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Ask the Veterinarian/Vestibular Disease in my dog


QUESTION: Hello Christina,

I have a 13 1/2 year old female Lab mix, about 60 lbs, that began showing signs of hip dysplasia about 1 year ago.  She acted like she had weakness in her hind legs and at times she seemed off balance.  I had been giving her glucosamine supplements to address arthritis but it never seemed to help.  About 2 weeks ago she had a seizure, the first time ever.  Ever since that time she has been disoriented, hasn't been eating well, and just seems kind of spaced out and weak.   I took her to a local vet hospital and they diagnosed her with Vestibular Syndrome. They said the issues with her hind legs were likely due to some brain issue caused by this syndrome, and that if she had been showing signs for a year she may have a growing tumor. They prescribed antibiotics and steroids, but I'm sure with your holistic and homeopathic background you can understand that I was very reluctant to give them to her.  I have instead been giving her colloidal silver solution, coconut oil, and probiotics.  She seemed to be recovering, as I learned through research the effects of the seizures are supposed to wear off after about 2 weeks.  She had gone 12 days since her last seizure, had been eating and drinking pretty well.  But last night she had another seizure.  Ever since then she has been laying in the same spot, will not get up, is very spaced out and breathing rapidly.  I'm not sure if I should take her to an emergency vet or wait to see if this wears off.  With her weakened condition I am sure they would recommend euthanasia, but I want to save her.  She is so sweet and it  is killing me to see her suffer like this.  Can you tell if I should be hopeful she will recover, or is this syndrome unrecoverable?  Please help!   Thanks!

ANSWER: Wondering if you did get through to Dr. doyle or someone else. As you make your decisions, remember that dogs do not suffer the way we do and the way we think they are. We can learn from them how to live in the moment. When she tries to move she feels dizzy, so she lies in the same spot. When we experience something dizzy, we do not move AND we suffer by thinking "This will never pass.  What will I do? What is wrong? Will I die?"
Because of her age, this may be her time to pass.  Most dogs with vestibular problems recover, especially with holistic approaches, or even just with weeks or months of waiting. Because of the seizures, more may be going on, impeding total recovery. There are so many holistic approaches that you can try before giving up.
It would be easier to help you if you emailed me at, or I could give you a phone appointment to help you evaluate your next steps (410-771-4968) - and yes, i am working today, Easter, for part of the day. You could ask for some Reiki, too.

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. Great information on Reiki -
2. 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.

3. 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), the following groups offer long distance, free, attunements.

c.   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.
d.   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

4. for a fee: offers many types of energy healing classes- search a bit to find the reiki ones or email them. Long distance healing and training is at

I totally understand & you are right that conventional would recommend euthanasia. Please call Dr. Jane Doyle if you live anywhere in the north 1/2 of the WV. She is in Berkeley Springs and can also help you by phone, but at some point it may help to see your dog. She does homeopathy and acupuncture. 304-258-5819
I will elaborate more in a second email but I want you to get started immediately with Dr. doyle.

If you are not in the North half, go to all of these sites to see if anyone is within driving distance. If not - use Dr. Doyle anyway.

1. Wide range of other treatments:, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and   
2. Homeopathic veterinarians (these can often help you by phone if no other holistic practitioners are nearby that you like): and
3. Chiropractic and Osteopathic -; (they treat dogs, too)
4. TCVM (Acupuncture and Chinese medicine):, &
5. Herbal -
6. Postural rehabilitation dogs and horses -

If you have Rescue Remedy at home - put 4 drops in 1 ounce of water and begin giving it every 30 mins or more often and rub some on your hands when you pet her. More later.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Christina,
I never got around to contacting Dr Doyle.  Princess (my dog) was very sick and weak yesterday, so bad she couldn't stand up.  So I took her to an Animal ER.  They did blood work on her and found she had an infection plus some kidney dysfunction. And from her symptoms the Vet said she likely had neurological issues as well.  To address the infection they started her on IV antibiotics and kept her overnight.  At 5:30am this morning the Vet called me to tell me she had passed over during the night.  He said she had not been able to stand up all night, and this morning when she tried she fell over and passed at that moment.  I am very heartbroken.  I do appreciate your help and taking the time to offer all the information.  I'm afraid I may have waited too long to save her.  But thanks for all your help.  


you did not wait too long.
You did what was appropriate.
It was merely her time to pass, as I mentioned earlier.

do not grieve, though you may miss her. She wants you to be thrilled for 13 wonderful years (that is good these days).

If you have other pets, or when you get one, if you would like a consult to get you set on an empowering path, drop me an email.

Use flower essences for yourself if you grieve too much.

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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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