Scared Poopless:
The Newsletter for Dogs

Summer 2009

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In This Issue of our Dog E-Newsletter:
Breathing Problems: Illness and Collapsing Trachea
Heartworm Medications Part 1: Truths, Omissions and Profits
Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Ways to Eliminate Unnecessary Shots
Tear Stains: The Truth is Out There!
Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure
Our Dog Nutrition Recordings with Dr. Jean Hofve
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Hi Humans!

Hi! It's Chiclet T. Dog, national award-winning author/narrator of Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog CareYouTube educator and star and the world's smallest holistic health care and safety advocate. I work with my Human mom, Jan Rasmusen, researcher and consumer advocate, who writes articles and posts videos at our Dogs4Dogs website and two blogs: Truth4Dogs and Blog4Dogs.  Okay, it sounds like she works harder than I do, but I definitely work cuter!

Sorry to complain, but it has been a tough couple of months for me and Jiggy. I'm not one to exaggerate, but it's a barkin' miracle we're alive! Few dogs could have handled our adversities with such fortitude, and well, style. But enough about me. Let's talk about my illness and what I did to recover.

But first ... Twitter fans, are you following us yet on K9Author. So far we've posted health alerts about commercial foods and notifications about our articles. No fluff. This is a great way to learn what we're doing in real time, using just 140 characters, rather than having to tackle a big e-newsletter like this. Humans have short attention spans.

Our e-newsletter is sent approximately 4 times a year. Blog posts go out 2-3 times per month. 

Okay, let's get to it! Oh ... don't forget to forward this newsletter to friends and family. They're not nearly as well informed as you are. And please bookmark our articles at, StumpleUpon, etc. so others can find them.
Please scroll down to select among the wide variety of articles.

Breathing Problems: Illness, Allergies and Collapsing Trachea

A month or so ago, I contracted a respiratory virus or a terrible case of airborne allergies. We're not sure which. To make matters worse, I have a collapsing trachea. That is, x-rays of my tiny trachea look like a garden hose that's been stepped on in the middle. Poor me.

For what seemed like days, I could hardly breathe. Instead of my normal whisper-soft breath, I coughed and honked like a Canadian goose in heat. I've always honked when I get excited, but only for a few seconds. Even Jiggy who is normally oblivious to my breathing (it's a guy thing), freaked out at my recent gasping.

In accordance with Chiclet's After-Hours Rule, I took a turn for the worse on a Friday night. Mom started e-mailing and calling vet friends -- and a bunch of them answered. We're lucky that way. My own vet couldn't be reached because she was off on another emergency, and then another. I reached my friend holistic vet Sue Pollen (from Richmond, CA) instantly. Then Dr. Margo Roman of Dr.DoMore video fame called me at midnight her time (9 mine) to help. They're both good friends of me and Jiggy.

Both recommended several homeopathic remedies, which really helped. They suggested I needed some hands-on lung listening to be sure my lungs were working well, so we went to emergency the next day. (My vet's mom passed away that weekend, so she couldn't help.)

Afraid that I might suffocate, Mom relented and let the ER vet give me one cortisone shot, which we HATED given it's immunosuppressive properties. It really didn't help that much. The vet wanted us to take oral steroids, but we said no. We tried natural cortisone instead. They also gave me some codeine cough medicine which didn't help at all.

The ER vet offered, but didn't push, an antibiotic. We were pretty sure antibiotics weren't needed as I had no fever and actually felt fine unless you consider the choking to death thing. We NEVER take antibiotics without good reason!

Dr. Hebbler, our own vet, suggested I get a natural cough medicine from the health food store; it's called B & T's Children's Cough Medicine. I loved it. It tasted great and curbed my cough immediately. Dr. Hebbler says it's her favorite kennel cough remedy. I'll keep it on hand from now on. It's important to address coughing before your throat gets too irritated or the coughing will just get worse.

Our ER vet suggested Children's Benadryl, and we tried it for a while (mostly for its sedative properties). It didn't help much with the coughing but did make me sleep. Dr. Roman, late the next Friday night when I took another bad turn, told us that we should try stopping the Benadryl. Maybe I was sensitive to some ingredient in it. We did, and my coughing neither improved nor got worse.

Note: whether you use Benadryl or a natural cough remedy, be sure to get the correct dose from your vet. (I weigh 4 pounds and my vet prescribed one ml of Children's B & T every 6-8 hours.) Always buy plain Benadryl, not one with additives treating multiple symptoms. Small dogs should use Children's Benadryl.

What we learned: Try to stop the cough immediately. Use natural methods whenever possible. Discuss options with your ER vet. Think before acting. Don't panic.

If any of you have suggestions about respiratory illness or collapsing trachea, please write us and we'll pass them on. We're looking at surgical methods for collapsing trachea, but so far they don't look good.

PS  Do you think the kennel cough vaccine will prevent kennel cough? Think again. Read what Dr. Ron Schultz, renowned vaccine expert, says. Click this link and scroll down to If your vet, kennel owner or groomer says your dog should be vaccinated against kennel cough (Bordetella).
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Heartworm Medications Part 1: Truths, Omissions and Profits

*** Here's Part 1 of my in-depth article on heartworm medication. Sign up at my blog for Part 2 which will be posted soon.

It’s getting warmer outside — time for sellers of heartworm medications to start scaring you to death.
Television and print ads, which used to push meds only during warm summer months, now urge you to keep your dog on medication year round. The question is: why the change?

Drs. David Knight and James Lok of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, addressing recommendations for year round meds, warned:  “The practice of some veterinarians to continuously prescribe monthly chemoprophylaxis exaggerates the actual risk of heartworm transmission in most parts of the country and unnecessarily increases the cost of protection to their clients.”

So, is the change to year round meds all about money? Or is there more to this story? How, exactly, are heartworms transmitted, and when is transmission impossible?  Read more


Vaccinating Dogs: 10 Ways to Eliminate Unnecessary Shots

When vaccinating our dogs, most of us rely on our vets, trusting that their advice is up-to-date and not biased by economic or political concerns.  Unfortunately,  unless vets stay current on veterinary journal reading (no easy task) … and actually assimilate new findings … and decide to forgo significant vaccination income, their advice may lag well behind many years behind what experts now advocate.

Vaccination is a serious medical procedure with the potential for adversely affecting health, both in the short and long term. Experts now advise us to vaccinate each dog according to his or her individual needs.  But how do you cut back without endangering your dog’s health?  Here are 10 ways to eliminate unnecessary shots while actually improving pet health.

1. Always consider locale, lifestyle, risk and vaccine effectiveness. Bordetella (kennel cough) is for dogs in poorly-ventilated close quarters (like kennels), not for pets sometimes playing with others. Leptospirosis is a disease of wetlands and woodlands, and the vaccine may not protect against the actual disease in your area. Lyme is only for dogs in areas with Lyme disease. Furthermore, each of these vaccines has dangerous side effects and their efficacy is questionable. Don’t give them without proven need and benefit.

2. Eliminate vaccines on the “not recommended” list of the American Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccine Task Force as well as most veterinary organizations and schools. These include Giardia and Coronavirus (found in many combination shots).

3. Say no! to combination shots. Combo shots (called names like DHLPPC) assault your dog’s immune system with five or seven vaccines at once. Given for (false) economy and convenience rather than health or safety, combination shots are linked to autoimmune disease and other major health problems. Also, they invariably contain unnecessary and even dangerous vaccines. 

4. Stop vaccinating against diseases for which your dog may already have immunity. Read more



Holistic Dog Care Articles: Past and Future

 If you don't subscribe to our Truth4Dogs blog, you may miss some great upcoming articles: Heartworm Medications Part 2: About Minimum Dosing and The Truth About Tear Stains.

Past articles we hope you read: 
Titer Testing, a great alternative to re-vaccination.  Lower Your Vet Bills  and if you use flea and tick meds: Pesticides & Preventatives Poisoning Pets?


Help Us Help Dogs      We spend hundreds of hours every month writing and researching to help you help your dog. Our e-newsletter, articles and videos are available to you at no cost. We donate our profits from book to animal causes. We help you with problems whenever we can.

Please help us spread the word about holistic dog care. Post comments to our blog articles and bookmark our articles and videos at Delicious, StumbleUpon and other sites. Write on your Facebook wall, and twitter about our articles. It will help others learn the truth about vaccination and other aspects of dog care.

If you have a website, please link to us like this:
Holistic Dog Care Information  Please imbed our videos. (Find them at YouTube; click on the video you like and get the embed code at the upper right.)  

Helping us helps dogs everywhere. Thanks for anything you can do.


Tear Stains: The Truth is Out There!

A message from Jan: Well, I know you won't believe it, but I've finally finished my research on what causes tear stains and, equally important, what doesn't. And you're not going to believe it.

I've interviewed numerous veterinarians, including
Ophalmologists, Pharmacy specialists, holistic vets, and veterinary professors who are antibiotic experts.

My good friend Dr. Jean Hofve, former Editor-in-Chief of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Journal (and interview subject of my dog nutrition CD's), very generously spent hours brainstorming with other vets and with me. We were both appalled by what we learned.

If you're using antibiotics to treat tear stains (and you may be without knowing it if you use a commercial product taken orally or a drug like tylosine, tylan or tetracycline) please find some, but not nearly all, of my findings already posted on my Tear Stain page. Sign up for more information there. We won't share your e-mail address with anyone.

Thanks to all of you who sent us photos of tear-stained (but still beautiful) canine faces for our report. Please consider sharing your dog's photo with us; e-mail it to us here.  We need lots of breeds: Bichon, Poodles, Chihuahua's, Maltese and ??? Close-ups of faces are best, although we'd like some full shots if your dog also has stained feet or beard. Pictures should be in sharp focus and as uncluttered as possible.

Now, I just have to find time to write up the information. I may also do another short questionnaire and may make a video. We're still planning to do a clinic to try several products and will tell you more later.


Vaccinating Unhealthy Pets: Beware Reactions & Vaccine Failure

Despite the huge tumor on his mouth, this sweet dog was given 7 shots 4 weeks before this photo was taken. The tumor grew 10-15% after the shots.

All vaccine labels and inserts state that vaccines are for use in “healthy dogs only.” Unfortunately, no one defines “healthy.”

Most knowledgeable vets agree that certain animals should NOT be vaccinated (absent proven, urgent need such as inevitable exposure to a life-threatening disease). These  include, but aren’t limited to, pets with autoimmune disease … pets undergoing chemo, radiation or surgery (even dental cleaning or neutering) … pets with autoimmune disease, cancer, severe allergies and skin diseases … pets fighting an illness or parasites … pets stressed from shipment or a move to a new home … malnourished pets … and dying housebound pets.  Assaulting the immune systems  of these animals with vaccination has been likened to throwing gas on a raging fire.

Vaccination is big business and an old habit.  Dogs and cats need an advocate with common sense (and a strong backbone) to stand up for their pets. That means you!

So why shouldn’t you vaccinate a sick, stressed or geriatric pet? For one thing, the pet may develop adverse reactions ranging from fever to seizures to autoimmune disease to anaphylactic shock  and even death. (Click this link to see other possible adverse reactions.) Furthermore, shots administered to an unhealthy animal may fail to provide immunity while giving you the false security that your dog is protected. Read more


A Maltese Pup That Needed Surgery and a Home -- A Happy Ending

For those of you who have asked about the pup with the broken wrist who needed a home, know that Oliver found a wonderful home in Arizona. He has a human mom and dad and two siblings to love him. Oliver had been awaiting death in a shelter for lack of someone to pay for his surgery. Thanks to the wonderful people at American Maltese Association Rescue for their generosity and to board certified surgeon Dr. Sarit Dhupa who operated on our little rescue at discounted cost. Dr. Dhupa, my dogs' knee surgeon, also performed a low-cost heart surgery on a rescued Maltese pup last year. He is a great friend of rescue dogs.


New Low Prices on Nutrition Recordings with
Dr. Jean Hofve

Scared Poopless
has two info-packed chapters on how to feed your dog, but people wanting to prevent or cure disease often want to learn even more. To fill this need, I teamed with Dr. Jean Hofve, one of the top pet food and pet nutrition experts in the country.

Disk #1: Truth, Lies & Pet Food (about selecting the safest commercial foods)
Disk #2: Diet, Disease and Longevity (how to feed dogs and cats with health problems)
Disk #3: From Mere Survival to Glowing Health (how to feed for optimum health) 

The cost is just $12 for each hour-long recording or $28.70 for all three. This is a great opportunity to learn pet nutrition from real experts from the comfort of your home or car. Note: We will send you a link to the recordings instantly. For actual disk rather than links, add $3.70 more and we'll mail them.

New offer!  Get a copy of our national award-winning book Scared Poopless plus the full set of 3 three nutrition disks for only $48.97. Normally, you'd pay $61.37 for the book with the CD's. That's a savings of $12.40. Plus you get free shipping!  

Click here to order now. Click here to learn more about our dog nutrition recordings.



San Diegans Only

Good help is hard to find!  A personal message from Jan.

Chiclet and Jiggy's holistic vet, Dr. Tamara Hebbler has just moved to a new, larger office. UC Davis vet school trained, she has practiced holistic medicine for her entire career. Her website is Healing Hope; phone 877-738-4673.  She's in Solana Beach, near I-5. Tamara has been treating my dogs for about 5 years and was responsible for my getting interested in holistic care even proofread my book's manuscript at no charge. She does in-office visits and telephone consultations.

Looking for a holistic vet in your area? Check out the referral links on my Vet web page.


In the Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar area: My dogs' groomer, Collette Morgan, still has some time for a few new clients. She has been my dogs' groomer since they were pups -- almost 9 years now. She does small- to medium-sized dogs only, grooming them in your home -- where you can watch if you like. (No worrying about what's happening behind closed doors.) She breeds and shows miniature poodles (on a limited basis) and is an excellent poodle groomer as well. Reach her at

Until we meet again...

As many of you know, my best friend Jiggy (pictured right with me) has been coping with autoimmune liver disease for eight years now but still looks and acts like a macho pup dude. His liver enzymes have recently spiked. We're not yet sure why. Stay tuned to what we learn about treating liver disease.

I just had my ninth birthday, but if I don't mind saying, I don't look a day over two. In fact, most people think I'm a puppy. And I haven't even had any work done!  I'm a testament to good living.

Don't forget: you're either part of the solution or part of the problem. Please help us change the world.

Love and Licks,

Chiclet T. Dog

Details, details, details

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Disclaimer: The content of this newsletter is provided for general information purposes. Any information provided is not veterinary advice and should not be substituted for a regular consultation with a veterinary professional. If you have any concerns about your dog's health, please contact your veterinarian's office immediately.

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"This is a wonderful book!  I have rarely been so impressed by any publication!"   --Jean Hofve, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association  Click here to read the entire review.

2006 - 2009 Jan Rasmusen. All rights reserved. Scared Poopless and Dogs4Dogs are trademarks of Jan Rasmusen.


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