Thursday, Feb. 2nd 2012

Raw feeding, disc disease in a Dachshund



I recently received my advance copy of the March 2012 Dog World Magazine, in which I was extensively quoted in an article (beginning on page 38) about raw food feeding of dogs. This magazine should soon be available on newsstands if you are interested. To recap, I feel there is nothing wrong with feeding a dog (or cat) a raw diet with certain caveats. First, it should be appropriate for the pet given their age and health status. Many older dogs or those with chronic GI issues will not tolerate a raw diet and it may even make them less healthy. Second, raw may be a poor or risky choice in households with pets OR people with compromised or weak immune systems such as infants, elderly, or those receiving chemotherapy, and appropriate food safety rules must be followed in all households to prevent bacterial contamination of food preparation surfaces. Third, the diet must be well balanced with an adequate amount of calcium and other nutrients. You can’t simply open a package of ground beef for your pet. If you’d like to know more, feel free to check out the magazine!


Case History:

I’ve recently been treating a lovely 4 year old Miniature Dachshund for intervertebral disc disease. This condition is common in this breed, and in her case had caused complete paralysis of the hind legs. Specialists had determined surgical removal of the prolapsed disc material from her spinal canal was inappropriate, and had sent her home with no feeling or movement in her hind legs. I started treating her in early November, and since then she has received over a dozen treatments. When I saw her last week, she now withdraws her legs when her toes are squeezed, she turns her head and can feel when I put needles in her toes, and when lifted to a standing position can support her own weight. Her family has done an amazing job of managing her; keeping her clean, expressing her bladder, and preventing injury from dragging her hindquarters. We have hopes that her improvement will continue and she will eventually be able to walk again, although she loves going for walks even now, running down the street with her little cart pulling hard on the leash. Her spirit is amazing and I am thoroughly enjoying treating her!


Health Issues:

This winter has been a strange one, weather-wise. While the warmer weather has been a blessing for many older pets, there are still a couple of months coming during which we could get sudden cold snaps, ice, or snow. Be aware that these weather changes can often dramatically worsen arthritic pain and stiffness. Remember you can always call me for an earlier appointment or a “booster treatment” if your pet exhibits these signs. Sometimes increasing the “warmth” of a diet by using chicken, lamb, oats, cinnamon, and ginger can aid these pets in better tolerating cold weather. Heated beds (see last month’s newsletter) and a warm cozy place out of the wind to sleep are always appreciated by our senior citizen pets. Also remember many older cats develop arthritis of the spine. If your older cat isn’t jumping up on furniture as much or seems stiff on rising, maybe it’s time for them to begin treatments as well. This is sometimes a cause of litterbox issues as well if they find it difficult to step over the high sides of a box, or must navigate a set of stairs to get there.


Business News:

In an attempt to continue to grow my business by getting the word out, I have initiated a friendly challenge with the company that developed my website. Catch-Frayz Marketing and Veterinary Alternatives each have a page on Facebook ( and we are racing to 200 fans. So far I’m ahead, but they are now offering prizes of their services to new fans, which is a little impractical for me. SO, I’m asking each of you that has a Facebook account to first “like” my page if you haven’t already, then find something I’ve posted on my page and “share” it on your own wall and encourage your own friends to check out my page. It helps even more if you share certain items with particular friends you know would appreciate the information. I post a variety of items, usually about once a day, from cartoons and fun pet pictures to pet food and treat recalls. I appreciate your help! And of course, you can always pass this newsletter on to anyone in your sphere of acquaintances that you think would be interested.

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