Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Safer Air Travel for Your Pet

The Department Of Transportation (DOT) estimates that more than 2 million animals are transported by air in the United States annually. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in incidents during air travel, including; animals deaths, injuries and losses. This has led the DOT to require that domestic carriers with more than 60 seats, begin to report  the events in an annual report.  The law states that all events involving cats and dogs (it does not include other animals) be reported starting on January 1, 2015The new regulation applies not only to personal pets, but also to any cats or dogs that are transported, such as animals shipped by breeders (the previous rule did not cover breeder shipments). This will help pet owners to make an informed decision on the selecting a carrier for the safe travels of their pets.  
 
Here are tips to help your pet fly safely

  • Fit to fly.  Consider leaving your pet at home, if they are very young, very old or not in good health. 
  • Do your research. Regulations and fees vary depending on airlines and whether your pet flies in the cabin or as checked baggage. Be sure to check an airline's history of flying animals. Certain breeds can  also have more breathing difficulties and airlines may have restrictions (may not be able to fly in cargo hold). These breeds include pets with short snouts ( ie. pugs, and Persian cats)  Incidents of pets being lost, injured or dying have increased in recent years.  
  • Consider a pets-only airline. Pet Airways offers climate-controlled cabins outfitted with individual crates, and a flight attendant checks on the animals every 15 minutes. After landing, pets are given a bathroom break, and can be picked up by their owners at the airline’s Pet Lounge at participating airports.
  • Prepare the carrier. Make sure your kennel has room for your pet to turn around and stand without hitting its head. Check with your airline to determine any crate dimension requirements. The USDA requires the following: food and water dishes, "Live Animal" stickers, upright arrows and bedding.
  • ID tags. Attach contact information to both your pet's collar and its carrier.
  • Exercise. Before the flight, play with your cat or take your dog for a walk. 
  • Relax. Cesar Millan recommends using lavender oil as an "association scent" to help your pet relaxed while flying. In the weeks before the flight, he suggests putting a drop of oil on your hands at feeding times or before walks. Once onboard, “the positive association will allow him to calm down and remain relaxed.”



Monday, September 22, 2014

Holistic Treatments for Canine Kennel Cough

Could we be next?
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel Cough is a very contagious canine respiratory disease, similar to the common cold in humans. It is also known as Tracheobronchitis and Bordetella.  As the name would lead you to believe it is inflammation of the trachea and bronchi and that "honking" sound they are making is the classic symptom.  It is usually contracted when dogs are in close contact, for example when they are at kennels, boarding facilities, shelters, dog parks or even the vet clinic. The most at risk are puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with compromised immune systems.  Even if your dog has been vaccinated it is still possible for them to contract kennel cough. 

Symptoms

  • Dry hacking cough is the most common symptom
  • Cough may sound like honking
  • Retching
  • Watery nasal discharge
  • In mild cases, dogs would likely be active and eating normally
  • In severe cases, symptoms progress and can include pneumonia, inappetence, fever, and lethargy 

The symptoms usually appear about 5-10 days after exposure to an infected dog, and can last for up to 3 weeks, though symptoms may improve considerably within a few days. It is thought that dogs can remain contagious for several weeks after symptoms clear up.

Diagnosis
Most often the diagnosis can be made by symptoms and pet history. However, blood test and bacterial cultures may be performed to determine what type of virus is causing the kennel cough.  

Treatment
  • Dogs with kennel cough should be isolated from other dogs.
  • Your vet will recommend treatment based on the severity of illness in your dog. Many dogs recover without treatment, so your dog may simply require monitoring to ensure the symptoms are not worsening
  • Supportive care is very important—be sure your dog is eating, drinking and in a stress-free environment.
  • Holistic treatments can help pets recover faster and feel better. Argentyn or Notatum and  Quentans to fight infection, Amazing Omegas to support the immune system, Power Probiotic, especially if antibiotics are used.  Since kennel cough can spread and cause pneumonia, it is essential to use supplements to support the dog's immune system.
  • A cough suppressant may be prescribed, and in some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to combat bacterial infections, but the supplements are most important since kennel cough is viral in nature. If your dog has symptoms such as fever, lethargy and loss of appetite, more intensive treatment will be recommended.
  • Avoid exposure to irritating fumes that could increase inflammation
  • Pressure from a collar can make kennel cough symptoms worse, so switching to a harness is recommended for the duration of the illness.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Holistic Treatments For Feline Rodent Ulcers

Does your cat have inflamed sores, blisters or ulcers around the mouth?  Is your cat losing weight, showing signs of discomfort or pain and not wanting to eat?   These symptoms are signs of feline rodent ulcers.

Traditional veterinary treatment for feline rodent ulcers is the use of steroids and antibiotics which can provide short-term relief. Using these medications long-term can have side effects and reduced efficacy.   The good news though is that holistic treatments can be used (diet changes and supplements) to help control symptoms, minimize flare-ups and change your cat's quality of life for the long-term! 

What Are Feline Rodent Ulcers?

Feline Rodent Ulcers (also known has eosinophilic granuloma, feline eosinophilic granuloma, feline rodent ulcer, indolent ulcer, and eosinophilic granuloma ulcer of cats) is a non-contagious condition, unique to cats, where oral mucosal lesions develop.  They can occur at any age but appear more often in female cats.  In other words, open sores (similar to cold sores) appear, most often, on the upper lip of cats. Your veterinarian will typically diagnose rodent ulcers by the appearance and location of the ulcer (in questionable cases, a biopsy or needle aspirate cytology can be done to rule out malignant transformation).  You might first notice a yellow or pink shiny spot, which deepens into a lesion. The sores can be very painful and hinder your cat's ability to eat. Their mouth might emit an unpleasant odor and over time, can become disfigured. Your cat may also show a change in behavior (aggression or withdrawal).  

Conventional Veterinary Treatments For Feline Rodent Ulcers

The conventional veterinary treatment for indolent ulcers almost always involves the use of steroids to calm the inflammation and antibiotics to clear up any secondary bacterial infection.  While this may provide short-term relief, these medications can weaken your cat's immune system and cause side effectsGenetics, allergies and autoimmune disesase  are common reasons why cats may develop this condition and have it long-term.  Thus the goal is to introduce holistic veterinary treatments to help support your cat's immune system and minimize the frequency of flare-ups. 

When your cat has an autoimmune condition such as feline rodent ulcers, your kitty's immune system is so overloaded that the cat's body forms antibodies to its own tissues and attacks itself.  The onset of the attacks is associated with triggers such as food allergies, exposure to chemicals, vaccines and stress.   Autoimmune conditions cannot be cured but they can be controlled.  Holistic veterinary treatments, in conjunction with conventional treatments can minimize flare-ups and reduce the need for medications.  Holistic treatments entail  feeding your cat a hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory diet and using supplements that modulate the immune system. 
 
Holistic Supplements to Treat Feline Rodent Ulcers:

The following supplements have been helpful for cats with feline rodent ulcers, viruses and other autoimmune conditions.  These supplements have been used successfully in veterinary hospitals since 2005:

Immune Harmony
- plant sterols proven effective for treating autoimmune disease, helps to modulate the immune system

Colostrum for Pets - enhances the digestive system, immune function, repair of skin collagen

Power Probiotic - essential for all cats, especially if your cat has been on antibiotics which kill off the friendly bacteria.  Promotes a healthy intestinal probiotic ecosystem and enhances overall immunity.

Quentans -this powerful anti-viral, anti-infection formula used in conjunction with Notatum drops

Notatum-  natural homeopathic drops that control inflammation and infection used with Quentans drops for best results
 
Argentyn - Natural formula that helps fight infection and can be used topically or orally


Diet For Cats With Feline Rodent Ulcers

Changing your cat's diet to a hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory diet along with using supplements to modulate the immune system can can make a dramatic improvement in your cat's quality of life and comfort.    Many foods such as dry kibble can not only be painful to eat but may also contain ingredients that worsen the syndrome and increase flare-ups.  If you include your cat's diet and symptoms on the order form at checkout, AskAriel.com will include a diet suggestion on the packing slip that comes with the product directions. 

Need help with your catEmail the professional staff at support@askariel.com. You will receive a prompt response, but please note that veterinary advice cannot be provided.

askariel1@gmail.com

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Does Your Dog Suffer From Luxating Patella?


"Oh my gosh... my dog was fine running around and all of a sudden he was stopped in his tracks and was holding up his leg.  Then just as suddenly he lowers his leg and starts to walk normally again.  What is wrong?" Your dog could be suffering from luxating patella.  

What is it and who can have the condition?
The kneecap moves up and down in a groove and the patella ridges hold the kneecap in place. Luxating patella is when the knee cap easily moves out of position.  Any dog can have luxating patella. It may be caused from having  a very flat patella ridge (genetically predisposed in some breed) or in larger/giant breeds caused by problems with another joint such as the hip (hip dysplasia) or ankle, causing a ergonomic change, thus leading to luxating patella.

Some breeds that are more genetic predisposed
  • Miniature and toy Poodles
  • Maltese
  • Jack Russell Terriers
  • Yorkies
  • Pomeranians
  • Pekingese
  • Chihuahuas
  • Papillions
  • Boston Terriers
Grades of Luxating Patella
Grade 1
Kneecap pops out intermittently, but can be popped right back in (usually by itself). The pet does not experience pain as a Grade 1
Grade 2
The knee is less stable and pops out of place and doesn't always pop back in automatically.  Manual manipulation is usually required. Pet can begin to have pain.
Grade 3
The kneecap sits outside the groove most of the time, can be positioned back, but will pop right back out.  The pet will be in persistent pain and arthritic changes.
Grade 4
This is the worst-case scenario, the knee cap is outside the groove all the time and will not stay in the groove when popped back in.  The dog will have a hard time walking and will suffer from pain, arthritis and degenerative joint disease. They often will stand knock-knees and toes turned inward.

Treating the Condition
Being proactive is key , no matter how young or old, to prevent surgery ( which carries risks and a difficult recovery) and a diminished quality of life for your dog. 
  • Help your dog maintain a healthy body weight. 
  • Keep your pet moving- It is important to exercise your pet regularly to maintain muscle tone that will help protect the knee joint.
  • Give your dog joint support supplements as soon as the problem is observed. Early start of supplements can help prevent problems later on.
Ultra-Flex Collagen for Pets is especially helpful as it is great for small pets! It is a once a day, easy to administer food based product. Ultra-Flex is veterinary-approved and helps with tendons, ligaments and joint support.The Joint Support Kit  and  Canine Comfort Natural Pain Relief  are especially helpful too for this condition.
  • Chiropractic and acupuncture treatments may help
  • Feed your dog an anti-inflammatory diet using fresh foods
When to Seek Surgery for Your Pet
If the quality of life of your dog is diminished, pain is constant and the non-surgical options have not helped, surgery should be considered.  Supplements should still be continued after surgery to strengthen the joints and ligaments.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Animal Cruelty Now A Felony In All 50 States



It may be shocking to think it took this long , but on March 14, 2014, South Dakota became the final state to enact a felony provision for animal cruelty.  There is still more that needs to be done and some states are working on it, such as Massachusetts with there PAWS act, or Protecting Animal Welfare and Safety Act, that has passed and awaits the governor's signature.

The PAWS act requires:

  • Stiffening of penalties for animal abuse-increasing the maximum prison sentence to seven years for a first offense, and up to 10 years for a subsequent offense
  • Requiring veterinarians to report suspected mistreatment to the police (vets who don’t report abuse would be reported to the Board of Registration in Veterinary Medicine)
  • Offenders could face fines, which have been increased to $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for a subsequent offense.
In other states,  New Jersey passed State Senate. S. 1870  which will require pet shops in the state to provide consumers with certain identifying information regarding the animals they sell, thus cracking down on puppy mills and New York is working on the Consolidated Animal Crimes Bill (A.775b/S.6643) which improves enforcement by placing animal crimes under the penal code vs. under the farming and agriculture statues.

To see what is being done in your state, you can visit the Humane Society website under legislation.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Reverse Sneezing in Dogs



What is wrong with my dog? Why does he have episodes of snorting and gagging? These comments describe what is commonly called "Reverse Sneezing".  Reverse sneezing is when the pet is pulling air rapidly in vs. a regular sneeze when air is pushed out through the nose.  It is not know exactly why these episodes occur, but it thought to be an irritation of the  soft palate, which results in a spasm.  It could be caused from many factors including: eating or drinking, exercise, allergies, post-nasal drip, and irritating chemicals (cleaners, air fresheners, perfumes). 

A reverse sneezing episode can be scary and last for several seconds, and may make the owner think they are choking or having an asthma attack,  but is not usually considered harmful. However, if your pet has frequent episodes, it is a good idea to visit your vet to rule out other causes (collapsing trachea, nasal tumors or polyps, foreign bodies in the nasal passages or mouth). To help halt the episode, try massaging your pet's throat to stop the spasm or covering your pet’s nostrils very briefly. 

If your pet has other signs of allergies (scratching, licking, chewing at the paws, etc), then post-nasal drip may be the culprit.  Using K9 Yeast Defense and Power Probiotic along with AllerEaze can help.   Yeast is often a contributor to skin problems, ear infections and genital licking.  Yeast congregates in moist areas such as the throat and mucous membranes.  Diets high in carbohydrates such as grains and starchy foods can contribute to yeast overgrowth.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

How Attached Are Your To Your Dog?

A Study conducted with coordination between Canisius College, University of Chicago, and University of Pennsylvania, questioned 60 dog owning families, with both parents and children. The purpose of the study was to look at the human-animal attachment.  The participants were asked not only about how attached they felt to their dog, but also their level of responsibility for the pet (feeding, walking, and general care) plus how they rated their pet's behaviors (trainability, aggression, stranger fear, separation problems and attention seeking actions).

What the study found:
  • Perhaps not surprising, those that had the most positive feelings and had the highest level of attachment, were also the ones that provided the most care taking responsibility  for the dog. 
  • They also found that the more well-behaved and social the pet, regardless of gender and age, the owners had more positive feelings. 
  • Adults also tended to feel more attachment to dogs that demonstrated attention-seeking behavior.  This was not true with children that maintain a high level of attachment regardless.
  • The study did not find any difference between male and female owners and their attachment to their dogs
Based of the study "Man's best friend: What does 'Fido's behavior say about the relationship between you and your dog?"  published June 6, 2014 in ScienceDaily.

Friday, September 5, 2014

FDA Issues Warning On Pet Tear Stain Products


Many dogs suffer from tear-staining, which is a condition most often caused by excessive tear production. Certain breeds are more prone to tear-staining, and the tell-tale sign is the reddish-brown streak under their eyes. It is important to know that tear staining is usually a symptom of a problem and should not be overlooked. The issue causing the staining may be an eye problem (structural, inflammation, or infection), but it could also be a symptom of allergies (both food and environmental). If your pet also has bad breath, gas, tummy gurgling, loose stools or vomiting, it most likely is food related. Many people seek over the counter products to help with the tear staining without realizing they are giving their pets a daily dose of antibiotics.  Over time, the excessive use of antibiotics can have serious consequences.  

These concerns led the  U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a warning on August 29, 2014 to the makers of Angels' Eyes, Angels' Glow, Pets'Spark, Glow Groom and Health Glow because they are misusing an antibiotic. The products contain the antibiotic tylosin tartrate, which has not been approved for use in cats and dogs and has not been reviewed for their safety and effectiveness in treating the conditions associated with tear stains. Here is  a link to the FDA warning

A diet change and holistic products that support the pet's immune system (Argentyn and Power Probiotics) and products to help with allergies (AllerEaze) can offer your pet great relief from their symptoms.  A good starting point is to use the  K9 Yeast Defense calong with the Power Probiotic and Quentans as tear stains are often due to yeast that form from the moisture.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is Your Cat In Pain?

"The Collagenex 2 has been a miracle for Rocky"   Deborah Albritton

Arthritis in cats was once thought to be uncommon, but it is now estimated over 20% of the cat population suffers from this painful condition.  

What is Arthritis? 
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints caused by the breaking down of the joint's cartilage, resulting in the bones rubbing against each other. 

Who is at Risk for Feline Arthritis?

  • Middle-age and Elderly Cats
  • Cats that are obese
  • Cats that have been injured in the pass
  • Congenital abnormalities- such as hip dysplasia

What are the signs?
Cats are not ones to show pain and it may be difficult to know if your pet is suffering.  The four main areas that the signs will appear are:

  • Reduced Mobility- they will hesitate to jump, run or climb stairs as they normally would. 
  • Reduced Activity-may sleep more, avoid play activities, and hide more frequently
  • Changes in Mood-may be more aggressive, irritable, cry when touched, and become anxious/restless
  • Changes in Hygiene-may not be able to groom themselves, may have trouble using the litter box

How is Arthritis Diagnosed in Cats?
Often it is difficult to diagnosis arthritis by a physical exam, because cats can show signs of being irritable, aggressive, or not wanting to be touched even when arthritis is not present.  The best way to diagnosis arthritis is to x-ray the joints.  Unfortunately, this sometimes require sedation to get the correct position to accurately diagnose, which must weigh into your decision process.

How Can I Help My Cat's Arthritic Condition?
There is no cure for Feline Arthritis, and the goal will be to minimize your cat's pain and keep them healthy. The best approach is usually a combination of diet, supplements, medications, and alternative care. 

  • Diet-A diet balanced to maintain a healthy weight and also rich in fish oil, such as Amazing Omegas
  • Holistic Supplements-Supplements that can help replenish, repair and reduce pain in the cartilage, such as Glucosamine and chondroitin.  Collagenex 2  is a natural chondroitin supplement and has had great results, just read Rocky's story
  • Medications- anti-inflammatory and pain medications prescribed by your veterinarian
  • Alternative Therapies- acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy can be effective. 
Since there is no cure, ongoing support will be necessary to give your pet a quality of life.  It may be a challenge to give the pills and supplements, but understanding that your pet will be relieved from some of their pain must be kept in mind.

How to Make Your Cat as Comfortable as Possible?
  • Provide a soft bed that has easy access
  • Make sure your cat's litter box, food, and water bowl can be accessed easily.
  • Help with their grooming
  • Encourage play, to help with mobility
  • Consider providing ramps to your cat's favorite "high" spots (so they don't need to claim and jump)