Doghealth — Doghealth dog runs and showdog supplies Doghealth dog runs and showdog supplies

Blog posts

summer woes (1)

summer woes (1)

Keeping your dogs safe in summer

There are a number of threats to the wellbeing of our dogs in Summer, and as I started to write I realised just how many things we need to do differently, and indeed how many risks I have been taking unnecessarily in the past!

As it’s a big subject I will do a number of blogs to keep it readable!

your dog’s normal temperature is between 100° and 103°F. A dog will start to experience heat stroke at 105°F.   Any higher and organ damage is a risk. The areas to considered here are the direct effects of heat and sunlight exposure when in the car or out walking

1. In the car

You should never your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even with the windows open, but there are times when it is unavoidable. If so you should ensure your car is stopped in a shaded place and ideally have the boot partially open, secures with a boot lock.

You should make use of heavy reflective fabrics ( ideally a Grabber Space Blanket) and in a perfect world position the vehicle to get a through flow of air.

You should leave water accessible in a bowl ( there are excellent non spill travel bowls out there).

We recommend also that you get heat reflective cage covers for use when travelling in the car and for occasions when you have a cages dog outside

You can also get in a battery powered cooling fan. These can be run of the cigarette lighter but make sure to set the voltage correctly as many cabling sets have variable voltage.If running on batteries you should get 100 hours or so of use.

If you see a dog in distress inside a car, official advice is to dial 999 immediately and ask for the police. A dog in distress in a hot car is an emergency and the police will advise you what to do based on the situation. Call the police using 999 and tell them what you intend to do and why. Take pictures and/or videos of the dog in distress and the names and phone numbers of witnesses.

The Criminal Damage Act 1971 provides a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances

2. On walks

Most dogs can’t handle the heat as well as humans, so just keep an eye out and cut your walk short if the tongue is really hanging out or your dog is flagging. If your dog needs to stop, let this happen and encourage use of shade when resting .

For active dogs – nb ball chasers - restrict the level of strenuous activity.

Remember, dogs can suffer from sunburn too. Little pink noses are cute, but can easily become sunburnt. A fair-skinned pet needs special sunscreen to protect it from the discomfort of sunburn and the added risk of skin cancer – sunburn is not just a human worry.

Walk earlier in the morning or in the evening as the temperature cools.

Do not walk in the midday sun. Walks should be shorter and use should be made of shade. Make sure you have a supply of water and a bowl with you.

Avoid hot land - remember that paws aren’t protected from the hot asphalt so choose grassy surfaces if you can. Touch the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paw pads.

You can get dog booties for additional protection

Remember adders are more active in the summer, and will be heating up in the mornings

Keep out of known tick infested areas, and always have tick removers with you, and skin care cream ( nb Moor gold Cream) to help the skin recover from bites.

Always check your dog after a walk for ticks ( see previous blogs)

If you must be out and about in hot weather, consider a cooling coat. Just wet the coat, then pop it on your dog – the cool dampness creates heat exchange with your dog’s body, so they effectively ‘sweat’ like a person.

Related summer matters In the home/garden Cooling aids Dangerous plants Insects Swimming Dietary change Summer skin/coat issues Hygiene I will be publishing advice on these matters too. To support my blogs, please share them and like my face book page!!!

Read more →

lyme disease - the contrarian view

lyme disease - the contrarian view

Lyme disease - A Contrarian View Symptoms

In older cases of Lyme, the most common symptoms in dogs are arthritis or painful joints and lameness; other symptoms may include fever, lack of appetite, depression or lethargy. Dogs do not exhibit the classic “bulls eye” rash that occurs in humans. Symptoms can occur two to five months after exposure. If your dog shows these symptoms, it’s best to consult an experienced homeopathic vet who can prescribe the correct remedy for his symptoms.

Ticks carry not only Lyme, but babeosis, anaplasmosis and other potentially harmful pathogens.

My view is that by relying on pharmaceutical products we undermine critical natural immunity, and here is my guide to effective protection.

1. The best method is to keep ticks off your dog – there are a number of effective repellents available, or if you do your research online you can make your own

2. ALWAYS check your dog for ticks after he’s been out playing in wooded or grassy areas. If you remove the ticks within 24-36 hours they’re less likely to transmit disease.

3. Take active steps to support your dogs immune system.

How Do We Really Prevent Lyme Disease?

It’s suddenly tick season! If you and your dog enjoy a romp in long grassy or wooded areas, your dog (and you) can pick up these disease-transmitting parasites. They may even be lurking in your garden. Research indicates that as with much of nature, it is the weaker that are most susceptible to the disease. Immune system considerations The more toxic your dog is, the more likely he is to suffer an exaggerated response to an otherwise benign stress.

Research shows it … 95% of dogs (and people) who are bitten by a tick, are likely to have either no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms. For the 5% of dogs who get really sick, how can we blame the tick when the other 95% do just fine? In a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, beagles were experimentally infected with Lyme disease. Yet none of the adult dogs showed any symptoms of the disease.

Beagle puppies, who would have weaker immune systems than adult dogs, showed about four days of transient symptoms of infection such as fever and lameness in the same study. After four days of on-and-off symptoms, the pups became asymptomatic; which means their bodies cleared the infection without any treatment.

According to Meryl P Littman (University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine), exposure to Lyme disease is common, but the disease isn’t: “Ninety-five percent of exposed dogs don’t get sick, but they become Lyme antibody-positive on tests, which may scare people into thinking they need to be treated,” she says. “In some areas in New England, 70 to 90 percent of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive. At PennVet, we found about 40 percent of healthy dogs are Lyme-positive in our area.”

So it seems that Lyme disease isn’t all that common and dogs aren’t that likely to get it, even when infected. So why are we so worried about Lyme disease? Bacteria and parasites only prey on weak animals … and that a healthy immune system is what separates the 5% of dogs with Lyme disease from the healthier 95% of the population.

Here are some tips to help bolster your dog’s immune system:

• Feed a fresh, whole food species appropriate diet

• Avoid any and all unnecessary vaccines (here’s a hint … most of them are unnecessary)

• Avoid toxic heartworm, flea and tick medications whenever possible

• Work with a holistic or homeopathic vet who will work with you on replacing the above, plus drugs and antibiotics, with holistic, natural options that won’t harm the immune system. I

t’s time to stop fearing Lyme disease and seeing it for what it is … a signal that there was already something seriously wrong with your dog. So why not worry about your dog’s immune health instead? If you focus on immune health, research shows you’ll probably never face the challenge of Lyme disease in your dog.

You will note I am silent on the use of pharmaceutical products to kill ticks and other insects. The reason is that use of such products compromises the body’s natural immunity system and the research summarised above indicates the importance of this.

Read more →

arthritis in dogs

arthritis in dogs

Helping the arthritic dog – The power of Glucosamine

1. Bioavailability
2. Glucosamine combinations
3. Safe dosages
4. Shark Cartilage

1. Glucosamine is one of the major building blocks utilized in the body’s synthesis of the lubricants and shock absorbing mechanisms necessary to maintain and restore healthy joint performance. Glucosamine supplementation enhances the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and proteoglycans, which are essential for rebuilding joints and supporting synovial fluid which lubricates your joints.
Glucosamine supplementation is especially important in vaccinated dogs as they develop antibodies to their own collagen. Collagen is a protein found in fibrous tissues such as tendon, ligament and skin, and is also abundant in the cornea, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, the gut, and intervertebral discs.

If you are feeding anything but raw, then your dog may be deficient in glucosamine. Kibble and other prepared foods may have bone and cartilage added in – or glucosamine added – but just because it goes into the food does not mean that it is bioavailable to your dog. Cooking and extruding can do much to destroy the health benefits.

2. When considering glucosamine supplementation, it is important to consider bioavailability: just how much of the supplement is useable by the dog?

There are many naturally occurring and reliable sources of glucosamine in the connective tissue and bone marrow of animals – and in shellfish exoskeletons.

The best glucosamine arthritis treatment for dogs is usually glucosamine combined with another herb or natural ingredient that targets specific arthritis symptoms.

The best chondroitin sulphate is made with shark cartilage. It aids in slowing and/or stopping the bone degeneration commonly seen in arthritis. It helps the body rebuild cartilage destroyed by arthritis.

Concerned dog owners should only consider glucosamine that is combined with natural or holistic ingredients to enhance the pain relief, reduce inflammation of joints and help rebuild cartilage. (New HERBAL Runaround contains green lipped mussel extract, apium seed, wild celery, turmeric, valerian root – NO Shark Cartilage)

Dog owners who want to supplement with glucosamine will need to find a quality supplement but there is some confusion between which is better: glucosamine HCL or Sulphate?
“Pure glucosamine is very “hygroscopic” and degrades (breaks down) rapidly when exposed to moisture or air. To avoid this, glucosamine needs to be bound to a stabilizer to be sold commercially. The sulphate and the HCL forms are two of the most common “agents” that glucosamine is bound to, to ensure its stability.

After glucosamine is bound, it is stable and will not degrade before it can get to the store shelf. This is why you never find “just” glucosamine and instead find Glucosamine Sulphate or Glucosamine HCL. However some manufacturers play a trick on you. They replace up to 30% of a “1500 mg” mixture and replace it with plain table salt. This means you are only taking 1050 mg of “actual” glucosamine! What’s worse is that this is entirely legal because they put the ingredients on the label and the product DOES contain 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulphate (NaCl or 2KCL). It’s just that the NaCl and 2KCL that is added on is just filler.

Manufacturers take glucosamine sulphate and add potassium (KCl) or ordinary table salt (NaCl). They then co-crystallize the resulting mixture and wind up with the same weight of “total” glucosamine, as usual, you get what you pay for as these are commonly found in “no frills” glucosamine brands, in a low priced pill form with no other synergistic ingredients. In our opinion, they are simply a waste of money.
Some Glucosamine Sulphate preparations even claim to be salt free when in fact they are actually just sodium free. They still contain up to 30% potassium chloride (KCl). Finally, an mg-to-mg comparison shows that the hydrochloride may provide more Glucosamine than the Sulphate salt, and this may be the reason why some people prefer to choose Glucosamine HCL. The jury is still out however as to which benefits you more and an easy fix is to just take both HCL and Sulphate forms.
Vitamins A, C and E are all antioxidants and they work both as anti-inflammatory agents as well as offering pain relief for the arthritic dog, and are most useful in complimenting glucosamine.

3. Glucosamine is generally considered safe, there should be little concern of overdose if you’re trying to get close to the dose for your dog’s weight by splitting pills. For acute injuries, glucosamine can be given at a triple dose for one week. For dogs who have been diagnosed with arthritis, many vets advocate a double dose for life.
Dogs generally need to be on glucosamine for the rest of their lives, because cartilage degeneration can recur within months of stopping the supplement.

4. A note on Shark cartilage
We share the concerns of many that exploitation of sharks to harvest cartilage is not sustainable and have completed trials to remove it from our bestselling mobility supplement, RUNAROUND. This is very challenging as all user experience has consistently given RUNAROUND an 85% success rate at helping to maintain mobility. We have small amounts available of the original formulation, which contains shark cartilage, green lipped mussel extract and vitamins C and E. The first batches of new HERBAL Runaround are now available on our website.

Read more →