Friday, November 28, 2014

Save An Abandoned Cat or Dog's Life!


The shelters and rescues are filled with thousands of needy cats and dogs that need a loving home. On www.petfinder.com you can find just the right pet to complete your family! This holiday season, let's give an abandoned pet a place to finally call home.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Signs of Liver Disease in Pets

Signs of Liver Disease
Your pet's liver is an important organ. it's main function is to help digestion and conversion of nutrients, removing toxic substances from the blood, and the storage of vitamins and minerals. Due to this function, your cat or dog's liver is highly susceptible to damage. When it is over worked,  it can become inflamed and can result in damage and loss of function.  Fortunately, liver disease is a condition that can be well managed, and progression can be limited with proper nutrition and liver support.  

What can lead to liver disease in pets?
There are four main factors that increase the likelihood of your pet developing liver disease: age (more common in geriatrics), breed, obesity, medications and chemicals that they may come in contact with.   

Signs and symptoms of liver disease in dogs and cats:
  • Poor or loss of appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of gums, whites of the eyes or skin)
  • Increased thirst
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in behavior
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of energy or depression
  • Other possible signs of liver disorders include dark-colored urine, pale gums, or a build- up of fluid in the abdomen that could be mistaken for sudden weight gain. 

What can help your cat or dog with liver disease?
It is important to help your pet rest their liver and minimizing those functions that have to do with metabolism of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and drugs.  A first step would be to transition your pet to a raw or canned low-fat, grain-free diet, adding plenty of green vegetables, carrots and even a small amount of beets.  The second step should be  adding supplements that support the liver function.  Askariel.com has the Pancreatitis & Liver Support Kit,  that contains three formulas with powerful enzymes and nutrients that are highly effective in breaking down food, easing the burden on the pancreas, liver and digestive tract. Herbs in the Liver/Gallbladder formula reduce elevated liver enzymes help flush toxins from the liver and gallbladder. With the addition of Oxicell, your pet will have the benefits of critical antioxidants delivered into the body  to help fight free radical damage and inflammation. It also has been shown to reduce elevated liver enzyme levels.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

With Thanks To All Who Serve Our Country on Veteran's Day


Today is Veteran's Day and a time to remember all of the men, women and canines who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Have You Walked Your Dog Today?


A new study from the University of Liverpool has recommended that the well-being of both  pets and their owners can benefit from education and pet-friendly facilities. During the study, it was found that an estimated 40 percent of dog owners do not walk their pets, which could be a contributing factor to dog obesity. Canine obesity can have the same serious health consequences as people (diabetes, heart disease and joint issues). It is also believed, obese owners may be more likely to have obese dogs, perhaps because they are less likely to exercise their dog, or less able to recognise obesity. The study found the two main reasons people were not walking their dogs were: not being informed on how much was needed and having limited access to dog friendly areas. Walking is a great form of exercise and can be beneficial for you and your pet.

Here are the findings from the study 

  • People who did not have access to high quality areas that support dog walking (dog parks that allow dogs off leash and provide waste disposal facilities, for example), were much less likely to walk with their dog. People were just more motivated to walk when the area was more conducive. 
  • Many pet owners did not have the knowledge of how much exercise their pet really needed (150 minutes of physical activity a week is recommended) , or the the health benefits that could be obtained from walking your furry friend.  A coordinated effort to educate pet owners could have a great impact, the study showed that those that were aware, were much more likely to walk their dogs.
  • The stronger the dog-owner bond,  the more likely they were to take them on regular walks.
  • Anxiety over their pet's behavior also had an impact on how often people would take their pets out. Training your pet to be a good citizen is always important, but it could also lessen this fear and make it a fun time for all.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Holistic Treatments For Demodectic Mange


Mange is a parasitic skin disease caused by microscopic mites.  The most common in dogs is Demodectic mange, it is  also known as  "demodex" or "red mange". It causes lesions , beginning on the head and face.  All dogs (and humans) have mites-- they are passed from mother to pup. Usually they cause no problem or irritation, but in young pups (less than twelve to eighteen months of age) and those pets with compromised immune systems, the condition can become problematic. 

Symptoms
Your dog may develop a few (less than 5) isolated lesions, referred to  as "localized mange" or they may have generalized mange, in which case, there are more than 5 lesions over their entire body, which would require more aggressive treatment.

  • Hair loss  begins around the muzzle, eyes, and other areas on the head
  • Crusty
  • Red skin 
  • Lesions may or may not be itchy
  • A greasy or moist appearance  (mites prefer to live in the hair follicles, so in most cases, hair loss is the first noted sign)
  • Often a secondary bacterial infection - which can result in a fever, lose their appetite, and become lethargic.

Diagnosis
Diagnosis is made by performing a skin scraping, in which case, the mites can be seen with the aid of a microscope. If a larger than normal numbers of Demodex mites is found in skin scrapings, it confirms the diagnosis.

Older dogs diagnosed with demodectic mange should be screened for certain other diseases such as Cushing's disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, and heartworm disease. Nutritional history and any history of treatment with corticosteroids or other immune-suppressing drugs should be noted.

Treatment
The localized form of demodectic mange is usually treated with topical medication. The generalized form requires more aggressive treatment using special shampoos and dips, along with oral medication. If a secondary skin infections is present it could require antibiotic therapy. Dogs with skin infections often have very red, inflamed skin. This is the source of the term "red mange."

Holistic treatments are  a crucial part of treating Demodectic mange.  It involves supporting the immune system and treating the lesions.   Most of the time, dogs that have demodectic mange in puppyhood will continue to have a compromised immune system in adulthood, so using supplements can help to strengthen their immune function.

Supplements that can help:

  • Amazing Omegas - To improve skin and coat...a powerhouse of omega-3 nutrients (essential fatty acids)
  • Colostrum-- Essential nutrient for puppies and kittens.  Supports the digestive tract and helps to ward off worms and parasites.  Since the majority of your pet's immune function is located in the intestinal tract, this is the first line of defense with mange.
  • Power Probiotic - Powerful immune support. Supports digestion and overall good health (great for all pets!) 
  • Quentans - strengthens immune system and promotes healing. Powerful infection fighter, especially effective on viral infections.
  • Argentyn - can be used topically on any type of irritation of inflammation--even in the most sensitive area s. Just watch as this miracle formula helps to heal the skin.

Feeding a raw food diet can also be beneficial as the fresh nutrients provide enzymes and the food is highly digestible, thereby reducing allergy symptoms.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ear Infections in Cats


Although, ear infections are much more common in dogs than in cats, cats can get them too.  (If you have a dog that is getting chronic ear infections, yeast and allergies are typically the cause.)  Some of the signs that could indicate your cat has an ear infection include:

  • Scratching or pawing at their ear 
  • Shaking or tilting of the head in the direction of the painful ear
  • Black or yellowish discharge
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or ear canal
  • Waxy buildup on or near the ear canal
  • Discharge from the ear that resembles coffee grounds (a symptom of ear mites)
  • Strong odor
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of balance or disorientation 
Treatment 
The first step is to determine the underlining cause of the ear infection and working to eliminate it from your cat's life.  If your vet determines that your cat has ear mites or a yeast or bacterial infection, she’ll treat it with anti-parasitic, anti-fungals, or antibiotics, as appropriate. These all come in ointment or ear drop form. However, since these infections can frequently return, it's very important to add the following holistic supplements to your pet's care plan. They help to fight infection and build a strong immune system.

  • Power Probiotic- essential for your pet's good health. Supports digestion, helps fight infection and enhances overall immunity.  Very important if your cat has taken any antibiotics.
  • Roqueforti Drops- provides support for the intestinal tract. The majority of a pet's immune system is located in the intestinal tract. Fights yeast and is used on alternating nights with the Quentans.
  • Immune Harmony- helps to rebalance and regulate the immune system.
  • Quentans- Excellent for fighting infections, viruses, and immune support.
A change in diet can also make a big difference, whether your cat has allergies or yeast is the problem. The first step is to avoid all dry food as they are high in carbohydrates and can contribute to yeast overgrowth.  If you don't know what to feed your cat, Ask Ariel offers a free service where if you buy products on their website, the nutritionist will include a diet recommendation specifically for your pet on the packing slip that comes with your order.  

What causes ear infections in cats?

Parasites: The ear mite, Otodectes cynotis, is a common cause of ear problems, especially in kittens. 
Allergies: Allergies, either to food or environmental, may have ear problems.  It actually can be one of the first signs of a pet's allergies.  Allergies can also lead to secondary infections with bacteria or yeast. Treating the allergies is key to ending a cycle of allergy induced ear infections.
Bacteria and Yeast:  Under normal conditions, your cat has a good defense system to keep the ear healthy. However, if the ear environment changes due to allergies, hormone abnormalities, or moisture, the bacteria and yeast  can grow quickly, bacteria and yeast love to grow in warm, dark places.  
Ear Conditions: Wax buildup in the ear canal and thick hair in the ear canal
Foreign Bodies:  Especially if you have a cat who goes outside, be sure to routinely check their ears for foreign objects.
Trauma: Injury or self-inflicted trauma to the ear (from scratching ) can lead to infections.
Hormonal Abnormalities and Other Health Conditions: Deficiencies or excesses of various hormones can result in skin and ear problems, as will immune system disorders.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pet Halloween Safety Tips

(Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN, AFP/Getty Images)

Candy-Keep candy away from your furry friend.  Chocolate and Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free products (including gum) can be extremely toxic to pets.

Costumesif you are dressing up your pet, try the costume on before Halloween to make sure it fits comfortably and does not hinder their movement and keep them away from open flames, such as lit jack-o-lanterns.

Choking Hazards- Whether it is candy, the candy wrappers,  or  a costumes near their face Halloween opens up the possibility to choking.

Control the Environment- Many pets have anxiety with ringing door bells (and seeing strangers in strange costumes) and unless your pet is particularly outgoing, it is best to keep them safe and quiet in a separate room.

Collar-  With the opening and closing of the door multiple times a night your pet could escape. Be sure he/she has a current tag and license secured onto their collar. 

Calming- Provide items that help your pet feel safe, secure and calm. It could be a favorite toy, blanket, stroking their head or securing them in their crate.  It is important to understand their needs.