Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

DEGENERATIVE KIDNEY DISEASE AND KIDNEY FAILURE

Kidney failure is the number one killer of older cats and dogs.    If a dog or cat lives to a ripe old age the likelihood is that degenerative kidney disease will progress to kidney failure and finally take his or her life.    Kidney disease is a slow, progressive process that begins in youth and little by little destroys so many kidney cells that the organ ceases to function properly.   Unfortunately symptoms of kidney damage do not appear until late in the process when at least 70% of the functional kidney is destroyed.   Consequently, a pet owner will have no idea that a serious problem exists until the disease has reached an advanced and critical stage.   Semi annually testing your senior pets urine and blood will detect kidney disease somewhat earlier than waiting for symptoms to appear.    A relatively new urine test known as the ERD (Early Renal Disease) will detect evidence of kidney disease which might be missed by a standard urinalysis.   It is important to not that unlike the liver, when kidney cells die they are not replaced.   That is to say that the liver has regenerative capabilities not found in the kidney.    Consequently, serious damage done to the kidney is permanent.    Each year our pets loose a little more of there kidney function until the critical stage of kidney failure is reached.   Things that can destroy your pets kidneys include:  Bacterial infections, food and environmental toxins, allergic reactions, auto immune disease, trauma, high blood pressure, drugs and any inflammatory reaction in the body.    Once enough damage is done to the kidneys the organ becomes progressively less efficient at removing metabolic toxins from the cat or dogs blood and toxins build up until death occurs.   Symptoms of advanced kidney disease include weight loss, increased drinking and urinating,  and loss of house training.    If any of these symptoms are noticed it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian and bring in a urine sample for testing.

Traditionally kidney failure is treated with a prescription kidney diet and the administration of subcutaneous (under the skin) fluid therapy to help rehydrate the pet and to flush toxins out of the body and a faster rate.   Fortunately, with alternative medicine and holistic veterinary care,  we have a number of additional options can help to prolong your dog or cats life.    Oral or injectable antioxidant therapy will help neutralize many of the free radicals which are destroying the kidney cells.   Important antioxidants include coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid,  resveratrol and nega hydrate.   The use of Celtic sea salt will help reduce acidity which develops with progressive kidney damage.   Chiropractic care helps support the bodies ability to neurologically control the kidney.   There are very specific acupuncture points which address kidney issues and are very useful at helping with kidney failure.   Systemic enzyme therapy utilizes powerful proteolytic enzymes which once in the kidney reduce inflammation and dissolve scaring which inhibits kidney function.     Pulsed magnetic therapy can help to rehabilitate kidney cell that have been damaged but are functioning poorly.    Pulsed magnetic therapy works  by restoring diminished cellular voltage that is necessary for the cell to perform its many activities.   “Frequency specific microcurrent” is a holistic modality which uses very specific electrical frequencies to slow the progression of kidney damage.  A chinese herbal remedy known as Rehmania has been used in Asia for centuries in the treatment of kidney disease.   Although stem cell therapy for treating kidney disease is not yet a possibility it is exciting to know that scientist are very close to making this a reality for our dogs and cats.

Because the loss of kidney cells from disease is presently permanent any thing you can do through out your pets life to avoid such damage makes so much more sense than trying to treat an already diseased kidney.    Protecting your pet’s kidneys begins with proving your pet a clean and healthy life style.   A superior diet that has a minimal number of chemical toxins that may be present  in the form of preservatives,  artificial coloring agents,  and chemical texturizures.   Other toxins encountered may enter your pets  food accidently or intentionally such what when cows were accidently fed fire retardant chemicals or when the chinese provide food ingredients that contained melamine.   Of course, a superior food not only avoids dangerous toxins it also has a full compliment of nutritional ingredients that are essential for the proper functioning of the liver and immune system.   Such a diet will be much better prepared to fight off invading bacteria and to remove ingested toxins from the blood stream.    Providing fresh, alkalinized water which contains few or no toxins is very important for the health of the  kidneys and the body as a whole.    Unfortunately with the limited space available it is impossible to go into more detail about optimal nutrition.       For a much more in depth discussion on optimal nutrition for dogs and cats you can visit either of my website doc4pets.com or my blog myholisticpetvet.com

 

Kidney disease is a silent killer that is much better prevented than treated.   Unfortunately,  avoiding damaging substances in our environment, food and water is becoming more and more difficult given the toxic world we and our pets live in.   All we can do is our best to help our pets live a clean and healthy life.

For mor information on alternative or holistic medicine please visit us at www.doc4pets.com.

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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, 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 a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.   Visit us at Doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston 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, Beverly Hills, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Clarkston, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe,  Romeo,  Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint, Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

 

 

Holistic Prevention & Treatment of Kidney Disease in Dogs and Cats: Kidney Failure

It is hard for any owner that loves their dog or cat to become comfortable with the fact that these pets age so much more rapidly than we do. This accelerated aging is even more obvious in the larger breeds of dogs that begin to reach their geriatric years between 8 and 10 years of age. A pet’s kidneys are often the weakest link in the aging process and all to frequently the cause of old age death. Things that pet owners can do to support their pet’s ailing kidneys are as follows:

Feed a higher fiber, low protein, high quality protein diet prescription kidney diet available from all veterinarians– or — feed a home made kidney diet by following a receipe that we make available to our patients. The diet will decrease the formation of waste protein toxins, discourage obesity and reduce the work load of the kidney.  The home made kidney diet can be fed either raw  or cooked.

Encourage your dog or cat to drink more by providing lots of fresh water throughout the day. Doing this will promote proper hydration while at the same time flush the kidney and reduce accumulating protein derived toxins. Adding Celtic sea salt to the pet’s food will encourgage drinking, provide trace minerals he or she are likely to be deficient in, and alkalinize the animal’s body. Checking the pet’s blood pressure is recommended, especially when adding salt to the diet, to help detect hypertension often caused by kidney failure. Make sure your dog or cat receives a regular dental prophylaxis to reduce oral bacteria which are injurious to the animals kidneys, liver, and heart. Daily  home dental care is essential for over all good health but particularly important for avoiding progressive kidney damage.

Supplement your dog or cat’s diet with anti-oxidants, systemic enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and glandulars to reduce kidney tissue injury by free radicals and to stimulate natural immunity. Omega 3 fatty acids, Coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid are 3 important supplements that promotes kidney health.  Systemic enzymes have been shown to reduce scar tissue in the  kidneys of aging dogs and cats.  Homeopathics remedies that can be placed in the pet’s drinking water help promote kidney health  and are easy to administer.   Of course it is better to begin these supplements early on in life before the kidneys have received significant damage and symptoms become apparent. Strategically detoxifying the body with special homotoxicologic and nutritional formulas is an important adjunct to avoiding or treating  kidney disease and most any other disease in the body. Starting these same supplements after kidney damage or kidney failure has been detected will help conserve the remaining kidney cells but will not restore the cells that have died.

Have your veterinarian perform semi annual blood and urine testing to monitor your dog or cat’s  kidney function and to provide an early warning system for the development of other degenerative disease.  Recently a new urine test, the “ERD”  micro albuminuria test, has become available. The ERD test requires only a small amount of urine and can detect evidence of kidney disease much earlier than blood tests and a standard urinalysis.  Any dog or cat over the age of 6 years old should be routinely tested with an ERD test because not only does it detect kidney disease but it is also a screen for inflammatory disease of many other organs.

Acupuncture and chinese herbs like Rehmania have been quite helpful in supporting kidney function.    Electro acupuncture  or laser acupuncture can be performed without needles at the veterinary clinic while  acupressure using the same acupuncture points can be performed at home by the pet’s guardian.     Recent scientific literature out of Europe has shown infrared laser therapy to provide beneficial effects in both kidney and liver disease.  Pulsed magnetic therapy is totally painless and will help restore voltage to damaged kidney cells.    Electro crystal rebalancing (ECR)  is a therapy that broadcast energetic frequency of the chakras to rebalance the body’s energy.    The ECR device  can also be used energize subcutaneous fluids that are commonly sent home with kidney patient to help maintain hydration.   Frequency specific micro current therapy is  a relatively new form of therapy that can be applied over the kidney area and is totally painless and easy to perform.    Infrasonic therapy is another painless therapy that uses a combination of sound and light frequencies to restore cellular function to the kidneys.   Routine chiropractic care can help support kidney health by better establishing nerve conduction to the kidneys. Finally, ozonation of subcutaneous fluid will oxygenate and alkalinize the body and restore voltage to damaged, failing kidney cells.

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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, 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 a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

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, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, Grosse Pointe, Romeo and Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Flint, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Birds Need More Than Just Seed: avian nutrition

Most bird owners think that bird seed is all birds need to eat.   However, just like dogs and cats, birds need a variety of foods in order to obtain all the nutrients they need.    Birds love seed and if given a choice will eat them in place of other food sources placed in theiri bowl.   Unfortunately seeds contain an abundance of very tasty fat but  lack many other essential nutrients.     Therefore  birds that are seed junky will become look fat but are actually nutritionally deficient.   Consequently, in addition to seed birds should be fed raw colorful fruits and veggies,  non sugar cereal grains, dairy in the form of yogurt  and cheese, and even meat  as way of providing a full range of nutrienrts.    Adding a comprehensive vitamin, mineral fatty acid supplement will help plug any nutritional holes.

One of the best ways to enhance the bird’s diet with  additional nutrients  and a ton of  antioxidants  is  to feed a variety of colorful fruits and veggies.   This can be done by cutting the fruits and veggies into small pieces and placing them  in dish inside the cages.   If  the bird ignores the new foods place the veggies or fruits  on top of the seed in the seed dish.  The bird will have to push these new foods away in order to get to the seed.   After a while the bird may become less suspicious  of  the new food  and start eating them .   If this approach doesn’t work then take out the seed dish  and leave only the veggy bowl in the cage.     After about 4 hours replace the seed for 4 hours and then repeat the process.   Hopefully, during the time when the seed has been removed the bird will become hungry and try the veggies.   Always use organic colorful fruits and veggies because they contain a higher level of of  antioxidants and other nutrients.   Remember to clean and wash them thoroughly  in order to remove  chemical  insecticides which have been sprayed on the food.   If necessary  remove the wax or peel them.    Another way of feeding fruits and veggies is to juice them .   Both the juice and the pulp can be fed. .     Serve the juice as if it were water but only leave the juice in the cage for approximately 4 hours so that it does not begin to grow bacteria.   The pulp can be put in a bowl for consumption.

Besides fruit juice, be sure and supply fresh water and change the water in the bowl twice daily.     Because birds are so small and drink so little most anyone can afford to provide their bird with the more nutritious  alkaline or structured water  (Penta water or Trinity).    These waters are more hydrating and detoxifying and provide antioxidant power .    Make sure to place the water or juice bowls above the perch so the bird doesn’t  drop stool in them.

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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 traditional 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 include:  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford,  Allen Park, Romulus, Trenton, 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

Pet Back Pain, Lameness & Paralysis: Ruptured Disks & Other Spinal Cord Disease

Dogs and cats have a number of diseases involving the spinal cord that produce lameness, paralysis, weakness and incoordination and consequently are easily confused with each other. These diseases include inter-vertebral disk disease, , degenerative myelopathy, Wobblers, lumbo-sacral stenosis, spinal cord tumors, and fibro-cartilagious infarcts. On initial physical exam all these diseases have a number of symptoms in common. Diagnostic tests which help further define the problem include radiographs, myelograms, and MRI’s.    All of the above diseases can cause hind leg weakness, incoordination and gait abnormalities. All cause a break in communication between the brain and back legs such that the head does not always know what the back legs are doing .   Such a communication breakdown results in the paws knuckling over, the hind end swaying or collapsing,  the dog having a hard time rising or going up stairs and the loss of bladder control.   Of these diseases, we can expect that pain may be present with only 3:  disk disease, wobblers and lumbo-sacral stenosis. Of the six diseases mentioned, inter-vertebral disk disease, wobblers and fibrocartilaginous infarcts usually have the a sudden onset. .

Intervertebral disk disease in the dog is an all to common problem especially in breeds with long backs and short thick legs, aka. chondrodystrophoid. These breeds include dachunds, bassets, beagles, welsh corgis, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, American cockers, Bichons and French bulldogs. In these breeds the problems may occur as early as 1 to 2 years of age.  IVD may also occur in non chondrodystrophoid breeds but usually at 6 to 10 years of age.  The most common symptoms of disk disease are pain, weakness, loss of coordination, and paralysis. The disease can also affect bladder control. However in very early stages of disk disease the dog may experience only pain and display an anxious uncomfortable attitude, a hunched back, tense abdomen and decrease in activity.   As the condition advances the pain commonly becomes very severe and the dog may cry out when he or she moves in a particular way or is picked up under the abdomen.  The next stage of disk disease  is often hind leg weakness, incoordination and/or paralysis. At this point the pain may or may not disappear.  Commonly this progression happens within days but can extend to weeks. If the disk protrusion occurs in the dog’s neck the pain is often more severe. Just petting the dogs head may cause him or her to cry out.  The dog will hold his head and neck in a rigid head down stance and will will turn his whole body instead of bending his neck.  Cervical (neck) disk disease can cause neurological problems in both the front and back legs whereas disk disease in the mid back will affect only the back legs.

It is difficult to distinguish cervical disk disease from a disease commonly known as Wobblers. Wobblers (aka cervical vertebral instability)  is, as the name implies,  a result of an unstable joint in the neck producing pressure on the spinal cord.  Wobblers is usually a disease of large, fast growing dogs. Great Danes usually develop the disease as puppies where as in Dobermans the problem occurs more often in adults. The disease most commonly presents as a dog with severe neck pain and gait abnormalities in both front and back legs. To distinguish this disease from a ruptured disk or a spinal tumor requires either a myelogram or an MRI.    Of course it is possible for the above symptoms to be caused by a blood clot in the spine or spinal tumor, neither of which occurs with any frequency.  Finally, if the breed of dog is correct for disk disease, and if there has been no sudden onset or trauma then there is approximately a 95% chance that a disk rupture has occurred.

Another disease that can easily be confused with inter-vertebral disk disease is Degenerative Myelopathy.  Degenerative myelopathy is a slow progressive disease of large older dogs, most commonly the German Shepherds.   In its early stages the dog owners often mistakes it for arthritis.   Degenerative myelopathy is an insidious, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that develops slowly over years. It is a result of degeneration of the fatty myelin sheath that surrounds most nerves and acts as an insulator.  One of  the first sign of degenerative myelopathy is the dragging of the top side of the nails on the back feet. This dragging can be detected either by the sound of the gait or by examining the top side of the back nails for abnormal wear. As the disease progresses the hind limbs become weak and an obvious incoordination develops. The hind legs may cross with one another and the dog may look drunk in the hind end. He or she may stumble. If you place the dog’s foot in a position where the top of the toes are on the floor, the dog will often not return the foot to the proper position or take a long time doing it. This is because there is a loss of “conscious proprioception” which means that the brain does not know the position of the back legs. If a dog has Degenerative myelopath then pushing on the dog’s rear end from side to side often causes the dog to fall over or have a hard time keeping his balance. In the later stages of this disease the hind end will become so weak and uncoordinated that the dog will be unable to get up. If the dog does manage to rise he or she will quickly fall down after taking only a few steps. The only good new about this disease is that there is never any pain involved. It is important to rule out a chronic disk disease before accepting degenerative myelopathy as your pet’s fate. Unfortunately that requires an expensive MRI or myelogram to make such a decision.

Lumbo Sacral Stenosis is known by a number of names such as lumbo-sacral instability, lumbo-sacral malformation, lumbo-sacral malarticulation, spondylolithesis, and cauda equina syndrome. All of these describe arthritis involving the last lumbar vertebrae and the sacrum which is a part of the pelvis. This disease often involves the disk as well. Together both problems progressively narrow the spinal canal which in turn puts pressure on the spinal nerves and causes pain and dysfunction. The most common symptom is pain which involves the back, both hind legs, and the tail. Dogs usually have trouble rising. Defecating and urinating are difficult because of pain.  Dogs with this problem find defecation and urination difficult due to pain on squating.  They may become incontinent and may be seen biting at their rear end.

Blood clots and fibro-cartilaginous infarcts can also cause similar spinal cord disease but they are quite rare and so I will not discuss them at this time.

Now back to intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). Conventional treatment for IVDD  involves medicating with steroids, antioxidants,  muscle relaxants, cage rest and surgical decompression. If surgery is indicated a myelogram or MRI must be performed to pin point the exact location of the lesion and confirm the physical diagnosis. These tests commonly can run into many thousands of dollars and should only be considered if the owner is planning to follow through with any surgery indicated by the information these tests provide.  ” Disk fenestration” surgery or a vertebral “ hemi-laminectomy” are the surgeries performed to reduce pressure on the spinal cord.   Both surgeries can run into the thousands of dollars and the diagnostics plus the surgery could easily run between 4 to 5 thousand. If you have a dog that may require these surgeries you should know that the surgeries are not always successful in restoring function and on occasions dogs can come out of surgery in worse shape than when they went in.   You should also be made aware that these surgeries especially those involving the neck require long periods of recuperation.

Owners who are hesitant to put their injured older dogs through anesthesia, surgery, and an extended recuperative period may want to consider holistic modalities as an alternative. For those who cannot afford the expense of high tech diagnostics and surgery I also suggest you take a look at alternative or holistic modalities. The holistic therapies I am talking about include electro acupuncture, cold laser therapy, infrasonic therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, chiropractic, electro crystal rebalancing, nutritional therapy, prolotherapy, bio identical steroid therapy, antioxidant therapy, megavitamin therapy, and systemic enzyme therapy.    Please understand that there are no guarantees with any one or a combination of the above alternative therapies, each case being unique in its own right. We have, however, had some excellent results with these alternative approaches and can offer testamonials to their effectiveness.

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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, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is the author of 4 pet care books and he writes a monthly pet care column in the Mirror newspaper.  He is the past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association.

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over the greater Detroit Michigan area including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, Romeo, Windsor, and Toledo.