couple of weeks since Bryson came home, in fact, tomorrow will mark his 2-week follow-up date with the hospital, where he'll have a repeat chest x-ray to see if the pneumonia has cleared. Judging by the way he looks (his eyes seem to look so much "brighter", kinda hard to explain...) and the way he's attacking his food, I'm hopeful that tomorrow he'll be declared officially over the hump. This is a picture of him and Eva bumming around a pumpkin patch this past weekend, doesn't he look great?
But there's still the underlying Addison's Disease that's causing all the mayhem that lurks in the back of our minds... And thus, this past week, we eagerly brought him in to the long-awaited appointment with the highly-recommended naturpathic vet. And boy, even though it was only one visit, I already love this vet!
Before I go further, I have to say again that I have the utmost respect for his regular vets- they diagnosed him with Addison's promptly and probably saved his life. But this new naturpathic vet is just so.... different. First of all, she easily spent over an hour and a half with us, going through his entire history, asking us everything about his health- from his recent illness, to his Addison's, his diet, his history before us... seriously, like everything. I don't think I've spent that much time with his regular vet cumulatively since we had Bryson (and probably not to their fault, it's just the way vet practices, not unlike human medical practices, are run these days).
And not only was she attentive, warm, she was so good about explaining everything (again, reason why we were there for an hour and a half). She also gave me tons of reading- including her practice's rating of different dog food products and diets (raw vs high quality kibble), the whole vaccine debacle (do you know that yearly vaccine schedules for doggies are completely unsupported by scientific evidence?), the basis of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in doggies, supplements for Addison's disease, etc etc. I really feel like I'm back in school again (but in a good way, of course!)
Another thing I like about her is that she listens to me, and truly takes my preference and concerns into account when deciding on a course for Bryson: I'm a pharmacist- I like drugs, or at least I've learned to trust them. I've also taken courses in Chinese Medicine and have dabbled a little in naturpathic medicine myself. I want to explore an integrated approach for Bryson, so while we're maximizing his health through optimal nutrition support and natural healing methods, I don't want to throw his life-saving pills away blindly in the name of going "natural". Honestly before I went in I was a little concerned that she would ask me to do just that, but turns out she completely understands where I come from- she's a "regular" licensed DVM, so she can (and does) prescribe all the medicines needed for her patients, while incorporating other naturopathic methods to help encourage the body to heal. To me, that's just good, sensible medicine.
And on paper, she has the best "pedigree", having trained under the famous "father of holistic vet medicine", Dr. Pitcairn (and don't worry if you haven't heard of him before, I've only heard of him since Bryson got sick. He's BIG, trust me).
So, when she offered to do acupuncture on Bryson right then and there, I barely even flinched. Yes, you heard it right, acupuncture, as in little needles stuck all over his body to encourage his doggy "qi" to flow nicely through his meridian, as such:
Crazy, eh? And you know what's crazier? She's so gentle and casual about it that he didn't even realize the needles went in! (He only jumped a little with this one near his butt- his "gall bladder" point, she said). Imagine Bryson just walking around like nothing happened with these needles sticking out of him everywhere (yeah, kinda like a doggy-hellraiser). He was so relaxed he even laid down to take a nap. It's pretty weird and hard to suppress that giggle initially, I have to say.
Nothing too dramatic has happened with his health since (and not hat I'm expecting any). He just looked a little better every day, probably from the combination of his "regular" and "naturpathic" treatments. We're going back in a couple of weeks for follow up, where we'll start to discuss more about his chronic maintenance (this last time it's more about helping him get over his current episode). I'm cautiously optimistic that she can help us navigate through this maze of medical problems for our boy. Will keep you all posted (and if you have any experience to share about taking your pet to a naturpathic vet- do share!).
P.S. Bonus! More pix of our weekend at Half Moon Bay :)