Client Stories

A Bipedal Perspective by Andrea Eberle

(aka. Happy Client Corner)

Gracie

If our furry four-legged friends could ever speak English we’d let them tell you themselves about the difference Dr. Pam has made in their lives. Until that day arrives we’ll have to settle for the next best thing, interviewing their humans.

Alex is the proud human of Gracie, a 16-year-old Weimaraner who doesn’t look a day past 12. Check out her ladybug costume in that photo. What a cutie! Alex and Gracie have been with Dr. Pam for almost four years.

Thanks so much for taking time to talk with us today Alex.

You’re welcome. I’m happy to. Working with Dr. Pam has been the best experience ever. I absolutely know that Gracie wouldn’t still be with me if it weren’t for her. It’s been amazing the things that others doctor’s said, “Oh that’s just something she’s just going to have to live with” Dr. Pam fixed it. The level of care and education that Dr. Pam provides is amazing. I’ve learned so much and it’s just an incredible experience.

So what brought you and Gracie to Dr. Pam in the first place?

Gracie's always had an exceptionally sensitive stomach. Her whole life we've had her at the vet constantly with just stomach upset, just intestinal upset and then she began having incontinence issues and things like that too. The mainstream vets just said, "Well that's just dogs and just that's just your dog's getting older. You're just going to have to accept that that's what it is." I felt like there was more to it and there was more that could be done.
I'd heard so many wonderful things about Dr. Pam over the years just from being in Dallas and having worked in the dog industry a little bit. So I thought, "I'm just going to give it a try and see if there's anything she can do for her."

It was the best decision I ever made.

Dr. Pam made so much progress with her so quickly and honestly her digestion is the best it's ever been and now Gracie just really has good quality of life at almost 16. We're out and about all of the time; Gracie still walks twice a day. She still does things like go to the farmer's market with me and socialize and people are always amazed that she's as old as she is and that's she's still mobile and happy. I attribute that to Dr. Pam because she won’t sign off on just pumping a pet full of drugs to put a bandage on problems. She gets to the root cause of the issue and then we repair. I think a lot of people don't even realize that's an option.

Now, for someone who maybe doesn't know as much about how this all works and holistic treatment means, could you explain a bit more? You said that her digestion is much better. How can you tell that?

She's not as gassy as she used to be. She used to be very gassy. She doesn't have as many episodes of vomiting or diarrhea or general upsets, stomach upsets or intestinal upsets. We still have it occasionally but the times in between are a lot greater than they used to be. It used to just be a constant issue. She used to be super gassy all the time. You could just tell her system wasn't quite right. It was like that her whole life. No one else ever offered up any other solutions. They were just, "Well that's the way she is."

Pretty much Gracie's whole life until we've been seeing Dr. Pam she would get up at least once in the middle of the night to go outside and go to the bathroom - sometimes twice a night. She just couldn't hold her urine that long. With Dr. Pam now at almost 16 she sleeps through the night. She goes out at 10:30 and she sleeps till 7:30 in the morning. Her whole life she got up and they always just said, "Oh she just must have a small bladder or it's this or it's that."

Gracie has leaky gut disease (aka intestinal dysbiosis) and we've been repairing that which it is possible to repair. A lot of people think that leaky gut is just intestinal stuff but everything is connected. A lot of Gracie’s urination issues and things like that are connected to the leaky gut. Even her history of urinary tract infections ... the root problem was the leaky gut. As we're repairing that we find that those other issues are improving.

What would you say to someone who is on the verge about “the whole holistic thing” and was just now starting to dig into it?

I would explain to them that it's a completely different world and it's not fast fix. It's not overnight; it's an absolute commitment to the health of your pet. There's going to be ups and downs, but stick with it. You have to be regimented. If you're looking for a fast fix where you just give him a pill once a day this is not for you. … You’ll see progress and you see changes and you see them feeling better, their energy improving, some of the issues diminishing in severity and some just completely disappearing.

But you have to stick with it whatever it is. You have to look at it like if you're on a personal weight loss journey or a journey to get healthier and get fit. That doesn't happen overnight. It's the same thing with following homeopathic therapy for your pet, it doesn't happen overnight. You have ups and downs and you get frustrated and you hit a little plateau but then all of a sudden it gets better. You just have to have that stick-to-it-iveness and no matter what just stay the course.

I had heard so many great things about Dr. Pam. I was very optimistic that she could help Gracie. I had the attitude that I'm going to learn as much as I can and follow Dr. Pam's directions and just do what she asked me to do with her. Just keep that attitude and know that it is going to get better and that you're doing the best thing you're doing for your dog.

The main thing I would want people to know is that Dr. Pam cares so much about her patients and she cares about them as a whole. She really cares about the animal not just the disease or the condition or whatever it is you're dealing with. I'm so fortunate because I feel very supported by Dr. Pam as well. I'm just so thankful that we found Dr. Pam and that I made that commitment. You just have to be open-minded and follow what Dr. Pam says. It's a wonderful experience is all I can say.

 

 

 

Maddie

If our furry four-legged friends could ever speak English we’d let them tell you themselves about the difference Dr. Pam has made in their lives. Until that day arrives we’ll have to settle for the next best thing, interviewing their humans.

Maddie is Ellen’s 14-year-old bundle of fun yellow lab who loves to be the center of attention. Ellen and Maddie have been with Dr. Pam for a decade now even though when Maddie first met Dr Pam Ellen had been told Maddie only had 6 months to live. I know, right!? What a success story! Anyway, more on that later, on with the interview ;-)

Hi Ellen, it’s so great to meet you. Let's start out by getting to know a bit about Maddie.

Maddie is a yellow lab and she is a very energetic dog. If there’s a party in the room she always wants to be in the middle of the action and all the fun. If you're not paying attention to her, she's going to figure out a way to make sure you do pay attention to her, whether it's dropping a ball in your lap or nudging at you or barking at you. She demands to be part of the fun.

I call her my “ride-along dog”. She goes with me to take the kids to school and to pick them up. She wants to come along when I go to the store… here, there, anywhere, it doesn’t matter as long as she’s with you. Maddie just wants to forever be your companion. She's 14 now, and still, you cannot walk out of the room or go to the bathroom without taking her with you.

So what brought you and Maddie to Dr. Pam?

Well, when Maddie was four years old she went on a lake house vacation with us. While she was there, she swam in the lake along with everybody else. But when we got home she got sick and it turned out that she picked up leptospirosis from the water.

Oh, no.

Yep, she got lepto. The water was contaminated and Maddie was hospitalized for a couple of weeks. She somehow survived that, but as a result she had liver damage and subsequently chronic hepatitis.

At that time, her internist told me that Maddie probably had six months to live. He said that she needed to go on a lower-protein diet, and the only dog food on the market he knew of was a canned food that at the time was on a recall list. He believed it was a voluntary recall and that the company had it under control. The internist just didn't think there was another food option that I could buy. I have to admit; I thought that was absolutely ridiculous. I was not going to put her on a dog food that's on a recall list, whether it was a voluntary recall or not. As a result I started asking around. Someone who was part of a dog rescue group knew Dr. Pam and recommended that I call her, so we did.

It took a little time to finally get in to see Dr. Pam. When we got in, I thought I was going in to simply learn how to make a better dog food for her. I did learn that, but I learned so much more. She started teaching me about Eastern medicine and appropriate supplementation. Over time, we weaned her off all the medications that her current vet was giving her for her liver and we replaced those with different Chinese herbs, whole food supplements and occasionally, homeopathic remedies. It took, I would say, a good six months before we were able to get her liver enzymes and everything back into normal range.

I home cook for her now. I thought I was going to be doing home cooking for a year or so, and now I've been cooking for a decade. There are more whole food options on the market now than when we started, but I wanted to be sure what was in her diet. Basically, she eats a diet that is tailored for her, and it includes protein and seasonal vegetables that are appropriate for her disease and are available. All are organic, because we can't have any chemicals going through her liver. She also has either rice or quinoa, depending on the season, whatever Dr. Pam wants her to do. Finally, she balances it out with added organ meat and whole food supplements. She has a healthier diet than what I eat.

That’s fantastic! So you've been with Dr. Pam for a really long time, right? And when you went to go see her you didn't think Maddie would last a year?

It’s been about ten years with the same dog. I actually thought coming to her was going to be relatively short period of time; but now I feel forever grateful that we're still seeing her. Over time as she has aged, she has developed other issues, like arthritis and weakness. Along with her herbs and everything else she has done through the years, Dr. Pam has also been treating her with acupuncture. Now she helps with her arthritis along with her liver, digestion, and urinary tract.

Awesome. Also, A little bird told me that you talked Dr. Pam into coming back to work. Tell me that story.

When Dr. Pam left on her maternity leave, I was really, really nervous on how things were going to go for Maddie. The last couple of months before Dr. Pam eventually came back, Maddie had a liver episode. For several months, my regular vet was trying to help and she gave lots of different things. We even went and saw another holistic type of vet and she was trying to figure out how to help, but Maddie just kept getting worse. We couldn't seem to nip it in the bud, so kind of in a last ditch effort, I reached out to Dr. Pam - not knowing if she was even going to check her old email or whatever - and just asking, "Are you coming back? Please, please, come back, can you just see Maddie." I really thought that we would end up losing Maddie if we didn't get this under control. Then about a week or so later, I heard back from her. She said she was thinking about coming back! I begged, "Please come back, or just see Maddie. Just see me. You don't have to do the whole thing. I'll come to you, but please." Maddie was her very first appointment when she came back.

When she saw her, we basically wiped the slate clean, started over, and she got her all back to normal. Actually, that's the only time, since her initial diagnosis, that Maddie has ever gotten really sick. Certainly, there were other times when Maddie would have things that were starting to bubble up, but Dr. Pam would make adjustments, then we wouldn't end up going down the path of her really getting sick. While Dr. Pam was on maternity leave, unfortunately, we just didn't have the help we needed to keep her from getting so sick.

Maddie has been through the Whole Dog Purification process, correct? What was that like?

Yeah, sure. Last Fall Maddie had a urinary tract infection, and her regular vet put her on antibiotics for a couple months, because it took forever to get rid of that infection. When she got done and she was off all of her antibiotics, Dr. Pam thought, "Okay, if there was ever a dog that needed a detox, it would be her." She asked me if we would be up for trying the Whole Dog Purification. So we started Maddie on that. The good news for us is that her diet already was basically a purification diet, so we just needed to add all of the supplements to it. We followed the plan. She was on it for four weeks. The first week is the week where you're really cleansing out toxins, and interestingly for Maddie, she was a little bit tired, but other than that I don't think it really bothered her that much. Subsequently, we saw a lot of changes. All of a sudden her coat started getting really thick and soft.

By the end, it was like, "Oh, my gosh!” You could see things were changing, and her energy started to increase. She was much more alert. It’s hard to explain, but all of a sudden you could tell that she felt really good. Just the way she was following us around and playing and the things that she was doing, you could tell that she was just… better. Also towards the end of the purification, the coat started getting darker and she became a deeper yellow and so forth. It really had a great impact on her! The other thing that was sort of interesting, is when we ran her blood work ... I don't know the exact specifics of the whole thing, but everything really improved pretty dramatically! She was stronger and she slept better. I have to admit that when we started it, I wondered if I would really be able to notice anything. Yet undoubtedly you could tell that she felt better and was doing it and her coat was amazing. I mean, just amazing.

Let’s get back to the hepatitis, you still have to watch out for symptoms for that sort of thing, right? What is it that you look for? How do you manage that? How has she taught you things that helps with that?

The interesting thing with Maddie is that her early symptoms are more behavioral. For example, when she's starting to have a recurrence, there are usually three behavioral changes that happen. One of them is that she starts showing more heat. She's an inside dog and the temperature does not change much in the house. But instead of being on her bed, she's laying on the tile. Instead of being all curled up when she sleeps, she starts sleeping really laid out and you find her panting for no reason. Secondly, she will start getting more agitated around mealtime. She'll be barking and demanding about wanting to eat, and her appetite is increased. The third sign that we're starting to have problems, is that when it's time to go to bed she comes and leans on me in bed. Dr. Pam calls it, “the lean”. When she's feeling good, she kind of just curls up at the bottom of the bed. But when she is moving into an episode, it’s like she's needing to be re-energized or comforted or something. She seems sort of insecure. I don't know if that makes any sense.

Yeah, it does. If Maddie is starting to feel unwell, then she'd be going to you for comfort. That makes a lot of sense.

She can't tell you. Usually, when we get to that point when she starts doing “the lean”, if we run her blood work, Dr. Pam sees a pattern where some values start creeping up a little bit. Then, we nip it in the bud by making adjustments, so we really don't have a full-blown “episode”; we just know that we averted one. She does this about twice per year. Sometimes you wonder what really would have happened if we hadn't done this. Again, Dr. Pam has a whole collection of things that we have found work really well for managing everything for Maddie. It’s awesome. When it comes to doing these things, Dr. Pam really is brilliant, and it's amazing the wealth of knowledge and information that she has. The skills that she brings to helping all of these animals, you can't find them anywhere else. It's interesting too, because even with the regular vets that we've had over the years, when you bring in the component of Dr. Pam's part of Maddie's team, all of them would say, “based on my experience and the things that she has been through, Maddie shouldn't be here.” There's something with what Dr. Pam is doing that is amazing. The regular vet she has now has said, "I would have thought to do this, but I think we should just defer to Dr. Pam," because this dog wouldn't have been here without her.

There's no better proof than that. What would you say to somebody who is new to the whole holistic thing and wasn't quite sure about it but was seeking alternative options?

I think what I would tell them is that going with Dr. Pam and doing a holistic way of treating your dog is a great advantage, and it opens up so many other opportunities for treatment that have really great results. I would also say that people who are looking in to doing something like that have to be willing to commit to the process and the work that goes in to doing these holistic approaches. There's no magic pill. In Western medicine, they just keep handing you bottles of pills to resolve symptoms, and that's not really how it is with holistic medicine. You've got to be willing to change their diet. You have to be the one who observes and reports back to Dr. Pam. It may not always be convenient. I think one of the things that our society wants is the quick fix, and this is not a quick fix. It's been a process with Maddie and it continues to be a process. You have to be willing to do the work that goes along with it to have the results.

I admire Dr. Pam's dedication to all of her animals. She just has such a big, caring heart for all of them. She is absolutely brilliant. What she brings to the table with her knowledge and her compassion and everything else, it really is just priceless. It's true. I look at her and my dog is here because of her, and that's a huge gift. I love Dr. Pam. Maddie loves her too, I mean, just loves her. She knows that Dr. Pam makes her feel better. It's very cool.

 

Andrea is a freelance writer and editor with a rescued pet Maltipoo named Trudeau and a minor crush on the Canadian Prime Minister. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri and a few Masters Degrees from that school in Dallas with the ponies but somehow she still hasn't figured out how to take a respectable selfie. :)