Archive for the ‘Dogs Health’ Category

How to help your dog avoid canine influenza

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The American Veterinary Medical Association says canine influenza is spreading through the United States and Columbus veterinarian Hank Hall says owners should consider having their dogs vaccinated.

Infographic: www.sugarthegoldenretriever.com

“More cases have been reported the last three years,” said Hall of Northside Animal Hospital in Columbus.

The flu is a highly contagious infection caused by an influenza A subtype H3N8 virus first discovered in 2004.

Hall said a form of the virus originated in horses many years earlier and that the virus can cause “severe distress.”

In the mild form, the most common sign is a cough that persists for two to three weeks. However, some dogs can develop signs of severe pneumonia, such as a high grade fever and faster breathing. Other signs in infected dogs include nasal or ocular discharge, sneezing, fatigue and refusing food.

All dogs are susceptible to infection and the AVMA says virtually all dogs exposed to the virus become infected.

The virus can be fatal, but those instances are rare. Most dogs recover in two-three weeks.

Hall said dogs already a little weak are at greater risk.

It was in 2009 that the United States Department of Agriculture approved the first vaccine for H3N8 and trials have shown while it may not prevent the infection it can significantly reduce the duration of the illness including the incidence and severity of damage to the lungs. There is no vaccine yet for another strain of the virus H3N2.

The flu can be spread by direct contact with respiratory secretions from infected dogs, and by contact with contaminated inanimate objects such as water bowls, collars and leashes. On surfaces, the virus is alive and can infect dogs for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours.

Hall said there is no evidence the virus can be transmitted from dogs to humans, but people who have been around dogs may transfer the virus from what they are wearing to their pet.

According to the AVMA, there is no evidence of the virus being passed from dogs to cats, horses, etc.

Hall said the flu spreads in kennels, grooming salons and day care centers but is not suggesting people keep their dogs away from such places.

The AVMA suggests people who board their dogs at kennels should ask whether respiratory disease has been a problem there and whether the facility has a plan for isolating dogs that develop respiratory disease and for notifying owners if their dog has been exposed to dogs with respiratory disease.

The AVMA says dog owners whose dogs are coughing or exhibiting other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dogs to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to them.

Treatment for the flu can involve an antibiotic or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. In some cases, intravenous fluids are needed to maintain hydration.

Hall said if a dog shows any signs of a respiratory illness, the owner should not hesitate to take their pet to a veterinarian. “Don’t wait. Sick dogs need to be seen,” he said.

Article reposted from:
http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2015/06/30/3792386/how-to-help-your-dog-avoid-canine.html
By Larry Gierer

10 Ways to Support Your Pet's Natural Immune System

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The immune system is an intricate biological protection system responsible for determining what belongs to and in the body versus what does not belong and requires elimination. It defends the body against infection, disease and foreign substances. Keeping your pet’s immune system in good shape will go a long way in preventing ill health and chronic disease. A high quality, natural diet is the most important component in building and supporting a healthy immune system.  Along with a top quality diet, exercise, minimal exposure to toxins and a low-stress living environment are of utmost importance to the health of your companion.

Here are ten specific ways to support your animal companion’s immune system and optimal health.

1. Feed raw, minimally processed food. Fresh, raw food contains enzymes that aid in digestion.  Fresh vegetables contain antioxidants and vitamins in their natural, more absorbable form.  On the other hand, highly-processed food, such as dry kibble, loses some amino acids, most of its vitamins, and all enzymes and probiotics during the manufacturing process.  Manufacturers try to replace some of these vitamins and minerals with artificial additives but they are typically artificial forms of these nutrients which can be harder to absorb.

2. Go organic as much as possible. Pesticide and herbicide residues are found on over 50% of produce and even higher percentages of grains.  These are chemicals designed to kill living organisms – we want to minimize our pets’ exposure to such compounds.  In multiple studies, organic foods have been shown to have higher nutrient values than their conventional counterparts as well.

3. Clean, fresh water. Depending on where you live, the tap water can be anywhere from almost acceptable to fairly toxic.  The fluoride and chlorine add stress your companion’s elimination system.  Filtered water is best, followed by bottled water and spring water.  Dogs, and especially cats, that eat a raw food diet receive a good deal of the moisture they need from their food.

4. Avoid Chemical Insecticides & Flea Treatments. Chemical insecticides should be avoided in your home and yard for your companion’s sake.  Animals are much closer to the ground and breathe in whatever chemical residues are on the floor and furniture.  They also come into contact with chemicals used on the yard or local park, then groom these residues from their coat and paws.  There are natural alternatives to the chemical products used by exterminators and used in lawn and yard care (a simple internet search on natural pest control or weed control is a good place to start). Chemical flea treatments such as spot-on insecticides are absorbed into your animal’s system adding stress to the liver and kidneys as well as the digestive system.  Natural flea control options are widely available and are effective without negatively affecting your companion’s immune system.

5. Keep a Healthy House, Free of Toxins. Household cleaning products are another source of toxins to your companion.  Many cleaners, air fresheners and laundry detergents contain bleach, ammonia and other chemicals that our companions breathe in, walk on and lick from their paws.  Keeping the floors clean is important since the dirt tracked in from outside likely contains heavy metals and other toxins, but using more natural cleaning products will keep the household healthier.  Plug-in air fresheners are another source of indoor pollution – they may smell nice, but the petrochemicals that carry that scent offer a constant dose of toxins to your companion.

6. Limit Vaccinations. Many holistic veterinarians agree that over-vaccination is a significant contributor to the rising rates of chronic disease and cancer in cats and dogs.  A limited vaccine program is highly recommended– and is especially important if your pet belongs to any of the breeds known to be more susceptible to cancer and chronic disease.

7. Medicate Wisely, and Minimally. Antibiotics and steroids are necessary tools in any veterinarian’s trade, but they are quite often overused.  Repeated rounds of antibiotics to address chronic urinary tract issues, or steroids to treat itchy skin and allergies, tax the immune system – sometimes leaving the animal susceptible to greater health problems than it started with.  A natural approach to chronic health issues begins with a natural, raw diet and involves supporting the animal’s system in its healing process from within, avoiding suppression of symptoms with medications as much as possible.

8. Exercise. Moderate exercise has been shown to improve immune factors in humans and animals.  Natural light is also important, so walks in the great outdoors are the best option for dogs and outdoor cats.  Indoor cats should be provided with plenty of toys and climbing structures.

9. Control Weight. Keeping your pet’s weight under control is also key – overweight animals are much more susceptible to chronic and acute diseases and infections. A healthy diet of raw, minimally processed food (point 1 in my previous post) often helps animals maintain a healthy weight.

10. Minimize Stress. Stress affects animals the same way it affects us – weakening the immune system.  Dogs and cats with anxiety issues of any kind need assistance in moderating their fears.  Flower Essences, Homeopathic Remedies and Herbal Remedies can be highly beneficial for animals with anxiety problems or that are under stress.  Behavioral modification training is essential for dogs with anxiety; and environmental alterations such as separate territories for cats that do not get along well, or additional litter boxes and cat trees or safe resting areas can make a big difference for anxious cats.

Article reposted from:
http://www.darwinspet.com/ten-ways-to-support-your-pets-natural-immune-system/
By Melissa Grosjean

10 tricks to give your dog the X-factor

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

With a little time and patience, all pet dogs can learn tricks to give them a little ‘X-factor sparkle’. Teaching tricks can also improve the bond between you, reduce boredom, and decrease the risk of injury as your dog becomes more flexible and develops body awareness.

Here are 10 easy tricks to teach. As with any new activity, if your dog is not 100 per cent fit and healthy it is worth checking with your vet to ensure your dog is physically able to do these tricks before you start.

A few tips…

  • Keep training sessions short. You really can teach a lot in the time it takes for a kettle to boil! Always end sessions on a good note with lots of play and verbal praise.
  • Dog training should be kind and positively reinforced. Rewards can be small pieces of high-value food, such as sausages, cheese, chicken, or liver cake.
  • Toy orientated dogs may prefer playing with a tuggy, ball, or squeaky toy, kept specially for your training sessions.

Tip from the top

Lucy Heath, head animal trainer at the Company of Animals and winner of the ITV Show ‘That dog can dance’ with her collie Indie, said: “When you have done quite a few repetitions of these tricks with your dog, remember to slowly work on removing the need for a lure or hand signal so the dog can perform the tricks on just a vocal cue. This will give him the real wow factor!”

Click it!

  • Clicker training encourages dogs to think, as they associate a click with a reward.
  • The sound of a clicker is always more consistent than your voice, but some people use a clicker word, such as ‘Yes!’, which can be very useful if you don’t happen to have a clicker with you.
  • There are lots of good books about clicker work such as ‘Superdog’ by Mary Ray and Andrea McHugh. You can also research training tutorials on YouTube, or ask friends to recommend a good trainer.

Trick 1: Twist and twirl

Teach your dog to spin around on command in either direction. Once he can do this you can try variations, such as spinning together as you walk! Begin with your dog in front of you and bend forwards slightly, holding a treat next to his nose. Slowly lure his head round towards his tail. You can click and treat if he moves his front feet just a single step. Keep practicing until you can lure him in a full, tight circle. Click and reward when he is back in the starting position.

Eventually he will do this in one movement. Add the word ‘Twist’ for one direction and ‘Spin’ for the other. Soon you will be able to do this standing up and without hand signals.

Trick 2: Dressage trot

If your dog can walk nicely to heel, try to get him to lift his head and do a fancy high trot to really show off his paces. Teach this by holding a toy or a tasty treat next to the dog’s nose then walk with him in the heelwork position. Walk quite quickly so that he picks up the pace and gradually hold the treat or toy higher so that his head comes up. Click and reward for even the slightest high step and then gradually build up the distance. Eventually you should be able to dispense with the treat and your dog will lift his head to follow your hand.

Trick 3: Round and round

With the help of some tasty treats or a toy in each hand you can lure your dog to walk around you. Start with him standing at heel on your left side and with the reward and clicker in your right hand slowly lure him around to your right side. As he gets to the back of you swap the reward to your other hand and when he arrives back at the heel position, click and reward. Practice several times and gradually build in the word ‘Round’ and fade out the toy or treat.

Trick 4: Shake on it

Teaching your dog to give a paw can form the basis of many tricks. Begin with the dog in a sit and kneel down in front of him. Hold a treat in your closed hand so the dog can smell it. Now move your hand slightly to the side of the dog’s body so he shifts his weight a little. He will usually lift a paw to touch your hand and try to get the treat. Click and reward for this. Practice on both sides, using a different command, such as ‘Touch’ and ‘Tap’. If your dog doesn’t offer a paw, lift it gently and click and give him the treat. He should get the idea and begin to offer a paw on his own. Soon you will be able to simply show him your open hand and he will lift a paw to try and touch it.

Trick 5: In reverse

Asking your dog to walk backwards can look impressive, and you can then add on some other tricks, such as sit or roll over! There are several ways of teaching this, but one method is to hold a treat in front of the dog’s nose and then take a step towards him. Click and reward as soon as he moves back.

Keep practicing and gradually increase the number of steps, building in the command ‘Walk back’. Eventually you will be able to ask him to walk back and throw the reward towards him.

Trick 6: Pole dancing

Try sticking a pole in a cone or an umbrella in a stand and teaching your dog to circle round it. Begin by keeping your dog on your right and hold a toy or treat out to lure him around the pole. Click just before he completes the circle and then reward. Practice in both directions, adding in a different command for each way, such as ‘Pole’ or ‘Circle’.

Eventually you will be able to reduce your hand movements so that they are hardly visible. Ultimately you can impress your friends by asking your dog to circle around them on command.

Trick 7: In the doghouse

A dog that will go to his mat or crate on command is a joy to be around. Begin by throwing some treats on the mat or in the crate and encourage your dog to find them. Give the word ‘Mat’ or ‘Crate’ as you do so. Eventually you can say the word and your dog will go to the mat or crate and wait for you to throw him his reward. You can gradually build up distance and your dog should happily run to his mat in anticipation of a reward.

Trick 8: Wicked weaves

Just as you lured your dog to walk around you in a circle you can also lure him to weave through your legs. Begin with your dog on the left and lure him with a treat through your legs in a figure of eight movement. Click and reward when he gets back to the starting position. Gradually stand up straighter and reduce the food rewards until he just follows your hand signals and build in the command ‘Weave’. Most dogs get the hang of this quite quickly and can build up a lot of speed.

Trick 9: Jump to it

If your dog is over 12 months old you can teach him to jump over obstacles such as a hoop or through your arms. Once you have taught your dog to go round you, he can even circle you and then jump through your arms. Hold a child’s hoop at ground level then lure your dog to walk through it. Click when he’s halfway through and reward when he’s all the way through. Gradually raise the height of the hoop and use the command ‘Through’. When he is confident you can put him in a ‘Sit and wait’ and throw the treat or toy through the hoop and encourage him to get it. Soon your dog should jump through hoops without any verbal encouragement.

Trick 10: Fancy footwork

This clever trick involves your dog standing between your legs and balancing his paws on your feet as you walk together. Lure him to stand between your legs, teaching him the ‘Middle’ position and clicking and rewarding as he stands there. Once he understands ‘Middle’, stand pigeon-toed and lure him until he puts both paws on your feet. Click and reward for even the hint of a paw on your foot. When he is confident about balancing on your feet, make a tiny movement with your foot and click and reward him for staying in position.

Ultimately you will be able to stand up and walk along together, using a command of your choice such as ‘Feet’ or ‘Shoes’. Very cute!

Article reposted from:
http://www.yourdog.co.uk/Dog-Activities/10-tricks-to-give-your-dog-the-x-factor.html

One third of cancer deaths in people and dogs are preventable through diet changes

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

One out of three cancer deaths in humans as well as dogs can be prevented by simple, natural diet changes. That’s the conclusion of research presented by Demian Dressler, DVM, at the 2010 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago, Illinois.

So how could so many fatal cancers be stopped? Dr. Dressler, known as the “dog cancer vet” because of his work in unraveling the intricacies of canine cancer, said the key is severely limiting snack foods for humans and dogs that contain ingredients rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3s (found in cold water fish such as salmon and other foods including flax oil and walnuts) and omega-6s (found in meats and some widely used vegetable oils such as corn oil) are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that must be consumed for the body to function properly. Omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation, blood clotting and cell proliferation, while omega-3 fatty acids decrease those functions of the immune system. The problem is that the typical American diet — for people as well as their pets — tends to be overloaded with omega-6s and deficient in omega-3s.

In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research reports that the current ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids eaten by most Americans is about 15-to-1; however, a healthy ratio is closer to 4-to-1. This is a serious problem because, as NaturalNews has previously reported, scientists have linked this imbalance to autoimmunity, allergy, heart disease, arthritis, asthma and cancer

The glut of omega-6s comes mostly from vegetable oils, such as soy oil, which are used in most of the snack foods, cookies, crackers, sweets, fast foods and — in the case of dogs’ diets — doggie treats and many commercial dog foods. The result is an eating pattern that promotes inflammation. That, Dr. Dressler stated, creates an environment conducive to cancer in dogs and people.

Another important way to reduce fatal cancers in humans and their canine companions is to keep weight at a healthy level. Dr. Dressler noted studies show obesity in both dogs and humans limits the production of a hormone dubbed adiponectin that inhibits the growth of cancer cells. He recommended reducing calories and especially staying away from sugar — not only because it contributes to obesity, but also because it is now known to feed cancer cells and spur their growth.

A panel meeting at the 2010 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo panel encouraged pet food manufacturers to consider the health implications of their products in order to improve animals’ health. According to the media statement, Kelly S. Swanson, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, suggested the ideal blend of fiber for dog food is about 75 to 80 percent insoluble and 20 to 25 percent soluble. What’s more, adding quality prebiotics to pet foods could also enhance dogs’ health

Article reposted from:
http://www.naturalnews.com/029291_cancer_diet.html#
By Sherry Baker
For more information:
http://www.ift.org/Newsroom/News-Releases/2010/July/20/Cutting-Fat-and-Calories-Can-Lower-Cancer-Risk-in-Dogs-and-People.aspx

Treating low-grade lymphoma in dogs can add more than two years to a pet's life.

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Lymphoma in dogs is one of the most common pet cancers. May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, so we’re highlighting one of the most common causes of death in dogs. The National Canine Cancer Foundation says the disease accounts for half of deaths in pets over 10 years old. The canine cancer rate is comparable to that in humans, while cancer is less common in cats.

Lymphoma occurs when there is an overgrowth of lymphocytes, immune cells. (Wikimedia Commons / Joel Mills)

What is lymphoma?

Although there are over 30 types of lymphoma in dogs, the cancer comes from an overgrowth of lymphocyte cells. Lymphocytes are an integral part of the immune system, protecting the body from infection. Other parts of the immune system are most susceptible to lymphoma, like the spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. Lymphoma of the skin, digestive system, thymus gland, and other organs may also occur. Lymphoma in dogs accounts for 7 to 14 percent of all canine cancers, according to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University.

What are symptoms of lymphoma?

Depending on the cancer’s location, signs of lymphoma in dogs include swelling, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and increased thirst and urination. The primary symptom is swollen lymph nodes, located directly under a dog’s jaw on either side of the neck. Swelling, or edema, of the extremities may occur if a swollen lymph node blocks drainage of fluid from the affected area.

Lymphoma in dogs most commonly presents as swelling of the lymph nodes, just under the jaw on both sides of the neck. (Wikimedia Commons / Joel Mills)

Lymphoma of the skin is commonly mistaken for allergies or fungal infections at first; when it occurs in the mouth, it may be misdiagnosed as periodontal disease or gingivitis. When lymphoma in dogs occurs in the gastrointestinal system, vomiting and unusually dark-colored diarrhea are the primary symptoms.

How is lymphoma diagnosed and treated?

If you notice any sudden changes in your pet’s appearance or behavior, see your vet. Diagnostic tests for lymphoma in dogs include biopsy of any masses or affected areas, which may require sedation. Once a diagnosis of lymphoma is determined, multiple staging tests may be conducted to establish how far the cancer has advanced; these tests include routine lab work like blood and urinalysis, as well as x-rays and sonograms.

Diagnosis of lymphoma in dogs requires a biopsy and several stage tests. Chemotherapy is a common treatment. (Flickr.com/kqedkquest / UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine)

Treatment for lymphoma in dogs depends on the cancer’s stage. Chemotherapy is usually recommended, while more advanced cases may require surgery or radiation to shrink and remove masses. Widely considered to be the most effective treatment, UW-25 is a drug cocktail modeled after human lymphoma treatments.

How will chemotherapy affect my dog?

The side effects of chemotherapy in dogs are similar to those in humans, although much milder. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur, along with loss of appetite and lethargy. Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine reported less than five percent of dogs experience serious chemotherapy side effects requiring hospitalization. If this does occur, your vet will adjust the dosage accordingly.

While undergoing chemotherapy, your dog may experience vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. (Flickr.com/95438852@N08)

Usually, dogs don’t lose their fur from chemotherapy. However, poodles, terriers, and Old English sheepdogs have been known to experience hair loss while undergoing treatment.

What is the prognosis for lymphoma in dogs?

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, treating low-grade lymphoma in dogs can add more than two years to a pet’s life. The good news is, 70 to 90 percent of dogs treated with UW-25 experience partial or complete remission. The key to a good prognosis is early diagnosis. Regularly inspect your pet for any lumps or bumps, and pay attention to sudden changes in appearance and behavior. If you suspect anything is wrong, make an appointment with your vet – better safe than sorry.

Article republished from:
https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/blog/2015/05/19/lymphoma-in-dogs/
By Taylor M

Low-Carb Ketogenic and Raw Food Diets Helps Dogs and Cats Live Longer and Fight Cancer

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

The ketogenic diet has been shown to help manage a variety of diseases, including epilepsy and cancer in both mice and humans. But researcher Thomas Sandberg says the ketogenic diet can also help dogs and cats live longer as well as prevent and combat cancer.

Thomas Sandberg, CEO of Long Living Pets Research, has been researching the use of the ketogenic and raw food diets to promote longevity in dogs. (Photos courtesy of T. Sandberg)

Sandberg, an animal activist and founder of Long Living Pets Research in Oakley, Utah, has been studying the use of the low-carb, grain-free ketogenic and raw food diets to enhance the longevity and health of dogs for the past 15 years.

Sandberg, who launched his 30-year research project in 2000, has been tracking the health of 1,000 dogs around the world.

He discovered dogs (and cats) thrive on both a low-carb, grain-free raw food diet (raw meat, offal and bones) and a ketogenic diet, which is an extremely low-carb, high-fat, adequate-protein diet.

“Dogs are pure carnivores and do not thrive on your average commercial dog food,” said Sandberg, author of Learn How to Add Years To Your Dog’s Life.

“I have studied dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems since 1997 and believe feeding them a simple diet of raw meats, edible bones and organ meats will promote a healthy immune system. The result is a long, healthy life way past what is the expected lifespan of most breeds that are fed commercial dog food.”

Thomas, who was born in Norway, said the commercial kibble that most dog owners feed their pets causes them to get sick, fat and die early.

Sandberg believes you can dramatically extend a dog’s life (even two-fold) simply by limiting their intake of unhealthy carbs and feeding them what nature intended.

Sandberg, who himself follows a ketogenic diet, said his research also shows dogs placed on a ketogenic diet were able to completely eradicate their tumors and become cancer-free.

The cancer-inhibiting effects of a ketogenic cancer have been studied for years by leading researchers such as Dr. Thomas Seyfried of Boston College.

Cancer researcher Thomas Seyfried says the ketogenic diet can treat cancer because cancer is a metabolic, not a genetic, disease.

In an interview with the Examiner, Dr. Seyfried said his decades of research indicate cancer is a metabolic — not a genetic — disease. And the best way to treat a metabolic disorder is through diet, not by pumping a patient full of toxic radiation.

Seyfried published his findings in his ground-breaking book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease.

The problem with the traditional treatment of cancer, said Seyfried, is that the cancer community has approached it as a genetic disease, so much of the research efforts have gone into gene-focused studies, which he says does not address the root of the problem.

Dr. Seyfried, widely considered the godfather of the nutritional treatment of cancer, joins a growing number of researchers who say the ketogenic diet can treat most forms of cancer.

This is because nearly all the healthy cells in our body have the metabolic flexibility to use fat, glucose and ketones to survive, but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility and require large amounts of glucose and cannot survive on ketones. So by limiting carbohydrates (as the keto diet does) we can reduce glucose and insulin, and thus restrict the primary fuel for cancer cell growth.

Thomas Sandberg has read Seyfried’s research and agrees the ketogenic diet can help both humans and dogs. He’s astounded by the reluctance of many dog owners to accept that kibble is not the optimal food for their pets.

Fortunately, Sandberg says the tide is slowly changing, as evidenced by the growing number of dog owners who ask to be included in his research project.

“Dogs are carnivores,” he said. “Therefore, the only food they can properly digest, metabolize, and utilize is raw meat. This is a fact.”

Sandberg, a former fitness executive and lifelong animal lover, started his research project because he wanted to learn how to extend the lives of his own dogs and cats. Thomas has six dogs and two cats.

“I have fed my Great Danes a ketogenic raw food diet since 2000,” he said. “Every year my dogs undergo a full medical check-up and each year, without exception, they have been 100% healthy. There’s no reason why all dogs can’t enjoy a long, healthy, disease-free life with the proper nutrition.”

For more information on Thomas Sandberg’s project, check out Long Living Pets Research. To help support his research, check out his GoFundMe page.

Article reposted from:
http://www.celebrityhealthfitness.com/27693/low-carb-ketogenic-diet-can-help-dogs-live-longer-and-fight-cancer-says-researcher/
By
Samantha Chang

Nutrition for Dogs With Cancer

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

No other disease strikes as much fear deep within our hearts as cancer. We panic and start searching the Internet for something that can save our dog.

There is a lot of information out there, some websites even offering miracle supplements and cures for cancer. Please remember that promises that seem too good to be true very often are.

And don’t think that “natural” is safe and more is better. This is a time to stay positive and act on scientific truths rather than hearsay or guesswork.

Goals of nutritional therapy

Most dogs with cancer have a decreased food intake; therefore a major goal of nutritional therapy is to select a food that is highly palatable and energy dense.

The food’s nutrient profile should be individualized to maintain normal body condition, inhibit tumor growth and prevent or manage cachexia.

Avoid excess carbohydrates and increase protein and fat

A study done by Gregory Ogilvie, DVM, at Colorado State University, on dogs with stage 3 lymphoma, found that a diet moderate in high quality proteins, low in carbohydrates and moderate in fat, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, was successful in prolonging life.

Although much more research is needed and this study did not examine all forms of cancer, the results are encouraging.

This type of diet, however, is not appropriate for all dogs and should only be fed under veterinary guidance.

Foods of interest in dogs with cancer

High quality protein such as dairy products made from goat or sheep, egg, low-mercury fish, organ and muscle meat preferable natural raised.

Healthy, functional carbohydrates such as sweet potato, broccoli, quinoa and gluten free oats.

Antiangiogenic foods such as apples, berries, pumpkin and maitake mushrooms.

Cruciferous vegetables (unless your dog has hypothyroidism) such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and bok choy.

Green leafy and yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, turnip greens and sweet potato.

Avoid gluten and get rid of high-GI foods such as corn, wheat or white rice (brown rice is fine).

Increase Omega-3 fatty acids

Increase Omega-3 intake and keep the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio as close to 1:1 as possible.

Wild salmon oil is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids but do not use cod liver oil as the amounts of vitamin A and D would be excessive when given at high doses.

Do not use flax seed oil instead of fish oil because the form of Omega-3 fatty acids found in plants must be converted to EPA and DHA in order to be utilized by the dog.

Vitamins C and E

There is some question as to whether vitamins C and E should be given in amounts above the daily nutritional guides set by NRC and AAFCO.

Although vitamins C and E have been shown to decrease cell damage, in particular DNA damage, their usefulness in neoplasia, once already diagnosed, is largely unknown, and some suggest they may even be harmful.

The debate starts when a patient is receiving radiation or chemotherapy. The presence of increased antioxidants in tissue may interfere with the anticancer effects of radiation and some chemotherapies and may counteract some of the cellular benefits of Omega-3.

I never add additional vitamin C or E and I urge you to ask your oncologist before adding any to your dog’s diet.

Digestive enzymes

The body’s ability to process and absorb nutrients in the food can be greatly affected by cancer.

Digestive enzymes help the body to break down food, making it easier to absorb nutrients. Thus they can be extremely valuable, in particular to dogs experiencing diarrhoea or weight loss.

Turmeric (Curcumine)

Turmeric is the spice found in curry which gives it the yellow colour. Although more research is needed, studies show turmeric has the ability to inhibit growth of tumours and metastasis.

Milk Thistle

This herb protects against or treats liver cells from damage from toxins such as chemotherapy drugs.

Probiotics

Probiotics is the ‘good guy’ bacteria that fights the ‘bad guys’ in the gastrointestinal tract, protecting the dog’s immune system, improving gut health and digestion.

Bottom Line

It can be difficult to address the needs for each neoplastic condition due to the complex nature of cancer.

However, dogs that have a higher nutritional status are not only more likely to fight off infections and tolerate therapy and its side effects, they also have better odds of actually winning the battle.

Article reposted from:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kristina-johansen/nutrition-for-dogs-with-cancer_b_6908834.html
By Kristina Johansen

7 Superfoods to Add to Your Dog's Diet

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

If your pet is a picky eater, then he may appreciate having a treat added to his food bowl. Think of it like your meal, when you add ketchup to French fries… or add bacon to almost anything.

Of course, unlike your addition of bacon, you’d probably prefer to give your dog something healthyas an add-in. While your dog may enjoy having bacon added to his dog food every day, your dog’s health may suffer, as he doesn’t understand that certain types of foods need to be eaten in moderation. To help you select the ideal add-ins for your dog, I’ve created the infographic below to explain both the benefits of Superfoods and which you may want your pup to try!

Adding Superfoods for Your Dog

Dogs will enjoy a variety of foods as add-ins, including those that will be good for them. The superfoods listed in the accompanying infographic can provide both a great add-in to the dog’s regular food as well as desirable vitamins and minerals that will contribute to your dog’s good health. Some superfoods are better as a standalone food, while others are great to add to the kibble. The following list includes the five best superfoods to add to a dog’s regular kibble!

  1. Broccoli. Cooked broccoli needs to be cut into very small pieces to be added to your dog’s food. Some dogs may like the stalk of the broccoli better than the flowery head, and others will want to eat the flowery head only. The vitamins in broccoli can help a dog’s digestion, while also healing any skin problems and preventing cancer.
  2. Carrots. If you’re going to add carrots to your dog’s food, you’ll be adding vitamins A and C to the animal’s diet, which will help its heart and eyes. Most dogs will like the carrots better as an add-in if they’re cooked, rather than raw. The soft carrots won’t help to clean your dog’s teeth as well as a raw, hard carrot, but they will provide plenty of health benefits.
  3. Fish oil. Pouring a bit of fish oil over the top of the dog’s food bowl can help the dog’s coat and skin look healthier, and salmon oil may even help alleviate a dog’s problems with allergies. The Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the fish are especially beneficial for the dog’s overall health.
  4. Kale. As with the other foods on this list, kale is a superfood for both humans and dogs, providing the benefits found in vitamins A, C, and K, while also providing high levels of calcium and iron. If you search the Internet for baked dog treats with kale, you’ll find plenty of options that can help you introduce this superfood to your dog’s diet. You can spread steamed kale over the top of your dog’s regular food too.
  5. Spinach. Steamed spinach offers plenty of iron and vitamin K, which will help the health of your dog’s bones and heart. Spinach is also a great cancer-preventing vegetable, making it a great add-in to your dog’s regular meal time dog food. As with kale, baking spinach into dog treats is a good way to add this superfood to your dog’s diet.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Many Options

You may have to experiment a little bit to find just the right combination of superfoods and dog food to appeal to your dog’s taste buds, just be careful of food allergies. Most dogs enjoy eating a few different superfoods, so the experiments shouldn’t take too long.

You also may want to read through the list of ingredients on your dog food bag. Once you know which nutrients the dog food provides to your pet, you can pick a superfood that will supplement the dog food’s nutrients, giving your dog the entire range of vitamins and minerals it needs!

Article reposted from:
http://www.entirelypets.com/7-superfoods-for-your-dogs-diet-infographic.html
By Amber Kingsley

An Open Letter From Your Dog's Pancreas

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Hi, I’m your dog’s pancreas

You may not know exactly what I am or what I do, but trust me when I tell you that I play a vital role in maintaining your dog’s health and comfort.

Who knows, maybe you’ve already seen what happens when I’m not “on my game”: diabetes, pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatitis? As you can see, much like The Hulk… it’s best not to make me angry.

I’m reaching out today specifically because of all these bouts with pancreatitis… you know, the condition where I become inflamed and you and your dog pay the price. I’m tired of being the bad guy, but I’m also tired of having to work so hard because of all the extra “treats” you keep giving your dog. Now I’m not talking about the occasional dog biscuit or the carrots and green beans you give him. Those are fine. What really bothers me, what really hurts me, what really inflames me are all of the “extra special” treats — the bacon and sausage, the prime rib leftovers and steak bones, the scraps from your holiday feasts.

And that bacon grease you keep adding to your dog’s food in hopes of giving him a shinier coat. Really?!?! Who ever gave you that idea? what website or chat room did you read that one on?? Please stop, you’re killing me! Literally.

Look, I don’t want to hurt your dog. But you’re leaving me with little choice. I don’t like making your dog vomit and have diarrhea. I don’t like making him lethargic and putting him off his food. I don’t even like causing you the grief, inconvenience, and the financial strain of the costs associated with an inflamed pancreas. How spiteful do you think I am?

Pancreatitis is no fun for anyone!

Trust me, pancreatitis isn’t fun for me either. Not even close! When I’m inflamed, I start digesting myself. Have you ever literally eaten yourself? Does that sound like fun to you? I don’t recommend it!

So let’s call a truce. Let’s make a deal. You get your dog to an ideal body condition and stop “spoiling” him with the things that make me angry and I’ll keep being Bruce Banner, continuing to focus on my important work of helping your dog regulate his blood sugar and breakdown and absorb dietary proteins, carbohydrates, and the all-important fats. I don’t want to be The Hulk.

You see, at the end of the day, you and I have the same goal… to keep your dog happy, healthy, and pain-free. So let’s start working together. Let’s stop making each other angry. What do you say, do we have a deal?

Sincerely,
Your Dog’s (currently) Angry Pancreas

Article reposted from:
http://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/open-letter-from-your-dogs-pancreas
Authored by Jason Nicholas, BVetMed

Keeping Your Dog Healthy And Happy In Both Spring And Summer

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Keeping your dog happy and healthy all year round is important. You can enjoy the company of your furry family member when you ensure that it is comfortable. Spring and summer is a great time for you to enjoy being outdoors with your dog. With the great weather, you can enjoy months where taking long walks in the park can be the highlight of your days.

Before you spend too much time outdoors, it is important to know that the spring and summer days can present unique health risks and dangers for your dog. Dogs do not do too well in extreme weather and this goes beyond winter. The rising temperatures during the hot months can be just as unsafe. Following are some health care tips that will ensure that your dog remains healthy and safe in the heat.

Talk to the veterinarian

The best thing you can do for your dog is to pay a visit to your vet clinic for some education. Check with the vet to get tips and recommendations for heartworm prevention during spring. It is important to know that mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease that can be fatal. The disease is a silent killer and it is important to ensure that you keep your dog heartworm free. Fortunately, you can do this with minimal prevention. Talk to the vet about the best way to keep your dog cool and comfortable when it is hot.

Choosing the best diet

Spring and summer is the perfect time make some changes to your dog’s diet. You should transition your dog to good quality all natural dog food that will provide long-term benefits. Transitioning to new dog food is something you do slowly over time by mixing in the new food with the old. Gradually add more of the high quality dog food until your dog is only easting the premium food. A good diet will give your dog more energy during the summer months.

Monitoring your dog

It is very important to closely monitor your dog’s tolerance of the heat. You should never leave the dog out in the direct sun for too long. Remember that dogs can also get sunburned! Providing adequate cool, clean water is very important. Pay special attention to older dogs and dogs that have thick coats. You should limit your dogs exercise to the hours when the temperatures are cooler.

Flea and tick treatments

It is very important to keep your dog flea and tick free during the summer. It is a good idea to use natural tick and flea treatments. Talk to your vet about the best treatments and remember that some of the products in the market are actually toxic and you should avoid them at all costs. Your veterinarian can offer advice about holistic solutions for your dog grooming.

Protect your dog’s health and comfort by avoiding noisy events. You might enjoy firework displays and rock concerts, but your dog does not feel the same way! Avoid anything that can be stressful or that can cause anxiety to your dog. Dogs love summer and spring because it means spending lots of time outdoors. Make sure that you monitor your pet’s health to make the season fantastic for both of you!

Article reposted from:
http://www.hudsonvet.com/keeping-your-dog-healthy-and-happy-in-both-spring-and-summer/