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Natural Pancreatitis Remedies for Dogs

Natural remedies (such as herbs, vitamins, and other natural supplements), together with a low-fat diet and plenty of exercise, can be effective in preventing and speeding up the recovery of pancreatitis in dogs.

Dog on Grass Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas. It happens most commonly in middle-aged or older dogs. In particular, those whose diets are high in fat are more susceptible.

This page takes a closer look at the kind of diet that is appropriate for dogs with pancreatitis, as well as some natural dog pancreatitis remedies that can be used to support and strengthen the dog’s pancreas, liver and immune system.

Diet for Dogs with Pancreatitis

If your dog has pancreatitis, or is prone to develop this health problem, you should put him on a bland, low-fat diet. Fat and protein in foods stimulate the pancreas to release digestive enzymes. To avoid putting a heavy burden on your dog’s pancreas, minimize the intake of vegetable oils, butter, and all other fatty foods.

The pancreas also produces insulin. Diabetic dogs tend to be prone to pancreatitis, whereas pancreatitis can also cause diabetes. It is therefore advisable to pay attention to the amount of sugar intake as well. Avoid vegetables with high sugar levels (such as pumpkin, fresh corn, parsnips), fruits, honey and grains (except rice).

Food ingredients appropriate for pancreatitis in dogs include boiled chicken meat served with rice or potato, no-fat cottage cheese, turkey baby food, etc. Low glycemic vegetables such as grated cabbage and broccoli (uncooked) can be given in small portions.

Kibbles usually do not contain enough natural digestive enzymes and so your dog’s body will have to work extra hard to produce the enzymes for food digestion. If you cannot cook for your dog every day, look for a premium, well-balanced, natural dog diet to make sure that your dog is getting all the nutrients.

As well, feed your dog small portions (of both food and water) throughout the day to put less strain on the pancreas. Food should be given at room temperature for best digestive action.

Herbal Dog Pancreatitis Remedies

Herbs are best used to support the systemic organs related to pancreatic function at the onset of dog pancreatitis. In general, this will require tonic support of the liver and the digestive system.

  • Milk Thistle: One herb that supports and benefits the liver is milk thistle. It is effective in regenerating and restoring normal function to the liver that is damaged as a result of infection, drugs, etc.
  • Yarrow: Yarrow strengthens the pancreas and helps to reduce pancreatic inflammation. It also improves blood circulation to the organ.
  • Dandelion / Burdock: Dandelion or burdock root can increase bile and enzyme production in the liver; therefore they can aid digestion and reduce stress on the pancreas.
  • Echinacea / Astragalus: Immune-boosting herbs such as echinacea or astragalus can be given to a dog with pancreatitis to strengthen the body, especially if bacterial infection is the trigger of the pancreatitis attack.

Useful Supplements for Dogs with Pancreatitis

  • Digestive Enzymes: Many veterinarians suggest giving a dog with pancreatitis supplements of digestive enzymes to give the pancreas a break, making the dog pancreatitis flare-up easier to control.
  • Probiotics: A supplement of probiotics is also essential to ensure that the digestive system has a balanced gut flora. This is particularly important if your dog has been treated with antibiotics. The good bacteria in the probiotic supplement also aid digestion.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that can reduce the frequency and severity of dog pancreatitits flare-ups. The vitamins can also speed up recovery from the condition.

Related:

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Don’t Let This Organ Ruin Your Pet’s Life

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

Pets and Toxic Plants

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

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May 28, 2015 Posted by | Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nevada Law Would Make ‘Pot for Pets’ Legal

Medical marijuana is dispensed at the Takoma Wellness Center, Oct. 10, 2014, in Takoma Park, DC.

 PHOTO: Medical marijuana is dispensed at the Takoma Wellness Center, Oct. 10, 2014, in Takoma Park, DC.

Evelyn Hockstein/The Washington Post/Getty Images

ABC Health News  – Mar 18, 2015, 1:54 PM ET  -  By LIZ NEPORENT – Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet (JOMP)  and True Health Is True Wealth (THITW)

A new bill introduced in the Nevada state legislature earlier this week would allow owners to give their ailing pets medical marijuana. Many owners across the country said it’s about time, and that “pot for pets” should be legal everywhere.

Becky Flowers, a California ranch owner, said she gave her mare Phoenix regular doses of medical marijuana for several years to help ease the pain of a degenerative joint condition. The horse could barely walk due to extreme swelling in her front legs that traditional and herbal medications didn’t seem to help, Flowers said.

“She would lay there for days and she wouldn’t eat or drink,” Flowers told ABC News.

Flowers said she considered having the animal euthanized but decided as a last ditch effort to give her some of marijuana legally prescribed to her husband who is a paraplegic. In less than an hour, the horse was up and moving, Flowers said. 

PHOTO: Becky Flowers gave her horse Phoenix, right, medical marijuana to help ease the pain of a chronic joint condition.

PHOTO: Becky Flowers gave her horse Phoenix, right, medical marijuana to help ease the pain of a chronic joint condition.

Flowers began giving Phoenix about a tablespoon of medical marijuana in oil every day, she said, noting that the horse lived largely pain-free for two more years before dying in her late twenties. Since then, Flowers has given marijuana to some of her other horses and has recommended it to other horse owners as well.

Medical marijuana does show some promise for easing the pain and suffering in animals, but veterinarians and owners should proceed with caution, said Dr. Robert Silver, president of the veterinary botanical medical association.

“There needs to be a lot more research and education taking place before we introduce this to pets,” Silver said, who is a veterinarian in Colorado, a state where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal for people.

medical marijuana dogStudies show that dogs in particular react differently than humans to THC, one of marijuana’s active ingredients, Silver said. Because they have a high concentration of THC receptors in the back of their brains, they are susceptible to severe neurologic effects and toxic reactions, he added. States where medical or recreational use is legal have seen an increase in canine emergency room admissions associated with the drug, Silver said.

The American Veterinary Medical Association does not have an official stance on the use of medical marijuana with pets but suggests that vets make treatment decisions based on sound clinical judgment that stay in compliance with the law. They note that even in states where medical marijuana is legal, it is still a Class I narcotic under federal law which means vets are not legally allowed to prescribe it to their patients.

If passed, the Nevada law would allow animal owners to get marijuana for their pet if a veterinarian certifies the animal has an illness that might be helped by the drug. The proposal is in its earliest stages and faces numerous legislative hurdles before it could become law. It’s part of a larger bill that would refine the state’s existing medical marijuana law by clarifying penalties for drivers under the influence and allowing the resale of marijuana dispensaries.

**My question is how about Hemp CBD Oil, verses THC oils or marijuana. CBD Hemp Oil (HCHO) is obtained from select strains of CBD rich hemp grown legally worldwide. But always consult your veterinarian.

Interestingly, cannabis smoking is associated with a 45% reduced risk of bladder cancer in humans and a 47-62% reduced rate of head and neck cancer, regardless of whether or not they had been infected with HPV.  And using hemp oils increases the survival success rate of treatments like chemotherapy and radiation by 25%.  JOMP~

Veterinarian Administers Medical Marijuana To Dogs, Says It Works Wonders

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

Canada marijuana growers use wild bears to guard pot

Medical marijuana and the positive effects of hemp oil are a great breakthrough, help and blessing for many… humans and animals with a large variety of illnesses, including Cancer.  But widespread prolonged legal recreational marijuana use, perhaps not so much…

George Soros’ Latest Crusade: Legalizing Marijuana in the U.S.

THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA

March 19, 2015 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Never Punish Your Pet for This Accident!

Video: Urinary Incontinence in Dogs and Cats

Dr. Karen BeckerBy Dr. Karen Becker – HuffPo

Please note this article addresses involuntary passage of urine only, and isn’t intended to cover other urination-related problems like too-frequent urination or behavioral-related problems like submissive urination.

Involuntary Passage of Urine

Involuntary passage of urine normally occurs while your pet is asleep or resting. When she stands up, you notice urine leakage. It can be just a small wet spot or a good-sized puddle, depending on how much urine is being unintentionally passed.

It’s important to understand your pet isn’t intentionally leaking urine. She has no control over what’s happening. This is not a behavioral problem, it’s a medical problem — so trying to correct or punish your pet is a bad idea on multiple levels.

In fact, many pets become very distressed to realize they are passing urine in places other than a designated potty spot. A housebroken dog or any kitty accustomed to using a litter box will be confused and even ashamed to know they are leaving urine in inappropriate spots.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

There are a lot of causes for involuntary passage of urine, especially in dogs:

• Central nervous system trauma. If your pet’s brain or spinal cord isn’t signaling correctly to the bladder, this miscommunication can cause urine dribbling.
• Damage to the pudendal nerve. If the pudendal nerve, which works the neck of your pet’s bladder, is impinged, the bladder neck can remain slightly open, allowing urine leakage.
• Disease of the bladder, kidneys or adrenals, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism and diabetes can all cause dribbling of urine.
• Bladder stones. A dog with a bladder stone will often strain while trying to urinate. If you’ve noticed this behavior with your pet, you need to consider the possibility of bladder stones.
• Birth defects. Birth defects — structural abnormalities existing from birth — can cause incontinence. If your puppy has been difficult or impossible to housetrain, there could be a birth defect present. Some dog breeds have more of these types of from-birth plumbing problems than others.
• Urethral obstruction. Obstruction of the urethra can also cause involuntary passage of urine. A tumor can obstruct urine flow and cause dribbling. So can urethral stones.
• Age-related urinary incontinence. Older pets can develop weak pelvic floors or poor bladder tone which can result in urine dribbling. If your dog has signs of canine senility or dementia, he can also simply forget to signal you when he needs to potty outside. His bladder can overfill, and there can be leakage.
• Feline leukemia. For reasons not well understood, some kitties positive for feline leukemia have urine leakage. If your cat starts dribbling urine, it is more than likely a medical issue requiring veterinary care.

Hormone-Induced Urinary Incontinence

Hands down, the most common reason for involuntary urine leakage, especially in dogs, is hormone-induced urinary incontinence.

After a pet is spayed or neutered, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, which are necessary to help close the external urethral sphincter, are no longer available. This often results in urine dribbling.

Hormone-induced urinary incontinence is extremely common in spayed female dogs, and somewhat less common in neutered males. These are typically healthy, vibrant pets that just happen to dribble urine anywhere from multiple times a day to just once or twice a year.

Treatment for Urinary Incontinence

The cause of your pet’s urinary incontinence will dictate what treatment she receives.

If there’s an underlying disease process or structural abnormality causing the problem, and it can be corrected through medical management and/or surgery, that’s obviously the way to go.

If your pet is diagnosed with hormone-induced urinary incontinence, I strongly recommend you consider treating the problem naturally.

I successfully treat cases of hormone-induced urinary incontinence with glandular therapy, as well as natural, biologically appropriate (non-synthetic) hormone replacement therapy and a few excellent herbal remedies.

I also use acupuncture to improve function of the pudendal nerve and control or stimulate sufficient closure of the external urethral sphincter. Chiropractic care can also keep the CNS working properly, aiding in normal bladder and neurologic function.

I urge you to start with natural remedies, because some of the traditional drugs used to treat urinary incontinence are potentially toxic with side effects that can create more problems than they solve.

As always, I recommend you have a holistic vet on your pet’s treatment team.

Dogs with incontinence that can’t be completely resolved can be fitted with dog bloomers or panties with absorbent pads — you can even use human disposable diapers and cut a hole for the tail. Just remember that urine is caustic and should not remain on your pet’s skin for long periods, so if you use diapers, be sure to change them frequently or remove them during times when your pet isn’t apt to be incontinent.

For more by Dr. Karen Becker, click here.

For more on pet health, click here.

Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. You can visit her site at: MercolaHealthyPets.com.

Her goal is to help you create wellness in order to prevent illness in the lives of your pets. This proactive approach seeks to save you and your pet from unnecessary stress and suffering by identifying and removing health obstacles even before disease occurs. Unfortunately, most veterinarians in the United States are trained to be reactive. They wait for symptoms to occur, and often treat those symptoms without addressing the root cause.

By reading Dr. Becker’s information, you’ll learn how to make impactful, consistent lifestyle choices to improve your pet’s quality of life.

July 13, 2014 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hernias in Dogs

Definition of Hernias

HerniasA hernia is an abnormal protrusion of part of the body through the structures that surround it. They can exist at birth or be acquired as a result of trauma and often are genetic. In most cases, affected animals have a weak spot, an unusual opening or some other abnormality in a body wall that permits tissue to bulge through it. Fat and intestines are the most common tissues to herniate. A hernia in the groin is an inguinal hernia, and a hernia in the belly button is an umbilical hernia. These hernias are often seen in young puppies. Hernias near the anus are called perineal hernias and usually occur in older dogs. Another common site of hernias in dogs is the diaphragm, which is the muscular partition separating the chest and abdominal cavities. Diaphragmatic hernias involve protrusion of abdominal tissues through the diaphragm and are called hiatal hernias. Most dogs with hernias show no signs of discomfort.

Causes and Prevention of Hernias in Dogs

Hernias in dogs can be either congenital or acquired. Congenital hernias are those that are present at birth; they may or may not have a hereditary component. Congenital hernias involve the failure of some part of an internal or external body wall to close normally during neonatal development and typically involve defects in the diaphragm or other parts of the abdominal wall. Acquired hernias are those that develop sometime after the dog is born. Acquired hernias typically are caused by some sort of blunt traumatic injury, such as exposure to automobile accidents.

Congenital hernias can have a hereditary component – especially inguinal hernias, which are located in the groin area, because there is a well-described genetic predisposition for some dogs to have a delayed closure of a structure called the inguinal or abdominal ring that predisposes them to developing this type of hernia. Dogs with inguinal hernias typically have a noticeable protrusion or lump in the area around their groin, on the underside of their belly towards their rear end.

Naval (umbilical) hernias can be hereditary or can be caused by the umbilical cord being cut too closely to the abdominal wall shortly after a puppy is born. When they are congenital, umbilical hernias are caused by failure of the umbilical ring to close normally. This causes an abnormal bulging or protrusion of abdominal contents into the “belly button” area. Umbilical hernias of any cause are most commonly identified in puppies by about 2 weeks of age, although they are not particularly common in companion dogs.

Acquired hernias usually occur from trauma, such as by automobile accidents or other traumatic events. Kicks from horses, blunt blows and falls are among the common causes of acquired hernias in domestic dogs.

Symptoms of Hernias in Dogs and the Affect Dogs

Hernias can cause a number of different symptoms and clinical signs in an individual dog. However, most of the time, the dog does not seem to be very affected by the hernia and does not show any or many signs of distress or discomfort. In some cases, especially with diaphragmatic hernias, affected dogs will suffer respiratory difficulties and/or abdominal pain.Many dogs with hernias will show no observable signs of distress, discomfort or illness. This is

How Hernias Affect Dogs

Hernias can cause a number of different symptoms and clinical signs in an individual dog. However, most of the time, the dog does not seem to be very affected by the hernia and does not show any or many signs of distress or discomfort. In some cases, especially with diaphragmatic hernias, affected dogs will suffer respiratory difficulties and/or abdominal pain.

Symptoms of Hernias

HerniasMany dogs with hernias will show no observable signs of distress, discomfort or illness. This is called an “asymptomatic” condition. On the other hand, some dogs will develop severe clinical signs based on the amount of herniated tissue and the effect of the herniation upon the organ or tissue that is displaced or constricted. If a substantial portion of bowel, liver or spleen is entrapped or strangulated, the symptoms can be immediate and severe.

Owners of dogs with abdominal hernias (inguinal, hiatic, diaphragmatic, other) may notice one or more of the following clinical signs, which often are intermittent:

  • Protrusion of abdominal contents into the subcutaneous tissues, resulting in a bulging just below the skin
  • Lack of appetite (inappetance; anorexia)
  • Excessive salivation
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Regurgitation
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing (respiratory distress; elevated breathing rate; tachypnea)
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Dogs at Increased Risk

Female dogs tend to be more susceptible to inguinal hernias than are male dogs, although the reason for this predisposition is not well understood. Sometimes, a bitch will not show any signs of an inguinal hernia until she is bred or is quite old, in which case uterine tissue may become entrapped or incarcerated in the hernia defect in the abdominal wall. Umbilical hernias are most commonly seen in puppies by approximately 2 weeks of age, irrespective of whether they are congenital or acquired. In many cases, umbilical hernias get smaller and disappear by the time the puppy reaches about 6 months of age, without surgical intervention.

Weimeraners and Cocker Spaniels may be predisposed to congenital diaphragmatic hernias. Bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds (those with short flat faces and broad skulls) are predisposed to developing hiatal hernias due to chronic upper airway obstruction which leads to severe inspiratory breathing difficulty.

Preventing Hernias

There is no reliable way to actually prevent hernias from occurring in companion dogs. Most authorities suggest that dogs with congenital hernias – especially inguinal hernias – not be used as part of a responsible breeding program, because these hernias may have a hereditary component. Avoidance of blunt traumatic injuries, such as from cars, horses or other sources, will help to prevent acquired hernias.

Diagnosing Hernias in Dogs

Hernias

Most hernias are best definitively diagnosed by radiographs (X-rays), which will reveal the abnormal position of the tissue or organs that are protruding through the herniation defect. More specific radiographic contrast studies are often recommended to confirm the diagnosis. Contrast studies involve introducing special contrast media, such as barium, into the dog’s system either orally or by injection. As the contrast medium moves through the dog’s digestive tract, it will accentuate any hernia defects on the computer and/or radiographic film, as the highlighted contrast material will show up in areas of the dog’s body where it normally would not be present. Of course, a thorough physical examination, including auscultation of the chest (thorax) and abdomen, will also be done by the attending veterinarian to assess and identify the presence of any respiratory or abdominal disorders.

Any hard or painful visible bulge or swelling around the navel (belly button) or in the groin area of a young dog should be assessed by a veterinarian as quickly as possible. The tissue protrusion could be an incarcerated inguinal or umbilical hernia, which could become a strangulated hernia from lack of proper blood supply to the abnormally bulging tissue.

Special Notes

Most congenital hernias, and even most hernias acquired from trauma or abdominal/respiratory exertion, can be corrected surgically. Hernias are not especially difficult to diagnose, but they should be attended to as soon as they are identified to prevent discomfort and tissue damage to the affected animal.

Treatment and Prognosis for Hernias in Dogs

HerniasSurgical correction after consultation with a qualified veterinary professional is the standard of care for treating hernias in dogs. The earlier that a hernia can be repaired is usually the better. Prompt surgical correction can help to prevent the formation of tissue adhesions and entrapment of organs within the site of the herniation.If the protruding tissue of a hernia can be manually pushed back through the defect in the body wall (which usually but not always is in the abdominal wall), then the hernia may be considered to be reducible. This is most commonly possible with umbilical and inguinal hernias, but it is not often reliably accomplished. If the bulging tissue cannot be pushed back into its correct anatomical position, the hernia is considered to be incarcerated. When the tissue of an incarcerated hernia loses its blood supply, it becomes a strangulated hernia. Strangulated hernias can become true medical emergencies.

Inguinal hernias usually can be repaired surgically, especially if they are discovered early by an owner who notices an unusual bulge in the dog’s groin area. Many inguinal hernias in female dogs are only noticed when the bitch becomes pregnant. Inguinal hernias in male puppies should be watched closely; small defects may close on their own without medical intervention, which of course is the best possible outcome. If small inguinal hernias in male pups do not close spontaneously, they can easily be repaired surgically in almost all cases.

Surgical correction of hiatal (diaphragmatic) hernias is the best standard of care. Surgical correction is often accomplished at the same time as neutering or spaying. Medical treatment with oral antacid preparations and dietary management may help to control signs of hiatal hernias in mild cases, when little abdominal tissue or organs are protruding through the diaphragmatic defect.

Prognosis

The prognosis for dogs with hernias is initially guarded in most cases. Once an affected dog is stabilized and has successful surgical repair of the hernia defect, its prognosis becomes favorable.

Source: PetWave

December 6, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pets Most Likely to Suffer from Vaccine Adverse Reactions

Story at-a-glance

  • In the second half of a two-part interview, Dr. Becker talks with Dr. Ronald Schultz of the Rabies Challenge Fund about a variety of vaccine-related topics, including the mysterious rattlesnake vaccine, how it actually works, and for what snake in particular.
  • Dr. Becker and Dr. Schultz also discuss the Lyme disease vaccine, and under what circumstances it can prove beneficial, as well as the challenges of diagnosing leptospirosis and improvements in that vaccine in recent years.
  • Dr. Schultz also offers an excellent explanation of the various bordetella vaccines, what dogs really need them and how often, as well as what form of the vaccine he prefers. He and Dr. Becker also discuss the pros and cons of the canine influenza vaccine.
  • Dr. Becker and Dr. Schultz agree that veterinarians should discuss vaccines with pet owners before they vaccinate. And Dr. Schultz offers his view on which pets are most likely to develop an adverse reaction to vaccines.
  • Lastly, Dr. Becker and Dr. Schultz discuss the important work the Rabies Challenge Fund is doing to determine the duration of immunity conveyed by rabies vaccines. The goal is to extend the length of time between rabies vaccines to five years, then, if possible to seven years. The project is in year six of a seven-year study and depends on grassroots funding to conduct the necessary clinical trials. This week only, Mercola Healthy Pets will match every $1 donated by readers with a $2 donation, up to $30,000, to help the Rabies Challenge Fund complete its invaluable work toward reducing the number of vaccines our pets must receive during their lifetime.

Video: Dr. Becker Interviews Dr. Schultz About Vaccines (Part 2) 

Dog and Cat Vaccines are Not Harmless Preventive Medicine

By Dr. Becker

I’m back with Dr. Ron Schultz for the second half of our vaccine discussion.  Dr. Schultz heads up the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. He’s joining me today on behalf of an important project he’s been working on for several years – the Rabies Challenge Fund. The purpose of the fund is to determine the duration of immunity conveyed by rabies vaccines, with the goal of extending the required interval for rabies boosters to five and then to seven years.

If you missed the first part of our discussion on Wednesday, I encourage you to watch that video as well. Dr. Schultz talks about core and non-core vaccines, and the benefits of the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine and why he believes every kitten should receive it (I must politely disagree on this topic). We also discuss vaccines Dr. Schultz does not recommend, why the whole topic of titering is so confusing, and whether or not he believes cats should be titer tested.

Continuing our discussion of vaccines today, the first thing I asked Dr. Schultz to talk about – because I don’t know much about it myself and get many questions about it – is the rattlesnake vaccine.

How Does the Rattlesnake Vaccine Work, and Is It Effective?

Dr. Schultz explained that the rattlesnake vaccine is actually an aid to prevent death in the event an animal is bitten by a specific type of rattlesnake. He says it does have value in that it can keep an animal bitten by a Western diamondback rattlesnake alive. But he cautions that when the vaccine is used, it’s important for pet owners to know their dog must still be treated for snake bite for two reasons. One, the snake may not have been a Western diamondback rattlesnake, in which case the vaccine offers no protection. Two, the vaccine in most cases will not prevent the venom from causing disease. What the vaccine does is buy time to get the animal treated, and it seems to work well in that regard.

I asked Dr. Schultz if he has concerns about the adjuvant used in the rattlesnake vaccine causing a reaction. He replied that unfortunately, nobody knows very much about the vaccine and in his opinion, it hasn’t been adequately tested. Most of the tests were done with rabbits, mice and other species, but not dogs. It should be tested in dogs. There’s just not a lot of research on this particular vaccine.

Dr. Schultz’s View on Lyme Disease Vaccines

Next I asked Dr. Schultz to discuss his thoughts on Lyme disease vaccines. He explained that there are several of them. There are whole killed organism vaccines of Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. And there’s a recombinant vaccine that contains just the important outer surface protein A component.

Dr. Schultz’s recommendation regarding Lyme vaccines depends on where the animal lives. For example, in the Madison area of Wisconsin, there’s currently about a four percent infection rate. But if you travel just 70 miles to La Crosse, there’s about a 70 percent infection rate. And in parts of Long Island, New York, there is a 90 percent infection rate.

So depending on where you live or plan to visit, your dog may have a very high risk of being infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. In high risk cases, Dr. Schultz recommends not only a tick preventive, but also the vaccine. Most of the Lyme disease vaccines are around 60 to 75 percent effective at preventing the organism from causing disease.

I asked Dr. Schultz if he has concerns about reactions from Lyme disease vaccines, and he replied that yes, there are some potential concerns. The Lyme vaccines are bacterial vaccines, and bacterial vaccines always carry a greater risk of adverse reactions, especially reactions of an immediate nature. With both leptospirosis bacterin vaccines and Lyme bacterin vaccines, the nature of the bacteria can cause adverse reactions in some animals. According to Dr. Schultz, these vaccines have the ability to stimulate the IgE antibody in animals, which is responsible for immediate or type 1 hypersensitivity reactions. So bacterins are always more likely to cause an adverse reaction than a live viral vaccine, for example.

If he were to recommend a Lyme vaccine, Dr. Schultz likes the outer surface protein A product better than the whole killed product because the former takes some of the potentially reactogenic antigens out of the formula. But even with that, the vaccine can still cause adverse reactions in some animals.

What About Leptospirosis? Is It a Bigger Threat Today Than in Years Past?

Leptospirosis (and its vaccines) is another confusing subject. There are veterinarians in the Chicago area who are promoting lepto as some kind of new, trendy infectious disease. But lepto has been around forever. Dr. Schultz agrees – there’s nothing new about leptospirosis. And he believes it’s probably no more common today than it was 40 or 50 years ago, despite the hype, which is driven in part by the really poor diagnostics used to detect the disease.

Fortunately, according to Dr. Schultz, there are better detection techniques on the horizon. The current gold standard, he says, “… is about as poor a test as you’ll ever find.” It gives false readings – false positives. Dr. Schultz says he’s seen a high number of supposed lepto cases that are NOT lepto cases thanks to poor diagnostics. Poor diagnostics have added to the general confusion surrounding lepto, and are partly why veterinarians are recommending mass vaccination against the disease.

Dr. Schultz restated that in his view, lepto is no more prevalent today than it was 40 years ago. However, the vaccine has improved tremendously in recent years, because it now contains the 4 serovars that cause lepto in the U.S. In the past, all lepto vaccines contained only 2 serovars. With the old 2-serovar vaccines, Dr. Schultz says there were as many vaccinated dogs with lepto as there were non-vaccinated dogs.

He believes today, the lepto vaccine is probably 60 to 80 percent effective in preventing disease. I asked him if the animal can still transmit or shed the bacteria. He replied there is that potential, but even the shedding is reduced with the 4-serovar vaccine.

Of course, despite the improved effectiveness of the lepto vaccine, there are still concerns about adverse reactions with the first dose, or subsequent revaccinations. Dr. Schultz explains this is another of the bacterins that is more likely to cause an adverse reaction simply as a result of the nature of the organism.

Adverse Reactions to Vaccines Can be Immediate, or They Can Develop Weeks, Months or Even Years Post-Vaccination

So we’ve established that the majority of adverse events occur with bacterin-type vaccines. These vaccines can cause all types of hypersensitivity reactions in some animals. Type 1 adverse reactions typically occur immediately after vaccination and are obviously directly linked to the vaccine.

But as Dr. Schultz goes on to explain, when we have a reaction like the development of autoimmune hemolytic anemia or another autoimmune disease in a genetically predisposed animal, it usually occurs weeks, months or even years after vaccination. Often the offending vaccine in those cases is a live viral vaccine, and it isn’t blamed for causing the disease because there’s a span of time between vaccination and development of the autoimmune disorder.

Many veterinarians will say, in response to the suggestion that a vaccine caused an autoimmune disorder, something like, “What do you mean? There’s no correlation. It was last year when the dog received that vaccine.” And even worse, both Dr. Schultz and I have seen veterinarians tell pet owners their animal’s illness couldn’t be a vaccine reaction even when the two events happen within days of each other.

Dr. Schultz’s Bordetella Vaccine Recommendation

Next I asked Dr. Schultz to talk to us about bordetella vaccines. He explained that the vaccine is available now in a variety of forms. There’s an oral vaccine, which is a live, attenuated bordetella organism. There’s the intranasal form, which is also the live organism. And there’s the injectable form, which is a killed product. Dr. Schultz says he has been able to clearly demonstrate that the live product is the most effective, whether oral or intranasal.

But one of the problems with bordetella is that it is always accompanied by other agents in causing canine infectious respiratory disease complex, otherwise known as kennel cough. There are many infectious agents involved, but the most important one from a bacterial standpoint is bordetella. From a viral standpoint, an impressive number of infectious agents can play a role.

I personally can’t see a reason to use injectable bordetella when there are other safer, non-adjuvanted and attenuated vaccines available. Dr. Schultz points out that one of the reasons the injectable is popular is that it can be used with dogs that won’t cooperate with intranasal or oral administration of the vaccine. He does a lot of work with shelters, and there are many difficult dogs in that population that must receive the vaccine by injection. Some dogs can be muzzled and given the oral vaccine, but often it’s too dangerous for shelter staff to even try to muzzle certain dogs.

In my opinion, the bordetella vaccine should only be given when a dog must be boarded. If you don’t board your dog, or if you don’t plan to have your dog in contact with other dogs (such as at shows and training classes), then my recommendation is to opt out.

However, some kennels require dogs to receive a twice-yearly schedule of bordetella revaccinations. Dr. Schultz believes if you’re taking your pet to a boarding facility that requires bordetella vaccines every six months, you should change to another facility, because the one you’re using has a ventilation or hygiene problem and not an infectious disease problem. “Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you need to get bordetella vaccine every six months. If they do, don’t go there anymore,” says Dr. Schultz.

The Canine Influenza Vaccine – Is It Really Necessary?

I also asked Dr. Schultz about the canine influenza vaccine, which is another vaccine commonly required at boarding facilities and similar businesses. He answered that he’s not sure the vaccine should be required, because canine influenza isn’t a casually transmitted virus. It’s not something the average well cared-for dog will pick up at the local dog park.

Dr. Schultz does caution, however, that if the canine influenza vaccine is to be given, it can’t be administered at the last minute. Dogs that have never received the vaccine need at least three weeks to develop immunity after being vaccinated. And two doses must be given, with a minimum of two weeks separating them. If a dog is receiving annual boosters of the vaccine, it won’t take three weeks for immunity to develop after revaccination.
Dr. Schultz explains that bordetella (as well as other bacterial diseases such as streptococcal infections) and canine influenza together can create severe disease.

Dr. Schultz mentioned that many kennels do require the canine influenza vaccine, so I asked him if that is out of concern about spreading disease, or concern about covering their bases from a liability standpoint. Dr. Schultz thinks much of it comes from a concern that if there were to be an outbreak of canine influenza, the facilities would be found at fault because they didn’t require the vaccine. Fortunately, to date there have only been a few outbreaks of canine influenza in shelters and kennels.

I agree. I feel a lot of those requirements are simply a way to bounce liability away from the business owner. And it’s up to pet owners to determine the true motivation behind the requirement if they choose to board or have their dog groomed at a facility that demands certain vaccines. And as Dr. Schultz points out, if any of the vaccines required by these businesses cause an adverse reaction in a pet, the costs (both financial and emotional) associated with the adverse event are the owner’s responsibility even though the vaccines were required by a third party.

Are Pet Owners Informed About the Potential for Adverse Vaccine Reactions?

As it stands right now, veterinarians must obtain informed consent from a pet owner when we elect not to vaccinate an animal. I asked Dr. Schultz if he believes we should also obtain informed consent TO vaccinate an animal. He replied that he definitely agrees we should. In my opinion, many in the traditional veterinary community are casual vaccinators. They aren’t informing their clients of all the potential ramifications of administering vaccines.

Dr. Schultz agrees that pet owners need to be aware, even though the number of adverse reactions is relatively small. And something he wants to re-emphasize – something that people don’t realize or think about – is that adverse reactions are genetically controlled. When Dr. Schultz talks to breeders, he tells them that if they see adverse vaccine reactions in puppies from a specific combination of mother and father dogs, they should not mate those two dogs again, because the incidence of adverse reactions will increase with each litter and potentially with litters of those litters, and so on. By continuing to mate those two dogs to each other, they will perpetuate the genetic predisposition to adverse vaccine reactions.

Dr. Schultz says, as an example, we might see allergic neuritis or paralysis develop in about 1 in 10,000 vaccinates, yet in a litter of five puppies, three of the five may develop the condition. One of them dies, and two are paralyzed. So the incidence of adverse reactions is not rare in that litter of five, because genetics plays a key role in causing the vaccine adverse reaction.

What Pets Are Most Likely to Have an Adverse Reaction to Vaccines?

There are genetic predispositions among breeds of dogs. As a Boston Terrier owner, I have concerns not just about immediate adverse reactions, but about mast cell tumors, for example. No one is studying the correlation, but I personally believe there’s a strong correlation between vaccinations and mast cell tumors.

Dr. Schultz agrees and thinks that in dogs, we should look at mast cell tumors, histiocytomas and other similar responses at vaccine injection sites. We are aware of feline injection-site sarcomas, but really, any vaccine in a dog or cat that stimulates a proliferative response in cells should be looked at. Particular individuals with a genetic predisposition turn those cells neoplastic, and the animal doesn’t have the suppressor factors necessary to control the disease (tumor) at the cellular level. It’s going to turn into a tumor.

Recognition among veterinarians has been slow in coming, but it’s coming. As Dr. Schultz points out, until fairly recently the veterinary community never considered that a vaccine could cause a lethal tumor in a young, healthy animal. He says it was a great awakening in the mid-1980s for the veterinary profession to realize the potential for adverse events following vaccination, specifically at the time, injection-site sarcomas in cats. But Dr. Schultz believes it’s important to keep in mind that these events are rare, and many veterinarians have never seen one. Other practices see six or eight a year. The frequency isn’t based on the number of cats coming into a particular practice. Which brings us back to the matter of genetic predisposition to adverse events from vaccines.

Other factors that can play a role include an animal’s nutritional status, environmental status, the type of vaccine, the stress the animal feels – all those things and more play into an animal’s immunologic response.

In terms of genetics, one example Dr. Schultz points out is the small breed dog. He says it’s not every small breed, but there are small breeds out there that are genetically predisposed to react to many vaccines. Dr. Schultz says this is a critically important point when it comes to making decisions about giving vaccinations.

If you have a small breed dog that has proven to be hypersensitive to vaccines – or is related to other hypersensitive dogs — and that dog spends most of his time in the house on someone’s lap, what are the chances he’ll be exposed to leptospirosis? The chances are slim to none, so why would you even think about injecting that dog with a lepto vaccine? Dr. Schultz says vaccine manufacturers don’t want those animals vaccinated due to the risk of adverse reactions.

In terms of recognizing the potential dangers of certain vaccines for certain pets, breed-specific organizations seem to, and of course individual pet owners who’ve lived through horrific experiences do as well. But there are still a large number of veterinarians who seem unwilling to put the puzzle pieces together to protect potentially vulnerable patients.

Dr. Schultz replied that he’s still shocked by the number of practices that are still giving core vaccines annually. As he puts it, “If ever we could get away from this addiction to vaccination just for the sake of vaccination …”.

Dr. Schultz and the Rabies Challenge Fund

The last topic I want to discuss with Dr. Schultz today is one that is close to my heart, the Rabies Challenge Fund. I asked Dr. Schultz to describe the project and its purpose for people who aren’t familiar with it.

He responded that what he and his colleagues Dr. Jean Dodds and Kris Christine have been doing for over five years now is trying to answer the question, can be we get protection from rabies vaccines, and how long can that protection last? Right now there are rabies vaccines that carry either a 1-year or 3-year license. Many of those vaccines are actually the same product – they were just licensed differently. Dr. Schultz is looking beyond the 3-year license by conducting very difficult, very expensive studies to determine how long immunity from a rabies vaccine truly lasts.

This is the way a rabies vaccine is licensed: The USDA requires that a vaccinated group of animals be challenged with the rabies virus at three or five or seven years after the vaccine is given. There must also be a control group of dogs that are unvaccinated. When challenged, a certain percentage of that group must develop rabies to insure the challenge is viable. Of the vaccinated group, 88 percent or more must be protected in order for the USDA to license the vaccine for the number of years protection is provided.

At this time, the Rabies Challenge Fund is at five years with one of the vaccines they are testing, and at three years with the other. They are currently trying to determine whether or not the vaccines will be effective at five years. If those tests show that there should still be protection at five years post-vaccination, the next step will be to do the challenge itself.

Dr. Schultz has two years left on one of the vaccine products and four years left on the other product to determine length of immunity. The work he and his colleagues are doing with the rabies challenge is funded by dog owners. Dr. Schultz says no one is really interested in the work other than caring dog owners, which also includes a number of breed-specific clubs and organizations – basically people who want to give their dogs as few vaccines as necessary – law-abiding citizens who want their pets protected from disease, but don’t want to risk their pet’s health with unnecessary vaccinations.

How You Can Help

The Rabies Challenge Fund study is the first of its kind, and it takes a lot of money to do the work. It’s seven years of research, data collection, and publishing the results. That’s why Mercola Healthy Pets is partnering with the Rabies Challenge Fund to help raise the remainder of the money needed to not only complete the study, but to insure the research is published in a manner that will benefit the most pets.

And of course research is still ongoing. They are in year six, and have year seven still to go. The project depends on grassroots gifts for funding the costs of conducting the requisite vaccine trials. Contributions to date have come mostly from kennel clubs and private individuals. None of the money collected by the Rabies Challenge Fund goes to Dr. Schultz, Dr. Dodds, Kris Christine, or others working on their behalf. Salaries and other overhead costs are not involved, with the exception of expenses for care and testing of the study animals.

I want to extend my thanks to Dr. Schultz for talking with us today and for his work with the Rabies Challenge Fund. Extending the length of time between rabies and other vaccinations, thereby reducing the total number of vaccines animals receive during their lifetime, will be a huge benefit to the health and well being of pets.

Mercola Healthy Pets is proud to partner with the Rabies Challenge Fund to raise money to help improve the lives of animals. This week, for every $1 donated to the Rabies Challenge Fund by a Mercola Healthy Pets reader, we will donate $2, up to $30,000. I hope you’ll join us in helping RabiesChallengeFund.org fund the remaining research needed to complete their seven-year study.

Related:

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

New Parasite Prevalence Maps Help Pet Owners Prepare

The dangers of vaccines are surfacing for children, people in general, and now pets: New Organization VaxTruth Fights Vaccine Damages

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spinal Cord Stroke: Would You Know What to Do?

Story at-a-glance

  • Chuck is an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd mix who wound up in his local veterinarian’s office one day when he suddenly couldn’t stand or walk.
  • Chuck’s vet suspected he’d suffered a fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE), also known as a spinal cord stroke, which is caused by an obstruction in a blood vessel in the spinal cord.
  • A neurologist agreed with Chuck’s veterinarian, and together they developed a treatment plan than included rehabilitation therapy. Chuck began doing range-of-motion exercises at home, received laser therapy at his local vet’s office, and came to Therapaw, Dr. Becker’s rehab clinic, for hydrotherapy sessions on an underwater treadmill.
  • After his very first hydrotherapy session with Teri Baughman, a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant, Chuck’s improvement was so dramatic that he was able to walk into the clinic the following week for his second session on the underwater treadmill! And we are delighted to report that Chuck has continued to make good progress week-by-week.
  • Chuck’s story is a wonderful example of the importance of an early intervention and therapy plan, collaboration among the various members of a pet’s health care team, and an owner’s desire to see her dog regain good quality of life.

Chuck

By Teri Baughman, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant At Dr. Becker

The handsome fellow enjoying a cup of doggy yogurt in the picture to my right is Chuck, an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd mix.

Chuck’s owner brought him to his local veterinarian in June because the dog was suddenly unable to stand or walk, but didn’t seem to be in any pain. Chuck’s vet performed a neurologic exam and diagnosed him with a probable fibrocartilaginous embolism, or FCE.

Chuck Suffered a ‘Spinal Cord Stroke’

An FCE is a blockage in a blood vessel in the spinal cord. It’s often referred to as a spinal cord stroke.

The vertebral column is made up of small bones called vertebrae that are joined together by intervertebral discs. The discs function as cushions between the vertebrae and allow the spine to flex. They are round in shape, fibrous on the outside, and contain a gel-like substance on the inside called the nucleus pulposus.

One of the jobs of the vertebral column is to protect the spinal cord inside it. The spinal cord is similar to a long cable of nerves that sends messages to and from the brain and regulates the body’s reflexes. The spinal cord is fed by a system of blood vessels.

A fibrocartilaginous embolism occurs when a fragment of the nucleus pulposus inside an intervertebral disc escapes into the blood vessel of the spinal cord and causes an obstruction. This affected area of the spinal cord then dies.

Unfortunately, neurologic loss that occurs within the first 24 hours is usually permanent. The good news is the condition isn’t progressive. Any pain usually resolves within 12 to 24 hours. And with immediate treatment, primarily involving very intensive physical therapy, most dogs experience significant recovery.

Signs of a fibrocartilaginous embolism usually appear suddenly and follow a period of exercise or what otherwise seems like a mild injury or trauma. In Chuck’s case, his FCE appeared entirely out of the blue, with no precipitating event.

Chuck’s Treatment Plan

Chuck’s local vet consulted with a neurologist. Unfortunately, without an expensive MRI, a confirming diagnosis couldn’t be made. But based on the classic symptoms he was experiencing, it was agreed an FCE was the most likely cause of Chuck’s paralysis.

Chuck’s vet and the neurologist put together a treatment plan that included an oral steroid to reduce inflammation in the central nervous system, an antibiotic to address a possible acute infection affecting Chuck’s central nervous system, and physical rehabilitation.

Chuck began his rehab program with range-of-motion exercises he did at home, and laser therapy at his local veterinary clinic. Then he came to Therapaw, Dr. Becker’s rehab clinic, to have hydrotherapy sessions with me.

During his first session, I noted that Chuck’s most significant neurologic deficits were in his left front foot. He wasn’t able to flip his foot into a normal position from a knuckled position. I also fitted Chuck with one of my favorite assistance harnesses, the Help Em Up harness, at his first visit.


Chuck in the hydrotherapy tank

Chuck Makes Amazing Progress Right Away

Astonishingly, Chuck’s first session of hydrotherapy made such a dramatic difference in his mobility that he was able to walk into Therapaw for his second session! He was also able to flip his knuckled front left foot to a normal position during his second underwater treadmill session, although he couldn’t yet do it outside the water tank.

Chuck completed a total of eight underwater treadmill therapy sessions and has continued to make impressive progress in his strength, reflexes and endurance with each visit. Chuck is about 80 percent recovered from the effects of the fibrocartilaginous embolism and continues to improve each week.

Chuck’s story demonstrates the tremendous benefit of an early intervention and therapy plan, a collective veterinary effort, and an owner’s desire to do everything possible to improve her dog’s quality of life.

Not only is Chuck still with his family, he’s improving physically and feeling better week-by-week. He’s enjoying each moment of every day… something we’re all thankful for!

November 1, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t Let This Organ Ruin Your Pet’s Life

Video: How to Avoid Pet Pancreatitis

Would you recognize the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis in your cat or dog? Dr. Karen Becker explains why this serious health problem is on the rise, and how to address it using natural methods.

Dr. Becker’s Comments:

Pancreatitis is inflammation of your pet’s pancreas that can disrupt its normal functions. This is often a serious issue, as the pancreas has two vital functions: it secretes insulin, which balances blood sugar, and it secretes digestive enzymes — amylase, lipase and proteases.

Fever, lethargy, dehydration, abdominal pain, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhea in both dogs and cats can all have roots in pancreatitis.

What’s even more interesting about pancreatitis is that inflammation of the pancreas can be very, very mild or it can be extremely life-threatening and even fatal in some cases.

Inflammation of the pancreas is becoming more recognized as a problem in veterinary medicine and in fact brand new research states that up to 40 percent of cats that were autopsied had lesions of pancreatitis. Those cats didn’t die of a pancreatic problem, so we’re recognizing that the pancreas is not only a vital organ but one that may be increasingly prone to injury and damage secondary to other disease processes.

I think the increase in diagnosed cases is partly because vets are beginning to check for it more often, but there seem to be other factors contributing as well.

Why Pancreatitis Occurs

As a holistic veterinarian, I don’t think it’s a fluke or happenstance that the pancreas has become more and more attacked as an organ. We know that the high carbohydrate-based diets that most dogs and cats eat are extremely taxing to pets’ insulin levels, which are, in turn, taxing to the pancreas.

In addition, the foods that we feed our dogs and cats are entirely processed and devoid of natural enzymes, which help supplement your pet’s diet and reduce pancreatic stress. So, the pancreas really may live in a state of chronic inflammation and stress because the average American pet diet is dead (processed at high temperatures to create an extensive shelf life) and is therefore devoid of any naturally occurring amylase, lipase and protease enzymes that would naturally be found in raw foods. The canned or kibble (dry food) diet that you feed your pet causes the pancreas to have to secrete an abundance of digestive enzymes. If the pancreas fails to perform adequately, pancreatitis results.

There are also some drugs that are well known to incite episodes of pancreatitis. For instance, anti-seizure drugs such as Potassium Bromide or Phenobarbital are well known to predispose pets to pancreatitis.

Prednisone and other catabolic steroids are also well known to cause pancreatitis. Even the diuretic Lasix (Furosemide®), has been implicated in pancreatitis attacks in dogs and cats.

However, diet also plays into recurrent pancreatitis episodes. Many cats and dogs eat a diet that is much too high in fat and we know that fat is also an inciting cause of low-grade, recurrent pancreatitis.

Certain breeds, such as Miniature Schnauzers may also have a genetic predisposition to having recurrent pancreatitis, and German Shepherds can be born with pancreatic insufficiency causing enzyme deficiency symptoms from birth.

Pancreatitis Often Recurs

If you’ve been through the nightmare of pancreatitis, you know all too well that number one, it is very scary, and number two, many animals require hospitalization and very intense medical therapy to pull them through the crisis.

What you may not know is that pancreatitis often recurs. You can easily spend thousands of dollars getting your pet stabilized with each occurrence of pancreatitis, and I wish I could tell you that just putting your pet on a low-residue, low-fat diet will eliminate their future risk. Unfortunately, the fact is that many pets end up with recurrent pancreatitis.

Diagnosis of Pancreatitis

Veterinarians diagnose pancreatitis through a blood test called the PLI (Pancreatic Lipase Immunoreactivity) Test. Your veterinarian may suggest that you run a PLI test if he or she suspects your pet may be dealing with pancreatitis.

There are also two pancreatic enzymes, lipase and amylase, that can be elevated on traditional blood work when animals have pancreatitis, but most veterinarians rely on the PLI test for an accurate and quick diagnostic test to determine if your pet has pancreatic inflammation.

What to do if Your Pet Has Pancreatitis

If your pet has failed the PLI, which means the PLI levels are elevated beyond what they should be for your dog or cat, you should seek medical attention — especially if your pet is vomiting, lethargic, dealing with anorexia or has a fever.

After the crisis has passed, the very best “insurance” that you can buy to lower your pet’s chances of having a repeat episode is to supply them with a rich source of digestive enzymes.

We know that dogs’ and cats’ pancreases cannot secrete enough digestive enzymes to adequately process their foods. Dogs and cats were meant to acquire supplemental enzymes from the foods they consumed: living foods that contained abundant enzymes.

Historically dogs and cats consumed parts of their preys’ GI tracts which provided adequate enzymes for them to process their food. Carnivores also consumed their preys’ glands, including pancreatic tissue, which was a rich source of naturally occurring enzymes.

Although we advocate feeding a balanced, raw food diet, we don’t recommend feeding stomach contents of prey species, as this is how parasites can be transmitted to your pets. This means even pets consuming a species appropriate, raw food diet can be enzyme deficient.

By you supplying a source of digestive enzymes in their diet, either by feeding pancreatic tissue (which is unappealing to most pet owners) or a supplement, , you can help reduce the stress and strain the pancreas is under to continually come up with enough enzymes to process t food.

Mercola Healthy Pets is coming out with an excellent pet enzyme that I highly recommend. If you have pets that are dealing with pancreatitis, have dealt with pancreatitis, or if you want to reduce the likelihood of your pet exhibiting symptoms of pancreatitis, adding digestive enzymes to their food at mealtime is a perfect way to help avoid future complications and reduce pancreatic stress.

Related:

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

No-No Foods for Pets

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

October 2, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

Dogs love human food, and most humans have a hard time resisting the pleading face of a dog who wants a bite of what they’re eating. On the other hand, some human foods are not only unhealthy for dogs, but a few can actually kill them. One food some people reward their dog with is nuts, especially almonds. Can dogs eat almonds safely?

By Marion Algier  -  Just One More Pet

Can Dogs Eat Almonds?

The humane society and others publish a list of “no-no” foods or unsafe foods for dogs to eat, and the only two nuts on the list are walnuts and macadamia nuts. Feeding a dog as few as four macadamia nuts, depending upon the dog’s size, can cause neurological symptoms such as muscle weakness, tremors and even paralysis. Walnuts can cause stomach upset in dogs and moldy ones that contain mycotoxins cause tremors in dogs. These two nuts are a definite "no-no" for all dogs.

Does this mean dog scan eat almonds since they’re not on the list? Even though almonds aren’t toxic to dogs, there are some good reasons to avoid giving your dog this nutty treat, or at least give it sparingly. Nuts of all types, including almonds, are on the list of foods that cause stomach upset in dogs.

So, if you do occasionally almonds or other nuts, or something with nuts in it, with your best friend, do so sparingly and watch for any negative reactions.  If you notice a negative change in their behavior, their stool or that they are in pain, cease to share nuts in general and definitely that type of nut with them.

Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis can be fatal to your canine best friend, so it’s best to stay from nuts and fatty human foods. Giving your dog food high in fats may earn you a few tail wags, but it could have bad long-term health consequences.

Another reason not to give your dog almonds or other nuts is they can get caught in their throat or intestines, causing an intestinal obstruction that could require surgery. Who wants to put a dog through that?

Can Dogs Eat Almonds: The Bottom Line?

Almonds aren’t directly toxic to dogs like walnuts and macadamia nuts are, but they do increase the risk of pancreatitis and intestinal obstruction. Almonds are a heart-healthy snack for humans, but if your dog loves them too, buy some organic peanut butter flavored dog cookies to satisfy your dogs need for a treat. It’s a safer option.

Related: 

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis 

Pancreatitis in Dogs

No-No Foods for Pets

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

July 15, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dr. Becker: Detoxification For Your Pets (Full Video)

 

Video:  Dr. Becker: Detoxification For Your Pets (Full Video)

June 27, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , | 1 Comment

Soothe Your Pet’s Arthritis With This Proven Marine Substance

Story at-a-glance
  • According to recent studies of cats and dogs with osteoarthritis (OA), both species can benefit from a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish.
  • The University of Montreal conducted a study of 30 dogs with OA and concluded a diet supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids resulted in significant improvement in movement problems and performance of daily activities.
  • In addition to supplementing your dog’s diet with a high quality omega-3 like krill oil, there are many other things you can do to prevent or manage your pet’s arthritic condition, including providing chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and acupuncture. We also recommend talking with your holistic vet about natural supplements that promote cartilage repair and maintenance.
  • In addition to improving OA symptoms, omega-3 fatty acids can benefit your pet in a number of other ways, including improving the condition of the skin and coat, alleviating symptoms of an overactive immune system, and supporting heart health.

Omega-3 from Fish

By Dr. Becker

In February I wrote about a study done in the Netherlands on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for cats with osteoarthritis (OA).

Recently I came across a Canadian study1 also published last year that indicates the same is true for dogs with naturally occurring OA. The dogs were fed a veterinary prescription diet containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids from fish, and showed significant improvement in locomotor disability (problems moving around) and performance of daily activities.

Dogs Fed a Diet High in Omega-3s Showed Significant Improvement in Gait and Activity Scores

The University of Montreal’s Department of Veterinary Biomedicine conducted a 13-week study with 30 pet dogs suffering with arthritis. Half the dogs were fed a commercial dog food containing omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish oil. The remaining dogs were fed a similar food, but with a different fat source.

The dogs were evaluated with force plates to analyze their gait, veterinary orthopedic exams, and activity scores assessed by their owners. Force plate measurements were taken at the start of the trial and again at weeks 7 and 13. The gait of dogs on the omega-3 supplemented diet was markedly improved, as were their activity scores. The dogs fed the other diet showed no significant improvement in either area.

Other Ways to Help Prevent or Alleviate Arthritis Symptoms in Your Dog

In addition to a high quality omega-3 supplement (I recommend offering krill oil; I do not recommend processed pet foods with added omega-3s), there are several other natural supplements and therapies that can help alleviate arthritis symptoms in your pet, including:

  • Veterinary chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatments are affordable and can be very effective in alleviating pain and reducing joint degeneration.
  • Massage, therapeutic exercises and physiotherapy can reduce inflammation and pain in damaged tissues.
  • Acupuncture can be tremendously beneficial for dogs with degenerative joint disease.
  • Adequan injections can stimulate joint fluid very rapidly in pets with arthritis.
  • Adding certain supplements to your pet’s diet can provide the raw materials for cartilage repair and maintenance, among them:
    • Glucosamine sulfate, MSM and Egg Shell Membrane supplements
    • Homeopathic Rhus Tox, Arnica and others that fit the animal’s symptoms
    • Ubiquinol and turmeric
    • Supergreen foods, such as Spirulina and Astaxanthin
    • Natural anti-inflammatory formulas (herbs, proteolytic enzymes, such as Wobenzym® and nutraceuticals)
    • EFAC complex

Other extremely important factors in preventing or alleviating the symptoms of OA include keeping your dog at a lean, healthy weight; feeding a balanced, species-appropriate diet; discontinuing annual vaccines (titer instead); and giving your dog plenty of opportunities to be physically active throughout her life.

Additional Benefits of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

The omega-3s include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaneoic acid (EPA).

Omega-3s, play a huge role in your pet’s health in many ways, among them:

  • Improving the health of your pet’s skin and coat. Poor skin condition puts your dog or cat at risk for itching, irritation, skin allergies and bacterial infections.
  • Alleviating the harmful effects of allergies and other conditions that result from an over reactive immune system response.
  • Slowing the growth of common yeast infections in dogs and cats.
  • Aiding proper development of the retina and visual cortex.
  • Preventing certain heart problems in your pet.
  • Maintaining healthy blood pressure and decreasing triglyceride and blood cholesterol levels.
  • Regulating blood-clotting activity.
  • Slowing the development and spread of certain pet cancers.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments