Category: Pet Health


Study: Dogs Understand How We’re Feeling

By George Putic – Researchers in Hungary have confirmed something many dog owners have long suspected: that canines understand our feelings.

Using a Magnetic Resonance Scanner, or MRI, scientists found that when it comes to emotions, dogs’ brains are similar to those of humans.Dogs are usually not relaxed in a lab environment, but with a little petting and lots of treats they can be trained to sit still even in an MRI scanner. That’s how researchers in Hungary’s ELTE University were able to get images of their brains at work.

Research fellow Attila Andics says it helped them better understand the dogs’ relationship with humans.

“We have known for a long time that dogs and humans share similar social environment, but now our results show that dogs and humans also have similar brain mechanisms to process social information,” said Andics.

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February 24, 2014 |

By Dr. Becker

Today, I have a very special guest speaking with me over the phone. His name is Dr. Hubert Karreman, and he is the veterinarian at the Rodale Institute. The Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 by organic pioneer J.I. Rodale to study the link between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people.

Before he joined Rodale, Dr. Karreman founded Bovinity Health, a small company that provides natural veterinary products for large animal medicine. He also founded his own solo practice, Penn Dutch Cow Care, which he operated for 15 years as a holistic large animal practitioner.

Dr. Karreman now works primarily with certified organic dairy farmers as a consultant. He also lectures widely on natural treatment options for cows, which is the topic of our discussion today.

Entering Veterinary School: A Childhood Dream Comes Full Circle

I asked Dr. Karreman to talk a little about his career path as a large animal veterinarian. He replied that he grew up in the suburbs right outside Philadelphia, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. His dad was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Like many other children, Dr. Karreman wanted to be a veterinarian for cats and dogs when he grew up. He was very influenced by books by James Herriot (author of All Creatures Great and Small, among many others), which he read during elementary school and junior high.

When Dr. Karreman was in the eighth grade, the veterinarian his family used came to his school to give a talk about his profession, and Dr. Karreman was even more motivated toward his goal of becoming a DVM.

But when he eventually went away to college at the University of New Hampshire, he began as a biochemistry major. Then he did a bit of “wandering,” as many young people at that age do. He worked at a gas station during the summer between his freshman and sophomore years, which got him thinking about the earth’s resources. When he returned to school, he began learning about resource conservation. He took a soil science class, really got into soils, and declared that as his new major.

During his time at the University of New Hampshire, he completed a work-study program with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, as it was called back in the early 1980s. Dr. Karreman said it was really wonderful, fun work for a kid from the suburbs, surveying land for conservation practices on dairy farms in southeastern New Hampshire. He could always see dairy cows off in the distance and was drawn to them, but didn’t get the opportunity to interact with them while he was involved in soil conservation work.

Immediately upon graduation in June 1984, his desire to learn about dairy cows drove him to work as an apprentice on dairy farms. He mucked out cow stalls and did general farm labor for a pittance. Then in the winter of 1984-85, Dr. Karreman traveled to Holland to visit relatives. They weren’t farmers, but he told them, “I’d love to milk cows here in Holland or learn how.” So he started milking cows in Holland and was instantly addicted.

For the next six years, Dr. Karreman continued to work on farms. In 1988, he landed on an organic farm and was exposed for the first time to alternative medicine. He thought, “Wow, no way are these going to work, these little BB-sized white pellets in these round little bottles.” They were homeopathics. And then he saw them work, and one day it hit him like a bolt of lightning from God. Dr. Karreman says he almost heard a voice from above say, “Go to veterinary school.”

Suddenly, his childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian came alive again. He had to take some additional classes to get into vet school, and he knew he had to get really good grades this time around, unlike his University of New Hampshire grade point average! And as Dr. Karreman puts it, “Lo and behold, I got top grades and got in!”

Isn’t that a great story? I was exposed to homeopathy while studying wildlife rehabilitation at the age of 16. At that time, I couldn’t even pronounce the word “homeopathy,” nor did I understand it. But I saw that it worked amazingly well. It sounds like Dr. Karreman had a very similar experience with the use of homeopathy with dairy cows. I asked him what his exposure was to homeopathy in veterinary school.

Dr. Karreman explained that while in vet school he didn’t hide the fact that he was into organics and was interested in alternative medicine. And as he thinks back on it now, during his first two years of school while he was learning the basics, the professors he had were more open to discussions about alternative therapies than the actual clinicians who taught him in his third and fourth years.

After Vet School, Dr. Karreman Establishes a Satellite Practice with an Emphasis on Large Animal Homeopathics

Next, I asked Dr. Karreman where he began working after graduating from veterinary school. Did he go with a traditional practice? Or did he open his own practice so he could take a more integrative approach, using alternative treatments like homeopathy?

Dr. Karreman said that when he was a herdsman from 1988 to 1990 on a Biodynamic organic farm, he received training – as did other farmers in Lancaster and Chester counties in southeastern Pennsylvania – from Dr. Ed Schaefer. Dr. Karreman feels Dr. Schaefer is the best teacher of large animal homeopathics in the U.S.

When he was finishing up vet school, Dr. Karreman asked Dr. Schaefer if he would like him to set up a satellite practice in Lancaster County, since Dr. Schaefer was in Lebanon County. Dr. Schaefer agreed, but couldn’t pay Dr. Karreman much because he hadn’t planned for someone to offer to open a satellite practice for him! But as Dr. Karreman points out, “When my heart’s into something, I do it regardless of the pay.” He thinks a lot of veterinarians are like that.

While attending the presentations Dr. Schaefer gave to teach homeopathics, Dr. Karreman started meeting up again with many of the farmers he’d known during his years as an apprentice. As it turns out, he didn’t have to do much cold calling to get business for his satellite practice, because he’d made all those contacts years before. This was at a time when organics were really starting to take off, and the farmers he knew were like, “Hey, this is cool. This is Dr. Karreman. He’s just out of vet school. And he wants us to use homeopathics just like we all learned from Dr. Schaefer. This is great!” And things just sort of developed from there.

It’s really wonderful and unique how things ultimately fell into place. Dr. Karreman believes it was serendipity along with spiritual guidance. He feels he was put on his path when he heard those words from above, “Go to veterinary school” back in the late 1980s. Things have fallen into place almost every day since then.

Beyond Homeopathics to Multi-Potency Homeochords

I asked Dr. Karreman if when he started out, he practiced exclusively holistic medicine, or was it more integrative? Did he practice traditional veterinary medicine at any point?

He answered that interestingly, most vets who get into alternative medicine first spend many years practicing conventional medicine – antibiotics, hormones, steroids, etc. Eventually, they arrive at a place where they say to themselves, “I’m just not seeing the results I want to see,” or “I didn’t go to vet school just to use these two or three or four treatment protocols.” But in Dr. Karreman’s case, he actually went to vet school because he had already seen how well alternative therapies work.

But once he started practicing in 1995, he quickly hit sort of a glass ceiling with regard to homeopathics in the treatment of dairy cows. He wasn’t a classically trained homeopath. He refers to himself as a mongrel or mutt – an eclectic practitioner. He uses whatever it takes to get the healing response he’s looking for. That’s why when he attended vet school, he wanted to mix and match different modalities. Every case is different, and he knew that.

For example, let’s say a cow is fresh (has just given birth to a calf), hasn’t passed the afterbirth, and has pneumonia. She’s sunken-eyed and depressed. She’s obviously sick. Using homeopathic pyrogen alone isn’t going to get the same results as also giving IV fluids, perhaps some calcium (if she’s older), and maybe some other therapies as well. Dr. Karreman would try various combinations of treatments – whatever it took to initiate a healing response in the animal.

At that time, he might have been a little quicker to suggest antibiotics (than now). He personally had nothing against antibiotics, but most of the farmers he worked with were looking to use homeopathics rather than antibiotics. That’s where he started hitting the glass ceiling with homeopathics. At the time, Dr. Karreman happened to be reading a book by James Duke and Steven Foster called A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants (Eastern and Central North America) (Houghton and Mifflin, Boston, 1990).

He began reading that some plants, like caulophyllum (blue cohosh), arnica, and aconite, are also used in botanical medicine for roughly the same physical indications as in homeopathic medicine. He realized there was a lot of overlap. But physicians from the Eclectic school of medicine and native Indians would use actual botanical juice, but in small amounts — whereas homeopaths use only the energetic essence of the plant to treat similar conditions. So Dr. Karreman thought, “Why not use both?”

That was back in 1999 or 2000. Now when he uses homeopathics, he likes to use what he calls multi-potency homeochords. He still must “diagnose” (select) the correct remedy. He still needs to know what the remedies are called. But once he knows 3-4 indications, he knows what remedy is most appropriate. He then uses it in a multi-potency combination:mother tincture 1X, 2X,4X,12C, 30C and 200C – equal parts of ever increasing diluted and vigorously shaken original plant material.

Selecting the right remedy, and providing some of the juice plus some of the homeopathic energetic essence, in Dr. Karreman’s opinion, stimulates a deeper healing response than using just one or the other.

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Healthy Living

Why ‘Grounding’ May Be Crucial for Your Dog’s Health
Artwork courtesy of Nazim Artist
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Grounding is a new buzz word for many of us who have learned the importance of connecting with Mother Earth. But have we thought much about the importance of grounding to our companion dogs? In a new book entitled, PALEO DOG, Give Your Best Friend a Long Life, Healthy Weight and Freedom from Illness by Nurturing his Inner Wolf, my writing partner Jean Hofve, DVM and I discuss the significance of grounding behind what we might take for granted: the daily walking of our dogs.

We all used to walk barefoot upon our Mother Earth every day. Both humans and their animal companions were in constant contact with the earth until they moved in with us and joined us in our modern twenty first century way of living. Now most of us are missing that direct contact and the wonders of the planet’s magnetic field. It is almost as if we are living on the moon today, because our buildings, our shoes, our cars, our furniture, everything keeps us separate from feeling the dirt, grass, rocks, and sand beneath our toes and paws! Whether we know it or not, we all have a powerful need for this contact, because we are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.

The relationship between inflammation and disease has finally been recognized and been brought to public attention. Free radicals, which cause and perpetuate inflammation, are everywhere. The media, every health food store, pharmacy and grocery store sells nature’s best free radical fighters in the form of antioxidants along with natural forms of anti-inflammatories such as marine lipids.

Inflammation was previously considered to be the body’s urgent response to injury and infection and acute, normal inflammation is exactly that. But researchers today are concerned with chronic inflammation, and/or oxidative stress, which is now known to be an underlying cause of most common health disorders in both people and their companion animals, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and degenerative conditions like arthritis and cognitive decline (senility). But what, besides providing specific supplements and feeding a healthy diet, can we do about it for what my writing partner and I refer to as our Paleo Dogs? The answer is not that difficult, because we live right on the surface of what may be the biggest anti-inflammatory device ever conceived: Mother Earth herself. It is the Earth’s surface that provides the magnetic field that we were designed to walk upon.

Read More Here

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A beef jerky recall is in effect over concerns that packages were misbranded and failed to include a potential allergy-triggering ingredient, reports The Associated Press on Feb. 12.

Salt Lake City-based Prime Snax Inc. is recalling all jerky products made before Feb. 2 that have already been shipped around the country. The products were found to be mislabeled on the packaging and did not include the ingredient soy lecithin – an emulsifier or binding agent that some individuals are allergic to.

According to the USDA’s news release, the products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 18951” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. The expiration date on the packages will be prior to August 11, 2015, in the format of “mm dd yy.”

Read More Here

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treats

Thursday, October 24, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)

(NaturalNews) Thousands of family dogs across the USA have been sickened by pet jerky treats made in China, and nearly 600 dogs have died. The FDA has issued a warning over the deadly jerky treats but has not forced any sort of product recall.

So far, the cause of the fatalities remains a mystery. The FDA says it has tested jerky treats for heavy metals, pesticides, antibiotics, chemicals and even Salmonella but cannot find the cause. The agency is warning pet owners to watch their pets for symptoms of poisoning which may include “decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and / or increased urination.”

Click here to view the FDA’s fact sheet on contaminated jerky treats.

According to USA Today, the deadly jerky treats “come mostly from China,” and the number of dogs sickened or killed by these treats has been rising all year.

The treats causing this epidemic of death, says USA Today, are “made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes or dried fruit.”

Beware of pet treats made in China

Most consumers do not fully realize that pet treats do NOT have to list their country of origin. Many pet treats are highly deceptive on their packaging, sometimes showing a logo of the continental USA and claiming to be “made with beef from the USA” even though the treats themselves are manufactured in China using toxic chemicals.

The FDA has not issued a recall on the brands it suspects are causing these deaths. This is one of the problems with the agency: it already knows which products are killing dogs, but it has so far failed to release that information to the public. As a result, as more and more people learn about this, all pet treat manufacturers will suffer because consumers will shun the entire product category.

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Reblogged from  :    FSP-Microcosm News-Global Community Report

 photo StemcelltransplantperformedonBremertondog_zps0209ed5f.jpg

Sitting in the waiting room Thursday morning, the minutes crept by for Kat Schoettle.

“It will be a long day,” she said.

A dear loved one was undergoing a stem cell transplant.

“I’m a little nervous,” said Schoettle.

The patient on the operating table was only 10 months old. His name: Ralph.

“He’s family,” said Schoettle, with a sigh, wringing her hands.

Ralph has a degenerative condition in his leg. It’s essentially rotting from the inside and would one day need to be amputated.

Ralph is also a pug.

 

Watch Video Here

Reblogged from  :    FSP-Microcosm News-Global Community Report

/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/jun13/horseskingraph/8-Images/1-Photos/02_Northstar_wide.jpg
Doctors monitor Northstar`s progress
Dr. Samuel Hurcombe, BVMS is one of many experts keeping an eye on Northstar`s treatment. Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are using burn techniques typically used on humans to treat the horse.

 

American Paint Horse Was Victim of Animal Abuse

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The unlikely pairing of an equine veterinarian and a burn surgeon is providing a second chance at a normal life for a horse that was doused in flammable liquid and set on fire late last summer.

The Ohio State University doctors and their teams have partnered to perform two skin graft procedures on the American Paint Horse named Northstar, who suffered severe burns to almost half of his body when the abuse occurred.

The same instruments used in a typical human burn surgery were used for the horse’s grafting procedures. The clinicians removed ultrathin sheets of skin from Northstar’s chest and expanded them with a meshing tool before placing the grafts across an enormous wound spanning the horse’s back.

Samuel Hurcombe
Samuel Hurcombe

When he arrived in Columbus on Sept. 5, Northstar had exposed bone at the base of his neck as a result of the burns. Skin damage extended from his neck to the base of his tail and along both of his sides. No suspect has been identified in the case.

 

 

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By Dr. Becker

Today I have a very special guest, Dr. Jean Hofve. We’re speaking rather urgently via Skype about yet another misguided resolution the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is putting to a vote this Saturday (yes, tomorrow).

As some of you may recall, the AVMA recently passed a resolution discouraging raw diets for pets. This latest resolution is intended to discourage the use of homeopathy in veterinary medicine.

In case you’re not familiar with Dr. Jean, she’s a retired holistic veterinarian who co-authored The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook, With Celeste Yarnell. She has also written hundreds of articles, lectured throughout the U.S., and appeared on TV and radio stations around the world. Dr. Jean’s website, Little Big Cat, has a wealth of information on feline health, nutrition and behavior. She currently lives in Denver with four kitties: Flynn, Puzzle, Sundance and Spencer.

Anti-Homeopathy Resolution Slipped in Through the Back Door

Dr. Jean has written a blog post on her website everyone needs to read concerning the proposed AVMA anti-homeopathy resolution.

The AVMA is basing its position solely on a 32-page white paper titled “The Case Against Homeopathy” that states homeopathy is ineffective and its use should be discouraged. According to Dr. Jean’s sources, the white paper was written by a vocal opponent of holistic medicine in all its forms, and was submitted to the AVMA under the sponsorship of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association (VMA).

The anti-homeopathy resolution is shocking not only to veterinary homeopaths around the world, but also, hopefully, to every veterinarian in Connecticut, holistic or otherwise. Apparently, the veterinary community in that state was not asked for their input on the resolution!

According to Dr. Jean, the resolution came to the AVMA’s attention through a “weird little procedural back door.” It’s Dr. Jean’s understanding that it will be voted on by the AVMA Executive Board on Saturday, and then go to the House of Delegates (HOD). The normal procedure for these resolutions is that they come up through the HOD or standing committees first, and are then referred to the Executive Board. At the annual conference in July, everyone gets an opportunity to talk about them, and they are voted on by the entire House of Delegates. There are over 100 delegates from 50 states and allied associations. They usually go along with the recommendation of the Executive Board.

This is concerning for the precedent it could set in getting AVMA resolutions passed without expert testimony (in this case, the testimony of veterinary homeopaths and other subject experts), and indeed, without the majority of AVMA’s voting membership made aware of proposed resolutions. (Proposed resolutions are published in JAVMA just prior to the conference. I suspect not many vets read them.)

Who, Exactly, is Behind the Resolution?

I asked Dr. Jean to elaborate if possible on just who is behind the anti-homeopathy white paper upon which the AVMA based its resolution. What are this person’s credentials regarding the practice of veterinary homeopathy?

Dr. Jean responded there is one primary driver behind this information, among a small group of “skeptics” who are dedicated to abolishing complementary and alternative veterinary medicine. This individual apparently pushed to bring it to the AVMA for a vote, but while Dr. Jean knows who the person is, she must respect his privacy because he published the white paper anonymously.

Dr. Jean then pointed out, and I certainly agree, that if a person isn’t proud enough of his work to put his name on it, that fact alone should raise red flags for anyone who is using that work as the sole basis for passing such an important resolution.

A white paper is intended to be an unbiased, “just the facts, ma’am” type of document. In this case, it is completely biased and comes only from the anonymous author’s point of view. He cherry-picked the data he used to the point it is essentially meaningless. And as far as Dr. Jean is concerned, the white paper is full of innuendos and attempts to slide around the truth … bending and twisting it every which-way.

What’s really frustrating is this supposedly unbiased white paper is full of biased information, is authored by a person who apparently didn’t feel comfortable putting his name to it, and who did not consult with a single veterinary homeopath or other expert in homeopathy for the purpose of presenting a balanced approach to the topic.

Why Didn’t the AVMA Solicit Input on the Resolution from Veterinary Homeopaths?

Dr. Jean further pointed out that when the AVMA was presented with the anti-homeopathy resolution and the anonymously authored white paper, it could not be bothered to get the other side of the story. Astonishingly, the AVMA didn’t contact either the AHVMA or the AVH (Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy) for input.

(Just so we’re clear, the AVMA is the professional association most DVMs in the U.S. are affiliated with, regardless of their practice philosophy – traditional/conventional, integrative, holistic, etc. Then there’s the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), which is for DVMs who also or exclusively practice holistic veterinary medicine. Under the holistic umbrella are various associations for DVMs who practice specific alternative/complementary therapies like homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc.)

Fortunately, and for whatever good it may do, the AHVMA and the AVH were on high alert based on some other things that have gone on recently. So they got wind early of the AVMA anti-homeopathy resolution and were able to respond. (You can find the AHVMA’s response here.) According to Dr. Jean, this has been going on for a month or two behind the scenes, which is why she was able to dig into the white paper, study the so-called “science” behind it, and write her own excellent response, which you can find here.

A Dangerous Trend

The Connecticut VMA has already passed a resolution discouraging the use of homeopathy, and the resolution now sits with the AVMA. I asked Dr. Jean what we can expect if it passes, which we anticipate it will. Where will people seeking professional homeopathic guidance for their pets turn?

Dr. Jean responded that vets who are currently using homeopathy aren’t going to stop, and pet owners who seek it out will still be able to find it. But what the resolution, if passed, will do in a broader sense is give traditional vets an excuse to refuse to even consider homeopathy – because it has now been “proven” (via the AVMA resolution) to be ineffective, or worse. Practitioners who previously knew nothing about homeopathy will now know only false things about homeopathy.

I liken this to the recently passed AVMA resolution against raw pet food diets. For Dr. Jean and I, and all DVMs who understand species-appropriate nutrition, this is just absurd. It’s like banning wolves from hunting rabbits because they could become sick. Since that ill-advised resolution passed, and now this anti-homeopathy resolution seems destined to pass as well, we seem to be on a slippery slope.

Is the AVMA Being Co-opted?

As Dr. Jean sees it, the AVMA is being co-opted by a small group of “anti-everything” people in the veterinary community who want to kill alternative medicine completely. First, raw food diets. Now, homeopathy. Next could be acupuncture, and on and on.

Dr. Jean mentioned that at the last AVMA conference, all the complementary and alternative medicine lectures were turned over to people who do not believe in most or all complementary and alternative therapies, so it does seem as though the AVMA has been taken over. And that’s very concerning, because the AVMA has a lot of influence with veterinary practitioners in every community across the U.S.

So traditional veterinarians up and down Main Street USA who know nothing about alternative therapies are being given “permission” to make judgments against, in this example, raw feeding and homeopathy, based on the professional recommendations of their governing veterinary organizations.

This has the potential to deny veterinary clients and their pets access to therapies that could be preventive or curative. It also has the potential, in a “Big Brother” sort of way, to severely limit the ability of holistic and integrative vets to practice the kind of medicine they wish to practice — and have been trained and certified to practice.

It’s a scary, concerning and frustrating trend. And as Dr. Jean rightfully pointed out, these AVMA resolutions will discourage veterinarians who are interested in learning alternative modalities from pursuing the appropriate training and education. Ultimately, complementary and alternative veterinary medicine could fade away entirely, which is exactly what the “anti-everything” crowd is hoping for.

What You Can Do … TODAY

I asked Dr. Jean what she thinks pet owners who want alternative therapies to remain available should do in light of the recent AVMA resolutions.

She thinks people should contact the AVMA. Public outcry did do a little good in the anti-raw pet food battle, though a revised resolution ultimately passed. Dr. Jean thinks the AVMA would be very surprised to get an earful from pet owners on the proposed anti-homeopathy resolution as well. And she encourages pet owners to tell the AVMA their stories, if applicable, about the benefits their dog, cat or other companion animal has received from alternative therapies.

Contact information for the AVMA is below. Remember that the vote is tomorrow (Saturday, January 5), so if you want to weigh in, you should do it via email, phone or fax right away:

  • Email address: info@avma.org
  • Phone number: 800-248-2862
  • Fax number: 847-925-1329

Let the AVMA hear from you, their veterinary clients, that you will no longer do business with DVMs who refuse to consider or open their minds to alternative therapies. Let the AVMA know that with these latest resolutions, they are no longer serving clients who want the ability to seek out a variety of healing modalities for their pets. And let them know that ultimately, their members will lose income as pet owners turn to other types of practitioners for their holistic pet care needs.

I would add that it is also very important for those of you who believe in the benefits of alternative veterinary medicine to support your local holistic vet, if you have one in your area.

Dr. Jean also encourages any traditional DVMs who aren’t willing to close the door entirely on all complementary and alternative therapies to contact the AVMA personally and voice your concerns.

With a vote tomorrow, we have very little time to weigh in on the anti-homeopathy resolution, so please take a few minutes right now to email, call or fax a letter to the AVMA and voice your concerns about this latest resolution and what seems to be a dangerous trend toward killing off the practice of holistic veterinary medicine altogether.

My thanks to Dr. Jean Hofve for her time today and for all the work she has done toward trying to defeat both the anti-raw food and now the anti-homeopathy AVMA resolutions.

Call Toll Free: 877-985-2695

 

Health And Wellness Report

Holistic Health  :  Nutrition – Diseases – Pet Health

Should Any Dog Food Formula EVER Have Corn Starch as the Main Ingredient?

Dog Food

By Dr. Becker

I ran across a couple of trade journal articles recently about the benefits of low-fat diets for dogs with GI disease. One was titled Low-fat petfood may benefit dogs with gastrointestinal disease, and the other was very similar: The Benefit of Low Fat Pet Food in Dogs with GI Disease.

Since I focus so heavily on nutrition with my dog and cat patients, I dove right in.

The condition the articles primarily focused on was hypertriglyceridemia-related GI disease (hypertriglyceridemia means there is a high blood triglyceride level).

The articles went on at some length about hypertriglyceridemia, and studies of miniature schnauzers (a breed prone to the condition) in which the condition was managed by switching the dogs to a low-fat diet.

The author of one article also briefly mentioned the GI diseases pancreatitis and severe gastroenteritis, including inflammatory bowel disease, with or without protein-losing enteropathy (loss of plasma proteins into the GI tract). He went on to assert that:

Even though patients do not have hypertriglyceridemia, they cannot appropriately deal with the normal amount of fat in the pet food and require the feeding of a low-fat food and the avoidance of fat-containing treats.

To be honest I found these articles confusing, since I was expecting a broader discussion of GI diseases (many of which are much more common than the abdominal symptoms seen in cases of hypertriglyceridemia) and the benefits of low-fat diets.

Indirect Advertising for a New Commercial Low-Fat Diet for Dogs with GI Disorders

Then I reached the end of one of the articles and noticed it had been “underwritten” by a manufacturer of prescription pet food diets.

Curious, I did a little more digging and uncovered the fact that the “underwriter” of the article had recently launched a new prescription low-fat dog food marketed as helpful in restoring the GI tract.

I went looking for more information on this newly released formula and found it easily. It is indeed low in fat at 7.4 percent per cup on a dry matter basis. However, the first five ingredients in the formula are:

  • Corn starch
  • Brewers rice
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Whole grain wheat
  • Chicken by-product meal

The only animal product in this diet is well down the ingredient list at number 5 and it’s one of the lowest quality animal proteins available, chicken-by-product meal. AAFCO’s definition:

Chicken by-product meal consists of the dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines — exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practices.

The first four ingredients (meaning there are more of those ingredients in the formula than even rendered chicken pieces-and-parts), are low-grade fillers that are also notoriously allergenic.

No matter what ails your beloved canine companion, you can certainly do much better than this at mealtime.

The Truth Is, Most Dogs Don’t Need Low-Fat Diets

There are actually only a few situations in which dogs may need a low-fat diet:

  • Dogs with pancreatitis or dogs prone to the condition
  • Dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) due to damage to the pancreas
  • Some dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Dogs with hyperlipidemia or hypertriglyceridemia that can lead to pancreatitis
  • Dogs with an intolerance for dietary fat or malabsorption issues

It’s not a bad idea to try a low-fat diet with any dog with GI issues to see if the situation improves.

However, I don’t recommend the vast majority of commercially available low-fat pet foods on the market, and that includes the prescription and therapeutic diets sold by veterinary clinics, as well as vegetarian and vegan formulas. Most don’t have sufficient protein or good quality protein, and are high in grain-based carbs and other non-nutritious fillers.

For Dogs That Do Need a Low-Fat Diet …

As a general rule, the following fat content guidelines apply:

  • Food with less than 10 percent fat on a dry matter basis (less than 17 percent of calories from fat) is considered low fat.
  • Food with 10 to 15 percent fat (between 17 and 23 percent of calories from fat) is considered to contain moderate fat.
  • Food with over 20 percent fat is considered high in fat.

It is very rare that a dog will need an extremely low-fat diet. Such diets are almost always nutritionally inadequate. The National Research Council (NRC) recommends a minimum of 5 percent fat on a dry matter basis (10 percent calories from fat) for adult dogs.

Lower fat meats to consider — whether you’re preparing your dog’s meals at home or buying commercially available formulas — include skinless chicken breasts, turkey, venison, goat, buffalo and rabbit. Lamb and pork are generally high in fat. Ground beef and other cuts of red meat vary in fat content.

I recommend you work with a holistic vet to design a nutrition plan – homemade, commercially prepared, or a combination – to meet the individual needs of a dog who requires a low-fat diet either short or long-term.

Call Toll Free: 877-985-2695

Health And Wellness Report

 

Holistic Health  :  Medical Research – Pet Health

 

 

Laser Therapy is Good Medicine

Laser Treatment

By Dr. Becker

Laser is actually an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Laser beams are different from other light sources in that they provide focused energy that produces small points of intense power.

The light from a laser can cauterize (burn), cut and destroy tissue in a very precise manner. Used at lower power, called low-level laser therapy, lasers have the ability to alter the function of cells without heat and without destroying those cells. This is known as biostimulation, and it can be used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the joints, nerves and soft tissue in animals.

In recent years, use of lasers in both human and veterinary medicine has increased in the treatment of conditions that were once managed only with drugs and surgery. In many situations, laser procedures are much less invasive than the traditional therapies they replace. They can also reduce or eliminate the need for drugs in certain cases.

So when it comes to laser therapy for animals, why is a perfectly legitimate healing modality still considered by some to be trickery perpetrated primarily by the holistic veterinary community on gullible pet owners and animal caretakers?

Misconception #1: There’s a lack of reliable research on the effectiveness of laser therapy

One reason for this mistaken belief is a history of negative published studies on laser therapy since its discovery over 50 years ago. This is primarily due to the incorrect use of laser equipment affecting study outcomes. Several parameters, including dosing and laser output testing, have significant bearing on the results achieved.

Fortunately, the World Association for Laser Therapy now provides standards for the design and execution of clinical studies, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. A systematic review is an examination of all available high-quality research evidence relevant to a specific research question. Systematic reviews of high-quality randomized controlled trials are essential to the advancement of evidence-based medicine.

Meta-analysis is a statistical technique used to combine findings from independent studies, for example, combining data from two or more randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular healthcare technique. The purpose of meta-analyses is to provide an accurate estimate of the effect of a specific treatment.

Another criticism of laser research is that it is of poor quality and can’t be used to establish the effectiveness of laser therapy.

This may have been the case at one time, but no longer. A number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses have demonstrated the benefit of laser treatment for a variety of conditions. These include pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis1, neck2 and shoulder3 pain, tennis elbow4, Achilles tendinitis5, and inflammation/ulceration of the lining of the digestive tract caused by chemotherapy.

Misconception #2: No guidelines exist on how to perform laser treatments

Along with the misperception that there’s a lack of credible research on the use of lasers, another criticism is that no guidelines are in place for treatment, making it a guessing game to determine the right laser dose.

The World Association of Laser Therapy has published a list of recommended treatment doses for a number of pain problems. And while the recommended treatments are for humans, they are derived from clinical trials and studies on animals with similar pathologies.

The recommendations for veterinary use of lasers are closely aligned with these guidelines.

In addition, laser therapy clinical trials are being conducted at some veterinary schools. Colorado State University is conducting a randomized, controlled clinical trial on laser treatment for snake bites in dogs.

At the University of Florida, researchers completed a study on laser therapy for dogs with intervertebral disk disease. Study results showed that after a spinal cord injury and surgery, dogs who received laser therapy walked sooner, had no medical complications, and were discharged earlier. In fact, the results were so dramatic they are now using lasers with every dog presenting with that condition.

Misconception #3: Laser treatment is nothing more than expensive heat therapy

Another argument against laser treatments is that they are nothing more than very expensive heat therapy. This is simply incorrect.

Not all lasers warm the tissue and perceptions of heat being applied depend on equipment settings. In any event, heat isn’t how lasers heal. They heal by creating a photochemical reaction in tissue known as photobiomodulation. Photobiomodulation describes the changes that occur after light enters mitochondria and triggers beneficial physiologic changes.

Laser therapy affects a variety of tissues in the body, including neurons. Studies in the use of lasers to promote nerve regeneration6 have shown exciting results in bringing a return of function after acute spinal cord injury in rats.

Misconception #4: There is no science to explain how laser therapy works

Finally, perhaps the weakest criticism of laser therapy is that many people, including vets who use it regularly in their practices, can’t explain the science behind it.

Many practitioners can’t explain the scientific rationale behind treatments used in traditional veterinary medicine, either — for example, corticosteroid therapy. Yet steroids, which can have significant long-term side effects, are prescribed every day by MD’s and DVM’s.

The science of laser therapy is available. It’s just difficult for some to grasp – especially when the drugs-and-surgery medical model is all that is taught in the majority of vet schools.

As more veterinary schools expand their curriculums to include laser therapy training, more DVM’s will come around. Lasers, properly applied and dosed, provide significant benefits and expand veterinarians’ options for treating patients effectively, often eliminating or reducing the need for surgery or drugs.

 

 

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