It’s the height of summer, which means that mountain trails, bucolic meadows and forested thickets are beckoning your dog to romp and explore. This impulse may be at odds with concerns about new research on Lyme disease, which may have you more inclined to restrict your canine companion’s activities to the Great Indoors. Before you put the kibosh on outdoor fun, make sure you know all the facts about canine Lyme disease.
According to Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2014 State of Pet Health Report, based on the medical data from over 2.3 million dogs, incidence of canine Lyme disease has increased 21% since 2009. As of last year, one in every 130 dogs carries the disease-causing bacteria.
The risk of Lyme disease depends on where you live. In New England, Lyme disease rates are much higher than the rest of the country. New Hampshire has the highest rate of Lyme disease cases, with one in every 15 dogs affected! Compare this with Washington and Oregon, where only 1 in 1,000 dogs carried the bacteria.
In the last five years, populations of the two species of ticks that carry Lyme disease have skyrocketed. As white tailed deer populations have escalated (chiefly due to declines of predator species), so too have the tick species that feast upon them. This is especially true in states east of the Rocky Mountains. While much smaller in stature, but just as problematic in the Northeast, the white footed mouse is another carrier of the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. Greater numbers of animals that attract ticks translates to an increased likelihood that pet kids will be bitten.
Lyme disease is caused by the corkscrew-shaped bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria are carried by ticks which transmit the infection when they feed on animals and humans. The disease can cause generalized illness in animals and humans. Even though about 75% of dogs living in endemic regions are exposed to infected ticks, only a small percentage develop symptoms.
Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975, when an unusual outbreak of rheumatoid arthritis occurred in the children of Lyme, Connecticut. In the U.S. today, it’s the most common disease transmitted to humans by insects, and perhaps dogs as well. Infections can also occur in horses and cattle … even cats.
The most common sign of Lyme disease in dogs is arthritis, which causes sudden lameness, pain and sometimes swelling in one or more joints. Other symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, apathy and swollen lymph nodes. In severe cases, the infection can lead to kidney failure, which can prove fatal, although this outcome isn’t common (thank goodness).
If your pet kid is diagnosed with Lyme disease, don’t assume that you too are contaminated. Transmission of the illness from companion animals to humans, or vice versa, is highly unlikely.
You wear sunblock to prevent sunburns, so why not take preventative measures to deter ticks? There are many highly effective veterinary products that will kill ticks before they can transmit the bacteria. Just keep in mind that the best way to avoid the problem is to steer clear of tick-infested areas, especially in the spring when young ticks are most active.
After spending time outdoors, do a thorough search for ticks, on both yourself and your companion animals. If you locate any, they should be removed carefully with tweezers, pinching the tick near the head, where they enter the skin. Researchers have learned that infected ticks must feed for about 24 hours to transmit the bacteria to a susceptible animal. That means quick removal greatly reduces the chance of contracting the illness. Fortunately, Lyme disease is easily treated in dogs with antibiotics.
Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
Every home with dogs should have apple cider vinegar. It's a remedy with multiple uses for dogs, cats, horse & people! It can help in alleviating allergies, arthritis, establishing correct pH balance.
If you notice your dog has itchy skin or licks it's feet, has ears that smell or have discharge, if they are developing hot spots or seem to be picky about their food, using Apple Cider Vinegar may help
For poor appetite, use 1 tablespoon 2 times a day for a 50 pound dog. Adjust as necessary. We put this in their drinking water daily.
For itchy skin, hot spots, excessive licking, place Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle and the affected areas. It should clear up within 24-48 hours. If the skin is broken, dilute 50/50 with water and spray the area.
Test your dogs PH balance. You can purchase ph strips at your local pharmacy or drug store. Test the urine 1st thing in the morning. It should be between 6.2-6.5 to be in good balance. If it is higher than 7.5, your dogs system is too alkaline and you will need to balance the levels. This helps to keep the digestive track balanced and functioning properly.
If you have a dog that has clear, watery discharge from the eyes, a runny nose, or coughs with a liquid sound, use ACV in his or her water. One teaspoon twice a day for a 50 lb. dog will do the job.
Other uses for ACV are the prevention of muscle weakness, cramps, feeling the cold, calluses on elbows and hock joints, constipation, bruising too easily, pimples on skin surfaces, twitching of facial muscles, sore joints, arthritis and pus in the urine. There are also reports that it is useful in the prevention of bladder and kidney stones.
Fleas, flies, ticks and bacteria, external parasites, ring worm, fungus, staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus, mange, etc., are unlikely to inhabit a dog whose system is acidic inside and out. Should you ever experience any of these with your dog, bathe with a nice gentle herbal shampoo -- Life's Abundance -- rinse thoroughly, and then sponge on ACV diluted with equal amounts of warm water. Allow your dog to drip dry.
It is not necessary to use harsh chemicals for minor flea infestations. All fleas drown in soapy water and the ACV rinse makes the skin too acidic for a re-infestation. If you are worried about picking up fleas when you take your dog away from home, keep some ACV in a spray bottle, and spray your dog before you leave home, and when you get back. Take some with you and keep it in the car, just in case you need it any time. Obviously for major infestations, more drastic measures are necessary. ACV normalizes the pH levels of the skin, makes your dog unpalatable to even the nastiest of parasites or bacteria!
About Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Gallon is made from delicious, healthy, organically grown apples. Apple Cider Vinegar has been highly regarded throughout history. In 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing health qualities and now you can enjoy it on a daily basis! Processed and bottled in accordance with USDA guidelines, it is Certified Organic by Organic Certifiers and Oregon Tilth; and is Kosher Certified. Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is full of zesty natural goodness. It's a wholesome way to add delicious flavor to salads, veggies, most foods, and even sprinkle over popcorn.
What is Natural Apple Cider Vinegar?
Different from the refined and distilled vinegars usually found in supermarkets, Natural Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fresh, crushed, organically grown apples and allowed to mature in wooden barrels, which boosts its natural fermentation qualities. When mature, it contains a web-like substance, called "mother" that becomes visible when the rich brownish liquid is held to the light.
What is the nature of the Mother?
The mother is the dark, cloudy substance in the ACV formed from naturally occurring pectin and apple residues - it appears as molecules of protein connected in strand-like chains. The presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed. Vinegars containing the mother contain enzymes and minerals that other vinegars may not contain due to overprocessing, filtration and overheating.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar safe to take during pregnancy?
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is safe to take during and after pregnancy. It helps to rid the body of toxins and may even help with any complications that may arise or have arisen with the pregnancy. It supports regularity and promotes digestion.
Is it possible to take too much Apple Cider Vinegar?
There is no clear limit as to how much Apple Cider Vinegar an individual can or should ingest. However, one should remember that, as with anything in life, one can have "too much of a good thing".For a delicious, ideal pick-me-up at home, work, sports or gym, they recommend taking the Bragg Vinegar Health Drink 3 times daily - upon arising, mid-morning and mid-afternoon. To make the drink, stir 1 to 2 tsps Bragg Organic Vinegar in 8 oz. Glass Purified Water and (optional) to taste 1 to 2 tsps Organic Honey, 100% Maple Syrup, Blackstrap Molasses, or 4 drops herb Stevia.
Is it okay to take the Apple Cider Vinegar by itself?
It is recommended that you take the Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water or juice. Because Apple Cider Vinegar acts like a sponge, drawing toxins from the body tissues, it may cause you discomfort if you choose to digest the vinegar using spoonfuls only.
What, exactly, are the internal and external benefits attributed to ACV?
Following the old cliché, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," apples are one of the oldest, most nutritious foods on earth. They are rich in potassium, a mineral many of us are deficient in, and a deficiency that causes old age to creep upon us sooner. Calcium maintains our hard tissues such as bones, and potassium is the equivalent to the body’s soft tissues, keeping the body’s flesh and arteries soft and resilient. Fresh, organic apples are used to make Apple Cider Vinegar, which contains necessary ingredients, such as enzymes, and life-stimulating minerals, mainly potassium, in a natural state. Besides being a natural stimulant for vitality, Apple Cider Vinegar cleanses and restores nutrients to the body so that the body can heal itself.
Yes. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is Naturally Gluten Free.
Is their ACV safe for pets with peanut, gluten (wheat), and tree nut allergies?
Yes. The equipment they use to make Bragg ACV is dedicated and not contaminated.
To kick off the New Year and the launch of our Large Breed Puppy Food, we’re celebrating everything puppy. If you’re a new pet parent or are simply thinking about adopting a new puppy, we offer the following collection of frequently asked questions about puppies, along with Dr. Jane’s insightful responses.
My puppy often has the hiccups. Is this something I should be concerned about?
For a puppy, hiccups are generally not cause for alarm. Puppy hiccups are usually a harmless, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. Hiccups are experienced by all breeds and sizes, with episodes typically lasting less than a few minutes. Some unborn pups even hiccup inside their mother's womb! While hiccups are harmless, when accompanied by regurgitation, or the sudden discharge of undigested food or water, especially without much provocation, is worrisome. If your pup vomits, especially repeatedly, a veterinary exam is very much in order.
What do I need to know about vaccines for my puppy?
Typically your puppy receives the first round of shots at eight weeks and then additional ‘boosters’ every three to four weeks until four months old. Core vaccines include a multivalent vaccine that protects against multiple diseases, including Distemper virus, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza virus. Dogs should also be vaccinated against the rabies virus, not only important for protection against the disease, but also because it’s the law and required for registration nearly everywhere. To make the best decision about vaccinations for your pup, I encourage you to speak with your veterinarian.
How common are worms in puppies?
Intestinal worms, such as hookworms and roundworms, are unfortunately quite common in puppies, because the parasites are passed through the mother’s milk. Puppies with a large worm ‘burden’ exhibit an unhealthy appearance and a swollen pot belly. That being said, even puppies who look completely healthy can have worms. Your veterinarian will test a stool sample to look for eggs, but since worms don’t continuously shed eggs and the disease can be passed to humans, it is routine to deworm puppies.
How important is heartworm prevention?
Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease that is now prevalent across the country. The means of transmission is through mosquito bites. It takes six months for a heartworm to fully mature. Because blood tests only detect adult worms, heartworm disease is essentially undetectable in puppies younger than six months of age. It is hard to overstate the importance of heartworm prevention in the life of your companion animal.
How often should I feed my puppy?
Puppies aged 8-12 weeks need between 3-4 meals every 24 hours. Between 12-16 weeks, you can feed your puppy 2-3 times per day. After four months of age, feed as indicated by weight on the bag, usually twice per day.
Be sure to check the web site for details about our newest product, Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Large Breed Puppies. My latest formula is everything you love about our regular formula, but with a new protein mix, reduced calories and an adjusted calcium and phosphorus ratio to encourage healthy, controlled growth rates, as well as strong teeth and bones. For pet parents of small and medium-size breeds, keep in mind that our regular recipe is still perfectly formulated for both puppies and adult dogs.
You have my sincere wish that you and your new puppy will enjoy a lifetime of health and happiness.
Dr. Jane Bicks
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Potty Training. Take the time to teach your dog right the first time.
Keep your dog in a confined are like a doggie playpen, crate or on a short leash that is attached to your side so that you can keep tabs on your pup while you do other things around the house.
If your puppy does have an accident in the house, quickly wipe it up using an enzyme based cleaner like Bio-Deodorizer or Floor Wash from Life's Abundance. This helps to eliminate odors which attract your dog to go in the spot again.
Every hour on the hour take your puppy to the place where you want them to go to the bathroom and give your verbal instruction. ( “Go Potty” “Go PeePee” “TeeTee”, “Take care of business” etc) Once at the location, do not move around, your dog will sniff out it’s area. Repeat the command. Give your pup about 3 minutes to use their “toilet”. Once they have gone, give lots of praises, pets and a small treat. We like Life’s Abundance Tasty Rewards which are made from New Zealand Lamb and are loaded with Omega-3 for healthy brain development. When your puppy understands that there is a reward & lots of love for going to the bathroom outside, it will only be a matter of repetition until they are completely trained to go to the bathroom on command.
If your puppy does not go during potty break time, we recommend putting them into their crate until the next break in an hour. Follow the same instructions as above. Once you have rewarded your puppy, be sure to clean up. This will keep your yard tidy and prevent problems. Another benefit to immediate clean up is that you will be able to see if your puppy is having any issues like loose stool, wormy, etc.
Never confine your puppy longer than an hour initially. You can increase the time confined as they get older. Never let them go to the bathroom in the crate as this makes training very hard and puts you back at step #1, starting all over.
Many trainers prefer for your dog to use the bathroom in the designated spot prior to leaving the house for a walk. One reason is it keeps you from having to carry a poop bag around the neighborhood. The second reason is that it reinforces the bathroom spot. After they have eliminated, say “Let’s go for a walk” this is yet another reward that will help your puppy learn faster!
Prevent mistakes so that you do not have to undo a bad habit. If you must leave for an extended period of time, keep your dogs in a “safe” room when you are not home, like a bathroom, laundry room, etc. Make sure there are no electrical wires or other things that can hurt puppy. Use potty pads in an are close to the door, be sure to get the frame that holds it so they don’t fling poo all over the room! Some trainers recommend putting a handful of dirt or some grass clippings on the pad so the puppy will smell the outdoors area where you really want them to go.
With lots of patience, love and rewards, your puppy will develop good habits to last a lifetime!
We are really excited about this one as we had direct involvement in the process! We found Mary Stickney and her rescue and let them know about our grant program! HUGE thank you to the Dr. Jane HealthyPetNet Foundation for helping these dogs!!
Family Gathering in the Kitchen
It is our great honor to relay news of yet another financial award granted by Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation. In a recent round of funding, we subsidized the vital enterprises of a non-profit organization whose mission is to salvage the lives of dogs damaged by human greed.
Located in Cortland, Nebraska, Stickney's Toy Breed and Rescue and Retirement Sanctuary specializes in small breeds, dogs who generally weigh less than 25 pounds. Nine out of ten of the dogs received into their care come directly from puppy mills, not just locally but from other states, too. The remainder of their dependents are spared certain death in shelters where they are slated to be euthanized.
Stickney’s Toy Breed Rescue and Retirement Sanctuary began as a journey of discovery. In 1998, founder Mary Stickney entered the internet age with an investigation into the source of puppies sold in many pet stores. Upon learning that many of “those puppies in the pet store window” were born and raised in puppy mills, she decided to take action, converting her home into a refuge for dogs. Her residential property is situated on five acres and features an enormous dog run, a six-foot-high chain-link fence covering nearly a quarter of an acre … plenty of room to roam for these lively, tiny creatures.
Mary has taken as her personal mission the rehabilitation of dogs who, when they come to her, are emaciated and broken in spirit. Almost without fail, every canine who comes to Stickney’s is in need of emergency veterinary care. By the time she enfolds her caring arms around these pups, some of whom have been discarded like trash, they are suffering from a range of physical and mental abuses and atrocious medical neglect, having barely survived appalling conditions that can hardly be called “living quarters”. All too often, she has witnessed first-hand horrors that can hardly be comprehended by many pet parents.
Embraced for the First Time
Mary’s day starts early, rising at 5:00 a.m. to put out fresh water and food for her dogs. At present, she also has a full-time day job, but her assistant Lisa DeNood provides care and supervision while she’s away from home. Evenings are spent trying to locate or meeting with potential adopters. No part of her home is off-limits to the dogs, whom she affectionately refers to as “the lucky ones”, many of whom share her king-sized bed at night. Her bedroom is brimming with floor cots and crates (the doors have been removed). She devotes significant energy to teaching them how to live in a home, as most have spent their entire lives in cramped cages. Helping these dogs overcome fear and anxiety is a major challenge, but one she approaches head-on. On the weekends, any number of volunteers arrive to play with the pups and to help handle the intake of new dogs. Saturdays and Sundays are prime adoption times, unless the team is rendezvousing to pick up new rescues.
A Volunteer feeds treats to happy pups
The adoption fees they collect go towards the high vet bills they routinely incur, although the extensive care provided leaves Stickney’s operating in the red much of the time. To help fill this need, the Board of the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation stepped in and made a significant contribution.
Awarded in August, our donation covered the costs of veterinary care for 12 dogs retrieved from two different puppy mills, one notorious for its deplorable conditions and the other a Dachshund mill whose violations were so egregious it was shut down by authorities.
The medical problems of the rescued canines are not for the faint of heart … perhaps not even for the stalwart of heart. All 12 needed immediate medical attention. Two of these canines, a Maltese named Mindy and a Pomeranian named Cinnamon, were suffering from multiple issues, including kidney failure, dental infections, strangulated hernia, ear infections and other conditions too graphic to describe here. Despite the best efforts of veterinarians, both pups died during treatment as the extent of the trauma proved too extreme to survive.
Emaciated from neglect, Mork will no longer be denied good nutrition
Fortunately, the maladies of the other ten pups did not prove fatal. Thanks to the epic efforts of volunteers and veterinarians, they were able to save the lives of two Yorkies, one Maltese, one Shi Tzu, two Brussels and four Dachshunds. All of these pups needed extensive dental work, some suffering from conditions so severe that most of their teeth had to be extracted. Snickers, one of the Doxies, had ground her teeth down to mere nubs after repeatedly attempting to chew her way out of her cage.
We hope that we helped ease this small operation’s financial burden, as well as playing a role in making sure their rescues receive the proper care they deserve. On behalf of all of these small-in-stature but large-at-heart dogs who are now starting down the road to recovery, and hopefully happiness, we offer Stickney’s our deep and abiding thanks. Their diligent work puts a spotlight on the dark side of the pet industry.
Zeus enjoys his new-found freedom
All of us here at Life’s Abundance are proud to sponsor the efforts of this remarkable rescue. The perseverance of Mary and her team in the face of gruesome and heart-rending situations gives us hope. While their rescues serve as grim reminders that there’s still much work to be done, still many left to save, every instance of healing teaches us we can improve the plight of companion animals everywhere.
Most especially, we are thankful to all of our readers and customers who, through their personal donations and continued patronage, make all of our grants possible. Your kindness and commitment to pet health has directly helped this devoted group of volunteers to make the world a better place for abused and neglected animals.
We want to HELP MORE animals in need! If you know of a rescue group, please connect them to us!
Is your dog or cat scratching like crazy? Do they lick their paws or just seem to be chewing and biting at themselves all the time? If so, you are not alone. Many pets suffer from this and you are now one step closer to finding out why so you can get them some relief!
So, let’s see if we can answer the big question:
“WHY does my dog or cat itch, scratch, bite and lick?”
There are six main reasons your pet is itching and scratching. They are Allergic, Environmental, Infectious, Neurogenic, Nutritional and Parasitic. Once you are equipped with this information, you will be able to either take care of the problem yourself or in some cases need to consult with your veterinarian.
1. Allergic - This is usually the first thing that people gravitate to. They will often look at the bag of food they are feeding and say, “Oh look, it has chicken and rice....our dog MUST be allergic to chicken and rice.” While this could be the case, I would warn against this type of diagnosis. Before a diagnosis of an allergic reaction can be made, all other causes must be ruled out.
Your dog can be allergic to many things: Food, artificial ingredients, carpeting, synthetic and natural fibers, medications and pharmaceutical products, plant material, mold spores, pollen, plastic food bowls, dust and much more!
Solution: After you have ruled out all the other causes, take your pet to the vet and have them tested for allergens. They can tell you exactly what is causing the problem.
You can also help by feeding your dog a high quality food has NO corn, wheat or soy, no artificial colors or preservatives. Make sure the treats you give also follow these guidelines. Your pet will need a boost of Omega 3's and be sure to use shampoos and spa products that are all natural. Lavender Essential Oil can also help ease some discomfort. Use only the purest grade possible that is safe for skin contact.
2. Environmental - This is itching brought on by what the dog is exposed to in his environment; activities such as digging, playing in the grass, running through a field and swimming can create this problem. Believe it or not, many dogs are sensitive to grasses. Another factor is if your pet gets scraped or cut and the wound stays moist, bacteria can set in and cause an infection. This is most often referred to as a "Hot Spot." They can be triggered by moisture on the skin surface caused by rain, pond water or even swimming pools. Small scratches to the skin can also start this problem. Something like a small branch or stick or even a clipper blade may cause the beginning of these symptoms. If you have a dense coated dog or cat, matted or shedding hair can retain moisture which can create an infection.
Solution: Bathe and dry your pet using all natural spa products like Revitalizing Shampoo. Be sure you are not over bathing your pet, every 2-3 weeks is sufficient. In between bath times we recommend Bath Fresh Mist to neutralize odors and condition the skin and coat. Use Soothing Mist to treat the “Hot Spot” directly, it has ingredients to help soothe and calm the irritated spot to make your pet more comfortable.
3. Infectious - bacterial, fungal, and yeast are skin and coat pathogens that can irritate your dog's skin.
Fungi cause circular patches of hair loss also known at “Ringworm” that usually do not itch.
Yeast infections cause greasy, and odor causing sores. If a yeast infection is diagnosed there may be other health issues such as hypothyroidism or deficiency in Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet.
Bacterial infection can be caused by something upsetting the balance of the system. This can include prescription antibiotics or your pet licking a small cut or lesion to the point where it becomes inflamed, moist and sticky. YUCK!
Solution: Keep the healthy bacteria in place to fight off the bad guys. To help with this, you can use plain yoghurt and Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Dogs & Puppies or Cats & Kittens which has guaranteed live probiotics. Be sure to supplement your dog Omega 3’s. Also a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar added to their drinking water may help. You may also want to look into the benefits of Alkaline water as well.
* Some cases will require a visit to your veterinarian. They may prescribe antibiotics or antihistamines.
4. Neurogenic - Basically, a nervous and obsessive habit of licking and chewing for which there is no medical reason. This is often brought on by dogs that aren't getting the proper exercise or attention they need and they bite, chew, and lick themselves as a nervous energy outlet. Many times this is in the wrist and ankle areas and is never given a chance to heal. Sometimes your pet may have severe scarring due to this bad habit.
Solution: Spend more quality time with your pet. You might look into quality doggie daycare in your area to keep your pet occupied while you are at work. Take training classes with your pet to reinforce positive behaviors and create a bonding experience together. You may try spraying Soothing Mist to the affected area and wrapping to keep your pet from making further damage.
5. Nutritional - Many dog skin problems occur due to an imbalanced diet without proper nutrition. This is often caused by the owner feeding the dog an inferior dog food. Just because a brand of dog food states, "Complete and Balanced" doesn't mean it is a good source of nutrition for your dog.
So then what should you look for in a dog food?
Solution: Feed a high quality pet food, that is delivered fresh, within 6 weeks of manufacture like Life's Abundance to you pet. We also HIGHLY recommend a daily supplement which is included in the Nutritional System. If your pet still needs a boost for his skin & coat, we recommend Dr. Jane's Skin & Coat supplement.
So, you have a cat? CLICK HERE to find out more for your feline friend!
6. Parasitic - The most common parasites that can cause a dog skin problem are; fleas, ticks, chiggers, deer flies, and gnats. When your dog is repeatedly exposed to these parasites, they can cause sensitivity and eventually infection. Cheyletiella mites, which are often referred to as "walking dandruff" and Sarcoptic mites which are called scabies or red mange, are much more serious. These mites cause very intense itching and scratching, hair loss and inflamed skin. Even when a dog is properly treated for parasites, they can still be bit, causing a reaction.
Solution: Be sure your pet is properly guarded against parasites. Add a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar for extra benefit. Consult your veterinarian and/or breeder regarding a regimen to keep pests at bay.
In conclusion, by looking over and considering each of these six reasons for your pets's skin problem, you can then best decide how to treat your dog's itching and scratching. When you identify the source of your companions skin problem, he can be treated and cured. Then, everyone will be happy - you and your pet.
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