Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Blackwatch Feed Program For Rescue & Repair


Those of you who had been involved with animal rescue or have decided to foster or adopt a rescue dog may not realize there are very special needs when it comes to trying to makeup for the past abuse, physical and nutritional. You can provide the love and structure; I will help you with the nutritional aspect of getting this animal built back up to a thriving, vital creature. People report tremendous success with this program. It is not an inexpensive project to try and get the dog back on track - you need to realize that before you commit to this project. I suppose by the time you are reading this article you have already made the decision to do this and have the rescue dog living in your home already.

After the vet check up and heartworm check ,it's time to remake this poor animal's body and immune system- so we have a job to do…let's forge ahead to provide this animal with a new quality of life.


First, it is very rare to find a rescue that does not have problems with loose stools. Let me tell you right off the bat, this is usually Giardia protozoa - along with other parasites. If it is a small puppy, test for coccidia. As for Giardia, well…personally I say don't bother testing, save your money because it is next to impossible to find any way yet the vets always want to test. If they have intermittent stool issues - no doubt you have a Giardia problem. Also don't bother using Flagyll or Metronidazole either, which is what the vet will insist you do. Recent research shows it is only 40% effective on Giardia any more. It last about 2 weeks then back to the loose stools or diarrhea. We have found if you just automatically worm with Panacur from your vet. Use it for 3 days, and then 12 days later do it again, except this time take the total 3 day dose and divide it up into 10 days worth of smaller doses. This is to try and catch the Giardia in the cyst stage, which is only a brief time period and why it is next to impossible to detect in a stool.

The rebuilding and restoring process for your rescue dog is much like preparing a canvas for a painting. Without the preparation at a cellular level, it is like throwing a bucket of water on a burning building. "Dr. Campbell"


Beside a through exam, heartworm check and worming, I always suggest a thyroid test before you give the innoculations, as it can skeu the results. If the tests show a "low normal" please treat with the appropriate thyroid medication anyway. It may take a while to get the amount regulated so be patient.
If there are thyroid problems then all your had work and nutrition will not make much headway without the proper meds.

My preference for heartworm prevention is Interceptor which is safe for sensitive breeds; sighthounds, collie, shelties, Great Danes etc. My choice for flea issues is a topical such as FrontLine Plus because it is not systemic.


NOTE: All the things I discuss in this next section come in a KIT format - Kit#11 for Rescue and Repair. Read the info first before you order.

Now before you worm you need to understand that the level of beneficial bacteria in the gut of a stressed rescue dog is practically zero - and the Panacur wormer will even strip the gut of what little is left in there. It is IMPERATIVE that you get a hold of BacPakPlus Probiotics (and digestive enzymes), because this one particular probiotic is designed especially for stress and tough intestinal cases. The regular probiotic products are good for day to day use, but they do not repair like this product and we are in "repair" mode with a rescue - order it and start it ASAP dosing both AM and PM and even double dosing if you have to the first 2-3 days.


When an animal or human has been under tremendous stress they become dehydrated at the cellular level. In order for the nutrients to be absorbed into the cells and used for repair we must prepare first at the cellular level. This can be done by providing the body with something called Water for Life, which is a highly concentrated mixture of vegetable phytonutrients called Polyphenols . When we add a component of Water for Life to drinking water it helps the individual animal or human more effectively absorb nutrients into the cells and remove toxins from the body. In other words this really gives us a "leg up" on getting this animal turned around. To order:

Water for Life
rehydrates cells and neutralizes free radicals. In short this makes the cells receptive to the good foods and nutrients you are feeding this dog in order to repair it. Use only 1 cup/8 ounces per day of this treated water for a large/giant breed. Reduce it for small and med breeds. Mix up a gallon of distilled water with an ounce of Water for Life and save it for using on the food when you make gravy with canned meat at meal time.

Don't add it to drinking water because you will waste too much of it and they will drink too much as well. You can start this right away - this just makes things work better and faster. Note: It is only fair to mention this causes a detoxification process and for one or more days your dog will probably have the... "pouch toots"......but it too will pass (no pun intended).


Most commercial dog foods, even top of the line foods, AND raw or homemade diets are missing in micronutrients - these run the body's metabolic system/electrical system and immune functions. This is what we need to start building up on this animal. We need to start adding micronutrients to the dog's diet as soon as they are on the Water for Life water. I recommend using a micro nutrient liquid called "Spark of Life" from dosage is on the label and you just use drops on their food - easy to administer.

Water for Life and Spark of Life are companion products and through synergy increase the effective of both when used together.


I recommend using Precise Precise Plus (Holistic Line) - because it is very easily digestible. You will want to put weight on slowly -

I am a very strong believer in the wonders Probiotics - a benefical bacteria/digestive enzymes combination product to reseed the gut from what has been lost due to stress and neglect. For any rescue I recommend using BacPakPlus - a fortified encapsulated probiotic for really tough cases. Repair requires a potent probiotic, one that you might use on a daily basis is not potent enough for long termed neglect. Starting with another probiotic is great but so many of these dogs have systemic yeast overgrowth and that means a more potent probiotic.

Ox-E-Drops - an anti-bacterial, anti-fungus, anti-viral and it helps to keep the pH of the gut in proper range for wellness. It also has many uses and needs to be diluted when you do use it. Use 1 drop per 20 lbs of body weight and mix with a little of the water and add to their kibble at each feeding. You can use OxEdrops and the Water for Life at the same time.

For skin detoxifying issues, you can also take 1 teaspoon of Ox-E-Drops and mix in 1 cup of distilled water and put in a squirt bottle and spray on sores, rashes, infections and diluted like this you can clean out ears and eyes as well, but it MUST BE DILUTED.


Many rescues have been abused physically, out of poor breeding and nutritionally depleted so hip dysplasia and/or arthritis may be a problem. If not now, it will be as they age- if it is not addressed by you. A good joint supplement - preferably liquid - is necessary regardless of age. I personally use Liquid Health Level 5000 Joint supplement put on food AM and PM - You will see a difference in 2 weeks with a joint support supplement.


Once the dog is on this program for 2 weeks then we need to start the detoxification process using Nzymes - a dietary (not digestive) but dietary enzyme, the most powerful detoxifying enzyme I have ever seen. We used it on my father when he went through chemo and radiation and he didn't suffer from the ravages of cancer treatment due to this tough detoxifying enzyme. But, I want you to ignore the dosage directions on the bottle of Nzymes because it can cause detoxification too quickly and the dog will get lethargic and have loose stool - flu like symptoms. We have to trick the body into cleansing itself.

This detox process can start simply by switching to a better dog food, so if you see bumps, itching, hotspots, rashes, shedding even more than normal, this is detoxing and it will last 2 weeks at least. It will pass hang in there, if in doubt talk to your vet or email me first.

Use diluted Ox-E Drops if a hot spot or itching and rash appears..just wipe or spray the diluted solution (1 teaspoon Ox-E Drops and 1 cup plain distilled water). I recommend using the granular Nzymes if you have a large/giant breed and the Pet treats if a small and med breed. The granular goes further and sprinkle it on the food AM and PM. I like to "ramp up" during the introduction of Nzymes to the diet so you are easing into them over a weeks time - then as the label says you double dose for 2 weeks then go back to a normal daily dose. I just suggest taking a little longer to east into that 2 week double dose period so the dog stays comfortable. This is same with humans if you take the Nzymes product, which I have for over 20 years = no wrinkles!! To Order:


If your rescue has poor immune system, nothing beats using first milking Colostrum. This is also very helpful for diabetic dogs and dogs with heart problems. If you write me about the special needs of this animal I can make suggestions and give you sources. If this involves skin problems read this article on systemic yeast infections. This is common problem in rescues. Another excellent product for immune enhancement is something called DMG-L and it is helpful for seizures as well.


After this dog has been well established on this program and gaining weight and reestablishing the environment of the gut for proper digestion, you may want to integrate some real foods into the diet. Start with fresh or frozen berries (no grapes or raisins) just a few to see how they like it. Then try carrots and other veggies chopped, pureed or cooked to see if this is palatable to them, they may not like it. If you are going to use a raw meat - please use a commercially prepared raw or dehydrated meat product that is balanced in calcium and phosphorus ratios and tested for pathogens.

Personally my preference is The Honest Kitchen's "Embark" dehydrated raw meat plus fruits/veggies or their "Preference" which is only dehydrated fruits/veggies and herbs.

The Honest Kitchen is easy to store dry and you add water to it, let it set and it makes up something you can top dress your dogs kibble with that will provide them real wholesome foods. I purchase mine through www.firstchoicenaturals. A 4 lb bag of dehydrated food = 17 lbs of wet food but you do not have to make it up all at once and it is great if you travel with the dog too.


The supplements in the RESCUE AND REPAIR program can be purchase in Kit#11, which is sold at and lasts 2 months for giant breeds. After 4 months on Kit#11 you can move to the Adult Kit #4.

You can introduce items 1, 2, 3, 4 within 1-2 days of them being settled in and on Precise dog food totally.

(1) Vet check up and worm with Panacur for parasites and Giardia (see Giardia article).

(2) Introduce to one of the Precise Plus Holistic foods over a 2-3 day time period/

(3) Use Water for Life on AM and PM feeding - if the dog is very thin divide into 3-4 smaller meals a day - order:

(4) Add Spark of Life to the dogs kibble- dosage on bottle -

(5) Add BacPakPlus powdered probiotic to the dogs food AM and PM

After 4-5 days and well established on this routine you can start to enhance the program by building the immune function, detoxify the body and support the joints.

(6) Use Ox-E-Drops AM - PM, diluted in a little water, on their food. This can be used internally on their food and in their drinking water 10 drops as well as a diluted solution (1 teaspoon + 1 cup distilled water) which works great for ears and eye cleaning. You can also spray it on

(7) A good liquid joint support supplement like Liquid Health Level 5000 .

(8) Nzymes - dietary enzymes, to detoxify the body of the toxins and a natural anti-inflammatory for orthopedic issues such as arthritis, hips or growth problems. Regardless of what it says on the bottle, ramp up your dosage so the dog does not detoxify too fast. Take a week to build up to a detoxifying dose, hold there for two weeks as stated on bottle, then ramp down to the maintenance dosage.

I know sometimes these rescue dogs are a handful, most are prone to systemic yeast infections ,which get diagnoised as allergies when it isn't an allergy at all.

Many times the dogs that come into rescue are stress, hyperactive and exhibit great nervousness and anxiety. There is a wonderful all natural supplement that can be used to help managed this problem. It is called Canine Relax-N and you can get it through


Enhancing the diet
- with raw meat & fruits & veggies using EMBARK or PREFERENCE , Embark is a dehydrated raw turkey/fruit and veggies and Preference is a dehydrated fruits/veggies/herbs. Both bring considerable benefit to the diet and I use to top dress my dogs food. You can get it at they will send you a free sample if you contact them.

Natural Ways To Help With Pain

Microlactin is the human supplement and Duralactin is the one bottled for pets and purcahsed through a vet. This is a natural antiinflammatory from milk and I personally have used it on my dogs and have had others report amazing results with this product. It also works on elbow bursas too. You double dose for two weeks and drop back to normal dosage. It is not cost prohibitive and I get mine through

Recovery®SA - is a new type of pharmiceutical, the wave of the future in drugs. I have suggested it's use and people have reported remarkable success on Recovery®SA - it contains Nutricol® a proprietary combination of proven ingredients .Nutricol® decreases trauma - from chronic lameness, surgery, injury and over-training - by both increasing the cell's resistance to damage & improving it's ability to repair damage. You do not have to go through a vet to purchase this product.

Click Here for: DAY TO DAY CARE -ears, eyes, teeth, skin, healthy treats, fleas etc.

Water On Food:
Commercial foods need to be fed with moisture so dogs don't over consume water after a meal and so the kibble does not pull moisture from the dogs system in order to break down properly. Use
"tepid" temperature water never hot or warm and never soak your food as it breaks down and destroys nutrients. Mix up and feed immediately. I use approximately 1/2 to 1 cup of water for adults Danes per each meal. Adjust accordingly for puppies and smaller breeds. If they have loose stools, you may be using too much meat or water than necessary. Adjust that before you panic and think they are sick.

Drinking Water:
It is very important to
NEVER withhold water from your dog. This can lead to over consumption and bladder infections. Use common sense, do not let them drink excessively after exercise or dinner. Like a horse, let them cool down and then drink. I have found if I have water available in several places, they never overdo it since they know it is available to them when they need it. That way they drink less amounts of water, but more frequently.

Withholding water for fear of bloat is a myth. Stress is the cause and bloat/torsion is the response. It is much more complicated that simply saying water is the cause of bloat.

(See my article on Bloat and Torsion for details) (See On My Soapbox)

Nutritional Support For Special Needs

Vaccine Reactions:
To help prevent this problem in adults, make sure they are on
Vitamin C and Nzymes. I use the Nzymes Product to support the immune system, and prevent vaccine reactions.

Anesthethesia / Surgery:
This is important information about anesthetics and giant breeds. Print out for your vet. Also for any elective surgery, i.e., spay, neuter or emergency surgery such as bloat/torsion. I use Nzymes to detoxify and help with fast healing.

Heart Problems:
If you own a giant breed or one prone to heart problems it is recommended that you use the highest quality protein food and supplement with these components. These are nutritional substances from food sources and do not conflict with medications or each other and are good to use for heart disease. Supplements for Heart Disease.

1) Co-enzyme-Q-10 - 90 - 120 mg daily -

2) Taurine and L- Carnitine - Two amino Acids are critical to strengthen the heart -
You can get these from the health food store. Make sure you select a very good brand so they are usable by the body.

Taurine 100 mg a day
L-Carnitine 100 - 200 mg a day

These dosages are taken from the newest textbook Small Animal Clinical Nutrition and would be increased if the dog had been diagnosed with actual cardiomyopathy.

3) Colostrum - this amazing product will regenerate and rejuvenate the immune function as well as heart muscle. It is highly recommended for dogs with cardio.
I get mine from Dr. Wagner at

Section C - Support Information - Required Reading

Read this: Does My Vet Understand Nutrition?


There are several articles and photos of vaccine reactions at this website. You need to know how to prevent vaccine reactions, because vaccine reactions in some breeds will kill your dog in a slow agonizing death known as Immune Mediated Response, which is always misdiagnosed as HOD. So, here is info:

Prevention of Vaccine Reactions

The AAHA recommended schedule for vaccination

Dr. Jean Dodd's Vaccine Protocols

Vaccine Reaction Photographs

Special Alert - Antibiotic Reactions in Great Danes and Other Breeds.

Sulfonamide Antibiotics
Based on information gained from the National Bone Survey, I do not recommend using Sulfonamide* antibiotics to my puppy buyers because these drugs can cause serious side-effects like sloughing of skin and internal bleeding and HOD-like symptoms including;
fever, aching joints, swollen joints, lack of mobility, depression and anorexia. The following antibiotics are sulfonamides.

  • Ditrim
  • Primor
  • Tribrissin
  • Bactrim
  • TMZ

Another commonly used, potentially troublesome antibiotics is Cephalexin (Keflex, Cefa-Tabs). This can also produces the same symptoms as HOD (fever,swollen/hot joints, immobility, anorexia) even in adult dogs. I will use Chephalexin, but with a watchful eye and if the dog starts acting lethargic and achy, we stop the antibiotic, since they are sensitive to it. Call the vet for an alternative antibiotic and make sure you are using a good Probiotic product to keep the digestive tract functioning properly.

I will not use Sulfonamides drugs on my dogs. A reaction can happen from 24 hours - 2 weeks of being on an antibiotic. If there is a reaction, my vet recommends Dexamethsone/Azium and discontinue use or antibiotic.

* Research references on Sulfonamides

Fleas - Heartworm

People ask me what I use for these problems. I use Interceptor as a heartworm preventative and for flea and tick problems I use a topical product- either Frontline Plus or Advantage, Advantix or Frontline products. I do rotate a different one each year. Because these are not systemic products, I feel a bit better about using them and because the dogs/cats and my self are also on Nzymes, which detoxifies the body, I am comfortable with using these products.

Special Alert - Other Breeds:

For Collie/Sheltie/Aussie and Sighthound Owners (could effect some Great Danes)

For those people who own Collies, Shelties, Sighthounds, Aussies, Border Collies, any breeds with Collie background or mixed breeds with any of these dogs in them, it is critical that you know there are certain medications your dogs CAN'T take. Do not leave it up to your vet to know this..YOU must print this out and know it - it is a matter of life or death.

These dogs have a sensitivity to Ivermectin (Heartguard Heartworm medication. Only use Interceptor heart worm preventative. Other related drugs you can not use on these breeds or there will be neurological damage.
Other related drugs you can NOT use:

Metronidazole (which is used for diarrhea and giardia)

Ivermectin - Heart Guard

There are many different types of drugs that have been reported to cause problems in Collies, ranging from over-the-counter antidiarrheal agents like Imodium® to antiparasitic and chemotherapy agents. It is likely this list will grow to include more drugs as our research progresses.

Drugs that have been documented, or are strongly suspected to cause problems in dogs with the MDR1 mutation:

Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent)
Loperamide (Imodium®; over-the-counter antidiarrheal agent)
Doxorubicin (anticancer agent)
Vincristine (anticancer agent)
Vinblastine (anticancer agent)
Cyclosporin (immunosuppressive agent)
Digoxin (heart drug)
Acepromazine (tranquilizer)
Butorphanol (pain control)
Potential Problem Drugs

The following drugs may potentially cause problems when given to dogs that have the mutation. Biochemical studies have shown that this gene has the potential to act on over 50 different drugs.



Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory
PO Box 2280
Pullman, WA 99165-2280
(Phone/FAX 509-335-3745)

Additional Support For The Adult Dog:


Go here for Spay and Neuter information
Go here for leaky bladder information
Go here for anal gland problems


Go here: For other articles that pertain to Adult Dog Care


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