Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All about Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is tremendously helpful for the liver with, or without other treatments. It protects and rejuvenates the liver and is more potent taken with other herbs; dandelion, artichoke and licorice, better known as Milk Thistle Plus. The effects are almost doubled with regular dosage of vitamin E and C. Milk Thistle is very helpful in protection and regeneration of the liver, by stimulating the growth of replacement liver cells. But, Milk Thistle cannot cure stages of cirrhosis. It can support parts of the liver that are healthy and working. Milk Thistle can be taken in conjunction with Denamarin and Denosyl. It is very safe, even in high dosages over a long period of time. It can be taken with your current medication. Take care and love your pup!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall color with your Pup? How about Barkwells mountain resort?

What better time to weekend with your dog in the North Carolina mountains? Located near Brevard, North Carolina, Barkwells offers all the fall color you ever dreamed of with plenty of pet friendly activities. Cabins range from $210 to $310 a night and include some if not all of the following ammenities: gas fireplaces, high speed wireless, dvd, radio, cd player, fully equipped kitchen, fenced yard, enclosed porch, hot tub and charcoal grill. Fall color will be peak in two weeks. What are you waiting for? For reservations contact Barkwells: 828-891-8288 or For more information visit their website.

Prednisone, cortizone and other steroid use and side effects in pets

Most of us familiar with steroids from the constant references to steroid use by athletes, better known as an anabolic steroid. The common steroid prescribed to animals and humans are catabolic steroids. The difference is that anabolic steroids increase the bodies supply of sugar fats and proteins and catabolic do the exact opposite. Catabolic steroids break down the body's reserve supply to be used in times of great body stress. Great for inflammatory illness, they have side effects both temporary and long term and must be used sparingly. My two experiences with steroids are as follows. I had a severe drug reaction to antibiotics in my early 30's and was prescribed cortisone. As bad as I felt from the reaction, nothing compared to how I felt on cortisone. I was listless, constantly thirsty, bloated and constipated. Luckily I was only on it for 4 days which brings me to my second experience with steroids. My first dog, Natasha, was terribly allergic to fleas, mosquitos, name it. Every summer she would lose her coat and get hot spots I won't describe here. This was in the early to mid 70's and we have come a long way in dog nutrition. But in the day, regular cortisone shots were the only answer. Cortisone administered over a long period of time had a deteriorating effect on her bladder retention and in a very unscientific observation, burned her kidneys out over time. We had to put her to sleep after 6 summers on the medication. She was a shell of the dog she once was. When the emergency clinic recommended Prednisone as an appetite enhancer for Macy and suggested she would need it everyday, I balked. I searched every avenue available for an alternate resource. I have the same issue with Rymadyl! There are so many alternative options in place, but you need a vet that will work with you. I believe that steroids can be useful in extreme situations...sparingly. Daily use over long periods of time should be avoided. For more about prednisone and other steroids read on. This is a very useful link and I love Mar Vista because they provide such an amazing library of facts for pet owners. Hope this helps!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The gift of nothing

Hey I get it, it is that time of year. You are looking at an ever shrinking 401 K and wondering how you will get through the holidays. Maybe you can't afford to donate even the minimum amount, but can you afford 2 to 3 hours a week? Most shelters would be thrilled with that donation. All it costs you is a few hours on a weekend and you get paid with tons of puppy/kitty kisses. If you can't do that, perhaps you might try the following. Ever notice how the things you really need exceed the price of a birthday present and how all the things you do get are a bit silly? How about asking that someone donate to your favorite charity, in your name, instead of the door warmer or snuggie this year. You'll contribute to a great cause and feel all warm and squishy inside to boot. My cousin Heidi started this two years ago. We tell each other what charity we would like the money donated to and that is all there is to it. No shipping, no hassle and no wondering where that depression era, remake candy bowl is going to go. Plus you are giving a wonderful present to a not for profit agency, rather than trying to find the right present for someone you haven't seen in 5 years. Most larger institutions give a card to the beneficiary acknowledging your gift. But if they can't afford it, they possibly really need it! I think this is a wonderful solution! Hope you do too!

Be a guardian angel for the Spartanburg Humane Society.

I want to be a Guardian Angel People often assume that because the Spartanburg Humane Society has an in-house veterinary clinic we also have the resources to treat all sick or injured animals regardless of their condition. In actuality, the financial demands of providing excellent care for nearly 18,000 animals a year and the extra cost of special veterinary treatments limit our ability to meet unique medical needs. The Guardian Angel Fund was established by SHS staff, volunteers, and friends as a way to cover expenses for treatment above and beyond the regular veterinary services animals receive while in our care. Through gifts ranging from $2.00 to $1500 (yes, every dollar can make a difference), Guardian Angels have helped the SHS cover the cost of treatment for heartworm disease, injuries, illness, and long-term neglect – removing these conditions as barriers for pets finding a good home. When confronted with so many innocent dogs and cats who do not have a second chance, the Guardian Angel Fund is truly a blessing . . .to deserving animals, to the families who adopt them into their homes and hearts, and to all of us at who celebrate every life saved. To donate to a injured or sick animal, click here.

Signs of liver disease

1 Animal refuses to eat or eats sparingly and or gags while trying to eat. 2 Animal drinks more water. 3 Animal seems depressed or disparate. 4 Constipation, diarrhea or vomiting. 5 Urine is orange, red or brown in color and or frequent. (urine color can also be caused by food or medication.) 6 White of the eye turns yellow. 7 Gums turn whitish, brown in color. 8 Animal's abdomen seems bloated and or sore to the touch. 9 Animal trembles or spasms 10 Stools are white, white tinged, runny or nonexistent. These are a few and in the best order I can give you. Keep in mind any of these symptoms could signal other problems and are not exclusive to liver disease For more information see this link. One more very good link on canine liver disease and it's causes. Read on!

Tips for denosyl, denamarin and vitamin K and other vitamin approaches to dog health

Latest question on stat counter is; "Do I have to give my dog Denosyl at the same time everyday?" I really think that is the choice of the dog owner. I find with all the things I have to do, a structured time is best and easiest to remember. The key thing with Denosyl, Denamarin and vitamin K is it should be given on an empty stomach, either a few hours after the last meal or an hour before. I tried morning for a while, but found it easier to give at bedtime. Really depends on the frequency of the feedings on how you want to do it. If you feed twice a day, with the last feeding at 7, you could give them a pill at bedtime. Otherwise, I would suggest first thing in the morning, an hour before feeding. All other vitamins go in the food bowl with a dollop of fat free yogurt to cover. Macy gets the following: Milk thistle 240mg extra (dandelion, fennel and licorice) 2x a day, Super B complex with vitamin C (look for high values of B12)-morning, 200iu vitamin E-morning(you can find this in liquid form at most natural food stores or in a soft gel at any grocery or drug store). For flea and mosquito control, she also gets 1000 mg of garlic 2x a day and brewers yeast according to package directions and the dogs weight. Macy is a 70lb dog. Please note that the preceeding recommendations are based on a dog of 70lb weight. Please note that you need not spend the extra money to get these from the vet. All of these are available at a good health food store and most are available at your drug or grocery store. I spent 40 dollars for chewable vitamin K at the vet and $12 for vitamin K at the health food store. The vitamin K from the vet lasted me a month, the health food variety lasted 6 months Get yourself a pill splitter at the drug store and get creative with pill hiders. My dogs love fat free yogurt, but you can use low fat or no fat cottage cheese, cream cheese, soft fruit or nut butter. Just steer clear of excess fat, citric acid and any sugar and salt. One other note: If you are home cooking for your dog, it is a good idea to include Taurine in their diet. If you are feeding them on a kibble, prescription or other, check the ingredients. Taurine is a basic amino acid found in the muscle meat. It prevents serious heart and eye disease and has benefits for heart , vision, cell, circulatory and kidney health. However with the advent of the extruder, less and less protein can be used in kibble dog and cat food. It has long been known that cats need this supplement, but recently discovered that not all dogs can make their own Taurine as was once believed. Read the ingredients on the bag. Taurine is always called Taurine, so there is nothing to slip you up. If you do not see Taurine on the label, you can buy supplements at any health food store. I use 500mg 2x a day. For more about Taurine read here. Dick Van Patten makes a wonderful food available at all Petco locations. It is called Natural Balance and has a formula that is perfect for recovering patients of liver disease. It is the fish and sweet potato formula, but do not start it until the blood tests are completely clean. All the Natural Balance foods include Taurine. Just keep the protein as digestible as possible and the starches as low in sugar as possible for a liver disease dog. For more on starting your dog on a healing diet read here. Final note for liver disease: If you do not walk your dog on a regular basis, you must patrol the yard daily. Stools that are runny, white tinged or completely white are a warning sign. . Runny, something you are giving them may not agree. White or white tinged stools means they need a vet's attention. You need to test the blood and urine every three months if you choose to go this method. Urine should be some color of yellow. Dog's and Cat's urine color can be changed by medication, food coloring, hydration or age. If your animal's urine color is brown, orange or red in color, you are more than likely seeing evidence of blood and the animal needs to be seen as soon as possible. Pale yellow to deep yellow is OK. Once again, feel free to post or email if you need help. I hope this answers your questions, but if it doesn't email me at the address under "Upstate lost and found board." I have been given an amazing blessing in my life. It is still day by day, but anything I can do to help makes me happy!

Columbus County Wine and Cheese Fundraiser

The Columbus County Humane Society is having its annual Wine and Cheese Fundraiser October 22 at 6:30pm at Interim Health Care across from the FoodLion near Bojangles [301 Liberty St.] There will be food, soft drinks, wine and beer and a fundraising auction. There are 2 Nascar pit tickets for auction that can be used at any race. Tickets are $20. All the money goes towards the medical costs, etc of the animals. Please consider buying a ticket even if you do not attend the event so these local animals can get what they need to be healthy and adoptable. Make the checks out to CHS. Contact Kim Small or Pat Lambert lambert pat Donations may be mailed to the following address; Columbus Humane Society - P.O. Box 742, Whiteville, NC 28472 phone: 910.640.3700 or donated via paypal at the following link.

Greenville Humane Society fall volunteer orientation schedule

Interested in volunteering for the Greenville Humane Society? We conduct an orientation for new volunteers every month. Please join us at one of the following volunteer orientations listed below. * October 20, 2009 at 6:00 PM * November 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM * December 15, 2009 at 6:00 PM The location for these orientations will be in the lobby of adoptions. All volunteers must go through orientation before they can start volunteer work at the Greenville Humane Society. Your volunteer schedule will be based on availability of the time slots you prefer (usually a two-hour time period). Once you have received your volunteer time slot, it will remain yours for as long as you are here unless you need to change it. If you are interested in pet therapy, you must be at least 18 and be able to volunteer the same day and time each week (Monday - Friday); children are allowed to participate in pet therapy work if accompanied by parent or legal guardian. Pet foster parents and adult dog walkers must also be at least 18. To volunteer in the puppy/kitten room you must be at least age 13. No one under the age of 13 is permitted to volunteer at the Greenville Humane Society. For more information, contact Paula Church. Greenville Humane Society 328 Furman Hall Road Greenville, SC 29609 Tel: (864) 242-3626 Fax: (864) 242-0380

Happy Howl-O-Ween in Greenville, S.C.

Spooky Trails Trick or Treat! Join us October 31st from 3 pm until 5 pm! Bring your children (4-legged children count, too) for a safe place to find a treat. GHS along with Greenville County Animal Care Services and Author Jean Hunt welcome you for a fun adventure! Visit our special barnyard guest and take a fun, spooky tour of the pet cemetery. Cat Tails and Spooky Trails is available for purchase for only $13. Again, children and pets are welcome and there is no charge. So come out and join us! Greenville Humane Society 328 Furman Hall Road Greenville, SC 29609 Tel: (864) 242-3626 Fax: (864) 242-0380

Need volunteers and creative thinkers in Brunswick, N.C.

Hi, everyone. You may know by now CHTA (Coalition for Humane Treatment of Animals) decided, for several compelling reasons, we could not take on managing the County facility as a Humane Society at this time. However, it certainly was not for lack of volunteers who came forward to help so we know animal lovers are everywhere!! We haven't given up the goal of having a Humane Society here in Brunswick County, but for now, we'd like to focus on keeping animals OUT of the county facility as well as any other shelter. That means reducing the number of animals being born and/or working out ways to keep pets in their existing homes (or finding them new ones). We know there are many other important animal issues in this county that need addressing, but we've decided the biggest impact would come from setting up a spay/neuter clinic, so, that is our current focus. We need volunteers to help us with ideas and do some research in the beginning, then eventually develop a plan for accomplishing our goal. Get in on the ground floor and help shape this project! We envision the clinic would be open to everyone, including shelters, rescue groups, other county's groups, and even our own county municipal facility if they want to take advantage of it. Cape Fear Spay Neuter Clinic is doing well and New Hanover Humane has a waiting list, so we KNOW this will be successful! Wouldn't it feel great to say, yes, we have a spay/neuter clinic in BC and I helped make it happen! Think of the many animals you've helped find homes for and those you adopted as strays or out-casts. Now multiply that number by thousands or people who are struggling to save lives because no one spayed or neutered their animals! Please, you can do a little or a lot, but do help us make this dream a reality! BC euthanizes THOUSANDS of cats and dogs EVERY YEAR! Preventing births prevents deaths. Please, please consider participating on our "Nippit Team." If you or anyone you know may be interested in brain-storming ideas, surfing the net or making research phone calls--or any other kind of help, WE NEED YOU! Once our "Nippit Team" is assembled, we'll meet in person and start planning. If you can't find time to meet in person, send us your ideas, thoughts and concerns ANY TIME! Send me an email if you--or anyone you know--may be interested in joining our "Nippit Team." We plan on starting to work on it in late October. (We know the holidays are coming, but this is something you can do at your own pace!) Thanks very much for helping to save precious lives! Margarete O'Leary President, CHTA

Friday, October 09, 2009

More about urine color and blood tests

I have gotten a lot of hits on urine color in the last few weeks, so I thought I would go more in depth than I have in the past. Urine should be a shade of yellow, darker yellow is a more concentrated urine that can often be found on a hotter day, paler yellow is ideal. Brown or red urine is usually a sign of bleeding. This can be caused by a variety of things, but the appearance of blood in the urine should not be shrugged off. Your vet should see your dog within 24 hours I found a wonderful vet link that not only adresses the above topic but also gives a great advice on reading and understanding a blood test result. Normal parameters for each level aren't included here but will be on your test result. I always request a copy of my dogs test results and keep them in a file with all my vet records. The vet keeps these on hand as well, but I like to keep my own personal file. That way, when I change vets, move or have to take a dog to the emergency clinic I have them handy.