Monday, September 21, 2009

Baked Pumpkin or Winter Squash


Try this easy-to-make baked pumpkin or winter squash treat- packed with nutrition - dogs LOVE this!
Baking Method
  • Cut the pumpkin or winter squash into pieces and discard the stem section, seeds and stringy pulp.
  • Rub the surfaces with olive oil
  • In a shallow baking dish, place the pieces face down and cover with foil.
  • Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender.
  • Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of the baked pumpkin/squash to the food.

Pumpkin is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. 

The Immune System

Tell me about my dog's Immune System

Inside your dog's body there are mechanisms designed to defend your dog from millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites.

Components of the Immune System
The most obvious part of the immune system is what we can see. For example, your dogs skin and coat is an important part of his immune system. It acts as a primary boundary between germs and your dog's body.  A dog's skin is tough and generally impermeable to bacteria and viruses.  The skin also secretes antibacterial substances - most bacteria and spores that land on the skin die quickly.
Your dog's nose, mouth and eyes are also obvious entry points for germs. Tears and mucus contain an enzyme (lysozyme) that breaks down the cell wall of many bacteria. Saliva is also anti-bacterial. Since the nasal passage and lungs are coated in mucus, many germs not killed immediately are trapped in the mucus and soon swallowed.  Any bacteria or virus that wants to gain entry to the body must first make it past these defenses.
Once inside the body, a germ deals with the immune system at a different level. The major components of the immune system are:
  • Thymus
  • Spleen
  • Lymph system
  • Bone marrow
  • White blood cells
  • Antibodies
  • Complement system
  • Hormones
We will look at these systems in upcoming newsletters

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dogs and Swine Flu

The Swine Flu (H1N1 Virus), is a health concern in our country. This influenza has been spreading among people for many months. With this growing epidemic brings concern if our pets can also catch the virus.

It is extremely unlikely that your pet will catch the Swine Flu. According to Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Hospital in New York City, "At this time there is no data demonstrating any risk of dogs and cats contracting this strain of the virus."

The pig is the only animal that may be susceptible to catching the H1N1 Virus, but so far, no fatalities have been reported.

Be aware, dogs still can catch a strain of the flu known as H3N8 Virus, which cannot be spread to humans. Symptoms are similar to that of the human flu including runny nose and a fever.

After the flu runs its course (about 10 days) your pet will be back to their old selves. Also, be sure to isolate your sick pet from others in the house as the flu will spread from dog to dog.