Posts Tagged ‘white golden retrievers’

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

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Lyme Disease-A Holistic Approach

A Homeopathic Protocol for Lyme Disease

 

tick infested small

If you live in a Lyme disease endemic area such as the Northeast and upper Midwest and your dog is the outdoorsy type who picks up ticks on his adventures, you can use homeopathy to good effect in protecting him against Lyme disease.

Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(NA) is a distinguished American homeopath, public speaker and author. Find her at joettecalabrese.com. Joette’s family lives in the country, with plenty of deer and other critters nearby. The surrounding woods are considered a Lyme tick Mecca. She’s successfully used the protocol described below for many years on Buster (described as “the bad office dog”) as well as her human family members.

This protocol is not for long-term, chronic Lyme disease; for that you’ll need to seek the expertise of a seasoned veterinary homeopath.

First, the tick

When you find a tick on your dog, the first thing to do is remove the tick as soon as possible. There are several techniques you can use; read about them here.

ticks

Save the tick by placing it in a covered jar with either 180 proof vodka, grain alcohol or brandy and label it with the date, on whom it was found and where on the body. In the unlikely event that all else fails, the tick can be made into a homeopathic remedy. This is known as isopathy, which works under principles similar to homeopathy.

But for now, just keep the tick in a jar.

Then follow whichever steps below are appropriate for your dog’s situation, depending on how long ago the bite occurred and whether he is displaying any symptoms of Lyme disease.

 

Step 1 – for prevention after a recent bite

This has been found to be highly effective for bites that are rather recent – say within a few weeks.

Remedy: Ledum palustre 200C

Ledum is the foremost remedy for any kind of animal bite.

  • Give the first dose of this remedy at the time you remove the tick.
  • Continue dosing with Ledum every 3 hours for the first day
  • Then, dose twice daily for a week
  • After the first week, dose twice weekly for a month
  • Then once per week for another month

This is probably overkill, but worth the extra effort to be certain.

If the tick was discovered in the last few days, Step 1 is likely all you’ll need.

But if your dog has been diagnosed with Lyme disease that is older and more entrenched, follow Step 1 as above, then add Step 2 at any time after using Ledum.

Step 2 – in the event of a Lyme diagnosis

Remedy: Aurum arsenicum 200C 

Aurum arsenicum is a capital choice for when a poisonous infection arises, and this is one of those times.

  • Dose twice daily for one week
  • After the first week, dose twice weekly for a month
  • Then once per week for another month

For older cases in which it is critical to take all precautions because illness has set in, follow Step 3 along with the previous remedies.

 Step 3 – when there are clinical symptoms of Lyme

Remedy: Borrelia burgdorferi 30C (also called Lyme Nosode 30C)

Borrelia is the remedy made from the Lyme tick.

  • Dose with Borrelia once per day for three days and then stop, for a total of three doses
  • This may need to be repeated every few months if the symptoms remain.

Symptoms

In older cases of Lyme, the most common symptoms in dogs are arthritis or painful joints and lameness; other symptoms may include fever, lack of appetite, depression or lethargy. Dogs do not exhibit the classic “bulls eye” rash that occurs in humans. Symptoms can occur two to five months after exposure. If your dog shows these symptoms, it’s best to consult an experienced homeopathic vet who can prescribe the correct remedy for his symptoms, along with the above procedures.

How effective is this protocol?

When Step 1 is used at the right time, it’s rare that Lyme disease will develop.

In older cases, where there is a Lyme diagnosis or symptoms, success can frequently be achieved, but may be affected by how entrenched the disease is, whether (and how often) antibiotics and other allopathic drugs have been employed, as well as the general vital force of the dog.

Joette Calabrese has generously shared this protocol and asks that if you know someone who should have this information, please pass it along. Spread the good news of how homeopathy can help!

Aritcle from Dog’s Natually Magazine

So many of our dog owners are concerned and worried about Lyme Disease.  This article gives some answers and alternatives for this mounting problem.  White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Error Found in University Pet Food Study

Oops! Big Error Found in University Pet Food Study

You might recall a study released by UC Davis last year claiming most home prepared diets fail to provide all the nutrients a dog needs. Warnings were all over the news advising consumers to ONLY feed their pet a meal balanced by a board certified nutritionist (otherwise known as commercial pet food) – based on this ‘study’. Well…as it turns out, the study appears to have a significant error (…I believe more than one).

The UC Davis press release on the study that bashed home cooking for pets stated:

“Some owners prefer to prepare their dogs’ food at home because they feel they have better control over the animals’ diet, want to provide a more natural food or simply don’t trust pet food companies,” said Jennifer Larsen, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis and lead author on the study.

“The results of this study, however, indicate that most available recipes for healthy dogs, even those published in books by veterinarians, do not provide essential nutrients in the quantities required by the dog,” Larsen said. “It is extremely difficult for the average pet owner – or even veterinarians – to come up with balanced recipes to create appropriate meals that are safe for long-term use,” she said.”

The UC Davis study analyzed 200 recipes from 34 different sources including veterinary textbooks, pet care books and web sites. They evaluated the recipes using a computer-based program to “quantify the nutritional content” of each recipe. And found only nine recipes of the 200 met “the minimum standards established for adult dogs by the Association of American Feed Control Officials” (AAFCO).

Sounds concerning doesn’t it? And the results from the UC Davis study almost seems like it’s impossible to properly feed our pets from home.

But…

The computer based program used to analyze the nutritional content of pet food recipes was from a company co-owned by none other than Dr. Larsen (of UC Davis – one of the authors of the study).

Further, it needs to be noted that the UC Davis/Dr. Larsen study was comparing apples to oranges…times ten. As was stated in the press release, the UC Davis study was comparing the nutritional standards for dogs to the nutrition dogs consume when eating real food (from home prepared recipes). The problem (and a significant problem it is) is that the nutritional standards for dogs (and cats) are based on the nutrition provided by common commercial pet food ingredients such as chicken meal, or by-product meal or added supplements. Nutritional standards are not based on the nutrition provided by whole foods – actual human grade chicken and vegetables purchased from your local grocery store. So this study tried to compare apples (real food) to oranges (commercial pet food ingredients like powdered chicken meal with added supplements). It can’t be done. There is no comparison to a roasted chicken you cook in your oven to the powdered chicken meal used in many pet foods. They are both ‘chicken’ but the comparison stops there. The scientists that performed this study should have known better than to try to compare the two.

However, to explain the biggest ‘but’ to this UC Davis study, we need one more quote from the press release (bold added):

“Some of the deficiencies, particularly those related to choline, vitamin D, zinc and vitamin E, could result in significant health problems such as immune dysfunction, accumulation of fat in the liver and musculoskeletal abnormalities,” Larsen said.”

The UC Davis study stated the National Research Council recommends “339 IU” of Vitamin D (per 1,000 kcal) for adult dogs. This is incorrect. The 2006 National Research Council publication actually recommends “136 IU” of Vitamin D (per 1,000 kcal) for adult dogs.

UC Davis study:    339.0 IU of Vitamin D per 1,000 kcal
NRC recommendation:        136.0 IU of Vitamin D per 1,000 kcal

The UC Davis study bashed home prepared meals for pets…compared recipes to a hugely escalated nutrient (vitamin D)…and they made it sound like these recipes were so deficient, harm could be caused to the pets that ate these foods. The study intentionally swayed consumers away from home prepared pet foods. When actually, should any of the recipes examined in the study have met the escalated, falsely quoted NRC recommendation of 339 IU of Vitamin D…that’s when the pet could have actually been harmed. The real “significant health problem” is that a university published, peer reviewed study made a 250% error in nutrient comparison.

(The UC Davis study was published in the June 2013 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Copies of that study can be acquired here: http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/full/10.2460/javma.242.11.1500.  The 2006 National Research Council nutrient requirements of Cats and Dogs can be acquired here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10668).

Now why would a major university disparage home prepared pet food? Why would a major university disparage the work of over 120 other veterinarians (formulators of the recipes the study bashed)?

DrLarsonThis is a picture taken from the UC Davis website – of Dr. Larsen.

Those cans of pet food in the dispenser next to Dr. Larsen…they are Science Diet. In the video of this Fox News story about the UC Davis/Dr. Larsen study you also notice canisters of kibble. If you look quickly you’ll see the names Purina and Royal Canin on the canisters.

 

Three guesses – first two don’t count – as to why a study published by veterinary nutritionists from a major university told consumers NOT to feed their pets real food. We all know why don’t we?

The following questions were sent to Dr. Larsen (a response email stated she would be out of the office until June 30, 2014)…

 

Hi Dr. Larsen,
I’m writing asking for a statement from you regarding the peer reviewed study you published last year finding home prepared diets provided insufficient nutrition to dogs.

I understand your study was published using incorrect variables for Vitamin D; significantly incorrect. I am publishing a story on this significant error in your study – that was not caught by the peer review. If you would like to provide a statement regarding the error, please provide this right away.

Also, if you would like to address a few other questions that I will mention in my story, I will be glad to provide your side of the story. Those questions are…

Will you/UC Davis be issuing an apology to all pet food consumers and veterinarians regarding this error?
Will you/UC Davis be providing the names of those that reviewed the study (those that also missed the significant Vitamin D error)?
Will you/UC Davis be releasing your raw data to this study to verify that other variables used to compare nutrient information of home prepared recipes were as insufficient as your study claimed? (You must realize that this significant error with Vitamin D does bring doubt to everything else in the study and all involved.)
Was funding for this now flawed study provided by any of Big Pet Food or their trade associations? Will you be providing full disclosure of who funded this study?

Because you compared whole food recipes – recipes using meats and vegetables sourced from USDA inspected and approved for human consumption foods – to the nutritional requirements of dogs eating mostly kibble (highly processed) made from meats and vegetables sourced from ‘feed grade’ ingredients (including 4D meats, pesticide or chemical laden rejected for use in human food vegetables) – wasn’t your study trying to compare organic apples to 3rd generation genetically engineered oranges? The 2006 NRC Nutrient requirements of cats and dogs was funded in part by The Pet Food Institute (PFI) – the trade organization for Big Pet Food. This funding provided the PFI significant perks to influence the outcome of the NRC research (source: http://www.nationalacademies.org/xpedio/groups/nasite/documents/webpage/na_069619.pdf). As well, the 2006 NRC research was determined based on “utilization of nutrients in ingredients commonly produced and commercially available”.

Common ingredients such as genetically modified grains and rendered meat meals including those sourced from 4D animals (dead, diseased, dying, and disabled). Again – and your response to this question is requested – wasn’t your study trying to compare whole food nutrition using certified human grade ingredients in lightly processed recipes to nutrients from ingredients that are commonly produced and commercially available found in highly processed foods such as kibble? Comparing organic apples to 3rd generation genetically modified oranges?

Your timely response to these questions will be appreciated.

Susan Thixton

 

Should Dr. Larsen or UC Davis respond to these questions, they will be published.

For decades, commercial pet food came only in two forms – kibble and canned – and was sourced from feed grade (waste) ingredients. As pet food has changed – mostly due to consumer demand – regulatory authorities and mainstream academia has held onto the past. Most stubbornly refusing to accept the fact that real food is healthier for our pets than feed grade waste processed into kibble or can pet food.

What a shame.

I’m not going back to feeding my pets waste ingredient pet food…are any of you?

UC Davis, Dr. Larsen, and all involved in this study (including the peers who reviewed the study) owe pet food consumers an apology. While we wait for that apology, I hope all that were involved in this study (and all those that were behind this study) open your minds to the fact that pet food has changed. Not all pet food comes from waste ingredients and in the form of a kibble or can. While there might always be some that feel waste ingredient pet foods are sufficient to feed their pets, a growing majority of pet food consumers have witnessed first hand the health benefits real food has been to our pets. They will never go back to waste ‘feed’ pet food.

 

Addition (added 6/29/14): The following message was received from Dr. Michael Fox (holistic veterinarian known probably all over the world from his syndicated newspaper column and books) – Honor Roll Member of the AVMA…

Hi Susan, FYI: I immediately wrote to Dr. Larsen at UVC Davis after I read the JAVMA article bashing home-prepared recipes for dogs & cats, since she referenced mine from my website www.drfoxvet.com. I said that I would very much appreciate a copy of her analyses of my formulations and if there were any deficiencies or imbalances from her perspective.

I never received a reply.

 

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients?  Chinese imports?  Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods,  and pet treats.  30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com

Another very important article published in “Dog’s Naturally Magazine”.  This is the best magazine to subscribe to and to be informed.  They are committed to dog’s health. 

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Heart Worm in Dogs

Protecting Your Dog From Heartworm

Heartworm dogsHeartworm is a pretty hot topic when it comes to dogs. While many pet owners are ready to jump on the whole food and no/fewer vaccinations bandwagon, they quickly put on the brakes when it comes to packing it in on the heartworm meds. And why wouldn’t they – nobody wants their dog to die of a preventable disease.

But if we’re talking about what’s preventable, let’s talk hard facts.

Before I begin, I’d like to share a comment that was left by a vet on our 5 Steps To Prevent Cancer post:

“As a veterinarian, I can tell you that you are absolutely incorrect in your statement that “healthy dogs aren’t good hosts for parasites.” Healthy dogs are GREAT hosts for many parasites including fleas, ticks, and heartworms. I would like to see a scientific journal backing your claim that homeopathic vets have seen “great success” in treating heartworms naturally. Do you have any sort of medical training? Are you a veterinarian? Do you have an advanced science degree? If not, I don’t think that you should be presenting highly misleading (and incorrect) information regarding something in which you have no training. The fact of the matter is that parasiticides DO often have toxic chemicals in them, but the safety margin is so high that only a small percentage of pets get ill. For me, I always balance risk vs. benefit. For example, although heartworm is found in all 50 states, it is MUCH more prevalent in the south. I would absolutely recommend that all healthy dogs in this area take heartworm prevention, because the chance of catching this deadly disease (and it is deadly) is extremely high.”

Well, I do actually have an advanced degree in physiology, so thanks for that! No, I’m not a vet, but forgive me because I’m going to share my two cents worth anyway – because somebody without any ties to people who are making money off heartworm medications has to stand up and tell the truth – and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

What Are You Protecting Your Dog From?

Here’s my favorite question for dog owners: if you’re giving your dog monthly heartworm preventives, what are you protecting him from? Well, heartworm, right?

But I would like for somebody to answer this question that I seem to be the only one asking:

Why is the risk of heartworm disease unacceptable while the risk of death and illness from heartworm preventives is widely accepted?

Read that question again. Now tell me in the comments section why you think that is.

Here’s my thoughts: it’s because the drug manufacturers have told us those side effects and adverse events are OK. They’ve also scared us into thinking that heartworm, especially in the southern states, is a larger problem than it is. So we risk the adverse events in exchange for the protection given by heartworm meds. Because unprotected dogs get heartworm, right?

Well, not exactly.

What About The Wild Dogs?

Now, the vet who left her comment, like most conventional vets, has urged everybody in the southern states to use heartworm preventives because the risk is “extremely high.” If that were true, wouldn’t the wild dog populations be decimated? Because heartworm really seems to like dogs as a host, those wolves and coyotes must be really hard hit, right?

Well here’s something that’s interesting. Researchers have looked at the effect that heartworm has had on the wolf and wild dog populations. If we really want to know the real risk of heartworm disease, we should look at those animals who are exposed to mosquitoes 24/7 without any protection whatsoever.

Let’s first look at  a study examining wolves in Wisconsin. They captured adult wolves and took some blood to see what diseases they were exposed to. From 19991 to 1996, only 2% of those captured wolves were found to have any trace of heartworm.

That’s a pretty small percentage.

Well, I guess you could argue that’s a northern state, where heartworm is less rampant. I’ll give you that, but suffice it to say that it might not be all that great an idea for people living in those areas to expose their dog to the risk of heartworm meds for such a slight chance of getting some heartworms.

Notice I said some heartworms, not heartworm infestation. There’s a difference but we’ll get to that later.

Now, some vets may argue that the risk of adverse events from heartworm “preventives” is pretty low – but there are already 700 dogs reported dead this year alone from just one product. Thousands of other dogs suffer from neurological complaints, cancer, hypothyroidism, blindness, skin disease and more from the use of heartworm products. And that’s because…

These Drugs Are Meant To Kill Things

Have you ever opened the safety data sheet from these seemingly harmless products? Open it up and here’s what you’ll find:

“In case of ingestion by humans, clients should be advised to contact a physician immediately. Physicians may contact a Poison Control Center for advice concerning cases of ingestion by humans.”

So wait a minute – it’s OK for a ten pound dog to take this, but if a 100 to 200 pound human takes it, we should call the Poison Control Center immediately?

See, this is where clever marketing and fear comes into play. You have this substance that, if ingested, is considered a poison and warrants a doctor’s appointment – immediately. But the manufacturers of this product scare the heck out of us – and our vets – with the threat of heartworm and somehow make us think that it’s a good idea to give our pets these drugs because the risk is worth the benefit.

But here’s the question we have to ask if we’re going to fairly evaluate whether we should use these poisonous products on our pets:

Heartworm dogsHow Deadly Is Heartworm?

Now I know all you rescue people in the south are crying foul at the moment – I’ll get to you soon because I know you’re concerned about all those rescue dogs who are infected with heartworm.

So on one hand, we seem to have 700 dogs reportedly dead this year from one heartworm product alone. So what is the risk for those dogs who get heartworm? From the FDA website:

“Heartworms can kill a dog. More likely, though, heartworms will make dogs extremely sick. Dogs infected with heartworm can be successfully treated; however, such treatment may be inconvenient and emotionally stressful for the owner.”

So your dog, even if he’s carrying a heavy heartworm load, is unlikely to die. The treatment (at least the conventional treatment – for natural treatment options refer to the May 2013 issue of Dogs Naturally Magazine), is inconvenient and emotionally stressful for the owner. OK, got it. For me, that’s not a good enough reason to feed MY dogs that poison.

And the good news is that I don’t have to. Because my dogs have something in common with those wolves from the study: they aren’t taking heartworm preventives and they’re not getting heartworm.

But the conventional vets don’t understand this concept. They can’t see how this can happen. This is what they say:

“I can tell you that you are absolutely incorrect in your statement that “healthy dogs aren’t good hosts for parasites.” Healthy dogs are GREAT hosts for many parasites including fleas, ticks, and heart worms.”

Well, the nice vets at the Heartworm Society might disagree with you there. This might interest you:

“Single sex heartworm infections, host immune responses affecting the presence of circulating microfilariae and the administration of heartworm preventives can be factors which produce occult infections in dogs.”

An occult heartworm infection means that there is an infection of some sort but the microfilariae, or the heartworm offspring, aren’t found circulating around in the blood. So if all of the heartworms are of the same sex, or if the dog is taking preventives, then those little guys can’t reproduce and cause much of an issue.

While the vets and researchers may call this an occult infection, I might be inclined to call it a functioning immune system. Yes, that’s a novel concept for modern medicine.

Look at that quote again. If you go to the Heartworm Society, it’s easy to miss for all the talk about costly heartworm drugs. But there it is, nonetheless, shoved into a little corner and never mentioned again: Host immune responses affect the presence of circulating microfilariae.

In a nutshell, this means that dogs with functional immune systems aren’t good hosts for heartworms and other parasites. But the sad part is that few dogs these days have a strong immune system.

Canaries In A Coal Mine

Do you know what a canary in a coal mine is? Early coal miners didn’t have anything in the way of ventilation systems, so legend has it that miners would bring a caged canary into new coal seams. Canaries are especially sensitive to methane and carbon monoxide, which made them ideal for detecting any dangerous gas build-ups. As long as the bird kept singing, the miners knew their air supply was safe. A dead canary signaled an immediate evacuation. The phrase “living like a canary in a coal mine” often refers to serving as a warning to others.

Our dogs are canaries in a coal mine – but we don’t see it. We keep filling them with toxic chemicals like heartworm meds and, as long as they keep singing, we think they’re fine. But they’re not – something insidious is happening inside, while the toxins build up and, over either the short or long term, eventually kill or harm our dogs.

And the evidence has been right under our nose all along – you see, it’s the constant exposure to those heartworm drugs – the ones that should send humans to their doctors immediately – that makes dogs get heartworm!

The Heartworm Society overlooks this fact, as do conventional vets, because they don’t understand what a healthy immune system – and hence a healthy dog – look like. As long as dogs are chronically exposed to heartworm poisons, flea and tick meds, processed foods, repeated vaccinations and drugs, they simply aren’t healthy – the immune system can’t possible keep up to that chemical onslaught.

So while the dog’s immune system is busy fighting off his last visit to the vet where he got flea and tick powder, vaccines, maybe some antibiotics, and even some nice, processed veterinary food, the microfilariae are free to take over because the defenses are taxed to the limit.

Is this just speculation? Maybe. But for those folks in the south, I’ve got something saved up that might give more credence to my thoughts.

What About The Southern States?

OK, here we are: the dreaded southern states! You probably noticed that the wolf study I mentioned was done in Wisconsin where the threat of heartworm is obviously lower than in the south. So what about the wolves who are living in the southern climate?

The Red Wolf was decimated and nearly extinct in 1980 but is being reintroduced throughout southeastern Texas, Florida and North Carolina – the states that are heartworm hotbeds.

The population has grown to 100 animals and they’re keeping very close tabs on them. Here’s something that’s interesting: most of the wolves are testing positive for heartworm – but the infestation hasn’t been shown to be a major source of mortality. (view the study here)

Now why do up to 45% of “unprotected” dogs living in the southern states suffer from heartworm while the wolves may have a couple of heartworms swimming around but rarely suffer from a life threatening infestation?

Why are our companion dogs so readily infected with heartworm?

Here’s an important thought from the late Dr Glen Dupree, a popular veterinary homeopath who resided in Louisiana and never treated or tested his dogs for heartworm:

“I operate under the assumption that all of my dogs have heartworms. But there’s a very big difference between having heartworms and heartworm disease.”

And that difference is a healthy immune system.

The constant flow of toxic chemicals gets in the way of good health. Common sense would tell you that it’s ridiculous to expose your dog to vaccines, neurotoxins, carcinogens and think that you’ve made him healthy.

How did giving poisonous products to healthy dogs to make them healthy become a viable treatment option? Where did it go so wrong?

I ask myself this question and when people say “I’ve put my dog on heartworm preventives,” I have to ask, “what exactly have you prevented?” And more importantly, “what is the cost?”

Why are we exposing 100% of our dogs to this poison when the reality of healthy dogs actually getting a heartworm infestation is about the same as those wolves who aren’t exposed to the same constant chemical onslaught?

We don’t know what a healthy dog is any longer. They are few and far between. But I assure you, they exist and they are living and thriving in the southern states without heartworm preventives.

So to answer the final question from that vet who challenged my thoughts: am I a vet? No, I’m not a vet. I’m just holding them accountable for the demise of healthy dogs.

Another great and much needed article about Heartworm in Dogs from Dana Scott from Dogs Naturally Magazine.

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

 

 

Rabies in Dogs-The Rabies Challenge Fund

Welcome to the Rabies Challenge Fund.

The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust will determine the duration of immunity conveyed by rabies vaccines. The goal is to extend the required interval for rabies boosters to 5 and then to 7 years. This project depends primarily upon grassroots gifts for funding the costs of conducting the requisite vaccine trials. Our contributions to date have come mostly from kennel clubs and private individuals. The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust is a federally registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

I’m contributing! 

 http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/

Hi Everyone,

This Law is HUGE!  If this law gets passed, we can count on our dogs living longer, healthier lives. Science has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the rabies vaccine is good for a very long time (if not for the life of your dog).  Giving your dog the rabies vaccine every 3 years (some states still require ever year) is killing our dogs, making veternarians rich and is absurd in an educated world that we live in today.  Please help get this law passed.  Any amount you can contribute will help them.

Thank you!

White Oak Golden Retrievers

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com 

 

A Natural Antibiotic for Dogs

Goldenseal

By on March 18, 2014  in Herbs..

Goldenseal RootGoldenseal is a long-lived perennial that blooms in early spring. All parts of the plant may be used although the golden-yellow root is most commonly used.

Uses For Goldenseal

Traditionally, goldenseal was used as an appetite stimulant but its many uses go well beyond that. Overall, goldenseal is good for any inflammatory condition. It has antimicrobial, astringent and antiparasitic properties and also stimulates the liver.

Anti-inflammatory

Taken internally as an anti-inflammatory, goldenseal can be effective for ulcers and irritations in the mouth, upper respiratory tract, eyes and to a lesser degree, the digestive and urinary tracts. Goldenseal may also be applied externally to infections or ulcers as a poultice made from the powdered root.

Antibacterial

Goldenseal can be useful for fighting bacterial infection in the mouth, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. It can disinfect against many common pathogens including streptococcus, staphylococcous and salmonella.

Eye Infections And Conjunctivitis

A goldenseal eyewash is particularly effective for inflammation and redness of the eyes and conjunctivitis secondary to bacterial or fungal infection. To make the eyewash, make a tea from the dry root by simmering it in water for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature and apply it directly with a compress, or add 10 to 20 drops to a saline solution and apply a few drops in the eye two or three times per day.

Digestive Issues

Goldenseal may also be used for digestive issues and liver conditions. It’s useful for treating loss of appetitie, diarrhea, influenza and infections.

Kennel Cough and Flu

Goldenseal can be given at the first signs of a cough. Give it together with echinacea for a punch! Goldenseal will soothe the mucous membranes while echinacea will help activate immune fighters.

Tapeworm and Giardia

Combined with garlic, goldenseal can help rid dogs of tapeworm and even giardia.

Warnings

Goldenseal should not be used in pregnant, newborn or hypoglycemic dogs. Long term use should be avoided as it may alter the intestinal flora and over-stimulate the liver. High doses may also interfere with vitamin B metabolism.

Use goldenseal for a week or so at a time, not for extended periods.

Guidelines

Goldenseal can be given as a dried powder. Use 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds.

Goldenseal tea can be made by boiling a gram of goldenseal in a cup of water. Give 1/4 to 1/4 cup per 20 pounds per day.

If giving a tincture, give 5 to 10 drops per 20 pounds, 2 to 3 times per day.

Sourcing

When purchasing goldenseal, make certain it’s from a cultivated organic source, not wildcrafted. Goldenseal is one of the most endangered medicinal herbs and if wildcrafting continues, the earth will be devoid of this incredibly useful herb. It’s a great idea to grow some goldenseal in your yard. It prefers shade and rich, well-drained soil. If you can not find an organic source of cultivated goldenseal, Oregon grape root can also be an effective alternative.

Another great article from Dogs Naturally Magazine.  If you have a female dog she may be plagued every now and then with a urinary tract infections.  I have used goldenseal on my girls in the past and it has worked so well.  It is a safe option to regular antibiotics. 

White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Cancer in Dogs

Do You Make This Cancer-Inducing Pet Mistake?

By Dr. Becker

Many pet guardians don’t realize the potential for exposing  their four-legged family member to environmental toxins like pesticides and herbicides.  People also don’t realize that after they apply a product to their lawn or  garden, the chemical residues are tracked indoors on pet paws, and contaminate  surfaces throughout their home.

A pesticide known as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or “2,4-D”,  was developed during World War II. It was one of two active ingredients in the  notorious defoliant known as Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War to  destroy forest cover for our enemies, as well as their food crops. A tremendous  amount of herbicide was sprayed over millions of acres of land in Vietnam from  1961 to 1972. Agent Orange was the most commonly used product, and it has since  been revealed to cause a wide range of serious health issues, including rashes,  psychological problems, birth defects, tumors, and cancer.

These days, 2,4-D is used on athletic fields, golf courses,  landscaping, timberland, rights-of-way, and various crops. A short list of  popular products containing 2,4-D includes:   

  • Bayer Advanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and  Crabgrass Killer
  • Ortho Weed-B-Gon Max
  • Scotts Liquid Turf Builder
  • Sta-Green Phosphorus-Free Weed & Feed
  • Scotts Snap Pac Weed & Feed

  Despite decades of scientific studies associating 2,4-D with  cancer in humans and animals, the chemical continues to be one of the top three  pesticides sold in the U.S. More recent studies have linked the chemical to  hormone disruption that increases the risk of birth defects and neurologic  damage in children.

 

Pesticides, Bees, and Your Pet

I’m sure many of you are aware that bee colonies across the world are disappearing in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder (CCD). In fact, most U.S. beekeepers have lost from 50 to 90 percent of their honeybee populations.

There are several factors involved in the die off of bees, not the least of which is the unprecedented widespread use of pesticides and insecticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides kill insects by attacking their nervous systems. These are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees.

Honeybees contribute $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the U.S. economy alone, as a full one-third of the American food supply depends on them pollinating crops. Just about every fruit and vegetable you can think of is dependent on the pollinating services of bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre in order to be adequately pollinated. So, unless the mysterious disappearance of bees is reversed, major food shortages could result.

If we don’t take action to protect bees and other pollinators from the toxic effects of pesticides and insecticides, there is no question that the survival of our pets, and our own survival, will be in jeopardy. In fact, honeybees are so crucial to our existence that a quote attributed to Einstein states: “If bees die out, man will only have four years of life left on Earth.”

Pesticides and Canine Malignant Lymphoma

Most dogs love a carpet of thick green grass. They run  around on it, roll on it, dig at it, and stick their noses in it. But unlike humans,  who launder their clothes and bathe regularly, dogs don’t change their fur or  footpads every day. Whatever collects on their feet and coat outdoors stays  there until the next time they get a bath. It also gets deposited across  multiple surfaces inside your home, including carpeting, rugs, furniture and  pet bedding.

A recently published study conducted over a six year period  by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University1 showed that exposure to lawn pesticides, specifically those applied by  professional lawn care companies, raised the risk of canine  malignant lymphoma – a progressive, fatal disease — by as much as 70  percent.

Sadly, it’s easy to envision how normal canine behavior  turns risky when your dog’s outdoor environment has been doused in potentially  toxic chemicals.

Herbicides and Bladder Cancer In Dogs

Another study, published last year in Science  of the Total Environment,2 indicates that exposure to herbicide-treated lawns has been associated with significantly  higher bladder  cancer risk in dogs.

The chemicals in question are common herbicides containing  2,4-D, 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP) and/or dicamba. Dogs are  being exposed through ingestion, inhalation and transdermal contact.

Since these chemicals are commonly detected in grass  residues from treated lawns AND untreated lawns, it’s clear there is chemical  drift. This means that even if you don’t use these products, if a neighbor  does, your dog could still be at risk from chemicals that blow into your yard  from a nearby property.

Flea and Tick Preventives (Pesticides) and Your Pet

You may not be aware of it, but most flea  and tick preventives are actually pesticides, regardless of what form they  come in — spot-on treatments, pills, dips, solutions, shampoos, or collars.

Spot-on  products attracted the attention of the EPA in 2009 after reports surfaced  of over 40,000 adverse events the prior year, including 600 deaths of family  pets. The agency called for new labeling requirements, but as recently as  September, four  cats were reported to have died from misuse of the products.

It’s important to remember that just because a compound is  applied to or worn on your pet’s fur doesn’t mean it’s safe. What goes ON your pet goes IN your pet, by absorption through the skin  or ingestion during grooming.

Protecting Your Pet from Toxic Pesticides

Don’t apply pesticides to your yard, and if you use a lawn  care service, don’t allow them to use chemicals, either. The same goes for  herbicides, and be aware that a neighbor’s herbicide can potentially  contaminate your property and pose a risk to your pet.

Avoid lawn care and other gardening products that contain  insect growth regulators (IGRs). (And be aware that the chemical pyriproxyfen,  an IGR, is used in certain flea/tick spot-on treatments.)

Don’t allow your dog access to any lawn unless you can  confirm no pesticides have been used.

If you think your pet has rolled around on chemically  treated grass, my recommendation is to bathe him as soon as possible. If you’ve walked your dog in a suspect grassy area,  giving him a foot  soak as soon as you get home should flush away any chemical residue that  may be clinging to his feet and lower legs.

If you live in a townhouse or community that applies  chemicals to common areas, I recommend “detoxing” a patch of grass in your  backyard by watering the chemicals down into the soil to reduce skin contact  after application. Keep your pet on a leash (and on the sidewalk) until you’ve  walked to your chemical free destination.

When it comes to pest control, remember — keeping your  pet’s immune system healthy and strong is the best way to help him fight off  parasites as well as disease. A balanced,  species-appropriate diet is  the foundation upon which your pet’s good health and long life must be built.

Use a safe, natural pest deterrent that is chemical-free.  Also consider cedar oil (specifically manufactured for pet health), natural  food-grade diatomaceous earth, or fresh garlic (work with your holistic vet to  determine a safe amount for your pet’s body weight).

Bathe and brush your pet regularly and perform frequent full-body  inspections to check for parasite activity, and insure your indoor and outdoor  environments are unfriendly to pests.

Detoxifying Your Pet

Consider periodic detoxification for your pet. The level of environmental exposure to chemicals will dictate the  appropriate frequency and type of detox. If your dog has constant exposure to  toxic chemicals all summer, supplying a daily detox protocol is a wise idea. But  if your pet’s only source of chemical exposure is heartworm pills, or if you  are applying flea and tick chemicals directly on your pet, then offering a  detox program the week after each pill or topical treatment makes sense.

There are many detoxifying  herbs and supplements to choose from. A detox protocol should not cause any  side effects or visible changes in your pet.

 

This excellent article by holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker is eye opening.  If you don’t want your pet to die of cancer, start now. 

White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

Vaccines for Dogs

 Vaccine Damage Article – Dogs Today

By Catherine O’Driscoll

 

 

Here is a statement of truth:  once immune, dogs are immune against viral disease for years or life.  The study group set up by the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) on vaccines has come up with global guidelines which categorically state that dogs and cats should NOT be vaccinated at more than three yearly intervals, and then only for core vaccines – distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus.  Core vaccines do not include Leptospirosis, which the WSAVA acknowledges as causing more adverse reactions than other vaccines.

 

Importantly, the WSAVA acknowledges that vaccines can be harmful, and titer (blood) tests are safer than revaccination.      

 

I constantly receive emails from people whose dogs have been harmed by vaccines.  Edward McKenzie-Clark stated:  “Last week, at the request of the new owner, I had a puppy I bred vaccinated. The  puppy went downhill overnight and is now seriously ill.  The vet is telling me that this puppy’s condition and the vaccination are coincidences. The puppy is going into kidney failure caused by either leptospirosis (in the vaccine) or drinking anti-freeze (impossible).  Can there be a connection between the vaccine and the puppy’s health?”

 

If this man had given this puppy heroin, his vet would be in no doubt as to cause and effect.  It’s amazing how they don’t connect the dots.  In fact, a study conducted by Purdue University found that vaccinated, but not unvaccinated, dogs developed auto-antibodies to a wide range of their own biochemicals.  One of these was laminin, which coats kidney cells.  Vaccinated dogs were attacking their own kidneys. 

 

Vaccines can also cause the disease you’re attempting to prevent.  In the Canine Health Concern vaccine survey, 100% of dogs with leptospirosis contracted it just after being vaccinated against it.  Leptospirosis, of course, attacks the kidneys – and the puppy had severe kidney damage.

 

Edward wrote again. “I had to put Hamish to sleep on Sunday. He deteriorated rapidly over the weekend and I decided I couldn’t allow him to go through any more.  There are a lot of ‘if only we did this’ days.  My other half says I’m too hard on myself and perhaps I can be but it’s very hard to put out of my mind what that poor baby had to go through.”

 

A few days later, Edward wrote: “The pharmaceutical company have said they will pay for an autopsy. I’ve said if you pick up the rest of the £300 bill. They refused so I’m refusing to let them have the autopsy done.  I asked why are you so keen on an autopsy when you claim it wasn’t your vaccine?  No answer!  I stopped vaccinating in 1990 after a similar incident and this was only done at the new owner’s request so NEVER again will a vaccine come near my dogs.”

 

I shared Edward’s story with Dr Patricia Jordan, a vet who has done a great deal of research into the vaccine issue.  She added these comments:  “Kidney failure is a common sequel to vaccination.  The basement membrane is susceptible to damage from a clogging that results as the immune complexes are drained via the lymphatics. The kidney is a big part of the lymphatic system. The body tries to clear the toxins in the vaccines and there is damage done in this clearing mechanism.

 

“Lepto is a very adverse event associated vaccine and the damndest thing is that lepto vaccines simply do not work.  Dr Ron Schultz (the world’s foremost independent authority on canine vaccines) hates to see them in with anything else and, in puppies, advises that they are completely finished with the viral inoculations before getting a vaccine against Lepto, which he neither recommends nor advocates – even in Lepto endemic areas.

 

“I have seen older dogs go into kidney failure within two days of receiving a Lepto vaccine.”

 

Many dog lovers, I suspect, have difficulty in understanding the science surrounding vaccination, so they’d rather trust the ‘experts’ than struggle to understand.  Dr Jordan sent me one of her diary notes, which isn’t technical in the least.  Perhaps this will have meaning for you?

 

“What a depressing day today.  I had to kill a patient who was vaccinated every year, fed crappy food, and was so immune exhausted that he had everything wrong – coccidia, yeast overgrowth, cancer.  I took pictures of his poor wracked body.  I only had about a month to try to reverse his condition.  It was insurmountable due to the years of visits to the vet and resulting complete adrenal exhaustion and immunosuppression.  He was just spent. 

 

“The day got worse. I heard barking in the reception and found a tiny eight pound terrorist barking at a tall noble greyhound.  The tall dog was looking desperate and his sides were heaving.  I went back to finish the patient I was with.  By the time I had finished, I’d missed the next patient and the owner of the practice had him.

 

“I was able to walk by the room for another reason and was very concerned to see vaccines laid out in the room – with the dog who looked like he couldn’t breathe.  I have ranted and raved against vaccines – the over-use and the fact that every single day there is malpractice committed with the administration of this danger to sick and geriatric animals.  Anyway, the dog was shot up with vaccines.

 

“After lunch, I returned to see two of the kennel workers carrying that dog’s dead body back to the freezer for burial.  He had gone home and died.  The owner was very upset.  Apparently, he wasn’t expecting to have vaccinated his pet and his pet die shortly thereafter.

 

“I looked at the record.  The dog had been a cardiac patient for a while, with terrible heart murmurs.  That was why he was so concerned about the barking terrier, if only eight pounds.  The dog could hardly get around, so why was he administered an eight way MLV vaccine? 

 

“There appears to be very little compassion in this field.  Very little honesty and integrity for the patient of the client.  I will get blasted by most vets reading this, but the situation is true.  It’s a desperate situation.”

 

I agree with Dr Jordan.  The situation is desperate.  Those in authority don’t appear to care, and the pet owners seem unable to get out of the mode of following. 

 

Alice Hughes wrote to me:  “Please help.  Our pup is six years old and has suffered terribly from arthritis. For three weeks she lost the use of her back end.  One week ago today she had her booster and within days she was in distress and is barely moving around.  She is lethargic and sad.  What can we do?  I am not sure if I should take her to the vet for advice because when we were there last Saturday, he seemed displeased that I turned down the kennel cough shot (I just felt uneasy about so many chemicals going into her and she is never in a kennel).  He is 100% behind the annual shots and sends me notices each year, twice. I feel like I am killing her.” 

 

Research shows that vaccines can cause arthritis.  They can also, as a symptom of encephalitis (which is an acknowledged vaccine reaction), cause paralysis of the rear end.

 

Elaine Loydall wrote:  “Two weeks ago we did the year’s round of boosters. Our younger boy who is 16 months had a massive fit almost two weeks after the jabs. It was scary.  Do you have a view on this, and does this mirror other experiences?”

 

Yes it does mirror other experiences.  Epilepsy is another symptom of encephalitis, an acknowledged vaccine sequel.  Millions of pounds have been paid out worldwide in compensation to the parents of epileptic, vaccine damaged, children. 

 

Brenda Hopping wrote:  “I took my eleven year old dog (the love of my life!) to have his boosters yesterday.  Just minutes after leaving the vets, he collapsed to the ground in an unconscious state and looked as if he was dying.  The sight of this was horrendous, just seeing his legs at awkward angles and in spasms.
”He did come round, but his eyes were glazed and he looked completely disorientated.  I couldn’t lift him.  I managed to persuade him to his feet and he wobbled back to the vets.  My dog has a slight heart murmur and I feared the worst. The vet would not say that it may be something to do with the vaccination.  He just told me to take my dog home and advised me that if it happened again, I should bring my dog back for an ECG.

“In my mind it is too much of a coincidence that his ‘attack’ was straight after the vaccination.  I really think that the state of confusion and the lack of knowledge on the part of the owner is beneficial to the vet and invariably to the pharmaceutical companies.”

 

Proceedings of the First Veterinary Vaccine Symposium, held in 1997, advised that geriatric dogs – over eight years of age – should not be vaccinated.  All vaccine datasheets state that only healthy animals should be vaccinated.  A dog with a heart murmur is not healthy.  He should not be vaccinated: he can die. 

 

To make matters worse, Brenda was forced to have her cat euthanised recently as his vaccine-induced cancer had become so aggressive.  Brenda says, “His big eyes and lovely face still haunt me and I am in tears now as I write to you.  To think, if I had been better informed, he may still be with me now.”

 

When I started reporting vaccine reactions back in 1994, a limited amount of research was available.  It isn’t limited any more.  What is needed now is for vets to stop giving unnecessary annual shots, to start upholding the truth, and for pet owners to become aware of the truth and honour the trust their dogs place in them.

 

It is a sad fact that we live in a world where we can’t trust apparently respectable business people and healthcare providers to put our dogs’ health first.  We need to wise up – our dogs depend on us.   

White Oak Golden Retrievers- *Very Important Read by the well respected Catherine O’Driscoll.

Please pass on to your veterinarian and ask them why they have NOT adopted this research that has been well known by the American Veterinary Association for many years now. 

http://www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com/healthanddiet.htm

 

 

 

Pain in Dogs

5 Signs Your Dog is in Pain

shutterstock_126853700Seeing our pets in pain is never a fun experience, and it’s something every dog owner dreads. Whether it’s a fresh injury or simply our aging elder-pups, we want nothing more than to help them. But it’s important to remember that they can’t always cry out to us when in need. Dogs aren’t humans, so they don’t speak our language. The best thing we can do to keep them comfortable is to learn theirs. Dogs display their pain in certain actions and behaviors that may seem subtle to us. Not everyone is a canine behavioral expert, but these five symptoms below will help you determine whether or not your loved one is in pain.

1. Excessive Grooming – It’s normal for dogs to lick and groom themselves, but it’s not normal for this to become an obsessive behavior. If you notice your pet tending to a localized area he’s never noticed before, or has just recently started spending a lot more time there, it could be a sign that he’s hurting. Pets will often groom places that are sources of pain in hopes to clean and care for the wound, even if there is no open wound present. Be sure to keep an eye on the area and inspect it gently.

 

2. Heavy Panting – Panting is normal behavior that shouldn’t surprise any dog owner. Even when the panting is heavy, certain circumstances allow for it such as extra hot days and strenuous exercise. But if you notice heavy panting out of nowhere, it could be stress-induced. This stress could be caused by pain your pet is experiencing. For whatever reason it may be, unexplained heavy panting should result in a trip to your veterinarian.

3. Inappetence – Lack of appetite is often the result of some sort of discomfort. You don’t feel like eating when you’re not well, do you? Our dogs don’t either. They simply just don’t feel like eating, especially when it’s painful to walk all the way over to the food bowl. If you notice any sort of inappetence in your pet, it’s important to seek veterinary attention right away, as this could be a symptom of many dangerous ailments.

4. Shyness & Aggression – You may notice that your dog is starting to become more and more antisocial. He may stop running to the door to greet everyone and avoids petting. Or you may notice that your little one doesn’t want you picking her up anymore, or cries when you do. If this happens suddenly, it’s reasonable to suspect pain as a probable cause. In some cases, you’ll find your normally overly friendly companion has become aggressive. If you notice your pup is hiding away and avoiding attention, be sure to check them for pain. It’s best to have a veterinarian do this, and it’s very important to remember not to take it personally if your dog does growl or snap at you. They aren’t necessarily trying to hurt anyone, they just have no other way to tell anybody it hurts and they don’t want to be touched.

5. General Behavior Changes – Besides shyness and aggression, you might notice that your pup doesn’t want to walk up stairs anymore, avoids jumping and climbing, or doesn’t want to chase after his beloved tennis ball. There are the obvious signs such as limping, but it’s important to also watch out for stiffness or arched backs. Dogs in pain often lay only flat on their sides, rather than curled up in their beds. They might be slower moving, sleeping a lot more and seemingly disinterested in things they used to love. Another sign is unexplained accidents in the house. It’s often very painful to get up from lying down (which you also might notice), and sometimes pets just aren’t able to make it outside fast enough. Sometimes the squatting to urinate and defecate is avoided, and you’ll notice that your pet will start leaving messes in her bed. All of these things can be attributed to pain – often in our older dogs, but sometimes in our younger ones as well.

Being able to identify early signs of pain can lead to a much more comfortable outcome for both you and your dog. With early veterinary care, you can often start treatment before the condition worsens, regardless of cause. If old age is the culprit, you’ll be more aware and educated on keeping your loved one comfortable and happy through his latter years. By keeping our pets happy, we keep ourselves happy too. And there’s nothing more important than sharing a peaceful, lighthearted life with our best friends.

This is a good article written by; http://www.ilovedogssite.com

White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com

 

Heartworm Medications

      

Are drug companies honest about Heartworm?

By Dr. Peter Dobias

Holistic look at the Heartworm prevention

 

A few days ago,  one of my friends living in Vermont called me. She was wondering what I thought about heartworm prevention and if I could help her determine, if the monthly administration of heartworm preventive medication is really necessary.

The question threw me back in the 90’s, when the manufacturers of heartworm preventive drugs decided to take North America by storm. I remembered he drug reps visiting vet clinics on a regular basis telling us that it was only a matter of time and heartworm would widely spread in Canada.  These visits were also accompanied by a subtle suggestion that selling the heartworm tests and preventive drugs could be a significant source of income for the practice.

 

As time progressed,  the heartworm doom and gloom case scenario didn’t happen and that the risks of heartworm infection in my areas were clearly exaggerated.

 On the basis of my findings, I made a decision not to recommend Heartworm preventive drugs in the area practice because the risk was practically zero and administering of any drugs is never optimal.  In reality no one can be absolutely certain if down the road preventive medication doesn’t  increase the tendency to chronic disease, organ failure or even cancer.

On the other hand, my friend’s situation is quite different because she lives in the Eastern US where heartworm is a real possibility.  I saw her question as a great opportunity for me to review the lifecycle of heartworm once again to  see if drug companies were honest about their recommendations of monthly prevention.  To me, the monthly administration frequency  seemed to be kind of peculiar because as far as I know, parasites do not carry an iPhone with a calendar and schedule.

I decided to bring clarity in the current situation to see what  the frequency of  heartworm preventive drugs really needed to be and also tell you more about the heartworm prevention alternatives that I use with my dog Skai. In order to do so, I need to give you answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the risk of heartworm disease in the area?

  2. What is the minimal frequency of administering preventive drugs?

  3. Are there any alternatives?

 

Here are the answers:

 

1. Heartworm incidence:

Heartworm life cycle is dependent on temperature that must remain above 57 degrees F  (14 C ) for at least 45 days straight and at least 2 weeks of temperatures over 80 F ( If these conditions are not fulfilled, the parasite cycle cannot be completed and your dog is safe.

Based on the recommendations of Dr. David Knight and Dr. James Lok from the American Heartworm society, even with the most cautious conventional medical protocols, all year around heartworm preventive schedule is exaggerated with the exception of Florida, some parts of Texas and Hawaii.  According to their conventional opinion, preventive treatment is unnecessary in the winter months and definitely doesn’t  need to be started before or after the months noted on the map in their paper.

 

2. Heartworm life cycle

Before you sucumb to the marketing pressure and fear to administer heartworm medicine monthly,  I  urge you to learn more about the heartworm life cycle. The heartworm development goes through several stages before reaching maturity and it takes 2.5 to 4 months before the tiny stage of microfilaria leaves the muscles and starts settling in the pulmonary artery. When heartworm reaches its final destination of pulmonary artery near the heart, it takes about 3 – 4 months to reach maturity.

One doesn’t need to have a degree in math to figure that it takes somewhere between 5.5 to 8 months for microfilaria to mature into an adult worm and that your dog  should be safe if you administer heartworm meds only once every every 3 to 4 months if your live in the area where heartworm occurs.

So why would the drug companies recommend monthly heartworm prevention? The reason is clearly identified  clearly in the study of Drs. Knight and Lok’s study on page 80 :

“…given what is presently known, continued adherence to a policy of superfluous chemoprophylaxis is disquieting because financial expediency for the veterinarian conflicts with clinical objectivity and client consent is predicated on unrealistic expectations. Clients mistakenly believe that they are purchasing additional protection for their pets, but in reality they are not. If the truth was known to them, few clients would agree to unnecessarily double their expense for heartworm prevention.”

In real language  and life translation most vets are too busy to question the recommendations that drug companies give them about heartworm prevention.  I strongly believe that the main  reason for over recommending heartworm prevention ( chemoprophylaxis ) is that drug companies can double or triple their revenues.

 

3. Safe alternative to heartworm preventive drugs

My dog  Skai and I travel to Hawaii approximately twice a year for 2  months and I had to face  the dilemma what  to do about  heartworm.   I  never felt totally comfortable about giving him any  drugs because in my mind, there is no such thing as a little bit of poison.

Luckily, advances  in heartworm testing offers DNA testing on the basis of PCR technology which allows me to test 3 times a year for any presence of heartworm.  This test has virtually no false negatives which is great news for your dog.

I can see that these tests are  a serious threat to the heft profits of  manufacturers of heartworm meds. They are simply not needed if you follow this formula  considering the duration of the heartworm seasons you can find out from the map  on page 79

 

Season Duration   Number of Tests Required
    (the last should be done at the end of HW Season)
Less than 4 months   1 test
4 – 8 months   2 tests
8 – 12 months   3 tests

 

 

Consider the facts above, in order to prevent heartworm and keep your dog safe, all you need to do is test your dog if you live in an affected area. If the results are positive (heartworm DNA is present) make sure that you consult your veterinarian before administering any heartworm meds. Heartworm preventive medication can be used only if adult heartworms are NOT present because using preventive drugs on adult heartworm can cause serious problems and  a different treatment protocol must be used.

Conclusion

I regret to say that similar to the vaccination scam,  monthly heartworm prevention is yet another dishonest marketing plot.   What I am confused about is why drug companies continuously try to trick us and frighten us instead making a living the honest way.  No matter what they are planning to try next, I believe that eventually they will have to become more honest in order to survive because it is much more difficult  to hide the truth in the age of world wide web.

Wishing you a happy, more informed heartworm season.

 

With gratitude,

 

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

– See more at: http://peterdobias.com/community/2012/04/are-drug-companies-honest-about-heartworm/#sthash.bvXWQiwq.dpuf

A much needed article by a well respected holistic veterinarian concerning Heartworm Meds.  Thank you, Dr. Dobias for this wonderful information.  White Oak Golden Retrievers

www.whiteoakgoldenretrievers.com