Archive for February, 2011

THE IMPORTANCE OF HOME DENTAL CARE FOR PETS

Next to great nutrition,  the one thing caregivers can do to extend the quality and length of their pet’s life is to provide them with good dental care, both at home and professionally.    Regular home dental care is more important for your pet than for yourself.   You may wonder why I feel that way.   Well if you consider that dogs and cats age roughly 7 times faster than humans and that humans are advised to have their teeth clean every 6 months (even when no tartar is visible)  then in order to clean our dog and cat’s teeth proportionately as often we would need to give them a  prophylaxis a little over once a month.    Of course this is obsurd and impracticle to say the least, so most veterinarians compromise and recommend once a year cleaning.      This recommended frequency for a dental prophylaxis equates to cleaning our own teeth once every 14  years .    Can you imagine what your hygenist would say if you came in for your once every 14 year teeth cleaning and told her you had not brushed since the last one.   Given the above information,  you can now understand that,  because of the proportionately greater length of time between teeth cleanings, your pet’s need for home dental care is more important  than your own.

Understand that tartar is a great breeding ground for bacteria and bacterial toxins.    These bacteria and toxins are easily absorbed into you  pet’s circulation  where they pass, via the blood stream, to the liver, kidney, and heart.   Once reaching these vital organs,  the toxins produce unseen damage on a regular day after day basis.    In the begining no symptoms  are noticed but after 5 or 10 years of progressive toxic  damage, organ injury reachs the point  where  the organ  can no longer function properly.    At first there are only abnormal blood tests with no symptoms but as damage progresses  physical symptoms appear.    It often appears to  care giver  that their pet just became sick when, in truth, he or she had been sick for several years.

My point is that daily home dental care is essential in reducing toxic and free radical damage to your pet’s vital organs.     If you simply rely on the annual professional dental prophylaxsis to get rid of your pet’s tartar and do nothing in between  you will have allowed considerable irreparable  damage to occur in the interim.

You response to my above recommendation might be,  ”Dr. Simon, that’s all well and good but I don’t have time to struggle with my dog or cat on a daily basis”.   My reply is that there are a number of  approachs  that make daily dental care easy.    The one I recommend is that my clients use a product known as “Maxigaurd Oral Gel”.   The gel is really a solution of zinc vitamin C which when simply smeared on the upper gums will reduce the build up of tartar,  bacteria and their toxins.   Once getting use to using it,  the process should take no more than 30 seconds.   This daily dental hygiene is part of our overall dental program that includes an annual dental cleaning.  Daily oral vitamin C tablets and Coenzyme Q10 will go along way to encourage healthy gums

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

 

KEEP YOUR PET HEALTHY WITH EXERCISE

Dogs are natural athletes that thrive when properly exercised.   Just as with people,  lack of exercise can predispose to obesity and poor health.   Dogs love get outside and just run for the heck of it.   They enjoy jogging with their owners or competing in agility competition.    Hunting dogs can’t wait for the beginning of hunting season, Frisbee dogs want a chance to display their agility and coursing hounds love the chance to compete and show off their speed.  As caregivers we need to provide these athletes a chance to get out of the house, have fun and get rid of all their pent up energy.   If you do nothing more than takes your dog for regular walks you will be doing both yourself and your pet a great benefit.    A young naturally active dog that is not given a chance to walk, run and jump will very likely become bored and stressed and look for ways to entertain him or herself in the form of destructive behavior such as chewing on furniture, lamp cords, shoes, and clothing.   A properly exercised dog on the other hand will be too tired to indulge in such activities.

Any dog owner knows that his dog is a phenomenal athlete who is capable of running rings around them but just because their dogs have natural speed and agility it should not be assumed that they have natural endurance and that they are immune to muscle, tendon, ligament and joint injury.     Dogs are mammals just like humans and although they maintain a four legged posture their basic anatomy is quite similar.   Dogs can sprain joints, rupture ligaments, bruise bones and tear muscles just as easily as we can and these soft tissue injuries can take weeks or months to heal, especially if the pet continues the same activities that encouraged the injury.    A dog that is not regularly exercised will develop sore tight muscles just as we do when we get out and play tennis or touch foot ball once a week.   If we want to jog or bike with our dog we need to approach such activities intelligently and work up gradually to a higher level of activity.    It is important to realize that dogs do not sweat so they may have a harder time getting rid of the heat produced from muscular exertion especially during the hot summer month.   If you are not sensitive to your dogs limitation of exercising him or her on a hot humid day could result in heat exhaustion.    Providing adequate water during such activities is essential for maintain proper body temperature and hydration.   Pouring some water over your dog’s neck and back can also help with controlling elevation in body heat.    During exercise of any kind pay attention to your dog’s behavior; if he appears to be slowing down and panting excessively then stop and allow your pet to catch his breath.    If you are on a walk or jog and your pet begins to limp, lag behind or just sits down then end the walk.    If the next day after exercising your dog has a hard time rising, seems wacked out or whimpers on being picked up then you need to reduce the intensity or length of exercise.

In order to help your pet recover more rapidly from exercise it would be good to massage your pet down either side of his or her spine from head to tail.   If your pet resists then lighten up on the pressure.   Find the level of pressure that he is comfortable with and then slowly increase the pressure and work deeper.   Giving your pet herbal or homeopathic “arnica” after exercise will help reduce muscular aches and pains.

If you are competitive canine sports enthusiast and you are trying gain a competitive edge over your competition you will be particularly interested in the following advice.    Feed your pet a homemade meat based diet using a professionally balanced recipe.  The diet should consist of at least 40% meat protein, fresh colorful veggies, and very limited grain.   Adding digestive enzyme, omega fatty acids, and trace mineral, and probiotic supplements will enhance nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, prevent leaky gut syndrome, and properly alkalinize the body.   Glucosamine, chondroitin, dimethyl glycine and MSM are nutraceuticals which help to prevent injury by strengthening   and repairing connective tissue structures such as joint cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.  Creatine is an important supplement to consider if you want to help build your dogs muscle mass.   The addition of L carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, arginine and coenzyme Q10 will help enhance cellular energy production and consequently strength and endurance…     Dimethylglycine and Megahydrate are nutraceuticals that help to oxygenate, hydrate and detoxify muscle cells.    Homeopathic such as Traumeel, Spascupreel, and Thalmus can be placed in the pet’s drinking water and will reduce pain, inflammation and muscle spasm after strenuous competition.   Post competition   systemic enzymes,   will reduce inflammation and prevent tendonitis, myositis, and ligamentitis.    Of course it goes without saying that you should never knowingly use supplements or drugs to mask serious pain.   Doing so may help you win the competition but may cause permanent damage to the animal.

To maintain a competitive canine athlete in optimal conditioning you will want to consider holistic veterinary care in the form of chiropractic, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, trigger point therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, and infrasonic therapy.    Professional canine massage therapy is another very beneficial modality that can help reduce musculoskeletal pain increase joint mobility and range of motion.

Always try to make exercising fun for both you and your pet.   Combine playing with training to help keep the dogs attention.   Read a book that teaches canine massage, canine stretching exercises and trigger point myotherapy.   Pay particular attention to your pet’s gait and posture  when he is in good health so that you will be able to pick up subtle  signs of pain and lameness in their earliest stage.  Remember that exercising is not only fun for you and your pet it is also very important for maintaining an ideal weight and for overall good health.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional andalternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over  Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties include Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

A HEALTHY PET OR A GREEN LAWN?: Avoid Environmental toxins !

Do you want a green lawn or a healthy pet?    That is the question.    How important is it for you to have the most picturesque lawn in the neighborhood if by doing so you are actually jeopardizing the health of your pet and your family.     Consider the facts presented in the following paragraphs and then decide whether chemical pesticides and herbicides are something you still want to use on your lawn.   I am sure you will all agree that the yard and lawn should be a safe place for children, pets, and bare feet.

We and our pets  live in a highly toxic world.       But our pets are even more exposed to these toxins than we are because they live closer to the ground and explore the world with their nose and mouth. They are certainly more likely to inhale or consume environmental toxins that have been intentionally placed on the lawn where they play or on the lawn of their neighbors.    Pets eat grass, sniff the dirt, walk on the ground in bare feet, roll on the lawn,  lick their feet and coat, drink from puddles on the ground, and chase wet balls that are rolled across the grass while playing fetch.

If you place synthetic herbicides and pesticides on your grass you can be assured that you will be exposing both your family and pet to toxins that have been implicated as  causes  of cancer, birth defects, reproductive defects,  neurological  defects, as well as kidney and liver damage.   Furthermore, these toxins irritate the skin and can cause an immune system  imbalance.     Studies have shown that dogs exposed to herbicides have increased rates of lymphoma and bladder cancer.  It is a disturbing fact that the city of Grosse Point, MI, a very prosperous city where beautifully manicured green lawns are highly prized has the highest incidence of breast cancer in the United States.   It is a fact that American home owners use more pesticides per acre than farmers.

In my clinic I often see what I believe to be acute pesticide or herbicide toxicity.    Every year, especially in the spring, I see pets that are brought in because they started vomiting a few days after the application of pesticides or herbicides to the lawn of their caregiver or that of their neighbor.     The spraying of trees is certainly another associated risk factor that has been implicated in the sudden illness of pets.

Don’t make a serious mistake by believing what your commercial grass care company tells you “ that once herbicides and pesticides have dried on the lawn that they are no longer a threat to pets and people. “      Once these chemicals have dried they form a residue on the grass and plants that can irritate skin when touched or can rub off onto the coats of pets playing in the grass.   In very hot weather these dried chemicals can vaporize and be inhaled.    The chemicals may be consumed when the dog chews on the grass.    When the dog enters the house after walking on and rolling in the grass he/she brings these toxins into the house where the both adults and children are exposed when the dog is hugged or licks the caregiver.    If the pet gets up on your furniture or sleeps in your bed or that of your child  toxins are deposited there.    If he or she shakes,  the toxins are flung into the air to be breathed by everyone in the house.

Please be aware that pesticides and herbicides do not remain where they are placed.   They can drift on wind currents and enter our homes.   Or can be carried in to the house on our shoes or on our pet’s paws and coat.    They often runoff from our yards and enter the waterways that then pollute underground wells and surrounding lakes.

Unfortunately, despite 60 years of commercial availability there remain significant data gaps on the health and environmental effects of many herbicides.     Many more studies have been done on the effects of these chemicals on humans than on dogs and cats.  So in the case of these lawn chemicals we must use the humans as the guinea pig to determine the dangers  these chemicals may have on dogs and cats.    That is,  if we can use dogs as research animals in drug trials to determine their safety and side effects  in humans then we should certainly be able to use human studies on pesticide and herbicides dangers to determine their dangers for pets.

Please understand that you do not have to choose between a healthy pet and a beautiful yard.   It is relatively easy to grow and maintain a green, weed and pest free lawn without using toxic chemicals.  Here are some simple, safe tips for maintaining a beautiful, green, pesticide and herbicide free lawn.

Mow high ( 3 inches)

Don’t  mow the grass when wet

Leave the grass clipping in the lawn

Overseed bare areas with fescue

Top dress the lawn with organic fertilizer

Prevent weeds in your established lawn with corn-gluten meal.

Definitely avoid the following lawn chemicals:  2,4-d;  Carbaryl;    Malathion;  Imidocloprid;   Pendi Methalin;   Atrazine;  Mecoprop;   Dicamba

Finally,   we live in a very toxic world where the air, water and food we eat and  breathe contains dangerous disease causing agents.     We cannot escape all these toxins but we can do our best to limit our family and our pets’ exposure .     Consequently, the question you must answer is do you hold the beauty of your lawn more dear than the health of your family and your pet.    So learn everything you can about natural lawn care and have the best of both worlds.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, bird, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is the author of 4 pet health care boodks and regularly writes articles for Natural Awakening magazine.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional andalternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio