Monthly Archives: June 2015

Heatstroke in dogs. Know the signs and take action.

26th June 2015

Summer is upon us, folks and we are not the only ones who have the suffer through the heat.  Our pets are among the most vulnerable to the dangers of heat stroke.  There are no statistics regarding heat stroke in dogs because most of these cases go unreported but it is estimated that several hundred pets suffer this unnecessary fate every summer.  

Don't let your pet suffer from heat

Dr. Amy Thomason at Westlake Animal Hospital has shared her knowledge and expert advice with us so that we can be prepared in the event our pets become overheated (or hyperthermic).  Obviously, prevention is the number one piece of advice anyone can give pet owners so make sure you take appropriate measures during warm seasons.  Keep your pets indoors during the hottest parts of the day (late afternoon) and always have fresh water accessible and as well as a  shaded, well ventilated area for them to cool off.  Never leave your pet in the car, even if you crack the windows and even if it’s “just for a minute”.  This happened just last week in California.  And, while we’re at it, try to remember not to leave your kids in the car either. 

Now, here’s what you need to know in the event your dog does suffer from heat stroke.  Even the fittest pets can become hyperthermic and this condition, if untreated or treated incorrectly, can result in major organ damage and even death so, please read on.  

Normal body temperature for a dog is at

Reasons why a pet would be unable to dissipate heat: 

  • Obesity
  • Brachycephalic conformation  (lookin’ at you, pugs, bulldogs, frenchies, etc.)
  • Laryngeal paralysis/upper airway obstruction
  • Cardiovascular or respiratory disease
  • Extremes in age (very young, very old)
  • Central nervous system disease, including prolonged seizures
  • Water deprivation
  • Poorly ventilated areas
  • High humidity
  • Heat Prostration (collapse or loss of consciousness) 

This is a LIFE THREATENING CONDITION, not to mention agonizing.  When internal temperature is above 105, a true emergency exists.  Above 109 degrees, organ damage occurs in kidneys, liver, intestines and brain.  Prolonged temperatures over 109 degrees causes irreversible neuronal death which causes coma and permanent brain damage.  

Appears distressedPants

Remember, pets may recover if intensive supportive care is initiated but TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!!!  Here’s what you can do at home before you take the pet in for veterinary care.  

  • Remove your pet from the environment where the hyperthermia occurred
  • Move to shaded or cool environment and direct a fan on them
  • If possible, determine rectal temperature and record it
  • Begin to cool the dog by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, armpits, and groin areas
  • Wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water
  • OR use cool water from a garden hose
  • Transport to the closest veterinarian ASAP

Seems pretty logical, right?  I mean who here hasn’t had used the same methods on themselves after a little too much time in the sun?  But possibly more importantly, here is what NOT TO DO. 

  • Do not use very cold water or ice for cooling.  It forms an insulating layer of tissue to hold the heat inside.  Cooling the innermost structures of the body will actually be delayed.  Instead, use cold tap water.  
  • Do not overcool the pet.  A reasonable goal of cooling pet is to reduce your pet’s body temperature to 102.5-103 degrees while transporting to veterinarian. 
  • Do not attempt for force water into your pet’s mouth, but have fresh cool water available to offer should your pet be alert and show interest.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended for any length of time.

When you arrive at your veterinarian’s office, you can expect swift action to continue cooling and rehydrating your pet.  The following, are some things that may be necessary to help your pet recover. 

  • Monitor temperature every 5 minutes
  • Continue cooling with cold tap water in tub
  • IV Fluids – cooled if possible
  • +/- Isopropol alcohol applied to feet/pads
  • +/- Fan for cooling
  • +/- Oxygen Therapy

With timely and appropriate action both on your part and that of your doctor’s, your pet stands the best chance for recovery.  However, the prognosis will depend on the length of time the dog was hyperthermic, the amount of organ damage incurred, and your pet’s response to intensive supportive care.  If DIC, organ failure, cerebral edema, coma, gastrointestinal damage or septicemia have occurred, your pet’s prognosis will be poor to grave so again, prevent this by acting fast.  

I believe that as humans, we are responsible for honoring and valuing the lives of our neighbors, whether they be fellow humans or man’s best friend.  If you see a dog in distress from heat or this happens to your pet, take action immediately.  It is no joke.  You could save a life.  Thank you, Dr. Amy Thomason and all the staff at Westlake Animal Hospital in Austin, who have treated many pets suffering from heatstroke and work hard each day to educate pet owners in order to prevent this and many other harmful situations, helping pets to live longer and healthier lives.  

What’s with the essential oil frenzy?

17th June 2015

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m going to go ahead and wager that you’ve seen at least one end-cap at your local grocery store, Wal-Mart, Whole Woods, or vitamin store displaying essential oils and a diffuser for aromatherapy.  Maybe it’s an Austin thing, but I am seeing them EVERYWHERE.  In a way, that’s great because it means we are opening our minds to more natural ways to improve the health and wellbeing of our family and our homes.  

Here’s the thing…

Essential oils are not a new thing.  Whole Foods did not invent them in the last six months.  They have been around for thousands of years (yes, I’m talking as far back as the Egyptians who built those fancy pyramids).  Businesses are simply capitalizing on the fact that we are all fed up with taking synthetic drugs for every ache and pain and suffering the side effects.  They get that we are sick of our houses smelling like chemicals when we clean and that when our kids have colds, we are desperate for a safe, natural, and effective remedy.  Everyone is claiming to provide all the benefits of essential oils whether they adhere to safe and ethical practices or not and we all want what we want so we go ahead and try some without the know-how to use them properly or ensure that they are indeed what they say they are.

Let’s not go down that road, okay?  I’m here to give you a lot of very verifiable information about essential oils that will empower you to make informed decisions about the oils you buy and use.  I am not a doctor.  I am not even a licensed aromatherapist.  I am a mom of two young boys.  I have a husband who has been diabetic since the age of 7 and also has Celiac Disease.  I have been pregnant, nursing, or generally hormonal for the past five years straight.  I’m on a path to wellness and learning that grows stronger every day because of essential oils and I am thrilled to share what I know because it has been a GAME CHANGER for me and my family and I believe it could be for yours too.

So, what are essential oils?

Plant Close Up

In short, they are the life blood and immune response system of plants.  When extracted through careful steam distillation or cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they were extracted.  Essential oils have a very similar makeup to our own human cells.  This allows essential oils to be easily accepted by our bodies and have a profound therapeutic effect as they move quickly through biological barriers and get into or blood stream and tissue. Different plants contain different properties that help that plant thrive in its environment.  Absorbing those properties allows us to do the same.  We could all use a little more thriving, right?  

What can essential oils do for me?

  • Can inspire a more positive emotional state
  • Promote a healthy immune response and support overall wellbeing
  • May help support better digestive function
  • Provide support for the nervous system
  • May aid in removing toxins 
  • May increase your ability to absorb nutrients
  • Aid in purifying your home
  • May improve the appearance of skin
  • Promote a sense of peace 

These may seem a little vague or general and they are this way for a reason.  Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, therefore we are not allowed to make any health claims about them.  Any time you read a description about what an essential oil can do, it will be written in a way that is compliant with FDA regulations.  At least on my blog it will be.  Also, because they are not regulated by the FDA,  anyone can put an essential oil on the market and call it 100% essential oil without any sort of guarantee that what you’re getting is actually what’s labeled on the bottle.  They can add fillers, chemicals, other oils, perfumes, etcetera to give you a great price on a bottle of something that is not what true therapeutic grade essential oils are intended to be.  Which, leads me to the next point.

Why Young Living?

Young Living is the world leader in essential oils and wellness solutions.  They own their own farms throughout the world. They make a steadfast commitment to essential oil purity from strict seed selection, through organic farming and careful harvesting, all the way to testing the products in the lab for purity and sealing the bottles.  Their essential oils never change hands and the quality is never compromised.  Learn about this process at www.seedtoseal.com.  Seriously, it’s a beautiful video. 

ylu-seed-to-seal-infographic

Yes, Young Living is a multi-level marketing company.  You may be familiar with the general structure.  Don’t scoff.  For me, it is a way to provide better health for my family and contribute financially while being a stay-at-home mom.  It is also an opportunity to grow a business and help people achieve greater potential.  See, essential oils don’t cure us of anything.  They support our bodies in curing themselves, which is what our bodies were (I believe) designed to do in the first place.  I could be selling Mary Kay or Amway (no offense to those who do) but THIS is what I believe in.  It cuts to the core of what I’ve always believed about my health.  I do place great faith in Western medicine too.  I believe in vaccinating children and Benadryl and antibiotics when recommended by my doctor.  I just don’t think that there is only one way to better health and I think we all can agree that the fewer synthetic chemicals running through our bloodstream, the better off we are likely to be.  

As long winded as this blog post is, I promise you it is the condensed version.  There is so much science, technology and ingenuity that has gone into making Young Living the absolute best when it comes to essential oils.  I cannot wait to share what I learn and hopefully will even inspire you to get on your way to abundance with Young Living essential oils. 

live abundantly