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Ask the Veterinarian/My dog is not using her right hind leg


My dog suddenly stopped using her right hind leg. She's not whining or crying but her whole body is slightly trembling with the additional twitching of her leg. Before I noticed that her leg was hurt she was outside, but when she came in she was fine. I was praising her and petting her. She went to sit in her bed and when she got up I noticed she was holding her leg up. Her muscle is twitching, I feel it pulsating when I touch her. It is swollen, but the only reason I can tell that she's in pain is because the look on her face and her watery eyes. She's been fine all day. I would really like to know any possible ways this could've happened and what could be wrong with her.
She also just had 4 healthy babies a few weeks ago and everything has been okay. She's a Chihuahua and shes about 11 months.

My guess would be it is a luxating patella that has gotten stuck outside the knee slide. Try gently massaging the leg above and below the knee. There are, of course many other possible causes (disc rupture, torn cruciate ligament, dislocation of hip or ankle. From what you said it could be any part of the leg. since she is lactating, she may not be getting enough calcium, so her bones, tendons and ligaments could be weakened. She is very young to have her first litter, so at higher risk for problems.

For pain relief, try Reiki (see below), prayers and prayer chains, Rescue Remedy if any stores are open there. Of course, if she is still lame tomorrow - off to an integrative clinic (see Find a Healer, below) where there will be many different options.

with puppies (who can be injured or have problems) it is important to have Rescue Remedy around. For her now, put one drop in a separate water bowl. Put 4 drops in an ounce of water in a jar and give a few drops in every meal and every few hours or even every 15 mins if it helps relax her, in between. You cannot use it too often. It is totally safe. It is great for people too - for anxiety, stress, shock, grief and more.

I strongly recommend finding an integrative veterinarian with whom to work. This is a person trained in many different approaches, including using conventional drugs only when absolutely needed. Working with one can increase the chance that your cherished companion can live a long and healthy life after recovering from this current problem. Also, you will not be forced to do unnecessary vaccines with the puppies and can get them off to a great start. There are good ones and great ones, and a few homeopathic veterinarians will consult by phone or email. Read my comments at the end on working with and selecting a holistic veterinarian.
You can go to the web sites for each type of holistic practice and use their referral list to find one near to you:
1. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine:, &
2. Homeopathic veterinarians (these can often help you by phone if no other holistic practitioners are nearby that you like): and
3. Chiropractor -
4. Wide range of other treatments:, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and   

Personally, I think every person who lives with or works with animals must know at least Level I Reiki. The practitioner offers this energy and the animal comes over to get it (or places her hands upon the animal), or it can be done from a distance, even around the world with the intent for healing to occur. The energy flows through the healer into the animal. This is based on directly applying Chi (energy) to rebalance the energy field so it no longer needs to produce the physical symptoms. It is a very good adjunct to any healing modality, especially to relieve pain and inflammation. I have seen cats who began to eat again when their food was treated with Reiki. It also "takes the bad out of" things. By doing Reiki on smelly water in restaurants I have been able to drink sweet tasting and smelling water. Use Reiki anytime that you must give injections, vaccines, drugs, flea or heartworm drugs, or other substances with potential toxicity. Reiki is great to calm animals, relieve discomfort, and can deeply heal some problems in some animals.  

1.  .  is a great practitioner in Maryland who knows a lot about cats.
2. Get a free treatment for yourself at
3. Great information on Reiki - Kathleen Prasad is a wonderful teacher and works with my favorite sanctuary and holistic education center, BrightHaven Kathleen leads a free monthly telechat for anyone trained in Reiki and using it with animals.
4. If you cannot find a Reiki Class near you (same class for people and animals as it connects you through an "attunement" to the healing energy of the universe, making you a channel of healing), three groups offer long distance, free, attunements.
5. has articles and Maryland holistic practitioners listed.
8. offers free Reiki attunements, classes and training on-line    and animal classes, too
9. Long distance healing and training is at  
10. Christine at, To receive free distance Reiki send her your first name only, city and state, and whether or not you have had any Reiki training.  She invites you to include your pets as well.  She uses a teddy bear and does a full body Reiki distance treatment for one hour each Sunday evening from 9 p.m. until 10 p.m. EST.

Another wonderful healer, Deena Spears works long distance with Sound Tuning. I have seen many animals and the people in a home be healed by her work.

And a team of over 100 healers will send free healing energy until you say not to. Email Barbara at with your healing request, name of animal, species, color & age. In the subject say request through Dr. Chambreau

A web site of people who are committed to improving health in breeding dogs is  

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Dr. Christina Chambreau


I can give you the holistic approach to any problem, mostly for dogs and cats and some farm animals and horses. Depending on the condition and the type of animal, I will be able to give very specific treatment suggestions such as what flower essences, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, diet changes, lifestyle changes or herbs that may be helpful - not drugs. I can also suggest where you can go for further education or to find a specialist in a specific holistic field. I can help you understand why your animal is ill and what improvements can be expected. I do not check messages more than every one to two days, so PLEASE DO NOT ask about EMERGENCIES - call your local veterinarian. I cannot diagnose your animal. I cannot prescribe specific treatments. I am no longer very current with conventional treatments, so cannot answer questions on those. I am not an expert on birds or small critters. I am not an expert in breeding, birthing or babies.


I graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and began using homeopathy in my practice after a client introduced me to it. By 1988 I was using exclusively holistic treatments. I began lecturing in 1987 and have spoken at veterinary conferences, health food stores, people's homes, churches, veterinary college conferences - anywhere people want to learn more about keeping their animals healthy.

Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (I helped found this one) American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association National Center for Homeopathy American Veterinary Medical Association

I have written in many magazines, journals and newspapers. A few include Bark Magazine; Journal of the AHVMA; Baltimore Dog Magazine; Whole Dog Journal; Tiger Tribe; Wolf Clan. I have also been frequently interviewed on radio and TV. I am Associate Editor for the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, so often have articles there.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Certified Veterinary Homeopath (CVH)

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