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    PeterDobias.com / Blog / Health Knowledge

    A mysterious connection between your dog's lung health, cough and emotions

    By Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. His love of dogs and passion for natural healing and nutrition led him to writing, teaching and helping people create health naturally, without drugs, chemicals and processed food.

    Health and Longevity Course for Dogs             Chapter 12

    If you are looking for the short version - scroll down to the title "lung diseases from a medical point of view." For the less dry Dr. D version, continue reading here.

    Today, I'll tell you a story that very few people know about. More than 20 years ago, I adopted another dog before my previous dog, Skai. However, if someone asked me at the time how many dogs I’ve had in my life, I always said only one, Skai.

    The following story tells you why.

    As a young vet, I worked at a veterinary practice in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. At that time, Whistler was a town of 7,000 people and has since grown into a world-class ski resort.  

    Whistler has always been a dog town. I'd estimate that more than half of the families back then had dogs. The stories of the Whistler canines and their people were similar to other places, sometimes happy and sometimes sad.

    The story of Bella and James

    Bella lived with James, her guardian, in Whistler. She was a two-year-old black and white border collie living a great life on a farm with freedom that most dogs of the west never experience. James' life was a little more turbulent. He lost custody of his children. Emotionally, James never really recovered from losing touch with his children and a decade later, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

    When I met James at the Whistler clinic, Bella had barely started her life. She was a happy and boisterous canine teenager who was always ready for the next adventure. But when James started losing his battle with cancer, something I've never seen before happened.

    Just a week before James was admitted to the hospital one more time, he brought Bella because she was coughing. To my surprise pneumonia was the cause, which is rare, especially in young dogs. When I took X-rays and confirmed the diagnosis, I remember thinking how strange it was that both James and Bella had a lung condition. It was as if she took on James’ disease. The diagnosis was different, but in my mind, it was a lung disease just with a different degree of severity. In other words,  energetically they were same. 

    A few days later, I received the news that James had died, and a family friend brought Bella back to the clinic as her condition had started getting worse. Normally, the prognosis for a young dog with pneumonia is good, but Bella was not recovering. She stopped eating and I had to hospitalize her and put her on oxygen.

    I could not prevent myself from being emotional about the situation, especially seeing how sad Bella was and it didn’t take long for me to adopt her. I thought it would only be a matter of a few days before she'd recover and enjoy her Whistler life. She was young and I knew I'd really enjoy her, but her plan was different.

    Within a couple of days, Bella's condition deteriorated. No matter how much I tried, it seemed she wanted to be reunited with James. When Bella died, it was hard, even though she was mine for only a couple of days. In reality, her heart never belonged to anyone other than James. For her, dying meant a reunion. 

    Lungs are the organ of grief

    No animal species can connect with humans on such a deep level as dogs. James’ and Bella's story invites us to at least consider eastern medical wisdom that says lungs are the organ of grief and that the stronger the connection between two individuals is, the more likely they will suffer from similar ailments.

    Lung diseases from a medical point of view

    When I decided to write about lungs and lung disease, I could not resist sharing this story with you before moving on to the practical part of keeping your dog's lungs healthy. 

    I often see the western medicine approach to organ disease being too ‘mechanical,’ as if the mind and the rest of the body are not connected. In practice, I often see that dogs’ health is affected by the thoughts and experiences of other individuals.

    In Chapters 8 to 11, I explained that spinal segments are responsible for blood, nerve and energy flow to different organs and what happens when the energy stream slows down.

    The lung association point is between the fourth and fifth thoracic vertebrae (the fourth thoracic intervertebral space), just before the pericardium and the cardiac points. That is why any injury, strain, sprain and tightness of the shoulders, forelegs and the lower neck may affect both the lungs and the heart. Click here for more info.

    Tobie, the dog that stopped coughing

    One of the most common forms of lung disease is what conventional medicine classifies as a cough of unknown origin.

    Tobie had been a patient of mine for many years and his guardian Edna and her are a perfect pair. They are very lucky to have each other. Edna loves to surf and Tobie is a beach lover. When I sold my clinic, I lost touch with them, but a few years later Edna asked me for help because Tobie was coughing and conventional treatments were not working. 

    When I examined Tobie, I noticed she was super tight in the area of the lung points, between the fourth and fifth thoracic vertebrae.

    We started some release techniques such as IMS, an acupuncture release technique, massage and worked with a chiropractor and rehabilitation practitioner to ensure Tobie's shoulder region recovered. The exercises also addressed her tendency to carry more of her weight on the forelegs. This often happens in aging dogs as their hind end weakens.  

    It took a few months for Tobie to recover, but the effect was clear. Now, years later, she still rarely coughs and when she does, it means that the region between the shoulder blades needs to be treated.

    A universal method that can help treat many lung conditions

    If I tried to put even just the most common lung diseases in this article, there would be enough material for a book. 

    The diagnosis of cough of unknown origin is quite common, but there are other conditions that can greatly improve by taking the above approach. Here are some examples of lung conditions: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia, viral and fungal infections, lung congestion due to cardiac disease and cancer.

    Where there is lack of flow, cancer is more likely to appear

    The rate of cancer in dogs is on the rise. I have diagnosed many dogs with cancer in the course of almost 30 years in practice and while I am fully in favor of a modern approach to reaching a diagnosis, there is one method that makes me suspect cancer even before the symptoms appear. 

    There are two forms of cancer in the lungs. The first and more common one is metastatic disease, meaning there is a primary tumor elsewhere in the body that has spread to the lung tissue. The second type is a primary tumor that originated in the lungs first.

    It is not the purpose of this article to go through the different types of lung cancer because energetically it is just a different form of the same issue: energy congestion, toxicity, genetic predisposition, nutritional deficiency and a failure of the immune system to stop the spread of cancerous cells.

    It's also my experience that dogs with lung cancer are extremely sensitive in the lung point area. Even though a dog is happy and looks healthy, I never waste time. I do X-rays right away if I see them being reactive between the shoulders. 

    What it takes to prevent and treat lung disease

    Similar to other conditions, applying the Healing Cycle is the key. If you've been reading my articles for some time, you have probably noticed I apply this simple natural principle of healing as part of the treatment of almost any condition.

    If you have not watched the Healing Cycle video below, it may further help and you can also click here for an article on cancer prevention.


    Thank you for sharing this article with those you care about!

    Did you know this is only one article from our free Holistic Health & Longevity Course? Check out the entire course...

    To read the entire Holistic Health and Longevity Course for Dogs click the links below. 

    © Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

    Health & Longevity Course Chapters

    How can you spend more time with your best friend? Learn one principle that can give your dog more healthy years and its right under your nose. 


    There is a secret in your dog's hair that could make his or her life longer. Improve your dog's health by finding out what is missing and how to get rid of some nasty toxins.


    There is a way to prevent disease and kick out toxins. I hope learning how will add years to your dog's life!  


    This time I've taken on the topic of drugs and how to decide which ones are ok to use if needed and which ones are too dangerous to use.


    A long and healthy life can be so simple. It only takes one step to make a dramatic change.


    You won't believe what most multivitamins are made from. Learn which vitamins work the best and which ones to avoid.


    You can avoid many harmful and unnecessary treatments for your dog with one simple principle. Learn how to check your dog’s spinal alignment and find out what ailments muscle injuries, pinched nerves and blocked energy flow can cause by reading this article.


    Learn how to examine your dog’s spine and what might be hiding in plain view. See the commonly missed causes of disease and how to determine if your dog has back pain and discomfort. 


    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.


    Chapter 10


    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.


    What could be causing your dog’s cough? There are many lung diseases out there, but many people are still not aware about this one important cause. Read how this unique approach can improve your dog's lung health.


    Chapter 13


    5 steps to protect your dog from this serious, life-threatening condition and what you need to know about diet, exercise and your dog’s spine to prevent it.


    I find that diarrhea is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed problems in veterinary medicine. The paradox is that the answer is sometimes very simple, but not what one expects.


    Chapter 16


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    Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM has 30 years of experience as a veterinarian. He graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 in the Czech Republic and obtained the Canadian Certificate of Qualification in 1995. He is currently licensed in the European Union, and his unique approach to healing and nutrition helps holistically minded dog lovers worldwide.

    Dr. Dobias strongly believes that disease prevention, natural nutrition and supplements, the right exercise and a drug free approach to medicine can add years to your dog's life.

    As a formulator of his all-natural vitamin and supplement line and co-inventor of natural, chemical free flea and tick control, FleaHex® and TickHex®, his unique healing system and products currently hold the highest independent five star customer rating. For more information click here.

    Any general recommendations that Dr. Dobias makes are not a substitute for the appropriate veterinary care and are for informational and educational purposes only.

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