Category Archives: health articles

Still A Use For Home Remedies!

Sometimes the easiest solution is the best. It’s not always right to spend money needlessly on Supplements as this recent conversation with one of our customers shows.

From: Maria

Message: Hello, following a check up with our vet yesterday where I pointed out that my almost 9 yr old flatcoated retriever has developed dry flaky skin, my vet advised that maybe I would like to supplement her diet with Lintbells Yumega Dog Salmon Oil. I was wondering if your Trimega Omega 3 Granules would be a better option but one thought did occur to me – will she have Omega 3 overload.  I feed Nutriment raw and feed all the flavours so she gets lots of variety including the fish variety with sprats once a week. Nutriment food is supplemented with both Salmon Oil and Coconut Oil.  I also use your Plaque Away product daily and am about to use your Flexsprinkles. Would adding an Omega 3 supplement have the potential to be too high a level for my dog but if it is what should I be using to treat her dry flaky skin?

Your advice would be gratefully received.  Many thanks. Maria.

flatcoat

Continue reading Still A Use For Home Remedies!

Diabetes, a simple explanation

Diabetes seems to be becoming increasingly common in dogs. Just like human diabetes in that respect, though I don’t know whether it’s for the same reasons. Diabetes can be difficult to understand and so this article is aimed at giving owners a basic appreciation of the condition. Before we start though just to set the scene;

  • Diabetes can’t be cured. There is no scientific evidence for a “cure” despite what some adverts may say. It can be treated and managed successfully though.
  • You can’t diagnose it yourself – though you can spot telltale symptoms. Your vet will then do a quick blood test to confirm it. It is life threatening if left untreated.
  • The vast majority of dogs with diabetes enjoy long and happy lives.

diabetes1

When trying to understand diabetes you will hear the phrases “glucose/sugar levels” and “insulin” bandied around. You don’t have to understand it but if you want to then here is a simple explanation.

Continue reading Diabetes, a simple explanation

To chew or not to chew, that is the question.

Golden Retriever pup chewing a child's shoe
Golden Retriever pup chewing a child’s shoe

To chew or not to chew, that is the question.
I have a new puppy at home in addition to three adult dogs. At almost  months of age the pup is exploring & learning all the time – mostly with his teeth! In an attempt to find something safe for all four animals to chew I started to ‘google’ on the subject. Continue reading To chew or not to chew, that is the question.

What can I do about my dog’s cataracts?

cataract-vet

We are often approached by owners with a question about their dog’s cataracts.  Many want to know if there is an alternative to surgery and how reliable or effective the alternative may be.

Cataract surgery has a high though not perfect success rate and the results can be very good and give permanent improvement.  Nevertheless, not all dogs are suitable candidates because of age or other medical complications and additionally many owners simply cannot afford the expensive operation (although insurance if you have it should cover the cost). Continue reading What can I do about my dog’s cataracts?

Spirulina – is it safe?

spirulina

Dangers of Spirulina are doing the rounds – So here’s what we have to say…….

There have been health scares about blue-green algae (Spirulina is one type of blue-green algae) recently in the press and social media. This first happened about 15 years ago and tends to get refreshed every few years. So do you need to worry about the Spirulina in our products?…

Continue reading Spirulina – is it safe?

Vaccinations – another viewpoint

Lee Windeatt, top international dog agility handler and trainer gives his views on vaccination for your dog. Lee is renowned for speaking his mind and this article is no exception. Lee’s research and fervour shine through in this article

lee-windeatt

 

 I have always been a reader, by that I mean I read up on every subject, sometimes just a little bit so I have an insight and opinion and sometimes extensively…. much to the disappointment of those around me that have to listen to me bleat on about a particular topic. The main subject I seem to constantly be coming back to and reviewing is Health. I have always had an “unhealthy” interest in health, both human and animal. The majority of my reading is nutrition and exercise, most nights I am digesting information on this (pun intended)

Continue reading Vaccinations – another viewpoint

Can I feed my dog too much fish oil?

fish

We are hearing this question more frequently as the possible dangers of overfeeding fish oil are propagated on the net and in social media. It is of particular concern to us because we manufacture supplements containing fish oil fatty acids.

So what’s the answer? Well the answer is to understand why we may need to feed fish oil to our dogs in the first place and what kinds and quantities of fish oil are to be avoided

fish-can

Omega 3 fatty acids (particularly DHA and EPA) are essential in the diets of our dogs because our dogs can’t make them. Omega 6 fatty acids that come from nuts and grains are also essential.

A dog’s natural diet of raw meat, fish and some vegetable content will tend to provide both Omega 3 and Omega 6 in a reasonable balance. However as soon as we feed convenient prepared modern pet food we move away from this ideal. The vast majority of pet foods contain too much Omega 6 as a result of the high carbohydrate content caused by the addition of grains (cereal and rice). Because Omega 6 is then excessive, our dog’s nutrition is damaged and we feel the real need to compensate with additional Omega 3 supplements.

So far so good; but which Omega 3 and how much?

Some vegetable oils are Omega 3 (flax for example) but they contain no DHA or EPA fatty acids and our dogs can only convert a tiny percentage (1-2%) to the required DHA/EPA. So they are pretty useless in this context.

Marine derived oils (from fish, crustaceans and molluscs) therefore form the most common source of Omega 3 supplementation. These different sources yield very different forms of Omega 3 and this is where dangers of over feeding may arise.

Fish Oils

Oils pressed from fish, often salmon, are a common source and they are rich in DHA/EPA. They can be sold in their relatively natural state or they can be refined and processed to increase the DHA/EPA content. They are absorbed best in their natural state, refining reduces absorption.

The dangers of overfeeding (feeding more than the manufacturers recommended dose or feeding combined products from more than one manufacturer) can be caused by:

a) Toxins:  Heavy metals and man made contaminants such as Mercury and PCB’s are present in fish oils. Natural unrefined oils from the larger fish contain the most. Refined fish oils of good quality may contain less of them however.

b) Oxidation:  Fish oils oxidise on storage, and taken to the extreme this is what we call “rancid”. Some oxidation is always present and the chemical bi-products are harmful. Refined fish oils oxidise more than the natural ones.

c) Vitamin E depletion:  Fatty acids react with Vitamin E in the livers of our dogs. The higher the level of Omega 3 the lower the level of vitamin E in the bloodstream and organs leading to vitamin E deficiency.

Fish oils in summary:

Excellent supplements but the downsides are that exceeding recommended doses can cause complications in high contaminant and toxin intake and vitamin E deficiency. Raw oily fish, even a small amount, may be better than fish oil supplements. Not as convenient though.

Krill Oil

Krill, a crustacean, is the source of an Omega 3 oil in a much more absorbable form than fish oil. It is a phospholipid and gives as much as 50 times better assimilation than say pressed salmon oil. It is expensive but far less intake is needed. Also krill oils are practically devoid of contaminants and toxins.

Green Lipped Mussel

Many supplements contain Green Lipped Mussel and this also contains Omega3 fatty acids. Like Krill oil they are in a phospholipid form and so carry none of the contaminants and toxins of fish oil.

So what’s the verdict?

Feeding  a small amount of raw oily fish a couple of times a week is the best way of ensuring your dog obtains enough Omega3 to balance the excessive Omega 6 that they are probably getting from their “modern” pet food diet.

If you don’t want the inconvenience of this then by all means use a supplement. The more expensive Krill oil and other phospholipid products (now also available from salmon) are the best because there are no dangers from contaminants and toxins. However a good quality pressed salmon oil is still good – just stick to the recommended dose.

Don’t feed whole fish and supplement as well – that is not necessary. With supplements don’t exceed recommended amounts or use more than one product at a time. The exception to this is Green Lipped Mussel supplements, they do not contribute to the risk of overfeeding Omega 3.

Alternative treatment for cut stopper pads??

Passim Final Frontier – aka the Meerkat, pet name Fey. (The dictionary definition for fey reads as follows – Having or displaying an otherworldly, magical, or fairylike aspect or quality.)

sropper

Anyway Miss Fluffy Knickers recently suffered a minor injury, I noticed that her front right stopper pad was cut & bleeding. Fey did not seem unduly concerned so several days passed before I took her to see Stephen my Vet. We saw Stephen at 10.30; he took one look & said “Right we’ll take that piece off, come back to collect her at 2.00 p.m., she’ll be fine again by tomorrow.” And, fortunately, she was!

I confess that when I collected Fey the receptionist gave me an A4 sheet listing all the usual precautions. Madam however had her own strong opinions about keeping quiet, receiving half rations, lead walking, wearing the cone of shame etc so I’m afraid most of those instructions were totally ignored.

My son’s dog Peak (a German Short-haired Pointer)had a similar injury only three weeks earlier but her Vet took an entirely different approach. Peak’s stopper pad was more deeply cut than Fey’s and her Vet decided it needed stitching. Unfortunately the stitches had to be redone twice more & staples were also used so Peak did need to be on restricted exercise until the wound healed.

Similar injuries, different vets but all very interesting if you’re a dog owner.

Frosty Comes Home

frosty2

Can you remember back in January we brought you the case of Frosty who at just two years old had developed cataracts due to diabetes. Saints Sled Dog Rescue appealed for help for Frosty and we agreed to sponsor his treatment with Clarifye eye support

We’ve just had two great bits of news from Michael Mettam of SSDR.

Firstly Frosty was checked at the vets about 3 weeks ago and they have now confirmed that they can see eye activity and they do strongly believe that she can see things… which is amazing!!! We are not 100% how much,  it maybe just be shadows etc but there has definitely been progress!

Secondly, Frosty has been adopted!!!… She is now with her new family up in Scotland and is settling in very well with her new surroundings, her new fur sisters and her new mummy and daddy (Kirsty and Mark)

They have now also created a facebook group so people can follow her progress

        https://www.facebook.com/Frostycomeshome?fref=ts