Tyra and Her Transition

Kathy and Angel;

Thank you both for the care and love you gave to Tyra during her visits to the clinic.

It was with your help and care that she was able to complete the last part of her journey here on earth with such grace and high energy.

Her passing and the days leading up to her passing were carefully crafted to ensure that she had all the experiences that she needed to expand and grow to the fullest extent that this incarnation would allow. Perhaps even more!

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Kathy and Angel;

Thank you both for the care and love you gave to Tyra during her visits to the clinic.

It was with your help and care that she was able to complete the last part of her journey here on earth with such grace and high energy.

Her passing and the days leading up to her passing were carefully crafted to ensure that she had all the experiences that she needed to expand and grow to the fullest extent that this incarnation would allow. Perhaps even more!

I was truly amazing to see how the events unfolded and honored to be a witness to it all.

Tyra came full circle and completed her earthly life with an A+. Even on the day of her passing everything was so complete. I have never felt so at ease with letting a Dog go as I was with Tyra. Although some sadness was involved it was also very beautiful and I really felt that everything was completed perfectly. Tyra was amazing and I know this life experience changed her and through her passing I was also changed. It was like a gift was given back to me. I can't explain it any better that that.

So as you both played a vital role in her completion I just wanted to say Thank You once more. Tyra thanks you as well. Also Thank you for the card you sent.

I am sure we will see both you again.

Tyra, Rokko and Me.

A Cat Named Dog with Lipidosis

The story we would like to share is about our sick cat named ‘Dog’. He is a 10 year old domestic shorthair and a beloved member of our family.

Our ordeal began in 2015, shortly before Halloween. We started to notice that our normally healthy, although obese (over 20 lbs.), cat was losing weight. At first we were happy Dog was slimming down because he really did need to lose some pounds. However, when he couldn't jump onto the bathroom counter to drink water the way he loved to, we became concerned and took him to our regular veterinarian.

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The story we would like to share is about our sick cat named ‘Dog’. He is a 10 year old domestic shorthair and a beloved member of our family.

Our ordeal began in 2015, shortly before Halloween. We started to notice that our normally healthy, although obese (over 20 lbs.), cat was losing weight. At first we were happy Dog was slimming down because he really did need to lose some pounds. However, when he couldn't jump onto the bathroom counter to drink water the way he loved to, we became concerned and took him to our regular veterinarian.

Our veterinarian’s suggested we run some blood work to rule out something common, i.e. the possibility that Dog might be diabetic. When the results finally came back, they showed that Dog did not have diabetes and aside from having a higher than normal thyroid level, everything looked fine. The recommendation was to give Dog an antibiotic shot for possible infection?? He also suggested to put him on a Hills prescription Diet and told us to syringe feed a couple times a day, to give him some extra calories. This was on October 10th, he weighed 16.8 lbs.

Dog seemed to be improving and was holding his own. We started giving him some canned cat food, which he seemed to like. Normally, Dog is dry kibble cat and won't eat anything else, even tuna. It was during this time, I noticed my husband had bought a different brand of cat food than we normally buy. I asked him to go back to the store and get our regular brand, but the damage had already been done. In my opinion, this change of brand food caused Dog to stop eating all together and our nightmare began.

The week of Thanksgiving, we began to notice Dog wasn't eating the canned food or the dry food any more. We made plans to visit relatives over the holidays, so we made some arrangements for a friend to come by and syringe feed Dog at least once a day because he would not eat otherwise. We were almost sure we might come home to find out Dog didn’t make it and either had to be put down or passed on his own. However, when we did get home we found Dog was still holding on and this is when we decided to take him to a different veterinarian for a second opinion.

The new veterinarian’s office requested for us to bring Dogs medical records with us to our appointment, including the results of the blood test taken in October. During our appointment, the new veterinarian noticed our regular veterinarian wrote Hepatic Lipidosis on one of the pages. The recommendation form this new veterinarian was to redo the blood work for comparison. We were so nervous because some online research showed Hepatic Lipidosis was basically a death sentence, if you could not get the cats to eat. After a few days, we finally got the news…Dog did indeed have Hepatic Lipidosis. The veterinarian’s recommendation was to place a feeding tube. The beginning cost would be roughly $1,100 for the tube and anything else that may come up during and after surgery. The second option was to put Dog to sleep.

After much thought, we decided we would not put Dog through getting a feeding tube. We also stopped syringe feeding him as well because we didn’t feel like we should be forcing Dog to do something he clearly didn’t want to do. The decision was made to let Dog pass away at home, surrounded by the family that loved him so much. However, once we got him home he was sitting on our bed and he turned and gave me this look of 'so what ya going to with me' and to be honest we had no idea. The one thing I did know that if Dog was not going to give up then I was not going to give up on him, so I began searching online for help.

I found some great websites that contain a lot of great information, i.e. healthypets.mercola.com and catinfo.com. I also went to the pet store with the CATFOOD COMPOSITION chart from catinfo.com and bought a can of each of the highest calorie food they had; most over 100kcals per can. Some of the foods were easy to syringe and others you couldn't without a blender. Dog hated them ALL. The only food he seemed to give in to was when we used Beachnuts beef baby food. Then I found a health pet food store in Riverdale. I figured they might be able to help figure out a high calorie food that Dog might tolerate.

SO for the next several months, this became my recipe. My recipe consisted of: 4 nuggets of Primal raw turkey formula defrosted a jar of Beechnut beef baby food, a can of Natural Balance original Ultra Kitten Formula, 2 regular size cubes of bone broth melted, and 10 drops of licorice extract. Plus, once we found Dr. Backus we added in 2 tsp. of Wei Ling Tang, and approximately 30 to 40 ml. of unflavored Pedialyte and water for 60 to 80 ml of fluids total in a day. I'd try to feed him 9 to 15 ml. every 3 hrs. However, this was not sustainable for long term.
By Christmas, Dog was alive and comfortable, but he had no energy and no strength in his back legs. We knew if we didn’t try something else and soon we were going to lose him. This is when we found Dr. Backus and made an appointment.

Dr. Backus went through Dogs medical history with us and was very thorough. She was very honest with us and gave us a few recommendations. 1) Was to do a cancer screen to make sure we weren't fighting a losing battle. 2) Was to get a feeding tube placed. We were still unsure about the feeding tube and to be honest my husband was against it. We explained to Dr. Backus about the quote we got of $1,100 we got from our normal veterinarian and she said the expense should not be that much, more like $400-$500, and we should get more estimates. 3) Was to do some rectal ozone treatments. By the end of the appointment, we agreed to all 3.
By mid-January, the feedings were really starting to wear on us and Dog seemed to be gradually losing ground. I began to call around to other veterinary offices to see if their prices for a feeding tube would be more reasonable then our first quote. We finally found a place that would do the surgery for around $200 and we went for it.

Dog had some touch and go moments and a rough recovery, but our little man pulled through. The feeding tube made everything much easier for us and Dog. At the time of surgery, Dog was down to 8 lbs. and if you remember he once was 20 lbs. For our surgery checkup appointment, we found out Dog was slowing gaining some of his weight back. This was a relief to us.

Dog had his feeding tube for a total of 24 days and started EATING on his own. The veterinarian that performed the surgery recommended we take the tube out because Dog was doing so well. He now weighs a little over 10 lbs. and we understand this will be a slow process, but things are looking up for our little fighter. We never gave up on him and he never gave up on us.

Thank you Dr. Backus for your time and honesty regarding Dog’s health. You are the reason we moved forward with the feeding tube. The time you took to explain the procedure and benefits is why Dog is still with us.

Willow, Chuck, Dog, Kit (Dogs brother, same litter), and Spade (our oldest cat).

Sam's Hyperthyroidism

Our cat Sam was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism just over two years ago, when he was 13. He had been slowing down quite a bit and he was living pretty much downstairs, near the cat box and food, not venturing upstairs, and sleeping most of the time. The sleeping, of course, is not unusual for cats, but we really thought that he was on his way out.

We tried a couple of natural supplements, there were some slight positive results and and he was beginning to resist the supplements. We didn’t want to try medications with all of their side effects. About four months ago, we made the difficult decision to withdraw treatment and let nature take its course.

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Our cat Sam was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism just over two years ago, when he was 13. He had been slowing down quite a bit and he was living pretty much downstairs, near the cat box and food, not venturing upstairs, and sleeping most of the time. The sleeping, of course, is not unusual for cats, but we really thought that he was on his way out.

We tried a couple of natural supplements, there were some slight positive results and and he was beginning to resist the supplements. We didn’t want to try medications with all of their side effects. About four months ago, we made the difficult decision to withdraw treatment and let nature take its course.

However, even though we discontinued the supplements, we decided to change his food. We bought the very high quality foods that are carried at the Animal Park store in Riverdale. We gradually introduced them as we phased out the previous “highest quality” foods from Petco. We also greatly reduced the fish content in his dry food and eliminated it altogether from his canned food.

About two months into this change, Sam became much more active and responsive – and he now spends much more time upstairs and with us. His recent physical shows that he has maintained his weight and his thyroid gland has softened and is more normal in shape. Great news for our now 15 year-old Sweet Sam!

We feel very strongly that the quality of food has a huge effect on the quality of life our pets lead. For years we have been feeding grain free foods and our previous pets have lived long and healthy lives, but the better quality seems to have really turned the corner. It’s so great to have that kind of time with our pets!

Thank you for all the support,

The Rall Family

Auto-Immune Disease

Our purebred Shetland Sheepdog, BlueBell was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder at 1 year of age. The recommendation by our veterinarian was to put her down because "there was nothing more they could do on the traditional side." This recommendation was a shock to us because BlueBell was still just a puppy! There just had to be another option and we found it in Dr. Backus.

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Our purebred Shetland Sheepdog, BlueBell was diagnosed with an explainable auto-immune disease a little over ONE year of age. The recommendation by our veterinarian was to put her down because "there was nothing more they could do on the traditional side." This recommendation was unexceptionable to us because BlueBell was still just a puppy! There just had to be another option out in the world and we found it in Dr. Backus.

At 16 month of age, we began to noticed BlueBell was having trouble with her balance and/or joints. She seemed extremely stiff and was having difficulty standing. There were moments when she would lose her balance and fall, which is why we ending taking her to our local veterinarian because it was Christmas time and BlueBell fell into the Christmas Tree injuring her eye.

Our veterinarian ending up prescribing both the oral and injectable Rimadyl with little to no response. Two weeks after we started the recommended treatment, we began to notice BlueBell's eye was very red,becoming cloudy, and a fleshy growth was developing. She would also not stand, had extreme pain and dehydration.

We took her back into our local veterinarian and had Radiographs and blood work done, which came back normal. The suspected and working diagnosis by our veterinarian at this time was autoimmune polyarthritis and superficial keratitis. Our veterinarian recommended giving a examethasone IV, Baytril IM, oral prednisone and Orbax and dexamethasone eye drops and Pepcid.

On this treatment, BlueBell had a reduction in symptoms by 2 days after those treatments, however when the oral prednisone was reduced in dosage to once daily, the polymyositis/arthritis returned with both eyes now having proliferative lesions.

At this point our veterinarian started recommending euthanasia because BlueBell could not stay on high doses of steroids for the rest of her life. Also, while this was happening, we were getting pressured by the city because BlueBell was due for her second rabies vaccination for her licensure. However, we knew if we gave her the vaccine she would surely die, so we asked for a temporary exemption do to a medical condition and was approved. This gave us some extra time, but we had to act fast because it would not last forever.

This is when we starting seeking holistic help, specifically IV ozone/UV therapy because we knew about Dr. Shallenberger MD on the human side. Luckily, we found Dr. Backus and she literally lived 10 minutes away from us. WAS THAT NOT SIGN or WHAT!

Dr. Backus recommended we do O3UV treatments weekly for 4 treatments and also reduce BlueBell's oral prednisone to once every 4 days and to stop the Imuran immediately. We really thought this kind of big and fast change would harm Bluebell, but she did great from the start. We continued the 5th treatment at 2 weeks, 6th at 3 weeks, 7th at 4.5 week intervals and by the 8th treatment, she was able to receive her rabies vaccination as a vaccine exemption had been temporarily issued by animal control for licensure.

We also looked for the trigger of her autoimmune issues ruling out thyroid through hemopet, verified her distemper and parvo titers, and she had an ultrasound and ovariohysterectomy performed via an abdominal scope. The reproductive tract appeared normal so we never did find the trigger but suspect an occult infection with concurrent trigger of her first heat cycle. Clinically, she had responded so well from the very first treatment, that surgery and rabies vaccination was possible and now we continue O3/UV treatments every 4-6 months.

BlueBell began to lose all the weight she gained from the steroids, her eyes stabilized with small, superficial corneal opacification lesions, which later was diagnosed as genetic corneal dystrophy. AND most importantly, BlueBell is off ALL medication and appears happy and healthy, very active with no symptoms of pain.

Thank you Dr. Backus for saving our Little BlueBell!

From the Chamberlain Family

Importance of Yearly Check Ups

We would like to introduce you to Violet! Violet is the princess of the Holden household. To say she is a spoiled pampered pup is an understatement. Violet was adopted from the Weber County Animal Shelter in May of 2013. We were told she was a 6 month old Border Collie Mix. However, one look at those long legs and sleek body we know she can't be a Border Collie Mix. The consensus is, with a high probability, Violet is more of a Whippet Mix. Violet has had no evidence of health problems until January of 2017.

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We would like to introduce you to Violet! Violet is the princess of the Holden household. To say she is a spoiled pampered pup is an understatement. Violet was adopted from the Weber County Animal Shelter in May of 2013. We were told she was a 6 month old Border Collie Mix. However, one look at those long legs and sleek body we know she can't be a Border Collie Mix. The consensus is, with a high probability, Violet is more of a Whippet Mix. Violet has had no evidence of health problems until January of 2017.

As stated previously, Violet was adopted from the Weber County Animal Center in May of 2013. When we decided to bring her into our family, she was in the best of health. Violet did need to have a minor surgery to fix a small hernia, but nothing to major.

Over the years, Dr. Backus has educated my husband and myself on the importance of yearly exams, blood work, fecal testing, and heartworm testing because one calendar year is like 4-5 years in dog years. For example: Violet is almost 5 years old. Every yearly exam w/blood work has come back perfect until this year. This year we found out, not only did Violet have round worms, but she is also having an unknown cause electrolyte imbalance.

We have decided to try a more holistic approach by using VDI labs, which found Violet is insufficient in her Vitamin D and requires supplementation at this time. Currently, Violet's electrolyte imbalance has no known cause, but is being closely monitored. The moral of this story is IF we never did our yearly check ups, we would have never found out she was having an issue. We would rather deal with something small then an emergency. Just something to keep in mind.

Thank you Dr. Backus for providing us with the knowledge to make the best choices for our Violet.

The Holden Family.