I have had good luck with many different brands and we are always experimenting with new brands and formulations. The only thing you want to make sure of is that they are made for pets. Pets take different dosages of vitamins, fish oils, and probiotics than people. As for specific brand names, it is difficult to for me to recommend any one brand since so much depends on species, size of your pet, and what type of formulation you are looking for, such as capsules, pills, powder, etc. Sorry I cannot be more specific, but check with your veterinarian and they can give you some good recommendations for brands based on your pet's medical history. I would hate to recommend a product and possibly make your pet sick because of an underlying medical condition that I do not know about.View Thread
I get a lot of pet owners' inquiries about non-pharmaceutical ways to treat pets' itching. Many owners are concerned about the possible side effects of conventional drugs and are looking for alternatives. There are a number of natural supplements which can promote good skin health for pets. But it can be difficult to weed through them all and find the ones that help. The following are a few that I have used and found helpful.
Shampoos Shampoos are an easy way to treat your pet's itchy skin. There are many different types of pet shampoos made for specific conditions, including: â€¢ Bacterial skin infections â€¢ Yeast infections â€¢ Both yeast and bacterial infections â€¢ To soothe the skin (usually oatmeal-based products to help reduce inflammation)
The key to pet shampoos is to use them enough to reduce the itch, but not so much that you dry out the skin. Every pet is different concerning how much is too much. So make sure to ask your veterinarian to recommend a shampoo for your pet's specific situation. Also, be sure to ask your vet if more frequent shampooing could interfere with your pet's topical flea and tick protection.
Fish Oils Fish oil supplements are potent anti-inflammatory agents. In pets with chronic inflammation, the skin gets depleted of natural oils that help to create the barriers that prevent infection. Fish oils work not only by decreasing inflammation, but also by replenishing some of the oils in the skin that may be depleted.
There's a lot of debate about what kinds of fish oils to use and at what doses. The kind and the dose you use will depend on what kind of pet you have, the size of your pet, and any other conditions your pet may have. A discussion with your veterinarian can help narrow down your choices.
The most common side effect we see with fish oil supplementation is an upset stomach. Some pets tolerate fish oils very well, while others can experience indigestion. But overall, fish oils can be very effective in treating inflammation and allergies with few side effects.
Probiotics I've been successful in controlling my patients' itching by introducing probiotics to their diets. Probiotics have been found to help maintain healthy and natural balances within the intestines for good digestive health.
Vitamins With long-standing skin inflammation, the body's natural barriers against infection can become depleted. Certain vitamins may work toward reducing inflammation and helping the body restore its own preventative barriers, thereby supporting the body's natural ability to keep the skin healthy.
These alternatives are just the ones that I like and with which I have had some success. This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are many more. So be sure to talk to your veterinarian about which alternative itch solutions will be best for your pet.
Also, remember that good flea and tick control are a must. Fleas and ticks on an already itchy pet can make the itching and inflammation even worse.
Have you ever tried using any alternative methods to treat your pet's itchy skin? If so, what have you tried and what did you find helpful?View Thread
Small and annoying little creatures that can spread disease -- fleas are a constant threat to our pets. Even though most of us shudder when we hear someone mention fleas, in reality most people do not know that much about them. Here are some myths and facts about fleas that every pet owner should know.
Common Myths About Fleas 1.Indoor pets do not get fleas. Wrong. Fleas can hitch a ride on you and end up in your home and on your pet.
2.Spraying for fleas in your house and in your yard will control them. False. You have to treat your pets directly to gain good control. If you are treating the environment but not the pet, fleas can still feed on your pet and lay eggs. So it's important to treat your pet and the environment at the same time.
3.If you do not have carpet in your house, fleas cannot survive. No. Fleas can live in furniture and cracks in your house. They do survive better in carpet, but fleas are resilient creatures and can live in most places.
4.If you are using a flea product on your pet, you should never see any fleas. Sorry. You may still see fleas on your pet because they have to jump on in order to be exposed to whatever flea-fighting treatment you're using. Fortunately, with active flea protection at work, they should be dying.
5.Switching flea products month to month is effective because it exposes the fleas to new chemicals. We really do not see that much resistance to our flea products. Many times a perceived resistance may happen because there are just too many fleas in the environment. The product is working, but is being overwhelmed by the abundance of fleas.
Some flea products use the glands of the animal's coat to move the chemical around and protect your pet. Other products depend on the hair itself. Some pets may respond better to one type of product over another, due to the nature of their coat or their physical features.
Flea Facts 1. The female flea is a busy creature. They will start feeding within just a few minutes of being on your pet.
2. Female fleas can lay 40 to 50 eggs per day.
3. Flea eggs, or larvae, can take 5 to 12 days to turn into pupae. Then adult fleas will emerge from the pupae anywhere between 14 and 180 days thereafter.
(Let's take a moment to do the math. Say your pet is carrying 100 female fleas — not really enough to be called an infestation, but enough for you to notice some scratching. In 1 day those fleas can produce up to 5000 eggs. And after 20 days of producing, that adds up to a possible 100,000 eggs. Then, in another 20 days that 100,000 eggs can become adult fleas, producing even more eggs of their own every day. That means a lot of fleas really fast!)
4. Temperature changes and humidity do effect the flea population. Optimal flea production occurs when the humidity is between 70% and 80% and when the temperature is between 70 and 85 degrees. Understandably, this is why fleas are always a nuisance in warmer climates.
5. Tapeworms, which are intestinal parasites, are transmitted by ingesting fleas. So yes, not only will your pet have creepy crawlies on the outside with a flea infestation, but they will get them on the inside, as well.
6. Bubonic plaque was spread through rodent fleas. Fleas would bite people after infected rodents died and spread the disease among human populations. An estimated 25 million people were killed in the 14th century due to bubonic plaque.
So there you have it! Everything you wanted to know about fleas! How do you protect your pet and home from fleas? Have you ever had to go to greater lengths to squash a flea infestation? If so, what did you do? What worked and what didn't? Share with the Community.View Thread
Yes, changing the food can help with the allergies. Many times it lets you be on fewer courses of steroids. If the steroids stop working then many times there is another problem such as yeast or bacteria. You have to make sure you are treating all the concurrent infections as well as treating the allergy. I do like the drug Atopica as an alternative for pets on steroids, however, if things are not working, it either means the pet is highly allergic or you have another concurrent problem such as yeast, flea allergy, thyroid disease, mites, or a bacterial infection. Good luck — allergies can be very frustrating.View Thread
It sounds like she has a good case of food allergies and seasonal allergies. It never hurts to get some cytology on the skin to rule it out. It might be a good idea to mention it next time you see your vet. However, I have a lot of pets like Latte who have to be on a short course steroids once to twice a year.View Thread
Sarcoptes is not seasonal because it is a mite, so talk to your veterinarian on the best way to treat them. Also a runny nose can be from allergies, but also from more serious respiratory diseases, so I would have that rabbit examined.View Thread
If you're like me, you suffer from seasonal allergies. Not only do people suffer from seasonal allergies, but so do my four-legged patients.
Pets' seasonal allergy signs are a little different than ours. Most often they include: â€¢ Ear infections â€¢ Runny eyes â€¢ For dogs, scratching under the arm pits and on their sides â€¢ For cats, intense licking and rubbing of the stomach, sides, and face
For pets with seasonal allergies, symptoms arise at the same time every year and will usually not last all year long. The pets that are itching all year long typically will have another cause for their itching. I see many pets around the same time every year for itching and scratching. Once I figure out a pattern and rule out other possible causes, I tell pet owners to start treating their pets' allergies every year before the signs start. By staying ahead of the symptoms, your vet can prescribe a lower dosage of drugs and, many times, drugs with fewer side effects. When itching and scratching is already intense, it can take more drugs at higher dosages to get it under control.
If you think your pet has seasonal allergies, talk to your veterinarian to see which therapies he or she would recommend. You'll have better success at keeping your pet comfortable by getting the jump on his symptoms as early as possible.
Have you ever had a pet with seasonal allergies? Share your experiences with the Community about what you did to prevent or relieve your pet's allergy woes?View Thread
There are times that the diagnosis can be made from the clinical signs your cat is showing and from a blood smear. If you are lucky, you can see the Mycoplasma on the outside of the red blood cells. I will typically run a PCR test to confirm the diagnosis.
Also remember if you are giving tablets of doxycycline to make sure you give some water after the pill. Doxycycline in tablet form has been know to get stuck in their throat and can cause some problems. Many times I will have it compounded into a liquid for our feline patients.View Thread
Yes, I did focus more on dogs than cats, and you are correct that we see many issues with cats related to fleas and ticks. I am rather lucky because I practice in an urban area where most of my cat patients live the good life in nice climate controlled high rises. However, even these pampered indoor cats can be exposed to fleas and ticks who catch a free ride in on a human visitor. They can suffer from flea allergies and are also susceptible to Bartonella and Mycoplasma.
Bartonella is an interesting disease and there is lots of controversy about its role in causing disease in cats. Yes, it is responsible for Cat Scratch Fever in humans and we see a higher prevalence in cats in areas where the Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is more common. Yes, we are particularly concerned about this disease in patients with impaired immune systems. In people who have impaired immune systems, I make sure they understand how important good flea control is not only for their animal but for their health as well.
Mycoplasma (the disease formerly known as Hemobartonella) might be a different story. In the lab, scientists have been able to isolate the disease in the flea after feeding off an infected cat, but they have not been able to infect a cat from these fleas, so we are still unsure if the flea is the main mode of transmission. It would make sense that the flea can spread the disease, but we have traditionally thought of bite wounds playing a role in transmission. But to be honest, we have ideas but are not exactly positive how transmission happens, so good flea control is an important way to at least prevent one possible way this disease is spread.
Cytauxzoonosis is more difficult because of the mortality rate. The mortality rate might be even higher than 50%, since many cases go unreported because pets can die rather quickly and may not even make it to our office. It does have a geographic distribution to the Southeast and is a very serious concern for our outside unprotected cats.
Stephanie, you provided us with some great information and web links on cat flea and tick control. Keep up your passion of listening to the recordings of the conferences. We are all constantly learning new things in this field.View Thread
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