K.S., Ellicott City, Md
Tags: dog Ellicott City MD diet food
Aug 14, 2011
Does your dog food recipe use cooked or raw hamburger mixed in with brown rice?
K.S., Ellicott City, Md Aug 15, 2011
I appreciate this question about giving raw foods to pets, as will many readers. Bacterial contamination, especially of ground meat, is an increasing public health concern. It is responsible for thousands of cases of food poisoning annually, as well as massive recalls of contaminated food.
First, always handle raw meat and poultry products with care. Place them on surfaces that can be thoroughly cleaned, along with utensils and, of course, your hands. Soap and hot running water should suffice, or hand-sanitizer solutions.
The dog food recipe on my website calls for combining raw rice, raw ground meat and other ingredients and then cooking the mixture to eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination. However, if you thoroughly mix raw hamburger (ideally from grass-fed, organically certified animals) into rice immediately after the rice is cooked, the high temperature of the rice is sufficient to kill potentially harmful bacteria. Preparing the dog food in this way also helps preserve the nutritional value of the animal protein.
Organically certified meat and poultry products have been shown to have less bacterial contamination and are preferred by those informed pet owners who feed (and handle with care) raw or partly cooked pet foods.
C.D., Ellicott City, Md
Jun 06, 2010
A neurologist has diagnosed my 10-year-old shepherd mix with degenerative myelopathy, a spinal disease that results in progressive paralysis of the rear legs, eventually moving to the forelegs. My dog is in the early-to-middle stages of the disease with rear-end weakness and stumbling. Apparently, the cause of this disease remains unknown, although certain breeds have a genetic predisposition. My dog also received the new melanoma vaccine after cancer surgery last year, and I can''t help but wonder about a causal link.
To retain muscle tone as long as possible, the neurologist recommended walking exercises and swimming therapy. I have also purchased a special harness to help him up and down stairs. On the Internet, I have seen suggestions for dietary changes and nutritional supplements, but the neurologist says these are scientifically unproven.
Do you have any suggestions (nutritional, alternative medicine, sound-wave therapy, etc.) to slow the progression of this devastating disease that has been likened to "canine ALS."
C.D., Ellicott City, Md Jun 07, 2010
This condition is regrettably all too common in dogs with an Alsatian/German-shepherd genetic background. As the disease progresses, many otherwise healthy dogs adapt well to a K9 Cart -- a strap-on harness fitted to a pair of wheels, coming in various designs.
I doubt that sound/shock-wave therapy would help and could cause further damage to the spinal cord. Anti-inflammatory herbal extracts (without the harmful side effects of corticosteroids) such as New Chapter''s Zyflamend may work wonders, along with super-antioxidants like n-acetyl-cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, B-complex (or brewer''s yeast) and lecithin. Acupuncture treatments may bring some relief, along with the hydrotherapy your vet recommends. Daily massage therapy -- as per my book "The Healing Touch for Dogs" -- would also be beneficial.
S. & B.M., Ellicott City, Md
Tags: small pet Ellicott City MD
Apr 29, 2006
My husband and I look forward to your column. We do animal-rescue work and pick up valuable information from you. I wanted to pass on some advice regarding K.W. from New York''s letter about the kitten constantly chasing the older cat.We do many cat adoptions, and this is a recurring problem because kittens are very high-energy and relentless in their playing. The long-range problem here is that if the older cat does not get a break from this constant barrage and is basically at the mercy of the younger cat, it can make the older cat permanently nervous, high-strung, fearful and really detest the kitten. In some cases, the kitten is returned to the adoption center because the other cat simply can''t take the constant pestering.We have found the best solution is to adopt another kitten of a similar age. They play together and leave the older cat alone. This solves the problem immediately, but some people don''t want or can''t have a third cat.The second-best solution is to give either the kitten or the older cat
S. & B.M., Ellicott City, Md Apr 30, 2006
Thank you for confirming what I have long advocated in this column. Older, solitary cats often get a new lease on life (improving in overall health, losing weight and becoming more lively) when given a younger feline companion. But they can get too stressed. The ideal situation would be to bring home two kittens that are litter-mates so they can rough-play with each other and give the older cat a break.Before adopting a new kitten, have the animal examined by a veterinarian -- especially for contagious viral infections, notably calici virus, feline panleukopenia, viral leukemia and immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS).