September 6, 2013

We kicked off Holistic Pet Health day on August 30th with a Twitter Chat with Dr. Patrick Mahaney. If you missed the chat, we have a recap by health category below!

DIGESTION

What are some of the top pet food ingredients that can cause stomach upset?

  • There are a variety of ingredients entering commercially available pet foods & treats that can cause digestive upset. Top culprits include protein & grain by-products & meals, both of which are feed-grade (vs human-grade) ingredients. Feed-grade ingredients have higher allowable levels of toxins, including mold-produced aflatoxin & vomitoxin. Such toxins cause digestive tract inflammation, kidney & liver damage, & are carcinogenic (cancer causing).

What foods might be good to add in for pets with tummy troubles?

  • There are many foods that pet owners can add to food to promote better digestive tract health. Options include canned (or fresh/cooked) pumpkin, plain/low-fat yogurt, bland/defatted protein (chicken, beef) & bland carbohydrates (white rice, potato, oatmeal, etc.). In my practice experience, pets eating whole foods based diets have less digestive upset than those eating dry/can processed foods.

Can we assume ingredients are “feed grade” unless it says “human grade”?

  • Yes, you can.

How do you feel about grass fed meats vs grain finished meats for pets’ health?

  • When available, I prefer my patients to eat grass-fed meats.

What probiotic is best for my Yorkies?

  • ProBloom is one of my favorite probiotics.

What treats do you recommend for a dog with allergies?

  • Provided no fish allergy, The Honest Kitchen Beams & Quickies which are all haddock.


SKIN & COAT

Is a dog’s coat a good reflection of overall health?

  • Yes, a dog’s coat condition is definitely a reflection of whole body health. With organ system abnormalities (liver/kidney/thyroid disease, cancer, digestive tract ailments, etc.), the skin/coat will suffer. Lack of blood flow, insufficient oxygen/nutrient delivery, & abnormal fatty acid levels can all lead to poor skin/coat condition.

I already give fish & coconut oils, baths w. tea tree oil shampoo but my dog is still very itchy during shedding season.

  • Perhaps there is a medical reason. Try blood testing, skin impress smear with your vet.

 

EAR INFECTIONS

What topical treatments can help with ear infections?

  • Ear problems (discharge, redness, shaking/scratching, etc.) should be evaluated by your veterinarian before starting treatment. Determining the nature of ear problems, such as infection with bacteria, mites, yeast, etc. is best means of directing treatment. A great means of addressing ear infections is to flush affected ear canals with a veterinary recommended ear cleaning solution. Additionally, applying a topical ointment or providing oral medications (antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, etc.) may be needed.

I feed a feral cat but he has an ear problem. He is very wild - is there any easy fix?

  • Capture feral cat & bring to your veterinarian! Sedation may be needed for evaluation & treatment pending ear AbN.

In true Boston Terrier fashion, my Izzie has big perked up ears. What's best for cleaning them?

  • I suggest ear cleaning solution prescribed by your veterinarian based on your Boston Terrier's ear health.

 

KIDNEYS & OTHER QUESTIONS

How is a pet’s diet related to UTI / kidney issues?

  • A pet’s diets can be connected to urinary tract infection (UTI) & kidney problems (failure, etc.) in multiple ways. Some pets are genetically prone to urinary tract crystals/stones. Dry, mineral-rich diets can predispose to urinary probs. Crystals & stones cause urinary tract inflammation, which creates functional problems with how pets evacuate urine, including straining to urinate, peeing in abnormal locations, bloody (red-tinged) urine, licking at the penis/vulva, & others. Urinary tract inflammation can predispose pets to other issues, like bacterial urinary tract infection.

What are the best types of food to feed pets with UTI/Kidney Issues?

  • Lack of moisture is a big part of urinary issues. Moisture-rich diets, like@HonestKitchen, promote urine output & reduces the likelihood minerals will collect in the kidneys, bladder, & other urinary structures to cause inflammation. Less urinary tract inflammation equates to better overall kidney & bladder health (& happier pets & owners).

I've had a couple cats with Urinary Tract Infections. Are any of your products helpful for this?

  • Cats w/Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) need high moisture diets like The Honest Kitchen to flush out bacteria, etc.

How can we best support geriatric kidneys (non-diseased) with nutrition/supplements?

  • Fish oil (omega 3 fat acids).

Isn't the best diet one based on PH balance that will dissolve crystals? 

  • I've seen cats with urinary tract crystals (typically struvite) resolve with increased moisture in their diet regardless of pH alteration.

What about urate stones other than low purine diet?

  • A moisture-rich diet to dilute uric acid crystals is key!

Any suggestions to help a 3yr old Boston mix with spay incontinence?

  • Have urinalysis/culture done to rule out UTI and other AbNs that can cause urinary incontinence. See a holistic vet for acupuncture & herbs.

My 8 yr old lab has arthritis. I won't give her rimadyl - what's a holistic pain reliever?

  • You can use Omega 3 Fatty Acids (natural anti-inflammatory), chondroprotectants (glucosamine, etc.), PT, etc. More important to focus on total Omega 3s vs # of mg fish oil.Talk to your vet re: injectable joint prods (Adequan).