Saturday, May 12, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Ear Care, Ramps, and more ...

Taking Care of Your Pet’s Ears for Animal Wellness Magazine

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Ear Care, Phytonutrients, and more ...

There are few conditions written about as much as dog ear problems. There are few conditions, so many dogs suffer from. Ear problems are one of the most common. Why? Can they be prevented?

The first thing to keep in mind is that the ears are the extension of the skin. Which means that most of the time, ear issues are a reflection of unhappy skin. Anatomy or lifestyle can be to blame. Most of the time, though, the forces behind that lie within, such as allergies, immune dysfunction, organ dysfunction ... skin health is not skin deep.

Conventional treatments deal with the problem at hand, the infection and/or inflammation. Which does need to be addressed. Once a dog starts having trouble with their ears, though, it usually ends up a chronic problem. Unless you support the ears and skin from within, you might not get very far.

My notes on ear flushing: If you're going to do that unless specifically indicated for the product, forget counting drops. Be generous and pretty much flood the ear with your cleaning solution. Otherwise you're not getting the benefit. I for one don't go fixing problems Cookie doesn't have ear problems, and I don't see a reason to regularly clean ears that don't need cleaning.

Read Dr. Patrick's article to learn how to tackle and prevent ear problems in your dog.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Head Tilt
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Excessive Head Shaking
Phoenix's Chronic Ear Infections
The Ear Ache that Wasn't Going Away: Tottsie's Story
Angry Vet on Ear Infections (part I)
Angry Vet on Ear Infections (part II)

Do You Need a Dog Ramp?


It seems that everybody is writing about dog ramps recently. There is a good reason for that. Ramps are great. Dogs respond really well to them. We've been using ramps every since Jasmine's first knee injury. We use them for getting in and out of the house, in and out of the vehicle ...

You can't even go wrong with a ramp. And if you have a dog with musculoskeletal problems, a ramp is your dog's best friend.

Related articles:
The Ups and Downs of Dog Ramps
Surviving the Post-Op: After Your Dog's ACL/CCL Surgery

Manganese deficiency and CCL disease

Dr. Karen Becker/Animal Wellness

Cruciate injuries in dogs are rarely caused by acute trauma. It can happen, but it is much more likely that the injury is a result of progressive degeneration of the ligament, ultimately leading to a rupture.

There are several factors behind this degeneration. Breed, obesity, hypothyroidism, early spay/neuter ... all these are contributing factors. What about nutrition, though?

Nutrition not only provides essential building blocks of tissues but also fuels any processes that need to take place, including maintenance and repair. The question is then, are we dealing with cruciate injuries or cruciate disease?

Are there any specific nutrients which, if deficient, could have a direct impact on the knee ligaments? According to Dr. Becker, manganese is such nutrient. In her practice, the majority of dogs she sees for CCL damage are active, healthy dogs which have not been "de-sexed" or over-vaccinated. They were, however, fed a diet which might have not been balanced.

Manganese is needed for healthy, strong ligaments and it is easily deficient. Processed dog foods often provide an inadequate amount, and home-prepared meals can easily fall short as well.

The problem is that the richest sources of manganese come from parts that don't make it into the diet, such as hair, feathers or wool.

Read Dr. Becker's article to learn how your dog's diet might be deficient in manganese and how to correct it to feed for healthy ligaments.

Tick identification: Canada

Dr. Scott Weese/Worms and Germs blog

As part of their recently launched information and tick-tracker website, Worms and Germs blog are offering a pilot tick identification program. If you find a tick on your dog, you can send it over, and they will identify it for you. You can also report your tick findings on Pet Tick Tracker.

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