Took my Australian shepherd, Jewel, in for her rabies booster last week, and the vet also gave her a little checkup while she was there.
“You know, she’s kind of an oily little dog,” said Dr. Bret Hixson of Alpine Animal Hospital. “You might try giving her fish oil capsules, 200 milligrams twice a day. That might help.”
At first I thought I had some fish oil on hand, and then I remembered what I had in my medicine cabinet was actually a similar product, vitamin E capsules. Once upon a time I used to take vitamin E — more on that in a minute — but for the last several years, all I used it for was, on advice of my doctors and physical therapists, rubbing it into six different orthopedic surgical incisions for a few weeks post-op.
It’s supposed to help with healing, including mitigating the formation of adhesions. I guess it worked, although the 27-year-old cyst-removal incision on my left hand went unrubbed, and it seems to have healed OK and with minimal adhesions too.
Anyway, I have started Jewel on her dietary supplement, not that I had never noticed that she was terribly oily. But what the heck, she seems to like chewing and popping those rubbery little capsules, so we can try them for a while.
Myself, I had dabbled, just a bit, in vitamins when I was a kid; my dad worked for American Cyanamid, a pharmaceutical company. Then I went several supplement-free years until joining my father-in-law, a pharmacist, in latching onto Linus Pauling’s vitamin C theory. Later, I think after doing a story on a scientist at the Linus Pauling Institute, I added vitamin E, and I also took a multivitamin.
I stayed super healthy, and in my mind the vitamins had at least something to do with it.
But them maybe a dozen years ago, my cholesterol checked out kind of high the doc prescribed a daily 10-milligram dose of Lipitor (I have since shifted to generic Zocor, another statin, because it’s a lot cheaper). My doctor and/or pharmacist said the vitamins I was taking might neutralize what the Lipitor was trying to do and suggested I stop taking them for a while, then gradually add them back in if I wanted and get my cholesterol retested to make sure the Lipitor was working.
Well, as per instructions, I stopped taking the vitamins, and since the omission seemed to have no impact on my health, I never bothered trying to restart them. I guess I’ve just come to believe that if you eat halfway decent — which despite my frequent jaunts to various mid-valley grease emporiums, I mainly do — you don’t need dietary supplements.
I’m not terribly careful about what I eat, but I do blend into my diet a fair amount of apples, bananas and Raisin Nut Bran, and since I basically never get sick and always seem to have enough energy, I must be doing something right.