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What’s Really Causing Those Hot Spots and Itchy Skin?


The paws are usually the first to go…

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

Recently one of our customers asked me:  “Rob, can you just tell me what’s causing my dog to itch and scratch so much…why the hot spots and what can I do to stop it?  I can’t bear to watch it anymore…it really hurts me to see my dog suffer.”

I thought for a while before I replied to her because the solution she was looking for was complicated… like isolating the cause of cancer. There is simply not a one-word answer…because skin and allergy issues are normally the result of several triggers…and in the end it all results in a compromised immune system with increased body inflammation.

Your pooch is significantly affected by environmental triggers like pesticides and herbicides because of the closeness of his nose to the ground…but there are also several other triggers that can contribute to the itchy skin and hot spot conditions.  A few of them might surprise you.

  1. Toxin Buildup & Detox – Any abnormal foreign chemical can result in a build up of toxins in the body.  These can come from flea sprays, shampoos and dips, drugs, flea collars and heartworm drugs.  When and if you “detox” your dog, remember that toxins in the body are mainly released through the skin and not through the feces or urine, so you my see increased skin problems even during a detox.
  2. Dry Pet Foods – Chemicals from preservative agents used in dry pet foods (Ethoxiquin, BHT, PABA etc.) that are added to increase the shelf life of the product allowing the food to be exposed to the environment for months without spoiling affect the immune system.
  3. Fungicides – It is theorized that fungicides are the precursor to cancer and it may be possible to actually destroy a fungicide (and prevent cancer) by raising the PH with sodium bicarbonate.  I mention this now because of the negative effect that fungicide has on the immune system and being a foreign agent in the body.
  4. Drugs – a double-edged sword. We love to see the scratching stop but using drugs such as cortico-steroids and antibiotics destroys the bacterial flora in the gut (both good and bad bacteria), and long-term use is very damaging to the body. It’s little wonder that these inflammation reducing agents are called Band-Aid fixes and should only be used for short application.
  5. Environmental Pollution of our water, food and air causes major issues for our animals.  Our pets indiscriminately search for food and water and drink whether it is contaminated or not.  Air pollution affects our pets in the same way that it affects you and me.  All of these cause immune decline and inflammation.
  6. Exposure to radiation  – that which is used on food and also from the sun.  It all leads to internal destruction of all internal systems.
  7. Stress doesn’t just affect humans…but it also affects our pets as well.  The emotional connection to internal damage is one of the most powerful triggers we know.
  8. Vaccinations – we give our animals far too many vaccinations, mainly because of the multiple varieties.  It really knocks down the immune system, when multiple vaccines are administered to your pet.

Now, is it any wonder why our pets have so many allergies and skin ailments to deal with?  And how do you isolate which one is affecting your pet?  It is not easy but once you know what to look out for and what’s triggering the skin rash and itchiness you can take the appropriate steps to fix the cause of the problem.  The best way to start is by feeding a RAW food diet.

Why A Raw Food Diet Works To Stop Itching & Scratching

Sores that are frequently licked or scratched are uncomfortable but could also be life-threatening if infection sets in.

We are what we eat.  We know this is true for humans, and we can assume that a dog is a product of what he eats.  The difference, of course, is that while we can choose what we want to eat, our pets don’t have that same luxury.  They rely on us.

In many cases dogs are fed kibble or dry food composed of inferior quality ingredients that have been cooked or heat processed. Heat processing alters the protein molecular structure and renders the product harder to assimilate and utilize in the body leading to a higher accumulation of toxins, inefficient organ system function and not surprisingly, allergies and skin conditions.  Normally it takes 4-5 years for degenerative disease and allergy symptoms to manifest – which is why we don’t begin to see itching, and scratching and hot spots in most dogs until they are about 5 years old.

All of this can be eliminated by feeding the animal what it was designed to eat, a raw food diet, and life expectancy of the animal will be extended as an added benefit!

Consider switching to raw as the first step in ending the allergy problems of your pet.

ggggRobert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere.  To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!

 
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Important Facts You Need To Know About Chronic Ear Infections In Dogs

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

How Do They Start and Why Do They Reoccur?

A dog’s chronic ear infection usually results from an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the external, middle, or inner ear.  When the ear becomes inflamed it triggers the production of normal bacteria and yeast resulting in an overgrowth that the body is unable to control. The result is an infection that spreads in this unhealthy environment.

What to Look For

The resulting infection causes swelling and an increased production of earwax. The ears become very itchy and painful. If you see your dog rubbing his head on the carpet you best take heed to check his ears to see if signs are present for an infection. Your pet may shake his head, scratch his ears, or rub against the furniture. If scratching persists you may see wounds on the skin around their face, neck and ears. Don’t delay in getting your pet to the vet for treatment.

Why Do Ear Infections Keep Reoccurring?

Reoccurring ear infections are usually secondary to an underlying condition that allows for an unhealthy ear environment. There are several underlying conditions that may be the primary reasons for the returning ear infection. These conditions include:

  • Allergies (external or food)
  • Ear mites
  • Foreign bodies (bugs, sticks, worms, etc.)
  • Skin disorders (seborrhea, psoriasis)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Tumors or polyps in the ear
    The ear infection reoccurs because the original infection or the underlying condition has not been properly addressed or treated. It may also be due to scar tissue and a permanent narrowing of the ear canal, which makes it a little harder to treat each time.

Treatment & What to Expect


Visit your vet at the first sign of ear problems

During a physical examination your vet will look into the ear for the presence of inflammation, redness, discharge, growths, or any other findings that may indicate an infection. Examination of a sample from the ear under a microscope will determine whether the cause is bacterial, yeast or mites. Once determined, then a suitable antibiotic can be prescribed to treat the condition.

Mites are easy to treat with topical applications in the ear and/or middle of shoulder blades. Most yeast and bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, regular cleaning with topical medications, or steroids if needed to reduce the inflammation. If it is determined that an underlying condition is the cause then the condition will need to be treated as well. In rare circumstances, surgery may be needed to allow drainage or to repair a deformed ear canal.

How Can You Prevent Ear Infection?

Prevention is the key to most conditions and you can do this by merely maintaining a healthy ear environment with regular cleaning and a healthy diet.  It has been my experience for more than 40 years that dogs on the BARF diet, a healthy raw meat diet experience many less ear infections.  In fact, may clients come to us with pets who have severe ear problems and they are amazed at how things clear up once on the BARF Diet.

Here’s a story from a happy BARF client:

“Roscoe started displaying symptoms around October/November \’12 when his ear discharge became noticeable and then his nose started to scab and crust over before turning raw. And the area near his eyes had scabs. I decided to try BARF. 8 months later, he\’s the healthiest dog I can ask for and loves his BARF Diet patties. Quite a transformation from the sick dog he was. I try to tell other dog owners about the benefits I experienced all the time, so their pets can be just as healthy as Roscoe.” – Kirill Galperin

Remember, left untreated, severe ear infections can lead to eardrum rupture, middle ear and inner ear infections. The deep infections can lead to deafness and neurologic signs.  Take action at the first sign of ear problems in your pets.

 

ggggRobert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere.  To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!

 
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IT’S THE FOURTH OF JULY… WHY NOT JUST LEAVE YOUR PET AT HOME?

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

No one likes to be left alone at home – especially such an important member of the family…but in this case it just might be the smartest thing to do for everyone!

Think about it for a minute…no matter how smart and clever your animal is…they simply don’t understand what’s going on when the fireworks begin exploding with sudden and unpredictable bursts of loud noise.  It can be terribly frightening and send your dog into a tizzy – and even worst cause unnecessary anxiety and trauma.  No matter how happy and good-natured your pet usually is…things can change dramatically when the fireworks begin.

So what’s the solution?

Leave Your Pet At Home

Well for sure the easiest and most logical thing to do is leave your pet at home if you’re off to celebrate the fourth in another location.  Dogs love the security of their own home…so make sure you take care of all the basics with plenty of fresh water and his or her familiar bed available.  Leave the television or radio on to keep him comfortable and make sure the house or pet area is secure.  More dogs go missing on the Fourth of July than any other time of the year…so check again to make sure there is no way your pet can escape from the home or an outdoor enclosure.


Most dogs are just as happy staying home on the 4th

Taking Your Pet Along

If your pet is not frightened by loud noises or crowds and you decide to take him to the celebration with you, then naturally it’s best to keep them on a leash and close by at all times. It goes without saying (we hope) that your identification tags are all current just in case you are separated during the event.  Never let your dog loose – or take him anywhere near the fireworks –no matter how small the fireworks may appear to you.  Remember – he has no idea what is going on except for sudden and inexplicable very loud bursts or noise and light.  Be sure to bring along some treats and a flashlight.

If You Get Separated…

Begin a quick search of the area and don’t hesitate to ask others if they have seen your pet. People are generally very nice and will help you in your search.  If you are in a public location go back and check in the area where you parked the car, calling out your pet’s name.  If your pet is still missing begin to call local animal shelters and the animal control facility as well as vets.  They may already have your pet.  And don’t forget social media – like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your lost dog or pet.  If you’re not familiar with these then ask a younger friend or family member to do it for you.

To avoid the possibility of losing or stressing out your pet…why not just leave them at home this year if you’re only going to be away a few hours?  Sometimes this can be the smartest thing to do!

Have a great 4th of July and remember to celebrate with intelligence and care…always keeping the safety and happiness of your pet in mind.

ggggRobert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere.  To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!

 
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Why A Raw Food Really Works To Solve Your Pet’s Digestive Problems

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

The Humane Society of the U.S. estimates that up to 10,000 cats and dogs die each year from exposure to ethylene glycol containing antifreeze.[1]

Ethylene glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze. Unfortunately, many older cars tend to have leaky radiator hoses and this can cause a pool of antifreeze on the garage floor. The antifreeze has a very palatable taste and animals love it. One lick of this highly poisonous substance can be enough to cause irreversible kidney failure and death in a cat, and it doesn’t take much more than that to have the same effect in a dog.

Common Signs of Digestive Problems

Nationwide, vomiting and diarrhea are routinely among the most common reasons that pets are brought to the veterinarian for emergency evaluation. These are, in fact, just the outward signs of any number of potential underlying problems – including irritation or obstruction of a pet’s intestinal tract, ingestion of a poisonous substance, dysfunction of one or more internal organs…or it could be the result of something even more common…and something that is easy to solve.

Here at BARF World, we routinely hear from pet parents whose dogs have digestive issues. Most of the time this is caused by the continuous ingestion of a processed grain based food.  Eventually the dog’s digestive system breaks down, the result of feeding enzyme deficient food that in turn weakens the immune system of the animal.

Disruption of the Immune System

The immune system is an integral piece of the puzzle because it is Mother Nature’s very best protective mechanism to reduce inflammation in the body. All it takes to disrupt the immune system is to feed an enzyme deficient diet or to administer antibiotics, steroids, or multiple vaccinations. A long-term course of any of these plays havoc on the immune system and this opens the door for inflammation and ultimately disease. When the body is monitored and controlled by an efficient working immune system then it responds properly to all digestive and cellular functions.

So, What Exactly Is Wrong With My Processed Petfood?

First we must look at the quality of the protein in your petfood, which is governed by two factors: the presence (or absence) of essential amino acids, and the ability of the particular protein to be digested and absorbed.

Thus a protein can be deficient in two areas. It can be poor quality because it lacks one or more of the essential amino acids, and it can be poor quality because your dog is unable to digest and absorb it easily. A common example of a poor quality protein, deficient in both ways is the protein present in most dry dog food or any diet constructed mainly from cereals. This results in digestive problems in the animal.

Stress on the Pancreas leads to Pancreatitis

In addition to the quality issues, feeding a processed diet totally eliminates the availability of living enzymes in the food. This places stress on the pancreas to supply all of the needed enzymes to digest the food. Once the lifetime supply of enzymes is depleted from the pancreas (and there is a finite number of enzymes), then life ceases to exist – in other words, it will result in the death of your pet.

The Common Sense Solution

Now it only takes good common sense to realize that the easiest way to supplement the pancreas with enzymes is to provide them naturally in the diet.  The best way to do this is with a raw food diet, which of course has not been cooked.  The enzymes are left intact because no heat is applied during the manufacturing process.

When we receive calls here at BARF World about digestive problems (and digestive issues are among the most common calls for help that we receive), we suggest that the pet be switched to a raw meat diet.  Ironically, often we must first “convert” the pet parent, who has been hoodwinked by the clever marketing tactics and packaging of most well-know brands of kibble and semi-moist foods.  We usually advise a slow conversion to a fresh natural non-processed diet.

It has been my experience as a developer of raw food diets and a feeder of raw for almost 40 years, that a slow conversion to a fresh raw meat diet, in conjunction with the use of digestive probiotics, eliminates digestive problems very quickly. Within a week of switching to raw, the pet is well on the way back to happy normal life…and we have fulfilled our mission to return all pets to perfect health – one pet at a time.

Never forget that often the best way to solve a problem is to go back to nature…so using proper nutrition is the easiest and smartest way to start.  Of course all animals are different and we always recommend contacting your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s treatment.

[1] The Preventive Vet, “Pet Emergency Statistics,” http://www.thepreventivevet.com/stats.html.

ggggRobert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere.  To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!

 
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