Newsletter - May 2006

The News At Home

Sundays tend to be dog food preparation day and this last Sunday was no different. It’s Cassie’s favorite day of the week and she spends a great deal of time watching us work and sniffing the floor in case we drop a tidbit of something. Morley, bless his dog-dad heart, peeled potatoes while I cooked ground beef and beef heart. Cassie waited patiently to be given a bite or two of meat. When the potatoes went on the stove to boil, she became less patient (we think Cassie’s part Irish because she loves potatoes) and paced. It was then time for the raw part of her food, rabbit, to be ground and that’s when our girl became frantic. Desperate to eat some rabbit, she pawed at my leg (not acceptable behavior here) before remembering that this wouldn’t get her anywhere. She barked but that was ignored. She pushed her empty food bowl around the floor and licked it furiously. Then she sat, waved her paw in the air, lay down, rolled over, ‘washed face’ and danced. Every trick she knows, one after the other with a very hopeful look in her eyes. Guess who got some rabbit?.

What’s New at monicasegal.com: New Booklet: Home Feeding Primer

Whether you’re considering a home prepared diet for your dog or you’ve just started feeding one, this booklet will walk you through the steps of achieving a balanced diet. We’ve covered the step-by-step process of how you can formulate a basic diet plan for a healthy adult dog, supplements that may be necessary and those that will only drain your pocket book, recognizing a bad diet when you see or hear of one as well as money and time saving tips to get you and your dog started on the right path. Home Feeding Primer is for the beginner and now becomes a part of growing library of information that will help you to help your dogs.

Myth of the Month: Blood test results show nutrient levels

I often come across mineral deficiencies when analyzing diets. In some cases the dog shows a problem such as poor skin or coat, some have orthopedic problems but sometimes the dog looks just fine. Many of my clients are surprised that the diet lacks any mineral whatsoever much less something as basic as calcium or phosphorus. They often point me to blood tests results showing normal calcium and phosphorus levels as proof that the diet cannot be unbalanced in the way I claim. However, blood test results rarely point to these deficiencies with much clarity The body has very tight controls on balances between minerals. Glands and hormones work as regulators. Think of this as a room with set criteria for how many people are allowed in or out. One person leaves and another is allowed inside. There are gatekeepers with strict orders watching the door. The body regulates these coming and goings tightly enough that it can continue to function without affecting blood test results. Further, circulating calcium and phosphorus levels are not necessarily indicative of what that body has stored. The body stores may be poor but circulation values in the blood are usually looking good. Although diet can affect blood test results showing calcium or phosphorus problems, the issues can be greater. Increased calcium may indicate an excess of vitamin D and can point to cancer. Decreased levels may indicate an under-active parathyroid gland or problem with the pancreas. Increased phosphorus levels may indicate kidney failure or a problem with the parathyroid gland. Decreased levels may be due to malnutrition or malabsorption but can also be indicative of an overactive parathyroid gland. Blood tests results usually point to metabolic function rather than diet. While food is powerful and can affect body function in a very big way, a blood test result is usually a poor indicator of how good or bad a diet really is. The gatekeepers do a great job of regulating things and it’s not unless the gatekeepers themselves become ill that there’s noticeable havoc in the room.

Monica

“Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.” -- Alexander Pope 1688-1744 English Poet

 
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