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Dog Supplements: Probiotics

There are many benefits when using probiotics in dog supplements. They affect the dogs and people in the same way, they help the digestion system work in a proper way and fight many diseases. You can start using probiotics supplements even your dog is still a puppy to reap more benefits. It helps its digestive system to adapt to dry food and to processing and absorption of nutrients.

Probiotics are useful for strengthening the immune system as well. What are probiotics? These are live microorganisms which are considered to be healthy for the owner if you are a dog. They are used as a dietary supplement. For example, these are lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and bacilli.

The researchers are still investigating their properties and they state that probiotics can fight intestinal inflammatory diseases. Probiotics are non-digestible components that help to grow bacteria in the digestive system. Thus, they are thought to be a functional food. They are commonly carbs, but of course, not without exceptions. Soluble fiber is the most widely used supplement.

The task of the probiotics is to multiply the number of the good bacteria in the dog’s digestive system. They achieve this through feeding them. They should also boost the number of bifidobacteria, which together with acid and lactic bacteria are observed to enhance digestion, improve mineral absorption, and the immune system work. If you use these specific supplements, you will see incredible results in your dog’s health.

Dogs with problems in digestive system, suffering from infections and viruses will reap great benefits from probiotics. Skin problems and allergies are signs of imbalance in the intestines which can also be cured by probiotics supplements.

You can find probiotics supplements in various forms, such as powders and pills. If you decided to get these supplements, there are many stores including pet specialty stores and health food stores that offer a wide array of options. Shopping around for affordable supplements will help you to save money and acquire useful product of a good quality.

So, as you see, probiotics are vital for your dog if you want it to live a long a healthy life.

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Dogs Can Suffer From Asthma

og has asthma – asthma in cats

Animals Can Suffer From Asthma

Asthma is a disease that can affect both dogs and cats. Also known as allergic bronchitis, asthma is an inflammation of the airways that is caused by an allergic reaction. Asthma results in an obstruction of the airways when the bronchi (the air passages in the lungs) fill up with mucous and go into spasms. It is far more common in cats than dogs.

Dogs and cats of any age can get asthma, but it occurs more commonly in young and middle-aged pets. The primary sign is coughing. Owners often report wheezing and, in rare cases, respiratory distress. In some cases, pets may become lethargic and stop eating, resulting in weight loss. It is rarely life threatening. Between episodes, pets are usually normal.

To diagnose asthma, it is necessary to take an x-ray of the chest to rule out other respiratory medical problems. Once a diagnosis of allergic bronchitis has been made, treatment often consists of steroids, antihistamines, bronchodilators, or a combination of these drugs. In severe attacks, an injection of epinephrine may be necessary.

The prognosis for control of this disease is excellent, with most pets living happy and normal lives with the help of life-long medication. Unless an underlying cause can be determined, a cure is unlikely. Your veterinarian can help to determine both the cause of asthma as well as the treatment options available for your pet.

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Blood Cells & Complete Blood Counts

Whether it is a human, dog, cat, or even bird or ferret, when sick, their doctors typically draw a blood sample and perform some tests to help determine a diagnosis. These tests are generally one of two types. The first type is the complete blood count (CBC), which determines the number and types of blood cells present. The science concerned with this cellular portion of the blood is called hematology. The second type of test is a blood chemistry panel that measures the quantities of various electrolytes, enzymes, or chemical compounds in the liquid portion of the sample. Sometimes these tests yield little information about the case, but more typically, they are the fastest and best diagnostic tool available to the doctor.

Components of Blood

Blood is made up of a liquid portion plus all the various blood cells. It functions to transport nutrients and oxygen to the cells; wastes and carbon dioxide to the organs responsible for their removal or breakdown; and also to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and other organisms.

The liquid portion of blood is referred to as plasma, if the blood was not allowed to clot, and serum, if it was. This liquid portion, without the cells, is generally a straw or light yellow color. The liquid portion of the blood is used in the chemistry tests.

Every drop of blood literally contains millions of blood cells. Although the sample drawn for a CBC may seem small, it contains such huge numbers of cells that it is an excellent and accurate portrayal of the total numbers of these cells found in the bloodstream. The CBC is concerned with the quantities and types of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Red Blood Cells

First, let us look at the red blood cells (RBC’s). These are the tiny workhorses that are responsible for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissue. RBC’s contain the molecule hemoglobin. Oxygen that is taken into our bodies attaches to the hemoglobin as the RBC’s pass through the lungs. The RBC’s then deliver the oxygen to all the other cells in the body and take the carbon dioxide back to the lungs.

RBC’s are formed in the bone marrow. The bone marrow constantly produces new RBC’s, since the life span of an RBC is only about 120 days. The body can respond quickly to maintain the number of RBC’s present in the blood vessels. The body measures their numbers simply by evaluating the quantity of oxygen being supplied to its tissues. If not enough oxygen is available, then the body sees that as a need for more working RBC’s.

If more RBC’s are needed quickly, then more immature cells (called reticulocytes) are released into the circulation from the bone marrow. However, if there are adequate cells present, it slows down the release of new ones.

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Eye Anatomy and Function in Dogs

The eye is a complex and delicate organ. It has many functional parts that all work together to make sight possible. Though many of the parts are the same in different species, animals have developed certain adaptations that best suit their needs.

Eye anatomy

The eye has three main layers: the outer fibrous tunic, middle vascular tunic, and inner nervous tunic. The names are clues as to their basic structures and functions, but a closer look at the components of each layer will make understanding the mechanism of sight much easier.

Fibrous tunic: The fibrous tunic is the outermost layer of the eye. An opaque (not transparent) network of collagen (fibrous protein) and elastic fibers, called the “sclera,” covers the posterior (back) three fourths of the eye. The sclera is tough and somewhat stretchy, like a thick balloon filled with the gelatinous contents of the eye. The rest of the fibrous tunic, the anterior (front) quarter of the eye, is a clear structure called the “cornea.” It is made up of extremely thin layers of cells arranged in a unique fashion so the cornea is transparent. A normal cornea allows light to enter the eye.

Vascular tunic: The vascular tunic, as the name implies, is a network of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues of the eye. The actual area where this network is located is beneath the portion covered by the sclera and is called the “choroid.” Anterior to the choroid is a circular structure called the “ciliary body.” The ciliary body has muscles that act on suspensory ligaments called “zonules,” which suspend the lens in the correct position. The ligaments are either taut or relaxed based on the action of the ciliary muscles. The tension on the ligaments changes the shape of the lens, depending on the distance of the object being viewed. This process is called “accommodation” and will be discussed in more detail in the following section. The iris is the colored portion of the eye. At its position in front of the ciliary body, it is the most anterior portion of the vascular tunic, and it divides the front portion of the eye into two chambers – the anterior and posterior chambers. The opening in the middle of the iris is called the “pupil,” which appears as the dark center of the eye. The iris either dilates or constricts the pupil to regulate the amount of light entering the eye. In bright light the pupil will be small, but in dim light the pupil will be very large to let in as much light as possible.

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Dogs Veterinary Acupuncture

Despite the fact many of its practices are thousands of years old, Eastern, or non-traditional, medicine is becoming more popular today than ever. Acupuncture is one specialized facet of non-traditional medicine that not only entered the mainstream; it’s become a treatment option for our pets.

“The specific origin of acupuncture is uncertain,” said Rodney Bagley, a veterinary neurosurgeon. “No one knows if it originally came from China, Korea, or India but it’s widely held that the Chinese perfected it.” Dr. Bagley recently completed a three-week certification course learning veterinary acupuncture techniques.
The specific mechanism of how acupuncture works is uncertain. Theories include stimulation of the release of natural chemicals with in the body or stimulation of neuromechanical mechanisms that diminish pain and promote healing. Local micro-trauma from the needle itself may also play a role.

There are more than 150 acupuncture points on a dog’s body There are more than 150 acupuncture points on a dog’s body with 50-100 of those points being most commonly used. Overall, acupuncture is based on a principle of restoring balance with in the body.

Veterinary ailments acupuncture is most commonly used for are pain management and diseases of the liver, kidney, and skin. Generally, acupuncture treatments are combined with traditional approaches to healing such as physical therapy or the use of medications.

Just as with any medical treatment, acupuncture has innate risks associated with it. According to Dr. Bagley “There is always potential for site infection, but that’s rare because the needles used are small. Acupuncture’s effect on animals is usually positive or none at all. There have been some studies that showed it increased the growth of certain forms of cancer so it shouldn’t be used in those circumstances.”

Veterinary acupuncture isn’t widely available yet. If you think it could benefit your pet ask your veterinarian for more information or a referral.

Acupuncture isn’t a panacea, but it’s another tool to treat ailments and enhance the quality of our pet’s lives. Despite the amazing scientific advances in veterinary medicine, one of the most exciting new treatments may be thousands of years old.

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