More Tests for Our CEO Olivia

Health

After talking to my Vet, we decided to book another ALP (alkaline phosphatase) test in three months.  ALP is an enzyme that helps break down proteins. The body uses ALP for a wide range of processes, & it plays a pawticularly important role in liver function. We have also included a Bile Acid test which will give us more information about how my liver is functioning.

Hi everyone, CEO Olivia here.  Many of you know that I live with idiopathic canine epilepsy, being diagnosed when I was just 1 year old. I have to take several AEDs (anti epilepsy drugs) daily.  One of them is called phenobarbital. Long term use of this drug can negatively effect the liver.

Recently, my bloodwork showed a slight elevation in my APL levels.  My vet isn’t overly concerned by the number, she reminded huMom that Phenobarbital can turn on the production of ALP.  Phenobarbital can benignly cause an elevated ALP, but as I mentioned it can also cause liver damage over time. Because of this we have dogcided to more testing so we can differentiate between a benign or toxic liver change. An increase ALP can also signal a gallbladder or bile problem or a tumor in the liver.  More testing will help huMom understand what is going on so we can move forward proactively. We even discussed pawtentionally meeting with my neurologist if necessary.

In the following weeks I’ll dogsplain what a Bile Acid Test is, how it works & why I’m having one done. I’ll also be barking about something called Euthyroid Syndrome which can be caused by phenobarbital. I also will be addressing those who have concerns about how CBD oil can effect the liver.

CEO Olivia

UTIs and Good Dogs

Health

 

Today’s topic is a bit delicate but it’s something we need to discuss. I’m barking about urinary tract infections in good dogs. Most dogs will never experience the displeasure of a UTI, but about 14% of us will at least once in our life  & they occur more often in us females. Pawsonally, I am a lady who, how do i say this, likes to lean low when I leave pee-mail & this can cause some issues for me.

Below is an example of urinary elimination pawsitions with my pawsonal favs marked, no pun intended, bol.


 

Most UTIs dogvelop in the bladder, but can also begin in the kidneys, ureters, or urethra. The culprit almost half the time is E. coli bacteria, which can migrate from a dog’s genitals, perineum, or rectum, upwards into the bladder. But UTIs can also be caused by a poor diet, or medications that throw off the body’s pH. Drugs that might contribute to bladder problems include high blood pressure drugs, heart medications, diuretics, muscle relaxants, antihistamines, sedatives & antidepressants.

In good dogs with an inadequate immune systems or an unbalanced pH level, E. coli bacteria can rapidly spread from the urinary tract & then colonize the lining of the bladder, causing an infection.

When we feed carnivores a cereal-based diet (kibble), their urine becomes alkaline. Meat-based diets are naturally acidic. Alkalizing starch-based diets are frequently the cause of chronic UTIs, because a lack of acidity removes the antimicrobial activity in urine.

Always having fresh water & fresh food in clean bowls is key in preventing a UTI.

Symptoms of a UTI may include any of the following:

  • Urinating in the house.
  • Dark or cloudy urine
  • Very little or no urine output.
  • leaking or dribbling
  • vomiting
  • excessive thirst

 

If your good dog is pawsenting any of these symptoms, you need to, if possible get a urine sample to your vet as quick as you can. If that’s not pawssible, get your good dog to the vet & they can do it. Any internal infection can be serious but more so if it turns out to be a kidney infection. An aggressive attack is needed right away so the quicker the problem is identified the better for your good dog.

Bacterial infections require antibiotics which need to be taken even after the symptoms are gone. Antibiotics are not kind to the gut so pre & probiotics should be added to meals to re-seed the beneficial gut bacteria wiped out by any antibiotic.

There is also a natural method of treating UTIs. In a 2016 study, results showed that cranberry extract appears to be as or more effective in preventing E. coli related urinary tract infections in good dogs as short-term antimicrobial treatment, without the side effects. In addition, cranberry extract can help fight multi-drug resistant bacteria in dogs with recurrent E. coli UTIs. I pawsitively recommend organic cranberry extract.

Herbs including olive leaf, horsetail grass & buchu can help in the prevention of urinary tract infections. I myself have had a delicious horsetail grass tea served to me on occasion. Just remember, always consult with your vet before using any herbs, just to be safe.

This was a lot of impawtant information to chew all at once so I recommend you save or bookmark it to your device. Or you can sniff it out the KTFGD’s resource page.

CEO Olivia

Boosting the Immune System to Fight Allergens

Health

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but we seem to have a lot of insects flying about this year. Black flies, Deer Flies, Mosquitoes, & tiny flies called Ceratopogonidae, that we call, “no-see-ums”. If that wasn’t enough bugging, we are also dealing with tree damaging Gypsy Moth caterpillars which can also leave a dog gone itchy mark.

Instead of inhaling allergens, we dogs usually pick them up through our skin & from  insect bites, so we scratch, chew, roll & rub, making us prone to secondary ear & eye infections. All of which  I too suffered with every Spring until this  one. I haven’t had a hot spot or rash at all. I’m not scratching like a mad dog, nor biting myself raw.

We know that a strong immune system is impawtant for a dog’s health. So this lead us to the question, ‘Is my immune system stronger than it has been in the past?’ Which then lead us to the ask, ‘What’s different this year?’

This previous year I included a CBD oil (with 3rd party analysis). Off topic but grateful for 107 seizure free days.  We know CBD is beneficial to the immune system, improves hemostasis & works as an anti inflammatory.

I also started to included Omega Alpha’s Pet Vitality & EZ Mobility in my dinner meal. It was time to dog up to the fact I am a senior & need a senior’s formula to address my senior dog needs. Pet Vitality is my supplement for those needs. You can click on the link to read all about it.  The other supplement newly added is Omega Alpha’s EZ Mobility.  It was added as a seizure preventative due to it’s anti inflammatory properties, but it also supports healthy joints & flexibility. I need that for pawtrolling for chippies & Squirrels.

My daily Organic Raw Local Honey, blueberries & coconut yogurt also help to boost my immune system. As does taking a probiotic; my choice is Omega Alpha’s Probiotic 8 Plus.  I have included this in my meals for years.

We are increasingly learning that the ‘Gut is Everything’. So we feel a probiotic is wooftastically impawtant. Probiotic 8 Plus is a source of essential B vitamins, contains essential trace minerals & enzymes which aid digestion while enhancing absorption of nutrients.

We four leggers will react pretty much the same way as you humans when we get bit & allergies flare. Swelling & itchiness are common & if necessary an antihistamine can help relieve symptoms. I have a blog post about it that you can sniff out.

Today I’m inside mostly so bugs aren’t bugging me. It’s 32C here & that’s a bit too much for this good dog.

CEO Olivia