SEVEN WAYS TO PREVENT HEART DISEASE IN YOUR DOGFor most people, a healthy heart is the symbol of good health. Your heart is greatly dependent on good nutrition, minerals, proteins, electrolytes and good energy flow in the body.
I have always been interested in why some dogs have good and healthy hearts and others do not.
Over my years of practicing veterinary medicine, I started noticing an interesting connection between heart problems and the alignment of dogs’ forelegs and shoulders.
Let's look at the body of a boxer and a Doberman pinscher - two breeds that are highly prone to a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. This condition results in weakening of the heart muscle, dilation of the heart, heart murmurs and heart failure.
I started looking at the similarity between Doberman pinschers and boxers and how they are different from other breeds. One of the most striking differences is that most boxers and Dobermans have a much narrower space between their shoulder blades (the interscapular space). They also have long and relatively straight forelegs and a narrow, yet deep chest.
The heart receives its energy flow from the segment of the spine that is at the interscapular space. When this space is narrow, the spinal muscles get tight when the forelegs move. This slows down the energy flow to the heart and predisposes dogs to heart disease.
Over more than two decades in veterinary practice, I have also seen other breeds with a narrow, injured, sensitive or tight inter-scapular region suffer from cardiac disease.
To summarize, it appears when the inter-scapular spine is under excessive stress and strain the heart does not receive adequate energy flow and is more prone to heart disease.
I have developed this five-step heart disease prevention program for dogs with narrow interscapular regions.
6 WAYS TO PREVENT HEART DISEASE
If you would like to read more about heart health, check out Be On Guard for Your Dog's Heart, Chapter 11 of our free Health and Longevity Course
Valentine's Day Treats
Inuit sled dogs have changed little since people migrated to the North American Arctic across the Bering Strait from Siberia with them, according to researchers who have examined DNA from the dogs from that time span. The legacy of these Inuit dogs survives today in Arctic sled dogs, making them one of the last remaining descendant populations of indigenous, pre-European dog lineages in the Americas.
The latest research is the result of nearly a decade's work by University of California, Davis, researchers in anthropology and veterinary genetics, who analyzed the DNA of hundreds of dogs' ancient skeletal remains to determine that the Inuit dog had significantly different DNA than other Arctic dogs, including malamutes and huskies.
The article, "Specialized sledge dogs accompanied the Inuit dispersal across the North American Arctic," was published Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. From UC Davis, authors include Christyann Darwent, professor of anthropology; Ben Sacks, adjunct professor and director of the Mammalian Ecology and Conservation Unit, Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine; and Sarah Brown, a postdoctoral researcher. Lead author Carly Ameen is an archaeologist from the University of Exeter; Tatiana Feuerborn is with the Globe Institute in Denmark and Centre for Palaeogenetics in Sweden; and Allowen Evin is at the CNRS, Université de Montpellier, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution in Montpellier, France. The list of authors includes many others from a large number of collaborating institutions.
Qimmiit (dogs in Inuktitut) were viewed by the Inuit as particularly well-suited to long-distance hauling of people and their goods across the Arctic and consuming local resources, such as sea mammals, for food.
The unique group of dogs helped the Inuit conquer the tough terrain of the North American Arctic 2,000 years ago, researchers said. Inuit dogs are the direct ancestors of modern Arctic sled dogs, and although their appearance has continued to change over time, they continue to play an important role in Arctic communities.
Experts examined the DNA from 921 dogs and wolves who lived during the last 4,500 years. Analysis of the DNA, and the locations and time periods in which they were recovered archaeologically, shows dogs from Inuit sites occupied beginning around 2,000 years ago were genetically different from dogs already in the region.
According to Sacks "the genetic profiles of ancient dogs of the American Arctic dating to 2,000 years ago were nearly identical to those of older dogs from Siberia, but contrasted starkly with those of more ancient dogs in the Americas, providing an unusually clear and definitive picture of the canine replacement event that coincided with the expansion of Thule peoples across the American Arctic two millennia ago."
Preserving an important history
Research confirms that native peoples maintained their own dogs. By analyzing the shape of elements from 391 dogs, the study also shows that the Inuit had larger dogs with a proportionally narrower cranium to earlier dogs belonging to pre-Inuit groups.
The National Science Foundation-funded portion of the research at UC Davis was inspired by Inuit activist and author Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who told Darwent about Inuit sled-dog culling undertaken by Canadian police in the 1950s and asked if there was a way to use scientific methods to tell the history and importance of sled dogs in the Arctic. Preservation of these distinctive Inuit dogs is likely a reflection of the highly specialized role that dogs played in both long-range transportation and daily subsistence practices in Inuit society.
But those eyes!
Dog Friendly Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie Recipe
This yummy dog friendly smoothie contains an assortment of nourishing ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory effects.
Unfortunately, just like people, dogs also suffer from a range of inflammatory illnesses, so adding some nutrient packed, inflammation-fighting foods to their diet can be of great benefit.
Due to their lack of salivary amylase, dogs struggle to break down the cellulose and starch found in fruits and vegetables, so providing them in a blended form via a dog friendly smoothie makes them far more digestible and ensures that the nutrients have increased bioavailability.
Can be fed 2 to 3 times per week.
Anti Inflammatory Smoothie
1 cup of coconut water
2 stalks of celery
1 cup of organically grown baby spinach
1/4 cup of blueberries
1/4 cup of pineapple
1 tbls of flaxseed ( also rotate pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds)
1 tbls of chia seed
1 small piece of fresh peeled ginger
Add ingredients to blender or food processor and mix until smooth.
Smoothie can be fed alone or mixed in with food.
Cannabis For Your Dogs: How It Can Help
source:dogsnaturallymagazine and By Julia Henriques
There’s a popular medicinal herb you can give your dog these days …
… and it’s called cannabis.
Dog owners are using it to help their pets with a wide range of ailments – from anxiety to arthritis to cancer.
Are dogs going to pot?
Not exactly. The cannabis dogs are taking is hemp, not marijuana.
For a long time, hemp was illegal in the US and other countries because it got lumped in with other forms of cannabis. Today, you can buy hempseed products in your local grocery store – not just soaps and lotions, but hempseed protein powders and drinks like hempseed milk.
But the hemp that has therapeutic benefits for your dog isn’t the kind lining the supermarket shelves.
We’re talking about whole herb cannabis.
So what’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Marijuana Vs Hemp
Marijuana and hemp both come from the plant Cannabis sativa (though marijuana also comes from another member of the Cannabis family, Cannabis indica).
The cannabis plant has over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBDs are therapeutic cannabinoids, while THC is the cannabinoid that makes you high.
Marijuana’s THC content is usually between 10 and 15 percent; but hemp must have a THC content of 0.3 percent or less. At this level, cannabis has no intoxicating effect, for people or dogs.
Hemp is higher in CBD, the substance that provides the therapeutic effects.
How CBD Works
The cannabis plant contains a number of different chemicals, including CBD, phytocannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids. Humans and other mammals have specific cannabinoid receptor sites. These sites are primarily in the brain and central nervous system, and in peripheral organs, especially immune cells. They make up what’s called the endocannabinoid system.
Studies show that many cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects, and can help with pain, tumors, seizures, muscle spasms, skin conditions, appetite stimulation, aggression, anxiety and neurological disorders.
How CBD Hemp Can Help Your Dog
CBD hemp can help with both chronic and acute disease.
Among chronic conditions, it can help with arthritis, compromised immune systems, stress responses, aggression and digestive issues. There are also studies under way into CBD’s effects on Type 1 diabetes, organ diseases and cancer.
Veterinarians are also finding CBD hemp can be useful in treating acute ailments like sprains and strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks and even during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain and stiffness.
If your dog’s taking conventional drugs for any of these conditions, CBD hemp may make it possible to use lower doses of the drugs to achieve therapeutic effects. Since conventional medicines do have side effects, this is a useful benefit of CBD.
Does It Work Fast?
As with any herbal medicine, for most ailments you may not see an immediate effect. You’ll need to be patient.
Your dog may feel some pain relief in a few hours but other symptoms like inflammation may take a few days to show improvement.
First of all, because of the low THC, CBD hemp won’t make your dog high. The most common side effect of CBD is that your dog may get a little drowsy – about the same as if you gave him a Benadryl.
On rare occasions, side effects have included excessive itchiness or mild vomiting, but these sensitivities are few and far between. If your dog reacts with these symptoms, you should stop giving him cannabis.
Australian holistic veterinarian Dr Edward Bassingthwaighte says he’s been amazed at the success he’s had treating some dogs with cannabis. Here are a couple of cases he told us about.
One is a senior Staffy who had a fast-growing tumor about 6 cm in diameter in her mammary gland. Chest x-rays showed there might be mestatasis. Dr Bassingthwaighte treated her with CBD oil and some other herbal medicines. The tumor shrank away to nothing over three months and she’s still going strong six months later, with no recurrence. She’d had multiple tumors surgically removed over the years, but it was the CBD oil that really helped her.
The other case is a little old Jack Russell with a severe heart murmur and painful arthritis. He received a whole plant extract containing CBD and in this case also some THC, diluted in 10 ml of cold pressed hemp seed oil. After a month of this medicine he was much happier and more active, wanting to go for long walks, and his heart murmur was much less severe. Dr Bassingthwaighte says “I simply can’t explain the improved heart murmur. They normally don’t get better.”
Dr Bassingthwaighte suggests working with your holistic vet if you think cannabis would help your dog – it’s powerful medicine so at least let your vet know what you’re doing
Where To Buy CBD Hemp For Your Dog
The safest way to use CBD for your dog is to use a product that’s formulated for pets. There are several companies producing CBD hemp for dogs. Some of these are in oil or tincture form, while others actually make treats with CBD.
We asked herbalist Rita Hogan for her advice on dosing CBD oils.
Every dog is different. Rita recommends starting with a low dose and working up to the recommended level so that your dog gets the right dose for his individual needs.
Caution: The dosing advice below is for commercially produced CBD oil for dogs, not for homemade tinctures.
Rita recommends starting with 1 drop of CBD oil per 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight per day. Give this dose for about a week, then move up to 1 drop per 10 lbs of body weight twice per day.
Some companies sell their CBD in capsules. In this case, start with a quarter of the recommended dose and increase gradually until you see the benefits (again, without side effects).
As long as there are no side effects, you can increase the dose every 4 to 5 days until you see the therapeutic benefits. Side effects may include disorientation, hyperactivity, vomiting or excessive sedation. If you note any of these effects, stop treatment and wait for them to go away, then restart at a lower dose.
Be sure to observe your dog’s response. The key is to find a dose where you don’t see side effects but you do see results. With continued use, you may need to increase the dose a little over time to achieve the therapeutic results.
If you prefer to buy the CBD treats offered by some companies, start with a quarter cookie and work up gradually from there. Don’t exceed the manufacturer’s maximum recommended dose for your dog’s size
Caution: make sure you store the treats where your pets can’t get into them, and make sure others don’t hand them out as they would regular treats!
You can use CBD hemp safely and effectively (as well as legally) to treat many canine health issues. And it won’t get your dog high!
Frozen Kong Recipes
5 Super Yummy Boredom Busting Kong Stuffing Recipes
Fruity Yogurt Filler
-1 cup of plain 2% Greek yogurt.
-1 handful of fresh or frozen blueberries. Feel free to use any dog safe fresh berries if your dog does not like blueberries.
Meat and Taters Filler
- 2 small jars of turkey and sweet potato baby food,
OR use the equivalent amount (4 to 6 oz. pureed) of regular cooked turkey and sweet potato if you have some on hand. (If you are buying prepared baby food read the label to make sure that no other unsafe ingredients for dogs have been added)
- 1 cup of plain 2% Greek yogurt.
- 1/2 cup of freeze dried liver treats. (read label and check for the source of these treats. Don't buy Chinese sourced treats!)
Doggy-licious Cheese and Potato Filler
- 1 large white potato, cooked and then chopped into small cubes and mashed). You can also use cooked Sweet Potato!
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup of plain 2% cottage cheese or kefir.
Sweet Peanut Butter and Cheese Filler
- 1 cup of organic crunchy peanut butter (read label and make sure there are no artificial sweeteners in this peanut butter)
- 1 teaspoon of raw, honey (manuka honey if you have it)
- 1 cup of 2% cottage cheese or kefir
Chunky Monkey with Banana Filler
- 1 cup of ripe mashed banana
- 2 tablespoons of organic crunchy peanut butter (read label to look for unsafe added ingredients)
- 2 tablespoons of a good quality unrefined organic coconut oil
- 1 cup of plain 2% Greek yogurt
Margit Maxwell- A Dog Trainer (CPDT) and Canine Behaviour Specialist for The Divine Dog Project. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her Herd of two Siberian Huskies (Kaya and Angel) and an Alaskan Malamute (Skylar). She also has credentials in Psychology (Human and dog), Animal Sciences, Natural Medicine, Energy Medicine, and many alternative Healing Modalities.