Archive for December, 2013

Stressed out for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Chef Loreen here to help you understand that you dog(s) feel your emotions. When you are all stressed out on getting all the shopping done, gifts purchased and wrapped or just worried about the guests that are coming for your holiday dinner, you may notice changes in your dogs behavior or their bowel movements. I know, I know it is easier said than done…but you do need to calm down for your own sake. A good way to instantly relax (or somewhat calm down) would be to take in a couple of deep breaths but hold each one before you exhale. Do this about 3 or 4 times…remember to hold…then release out of your mouth with a visualization of blowing out all the anxieties you are feeling. Just think of feeling less stressed and how you are helping everyone around that feels your emotions…your four legged family member. Happy Holidays from Chef Loreen and her family of canines (Hershey Kisses and Stewey).

Dr. Dym’s Pearls on Heart Disease in Canines.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Medical Pearls From Dr. Dym
Holistic Veterinarian

We see many types of heart disease in our canine patients. In some breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, Boxers and King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, they are genetic. Other types of heart disease, the most common of which is mitral valve regurgitation, occur more in aging, smaller and mixed breeds.

There can be a wide variety of presentations of heart disease symptoms, from the asymptomatic dog, whose disease is initially detected through hearing of a heart murmur at the time of physical exam, to dogs that present sudden congestive heart failure and even sudden death. Between these two extremes of presentation are a variety of symptoms one should be aware of, ranging from exercise intolerance to a chronic progressive hacking cough. Symptoms of canine heart disease can mimic signs of chronic airway disease, especially in toy breeds, and some dogs can even have both chronic airway disease and heart disease at the same time.

The only way to properly diagnose and stage heart disease in dogs, as well as whether specific treatment is needed, is through a proper physical exam, chest X-rays, an EKG, and often, ultimately an echocardiogram.

While long standing drugs such as furosemide (lasix), digoxin, and enalopril have often improved quality of life, the recent availability of the drug Vetmedin (Pimobendan) has truly extended both quality and length of life in many dogs.

And while heart disease can and will affect many dogs, certainly dietary therapy and nutritional therapy can help play a role in prevention and treatment. Stay away from high salt, fatty processed commercial diets, and stress either minimally processed natural commercial diets or fresh home made quality ones, such as K-9 Pet Chef, can be of great help.

Essential fatty acid supplementation is critical in both healthy and unhealthy dogs as a preventative supplement for so many conditions, as well as even more critically in those pets diagnosed with heart disease. Other nutrients, such as dimethylglycine, coenzyme Q-10, hawthorne berry, and minerals, such as magnesium, can all help in managing heart disease.

In my practice I also include as part of my therapeutic regimen in many patients the wonderful whole food supplements from standard process email: