Monthly Archives

January 2019

Itchy pet?

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Do you have an itchy pet with dry skin?

It could be ‘walking dandruff’, a common term used for an infection caused by the mite Cheyletiella.  Humans can even get a transient rash from this mite indirectly from their pet.  This mite most commonly lives on dogs, cats, and rabbits. Watch for itching, scaly dandruff, and redness.  Cats may even pull their fur out or have multiple small red pinpoint bumps on their skin.

                                                                                    Image from Clinician’s Brief displaying “Walking Dandruff”

If your pet it itchy with dry skin please see your veterinarian for a simple skin test to help identify the mite and/or eggs.  It can easily be confused with lice, allergies, and other causes of dry skin.  Multiple safe treatment options are available and all exposed pets and pets in the same house need to be treated at the same time.  Don’t forget to wash bedding and vacuum.  Following a good house cleaning, be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister to prevent re-infection too.  This is a relatively easy condition to treat and prevent future infections and resolve some very uncomfortable itching in your furry friend.

There are many reasons your pet could be itchy and uncomfortable. The best way to help your pet get some much needed relief is to see your veterinarian so they can figure out the cause of the problem and treat appropriately.

Grain Free Diets

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Grain- Free Diets

Things you need to know

 

The most important thing you can do is feed your pet a complete and balanced diet that is appropriate for his/her life stage and medical condition.  Contrary to popular belief, there are no health benefits to feeding your pet a grain free or exotic ingredient food.

Currently there is a link between feeding your dogs a grain-free or a “boutique” or exotic ingredient diet and a heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).  The link may be due to ingredients that are often used to replace grains such as lentils or chick peas.  It also may be using exotic meats, vegetables or fruits.

There are many theories out right now to try and explain what is causing DCM.  The simple truth is we just don’t know yet.  It could be related to the amount of taurine in the diet.  Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally found in the body.  It could also be an exotic meat, fruit or vegetable that may be toxic to the heart.  The FDA and many researchers are actively studying this to try and solve it as quickly as possible.

Because we just don’t know right now, it is recommended that if you are feeding your animal (dog or cat) a grain free or boutique type diet, to change to a non-grain-free diet or a diet that does not have exotic meats, fruits or vegetables in them.

There are over 5000 brands of pet food available.  Trying to decide on what to feed your pet can often be an overwhelming task.  We are here for you!! Just ask!!

If you would like to read more, here is the link that explains this in a little more detail: http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/11/dcm-update/