Home Health Page 41


Symptoms of Addison’s Disease

The signs of this potentially fatal condition mimic those of many other diseases. Treatment can be complex and expensive. Holistic medicine can help. Addison’s disease is the common name for hypoadrenocorticism, or adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands do not produce enough, if any, of a number of hormones, including aldosterone, which maintains sodium and potassium levels to regulate blood pressure (among other important functions), and cortisol, which helps the body metabolize glucose and deal effectively with physical and mental stresses of all kinds.

Liver Health in Dogs

Promoting the health of your dog's liver may be the key to preserving his long-term health. The liver, located centrally in the dog's body as the link between the breathing and circulatory activities of the chest and the digestive functions of the abdomen, works hard at its many tasks. The liver manufactures blood proteins and fat, and stores energy, fat-soluble vitamins, and iron.

Take the Titer Test before Administering Vaccinations

Now more than ever, vaccine titer tests are readily available, not terribly expensive, and offer multiple advantages over the practices (intentional or not) of over-vaccination and under-vaccination. Few issues in veterinary medicine are as controversial as the debate about administering annual vaccinations to our dogs. Long considered part of the standard of baseline, responsible veterinary healthcare, and credited with conquering some of the fiercest canine viral and other infectious diseases, vaccinations now are also suspected of creating vulnerability to illnesses and chronic conditions such as anemia, arthritis, seizures, allergies, gastrointestinal and thyroid disorders, and cancer.

How to Conduct a Home Health Exam for Your Dog

There are numerous health conditions that can develop and present a real danger to your dog in between veterinary examinations – and YOU can detect many of them. It’s best to follow a consistent routine, so your dog becomes comfortable and relaxed with the procedure, and to increase your familiarity with his body, lumps, bumps, and all. Write out and follow a short outline, to remind yourself about each part of the dog’s body you want to check.

What You Should Know Before Your Dog Receives Anesthesia

Advances in anesthesiology have made this life-saving medical tool safer than ever. Prior to administering an anesthetic and performing an elective surgical procedure, a veterinarian will examine your dog completely to determine if she is in general good health. Usually, the veterinarian will draw blood before the day of surgery, especially if the patient is an older dog, or one whose health is compromised by injury or illness. The doctor will check the blood count for signs of anemia or a high white blood cell count that may indicate the dog has an infection.

Clean Teeth, Healthy Dogs

You might be one of the lucky ones; your dog might maintain gorgeous white teeth without any effort on your part whatsoever. Just wait, though. Sooner or later, all dogs can benefit from having their teeth brushed. Plaque and tartar accumulate on canine teeth just like ours. Plaque is made of proteins from saliva, which interact with bacteria. If left to accumulate on teeth, bacteria quickly multiply and can invade the gums around the teeth, causing inflammation known as gingivitis. If plaque is not removed, inflammation of the gums can spread to the bone around the teeth, leading in turn to bone loss or periodontal disease.

Purchasing Veterinary Prescription Drugs for Your Dog

Traditionally dispensed solely from the veterinarian’s office, prescription drugs for companion dogs represent a ripe peach – ready for picking by retail chain pharmacies and emerging Internet-based pharmacies that have sniffed out a promising new niche in the lucrative pharmaceutical market. These drug retailers have discovered the more than 35 million dog owners in the United States who anticipate the same access to sophisticated medicines for their dogs as they have come to expect for themselves.

Indoor and Patio Litterboxes for Home-Alone Dogs

To most people, the word “house-trained” refers to a dog who has been trained not to urinate or defecate indoors. For my parent’s generation, this bit of training was usually accomplished by Mom, who stayed home while the rest of the family went to work or to school. As double-income families became the norm, the home-alone dog was faced with a serious problem. By the time you add a lunch hour and commute time onto an eight-hour work day, a house dog may have to “hold it” for as long as 10 hours before someone finally comes home to let her out. Her legs are probably tightly crossed for at least the last two.

Heartworm Treatment Options

The heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a nematode or roundworm named for its place of residence, inside the heart. To understand the challenge of controlling this parasite, you have to understand its life cycle, a complex and slightly bizarre process. Living in a dogÂ’s pulmonary arteries, adult heartworms mate. Each female (which can reach sizes of up to 11 inches) produces thousands of eggs, each less than 1/800th of an inch, which are called microfilariae, and circulate in the blood.

CoQ10 for Heart Health in Dogs

Who hasn't heard of CoQ10? A powerful antioxidant, coenzyme Q10 is one of America's most popular supplements. Literally every cell of the body contains CoQ10. In fact, its other name is ubiquinone, reflecting its widespread distribution in the body. CoQ10 is most concentrated in the mitochondria, the portion of cells that produce energy. The heart and liver contain more mitochondria per cell than other body parts and thus contain the most CoQ10.

Protecting Your Dog from Parvovirus

When parvo strikes, it moves fast. Infected dogs may appear to be in perfect health one day and violently ill the next. Emergency veterinary care is expensive, and unless dogs are diagnosed and treated early, many die from this serious disease. However, reactions to parvovirus vary widely – both among dogs and their human caretakers. In a world in which parvovirus is ubiquitous – it is literally everywhere except environments that have been sterilized – parvo kills some dogs and leaves others unscathed.

Latest Blog

Are Dogs Good With Chickens?

When I was about five years old, my parents moved our family from the San Francisco Bay area to a rural farming area about...