Ask the Veterinarian/Do you know what's wrong with my dog?
My dog, Cyran, has been scratching his tail a lot like it's painful to him and I noticed some scars and blood marks underneath it, it looks like this
And it seems to be something painful on the inside of his ear i can't see anything but my other dog licks Cyran's ear a lot and he stays still as if that feels really good
He also has this new bump on the side of his lip i'm not sure if it's a bite from something or maybe he was stung by something
Here it is up close
I can't afford to take him to the vet at the moment so do you have an idea of what any of this could possibly be??
while each of the three spots could have different causes (anal glands or flea allergy (get the free flea report when you sign up for my "healthy animal update" newsletter) under/sides of the tail; ear infection or plant awn in the ear; bite or sting or acne on the lip).
Even if I were in the clinic and seeing your dog, I would not know for sure what caused the swelling on the lip though knowing more information might help, like it itchy or painful. that is the drawback of this internet service - I really cannot legally or practically diagnose the problem. I can say not to worry much about that spot on the lip.
Do look inside the ear to see if there is discharge, or odor, redness or pain when you touch it. Check both ears. Depending on what you find, you may need to treat things differently with information I have not given you here. Nothing I see makes me very worried or suggest that you need to go immediately to a veterinarian. If you use my suggestions as a springboard to thinking differently, you may be able to research some other options.
I suspect your dog is trying to rebalance his energy field by inflammation of the skin - all over.
When I only had my conventional veterinary training, I would often be very frustrated by skin problems like this. The holistic philosophy has taught me that there is an underlying vibrational imbalance that causes most problems and the healing goal is to resolve that imbalance with treatments selected for that individual animal. Skin problems are actually a good thing. No dog dies from skin problems. If the vibrational field is healthy enough to produce skin symptoms instead of more serious illnesses (diabetes, Cushing’s, etc) this is good.To better understand this perspective, read the first few chapters of Don Hamilton's Homeopathic Care of Cats and Dogs or the few pages in my book, the Healthy Animal's Journal (available at Www.ChristinaChambreau.com). Now that the multitude of holistic modalities is available, I can tell you to never give up. Try one after the other, and record the changes with each.
Please go to my web site and sign up for the newsletter - www.ChristinaChambreau.com. You will get a FREE REPORT on how to prevent fleas and ticks, naturally. On the products page, there are many great supplements which may help your animals be healthier.
Also, CLASSES!!!! Calgary, Alberta - Fall - different levels of homeopathy;
Animal Wellness Magazine – use ccdvm code when you subscribe (and Equine Wellness, too).
Blog talk RADIO SHOW archives and listen to all the past shows) -
You have 3 major approaches:
1. Treat conventionally - not such a good approach anyway, even if you had the money.
2. Try some self healing treatments for sure - some are even free.
3. Begin now to work with an integrative veterinarian for the very best chance of health and long life. (See FIND A HEALER, below and MONEY, below for ways to afford it).
If you were trained in different healing modalities (see below - YOU BE THE HEALER) you could help by using Reiki, T-Touch, HTA, flower essences, supplements, homeopathy and more. I am giving multiple suggestions because only some may be available in your area, and each animal is unique, so what works with one does not work with all. This is the joy of holistic approaches - we have dozens of things to try, while conventional has merely a few.
1. Even before you are trained in Reiki, you can ask for this energy healing that cannot hurt and may help (See REIKI, below, for web sites to request healing). This can relieve pain and itching anywhere on the body, regardless of the cause. It can cause no harm.
2. Mitomax is a super probiotic that can improve nutrient absorption, so helps with all problems. I have had many animals' itchiness clear up while using this, though sometimes they need to stay on it. Unlike other probiotics, it is very stable and is ok at the low stomach pH. (Order at http://christinachambreau.com/product-overviews-
click on Pets max city - Be sure to give my name when you order to get a discount.)
3. Rescue remedy from the health food store. Put one drop in a separate water bowl. Put 10 drops in a cup of water and rinse itchy areas with it. You could also (if there are no fleas) assume that there is an anal gland problem, so soak the anus with the rescue remedy water (hot). Put 4 drops in an ounce of water in a jar and give a few drops in every meal and every few hours 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.
4. Skin Soothe (http://christinachambreau.com/product-overviews
- Spirit Essences) Flower essences are totally safe and can be used as long and as frequently as they seem to help. Remember that using a journal will help you figure out what is helping the most.
5. Anxiety Wrap (http://www.crvetcenter.com/bodywrap.htm
) - uses an ace bandage to calm the dog so the itching of the tail may stop unless there is a reason you can find that is causing the irration.
6. Derma Strength (http://christinachambreau.com/product-overviews
- VetriScience) is a nutritional supplement that can be used long term if multiple skin issues continue to appear.
7. Most importantly, change to a raw meaty bone diet as this cures, or at least helps, about 60% of dogs with skin problems who come to my practice.
8. Dr. Dobias has seen many itchy faces, feet and ears resolve when collars are eliminated and harnesses with chest/leash attachments used.
9. though usually I do not recommend bathing, it may be a good idea to do a bath, finishing with a rescue remedy rinse.
10. Very importantly, check to see if your electric company has changed your old “analog” electric meter (it has 4 little discs that spin and a man stops monthly to read it) for a “smart meter” or “digital meter” – looks like a computer. These can cause sever health problems or worsen current ones. Opt out of getting one. www.stopsmartmeters.org
11. If the ear does have debris, wax etc in it, then clean with 50-50 cider vinegar/water. Once dry, put in a little olive oil or sweet almond oil that has a drop of rescue remedy in 1 teaspoon oil. Gently rub. Repeat as needed.
You are not alone in being short of money right now. There are many ways you can find money to treat your cherished animals. Some veterinarians, especially integrative ones, will be willing to barter with you. What skills do you have? Can you clean their parking lot, sidewalk, clinic? Are you a bookkeeper or accountant? Are you great with the internet and able to help them build a web site? Could you get new clients for them? Call the veterinarian of your choice (especially an integrative one), ask to speak with the veterinarian and tell them your financial situation and that you would like to build up credit for future problems. Ask if they will take payment plans and think what you could offer as collateral. Ask if the clinic has its own fund to help those in need. Call multiple veterinarians, especially integrative clinics. Purchase pet insurance. Also, many cities have humane societies and other groups that can help with medical bills, rabies vaccines, spay and neuters. You can also save significant money by following the following holistic approaches - do not vaccinate and find local sources of free food ingredients. This will take some time and research, then will be easy and inexpensive. http://reggiespetproject.org/
helps in honor of their holistically treated dachshund who lived to 20. I also have a list of more specific help you can get. Email me at HealthyAnimals@aol.com for this.
FIND A HEALER
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. 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: Though Texas is very big, there are a number of brilliant integrative vets there (one even got his ND so he could treat people holistically, too!
1. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine: www.IVAS.org & www.TCVM.com
2. Homeopathic veterinarians (these can often help you by phone if no other holistic practitioners are nearby that you like): www.theAVH.org and www.DrPitcairn.com. To find homeopathic practitioners for yourself, and homeopathic products, go to
http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/products-and-services; http://www.homeopathicpharmacy.org/members/; http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/resources/practitioners
3. Chiropractor - www.animalchiropractic.org
4. Wide range of other treatments: www.AHVMA.org, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and www.civtedu.org
If you wish to consult with me by telephone, go to my website and read about my practice.
There are also lots of practitioners and approaches that are used by trained people that you can find by searching the Internet.
Since you are interested in better health in general, please read on. all of this can eventually help your dog with skin problems.
7 KEYS TO HEALTHY ANIMALS
1. Know the current level of health. Most health problems are the result of an underlying energy imbalance. As we cure animals of "disease", we find that other things we thought were normal go away, so we can use these clues to know that animals are not healthy yet. Your goal is for your animal to have great energy, no doggy odor, no hairball vomiting, little shedding, a glowing coat and many more. Below is a complete list of these signs (Early Warning Signs of Illness). In young animals, these apparently "normal" problems may be the only indications to start exploring new options for lifestyle or treatment. Buy the Healthy Animal's Journal (www.HealthyAnimalsJournal.com) so you can see how these early warning symptoms and obvious ill symptoms change over time.
2. Feed the best. What are the best diets for people or animals -- the most processed or the freshest, most organic? A basic study has started to see the health effects of processed, cooked and raw diets – please add your dog’s information to this study - www.good-fordogs.blogspot.co.uk. The best ingredients should be the most consciously raised - local, organic vegetables, free ranging protein sources. Dogs and cats have ripping and tearing teeth, bone crunching teeth, no digestive juices in the mouth, jaws that do not chew, a stomach full of acid where the food sits for 4-12 hours and a very short transit time in the intestines. Dogs and cats do not pull out a knife to de-bone their prey and do not pull out matches to light a fire to cook their meat and vegetables. Therefore the best diet for dogs and cats is raw meat including raw bones, pureed raw and cooked vegetables and a few supplements (Calcium if no bones are eaten is critical). Grains are not good for most animals, but if there are none of the early warning signs (see below) and no illnesses, you can feed some grains, preferably the higher protein ones. Start as young kittens and puppies or at whatever age you read this (Brighthaven.org, a cat sanctuary switches 16 years old and older cats to raw meat diet and some have lived to 27 and 30, and now one to 35). Second best is same quality, but cooked. Even grocery store quality meat and vegetables are much better than most processed foods. Processed foods are an effort for the food industry to use up its waste products except for a few companies with great motives (and even they sometimes get bad or inferior ingredients). Processed foods are also a problem for the environment - they are not sustainable. Many dogs and cats need probiotics, especially if fed processed, dead foods. My current favorite is Mitomax. I have had many animals' minor health problems clear up while using this. Unlike other probiotics, it is very stable and is ok at the low stomach pH. (Order at http://christinachambreau.com/product-overviews
- click on Pets Max City)Every animal needs and wants a different combination of foods and supplements at different times in their lives depending on different stressors and health challenges, just as we do. With any food, observe each of your animals for the effect that food has on them and change if decreased energy or poor coat or other Early Warning Signs. NEVER feed DRY food to cats - even as treats. It causes most cats to drink more water resulting in stress to the kidneys and also can trigger bladder problems in cats. You can now buy many commercial raw meat diets. You must research them as well. Ask where the ingredients are raised? Are chemicals used? Are the chickens, beef, pork, etc raised in humane ways, out in the sun to get the Vitamin D in the meat, etc?
3. Vaccinate the least. In my opinion, vaccines have caused more harm to animals than anything else we have done. Do you get measles and mumps vaccines every year of your life? Researchers in conventional veterinary medicine agree that we vaccinate too often, in too many combinations, and that this level of vaccination, while preventing epidemics, is harmful to the health of susceptible animals. On-going studies show that antibodies are high 10 and 16 years later for dog and cat distemper and dog Parvo so I recommend just a few baby shots and NO more. While Rabies is also a viral disease, you must follow the law and vaccinate every 3 years. You can help fund research to allow the vaccine to be given less frequently, which will help dogs and cats become healthier. Go to: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND www.RabiesChallengeFund.org.
To help prevent damage from the Rabies vaccine, or any others that are accidentally given, do the following. First, learn Reiki (see Below) and hold the vaccine syringe in your hand until the "draw" is gone, then Reiki the injection site once you are in car, then Reiki the whole animal daily until they do not "draw". If you have not yet learned Reiki, use the contacts below to have it done for your animal after the vaccine. For two weeks before and two weeks after, give the totally safe Vaccine Detox, a flower essence from Spirit Essences (get a discount at http://christinachambreau.com/resource/recommended-products
). Give triple the dose of calcium (or add some calcium) for 3 days before and 5 days after the vaccines. Dr. Peck is finding a drop in calcium at vaccination time. Then use the Early Warning signs, below, to see if further holistic treatment is needed if any of them appear or worsen. A wonderful list serve on vaccines, their harm and alternatives is at yahoo groups. To register, go to email@example.com A great web site is http://vaccines.dogsadversereactions.com/
The AVMA, veterinary colleges, AAHA, FPA and other leaders say 3 years is the best for all other vaccines, so certainly do not do yearly for anything (unless there is a Leptospirosis outbreak in your area, then email me for guidance). Please do not let the need to put your dog in a kennel force you to poison your dog with extra vaccines unless it is an emergency. The insert in vaccine packages says “Give only to healthy animals”, so if your animal is ill in any way, or undergoing treatment, they should not be vaccinated. Vaccinated animals often develop many chronic conditions including diabetes, cushings disease, addisons, allergies and even cancer.
If your animal has any type of reaction to vaccines, please report it to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/cvb/html/adverseeventreport.html
4. Use the fewest chemicals, remembering that there are chemicals in vaccines. Each animal is an individual and will respond differently to heartworm, flea and tick preventatives. Some are very sensitive to chemicals used in the yard or the house and in vaccines - they will become profoundly ill. Others will be triggered by these chemicals to just not have full health. Chemicals in foods can cause allergic type reactions, so again feeding a fresh diet from local ingredients will be best. Healthy yards have lots of weeds. House cleaners can be made from foods and microfibril cloths clean like a charm. Healthy animals never get fleas and ticks
5. Understand how animals become ill and how they heal. First there is an energetic imbalance (they are just not right), then functional (the dog is itchy), then inflamed (skin is red, infected, swollen and hot) and finally tissue changes (thick, black skin). Results of any treatment can be no change, amelioration (current symptoms disappear with no other improvements, then return), suppression (current symptoms disappear and they become more ill) or a cure (everything about the animal to begins to improve, especially the overall energy level.)
Keeping a journal is critical to determine what treatments are helping problems to become less frequent and less severe. You can stand firm with what you feel is working even if your professional disagrees and change approaches when needed.
is a great one to use in print or e-version is available.
6. Learn different healing approaches. There are so many different ways to stimulate your healing that you never need to give up trying. Flower essences, essential oils, homeopathy, massage, Reiki and herbs are a few. Classes are found through your health food store, by phone or on-line. I teach many classes around the country and my web site lists classes taught by others as well.
7. Select the best healers for each animal's health team. Most people want a veterinarian (preferably integrative) and an energy healer. You decide what needs to be tried next for your animal. When you realize the animal is not improving – seek different care. Use conventional veterinarians for diagnosis and emergency treatment, or if other methods are not working. Again, integrative veterinarians (see above) will be able to do both, and have the philosophical understanding of the vibrational causes of illness.
YOU BE THE HEALER
I also strongly recommend getting some training in understanding the wide range of approaches to health so you can be in charge of what you choose for treatments for your animals. You can learn Reiki (which can take the "bad" out of vaccines and any needed drugs, or even make food healthier), massage, HTA, TTouch, acupressure, flower essence therapy, aromatherapy, all of which are 100% safe to use for any problems (see REIKI below). There are many more approaches you can do to help heal your animals with some training since they need to be used more carefully - homeopathy, herbal medicine, Chinese herbs. In addition to classes (see below), there are many very good list serves filled with people experienced with not vaccinating and feeding raw meat diets. Go to yahoogroups.com and look for “Novaxk9s” and “Raw Paws”. As with human health approaches, there are many different opinions, so you need to experiment and see what makes your animals more or less healthy. Keeping a journal can help you decide what is working and what is not working (www.ChristinaChambreau.com).
www.ChristinaChambreau.com has a listing of courses taught by her and others that may help you. I am doing teleseminars and Swill expand to Webinars in the future. Every Thursday at 11 Am eastern is the blog talk radio and you can access replays at any time www.HomeopathyWorldCommunity.com, then click on my picture with a hat. If you want to organize a webinar for me and get people in your area of the country to attend I would love to do that for you. You can do searches online for the many other classes and lectures available. Go to www.theAVH.org for classes every November as part of the annual conference. People come from around the world for this.
Healthy Animal Update is an emailed newsletter that is occasionally sent out – to sign up – go to www.ChristinaChambreau.com. While there check out classes and products. Blogs on the site are frequent - sign up for the RSS feed.
Good Health and looking forward to seeing you/hearing you in some of my classes.
From the book, Healthy Animal's Journal - "Reiki: Personally, I think every person who lives with or works with animals must know at least Level I Reiki. The practitioner 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 begin to eat again when their food has Reiki done on the food. 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. Do you work in a grooming salon, or kennel, or veterinary clinic, or barn or anywhere animals are being seen? Use your Reiki on any treatments to be given and to calm the animals. http://www.reiki.org
is a great practitioner in Maryland who knows a lot about cats. Get a free treatment at www.interdimensionalhealing.com. Great information on Reiki - http://www.reikicourse.org
. Kathleen Prasad is a wonderful teacher and works with my favorite sanctuary and holistic education center, BrightHaven www.brighthaven.org. She just had an article on Reiki in Feline Wellness. Kathleen leads a free monthly telechat for anyone trained in Reiki and using it with animals. http://www.animalreikisource.com/
. 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.
3. www.ReikiBlessings.com offers free Reiki attunements, classes and training on-line and animal classes, too
Long distance healing and training is at www.animalhealers.homestead.com/
A client of mine is using Christine, Her name is Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.awakeningrainbows.com. 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. www.Singingwoods.com. 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 email@example.com with your healing request, name of animal, species, color & age. In the subject say request through Dr. Chambreau
LISTS SERVES TO HELP YOU LEARN TO FEED THE BEST
From the folks that brought us Jstsayno2vaccs is a new site for raw feeding - excellent - http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawk9s/
Here is what they say, “Lastly, we saw a need for a beginner's raw feeding group. Many of the raw feeding groups have grown very large and often new people are lost in the shuffle. In addition, some raw feeding groups are specialized to one type of feeding only. We believe that feeding raw is the first step in whole health and have tried to create an environment of learning and support where there are no dumb questions and everyone gets individual attention. With that in mind Kathleen recently instituted a mentoring program where mentor's sign up to help individuals, and new folks can opt into the program and receive private help in their journey. It has been a huge success.
- the above groups breeding web site. Excellent.
- Dr. Tom Lonsdale site
- Australian lady, no vegetables, no fruits, good links and articles
- very practical, meat only
– DC food delivery of specialty meals.
- Lisa Pierson, DVM
– Jean Hofve, DVM – full of great information
- sells raw meat products
I do not personally know all the rest, so use your common sense as you read.
And if you are really stuck on a specific issue
There is also a list of lists where other raw feeding lists can be found. Many are breed specific, location specific or subject specific.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF ILLNESS FOR DOGS AND CATS
1. Is your companion really healthy?
2. Can you tell if the treatment you selected is deeply curing?
3. Can your companion be healthier than you realize?
YES - read on and evaluate your animal for true health.
Most health problems are the result of an underlying energy imbalance, made worse from poor diet and vaccination. They are rarely acute diseases (except injuries). Therefore, you may find that the problem does not clear up as you expect or it recurs. If so, you are dealing with an underlying predisposition to illness, and these clues to underlying ill health will help you select a remedy and monitor the results. As we cure animals of "disease", we find that certain other "NORMAL" things go away, too. Do not be satisfied until most of the following symptoms are gone. In young, apparently healthy animals, these apparently "normal" problems may be the only indications to start treatment. This is only the beginning of a list - as more animals are cured we will find new levels of health. Tracking these is easy when you use the Healthy Animal's Journal by Dr. Christina Chambreau (www.HealthyAnimalsJournal.com)
SKIN: doggy smell; attracts fleas a lot; dry, oily, lack-luster coat;
excessive shedding; not grooming, ear problems - waxy, oily, itchy, recurrent mites; eye discharge, tearing, or matter in corner of eyes; raised third eyelid; spots appearing on iris; "freckles" appearing on face; whiskers falling out; fragile, thickened, distorted claws that are painful or sensitive to trim.
BEHAVIOR: Fears(of loud noises, thunder, wind, people, animals, life); too timid; too rough or aggressive (even at play); too hard to train; barks too much and too long; suspicious nature; biting when petted too long; hysteria when restrained; clumsy; indolent; licking or sucking things or people too much; not using litter box or not covering stool.
DIGESTIVE: Bad breath; tarter accumulation; loss of teeth; poor appetite; craving weird things(rubber bands, plastic, dirt, cat litter, paper, dogs eating dog or cat stools, rocks, sticks...); sensitivity to milk; thirst - a super healthy cat on non dry food will drink at most once a week; red gum line; vomiting often, even hairballs more than a few times a year; mucous on stools; tendency to diarrhea with least change of diet; obesity; anal gland problems; recurrent parasites.
STIFFNESS when getting up, early hip dysplasia; tires easily in hot or cold weather; can no longer jump up on counters, or go up or down steps.
TEMPERATURE: Low grade fevers - Normal for healthy cats and dogs is
AGE & REPRODUCTION: Should live a long life (Shepards 17 years, Danes 12, cats 24). should be able conceive easily, deliver normally, and not pass on "genetic breed" problems.
WORKING WITH AN INTEGRATIVE VETERINARIAN
Holistic medicine takes the perspective of treating the whole animal. Even if there is a current problem, for example diarrhea or itching, a good holistic veterinarian will ask questions about what problems there have been in the past, what changes in the household or the environment may have triggered the current complaint and if there is anything that makes the current complaints better or worse. They will also evaluate the overall energy level of the animal. Their goal is to make the animal healthier for life, not just to get rid of the current symptom. They will educate you and explain what they see when physically examining your animal.
Some of the modalities that integrative veterinarians may use in addition to conventional include acupuncture, herbs, flower essences, homeopathy, chiropractic, network chiropractic, nutrition, glandulars, Reiki, Tellington touch, healing touch, long distance healing modalities. Some of these have certification programs with a year or more of courses, exams and evaluation of clinical ability. Others are either self-taught or not regulated. Some individuals are wonderful with your animal -- others great at explaining to you what is happening with your animals. A few are good in both areas. Few veterinarians are perfect, and we all have bad days. Your animal should at least be comfortable with your choice and you should be able to get your questions and concerns addressed.
Once you have done the internet work suggested above, how do you select one to start with and then how do you know if you are getting good service and what can you do to help them help your animals?
Ask the veterinarian you are interested in:
1. Ask what modalities are used?
2. What is their training?
3. Is their goal overall health or to merely treat the current complaint? This may be the most important question.
4. What organizations they belong to & how recently have they gone to conferences or taught? (Just because they belong to AHVMA, or AVH, does not mean they are trained or capable in those modalities.)
As she treats your animal, a good holistic veterinarian will usually:
1. Ask about the history, overall energy, what might have caused the current problem, the environment and what makes the symptoms better or worse.
2. Their physical exam will be gentle, complete and they will show you (you may need to ask) what they mean by “gingivitis, big lymph nodes, heart murmur”, etc.
3. They will be willing to answer your questions and explain why they are recommending a particular treatment.
4. If they recommend conventional treatments (antibiotics, prednisone, etc.) they will explain to you why they choose this over holistic, and give you a chance to request the more holistic treatment.
5. They will not do anything (vaccinate, treat) without asking you first.
6. They will recommend fewer or no vaccinations and a raw meat or at least more holistic diet.
7. They will schedule follow up appointments until your animal is really healthy.
(See symptoms of chronic disease)
What you can do to help your holistic veterinarian
1. Keep a dated journal of any problems, even little ones.
2. Write down any treatments given.
3. Call if symptoms worsen, or they are less energetic and less happy, or you have concerns.
Many people feel that they would rather give a lot of chemical preventatives for worms and viruses and food from a bag as it seems easier and some dogs do seem to thrive on this approach - like some people who smoke and drink and live a long healthy life. In 30 years of integrative practice, though, I see many people frustrated with cancer, diabetes, cushings, severe allergies and more. Many of them, when switching to the above approaches, find both improved health and even satisfaction that they are treating their dog as a member of the family. They feed from the same sources they get their ingredients. They vaccinate no more than they get. If they do not take worm preventatives all the time, they do not give it to their animals. If the label says "do not touch without gloves" they would not think of putting it on their pet's skin.
Truly it is your choice and there is no right or correct answer, just the one that makes more sense to you.