December 30, 2008

"Nothing's better than beer."

by pawlitico

Here we go again. The argument about dogs drinkin' beer.

If you know my buddy Tilin "winecountrydog" Corgi, you know that he occasionally needs some kind of sedative and relaxant. Tilin has episodes of arful back muscle spasms. Other times he gets the hypers 'cuz of a nervous disorder.

The hypers make Tilin get more and more wound up. Now, we'd love to see Tilin run around like a puppy if it weren't scary. He could re-injure his back. Or he could go into a seizure. Howl, you'd never know how serious this is by lookin' at Tilin, but his history includes life-threatening spinal problems and idiopathic epilepsy.

light and dark aleWe're fortunate to know a veterinarian with uncommonly good sense. She told Tilin to drink 1/4 cup of quality beer to help sedate him. Such a marvelous solution! How much easier this is on Tilin's system than heavy-duty sedatives! And so effective that dog-ma can usually avoid giving him meds like narcotics.

Tilin says, "Fur some of my episodes, nothing's better than beer for calming me without knockin' me out."

Now, for dog health safety, you dogs shouldn't drink to drunkenness. And you shouldn't depend on this remedy for any length of time. We're talking here about a brief, conservative consumption regimen. A serving of just 1/4 cup of beer or ale is fine. (We corgis weigh between 25 and 35 pounds.) It's best to open the bottle ahead of time and let the beer go kinda flat, but the carbonation in 1/4 cup doesn't bother Tilin or lead to bloat. And the sugary malts and stuff don't bother Tilin 'cuz he's not diabetic.

Tilin gets his dog mug refilled up to every few hours. After a few days of this regimen, he goes back on the wagon. It's not difficult for him; he's a happy, busy dog who easily returns to his normal routines once he feels calm again.

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPAThis time, dog-ma gave Tilin doses of Union Jack India pale ale (IPA) for the hypers. Dog-ma let me taste Union Jack. After all, my birth name is Jack.

This IPA is doggedly aggressive but smooth. Comes from micro-brewery Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, California. Here's what the brew dogs say:

Citrus, pineapple, and a full chewy malt profile finish clean on your palate. . . . A beer true to its origins; deeply hopped and bolstered for a long voyage. . . . At the 2008 European Beer Star Award competition in Germany [in November '08] . . . Union Jack IPA took top honors in the extremely competitive India Pale Ale category with a gold medal.

The Firestone Union was inspired by the old Burton Union system, once a staple of British beermaking. The Burton Union was developed around 1840 as English tastes shifted from London porters to pale ales crafted in Burton-Upon-Trent. The Burton beers were bright and clear with a firm, satisfying bite: a taste unique in its time-and still unique today. We are the only brewery in the United States to currently employ the union brewing method. . . . Our patented Firestone Union uniquely incorporates 60-gallon oak barrels into the brewing process.
60-gallon oak barrels of aleI'm glad dog-ma's buddy Joey at the store picked this India pale ale as one his faves. We want to suppawt small regional businesses like this microbrewery, which crafts great ale and delivers it fresh.

When Tilin Corgi woke up this morning, he was back to normal! No longer all hyped up. Dog-ma's ale therapy worked in a day.

So I have to pawlitely disagree with Louise Murray, DVM, Director of Medicine, ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, who has been quoted as saying that humans should never give beer to dogs. What humans should do is to check with their dogs' veterinarians! May you find a veterinarian like ours, who offers a different pawspective on practical remedies fur what ails you.

We dogs are individuals, and we need healthcare and homecare to be carefully tail-ored to us as individuals. Woof.


Vinogirl said...

Great post. People are too uptight when it comes to their pets and it rubs off on their pets. I like your calm, collected approach to wait ails your poochie. Keep up the good work. Sounds like a great beer, may have to try some myself, after all, Union Jack...very English :)
Has your dog ever been to a harvest party at Elkhorn Peak by any chance?
...oh and Yappy New Year to you all too.

winecountrydog said...

Oh boy, I woke up today, the last day of '08, still feeling fine. Jack Corgi was right: my one day of ale therapy put me back in normal mode.

This bit 'o drinkin' sure is better than phenobarbitol. A vet at UC Davis wanted to put me on that in 2002. We argued with this. I wanted to be my brilliant self, not a dopey dog. Over the past six years I've shown that there are indeed other ways to treat mild, non-progressive epilepsy than narcotics! I'll have to paw-write about this in the New Year.

Vinogirl said...

Well woofed...cheers for '09!

Annabelle said...

That's so interesting. I wasn't aware dogs could drink beer, however if given according to the vet's advice, it really makes a lot of sense, for calming dogs that need it for whatever reason - much better idea than sedatives or tranquilisers, or a ghastly thing I heard of recently you can buy in electrical stores which is some sort of a stun gun thing with a high pitched frequency supposedly for use on dogs behaving badly - sounds cruel to me.