Joint disease, specifically arthritis, is a common problem in dogs and cats, especially as they age. The causes are many and include obesity, inflammation, immune dysfunction and normal wear and tear in joints. Conventional therapies include steroids, non-steroidal medications, analgesic medications to control pain and surgery, when applicable.
Knowing the “tells” that signal when a dog is comfortable or uncomfortable goes a long way to a harmonious experience. Allison Culver, assistant director of The Lightfoot Way holistic animal learning center, in Houston, remarks, “Knowing how to communicate with your animal can save a lot of heartache.” With a bit of applied attention, we can readily learn to understand the changes in canine body posture and behavior that communicate their emotional state.
Enzymes are among the most commonly used supplements for cats and dogs because they are widely beneficial. They support digestive health and enhance nutrient absorption, as well as reduce inflammation and boost overall wellness.
A nutrition school adage states, “If you have a question on your exam and don’t know the answer, put down ‘enzymes’ and you’ll likely be correct.” The point is that enzymes made by the body for specific functions are essential to life because they affect nearly every physical or biological process.
“Many people think an allergic pet should be switched to a lamb and rice diet. In some cases, that makes dry, itchy, skin worse,” she says. “That’s why it’s important to know what they are allergic to before trying out new foods or herbal remedies. Find a holistic vet to work with.”
“The number of U.S. cemeteries allowing natural burials has increased by 30 in the last year,” says Elizabeth Fournier, owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services, in Boring, Oregon. “More than 150 cemeteries allow them now. We encourage replacing cut flowers with plants. A multipurpose wooden casket can serve as a bookshelf until needed, or a casket can be made of natural wicker, paper or grass.” Formaldehyde-free embalming fluids made of non-toxic and biodegradable essential oils allow for a synthetic chemical-free burial…Each (pet) urn comes with a seed for a tree or shrub and the proper soil to help it grow…Eternal reefs are made of ashes mixed with cement placed in the ocean in a military-style ceremony to help support marine life for at least 500 years…Music lovers can choose to have their ashes compressed into a vinyl record. A live recording of goodbyes, a last will and testament or compilation of favorite songs can be prerecorded. Ashes can also be compressed into colorful memorial gemstones ready to be set into jewelry to keep a loved one close.
Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging patients and doctors in a partnership designed to improve health. This evolved practice better addresses individual needs than a traditional approach that focuses on illness and treating disease rather than restoring overall health. By shifting from an allopathic platform to a more holistic, patient-centered one, functional medicine addresses the whole pet, not just a set of symptoms.
As of June, half of the states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana for humans. People wonder if it’s also suited for pets, too, and need to investigate the parameters and consequences carefully.
Chubby kitties also are more prone to osteoarthritis, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, respiratory problems and non-allergic skin conditions. “Potential health problems make overweight cats harder to adopt,” says Deanna Schmidt, with the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in Pittsburgh. “On Fat Cat Tuesdays, we waive the adoption fee for cats 14 pounds and over. We counsel adoptive families and follow up so that ongoing healthy eating and exercise continues to melt away the pounds.”
Heat stroke in both people and pets develops when core body temperature rises and stays above a certain level. In dogs and cats, the tipping point tends to be a body temperature higher than 106 degrees Fahrenheit. This can happen more quickly in overheated dogs and cats because they don’t have the ability to sweat in order to cool off like people do; this is due to a lack of eccrine sweat glands over most of their body surface.