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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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Canine Parvovirus AKA “Parvo” Things All Dog Owners Should Know Especially If You Have A New Puppy

By Dr. Cathy Alinovi, D.V.M.

Parvovirus is an intestinal virus that attacks the cells that line the intestinal tract – all the way from the mouth to the rectum. The symptoms range from vomiting to diarrhea, which may include blood. Untreated it can even result in death. You may also have heard this virus referred to as “Parvo”.

While more frequently seen in unvaccinated and under-vaccinated dogs, primarily puppies, there are certain breeds like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers that are predisposed to the disease and are more likely to die from parvo infection. Puppies that are not vaccinated against parvo have a 50/50 chance of surviving – really very scary odds, which become even worse the longer you wait before taking your pet to the vet.

Treatment is basically supportive care.  Additional fluids to replace what is lost with vomiting, medicine to control vomiting and occasionally your vet may prescribe antibiotics when intestinal damage is so great that bacteria have entered the dog’s body.

Alternatively, I’d like to mention an herbal blend that I have had very good luck with called Great Sassurea Coptis.  This is given rectally and has antibacterial properties that help take down fever and can slow diarrhea.

If You Have A Puppy

Prevention of Parvo is by vaccination – not over-vaccination.  If you understand how maternal antibodies works, you will understand how to protect your pup without over-vaccinating and potentially causing harm. When a puppy nurses for the first time, the milk is full of protection from disease, including parvovirus. However, this built in natural protection, called antibodies, slowly dissipates and is completely gone by the time your pup is 17 weeks old.

Another thing you must be aware of is the functionality of your puppy’s immune system.  You pup is not able to respond to vaccines until he’s at least 6 weeks old. And every time you vaccinate against parvovirus, part of the mother’s natural protection is destroyed.   So vaccinating is really a double-edged sword – it does create long-lasting antibodies but it also creates a weakness in the body’s immune system.

Based on these facts, please be aware that breeders who vaccinate every two weeks aren’t doing pups any favors with regard to protection from parvo infection. That’s because it takes 2-3 weeks for the body to even respond to the initial vaccine.

The final parvo vaccine should be given at 17 weeks old. Two or 3 doses prior to that are more than enough so please don’t allow over-vaccination of your pet.  On a side note – there is controversy about whether earlier vaccines are necessary, but this centers on issues about your environment -particularly how many unvaccinated dogs live around you.

The final thing you must know is that once your pup has been vaccinated against parvovirus, immunity can last a minimum of 6-8 years. This means if your dog is vaccinated at 17 weeks old, he does NOT need annual boosters. Overuse of vaccines weakens the immune system and if you are concerned you can have the antibody levels checked at your vet’s office.

If your puppy is not fully vaccinated against parvovirus (isn’t yet 17 weeks old), avoid public dog places and build your dog’s immune system by feeding a healthy raw food diet; wash your hands after playing with another dog.  Two weeks after your dog receives that final parvo vaccine, public playtime is on!


Dr. Cathy Alinovi is the owner of Healthy Pawsibilities in Indiana. Certified in Veterinary Food Therapy, Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, and Aromatherapy, Dr. Cathy’s approach provides whole body support through both the best in veterinary medicine as well as high-quality, all-natural foods, supplements, and health care products.  She offers phone consultation services as well as in-office appointments. Visit www.hoofstockvet.com for more information.

 
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