- Three very common allergies in dogs include flea allergy dermatitis, food allergies and environmental allergies.
- Treating your dog’s symptoms is only a temporary fix.
- It’s extremely important to find the root cause of an allergic reaction.
- Tips to relieve the suffering of your allergic dog.
By Dr. Becker
If your dog seems to have an allergic condition, it’s important to get an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can.
Unlike the vast majority of traditional DVMs, I wholeheartedly disagree your pet should be started right away on a regimen of anti-allergy drugs and antibiotics and/or anti-viral medications.
There are safer ways to relieve your dog’s symptoms than pharmaceuticals while you and your vet work to discover the root cause of the allergic reaction.
Relieving symptoms without addressing the source of the problem is a short term fix to what can become a lifelong health problem. And certain drugs used to stop the allergic cycle have significant, potentially very serious side effects.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
Flea allergy dermatitis, which is actually sensitivity to flea saliva, is a very common condition in dogs. It’s not the bite of the flea that causes most of the itching in dogs with FAD, it’s the saliva.
The saliva causes irritation way out of proportion to the actual number of fleas on the pup.
Lots of dog parents assume if their pet isn’t infested with fleas, the itching can’t be caused by fleas. But if your dog has FAD, the saliva of just one or two fleas can make him miserably itchy and uncomfortable for many weeks (long past the death of those two fleas).
Suggestions for flea control:
- If you suspect or know fleas are a problem for your dog, I recommend you comb her at least once daily, every day during pest season with a flea comb. Do this on a white towel or other light colored cloth so you can see what’s coming off your dog as you comb. Flea ‘dirt’ (actually flea feces) looks like real dirt, but when suspended in a little rubbing alcohol or water will dissolve and release a red color (blood) allowing you to discern real dirt from flea dirt.
- Bathe your dog often. A soothing bath will kill any fleas on your dog, help heal skin irritation, and make her feel more comfortable and less itchy. Also, clean animals aren’t as attractive to fleas. Pick a non-grain (no oatmeal) herbal shampoo.
- Make liberal use of an all-natural pest repellent like Natural Flea and Tick Defense during flea season.
For some dogs with a serious case of flea allergy dermatitis, I prescribe an oral drug called Comfortis. It is a chemical, but it’s considered the least hazardous of all similar drugs. All drugs can have side effects, but Comfortis has reportedly fewer than topical insecticides.
If your dog has an allergy to something he’s eating, it may show itself not only as digestive upset (gas, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.), but also as one or several of these symptoms:
- Itchy or oozing skin
- Red, irritated eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Coughing or sneezing; asthma
- Inflamed ears
- Swollen paws
If you suspect your dog is sensitive to something in her diet, there are a number of things you can do to learn the source of the allergy and solve the problem:
- If your dog is over a year old, consider using Dr. Jean Dodds’ Nutriscan saliva test to determine if your pet is allergic to beef, corn, wheat, soy, eggs and/or milk (the most common antigens for dogs). Dr. Dodds will be adding additional antigens to the test in the near future.
- If your pet has been eating the same food every day for months or years, there’s a good chance she’s developed an allergy to it. Contrary to what you’ve probably been led to believe, pets need diversity in their diets just like humans do. She might be sensitive to the single source of chemically-laced protein she’s been getting (chances are the meat is loaded with antibiotics and hormones causing immune system over-reaction). She’s also probably grown sensitive to certain allergenic ingredients in the food, typically grains and other carbohydrates.
Work with your holistic vet to develop an allergy elimination diet to help pinpoint the source of the problem. I recommend a three-month diet, which is longer than what many vets suggest. I like to give adequate time for an animal’s body to clear the allergenic substances, detoxify, and clean out cellular debris.
At the end of the elimination diet, new foods are added back in slowly, one at a time to gauge your dog’s response. It’s not uncommon for pets to be able to re-incorporate previous problem foods or clean proteins into the diet once the body is detoxified and the GI tract is healthy again.
- Your holistic vet should also suggest natural supplements to help with detoxification, allergy relief and immune system support during and after the elimination diet.
- To be optimally healthy — which includes avoiding food sensitivities and building resistance to all types of allergies — your dog should be fed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. The diet I recommend is preferably raw, either homemade (again, as long as it’s balanced) or commercial. Rotating the protein sources your dog eats is extremely important, as is strictly limiting or eliminating grains.
In addition to flea saliva and certain foods/ingredients, your dog can also be allergic to an infinite variety of irritants in the environment. These can be outdoor allergens like ragweed, grasses and pollens, as well as indoor irritants like mold, dust mites, cleaning chemicals and even fabrics like wool or cotton.
As a general rule, if your dog is allergic to something inside your home, he’ll have year-round symptoms. If he’s reacting is to something outdoors, it could very well be a seasonal problem.
Also, your pet’s immune system is partly genetic, so he can actually inherit a tendency toward environmental allergies.
Finding the root cause of this type of allergy is extremely important, because what usually happens is the more your pet is exposed to an irritant, the more his sensitivity and reaction to it grows.
Some suggestions for finding and resolving environmental irritants:
- Clean up your pet’s indoor air environment. Don’t allow smoking around your pet. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products. Consider investing in an air purifier to control dust mites.
- Make sure your dog’s drinking water is high quality and doesn’t contain fluoride, heavy metals or other contaminants.
- Don’t allow your dog to be over-vaccinated or over medicated. Vaccines rev up your pet’s immune system – too many vaccinations can send it into overdrive. An over-reactive immune system sets the stage for allergic conditions.
Antibiotics wipe out good bacteria right along with the bad guys. Since the majority of your pet’s immune system is in her GI tract, the right balance of gut bacteria is crucial for her health. There’s also the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in pets.
Steroid therapy (prednisone, for example) is often prescribed for pets with allergies. What these drugs do is turn off the immune system so it stops creating the allergic response. It does work for symptom relief, but unfortunately, the side effects make this a very serious, potentially dangerous drug.
- Bathe your dog. If your pet has irritated skin, bathing will rinse the allergens away and make her feel better immediately. Don’t be shy about how often you bathe your pet, especially if she suffers from allergies that itch and irritate her skin.
If you suspect something outdoors is irritating your dog, in between baths, do foot soaks. Chances are the allergen is coming inside on your pet’s feet. She can’t escape it, and she’s spreading it around indoors to every room she visits.
May 17, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | dog allergies, Dr. Becker, flea allery dermatitis, JOMP, Just One More Pet, pet allergies, pet environmenal allergies, pet food allergies | Leave a Comment
This is for all the dog lovers. The human who got the animals to stay put should get some credit.
ATLANTA, May 10 (UPI/OddNews) — U.S. cable new outlet CNN marked National Pet Week by saying, among other pet-related statistics, an estimated $55.5 billion will be spent on U.S. pets in 2013.
CNN said 82.5 million U.S. households had pets in 2012 and $55.53 billion is expected to be spent on pets by U.S. residents in 2013.
A 2011 survey suggested 63.2 percent of pet owners in 2011 considered their pets to be members of the family.
The network said 70 percent of respondents in a 2006 Gallup poll identified themselves as "dog people." Twenty percent said they prefer cats.
However, there were 70 million pet dogs in the United States in 2012, compared with 74.1 million pet cats the same year.
May 13, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Unusual Stories | cat people, Cats, dog people, dogs, dogs and cats, dogs vs. cats, pet ownership, pets are members of the family | Leave a Comment
- Recently the ASPCA opened the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, NJ, a first-of-its-kind facility dedicated exclusively to helping rehabilitate dogs that have been victims of animal cruelty.
- The center’s patients will come from shelters across the country as well as from ASPCA-involved seizures, and will primarily be victims of puppy mills and hoarding situations.
- Dogs with extreme fear disorders are in danger of being euthanized unless they can be rehabilitated – a job that typically falls to shelter workers and rescue groups. The ASPCA’s new center, which is launching a two-year research project, has committed to share its findings with shelters and rescue organizations across the U.S.
- The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center has over two dozen kennels, treatment rooms, “real life” rooms, and common areas. There are 10 staff members, including two behavior experts, plus volunteers and daily caretakers. The ASPCA invested over a half a million dollars in the center, and will pay for all patient expenses, including vet care.
- For many animals, being rescued from a lifetime of neglect and abuse is just the beginning of a long journey to recovery. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to provide rescued dogs with customized behavior therapy and more time to recover, which will increase their chances of being adopted
By Dr. Becker
Recently the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) opened the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ, as part of a two-year research project.
Per an ASPCA press release, the center is “the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty, such as those confiscated from puppy mills and hoarding cases.” According to center director Kristen Collins, the center will also treat a certain number of dogs that have been confined for long periods because they are “evidence” in court cases.
The Behavior Rehabilitation Center’s canine patients will come from shelters across the U.S. as well as from ASPCA-involved seizures from puppy mills and hoarders. According to Collins, the center is the first facility of its kind in that it will be focused exclusively on providing rehabilitation for dogs that are victims of animal cruelty.
The Center’s findings as part of the two-year research project will be shared with shelters and rescue organizations throughout the U.S.
Dogs with Extreme Fear Disorders Are Euthanasia Candidates
Dogs suffering from extreme fear are prone to symptoms such as shaking, cowering, loss of bladder control, growling and biting. In some cases, the fear is always present and causes the animal a great deal of pain. These cases are very hard to treat.
This level of fear is commonly seen in dogs that have survived life in puppy mills or hoarding situations. Once free, fear consumes them because their previous miserable, often abusive existence is all they’ve ever known. Typically these animals are turned over to shelters and rescue groups who try to work with the dogs to help them overcome their fears. The alternative for many of these dogs is, sadly, euthanasia.
Dogs cowering in the back of their shelter kennels certainly have no quality of life, and prospective owners seldom choose them. If they do get adopted, without treatment they are ill-prepared to blend into a family environment, and many new owners are disappointed or at a loss to know what to do to help their new four-legged family member.
One of the things the ASPCA’s research project will do is provide some statistics to work with. Presently, no one really knows how many dogs with fear disorders are placed in adoptive homes, or how they do once they go to their new families. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center staff will follow up on placed animals to document how well they are doing in their new environment.
Most Dogs Will Stay at the Center for Six to Eight Weeks
The ASPCA’s new center has over two dozen kennels, treatment rooms, “real life” rooms, common areas, and an office. There are 10 people on staff at the center, including two behavior experts from St. Hubert’s. There are also volunteers and caretakers who feed the dogs and clean their kennels.
Center behaviorists will provide customized behavior modification therapy to reduce fear and anxiety in abused dogs. From a recent press release:
Treatment plans will incorporate the use of scientifically sound techniques designed to reduce the dogs’ fear of people and other dogs, acquainting them to unfamiliar objects, sounds, living areas, and real-life situations that can induce trauma and severe stress among this population.
The ASPCA spent over half a million dollars on the center, and will foot the bill for all patient expenses, including veterinary care.
Most dogs will stay at the facility for six to eight weeks, with some requiring a more lengthy or shorter stay, depending on their individual situation. “Graduates” of the center will return to a shelter for placement, and ongoing therapy will be provided as needed.
"For some animals, the reality is that after a lifetime of neglect and abuse, the rescue is just the beginning of their journey to recovery," said Dr. Pamela Reid, vice president of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center’s goal is to provide rescued dogs individualized behavior therapy and more time to recover from past abuse. This will increase the likelihood of successful adoption.
Rescued Alaskan Malamutes Some of Center’s First Residents
Some of the first patients at the new center were a few Alaskan malamutes taken from a Montana breeder who was convicted in December 2012 of over 90 counts of animal cruelty. A total of 213 malamutes were rescued from starvation and filthy living conditions in that case. The dogs were transferred to other kennels and kept as evidence for 16 months during trial preparation.
Eighteen of the dogs were pregnant, one of which weighed just 48 pounds (the average weight of an Alaskan malamute is 75 pounds). She delivered a litter of eight puppies. Only one survived.
Once the dogs were no longer “evidence,” they were sent to a humane society in Helena where they were spayed and neutered. Another animal welfare group helped begin placing the dogs. Some of the malamutes have found new homes; some are living in rescues awaiting adoption.
One of the dogs was adopted by the president of the Alaska Malamute Assistance League in Anchorage. The dog, a 6 year-old female named Cinder, is missing the tip of one ear, has broken teeth and a broken toe – all caused by food fights among the starving dogs while they lived at the breeding facility in Montana. According to Cinder’s owner, many of the malamutes are missing their tongues for the same reason.
Cinder’s owner, Bob Sutherland, says she has come a long way:
"We took a shy dog, and she’s all grins and giggles now. If you work with these dogs, they rise and shine. That’s why this ASPCA facility is so valuable to us. We were super excited to get these dogs in there to go through a training regimen. It saves us a lot of heartbreak about what we do with these dogs.”
Hope for the Future of Mistreated Animals
Sadly, there will be dogs that cannot overcome their fear, no matter how extensive the rehabilitation. But the center’s behaviorists are committed to do everything possible to help dogs recover. Euthanasia will be a last resort for dogs with an extremely poor quality of life, or those who pose a significant threat to people or other animals.
The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center will only be able to handle about 400 animals during the two-year project, so it won’t take much burden off shelters in the immediate future. The hope is that researchers will develop new ways to treat fear, anxiety and shyness in dogs that have been abused, and those techniques can be shared on a broad scale with other facilities and groups doing similar work.
According to Collins, success with this project could expand future projects to include fighting dogs, and even cats.
May 10, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Adoption, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories | abused dogs, ASPCA, dogs with anxiety, Dr. Becker, fearful dogs, fighting dogs, Pet Behavioral Rehabilitation Centers, rehabbing dogs | Leave a Comment
Pet Food Stamps, a New York-based nonprofit that will give qualifying pet owners throughout the U.S. (who must be receiving government assistance for themselves) funds to buy food for their animals from the website PetFoodDirect. Applications can be filled out here on the –> Pet Food Stamps website
WSJ: If you believe the economy is improving, you’ve likely never met someone who still can’t afford a can of cat food.
Marc Okon, who has worked as a stockbroker, entrepreneur and business consultant, has a friend from his old neighborhood in Bayside, Queens, N.Y. He’s known her since age 10. Her parents died. She fell on hard times. And the economy hasn’t come back for her yet.
"She told me she sometimes fed her cat before herself," Mr. Okon said in a telephone interview.
In February, as headlines raged about a strengthening economy, Mr. Okon started a privately funded nonprofit called Pet Food Stamps. People who are already on government assistance can apply for free pet food.
The group has been swamped with more applications than his staff of a dozen people can readily process. Most applicants send letters detailing how they lost their jobs to outsourcing, their homes to foreclosure or their health to disease or accident.
"I just heard from a lady in North Carolina who has an autistic son whose only companion is a Jack Russell Terrier," he said. "It’s cookie-cutter sadness. … Little details change but the gist of each story is the same."
Despite nominal improvements in the unemployment rate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture counts more than 47 million people in its food stamp program—nearly one out of every seven Americans.
Food stamps cannot be used to purchase pet food. But they can be used to buy Coca-Cola.
Last week, the National Center for Public Research complained at Coca-Cola’s annual shareholder meeting in Atlanta that the beverage maker lobbies heavily to keep soda on the list of wholesome things that food stamps can buy.
Taxpayers subsidize about $4 billion worth of soda sales each year, the group groused, even as the sugary drink contributes to an obesity epidemic that drives up government health-care costs.
But you know what they say? Food stamps go better with Coke.
Mr. Okon, 36 years old, said he spent his 20s chasing money, first as a stockbroker, then as the founder of a company that sold pay phones as cellphones displaced them. He also did consulting work that took him into the bowels of many other companies.
He said he briefly worked for a firm that sold dubious medical benefits to seniors in the South. "Their whole corporate philosophy was to manipulate seniors who didn’t have any type of insurance," he said. "I could only do that for about a week and half."
He is a man so disgusted with the lack of ethics he witnessed in private enterprise that he founded a nonprofit to hand out dog food.
"I’ve been around enough shady businesses and surrounded by salesmen-types who were always talking about the deal," he said.
Self-dealing helped destroy the economy—so focused on the bottom line and so unfocused on consequences for everyone else. Dogs and cats don’t know what hit them.
"Millions of pets are surrendered to shelters each year and euthanized because their owners can’t afford to feed them," Mr. Okun said.
And to top it all off, the people in charge of fixing the economy are the same ones who helped destroy it.
"The people in power were put there by fat cats, who have money and control," Mr. Okun said. "I see it getting worse and worse, decade after decade. I don’t know what’s going to change."
See CBS News Video: Non-Profit Provides Food Stamps for Pets
(CBS News) SALEM, Ore. – Tough economic times in recent years have led to heartbreaking decisions for many pet owners. But now, there may be more help on the way.
Marissa Jenkins’ 6-year-old Dachshund, Olivia, is more than a dog.
Marissa Jenkins is thankful for an organization that helps feed her dog.
"She’s been part of our family, she’s definitely not a dog," Jenkins said. "She’s a kid to us."
Recently, the Salem, Ore., family welcomed a new addition – and a new challenge.
"My husband lost his job in February and we just had a baby in December, and so all the costs of having a baby and a dog and a family is adding up," she said.
Now on food stamps, they turned to a non-profit for help to feed their dog because food stamps cannot be used for pet food.
Launched in February, Pet Food Stamps has received over to 160,000 applications from needy families across the country. Marc Okon is the charity’s founder.
"Hundreds of thousands of pets a year are put to sleep, simply because the owners can’t feed them," Okon said.
Okon says dog and cat owners on public assistance are eligible. He’s partnered with a company called Pet Flow to provide free delivery.
" It was a relief for us that we were able to get some help for our dog and because we couldn’t provide for her, somebody else could," Jenkins said, wiping away tears.
While Marissa is grateful for the free pet food, there’s an even more valuable benefit.
"We wanted our child to be able to grow up with animals and our dog is really great with her," she said.
Once back on their feet, the Jenkins say they will donate to the program to help other families in need.
“One can understand a society by how it treats the weakest among them… the sick, the elderly, the children and the animals!”
**If you can donate or perhaps work with this program, Pet Food Stamps, to help all families in need feed their pets, please do so.
May 3, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | animals are family members, Cats, dogs, Food Assistance for Pets, for the love of a pet, Homeless With Pets, nonprofits, Pet Food Stamps, Pet Nutrition, Pets, Pets Are Family, WSJ | Leave a Comment
- Feline infectious peritonitis, or FIP, is a viral disease caused by certain strains of the feline coronavirus.
- Most cats who acquire a feline corona infection are able to overcome it, however, in 5 to 10 percent of infected cats, either a mutation of the virus or an abnormality in the immune system allows the infection to progress to FIP.
- FIP is seen in both domestic and wild cats, and most often in young cats living in multi-cat households or shelters. Any cat exposed to the feline coronavirus can develop FIP, however, kitties with compromised immune systems or FeLV, elderly cats, kittens, and purebreds are at increased risk.
- The most common route of infection is from mother to kittens. Symptoms depend on whether the FIP is the wet or dry form of the disease.
- Diagnosing FIP can be tricky because the symptoms are seen in many other types of diseases. In addition, there’s no diagnostic test for the condition. Once a diagnosis is made, however, the prognosis is poor. Cats with the wet form of FIP go downhill rapidly; kitties with the dry form may live a year or so past diagnosis.
- Prevention of FIP includes keeping your cat’s immune system strong and balanced. We absolutely do not recommend the FIP vaccine as a preventive measure, as it is ineffective and can cause significant immune system damage.
By Dr. Becker
Feline infectious peritonitis, or FIP, is a viral disease caused by certain strains of the feline coronavirus. Most strains, called feline enteric coronavirus, do not cause disease.
How FIP Develops
Most kitties with feline corona infection are asymptomatic during the initial stages. The immune system responds by producing antiviral antibodies to kill off the infection. But in about five to 10 percent of infected cats, it is believed either a mutation of the corona virus or an abnormality in the immune system response allows the infection to progress to FIP.
In FIP, the antibodies that should provide protection actually help infect white blood cells with the virus. These cells, in turn, spread the infection throughout the cat’s body. This results in a very powerful inflammatory response in tissues where the infected cells locate — frequently in the abdomen, kidneys, or brain.
It’s the interaction of the body’s immune system with the virus that results in disease. It behaves unlike any other viral disease we know of in either animals or people. Sadly, once FIP has involved one or more organs or body systems, the infection is quite progressed and almost always fatal.
Transmission of Feline Infectious Peritonitis
FIP is a disease of both domestic and wild cats. It’s most often seen in young cats living in multi-cat households, shelters, and catteries. Any cat exposed to the feline coronavirus can develop FIP. However, cats with compromised immune systems, those already infected with the feline leukemia virus, geriatric cats, and kittens are most likely to develop the disease. Males are more commonly infected than females, and purebred cats are at an increased risk, especially the Asian breeds.
FIP in symptomatic cats is not highly contagious, because by the time a kitty shows clinical signs of the infection, he is shedding only a small amount of the virus.
Fortunately, FIP is relatively rare in the general cat population. However, feline coronavirus is found in large quantities in the feces and saliva of cats during the acute stage of infection when there are no symptoms. It’s also found to a lesser extent in cats that have recovered, as well as carrier cats.
The coronavirus can be transmitted from one cat to another through physical contact and through exposure to feces. Usually, transmission occurs long before clinical signs are noted. The virus can also live in the environment for several weeks.
The most common route of infection, though, is when an infected mother passes the virus to her kittens. This usually occurs when the litter is between five and eight weeks of age.
The Two Forms of FIP and Their Symptoms
Kitties exposed to the feline coronavirus often have no clear symptoms, although there may be some sneezing, watery eyes, or nasal discharge. Sometimes a cat who has been infected will show mild intestinal signs like diarrhea.
Only a small percentage of cats exposed to the feline coronavirus go on to develop FIP. It can be weeks, months, or even years after exposure before symptoms appear.
Kitties that wind up with FIP often seem to their owners to develop symptoms very suddenly. This is probably due to the ability of cats to mask illness until they’re terribly sick. In addition, initial symptoms are often non-specific. They can include a lack of appetite, weight loss, fever, poor hair coat, and sometimes mild depression.
There are actually two forms of FIP, the effusive or wet form, and the non-effusive or dry form. Cats with the dry form tend to show signs of the illness more slowly. Those signs can include weight loss, depression, anemia, inflammation of the eye, and a stubborn fever that doesn’t respond to antibiotics.
Kitties with the wet form of the disease accumulate fluid in the abdomen and sometimes in the chest. Early on, symptoms may mimic those of the dry form of FIP. But effusive FIP progresses pretty quickly. The cat may suddenly develop a potbelly due to fluid accumulation in the abdomen. In addition, breathing can sometimes be labored due to a buildup of fluid in the chest.
Diagnosing feline infectious peritonitis can be difficult because many of the symptoms are common in many other diseases. In addition, there’s no simple diagnostic test for the condition.
Several tests can detect feline corona antibodies, but they can’t tell what strains are involved. A positive result on an ELISA, IFA, or a virus neutralization test simply means the cat has had exposure to the coronavirus, but not necessarily a strain of the virus that causes FIP.
There is an immunoperoxidase test that can find the presence of viral infected cells in the tissues. But it must be followed by a biopsy to evaluate the affected tissue.
Routine blood tests, including a complete blood count and serum biochemistry profile, can show elevated liver enzymes, anemia, and abnormal blood protein levels, which are typical of kitties with FIP.
Chest and abdominal X-rays may show an abnormal accumulation of fluid.
Blood samples from cats with very high blood protein levels can be submitted for serum protein electrophoresis testing. Cerebral spinal fluid samples can also be analyzed for protein content, which is typically elevated in FIP cats. But the only way to definitively diagnose FIP is by a surgical biopsy of an affected organ (often the intestines) or examination of tissues during an autopsy.
Veterinarians often rely on a presumptive diagnosis, which can be made with a high degree of confidence based on the cat’s history, symptoms, examination of fluids, and a high corona antibody titer.
Unfortunately, there is no cure at the present time for FIP. Once a kitty develops clinical signs of the disease, either the dry or wet form, the prognosis is very poor.
I have had some success in helping several kitties overcome this disease by supportive care and using homeopathic FIP nosodes, cytokine therapy, and IV vitamin C therapy, in addition to immune-modulating nutraceuticals.
I have also attempted to help many kitties that, unfortunately, end up succumbing to the disease. It’s a devastating situation for both the owner and the veterinarian.
The wet form typically progresses very rapidly. Many cats live only a month or two after diagnosis. Cats that have been diagnosed with the dry form may have another year or so with a good quality of life. Unfortunately, the dry form of FIP can progress to the wet form if the cat lives long enough.
Supportive care for FIP patients includes good nutritional and environmental maintenance, alleviating the inflammatory response of the disease, fluid therapy, draining fluid accumulation, and blood transfusions.
Preventing FIP in Your Own Cat
The best way to prevent FIP is to keep your cat’s immune system strong and balanced. This includes feeding a balanced species-appropriate diet; keeping vaccines and other drugs to an absolute minimum; providing a stress-free, enriched environment for your cat; regular wellness checkups with your veterinarian; either keeping your pet indoors at all times or providing a safe outdoor enclosure; and supervising walks with a harness and leash.
Of course, I always advocate rescuing cats rather than buying them, but if you do purchase a purebred cat, only do business with breeders who guarantee their kittens are FIP-free.
In a multi-cat household, it’s important to keep litter boxes clean and located in areas away from food and water bowls. Litter should also be scooped at least once daily, removing all feces, and dumped weekly or every two weeks, at which time the box should be completely and thoroughly disinfected with mild soap and water.
New cats to the household and certainly any cat that might be infected should be kept separate from other cats for a quarantine period.
There is an FIP vaccine available. However, I do not recommend it. It has little to no effectiveness in preventing FIP and is not recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel. This vaccine causes substantial immune system damage and, in my opinion, should absolutely not be used.
April 23, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Cats, Dr. Becker, feline infectious peritonities, feline vaccines, FIP, pet vaccines | 1 Comment
April 21, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal and Pet Photos, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, pet fun, Pets | pet humor | Leave a Comment
Video: Charles the Lion Dog…
By Dr. Becker
This story is too cute and funny not to share!
According to PilotOnline.com and the Virginian-Pilot, the first person that called 911 was rather calm as he stated, “I’d like to report a lion sighting.”
Not surprisingly, the dispatcher asked him to repeat himself!
And that man’s call was just one of three about baby lion sightings in Norfolk, Virginia one Tuesday morning in January.
A baby lion is running loose in the streets!
The first call came in around 10:20 a.m.
A man told the 911 dispatcher a lion was running down Granby Street. Then a woman grabbed the phone and said, “There was a lion that ran across the street. A baby lion. It was about the size of a Labrador Retriever. It’s running loose in the neighborhood.”
The woman also explained that the “baby lion” sighting was in close proximity to the city zoo.
“It had the ‘mange’ and everything!”
Five minutes after the first call, a second call came in of a sighting on Delaware Avenue near Llewellyn Avenue.
“I just saw an animal that looked like a small lion,” this caller, also a male, told dispatch. And it had “the mange and everything!” (Not only is a “baby lion” running loose in the streets, it also has a parasitic skin disease!) “I don’t know if it got away from the zoo, or what,” the man continued.
It’s going from one house to the next!
“I just saw a baby lion at Colley Avenue and 50th Street,” reports caller number three.
When the dispatcher asks for clarification about the type of animal, the man responds, “A lion. A baby lion, maybe. I don’t think it has caused any problem so far.”
“OK. You think it’s looking for food?” the dispatcher asked when the caller explained the “lion” was going from house to house. “I don’t know,” the man responded.
Identity of Baby Lion Revealed
In case you didn’t follow this little story in the news, the “baby lion” was soon identified as a Lab-Poodle mix (a “labradoodle”) named Charles the Monarch. Apparently Charles’ owner likes to have his dog groomed to resemble the mascot of Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
In any event, Charles the ‘doodle is now a minor celebrity. He was even featured on the “Today” show on NBC shortly after all the “baby lion” sightings!
April 17, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories | dogs, Dr. Becker, Labradoodle, lion dog, pet fun, Virginia | 1 Comment
Were it not for an eagle-eyed engineer, the world would be minus this very lucky dog. Earlier this month, an engineer driving a Union Pacific train through Mecca, Calif., saw a man stepping away from something he’d left behind: a 10-month-old doggy, tied to the tracks. The emergency braking system stopped the train, and Union Pacific Special Agent Sal Pina arrested the man, 78, who reportedly said his family did not want the dog. Pina said animal-cruelty charges wouldn’t be filed, as the man appeared to be confused or unaware of what he’d done. The rescued pup, who animal services worker named Banjo — slang for old railroad traffic signs — is happy, healthy and looking for a new home.
This ended up being a success story, but it could have been a horror story. Sadly the numbers of elderly suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as other people suffering from mental and emotional disorders are at an all time high, let alone the people who are innately cruel and animal abusers, plus the clueless who are just abandoning their animals because of monetary problems. Be vigilant and intercede, report abuse and keep an eye on friends and family members experiencing mental, emotional or financial challenges. Pets and children often become unintentional victims!!
Pets are fabulous companions for the elderly and those suffering from various illnesses and challenges and pet therapy has become very popular and useful treatment , but we must remember that those animals, who give their love and companionship selflessly, are God’s creatures as well and deserve love and compassion in return.
Cross-Posted at True Health Is True Wealth
April 10, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Help Familie Keep Their Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | Alzheimers, animal cruelty, CA, dementia | 1 Comment
- As we predicted in November of last year, dry dog foods containing corn and corn products harvested from last summer’s crop could present a significant risk of aflatoxin contamination.
- The summer of 2012 across the Midwest was very dry and very hot, creating an environment in which certain types of plant mold proliferate. These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins, which are mycotoxins known to cause acute lethal illness in both animals and humans.
- Voluntary recalls of dry dog food due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination have already begun across states in the Midwest. Unfortunately, because of the behavior of the molds involved, it has proved difficult to control, minimize or even accurately assess levels of contamination.
- If you feed dry dog food to your pet, we are repeating our recommendations to transition to another type of diet and/or carefully avoid any pet food containing corn or corn products
By Dr. Becker
In an article last November, I reported on the very real danger of future widespread aflatoxin contamination of commercial pet food, primarily dry dog food. Thanks to the very hot, dry summer of 2012, experts predicted U.S. corn crops would be heavily infested with two types of mold — Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.
These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins cause acute lethal illness and cancer in animals and humans, and are among the most carcinogenic substances on earth. Aflatoxins poison the liver, and their carcinogenic properties can lead to tumor formation.
Recalls of Aflatoxin-Contaminated Dog Food Have Begun
Reuters reports high levels of aflatoxins have been discovered in bags of dog food on store shelves in Iowa. And according to Michael Wright, the CEO of Pro-Pet, a pet food company in Ohio that recently learned some of its product was contaminated with aflatoxins, “Last year’s corn crop – it’s a huge issue. We test every load coming in. And we reject a lot of loads.”
During the last week of February, the Hy-Vee Inc. grocery chain was forced to recall five different products in its private dog food line due to high levels of aflatoxins in the corn used in the formulas. The dog food was produced at a Kansas City Pro-Pet plant and distributed across eight Midwestern states.
As I explained back in November, the behavior of the A. flavus and A. parasiticus molds makes it very difficult to control or minimize aflatoxin contamination, or to accurately assess the extent of the problem. There can be pockets of plants that are heavily contaminated, while the rest of the crop is relatively mold-free, so analyzing occasional random samples of corn plants can give misleading results.
The corn used in the recalled Hy-Vee formulas had been tested before it was added to the dog food, and the finished product was reportedly tested as well. But the contamination wasn’t discovered until a random bag was pulled from a store shelf in Iowa by an inspector for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
According to PetfoodIndustry.com, Hy-Vee officials say the recall is only a precautionary measure and no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products were distributed to Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin between October 26, 2012, and January 11, 2013. Specific details of recalled products can be found here.
If you happen to have a bag of recalled product, you should stop feeding it to your pet. You can also return the food, opened or unopened, to a Hy-Vee store for a full refund.
How to Avoid Aflatoxin-Contaminated Pet Food
Aflatoxin-related illness is seen much more often in dogs than cats because more commercial dog foods than cat foods contain corn products.
To be very safe, I recommend you transition your pet away from all dry food. Replace it with a high quality canned food, a commercially prepared raw diet, dehydrated raw, a balanced home cooked diet, or a combination.
If you want to continue to offer dry food to your dog, I recommend you study the ingredients carefully and avoid products containing corn in any form, including corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, corn flour, etc. Corn is not only highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, it is also allergenic and difficult for most pets to digest.
Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.
The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!
Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.
WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.
Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.
Keep your pets healthy and help extend their lives with:
April 8, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | aflatoxins, commercial pet food, dog food, Dr. Becker, Pet Food | 1 Comment
Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
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Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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- Attacks Your Bird’s Liver Like Alcohol – Is This What’s Making Her Flabby and Sick? May 19, 2013Story at-a-glance Baby is a female blue-fronted Amazon parrot who is 24 years young. When Dr. Becker met Baby, she had dull feathers, signs of over-grooming, large fat deposits on her breastbone, and several fatty masses called lipomas on both legs. Baby was overweight from a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a diet that […]justonemorepet
- Help Your Dog Overcome These 3 Common Allergies… May 17, 2013Story at-a-glance Three very common allergies in dogs include flea allergy dermatitis, food allergies and environmental allergies. Treating your dog’s symptoms is only a temporary fix. It’s extremely important to find the root cause of an allergic reaction. Tips to relieve the suffering of your allergic dog. By Dr. Becker If your dog seems to […]justonemorepet
- Texas teenager caught this record 14-foot-3-inch, 800 pound alligator May 17, 2013Technorati Tags: Texas,alligator,wild animals,animal photos,JOMP,Just One More Petjustonemorepet
- Who’s a good dog? May 15, 2013This is for all the dog lovers. The human who got the animals to stay put should get some credit. Have a great day! – h/t to Gary Patterson Technorati Tags: dogs,pets,dog photos,JOMP,Just One More Petjustonemorepet
- Pet Week: 82.5 million U.S. households have pets May 13, 2013ATLANTA, May 10 (UPI/OddNews) — U.S. cable new outlet CNN marked National Pet Week by saying, among other pet-related statistics, an estimated $55.5 billion will be spent on U.S. pets in 2013. CNN said 82.5 million U.S. households had pets in 2012 and $55.53 billion is expected to be spent on pets by U.S. residents […]justonemorepet
- Animal Moms – Happy Mother’s Day 2013 May 12, 2013h/t to Liana Smith Technorati Tags: animal moms,doggie moms,Happy Mother’s Day,for the love a pet,JOMP,Just One More Pet,love,We are all God’s creatures,holidays,animal photosjustonemorepet
- New Hope for Fear and Anxiety in Abused Dogs May 10, 2013Story at-a-glance Recently the ASPCA opened the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Madison, NJ, a first-of-its-kind facility dedicated exclusively to helping rehabilitate dogs that have been victims of animal cruelty. The center’s patients will come from shelters across the country as well as from ASPCA-involved seizures, and will primarily be victims of pu […]justonemorepet
- The Scary-Looking ‘Sea Monster’ That Washed Ashore in New Zealand Finally Identified May 8, 2013(YouTube) TheBlaze: The ghastly-looking carcass that recently washed ashore in New Zealand had people speculating that it was some sort of “sea monster” or prehistoric beast. However, as it turns out, it’s just a killer whale — sorry to disappoint you. Because of its state of significant decay, the whale resembled something scarier than a […]justonemorepet
- How Long Will Your Dog Be with You? It Depends Heavily on This… May 7, 2013Story at-a-glance When it comes to species of mammals, generally speaking, bigger animals live longer than smaller ones. But within species, this isn’t always true – for example, in the case of mice, horses, and especially dogs — the bigger the body, the shorter the lifespan. According to a new study, big dogs die younger […]justonemorepet
- Canine Logo Equals Rape! Hello? May 6, 2013The University of Connecticut has replaced their old logo … … with something a bit leaner. (Click on any picture to see the largest version.) HellInAHandBasket.net: Okay, so some university in the New England states is trying to rebrand. So what? It would seem that a female student claims that the new logo will “intimidate […]justonemorepet
- Attacks Your Bird’s Liver Like Alcohol – Is This What’s Making Her Flabby and Sick? May 19, 2013
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Jonathan Hughes on Animal Moms – Happy Moth… Jonathan Hughes on Sidestep This Feline Vaccine… artiewhitefox on Charles the Lion Dog… It’s a Wrap… on Ditch This Pet Food Now… It’s a Wrap… on Two Horses Die at Grand Nation…
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Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
~~ 2000+ Dog Books And All Things Dog ~~
Buy Now: A Must Have For Every Pet Owner
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!