Posts Tagged ‘british golden retrievers’

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

White Golden Retrievers

White Golden Retrievers

Healthy Goldens start before birth.
http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com