In part I we talked about the benefits of food therapy so now we will discuss how to incorporate these principles into your daily routine.
Some things to remember :
A good base diet consists of 30% grain/starch, 40% protein and 30 % veggies plus supplements like sardines, hard boiled egg, flax based supplements, herbs and spices. You can pick and choose a neutral, warm or cool diet from the chart below.
Suggestions for a dog with a Qi and Yang deficiency during the winter months would be 30% brown rice, oats and/or sweet potato, 30% chicken, beef, beef liver, venison and/or lamb and 30 % dark green leafy veggies like chopped spinach, kale and kelp. Other veggies you might try are green beans, carrots and green and yellow squash.
For a dog with a Blood deficiency (dry flaky skin, itching and general weakness and malaise) choose a neutral diet of ground beef and kidney beans with carrots and peas but add in foods that Tonify the Blood like liver. Sardines and hard boiled eggs also Tonify the blood and are high in omega 3 fatty acids.
For a dog with a Kidney Qi deficiency choose a base diet like sweet potato, turkey, spinach and kale and add in foods that will help the kidney like lamb's kidney, kelp, kidney beans and black sesame seeds.
As a general rule I add turmeric paste (see recipe below), fresh ginger, salt and local honey to each meal and then top it with a splash of apple cider vinegar and either a sardine or hard boiled egg.
Here is an example of how I make a base diet for my dogs at home :
Then at each feeding I add some turmeric paste, a splash of apple cider vinegar, any herbs or supplements they may taking and either a half a sardine or half a hard boiled egg with the shell. Big dogs can have a whole sardine or whole egg. I add a little warm water to dissolve the turmeric paste, give it a stir and it's ready to eat.
One of the roadblocks to start home cooking is the worry that your dog will not have a balanced diet. With lots of variety, a balanced diet over time is easy to achieve but you can always add a high quality supplement to be sure. I like Platinum Performance CJ. It is a flax based supplement made in the USA and developed by veterinarians. You can order this from our website or from platinum performance directly. http://www.platinumperformance.com/platinum-performance-canine-cj-supplment
As with any food change start very slowly and discuss it with your veterinarian first. If your dog has been on kibble his whole life, changing to home cooked food can be very hard on his stomach. Start with a few bites of home cooked food on his regular food and slowly incorporate more over a month's time. Some dogs love their kibble or 100% home cooking is not an option and that is ok. You can just top your dog's food with some home cooked food and he will still get the benefits of fresh food and omega 3 fatty acids.
If you are looking for some great whole food dog treats based on chinese medicine principles, check out Doggone good goodies. https://www.facebook.com/DoggoneGoodGoodies/
Listen in to the Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine segment of the Driving Radio Show.
This week....hear Glenn squirm as we talk about screwworms !! The TCVM segment starts at 35:25
To listen to other episodes of our podcast visit The Driving Radio Show and you can find even more equine, pet and health shows on The Horse Radio Network, the voice of the horse world !
A Halloween Story ——— Cochliomyia hominivorax - “ eater of man “
Screwworms are the larval stage of the blue bottle fly aka blow fly with a scientific name of Cochliomyia hominivorax - “ eater of man “.
The screwworm has been eradicated since the 70s but its recent discovery in a population of Key Deer has the USDA and veterinarians on high alert to contain them. They are a potential danger to ranchers of cattle and sheep but also a danger to people, horses, pets and wildlife.
An adult female fly will “blow” her eggs (100-400) on to a fresh wound. The eggs will hatch in 12-24 hours. Screwworms differ from other larvae in that they will burrow into and eat the healthy tissue. Other maggots eat only necrotic tissue so do not cause damage to the host. Screwworm infestations can cause deep large wound tracts in flesh and bone. Any wound is an entry point even a small cut, the navel stump of a new born or the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes. After 5 -7 days they drop into the soil and pupate for only 7 days in a warm climate like south Florida. The adults can breed within 3 days after emerging from the pupa. They will mate 1 time in their life, lay eggs and die within 2-3 weeks.
Screwworm infestation was a huge problem for ranchers in the southern US and in 1958, the USDA released millions of sterile males. The theory was that the sterile males would out compete the wild males and decrease the population. Males eat only vegetation, not flesh. The program was successful and the screwworm was eradicated in the US and much of Mexico by 1972. Small populations remain in South and Central America and the Carribean and this outbreak is most likely from an animal or person traveling from an infected area to the keys.
Treatment includes removing the larvae manually, applying insecticide and cleaning and bandaging the wound so stock up on SWAT !
If you are in South Florida this winter, check your pets and horses. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect screwworms in a wound on your animal or you have a very smelly, slow healing wound.
The larvae have dark pigment on their trachea so they are easy to identify. Other maggot species do not have this. You may see a bottle fly similar to the adult shown here. There is a very similar species, C. macellaria - common name green bottle fly. C. macellaria are common in the US and only eat necrotic tissue. They are used by forensic scientist to establish time of death.
Practices Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Sarasota, Florida