Monthly Archives

November 2018

Joint Pain: Not a Fun-Knee Matter

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When our furry family members get older, their joints begin to pay the price for miles of running, jumping and playing. A joyful lifestyle should not have to result in painful golden years. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this outcome, here’s how:

Young pets:

It comes as no surprise that larger dogs are more susceptible to arthritis than smaller pets. 75 pounds of labrador retriever bouncing around is going to take a heftier toll on joints than a petite chihuahua or your average tabby cat. With this in mind it is especially important to be proactive with joint supplements early with large breed dogs, however smaller dogs and cats can benefit, too.

 

Senior Pets:

In the midst of arthritis, joint supplements can still aid in improving comfort. However, other measures (NSAIDS, diet/exercise, physical therapy) may be necessary to adequately manage pain.

http://www.mahwahvalleyorthopedic.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Untitled-design-7-1-1080×627.jpg

 

When picking a joint supplement, it is important to keep in mind what ingredients are included and what they do. Glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate will be found in most supplements and are essential. Glucosamine is responsible for rebuilding of collagen (a protein in cartilage which separates bones in joints), while chondroitin is also found in cartilage and is responsible for water retention aiding in shock absorption. Other ingredients can include avocado soybean unsaponifiables (protect cartilage against structural changes associated with arthritis), Green Lipped Mussel (mechanism is unknown, however a study in 2013 has shown that it improves vertical motion in canines), and hyaluronic acid (found in joint fluid, loss of this is associated with arthritis). These three ingredients are still being researched to quantify their exact benefits.

Options:

ProMotion for Medium Large Dogs (PetMed Express Inc., 2016). Glucosamine HCl 700 mg, Manganese 10 mg, Zinc 2 mg, Ascorbic Acid 25 mg, Cysteine 25 mg.
Dasuquin with MSM (Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences Inc., 2016b). Large Dogs: Glucosamine HCl 900 mg, 350 mg CS, 90 mg Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables, 800 mg MSM. Small Dogs: Glucosamine HCl 600 mg, 250 mg CS, 45 mg Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables, 400 mg MSM.
Glyco-Flex III Soft Chews (Vetri-Science Laboratories, 2016). Glucosamine HCl 1000 mg, MSM 1000 mg, Green Lipped Mussel 600 mg, DMG 100 mg, dl-alpha Tocopheryl Acetate 50 IU, Calcium Ascorbate 30 mg, Ascorbic Acid 24 mg, Mg 10 mg, Grape Seed Extract 5 mg, L-Glutathione 2 mg.
TerraMax Pro Hip & Joint Supplement (TerraMax Pro, 2016). 1600 mg Glucosamine HCl, 1200 mg Chondroitin Sulfate, 1000 mg Opti-MSM.
Extend K9 Health Formula Joint Care (Extend Joint Care, 2016). Glucosamine HCl 300 mg, MSM, Type II Collagen, and Ascorbic Acid 400 mg, other quantities not specified.
Pet Naturals Hip & Joint Tablets (Pet Naturals of Vermont, 2016). 750 mg Glucosamine HCl, 400 mg Chondroitin Sulfate, MSM 400 mg, Ascorbic Acid 100 mg, Magnesium Proteinate 5 mg.
Cosequin DS (Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences Inc., 2016a). Glucosamine HCl 500 mg, Chondroitin Sulfate 500 mg, Manganese 3 mg.
Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine (Liquid Health Inc., 2016). Glucosamine HCl 1600 mg, CS 1200 mg, MSM 1000 mg, Manganese Chelate 7 mg, Hyaluronic Acid 10 mg.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5356289/

These products are nutraceuticals and are not regulated by the FDA. Some of the products are regulated by the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council). Just like supplements for people not all are created equal and not all have what they claim to have in them. Be sure to research products that you may be interested in using and feel free to give us a call to help you decide if a certain product may benefit your beloved pet. We currently carry a trusted selection of joint supplement options including Cosequin, Dasuquin, ProMotion, and fish oil supplements.

Now that you are educated on the subject of joint supplements, you can feel confident in wielding the knowledge to make a great choice for your furry friend!

 

Citations:

Bhathal, Angel et al. “Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review” Open veterinary journal vol. 7,1 (2017): 36-49.

 

http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/joint-supplements-dogs-helpful-vs-hype?pageID=1

 

Advanced Directives for Your Pet

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You can have a wonderful vacation and peace of mind that your pet is being cared for properly while you are away by getting advanced directives in place before you leave.  It only takes a small effort to gather some information and be proactive.  Pets do get old, sick, eat some crazy things, and get into mischief.  Although cell phones and the internet have increased our accessibility all over the world, an emergency may occur while you are unreachable.  Below is a good way to prepare your pet sitter and veterinarian with your wishes:

Information that may become beneficial to your pet sitter and/or veterinarian:

  • Your contact information: phone numbers, email, social media links
  • Veterinarian name, address and phone number
  • Emergency veterinarian name, address and phone number (if different)
  • Pet sitter name, address and phone number
  • Pet identification (such as name, breed, sex, age, and microchip)
  • Pet medications with directions
  • Signs to watch for chronic disease progression and when to seek help

Additional advanced directives for emergency care include:

  • Financial limits and payment method
  • Tests, treatments, or procedures you would not authorize
  • Euthanasia authorization based on prognosis and condition
  • If you pet dies or must be euthanized, body care requests

Open communication with your veterinarian and your pet sitter will help to establish a trusting relationship and understanding so that your wishes can be acted upon.  Provide a signed copy for your pet sitter and veterinarian.  Complete an Advanced Directive Pet Care Authorization Form or design your own and enjoy your time away with reassurance your pet is in good hands.  Your pet sitter and veterinarian will be grateful for the information and can then guide any treatment necessary per your wishes.  Enjoy your travel.

What is Reiki?

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Reiki (pronounced RAY-KEY) is a meditative energy that comes from the Japanese words “rei” meaning spirits and “ki” meaning energy. Reiki can be explained as creating compassionate intention that may lead to positive healing of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self. Reiki is used as a healing energy by attuned individuals. I myself have been attuned and using reiki every day since 2014. Reiki can be used to benefit adults, children, and animals.

Reiki should not be used as an alternative to veterinary medicine, but as an addition to it. Although reiki is short on scientific evidence and the research surrounding reiki is continuously growing, reiki is not a cure all. However many instances that I have been involved in have shown that animals tend to gravitate towards this amazing use of energy.

Being a part of the veterinary field as a certified veterinary technician, I use this non-invasive form of healing energy to benefit not only our patients but our clients as well.  Animals tend to resonate with a higher energy field then humans, making them perfect candidates for reiki as they are drawn to it more easily.  Some benefits include, but are not limited to; solving anxiety-related issues,  working alongside of veterinary medicine, speeding up healing processes of the body, relieving pain, or addressing individual problems that a patient may be facing.

I have used reiki on nervous patients that find comfort in the energy being released during physical exams. Animals are almost drawn to my hands most days as I emit a relaxing energy even when being in such an odd place such as the veterinary hospital.  Other ways I have used reiki are for sick or ill patients that do not necessarily need healing, but are looking for complete relaxation, surrender, and comfort as they pass onto the other side.  Owners that are facing hard decisions, such as euthanasia benefit from reiki as well.  Owners are the advocates of their animals and this can feel wrong much like they are giving up on their animals. However, by creating a comfortable and calming area for owners and their pets, they can feel at ease as their loved ones cross the rainbow bridge with the help of reiki.

There are no negative aspects to using reiki energy. If an individual does not accept the energy (which can be determined by body language in animals), then we simply allow the energy to go past them and use them for the higher good of their surroundings.

Reiki can be learned and accepted by any individual. Reiki has changed my life and the individuals that surround me. I encourage any one that has the chance to accept this powerful energy into their life that they do.

 

Kendall Batson, CVT