Our canine companions are no different than you or I, or for that matter horses. We all have a gastrointestinal tract that sometimes can get out of whack, not functioning at desired levels, resulting in gas, diarrhea, bloating and even intermittent vomiting at times. It can be difficult to contend with, especially in the middle of the night or if your pet is left unattended by day 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?
Our canine companions are not immune to joint concerns, but like us, they often live with day to day discomfort and pain. They want to go, jump, play, but are limited in what they can do. The hips and even back are main sources of problems, creating moderate pain, limited range of motion and creating a modest dependence on pharmaceutical medications just to keep them moving. Their problems are very similar to ours, as humans. We have choices 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.
Stress is something that we all encounter daily whether if we are animal or human. Stressors are the reason as to why we adapt and hopefully overcome new challenges, whether if that is a new task at work, a new exercise routine or environmental changes. It is what hopefully makes us stronger, more resilient. Those stressors create a stress response in our body, which then we hopefully adapt to over time. The question is how much stress is our body supposed to handle, or that body of our equine companions or even pets, and how does prolonged stressor exposure impact health, recovery and even soundness or injury?
The term ‘supplement’ can either be a noun or a verb, implying something that completes or ehances something else, or in the case of a verb context, to add an extra element. In the health industry, we really use the term in both contexts or sometimes both at the same time. We may supplement our horse’s or even our own diet with a supplement, using both the noun and verb, which is commonplace. However, what are we really doing and what are we trying to achieve? Through a better understanding, we may be able to arrive at that goal a little sooner and even reduce end costs in the long term.
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 in our lives, it becomes even more important to provide for their health in the best ways possible. Just like us, dogs have joints that will gradually deteriorate secondary to osteoarthritis, which can create much discomfort for them and us. 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.
Free radicals are an important entity in chemistry and in health, having been researched for many years with connections to cellular changes that may impact overall health and aging. A free radical is a molecule that has an unpaired electron in the outer shell, which creates instability and a high rate of reactivity with other molecules. Free radicals are produced as a normal part of cellular respiration or energy production, but can also be generated as a consequence of environmental factors, stress, poor diet, food additives, medications and genetics. In general, they can have huge negative impacts on overall health, performance and sustainability, but the good news is that with understanding, we also realize that there are things we can do to minimize the damage inflicted.
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 dogs than cats 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!
As a veterinarian, I routinely vaccinate patients on a daily basis as a perceived part of preventative health. Vaccines have certainly saved many lives and prevented many infectious diseases from spreading, but one has to question their timeliness as well as possible negative impact on health as well.
When you hear the word “inflammation”, the most common image is one of redness, swelling and pain. Maybe a sprained ankle, tendon or even a blister. While this is true for one form when view externally, it doesn’t always hold true. Pain is a common association with inflammation, but doesn’t always have to be present for the inflammatory process to impact health on many levels. Sometimes, it is like a smoldering fire, out of normal view, contributing to many health conditions in people, pets and horses.
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