Thursday, December 10, 2009

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) In Cats

If your cat has been diagnosed with feline inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, this is a term that describes a variety of gastrointestinal disorders which can occur in the small or large intestine or stomach. While the diagnoses is characterized by inflammation of the mucosal lining in the digestive tract, pet owners may simply observe symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting,  lack of appetite or diarrhea. Some cats can have the opposite effect of severe constipation.

It is essential to use the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Kit For Cats and Dogs to help make your kitty feel better. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Kit For Cats and Dogs helps repair your kitty's intestinal lining, increases absorption and helps your kitty feel better again.

What can be frustrating to pet owners is that their cat may have eaten a variety of foods for many years and now with age, the cat is displaying this intestinal discomfort. For some cats, the symptoms appear when they are young kittens but many times, it appears in older cats. Sometimes the symptoms can be a sign of another health disorder such as pancreatitis, kidney disease, intestinal lymphoma, for example, so it is very important to see your veterinarian right away if your cat is displaying any of these symptoms. Please don't just disregard it as simple pickiness or hairballs, there could be an underlying serious problem.

Cats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease can often respond well to dietary changes. I have spoken with many cat owners who for years were feeding lower quality (albeit popular name--well advertised) commercial brands that unfortunately were fooled by the great "healthy" advertising. Who hasn't seen some of those great commercials of beautiful kitties eating out of a crystal dish? Unfortunately, many companies that advertise so well often have some of the worst ingredients.

What are the culprits that can contribute to your cat's inflammatory bowel disease? Well...years of eating foods that contain grains such as wheat, corn, rice, etc as well as lower quality meat proteins containing hormones and antibiotics can do it. Why was wheat gluten added to many cat foods in the first place? The purpose was to fool you as the consumer that your kitty was getting more protein. Look for grain-free foods and even consider giving your kitty the benefits of a raw food diet.

The best supplements that will help your kitty heal from IBD can be found in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Kit For Cats and Dogs. It is best to get the entire kit, but at a minimum, try Power Probiotic--we have never had a cat that wouldn't eat this on their food. It is pretty much tasteless and will help rebalance the flora in your kitty's intestinal tract. Also, for diarrhea, Soothing Digestive Relief will really help firm up your cat's stool. Colostrum for Pets and the Notatum/Roqueforti drops combination will help to bring about long-term healing of your cat's intestinal lining. For best results, you may want to consider a telephone consultation with our pet nutritionist, Susan Davis, to be sure you are using the correct supplements and using the best diet program for your particular cat's symptoms.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Head Tremors--Holistic Pet Care Helped!

Pictured above is my boy Bleu, a 6 year old Siberian husky who is full of energy. Today is the 3 month anniversary of Bleu's last head tremor which is truly amazing and a testimonial to the power of holistic pet care!!! A canine head tremor is very frightening to witness, especially the first time. It is very common in certain breeds such as Doberman Pinschers and Bulldogs but can occur in any breed. Essentially, the dog has involuntary bobbing of his head and it shakes uncontrollably--very upsetting for the dog and owner.

It is essential to use K9 Digestive Enzymes for your pet to make him or her feel better. K9 Digestive Enzymes are critical for the proper absorption of nutrients and for maintaining pet health.

In June, during a busy time of year, Bleu walked over to me after a long day and his head was bobbing. At first, I thought he was just anxious or nervous. But as the head tremor continued, I quickly realized he had no control--his head would not stop bobbing. He looked just like one of those bobbing dog toys. What was also odd was that he was completely conscious, looking straight at me and yet it was as though his head had a mind of its own. It went away, to my relief after a few minutes and I thought it was just all the stress--after all, we just had a slab leak following a houseful of guests for my stepdaughter's graduation.

Three weeks later, it happened again. This time, no stress in the household. Then, the intervals started getting shorter. I researched online, had lots of tests done--nothing. I found out that this involuntary head tremor might be somehow related to either abnormal calcium fluctuations or low blood sugar--both conditions that can give a dog or person "the shakes" or tremors. In my initial attempts to control the situation, we saw a slight improvement in that the tremors, which had been coming more frequently were stabilizing, but they were still coming. However, as time progressed and I stuck religiously to his supplement and diet regimen, the tremors stopped. We did not use medication (there is no medication for this) but consistently using calcium, parathyroid support, a hypoallergenic diet and K9 Digestive Enzymes.  When one night I didn't give him his K9 Digestive Enzymes,  he had a tremor the next morning. What this told me was that consistency was everything. This is the same with treating pets that have diabetes or epilepsy--timing and consistency in giving food and supplements is critical.

It also shows that even when there is no hope, there are answers in holistic veterinary care that might not occur with conventional veterinary care. My understanding is that many pet owners who have pets with this condition have spent thousands of dollars on testing and just like in our case, the tests find nothing. What I can say in Bleu's case, is that the results speak for themselves. If anyone you know ever encounters this head tremors or head bobbing or even other neurological conditions such as epilepsy, please encourage them to schedule a telephone appointment with the nutritionist, Susan Davis.  I will be happy to help.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dog Scratching, Itching and Chewing

Is your dog scratchng and itching? Is your dog's coat dry? Our Dog Skin Package can really help and is on sale now. When dogs are scratching and itching, most owners immediately assume it is from fleas. It is important to bring your dog to the veterinarian for an exam to ensure it is not fleas or parasites which can definitely cause itching. However, once these have been ruled out, many times the issue is food allergies and poor digestion from the diet. Many dry foods such as dry kibble contain grains such as wheat, corn and rice which can cause dogs to scratch and itch. Even hypoallergenic diets can contain too many carbohydrates which can lead to yeast overgrowth and your dog continually scratching and itching.
Moreover, even if you are using a premium raw food diet, dogs may scratch from environmental allergies too. The first line of defense is a powerful Omega 3 fish oil. Amazing Omegas is highly purified, potent and backed by research. Within just a few days, dogs will start to have a lustrous sheen to the fur and new hair will start growing in. This omega oil is really special and the results are dramatic. The Notatum helps to reduce inflammation and infection and the Proaller helps reduce scratching, itching and endless chewing in dogs. Many pet owners report that they are finally able to get a good nights sleep after using this terrific combination as their dog can finally rest and stop endless scratching, itching and chewing.
Save now on our Dog Skin Care Package which helps reduce redness, reduces scratching and itching and helps heal sores and bumps. Great for Pets With Allergies.Save 15% Through Saturday December 5th Sale Price: $59.75 Regular Price: $69.95
Thursday, November 26, 2009


Help your pet with holistic care. Save on your pet supplements by taking advantage of this terrific offer. Visit today and find natural pet supplements for a variety of pet health conditions such as cat kidney disease (CRF), dog arthritis, canine cancer, elevated liver enzymes, dog itching and scratching and so much more. We have a full library of information on a variety of pet health conditions explaning how you can help your pet using holistic natural care.

As a way to say thank you to all of our loyal clients, Ask Ariel is offering FREE SHIPPING today Thursday November 26th--Thanksgiving Day.To take advantage of this first-time special offer, please use coupon code "freeship" at checkout. Please note that orders must be over $50 to qualify. You will see the shipping charge included and then subtracted out of your total. Please note only one coupon may be used at a time. This coupon cannot be combined with any other offer.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Benefits of Raw Pet Food--Natures Variety HooRAW Extravaganza!

Click on above invitation to see details

If you live in Southern California and have heard about the benefits of raw pet food but weren't sure if it was right for your pet, please come to our FREE seminar on Saturday December 5th at the Holiday Inn in Lake Forest from 10:30am - 12:00. We want to spread the word about holistic veterinary medicine, raw pet food and help some homeless dogs too. Michele England from Natures Variety will be discussing how raw food is made and the benefits for pets. Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist will be discussing holistic veterinary medicine and nutritional supplemens for pets and Dr. David Gordon, holistic veterinrian will be discussing acupuncture and chiropractic for pets. Dr. Gordon and Susan Davis offer telephone and inperson appointments to pet owners all over the world. To learn more, click here.
There will be a Question and Answer Panel at the end to allow for plenty of questions! Great prizes and a raffle to benefit Ariel Rescue, a nonprofit charity that saves the lives of homeless dogs from shelters in impoverishd areas. Please RSVP to or call 619-602-7013
Monday, November 16, 2009

Bad Dog Breath---Causes, Supplements and Treatments

Dogs like this one are so loveable and cute....until you smell their breath. When dogs have bad breath, many owners have a tendency to "humanize" the symptom and think they just need a doggie "breath mint". Please don't! Bad dog breath does mean something and usually it is a sign of digestive trouble. Bad dog breath is a condition that needs to be addressed and can be fixed easily--you just have to figure out the root cause. The primary reasons dogs get bad breath:

1) teeth need cleaning OR 2) poor digestion and stomach issues

However, it can be caused by other serious conditons as well such as kidney disease so a simple symptom can have very serious causes that warrant attention.
If your dog has bad breath, take a look at the last time you had your dog's teeth cleaned. There is now anesthesia- free cleaning available at most pet stores and some veterinarian offices which you can explore other than having to anesthetize your dog every time you want to get his or her teeth cleaned. If the teeth are clean, then you need to look at what you are feeding your dog. Kibble, for one can expand in their stomach and be hard to digest. Is your dog having gas and diarrhea too? This is often the case. Poor digestion is directly linked to bad breath as well as skin problems too---you need to change the food.

Try a hypoallergenic food and avoid some of the key allergens mentioned previously on the blog such as corn and grains. A raw diet using novel proteins might also help.

But bad dog breath is also an area where supplements will really help. Take a look at our Bad Dog Breath Kit.

It may seem silly but this combination of three terrific formulas--Probiotic, Soothing Digestive Relief and Vitamineral Green can really make a difference. The Probiotic provides the good bacteria helping to rebalance your pet's digestive flora in the mouth as well as in the intestinal tract, the Vitamineral Green acts like nature's alkalizer and deodorizer and the Soothing Digestive Relief helps the food move through your dog's digestive tract in a healthy manner. What is it you are really smelling? is bacteria arising from undigested food that is fermenting in your dog's stomach and intestinal tract. So.....the more you can help improve your dog's digestion, the better off you all will be.
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Worried About Losing Your Pet? Is your dog acting like an "old dog"?Try Resveratrol Synergy

From the moment we get them, we worry, we worry, we worry. How long will my pet be with me? How long will my pet live? For the first time, there is a promising new anti-aging supplement that is backed by research. Resveratrol Synergy is a powerful antioxidant this is being heavily researched at top universtities. Resveratrol Synergy is an exciting new product that is specially formulated to help you and your pet live with energy and vitality. Resveratrol Synergy
is especially indicated for the following pets:

1) senior pets
2) pets that are acting sluggish
3) pets that are acting "old"and slowing down
4) pets with cancer
5) pets with cardiovascular (heart disease)
6) pets that have always acted "more mellow" than should be

Pets with heart disease can greatly benefit from Resveratrol Synergy as well as it helps to improve blood flow. Dosages are small so this product is very economical and will last the average large breed pet owner several months.

Instead of worrying about your pet's longevity, take action and give them something that will help. Of course, feeding a nutritious diet and using Omega 3s and vegetables is important, but Resveratrol Synergy is definitely worth a try. We are not aware of side effects and only hear wonderful reports of increased energy and joie de vie (zest for life!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cat With Oxalate Stones and Chronic UTIs

Q: About this topic, I am having a similar problem with my 8 year old male cat, but he had oxalate stones earlier this year, and surgery to remove them, and is now on Hills C/D and has had chronic UTI's only since being on this food. I want to switch him off to a grain free quality food (like Wellness) but am concerned if this would cause new oxalate stones to form. The effectiveness of Hills C/D has not been proven to me yet - although he has not had additional oxalate stones. Any advice?

A: Diet is an extremely important factor when a pet is developing stones or chronic UTIs. Grains and food allergies can greatly contribute. Once a pet has required surgery for stones however, this is a very serious matter that should be handled by a veterinary professional. Most likely it is the corn and grains contained in the Hills C/D that is causing your kitty to get the UTIs and I would highly recommend ordering our PET UTI Prevention Kit for starters. In addition, we have had proven success using Renelix to help pets with crystals and stones. Many clients with crystals use our diet protocols along with Renelix and retest with the crystals no longer present. As far as diet, I would need to work with you in the context of a telephone or inperson appointment to help you develop the appropriate diet for your kitty. To help you select the best diet, a comprehensive discussion regarding his medical history, food preferences and laboratory tests would need to be done so that you could be sure the diet selected is the right one for your kitty.
Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bleu--One Year Anniversary of His Adoption

Today is November 1st and is the one year anniversary of our adoption of Bleu, our white Siberian Husky. I remember vividly how hard it was to get another dog and how initially it was so tough to bond with him. But, in looking back now, I realize it was a great decision to adopt when we did. We had just lost our Tessie to hemangiosarcoma and watched her waste away in those final days. We decided to adopt Bleu just a few weeks after Tessie died when we learned he had been waiting for a family to adopt him for over 2 1/2 years.

When Ariel had died, we waited a long time to get another dog and it wasn't until Tessie was in such desperate need as a foster dog, that we decided to take in another pet months later. It is a personal choice whether to get another pet sooner or later following the death of a beloved family member. I remember that I felt so disloyal to Ariel in thinking about another pet and that somehow it would take away from her memory. That did not end up being the case at all--I loved each of them so much and they both made a profound impact on our lives.

The one thing I do know was that both times we lost a pet, it was so empty and sad in our home without one. The loneliness was so profound and I dwelled on the last few weeks prior to their death obsessing and wondering if there might have been something else I could have done. This is a natural feeling and all good pet owners feel this way. But, now, after seeing wonderful pet owners lose treasured pets every day in my profession, I have to say, that it is the circle of life and we each have a certain amount of time to live and then sadly it is over. And so....there are so many homeless, abandoned, needy pets out there, if you have love in your heart but are still mourning the loss of your pet, you may want to reconsider helping make the life of one of these pets better while you can.

When Tessie died, I was devastated because we had only three short years. She had suffered such a hard life prior to our rescuing her, there was no escaping her past. I felt as though I were ripped off, but then after getting Bleu, I did realize what a noble gift it was for Tessie to make room for Bleu who also desperately needed a loving home. Bleu was advertised on as a "special needs" dog who suffered from an unusual pancreatic disorder and the rescuer stated that the "time and expense giving him a special diet and supplements would be well worth it because his exceptional temperament would outweigh the extra effort". The rescuer could not have been more right. We fell in love with our Bleu and he has brought so much joy into our lives. He really did need a pet nutritionist to help him with his health care and he has been nothing but a gift to us. He is a happy, fun loving dog that makes us laugh each and every day. He howls with delight when we take him to Doggie Care--so much so that my husband and I leave each other messages with his howling antics. He helped us forget the pain and loss with Tessie and move on with our lives. This year, we made beautiful photo frames, one for each of my special girls memorializing all that they had meant to us. We will never forget them and no other dog will ever replace them. They will go on in our hearts forever but with the help of Bleu, we were able to move forward and feel the joy of having a beloved pet with whom to share a beautiful life.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cat with Chronic Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Q: About this topic (pets with chronic UTIS), I am having a similar problem with my 8 year old male cat, but he had oxalate stones earlier this year, and surgery to remove them, and is now on Hills C/D and has had chronic UTI's only since being on this food. I want to switch him off to a grain free quality food (like Wellness) but am concerned if this would cause new oxalate stones to form. The effectiveness of Hills C/D has not been proven to me yet - although he has not had additional oxalate stones. Any advice?

Y: We have had exceptional success helping cats and dogs prevent UTIs and stone development but it requires a complete holistic program involving dietary changes AND supplements---they go hand in hand. There is a lot you can do to help your cat using a hypoallergenic, low carbohydrate diet. Good nutrition can greatly help but you also need to get your cat on a regular supplement regime to ensure that the UTIs do not reoccur. There is not a simple answer to address the diet and supplements since typical programs for preventing UTIs include supplements such as cranberry that might acidify the urine and calcium oxalate stones grow in an acidic environment so you need to be VERY CAREFUL. Also, some pets have a tendency to get stones and so switching to a diet that prevents oxalate stones might then result in the formation of struvite stones. The secret is finding a balance and identifying the foods your kitty is allergic to. Also, there are supplements that would help regardless. These include Renelix, Amazing Omegas and Probiotic.

As far as the diet, I would need to work with you in detail to discuss the foods you can try and use based on your kitty's preferences. There is not one diet you can readily use and ideally some homemade food should be mixed in. You are right to be cautious and concerned as just using any commercial diet, including Hills C/D will not be the perfect answer--a more comprehensive approach is needed. Thus, a consultation via inperson or telephone appointment is recommended.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Puppy

Q: My 10 month old lab mix Molly has bouts of diarrhea and vomiting  We have tried different foods and it goes away for awhile but then comes back. Originally, she had worms and my vet gave me medication for that a couple of times but she doesn't have them anymore. Molly has been on a lot of different medications but once they are finished, she has soft stool like pudding. Do you have any suggestions?

A: So sorry that Molly is having difficulty. It is good that you are addressing this issue now. Many people often think their pet just "got into something" and then don't follow through. Sometimes IBD starts, just like you said from parasites, worms or giardia. This can cause some irritation in the puppy's intestinal tract. But, when it persists and no further parasites are found, your veterinarian may diagnose the condition as inflammatory bowel disesase (IBD).

It is essential to use the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Kit For Cats and Dogs to help your pet feel better. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Kit For Cats and Dogs helps repair your pet's intestinal lining, increases absorption and helps your pet feel better again.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a diagnoses used for a variety of intestinal disorders found in dogs and cats. The disorders are characterized by an abnormal accumulation of inflammatory cells in the lining of the intestine. One common form of IBD that your veterinarian may have diagnosed in your pet is called lymphoplasmacytic enteritis. Your veterinarian may have diagnosed this after obtaining a biopsy which shows an abnormal accumulation of inflammatory cells. Other causes of inflammation such as parasites, bacterial or viral infections, exposure to toxic substances and pancreatic causes of small bowel disorders would have been ruled out. Signs that your pet may have lymphoplasmacytic enteritis include chronic diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea (licking of lips) and gurgling noises in the intestine. The vomit may contain bile and in cats it may contain hairballs. There may be mucus, blood and straining with bowel movements.

Food allergies are often the culprit. The trick is identifying the foods that your pet is allergic to. That is why it is so important to have a veterinary professional assist you. Dietary modification including the addition of enzyme rich foods and supplements can be very helpful. One critical ingredient though is identifying the protein source(s) that your pet can tolerate. Improper digestion of protein can result in an allergic reaction and further inflammation. There is no "one" protein source that is considered hypoallergenic---thus we strongly encourage anyone who has a pet with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to schedule a consultation as a dietary modification protocol with various food trials is required.

There are some supplements that will also help. Try Soothing Digestive Relief, Power Probiotic and Colostrum for Pets to start with, and then you can always add additional products such as Notatum capsules or drops and Roqueforti drops. Please be patient. Pets with IBD have difficulty changing diets.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dog Limping--Would Natural Supplements Help?

Q: My 12 year old lab mix is limping on occassion after we take a walk. I brought her to the vet, we got XRAYS but there is just some arthritis there. I am using Synovi joint support but was just wondering what else I can do. The vet gave me Deramaxx but I am afraid to use it. The limping is just occassional and I was wondering if there was any natural supplements I could try.
Betty in Kansas

A: Hi Betty,
I am so glad you asked about natural supplements for your dog's limping. When dogs are limping, it is very important to take them first to the veterinarian to have it checked out. Sometimes it can just be arthritis or old age. But sometimes, it can be a cancerous tumor or ligament tear that just came about. I have had clients tell me that their dogs had tumors that just appeared within a few again--always go to the veterinarian first.

Once your veterinarian has reviewed your dog's condition, there is a lot you can do. First, it is important to give your dog a healthy diet with plenty of green vegetables. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition and also an "acidic" condition. Green vegetables provide nutrients, vitamins and enzymes which help to fight inflammation and overall acidity. Sure wear and tear on the joints is an issue, but you can help your dog greatly with diet and supplements.

Next, remember, not all joint support supplements are alike. A recent study showed that for human supplements, very few even had the glucoamine and herbs claimed and even then many were not bioavailable. The secret to a good supplement is that it should be third party tested for potency and purity AND that it contains the ingredients proven to help. Joint support and helping arthritic symptoms goes way beyond simply supplementing with glucosamine. A good joint support should have ingredients such as collagen, green lipped mussel, hyaluronic acid and herbs such as boswelia. We get excellent results with Amazing Arthrosoothe. In addition, for limping, give C3 Curcumin a try. This product has really wowed us with its fast-acting results. I noticed a tremendous difference with my dog Bleu pictured above in just a few short days. I had been using Amazing Arthrosoothe and Amazing Omegas together for maintenance. The C3 Curcumin really made a difference as he was crying out in pain after he played with his doggie friends.

Finally, you may want to consider acupuncture or chiropractic for your dog. You can find a veterinarian who does acupuncture or chiropractic by going to
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pet Owners Beware--Pennypinching For "Free Advice" Will Only Break Your Heart Later

We all are guilty of it at some point......trying to get something for nothing. We try to do everything possible to avoid paying for something, when sometimes we really should.....And, where are pets are concerned you will only end up with a broken heart later....asking yourself "What could I have done to help my pet? Why didn't I do more for my pet"....Unfortunately, the main reason we don't is money.

But, even in these hard economic times--ask yourself is it that you really can't afford it or are choosing NOT TO afford it. I ask this because in the history of our holistic care business, we have never received more emails/phone calls/blog questions for free advice and then what's worse, is that most people don't even follow up on the advice.

No matter what way you analyze it...there is no substitute for the advice of a veterinary professional. When you pay for professional advice, that is what you get--someone who carefully assesses your individual situation and makes a determination about what is best for your pet. So, while it may be emotionally helpful to send emails, participate in pet health forums---they in no way should be confused with an office visit with a veterinarian and/or pet health care provider. And using a diet that a fellow forum member used for your pet or using supplements that helped the neighbor's pet can actually do more harm than good.

Why? Because most of the time, you are GUESSING based on your pet's symptoms about what is wrong and there is a very high likelihood you are incorrect. And....what's worse, is that the symptoms could be masking or disguising a serious health condition that only lab tests can reveal.

Here are just a few examples:

1) Owner emails us about a cat having IBD for 9 months.......the cat suffers while the owner tries to figure out how she can change the diet on her own. Finally comes in for a combination appt with me and Dr. Gordon and turns out the cat has severe infections in the gums/teeth so much so that several had to be removed which was explaining why the poor kitty was losing weight and not eating. Only then, after the surgery, could I address how to help her kitty's immune system and dietary needs--not before. It wasn't about food allergies--it was about having a severe infection.

2) Owner emails that her 9 year old dog is inappetant--what foods can she try? The dog comes in for an appointment and we unfortunately have to put her to sleep because she has a huge cancerous mass on her abdomen

3) Owner emails saying dog has pancreatitis and wants to know what else to add to the chicken/rice mixture and turns out dog has food allergies and is allergic to both chicken and rice!

What can we learn from this? The old adage "you get what you pay for" has never been more true. There are many reasons why a pet may display certain symptoms and trying to self-medicate and/or treat the pet based on emails, forums and exchanging ideas with friends is helpful--but please only do this AFTER you have spoken with a veterinary professional and obtained laboratory results.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dog Itching and Yeast

Hello I have a 7 year old miniature schnauzer named chynna she itches every waking moment she has been on allergies shots for the last 3 years and has to take cephalexin or simplicef with the shots.. I decided she has to have a better way of treating her severe allergies. i changed her diet 3 weeks ago to wellness core food and she gets either tuna or halo organic food with it she receives 1 time a day 1 cup of food and1/4 cup of wet food. she doesn't like the wellness much and 3 treats of wellness apples, yogurt and banana treats which she does like .Chynna's scratches all the time shakes her head or body, eye discharge and licking of the feet 2 days ago (which i feel will get infected because she has done this before). I started her on your skin regiment 1 week ago today 10/7/09. right now a consult is out due to money. i am a single parent trying to care for her 4 legged child as well. The allergies shots cost so much i know there has to be a better way.i gave her the last shot she had on 10/10/09 saturday due to she seemed to be in agony. I do not know what to do . i feel at a lost she also received a bath with sulfur and tar which helps for a shot time please help us ...
Thank you Candace

Hi Candace,
Sorry Chyna is suffering so much. There is a lot we can do to help you. The diet you are using is not appropriate--it was too high in carbohydrates. Sounds like your dog has yeast. Immediately stop giving her treats scuh sa bananas and apples--too sweet and be sure she is not getting grains. Please order the Dog Yeast Formula and Probiotic to go along with the Dog Skin Package (you already ordered). Please see earlier post about yeast.

Chronic Dog Itching and Ear Infections--Yeast

Is your dog itching constantly? Just wanted to report that we are getting some consistently great results using the K9 Yeast Defense for dogs that have chronic itching. This product seems to be the product of choice if:
1) The dog tends to have a sensitive stomach, loose stools, IBD
2) Food allergies have already been addressed using a low carbohydrate diet
Symptoms of yeast overgrowth in dogs are licking of the groin, ear infections, itching of the ears, licking of the genitals, itching around the armpits. Of course, there are other factors that can be contributing here such as bacterial infections and parasites, but if all this has been ruled out and your pet is still itching a lot, it is certainly worth a try.
Seems like pets that live in humid areas are having a big problem with yeast. Florida, coastal communities such as Orange County, CA tend to provide a moist are where yeast can thrive. We have recently sent out samples of this product, along with Power Probiotic and are getting terrific results. Click here for more information. 
Monday, October 12, 2009

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Holistic Care Treatment

My friend has a 7 yr. old female redbone coonhound who was diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Feb. 2009. She has gone through 3 rounds of anitbiotics. 2 rounds happened back-to-back at the time of diagnosis because she took a long time to respond. Last week she had another round of anti-biotic combined with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication which has helped tremendously. Prior to this last treatment and before being diagnosed back in Feb., she has been very lethargic, achey and limping. Is there anything you would suggest for her, she is such a sweety??
Thank you in Advance Susan!

A: Definitely continue to work closely with her veterinarian as this is a very serious tick-borne disease. The goal of the holistic care would be twofold: strengthen her immune system to enable the antibiotics to fight the infection and use detoxification formulas to help clear the toxins from the disease as well as the heavy doses of medication. Be sure her dog is eating a healthy diet with plenty of green vegetables and fresh ingredients. Do not use pet foods that contain byproducts or artificial ingredients and depending upon her liver and kidney blood test results, use lean sources of fresh protein such as fish. Using a potent, highly purified omega fish oil such as Amazing Omegas will help reduce the inflammation.

In terms of supplements, three particular supplements are a top priority:
1) Samento--widely used for the treatment of Lyme Disease, another tickborne disease, this product is excellent for fighting infection 2) Immunitone--excellent overall immune support 3) Detoxification Kit--helps the liver, kidneys and lymph system clear the toxins--very important. Often pets affected with these tickborne diseases can go into kidney failure so the Renelix contained in the Detoxificiation kit is especially essential. Also, Probiotic would be very beneficial following the course of antibiotics to help rebalance instestinal flora.
Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tessie's 1 year anniversary of her passing

Today, October 11, is the 1 year passing since Tessie died from hemangiosarcoma. I was so devastated a year ago especially because of all that happened during the last week of her life. Since then many clients have come to me with dogs that have hemangiosarcoma and I always feel an especially deep bond with them as this is such an aggressive, insidious form of cancer. Tessie had such a tragic life as an abused puppy mill dog and it makes me so sad to know this was what took her down.

Tessie brought so much joy into our lives and helped me so much with my practice. She had been abused for most of her life, had no front teeth (metal bits still left) from chewing on her cage. Her story and incredible transformation is seen in this brief video

Tessie had been thrown over a 6 foot fence into the Santa Maria Shelter. She was transported with another dog to Ariel Rescue. I fostered her initially following the death of my beloved Ariel. She had a lot of emotional and aggression issues so it wasn't easy to bond with her. But over time, she became my "copilot" and went everywhere with me. She taught me so much about life and how finding peace. Her greatest joy was sitting out back under the palm tree and cruising through the many bushes and woods by our home. Two days before she died, she was so sick with fluid in her belly (ascites fluid) and fluid had collected around her heart. Still, she marched triumphantly to the top of a wooded hill to say one last goodbye to her playground.

She was such a loyal friend and so brave. We had to have her abdomen drained several times because of the ascites. She went through so much at the end and I am happy to say that on her very last day, she ate for me, took a beautiful walk and then within hours we lost our beautiful girl. Tessie, we will love you forever and miss you everyday. Thank you for coming into our lives--we will never forget you!
Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dog Inflammatory Bowel Disease--Please watch our funny video and vote for Bleu

Cats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Intestinal Lymphoma

Cats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Intestinal Lymphoma
We receive many inquiries about what to do for cats that have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and intestinal lymphoma using holistic care, dietary changes and supplements. If your kitty has intestinal lymphoma, definitely consult with an oncologist because a lot of cats can do quite well with the medications. Regardless, though, cats with either condition tend to have vomitting, diarrhea, bouts of constipation alternating with diarrhea , gurgly tummy and acid stomach. Regardless of any medications you might be using, holistic care can certainly help. Many cats have food allergies. So, it is important to get them on a diet using a novel protein source. And...many prescription diets contain too many carbohydrates such as peas so those often don't work very well either. It is best to schedule a telephone consultation to get help for your cat's particular situation. As we know, most cats are very particular and so you need to work with a veterinary professional to help you find just the right dietary program, with lots of variety for your kitty.
In addition, there are several supplements that really help: these include Tegricel Colostrum, Probiotic, Soothing Digestive Relief, Notatum and Roqueforti. You can read about our complete IBD protocol on
Friday, October 9, 2009

Dogs With Cushings Disease--Holistic Care Can Help

We receive many requests about dogs with Cushings Disease wondering if holistic care, nutritional supplements and/or dietary changes will make any difference. The answer is absolutely yes! Dr. Gordon and I have worked with quite a few dogs with Cushings Disease and have seen some very exciting improvements.

It is essential to use Phosphatidyl Serine for your dog to help your dog feel better. Phosphatidyl Serine helps your dog reduce cortisol level.

Cushings Disease (hyperadrenocorticism) in dogs -- the production of too much adrenal hormone, is characterized symptoms such as excess water consumption, increased urination, increased appetite, panting, high blood pressure, hair loss - usually evenly distributed on both sides of the body, bloated abdomen, thinning of the skin and fur, susceptibility to skin infections and diabetes, weakening of the skeletal muscles and other symptoms. Owners might often first notice that there are skin sores that keep recurring or that their dog's drinking and urination patterns have changed. Sometimes symptoms are much more subtle or in early stages, there may not always be the obvious symptoms. Laboratory tests can be inconclusive and/or show abnormal liver values.

While it is important for the pet owner to work closely with their veterinarian and determine the exact cause for these symptoms, there are some natural holistic care treatment options you can explore. Since this is a very serious condition and a doctor's supervision is advised, it is a good idea to either work with Dr. Gordon and me in a combination telephone or inperson appointment or run these suggestions by your own veterinarian.

First, while there are several drugs available for Cushings, many can have very harsh side effects. You might want to try pursuing natural care first and then if you don't get significant enough results, you can then try the medication. We use a supplement called Phosphatidyl Serine that naturally helps the body reduce cortisol levels. Phosphatidyl Serine has many benefits and is ea nutrient essential for brain function. Because Phophatidyl Serine is crucial for the overall health of brain cells, research on Phosphatidyl Serine has shown that it benefits a wide range of brain activities such as mental focus, memory recall, and performance on tasks. It can also greatly help with anxiety and is very well tolerated by pets. Thus, it is definitely worth a try.

In addition, depending upon the location of the tumor involved causing the hyperadrenocortism, giving your dog adrenal support such as Bioadreno can make a world of difference. We have had dogs whose skin was in terrible condition and within a few days on the Bioadreno, the pimples and sores started to improve. The use of this product should be reviewed with a veterinary professional first though, to ensure it is appropriate for your pet.

Finally, liver support is critical for dogs with Cushings Syndrome. AskAriel has a full range of liver support products include Liver Rescue, Oxicell SE, Vitamineral Green and Liver & Gallbladder Nutritional Supplement For Pets. Giving your dog plenty of green vegetables will also help to cleanse the liver and provide important nutrients. In summary, holistic care can definitely help dogs with Cushings Syndrome and pet owners should explore both conventional and holistic veterinary care options.
Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dog Scooting on Rear End--Itching and Chewing Butt

Hi Ariel,
My 3 year old labrador Jenny scoots on her rear end all the time. She is itching and chewing on her butt all the time. I brought her to the veterinarian and they said her anal glands are fine. It seems to really bother her and it gets raw sometimes. I feed her Science Diet. Can you help? Denise in Cincinatti

A: From Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist,

Hi Denise,
There are a variety of reasons why a dog might scoot and chew on her rear end. First, you need to be sure you have eliminated the possibility of fleas and parasites (and anal gland impaction). Once your veterinarian has ruled that out, then the scooting is generally either due to yeast or allergies or both.

It is essential to use the Myco-zyme Yeast Package to help Jenny feel better. The Myco-zyme Yeast Package helps to control the yeast,  restore a lustrous coat, rebalance the flora and also reduces inflammation,

In human health, we often hear of jock itch or vaginal yeast infections. This is due to an overgrowth of candida yeast. This can cause a variety of symptoms including gas, poor digestion, ear infections and ITCHINESS! The same is true of our pets although this tends to manifest itself in the rear-end, ears and groin. Yeast flourishes when there is an inflammatory condition in the intestinal tract and/or disbiosis.

One of the factors that can contribute to this is excess carbohydrates and food allergies. The diet you are feeding might contain corn and wheat gluten which can make dogs itch. Try switching to a raw food diet using hypoallergenic protein sources such as venison or rabbit. Also, you need to help Jenny reduce the yeast overgrowth. The best program for this the Myco-zyme Yeast Package. This consists of Myco-zyme to control the yeast + Power Probiotic + Notatum anti-inflammatory + Amazing Omegas which helps to restore a lustrous coat, rebalance the flora and also reduces inflammation. Also, give Jenny plenty of green vegetables such as green beans as yeast thrive in an acidic environment.

Note to blog readers: Please spread the word about our blog. If you like our blog, please become a follower, post a comment and/or tell a friend. Thanks for your support!!!
Monday, October 5, 2009

Weight-loss Tips to Help Overweight Golden Retriever Trim Down

Dear Ariel,
I have a 3 year old Golden Retriever, Oliver. He weighs about 115 lbs. He is a very tall Golden. However, his weight troubles me. I want him to live a long and enjoyable life. for most of his young life he has eaten 1 can of Wellness Turkey and 1 can of the same in the evening. He is given a 8-12 in. 'bully stick' after dinner. He has a Greenie sometime during the day. His 'treats' are blueberries and raspberries and carrots. He does not eat a lot of these.
His exercise regimen includes an hour long brisk walk in a park. Sometimes, he gets 2 walks a day, but mostly just 1. He is the only dog I have. He'll romp with my cat during the day for a bit of time.
Because of my concern over his weight, I recently changed his diet to: 1 cup of lite dry Wellness and 1/2 can of Wellness turkey in the a.m. and 1/2 of dry and 1/2 of wet in the p.m. I haven't seen any significant change since doing this. However, I have not weighed him. He has had his thyroid checked in the past and it was normal.
Do you have any advice for me?

Hi Annette,

Good for you for trying to help Oliver! This is a commendable effort and you can definitely help him. I have seen miracle stories of dogs losing significant amounts of weight from concerned pet owners and I know you can do it! The first thing you do need to recognize is that while his food quantity may not seem like much to you, he has been substantially overfed. In order for him to weigh 115 pounds, this weight has accumulated over time from continual overfeeding. Yes, it is true that we can increase his metabolism using Vitality NOW! and Pet Liver Rescue but excess weight can only be eliminated by reducing his caloric intake and increasing his exercise. It is good that you are questioning what to do for Oliver, and ideally, I can assist you best in a telephone consultation where we can go into a lot more detail.

In terms of his overall consumption of food, you need to take a serious look at what other food items Oliver may be getting-- from other family members, going through the trash, jumping on counters, getting treats from neighbors and relatives. The first thing to do is for you to take control of the situation and honestly assess all the food that might be going into Oliver. When families do this, they often find that there are a lot of "missing links" they didn't anticipate such as improper measuring of the food or little treats that add up to full meals. Also, it is important to remember that while one dog may be able to eat 4 cups of food at 100 pounds, another one may have a much slower metabolism and only be able to eat 2 without gaining weight (just like with people!!!).

You need to be very careful about the treats. For example, bully sticks should be intended as an OCCASIONAL (not an every day) treat--1 12 inch bully stick is calorically the same amount as 3/4 can of dog food! And if you are giving him a greenie too, well that is also like another 1/2 meal.....One large dog biscuit can be over 100 calories!

Here is a diet you can try:
Oliver needs a high protein diet so that he feels satisfied. Try Natures Variety raw frozen venison or rabbit medallions. Give him 6 medallions twice a day along with 1/3 cup canned pumpkin + 1 cup steamed green beans or zucchinni per meal. You should also use 1 teaspoon Amazing Omegas per meal to help balance out his diet and to help his coat. Most overweight dogs and people are actually deficient in essential fatty acids (Omega 3s) and many Golden Retrievers have bad allergies. The Amazing Omegas has some calories but these calories are very important for his health and will help him stay on the diet.

You can give him 1 4-inch bully stick every few days and replace the treats with either 1-2 baby carrots or 1/4 sliced apple. No more greenies! Try the supplements mentioned above--Pet Liver Rescue and Vitality NOW! to help speed up his metabolism. They may seem like "supplements" but really, at this point with his weight, they are critical. Why? Because excess weight doesn't just affect his body collects around the organs as well. For example, Daisy, the 118 pound Labrador that Ariel Rescue trimmed down to 73 pounds was finally able to be spayed and when the veterinarian removed her uterus, he also removed 5 POUNDS of fat around it!!!! The Pet Liver Rescue will help clear toxins from his liver while the Vitality NOW! will help burn up the fat around his heart and other organs. If he weighs 115 pounds, chances are he is at least 20 -25 pounds overweight and has already accumulated fat around his organs.....

So, give these suggestions a try and if you need further assistance, please note in-person and telephone consultations are available to help you at:
Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dog Dandruff---Dog Has Flaky Skin

One question we frequently get is about flaky skin or dog dandruff. I know when my Ariel was young she used to get it, too. I went to the veterinarian at the time and received very little guidance. That was over 10 years ago and we have made a lot of progress in terms of our understanding of skin conditions, flaky skin and doggie dandruff. Here are some factors that contribute:

1) Dry, flaking skin--when a dog's skin is flaking, many times pet owners think the dog needs topical lotions or creams. While sure, using a topical cream rinse can help temporarily, that is not a permanent answer. The problem needs to be resolved internally. The dog's coat is dry because the diet does not contain enough essential fatty acids e.g. Omega 3 essential oils. What is a great source of this? Well---Amazing Omegas. Amazing Omegas contain the purest, most potent fish oil available. Because it is so pure, it is highly bioavailable to your dog and cat. What does bioavailable mean? It means that your pet's body is able to use it. We have had countless examples at the clinic where pet owners are already using another brand of fish oil and yet, the pet continues to have dull coat or flaky skin. This is most likely due to the fact that the oil is not a high enough quality or they are not using enough. Buyer beware--there is huge variation in fish oils....

As an interesting factoid--Did you know that humans can have dry skin, hair and DRY EYE due to lack of essential fatty acids. It is incredible that sometimes dry eye can be due to a lack of omegas. All of the omegas featured on, including Amazing Omegas are manufactured for pets and people, so you and your pet can share a bottle together!

2) Parasites--sometimes dry flaking skin can be due to parasites. Be sure to have your veterinarian do a skin scraping.

3) Dog Yeast--sometimes dogs have a yeast condition, that along with the flaking, can make them have an odor as well. Yeast thrives especially in moist places such as the ears and groin. A dog can be itching the ears and not have an infection, in part because there may be a slight overgrowth of yeast. Try using Myco-zyme yeast package which includes Amazing Omegas. This will help target the yeast, provide immune support and include valuable essential fatty acids as well.

4) Dog Allergies--Dogs can have food allergies and one of the ways it manifests itself is through the skin. If your dog has dandruff, smelly skin, dry coat, itching....these are all signs that most likely it is due to the food you are feeding. Switch to a low carbohydrate, hypoallergenic food. Be sure to avoid key allergens such as chicken, grains, peanut butter and dog biscuits (contains wheat).
Thursday, October 1, 2009

Holistic Care for Kitten with Eye Discharge and Chronic Infection, Immune Weakness

Q: My ten month old kitten is suffering from eye redness and green discharge from both eyes. His vet treated him with Terramicyn ointment. This started
late june 09, he gets well for one week then gets it back all over again.
Any suggestions?

Answer from Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist: The green discharge and eye redness is a sign of chronic infection. Your poor kitten has a weak immune system and you need to help him rebuild his health using improved diet and supplements. First, take a look at what you are feeding and try to use a good quality food that is free of byproducts and grains. Use a holistic brand such as Natures Variety, Primal, Wellness or Innova. Next, you need to use some supplements to help your kitten repair his immune system: Samento, Notatum, Power Probiotic, available on are all good choices to start with and are easy to administer to cats.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Diet For Cat with Kidney Disease

Q: Dear Susan: You helped me with one of my cats kidney disease -- my other cat now has early stage kidney disease. I have her on your kidney disease diet, but am looking for a very healthy cat food for cats with kidney disease. When I last talked to you, you mentioned that Royal Canin modified formula was okay. I notice, however, that it has wheat. Can you recommend a dry cat food for kidney disease that has no grains whatsoever? I notice there are some formulas on the market now with only chicken, vegetables and fruit. Also, can you share why cats with kidney issues can't eat meat or fish?
Thanks for your help.
Best regards,

A: From Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist: Cats with kidney disease need a modified protein diet with reduced phosphorus, rich in Omega 3s. Ideally, a diet with a high moisture content is preferred, thus if possible, using canned or raw food is preferable over using dry food. Fish, milk products and organ meats are especially high in phosphorous so it is best to minimize their content in your cat's diet. In giving you my dietary suggestion, I am only addressing one issue regarding your kitty--elevated kidney values. Many cats have inflammatory bowel syndrome, chronic UTIs and other concerns, in which case, this diet would not be appropriate. We always recommend scheduling a telephone or inperson appointment to ensure that the diet you use is the right one for your pet.

But, going by your question and assuming all else is fine with your cat, in early stage CRF, you can try Natural Balance venison or duck with green pea. These are not going to be as low in protein as prescription diets but they are hypoallergenic, grain-free and lower in phosphorous than other options. You can also try mixing some canned food with carbohydrates as we discussed previously during our consultation. Finally, by using supplements such as Protease, Renelix or our Cat Kidney Disease Package, you can improve your cat's overall kidney function, thus enabling them to still feel well and eat healthy foods.

Thanks for submitting a question Martha. We encourage our readers to please submit comments with questions and Dr. Gordon and I will be happy to answer them.
Monday, September 28, 2009

Cats with Interstitial Cystitis--Blood in Urine

Dear Dr Gordon: I am having a real problem with my cat. She is a 4 year old, spayed female calico cat. I adopted her later in life from one of my co-workers and she has always been a little stand offish. Lately, she has started to urinate outside the litter box and there is a small amount of blood in the urine. I have tried everything to discourage this. I have changed the litter. I have purchased an additional litter box. I have even contemplated letting her go outside during the day because she used to be an outdoor cat and now is completely confined to the indoors. She has been to the doctor several times and the doctor is able to give medication to stop the bleeding and accidents, but it always seems to return. What is your take on this? TR

Dr. David Gordon, Holistic Veterinarian: Well my answer is going to come as quite a surprise to the majority of readers of this column and even to some veterinary old timers.

There are many things that potentially could cause bloody urine in your cat, and those should definitely be ruled out before proceeding. These include stones in the bladder, crystal plugs, bacterial infection, and congenital defects of the urinary system (like a persistent urachal remnant). But, given the age of the cat and the living circumstances, there is an excellent chance none of the potential causes listed above is the culprit. In fact, less that 1% of cats in this age group have bloody urine due to infection.

It is essential to use Notatum drops for your cat to help her feel better. Notatum drops helps reduce inflammation due to stress.

Well, if infection was not at fault, what was causing the bloody urine. Many hypotheses came forth by veterinary researchers in the field. Some doctors thought there was some mysterious viral disease that caused most of these cats to develop bloody urine. Others thought these cats must have some sensitivity to something in the environment, and this type of allergic reaction was causing the bloody urine. But we now know that these cats are not getting better because the antibiotics are making them better. It is true that veterinarians have been prescribing antibiotics and doing urine cultures on these cats for years and the cats invariably got better. The latest information reveals that the cats were getting better despite being put on the antibiotics.

We now know that most of these cats suffer from a malady that many women suffer from, called interstitial cystitis. By examining the interior of the bladder wall of affected cats, it was discovered that there were focal points of hemorrhage that mirrored what was being seen in these women suffering from a similar syndrome. Not only that, but the bladder wall was extremely inflamed.

The current theory is that STRESS is the underlying factor in the cat’s interstitial cystitis problem. Stress perceived by the cat causes the release of neurotransmitters that adversely affect different organs. In susceptible cats, this organ is the bladder wall. Once inflammation sets in, the bladder wall, in essence, loses its’ integrity and there is leakage of urine within the layers of the bladder wall itself. Urine is a very irritating substance, and the leakage of this urine further perpetuates the inflammation and leads to focal areas of hemorrhage.

Cats suffering from this syndrome have frequent attempts to pass urine, and this is invariably bloody. These cats are very painful and most women that have interstitial cystitis will attest to that. Cats may associate this pain with their litter boxes and could be urinating outside the box because they are associating the litter box with pain.

It makes sense then that to treat interstitial cystitis in women and cats, that the patient should respond to anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and analgesic medications. That is, in fact, the types of treatment that has been shown to be the most effective. Some cats will have repeated episodes of this over the course of their lifetimes but usually relief and amelioration of symptoms will occur with the above mentioned medications. Many cats have responded quite favorably to supplements that help reduce inflammation, most notably, we have had excellent success using Notatum drops for kitties with interstitial cystitis. Amazing Omegas act as an anti-inflammatory. Power Probiotic has been helpful as well. In addition, sometimes dietary changes, and reducing foods that can cause potential allergens (e.g. grains, chicken) has also been especially beneficial.

How can we prevent this from occurring in susceptible cats? Provide many litter boxes and clean them daily in addition to trying to eliminate stress. That is easier said, than done because each cat is probably being stressed out by his or her own individual circumstances. Is it the neighbors loud rock and roll band? Is it the construction going on outside? Is it the neighbor’s barking dog? Are outdoor cats that your indoor cat can see teasing?

Some veterinarians also hypothesize that there is a certain group of cats that feel frustrated, unfulfilled, and downright bored with their sedentary lifestyles that we offer. Providing these cats with play time and stimulating their hunting and predatory instincts can help alleviate their frustration and boredom.

Patience and understanding is the key to living with these cats.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Seizures and Allergies--Is there a link?

Q: My 10 year old GSP started having seizures and tremors just in the past week. The vet has ruled any Lyme disease and her blood work shows that her liver and kidneys are fine. She has been on the steroid Temril P for several years to control chronic allergies. My husband is concerned about her suffering more seizures and the vet has prescribed phenobarbitol. I am very hesitant to start giving her this. I am wondering if there are any supplements or diet changes we could try 1st.
September 24, 2009 2:22 PM

A: So sorry to hear your dog is having seizures and tremors. I know how frightening this must be to witness. It is terribly upsetting to see our beloved pets experience seizures and tremors. There is a lot you can do to help your dog from a natural, holistic standpoint. You are right to be concerned about rushing to use medications when you may not have explored all of the natural options first.

We work with many patients that have epilepsy and seizures and there is a definite link with allergies. Food allergies can definitely be a trigger for seizures. No question--feeding a hypoallergenic diet free of preservatives, byproducts, artificial ingredients can help any pet, especially when a dog is having seizures. While some dogs have such severe allergies that after exhausting every possibility of using holistic care (e.g. changing to a low carbohydrate, hypoallergenic diet and using supplements such as Amazing Omegas, Myco-zyme, Notatum, Proaller) and still no improvement in allergy symptoms (unlikely.....)....then the use of a steroid-antihistamine drug long-term such as Temoril P may be warranted. But, too often, in my experience, there is a rush to find a quick fix for the itching and unfortunately pet owners like yourself end up committing your dog to a long-term program of medications that can have side effects. It would be highly advisable for you at this point to consider speaking to a holistic veterinarian or scheduling a telephone consultation with Dr. Gordon and myself to learn what you can do to help your dog. There are many treatment options we can teach you about but without reviewing your medical records and speaking to you in depth, it is hard to know the exact regimen that would be best for your dog. We can offer you an enhanced diet to address your dog's allergies and seizures, detoxification supplements and other treatment alternatives that will help. Seizures are a symptom that your dog's body may be overloaded with toxins and and while using medications such as phenobarbital to treat the symptoms may be necessary as a last resort for quality of life, you first need to stop exposing your dog to chemicals and allergens that are possible triggers. Thus, you need to look at both conventional alternatives (for treating symptoms) as well as holistic veterinary treatments which will help improve your dog's health and address the underlying health issues.
Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cat with chronic UTIs--does diet matter?

Q: My 7 year old cat (Tiki) get chronic UTIs. I feed her fancy feast canned food. Is there another food that would be better? I heard food can be a problem.

A: This is an excellent question. There is a definite link to pets getting chronic UTIs and diet. One of the links is food allergies and inflammation. Your kitty may be eating a high quality food, even organic but could be allergic to it. In addition, there are many hidden low quality ingredients found in pet food which could be a culprit too. These include grains, byproducts, chemicals, preservatives, wheat, gluten--you name it. So....the first step is to look carefully at what is really in your pet's food and clean up your pet's diet. I prefer hypoallergenic diets that have "novel protein" such as venison or rabbit. Also, be sure there are no grains in the diet. I have seen tremendous success in resolving chronic UTIs using raw food diets along with the supplements.  The most important supplement program that will start to help immediately is the veterinary-recommended Pet UTI Prevention Package that allows you to order from a selection of research based products.

Diets too high in carbohydrates break down into sugar and can also contribute to yeast overgrowth. Wheat and grains, for example can be high allergen foods and also contribute to yeast growth. Also, kibble and/or dry food can be problematic for both cats and dogs because of its low moisture content.There is no “one” hypoallergenic diet that works for all pets but trying one with rabbit or venison is a good start. Scheduling a telephone consultation with us or another veterinary professional can also be helpful if you feel you need assistance getting your kitty on the right track once and for all.

Nutritional supplements can greatly help reduce the frequency of urinary tract infections and in some cats in combination with diet changes, can eliminate them completely. Be sure to talk in depth with your veterinarian to understand the issues associated with your cat'surinary infections. For example, are there crystals present, very high pH or is the urine pH acidic? In terms of supplements, Ask Ariel has a comprehensive pet UTI prevention program. The Pet UTI Prevention Formula is excellent for cats and dogs that get chronic UTIs and who have a tendency to have high urinary pH as the product helps to acidify the urine (contains cranberry and Vitamin C). The Probiotic and Renelix are helpful for all types of urinary support. Finally, for tough infections, Notatum and Samento have always been especially helpful for cats with chronic urinary tract infections (UTIS).
Monday, September 21, 2009

Post Questions About Holistic Pet Care Here

Got a question about your pet? Please take this opportunity to submit a question about your pet. We will do our best to try to answer it. Just post your question as a "comment" on this Holistic Vet and Pet Nutrition Journal.
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Obese Labrador Lost 44 lbs in 6 Months

Pictured above are before/after pictures of our beloved Daisy who has now happily living in her forever home. Look at how beautiful she looks--what a shiny coat. Daisy now weighs a svelte 74 pounds--down from 118 pounds when she was rescued. Thanks to our dear Karen, head volunteer for Ariel Rescue, who dedicated countless hours to walking and caring for Daisy to help her become the dog she is today. Daisy was so obese (upper photo) that she couldn't even wear a collar because it would fall off. Her coat was so dull (she has hypothyroidism) that it looked like steel wool. Just 4 months later and look at her now! Daisy is an inspiration for all of us--if she can lose all that weight and start her life over--surely we all can!

It is essential to use Amazing Omegas to help your pet feel better. Amazing Omegas provides immediate help for itching, scratching, dog dandruff, skin problems and many other pet health conditions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Insomnia and Menopause

I just have to share my joy this morning upon arising and getting a really good night's sleep. It is such a wonderful "gift" as I am going through menopause which can really wreak havoc on your sleep. I have tried a number of products for sleep but depending upon what is going on, some work better than others. While each of us is different, I thought it might be helpful to provide a run down of some of the products I have tried to see if they might work for you. Please be sure to work with your physician or naturopathic doctor since usually some type of hormone or herbal hormone support is needed. For example, I also use a progesterone cream that contains phytoestrogens (e.g. red clover, dong quai, etc)

BioAdreno---You take this in the am. Bioadreno is really helpful IF you are suffering from adrenal exhaustion. The product is stimulating so definitely not something you would take at night. Symptoms of adrenal exhaustion--waking up in the morning and still feeling so very tired, lethargic during the day, feeling like "Stop the world I want to get off", feeling edgy and about to snap (we all know what that is like!), waking up in the middle of the night....That is what this product is good for. You can take in the am and then usually you get a better night's sleep after a few days.

Adrenacalm All I can say is "Aaaaah....adrenacalm". This product is a great 'ol standby for getting to sleep. It contains primarily phosphatidyl serine which has many benefits including brain support and help for anxiety. When we are stressed, our cortisol levels rise. Many times when you wake up in the middle of the night, it can be because your cortisol levels are elevated. So, you can keep this by your nightstand and IF that is the reason you are waking up, this will work. If it is not due to the elevated cortisol levels, then it might help anyway because it does contain some herbs to take the edge off. But since it is a very gentle product, sometimes it is not enough. And...remember it is not a sleep remedy per se, it is to help combat the deliterious effects of stress (and high cortisol) levels on the body. And.....sometimes waking up in the middle of the night can also be related to blood sugar regulation too.

Phosphatidyl Serine--Phosphatidyl serine is a wonderful nutrient that becomes especially beneficial for us as we get older. We use it for dogs with Cushing's Syndrome and it really helps reduce the effects of excess cortisol right away. Phosphatidyl serine (PS) is a nutrient essential for optimal brain function. Because PS is crucial for the overall health of brain cells, research on PS has shown that it benefits a wide range of brain activities such as mental focus, memory recall, and performance on tasks.

Phosphatidylserine occurs as a normal component of cell membranes. It is the major phospholipid in the brain. Phosphatidylserine enhances cell membrane fluidity, which improves cellular metabolism. This will improve neuronal communication, and strengthen memory and learning. Oral supplementation of phosphatidylserine has been shown to increase memory and learning, and has positive effects on the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin, and dopamine-depressed patients. Phosphatidylserine has been shown to help establish normal down-regulation of cortisol secretion in chronically stressed individuals. So.....what has often worked for my insomnia when I am stressed is to take Phosphatidyl Serine along with the Adrenacalm. Phos Serine is one of those substances where you need to be REALLY careful where it comes from. I like the brand on
because it is third party tested for potency and purity.

Sure hope this helps!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Canine Cancer Supplements and Holistic Care

Getting a diagnoses of canine cancer can be devastating. You might feel helpless that there is nothing you can do to stop the cancer. Dogs with cancer can greatly benefit from holistic care which includes dietary changes, acupuncture, nutritional supplements and other alternative modalities. Holistic veterinary care for dogs with cancer is not meant to replace conventional veterinary care but rather is intended to accompany it. Clients often ask "My pet has been diagnosed with cancer--will this help?" If your dogs is still having a good quality of life, as many dogs are at the beginning stages, then giving them good nutrition and vitamins could make a signficant difference.

Another misconception is that if your pet is undergoing chemotherapy, that using alternative supplements is not an option. Many of our patients are undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation along with administering nutritional supplements and have fared especially well. Some of the supplements we recommend such as OncoPet and Immune Harmony provide support and enable the dog to handle the medication better.

Some key objectives in using nutritional supplementation for cancer are:
1) Supportive care for digestion (many dogs with cancer have digestive issues)
Soothing Digestive Relief, Probiotic
2) Supportive care for the organs affected (e.g. liver support supplements if the pet has liver cancer)
3) Immune system support Immunitone
4) Detoxification to help release toxins Detoxification Kit
5) Antioxidants to neutralize free radicals (limited use with approval from your veterinarian if undergoing chemotherapy/radiation) Oxicell
You can find detailed information about dogs with cancer and how these products might help on Ask Ariel's cancer page: In addition, you might also consider scheduling a consultation with a pet nutritionist or holistic veterinarian regarding your dog's diet as dogs with cancer have very special dietary needs.
Monday, September 14, 2009

Ask Ariel In The News!

This appeared in the OC Register today Sept. 14th:

Maryanne Dell: A couple of good things not to miss
September 11th, 2009, 2:12 pm · Post a Comment · posted by Samantha Gowen, Pet Tales editor
I love a good cause. If I can give some time or money knowing I’m helping improve the world, I’m all for it. And I’m especially for it if I get to learn something while I’m helping a worthy organization.
Two upcoming events do just what I’m talking about: Attendees get to learn something and help animals.
Sept. 26: Ask Ariel is sponsoring Natural Cures for Pets in Lake Forest. The session by Susan Blake Davis, a certified clinical nutritionist, and veterinarian David Gordon packs a lot into a short time.
Davis, owner of Ask Ariel, consults with clients and veterinarians about nutrition and holistic care for pets. Full disclosure: Gordon is my vet. I started seeing him in 2001, when my dog Taylor had been diagnosed with bone cancer and I wanted to do acupuncture.
Acupuncture proved to be an excellent complementary medicine to the chemotherapy Taylor underwent for his osteosarcoma; we would leave the oncologist’s office after one of his 24-hour chemo treatments and head straight to Gordon’s office, where 20 minutes of acupuncture would restore Taylor’s appetite and vitality.
I met Davis through her rescue, Ariel Rescue, and knew I had met a kindred spirit. We talk the same health language, a language I believe every pet owner needs to hear, about the benefits of a high-quality diet.
Natural Cures for Pets is a perfect introduction to holistic care. In addition to Davis’ information about the importance of nutrition, Gordon will discuss acupuncture and other alternative and complementary treatment procedures, such as chiropractic and stem-cell treatment, in which an animal’s stem cells are used to treat diseases such as arthritis.
You can contact Maryanne Dell via e-mail at
Cost is $15, a worthy investment in the health of your pets, and includes refreshments. It’s best to reserve a spot, so e-mail
The event will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Gordon’s practice, VCA Arroyo Animal Hospital, 1 S. Pointe Drive, Lake Forest 92660. And, you’ll be doing good: 100 percent of the proceeds go to Ariel Rescue, which helps homeless animals throughout Southern California.More information:
Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dog Licking Genitals and Groin Area--Response to Question

Q: I have never seen anything like this before!!! My female dog has what looks like welts on her vagina and urethra . They are not filled with puss or fluid at least they don't look like they are. She is constantly licking it. I have put neosporin on it but I am really worried.Does anybody know what it could be??

A: Dr. Gordon and I reviewed your question and wanted to advise you to please take your dog ASAP to the veterinarian. It could be caused by a number of different issues and most likely is a sign of infection and inflammation. Your dog is licking it because she is experiencing pain and discomfort. We all try to avoid having to run to the veterinarian for every little thing but this is an instance where a veterinary visit is warranted. A veterinarian will examine your pet's area and speak to you in depth to determine if your pet has had contact with certain substances, medical history, etc. While we wish it could be, email is just not a good substitute for seeing and examining the patient.

Once you have a definitive diagnoses, we will be happy to provide you with some suggestions on what you can do from a holistic standpoint. Supplements such as Notatum and Power Probiotic can be found on will help.
Friday, September 11, 2009

Dog Has Gas and Bloating

Q: My dog Lilly has gas and bloating. I can hear her tummy rumbling at night after she eats. Her stomach makes all kinds of noises and her tummy bloats up like a balloon. She is such a cute dog but can clear the room with her gas. I have tried switching her food and am using a food for sensitive stomach but it doesn't seem to help. Is there anything I can try? Liz in Wisconsin

A: Absolutely. When pets have rumbling noises in their tummy and gas and bloating, it is an indication of poor digestion. They can have digestive upset for a variety of reasons:
food allergies, being older in age and having less enzymes available to digest the food, food intolerance, poor quality of food. Since there are so many factors involved, it is optimal to speak with a veterinary professional. At we do offer telephone consultations to help pet owners develop a custom diet that will work for Lilly. Each pet is different so there isn't a magic formula that works for everyone. Chicken is often a culprit for many pets however. Also, grains such as wheat, corn and barley can cause allergic reactions including inflammation in your dog's intestinal tract. For starters, you need to get Lilly on a hypoallergenic diet. Also, supplements such as Soothing Digestive Relief and Probiotic + Pet Colostrum will help greatly too.
Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pet Nutrition Seminar to Benefit Homeless Animals

Natural Cures For Pets

September 26, 2009

10:00 am -11:30 am

100% of Proceeds to Benefit Homeless Pets

Help your pet feel better and live longer using natural holistic care. Learn about pet nutrition, acupuncture, chiropractic and nutritional supplements. If your pet has been suffering from chronic allergies, urinary tract infections, arthritis, skin problems and other health issues, learn how optimal pet nutrition and holistic veterinary care can help!

Location: VCA Arroyo Animal Hospital
1 South Pointe Drive
Lake Forest, Ca 92660

Class Fee: $15 per person (Refreshments included!)
100% of proceeds donated to Ariel Rescue


Dr. David Gordon, Holistic Veterinarian
Medical Director, VCA Arroyo

Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist

Please visit for more information or call 949-499-9380.