Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feline AIDS Virus

Q: Dear Dr. Gordon: My cat had a blood test recently and the results showed that he has the Feline AIDS virus. I am concerned because I have other cats in my house. Are they going to get Feline AIDS as well? Can I get AIDS from my cat?

A: Response From Dr. David Gordon: This is a great question because there is a lot of good information and misinformation regarding these viruses in cats.

Let's start with the Feline AIDS issue first. Felline AIDS is generally referred to as FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. The virus that causes Feline AIDS is a retrovirus that is in the same viral family as the Human AIDS virus. To this date, there have been no known infections of people by cats infected with the Feline retrovirus. As a general rule, FIV is generally a disease of unfriendly cats. By this I mean that most cases of FIV are transmitted by bite wounds during cat fights in cats that have spent a significant amount of their lives living outdoors. Generally speaking, cats that live indoors and co-exist peacefully have little risk of transmission of the virus. It is still recommended, however, that cats who definitively test positive be separated from uninfected cats to minimize the possibility of transmission. Experimentally, FIV has also been shown to pass from infected pregnant cats to their kittens, but in real life this seldom occurs or is isolated to a few FIV serotypes. Regardless, if an intact female cat has FIV, she should be spayed so that she will not pass the virus to future generations of kittens.

You don't mention in your original question how the vet determined that your cat has FIV or if you cat is sick or healthy. The reason these questions are important is that there are different types of tests run on cats. There is a screening test for FIV that is included in many routine blood panels. This test is an ELISA test that "tests" for the Feline AIDS virus antibody. Even though these tests are highly sensitive and specific (98%), there is a relatively high percentage (65%) of false positive results in cats that are showing no clinical symptoms. For that reason, most vets recommend that cats who test positive on the initial screening test get an additional "confirmatory test" to prove definitively that the screening test is either correct or incorrect. This is the same procedure that is done on people who initially test postivie for the Human Aids Virus. The confirmatory test for FIV and HIV is called the "Western Blot" test. If the Western Blot test is negative, your cat does not have FIV. Since there is generally a "latent" period between exposure and infection, cats that are bitten by stray cats outdoors should have FIV tests every 6 months to make sure they have not been exposed to the virus.

FIV generally has three stages of infection. In the first stage, the virus enters the cat's body and causes lethargy, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. In the second stage, the virus is, in effect, dormant and many cats appear to be healthy. This is also called the subclinical or silent phase of the disease, which can last from months to years. In the third and final phase of the disease, the cat suffers infections which overwhelm it's weakend immune system and often dies. This phase can last from months to up to a year.

It is estimated that up to 15% of the world's cat population is infected with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. There is no cure, but infected cats sometimes can live with the virus in their systems for up to 10 years, much of it in seemingly good health.  Using antiviral, immune supportive supplements such as Notatum and Quentans can help.

Friday, February 27, 2009

SAMe+ For Pets with Liver Disease, Arthritic Dogs, Dog Cancer

Fabulous March Special--Save 20% off our regular price

Who can benefit from Special SAMe+?

1) Pets with liver conditions

2) Senior pets

3) Pets with arthritis

4) Pets with cancer

5) Pets exposed to chemicals (SAMe+ is a powerful antixiodant that can help detoxify the liver)

6) Women going through menopause (please check with your physician first)
(Please note that this product (while labeled for pets) is for people too. It is extremely high quality and can be very helpful for women going through menopause. SAMe+ has been scientifically shown in research studies to elevate mood and help detoxify the liver. I personally benefit from this product daily as it helps not only with my menopause symptoms but with back pain too--it is awesome!!! Susan Davis, CCN)

Wonderful product--perfect for any senior pet or pet with joint problems. Special SAMe+ For Pets offers a variety of scientifically proven benefits for pets: helps relieve joint pain, support the liver and is a terrific antioxidant. For joint pain, this product works especially and is helpful even if you are already using standard joint supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, etc.

There is a great deal of variation in the quality of SAMe since supplements are not regulated by the FDA. In addition, this product is not just your everyday SAMe that you can purchase at the drug store---it is third party tested for purity and potency and includes addiitonal ingredients for maximum absorption and effectiveness. SAMe is extremely sensitive to degradation from air and moisture. Special SAMe+ is superior to other products on the market due to its stability in the nitrogen blister packs and maximized bioavailability by an enteric coating. It is recommended that each blister be opened immediately before ingesting the tablet. Special SAMe+ tablets are enterically coated in order to prevent its breakdown by stomach acidity and promote intact absorption in the small intestine. Vitamins B6, B12, and folate were added in order to provide cofactors for the natural conversions of SAMe to L-homocysteine and then safely to L-cysteine. Even if the body is producing normal or average levels of SAMe, certain physiological states create an increased demand for it, such as: aging, dietary deficiency, inflammatory states, emotional/physical stress or genetic polymorphysms. Sub-optimal levels of SAMe in some individuals may be due to insufficient amounts of the precursor amino acid methionine (vegetarianism or poor protein intake).

Age related decline in enzyme difficiencies throughout the body can be improved by increasing the supply of enzyme cofactors such as SAMe, B-vitamins, and magnesium. This is why the product seems to be really helpful for senior pets, people (and of course me--the menopausal woman!) Great product--really special---seems to work much more effectively than other brands of SAMe--great value as you don't have to use as many tablets as other brands might recommend.
Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chronic Urinary Tract Infections in Cats and Dogs

Does your cat or dog have chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs), frequent urination, blood in the urine or pain when urinating?

Recommended By Veterinarians:
Pet UTI Prevention Formula For Urinary Tract Infections 
60 capsules

This fabulous formula was specially formulated with all of the key nutrients to help keep urinary tract infections from coming back. This is an excellent product for cats and dogs with chronic urinary tract infections. It is a wonderful combination formula that combines classic homeopathic remedies with vitamins and herbs. This product should be routinely used with Power Probiotic for best results.. We reviewed many UTI formulas but selected this one because it contains a wide range of critical nutrients such as Cranberry, D-Mallose and other herbs that have been proven in research to support urinary tract health. Many cats, dogs and people with urinary tract infections unfortunately get into a cycle of taking antibiotics only to have it come back within a short period of time. If you give your cat or dog this product along with our probiotic product and Notatum (acts as a natural anti-inflammatory), you will help your pet to reduce the inflammation in the urinary tract and finally help to heal the problem. We have seen amazing results. The primary key to keeping urinary tract infections away is to keep the urine slightly acidic and support the immune system with good bacteria found in Probiotic.
Many times chronic urinary tract infections can be caused by yeast which can weaken the immune system. Dogs with chronic ear, urinary tract infections, allergies and skin issues may likely have a yeast overgrowth as well. In this case, it is a good idea to use K9 Yeast Defense along with Pet UTI Prevention Formula and Probiotic. If your dog has urinary incontinence, then use Renelix along with this product.
Key benefits of this product:Innovative formula to support healthy kidney and urinary function
Supports clearance of kidney urinary bladder pathogens
Promotes a healthy response to irritation/inflammation of the urinary tract
Soothes and protects the delicate structures of the urinary tract.
Antioxidants, antimicrobials and botanicals have been included to help reduce inflammation, promote healing, displace and kill pathogens, and to support the repair of the kidney/urinary bladder function. The capsule can easily be given to cats and dogs.
Pet Urinary Tract Infection Prevention Formula Ingredients:
Serving size: 2 capsules
Number of servings per container: 30

Amounts Per Serving:
Vitamin A (Retinyl Acetate).......85 IU
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).......95 mg
D-Mannose.......500 mg
Urtica dioica (5:1 extract).......100 mg
Cranberry Extract (5:1 extract).......100 mg
Uva Ursi (5:1 extract).......100 mg
Taraxicum officinale (freeze dried leaf, 5:1 extract).......100 mg
Petroselinum crispum.......50 mg
Berberine Sulfate.......50 mg
Equisetum arvense.......50 mg
Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate.......5 mg
Homeopathic Base.......50 mg
Belladonna 6C, Apis melifica 6C, Argenticum nitricum 6C, Cantharis 6C, Equisetum hyemale 6C, Pulsatilla 6C, Sarsaparilla 6C, Causticum 6C, Petroselinum sativum 6C, Terebinthina 6C, Solidago virgaurea 6C, Ammi visnaga 6C, Berberis vulgaris 6C, Citricum acidum 6C, Pareira brava 6C, Mercurius solubilis 9C, Arsenicum album 12C
Vitamin A is essential for the proper synthesis of mucoproteins and glycoproteins found in mucous membrane secretions. It protects the integrity of epithelial mucous membranes such as the respiratory tract, digestive tract and urinary tract. Vitamin A is essential for normal immune system function.
Vitamin C plays a beneficial role in infections due to its ability to promote a strong and vigorous immune system. In addition, it has a role in the production of collagen to enhance tissue integrity and healing of inflamed mucosal surfaces. Vitamin C’s action as an antioxidant is well documented. Vitamin C also helps to acidify the urine making an environment unhospitable to bacteria growth.
D-Mannose is a simple sugar found naturally in cranberries. Most of this sugar is excreted through the kidney urinary bladder system. D-Mannose attaches to bacterial cell membrane receptor sites and dislodges them from their tissue attachment sites. In this way pathogenic bacteria are flushed out of the urinary system and cleared from the body. D-Mannose helps to maintain a healthy urinary tract.
Urtica dioica, according to the PDR for Herbal Medicines, is indicated for: infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones and rheumatism. Traditional internal use has been for inflammatory conditions of the lower urinary tract.
Cranberry Extract has anti-adhesive agents that assist in flushing bacterial pathogens from the urinary tract. Native Americans have used cranberry for centuries due to its healthy support of the urinary system. Cranberry has been well-researched in the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections.
Uva Ursi is indicated for inflammatory infectious conditions of the urinary tract.
Taraxicum officinale freeze dried leafs have reported supportive properties for the kidney urinary bladder system, especially when combined with Uva ursi. The combination is useful to help prevent recurrent urinary tract infections. The PDR for Herbal Medicine states that Taraxicum indications are: Dyspeptic conditions, infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, liver and gallbladder complaints and loss of appetite.
Petroselinum (parsley): has been routinely used for flushing out the urinary tract and for preventing and treating kidney gravel. Parsley root has mild diuretic, and spasmolytic properties.
Berberine: has a long traditional use in the treatment of urinary tract infections due to its antibiotic, antifungal and antimicrobial attributes.
Equisetum (Horsetail): has been used in the treatment of bacterial infections and inflammation of the lower urinary tract and renal gravel. The British Herbal Compendium also supports its use in the treatment of mild infections of the genito-urinary tract.
Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate (Coenzyme ‘active’ Vitamin B6): has mild diuretic activity. Supports healthy aldosterone levels and has traditionally been used as an aide in the prevention of kidney stones.
Homeopathic base: The homeopathic base complements the botanical and specialty ingredients. The specific homeopathic remedies enhance the host defense mechanisms, help reduce inflammation and promote healing of damaged Kidney Urinary Bladder (KUB) membranes. This formula is common to both German and French homeopathic preparations for urinary tract disorders. For best success with this product, we sell it as a package with the Probiotic, Akutur and Renelix. You may purchase just the Probiotic and Pet UTI Prevention Formula but far better results are achieved if you use these two products with the Akutur and/or Renelix (use if your pet has crystals, stones or kidney disease).
Monday, February 23, 2009

Yeast Infections in Dogs

Many times in dogs, yeast presents itself as red, itching skin or smelly odor or paw licking/chewing or chronic ear infections and urinary tract infections. Yeast is typically associated with very allergic pets. You may have tried rounds of antibiotics as well as topical creams and yet your dog still keeps itching and getting infections. Pets with yeast infections need to be healed from the inside out. While topical treatments are helpful, it is important to understand what is causing the yeast in the first place. Generally, the yeast is caused by an imbalance of flora as well as chronic food allergies. The diet needs to be low in carbohydrates and free of foods that can promote yeast such as wheat.

Your dog will need a solid, proven probiotic to help restore the balance of flora. For pets with chronic yeast infections, we recommend the Myco-zyme Package which works fantastic with the Power Probiotic for Pets. The Mycozyme helps to kill yeast and parasites while the Probiotic help replenish the good bacteria as the yeast is killed. Please see Maurice's testimonial below:

"To our friends at Ask Ariel:

Several weeks ago we bought your yeast package for our sixteen-year-old poodle/terrier Maurice. He had been just miserable. We would like you to know that Maurice's life has changed dramatically thanks to your products and diet recommendations. Maurice is no longer itching and biting himself. He is able to totally relax for the first time in months. This has restored his vitality and he is now playing with his toys again. Maurice's skin is no longer greasy and smelly and his ears are no longer oozing. We are thrilled to say the least!!!! Thank you, The Hager Family"
Sunday, February 22, 2009

Homemade Cancer Diets for Pets

There are many "homemade" diets on the Internet for dogs and cats with cancer but unfortunately most are not accurate. When your pet has cancer, you need to be sure you are providing the right BALANCE of nutrients that support your pet's particular situation. For example, we have many patients who come to us who are following a "cancer diet" they found online that advises them to use an overabundance of fatty protein when their pet has elevated liver or kidney blood values. We strongly urge you to seek the advice of a veterinary professional to get the exact percentage of ingredients based on your pet's bloodwork and symptoms. At Ask Ariel Your Pet Nutritionist, we do not have "canned diets" because every pet needs a different ratio and we use mathematical models to calculate the precise amounts specifically for your pet.

Ideally, most dogs and cats with cancer can benefit from a homemade prepared diet. However, this can be very tricky since the diet depends upon many factors such as the age of the pet, the type of cancer (e.g. liver cancer vs osteosarcoma) and the condition of other organs (e.g. many pets with cancer also have kidney issues as well.). DO NOT just go by a homemade recipe for cancer that you find in a book or online. While there are many "cancer" diets focusing on low carbohydrate, high protein---this may not be the right diet for your pet. All components of the diet should be balanced and proportionate to the needs of your pet.

Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs Part II--Holistic Care

Holistic Alternatives for Cats and Dogs with Kidney Disease
Cats and dogs with kidney disease can greatly benefit from holistic care. Diet, nutritional supplements and acupuncture can help increase longevity and overall quality of life. Kidney disease is very common in older cats especially, but can be seen in dogs and cats of all ages. Owners need to be mindful not only of the kidney disease but of the other complications that can arise such as anemia, pancreatitis and high blood pressure and make adjustments to diets accordingly. Pets with kidney disease need a diet that is higher in carbohydrates, lower in phosphorous but rich in enzymes and Omega 3 fatty acids. There are prescription diets available from your veterinarian but many pets don’t want to eat the foods and start to lose weight. Ideally, using a well constructed homemade diet in combination with some commercial foods is your best bet. This provides variety to reduce pickiness and plenty of nutrients to keep your pet energized. Homemade diets are tricky though and can even be harmful if they are not constructed appropriately. Each pet will have different health conditions and taste preferences and what may work for one pet may be dangerous for another. For example, pets with kidney disease need a diet that is higher in carbohydrates and if possible, higher in fats. On the Internet, you may see “kidney diets” that are high in both omega and animal fats. Depending upon the diet, this might work for pets that can tolerate fats. However, pets with elevated pancreatic enzymes could become very ill from this diet and it would not be advisable. Thus, we recommend that you always check with a veterinary professional before using a homemade kidney diet.

There are several supplements that can help your pet with kidney disease. These supplements are available in different forms for your convenience. For example, we offer Purrfect Pet CoQ10 as well as Oxicell SE which is a topical cream that contains CoQ10. Kidney Terrain provides critical vitamins and nutrients to the kidneys while Renelix helps the body to flush out toxins that accumulate in the kidneys and urinary tract. It is also important to use Kidney Health -- Protein Support For Pets which has an enzyme that helps to break down protein, enhancing digestion and reducing the workload on the kidneys.We understand that having your pet diagnosed with kidney disease can be devastating and we are here to help. Using both conventional and holistic veterinary medicine can greatly enhance your pet’s prognosis. Early detection is key as well as maintaining proper hygiene for your pet (e.g. regular teeth cleanings can help your pet’s kidneys). We hope that by following these guidelines as well as getting regular laboratory testing, that you and your pet can enjoy a long and healthy life together.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs Part I

Many cats and some dogs will develop renal (kidney) insufficiency as they age. Some cats and dogs may be born with malformed or dysfunctional kidneys or a congenital kidney disease which will result in renal insufficiency early on as well. What are the signs to look for? What can you do if your pet has been diagnosed? Listed below is a discussion of your options from both a conventional (Part I) and holistic veterinary perspective (Part II). Click here to view our Kidney Disease Support Program

Conventional Veterinary Perspective on Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs

By Dr. David Gordon, Holistic Veterinarian

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that operate as filtering mechanisms in the body. The kidneys filter out toxins in the blood such as metabolic wastes, drugs and excess mineral salts as well as regulate the acidity of the blood. The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, the production of calcium and phosphorus metabolism, and produce a hormone that stimulates red-blood-cell production called erythropoietin.Since the kidneys perform so many important functions, it is easy to see why kidney malfunction would greatly impact the way your pet feels and behaves. Unfortunately, laboratory tests don’t typically show kidney insufficiency until your pet’s kidney function is about 65-70% deteriorated. Thus, it is extremely important to watch these signs in your pet and get regular laboratory tests to closely monitor their health.

Signs of Kidney Disease in Cats and Dogs

• Increased urination

• Increased thirst

• Weight loss

• Loss of appetite

• Vomiting

• Strong (ammonia-like) breath odor

• Pain,discomfort in the back

Please note that many of the above signs are also seen in pets that do not have renal insufficiency. Regardless, these are signs your pet has some type of health condition and a visit to your veterinarian is warranted.

Many times pet owners will notice some of the above signs and bring their pet in for a check-up. Depending upon the timing of bringing their pet in, more or less will be able to be done to help the pet. Initially the veterinarian will recommend some initial laboratory tests such as bloodwork, urine analysis and XRAYS (As a general rule, it is recommended that bloodwork and urine analysis be performed on pets over 6 years annually).
In the blood, three levels are especially important to test for kidney disease. These are creatinine, BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and phosphorous. BUN measures the amount of urea nitrogen, a waste product of protein metabolism in the blood. Urea is formed by the liver and then taken by the blood to the kidneys for excretion. Because urea is cleared from the bloodstream by the kidneys, a buildup in the blood is an indicator that the kidneys are not functioning properly. Creatinine and phosphorous are also important markers for kidney disease, as they are also products excreted by the kidneys.A urine analysis also provides important information regarding your pet’s kidney health. Specific gravity of the urine measures the degree to which your pet is properly concentrating urine. In addition, your veterinarian will look to see if there is protein in the urine. Healthy kidneys will remove the waste from the blood but retain the protein. Impaired kidneys may fail to separate blood protein from the wastes. At first, only small amounts of protein may leak into the urine but as time and the disease progresses, the amount of protein in the urine increases.

Once diagnosed, there are several avenues a pet owner can explore. In human medicine, dialysis and kidney transplantation are the main methods of treating people with advanced kidney disease. These options are extremely costly, time consuming and only available to a limited degree for pets. Treating kidney disease can be especially challenging particularly if the disease is only detected once the pet is in an advanced state. (Again, we cannot emphasize the importance of routine laboratory testing so that if your pet is diagnosed with kidney disease, you will have a greater opportunity to help your pet.)

The difficulty in treating pets with kidney disease is that the ability to remove metabolic waste products is often outweighed by the buildup of those toxins. The pet is not able to keep up with the regular detoxification required because the kidneys are impaired. Thus, the pet gradually becomes more toxic and the body chemistry becomes more acidic. Unlike liver disease where the body can build and repair new liver tissue, the nephrons (functional units of the kidney) are damaged forever and cannot be replaced. What is important is to help the functioning nephrons perform at an optimal level. Many times, pet owners are hoping unrealistically that their pet’s kidney function will miraculously improve—while it is possible to see improvement in kidney values—what is most likely to occur with conventional and holistic treatment is a decline in the rate of kidney deterioriation. In other words, if your pet’s creatinine level has jumped from 2.4 to 3.4 in a few weeks, treatments may help to keep the value from rapidly rising to 4.4 in the following week but most likely won’t ever return the values to normal (except in rare cases).
The goal of treatment is to help the pet to live as close to a normal life as possible, given the kidney disease diagnoses. Since the kidneys do not heal or regenerate new and functioning tissue, supplements and vitamins can help the healthy nephrons handle the additional burden. Intravenous and subcutaneous fluids can provide much needed relief for pets. Intravenous fluids are administered by your veterinarian at the veterinary hospital while subcutaneous fluids can be administered by you at home under the direction of your veterinarian. Fluids help to flush out the toxins and control acid-base imbalances. Pets can be given medication for nausea and vomiting. Many pets with kidney disease develop high blood pressure, anemia and ulcers as the disease progresses. These can be helped with medication and supplements as well. Phosphorous binders and Omega 3 fish oils (e.g. Amazing Omegas) are also helpful. High quality, low protein phosphorous diets have been proven to be helpful in lessening the metabolic tasks that must be performed by the kidneys and this is a very critical component in managing the disease. Finally, acupuncture can also be helpful because it increases blood flow to the kidneys.
Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tribute to Andy--A Precious Rescue Kitty

Andy 02/05/09

This little soul came into my life one rainy, stormy night as an adult kitty (age unknown), nearly starved, and weighing less than three pounds. He had no whiskers and badly mattered eyes. Was it was a coincidence that I went to a birthday dinner the same day that he showed up at the house of the hostess? I don’t believe that it was.

I took him home and wanted only to keep him warm, dry, comfortable, and safe for the rest of his life. He expressed determination beyond belief, got well, and turned into a beautiful cat. He gave me more love than one could ask for. Full of games and with a great sense of humor, this little guy taught me my most valuable lessons. He brightened my life for twelve years.

I wanted to have him forever, but Andy knew when he was ready to leave. In spite of the best efforts of Dr. David Gordon and Susan Davis, he passed on February 5, 2009. This little soul has been, and will always be a light shining brightly with love in my life.
Marcia Leong
Monday, February 9, 2009

Dog Itching, Scratching and Hot Spots Can Be Due to Food Allergies

Wanted to provide more information about dog itching, scratching and hot spots. Many times, people go from veterinarian to veterinarian, searching for the answer as to why their dog continues to scratch constantly, chewing, licking on paws. If the owner is using flea treatment and has ruled out parasites and other infections, chances are it is allergies. Pets can have both food and environmental allergies as well as difficulties digesting the foods they eat. Many commercial diets are loaded with carbohydrates and fillers such as corn, wheat gluten, etc and many people shower their pets with allergy provoking wheat-filled dog biscuits!!! More and more, there are alternate choices but the bulk of all dog treats are loaded with wheat--which for many is a recipe for allergic reactions. We urge you to discontinue these potentially itchy treat and use hypoallergenic treats such as Wildside Salmon Treats which contain good healthy fats to actually help your pets skin and coats. Other alternatives are venison jerky, carrots or sliced apples.. If your dog has chronic skin and coat problems, itching, scratching, hair loss, most likely it is due to the food you are feeding and poor digestion. Take a look at the brand you are using---does it contain corn and other grains???? Even hypoallergenic diets that are full of potatoes can be potentially problematic because of the high carbohydrate count and the propensity this can cause in creating yeast. A list of potential foods to be avoided can be seen below. There is no “one” allergy diet that works for everyone. Each pet is different. You will need to try a few diets and/or learn how to prepare a homemade diet. We offer Holistic Pet Health Telephone Consultations and also in-person office visits at VCA Arroyo in Lake Forest, CA to assist you with this.

Common Allergens in Pet Food:



Gluten (found in wheat, barley, spelt and other grains)

Milk Products

Casein (found in cheese)

Beef (problem for some dogs)

Chicken (problem for some cats and dogs)

Fish (cats can often be allergic)

Peanut Butter (big allergen!)

Ask Ariel offers supplements to help with environmental allergies:

Amazing Omegas--- potent formula for lustrous skin and coat
Proaller--- homeopathic remedy that reduces a itching, red, itchy eyes and all allergy symptoms
Notatum--- works great with Proaller and helps fights infection and inflammation
Syallgen--- very helpful for itching and environmental allergies
AllerEaze--- excellent for environmental allergies
Friday, February 6, 2009

Giving Peanut Butter To Dogs--Scratching, Itching and Ear Infections

Many people commonly give their dogs peanut butter because it is a food that they personally enjoy and want to share it with their beloved pet. There really is no upside to doing this and we can't emphasize enough the downsides. The recent peanut butter and peanut butter product recall, just like last year's pet food recall, calls attention to the fact that there is already an existing problem, especially for pets. Peanut butter commonly contains mold which can fuel yeast growth in people and pets. Where do problems typically show up on the dog? Ear and skin infections. I can't tell you how many clients have reported their dogs having excessive scratching, itching, redness, allergic reactions, ear infections, hot spots, all from giving them just a small amount of peanut butter.  If your dog has allergies or chronic ear and skin infections, then the first place to start would be to give your dog K9 Yeast Defense.  K9 Yeast Defense and Power Probiotic are veterinary supplements that are all-natural and can boost your dog's immune system, while reducing smelly yeast in the ears and groin.  If your dog has ever been on antibiotics, this alone can cause a yeast overgrowth to occur. The symptoms can be shaking of the ears, scratching, itching and recurring ear infections.

 Learn more about how to stop dog itching. Moreover, there are many pet owners whose pets already have chronic allergies and skin problems who carefully watch their diets using hypoallergenic foods and yet their pets continue to scratch and itch because they are coating the dog's pills with peanut butter to administer them. Their dogs continue to have chronic yeast infections in the ears and scratch and itch. It only takes a small amount (e.g. a teaspoon) to result in a week-long allergic episode.  Using K9 Yeast Defense as a preventative, especially during the hot summer will really help.

Peanut butter is also very high in fat, and many times, contains sugar, again--neither is good for a dog's health. If you have been using peanut butter or peanut butter-flavored dog biscuits (wheat is also a potential allergen and should be avoided) in your pet's diet, we urge you to discontinue and use lower fat, hypoallergenic treats such as Wildside Salmon treats (if no kidney issues are present), baby carrots or sliced apples. If your dog has chronic skin and coat problems, itching, scratching, hair loss, most likely it is due to the food you are feeding and poor digestion. A high carbohydrate diet, paired with specific allergies to various proteins, can result in a very allergic pet. Please see our discussion on the holistic care for pets with allergies on for more information.