Posts Tagged ‘British Cream Golden Retriever’

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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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

The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

The Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

July 8, 2011 – Nutrition And Diet
 
 

Although supplements can be a confusing topic for many pet owners, most dog owners have heard of the benefits of feeding fish oils. There are however, a variety of oils that you can also use to your dog’s benefit, each with different actions and benefits.

Coconut oil consists of more than 90% saturated fats, with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). The main component (more than 40%) of MCTs is lauric acid, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic. Coconut oil also contains about 2% linoleic acid (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and about 6% oleic acid (monounsaturated fatty acids).

Most of the coconut oil benefits come from the MCTs. For example, the lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Capric and caprylic acid have similar properties and are best known for their anti-fungal effects.

In addition, MCTs are efficiently metabolized to provide an immediate source of fuel and energy, enhancing athletic performance and aiding weight loss. In dogs, the MCTs in coconut oil balance the thyroid, helping overweight dogs lose weight and helping sedentary dogs feel energetic.

According to Dr. Bruce Fife, certified nutritionist and naturopathic doctor, coconut oil gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects you from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions.

Fed regularly to pets, coconut oil may have multiple benefits:

Skin Conditions

  • Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin
  • Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
  • Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
  • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
  • Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
  • Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings

Digestion

  • Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Aids healing of digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
  • Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
  • Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing

Immune System, Metabolic Function, Bone Health

  • Contains powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agents that prevent infection and disease
  • Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
  • Helps prevent or control diabetes
  • Helps reduce weight, increases energy
  • Aids in arthritis or ligament problems

Integrative Veterinarian and Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Karen Becker, says “Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older dogs. Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs. I recommend 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for basic MCT support.”

Why not give coconut oil a try and introduce it to your dog?  It offers many benefits for your dog and is a more sustainable and less toxic source of oils than fish.

Published by; Dogs Naturally Magazine

Get your online copy today at; http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com

White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Infographic: The Benefits of Massage – Life Dog – Web 2012 – Life Dog

Infographic: The Benefits of Massage – Life Dog – Web 2012 – Life Dog.

Vaccines, Collagen and Joint Disease

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Vaccines, Collagen And Joint Disease

April 9, 2012 – Featured Articles7 comments

 
 

January 2011 Issue By Dana Scott

Most people have heard of collagen as an anti-aging cosmetic product.  Collagen is the elastic protein that holds skin together.  As we age, the amount and quality of collagen in our bodies starts to diminish and we can see this in our skin as it begins to wrinkle and sag.

Collagen is also found in abundance in the joints and connective tissue of the body. In fact, collagen makes up 70 to 90% of our muscles, tendons, ligaments and other joint supporting tissues. As happens in the skin, when collagen breaks down in the body, the joints become less stable, the muscles and connective tissue loosen and become more brittle, and disorders such as arthritis, degenerative disc disease, tendonitis and overuse injuries begin to occur.

The same thing happens in our dogs. They might not get the crow’s feet and turkey necks that we older humans sport, but they do suffer from age related joint and soft tissue pain due to collagen loss and degradation.  Sadly, many dogs suffer from these diseases at a very young age. Breeders and lovers of large breed dogs know all too well the heartache of canine hip and elbow dysplasia. Dog owners see patellar subluxations, cruciate tears and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) in young dogs at an alarming rate and they pay the price with expensive surgery, therapy and supplements.

Why are dogs suffering from these diseases at such a young age? Many breeders and vets are quick to say that it is due to bad genetics – so good breeders screen their dogs for these diseases before breeding, to make sure the problems are not passed down to the offspring.

The problem is, this screening hasn’t really changed the incidence of most of these diseases.

Hip dysplasia was first diagnosed in dogs in 1935, although nobody seemed terribly interested at the time.  Over twenty years later, the number of dogs presenting with this disease prompted the Swed- ish Kennel Club to become one of the first to develop a program to reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia. They believed that if German Shepherd breeders took radiographs of their dogs and only bred the dogs that did not show evidence of hip dysplasia, they could eliminate hip dysplasia.  After ten years of selective breeding however, the incidence of moderate and severe cases of hip dysplasia didn’t change.  Dogs that did not show radiographic evidence of hip dysplasia were still producing puppies with the disease. In one study, over two thirds of dysplastic puppies were from normal parents.

This led researchers to conclude that hip dysplasia was a polygenic disease (residing in more than one gene), meaning that the severity of the disease could be influenced by environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle. However, affected puppies are born with normal hips – the dysplastic changes are not there at birth.

Over fifty years later, despite increased testing rates, the incidence of hip dysplasia is not going down in most breeds.  In fact, smaller breeds are now showing an increased susceptibility to this disease which historically was limited to larger breeds of dogs. Even in Germany, where the kennel club has very tight breeding restrictions, the incidence of hip dysplasia in German Shepherds is still 7%.

Hip dysplasia is not the only common joint disorder in dogs. Cranial cruciate tears are becoming endemic in dogs, as are luxating patellas and elbow dysplasia (two more disorders that breeders do clearances for).  In the midst of this, the vets point their fingers at both breeders and purebred dogs and the breeders point their fingers at the pet owners and at each other.  Surely somebody must be to blame?

A polygenic disease is one that takes the right combination of genetic susceptibility, environmental factors and dietary influences to occur. The genes are like a light switch: if a dog has a genetic susceptibility to hip dysplasia, the switch is in the ON position. Just because a dog has the gene for hip dysplasia however, does not mean he will be affected: the severity of the disease will be directly influenced by the dog’s diet and other environmental factors such as exercise level or body condition – or so the theory goes. Unfortunately, we don’t know which dogs possess and produce the genes that cause joint disease – but dog owners can change the environmental stressors.

To this point, vets and many breeders will pay lip service to things such as keeping puppies lean, not feeding them too much protein (a myth that is not proven), giving them supplements – all the usual drama.  Puppy buyers usually get this well rehearsed speech when they bring their new puppy in for his vaccination. Most vets actively look for large breed puppies to show signs of hip dysplasia and are ready to step in with surgery.  They blame the breeders and their purebred dogs for joint issues while, at the same time, they inject these healthy puppies with vaccines.

Is it any coincidence that even severe cases of hip dysplasia are not seen before eight weeks of age – the age at which most puppies are vaccinated?  Why is it that, once again, vets are recommending expensive hip surgeries and multiple, unnecessary vaccines, while remaining oblivious to what should be obvious?  Why is nobody blaming the vaccines when there are plenty of reasons to do so?

Vaccines and Joint Disorders

The Canine Health Concern’s 1997 study of 4,000 dogs showed a high number  of dogs developing mobility problems shortly after they were vaccinated. Immunologist Dr. Jean Dodds has also noted similar issues: “Beyond the immediate hypersensitivity (vaccine) reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24 to 72 hours afterward, or 7 to 45 days later in a delayed type immunological response. Even more delayed adverse effects include…canine distemper antibodies in joint diseases of dogs.”

Interesting. The distemper vaccine was introduced in 1950 and just a few years later, the breed clubs suddenly felt the need to start doing hip clearances on breeding stock. There is no cause and effect here but the temporal relationship is fairly noteworthy.

Vaccination has been implicated in cases of polyarthritis in dogs. Here is an interesting passage from the Veterinary Products Com- mittee (VPC) Working Group on Feline and Canine Vaccination.

“Occasional self-limiting cases of immune-based arthritis in dogs have been reported usually following primary vaccination, and recently, four young adult dogs of different breeds have been reported to develop an idiopathic polyarthritis three to15 days after multivalent vaccination. Immune-mediated  polyarthritis and systemic disease including amyloidosis has been reported in Akita dogs following modified live vaccination.   Hypertrophic  osteodystrophy (HOD), in some cases associated with juvenile cellulitis, has been reported following vaccination, mainly in Weimaraners, and it has been suggested that canine distemper virus may be involved. There is also some evidence that canine distemper virus (and possibly vaccines) may be involved in canine rheumatoid-like  arthritis through  the formation of immune complexes”.

Here is the predictable part: “…the immunological basis of such reactions is unclear, and it is possible that such apparent associations with vaccination may be due to coincident disease development, particularly in young animals”.

That sure would be a heck of a coincidence.  Catherine O’Driscoll sheds more light on the relationship.

“A paper appearing in the British Veterinary Journal states that dogs with rheumatoid  arthritis showed higher anti-heat shock protein antibody levels in their sera and synovial fluids compared to control dogs. There was a significant correlation between anti HSP65 and antibodies to canine distemper virus, and the paper discussed the relevance of the presence of canine distemper virus within the joints.  Since vaccines inject modified live distemper virus into the dog, this research should be of concern.  Shed attenuated live vaccine might also be considered in this regard. And it’s worth noting that the high antibody titers to distemper that we are so pleased with might also play a role in our dogs’ decreasing mobility. Rheumatoid arthritis is, of course an autoimmune condition in which there is inflammation of joints and progressive erosion of cartilage and bone, which reflects the autoantibodies to collagen found in the Purdue study.”

Autoantibodies to collagen? Vaccinated dogs developed autoantibodies to their own collagen and nobody was worried about that?

The Purdue Study

In 1999, a one of a kind study was performed that should have connected the dots between vaccination and joint disease (Hogenesch H, Azcona-Olivera J, Scott-Montcrieff C, Snyder PW, Glickman LT. Vaccine-induced autoimmunity in the dog. Adv Med Vet 1999;41:733-747). In this study, puppies were immunized with the rabies vaccine and the usual cocktail of core and non-core vaccines. The authors concluded that the vaccinated but not the unvaccinated puppies developed autoantibodies to their own collagen.  The authors noted and reproduced similar findings in a follow-up study in dogs that were given just the rabies vaccine and just the multivalent vaccine.

The vaccinated dogs in this study were literally destroying their own collagen (as well as their own DNA and other important substances), and nobody thought “aha, maybe this is why our dogs are being hit so hard with joint disease and we can’t breed it out of them.” Instead, the researchers discontinued the study when the puppies were 22 weeks of age and, over a decade later, nobody has viewed these results as a serious threat to canine (or human) health.

Why is it that vets and researchers can claim purebred dogs and genetics are to blame for these joint disorders when this shining beacon is aimed squarely on vaccination, especially the distemper shot?

Collagen  and Joint Disease

In a 1989 study, Bari et al found autoimmunity to collagen in 72.4% of dogs with rheumatoid arthritis, 88% of dogs with infective arthritis and 52% of dogs with osteoarthritis.  Dogs with cruciate disease also showed significantly increased levels of autoantibodies.  They also had higher levels of anti-collagen antibodies in the synovial fluid (the fluid that surrounds  joints).  They concluded that anti-collagen complexes were present in all joint disorders.

The presence of these anti-collagen antibodies, just like those noted in the vaccinated dogs in the Purdue study, can actually predict cruciate tears.  In dogs with cruciate tears in one leg, studies show elevated anti-collagen antibodies in the other leg which predicted future tears.  When multiple joints were tested, higher levels of autoantibodies were found in stifle joints that were eventually torn than in other joints of the body (DeBruin et al, 2007). These autoantibodies have also been found in the joints of dogs suffering from arthritis that is not secondary to cruciate tears (Niebauer et al, 1987).

Duke  University Medical Center  researchers  led by Kyle Allen found that collagen deficient mice prematurely developed common and chronic musculoskeletal disorders while the wild-type mice did not.  “We observed a pattern of behavioral changes in the collagen deficient mice that suggests a relationship to (osteoarthritis and de- generative disc disease),” said Allen, who noted the collagen deficient mice also had elevated levels of knee and intervertebral disc structural changes.

Collagen  and Joint Integrity

Collagen is concentrated mostly in weight supporting tissues, basically cartilage and bones. Collagen is also concentrated in high percentages in the parts of the body transmitting strength, such as tendons. Collagen not only protects joint cartilage, it is also what protects tendons and ligaments against tears.

The elastic property of collagen gives ligaments a tiny bit of stretch so that if the joint that ligament supports is stressed, the ligament can withhold the tension without tearing. Just as bridges and high rise buildings need a tiny bit of give in them to weather high winds and earthquakes, ligaments need the elastic properties of collagen to bear shearing forces within the joints.

Collagen is also important for the integrity of joint surfaces. There is a thin layer of tissue surrounding the cartilage on the surface of joints called the pericellular matrix (PCM). Together with collagen and other cartilage cells, the PCM forms a barrier between the cells and the rest of the cartilage tissue.  When collagen is disrupted in joints, the changes in mechanical forces on the cells can lead to degenerative changes.

Leonidas Alexopoulos studied the relationship  between collagen and osteoarthritis at Duke University and presented the results at the 51th annual scientific meeting of the Orthopedic Research Society in Washington, DC. Alexopoulos explains: ““When we analyzed the PCM of mice unable to produce type VI collagen, we found that the chondrons (joint surface structures) in these mice were much softer and the joints did not respond well to mechanical pressures. The joint looked as if osteoarthritis had developed.”

In May, 1997, a paper was presented in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association by Jens Sejer Madsen, Ph.D., D.V.M. from the Small Animal Hospital, Department  of Clinical Studies, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.  This study shows how collagen can be related to hip dysplasia.

“Mechanical strength of the joint capsule is related to its collagen content and composition. In children with congenital hip joint dislocation, the collagen composition of the joint capsule has been shown to be abnormal. Thus, it is reasonable to hypothesize that laxity of the hip joint in dogs may be related to the collagen composition of the capsule…results of the study support the hypothesis that a change in collagen composition may contribute to hip joint laxity in dogs with a predisposition to CHD.”

The vets and breeders are right in that hip dysplasia and other joint disorders are caused by a variety of environmental and nutritional factors.  Genetics probably do play a role, although it could have something to do with the cumulative damage the puppies’ parents and grandparents suffer through repeated vaccination, highly processed diets, antibiotics and toxins. On top of that, the Purdue study showed that vaccinated dogs develop autoantibodies to their own DNA; perhaps vaccinated breeding dogs are passing along damaged DNA and that is a part of the picture.

Meanwhile, the vets and researchers repeatedly state there is no cause and effect relationship and that further studies will have to be done before vaccines can be implicated in joint disease. While we wait for those magical studies, vets continue to vaccinate every three years, or even more frequently, with vaccines that were shown to last at least seven years over thirty years ago.

In the case of distemper, one of the vaccines repeatedly vindicated in joint disease, puppies develop titers within hours of their first distemper vaccination. In his study at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Dr. Ronald Schultz vaccinated puppies with one dose of distemper vaccine just four hours prior to being placed in a room with distemper-infected dogs. All of the puppies were protected against distemper in this challenge study.

This bears repeating. Dr. Ronald Schultz, the leading canine immunologist, publishes a study in which every single puppy is protected within hours of the very first vaccination. Thirty years prior to this, he determined that core vaccines (including distemper) last at least seven years, and most likely for the life of the dog.  So it should be pretty obvious that it only takes one distemper vaccine to protect a puppy from distemper for life. Why then does the average dog get vaccinated for distemper at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, one year, four years, seven years, ten years – and if he is lucky enough to have lived through this unnecessary and dangerous onslaught – thirteen and sixteen years of age? Nine shots of the same virus that is shown to be permanently effective within hours of the very first vaccine is considered a minimal vaccine schedule by most veterinarians – many other dogs receive 15 or more shots of distemper!  It is no wonder that joint disease is on the rise in dogs, especially in the most aggressively vaccinated subset: purebred dogs.

Clearly, more research needs to be done in this area but somebody should at least pay attention to the growing list of unwanted and adverse effects caused by vaccines. There is a growing list of joint and collagen related changes that occur after vaccination and they are implicated in joint disease which has become a significant problem in today’s dog population.  I’m not saying stop vaccination for distemper altogether (although that is a viable option), but at the very least, stop the madness of unnecessarily vaccinating dogs for distemper over, and over, and over, and over again. Isn’t there enough research to make vets just a little bit concerned about potential damage from the eight or more distemper vaccines that go into dogs?

It seems that in-depth research and analysis are not all that necessary when it comes to giving more vaccines but when it comes to giving less, research is suddenly put on the hot seat and common sense goes out the window. What will it take before vets start taking this research seriously and stop vaccinating dogs unnecessarily?

Article published by Dogs Naturally Magizine.com in the January 2011 issue by Dana Scott

White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Dog Food Reviews

The Dog Food Advisor\’s unbiased dog food reviews and dog food ratings searchable by brand or star rating. Find the best dry, canned or raw food for your dog.

via Dog Food Reviews.

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

English Cream Golden Retrievers
British Cream Golden Retrievers

Lyme Disease Vaccine for Dogs

 LYME–Vaccinate or Not?


PERMISSION GRANTED TO CROSS-POST THIS MESSAGE.
In response to questions about Lyme disease in dogs and the Lyme vaccine, I would like to share the advice that Dr. Ronald Schultz, Chair of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine gave me for my 2 dogs, who both receive(d) (one died in July from a mast cell tumor which developed at a rabies vaccination site) 100+ tick bites a summer.
I was concerned after having contracted Lyme twice myself; however, none of the dogs we have had over 30 years were ever vaccinated against Lyme or ever contracted the disease. After getting it myself, I was reconsidering. Dr. Schultz advised me that there was far more risk associated with the Lyme vaccine than there was with antibiotics to treat the disease if one or both dogs contracted Lyme.
He further explained that if they tested positive for Lyme, but displayed no symptoms, then not to treat them with antibiotics because it indicated that they had been exposed to the disease, but hadn’t contracted the disease. However, he said, that if they tested positive for Lyme and had symptoms (lameness, fever, lethargy, etc..), then start treatment. Dr. Schultz elaborated by telling me that in vaccinology, immunology, the point is not to prevent infection, it is to prevent disease. In fact, low-grade infections are introduced to elicit immune responses, which is how vaccination works, by introducing an attenuated (weakened) antigen into the animal’s system.
Further, he said that a positive Lyme test in an ASYMPTOMATIC dog merely reflects the fact that the dog has been exposed; positive Lyme test in a dog with SYMPTOMS indicates that the animal has contracted the disease and needs treatment.
Based on his advice, I have chosen to not vaccinate my dog(s) against Lyme. Below are links to a few articles on the subject which may help you in deciding whether or not to vaccinate your dog against Lyme.
Lyme is a “killed” vaccine and is associated with clinically significant adverse reactions. According to the 2003 AAHA Guidelines (Page 16), “…killed vaccines are much more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., immune-mediated disease).” Further, the AAHA task force reports on Page 18 that, “Bacterial vaccines, especially killed whole organism products …..are much more likely to cause adverse reactions than subunit or live bacterial vaccines or MLV vaccines, especially if given topically. Several killed bacterial products are used as immunomodulators/adjuvants. Thus, their presence in a combination vaccine product may enhance or suppress the immune response or may cause an undesired response (e.g., IgE hypersensitivity or a class of antibody that is not protective).”
Dr. Alice Wolf, Professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, stated in an address Vaccines of the Present and Future WSAVA 2001 – Vaccines of the Present and Future at the 2001 World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress that Lyme vaccines : “are only partially effective and may cause serious immune-mediated consequences in some dogs that are as serious or more serious than the disease itself…..The most reactive vaccines for dogs include leptospirosis bacterin and Borrelia [Lyme]vaccine .”.
Canine Lyme, What’s New? Vet Tech: Canine Lyme: What’s New?
No Lyme Vaccine for Charlie Nancy Freedman Smith, Maine Today Error
It is not a scientifically based recommendation to suggest that all dogs in Maine should be vaccinated with Lyme Vaccine. There may be select areas in the state, “hot spots” where infection is very high and vaccination would be indicated, but dogs in most parts of the state would probably not receive benefit and may actually be at risk of adverse reactions if a large scale vaccination program was initiated. Wisconsin has a much higher risk of Lyme than Maine, however at our Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) we have used almost no Lyme vaccine since it was first USDA approved in the early 1990’s. What we have found is infection (not disease), in much of Wisconsin, is low (<10% infection). As you know, infection does not mean disease. About 3 to 4% of infected dogs develop disease. In contrast, in Western and Northwestern parts of Wisconsin infection occurs in 60 to 90% of all dogs. In those areas, vaccination is of benefit in reducing clinical disease. …….. Also, vaccinated dogs can develop disease as efficacy of the product is about 60 to 70% in preventing disease, thus antibiotics must be used in vaccinated dogs developing disease, just like it must be used in non-vaccinated diseased dogs. Therefore, in general areas with a low infection rate <10>50%) then the vaccine will be very useful. Thus, I believe it is irresponsible to suggest that all dogs in Maine should be vaccinated . Veterinarians should know, based on diagnoses in their clinic and other clinics in the area (town), how common the disease would be and they should base their judgment to vaccinate on risk, not on a statement that all dogs in Maine need Lyme vaccine!
R.D. Schultz
_______________________________ Ronald D. Schultz, Professor and Chair
Department of Pathobiological Sciences School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison 2015 Linden Drive West Madison, WI 53706″
 
White Oak Golden Retrievers

Can Dog Breeding Practices Be Changed?

The Practice of In-breeding and Line-breeding in purebred dogs is discussed in a much-needed article in “The Bark” magazine, September-October issue.  The article entitled; Breeding Paradox; Can dog breeding practices be changed? by John Woestendiek.

Many breeders today in the United States practice in-breeding and line-breeding in all breeds.  It has caused an ocean of health problems in every breed.  Some breeds have passed the point of being saved due to genetic disorders from this practice.  Still many breeders, dog clubs, dog registries, etc. put their head in the sand and pretend it is not happening.  Instead they boast of health clearances and sell bold guarantees on the health of these puppies/dogs.  The public is unaware.  No one can give a clearance for health on any dog/puppy that has been in-bred or line-bred.  Generations of these practices is a nightmare for the dogs/puppies that have to endure the health problems and their owners that do everything in their power to save them.

It’s time to demand from the AKC, dog clubs, dog registries and breeders that these insane practices of in-breeding and line-breeding be stopped.

It would the greatest loss we as a people ever endured if we lost the Golden Retriever and other breeds that we all love.  It’s happening NOW!

White Oak Golden Retrievers has clean lines of goldens and we do NOT in-breed or line-breed.  We have a very healthy line of puppies that we offer to good families across America.

Pick up a copy of “The Bark” today.  This current issue also has a great article on diet written by the Editor in Chief; Claudia Kawczynska.  If you have a dog; you need this info.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Heartworm Meds-It’s time we take a second look

Everyone knows that gets a puppy from White Oak Golden Retrievers that we are for building a puppy/dog’s immune system from the beginning with a good diet, exercise and a no stress environment.

Therefore, we feel that it is time that everyone start to rethink the vaccines and monthly heart worm medications that is being pushed on us and routinely given to our dogs by using scare tactics by veterinarians across the country.

We recommend seeking out a holistic veterinarian in your area and take control of your animals health by building their immune system to the max in order for them to fight any type of disease naturally so that vaccines and medications are not necessary.

 Here are a couple of professional sites that will give you the information to take charge of your dogs health.

Jeffrey Levy, DVM www.homeovet.net/index.html

     Here is an example of a well respected holistic veterinarian; Jeffrey Levy, DVM….. “It seems to me that the real problem is that allopathic attitudes have instilled in many of us a fear of disease, fear of pathogens and parasites, fear of rabies as if these are evil and malicious entities just waiting to lay waste to a naive and unprotected public.”

 www.Shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/health2.htm#heartworm ….an excellent site for information on a variety of health and preventitive subjects.

You can continue to be used and let the drug companies and veterinarians take your money and kill your animals or you can do something about it, NOW!

 www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

White Oak Golden Retrievers