Horse Health Blogs

November 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

OK I have found 3 thats right, only 3 good quality horse health blogs! (well besides this one).

I am sure there are more than these three out there but since I have not received any insights from my readers as to what else they might be reading I will go with what I know – In no particular order here are the three -

The Jurga Report

Equid Blog

The Horse

These are the blogs that I read almost everyday. They provide good quality information and insight of your horses’s health. I may not always agree with what has been written on these blogs but overall it is great information.

Next I will be looking for some great blogs on other horse related topics like farriery – I think Fran Jurga will be in that list as well :-)

MicroChipping your dog: A Big Brother program

November 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Microchipping your dog is a Big Brother program I can definitely agree with. Injection of a small electronic chip into your dog is an excellent way to have it permanently identified. Now it is not without its problems, but the rewards outweigh the rare risks.

Healthwise there are minimal complications except for migration of the chip to other areas of the body other than behind the shoulder blades. This does not seem to cause any complications except for trying to locate the chip with a scanner. One complication to be concerned about is the rare occurrence of the chip being broken when being inserted into your dog. There are anecdotal cases of chips causing illness as severe as cancer, but these are unconfirmed and no research has been done to show that this is the case. Hypothetically there are metals in the chip that if the seal of the chip was broken could cause an issue with the surrounding tissues. So be sure to have a qualified person inserts the chip such as a veterinarian or a veterinary technician that has had experience with inserting microchips.

The exciting thing that although makes this program very Big Brotherish, if your dog is lost, someone with a universal reader can read the chip’s number, input that chips number into one of the databases found on the web, and from there the owners information can be found or the manufacturer of the chip will be displayed to contact them to find the owner. So if your dog is picked up by animal control or the humane society all they need to do is scan your dog and it can be returned to you! They will know who the dog belongs to and give you a call to come and get him.

Thanks to American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for creating a database of micropchips – http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ On this site a chip number can be entered and if the owner’s information is in the database it will be displayed, otherwise the chips manufacturer will be displayed and the chip can be traced through their database or at least to the facility that inserted the chip. It is very cool technology and although I am not for the government or any organization knowing where I am at or being permanently identified by inserting a chip into my body, I am all for finding my lost dog quickly and effectively.

No Tags

Allergies and Vaccines

November 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

dogscratch Is this a description of your dog?

She has been biting her sides, paws, tail, anything she can get her mouth to and creating red, bald spots, some to the point of bleeding. These are along the sides of her body and on her tail. The last time she had all of her shots she got so sick she threw up blood and bile.

This was part of an email I received from a family member that does not live in the same state that I do and obviously she sees a different veterinarian. She is “due” for her yearly vaccinations. Nevermind my problem with receiving annual vaccinations, my first question was what has her vet done about this problem, before receiving the yearlys? The answer: “My vet said to just give her a benadryl and she can get her shots. She’ll be fine.”

Trying to control my anger and not to really be harsh on her current veterinarian I said WHAT THE H* (see I didn’t use the F-bomb) Why would a vet give vaccines to an obviously sick dog?

Clue number one that the dog is not healthy – it is scratching so much that it is self-mutilating itself. I don’t see too many healthy dogs scratching themselves till they bleed.

Clue number two – the last time the dog received its vaccines it vomitted blood for a couple days.

hmmm – maybe some diagnostics would be in order prior to vaccinating this dog.

Now of course I am not there to see the dog and I am only getting this info from email and a phone call, but I am fairly confident from the history I took and the long term symptoms, this poor dog has has allergies and right now possibly a staph infection (need some diagnostics to determine that one). Proper protocol is to not vaccinate unless the dog is healthy and from my perspective this dog’s immune system is not healthy and has a chronic condition which will need to be managed.

Ignoring all the other things I do for a dog with allergies such as diet changes, the one thing I for sure do is limit how many vaccines the dog receives. Now why would I do that if I just said the dog’s immune system is not well, shouldn’t it get all the vaccines to help protect it?

The problem is that the dog’s immune system is in overdrive it is hyperstimulated. It is reacting to something in the environment – food, grass, pollen, dust, mold, detergents, fabrics, trees, flowers, etc, etc, something. Well the worst thing that we can do is stimulate the immune system even more. How about vaccines? Well what is the purpose of a vaccine? It is to STIMULATE the immune system. In fact, the vaccine manufacturers have designed vaccines to stimulate the immune system as much as they can with having as few reactions as they can in HEALTHY dogs. Well guess what? An allergic dog does not have a healthy immune system and if you have a dog with allergies you usually can predict that within a month of receiving the “yearly” vaccines you have to bring your dog in for itchy skin, ear infections or even diarrhea.

I had one client that I told that information to and they were so stunned that they went back into their dogs health records and they did pinpoint that within 3 weeks of receiving vaccines every year their dog had to come in for a corticosteroid shot to help relieve the skin problems and itching. Since they came in the same time every year they just assumed it was from something in the environment. This past year after not receiving the vaccines they also did not have to come in for a anti-itch shot either.

I have made posts in the past about the new vaccine protocols and how dogs should be titer tested or receive vaccines every 3 years and definitely not annually; however further consideration must be taken for dogs with immune system problems like dogs with allergies. It may be best for those dogs to skip vaccines all together and if they must receive them then give them only those that are absolutely necessary. It does not make sense to stimulate the immune system when it is already overstimulated.

No Tags

Horse Health: Looking for a few good blogs

November 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

OK the transfer of this site is almost complete – however I ran into one small problem. My blogroll is gone! A blogroll is a list of sites that are of similar content to the blog that they are listed on or are sites that the author of the blog likes. I had a few on the old blog but somehow they did not transfer over when I updated and transferred to this blog. So I have a request – are there any horse blogs out there that you think I should put on my blogroll?

Let me know what else you read, what is good out there, what deserves recognition as a great blog?

Thank you!

Updating and refreshing

November 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Well just like my Healthy As A Dog site I am updating and renewing this website. It should be done this weekend and I will be posting new articles starting on Sunday or Monday.

Looking forward to getting back to posting!

Helen King on Structure Evaluation

November 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

I just read a blog post from Susan Garret’s blog by a guest blog writer Helen King on structure evaluation of performance dogs. When I read it, I was impressed by taking a complex issue such as dog conformation for performance dogs and making it simple. The take home message is look for a sloping pelvis and sloping shoulders for more power and more of a forward drive.

It is an excellent post and I would encourage any and all dog owners thinking about performance, such as agility, to read it. Now of course there is much more to conformation of the performance dog than what is in this article but it spells out a big component in a simple manner. You know how I love the keep it simple philosophy.

Read the article here – Helen King on Structure Evaluation

In this article she also talks about the loin area of the dog needing to be short. A long backed dog will tend to have back issues – think of the extreme of a dachshund they tend to have back problems. Long backed dogs are also more prone to injury of other core muscles such as what I wrote about as a psoas injuries being common – One of the most common muscle injuries in a dog

From my standpoint when you look at a short backed dog with a sloping pelvis you allow for a stronger group of core muscles – the psoas group (stomach) and the longissimus group (low back). This allows for more explosive push offs and turns along with like Helen said a larger area to have bigger gluteals and hamstring muscles for more push off from the legs. Again you need to read the article it is good – Helen King on Structure Evaluation

No Tags