Saturday, June 27, 2015

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: The Cost of Veterinary Care, Feeding for Healthy Skin and more ...

Why Large Breed Dogs Have Poorer Food Digestion

I heard about this concept before but there was no explanation with it. Did you know that in large dogs, the weight of their intestines makes up only 3% of their body weight as opposed to 7% in smaller breeds? I can imagine this would make a difference.

On the other hand, the food stay in the colon longer.

What does it mean for optimal nutrition for a large breed dog? They will do best with highly digestible protein and more non-fermentable fiber. Though too much fiber can interfere with nutrient absorption so finding the optimal amount for your dog is important.

The Cost of Vet Care

Is the cost of veterinary care going up? Does it cost too much? Can anything be done about it?

We spent enormous amount of money on veterinary care. Do I feel that we were overcharged? While the expense hurt us a lot, I do not find the prices unfair or unreasonable.

People cry about the cost of veterinary care a lot. And then they go and spend $400 on a hair dresser (there is an actual story behind this statement).

When Cookie went for her abdominal ultrasound and biopsy, I figured it would come to about $500. When hubby reported how much he paid, I freaked. Then I found out that there was $81 dollars of tax on there. I was pretty pissed about the tax. The ultrasound did cost exactly $500. Is that too much? There were two people working with Cookie, there was the equipment, sending out the imaging to a specialist ... No, I don't think it was too much. Would I like getting the ultrasound done for say $100? Sure I would. But I understand why that wouldn't be possible.

The article lists VPI top ten conditions treated in dogs and average cost of the treatment. I'm not seeing anything outrageous on there.

There are treatments that cost an arm and leg. But those are fancy, state of the art treatments.

There are vets, who, from what I KNOW, mark things up more than I consider reasonable. But none of our vets ever did.

What to Feed Your Dog for Healthy Skin

What nutrients does healthy skin and coat need? Quite often you can improve things just by optimizing essential fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3). Skin needs sufficient amount of these fats. Quite often just adding a bit of safflower oil can make a big difference.

The other major nutrient for skin and coat is protein. Did you know that up to 30% of protein your dog eats goes towards maintenance of the skin and coat? Yes, fur is mostly protein too.

Some mineral deficiencies can reflect in coat quality too, particularly color.

Don’t ‘Ace’ the Fear: Why acepromazine may make your dog’s fireworks fear worse

This article isn't new but with the upcoming celebrations of Independence Day, an important to back-flip to.

Fireworks and thunderstorms can be a source of severe anxiety for some dogs. Of course, we do anything we can to help them feel better.

Acepromazine is a prescription medication which is often prescribed for noise phobias. Unfortunately, not only it doesn't help but it might make things even worse. It is a dissociative tranquilizer which messes with perceptions and understanding of what's happening. The dog is sedated but their brain is freaking out.

Are You Smarter Than a Vet Student About Canine Heatstroke?

I absolutely love Dr. Kay's series Are You Smarter Than a Vet Student. I like to learn everything I can about dog health matters and this series allows me to see how much I do know, and where I am smarter than a vet student.

What do you think? Do you know everything you should about heatstroke? Go find out.

I don't know if it's still time to win a signed copy of Speaking for Spot or Your Dog's Best Health. If it is there is a reason to participate right there. And if not, I think it's a great way to brush up on your knowledge anyway. Correct answers are always posted in the next blog.


  1. Great article!! We had a St Bernard dog when I was a kid - they're the most magnificent dogs and such gentle giants. Interestingly, we've switched our cats to a raw diet recently and they coats are so much healthier and shinier now... there's a visible different to how well they look.

    1. We love our Rotties but St. Bernards are certainly awesome breed.

      Many people note dramatic improvement in coat quality when they switch to raw diet. I think this is even more substantial in cats, because they are obligate carnivores and are not meant to live on kibble with is inherently high in carbs.