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!
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?
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.
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. You can try the natural supplement Easy Peesy Tea.
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).