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Canine Health and Treatment Challenges

The newest field in veterinary medicine is NUTRIGENOMICS.  This is the science of how nutrients in food affect gene expression and has implications for therapeutic nutrition.  Hills Pet Nutrition (Science Diet and Prescription Diets)  is presenting a symposium in this emerging field  at the upcoming AVMA convention.  One of the interesting topics is titled, “Altering Genomic Destiny Using Nutrition to Interrupt the Course of Arthritis.”  Another lecture concerns applying genome knowledge to nutrition for senior pets and there is also one denoting implications for puppies.  I am always extremely careful in choosing puppy food and have found over the years that a reputable “all stages” food is to be preferred.  Especially with Springers I have found most puppy foods are “too hot” and add to training problems–even aggression.   

       In my opinion the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine has always had nationally acclaimed board certified nutritionists. Owners must be very careful of who they trust with their pet’s diets.   A veterinary nutritionist is the most reliable source of information followed by your pet’s veterinarian.  Although reading the label is a must, always remember that it is mostly advertising in a highly competitive, lucrative business.  A case in point–the Perdue chicken!  Once advertised as free from antibiotics, this has now been dropped by edict due to the antibiotics used in the food the chickens are fed.              

               PROHEART 6 has returned to the market after being recalled in 2004.  This heartworm preventative is available on a limited basis with a revised label and information sheet.  The new label warns to avoid administering the drug within one month of vaccinations and to use the drug with caution in dogs with pre-existing allergic diseases, including food allergies and flea bite allergy.  Veterinarians are required to register with Fort Dodge, the manufacturer,  and participate in a web-based training program prior to obtaining the product.

      The CRU VIN DOGS WINE GROUP has announced its support of the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Campaign.  (Sixty percent of all Golden Retrievers die of cancer.)  The group has bottled a chardonnay to benefit the fund.  This is a limited edition with a pastel pencil illustration by artist Jay P Snellgrove.  Also available are hand-signed illustrations, white cotton T shirts and blank note paper.  More more information 303-243-2345 and

      Eleven-year-old Cagney suffered a seizure recently.  While this is a frightening and tiring episode for both owner and pet, this one opened an educational door and the following are some of the coping mechanisms I found helpful.  X-pens are collapsible folding wire sections that can be joined in different sizes and configurations.  They are widely used in most performance events and are very visible at dog shows.  I use them both inside and outside.  Cagney’s X-pen gave her plenty of room.  I lined it with a whelping box pad (K-Vet) that could be washed and provided traction for walking–and of course her favorite pillow!  To help her get up and take the first steps a bath towel around her waist was comfortable and easy to use.  On advice of her veterinarian, as she was weaned down to a maintenance dose–Milk Thistle was added to her diet along with Relax Caps by Crystal Star.  And, in the way of all care givers I kept a daily record of her medications and actions–her veterinarian was delighted with this addition to her records.  Each dog seems to experience seizures in an individual way.  Two other additions to care I feel are indispensable.  One is a pet sitter who has had experience with dogs who have a seizure history–you need to have time to nap, to get away from the house.  The other is the book THE NATURE OF ANIMAL HEALING by Martin Goldstein, DVM.  It is available through Amazon and belongs on the shelf next to the book on first aid. 

Note:  In the beginning I put a few drops of Bach’s Rescue in her drinking water but on the advice of Deb Traugh switched to rubbing drops on my fingers and massaging Cagney.  (Traugh easily put Cagney to sleep with a massage and the veterinarian recommends massage also.)  I did not play harp music but in the future I probably will add this to the routine.    

Jul 21, 2008 | Comments are off | AVMA, Bach's Rescue, Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine, Fort Dodge, Golden Retrievers, Hills Pet Nutrition, Jay P. Snellgrove, Martin Goldstein, Relax Caps, genome, heartworm, milk thistle, nutrigenomics, seizures, senior pets, therapeutic nutrition
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