Raw Dog Food Company seeking more veterinarians

March 22, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

With the wider acceptance of raw feeding for dogs, meaning feeding uncooked meats, with bone and vegetables and seeing how it is helping a number of dogs with health issues and improving overall health for dogs,  a couple of companies are reaching out to vets and have veterinary programs to help veterinarians determine when and how to institute a raw feeding program for their clients.
Nature's Variety Raw Food

Nature’s Variety has a program helping vets become more aware and more knowledgeable about raw feeding. I have their vet packet in front of me, which is filled with information and ways to find out more information. Interesting information such as case studies, online resources and a good explanation on why their raw food is safe, using High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) which kills harmful bacteria but does not affect proteins, enzymes, nutrients, prebiotics, vitamins or minerals.

Nature’s Variety has been helping vets get over the other hurdle of feeding raw by going through the process of AAFCO food trials to be certified complete and balanced. According to NV they are the 1st and only raw food company to have done this; not that it matters to most raw feeders, but it does matter to the scientific community including veterinarians.

Some of the disease conditions that vets use nutrition to help treat that can be benefited by raw feeding are food allergies, obesity, digestive disorders, skin and coat disorders and diabetes.  I am really impressed by this company taking the time to try and integrate the raw feeding world and bring it to the scientifically based veterinary community that many times is concerned with new and non-traditional ways of treating pets and improving their health.

What are your thoughts? Would you like to see more companies like Nature’s Variety go mainstream and try to connect with more veterinarians or do you think raw feeding is a fad and will die off or become a cult for a select few?

Horse Chiropractic Explained

March 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

I received a question about horse chiropractic. Leah did not understand what her horse chiropractor was saying to her, so I attempted to help her understand a little about chiropractic -

If the femur was truly out either in the hip joint or the joint of the tibia and the femur in the hind leg, then wouldn’t the horse be unable to use the leg?  Is it possible for these joints to be out of place?  And if so is it possible to realign them with a chiropractic adjustment?
Thank you very much for the information.
Leah

My explanation -

Leah,

Now you are talking the difference between a medical luxation and a chiropractic subluxation. When a chiropractor or someone talking about chiropractic says that a joint is “out” they do not mean that the joint is totally displaced. If it were totally displaced or luxated, yes the horse would be unable to walk initially and it would be very very painful. You would know and would be calling your vet right away if you saw this problem. It would be like if the leg was broken.

However when a chiropractor using the lay term the joint is “out” it is a very simplistic and often misinterpreted way to describe a subluxation. A subluxation in chiropractic terms is a joint that is not moving effectively or efficiently. When a joint does not move correctly then it affects the tissue surrounding the joint as well, reducing blood flow and nerve conduction around the joint. This is what causes the symptoms or possible long term chronic sometimes subclinical  (meaning you can not tell there is a specific problem at the moment)  issues. A chiropractic adjustment is an attempt to reset the joint, to correct the movement and thus correct the nerve conduction and blood flow around the joint. I am also giving you a simplistic description – one that is easier to understand but more descriptive than the joint is out. There are books devoted to trying to explain what occurs with a chiropractic adjustment.

The resetting of the movement of a joint does involve chiropractic adjustments and sometimes even muscle massage to help the joint return to normal function. It may take several adjustments to have the joint return to normal function. Also there are times due to stresses on the joint such as biomechanical changes from conformation or activity of the horse (jumping, dressage, barrel racing, etc) or even vices such as weaving, cribbing, circling that can affect the success of an adjustment. Other problems such as bad teeth alignment, bad hoof balance, poor saddle fit or even an unbalanced rider that can have an affect on the animal and the success of a chiropractic adjustment. Lastly physical problems or pathologic problems such as strained ligaments, torn muscles, arthritis, or even synovitis which is inflammation in the joint can affect the success of an adjustment. In my practice I use chiropractic as a tool to help discover these underlying issues. I do the adjustments but also look at the animal as a whole and help the owner/rider/trainer understand why the horse is not moving correctly and we fix the problems we can and those we can not we help by continuing to do chiropractic adjustments to correct the biomechanics as best as we can to help the horse move the best we can help it move.

I hope this answers your questions.

I hope it helps others understand what I do as an animal chiropractor. Here is a video of me doing an adjustment on a horse.

THE 10 Best Websites For Dog Lovers

March 15, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

OK So this really is not THE 10 Best Websites For Dog Lovers but rather a difference of opinion to an article on Business Insider with the same title.  I firmly believe there is no such list as the 10 BEST websites. Opinions change,  websites change at a rapid pace, and it is difficult with all the information available out there and with all the websites out there what criteria do you use to say a website  is THE best? So why am I writing this then?

It is blatantly obvious in Evan Britton’s article The 10 Best Websites For  Dog Lovers (click for the article) that the sites he chose are not based on proper research but something else. I am not sure if it is, as some of the commentors wrote, just the paid or sponsored websites that are being mentioned in the list or ignorance. Is it he threw a list together with no research and just put familiar names he knew just so he could promote his own two websites in the list…and what is with that? I know I am very proud of my own website here and I do promote it but to call it one of the top websites for dog lovers is reaching a little and so is Evan.  I don’t know how he formulated his list but in my opinion it is NOT the best list.

So I decided using my own dog knowledge with a slant on what is best for a dog’s health, based on popularity of the passionate dog owners, caretakers and professionals that I interact with, along with finding some of the least biased information I could on the topics Evan suggested in his list, to formulate what I would consider THE 10 Best Websites For Dog Lovers list. Please passionate dog lovers please correct my list in the comments and we can provide an even better list than THE best. :-)

1. Pet Food – OK just giving a store and a big chain at that as your BEST website for dog food? There are some big changes happening in the pet food industry especially with the dog food recalls going on. Many pet owners need more knowledge about pet food and what is best for their dog. Besides there are so many online stores that will ship dog food to your door with the same if not better customer service than PetCo. Not that PetCo is bad just not the best. How about a couple websites telling you which dog food is the best and why?
Dog Food Analysis and Dog Food Scoop. These two sites will help you choose the best kibble for your dog that is if you are not cooking for your dog or feeding raw which would be better for most dogs anyway.

2. Dog Breeders – Not even going to go there.  Full disclosure here – I have a purebred, but for a specific purpose and if you want a purebred for a specific purpose then fine do research and choose an appropriate breeder by going through the appropriate channels which is not going to the website mentioned on Evan’s list! However if you are looking for a family pet and want to really feel good about getting a dog that really needs you check out one of the best websites for dog adoption – Pet Finder

3. Puppy Names – his website was mentioned here. Um – Ok it probably is a fun website but whatever – NOT a 10 best website.

4. Dog Whisperer & 9. Common Dog Problems – Both of the sites he mentions for these categories are single person trainers. One trainer is not the best for everyone. Even though these sites provide a lot of information for helping you, they provide a lot more by purchasing something. Fine everyone needs to make a living, but is Cesar’s Way the best way? Well even Cesar himself will tell you that it is best if you are having behavior problems with your dog to have a trained professional work personally with you to help solve the problem. So why not a website that will provide you the information to search for such a trainer? Purdue University has a dog behavior modification course and provides a list of individuals that have completed the course. Another list of trainers can be found at Truly Dog Friendly, which is a list of trainers that use training methods that are pain free.  Or if you want to do it yourself but can’t decide which method/s to use how about a scientific approach to dog training? Although this website is old (2001) it provides excellent information on training from an educational/scientific standpoint Dr. P’s Dog Training & Behavior. It provides opinions from many different perspectives not just one trainer and one method.

5. Dog Health – He got one right here! But isn’t this where I promote my own website? :-)
Have to admit it, VetInfo is a good solid source of information. With that said, your best source of information about your dog’s health is the veterinarian that is taking care of your dog.

6. Dog Insurance- with all the articles out there bantering back and forth as to whether or not pet insurance is even worth the premiums, I think it is bad form to single out one insurance company as the best. This is especially bad, when you go to the review sites about insurance companies and you find that although the one Evan chose is one of the most popular here in the US, it is not the best as decided by consumers. So now if you do decide that pet insurance is something you want to look into,  how about looking into the choices you have and deciding for yourself which insurance company is right for you – Pet Insurance Review An unbiased look at the options for insurance companies, with customer reviews and ratings.

7. Dog Breeds – OK Dog Breed Info does provide the information on dog breeds but it is not as slick or cool as Animal Planet’s – Dog Breed Directory

8. Labradors – um – his own website I see. Well how about my breedist views – Border Collie ;-)

already did 9 back at 4 since they are basically the same thing.

10. Pet Travel Guides – Another one right! Dog Friendly is a cool website helping dog owners find places while traveling that are dog friendly.

Full disclosure – I do not own or operate any of the sites in this list. :-)

Does Your Dog Need Health Insurance?

March 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In-depth article about whether you really should have health insurance or not for your dog. I agree that you really need to know how much you are spending on the health of your dog now to decide whether health insurance is right and what type of health insurance you should be purchasing. The health insurance company makes all the difference as well – choose the wrong one and you will be out a lot of money on monthly premiums with no pay backs on your vet bills.

Amplify’d from www.cleanrun.com

Since most pet owners have health insurance for themselves, many wonder if their dogs need similar protection. But according to the July 2003 issue of Consumer Reports, “Pet insurance won’t necessarily save you money. In fact, with it, you can end up paying far more for veterinary care than if you don’t have insurance.” The Consumer Reports analysis indicates that purchasing pet insurance might increase the amount an owner pays in veterinary costs by thousands of dollars over the life of the pet. The magazine considers pet insurance to be “a form of enforced savings that almost never covers the entire bill.” The magazine reports that putting the premium into your own bank account each month would accomplish the same goal.

If you want a direct financial benefit, Christine Zink, D.V.M., who is well versed in sports-related canine injuries, has a good suggestion. She says, “You need to have really complete records of your dogs’ veterinary bills over a period of at least three years.” You need to know exactly how much you spend on veterinary care and on exactly what services and procedures.

Read more at www.cleanrun.com

 

5 Steps to Take if Your Dog’s Food has been Recalled

March 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A good article from one of my favorite magazine’s Whole Dog Journal. I put the five steps here but go read the article in its entirety to fully understand what to do.

Amplify’d from www.whole-dog-journal.com

Five Steps to Take if Your Dog’s Food Has Been Recalled

-First, check the brand, variety, package size, and lot numbers:
-Stop feeding the recalled food:
-Check your dog:
-Contact the food’s maker:
-Follow through:

See more at www.whole-dog-journal.com