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Wild canines are constantly in search of food for survival. Although you will never let your dog go hungry, his instinct to find food remains strong. So while it may be a nuisance when your dog is constantly pawing through garbage, sniffing at the table or trying to scrounge up a snack, keep in mind that he’s only following his survival instincts, and work to gently correct this behavior.

 Some dogs are allowed to eat all day; that is, food is left in their bowls at all times. This constant availability of food can lead to an overweight dog. Treats and snacks add up in calories, too. To check your dog’s body condition, do the "rib test." Run your hands on either side of his body along his rib cage. You should be able to feel the outline of his ribs. With an overweight dog, you might not be able to make them out at all. On the other hand, if the ribs are too prominent, the dog is underweight. In either case, visit the vet to rule out any health problems: Dogs may gain or lose weight with illness. You may see other symptoms; for example, dogs suffering from kidney problems will also urinate and drink more, and may vomit and be depressed.

 Your vet can recommend dietary modifications or special foods, and for an overweight dog, probably an exercise program as well. It’s vital to get a chubby pup back to a healthy weight, since overweight dogs are at risk of diabetes, heart problems and cancer, among other things. Keep track of all the extra bits of food given outside of mealtimes, and be more stingy in giving out treats, or ask your vet for ideas on healthier alternatives. Underweight dogs, too, are at a higher risk for all types of illness, due to their reduced ability to fight infection, decreased reserves of fat and energy, and poor healing ability. These dogs may need dietary supplements to bring them back into the pink of health.

The bottom line on pet foods is simple. We have a rough idea of the essential nutrients necessary for pets. We know some of the toxic levels for nutrients. Other than that, it is hard to be sure about any nutritional claims.

Studying nutrient needs is extremely complex. There are a great number of theories about what constitutes "proper" nutrition. For every good thing you hear about a food, there are likely to be as many bad things. Making sense of this is very difficult. There is no single food that is "best" for all makes and models of dogs.

Some things seem to be clear, though. Pets do require certain nutrients. A good way to ensure that the pet foods you feed your pets contain adequate nutrients is to look for a statement that the food meets AAFCO Food Trial testing standards. This is an organization which sets standards for pet foods. Most good quality foods will have this statement on their label. It is at least a good start in ensuring that your pet's diet is adequate.

Some people are currently advocating diets containing raw meat for pets. Before feeding raw meat, please stop to consider the health warnings for humans concerning raw meat. Dogs get the same illnesses from E. coli, Salmonella, Toxoplasmosis and other health hazards associated with raw or undercooked meat. Is the perceived benefit worth the risk of one of these diseases?

Don't let your pet teach you to feed it a poor diet. It is very easy, especially with small dogs and cats, to fall into the trap of feeding your pet what he or she wants instead of what he or she needs. Dogs are very patient trainers of human beings. If you're not paying attention, you could find that Spot is on an all meat diet in no time. It can be hard to ignore those pleading eyes, but your pet IS better off if you feed a balanced diet!

admin Feb 11 · Tags: food, feeding, dog, nutrition
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Your dog requires a minimum daily amount of six essential elements: water, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals. Your vet can help you pick out a good commercial dog food, or monitor a homemade diet. Always read store-bought food labels, and remember the following:

Animal proteins are digested more easily than soy and other vegetable protein in general.  You don't need to feed a dog as high a volume of food if it is easily digestible. The more digestible a food, the less stool will be produced.  Keep in mind that a sick or stressed dog may need more protein. An unbalanced diet too rich in carbohydrates and/or fiber can cause constipation, bloating and other digestive problems, as well as excessive elimination. Keep in mind that foods high in vegetable proteins are also high in carbohydrates.

Fats keep skin and coats healthy and provide energy. Even an overweight dog needs a certain amount of fat in his diet.

Rancidity can be a problem with food that has been sitting on the shelf for too long. Food treated with chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin will last for up to 18 months, whereas vitamin E and other natural preservatives will keep food nutritionally sound for six to eight months.

A diet lacking in vitamins can lead to problems such as a weakened immune system, a greasy coat, bone disorders, thyroid problems or behavioral changes, to name a few. Never give your dog mineral supplements unless prescribed by your veterinarian.

Water keeps the bodily processes flowing. Make sure fresh, clean water is always available.

admin Feb 11 · Tags: health, feeding, nutrition, dog, food
admin

A man had just settled into his seat next to the window on the plane when another man sat down in the aisle seat and put his black Labrador Retriever in the middle seat next to the man.

The first man looked very quizzically at the dog and asked why the dog was allowed on the plane.... more

admin Jun 30 '16 · Tags: dog, police, sniffer, plane
admin
For those that don't know the true history of mankind ...

Here is a condensed version: 

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter. ... more

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The text below goes into the conditioning of a dog for the hunt and is a good account of the way it was done in the 1800s. Many of the points are still valid today and if followed we would have well conditioned dogs that are ready to work.  Have a read and post your comments below.

... more

admin Jun 3 '15 · Tags: working, condition, dogs, training, hunting
admin

Ear Infections

 

Ear infections are a common canine health problem, and they can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep in the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your dog may have with an ear infection include:

 

  • Head shaking or head tilting
  • Ear odor
  • Vigorous scratching
  • Lack of balance
  • Unusual back-and-forth eye movements
  • Redness of the ear canal
  • Swelling of the outer portion of the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge


Always take your dog to the veterinarian if you think he has an ear infection. In most cases, cleaning and medicating the ear canal will quickly clear up an infection. However, surgery can be needed for chronic infections or if forceful head shaking results in the rupture of a vessel within the outer part of the ear.

 

Worms

 

Tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are common internal parasites in dogs. And although any worm infestation can make your pooch uncomfortable, some, like hookworms, can be fatal in puppies. Signs your dog may have worms include:

 

  • Diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Weight loss
  • A change in appetite
  • A rough, dry coat
  • Scooting on his bottom
  • An overall poor appearance


The best way to diagnose a worm problem is with a visit to the vet. Treatment depends on which type of worm your dog has, but generally includes an oral medication and may require follow-up. Don't try treating worms yourself: A medication that kills roundworms, for example, doesn't kill tapeworms.

 

Fleas and Ticks

 

It takes just three weeks for one flea to turn into an infestation of 1,000 biting bugs. A very common canine health problem, fleas are easy for your dog to pick up, but they're also easy to treat. Signs your dog may have fleas include:

 

  • Excessive scratching, licking, or biting at the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Hot spots
  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Tapeworms (which are carried by fleas)
  • Flea dirt (looks like small black dots) against your dog's skin
  • Untreated, fleas not only make your dog intensely uncomfortable, they can also cause allergic reactions, infections, and even lead to anemia from blood loss.

 

Talk to your vet about the right flea medicine for your dog, which may include oral medicine, shampoos, sprays, or topical liquids.

 

 

Hot Spots
They’re commonly known as hot spots, but the medical term for those bare, inflamed, red areas you often see on dogs is acute moist dermatitis -- a bacterial skin infection. Anything that irritates your dog's skin enough to make him scratch or chew can lead to the pain and itch of hot spots, which, if left untreated, can quickly grow larger.
A hot spot's location can help your vet diagnose its cause. Fleas, for example, may be the source of a hip hot spot, while a hot spot at the ear might point to ear problems.
Treating hot spots may involve cleaning and shaving the irritated area, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), steroids, or topical medications, depending on how bad the hot spots are, and how much pain your pooch is in.

 


Vomiting
Vomiting is a common dog health problem, with dozens of possible causes, from infection or intestinal parasites to pancreatitis, kidney failure, heatstroke, or poisoning.
Symptoms are basic: abdominal heaving and drooling caused by nausea. If your dog also has diarrhea, blood in the vomit, seems lethargic, continues vomiting, or can't hold down liquids, contact your vet right away to prevent life-threatening dehydration.
Treatment depends on what's causing a dog's distress, and may include fluid therapy, drugs to control vomiting, and homemade foods like well-cooked skinless chicken, boiled potatoes, and rice.

 


Diarrhea
Diarrhea in dogs, as with vomiting, can have lots of causes, including stress, infections like parvo virus, intestinal parasites, and food problems.


Diarrhea symptoms are pretty obvious -- look for loose, watery, or liquid stool.
Because diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration, be sure your dog has plenty of clean water available, then take your pooch to the vet if the diarrhea persists for more than a day, or immediately if there's also fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark or bloody stools, or loss of appetite.

admin Jun 2 '15 · Tags: dog, sickness, common, illness, ailment
admin

THE FOLLOWING FROM JEFF LEVY, DVM PCH:

The Dangers of Vaccination
The purpose of vaccination is to protect your pet from potentially fatal infections by pathogenic (disease-causing) viruses such as distemper, rabies, and others. The way this is done is to inject either a killed virus or a 'modified' (non-pathogenic) live virus, which sensitizes the immune system to that particular virus. Thereafter, if your dog is exposed to, let's say, parvovirus, s/he will be able to respond quickly and vigorously, producing antibodies to overcome the infection.

This sounds like a pretty good plan, on the surface. However, as with any medical procedure, we must ask the simple and direct questions, Is it safe? Is it effective? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

The Problems with Vaccination
'Routine' vaccination, as it is practiced today, is not always effective (especially in the case of the feline leukemia vaccine), and frequently has adverse side effects, either short term or long term. With the use of multivalent (combination: 3-in-1, 6-in-1, etc.) vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side effects in our pets has increased dramatically.

Not surprisingly, most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system. The body may overreact to normally harmless substances (allergies, especially flea allergies and other skin problems), or even produce antibodies to itself (auto-immune diseases).

At the same time, the body may be sluggish in responding to those things that it should reject, such as common viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This can result in increased susceptibility to acute infections (such as parvovirus), chronic or recurring infections (such as ear infections in dogs, bladder infections or feline leukemia in cats), or other chronic problems such as arthritis, kidney disease, or even cancer.
In summary, there is a great deal of evidence implicating vaccination as the cause of many serious chronic health problems. For this reason, I do not recommend vaccination for dogs or cats.

In particular, I strongly recommend against vaccination for Feline Leukemia in cats, because (a) it is not very effective, and (b) I have found that vaccinated cats that subsequently contract the virus are much more likely to die from it. I also recommend against vaccination for Lyme disease and kennel cough in dogs, again due to lack of effectiveness, and the fact that these conditions are generally not very serious. As such, the potential harm of the vaccine is not justified.

Fortunately, parvo is generally quite easy to treat homeopathically.
Distemper and infectious hepatitis are rarely seen anymore.

Unfortunately, the law now requires rabies vaccination for dogs and cats. This is for reasons of potential human exposure, not for the health of your pet.
You should know, however, that all vaccines, including rabies, are medically approved for use in healthy animals only. This is explicitly stated in the package insert for every vaccine. So if your dog or cat is showing any signs of acute or chronic disease, the manufacturers do not recommend administration of the vaccine.

Homeopathic Nosodes
As an alternative to vaccination, I sometimes recommend the use of homeopathic nosodes. A nosode is simply a homeopathic remedy that is made from a disease product. Nosodes are not in any way infectious, and can be used to prevent viral infection. Under most circumstances, there is no need for nosodes in adult animals, so their use is generally limited to puppies and kittens. There is, however, a nosode for heartworms, which could be used in adult dogs on an ongoing basis. I will discuss this further in the section on heartworms.

Limitations of Nosodes
There are some limitations to the use of nosodes. The law requires rabies vaccination for dogs and cats. The rabies nosode, Lyssin, will not satisfy that requirement. Many veterinary offices and kennels insist on current vaccinations, and will not accept nosodes as an alternative. I suggest that you find a local veterinarian that is more open-minded on the topic.

If You Choose to Vaccinate...
As I have said, being a veterinary homeopath, I do not recommend routine vaccination for dogs or cats, except for rabies where required by law. If, for whatever reason, you decide that you must vaccinate your pet, I would make the following recommendations to minimize the damage to your pet's health:

  • Do not vaccinate an animal with symptoms of acute or chronic health problems, or at the time of surgery or other physical or emotional stress.
  • As much as possible, vaccinate for one disease at a time, and avoid multivalent (combination) vaccines. For cats, vaccinate for feline panleukopenia alone. The vaccines for the two upper respiratory viruses, calicivirus and rhinotracheitis, can be given together. I strongly recommend against vaccination for feline leukemia virus.
  • For dogs, give parvo separately from distemper and hepatitis. Do not vaccinate for leptospirosis or parainfluenza. Never give the rabies vaccine at the same time as any other vaccine.
  • Just vaccinate puppies and kittens, and don't vaccinate adults at all.
  • After vaccination, give a single dose of the appropriate nosode in the 30C potency.


Acute Homeopathic Treatment
Viral diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis, canine distemper and canine parvovirus are usually not responsive to conventional medical treatment such as antibiotics and steroids. (Supportive care, such as  intravenous fluids, can be critically important.) Fortunately, they usually respond very quickly and favorably to homeopathic treatment, so the risk of not vaccinating is greatly lessened.

admin Feb 2 '15
admin
We have four cats (chinchilla, Norwegian Forrest Cat, and two cocktails) that live in a very large cattery (15 X 45 feet).  The cattery is a bit old and some of the wood was rotting causing sagging and presenting opportunities for Racoons to visit at night and eat the cats food and knock things around.

Starting last weekend we undertook that task of removing the old wood and fencing and to frame it with a corrugated metal roof to provide secondary protection from the elements.  The project is going well. The roof is on now, and today we will start stringing the wire to secure the enclosure.  These cats are so darn lucky.

admin Dec 22 '14 · Tags: cats, cattery
marlys

The Persian is a long-haired breed of cat characterized by its round face and shortened muzzle. In Britain, it is called the Longhair or Persian Longhair. It is also known as the Shiraz or Shirazi, particularly in the Middle East. The first documented ancestors of the Persian were imported into western Europe from Persia around 1620. Recognized by the cat fancy since the late 19th century, it was developed first by the English, and then mainly by American breeders after the Second World War.

The selective breeding carried out by breeders has allowed the development of a wide variety of coat colors, but has also led to the creation of increasingly flat-faced Persians. Favored by fanciers, this head structure can bring with it a number of health problems. As is the case with the Siamese breed, there have been efforts by some breeders to preserve the older type of cat, the traditional breed, having a more pronounced muzzle, which is more popular with the general public. Hereditary polycystic kidney disease is prevalent in the breed, affecting almost half the population in some countries.

The placid and unpretentious nature of the Persian confers a propensity for apartment living. It has been the most popular breed in the United States for many years but its popularity has seen a decline in Britain and France.

 

 

marlys Dec 19 '14 · Rate: 4 · Tags: cat, persian
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