Uncategorized

Preventable Canine Diseases

There was a poster at the vet’s office that intrigued me and I thought I’d take the opportunity to pass the information along. It identified diseases in dogs that can be prevented, most of which I was already aware of, but there were a couple that I’d never considered to occur in canines. Hopefully, by passing this information along it will either enlighten or remind people to be proactive in taking the proper precautions, and become more aware of symptoms. Doing so may save your dog from pain, suffering and possibly his/her life. RABIES A viral disease of the central nervous system, the chance of survival is poor and early treatment is critical. The highly contagious virus is transmitted through blood or saliva, most commonly when one infected bites another. Early Stage Symptoms: fever restlessness irritability or aggression, often accompanied by biting or snapping licking or chewing the infected area of the bite lethargy in a normally active animal The virus progressively moves into the brain, spinal cord and saliva glands. Late Stage Symptoms: loss of appetite or eating odd things difficulty swallowing and/or choking difficulty breathing trembling foaming from the mouth dropped jaw dilated pupils loss of coordination/staggering paralysis of back legs seizures hydrophobia Prevention: Vaccination should be given at 4-6 months, a booster a year thereafter, and then every 3 years. (Some states require annual vaccinations) BORDETELLA Also commonly known as “kennel cough”, it is a bacterial or viral infection nearly exclusively seen in areas where several animals are confined together such as kennels and boarding facilities. It is also suspected that the stress of being in this type of environment may be a factor in contracting the disease. Although generally not fatal, it can lead to bronchial pneumonia, particularly in puppies and senior dogs. Bordetella is very contagious in animals although rarely seen in humans. Generally, it can be likened to the common cold seen in humans. Symptoms: -hacking cough and/or gagging -runny nose -fever -lethargy Prevention: Practicing good hygiene and avoiding contact with other infected animals are the best forms of prevention. (Again, much like the same precautions that are used to avoid contracting a cold) HEARTWORMS Heartworm disease is extremely dangerous and fatal unless properly treated. It is curable if detected, but treatment is extensive, lengthy and expensive. If treatment isn’t started until the disease has reached the latter phases, it can result in permanent damage to not only the heart, but to other organs as well. Heartworms are transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito or passed from mother to infant in uterine. Early Stage (1) Symptoms: mild cough decrease in appetite with weight loss decrease in level of activity fatigue following exercise ***It is important to note that some dogs have no detectable symptoms in the early stages*** Late Stage (s) Symptoms: (Stages 2-4) -swollen abdomen -heart failure -labored breathing -dark urine or blood in urine -pale gums Prevention: Testing should be done annually and year-round a oral preventative given monthly. Maintaining a consistent schedule is crucial to ensure adequate protection. If there is ANY lapse in the prevention medication, a blood test should be done prior to resuming. Protecting your pet from heartworms is neither difficult nor time-consuming, and it can avoid the risk of your pet enduring immeasurable suffering or death. HEPATITIS Unlike other preventable diseases, the occurrence of canine hepatitis lack a single, specific cause. In certain breeds, genetics may be a factor; at other times, the disease can develop when cancerous tumors of the liver are identified. It is also theorized that hepatitis stems from an autoimmune disorder, but this theory does not have sufficient research to prove its validity. When the cause of the disease is not identified, it is referred to “idiopathic”, or of unknown origin. There is no cure for hepatitis, so the focus typically lies in managing the symptoms and pain; and slowing the progression of the disease. Early Stage Symptoms Early symptoms are typically undetected until the disease has progressed to the point of significant liver damage (70%-80%) Late Stage Symptoms -lethargy -weakness -diarrhea (may be bloody) -vomiting -distended abdomen -abdominal pain and/or tenderness -weight loss -loss of appetite -vomiting -disorientation -excessive frequency of urination -excessive volume of urine -nosebleeds -bleeding from gums and mucous membranes -jaundice -body and coat in poor condition -neurological disorder (poor coordination, circling, seizures or coma) Prevention: Ironically, pharmaceuticals commonly used to treat various other types of illnesses are linked to the onset of chronic hepatitis. Among these are antibiotics, anesthetics, corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), anticonvulsants and de-worming drugs. Fortunately, there are safe, healthy and effective alternative supplements that can be used in lieu of toxic chemicals. Please read the plethora of information provided for each product sold on NATURAL-WONDER-PETS. LEPTOSPIROSIS This is a bacterial infection that is spread throughout the body via the bloodstream as the bacteria (leptospires) reproduce. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with urine of the infected animal and can be contracted by humans. Transmission frequently occurs when an opening in the skin is exposed to infected bodily fluid. Progression without treatment can cause permanent damage to the liver and kidneys. If this occurs, it can be fatal. Leptospirosis is more common in climates that are wet or marshy, where standing water becomes stagnant and the bacteria can grow abundantly. It is seen more often during the fall season. Early Stage Symptoms Early symptoms are typically undetected until the disease has progressed and spread throughout the body and organs. Late Stage Symptoms -fever -muscular pain, stiffness in gait and legs -hesitancy in movement -general illness, weakness -depression -poor appetite -dehydration (occurs quickly) -increase in thirst and excessive urination (inability to urinate may be a sign of kidney failure) -vomiting (may be bloody) -diarrhea (may be bloody) -vaginal discharge (may be bloody) -dark red gums with splotches -jaundiced skin and eyes -cough -irregular pulse, rapid breathing or difficulty in breathing -runny nose -swollen mucus membranes -swollen lymph nodes Prevention: Leptospirosis is a disease that is more common in wet regions such as the tropics and marshy, muddy environments. It can be contracted through swimming, drinking or traveling through stagnant water, or water that has been standing; through contact with urine, or in mud that a contaminated animal has passed through and similar conditions. Because it can be contracted by humans, protective clothing should be worn if symptoms are present or the disease is suspected, particularly if there is exposure to any type of bodily fluid. Special precautions should continue to be used for several weeks post-treatment since leptospires can continue to be passes via urine. A healthy immune system is crucial in preventing and/or overcoming these and others canine diseases. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but for me the idea of continuously exposing my babies to all the toxins and man-made drugs is quite scary. It’s probably why I’m so impressed with Natural-Wonder-Pets. There you’ll find products that are made with the finest, safest and environmentally friendly ingredients on the market—-eliminating the need for a lot of other “medications”. It gives me great peace of mind to know that I don’t have to risk my dogs health in order to keep them healthy!! For the health of your pet and your own peace of mind, use the link below to see the entire list of holistic, alcohol-free products. Then decide for yourself Sources cited: PetMD.com AKC.com dogster.com vetstree.com Dogsnaturallymagazine.com heartwormsociety.org petwave.com
dog walker Corbin Uncategorized

Switching to Homemade Dog Food

I’m in the process of switching all my dogs over to homemade food with intentions of making enough for 3 days at a time. The more I read, the more I’m convinced there’s not going to be a prepared and packaged food that will be comparable in vitamins and nutrients; not to mention the huge lists of recalled dog foods and treats over the past year.

It’s quite scary!

Trudog Raw Dog Food
We Love Mealtime!!

 Before going any further, let me preface my story by saying that I feel like my dogs have always eaten pretty good. I generally stick to a healthydiet and cook accordingly. Making extra “people food” for them is more common than not.

But doing so wasn’t enough to shake that nagging feeling. I want them completely off commercial dog food as much as possible.

My wistful aspirations of sharing the new recipes quickly came to a screeching halt after seeing the abundance of what’s out there. Impressive, to say the least. What I’ve decided is that at the end of the day, it’s all about a good BALANCE of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

The proper nutritional proportions recommended by the experts are:

80% meat with fat

10% organs

5% fruits and vegetables

5% dairy and supplements

My biggest challenge has been trying to sneak in the vegetables and fruits. Robert, Rudy and Stella are all self-declared carnivores, and old enough to be set in their respective dietary ways. That being said, dietary changes for them is difficult at best! Unfortunately, grinding any vegetable, regardless of how small, doesn’t remove the smell. Thank goodness for butter! They love it and it’s proven to camouflage every vegetable so far.

I haven’t really used a recipe, per say. My method is to find out the basic ingredients of a particular dish and add “a little of this and a little of that”. I like improv; it works for me. Many people say I’m a good cook and that’s fine, just as long as my dogs agree.

Another reason for improvising with the homemade dog food is that it allowed me to use whatever I had available, with the exception of buying additional meat. Along with ease, it seemed the best way to see if the transition would also be any more economical. Expect a “thumbs up” on this if you currently buy quality, grain-free or gluten-free dog food.

Keep in mind that everything is fixed in large quantities. All 3 of my munchkins have hearty appetites!

Also, all the ingredients are fresh unless otherwise specified.

In lieu of the typical recipe, here’s a run-down of a couple of the things that were a big hit:

Chili Burger Mac-n-Cheese

1 1/2 lb. ground beef (80/20) celery carrots broccoli cauliflower (about a cup each-chopped) 2 tbls. butter macaroni (enough to absorb the liquid) 8-10 oz. cheese (shredded) In a large kettle, brown and crumble the ground beef in about 8 cups water; add veges and butter; cook until tender. Sprinkle with a little chili powder and add cheese. (I used cheddar and a little Velvetta) This made a lot but it should freeze just fine. Again, the vegetables were just what I had on hand in the refrigerator.

dog food recipes

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

2-lb boneless chicken celery green beans carrots zucchini tomato (about a cup each-chopped) 2 tbls. butter instant rice Brown chicken in a little olive oil then shred. Add about 3 cups water and vegetables and butter; boil, remove add 3 cups rice. There's an abundance of information on different healthy diets for dogs but from what I've experienced so far, maintaining a healthy diet isn't difficult, time-consuming or expensive. With that being said, I realize that there are dogs with very specific dietary restrictions; such as with canine diabetes, allergies or other medical problems. In these situations, the products at "ONLY NATURAL" might be just what you're looking for---and they auto-ship, too! Check them out if your looking for a healthy, reliable commercial food.

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All comments, questions and sharing your own experiences/recipes are welcome!

As Always,
High Paws and Happy Hoofing!

Diseases of the mouth in animals. Uncategorized

Dental Care For Your Dog

Problems Brushing Your Dog's Teeth?

Try this awesome spray! It is 100% alcohol free. Please compare labels. It is also all natural and organic. We at the club highly recommend this product. Dental health is crucial for your pet's overall health. Natural Health Denta Sure Spray Please read below for our full post on dental health for your dog.

As a dog owner, you dedicate plenty of time and thought into giving your dog a healthy and happy life – from routine vet visits to proper feeding and fitness exercises.

But are you looking out for his teeth?

Diseases of the mouth in animals.

 Dental care for dogs is often overlooked, probably because of the belief that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than that of a human. Although dogs are not as likely to have cavities as human beings are, they can still get dental problems that can result in deadly infections if unattended to. These dental diseases are:

  • Plaque (build-up of bacteria along the gumline)
  • Tartar or calculus (this is mineralized plaque which irritates the gums and causes gingivitis)
  • Periodontal disease (this disease results from aggravated tartar, and can lead to loss of teeth, infections in the liver, kidneys, and heart and bone infections.)

How to keep your dog’s teeth clean

  1. Brush your dog’s teeth daily 1

Although your dog may not enjoy this activity, it is a great way to steer clear of any dental problems. You are recommended to use a double-headed canine toothbrush which can clean up to below the gumline. Wean your dog into the activity – start slowly and gently, and make him or her look forward to the activity. It is recommended that you begin teeth cleaning when your dog is still a puppy so that it becomes a habit over time. If your dog is all grown up, don’t worry because with soothing words and treats after the brushing, your dog will enjoy the experience. Do not use human toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth because it is very poisonous; find pet-specific toothpaste which will guarantee better results.

  1. Use dry food

If your dog is extremely intolerant to brushing (it ends with bloody gums, tears or sweating), the right dry food will do the job. Crunchy kibble does not stick to the dog’s teeth a much as soft food and will reduce chances of decay.

  1. Chew toys and chew bones 2

Chew toys will strengthen your dog’s teeth and clean them at the same time. Make sure that the toys are safe to chew, cannot be easily swallowed, and are not so hard as to break the teeth.

  1. Dental check-up and cleaning by your veterinarian 3

Whether with healthy teeth or not, you should make regular dental checkups for your dog at the vet. Your veterinarian should have a look at your dog’s teeth every 6 to 12 months. You should also see the vet whenever you detect any signs of dental problems in your dog.

Taking care of your dog’s dental hygiene will help your dog live long and happily with strong teeth, and you too will be happy.

For more about dental diseases and care for your dog, click here.

Are you looking for quality dental products for your dog?

Natural Wonder Pets offers the highest quality pet products on the market. Their products go through extensive research to ensure purity. Natural Wonder products are anorganic and natural option for the care of your pet. Most people are aware of the holistic products on the market today for human, check out the options for your pet at Natural Wonder!

Natural-Wonder-Pets
Uncategorized

Finding Nutritional Dog Food

By Anita

 As with humans, the benefits of canine exercise alone are going to be limited without proper nutrition. Of course, there isn’t a “one size fits all” when it comes to finding the right food.  A well-balanced diet varies, contingent on size, breed, age of the dog. Other factors, such as allergies or illnesses should also be taken into consideration when choosing a food that will supply the required vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your pet needs.

I’ve looked at multiple “Top 10” lists of dog foods.  And honestly, I was surprised at all the variations; however, the common denominator is that they are all grain-free. Many will say they do not contain meat by-products, which is basically just ground up scrap—nothing any of us can imagine ingesting, much less give to our fur-babies!

 I’m going to start compiling some recipes for homemade dog food to share in the near future. That seems to considerably increase the odds of providing proper nutrients, safety and taste.

Here are a few that are on most of the veterinarian recommended lists:

  • Hill’s Science
  • Royal Canin
  • Merrick
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish
  • Earthborn
  • Evanger’s
  • Natural Balance
  • Nutro Ultra
  • The Honest Kitchen
  • Castor Pollux
  • Wellness Natural
  • Orijen

A couple of additional things to watch for:

  • Is it AAFCO recommended?-The American Association of Food Control Officials is a non-government group who set standard of proper nutrition for pets. The criteria is based on each of the 3 stages of life.
  • Sign up for a dog food recall list to get an alert via email.- There are at least a couple in the list above that have had recalls over the past year. Receiving an alert is a simple, effective way to avoid unwarranted illness or death. I use petful.com, and there’s no spam!

THE BOTTOM LINE:

There are no guarantees when it comes to finding a brand of dog food on the market that meets all the nutritional needs with absolute assurance of safety. Therefore, I’m going to start compiling some recipes for homemade dog food to share in the near future. That seems to considerably increase the odds of providing proper nutrients, safety and taste.

special needs dogs Uncategorized

The Diva Wears Diapers

By Anita

 Stella’s mother was pregnant when she rescued by a friend of mine. She was one of 3 females, and the last remaining when we brought her into our family. She appears to be a mix of chihuahua and terrier. That seems reasonable enough judging from her size and features—-except for one peculiarity. She has a Mohawk starting mid-way that runs down the center of her back all the way to her tail. I haven’t found this in any of the dog breed categories!

 

 

THE EARLY YEARS…            

Stella was feisty and rambunctious from the get-go. She didn’t seem to realize that she was smaller than the other dogs. However, this was never really a problem since she has such a “big girl” attitude that’s much larger than her actual 15 lbs. Holding her own and standing up for herself comes naturally and she’s quite good at it too! But overall she adapted quite well and quickly found her place in the family.

“It’s obvious she recognizes her handicap and she’s aware of her limitations, but never appears disabled. She tries her best to overcome whatever the hurdle, however; she also knows when it’s time to ask for help.”

THE INJURY….

Everything was good until one Saturday morning about 6 years ago when she made a jump that was too much for her. Initially there was a significant limp and shortly thereafter she lost use of her back legs completely. An emergency veterinary visit with x-rays concluded a fractured spine. Surgery was an option with a 50-50 probability. The alternative was to keep her crated with minimal movement for 2-3 weeks. Since the surgery was going to cost several thousand dollars and the odds didn’t exactly swing in our favor, we opted for option two—the dog crate.

I’ve never crated a dog before but I’ve read that once they adjust it becomes comfortable and provides a sense of security so I was hoping for the best. Nope, it didn’t happen. Maybe it was because Stella was already 4 years old and had never been restrained. Who knows? All I can say is it wasn’t pretty. She tried her hardest to escape and definitely wasn’t staying still. This continued for a couple of days until I finally conceded and set her free. We’d both endured more than our share of suffering. I opened the door, she pulled herself out and never looked back.

I’m sure there are those who might disagree; however, I firmly believe I made the best decision for her.

 

SHE NEEDS A FEW SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS

And as it goes— diapers, puppy pads and baby wipes have been a part of everyday life since then. It’s similar to making the same accommodations you’d have for an infant. It seems from day one she knew instinctively to sit still while her diaper is changed. In fact, I think she rather enjoys the extra attention. It is time consuming, I’ll be the first to admit that, but one of necessity. Since the paralysis starts mid-back, she has no control over her bladder or bowels; therefore, house-training her is out completely out of the equation. Relief comes as nature intended, and sometimes that’s 8-9 times a day.

I had a doggy-cart made for her but she really prefers to do things on her own. And besides, it’s nearly impossible to catch her when she’s in it!  Stella has never seemed to recognize her so-called “handicap”. She still shoots down the steps like a bullet and simply barks for assistance for the return trip.

If she’s going to be playing in the yard for a while, I wrap her with gauze and medical adhesive tape to prevent scrapes on the tops of her feet. The time outdoors is one of her greatest pleasures; running and barking at anything and everything. Fortunately, I have hardwood floors so that’s not a concern indoors. She slides right along maneuvering with her front legs. Clean-up is easier too, if by chance there’s been a diaper malfunction.

Regular baths are required a minimum of once a week. Adding a little Epsom salt and baking soda to the water and letting her soak helps keep everything down below nice and clean. She likes this too and is ready for a long nap afterward.

 

 

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THE REWARDS

I know some people wonder “WHY??”. Well, the flip side of all the work that’s required is the love and appreciation she shows every single day. Yeah, it’s easily worth all the time, effort and expense.

I believe we can learn a valuable lesson from Stella. It’s obvious she recognizes her handicap and she’s aware of her limitations, but never appears disabled. She tries her best to overcome whatever the hurdle, however; she also knows when it’s time to ask for help.

For me, that speaks volumes.

The Dog Solution
Uncategorized

To Walk Or Not To Walk…

 

If you’re a self-proclaimed couch potato, having a dog is probably not the ideal pet for you. On the other hand, if you already have a dog and DON’T walk him/her regularly, it’s likely you’re having some behavioral problems as a result.  There is a direct correlation between inadequate exercise and many behavioral issues. Here’s a list of a few:

 

 

  • whining

    A good walk can help prevent scenes like this
  • excessive barking
  • chewing
  • digging
  • aggression
  • ignoring commands
  • begging
  • biting
  • jumping
  • anxiety
  • depression

When you consider that walking your dog a couple of times a day can potentially alleviate any or all of these, it seems like a pretty good trade-off to take that jaunt around the block!

 

Here’s a few of the consequences if a good walking routine isn’t implemented.

  • obesity
  • hip and joint dysplagia
  • heart disease
  • respiratory disease
  • increased risk of diabetes

Not only does your beloved family member suffer needlessly, but you could have saved mega-bucks in vet expenses!

 

NOTE: PLAYING IN THE YARD DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF WALKING!!! 

WHY NOT?????

 

 

**DOGS NEED MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STIMULATION FOR GOOD HEALTH**

 

 

That’s right, all that sniffing and exploring is for a VERY GOOD REASON—so take your time and let him enjoy all the new-found “sniff-able” treasures!  

 

How much exercise your dog needs naturally varies, but the standard is 5 miles per week; or 30-60 minutes per day for optimal benefits. A good way to judge is to watch him. If he starts slowing down on the return trip, then that should be sufficient exercise for him.

 

**YOUR DOG’S QUALITY OF LIFE DEPENDS ON YOU!**