Causes and Prevention of Atopy in Dogs

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Causes of Canine Atopy

Canine atopy is a clinical syndrome that involves an abnormal reaction by a dog’s immune system when it comes into contact with substances or organisms in the environment that do not cause an allergic response in normal animals. The things that trigger the atopic reaction are known as allergens. Common allergens in dogs with atopy include pollen, grasses, weeds, trees, plant fibers, mold, household cleaners, dust, dust mites, various grains, insect bites, animal dander, chemicals, fertilizers, wool and feathers. However, almost anything in the environment can trigger an atopic reaction in a particular dog if its immune system is primed to be hypersensitive to that substance. Atopy in dogs has a strong hereditary component; it shows up more frequently in certain breeds, and has even been tracked within certain families, but the exact mode of inheritance has not been discovered. Factors other than genetics can influence the development and course of the disease, such as geographical and seasonal variation in the presence of particular allergens.

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Prevention of Canine Atopy

As with other hypersensitivity reactions, atopic reactions can be prevented by keeping the dog away from the allergens that trigger the reactions. It can be tricky to identify the allergen or combination of allergens that cause atopy in a given animal. However, if the allergens are not otherwise obvious, it is medically possible to identify them using skin allergy testing. Another thing that can help to reduce a dog’s atopic skin reactions is to minimize its exposure to all things in the environment that are known sources of itchiness, such as fleas, ticks, mites, poison ivy and poison oak, so that the discomfort caused by atopy is not compounded.

Special Notes

Most atopic dogs are allergic to more than one environmental allergen. Atopy can’t be “cured” in the traditional sense of the word. However, it can be controlled with medication, diet and lifestyle changes. Fortunately, this disorder is not life-threatening, but it does require regular veterinary attention and owner management to ensure that affected dogs have the best possible quality of life.

Causes and Preventing Dog Ear Infections

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Causes of Ear Infection

A dog’s ears can become irritated for many reasons, from the outer edge of the ear flaps to the inner ear and at any place along the way. For purposes of this article, we will use the terms “ear inflammation,” “ear irritation,” “ear infection” and “ear problems or disorders” interchangeably. Our goal is to provide an overview of the things that commonly cause ear discomfort in dogs.

Parasites – Parasites can cause tremendous ear irritation. Fleas that infest a dog’s ears are particularly disturbing and can cause tissue erosion in addition to intense itchiness, which leads to scratching and self-inflicted wounds. Mange mites, including otodectic, demodectic and/or sarcopticmites, often settle in ears, causing hair loss, itchiness and inflammation. They can also contribute to waxy build up in the ear canal.

Foreign Objects – Foreign objects that get into the ears are another common cause of irritation, inflammation and infection. Ticks, seeds, grass awns, foxtails and other plant material can cling to the skin and hair around the ear openings and work their way down the L-shaped outer ear canal, where they often become lodged because of that canal’s shape.

Climatic Conditions – Weather extremes, especially unusually hot temperatures and high humidity or freezing cold conditions, are other key contributors to ear problems. Moisture and heat create a rich habitat for yeast and bacterial proliferation, and icy weather can cause frostbite.

Allergies – Allergies are often associated with ear discomfort. Allergic reactions can be caused by food allergies, inhalant allergies, contact allergies or adverse reactions to external parasites – especially fleas.

Infections – Infections are caused by the invasion and replication of microorganisms. Yeast and bacterial ear infections are especially common in dogs. Infections often occur in dogs with long droopy ears and in those living in hot, humid environments. Outer ear infections can move into the middle and inner ear.

Aural Hematomas – Secondary ear problems can develop if the underlying cause of an ear disorder is not addressed. Most dogs with irritated ears scratch and shake their heads to try and relieve itchiness and discomfort. This can physically damage sensitive ear tissue and cause blood-filled blisters, called aural hematomas, on the ear flaps. Abscesses can also occur, especially after dog fights.

Trauma – Mechanical trauma, whether caused by blunt force, bite wounds, excessive sunlight exposure, frostbite, contact with corrosive chemicals or otherwise, can cause ear problems.

Tumors – Polyps, tumors of the glands that make ear-wax (ceruminous glands) and other ear masses can cause inflammation and discomfort and also adversely affect hearing and balance.

Canine Vestibular Syndrome – Canine vestibular syndrome is an ear disorder that occurs mainly in older dogs but occasionally appears in younger animals. While its cause is unknown, this disease causes balance problems, dizziness, vomiting and difficulty eating or drinking.

Stenosis – Stenotic ear canals are abnormally narrow. This increases the chance of trapping moisture, dirt and other debris.

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Preventing Ear Infection

Dogs exposed regularly to wet environments should have cotton balls or other soft padding placed into their ears to reduce the influx of moisture. If water does enter the ears, they should be dried gently. Topical drying agents can help but should not be used if the eardrum has ruptured. Routine ear cleaning is not normally required, unless a dog is prone to developing waxy build-up. When cleaning is appropriate, owners should avoid using irritating substances like alcohol, ether or hydrogen peroxide. Owners shouldn’t insert cotton swabs (“Q-Tips”) into their dog’s ears, as this can force debris down the ear canal and contribute to ear infections. It also can cause the ear drum to rupture.

Special Notes

Parasitic ear disorders are best prevented by eliminating contact with parasites. Allergies and other causes of ear problems must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

“Basic Principles In A Dog Lovers Club”

There are lots of dog lovers clubs in the US that offer a lot more for both the dog lovers and their dogs. Here are some of them.

The American Kennel Club has a dog lovers sections called “For the Love of the Purebred Dog”. This article is more than a canine purebred section. It is dedicated to living at home with dogs. This dog club gives informative and educational materials pertaining to pet care, training, nutrition and a lot more. It also includes funny stories, art, pet history and the more popular Companion Animal Recovery method. There are also more popular sites like the dog breeds and events page.

The American Mixed Breed Obedience Registration or (AMBOR) on the other hand was created in 1983 with the objective of taking into accounts the perseverance and accolades in obedience contests of mix breed dogs and handlers. This dog lovers club also gives support and inspiration to dog handlers.

Important Information for Members:

1. Mixed-breeds

Unlimited full membership is open to handlers and owners of mixed-breed dogs as long as the pet is spayed and nails are cut. There should be front and side photo shots of the dog that will be included in the application. This is the ticket to all the obedience and agility programs, automatic tabulation in the agility and obedience nationwide ranking system. This also includes a given eligibility for the annual awards.

This achievement will be given honor in AMBOR highlights (AMBOR’S newsletter) and on the website. The member will be eligible to any agility and obedience national competition in the future. Dogs with assigned numbers are marked as purebred and should be enlisted as a purebred. Also, dogs that are listed as mixed-breeds that are given a number based on the owner’s application causes its membership to be changed to a status of a purebred.

2. Purebreds

Purebred dogs can be listed with AMBOR with a rule that entry is limited to the AMBOR-supported agility program. All dogs that are purebred, listed with AMBOR and exhibits AMBOR-supported programs on agility will have competition points monitored and there will be an automatic issuance of certificates.

Dogs that are purebred and listed with AMBOR are not qualified to be a part of the agility and obedience scoring systems. They will also not be included in the website on highlights and not qualified for any mixed-breeds national competition in the future.

Handlers that register to the AMBOR-supported trials on agility should put their AMBOR number on the form at the club’s entrance so that competition points will be monitored.

sources :

http://orijendogfood.weebly.com

“Alternative” necklaces for our cats and dogs

 

 

Alternative Veterinary Medicine is the practice that analyzes and takes into consideration a wide range of topics that have a direct impact on the well being of your pet. It includes the areas of Holistic, Integrative and Complementary practices that use a combination of conventional and alternative methods to find the best answers for solving your pet’s problem or distress.

Many doctors that understand alternative canine and feline medical practice will give a comprehensive evaluation that encompasses your pet’s behaviors, diet, environment, emotional stresses, and a variety of other factors. Veterinarians that recognize these practices will provide many additional services that go beyond a standard physical examination.

You can now revitalize your pet’s senses with hand made collections of healing gemstone necklaces! What about that? Yes, now is possible to offer “alternative”  necklaces to your “kid”. On a simple search on the Internet you will find pet boutiques that sell unique pet jewelry and accessories online. Be sure to check out the matching bracelet collections, too – they are truly small treasures. The gemstones are not only beautiful but also have the wonderful ability to rejuvenate your four legged friend through alternative healing methods.

Aromatherapy is also an effective complementary therapy in psychological treatment, beneficial in alleviating many conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression. There is an undeniable connection between smell and memory. The term Aromatherapy refers to the therapeutic use of aromatic oils, or “essential oils”. Essential oils are the concentrated aromatic essences extracted from plant sources such as woods, flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, and resins.

Did you know that breathing in pleasant scents eases psychological problems by activating positive emotional responses from the part of the brain that controls memory and emotion?

 

Browse for specialized pet web sites and you will be able to purchase adorable fragrant charms, in variety of textile designs and several colorful styles. And be sure you get them made of 100% cotton! They look good and smell great! Or… you might prefer an exclusive collection of aromatic bandanas. This special accessory provides a unique healing essence while keeping your pet in style. They also come in a variety of colorful designs and should be made of high quality 100% cotton. The bandanas are stuffed with aromatic filling containing essential oil. Choose your favorite bandana style that fits your dog or cats aromatherapy needs.

Wouldn’t you like to keep your pet as healthy as stylish? I wouldn’t waste anymore time and I would check out the Internet!

other articles :

orijen puppy food

Urinary Tract Infections – Crystals – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

 

The most basic question is,  how do I tell if my dog has UTI? What should I look for?
The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection include: [5]

 

– frequent urination

– dribbling urine

– blood in the urine

– squatting frequently to urinate

– straining to urineng odor to the urine

– inappropriate urination (such as in the house)

– incontinence

– an increase in thirst and drinking.

Ok, If know my pet has UTI, What can I do?  Tell me more about it, how does my dog’s diet affect things? 

We have a lot of customers who come into our store and tell us my cat or my dog has UTI Crystals and the vet put them on a C/D, U/D, K/D, or NF formula. As everyone knows prescription diets are far from Optimal Nutrition for your dog or cat, they exist to treat a specific ailment, but continuation on these diets can lead to other serious issues.[1]  Prescription diets are made to treat specific conditions; as with most prescription diets, they are meant for short term us, long term use of these diets have the potential to cause adverse side effects.[6]

Here are some of the potential side effects from long term use of U/D, K/D, and NF formula foods. [6]

 

  • Heart Failure
  • Liver Failure
  • Kidney Failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoalbuminemia

Did I get your attention? Good.  Now, before we dive deeper into UTI Crystals we need to understand Urine pH.  pH is a scale that ranges from 0 to 14, that measures acid bases.  A score of 7.0 is considered neutral.  Most dogs PH ranges from 5.0 to 9.0.

 

Got it? Good, now let’s talk UTI Crystals.

UTI develops in about 14% of dogs. [2] That’s a pretty big number, there are two main forms of UTI Crystals (Struvite and Calcium Oxalate).

Struvite Crystals

Form when there is a bacterial infection that is capable of breaking down Urea that will otherwise be passed in the urine. Urea is a waste product produced from metabolism of protein.  This reaction of breaking down the Urea into Ammonia only happens in Alkaline PH.[3]

Struvite Crystals are more common in female dogs and there are some breeds that are felt to have an increased risk which include Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Scottish Terriers, Miniature Poodles, Beagles, Miniature Schnauzers, Pekingese, Basset Hounds, Springer Spaniels and German Shepherds, and Bichon Frises.

Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Form in acidic to Neutral pH Urine, a few things are said to cause these stones to form, the most common is hereditary. The product of defective nephrocalin is usually the culprit. [4]

Unlike, Struvite Crystals, Calcium Oxalate Crystals cannot be dissolved by a diet change; they need to be surgically removed.  However, a proper diet can help prevent Calcium Oxalate Crystals from forming.

Calcium Oxalate Crystals are more common in male doges and some of the breeds that are felt to have an increased risk which includes;  Miniature Schnauzers, Lhasa Apsos, Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Bichon Frises.

Ok, now that you know the basics, let’s talk nutrition!

We learned that you can dissolve Struvite crystals with more acidic foods, so dogs that are prone to Struvite Crystals you will naturally want to keep on a more acidic diet.

Fortunately,  most of the good ingredients dogs and cats should be eating are acidic in nature, for example,  chicken, beef, eggs, fish, pork, cottage cheese, yogurt, rice (brown and white), beans, nuts and all seafood.  Doesn’t that sound like the perfect Kibble or Raw food diet?

Berries are acidic in nature and the lower pH levels and prevent bacteria from clinging to the walls of the bladder.  Solid Gold Berry Balance is a supplement that’s commonly used to lower the Urine pH Levels.

What about Calcium Oxalate Crystals?

The reverse is true, to raise the pH score, you should be feeding foods more alkaline in nature, to include a few squash, beet greens, rhubarb, spinach, beets, raw endive, dandelion greens, okra, kale and sweet potatoes.

It’s been recommended the diets should be lower in protein and oxalates and high in magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium.  Here’s a list of foods and there oxalates level [http://www.branwen.com/rowan/oxalate.htm].  Beef and Lamb cuts tend to have lower protien levels among other meat likes (Venison, Pheasent, etc)

A commonly used supplement to raise the Urine pH level is Potassium Citrate.

Okay Enough Talk.  How do I know if I’m doing the right thing.?

Talk with your vet, ask them what the Target Urine pH should be for your dog. Every dog is different; some dogs might have severe cases, others mild. The dogs breeds will factor in the decision.

OK, I know my Target PH level. How do I know I’m achieving it?

Urine pH Test Strips, you should be able to get these from your vet or a local retailer, or even purchase them on-line.

OK. That sounds simple anything else I should Know?

Yes, water consumption, treats, etc. All factor into the Urine pH levels.  You will notice, throughout the day the levels will change.  Take multiple Urine PH samples to assure your achieving your goal.  Always keep checking.

Sure, you listed out the ingredients, but I don’t cook for my dog, I just buy kibble or raw, how do I know what the PH levels are?  

Here’s a list of some excellent brands and their pH Levels for Dogs and Cat. We called up these companies and spoke to a representative to get the levels.

Cani-dae Dog – Kibble – pH 7.0

Cani-dae Dog – Canned – pH 6.0

Feli-dae Cat – Kibble- pH 6.0

Feli-dae Cat – Canned – pH 5.5

Fromm 4-star Dog – Kibble – pH 6.2 – 6.4

Fromm 4-Star Cat – Kibble- pH 6.5 – 6.8

Honest Kitchen – pH 7.0

Merrick Before Grain (Dogs and Cats) – pH 6.8

Merrick 5-Star Dry (Dogs and Cats) – pH 6.5 – pH 6.8

Merrick 5-Star Canned(Dogs and Cats) – pH 6.3 – pH 6.5

Orijen (cat and dog) – pH of 5.5

Primal Dog and Cat – pH 6.0 – 7.0

Natura (Evo, Innova, California Natural) (Dogs and Cats) – pH 6.2 – 6.8

Solid Gold – Dog – Dry – pH 6.4 – 6.6

Solid Gold – Dog – Canned – pH 6.0

Solid Gold – Cat – Dry – pH 6.2 – 6.4

Solid Gold – Cat – Canned – pH 6.2

Wellness Dog (Kibble and Canned) – pH 6.5 – 7.5

Wellness Cat – Dry – pH 6.2 – 6.6

Wellness Cat – Canned – pH 6.1 – 6.6

source : http://orijendogfoodus.info/best-puppy-food/

Where To Buy Orijen Dog Food?

 

In today’s day and age, there are lots of options and venues on where to buy Orijen Dog Food. You can buy it by doing it physically and by doing it online. It really depends on your mood and which method you are comfortable with.

If your concern is saving money and efficiency, then buying Orijen puppy food online is the best option in my opinion.

There are lots of advantages in choosing the online option. Here are some of them.

Saves Time – Nothing can save you more time than shopping online. For a start, you don’t have to drive to the local pet store. Just turn on your pc, go to a website and purchase, it’s that simple. Browsing is also faster when doing it online, you don’t have to walk and search which aisle your desired product is located. In the Internet, most sites have search features. Again, it’s just a matter of type and click.

Saves Money – Most online shops has always lower prices compared to real life stores. How is this? Imagine yourself running a business, you have a physical store, but you can’t have an ugly store. No one will browse your products, so you have to spend money to make the place look great. You have to spend on parking spaces for your costumers. Those business cost are kept to a bare minimum when your running an online store instead. You really don’t need to spend much on aesthetics, and you certainly don’t need parking spaces for costumers when you have an online store. That would result to more business savings, and that would also be passed to you, the costumers.

More Stuff – Most online shops also carry more choices and stocks compared to real life stores. This is because the spaces used for accommodating costumers can now be used for storing inventory.

On the downside, people are still accustomed to physically sensing the products they are planning to purchase. Also, human interaction during the whole purchase is at a minimum, and some would consider this as a disadvantage, since humans are social species and there is a need for socializing with other people. But as we move forward to the information age, buying online would become more and more the norm; it is an inevitable change to come.

Some people are not comfortable paying online. This understandable, there is a difference when you can physically feel the money, and knowing you have money in the bank. This is the very same reason that casinos would rather let you play with chips than actual money. You are more attached to actual money than casino chips; hence it’s easier to spend. Yet as financial transactions are more getting secure as technology moves forward, paying online would also become the norm in near future.

It all boils down to you actually, your preference and what your comfortable with, neither is wrong or right anyway. As long as your having fun on the process, it doesn’t matter much.