Archive for the ‘Dogs Health’ Category

Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Older dogs and cats are at high risk for developing cancer. In fact, estimates reveal that as many as 50% of pets die because of the disease. Early diagnosis is essential to effectively managing or curing cancer, so it is important that owners be aware of the common signs of the disease and understand some basic facts about cancer in dogs and cats.

Types of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Cancer is usually classified in one of two ways:

  • By the organ that it affects – liver cancer, brain tumor, skin cancer, etc.
  • By the type of cell involved – hemangiosarcoma (a cancer of blood vessels), mast cell tumor, adenocarcinoma, etc.

Usually, both classifications are necessary to fully understand a pet’s condition because different types of cancer can affect the same organ yet have dissimilar clinical signs, prognoses, and treatment protocols. For example, two types of skin cancer may look different, be treated differently, and tend to have different outcomes.

Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Because there are so many different types of cancer, no one clinical sign is unique to the disease. Nevertheless, if a dog or cat develops any of the following symptoms, cancer is certainly a possibility, and the pet should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible:

  • Abnormal masses – Some types of cancer form discrete tumors or cause organ enlargement (e.g., lymph nodes) that can be seen or felt. Often, these masses will grow or change over time.
  • Persistent sores – Cancer affecting the skin or mucous membranes can look like a wound, but the lesion does not heal in a typical manner.
  • Weight loss and poor appetite – Cancer requires energy and other nutrients, which takes away from what is available to the rest of a pet’s body. Also, pets with cancer generally don’t feel good and may not eat as well as they normally do. Weight loss associated with cancer frequently involves both fat and muscle tissue.
  • Poor coat quality – Cancer can cause pets to stop grooming themselves and/or grow dry and brittle fur.
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge – Cancer may cause blood vessels to rupture or be associated with secondary infections resulting in abnormal discharge from the mouth, nose, anus, genitals, or other body openings.
  • Abnormal odors – Cancer disrupts the body’s normal protective mechanisms that keep infection at bay, and most infections are associated with a foul odor.
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing – Cancer of the oral cavity or esophagus can make eating and swallowing difficult and/or painful.
  • Lethargy, weakness, or exercise intolerance – Cancer can make pets anemic (have low red blood cell counts), decrease energy levels, and adversely affect the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary, nervous, and other body systems making animals unwilling or unable to be as active as normal.
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness – Cancer of the musculoskeletal or nervous system can adversely affect a pet’s gait.
  • Difficulty breathing and/or coughing – Cancer affecting the cardiovascular system or lungs often causes dogs and cats to cough and breathe rapidly or with greater effort than is normal.
  • Abnormal urination – Cancer of the urinary tract and other body systems can cause pets to strain to urinate, urinate a greater or lesser volume than normal, urinate more or less frequently than normal, or have blood in their urine.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea – Cancer can directly involve the gastrointestinal tract or alter the functioning of other organ systems resulting in an adverse effect on the gastrointestinal tract. In either case, pets may vomit and/or have diarrhea.
  • Constipation – Tumors that block the lower gastrointestinal track can cause pets to strain or be unable to defecate.
  • Chronic sneezing – Tumors of the nasal passages typically make dogs and cats to sneeze.
  • An enlargement or swelling of any body part – Tumors or abnormal fluid accumulations (e.g., blood in the abdomen) that develop as a result of cancer can cause parts of the body to enlarge.
  • Behavioral changes – Unexplained aggression, altered mentation, or other abnormal behaviors can be caused by a tumor in or around the brain, altered body chemistry caused by cancer elsewhere in the body, or pain.
  • Paleness or yellowing of the mucous membranes or skin – Cancer that results in bleeding, abnormal red blood cell destruction, poor red blood cell production, or liver disease can result in anemia or jaundice.

In most cases, pets with cancer will have more than one of the aforementioned symptoms. For example, a dog that is losing weight, is lethargic, is straining to urinate, and has blood in its urine is more likely to have cancer than is a dog that only has blood in its urine.

Diagnosing Cancer in Dogs and Cats

To definitively determine that cancer is responsible for a pet’s clinical signs and identify the type that is involved, a veterinarian will take a tissue sample from the abnormal area, either via a needle and syringe or through a surgical biopsy. Sometimes, the veterinarian can reach a diagnosis by looking at cells under the microscope in the clinic, but it is usually best to send the sample to a veterinary pathologist for a complete evaluation. Additional diagnostic tests including blood work, a urinalysis, x-rays, and ultrasounds may be necessary to rule out other diseases, find the cancer, determine how widespread or advanced the disease is, and plan appropriate treatment.

Treating Cancer in Dogs and Cats

In most cases, cancer can be successfully managed for a period of time and potentially even cured if it is caught early enough. Treatment options aimed directly against cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Symptomatic treatment is also important and can include pain control, nutritional intervention, antibiotics, anti-nausea medications, and more. A pet’s primary care veterinarian and/or a veterinary cancer specialist will design a treatment protocol specific to the patient’s condition and the owner’s wishes.

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Watch out for these 8 common Dog illnesses

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Although dogs don’t necessarily fall prey to the cold or flu as often as we do, there are some common illnesses and conditions that dogs can and do get.

Some of these you’ll definitely recognize, and others you might not. Almost all of them are preventable.

Don’t forget to keep my vaccinations up to date.

1. Rabies

Rabies isn’t the terror that it once was, with the vaccination being so common now. But if you do not stay on top of your dog’s rabies vaccine, she will become susceptible to this deadly disease.

And make no mistake, rabies is deadly. If left untreated in humans, it has an estimated 99.9 percent fatality rate.

Rabies attacks the central nervous system and is transmitted through the saliva of infected mammals.

Stay on top of the vaccination for this disease, but also keep your eyes open for potentially infected animals if you live in rural areas where skunks, foxes, raccoons, bats or coyotes are common. If you see something, say something — call Animal Control right away.

Signs that an animal is rabid:

  • The classic heavy drool
  • A nocturnal animal moving about in the daytime
  • Aggressive or self-mutilating behavior
  • Paralyzed or disoriented

2. Kennel Cough

Think of kennel cough as the equivalent of bronchitis in humans. It’s an infection of the windpipe and voice box area that causes a dog to cough and sound like a goose — there’s a honking type of noise that goes along with this cough.

Some dogs, but not all, develop fevers or nasal discharge, and may cough up some phlegm after exercise.

Kennel cough is highly contagious, which is why when your dog has it he won’t be allowed in a kennel. There are some vaccinations, so ask your veterinarian about them.

3. Obesity

Although this isn’t something your dog can innocently “catch,” it can be prevented.

Obesity in dogs can lead to other diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. Just as in people, too much weight is not good.

It’s all about the calories in and calories out. If you’re feeding your dog more calories than she’s using, she’s going to store those calories as fat. The longer this goes on, the more fat there is — and then bam, you wake up one day to Roly Poly Puppy.

Obesity leads to health problems.

Quick tips for preventing obesity in your dog:

  • Understand what you are feeding her.
  • Know much to feed her.
  • Make sure she gets lots of exercise.

Consult with your vet before making any dietary changes and to get advice on a weight-loss regimen.

4. Canine Distemper

Like rabies, this is another preventable disease that can have devastating consequences if you ignore the vaccine. Distemper affects the central nervous system in your pup as well as respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.

Unlike rabies, distemper can be contracted through the air.

When a dog is infected, he will show signs such as:

  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Possibly nose or eye discharge

Distemper can be fatal, and it is always dangerous and distressing for both the dog and the family. Don’t skip this critical vaccination.

5. Canine Parvovirus

More commonly known as CPV or parvo, this disease can be fatal if left untreated.

CPV attacks the dog by first taking up residence in the lymph nodes, where it sets up shop by dividing and preparing to conquer the body. The bone marrow and intestinal walls are the areas hit hardest by CPV.

Puppies are more susceptible to Parvo.

The virus makes it more difficult for the body to produce white blood cells, and because of that it can more easily enter the intestinal area.

Puppies and younger dogs are more susceptible to CPV, so get this vaccine taken care of before bringing your dog out among other dogs.

6. Arthritis

We all get a little creakier as we get older. The same goes for your dog.

Although it is more common in the golden years, arthritis can really be contracted by dogs of any age.

Arthritis occurs when the cartilage around the joints wears down. Cartilage is like the lube of the joint — and when it’s gone, moving around can become painful. Causes include age, trauma, obesity or inherited conditions.

Dogs with arthritis may show some of these signs:

  • Moving stiffly
  • Reluctance to go up and down stairs
  • Limping
  • Obvious pain when prodded in affected areas
  • Pain or swelling that can’t be readily explained
  • Not as flexible as they once were

Although there is no way to totally prevent arthritis — especially if your dog’s breed is prone to it as an inherited trait — it is important to try and minimize the effects.

Keep your dog at a healthy weight, supply the appropriate nutrition and make regular visits to the vet. Arthritis cannot be cured, but it can be treated with various pain medications if necessary.

7. Canine Herpes

There’s a lot out there about “people herpes,” but believe it or not, dogs can get herpes, too  The canine herpes virus isn’t the same as the one people get.

Canine herpes can be contracted by adult dogs and even puppies 3 weeks old or older, with little to no adverse effects. However, in newborn puppies this disease is almost always fatal.

Its fast-acting nature contributes to the fatality of the disease as often many pet owners don’t realize there is something wrong until they find the deceased puppy.

Symptoms of canine herpes in puppies:

  • Loss of appetite or disinterest in nursing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tender abdomen
  • Lack of coordination
  • Soft yellow-green feces
  • Possibly a bloody nasal discharge

Once the symptoms manifest, death is not far behind. If you suspect your puppy has canine herpes, it’s time for an emergency visit to the vet. If you have one infected dog, others may have it as well, so bring them all in.

Currently there is no vaccine for canine herpes; however, a female dog who has birthed a litter of infected puppies can become immune and future litters can be safely born.

8. Lyme Disease

Ticks infected with Lyme disease can transmit the disease to your dog when they attach themselves and begin to feed.

Usually it takes about 12 hours or more for the disease to pass from the saliva of the tick to your dog. Common sense dictates that the sooner you find ticks and remove them, the better off your dog will be — so look for ticks regularly.

Dogs who contract Lyme disease may show pain or swelling in the joints, stiffness, pain, fever and weakness.

The happy news is that usually Lyme disease responds well to antibiotics.

Article reposted from:
Written by: Melissa Smith
Images credit: Katie@!rist2796ganeshaisis

Burlington woman receives caring pet owner award

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

A Burlington woman has been lauded for her dedication to caring for shelter dogs.

Laura Watling has received the Pet Owner Award from Pets Plus Us, an insurance provider and online community.

Pet Owner Award winner Laura Watling (right) is pictured with Adrienne Gosse, shelter manager of the Burlington Humane Society, and Randy Valpy of Pets Plus Us. Watling was awarded $1,500 to donate to the charity of her choice, the Burlington Humane Society.

It recognizes pet owners and volunteers across Canada through the Champion Awards for those that volunteer, rescue and care for pets.

Watling gets an award of $1,500 to donate to the charity of her choice, the Burlington Humane Society. She received the award on Oct. 28 at the humane society on Griffith Court.

After losing her own dog, Diesel, to cancer in 2013, Watling committed to caring for other dogs in need. Since then she has adopted another pup named Phoenix.

Through a facebook page (Diesel’s Legacy) she spreads awareness about cancer in dogs as well as news about shelter dogs.

Watling has also written a book, Diesel’s Amazing Farm Adventure, with much of the proceeds being donated to animal shelters.

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Veterinarian Warns: Sugar-free candy not a sweet treat for dogs

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

When taking home a stash of candy, keep an eye on the sugar-free kind. While it may be a good alternative for humans, just a small amount can be life-threatening for pets, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

Artificial sweetener xylitol, an alcohol sugar, is in many products, including sugar-free candy and gum. With two-thirds fewer calories than sugar, xylitol causes little inference with insulin release in people, making it a popular sugar substitute for diabetics. However, just one stick of sugar-free gum could be toxic to your dog.

“Unfortunately for dogs, when they consume xylitol, it does release insulin and causes low blood sugar,” said Susan Nelson, Kansas State University clinical associate professor of clinical sciences and veterinarian at the Veterinary Health Center. “There also are cases where enough was ingested that it caused liver failure. This can cause clotting disorders and seizures in dogs, with a poor prognosis for recovery.

Along with sugar-free candy and gum, xylitol can be found in nicotine gums, baked goods, breath mints, antacids, multivitamins, nasal sprays, pain medication, sleep aids, antianxiety medication, toothpaste and mouthwash. Typically, the higher xylitol is listed on the ingredient list, the more there is in the product. But it is not always listed on the ingredient list because some products may contain proprietary blends, Nelson says.

“On average, one stick of sugar-free gum can cause toxicity in dogs weighing around 10 pounds,” Nelson said. “That’s all it takes, and it’s more likely to happen than you think. You may have a package of gum in your purse or your pocket. A lot of times dogs go rummaging through those and find the products and consume them.”

Because xylitol can be quickly absorbed in a dog’s bloodstream, it can reach peak levels in the animal’s body within 30 minutes and symptoms of toxicity can develop rapidly. It’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately if you believe your dog has consumed anything with an artificial sweetener. Although there is no antidote available, dogs that are treated early have a better chance of recovery.

Nelson says the Veterinary Health Center frequently sees cases of xylitol poisoning.

“It’s very common, and the more popular and commonly used this product becomes, the cases of xylitol poisonings in dogs will increase,” she said. “The bottom line is that any products that have artificial sweeteners in them or medications that contain xylitol need to be kept away from your pets.”

Article reposted from:
Written by: Lindsey Elliott
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Improving Your Dog's Diet For Cancer Recovery

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Your dog’s diet is crucial to their recovery. “Diet can be easily controlled and can make the difference between a successful treatment outcome and a failure”. Dogs didn’t evolve as grain eaters. For the past 10 million years they’ve primarily been meat eaters. They don’t produce the enzymes necessary to digest grains.

Unfortunately, most commercial dog foods are based upon rice, wheat or corn. While rice and corn may be OK for young and otherwise healthy dogs, pets fighting cancer shouldn’t be fed grains. Read your dog food label to make sure the first ingredient on the list is some type of meat.

Manufacturers are required to list the predominant ingredients first. If grains are listed they shouldn’t be the first ingredient listed. A full list of the recommended grain free dog foods can be found here. Additional animal based protein and fat should be added to the diet as well, since lymphoma dogs require more of these in their diet than healthy dogs do. Feel free to add canned sardines (one of the best sources of high quality proteins), cottage cheese, eggs and just about any kind of meat such as hamburger or ground turkey. No Chicken Bones!

This additional protein is important because when adequate amounts of the correct proteins and fats aren’t present in the diet, the body will tend to rob it from other places, which can lead to serious secondary complications. This can lead to muscle wasting. Is more likely to lead to complications with the functions of the kidneys and liver, something your poor dog doesn’t need on top of the cancer.

These secondary liver and kidney complications can usually be avoided by watching your dog’s diet and supplementing it with high quality protein and Bio-Silymarin. A dog with cancer is building a lot of new tissue, whether it be tumor tissue or just scar tissue. Certain specific proteins and cell membrane .components (the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids) are required to do this. Membrane stabilizers such as omega- 3-fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid and coenzyme Q-10 are also important additions.

Antioxidants can sometimes be helpful in treating canine cancer. don’t add additional Vitamin C to the dog’s diet unless specifically recommended by your vet. In any case, check with your oncologist before adding any antioxidants to the dog’s diet, as some antioxidants can interfere with some of the chemotherapy drugs used in fighting lymphoma.

We HIGHLY recommend fish oil be added to any cancer dog’s diet to make sure they get plenty of the omega fatty acids. it’s easy to get a dog to take their fish oil. If you open the softgel, you’ll find it’s stinky and fishy. It’s like candy for dogs. They love it.

Just snip open the capsule and squeeze some out so the dog can smell it the first-time. After that you should’ve no problem with the dog taking the capsules.

One 1000 mg softgel capsule per 20 lbs body weight per day is a good dose for dogs. (60 lbs dog gets 3 capsules per day).

Make sure to provide plenty of fresh drinking water. Cancer dogs should drink filtered water only. The simplest way to provide this is with a counter top filter with the spigot positioned just above the water bowl.

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How to Calculate Your Dog's Age

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

It’s common knowledge that dog’s age faster than people. But the conventional wisdom that one dog year equals seven human years is an oversimplified view of how old your dog is in human years. Although a dog’s age averages out this way, there is quite a bit of variation. For example, dogs mature more quickly than children in the first couple of years. So the first year of a dog’s life is equal to about 15 human years, rather than seven.

Size and breed also influence the rate at which a dog ages. Although smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs, they may mature more quickly in the first few years of life. A large dog may mature more slowly at first but already be considered elderly at age five. Small and toy breeds don’t become “seniors” until around age 10. Medium-sized breeds are somewhere in the middle in terms of maturation and lifespan.

In the chart below, use these general ranges for dog size:

  • Small dog = 20 pounds or less
  • Medium dog = 21-50 pounds
  • Large dog = More than 50 pounds

Translating Dog Years into Human Years

How to Determine a Dog’s Age

If you’ve adopted a puppy or dog but don’t know the dog’s history, you may wonder how old he is. Even if you don’t know the birth date, it is still possible to estimate your dog’s age.

Teeth can give a rough indication of a dog’s age. The degree of growth helps determine how old a puppy is, and the degree of wear and tartar helps estimate the age of an adult dog. Of course, there are individual differences between dogs. And a dog’s previous dental care will have an impact on the health of teeth.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • By 8 weeks: All baby teeth are in.
  • By 7 months: All permanent teeth are in and are white and clean.
  • By 1-2 years: Teeth are duller and the back teeth may have some yellowing.
  • By 3-5 years: All teeth may have tartar build-up and some tooth wear.
  • By 5-10 years: Teeth show more wear and signs of disease.
  • By 10-15 years: Teeth are worn, and heavy tartar build-up is likely with the possibility of some teeth missing.

Your vet can also estimate a dog’s age based on a complete physical exam or tests looking at bones, joints, muscles, and internal organs. In older dogs, signs of aging may show up in a variety of ways, including:

  • A cloudy appearance in the eyes
  • Graying hair, especially around the muzzle at first, and spreading to other areas of the face, head, and body
  • Less skin elasticity
  • Stiffness

Article reposted from:
Article Sources:
AVMA: “Frequently Asked Questions about caring for an older pet.”
Purina: “Your Dog’s Age in Human Years” and “Caring For Your Older Dog.”
National Pet Wellness Month: “Pet Age Calculator” and “Pet Aging Chart.”
Humane Society: “How to Determine a Cat’s or Dog’s Age.”

Make Halloween a treat not trick for your dog

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Keep your dog safe this Halloween by following a few simple steps. Halloween poses a number of health and welfare risks to dogs, from eating foods that can be toxic to man’s best friend, such as chocolate and some sweets, to being scared by trick or treaters and children in costumes.

Dogs at Halloween

Chocolate and sweets may be found in abundance around your home at this time of year, and although these may be a treat for us humans, they can make our canine companions very unwell.


Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs, as well as other animals such as cats, rodents and rabbits. Generally speaking, the darker and more expensive the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, and therefore the more poisonous it is.  White chocolate contains very little theobromine and so is unlikely to cause chocolate poisoning, but is still very fatty and can make your dog ill.

Chocolate can initially cause vomiting and diarrhea, but is a stimulant and so can cause your dog to become excitable, as well as develop muscle twitching, tremors, fitting and life threatening problems with their heart.


If available in large quantities some dogs may gorge themselves on sugary sweets kept aside for, or collected by, trick-or-treaters.  After eating lots of sugar, or even lots of fat, dogs can develop pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas), which may cause them to be off their food, develop vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and go into organ failure.

Some sugar-free sweets and chewing gums contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which can be very poisonous to dogs. Xylitol can cause an otherwise healthy dog’s blood sugar level to drop to dangerous levels and can also cause liver failure.

Obstruction risks

If eaten, sweet wrappers, lollipop sticks, food containers/ boxes, or even small parts from a Halloween costume can all cause an obstruction in your dog’s gut.  This can be very dangerous and may require surgical intervention.  Signs of an obstruction may include your dog being off their food, vomiting, lethargy and not defecating or finding it difficult to defecate.

What to do if your dog has eaten chocolate, lots of sweets or items which could cause an obstruction?

  • Consult your local veterinary practice immediately
  • It is important that your veterinary practice make an informed decision as to whether your dog needs to be clinically assessed or treated.  Where possible ensure that you tell them:
    • What your dog has eaten
    • How much has been eaten
    • When it was eaten
    • Do not try and make your dog sick- trying to do this can sometimes cause other complications, which can make your dog unwell.

Carved pumpkins

Keep candlelit carved pumpkins out of the way of waggy tails and nosey noses.  A knocked over candle may cause your dog to become burnt, or may in turn cause a house fire.  Keep all candles, and all candlelit pumpkins, out of the way of your dogs.  Place any lit items on surfaces that are not likely to reached or jolted by your dog.


Frequent calls at the door from costumed trick-or-treaters may make your dog anxious or stressed. Think about how your dog is when you usually have visitors at the door, and take extra precautions to keep your dog calm and in a quiet and safe place throughout the evening.  Masks and costumes can cause even the most familiar people to look and smell different to a dog, so if going out trick-or-treating you may wish to leave your dog at home.

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Supercharge your Dog's Health with these 10 Human Foods

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

People food bad for Pooches? No way! Contrary to what many people think when it comes to feeding your furkid there are 10 readily available, relatively cheap human foods that are especially good for their health that can be used in conjunction with any commercial or homemade food.

We’ve all seen the specially formulated pet diet ‘boosters’, supplements and vitamins, but these 10 natural foods will absolutely supercharge your dog’s diet and improve not only their skin and coat but their overall health – 100% Guaranteed! If you’re already doing it, keep up the good work! If not, try adding some of these readily available items from the Health Food Shop, Greengrocer or Supermarket to their diet on a regular basis.

1. Coconut

If you haven’t jumped on the Coconut Oil bandwagon yet, it’s high time. Coconut contains medium-chain saturated fats which have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce bacterial growth. You can simply add coconut oil to your dog’s food or sprinkle organic and unsweetened coconut on the food. For more info on the benefits of Coconut Oil and how much to feed your dog, check out this post. Coconut Oil can also be used topically to heal skin abrasions, dry spots and sores.

2. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a rich source of antioxidants, B vitamins, and numerous minerals (e.g. calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and magnesium). They also contain loads of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential Omega-3 fatty acid for dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and are effective in combating chronic skin problems such as inflammation and infection. To add chia seeds to your dog’s diet, simply sprinkle the seeds on top of your dog’s food every day.

Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds and Carob

3. Carob

We know dogs shouldn’t have sugar or chocolate, but they do ruv the taste of carob because it is sweet. Carob is also nutritious – it is jam-packed with vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, E) and minerals (e.g. calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus). The vitamin E in carob supports the skin since vitamin E has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Use carob or carob chips when baking dog biscuits for your dog.

4. Sardines in Water

Sardines provide a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support the skin and coat. Once or twice a week, add some sardines in spring water to your dog’s meals. They absolutely love the taste!

5. Manuka Honey

Raw, unfiltered honey is packed with nutrition that can benefit you and your pooch. High in antioxidants, anti-microbials and natural enzymes, medical studies have identified raw honey’s ability to help heal gut problems, manage diarrhea and soothe sore throats. Known as “The King of honey”, Manuka is celebrated for its super health benefits and has been shown in clinical trials to kill more than 250 strains of bacteria. It can also be used topically to heal wounds and burns. Please note: If your pet is diabetic, consult with a vet before feeding honey, since its high sugar content can increase insulin levels. Also avoid feeding honey to overweight pets; at 64 calories per tablespoon, it can contribute to weight gain! (We don’t recommend giving honey to very young or immune compromised pets due to botulism risks).

6. Organic Alfalfa Powder

Alfalfa contains a broad spectrum of nutrients, including protein trace minerals, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D, E, and K. It is also very high in chlorophyll, which is to serve as an antioxidant in the bloodstream. But in addition to being highly nutritive, alfalfa can bring long term relief from arthritis to dogs and cats who receive it as a daily food supplement. Alfalfa also possesses cancer preventative qualities. It is believed that alfalfa induces complex cellular activities that serve to inactivate chemical carcinogens in the liver and small intestine before they can cause damage; thus helping to reduce the risk of cancerous growth.

Sardines in Springwater, Manuka Honey and Organic Alfalfa Powder

7. Kefir

Kefir is a creamy, dairy based food made from the milk of cows or goats and is one of the oldest forms of cultured milk. Often labeled a “Probiotic Drink”, it is similar in taste and consistency to yoghurt, but kefir provides even more health benefits to your dog (and to you). One tablespoon of kefir typically contains about 10 strains and 5 billion beneficial bacteria. Wow! Only the best of Probiotic Supplements for dogs even comes close, and it comes to you at a fraction of the price of prepared supplement.

8. Organic Kelp Powder

Kelp is a great source of minerals, such as iodine, iron, and Vitamins B1, B2, C, and E. These vitamins are important for maintaining proper health and are responsible for bone growth, heart health, and maintaining muscle strength. Kelp also acts to increase metabolism and balance blood lipid concentrations.

9. Sweet Potato

Unlike their boring white cousins, sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and E and beta-carotene, as well as a host of minerals such as calcium, iron, copper and potassium. Vitamin E supports the skin, and so does vitamin C – it helps speed up healing and supports collagen production. Try making sweet potato chips for your dog – sprinkle olive oil on thinly sliced sweet potatoes and bake them in the oven until they turn crispy. Delicious and healthy for both humans and dogs.

Kefir, Organic Kelp Powder, Sweet Potato and Eggs

10. Eggs

Cheap and safe, raw OR cooked, the egg is one of the most complete and nutritious foods you can feed your Pooch. Containing Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Folate, B12, Iron, Selenium and Fatty Acids; a fresh, free range egg a few times a week is an awesome addition to your dog’s diet.

Article reposted from:

Written by: Alla Keogh

Getting Ticks Off of Your Dog

Monday, October 20th, 2014

If your dog spends time outside in areas where ticks like to hang out, a tick check should be part of your daily routine.

Even the best repellents may not prevent these parasites from latching onto your pooch. And since it can take 24 to 48 hours for an attached tick to transmit an infection to its host, it’s important to promptly and properly remove these parasites.

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Check, please!

First, run your fingers slowly over your dog’s entire body. If you feel a bump or swollen area, check to see if a tick has burrowed there. Don’t limit your search to your dog’s torso: check between his toes, under his armpits, the insides of his ears, and around his face and chin.

Don’t limit tick checks to your canine family members. Dogs can’t directly transmit tick-borne illnesses to people, but ticks can move from host to host. A tick may enter your home on your dog’s back and move on to another pet or human, or a tick could hitch a ride on you and then move on to one of your pets. A good tick prevention strategy includes checking all family members for these parasites, especially after outdoor activities in wooded, leafy, or grassy areas.

Is it a tick?

Ticks can be black, brown, or tan, and they have eight legs. Ticks are arachnids and related to spiders, not insects. They can also be tiny—some tick species are only as large as the head of a pin—so look carefully.

In some areas of the United States where there is no real winter, ticks are active all year, not just in the summer months. Even in areas where there has been a killing frost with the approach of winter, ticks can become active again if the weather turns warm for more than a day or two.

Safe tick removal

If you find a tick on your dog, don’t panic! Follow these quick and easy steps to safely remove the pest.

1: Get your gear

  • Pair of gloves
  • Clean pair of tweezers or a commercial tick remover
  • Antiseptic
  • Isopropyl alcohol

2: Remove the tick

Wear gloves while removing the tick to avoid contact with your skin (ticks can transmit diseases to people, too).

If you’re using tweezers:

  • Grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible, but be gentle! Try not to pinch your dog’s skin.
  • Pull outward in a straight, steady motion, making sure that you’ve removed the entire tick, since anything left behind could lead to an infection.

If you’re using a tick remover:

  • Gently press the remover against your dog’s skin near the tick.
  • Slide the notch of the remover under the tick.
  • Continue sliding the remover until the tick is caught in the small end of the notch and is pulled free. (The tick will remain in the bowl of the remover.)

3: Store the evidence

Drop the tick into a small container that contains isopropyl alcohol (the alcohol will quickly kill the tick), and mark the date on the container. If your dog begins displaying symptoms of a tick-borne illness, your veterinarian may want to identify or test the tick.

4: Praise your patient

Clean your dog’s skin with antiseptic and make sure to clean your tweezers or tick remover with isopropyl alcohol. Wash your hands, too! Then give your pup a treat for being a trooper in the fight against ticks.

Follow up

Keep an eye on the area where the tick was to see if an infection surfaces. If the skin remains irritated or infected, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Watch your dog for symptoms of tick-borne diseases. Some symptoms include arthritis or lameness that lasts for three to four days, reluctance to move, swollen joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and neurological problems.

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7 Top Canine Health Problems

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Canines unfortunately do not complain of their health or tell you they are in pain. The most serious health problems can be prevented by vaccinations and regular treatment, yet it would help to have a look at the 7 top canine health problems.

1) Vomiting and Diarrhea:

It could be caused by an infection known as parvovirus, or when the canine swallows inappropriate foods and objects like little toys, items of clothing, chocolate, or gum wrappers. It is the cause of concern when a dog repeatedly vomits for more than a day and it is characterized with blood in vomit or diarrhea, dark or black diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss, fever, or a change in appetite. Prevent dehydration by giving the dog plenty of fresh water to drink. As a general rule avoid feeding your dog food for 12 to 24 hours or until your vet advices you.

2) Heartworms:

It is a serious and potentially deadly disease where parasites infect the dog’s heart and arteries and show up as symptoms like coughing to lethargy, collapsing, and depression. Developed when canines are exposed to the larvae by a mosquito bite, these larvae could develop into large worms that could progress to heart failure and death. Treatment includes medications to kill the parasites and surgery in advanced cases. Heart worms can however be prevented by daily oral medications, topicals, injections, and a simple, once-a-month pill.

3) Kennel Cough:

Known to be a highly contagious form of bronchitis, it creates inflammation in the dog’s voice box and windpipe. Most commonly caused by exposure to other infected dogs, either at doggie daycare, the groomer’s, or a kennel, the treatment lies in giving the canine antibiotics as well as letting it run its course. It would help using a humidifier or taking your pet dog into a steam filled bathroom.

4) Lower urinary tract problems:

Some of the most common problems include incontinence, bacterial infections, bladder stones, and even cancer and could cause symptoms like frequent urination, producing small amounts of urine, blood in the urine, incontinence, straining or crying in pain when trying to urinate, vomiting, fever, and weight loss. Some of the treatment options include antibiotics, dietary changes, and surgery to remove bladder stones or a tumor.

5) Obesity:

Also a common health problem in canines, dogs could face risks of joint pain, diabetes, and liver disease. Consult a vet for a suitable diet and exercise plan if your dog is overweight and you cannot feel its backbone and ribs without pressing.  Increase the calorie output and decrease the calorie input by reducing snacks or treats, feed him small meals throughout the day, and make it a point to take him to the park to play and run around.

6) Broken bones or fractures:

One of the most common problem, it could show up as symptoms like limping, not moving, with its treatment lying in surgery, splint or a cast.

7) Dental disease:

Periodontal disease, an infection of the gums affects most dogs by the age of 2 and could be linked to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and other serious dog health problems. Symptoms range from smelly breath to difficulty eating and facial swelling, with the treatment lying in removing dental plaque and teeth if necessary. This disease could be prevented by regular check-ups with a vet dentist, giving your dog rawhide chews, and regularly brushing your pet’s teeth with dog toothpaste.

Regular vet visits and preventive steps with prompt attention from a vet in case of any unusual behavior or symptom could keep your canine in good health and also lead to speedy recovery.

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