Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Natural Treatments for Feline Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a common glandular disorder in cats.  The thyroid regulates your cat's metabolism and produces a hormone called thyroxine that controls many body processes.   When your cat's thyroid is overproducing thyroxine, your cat's metabolic rate increases and your cat is said to have Feline Hyperthyroidism. It usually appears in older cats and more often in females.

Hyperthyroidism can have serious consequences and affects every organ in your cat’s body, including: kidneys (due to the blood passing through too quickly), digestive system, heart, liver and nervous system. 

Signs of Feline Hyperthyroidism

Not every symptom may be present, but listed below are typical signs of feline hyperthyroidism.
  • Weight Loss
  • Increased Appetite
  • Restlessness/anxiousness
  • Changes in their coat
  • Fast Heart Rate
  • Increase in drinking and urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased panting
  • Low Grade Fever
  • Weakness and Listlessness (late stages)
Conventional Treatments and the Autoimmune Factor

Just as with conventional treatment of human thyroid issues, there is a vast difference between how conventional and holistic veterinarians approach feline hyperthyroidism.  From a conventional veterinary standpoint, the focus is predominantly on treating the thyroid gland itself as an isolated entity in an attempt to regulate the production of excess thyroid hormones. Treatment can consist of medications, radioactive iodine treatment or surgery.   While medical management of the thyroid may be needed, a holistic veterinary approach encompasses much more.  Feline hyperthyroidism is actually a symptom of an immune system gone awry, an imbalance in your cat's overall immune function.  Feline hyperthyroidism is most often a symptom of autoimmune disease  In other words, the immune system is attacking the thyroid tissue.  Therefore, to help your cat improve, you have to not only regulate your cat's thyroid condition but also try to modulate your cat's immune system.   

Holistic Treatments Address Your Cat's Health In Its Entirety
The first place to start in addressing your cat's hyperthyroidism is to revisit your cat's diet.  Typically cats with hyperthyroidism have a history of digestive problems.  Since the majority of your cat's immune system is located in the digestive tract, diet is key.  Foods such as grains, chemicals, poultry, fish, soy and starchy carbohydrates could have been causing a great deal of inflammation in your cat over the years.  Change your cats diet to a hypoallergenic regimen, preferably a raw frozen diet if possible or canned being sure to avoid the most common food allergens such as poultry, fish, grains, soy and dairy.  Check to be sure the foods you are feeding do not contain excessive amounts of iodine.  Many cat owners are unknowingly making their cat's hyperthyroidism worse by supplementing with marine products that are high in iodine such as kelp.  Iodine is a misunderstood ingredient in human and pet thyroid problems and can greatly exacerbate thyroid problems when autoimmunity is involved.  

Nutritional Supplements for Feline Hyperthyroidism
Nutritional supplements can greatly benefit your cat's hyperthyroidism by helping to regulate the immune system.  There isn't one "magic formula" to resolve the issue because hyperthyroidism is a complex autoimmune condition affected by many factors.   Here is a list of basic support needed for cats with hyperthyroidism.  More specific product suggestions for your cat's individual needs can also be obtaining by email at: These supplements can't reverse the damage that may have already been done to your cat's thyroid so medications will most likely be needed.  But, they will help reduce the progression and severity of the condition and improve your cat's overall well being.

Power Probiotic--This product benefits all cats but especially those with hyperthyroidism.  Since the thyroid function is so intertwined with GI function, giving your cat supportive friendly bacteria is the first start in helping to rebuild a healthy immune function.

Oxicell SE for Pets--This topical cream is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients to help support your cat's overall health.  Since hyperthyroidism is fueled by inflammation, Oxicell SE For Pets is the first line of defense for bringing down the inflammatory cycle.  It contains key antioxidants such as glutathione and SOD.

NotaSAN and QuentaSAN--These immune support drops are easy to administer and for some cats, can finally enable them to get off an endless cycle of antibiotics for chronic infections.  When your cat is getting UTIs, URIs or other types of infections, it wears down the immune system.  Since any type of autoimmune disease is a symptom of an overloaded immune system, using these drops can help quiet down infection and inflammation which is contributing to the hyperthyroidism.

Immune Harmony---This natural plant based sterol formula has helped many cats with all types of autoimmune conditions including stomatitis, IBD and hyperthyroidism. 

Renelix--Hyperthyroidism can mask kidney problems in cats.  Renelix is a powerful kidney detox that will protect and preserve your cat's kidney function. It also helps to flush out toxins related to the hyperthyroidism.

If you need a diet suggestion for your kitty, please include the diet you are feeding on the AskAriel order form at checkout.  A diet suggestion for feline hyperthyroidism (based on your cat's preferences) will be included on the packing slip that comes with your product order.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Stella & Chewy's Recall of Poultry Freeze-Dried Patties

This week, it was reported  that a great pet food company Stella & Chewys has issued a voluntary recall of some of their foods as a safety precaution.  Unfortunately, these things can happen to even the best companies. The list contains mostly poultry versions, which due to the high occurrence of allergies in dogs, we do not generally recommend. We still think using Stella and Chewy’s rabbit and/or venison verisons are a great healthy option for pets. For the safety of you and your pet, always use safe handling procedures. Wash your hands well before and after handling the food, and disinfect the preparation area and dishes/ utensils. 
Here is their press release with the lots being recalled:
Stella & Chewy’s is voluntarily recalling some of its products due to concerns of a possible presence of Listeria Monocytogenes. The recall was prompted by a positive test confirming Listeria monocytogenes in Chewy’s Chicken Freeze-Dried Dinner Patties for Dogs, 15 ounce, Lot #111–15, during routine surveillance testing by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. There have been no reported pet or human illnesses associated with this recall.
Listeria is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Retailers and consumers can find the full product recall list at should look at the lot numbers and UPC codes printed on the bag to determine if it’s subject to the recall. People who have purchased these products are instructed to dispose of the food or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Monday, July 6, 2015

What To Do If You See a Pet Locked in a Car

Summer is in full swing, and with it comes certain dangers for your pets. We recently came across this article titled “Here’s What To Do When You See an Animal Trapped in a Hot Car" on One Green Plant website.  Leaving a pet in a locked car can have potentially deadly consequences.  As the article states, the temperature can reach 160 degrees (inside a locked car) on a hot day and a pet can suffer from heatstroke in a matter of minutes. Symptoms of heatstroke includes; restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, rapid heartbeat, fever, and vomiting.  If the dog shows any of these signs it is important to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The article lists the steps that can be taken, if you come upon a pet locked in car.
1. Write down the car’s make, model, and license plate number
2. Find an authority figure nearby
3. If no officer is nearby, call the police
4. If the police are slow to respond, contact animal control
5. Watch for signs of distress in the animal
     6. If Authorities still haven’t responded, try opening the door*
        *know the laws in your community, pertaining to pets being left in cars.
The entire article can be found here

Dogs Run For Their Lives on July 4th

July 4th aftermath. Pictured is a neighbor's deaf white husky playing with our dog Legend. The dog is neglected and stays at our home for extra TLC whenever we are given permission by the owner. He looks so happy here but not on July 4th. There were 2 beautiful July 4th shows near our home and he was inconsolable, panting, pacing and terrified. As soon as the fireworks started, even though he was inside the house, he ran to the front door and tore the screen, frantically trying to run. The dogs don't know where to run, they are just afraid they "run for their lives". What is amazing is that he is deaf but the vibrations of the booms must affect him. Legend did not have an issue at all. Some dogs are more afraid than others.  Many dogs will run and run not knowing where they are going just to try to escape the scary noise.  Many pets are now at the shelters awaiting pickup so please, if your animal is missing, head to the shelter right away.