Kiefer has elevated liver enzymes and an enlarged liver, as well as anemia. His back legs tremble and slip, his eye sight and hearing are also beginning to fail. But cognitively he’s all there.

For his sight, I make sure I turn the light on when he’s walking down the stairs. You can see that he has no idea where his paws will land when the stairway is darker. For hearing, I find a higher pitched voice seems to work better. For his slipping, we have rubber bottomed booties, but I want to make sure the yeast is under control before I cover his paws. I tried putting Dr. Buzby’s toe grips on his toenails, but had a hard time getting them positioned right. He still slipped. So yoga mats are the go-to for now.

As far as his “boofing” at me, well, it was me who had to adjust. I just make sure he knows where I am.

I checked with his vet to see if there were any supplements or herbs that were contraindicated with his liver issues, and they said not that they knew of. What about painkillers? With his liver in bad shape they ruled out Carprofen, perhaps Gabapentin. Besides going to specialists and doing further diagnosis procedures, they were out of suggestions.

So we’re on our own.

One of our Berkshire Hills pet parent, Kristen Hough is a professional energy healer. She read Kiefer’s “Emotion Code” and felt his liver was in pain. She suggested milk thistle.

He eats twice a day. For now his daily treatment is given in his breakfast (8 oz of raw):

  • a milk thistle tincture -3-4 drops for liver healing
  • a spoonful of pumpkin for some initial constipation
  • a probiotic for good bacteria in the gut, and digestive enzymes to help break down his food. As we age digestive enzymes decrease.

For a dog who is dealing with health issues or is older, it’s a good idea, in my experience, to go slow and give the smaller dose of things. It takes energy to process supplements even if they are natural.

I noticed that Kiefer seemed to be a bit more wobbly the following day of his first milk thistle dosage. I think he’s adjusting to a lot, so I started to reduce the milk thistle a little going forward. His spirits are up. He even tried to mount a girl in heat!

I have a little background in shiatsu and acupressure, so I started working along his spine. I stopped to watch if this was painful for him. Kiefer got up slowly, turned in a circle and then returned to place himself with his back right up against me so I could do it more. He looked up at me with eyes full of gratitude. My heart went, “ooohhh, buddy.”

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