January 2013

Pet Circkles

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

Natural Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia Supplement for Dogs.

It affects almost any breed of dog from young to old: arthritis. If your dog exhibits difficulty getting up from a laying or sitting position, won't run and play but prefers to just walk and not much at that, and acts like they are stiff when moving or changing positions, they may have osteoarthritis. The most popular treatment for arthritis is Glucosamine / Chondroitin with or without MSM supplementation. Chondroitin is another natural substance found in your dog's cartilage and, when paired with glucosamine, has an even more beneficial effect on your dog's joints. MSM (methylsulphynolmethane) is a natural sulphur compound also thought to help improve joint flexibility and reduce pain and inflammation. Glucosamine will not cure arthritis, but it will ease your pet's pain and discomfort greatly in most cases, and increase their mobility. When paired with Chondroitin and/or MSM, it is more effective than used alone.

A dog’s body produces glucosamine to keep its joints protected and is also used to form the necessary molecules that contrives joint cartilage and aids in bringing water into the joint area for lubrication. As the age of your dog increases, its ability to produce glucosamine diminishes. You may not notice signs of pain until significant damage has occurred because animals have a high tolerance for pain and adapt to it. Due to the absence of nerves in the cartilage, painless deterioration to a certain degree is possible. Therefore, by the time signs of arthritis are noticeable, the degeneration is probably pretty severe and painful. Glucosamine for dogs is a good option to protect and rebuild the joints before further damage occurs.

Glucosamine has an anti-inflammatory activity which is beneficial for pain, and is thought to stimulate synovial production. It aids in slowing down the progression, ceasing damage and assists in cartilage repair, and is safe for long-term use. Glucosamine is more effective when it's combined with chondroitin or MSM which also have an anti-inflammatory activity and can be used as a preventive measure for dogs that are at high risk for arthritis or hip dysplasia. Veterinarians recommend starting Glucosamine supplementation with a "loading dose", or, doubling the amount of the dosage of glucosamine during the first one or perhaps two weeks to achieve maximum regenerative benefit, and then going back down to the recommended dosage after the booster dose for maintenance. Aside from osteoarthritis and hip dislocation, glucosamine for dogs also treats disc degeneration, ankylosing spondylitis, bursitis, tendinitis, carpel tunnel syndrome, expedite cartilage, ligament and tendon repair, speed up the healing of skin wounds and assists with sciatic nerve conditions and inflamed discs. Glucosamine does not only facilitate in healing but it also aids in digestion through aligning the digestive tract.

Glucosamine rarely ever causes side effects. Nonetheless, some dogs may experience diarrhea or constipation, nausea or vomiting, indigestion, stomach pain and heart burn which can be unraveled by lowering the dose or giving the supplement with food.

Don't let your Vet fool you into buying expensive Glucosamine products that are "made just for dogs" and are supposedly easier for them to digest or take. My Vet talked me into initially purchasing a $94 bottle of chewable Glucosamine made just for dogs that she assured me was so much better for my dog than the human version. After the bottle was used up, I started giving my dog a human grade Glucosamine Chondroitin that I had been taking myself for months and that worked great for me by a brand called Country Life. My dog did okay on the Vets "special dog" Glucosamine, but she really perked up and did much better on my human Glucosamine. The real key in finding a good Glucosamine product is to go with one that is high potency with no fillers. It is easy enough to hide the human capsules in the dog's food, so they don't need to be chewable either.

Your dog can stay on a joint supplement for his or her entire life, and in fact you might find that your dog's signs of joint pain will recur within a few weeks of discontinuing the joint supplement.
Some signs that your dog is benefiting after starting a joint supplement are more playfulness, less stiffness, more willingness to climb stairs, jump, or go on walks, and just an overall happier demeanor.


Home Remedies for Furballs.

Article in The Sun: VETS )perating on a Cat’s Blocked Stomach Were Stunned to find the obstacle was a fur ball the size of her tummy.

"Moggie Gemma groomed herself so much she collected the 5in clump of hair in her belly.The 214 gram mass had filled her entire stomach and vets said it was the biggest they had ever seen.Gemma’s plight was discovered when her owners noticed a solid lump in her belly and saw that she stopped eating.They took her to a vet in Huntingdon, Cambs, where an X-ray showed the lump.Vet David Fennell said: 'It was a mixture of shock and relief when we realized what it was. 'Nobody had seen anything like it before, in themselves hairballs are relatively common but I have never seen anything this size.'"1

Fur balls are more than a nuisance for cats. They can be dangerous if enough hair collects in the cat's stomach to block the small intestine, colon or esophagus. Surgery is sometimes the only way to remove the accumulated hair. Signs that your cat is having trouble passing a hair or fur ball are coughing, gagging or hacking, loss of appetite and vomiting after meals. Sometimes, the cat will back up while coughing and act like it's trying to get rid of something but can't.

Hairballs are comprised of a lot of fat in addition to your cat's fur. By adding a teaspoon of egg-based lecithin (not soy-based) to your cat's wet food twice a week, the fat is dissolved, allowing the hairball to pass through the intestinal tract.
Indoor-only cats should have access to "cat grass". This provides natural roughage to your pet's diet and seems have a mild laxative effect, which can help eliminate the fur that is ingested by your cat when grooming.

- Try slippery elm bark, available at health food stores. Slippery elm is safe for cats and is a popular remedy for constipation, diarrhea and moving hairballs along.

- Add about 1 tsp of canned pumpkin (not pie filling) to your cat's food twice a day. This gentle, natural fiber is safe for cats and will get the fur ball moving.

- Add some wild salmon or fish oil to your cat's diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in both will help prevent fur balls by keeping the cat's coat in GOOD condition. Independent pet supply retailers and health food stores sell wild salmon and fish oil. Both are safe for cats and can be added to the cat's wet food. The amount to give depends on the size of the cat.

Prevention of Furballs:
Comb your cat several times a week with a flea or greyhound comb to remove dead skin and help prevent matting and fur balls. Feeding wet food helps. It will keep the skin hydrated and reduce shedding and the formation of mats and fur balls. The best preventative is adding the fish oil mentioned above to your cat's diet twice a week which will benefit your cat's overall health tremendously anyway.

1.Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4085055/Gemma-the-cat-news-Huge-fur-ball-cut-from-moggies-tummy.html#ixzz2GZIRrPQY


Stop Chewing!

Prevention Is Your Best Option. As with most dog behavior problems it's much easier to prevent a bad habit from starting rather than trying to break the habit later. Puppies need to chew because they are teething or bored while you are away. Give them something acceptable they would prefer to chew on rather than anything else, raw bones are excellent. Not rawhides, as puppies can choke on them.

- Puppy proof your home (take away the temptation). Keep your puppy in a safe and confined area while you are away from home. Most puppies actually prefer to be in a confined space while you are away because it makes them feel more secure in a strange environment. This could be a dog crate, kennel run, laundry room, or any small secure room in your house. Of course you should provide a few chew toys or bones in this area and ensure that there are no dangerous objects present or hazardous things they may get into, like laundry soap, cleaners etc.

- Provide your dog with lots of exercise, both physical and mental when you are at home, such as games, obedience training, walks, tricks etc.,

How To Stop Existing Dog Chewing Problems. Always keep in mind that your dog can't tell the difference between a$200 pair of shoe's and a leather or cloth toy. And your dog is not chewing to be naughty, they chew because that's what dogs need to do to keep their teeth in shape. It's perfectly normal for them.

- If your dog has a particular liking for a certain object like a furniture leg, you can try coating the object with a foul tasting substance (non toxic) such as bitter apple, cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce.This method can be effective but because it doesn't actually teach your dog to stop chewing, it may mean that your dog simply chews on a different object. Of course, if you put some tasty raw bones in the area, the chewing behavior will hopefully shift straight over to the bone. We haven't seen a dog yet that prefers a table leg to a raw bone and raw bones keep their teeth clean and provide them with needed calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other nutrients. Make sure the bone is raw, not cooked: cooked bones can splinter in their stomachs. And make it a softer, easy-to-chew bone like a flat rib bone or small lamb leg bone so they don't get discouraged by not being to actually eat it and go find something else to chew on. Those big, round femur bones from cows are too big for even giant breed dogs to actually chew, and they will discard them. Smaller bones that are just big enough to keep them busy for a while are key, but that they can still break chunks off of to satisfy their needs.

- If you catch your dog in the act of chewing something inappropriate, give a firm "No!" and replace the object with a tasty bone. Let the dog keep a couple bones laying around the house that they can get at any time they want. Give your dog praise when he starts chewing the bone. Never ever reprimand your dog if you don't actually catch him in the act of chewing. If you don't issue your correction within about two seconds of his inappropriate chewing behavior, he won't have a clue what you are disciplining him for.

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Pets who look like their owners:


Chronic diarrhea should always be addressed immediately by a Vet as it can lead to dehydration or be a sign of something more serious. But if it's an isolated incident, such as your pet just ate or drank something that caused it, or it's a mild case, blackberry leaf tea is an excellent remedy and well tolerated by most pets.
Make a strong tea (more like an infusion) by steeping 1 Tbsp of the leaf in 1/4 cup hot water for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid out of the leaves into the tea. When the tea cools, simply drizzle it over some dry food. Most pets like the taste. You may need to give 2-3 doses every 6-8 hours to clear up the diarrhea.

DOG BREEDS- Characteristics and Concerns. (Don't worry, we will get to cat breeds later.)

Alaskan Malamute: Retains more of its original form and function than many other modern breeds. The Malamute personality is one of strong independence. If a dog owner cannot cope with a dog that will not comply with the owner's every command, a more compliant breed should be selected. This dog has a long genetic foundation of living in the harshest environment imaginable, and many of its behaviors are evolved to survive in such environments. Independence, resourcefulness, and natural behaviors are common in the breed. Because of their intelligence, they can be difficult dogs to train. However, if the trainer understands Malamutes and how to keep them motivated, success is possible.
Due to their naturally evolved beginnings, Malamutes tend to have natural hunting instincts which often leads them to chase smaller animals, such as rabbits, squirrels, and cats. So while Malamutes are, as a general rule, particularly amiable around people and can be taught to tolerate other pets, it is necessary to be mindful of them around smaller animals.
Malamutes are quite fond of people, a trait that makes them particularly sought-after family dogs but unreliable watchdogs. Malamutes are nimble around furniture and smaller items, making them ideal house dogs, provided they get plenty of time outdoors meeting their considerable exercise requirements. If they are year-round outdoor dogs, letting them play in a baby pool filled with cold water in summer keeps them cool. In the winter, they love snow.
Malamutes are usually quiet dogs, seldom barking.

Life Expectancy:
There is only one known health survey of Alaskan Malamutes, a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey with a small sample size of 14 dogs. The median lifespan of 10.7 years measured in that survey is typical of a breed their size.The major cause of death was cancer (36%). However, Malamutes in the US typically have longer life spans and fewer genetic issues than those in the UK, since the UK population stemmed from a smaller number of imports with a higher proportion of inbreeding.

Health Concerns:
The most commonly reported health problems of Alaskan Malamutes were musculoskeletal (hip dysplasia), and hereditary cataracts. There are additional health issues in the breed whose origins are unknown at this time including varied seizure disorders found in young puppies as well as adults, Epilepsy, congenital heart problems, kidney problems and skin disorders.
Other health issues in Malamutes include inherited polyneuropathy, chondrodysplasia, heart defects, and eye problems (particularly cataract and progressive retinal atrophy).

To view breeds we've already written about, view our Dog Breeds on The Hangout. (Must be a Circkles member to view The Hangout.)

Click on the photo to read Elsie's Story.

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