Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Hidden Dangers of Low Quality Pet Supplements

 


Why Quality Matters in Pet Supplements

 

When it comes to selecting supplements for our pets, quality is essential.  Labels often look alike though, so it may be tempting to purchase the lowest cost pet vitamin.  But spending less on a lower quality product that doesn't work isn't saving you money at all.  Not all supplements are created equal, and inferior products can not only be ineffective but may also pose risks to your pet's health. Here are a few things to consider when choosing pet supplements:


Safety & Efficacy: High-quality supplements undergo rigorous testing and adhere to strict manufacturing standards to ensure safety and efficacy. Products made from premium, human-grade ingredients are more likely to deliver benefits without compromising your pet's well-being.

 

Transparency and Trust: Trust is important when it comes to your pet's health. Reputable supplement companies prioritize transparency by providing detailed information about their ingredients, manufacturing processes, and testing procedures. This transparency instills confidence in pet owners and fosters trust in the brand.

 

Consistency and Reliability: Quality supplements are manufactured in facilities that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and undergo third-party testing to verify potency, purity, and quality. This commitment to consistency and reliability ensures that each batch meets the highest standards of quality and efficacy.

 

Avoiding Harmful Additives: Inferior supplements may contain artificial ingredients or contaminants that could be harmful to your pet's health. By choosing supplements made from high-quality, natural ingredients, you can minimize the risk of exposing your pet to potentially harmful additives or toxins.

 

Long-Term Health Benefits: Investing in quality supplements is an investment in your pet's long-term health and well-being. While budget-friendly options may seem appealing initially, they may not deliver the same level of health benefits or cost savings in the long run. Quality supplements provide your pet with the nutrients they need to thrive, reducing the risk of costly health issues down the line.

 

At AskAriel.com, we understand the importance of quality when it comes to your pet's supplements. That's why all of our products are formulated with the highest quality, human-grade ingredients and manufactured in GMP-certified facilities. Each batch undergoes rigorous third-party testing to ensure safety, potency, and purity, so you can trust that you're giving your pet a reliable and pure pet supplement.  We know how much you want your pet to feel better and our goal at AskAriel.com is to ensure that our supplements always meet your highest expectations. 


Author:  Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist

Date:  5/16/2024


All supplement protocols have been reviewed and approved by a veterinarian.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Dog Skin Cancer: Risks, Treatment & Prevention

white german shepherd outside

Did you know? Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun. Overexposure to the sun's rays can damage the DNA in skin cells, leading to mutations that can result in cancerous growths. Exposure to the sun is the most common cause of skin cancer in dogs. The ears, nose, paw pads and belly are the most sensitive areas since they have less fur.

 

Is Your Dog At Risk Of Getting Skin Cancer?

 

Certain breeds of dogs may be genetically predisposed to developing skin cancer. While any dog can develop skin cancer, certain breeds may be more predisposed to it due to skin pigmentation (lighter color) and coat density. Some breeds that are commonly associated with a higher risk of skin cancer include white or light-colored breeds such as Dalmatians, Bull Terriers, and West Highland White Terriers, which have less protection against the sun's UV rays, making them more susceptible to sun-induced skin damage. Hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested, Mexican Hairless (Xoloitzcuintli), and American Hairless Terrier, with minimal hair coverage, have less natural protection against sun exposure. Additionally, thin-coated breeds such as the Boxer, Doberman Pinscher, and Weimaraner are at higher risk due to decreased natural protection. Dogs with pink or lightly pigmented skin, like the Bull Terrier and Chinese Shar-Pei, are more prone to sunburn and subsequent skin cancer, while breeds with exposed skin areas, such as the Whippet, Greyhound, and American Bulldog, may be more vulnerable to sun damage due to thin fur on their bellies or noses.

 

Signs of Skin Cancer in Dogs

 

If you notice any textural or color changes in your pup's skin or growths, be sure to point them out to your veterinarian. Look for lumps, bumps and sores that don't heal especially if you have a light colored dog that spends a lot of time outside.

 

Types of Skin Cancer in Dogs

 

Skin cancer in dogs can manifest in various forms, including:

 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This type of cancer typically affects the skin on areas exposed to the sun, such as the ears, nose, and belly. It often appears as raised, crusty lesions that may bleed or ulcerate.

 

Melanoma: Melanoma in dogs can occur in pigmented areas of the skin or mucous membranes, such as the mouth or eyes. It can appear as darkly pigmented masses or irregularly shaped growths.

 

Mast Cell Tumors: Mast cell tumors can develop in the skin or internal organs and vary widely in appearance. They may present as raised lumps, ulcerated sores, or areas of thickened skin.

 

Preventing Skin Cancer in Dogs

 

Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your dog from skin cancer. Here are some tips to reduce their risk:

 

1) Limit sun exposure, especially during peak hours of UV radiation.

2) Provide ample shade in outdoor areas where your dog spends time.

3) Use dog-safe sunscreen on sensitive areas of your dog's skin, such as the ears, nose, and belly.

4) Consider protective clothing or accessories, such as UV-blocking shirts or hats, for dogs with light-colored fur or skin.

 

Treatment of Skin Cancer in Dogs

 

If your dog is diagnosed with skin cancer, treatment options may vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Your veterinarian may recommend surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. Additionally, supportive therapies, such as OncoPet Cancer Vitamin, can help bolster your dog's immune system and overall health during cancer treatment.

 

In conclusion, skin cancer is a serious health concern for dogs, but with proper prevention and early detection, you can help safeguard your dog from skin cancer. Always bring any unusual growths or skin changes to the attention of your veterinarian right away.

 

Author: Susan Blake Davis

Date: 5/10/2024

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Is Your Cat Stressed Out? 3 Tips To Comfort Your Kitty


Unbeknownst to you, your cat might be silently wrestling with stress. Yes, stress can be a real problem for your cat. Cats do not like change! Whether it is a change in your family’s schedule, a new pet coming into the home, a loss of a pet companion or even rearranging the furniture can cause stress. If your cat is sick, this can make them feel vulnerable and anxious. Older cats will be even more prone to the effects of stress.

Cats that are stressed might exhibit behavioral changes (such as missing the litter box) or stress related health issues.They love a schedule and consistency and anything that disrupts their routine can cause them to become stressed. In their own unique way, they may be trying to tell you that they are stressed, but the signs may go unnoticed. It is important to be vigilant in deciphering their subtle language and recognize the signs of stress. You can then explore the cause and find ways to help them feel better.

Signs Your Cat May Be Stressed Out 

Watch for any of these signs your cat has anxiety or is stressed:

Changes in Behavior: If your cat suddenly becomes more withdrawn or unusually clingy, it could be a sign of stress. If they are spending more time hiding under furniture or in closets than usual, it could also be a sign that something is bothering them. If your cat seems unusually restless, pacing around the house displaying nervous behavior or increased aggression or hostility towards people or other pets may indicate stress. 

Vocalization: Some cats may vocalize more when they're stressed, meowing excessively or making other distress sounds like hissing and growling.

Loss of Appetite or Overeating: Stress can affect a cat's eating habits. Some cats may lose their appetite and eat less, while others may overeat as a coping mechanism.

Litter Box Issues: Changes in litter box behavior, such as urinating or defecating outside the litter box, can be a sign of stress. Your cat might be trying to communicate their discomfort with their environment.

Excessive Grooming or Self-Mutilation: Cats may groom themselves excessively when stressed, leading to hair loss or skin irritation. In severe cases, they may even resort to self-mutilation, such as licking or biting at their skin.

Changes in Sleeping Patterns: Stress can disrupt a cat's normal sleep patterns. They may sleep more than usual or have trouble sleeping, leading to insomnia.

Physical Symptoms: Stress can manifest in physical symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or respiratory problems. If you notice any unusual symptoms, it's essential to consult your veterinarian. They may also show these bodily signs: 

      Immobility - may become immobile, sitting in a fixed posture for long periods of time  

      Body – crouched directly on top of all fours, shaking and tail close to the body

      Belly – not exposed, rapid breathing

      Head – lower than the body, motionless and whiskers back and maybe drooling

      Eyes – fully open and pupils fully dilated

      Ears – fully flattened back on the head


Three Tips To Ease Your Cat's Anxiety and Stress

1. Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment:

  • Provide your cat with a quiet and secluded area where they can retreat to when they feel stressed. This could be a cozy bed in a low-traffic area or a hiding spot such as a covered cat bed or a cardboard box with a blanket inside.
  • Ensure that your cat has access to their essentials such as food, water, litter box, and toys in this safe space.
  • Talk with your vet about using pheromone diffusers or sprays like Feliway, which contain synthetic versions of calming cat pheromones, to help create a calming atmosphere in your home.

2. Implement Relaxation Techniques:


  • Engage in interactive play sessions with your cat using toys such as feather wands or laser pointers. Play can help reduce stress and anxiety by providing mental and physical stimulation.

  • Try gentle grooming sessions with a soft brush or grooming glove. Many cats find grooming relaxing and it can help strengthen the bond between you and your cat.

  • Consider incorporating calming activities such as gentle massage or providing a warm blanket or heated bed for your cat to curl up on.

  • Give Happy Paws Drops a try. Hemp CBD oil for cats can help them relax and feel more emotionally balanced without the side effects of medications. 

3. Establish Routine and Predictability:


  • Cats thrive on routine, so try to maintain a consistent daily schedule for feeding, playtime, and other activities.

  • Minimize sudden changes in your cat's environment whenever possible. If you need to make changes, introduce them gradually to give your cat time to adjust.

  • Provide your cat with plenty of mental stimulation by offering puzzle feeders, interactive toys, or rotating their toys regularly to keep them engaged and prevent boredom.

Author:  Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist
Revised and Updated:  5/4/2024
Originally Published:  5/12/2017




Monday, April 29, 2024

Canine Brain Tumors: Signs To Watch For




A canine brain tumor is a mass inside your dogs cranial cavity. It may be cancerous or non cancerous. There are different levels of malignancy and depending on the level, the treatment options will vary.The mass may be the main tumor or possibly a secondary tumor, that has spread from another part of the body. Brain tumors are more common in older dogs (and cats too), but can also develop in younger pets.  

Signs Of A Dog Brain Tumor

Symptoms of a dog brain tumor vary depending upon the location of the tumor in your dog's brain. 

Forebrain Symptoms-responsible for "thinking," behavior, and final integration of sensory information
  • Behavioral abnormalities such as loss of learned behavior and depression
  • Increased or decreased appetite and thirst
  • Constant pacing or circling
  • Decreased awareness and vision on one side of the body,
  • Seizures
The Brainstem-regulation of motor function (the ability to walk), the level of wakefulness, and the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.   nerves that control movement of and sensation to the face, the eyes, the throat, larynx and tongue, and the muscles of mastication 
  • Head tilt
  • Leaning and falling to the side of the head tilt
  • Drunken gait with loss of balance (ataxia)
  • Circling to the side of the head tilt
  • Involuntary flicking of the eyes (nystagmus)
  • Loss of appetite and vomiting
  • Abnormal eye position (strabismus)
The Cerebellum - The cerebellum controls coordination of movements and interacts closely with the vestibular system to control balance and posture. Signs of a tumor in the cerebellum include:
  • Uncoordinated gait characterized by dramatic goosestepping (hypermetria)
  • Head tremors that are worst when the animal is intent on something (i.e., food) but disappear when the animal is relaxed (intention tremors)
  • Swaying of the trunk
  • Wide based stance
  • The animal's strength remains normal
How is a brain tumor diagnosed? 

If your pet is over five years of age and you notice any of these neurological symptoms, it's important to bring your dog to the veterinarian. Testing will include a complete physical and neurological examination, routine blood work (to rule out other causes), CT or MRI (MRI will show more detail and is the first choice), possible surgery or biopsy to determine type of tumor.

Treatment and Prognosis

The options for treating brain tumors usually include surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and palliative treatment of the symptoms or a combination. Alternative holistic care can also be an important part of your pet's care plan.  Holistic supplements that can help are:
  • Happy Paws-  Organic hemp extract oil that is helpful for dogs and cats with anxiety, cancer, pain, mobility issues, seizures and stress. Happy Paws anti-inflammatory hemp extract CBD oil may help reduce muscular nerve pain and inflammation.
  • Dog Brain Booster- Provides vital support to the brain with ingredients such as acetyl l-carnitine and phosphatidyl serine, scientifically proven to support brain health.  This leading brain support supplement can help reduce and prevent dog seizures, help dogs with dementia, brain tumors and other brain disorders.
  • Amazing Omegas- Omega -3 fatty acids have well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is often associated with tumor development and progression. Some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may support cognitive function and brain health in aging dogs.
The goal of treatment is to help maintain and extend, for as long as possible,  a good quality of life for your pet.  Many clients have reported that the supplements for dog brain tumors complemented other treatment modalities (e.g. radiation) and helped their pet feel better overall. 


Author:  Susan Blake Davis
Updated 4/29/2024
Originally Published 12/2014
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Natural Remedies For White Dog Shaker Syndrome


white maltese dog with shaker syndrome

What Is White Dog Shaker Syndrome?

White Dog Shaker Syndrome, also known as Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) or Idiopathic Tremor Syndrome is a neurological condition primarily affecting small to medium-sized white dog breeds, though it can occur in dogs of other colors as well. Dogs with this syndrome experience involuntary tremors or shaking, typically involving their entire body. It can make them appear agitated or uncomfortable.

Breeds Commonly Affected By White Dog Shaker Syndrome

The exact cause of White Dog Shaker Syndrome is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a genetic component. Here is a list of breeds that may be predisposed, but remember and breed or color dog can have the condition.

  • Maltese
  • West Highland White Terrier (Westie)
  • Bichon Frise
  • Poodle (especially Toy and Miniature varieties)
  • Pomeranian
  • Dachshund (especially the miniature variety)
  • Beagle (less common but reported in some cases)

Symptoms of White Dog Shaker Syndrome

Common symptoms of White Dog Shaker Syndrome include generalized tremors or shaking, particularly affecting the head and body. These tremors are typically more pronounced during times of stress or excitement and may subside when the dog is relaxed or sleeping and symptoms may vary in severity or fluctuate over time. If you observe these signs in your white dog, consulting with a veterinarian is crucial for proper diagnosis and management.

Tremors: The most prominent symptom is tremors, which can range from mild to severe and may be continuous or episodic.

Difficulty walking or standing: Dogs with GTS may exhibit difficulty in maintaining balance or coordination.

Weakness: Some dogs may display signs of weakness, especially in the hind limbs.

Incoordination: Lack of control over movements, leading to clumsiness or unsteady gait.

Generalized discomfort or distress: Dogs with GTS may appear agitated or uncomfortable due to the tremors.

How Is White Dog Shaker Syndrome Treated?  

Conventional veterinary treatment for white dog shaker syndrome often involves medications.  These might include: 

Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids such as prednisone are often prescribed to reduce inflammation in the brain, which can help alleviate tremors and other symptoms associated with White Dog Shaker Syndrome.  Long-term use of corticosteroids can have potential side effects, these medications are usually administered orally and may be tapered down gradually once the symptoms improve to minimize side effects.

Immunosuppressive drugs: In cases where corticosteroids alone are not effective or if the dog experiences adverse side effects, immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine or azathioprine may be prescribed. These medications help modulate the immune system's response and reduce inflammation.

Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines may be used to control tremors and muscle spasms in your dog. These medications have a calming effect on the central nervous system and can help reduce the severity of tremors.


hemp extract in a brown bottle


Natural Remedies For White Dog Shaker Syndrome 

While White Dog Shaker Syndrome typically requires veterinary treatment, there are some natural remedies and supportive measures that may help alleviate symptoms or contribute to overall well-being. Here are some natural remedies and supportive measures that may be considered:

Stress Reduction: Minimizing stress and anxiety in your dog's environment may help reduce the frequency and severity of tremors associated with White Dog Shaker Syndrome. Providing a calm and predictable environment, regular exercise, and positive reinforcement training techniques can all contribute to stress reduction.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and balance energy flow. Some dog owners find acupuncture helpful in managing neurological conditions like White Dog Shaker Syndrome.

Physical therapy: Physical therapy techniques, such as massage, gentle stretching, and range-of-motion exercises, may help improve muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination in dogs with White Dog Shaker Syndrome. A qualified veterinary physiotherapist can design a tailored exercise program to support your dog's mobility and overall well-being.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the brain and nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, possess anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that could help reduce inflammation in the nervous system, support nerve cell health and function, and potentially mitigate tremor symptoms. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids contribute to overall health and well-being, potentially enhancing the resilience and quality of life of affected dogs.  

Organic full sprectrum hemp extract has a calming effect and is often recommended by veterinarians for this condition There are several ways CBD oil may potentially help dogs with White Dog Shaker Syndrome:

Anti-inflammatory properties: CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in both humans and animals. Since inflammation may play a role in the development of tremors in dogs with White Dog Shaker Syndrome, CBD's anti-inflammatory properties could potentially help alleviate symptoms.

Anticonvulsant effects: CBD has been studied for its anticonvulsant properties, which could be beneficial for managing tremors or seizures associated with White Dog Shaker Syndrome.

Anxiolytic effects: CBD is believed to have calming effects, which may help reduce anxiety and stress in dogs. Since stress and anxiety can exacerbate symptoms of White Dog Shaker Syndrome, CBD oil might help manage these symptoms and improve the dog's overall well-being.

Pain relief: Some dogs with White Dog Shaker Syndrome may experience discomfort or pain due to muscle tremors. CBD's analgesic properties may help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with the condition.

Neuroprotective effects: There is emerging evidence suggesting that CBD may have neuroprotective properties, which could potentially help protect nerve cells and support neurological function in dogs with White Dog Shaker Syndrome.


Author:  Susan Blake Davis

Date:  4/26/2024


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Natural Remedies For Lupus In Dogs

Updated 4/15/24

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects dogs that can be challenging to diagnose due to its varied symptoms. Lupus in dogs occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues, leading to inflammation and tissue damage. This condition can manifest in various ways and can be challenging to diagnose and manage. The two most common forms are discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Types of Lupus in Dogs
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): is the more widespread and serious form of lupus in dogs. It can affect multiple organs and systems in the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, and other tissues. Your dog may experience,
joint pain and swelling, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, skin rashes, oral ulcers, lameness, enlarged lymph nodes, and kidney problems.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE): primarily affects the skin, particularly around the face, ears, and nose. Dogs with DLE typically develop skin lesions, ulcers, crusting, and depigmentation in these areas. An early sign is pigment loss in the nose progressing to cracking & ulcerations. DLE can also affect lips, ears and feet. Sun exposure worsens the condition. Unlike SLE, DLE does not involve systemic inflammation or organ damage. It is considered less severe but can still cause discomfort and cosmetic changes in affected dogs.

A Holistic Approach To Managing Lupus In Dogs

Certain breeds, like German Shepherds, Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Poodles, Beagles, Siberian Huskies, and German Shorthaired Pointers may be more likely to develop lupus, but genetics is only one part. Environmental factors and immune system issues also contribute to the development of lupus in dogs. A holistic approach to managing lupus in dogs involves considering your pet's overall health and well-being as well as their environment. While holistic methods should not replace conventional veterinary care, they can complement traditional treatments and improve the dog's quality of life. Here are several ways a holistic approach can help dogs with lupus:
  1. Nutrition: Feeding a low carbohydrate, novel protein diet can support their immune system and overall health. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods such as omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) and antioxidants (found in fruits and vegetables) may help reduce inflammation associated with lupus. Avoiding high glycemic foods (e.g. dog biscuits, treats made with sugar or molasses) can also reduce overall inflammation that triggers flare-ups.


  2. Supplements: Certain supplements may benefit dogs with lupus by supporting immune function and reducing inflammation. These may include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, plant sterols, and probiotics. However, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian before adding supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for the dog's condition.


  3. Stress Reduction: Stress can exacerbate symptoms of autoimmune diseases like lupus. Providing a calm and stable environment for the dog, minimizing stressors, and incorporating relaxation techniques such as massage, acupuncture, or aromatherapy can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being. CBD oil can also be helpful for stressed pets.


A Holistic Approach To Managing Lupus In Dogs

Immune Harmony - The plant sterols in Immune Harmony aid in sustaining immune balance by providing support to weakened immune systems (such as those battling chronic viruses, infections, or cancer) and by moderating hyperactive immune responses, common in autoimmune disorders like lupus. It is a core natural remedy for treating dogs with lupus.


Here's how plant sterols may potentially help dogs with lupus:
  1. Immune Modulation: Plant sterols have been shown to modulate the immune response by influencing the production and activity of certain immune cells and cytokines. In dogs with lupus, whose immune systems are overactive and may be attacking healthy tissues, plant sterols could help restore balance and reduce autoimmune reactions.


  2. Anti-inflammatory Effects: Inflammation is a key feature of lupus, contributing to tissue damage and symptoms such as joint pain and skin lesions. Plant sterols have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties which could help alleviate inflammation associated with lupus and reduce the severity of symptoms.


  3. Cardiovascular Support: Lupus can increase the risk of cardiovascular complications in dogs, including heart disease and hypertension. Plant sterols have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health in humans, which may be beneficial for dogs with lupus, especially if they have concurrent cardiovascular issues.


  4. Antioxidant Activity: Some plant sterols possess antioxidant properties, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. This could be particularly beneficial for dogs with lupus, as oxidative stress is believed to contribute to tissue damage and inflammation in autoimmune diseases.


  5. Gut Health: Plant sterols may also support gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for proper immune function and may help modulate the immune response in dogs with lupus. Probiotics can also help with gut health.

Author: Susan Davis, Pet Nutritionist
Original post: 11/16/19
Updated: 4/15/24