Archive for December, 2010

What is that “offal”smell? Or….the benefits of Green Tripe

December 29, 2010

Green tripe is the unbleached stomach of ruminants such as cows and sheep. The tripe reserved for human consumption is bleached and carries none of the health benefits of unbleached, green tripe.

The green color comes from the undigested grass and hay that the animals eat. The color can even be almost black or gray in some cases. The word green is used to distinguish it from the bleached tripe.

The health benefits are many, including better digestion and healthier teeth and jaw muscles. The tripe contains many amino acids that few dog foods have. It has a calcium to phosphorous  ratio of 1:1 , magnesium and potassium. Complex B-vitamins, vitamins A,E,C and D, as well as Omega-3’s. It also contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus. The good stuff found in yogurt.

When combined with a raw diet or with kibble of good quality, tripe can aid in better and smaller bowel movements, healthier skin and coat and more vitality in older dogs.

Sick and elderly animals can greatly benefit by having a small portion added to a daily diet. Especially those with kidney and liver issues.The enzymes in the tripe help with kidney and liver function.  Some breeders swear that the moment they added tripe to an elderly dogs diet they had more energy.

Breeders in Europe have been feeding tripe for years and years. It has just recently caught on here in the U.S. along with the raw diets. Just as a personal note, I have been feeding a raw diet combined with tripe for quite some time. My dogs have great coats, healthy teeth and don’t need bathing as often as when I fed strictly a kibble diet.

The gastric in the tripe are wonderful for cleaning teeth and the rubbery, stringy texture works a little like dental floss, getting in between those back teeth that are so hard to take care of.

Picky eating dogs will all come running the minute you take off the lid! Just be warned…the stuff smells bad, I mean really bad! This is only for the fresh or frozen tripe. You can get it freeze dried or canned, although a little of the nutrients get lost in processing. It is all still a wonderful addition to your pets diet. Please take some time and research the benefits of tripe and I believe that you will all agree that your pet should have this tasty…but smelly…addition to their diets.

Was that a cough?

December 6, 2010

Just like human kids in school or daycare, dogs in doggy daycare and boarding environments are susceptible to whatever bug is going around. While standard vaccines do prevent the most serious diseases, large gatherings of canines will come up with the occasional case of Bordatella (Kennel Cough), Giardia, or Coccidia. Your dog is at increased risk of catching communicable canine ailments when socializing with other dogs.

Bordatella is an air borne virus. The moment you leave your home environment, your dog is susceptible.  Especially if your pet is never around other dogs. I find that the dogs who are more exposed to others are less likely to develop Kennel cough.

We are diligent in minimizing health and safety risks, but it’s important for clients to understand some of the inherent risks. Bordatella, or Kennel Cough, is the most common health issue in Doggy Daycare. Bordatella is the canine version of the common cold. Symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose, and/or sneezing, along with a pronounced cough. Bordatella is an airborne virus that your dog can catch at the dog park, daycare, walking around the neighborhood, or even at your veterinarian’s office. We do require daycare dogs to have Kennel Cough vaccinations, but like a human flu shot, the vaccine is not 100% effective. Not only that, but if your pet has just been vaccinated, especially with the nasal drops. They are given a mild case to build up their immune system and can spread it by coming into contact with a dog who has a weakened immune system or has not been vaccinated for that particular form of the virus. Each manufacturer is only able to catch about 50% of the 200 different variations of the virus. If your pet is in daycare or boarded on a regular basis, we recommend not only getting them vaccinated every 6 months, but to ask your vet to use a different brand of vaccine. Some dogs show NO symptoms at all. They can be carriers and not get sick, just as some humans can pass along a cold while they never get ill themselves.

I am not one for over vaccinating your pets. But if they are around large groups of dogs, I find it necessary

Both Bordatella and Giardia love this wet, cool weather. This is when most cases occur. Not to say your pet can not contract these illnesses in the warmer weather, but it is just more likely to happen during the fall/winter and early spring months.

Giardia and coccidia are intestinal parasites that may cause diarrhea or vomiting. Dogs can get these parasites from contact with the feces of infected animals (domestic or wild) or from contact with contaminated standing water. The parasites can be spread at daycare when dogs inspect each other’s rear ends or if they have direct contact with other dogs’ poop. And we all know how they love to inspect each others droppings!!

Giardia can cause severe dehydration which further weakens your dog’s ability to fight the parasite. If your dog has vomiting and diarrhea, take him to your veterinarian’s office immediately. Coccidia causes similar, but less severe, symptoms. Most dogs recover quickly with prompt medical attention.

Dogs can get worms in the same way they can get giardia or coccidia. The Muttley Crew is diligent about quickly cleaning dog waste and if we see that a dog has worms, we will isolate the dog and contact the client to let them know. Once wormed, a dog should stay home for at least a week to give the dead parasites time to work their way out of the dog’s system. If your pooch seems to be a bit under the weather, please keep him home and seek veterinary attention if symptoms persist. It is not fair to expose your dog’s playmates to potential health issues.

Some dogs can be carriers of these illnesses and show no symptoms at all. These we can do nothing about. However, if we even suspect that a dog is ill in some form, the dog is quarantined and the owner called immediately. We do our very best to make sure all pets that come to visit are not exposed, however these are all things that we sometimes have no control over. Please keep that in mind if your pet ever comes down with an illness while at our place or some other. Most kennels take extreme care not to let anything spread, but we are talking about illnesses that can occur no matter how mush you sterilize your place of business.

I hope I answered most questions about dog illnesses in in daycare or boarding.