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Zoran Jankovic

Mercy © Christa Cilia

Every since I integrated Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine into my practice I was at loss how to explain the ability of acupuncture to enhance growth of new tissue and repair what is normally considered irreparable  by conventional wisdom. I have seen it happening many times, cruciate ligament tears, intervertebral disc disease, advanced degenerative  changes...but I had no science backed explanation how acupuncture repairs profound organic changes or rebuilds lost tissue. Until now.

The superorganism concept

From a microbiologist's point of view,  no animal including Homo sapiens is an individual but, rather, a superorganism that only thrives because the members of this community have been living together since primeval times. Intestinal bacteria contribute 36 percent of the small molecules that are present in human body.  The aggregate of all inhabitants of the body, the so-called microbiota, constitutes an independent organ. Weighing in at 2 kilograms in humans , it's heavier than the brain and has a biochemical activity that is comparable to the liver's.

This superorganism has evolved over millions of years -- and doesn't cope well with some of the innovations of the modern world. Antibiotics, for instance, may destroy dangerous bacteria, but beneficial ones also unfortunately suffer. Only two treatment cycles of the synthetic antibiotic ciprofloxacin are enough to deal a painful blow to the microbiota. Although the intestinal bacteria eventually grow back, it's now known that they don't regain their original degree of diversity.

DogRisk is a research project about nutritional, environmental and genetic factors behind canine diseases.  The research team at the Department of Equine and Small Animal Medicine in Helsinki led by Dr. Anna Hielm Bjorkman has already obtained ground breaking data, however due to lack of funds they are unable to complete this project and publish their findings in peer reviewed journals. Now it is time for every pet parent, every dog or cat lover to contribute  and make the future of our furry friends brighter.    

 As always - prevention is better than the cure.

Lately social media users have been consumed with panic over Parvovirus infection.  Indeed Parvovirosis is a serious disease, highly contageous  and  very often  fatal. However this is usually the case with very young, typically unvaccinated and immunocompromised dogs. In reality Parvovirus has always been with us and it is not a new disease and there are efficient ways to prevent it. Here are some facts about this virus every pet parent should know...

My guest today is  Dr Isla Fishburn (BSc Zoology and MBiolSci and PhD in Conservation Biology) a canine wellness practitioner. She is passionate about creating a co-existence between people and animals. Her experience as a conservation biologist and ambassador for wildlife quickly made her discover that conservation needs to begin at home: “many people do not consider the emotions and experiences of our dogs and how this can affect their very wellbeing.” Isla’s mission is to still create a co-existence between people and wildlife but first she must help people to conserve the natural dog; from genetics, diet, behavior and, most of all, emotions. Isla is a firm believer that dogs have emotions and these are the foundations of any mammal’s survival.

We all wish for our furry family members to reach their full developmental potential  and to live in vibrant good health. Unfortunately common practice is not always based on common sense, instead large majority of widely accepted habits in our society is based primarily on economic interest and blatant disregard for some basic facts of nature.  Here are three  important reasons why you should never feed your pets highly processed commercial foods:

In spite of being aware of all the dangers of processed foods,  many pet owners are under the impression that raw feeding is something complicated, time consuming and difficult.  In fact it couldn't be easier...

Asian Fishing Cat is  a rare  feline species evolved to feed exclusively on fish (© Karen Povey)

For some reason many cat guardians suffer from misconception that feeding fish every day is the best thing you can do for your cat. Even worse many cat owners base nutrition of their feline companions exclusively on tinned tuna or mackerel as this is usually the cheapest option when it comes to fish.

As explained on the charts provided in this article eating large quantities of large blue fish is not a good idea neither for humans nor for cats.  Contrary to popular belief fish is not species appropriate diet for cats. With the exception of few rare species such as Asian Fishing Cat most of the cats  will not go nowhere near the large body of water.  Granted,   occasionally we may encounter adventurous domestic cat which has mastered the fishing skills but on the whole cats and water do not mix very well. 

 

Fear of  loud and sudden noises is very common in dogs. Some breeds like Australian Shepherd, Border Collie and German Shepherd seem to be particularly predisposed to it.

This problem in canine family members is certainly no laughing matter. If left untreated this condition will certainly get worse. In mild cases dogs with noise phobia react by freezing and withdrawing while the others try to escape and may injure themselves trying to break through windows or chewing through restraints and enclosures.

Both mild and severe cases indicate profound suffering and damage to nerve cells.  Here are some tips to alleviate this problem.

Some people think shaving dogs is fun, little do they know about all implications of this act. In my opinion shaving double coated dogs should be considered animal cruelty.

As the summer approaches I see more and more completely shaved dogs. Regardless of the type of the coat i.e double coated (breeds like Samoyeds, Huskies, Border Collies, German Shepherds, etc., which have two layers of hair, fine undercoat and top coat) or not- you should never shave your dog and here is why:

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