July 2015
Shar-pei pup
ferret in cafetti
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Pet Circkles.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as
human rights. That is the way of a
whole human being." ~ Abe Lincol

Vet cleaning a dog's teeth

Is New NPDS Pet Dental Procedure Safe?

By Circkles.com.

The question many pet health care professionals are asking is whether NPDS procedures are doing more harm than good.

One of the biggest concerns many veterinarians have with just scraping teeth is that the mouth is full of blood vessels, which can launch oral bacteria into the bloodstream. Once the bacteria is in the bloodstream it can infect other organs like the valves of the heart, resulting in a disease known as vegetative valvular endocarditis.

Non-professional dental scaling can potentially give pet owners a false sense of security about the state of their dog's or cat's oral health.

Even though your pet's teeth may look clean and fresh on the outside after an anesthesia-free dental procedure, what you can't see is actually more important. Problems like tartar buildup below the gum line and gingivitis aren't addressed during a procedure that only scrapes and polishes the teeth. Most oral disease happens below the visible surfaces of your dog's or cat's mouth.

Vet scraping a dog's teethNPDS is an aesthetic procedure that doesn't deal with gum problems or other risks to your pet's overall health that can develop from disease that starts in the mouth. It doesn't allow for probing of the gums to look for the presence of deepening periodontal pockets or bone destruction resulting from gum disease.

The majority of older dogs that have undergone anesthesia-free dental procedures for years wind up with significant dental disease requiring multiple extractions as they age.

Veterinary practices that routinely perform dental radiography and probing on all dental patients operate at an advanced level of care. They're also likely to be well-equipped to safely monitor patients and handle any problems they encounter.

Administration of premedications and nerve blocks enables patients to be kept at anesthetic depths consistent with that of a light general anesthesia. This keeps patients close to waking, even when extractions or other invasive procedures are needed, thus maximizing cardiac output and tissue perfusion and maintaining blood pressure.

Advise: If you are going to put your dog through the trauma of going to the vet office and having their teeth cleaned, you may as well have it done right and while they are under anesthesia. Pets fed a healthy diet and raw bones to keep their teeth clean do not need trips to the vet for oral problems as often. The biggest favor you can do for your pet's oral health is to keep their overall health as high as possible by feeding them beneficial foods, not sugary foods, and no gewy people foods or soft canned foods.


New Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Canine Joint Disorders and Arthritis.

By Circkles.com.

Stem cell therapy to treat canine osteoarthritis and other joint disorders is becoming more common in veterinary medicine

Studies of stem cell therapy in companion animals are underway. Advocates believe the scientific research will support evidence that the treatment can be extremely beneficial for certain canine disorders such as hip and elbow dysplasia and canine osteoarthritis, common in most large and giant breed dogs.

Stem cell therapy, which includes the surgery to harvest stem cells, processing the cells, and the initial injection, costs between $2,000 and $3,000, but taking a more proactive approach to preserving the integrity and function of your dog’s ligaments, tendons and joints throughout life can often prevent the need for invasive procedures.

Exercise is a necessity for strengthening ligaments, tendons and bone. For most pet owners, giving your pet enough exercise is usually not a problem with them, it is a problem with you. Animals are more than happy to get out, play, run, walk, but they are at the mercy of their pet owners in most cases. If you have taken the responsibility for a pet, part of that is making sure they get the exercise and activity they need. Every day. Regular exercise will also help with boredom issues so they do not act out and become destructive.

Basically, the procedure for stem cell therapy goes like this:

Under anesthesia, your dog has some fatty tissue extracted. This sample is shipped to the company’s lab, where it is processed to extract stem cells, which are then returned to your veterinarian. With your dog once again under sedation, these stem cells are injected back into his or her arthritic joints. Over 500 dogs have received stem cell therapy in the past six years with (according to the company’s website) more than 80 percent of owners reporting improvement.

In the past, total hip replacement (THR) was the last resort for dogs in chronic pain when weight loss programs, physical therapy, acupuncture, joint supplements and a long list of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories are no longer working. Now, a company named Vet-Stem is promoting another unique angle of attack: regenerative medicine, at a cost of about 1/3 that of THR.

hip dysplasia diagramStem However, some veterinarians are skeptical, saying that not enough research has been done on this new stem cell treatment and that the only two studies that have been published are by Vet-Stem so they seriously question the integrity of the research.

Stem cells hold immense promise for medical treatment because they can take on the traits of all kinds of cells and then replicate many times over. But they’re also the subject of fierce controversy because the most versatile cells can only be derived from embryos.

But what if you can utilize stem cells found in your own body? Not only is it possible, it’s also proven to be effective in animals. Vet-Stem Regenerative Veterinary Medicine in San Diego, Calif., has spent the past 20 years developing a successful stem cell treatment for animals.

Vet-Stem CEO and founder Robert Harmon says that during their development phase Vet-Stems treated nearly 3,000 horses, many with joint problems. One of those, a race horse named Be A Bono had bone chips and fluid buildup in his knees that threatened to end his prize-winning career—and his life.

After receiving stem cell treatment, Be A Bono returned to the race track and has since earned more than $1.25 million in prize money. Word of Vet-Stem’s success got around and people began to ask if the treatment would work on dogs. According to Vet-Stem, canine patients show significant improvement about 70% of the time.

How Does Stem Cell Treatment Work for Dogs?

The ideal candidate for stem cell treatment is a dog in otherwise good health that suffers from arthritis or hip dysplasia but doesn’t respond well to the typical medication.

The first step in a dog’s stem cell treatment is collecting fat cells from the dog’s body. The regenerative cells that are collected do several things: They release chemicals that help decrease inflammation; they send out chemicals to the body to bring healing cells into that area; and they have the potential to regenerate damaged tissue—in other words, nearly reproducing tissue as it was at a younger stage.

One other important factor: These are not synthetic cells being replaced into dogs, they’re their own natural healing cells so there is less chance of rejection or interaction and there are potentially fewer side effects.

Boo underwent general anesthesia to have about 30 grams of fat cells removed from her abdomen. These fat cells were then shipped to the Vet-Stem labs where the cells were isolated and then sent back to Boo’s veterinarian within 48 hours.

Under local anesthesia, the cells were then re-injected back into Boo’s arthritic hips in greater concentration than her own body could’ve accomplished.

Stem Cell Treatment for Severe Canine Arthritis

Within one week of her stem cell injection, Steve and Sheila noticed a shift in their white shepard Boo’s behavior.

“Right away, we saw a significant improvement,” says Steve. “She stopped whining and crying at night, and clearly had a better time getting up and moving around. All of us—including Boo’s doctor—were surprised at how quickly she improved.”

Boo went back to running in the backyard, even jumping up to catch her ball. “Technology saved the day,” Steve says with a smile in his voice. “Boo lives to chase her tennis ball.”

During Boo’s procedure in 2008, the Sweitzers stored an extra set of the dog’s cells for future use and, according to Steve, they’ll likely be put to good use in the near future.

“Boo is 12 years old now,” he explains, “and she’s slowly beginning to show signs of arthritis again. While we’ll be able to use what was stored in 2008, we’ll have to bank more cells in order to have enough to use in both of her joints.”

The Sweitzers believe the cost of the procedure is worth extending the quality of Boo’s life. Says Steve, “Thank god my kids are through college!”

To see Boo in action, and learn more about her procedure, watch her touching story in the video below.



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Pets who look like their owners:

About Pet Circkles:

Allen M. Shoen, a veterinarian and author of "Kindred Spirit" wrote, "Although science has no definite answers, why not assume that sharing a home with a dog, cat or bird - or sharing our lives with a horse or other large animal - has therapeutic benefits that are deeper than simple stimulation of the opiate receptors in the skin through touch? Perhaps, through our connection with animals, we are stimulating some deeply buried aspect of nature within us, rekindling a lost connection that allows us to be more than solitary creatures, but part of something greater - and therefor, more healthy, more whole."

Much scientific and psychological research has proven just that. And also that the human animal bond is mutually beneficial under humane circumstances. Many great philosophers, such as Albert Einstein, recognized that we have a great deal of useful information to learn from animals.
In fact, animals are the great teachers, not us, for they have roamed the earth far longer than we and express genuine thought and expression true to their nature, which we do not. We have a great deal to learn from them. Pet Circkles helps us stay more in touch with their health, diet and social needs so we can give back to those who give us so much unconditionally.

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dog with bee sting

Natural Pet Remedies: Pet Bee Stings.

This pup's nose is swollen from a bee sting. Allergic reactions to bee stings could result in your pet's throat or nose swelling to the point where it may cause them problems breathing.

First, remove the stinger just as you would for a human. Scrape it away with your fingernail or a butter knife.

Your next step is to ensure that your pet is breathing properly. The poison from a bee sting can cause a pet to go into anaphylactic shock and you will know the signs of it if your pet appears weak, is trembling, vomiting, has diarrhea, is breathing quickly, wheezing, has pale gums, fever or actually collapses. 

If your pet shows no signs of an allergic reaction, you can treat the swelling and discomfort at the sting area by making a poultice of plantain (an herb) that works better for stings than anything else. Or another option is to make a Baking Soda Poultice. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to create a thick paste and dab the mixture onto the swelled area. This could be a little bit messy if you are treating an area with thick or long hair so you may want to trim the area a bit beforehand.

If your pet seems to be having an allergic reaction or has been stung multiple times, give them some reishi mushroom extract, which is a powerful antihistamine, and rush them to the vet immediately.


Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Featured DOG BREED:
Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a breed of dog belonging to the Retriever, Gun dog, and Sporting breed groups. Members of the breed may also be referred to as a Chessie, CBR, or Chesapeake. Historically used by area market hunters to retrieve waterfowl, it is primarily a family pet and hunting companion. They are often known for their love of water and their ability to hunt. It is a medium to large sized dog similar in appearance to the Labrador Retriever. The Chesapeake have a wavy coat, rather than the Labrador's smooth coat. They are described as having a bright and happy disposition, courage, willingness to work, alertness, intelligence, and love of water as some of their characteristics.

Weight: Male 65 to 80 lb. Female 55 to 70 lb.

Height: Male 23 to 26 in. Female 21 to 24 in.

Coa: A defining characteristic of the breed is the texture of the double-coat.
Color: Any color of brown, sedge, or dead grass with limited white spots.

Life span- 10 to 13 years

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can make excellent family dogs when socialized properly. Some Chesapeakes are assertive and willful and may be reserved with strangers, but others are passive and outgoing with people.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a versatile breed competing in field trials, hunt tests, conformation, obedience, agility and tracking, yet remains true to its roots as a hunting dog of great stamina and ability. This dog is an intelligent breed and learns at a high speed. Historically considered stubborn and difficult to train, many trainers thought this breed required more physical discipline than other retriever breeds. Some trainers now recommend that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever owner use consistent, daily obedience training with play time before and after to keep the dog wanting to work with little or no physical discipline required.

Health Concerns:
The breed is subject to a number of hereditary diseases. These include, but are not limited to:
• Hip dysplasia
• Progressive retinal atrophy
• Type 3 von Willebrand disease
• Cataract
• Regional Alopecia in both sexes

Looking for a Chesapeake Bay Retriever? Use our Pet finder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.

To view breeds we've already written about, search our archives in the Google Search at the top of this column.

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