As a follow-up to our blog about the importance of pet dental care, Dr. Brett demonstrates how to easily and quickly clean your pet’s teeth using gauze and Vetz Life Oral Care Gel.
At the recent American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association annual conference in Kansas City Missouri, I found products highly regarded by my integrative veterinary peers. I am very excited to share them with our clientele as I am already seeing beneficial results in the patients that I’ve started on them.
Dental and Arthritis
1-TDC is a specifically formulated oil product (esterified fatty acid) that has great benefit for inflammatory diseases. It is labeled for use in periodontal disease and arthritis and has many studies supporting its effectiveness for these conditions. I have also had good results for urinary tract (bladder) inflammation, and other vets have successfully used it for inflammatory bowel disease and topical skin inflammation as well. I am using this at home on my dog that has suffered from a ligament injury and was stiff and limping. After about a month he was visible more mobile and flexible. I was encouraged by the results.
One of my goals going to this conference was to find a holistic option for anxiety in pets such as separation anxiety and fear of thunder and fireworks. A high school classmate of mine and long time practitioner of Chinese medicine with pets, recommended a Chinese herbal formula called “Calm ES” (Extra Strength) for dogs especially and have seen some tremendous results in some patients so far. For cats I am using a therapeutic grade essential oil by DoTerra, Serenity, as it can be very difficult to get a cat to eat herbs no matter how beneficial it would be for them. It is diluted in a carrier oil because when used full strength it can be offensive to the animal’s sensitive sense of smell and to their skin. We are also finding good results using Serenity with dogs.
Please call us if you think your pets could benefit from any of these treatments and we would be happy to help you and them on your path to improved health.
Dr. Brett is a strong proponent of whole food supplements. Many of the processed foods that our pets eat have been stripped of nutrients and are not made of the foods animals are genetically designed to consume. Often pets are overfed and undernourished because they are not getting the nutrients required from their food. Proper nutrition plays a key role in the overall health of our pets and poor nutrition may cause health issues that we may not think are related to diet.
Given proper nutrition, the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. To do so, our pets need to eat a healthier diet, exercise, and take supplements that are made from whole foods. Whole food supplements supply nutrients they are not getting from their diet, the vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients that foods possess in a way that nature intended, in a whole food form.
Whole food supplements complete the nutritional gap.
Whole food supplements are made by concentrating foods for use in supplements. When processed correctly, they supply a multitude of the plant’s components. Foods provide nutrients that work synergistically. They work together to provide optimal nutrition for good health.
Processed foods are not whole foods.
How Wheat is Processed
Selecting a Quality Supplement
There are many different kinds of pet supplements on the market, and it can be very confusing to determine the true value of a supplement. Understanding the label will help you know if you are taking a quality supplement.
We often think that more is better when choosing supplements, however quality is far more important than quantity. A small amount of a vitamin in whole food form is far more valuable to the body than a large dose of an isolated vitamin, which is just a fraction of the whole.
Quality of Ingredients
Manufacturers who grow many of their ingredients have the unique ability to control the quality of the ingredient from seed to supplement. Certified organic farms further enhance the quality of these ingredients.
Also, different foods reach their peak nutrient value during different times within the growing season. Once harvested, food begins to lose its value. If there is a delay of hours, days, or months from when an ingredient is harvested to when it’s processed, many of its very delicate phytonutrients are lost. Each ingredient has its own set of rules in relation to how to best extract and package its vital life. The manufacturing process needs to retain the vital nutrients within the ingredients. Too much heat will destroy enzymes and phytonutrients. Quality manufacturers develop their processes to account for this sensitivity.
Dr. Brett often prescribes Standard Process Whole Food Supplements because they grow their own organic food, have strict processing guidelines to maintain nutrients and have proven to be effective in helping to resolve medical issues and increase general health. Standard Process has a veterinary line of supplements that Dr. Brett uses regularly along with some of their human supplements that are effective in pets.
Teddy’s “Mom” called and said that he was shaking his head dramatically and non-stop since they returned from his morning walk. They reported no odor, no redness and no discharge to been found.
We scheduled Teddy in right away for an ear exam and upon general physical exam showed that everything appeared normal. Initial otoscopic exam of both ears showed no obvious problems or foreign bodies. As we continued to observe Teddy and were discussing the possibility of Teddy having successfully shaken out whatever was bothering him, he shook his head in the exam room and lowered his left ear. Further exam with the otoscope revealed a thin fiber deep in the canal near the eardrum that resembled normal deep ear hair.
A short acting injectable anesthesia allowed for a safe removal of this tiny, inconspicuous danger. With every movement the dog makes, this type of seed moves forward to the place of least resistance, like a hole (ear canal) or a groove (between the toes). The seed has a casing called an awn that is designed to dig in to the ground for survival and propagation of its species and the seed uses the same technique to imbedded itself in animals. These seeds can continue to burrow deeper and cause severe infection and pain.
Dogs with long ear fur, and longer fur in general, are more likely to pick up this type of seed. Preventative measures are to have the paws and ears (inside and out) groomed short on a regular basis. There are many types of seeds that have different shapes that burrow and these can be found in ornamental grasses and wild grasses. Try to stay out of areas with long grass and burrs. If you find them in your yard, remove them. And of course, check your dog after exposure to wild grasses and if you find any in your pet’s fur, remove them.
Diet and oral health are the greatest preventive health measures we can provide for our pets.
Dental health is stressed because tartar on teeth at the gum line is major source of chronic infection. Aside from local pain and potential tooth loss, periodontal disease allows bacteria to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the inflamed gums (Gingivitis). The body responds to the bacteria with antibodies that combine to form complexes that get filtered by the kidneys and contribute to premature kidney failure. They also can affect liver and heart failure; just like in people.
Signs that indicate that your pet may have dental issues include
If you notice any of the signs, have your pet checked by your veterinarian.
In the spirit of Pet Dental Month, Rosemont Pet Clinic is offering pet dental specials in February. Give us a call if you have any concerns or questions about your pet’s oral health.
In our next post we will cover oral care options that we recommend to repair and prevent oral disease and demonstrate teeth cleaning for home care.
Many of our clients are wondering if they should heed the warnings of many regarding the dangers of feeding their pets jerky treats. Following is important information from both the FDA and the American Veterinary Association.
Since 2007, FDA has become aware of an increasing number of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats. As of September 24, 2013, FDA has received approximately 3000 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats. Most of the reports involve jerky products sourced from China. The majority of the complaints involve dogs, but cats also have been affected. The reports involve more than 3600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths. There does not appear to be a geographic pattern to the case reports.
FDA has received adverse event reports for many sizes and ages of dogs, and for multiple breeds. About 60 percent of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10% of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives, and skin irritation.
What we recommend for pet owners
Following are links to the FDA and AVMA if you want to read more.
There are a number of local rescue organizations working to find homes for countless dogs and cats. These organizations are made of dedicated, committed animal activists that donate their resources, time and money to saving lives. Rosemont Pet Clinic and staff are among these animal advocates. We have rescue animals in our homes, we volunteer, and our clinic offers free first-time health exams to recently adopted pets from rescues, Pima Animal Care and the Humane Society. The puppies shown above were rescued from euthanasia by Baby Animal Rescue Koalition (BARK), fostered by one of our staff, and all were placed in homes. We have worked with the wonderful people of Hope and Adopt-A-Bull also.
Please consider a rescue for your next pet. Most often there is an adoption fee, however please remember that local rescues are often non-profit and managed by volunteers, using their personal resources and dependent on contributions and donations from the public. Help save a life today.