Newsletter - October 2013
Tori has a cruciate problem, so we try to prevent her from jumping. As such, I pick her up and carry her to the bed. My reward? An exasperated look followed by her taking a leap off the bed only to come around to my side and ask to be picked up. I've tried ignoring her, so she would stop this behavior, but she'd rather lie on the floor (sometimes moping in another room) than accept my handling her when she doesn't ask for help. It's not that she doesn't want to be on the bed. It's that she wants to be the one to make that decision. The same is true of many other scenarios. Tori will let you know if she's having trouble managing something, and if you haven't heard from her, she'd like you to mind your own business - thank you very much.
I think that all dogs deserve to be respected, but I've never met one who becomes quite this indignant when she thinks she hasn't received her due.
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Last call for my seminar on Oct. 19th at the Red Barn Event Center in Barrie, Ontario.
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The Problem Holds The Solution
I've received a lot of email lately. People seem to find me when they read things that are worrisome or controversial. Take the finding that most home-made diets are low in choline. That's a problem. The solution? Well, analyzing a diet can only be done when we know the choline content of all foods. Most people, and certainly most veterinary nutritionists rely on the USDA numbers for nutrient values of foods which are incomplete where choline is concerned. So, the diet may or may not be deficient in reality. That said, supplementing with choline is easy enough.
Another issue that cropped up in Sept. was the recommendation to feed any other carbohydrate in lieu of rice, so we could avoid the arsenic content of rice. While that may sound reasonable, the fact is that every food has a unique nutrient profile, so substitutions on a long term basis may or may not work to keep a diet balanced. There's a bigger problem though, and that is that dogs with food sensitivities and certainly those who need more or less fiber, or more or less phosphorus are poor candidates for willy-nilly substitutions. The solution? Boil rice in plenty of water as if you were boiling pasta. Drain and rinse.
One more, and I'm not sure where this one came from, but there's been a lot of chatter regarding dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) needing a very low fat diet. In fact, a diet that delivers no more than 10% of its calories from dietary fat. To the best of my knowledge, this is old think. More fat (new think) in quite possible once the dog is under good control by using enzymes in his/her food. This is not to suggest that these dogs can, or should be fed a high-fat diet, but starting low and going slowly upward can work very well. The problem of dry skin and coat can be rectified by managing the enzyme protocol, feeding a balanced diet and using the amount (and type) of fat a dog does best with. In some cases this will be medium chain triglycerides (coconut oil), but keep in mind that in EPI the pancreas produces no enzymes, so in that sense, fat is fat is fat, and tolerance needs to be tested slowly.
From my Blog:
Rescue Dog Diaries (includes recipe for Slippery Elm Bark gruel)
"Everything I know, I learned from dogs" ~ Nora Roberts