In honor of Holistic Health Day 2013, Honest Kitchen and I teamed for a Twitter chat to discuss how to take a whole body (i.e. holistic) approach to your dog or cat's health To read the article on the Honest Kitchen website or to learn more about their product, click here: Holistic Health Day Twitter Chat 2013 . We kicked off Holistic Pet Health day on August 30th with a Twitter Chat with Dr. Patrick Mahaney. If you missed the chat, we have a recap by health category below! DIGESTION What are some of the top pet food ingredients that can cause stomach upset?
- There are a variety of ingredients entering commercially available pet foods & treats that can cause digestive upset. Top culprits include protein & grain by-products & meals, both of which are feed-grade (vs human-grade) ingredients. Feed-grade ingredients have higher allowable levels of toxins, including mold-produced aflatoxin & vomitoxin. Such toxins cause digestive tract inflammation, kidney & liver damage, & are carcinogenic (cancer causing).
- There are many foods that pet owners can add to food to promote better digestive tract health. Options include canned (or fresh/cooked) pumpkin, plain/low-fat yogurt, bland/defatted protein (chicken, beef) & bland carbohydrates (white rice, potato, oatmeal, etc.). In my practice experience, pets eating whole foods based diets have less digestive upset than those eating dry/can processed foods.
- Yes, you can.
- When available, I prefer my patients to eat grass-fed meats.
- ProBloom is one of my favorite probiotics.
- Yes, a dog’s coat condition is definitely a reflection of whole body health. With organ system abnormalities (liver/kidney/thyroid disease, cancer, digestive tract ailments, etc.), the skin/coat will suffer. Lack of blood flow, insufficient oxygen/nutrient delivery, & abnormal fatty acid levels can all lead to poor skin/coat condition.
- Perhaps there is a medical reason. Try blood testing, skin impress smear with your vet.
- Ear problems (discharge, redness, shaking/scratching, etc.) should be evaluated by your veterinarian before starting treatment. Determining the nature of ear problems, such as infection with bacteria, mites, yeast, etc. is best means of directing treatment. A great means of addressing ear infections is to flush affected ear canals with a veterinary recommended ear cleaning solution. Additionally, applying a topical ointment or providing oral medications (antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, etc.) may be needed.
- Capture feral cat & bring to your veterinarian! Sedation may be needed for evaluation & treatment pending ear AbN.
- I suggest ear cleaning solution prescribed by your veterinarian based on your Boston Terrier's ear health.
- A pet’s diets can be connected to urinary tract infection (UTI) & kidney problems (failure, etc.) in multiple ways. Some pets are genetically prone to urinary tract crystals/stones. Dry, mineral-rich diets can predispose to urinary probs. Crystals & stones cause urinary tract inflammation, which creates functional problems with how pets evacuate urine, including straining to urinate, peeing in abnormal locations, bloody (red-tinged) urine, licking at the penis/vulva, & others. Urinary tract inflammation can predispose pets to other issues, like bacterial urinary tract infection.
- Lack of moisture is a big part of urinary issues. Moisture-rich diets, like@HonestKitchen, promote urine output & reduces the likelihood minerals will collect in the kidneys, bladder, & other urinary structures to cause inflammation. Less urinary tract inflammation equates to better overall kidney & bladder health (& happier pets & owners).
- Cats w/Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) need high moisture diets like The Honest Kitchen to flush out bacteria, etc. You can try the natural supplement Easy Peesy Tea.
- Fish oil (omega 3 fat acids).
- I've seen cats with urinary tract crystals (typically struvite) resolve with increased moisture in their diet regardless of pH alteration.
- A moisture-rich diet to dilute uric acid crystals is key!
- Have urinalysis/culture done to rule out UTI and other AbNs that can cause urinary incontinence. See a holistic vet for acupuncture & herbs.
- You can use Omega 3 Fatty Acids (natural anti-inflammatory), chondroprotectants (glucosamine, etc.), PT, etc. More important to focus on total Omega 3s vs # of mg fish oil.Talk to your vet re: injectable joint prods (Adequan).
Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond). Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook. Copyright of this article (2013) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.