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Allergies to insect bites in pets.

This is an excellent articles on how insect bites lead to  allergies in pets.

http://www1.vetmed.lsu.edu/VTHC/Shared Services/Dermatology/Continuing Education Lectures/item42230.html.

Scientists also know that the flea, tick, & mite- type insects can transfer proteins in their saliva that are identical to proteins in beef and Pork. This is how a single allergy to biting insects can develop into a allergy reaction to food. Called Tick-food cross reaction allergy.

So what can be done to prevent food -insect cross reaction allergy? Thorough cooking (at minimum 30 minutes at low boil in water until the meat falls to pieces) is usually enough to breakdown the proteins.  Commercial foods and treats are usually not cooked long enough to breakdown the proteins so many hypoallergenic foods fail. In humans this phenomenon is called “tick-food allergy cross reaction”, and cross reactions can also happen with many pollens called pollen-food cross reaction or Oral Allergy Syndrome.

This  explains why homemade pet-foods, and a few of the freeze- dried, pressure treated pet-foods can extremely  helpful to reduce allergy symptoms.

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Anti-inflammatory supplements have also been shown to be very effective. High quality, fish oil with omega 3 fats being the best of all these products. This is the one time I recommend buying fish oil from your local vet. The prescription form of fish- omega 3 FA are filtered, concentrated which removes water, unneeded non-omega 3 fats and both heavy metals like mercury and other chemical contaminates. I have done numerous price comparisons, based on the effective dose of Fish-Omega FA (mgs)  and found that the cost per pet is the same as over-the-counter brands.

Most veterinarians can/will sell these products without an appointment because of overwhelming science that shows how high quality fish oil prevents most diseases including teeth & gum disease.

Note to remember: Flax seed or borage oil are not effective in dogs nor cats. Carnivores lack the liver enzymes that convert vegetable Omega 3 fats into a form our bodies use to suppress inflammation. You are just getting expensive poop. These seeds or oils are added in tiny amounts to pet foods and treats to sell more product to health aware consumers.

 

Chart of genetic tests available for dogs & labs that do the tests.

Here is a link to the OFA website where they keep a list of all the labs that do genetic testing for Dog diseases. The costs for these tests are much lower than ever before. Breeders and owners of purebred dogs will find this very helpful to plan their dogs future.

I have tested my dog for a Collie genetic disease (MDR1) for which he is a carrier and affected. But knowing he has one copy of the MDR1 gene means I can adjust the dose of certain drugs to prevent overdose and avoid other medication completely. In my case knowing avoided allot of possible harm. Since he is a carrier is out as a breeding dog and has been neutered. 70% of Collies have the defective gene causing MDR1 (Multidrug sensitivity) so the only way to reduce how many Collie’s get this genetic disease is to not bred all dog with a copy of the gene. Can’t see this disease on the outside of the dog. The only way is through a DNA test or when in a crisis of drug overdose which can be lethal. I would rather know.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.

Website on Home-Prepared Dog &Cat Diets

Great resource check it out !! here is the link

Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets.

My dog/cat has arthritis. Which supplement is better: Glucosamines with Chondroitin or Fish oil?

Here is a link to a summary of a nice well done study on this question.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150191/figure/fig3/

What is important to know about supplements with:   

Glucosamine, Chondroitin or Omega Fats (Omega 3 Fatty acids)

1. With or without  Chondroitin.   Remember this; all animal source glucosamine (GA) supplements contain chondroitin sulfate (CS),  whether listed on the label or not.

2. Dose.   Studies comparing the glucosamines from cartilaginous fishes (shark, mussels, clams, shimp, crab) v.s. animals (cow, chicken, pig)   all have the same beneficial effects when the dose of GA & CS is made the same.  The amount of active ingredients in each gram of fish cartilage is much higher than animals. This means less powder needed  if you use fish compared to animal cartilage. This explains why capsules from shark or green mussel  work better than the same size capsule made of cow, chicken or pig cartilage. The same size capsule has more active ingredient when made from cartilaginous fishes.

3. New stuff- a plant based, synthesized form of glucosamine.  A word about the soybean derived formulations of glucosamines. The available information comes from the company that makes the product. They claim that it works as well as other GA products. I read the studies & found a few problems. The product was tested on only a few animals (<12 dogs) for a few weeks and there was no control group. I could not conclude from their information that these products are equal to natural GAs. Publications that directly compare the soy v.s the cartilage based supplements are needed but haven’t been published yet.  Since Cosequin(Soy based) is more expensive than most shark or green mussel nutriceuticals, I don’t recommend it at this time for dogs or cats.

4. Fish oil or Omega fats= Omega 3 fatty acids.

The high quality fish oils contain the omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. These are from Salmon, Mackerel, Cod Liver oil. Plant oil sources of Omega FAs like: Flax, Borage, Safflower that are converted to Omega3 FA by  people, horses, cows are not metabolized by dogs or cats into a usable form of Omega 3 FA. Many carnivores lack the liver enzymes that covert these fats for use. So read the labels of all supplements to see if the Omega 3 FAs are all from fish sources.

5.One more important point to remember: Omega 3 Fats are not stable when heated .  So dry/packaged treats or dog foods that are “fortified” with Omega 3 fats, and have been cooked, have destroyed the Omega fats, a waste of money. Fortified and other “catch words” are added to product labels  to sell more product. If Omega 3 fats  is not listed on the label in mg amount, chances are it is not high enough. Food companies are happy to list the exact amounts when they are using the good stuff. I find many will mix, <20% fish oil with 80%+ vegetable oils for cooking. Then just list the total omega fats.   Most veggie sources have Omega 4, 6, 9  fatty acids. This example would be 20% Omega 3 and 80% Omega 4 & 6.

6. Omega 3 fats have a short shelf life, should be refrigerated, and never smell strongly fishy.  Strong Fishy odor = fats that are spoiled. Belching of fishy taste/odor indicates the same problem, the product is spoiled. Enough spoiled or “rancid” fat can irritate the stomach.

I  recommend Now® Brand of either Shark or Sea Mussel capsules and Shark powder when available. I have switched to the Veterinary prescription brands for fish oils because these are filtered and concentrated. Which removes the contaminates from the oil, such as pollution and heavy metals. Plus these are concentrated which makes the price of the Omega 3 FA, based on milligrams (mg) the same as the over  the counter brands. If not available in your area look for a cold pressed Atlantic Wild Salmon oil,  hopefully without flavors for dogs and cats.

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