Newsletter - December 2006

Having both an older dog and a puppy at the same time is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The girls get along very well and are teaching me new things. Tori looks to Cassie for just about everything. She mimics and follows Cassie’s lead but there’s more to the story. The other day Tori began to stalk but I didn’t see that there was anything to go after so I sat and watched in amusement. She stalked back and forth for a couple of minutes before Cassie pawed at her gently. Tori sat quietly, not taking her eyes off Cass. Cassie stalked back and forth for a few seconds and sat down. Tori went back to stalking while Cassie watched and wagged her tail. I could be wrong but it certainly looked like the young learning from the old. In turn, Tori has become Cassie’s ears. Having lost a good deal of her hearing, Cassie’s world was somewhat silent over the last year. Now, she follows Tori’s lead, missing none of the action. The dogs are a good match and make life that much happier for each other and certainly for us.

What’s New at monicasegal.com New Supplement: Taurine

Studies in Cocker Spaniels with cardiomyopathy showed taurine deficiency. Since then, taurine has been studied in a number of breeds and adding it to canine diets is considered an insurance policy because healthy heart function is, obviously, critical. Taurine deficiency is possible even in home-prepared diets be they raw or cooked.

Taurine is a free form amino acid commonly known for it’s healthy heart function properties. Taurine is also active in membrane stabilization, bile acid conjugation, detoxification and modulation of cellular calcium levels as well as being used in cases of liver and seizure disorders. We are very proud to offer the highest quality of taurine in 500 mg capsules. The latest veterinary suggestions for dosage are:

Up to 20 lbs of bodyweight: 1/4 capsule daily

21-50 lbs bodyweight: 1/2 capsule daily

51-80 lbs bodyweight: 1 capsule daily

81+ lbs bodyweight: 2 capsules daily

Fact of the Month:  Pancreatitis is common during the holiday season

More dogs end up in the veterinary emergency clinic during the holiday season than at any other time of year. Most cases involve indiscriminant feeding practices. Dog owners tend to want to feed more or different treats, visitors seem to like feeding the dogs as well and children sometimes share rich baked treats and chocolate with Fido.

Reducing the risk of pancreatitis involves maintaining a dog’s ideal weight. Obesity is considered a risk factor. A report showed that 43% of dogs with acute pancreatitis were overweight or obese. Pancreatitis can be secondary to intestinal immune mediated reactions such as food allergy or inflammatory bowel disease. Suspicion of food allergy can be minimized and the allergy often controlled through an elimination diet.

The pancreas is a rich storage house for pancreatic enzymes and foods high in fat and protein trigger the greatest enzyme secretion. While this is normal response to eating a meal, in some dogs the response is excessive and linked to inflammation of the pancreas. Owners feeding more food than necessary and especially those who feed high protein and fat treats are best to revisit the dogs’ diet and make appropriate changes. The holidays can be a healthy time for our dogs if we avoid over feeding in general and remember that high fat foods are not always appropriate. Offering baby carrots and green beans is a better choice than rich turkey gravy poured into the food bowl. Small bites of lean turkey without skin is a better choice than feeding leftovers that have been on the counter for a few hours. Let’s make this month enjoyable and safe for our dogs.

Wishing you and yours the very best of the season,

Monica

“To err is human: To forgive, canine.” -- Anonymous

 
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