Approximately 20 years ago I received a telephone call from a physician in California. He was interested in speaking with me about my treatment of cancer with high doses of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). He had heard from the manufacturer who produces the intravenous form of Vitamin C that I was utilizing this treatment in animals with cancer.
I am getting conflicting information from my regular veterinarian and my holistic veterinarian about garlic and if it’s beneficial to pets. I have a 68 pound Golden retriever and would like the best for her. Could you please straighten this out ?
I read in a recent magazine about pet health that it would be Ok to feed my dog some pumpkin. Is this statement true or a fallacy?
Pumpkin is an excellent source of carotenoids, fiber, iron, zinc, potassium and vitamin A. It is first very important to pick the correct kind of pumpkin. You DO NOT want to use pumpkin pie filler from the baking section of the supermarket. You want to use only canned pumpkin. Pumpkin’s high fiber content allows it to be of benefit in cases of constipation, diarrhea and also for losing weight. The easiest way to help lose some weight is to decrease, by a small portion, the amount of regular food you are giving your dog and to replace it with the pumpkin. Amounts range from 1/4 cup in smaller dogs to a full cup in larger dogs, generally once a day. I actually have one client who brings in a combination of organic plain yogurt, mixes it with some pumpkin and freezes it in a small ceramic bowel. She then allows her dog to eat it as he is getting his acupuncture treatment. It takes awhile to be consumed and lasts about the same amount of time an acupuncture treatment lasts ( 15 -20 minutes). It works very well and provides a great, healthy treat to give your dog as well!
My cat “Chance” was recently diagnosed with cancer of the liver. He is 13 years old and has diabetes. I have been investigating the holistic ways to treat it because I do not want to do chemotherapy on my pet. I came across an article that said that Vitamin C was helpful. Can you discuss this, please?
I adopted Pepper from a shelter in 1992, just after I moved to Philadelphia. I had cats growing up on a farm in Wisconsin, but never had the opportunity to have one as an adult, due to various rental agreements. From 1992, to 1998 when I met my partner Neal, it was just us two. I had had relationships during that time, but perhaps Pepper knew that they would not last and therefore didn’t pay much attention. Then I met Neal and after several weeks he began to notice a change in her behavior, saying one day, “You know she’s trying to kill me.”
Q:Can you give me some advice on the dangers of heat as it pertains to my pets. I have a dog and cat plus an 8 year old rabbit that we keep in a hutch outside. What can I do to keep them safe during the hot summer months?
Q: I have heard some varying information about what the government is doing with regards to cat dewclaws among other things. Can you elaborate on these topics, please?
The idea that it’s natural for dogs to chew on bones is a popular one. However, it’s a dangerous practice and can cause serious injury to your pet.
“Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration. “Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.”
“Make sure you throw out bones from your own meals in a way that your dog can’t get to them,” adds Stamper, who suggests taking the trash out right away or putting the bones up high and out of your dog’s reach until you have a chance to dispose of them. “And pay attention to where your dog’s nose is when you walk him around the neighborhood—steer him away from any objects lying in the grass.”
Here are 10 reasons why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone:
1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
2. Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!
6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.
8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.
9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.
10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.
“Talk with your veterinarian about alternatives to giving bones to your dog,” says Stamper. “There are many bone-like products made with materials that are safe for dogs to chew on.”
“Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before,” adds Stamper. “And always, if your dog ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”
This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page4, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.
What are we really feeding our Pets?
A: The pet food industry is a multi-billion dollar per ?year industry. More than 95% of United States companion animals derive their nutritional needs from a single source; that source is commercial pet food. The quality of pet food is extremely variable. There are literally hundreds of pet foods on the market and they range in quality of ingredients. Some contain grains and by-products, others contain human grade meats. This is where the importance of reading the pet food ingredients label comes into play.
Q: At my dog’s last visit to the veterinarian, he mentioned that he heard a heart murmur and that “James” may have the beginning of heart disease. James is a 12 year old boxer. Can you shed some light on the subject?
More and more retailers and designers are rejecting cruelty and potential consumer deception by adopting fur-free policies. Listed here are those who’ve announced that they don’t sell animal fur or are phasing in this policy. Be sure to check the current status of the companies listed above—in order to confirm that they are, or will be phasing in a fur-free policy. Some fur garments bearing the name of listed brands or designers who have recently gone fur-free may continue to be available in discount and overstock stores and on online auction sites.
How do I know if my dog or cat is experiencing any kind of pain? They are both getting older and “slowing down” but they never cry or whimper.
First and foremost to understand about animals is that we have domesticated them. As such we can live with dogs and cats in our homes and generally coexist without issue. There is, however, a part of both dogs and cats that is an innate instinct for survival. I usually explain it to my clients by saying that we need to go back a million years or so when survival of the fittest in the forest was the norm. Back then, as now, in the wild, an animal is either a predator or the prey. When either of them became injured or weak, they became an easy target for a hungry predator.
All companion animals should be provided with clean, fresh water every day (ideally filtered water or spring water). The water bowel is best if made out of stainless steel or ceramic since some dogs and cats do have allergies to bowls made of plastic and this can cause inflammation, irritation and lesions around the mouth and chin.
All pets should receive their food once or twice a day (my preference is twice a day) at approximately the same time. Free choice food left down all day is a NO NO. This allows the pet to pick throughout the day and eventually will lead to an overweight animal. It also interferes with the digestive process that begins in the mouth.
Reiki has long been practiced on humans as a form of energy medicine and energy healing. It originated in Japan with a Dr. Mikao Usui. Many schools have developed since then but Dr. Usui is considered the founder. It was through Dr. Usui’s line that I became a Reiki Master in 2003. The term Reiki translates into “universal life energy.” Reiki is considered part of the range of holistic healing presently gathering acceptance into mainstream medicine, particularly energy medicine. Since everything in the universe, us, plants, trees, animals, the oceans, all are made up of energy, we are all connected. It is through this connection that Reiki is able to help a person or animal heal, not just on a physical level, but also, on an emotional, mental and spiritual level, as well.
Q: I just purchased a new kitty and want to know what foods are toxic to cats?
A: There are a number of human foods that can be toxic to cats and cause anything from intestinal obstruction to gastrointestinal upsets and neurologic sign such as seizures. Since cats are carnivores it is best to purchase a pet cat food that is balanced and nutritious. In my opinion you should look for one of the first two ingredients listed to be of meat origin, i.e. chicken, beef, venison, duck, rabbit. This will ensure that your cat gets the meat protein that it requires.
Your pets rely on you to protect them from harm. In general, you should only feed your pets food and treats specially formulated for the type of pet that you have. Some human food and drink can make animals sick, so keep them out of your pets’ reach. Here are some examples:
Q : My 15 year old Siamese cat has been diagnosed with a heart condition. The veterinarian called it cardiomyopathy. Could you explain what this is and if my cat can live with this kind of problem?
Q: I’ve recently found out that acupuncture is practiced on pets. What pets exactly?
A: Acupuncture is the placement of tiny needles into specific predetermined locations, called acupuncture points, on the body for the purposes of healing. The word “acupuncture” is derived from the Latin “acus”, which means “needle” and “pungare”, which means, “to pierce”.
My pet was just diagnosed with Lyme disease. He was put on antibiotics for a month. What else can I do to help him ?
The current information on Lyme disease in dogs has been growing over the years. Certainly, more research needs to be done to fully understand the course and status of these pets after they have been treated. Of particular interest is the question of whether the pet is completely rid of the organism once treated. This is still up for debate, however, some studies have come to light. More practitioners now consider that a Lyme-positive dog may never be able to completely clear the infection.
I prefer not to use any of the topical and toxic flea preventatives on the market. Do you know of any natural ways I can help prevent fleas from bothering my dogs and cat?
A successful flea control program involves treating your pet, as well as, the environment. The adult female flea can lay as many as five hundred eggs a day. That can translate into tens of thousands of fleas by the end of the month. Under ideal conditions of temperature and humidity the flea can go through its four-stage life cycle which is egg, larva, pupa and adult within three to four weeks.
How would my dog get heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is transmitted via infected mosquitoes. A mosquito bites an infected dog and takes a blood meal. It then takes in the immature form of the parasite. The parasite (Dirofilaria immitis) is incorporated into the mosquitos body and undergoes changes. The next time it bites a dog it passes on the parasite, which finishes it’s life cycle in the dog’s body, ultimately developing into an adult worm. The adult is very thin and lodges in the pulmonary artery and top right chamber of the heart (right atrium).