Poor Bro

Yesterday I was throwing the ball up these steps for Bro. See, that way he has to run up and down them every time he brings the ball back and he gets tired in like half an hour instead of two hours. But all that Border Collie agility, twisting, dashing up steps, and turning on a dime to catch the ball, was not so good for Bro’s left front foot, which has become prone to sprains in his old age. So he limped down the steps, which really means dashing down the steps on three legs and throwing the ball at my feet. Being the human and therefore the supposedly responsible party, I explained to him that we should stop playing ball and just limp around and pee on things and go to bed.

I made him some comfrey infusion (he loves it) that night, and the limping was totally gone by the next morning. Today is Saturday and there are people and dogs everywhere, which made Bro go nuts, so I put him in his crate for most of the morning, which made him so hyper. But I was still the responsible adult and we didn’t do anything but walk around on a leash and pee today.

All that responsibility, and guess what happened? He inhaled a fox tail. Totally inhaled it, so that it probably lodged somewhere in his sinuses, which made lots of blood, and he went into crazy sneezing fits with lots of blood spraying out of his nose.

Bro is not the kind of dog who ever stops and things to himself, “gee, I can’t breath and there’s blood spraying out of my nose. Maybe I should chill out for a minute.” No, Bro thinks, “woah, not being able to breath is kind of interfering with me trying to get everyone on the sidewalk to throw this pinecone! I will breath way harder! Throw the pinecone!”

So I told him to lay down and I sat in the grass with him while he sneezed up blood. The first step in Susan Weeds seven rivers of healing is to do nothing. So I did nothing and worked on getting Bro to do nothing, too, until his sneezing slowed down. Then we walked back to the van, and he laid in the bed, intermittently sneezing blood everywhere, while I wiped his nose with my pee rag. Don’t worry, pee is sterile.

I called Darcy, which is what I always do when I don’t know what to do, but she didn’t answer. I think she was in the middle of graduating from the last two years of herb school! Congratulations Darcy!!!

So, I walked up to the gas station for hot water, and made some flax seed tea, and put a little Lobelia tincture in it, to encourage mucilage and sooth the breathing. I figured by then whatever hadn’t been sneezed out would have to just be a part of Bro, and the sneezing was just making more tissue damage. So the Lobelia was supposed to slow the sneezing down, and the flax was supposed to encourage mucous, which was supposed to encourage healing. Either it worked, or Bro’s body was doing it on it’s own anyways.

Poor Bro. It’s been a rough couple of days.

(This is a test of the inebriated broadcasting system. If this post is still legible tomorrow, it’s a success! 😀 )


  1. close, 2 typos
    “Bro is not the kind of dog who EVER stops and THINGS to himself, “gee, I can’t breath and there’s blood spraying out of my nose.”
    I believe you want “thinks to himself” and “Never stops” . Best wishes for you both.

  2. Hey, just wanted to let you know that pee is sterile but where it comes out isn’t always.
    Best wishes to both you and Bro!

  3. Glucosamine is the best. I have a shep/husky mix with really long legs and hes had severe joint issues since he was a puppy. He was starting to have trouble walking and getting up on the couch. I started him on glucosamine with perna muscle and the difference is amazing. Hes acting like an eight week old puppy. Also regular swimming and massages are great for dogs joints.

  4. Not to spread panic but I’d recommend taking him to a vet! I looked up foxtail on Wikipedia (because I didn’t know what is was) and the site talks about what happens when long-haired dogs get some in their fur and their noses and between their paws and all that. Apparently, it can lead to long term damage, because the foxtail will continue burrowing once it’s under the skin or inside that nasal cavity. They say it needs to be removed and dogs with that problem usually will get antibiotics. Now, I’m not sure what your stance on all these is, I suppose you don’t often need them, much less use them because of all your wonderful herbs, but this Wikipedia article really made me worry for Bro. Maybe check it out and then decide if it’d be wise to take him to a vet? I don’t want anything happening to him, poor lad!

    Hope it gets better soon,


  5. Oh, my. I hope your fur-baby is feeling better. Happy Mother’s Day.

    PS. I’m now an unemployed teacher, but working in a natural health food store. Please keep writing about your natural solutions health solutions! So much to learn…

  6. Yeah, I’m giving him antibiotics. Darcy suggested it.

    It’s hard to say exactly what he inhaled – if it was a foxtail it was a very old dry one. We’ll ses.

  7. Pee is sterile in the bladder, but once it moves down the urethra it can pick up bacteria, and it is definitely not sterile once it leaves the body.

    I hope Bro recovers nicely 🙂

  8. after reading through eight pages of archives, i can fully say i adore your blog. i wish i could articulate better what i think but the closest i can get is that you just seem like such a good person. once i graduate, you’re welcome to any help i can ever give you if you’re way out west by the ocean.

  9. I had a dog that had a similar problem at first there was a little blood then three weeks later there was a lot of blood, a vet trip, an over night stay at the vet while they went in and removed all of the foreign grass type matter. The vet said because it was so close to the brain any infection in that location would pass to the brain quickly and cause strange behavior then death.

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