Dogs

What to Know About Pet Joint Health

    Bella never lets us forget her Agility Vitamin after she eats her dinner. Not only is it a special treat in her eyes but it has so many added benefits for her joints as she gets older.
    Dr. Vogelsang does a great job outlining the importance of maintaining your pets joints and their joint health as they age in the following article.

What to Know About Pet Joint Health

cat playing on couch

Age is not a disease

We say that all the time in medicine, because it’s true. “He’s slowing down” is an observation, but it’s not a diagnosis. All too many times, when I’m asking someone how their pet is doing they will say, “Well, he’s slowing down, but he’s old. What are you going to do?”

Lots! We have lots of things we can do, especially for one of the most common diseases of aging dogs and cats: degenerative joint disease (DJD), also known as osteoarthritis (OA). In fact, one out of five pets are experiencing this right now. And many of them could be feeling a lot better.

DJD is more complicated than it might appear at first blush, but it’s also one of the most gratifying to treat when you’re able to improve a pet’s quality of life so significantly. Whether you have a senior pet with diagnosed or suspected DJD, or a younger pet you want to keep in good health for a good long time, there are things you can be doing right now to maintain their joint health.

Anatomy of a Joint

Unlike a heart or a kidney, a joint is not a discrete organ but a term used to describe the connection between bones. Joints vary in terms of structure, function, and components. Your knee joint, for instance, is a back-and-forth hinge joint, while the joints that connect the bones in your skull move very little. In both cases, this is a good thing.

Joints have multiple components such as cartilage, connective tissue like ligaments and tendons, and capsules that enclose the joint and keep everything contained. Depending on where the joint is located, its purpose is to protect the bones, allow free movement by reducing friction, and act as a cushion.

Cartilage is a critical tissue in the joint. It is comprised of cells called chondrocytes suspended in a matrix of collagen and proteoglycans, which trap water and keep the cartilage nice and plump. Healthy chondrocytes keep that matrix fully hydrated, which is essential for the joint’s ability to absorb forces without damage. Cartilage creates the joint cushion.

The synovial membrane is the tissue that surrounds the joint and keeps it sealed. The membrane secretes synovial fluid into the joint, which is critical for lubrication.

If there is any disruption to the cartilage, the synovial membrane, or the bone underneath the cartilage, your dog or cat can begin to develop a joint disease.

Causes of DJD

While DJD can result from the normal aging process, it is often accelerated in pets by an injury or other underlying health condition that causes stress or inflammation. Inflammatory compounds in the joint space disrupt the cartilage matrix, reducing its ability to retain water. As the cartilage dehydrates, it starts to become more brittle and rubbery, like a piece of cheese you left out overnight. It also becomes more likely to splinter. If it gets bad enough, the underlying bone can also be affected.

dog playing with ball

Treatment and Prevention

Unfortunately, DJD in dogs and cats is an irreversible process. Treatment is aimed at slowing down the progression of the disease, reducing pain, and maintaining movement in the joint. It is a complex process with a lot of different elements, which means one thing: the best treatment hits the disease process on multiple fronts. We call this ‘multimodal disease management,’ and it’s the gold standard in DJD therapy. Here are the different fronts from which we attack DJD:

    1. Anti-inflammatories. Remember when I mentioned those inflammatory compounds? There are a lot of them. No one medication or supplement gets them all, which is why we tend to combine them for better results.
      1. NSAIDS- These are the most recognizable of the bunch for most of us, and are nice because they reduce both inflammation and pain. In pets, these are prescription meds such as Rimadyl, Metacam, or Deramaxx. Please don’t use over the counter people medications like Advil or Aleve- they simply aren’t as effective and can be dangerous to your pets.
      2. Nutraceuticals and supplements- This is an ever-expanding group of treatments that gets lots of attention for being effective across many species, with a low incidence of side effects. The most recognizable names here are glucosamine/ chondroitin sulfate, but newer players on the market such as green lipped mussels are also giving great results.
      3. Adequan injections- This is an injection available through veterinarians that stimulates the cartilage to improve the matrix.

    2. Weight loss. If your pet is overweight- which describes about half the pets in the US! -this can accelerate the stress that causes cartilage to degenerate. If your pet is overweight, talk to your vet about what their ideal body weight should be. If they are the correct weight, well done! Keep it up.

    3. Alternative treatment modalities. I trained and became certified in veterinary acupuncture specifically to treat arthritic pets, with good results. I’ve also used lasers, a product that uses pulsed electromagnetic fields, and physical therapy. The more layers you add onto your treatment, the better the results.

    4. Prevention. Unfortunately, by the time a pet starts to limp or shows signs of pain, they have usually had DJD for some time and it is fairly advanced. That’s why preventive measures are so important. Here’s what pet owners should do from the get-go:
      1. Maintain a healthy weight for your pet.
      2. Maintain a regular exercise program to keep joints mobile and healthy.
      3. Keep your pet on a healthy diet and add omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
      4. If your pet is highly active or in a higher-risk category for DJD, consider adding nutraceuticals and supplements to their diet sooner rather than later.


Age isn’t a disease, but DJD is. It’s not often I say, “the more the merrier!” when it comes to treatments, but in this case you really can’t begin joint healthcare early enough. From diet to exercise to supplements, put your plan in place now to keep your pet in good health long into their senior years!


Holiday Gift Basket

Looking for the perfect gift idea for your favorite four legged companion?

Click here to choose from two different gift baskets that will keep those tails wagging all the way into the new year!

New customer? Email me at HealthForYouAndPets@gmail.com to receive a $5.00 gift certificate toward your purchase. Existing customer? Refer a friend and receive a $5.00 gift certificate toward a future purchase.

Lifes Abundance Holiday-Dog-Basket www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Redbarn Pet Products Issues Voluntary Recall Of Dog Chews

Another Recall...

FDA.gov February 9, 2018

With an extreme abundance of caution, and with the care and concern of pets top of mind, Redbarn Pet Products, LLC of Long Beach, CA is voluntarily recalling a single product, Redbarn’s 7-inch Bully Stick three pack, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. No illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported.

The recalled products were distributed in pet specialty retail stores. Affected product comes in a 2.4 ounce, green plastic bag marked with an expiration date of 112120ABC stamped on the side. The product UPC is #7 85184 25105 8.

Redbarn takes the safety of pets and pet parents seriously. As company President Jeff Sutherland explained, “On 2/5/2018, we were notified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture that a single sample collected from a retail location detected Salmonella. At Redbarn, we test every product lot before it leaves our manufacturing plant. This lot code, expiry date 112120ABC, was tested both at our Redbarn lab and by a third-party testing facility. Those tests were negative for salmonella or pathogens. Despite not being able to replicate these test results or receiving any negative reports from customers regarding these chews, we feel the best course of action is to recall this lot code of the product and keep our customers safe”.

Consumers are encouraged to check the lot code to see if their product was affected. Pet owners who have this product matching this lot code in their homes are urged to discontinue use of the product. Consumers who purchased 7-inch Bully Stick multipacks with the affected lot code are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Again, no illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported.

Family-owned Redbarn takes the safety of our product, pets, and customers as a number one concern. Redbarn employs an extensive Quality Assurance team that run over 400 safety tests on their products every week. Products like the 7-inch bully sticks are tested multiple times, for bacteria like Salmonella, coliforms and enteros. A product is declared safe to ship only after it tests negatively for these bacteria and other pathogens. As Sutherland explained “In issuing this voluntary recall, in conjunction with the FDA, we are standing by our core values of quality and integrity. At Redbarn, we do the right thing for our customers. That means that we hold ourselves to the highest safety and quality assurance standards and take all precautions to prevent situations like a recall from happening.”

RedBarn Recall www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

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Tired of all these recalls? Click Here for healthy, never recalled and holistically formulated dog and cat foods, treats, supplements and pet care products or email me for a sample.

Buffalo Bully Sticks www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Smokehouse Pet Products Inc Recalls Limited Lots Of “Beefy Munchies” Sold Regionally Because Of Possible Salmonella Contamination

FDA.gov - February 8, 2018

Smokehouse Pet Products, Inc. of Sun Valley, CA is recalling 4-oz bags of dog treats labeled as “Beefy Munchies,” because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.

Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

“Beefy Munchies” was distributed in Washington, Michigan, North Carolina and Colorado through distributors selling to various retailers.

The product comes in a 4-oz bags marked with UPC 78565857957 and lot 449294 and with a best used by date of 10/25/19 stamped on the back.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine sampling and testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in two 4-oz packages of “Beefy Munchies.”

Consumers who have purchased 4-oz packages of “Beefy Munchies” should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

SmokeHouse Beef Munchies Recall www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

SmokeHouse Beef Munchies Recall 2 www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

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Tired of dog and cat food recalls? Click Here for healthy, never recalled and holistically formulated dog and cat foods, treats, supplements and pet care products or email me for a sample.

Www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month!

February is National Pet Dental Health Month and Life's Abundance is celebrating with savings on Gourmet Dental Treats, Buffalo Bully Sticks, and Porky Puffs!

This is the perfect occasion to try something new and integrate it into your dog’s dental care regimen. Throughout the entire month, Gourmet Dental Treats, Buffalo Bully Sticks and Porky Puffs are available at their discounted Autoship Prices...up to 18% savings off retail!

There has never been a better time to provide your dog with yummy, nutritious treats that can actually help to maintain a healthy mouth.

toothy-grin-dog

There is a reason why an entire month is dedicated to spreading awareness about the oral hygiene of our dogs and cats: it’s an easily remedied problem with potentially dire consequences. So, every February, we celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month in hopes that we’ll reach pet parents in a way that results in a change. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will need dental care by age three. This is often due to genetics, neglect or poor diet. Sadly, tooth and gum problems in domesticated animals are nothing new. In fact, two Ancient Egyptian fossils of cats showed signs of tooth decay!

Does My Pet Need a Dentist?

According to the American Dental Association, almost 80% of adults brush their teeth daily. And on top of that, it is natural for us to schedule professional cleanings into our annual calendar. Why should the standard be any less for our precious companions?

There are several warning signs of an unhealthy mouth. Some are obvious and others, not so obvious. As a pet parent, it is important to investigate your pet's mouth on a regular basis and check for the following:

  • Breath: When your pup swoops in for a kiss, do you detect a foul odor? Unhealthy-smelling breath is a good indicator of the presence of unfriendly bacteria in your pet's mouth.
  • Teeth: Lift the lip and inspect the teeth. Are they healthy white or are they coated in a brown film? If it's the latter, it means your pet is long overdue for a cleaning.
  • Gums: Color should be medium pink, although some dogs and cats will have black or gray spots on the gums, which is normal for some breeds. If the gums are bright red and angry looking, that could indicate a serious problem.

If you detect any of these warning signs, your companion animal would greatly benefit from a veterinary dental screening. But why wait for warning signs? Why not be more proactive? The combination of routine home checks, regular veterinarian checks and a quality diet could go a long way towards ensuring your pet's lasting dental health.

happiness

Head Shape & Dental Health

Believe it or not, the shape of your pet's head (particularly the size of his or her muzzle) affects tooth alignment. And why is tooth alignment important for dental health? Well, perfectly aligned teeth naturally push food particles away from gums, while poorly aligned teeth can result in plaque buildups, possibly leading to an increased chance of infection.

While poor tooth alignment is typically a genetic issue, a pet's activities can also result in alignment problems. For example, tug-of-war games with towels or ropes played often over the course of years, can move teeth from their normal position. Therefore, you might want to limit such activities.

 

 


New Year's Goals For Pet Kids

Bella has always been on the slim side, that was until Carter started "sharing" his food with her. We were always very conscientious about not giving Bella table food and limiting her treats. This became very difficult with Carter who shows us he is finished eating by clearing off his tray of food onto the floor. Although Bella isn't allowed in the kitchen and by the table when we are eating she is a sneaky little lady and finds the perfect opportunity to get by his chair and help by cleaning up the floor.

In the cold Wisconsin weather we aren't great about getting out for our walks and playing outside like we do when the weather is a little more tolerable so over the last couple of months I have noticed Bella is getting a little chubby! I call it her winter pudge:)

Like Dr. V talks about in the article, I know the importance of managing Bella's weight and being proactive about leading a healthy active lifestyle for not only Bella but for the entire family. Luckily this past weekend we were able to get out and take Bella for some walks and run around outside with her. I will admit on the second day of getting back into walks we got right past the driveway and she needed a lot of encouragement to continue on. It was like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, she was refusing so move. Once she got moving again we both did fine and made it home in one piece.

New Year's Goals for Pet Kids

Frenchie

Ah, January. A season for new beginnings, new resolutions, and some measure of regret for all the indulgences of the holiday season. If my gym is any indication, “get more exercise” is still on the top of most people’s list of New Year’s resolutions.

Fur kids don’t make resolutions, but if they did, half of them would be joining us in our pursuit of a healthier weight. Here’s a few facts about canine and feline weight you might not know:

1. More than half of dogs and cats in the US are considered overweight. It’s right up there with dental disease in terms of how frequently it is diagnosed. Because it creeps up slowly over time, many pet parents don’t even realize it’s happening until an annual vet check. Suddenly, your 12-pound cat is now 15 pounds. Yikes!

Tabby

2. Being overweight increases other health risks. Diabetes, joint disease, heart and lung disease, some forms of cancer and high blood pressure are all linked to excessive weight in dogs and cats. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same list we see in people. We all need to make an effort to go out and play, walk or run as a team!

3. Weight loss is a process. Some companion animals lose weight more easily than others, so it may take some experimentation to figure out the best course of action for your own dog or cat. One of the most common pitfalls is neglecting to measure food portions. When my dog Brody put weight on after my son took over feeding duties, I was shocked to realize that he was dumping food in the bowl without measuring. Brody was being overfed by almost 30%!

Whippet

4. Helping your fur kid be healthier can make you healthier, too! The Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that people who live with dogs are 34% more likely to walk at least 150 minutes a week. And if your fur kid is a puppy, guess what? You walk faster than people walking without a dog. Sometimes not in a straight line, am I right?

5. Pet kids at a healthy weight live longer. Dogs and cats at a normal weight have an average life expectancy up to 2.5 years longer than those who are overweight. So commit today and add more and better years to not just your own life, but your companion animal’s as well!

The great thing about weight, compared to other medical conditions, is that it is reversible. Talk to your veterinarian about the course of action that’s right for you. They can help you figure out your companion animal’s caloric requirements and ensure weight loss is done gradually and safely.

  Health For You And Pets www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Puppy It's Cold Outside

Winter is coming. For many pet households, that means dogs and people will be spending more time indoors, away from the bitter cold. Even though some will be braving the ice and snow for quick walks, most of us will be staying in the warm, climate-controlled confines of home. Since your canine probably doesn’t enjoy Netflix binging nearly as much as you, we’re exploring simple ways to fight the doggie doldrums.

Bella is definitely not a fan of the cold weather. Some mornings it takes a lot of convincing to get her to go outside. She would much rather snuggle up in front of the heater under a blanket, but she is a boxer with lots of energy to burn and living in Wisconsin the cold weather seems to go on for an eternity.

In this video, Dr. Sarah reveals just how easy it is to keep your pup entertained. And we bet that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can do inexpensively! Watch as Dr. Sarah demonstrates with her canine companion eight simple activities for inside playtime. Fend off the wintertime blues with fun for everyone!

 

  Health For You And Pets www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Four Common Skin Problems In Dogs

 

scritches

Skin problems are some of the most common complaints in veterinary medicine, right up there in the top three. Surprised? It shouldn’t be too shocking when you consider that the skin is the body’s largest organ, one subjected daily to the elements. And for dogs, skin is one of the organs most frequently affected by allergies. With well over 100 different causes of canine skin problems, it can be hard to sort out why your dog is red or itchy. So, how do you even begin to understand why your pup is scratching? Easy … you start with the basics. Today, we’ll take a look at the most common skin problems veterinarians see at the clinic.

In order to understand skin disease in dogs, we need to know the difference between symptoms and causes. The cause of skin disease is the underlying condition that predisposes a canine to the problem, such as a surface infection or something more serious, like endocrine disease. The symptoms are the outward physical manifestation of those causes. Common symptoms include itchiness (pruritus), hot spots, hair loss (alopecia) and scaly skin. Pet parents often feel frustrated when they very carefully and completely describe a set of symptoms but their vet can’t definitively determine the source of the problem. That’s because for every itchy dog, there are many experiencing multiple causes! Getting to the root cause of a symptom is the only way we can provide complete diagnosis, and hopefully provide your doggo with some relief.

Happy-Shiba-Inu

The most common causes of skin disease fall into four distinct categories: infection, parasites, endocrine and allergic disease. While this is not an exhaustive list, these categories account for the vast majority of problems.

1. Infections: Multiple organisms can take root and cause disease in the skin. We see bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus, yeast such as Malassezia, and fungus such as Dermatophytosis (which causes ringworm). These infections can cause a variety of symptoms such as hair loss, itchiness or redness. In order to determine the cause, the veterinarian often needs to look at a sample of skin cells under the microscope or send hair to culture. It is very important to know which organism is causing the infection to minimize time to resolution and make the patient comfortable as quickly as possible. Guesswork just doesn’t cut it very well! The right treatment makes all the difference.

2. Parasites: You only signed up for one dog, not the hundreds of bonus fleas or mites they can sometimes bring in. In addition to being gross, parasites can transmit infection to our companion animals (and sometimes to us), possibly leading to irritation and secondary infections when the itchiness becomes unbearable and dogs start chewing away at their skin. Some of the most common skin parasites are mange mites (Sarcoptes), fleas and ticks. The good news is, once we identify the parasite, treatment options are pretty straightforward and will eliminate the problem.

3. Allergies: Lick, lick, lick, chew, chew, chew. If you’ve ever been woken up at 2 am by the incessant sounds of a dog attacking his own skin, you know just how affected pets can be by the intense itching of allergies. In dogs, allergies fall into three major categories: flea, food and atopy (environmental allergies). Those three distinct causes all look very similar from the outside, so it can take some solid detective work and diagnostics to definitively name the culprit. While time-consuming, it’s obviously well worth it! Because allergic disease is a chronic condition, it’s one that we manage rather than cure. The more specific we are in our knowledge of the cause, the better we can manage the problem over the long term.

4. Endocrine: Disorders of the endocrine system can manifest in the skin in a variety of ways. Hypothyroid dogs may have thickened, greasy skin, while canines suffering from Cushings may have a distinctive pattern of hair loss on the trunk. While these skin symptoms are secondary to the main disease process, they offer important clues as to what’s really going on.

So, what can we as pet parents do to avoid doggie skin problems? Causes such as parasites are fully preventable with the right medicines, but allergies can be very difficult to prevent. You can, however, work on maintaining the health of the skin by giving your pet proper nutrition, adding essential fatty acids through skin-and-coat supplements. Perhaps the best first line of defense is by using dog-appropriate shampoos and conditioners that don’t strip the oils from the skin with harsh chemicals.

little-squirt

Life’s Abundance takes canine skin and coat health seriously. The first time you use Revitalizing Shampoo, you may already notice a change in your dog’s appearance after the first bath. Thanks to its unique formula, coats will be shinier and fuller, with less dander and no more “doggie smell”. With moisture-activated odor neutralizers, our shampoo features antioxidants and organic herbal extracts that penetrate into the hair shaft and promote coat health. Also included are kiwi and mango essences, selected because they too enhance the health of the skin, as well as leaving your dog’s coat smelling clean and fresh. 

Unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian, you should not bathe your dog more than once every 2-3 weeks. If your dog’s coat could do with some freshening in between baths, use Bath Fresh Mist to neutralize odors and condition the skin and coat. And it’s so easy to use … simply spray and brush into in the coat. You will love the aroma and your dog will enjoy being pampered!

Golden-sheen

Nothing is lovelier than petting a dog with a beautiful, soft coat and healthy skin. With vigilance, premium nutrition and regular veterinary care, your dog can have the skin of a movie star! And, perhaps best of all, your pupper will enjoy the sweet, sweet relief of life free from itching.

 

Health For You And Pets www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Dental Care 101

It is so important to take care of our pets, including being proactive on their dental health. Luckily for me, Bella loves all of the wonderful products Life's Abundance has to offer for her dental health.

Here she is waiting so patiently for me to snap this picture and give her a Gourmet Dental Treat.

Bella Gourmet Dental Treats www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

Here is a great article on the importance of dental health for our fur babies by Dr. V.

Dental Care 101

Does your fur kid have dental disease? If your dog or cat is over the age of two, then the answer is “highly likely”.

Veterinary dentists will tell you, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of two have some form of periodontal disease.

That number may seem awfully high, but unfortunately it’s also accurate. Plaque and tartar accumulate on our pet’s teeth just like it does on our own, but the vast majority of pet parents don’t brush their companion animal’s teeth twice a day. Or even once a day. (It’s OK to admit it, you’re in good company). By their second birthday, your fur kid is basically fully grown. And far too many of these adults have never had their teeth brushed.

“But his teeth look fine!” you might protest. That very well may be true. However, plaque (the gummy film that forms on a pet’s teeth within hours of eating) isn’t obvious to the naked eye. Over the course of several days it combines with minerals to harden into tartar. Over weeks and months, this tartar builds into a thick brown stain. Often referred to as “yuck mouth”, there are less familiar technical terms for it (such as Stage IV periodontal disease, the worst level). With routine care and attention, you should be able to prevent them from ever experiencing that stage.

Evaluating a pet kid’s teeth and gums begins with a visual inspection. I call it “flip the lip” because you really need to lift that lip up to view the back molars, which is where the really bad buildup occurs. During the visual exam, we check for tartar, any anomalies (like extra or missing teeth), and for gum inflammation. We also check for any unusual masses. Two of my dogs have had oral melanomas, both discovered during routine exams.

Even if you regularly brush their teeth, they will eventually need a full cleaning at the veterinarian. This dental cleaning will often include x-rays of the mouth, a vital component of an oral exam. Bone loss, where the root is diseased below the gum line is more common than many realize.

Cats suffer a unique condition that makes x-rays even more crucial. Three quarters of cats over the age of five suffer from tooth resorption, a painful condition where the body reabsorbs the protective dentin covering on a tooth, leaving the root exposed. The cause is unknown, and it can affect just one or many teeth. The worst part is, the entire lesion may be below the gum line, resulting a normal-looking crown but with a terribly painful root. The only treatment at that point is extraction of the affected tooth. As stoic as felines are, even the most observant pet parents won’t see any evidence of this problem. Scary, right?

The concept of “anesthesia-free dentistry” has become very popular over the years, but I would caution you to know its limitations. We anesthetize our fur kids because that is the only way we can be thorough in our examination, clean underneath the gum line where much of the bacteria and plaque reside, and extract teeth if necessary. I have seen many dogs and cats at my clinic just weeks after an anesthesia-free cleaning who are still suffering from significant dental disease. If you do use this option, just know that while it may remove tartar and plaque from the visible surface of the tooth, it does not provide the health benefits that a full cleaning under anesthesia would.

Life’s Abundance offers great dental-health products: Gourmet Dental Treats, Porky Puffs and Buffalo Bully Sticks!

By making just a couple of improvements to your care regimen, you could help to add years to your pet kid’s lifetime.


Lyme Disease - An Emerging Problem

This article by Dr. Jane couldn't have popped up at a better time. A few weeks ago sitting at the dinner table I felt a little pinch on the back of my neck. I reached my hand back to feel something hard on the back of my neck. I tried to pull it and it took two attempts before I got it off, saw it was a tick threw it down and jumped out of my chair. I instantly felt as though I had bugs crawling all over me.

My husbands aunt is suffering from Lyme disease and her entire life has been turned upside down. It is a terrible disease and seems to be more of a problem with the number of ticks increasing.

Luckily for us Bella has short hair so it is easy to give her a thorough check her whenever she comes in from outside to make sure that a tick isn't hitching a ride in the house.

Lyme Disease - An Emerging Problem

Trail

It’s the height of summer, which means that mountain trails, bucolic meadows and forested thickets are beckoning your dog to romp and explore. This impulse may be at odds with concerns about new research on Lyme disease, which may have you more inclined to restrict your canine companion’s activities to the Great Indoors. Before you put the kibosh on outdoor fun, make sure you know all the facts about canine Lyme disease.

According to Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2014 State of Pet Health Report, based on the medical data from over 2.3 million dogs, incidence of canine Lyme disease has increased 21% since 2009. As of last year, one in every 130 dogs carries the disease-causing bacteria.

The risk of Lyme disease depends on where you live. In New England, Lyme disease rates are much higher than the rest of the country. New Hampshire has the highest rate of Lyme disease cases, with one in every 15 dogs affected! Compare this with Washington and Oregon, where only 1 in 1,000 dogs carried the bacteria.

In the last five years, populations of the two species of ticks that carry Lyme disease have skyrocketed. As white tailed deer populations have escalated (chiefly due to declines of predator species), so too have the tick species that feast upon them. This is especially true in states east of the Rocky Mountains. While much smaller in stature, but just as problematic in the Northeast, the white footed mouse is another carrier of the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. Greater numbers of animals that attract ticks translates to an increased likelihood that pet kids will be bitten.

Lyme disease is caused by the corkscrew-shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria are carried by ticks which transmit the infection when they feed on animals and humans. The disease can cause generalized illness in animals and humans. Even though about 75% of dogs living in endemic regions are exposed to infected ticks, only a small percentage develop symptoms.

Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975, when an unusual outbreak of rheumatoid arthritis occurred in the children of Lyme, Connecticut. In the U.S. today, it’s the most common disease transmitted to humans by insects, and perhaps dogs as well. Infections can also occur in horses and cattle … even cats.

The most common sign of Lyme disease in dogs is arthritis, which causes sudden lameness, pain and sometimes swelling in one or more joints. Other symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, apathy and swollen lymph nodes. In severe cases, the infection can lead to kidney failure, which can prove fatal, although this outcome isn’t common (thank goodness).

If your pet kid is diagnosed with Lyme disease, don’t assume that you too are contaminated. Transmission of the illness from companion animals to humans, or vice versa, is highly unlikely.

You wear sunblock to prevent sunburns, so why not take preventative measures to deter ticks? There are many highly effective veterinary products that will kill ticks before they can transmit the bacteria. Just keep in mind that the best way to avoid the problem is to steer clear of tick-infested areas, especially in the spring when young ticks are most active.

After spending time outdoors, do a thorough search for ticks, on both yourself and your companion animals. If you locate any, they should be removed carefully with tweezers, pinching the tick near the head, where they enter the skin. Researchers have learned that infected ticks must feed for about 24 hours to transmit the bacteria to a susceptible animal. That means quick removal greatly reduces the chance of contracting the illness. Fortunately, Lyme disease is easily treated in dogs with antibiotics.

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 Health For You And Pets www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

 


Loving Pets Voluntarily Recalls Limited Lot Numbers of Air-Puffed Dog Treats Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk

FDA.gov - June 14, 2017

Loving Pets of Cranbury, NJ is voluntarily recalling a limited number of dog treats because of the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having
contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The lot numbers included are:

Loving Pets Barksters™

  • Item #5700 Sweet Potato and Chicken UPC 842982057005 - Lot # 021619
  • Item #5705 Brown Rice and Chicken UPC 842982057050 - Lot 021419

Loving Pets Puffsters™ Snack Chips

  • Item #5100 Apple and Chicken UPC 842982051003 - Lot 051219, 112118, 112918, 012719, 012519, 013019
  • Item #5110 Banana and Chicken UPC 842982051102 - Lot 112218, 112818, 112918, 013119
  • Item #5120 Sweet Potato and Chicken UPC 842982051201 - Lot 112818, 020119
  • Item #5130 Cranberry and Chicken UPC 842982051300 - Lot 020319, 112918, 020219

Whole Hearted™

  • Item #2570314 Chicken and Apple Puff Treats UPC 800443220696 - Lot 121418, 121918, 122318, 010419, 010619, 010519

No illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported.

The possible Salmonella contamination was due to a single finished ingredient that was supplied to Loving Pets from a USA based supplier. This possible contamination was discovered by Loving Pets' internal quality assurance team and was identified through the company's standard quality control testing procedures and internal food safety program. Loving Pets produces its treats in small batches, in order to offer the highest quality and control in safety.

To ensure the safety of its products, Loving Pets decided to be extra cautious and recall a wider range of lot numbers (noted above) so that no possible contaminated product is available on the market.

Consumers may return any bag of treats with any of these aforementioned lot numbers to the retailer where the product was originally purchased.

Air Puffed Dog Treats Recall www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

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Tired of all these recalls? Click Here for healthy, never recalled porky puffs, or a wide variety of other safe healthy treats for your fur babies!

Www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Help Pets Stay Chill This Summer

Here is a great article by Dr. V with important tips and reminders about keeping our pets safe and comfortable as warmer weather is upon us.

Help Pets Stay Chill This Summer

smart-puppy-on-beach

As summer approaches, we’re going through our closets pulling out our t-shirts and shorts in preparation for fun in the sun. But what about our four-legged friends stuck in a permanent fur coat? Are they as affected by the midday heat as we are? (Spoiler alert: yes.) And is there anything we can do about it? (Also, yes.) Here’s the good news: beating the heat is as easy as ABC!

A. Always Plan Ahead

Remember, our companion animals are at our mercy when it comes to being out in the sun. While we can choose whether or not to take a midday hike or sit out in the backyard for hours, they have to go along with the decisions we make, even if it is uncomfortable or potentially dangerous for them. Heat stroke illnesses and deaths spike in the summer, stemming from three main categories:

Prolonged exercise in full heat is dangerous. People who take their pet out to walk or run during the hottest time of the day and don’t realize their pet is overheating. Limit your exercise times to morning and evening during hot months.

Leaving pets in cars. It’s a myth that cracking the windows makes the car cooler ... it doesn’t! Another common misconception is that the outside temperature needs to be high for pets to suffer. On a sunny 70 degree day, the interior can reach 90 degrees in 30 minutes. In 85 degree weather, the temperature can reach 120 in the same period of time! If you can’t bring your dog or cat inside with you on your errands, let them stay home. It simply isn’t worth the risk.

Too much activity and not enough water. I’ve seen pets get heat stroke just from playing in the yard on a warm afternoon. If you’re planning on staying outside with your dog, make sure he or she has plenty of water to drink, a shady place to retreat to, and maybe even a sprinkler or wading pool to cool down in.

orange-tabby-close-up

B. Beware the Signs of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke symptoms can begin once the body temperature exceeds 103 degrees F. While most of us don’t carry a pet thermometer around, watch for these specific warning signs:

  • heavy panting
  • excessive drooling leading to very dry mouth
  • extra-red tongue or gums
  • weakness or collapse

Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs are especially prone to overheating, as are dark-haired breeds. Dogs and cats can and do die every summer from heat exposure, so if you suspect your companion animal is suffering heat exhaustion or heat stroke, go to the veterinary ER as soon as possible! 

C. Clipping: What About a Summer ‘Do?

Many people like to give their dog or cat a summer clip to help stay cool. If this is something you are considering, talk to your groomer to ensure it’s appropriate for your pet’s breed. Dogs whose fur grows continuously - such as poodles and Lhasas - do well with clips, while double-coated breeds such as Akitas and Chows do not. In some cases, a pet’s coat may actually help keep him or her cool, rendering a clip counterproductive. If you do opt for a trim, make sure there is at least one inch of fur remaining so your beloved pup or kitty doesn’t get a sunburn.

Although heat-related illnesses are scary and serious, the great news is that they are also entirely preventable. With just a little foresight and planning, our furry friends can enjoy the summer just as much as we do! Now get out there and soak up the rays!

 Health For You And Pets www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


Tips On Keeping Your Kids Safe Around Dogs That Every Parent Should Know

Excellent article on Canine Communication & Kid Safety by Dr. V. Please be sure to follow these tips to keep everyone safe.

The first time he came to our house, my son’s friend Joey announced he hated dogs.

Given that we have a dog - and a cute one at that, a goofy Golden who loves any and all people - this is a bit of a problem. Joey was nonetheless fearful, so I had my dog in the yard for a bit. When I asked Joey why he hates dogs, he said it was because every dog he had ever met, starting with his own min pin when he was younger, bit him.

To be fair, if every dog I met bit me I might be nervous around them as well. But it’s indicative of a much bigger problem.

Joey is not a rare case. In the United States, 900,000 people a year require medical attention due to a non-fatal dog bite; half of them are children, whose small stature and lack of inhibition make them more prone to these sorts of incidences. We all hear about the tragic cases in the news of dogs killing people who were minding their own business, and it is horrifying and heartbreaking. But it is also, thankfully, rare. The vast majority of these bites are preventable.

My fellow veterinarians like to joke that we have a harder job than MDs because our patients can’t talk, but that’s not entirely true. Dogs may not speak our language, but they sure as heck communicate. It’s just that we aren’t listening properly.

If you want a perfect example of what a distressed dog looks like, just hit up your local veterinary clinic. All those picture memes of dogs going to the vet are a perfect list of all the things dogs do to broadcast when they are feeling uncomfortable …

• Hiding behind their owners
• Shaking
• Lip licking
• Yawning
• Tail tucked
• “Half moon” of the eye showing
• Turning away from you

And take growling, for example: how many times have you seen a dog get scolded for growling? We should be rewarding them! This is them shouting, loud and clear: “I am really unhappy right now. Whatever is going on here, please stop. Don’t make me escalate things.” It’s scary when you see it, especially when a dog is growling at a young child, but it is an immediate signal for you to intervene and make the situation safe.

Some signs are more subtle than others, and can be easy to miss if you don’t know how to look for them. It is extremely rare for a dog to jump right into bite mode without giving at least one or two of these signs ahead of time. We just don’t recognize it.

Time and time again, I see people - often kids - go right up to a dog exhibiting these behaviors and start patting them and talking to them. Do you remember when women in department stores used to walk up and spray you with perfume without asking first? They stopped because too many people were snapping at them. It’s kind of like that.

I imagine most people on the Life’s Abundance site know a lot more than the average bear about doggie body language, and if you have kids they probably do as well. From the time my kiddos were toddlers, we worked (and worked and worked, because it takes time) to teach them about respecting animals’ space. In some respects, kids comfortable with the family dog are even more at risk for bites, because they are used to approaching dogs who are very comfortable with being handled and may be overly familiar with strange dogs.

So we practice, and just as importantly, we make other kids practice with us too. When my dog is showing classic relaxed body posture (wiggling, leaning into people for pets), I take this as an opportunity to show kids who may have never been taught how to approach a strange dog …

1. Use your EYES to see if the dog wants to be approached
2. Use your MOUTH to ask for permission
3. Use your HAND to hold it out and let the dog approach you
4. Only then can you pat the dog, gently, on its side … not its face!

So many times when a dog bites, the owner says, “We never saw it coming!” That doesn’t mean the signs weren’t there. I’d encourage every pet parent out there to make it part of their daily life to teach those they encounter about how to approach a dog. You just might save them some trauma down the line.

As for Joey? Over time, he began to feel empowered as he understood how to evaluate dogs and when to walk away. The last time he came over, he asked to take Brody for a walk. It doesn’t take much to keep people dog safe, just a little time and effort. Are you in?

Doggie Language www.HealthForYouAndPets

How Not To Greet A Dog www.HealthForYouAndPets

Healthy Pet Foods www.HealthForYouAndPets.com