Tuesday, Mar. 2nd 2010

Diet ingredients, ear cleaners

Veterinary Alternatives E-Newsletter—Information about pet health as well as yours, holistic therapies, and the house-call veterinary acupuncture business.

Updates:  Veterinary Alternatives’ new website is going live this week!  While there will be more additions to be made, you can go ahead and look at it any time after Thursday.  As e-newsletters are published, they will also be put on the website in an archive for viewing anytime.  There’s plenty of room for more pictures of patients, so just get in touch with Dr. Leonard if your pet would like to be on the website!  If you would like to have a testimonial posted about how your pet has responded to acupuncture, you can e-mail it to Dr. Leonard.  Assuming she successfully learns how to put things on the website (medicine is so much easier than computers!) they will be added to the testimonials page.

Improving your health:  For pets as well as people, more processing of diet ingredients means poorer health.  Some ingredients are too easily utilized by the body, leading to weight gain and blood sugar issues.  Others are altered by the processing into a less digestible form.  One example of this second type of processing is the chicken or fish meal found in many pet foods.  These meals are prepared by pressure cooking various meaty parts until they achieve a homogenous consistency.  This high heat and pressure alters the amino acids (protein building blocks) so that the body cannot properly use them.  Finding a diet free of “meal” in the ingredient list is difficult, but worth the attempt.  “By-products” are another ingredient to avoid, as this can mean any body part of the animal listed. This may include hooves, hair, and other indigestible waste parts, or organs which may contain contaminants or toxins.  The presence of by-products on the ingredient list is an indication of a lower-quality diet.  In general, less processing of food ingredients is better for everyone’s health!

Health News:  Dr. Leonard has been researching natural ear cleaners.  She has found two online that appear to be good prospects.  Seaside Naturals has a basic ear cleaner based on cider vinegar, essential oils, and aloe to acidify the ear environment to prevent bacterial growth and to soothe irritation.  www.doggieherbs.com sells an ear wash system that includes a cleaner that is similar to the Seaside product but also includes Chinese herbs intended for drying, cooling, and soothing of itchy skin; plus an ear oil to coat and soothe the ear canal after the drying effects of the ear wash, replacing the natural oils of the ear that have been removed with cleaning.  Either option sounds quite safe and artificial-chemical free, plus the essential oils should leave a nice fresh odor.  Do be aware these products are for dogs only—cats are very sensitive to essential oils and may not tolerate them.

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