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Category Archives: Small Animal Articles

Cancer in Dogs and Cats; Making Connections

Cancer in the dog and cat is ever increasing in our veterinary society, often mirroring that which is evident in people.  These cases create significant stress upon the pets, the owners, and the veterinarians as the precise treatment course and prognosis are often uncertain.  The rise in dog and cat cancer cases is quite significant over the years and it really raises questions as to what is the proper treatment course and more importantly, what are the underlying factors?  Cancer is a complex disease condition impacting our companion pets, but if you step back and look, you will see common connectors that are mirrored in people afflicted with the disease.  Often, the solution to the problem lies in a preventative approach, more so than a therapeutic one.   (more…)

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What Dog Food Should I Feed?

What  dog food should I feed? There are a lot of choices out there for consumers to buy as far as convenient foods to feed our pups. Lately, there have been concerns over by-product ingredients and even contaminated foods that can cause more harm than good. We are getting barraged with new ‘fad’ diets and “healthy” dog foods that aren’t so economical for the average consumer. With so much conflicting and confusing advice, what are the best choices for dog food? (more…)

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What is the Best Joint Supplement for My Dog?

What is the best joint supplement for my dog?  That is a very common question that I would entertain from my veterinary clients over the years.  When it comes to a joint supplement, you need to look at the purpose or goals for the product and the ingredients.  Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are very common ingredients for canine joint support.  However, is it possible to do better?  Can you provide joint support for your dog, but also joint pain relief and inflammation support at the same time?  Can you do better than the typical glucosamine based joint supplement for dogs?  It depends on your goals.

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Gas, bloating and GI upset in Dogs

Gas, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting and gastrointestinal upset in dogs is a problem.  Our canine companions are no different than you or I.  We all have a gastrointestinal tract that sometimes can get out of whack, not functioning at desired levels, resulting in problems at times.  It can be difficult to contend with, especially in the middle of the night or if your pet is left unattended while you work, coming home to a mess.  Why does this happen and is there something we can do or not do to improve the situation? (more…)

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Assisting the Geriatric Canine Patient

We all age, including our geriatric canine companions.  Aging can be done gracefully.  Quality of life is far more important than quantity of life, although both would be ideal, right?  Is it possible to improve not only quality but also longevity?  The answer to this is yes, but the right approach needs to be taken, making it more of a lifestyle than a passing fad or just a regimen. Our canine pets depend on us to make the right choices.  The more understanding we have, the more informed we are in the choices we make. Growing old for our pets does not have to be a ‘bad’ thing.  It can be done gracefully. (more…)

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Ears & Rears; Allergy Problems in Pets

Veterinarians will often refer to many allergy conditions as ‘ears and rears’ in dogs or pets.  In many cases, the problems came in two’s.  This implies the pets have problems with both ears and the rear end. While in other instances, we have a problem in just one of the two areas. Ear, anal gland and allergy problems are very common in companion animal veterinary practice.  They each have their own distinct underlying causes and frustrations. There is no remedy or ‘cure all’ that will totally eliminate these complaints. However, we can implement changes and dietary or supplement regimens to produce easier management. (more…)

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Canine Hip and Back Pain; Management Options

Our canine companions are not immune to joint concerns, but like us, they often live with day to day discomfort and pain.  A dog wants to go, jump and play, but are limited in what they can do. The hips and back are main sources of problems in the dog, creating moderate pain, limited range of motion and  a modest dependence on pharmaceutical medications just to keep them moving.  Their problems are very similar to ours, as humans. We have choices when it comes to health care for our pets and options which may provide a higher level of quality of life.  All we have to do is understand the process and see the possibilities. (more…)

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Canine Cruciate Injury & Management

Lameness and discomfort are very common in our canine companions, especially as they get older, but a cruciate ligament injury often tops the list.  Cruciate injuries are not specific to the older dog, but more common in any aged pet, especially if they are large breed and active.  Given the high prevalence of these types of injuries, the expense and inconvenience behind cage resting, we have to dig deeper to determine possible contributors and how proper supplementation could be implemented to improve the odds of a full recovery. (more…)

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Joint Health In Dogs; Prevention & Management

Dogs are no different than people and have joints that will gradually deteriorate secondary to osteoarthritis, which can create significant discomfort. Almost 7 out of 10 people have at least one dog in their family.  They can be of the working class, assisting with hunting or even protection, or in most cases, they are perceived as members of the family. It is interesting to see the status of the family dog change over the past two decades, which is a good thing, as they have moved up in ranks to more of a social companion for many, following us around with our every task and move.  As we see the changing status and increasing level of meaning they have in our lives, it becomes even more important to provide for their health in the best ways possible.  They often suffer in silence, trying to please us, but it is needless as there are options available to assist in maintaining not only their comfort, but their overall health. (more…)

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Ear Infections in Pets; How to Manage

Scratching, digging and rubbing their head on the ground can all be signs of an ear infection in your pet. The problem can be not only irritating for the pet, but also for the owner as it can often mean a loss of sleep at night for both parties.  Ear infections are more common in the dog than the cat with many causes and predisposing conditions.  In most cases, the problems are easily resolved with medications, but in others, the condition can be recurrent, happening over and over again.  The good news is that there are options! (more…)

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