Thursday, April 09, 2009

Diet and nutritional support for dogs with liver disease, continued.

Well it has been over a month since Macy has been on the diet described in my previous post. Her blood panels came back completely clean. The only elevated panel was the amount of bile in her blood. This panel should be between 0 and 2. At the height of Macy's illness, this panel was 18. It has dropped to 6. I have tweaked the diet a bit. Her primary carb source is now yams. Yams have tremendous effects on the blood and are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and trace minerals. I am trying to steer clear of any grains whatsoever, a reason which will be explained in my next post. I am only using organic vegetables and meats, free of pesticides, hormones and steroids. The reason for this is any chemical weakens the system and you never want to introduce chemicals into the system of a dog with liver disease. Vegetables are primarily steamed carrots, kelp, artichoke hearts, spinach or green beans, again organic. I am keeping her on tofu and white fish until her blood panels are completely clear. As for immunity support, I have taken her off Heartworm and will not put her on any flea and tick medications. These weaken the dog's immunity over time and and place tremendous strain on the heart, kidney and liver. Interestingly enough, there are no known instances of wolves or wild canids with heartworm disease. It is believed by a growing number of vets that heartworm is a man made disease caused by over vaccination, poor nutrition and ingestion of chemicals, pesticides, steroids and growth hormones. These chemicals compromise the dogs natural defense system that would kill parasites in the blood before reaching the heart. Nutritional support has been adjusted as well. She still gets the vitamins listed in the previous post...these are essential. To find a natural supplement that would assist her in cleansing her blood, boosting her immune system and killing intestinal parasites I have put her on ActiPet Wormwood Therapy. Another good formula is Parasite Doctor.. I have also purchased a black walnut tincture. It is important that there is either no alcohol in the tincture or that the alcohol is taken out. See this link. Many of the supplements, or similar ones can be found in a good health food store, such as Garners. I have also looked into natural flea and tick support and the best I have seen is Flea Free. It is extremely important in a multi dog household, that a dog with liver disease not be around dogs with commercial flea and tick applications or collars. All dogs need to be on a natural, non chemical approach. You must also be terribly careful about fertilizers, pesticides and lawn treatments in any outdoor area they inhabit. Finally vaccinations need to be addressed. A puppy or adolescent dog needs to have vaccinations, but not as frequently as most veterinarians suggest. For example, the rabies vaccine lasts two years even though most states require yearly vaccines. There is growing awareness within the veterinary community about the problem of over vaccinating. Titer tests, which determine the dog's built in immunity to disease such as rabies, distemper or parvo are available. Often once a dog matures, it has developed an immunity to many of these diseases. Ask your vet for a titer test prior to vaccinations. If he or she balks, find a vet that will work with you. More information on vaccinations. Links: Best of luck and as always, feel free to comment with any questions.