|Keeping a Journal on Your Animals:
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by Christine Chambreau, D.V.M.
Keeping a journal is one of the most important steps you can take to have your animals live their longest, be the healthiest and even to produce the healthiest offspring. There are infinite number of ways to keep a journal - be creative.
Key Parts of a Journal Beginning:
- Notetaking is important. People have used calendars, spiral notebooks, 3 ring binders, computers and scraps of paper to keep the journals. The best seem to be computer or 3 ring.
- Where you got the animal and when. Any history you could glean. Situation she came from. How he reacted when first with you.
Regular check ups.
- For each illness record anything the veterinarian tells you and shows you. Be specific about how things looked, not just the diagnosis. ("Gingivitis", says the veterinarian. "Why do you say that?" you ask. You see the red line above 4 of the teeth, the pus coming out behind one tooth…etc.)
- Ask yourself and other in the family what could have caused this illness - were emotional things happening in the family, had the animal just been to the groomer, or vaccinated, or….? Did you just get another animal?
- Record every current symptom observed by you and your family and your veterinarian, in numerical order.
- Record and date every treatment and if the animal resisted the treatment, loved it or could care less.
- Observe and record each symptom you originally listed, and add any new ones to the list and continue to track them all.
- When recovered from this current problem, schedule times for you to review the symptom list periodically to see if they are slowly returning.
- Always put the most emphasis on the energy, happiness, interactions, appetite and overall how she is doing.
- If your animal is a puppy or kitten, do a physical exam once a week until 4 or 5 months old, then shift to monthly exams. At one year, start doing the checks every 6 months. When the animal has been ill, do them weekly, and then taper off as they regain their health. When they are seeming older, do them monthly again.
- Have your veterinarian show you how to look in the eyes, ears, mouth, etc. If they will not, do it yourself anyway. You will notice, after a time, whatever is important to see. Then - yes - record your observations.
- Once a year, or more often if needed, have a veterinarian do a physical to see if there is anything you are missing.
Christina Chambreau, DVM, is an internationally known homeopathic veterinarian. She graduated from the University of Georgia Veterinary College in 1980, began using homeopathy in her veterinary practice in 1983, and has used primarily homeopathy since 1988. A dynamic teacher, Dr. Chambreau is a founder of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy and is on the faculty of the National Center for Homeopathy Summer School. She also teaches her own 1 and 2 day courses, and lectures at conventions, schools, clubs and to anyone who is concerned about improving the health of animals. She has written and is quoted in many magazines and appears on many radio shows. She is married to Dr. Mort Orman, author of the 14-Day Stress Cure and How to Have a Stress Free Wedding. They have a 14-year-old daughter Tracie and live near Baltimore, Maryland.