Posts Tagged ‘allergies in dogs’

Dog Poisoning

By Dr. Becker

Arsenic is a heavy metal mineral. Inorganic arsenic is often found in products like herbicides, insecticides, wood preservatives, and some types of insulation. Organic arsenic is used in certain drugs to treat or prevent blood parasites, including heartworm.

How Pets Become Poisoned by Arsenic

In most cases of arsenic poisoning, a pet inadvertently ingests a product containing arsenic that is lying around. However, sometimes toxicity occurs over a long period of time, such as when a dog or cat eats grass that is regularly treated with herbicides containing arsenic.

Arsenic that dissolves in water is quickly absorbed after your pet swallows it. Most of the arsenic that is ingested binds to red blood cells and is distributed to body tissues, with the highest levels accumulating in the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs. In cases of long-term exposure, arsenic accumulates in the skin, nails, sweat glands, and fur.

It’s typically the GI tract, liver, kidneys, lungs, blood vessels, and skin that are most vulnerable to arsenic damage.

Symptoms of Arsenic Poisoning

Symptoms of arsenic poisoning in a pet usually come on suddenly, within a few hours of ingestion, and are quite severe. In some cases, it can take up to 24 hours for symptoms to develop.

Because the GI and cardiovascular systems are affected, blood loss and shock may occur. There is often watery diarrhea that may be tinged with blood, severe colic, dehydration, weakness, staggering, depression, a weak pulse, and loss of consciousness. Circulatory collapse is also possible.

Symptoms can continue for hours or even weeks, depending on the amount of arsenic ingested. In very severe cases, death can be almost immediate.

Diagnosing Arsenic Poisoning

Since your veterinarian or the emergency animal clinic will need to know what your pet has ingested, if you suspect your dog or cat is suffering from arsenic toxicity, it’s important to try and bring the suspect product with you.

Unfortunately, most people don’t see their pet ingest arsenic. But if your dog or cat is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, bringing a sample with you to the veterinary clinic can help speed up the diagnostic process.

The vet will need to know when your pet’s symptoms started and incidents that could have resulted in a poisoning. There again, if you have products containing arsenic in your house, bring them with you to the vet’s office.

A complete blood count (CBC), a chemical blood profile, and a urinalysis will be performed, and a sample of your pet’s stomach contents may also be collected. Arsenic found in the bloodstream or stomach contents confirms the diagnosis of arsenic toxicity.

If the poisoning is chronic (long-term), the level of arsenic in your pet’s body can be determined by a hair sample.

Treatment Options

The goal of treatment in cases of arsenic toxicity is to flush the substance out of your pet’s body. If the arsenic was recently ingested, vomiting should be induced to expel as much of the poison as possible. If you actually see your pet consuming the poison, it’s important to quickly induce vomiting. I recommend you call your vet or your local emergency clinic for instructions on how to do this safely.

Inducing vomiting can be dangerous under certain circumstances, so don’t do it unless you’re absolutely sure your pet has swallowed arsenic or another toxic substance. If your pet has already vomited, don’t try to induce vomiting or to encourage more of it. Remember that vomiting should never be induced in a dog or cat that is unconscious, having problems breathing, or is showing signs of serious distress or shock.

If you don’t know when your pet swallowed the poison, he needs to be seen by a veterinarian right away. Your vet or the emergency clinic staff will perform a gastric lavage (irrigation of the stomach) to flush out the stomach contents, followed by doses of activated charcoal and a medication that will help the bowels to empty. Your pet will probably also be given medicines to prevent damage to the GI tract.

Certain compounds are known to chelate (bind) heavy metals like arsenic, so your pet will probably be given those as well. Many animals suffering from arsenic poisoning need to be hospitalized for a few days until their condition stabilizes. Intravenous (IV) fluids, blood transfusions, and dimercaprol (an antidote to arsenic) will be given as needed while your pet is in the hospital.

Since arsenic severely damages the liver and kidneys, kidney and liver function will be monitored during treatment. Pets with kidney failure will continue on fluid therapy.

Arsenic poisoning in pets is a medical emergency. Unfortunately, in severe cases, very few patients survive unless treatment is started very early, before symptoms progress.

This article was published by Dr. Karen Becker; a holistic veterinarian.  See other great articles that Dr. Becker has written at; http://www.mercola.com.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

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Rabies in Dogs

Why Challenge Current Rabies Vaccine Policy?

Rabies vaccination is required by law in nearly all areas. Even though protection from rabies is documented to last at least three years, current law in some states or areas still requires that boosters be given annually or biannually rather than the standard policy of every three years. However, vaccination against rabies virus is occasionally associated with debilitating adverse effects. According to the CDC domestic animals account for less than 10% of the reported rabies cases, with cats, cattle, and dogs most often reported rabid. Scientific data indicate that vaccinating dogs against rabies every three years, as most states require, is unnecessary.

Studies have shown the duration of protective immunity as measured by serum antibody titers against rabies virus to persist for seven years post-vaccination. By validating the ‘true’ life of rabies virus immunity and moving to five and hopefully seven years, we will decrease the risk of adverse reactions in our animals and minimize their repeated exposure to foreign substances. Killed vaccines like those for rabies virus can trigger both immediate and delayed adverse vaccine reactions (termed “vaccinosis”). While there may be immediate hypersensitivity reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24-72 hours afterwards, or up to 45 days later in the case of delayed reactions.

Reactions that have been documented include:

  • Behavior changes such as aggression and separation anxiety
  • Obsessive behavior,self-mutilation, tail chewing
  • Pica – eating wood, stones, earth, stool
  • Destructive behavior, shredding bedding
  • Seizures, epilepsy
  • Fibrosarcomas at injection site
  • Autoimmune diseases such as those affecting bone marrow and blood cells, joints, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system
  • Muscular weakness and or atrophy
  • Chronic digestive problems

The Rabies Challenge Fund

Rabies Exemptions and Waivers
Rabies Vaccination is required by law. In some instances, it is possible to secure a written waiver for exemption from rabies booster vaccination. A letter justifying the medical reason for such exemption needs to be obtained from your primary care veterinarian. When seeking a waiver, a rabies serum antibody titer should be performed. Adequate serum rabies titers are at least 1:5 by the RFFIT method. Waiver requests are not generally accepted based on serum antibody titers alone, but may be granted on a case-by-case basis with justification. Waivers are not granted as a matter of personal preference, and localities often do not permit waivers and exemptions regardless of the justification.

This article comes from the Rabies Challenge Fund.  They are an organization that does what they say they will do.  They are currently working on changing the law from rabies being given every three years to every seven years.  Please donate anything you can to help this organization achieve this goal.  Our dogs lives depend on it.  Go to:  http://www.rabieschallengefund.org to make a donation.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Probiotics for Dogs and Cats

Probiotics: The One Supplement Every Pet Should Be Taking

October 26, 2010

The use of probiotics in mainstream veterinary practices is on the upswing.

Veterinarians are starting to use beneficial bacteria not only to treat their patients with gastrointestinal disorders, but also as immune system support for puppies, kittens and aging pets.

According to Amy Dicke, technical services veterinarian for P&G Pet Care:

“Sixty to 80 percent of the body’s immune system lies in the digestive tract. This means the GI function has influence on the immune system and how it reacts. A healthy GI tract will help an animal fight disease, so keeping this balance of healthy bacteria alive is an important part of overall wellness.”

“Research isn’t readily available to support every potential use of probiotics in animals, but veterinarians should remain open to benefits outside of a diarrhea remedy,” says Susan Wynn, DVM, of Georgia Veterinary Specialists. “Clients will continue to demand probiotics and the industry will continue to find ways to use them.”

Dr. Becker’s Comments:

As you’re aware if you read the full article at the link, mainstream veterinarians and major pet food manufacturers are getting into the probiotics business in a big way.

That’s both good and bad news, from my perspective.

Probiotic Profiteers

I’m happy to see more attention paid to the enormous benefits probiotics can provide to the health and well-being of companion animals.

However, I’m concerned pet food companies will use the growing interest in probiotics by pet owners and veterinarians to create food formulas containing substandard, essentially useless probiotic additives. Then, of course, their marketing people will get busy positioning these ‘new-and-improved’ formulas in such a way that consumers will believe they are providing high quality probiotics conveniently contained in the food they serve their dog or cat.

It’s troubling to know that some of the very pet food giants responsible for the poorest quality diets available – formulas that have largely contributed to the compromised health of millions of companion animals — are the same ones now leading the industry’s charge to get probiotics-related pet products to market.

A Short Primer on Probiotics

Probiotics are ‘friendly’ strains of bacteria that maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in your pet’s GI tract, and also defend against opportunistic, potentially pathogenic (bad) bacteria.

The digestive tract is the largest immune organ in your pet’s body, and yours. Believe it or not, your dog or cat has even more intestinal bacteria than you do, despite her much smaller size. The GI tracts of companion animals are designed to handle a tremendous bacterial load – bacteria that would quite likely develop into a life-threatening infection if found elsewhere in your dog’s or cat’s body.

A healthy population of friendly bacteria keeps your pet’s immune system in good working order. If the balance of bad-to-good intestinal bugs gets out of whack, your dog or cat will eventually develop GI symptoms and an increased susceptibility to illness.

Studies demonstrate animals raised without friendly bacteria in the gut, or with a poor balance of good-to-bad gut bacteria, are at dramatically increased risk of developing disease.

Why a Healthy Balance of Gut Bacteria is Important

When your dog’s or cat’s gastrointestinal bacteria are in balance with the right amount and type of healthy bugs on board, there is symbiosis. Good things happen inside your pet’s body. For example:

  • Vitamins are made
  • Vegetable fiber is processed as it should be
  • Unfriendly bacteria are kept in check
  • Toxins are well-managed

When unfriendly, pathogenic bacteria take over your pet’s digestive system, it creates dysbiosis, which is more or less the opposite of symbiosis.

Dysbiosis results in increased permeability – leakiness — of the intestinal wall, which means your pet’s GI tract will be less able to allow healthy bacteria and nutrients in and keep disease-causing bacteria out.

A healthy GI tract is selective about what is absorbed. Nutrients are taken in and non-nutritive substances, including toxins, are filtered out.

Exciting Recent Study Results

Back to the good news-bad news department — up until major pet food manufacturers took an interest in probiotics, there was very little research into the ways in which supplementation could improve the health of dogs and cats.

Now that pet food companies have discovered a lucrative market in probiotic products, it’s a very safe bet much more funding for research will be made available.

Study results will benefit pet food producers, of course, but they will also help veterinarians, pet owners and others concerned with the health of dogs and cats learn more about the uses and promise of probiotic supplementation.

A few examples of recent research:

They also maintained their vaccination titers longer and had higher levels of fecal secretory IgA, an important antibody produced in the lining of the intestine that protects against bacteria and viruses. The higher fecal IgA result was also seen in elderly dogs fed E. faecium, as well as kittens. Kittens and adult cats showed decreased incidence and duration of naturally occurring diarrhea and improved good-to-bad gut bacteria ratios.

  • In another study of the benefits of E. faecium involving 11 healthy dogs, not only was their fecal microflora improved, but so were serum lipids. Eight of the 11 dogs given the probiotic supplement showed a decrease in total lipids and normalized cholesterol levels.
  • In a study of the effects of strain L. acidophilus on healthy adult cats, the probiotic altered the balance of GI microflora and in addition, resulted in beneficial systemic and immunomodulatory effects.
  • In this study, conducted by a veterinarian to test a pet probiotic manufacturer’s claims of help for cats with renal failure, results showed the supplement decreased creatinine levels in six of seven cats and improved their health and vitality. This probiotic contained a mixture of three strains: Streptococus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium longum.

The Pet Probiotic I Use and Recommend

Two things I don’t recommend are 1) using human probiotics on dogs and cats, and 2) using processed pet foods with probiotic additives.

Probiotic formulas used by humans were developed specifically to fortify the bacterial species found in the human GI tract. Pets have specific strains of bacteria unique to them, so they need a unique probiotic. Your dog or cat must have organisms derived from its own species for best results. You probably won’t harm your pet by offering human probiotics, but you aren’t providing as much benefit as you would be by offering a species-appropriate product.

The bacteria in a probiotic must be live and able to reproduce in order for it to be beneficial. Tests on dog foods claiming to contain probiotic micro-organisms showed the manufacturing process kills too many of the live bacteria, rendering the probiotic effect useless by the time the food is packaged and shipped.

A pet probiotic should have the following qualities:

  • It must not cause disease (despite the fact it contains bacteria)
  • It must survive the acidic environment of your pet’s stomach
  • It must contain enough live organisms to colonize the intestines
  • It must contain the correct strains of bacteria beneficial for pets, not people
  • It should remain stable under normal storage conditions
  • It should be easy to give to your dog or cat

A Great Article by Mercola.com.  Please go to http://www.healthypets.com to order your probiotic specially formulated for dogs and puppies.  Giving your puppy or dog yogurt is not enough probiotic to be of benefit for your pets.  We introduce a probiotic to our puppies at 3 weeks of age when they start to eat.  It has helped our puppies immune system from the start and has cut down greatly on loose stools and diarrhea.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Garlic for Dogs: Poison or Medicine

Garlic For Dogs: Poison Or Medicine?

Yes, I promote the use of garlic. Fresh, aromatic, organic garlic with a smell that lingers in the kitchen promising either a good meal or a good heal.So why do I go against AVMA warnings and give garlic to my dogs? I do it because common sense and an objective look at both the risks and benefits of garlic tell me it can provide great benefits to dogs with minimal risk. Remember, AMVA (American Medical Veterinary Association) members also think that raw food is unhealthy and would rather dogs eat a processed, chemical laden diet than fresh, raw free-range chicken or vitamin packed green tripe.

Why the controversy over garlic?

The primary reason AVMA is against feeding garlic is that it contains thiosulphate, which can cause hemolytic anemia, liver damage and death. However garlic only contains very small traces of thiosulphate and a dog would have to consume a huge quantity for any negative effects. Using Tylenol (acetaminophen) or benzocaine topical ointments to stop itching are far more likely to cause anemia in dogs.

Garlic’s medicinal properties

There are many health benefits to feeding garlic. Here are some things you might not know about this healthy herb:

  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic and won’t affect the good bacteria in the gut which are needed for digestion and immune health
  • Garlic is antifungal
  • Garlic is antiviral
  • Garlic boosts the immune system
  • Garlic makes dogs less desirable to fleas
  • Garlic is antiparasitic

What kind of garlic?

I stick with fresh, raw organic garlic and keep it on hand as a staple for both cooking and healing. If it’s fresh, I know the medicinal qualities are still there, unlike minced garlic which may originate in China and sit for months in a jar. Powdered garlic doesn’t cut it either. Kyolic Aged Liquid Garlic is a good choice if you don’t want to smash and cut every day.

How much garlic to feed

You can safely give a 1/2 clove per ten pounds of body weight each day, chopped or grated. Two cloves maximum per day for a large dog is a good guideline.

  • ½ clove for a 10 + pounds
  • 1 clove for a 20 + pounds
  • 1 ½ cloves for 30 + pounds
  • 2 cloves for 40 + pounds

My dogs are over 70 pounds but I stick with the 2 cloves.

Garlic tips

For optimum health benefits, let garlic sit for 5 to 10 minutes after cutting and before serving (or cooking). This allows the health-promoting allicin to form, so it’s worth the wait.

To get rid of the smell on your hands, rinse them under water while rubbing them with a stainless steel spoon! I don’t know why it works, but bless the woman who told me this long ago.

A great home remedy recipe

An ear medicine I’ve kept on hand for years started out when my kids got ‘swimmers ear’ one summer. It’s simple to make and since garlic is an antibiotic, antibacterial, and antifungal it covers several possibilities.

Crush 2 cloves fresh garlic; wait ten minutes and add them to 1/3 cup olive oil. Heat in a pan (do NOT boil) for several minutes. Let cool. Strain and store in a glass bottle with a dropper and apply it directly in the ears.

The only possible drawback to this remedy is every time I smell it I want pasta and garlic bread!

Another great article from Dogs Naturally Magazine.  Get this great magazine today.  Keeping your Dog Healthy.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Dog Allergies- Try Colostrum

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COLOSTRUM FOR DOG ALLERGIES

May 6, 2011 – Nutrition And Diet

 

Itchy DogAllergy symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to the presence of a substance (an allergen) that’s not normally considered to be of danger to the body. When a dog is hypersensitive to one or more allergens, the body assumes it’s being invaded by something nasty and calls up the defense forces to neutralize the offending substance. Unfortunately, the release of histamine during this response produces unwelcome symptoms such as itchy, irritated ears, scooting, itchy feet, hot spots, breathing difficulties, and, in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock and death. Typical allergens include pollen and spores, foods, and flea and insect bites.

What Is Colostrum?

Colostrum, the “first milk” produced by mammals immediately after giving birth, contains a myriad of compounds which are involved in supporting the newborn infant’s immune system. They have a role to play in controlling the body’s response to potentially harmful outside invaders; that is, the mechanism that’s mistakenly invoked in those who’ve become sensitized to allergens.

What Are The Benefits Of Colostrum?

Colostrum can be taken as a supplement and can provide a huge range of benefits for dogs of all ages. Bovine colostrum, which comes from cows, is fully compatible for dogs and for other species too. It’s an old remedy that was relied on before chemical companies began churning out chemicals and antibiotics.

Gloria Dodd DVM states: “Today the orthodoxy is in a losing battle with the infective organisms that have the capability of mutating, producing antibiotic resistant strains, and growing at faster numbers than the drugs can kill. It will always be so- this is the genetic code imprinted in the organisms that assure their survival. This is the beauty of Colostrum- the organisms have no time to reproduce. Colostrum’s healing affects are multifaceted. I have become a believer and recommend it in all ill animals and people no matter what the cause, in arthritic, allergic and autoimmune conditions. I have found it has reduced my allergy expressions of migraines and psoriasis since I have been taking 2 capsules 3 xs daily.”

How Colostrum Works

Research has identified an ingredient called praline-rich polypeptide (PRP) as one of the main components of colostrum responsible for eliminating or improving the symptoms of allergies. It is also thought to be potentially useful for other autoimmune conditions. According to Staroscik et al, 1983 (Molecular Immunology, Vol. 20, No. 12, pp. 1277-1282), PRP has the same ability to regulate activity of the immune system as do hormones produced by the thymus gland. It can stimulate an under active system into dealing with disease causing organisms and it can also suppress an over active system that results from autoimmune disorders and allergic reactions.

PRP’s ability to reduce allergic symptoms is thought to be partly due to inhibition of the lymphocyte (white blood cell) and T-cell overproduction that’s normally associated with an allergic reaction. PRP may also assist in the creation of special cells (helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells) which suppress and switch off the immune response. Other studies have shown that PRP is highly anti-inflammatory, which helps to reduce the effects of the histamine that’s been released.

Bovine colostrum has also been shown to contain an array of antibodies to common allergens that can affect dogs. These antibodies are built up over time by the cows as they themselves respond to the allergens. When a dog ingests the antibodies contained in the colostrum, they remain on hand to assist in the body’s response to allergen exposure.

How Much Colostrum To Feed

Colostrum comes in capsules or in loose powdered form. It’s best fed on an empty stomach but can be fed with a small amount of yoghurt or broth. Gloria Dodd DVM recommends the following:

Recommended dosage is for one month minimum, then give as needed.

  • 1/3 teaspoon powdered form/25 # body weight twice daily or:
  • Small dogs and cats –1 cap twice daily
  • Medium to large dogs- 2 caps twice daily

For more information on the many uses of bovine colostrum, read this article by Dr. Stephen Blake DVM.

THIS IS A MUCH NEEDED ARTICLE BY; DOGS NATURALLY MAGAZINE.COM. This on line magazine shares vital information about our dogs health.  A great magazine to subscribe to and keep up to date on your dogs health.

THIS TIME OF YEAR DOGS ARE PLAGUED BY UNKNOWN THINGS THAT MAKE THEM ITCH TO NO END.  THIS IS GREAT NEWS.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Does Your Pet Need a Natural Detox Program?

Does Your Pet Need a Natural Detox Program?.

White Oak Golden Retrievers
http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com