Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pred? What's it all about...

Prednisone is a synthetic hormone commonly referred to as a "steroid". Prednisone is very similar to the hormone Cortisone, which your own body manufactures. Prednisone is used to treat many illnesses.

Prednisone acts in part as an immunosuppressant. "Immune" refers to the immune system. The immune system protects you against foreign bacteria, virus, etc. In some illnesses, the immune system produces antibodies which become overactive and cause undesirable effects. Prednisone suppresses the production of antibodies. This can make it slightly harder for your to fight off infection, but also stabilizes the immune system if it is overactive. 
Prednisone also works against inflammation to reduce the heat, redness, swelling, and pain. 
When beginning Prednisone, there is a small chance that it may cause increased weakness for a short period of time. It therefore may be necessary for you to be hospitalized for the first few days for observation.

Side effects do not occur in all patients and are usually related to the amount and length of time Prednisone is used. Potential side effects will be monitored by your vet and include:

Weight gain. Prednisone increases appetite. Follow a diet to maintain weigh. Develop and feeding schedule and stick to it. 

Susceptible to infections. Prednisone slightly decreases your dog's resistance to infection. Avoid dogs with infectious illnesses if possible. Notify you vet if your dog develop persistent signs of an infection. 

Stomach upset or ulcer. Prednisone may increase acid secretion. Give Prednisone with meals, milk or antacids. Do not take on an empty stomach. 

Insomnia and mood changes. The cause is uncertain. It is best to take prednisone at least 3 hours before bedtime. If you are on a daily schedule it is best to take it in the morning. 

Hyperglycemia. Prednisone may increase the amount of sugar in  blood to rise. This can be treated by your vet. 

Hypertension. Prednisone may cause blood pressure to rise. This can be treated by your vet, if necessary. 

Fluid retention. Prednisone can cause dog to retain fluid. This will be monitored by your vet. 

Osteoporosis. Prednisone can make bones become brittle. This usually occurs after taking Prednisone for a prolonged time. It may be recommended that you give a calcium supplement.

Alterations in hair growth. Prednisone can cause a darkening and/or increase in hear growth. This disappears when the dose of Prednisone is decreased. 

Cataracts. After prolonged use of Prednisone, cataracts may develop occasionally. This will be monitored by your vet by periodic examinations. 

Skin changes. Prednisone can cause a change in the condition of  skin. 

Nausea, vomiting, pain, fever, and/or flare-up of disease. Rapid withdrawal or stopping of Prednisone may cause these side effects. Never stop or change your Prednisone dose without your vet's consent.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Philosophy - Good Canine Health

Good Canine Health

What does it mean for your dog to be healthy?
Most of us would say that their health simply means not being sick. Our dogs are considered to be healthy if they don’t show any obvious signs of disease.

Health is much more than the mere absence of disease. Health is a state of complete balance of our pet’s physiological, emotional well being (temperament), energy and flexibility. In a Health/Disease Model (either healthy or sick), health and disease form two ends of a continuum. As the body drifts out of balance, your dog’s general resistance is impaired, and she will start to move toward the middle of the Health/Disease continuum, experiencing  minor ailments such as allergies, skin, ear, digestive problems, changes in behavior, joint problems, etc. Diagnosable illness results from increasing imbalances on the ‘‘micro-level’ of physiological functioning. These are most often caused by the poor quality of commercial food, even the so-called ‘premium’ brands (dead and lifeless). Over time, these subtle imbalances gradually lead to a breakdown of the ‘‘macro-level’ physiological processes and the emergence of what we call disease. In other words, long before diagnosable symptoms appear in your dog, there exist detectable preconditions for disease.

I would like to present another model for you to consider. In this model the disease process passes through six stages of development.

1. Accumulation – the first stage is the accumulation of imbalances in the physiology – in this stage you are feeding bagged food and your dog ‘looks’ healthy – but on the micro-level the over processed ‘food’, toxins and metabolic wastes have begun to clog up the system.
2. Aggravation – this is stage two when the imbalances have accumulated to the point where they are predisposed to spread. If the imbalances are not corrected at this point then the third stage begins. (“She did really well on this food for years!”)
3. Dissemination – this is the actual spreading of imbalances through tissues and organs. (“He doesn’t act like he used to…”)
4. Localization – with their localization in certain tissues or organs, imbalances will begin to cause sub clinical impairment. This impairment reaches the point where you begin to notice that something is not quite right;
5. Manifestation – when actual symptoms occur. (“She never used to shake her head and scratch all the time, maybe we should bring her to the vet…”)
6. Disruption – this is the sixth and final stage of the disease process which, if not checked, will progress to the point of impairment, disability or death. (“Your telling me my dog has diabetes??”)

As long as the health and disease are viewed as a dichotomy in which the dog is considered either healthy or sick, then certainly the bulk of health care efforts must focus on neutralizing (suppressing) or removing factors that cause the slide toward the Disease end of the continuum.

The answer is a balanced, home-prepared diet made of fresh, wholesome, chemical-free, real food. Raw, cooked, and combination cooked/raw diets will provide the benefits of a healthy, vibrant, disease-free life!


Homeopathy is a system of medicine that utilizes micro-doses of natural substances -- herbs, bark, seeds, berries, flowers, minerals and animal matter. Unlike powerful pharmaceutical drugs, homeopathic remedies have no side-effects or interactions with other medications. The use of conventional drugs and preparations often means the risk of side effects. In some cases, the "cure" is worse than the problem. An example is steroids to treat skin conditions also destroy the liver.
Although the principles of homeopathy date back to the great Greek physician Hippocrates, and before him to the ancient Hindus, modern homeopathy was founded in 1810 by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. The system is based on a concept called the law of similars in which remedies containing minute amounts of natural substances stimulate the body's own defenses against specific symptoms and imbalances. These substances, if they were given in large doses to healthy individuals or animals, would produce those same symptoms.

Here's an Example: If you were to cut an onion, you would quickly experience watery eyes and a runny nose. In homeopathy, a remedy made from onions (allium cepa) is often applied to relieve the runny nose and watery eyes common in colds and hayfever. A coffee remedy is often used to calm the nerves and help promote sleep. Sulfur, in a large dose, can cause a rash. In homeopathic amounts, it can help heal rashes, scratching and skin problems, and is a popular remedy for those conditions in animals.

The ingredients in homeopathic medicines are so diluted that they carry virtually no trace of the original substance. For this reason they cause no side effects. Homeopathic remedies are FDA approved - (the doctor who started the FDA was a homeopathic physician!)

The healing power of homeopathy does not come directly from the substances themselves, but rather from the energy released from them during a special refining process of shaking and dilution.

Visit our Homeopathy Page

Healthy Digestion

Healthy Digestion

Diarrhea, Gas, Digestive Upsets, Colitis and IBS
Dogs tend to eat many unsavory things they shouldn’t, which is why diarrhea and vomiting are so common. When the problem persists for weeks and months, instead of days, your dog could have a more serious digestive problem. Conventional therapy is to give medications to stop the symptoms - typically steroids for inflammation and antibiotics to control bacteria, and other drugs to control diarrhea (read more below).

The Natural Approach - Many holistic vets recommend a natural approach based on using herbs, homeopathy and diet to soothe, heal and strengthen the dogs digestive and regulatory organs. We have had tremendous success with our control diet, herbal and homeopathic approach. Many owner’s dogs had been on steroids and antibiotics for months or years and are now completely drug free.

Vomiting, Diarrhea and Gastritis - what’s happening with your dog’s digestion?

Conventional Treatment
Conventional vets often prescribe antibiotics, antacids (Pepcid and Tagamet) and steroids for gastrointestinal upsets. These medications function by reducing or stopping the normal stomach acids that naturally occur in the stomach to aid digestion! Antibiotics indiscriminately kill the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Steroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that do not correct the underlying causes.

Conventional treatments simply mask or cover up the symptoms and never resolve the underlying cause. The suppression of symptoms results in an endless (and discomforting) cycle of vomiting, diarrhea and gas for the dog.

The Cause
According to Donald Strombeck DVM, PhD, excess stomach acid is not the real villain. Bacterial invaders, such as Helicobacter pylori, Bacillus cereus, Enterococcus feacalis, e coli, and others are present in as much as 83% of commercial foods. These bacteria burrow into the mucosal lining of the stomach, wreaking havoc when gastric acid burns the lining causing a sore (ulcer). Dogs may harbor these bacteria for years leading to chronic gastrointestinal disorders.

Lowering acid levels
Low levels of stomach acid also allow harmful bacteria to multiply in stagnant pockets along the GI tract. This is called diverticulitis - an inflammation in the pouches where the bacteria has flourished. Excess gas is produced and antibiotics compound the problem because they indiscriminately kill the resident flora, both the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and the bacterial invaders.

Diet and Incontinence

Diet may be directly related to urinary incontinence.
Why? The reason has to do with moisture balance within the body. Commercial dry foods need to be hydrated. When your dogs eats dry food the moisture required to hydrate those dry nuggets comes from the tissues, cells and organs (this dehydrates the body on a cellular level). When the moisture is robbed from these cells and organs, an imbalance is created in the body including the urogenital tract. The result of this moisture imbalance is a chronic inflammation of the bladder. When the dog gulps water, this is not sufficient to re-hydrate the cells as most of the water goes into the stomach and quickly passes through the bladder placing an additional stress on the system.

All moisture should come from the food. When a home-prepared meal or Sojo's Pre-mix is fed, the food contains about 80% nutrient rich moisture that goes into the cells during normal assimilation of the food in the intestines. Dogs eating a home-prepared meal rarely drink water (except when exercising)! Almost all their moisture needs comes from the food. This produces normal moisture balance and returns the urogenital tract to its normal state.

I don't have time to cook. If preparing food for your dog seems like a daunting task - it isn't! Meals are easy to prepare or you can have a look at our Sojo's foods. It is amazing how dogs respond to real, wholesome food. More energy, healthy coat and of course, a marked improvement in bladder control.

NOTE: Certain incontinence problems come from bladder infections or from hormone imbalances and will not respond to gentle natural remedies. See your vet to understand why your dog is incontinent.

Diet and Health

A pet’s diet determines its health and life expectancy more than any other care.

Think about these statements for a moment.
  • The diet determines your dog’s health and life expectancy more than any other care.
  • Your dog is made up of the food it eats. The food becomes your dog – food literally turns into dog!
These statements are very powerful and for those pet owners who are concerned about the health and well being of their dogs, it is important to understand the relationship between fresh, wholesome food and optimal health.

Our modern dog’s ancestors got all their nutrition from their prey as well as grazing on wild berries. Protein and fat came from meat and organs (amino acids), calcium from crunching on bones, and vegetables and grains (vitamins/minerals, enzymes)) from the digestive organs and ripened berries. Dental care came from chewing through skin and bones – teeth were naturally scrubbed clean.

As time passed, dogs formed a relationship with people and the diet began to change. Hunting was no longer necessary as humans fed the new domesticated dog scraps of wholesome food, bones and vegetables.

In more modern times, dogs moved indoors and commercial foods came into the market. Dogs began having symptoms they never had before; like bad breath, itchy skin, dull, dry coats, arthritis, diabetes, thyroid conditions, intestinal disorders, ear infections, heart, liver and kidney disease and various cancers.

Some of these symptoms and diseases actually began to be considered normal!

What happened? What went wrong?

From a nutritional viewpoint this is easy to explain. Compare these two types of diets:

Commercial/processed Food diets

  • Highly processed and extruded into kibble. Contain meats and fats that need no refrigeration (how is this possible?).
  • Food is ‘dead and inert’ and sprayed with chemical vitamins and protein digest for palatability.
  • Food may contain several strains of bacteria, drug residues, colorings, flavorings, diseased tissues, chemical additives, and preservatives.

Fresh food diets

  • Minimally processed (sometimes raw), containing naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and micronutrients.
  • Meats are added fresh and contain no hormones, anti-biotic, or drug residues. Food contains ‘living’ nutrients that feed and nourish cells and tissues.
  • No need for flavorings, colorings or preservatives.
Now, lets look back to the statement: “Your dog is made up of the food it eats. The food becomes your dog – food literally turns into dog!”

It is clear to see from this list that if your dog is made up of the unsavory substances found in most commercial foods, their health will be greatly compromised. Over time (and it can take many years) your dog’s health will begin to reflect those substances from which he is made.

Back to the basics.

A balanced diet will do wonders for your dog’s health and well being. A healthy, fresh, natural diet will help support your dog with any disease or condition! Many conditions may be helped or improved by diet alone – these include skin conditions, digestive disorders, bad breath, incontinence, arthritis, urinary (kidney bladder) and dull coat to name a few.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Cell Salts are a group of homeopathic remedies made from minerals. There are 12 basic mineral or tissue cell salts in our bodies. Cell Salts are not measured like supplements , but are in minute homeopathic potency. In homeopathic potency, Cell Salts balance the mineral in the dog and help their utilization of the mineral from concentrations in the blood and minerals from food and supplements.

Cell Salts are safe for dogs with digestive problems. Cell Salts do not have binders and since they dissolve in the mouth they do not need to be broken down in the stomach. 

The Cell Salts are a wonderful way to help the dog take up nutrients.

Cell Salts are a good way to become introduced to Homeopathy. Minerals in homeopathic potency are quite an advantage over supplemental forms. Here are some basic benefits of homeopathic Bioplasma:

1) Immediately absorbed through the first line of digestion-the saliva.
2) Without the need for the body to break down the minerals, they are effective for dogs with digestive problems, as well as puppies, senior dogs or dogs with severe health conditions.
3) Safety because Cell Salts do not have additives or binders that stress the liver,and potenization eliminates the questions of getting too much, avoiding problems, such as bowel tolerance that cause diarrhea (seen with supplemental magnesium), or constipation (associated with iron supplements). 
4) Enables more efficient use of that mineral in the body, whether from a food source or from supplements. 

Cell Salts are not a substitute for a balanced diet or supplements, but improve absorption and utilization of that mineral. 


Because minerals are the foundation for enzyme activity in the body and serveas catalysts in energy cycles and functions. For example, the body must first have minerals to make vitamins or make use of vitamins regardless of the source. Cell Salts are used in the basic functioning of the cells including water balance, digestion, removing toxins, elasticity of the cells, oxygenation, nutrition, sodium/potassium balance etc. Cell Salts are my first suggestion for people new to homeopathy because of the ease of selection and dosing, the safety in potency and the quick results. 



Q. How Many Cell Salts are there?
A. There are 12 basic Cell Salts:
3 Calcium minerals: Calcium Fluoride, Calcium Phos & Calcium Sulphate
3 Potassium minerals: Kali Mur, Kali Phosphate & Kali Sulphur
3 Sodium minerals: Natrum Phosphate, Natrum Sulphur & Natrum Mur
Plus: Ferrum Phosphate (iron); Magnesia Phosphate (magnesium); Silicea (silica); .

Q. Is there a Homeopathic Remedy that will help my dog's entire system?
A. Yes, Bioplasma supports the entire body and immune system. Bioplasma is a combination of 12 Cell Salts. Bioplasma can be given to your dog daily to keep their health and energy at their best. Use Bioplasma before and after exercise to maintain electrolyte level. Use when the dog is stressed or starting to feel ill or out of balance. Bioplasma is useful for dogs for general health care and healing.

Q. What is Bioplasma?
A. Bioplasma is a combination of all 12 Cell Salts. Bioplasma includes:

Calcarea Fluorica 6X(Calcium Fluoride)
Calcarea Phosphorica 3X (Calcium Phosphorus)
Calcarea Sulphuricum 3X (Calcium Sulphur)
Ferrum Phosphoricum 3X (Ferrum Phos-iron)
Kali Muriaticum 3X (Kali Mur-potassium)
Kali Phosphorica 3X (Kali Phos-potassium)
Kali Sulphuricum 3X (Kali Sulphur-potassium)
Magnesia Phosphorica 3X (Magnesium Phosphorus)
Natrum Muriaticum 6X (Natrum Mur)
Natrum Phosphoricum 3X (Natrum Phosphorus)
Natrum Sulphuricum 3X (Natrum Sulphur)
Silicea 6X (Silica)


Q. What is the difference between Bioplasma and the individual Cell Salts?
A. Bioplasma is a remedy in itself. It keeps the minerals in balance & can be given to your dog daily to keep energy levels high, boost the immune system, and keep their physical performance at its best.Think of Bioplasma as a homeopathic One-A-Day general supplement.

More info:

The Calcium Cell Salts are important for bone and dental health, and skin healing. Calcium Phosphate is the Cell Salt for growth and health of the bones. Deficiency symptoms include aching pains, growing pains, bone ailments. Calcium Fluoride is the Cell Salt for problems with the surface of bones and skin. A much safer source of fluoride than supplemental fluoride. Deficiency symptoms include poor dental enamel; spider and varicose veins. Calcium Sulphate deficiency symptoms include acne and other skin problems, slow healing wounds, abscesses, swollen glands, negativity, apathy. 

The Potassium Cell Salts are important for emotional health. Deficiency symptoms include nervousness, anxiety, mental confusion. Kali Mur deficiency symptoms include colds, sinus inflammation,arthritis inflammation, lack of energy and interest. Kali Phosphate deficiency symptoms include anxiety, irritability.poor memory and physical fatigue. Kali Sulphate corrects the functioning of oils in the body. Deficiency symptoms show up as dryness and in the later stages of inflammation including acne and intestinal disorders. Mental symptoms include worry and lack of judgment.

The 3 Sodium Cell Salts balance fluids and water in the body and supportthe functioning of the kidneys, pancreas, stomach and digestive system. Natrum Mur helps with edema, headache, weakness in the sun or heat, chronic sinus conditions. Natrum Phosphate is for complaints of the digestive system. Give right before meals for improved digestion. Deficiency symptoms include acidity, indigestion. Natrum Sulphate for strengthening pancreatic functioning. 

Ferrum Phosphate is the oxygenating Cell Salt, so remember for physical fatigue. Useful for inflammation, fever, and infection. 
Magnesium Phosphate is found inside the cells of muscles and nerves. Deficiency symptoms include muscle pain, muscle fatigue, muscle spasms. 
Silicea is the fur and skin remedy. Deficiency includes excess perspiration, unhealthy skin, brittle nails and hair.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why Dogs are Better than Cats - a new book

Dogs and Cats. Friends or Foes?

The conflict between the species, like the debate between their owners, has continued for centuries. Bradley Trevor Greive finally puts the debate to rest by teaming up with world renowned photographer Rachael Hale to present Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats
 · Dogs match up to people. People must match up to cats.
· Dogs teach us patience. Cats test our patience.
· The bottom line is this: Dogs want love. Cats want fish.
Dogs are social. Cats are sociopaths.

This is what sets dogs apart from other animals, especially cats: dogs genuinely have a sense of what we are trying to communicate. And with a little patience, we can also understand most of their feelings and intentions, too. If you talk to dogs, they listen. To cats, virtually everything you say is background noise, including their names. They may turn to observe you dispassionately for a moment, but having established that no tuna tidbits are forthcoming, they will tune out quicker than a twitch of the tail.

(One can almost envision the twitch of the cat's tail while walking away indignantly).

Dogs are gifted judges of character. They instictively know who to trust and, with few exceptions, take an immediate dislike to shabby, unpleasant people.

Cats, however, cannot distinguish between an ax murderer and a flying nun and they are likely to adore or attack both at any given moment.