June 2013 archive

Natural Treatments for Diarrhea in Dogs

This image shows a young mixed-breed dog. The ...

This image shows a young mixed-breed dog. The parents are a white shepherd dog and an alsatian dog. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A dog with diarrhea is probably a lot more miserable than the owner faced with cleaning up multiple accidents in the house. While one accident might not be noteworthy, the culprit behind diarrhea is often medical.

What Causes It?

Experts define diarrhea in dogs as passing loose or unformed stools. It often includes many bowel movements and huge amounts of stool.

Quite a few factors cause canine diarrhea. The most common are food intolerance, parasites, gastroenteritis and viruses. Bacteria like E. coli sometimes also cause diarrhea and other serious problems in dogs. The color, odor, frequency, consistency and presence/absence of blood of the stool can suggest the likely cause.

Treatment Options

A dog owner often has a choice between using traditional medical treatments or natural options.

Some traditional treatments come with potential side effects. For example, antibiotics often prescribed—albendazole, sulfa, metronidazole and febantel—can themselves cause diarrhea. Treatment with IVs and catheters is uncomfortable for the dog and expensive. Many owners would prefer a natural treatment if one is available.

Natural dog diarrhea treatments strive to eliminate diarrhea in dogs without side effects. They normalize the dog’s stool and increase overall health.

Natural Treatments

There are two main types of natural therapies for canine diarrhea:

Withholding food

Owners can withhold food for 24 hours when a dog has eaten something not on anybody’s approved list. A bland diet of cooked rice and chicken or cooked rice with ground beef should follow, on the next day.

When an allergy to or an intolerance of a substance in a commercial dog food is the cause, changing to a natural food often resolves the problem.

Nutritional supplements

These natural supplements can benefit a dog’s digestive tract:

  • L-Glutamine—The amino acid and fuels cells in the lining of the intestinal tract.
  • Slippery elm—This herb neutralizes stomach acid and soothes inflammation.
  • Saccharomyces boulardi—A yeast, it functions as a probiotic.
  • N-acetyl-glocosamine—It soothes the bowel lining to treat several inflammatory digestive conditions.
  • Lactobacillus sporogenes—This probiotic treats bacterial overgrowth.
  • Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)—It boosts blood flow to the intestinal lining and reduces muscle spasms.
  • Digestive enzymes. Missing from commercial dog food, they’re necessary for proper nutrient absorption.

Before beginning any treatment for diarrhea in dogs, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.

Homeopathy for Hairballs

English: Sleeping long-hair cat

English: Sleeping long-hair cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you own a cat, you are probably well aware of hairballs. Since cats are creatures that are constantly grooming, their hair gets stuck on their tongue and that hair gets swallowed..

Some of the hair can pass through, but some of it doesn’t. The hair that doesn’t pass through will turn into a hairball and cause discomfort to the cat. If the hairball gets too big, it could result in blockage in the intestinal tract and it may not be able to be passed from either end. If left untreated, the results could be fatal.

Over the counter treatments contain petroleum jelly. On one hand that is good because it will lubricate the hair ball which can aid in passing it through. On the other hand, remedies that contain petroleum jelly can keep the cat from absorbing nutrients that are vital. These include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

There are homeopathy treatments that will not harm the cat and may also prevent hairballs. This would be a comfort for both you and your feline. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Brushing your cat every day to get rid of dead and loose hair.The less lose hair, the less there is for the cat to swallow.
  • Give your cat grain-free food.Grains are hard to digest and could increase a hairball problem by not letting the hairball pass through.
  • Give 100% Pumpkin a try.Giving your cat 1 teaspoon a few times a week can also help. Make sure the label states that there are no preservatives and no spices. Pumpkin is a natural way to help your feline’s digestion.
  • Try plant based Probiotics and Enzymes.These help in the digestion of your cat and will also help your cat absorb more vital nutrients. These would be best served with wet cat food.
  • Choose a chewable hairball relief tablet.There are all natural pills that the cat can chew. Some ingredients include elm bark and papaya, but best of all, they do not contain petroleum jelly.
  • Use Lax-eze Treatment.Ask your vet if your cat should be on this treatment. This treatment will help with vomiting caused by hairballs and will not create harmful side-effects.

Make sure that you take your cat for regular check-ups. This can prevent hairballs from becoming more serious.

Canine Allergies

English: 10 wks old, female. She snorts but is...

English: 10 wks old, female. She snorts but is super loveable, great with housebreaking, other dogs, cats and kids. I noticed some grass allergies on her belly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not just people who can have allergies; animals can have them, too — including dogs. There are three main types of canine allergies:

Fleas.Some dogs are highly allergic to fleas and flea bites. This allergy is relatively easy to diagnose and treat.

Inhalants.This is the most common allergen in dogs. They can include airborne molds, pollens and also dust mites.

Food Allergies.About 10% of all dog allergies are related to foods they eat. These allergies can cause a lot of itching.

Dog allergies combined with a compromised immune system can be very hard on your dog. The result can be secondary infections of the ears, skin or urinary tract. Some breeds are prone to allergies; bulldogs, pugs, terriers and retrievers fall into this group.

Signs of Allergies

Dogs with allergies usually show symptoms such as skin issues and itching.Flea allergiescause chewing and itching at the base of the tail. In some cases, a single flea bite can cause a very severe allergic reaction.

Inhalant allergiescan come and go as weather and seasons change. Indoor heating and air conditioning can affect them. Some allergies are worse in summer than in winter, but dust and mold-sensitive dogs are itchier during the indoor winter months.

Food allergiesmay cause skin and coat problems, including itching. One sign of food allergies in dogs is incessant paw-licking. Proteins are usually the cause.

Types of Allergy Treatments

If your dog shows the symptoms and signs of allergies, start by taking her to the vet. The vet will likely first screen for other more serious issues like mites, thyroid problems or mange. Prescription topical flea treatments will work, but holistic treatments have fewer side effects and are much safer and healthier for your dog.

A vet or a veterinary dermatologist can help to determine exactly which allergens are causing your dog’s issues, but testing can be expensive and stressful on your dog. You can help the situation at home by vacuuming more frequently, buying a good air purifier and/or using an air filter within your home’s heating/cooling system.

Improving your dog’s diet can help as well. Always try natural dog allergy remedies first whenever possible, as chemical-based treatments tend to have harmful side effects that will tax your canine’s immune system.

Natural Cat Constipation Alternatives

Just like people, our cats can sometimes suffer from digestive problems that result in constipation. There are a variety of potential causes for this condition, and a solution can be found in several natural remedies that will relieve symptoms and prevent further complications from prolonged constipation.

Cat Hebe

Cat Hebe (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Identifying the Problem The first step in finding the right solution for your pet is to first recognize there is a problem and then isolate the source of the problem. If you notice that you have to empty your cats litter box with less frequency then constipation may be the culprit. Most cats will have a stool once or twice per day. When this decreases to once every two or three days, it may be necessary to treat your pet.

Some common causes are:

  • Hairballs
  • Dehydration
  • Dirty litter box
  • Obesity
  • Medical condition such as an enlarged colon or allergies

Signs and symptoms include bloating, lethargy, and decreased appetite. There are several benefits to natural cat constipation treatments.

Treatment The reason for a more natural approach to this problem is that there is less likelihood for side effects or dependency on medications to relieve bowels. For example, if your cat has hairballs, evidenced by visible hair strands in the stool or vomit, the treatment may be as simple as feeding your cat a special food formulated to prevent hairballs. This also works for obesity. There are several weight-loss or maintenance foods on the market to help your pet obtain healthy weight levels.

Dehydration is easily treatable by making sure your pet always has a water source readily available. Since cats drink less water than other animals, this may not correct the problem, so offering your pet wet food as opposed to dry may be helpful since wet food has more moisture and will encourage bowel movements. Keep the litter box clean. Cats don’t like to go in a dirty litter box and will avoid it for as long as possible, and this may encourage constipation. A high fiber diet can be helpful as well. Extra fiber can be found in wheat bran, rice bran, psyllium, or even canned pumpkin and can be included in your pet’s food.

Of course if your cat has a medical condition, medication may be necessary. Your veterinarian can prescribe laxatives or other medications to relieve constipation. A natural cat constipation treatmentis of course best for your pet, and can usually be done through diet changes.

Help your cat get rid of hairballs the natural way

It’s a sound that you dread hearing from your cat: That deep-throated hacking with your cat’s head bent low as eventually a big wad of wet fur lands on the rug. Hairballs are disgusting, and can cause many health problems for your cat if not treated properly. Unfortunately, many cat owners don’t do anything to prevent hairballs from happening, believing it’s just a part of nature for a cat.

What Causes Hairballs A cat is a very meticulous creature when it comes to personal grooming. You may watch your cat take over an hour licking its fur to get rid of dirt and burrs as it straightens out each hair to its designated place. When a cat licks itself in this manner, sometimes hairs loosen as the cat swallows the fur.

Cat photo

Cat photo (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

A cat’s digestive tract isn’t suited to break down fur into natural proteins and minerals the cat’s body needs. So most hair passes through the cat’s intestine and ends up in its feces. Unfortunately, some hair wads up in the stomach. This may happen when a cat has very long hair or grooms itself excessively. It can also happen more often in the spring when a cat is shedding its thick winter coat used to keep warm from the cold.

When the hair wads up, the stomach naturally tries to eject it. The cat coughs up the hair as you get to see a large ball of hair covered in digestive fluids.

Getting Rid Of Hairballs Naturally To lessen the number of hairballs your cat swallows, which can cause diarrhea and other health issues if the cat doesn’t retch up the hair from the stomach, you should brush your cat’s fur on a regular basis. By removing the loose hair, your cat won’t swallow as much as it can pass natural through their stomach and intestines.

Another remedy is petroleum jelly that is an intestinal lubrication, although many cat owners dislike having their pets swallow such a product. Instead, change your cat’s diet to a high-fiber regimen. This will allow more objects to pass through their system. Also give your cat plenty of exercise. This is just sound advice for your cat’s overall health.

You may also introduce probiotics and enzymes designed for animals into the cat’s food. It will help with the cat’s digestive system. There are also many homeopathic anti-constipation products designed for cats to help lessen the amount of hair sitting in the cat’s stomach that can accumulate into a hairball.

Before adopting any type of home remedy, make sure you take your cat to the veterinarian. With a full check-up, you can ensure that you cat isn’t suffering from any other type of medical condition that is contributing to your cat’s digestive problems and the number of hairballs in their stomach.

Dog Tapeworm Symptoms

Tapeworms Plate IV engraving by William Miller...

Tapeworms Plate IV engraving by William Miller after drawing by P Syme, published in The Morbid Anatomy of the Gullet, Stomach and Intestines. Alexander Monro, tertius. Second Edition. Edinburgh: John Carfrae and Son; and Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, London. 1830 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tapeworms are disgusting parasites that live in the small intestines of a dog and feed off the animal’s blood. They may be as small as an inch in size, and in some cases can grow to a few feet long. Tapeworms will eventually cause a dog to lose weight, but the problem is weight loss can occur so gradually, the owner may not even notice it. This and the fact that most dogs don’t show any outward signs of discomfort can make the determination that a dog has tapeworms difficult.

If you suspect your dog may have tapeworms, look for the following symptoms.

  1. The dog may show signs of itchiness in or around the anal area. This can be displayed by his licking the area or by him “scooting” in an effort to relieve the itchiness.
  2. Signs of weight loss in spite of the dog maintaining his appetite.
  3. A marked increase in the dog’s appetite that does not result in weight gain.
  4. Regular occurrences of diarrhea.
  5. Distension of the abdomen.
  6. Dry and/or flaky skin.
  7. An increasingly poor hair coat that may be dull or dry.
  8. The dog may appear listless and lethargic.
  9. Irritability.

To a much lesser degree the animal may experience some stomach pain, but oddly enough, that is not very common.

Tapeworm heads attach themselves to the wall of the intestines and to cure the ailment the heads must be destroyed. If the heads are not destroyed they will simply regenerate themselves. The ingestion of fleas and lice are the most common causes of tapeworms, but they also can be caused by the ingestion of raw meats.

If you notice the symptoms of tapeworms in your dog it is suggested you seek the advice of a veterinarian for treatment options.

Dog Seizures Causes and Signs

Cream - Seizure Alert Dog

Cream – Seizure Alert Dog (Photo credit: certified su)

When a beloved pet dog is going through seizures, it is hard not to worry. Understanding the causes and the possible treatments will help owners recognize when it is time to worry and when the pet’s seizures will pass.


Idiopathic epilepsy is a potential cause of seizures in dogs. Although it only occurs in roughly 1 percent of canines, owners should watch be wary of any seizures that occur regularly or for extended periods of time.

If a seizure persists for more than 30 seconds, then it is a good idea to have a vet look at the dog. Tests can help make a proper diagnosis of epilepsy.


In some cases, bacterial or viral infections will cause seizures. This type of seizure will usually stop after the sickness passes. Treating the sickness is usually the best way to stop the seizures.

Head Injuries

If a dog has lived through trauma and head injuries, then seizures are a possibility. The seizures are directly related to the injury and usually have limited treatment options as a result.

Low Blood Sugar

Although hypoglycemia is not common to most breeds, it can occur in some dogs. Low blood sugar can cause seizures or tremors, but it usually possible to treat with a careful diet plan.

Natural Treatments

The best way to treat seizures is through natural remedies that are recommended by a vet based on the cause of the problem. Although medications are available for canines, it is potentially dangerous and toxic to use those drugs. A natural dog seizure remedy does not have the same side effects because it focuses on nutritional changes and healthy solutions.

When a beloved pet dog is going through seizures, it is often emotional. Although the problem is potentially stressful and worrisome, pet owners can use natural remedies to help prevent or reduce the regularity of the seizures.

Gluten and other allergens that affect your pet

Photograph of 4 gluten sources. Top: High-glut...

Photograph of 4 gluten sources. Top: High-gluten wheat flour. Right: European spelt. Bottom: Barley. Left: Rolled rye flakes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just like people, dogs can have allergies or food sensitivities. In fact, allergies and the symptoms they induce have become the top reason that pet owners visit their veterinarian. Often, medications are prescribed to control symptoms, but this may not be the only option. With medications comes the possibility for other side effects, and medications only treat the symptoms, not the problem. The best way to treat your dog’s allergies is to isolate the allergen and try several dog allergy remedies” natural dog allergy remedies.

Causes Causes of allergies can range from:

  • Flea and tick bites
  • Foods such as gluten, corn, milk, eggs
  • Environmental irritants like grass, dust, mold, or cleaning products

Gluten allergies, or celiac disease, are quite common in dogs and easily treatable. Gluten is found in wheat and is a protein. It is an ingredient that is found in a large variety of dog foods. If untreated, it can cause several symptoms that are at best irritating for your dog, and at worst, life threatening.

Symptoms Symptoms to gluten and other allergens are usually first noticed on the skin of your pet. They may scratch constantly and the appearance of red raised bumps is not uncommon. Red itchy eyes are another symptom. Bowels may become affected when dogs intestines become inflamed, and they may experience diarrhea. Nutrients cannot be absorbed and your pet may lose weight and become cranky. Sneezing and snoring due to inflamed throat and sinuses are a possibility.

Remedies The first step in treatment is the isolation of the allergen. Your local vet can draw your pet’s blood to determine what they are allergic to, or this can be done by a process of elimination. Allergies are forever, and the best treatment is to eliminate the culprit from your dog’s environment or food source. If gluten sensitivity is the issue, find a gluten free food for your pet, there are a variety of choices available, or research making your own dog food. That way you know exactly what is in it. Treat skin symptoms by bathing your pet often, but be careful here. Some pet shampoos have fragrances or other ingredients that will irritate the skin. Instead, give your pet a bath in a combination of oatmeal and warm water to soothe itchy skin and rashes. Include essential fatty acids into your dog’s diet in the form of flaxseed or salmon oils. These are known to reduce symptoms from allergic reactions and boost immunity so allergies are kept to a minimum. Keep your pet indoors if the allergy source is grass or pollen. Vacuum often and wipe your pet down so allergens do not stick to the skin.

Pet allergies are becoming increasingly common, especially allergies to gluten containing foods. While medications like antihistamines or steroidal creams may be necessary for extreme cases, natural remedies may be just as effective, and safer, than meds. Most people love their dogs and treat them like one of the family, so maintaining their health is an important step in having a happy pet that will be around for years to come.

Dog Kidney Stone Symptoms

Kidney Stone

Kidney Stone (Photo credit: peterjr1961)

Pets suffer from many health complications, including those that humans often have. Kidney stones are one of those risk factors. It can be difficult to spot symptoms of kidney stones in dogs, but as a loving pet owner, you will want to take steps to do so whenever possible. The more you know about this condition, the better the steps you can take to reduce your pet’s health risks.

What Is Nephrolithiasis?

Kidney stones, a condition formally known as nephrolithiasis, develop in the kidneys or the urinary tract of the pet. These stones can cause serious health complications to the pet. Some pets are more likely to suffer from this condition than others are, include Lhasa Apsos, miniature poodles, and other dogs.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of kidney stones in dogs are not often evident. In fact, most dogs have no external symptoms at all. In some cases, the pet can experience the following symptoms.

  • Painful urination
  • Difficulty with urination
  • Vomiting
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Urination in very small amounts, but frequently

In some cases, the dog will have areas that are tender when the pet owner touches them. The most common diagnosis of kidney stones in animals occurs when the doctor is looking for other illnesses and discovers them. For example, a doctor may examine a bone from breakage, x-ray it, and locate the kidney stones as a result.

Keep in mind that not all kidney stones are a problem. In fact, they can often be inactive. This means there is no active infection present. These do not get any larger and do not cause any type of obstruction. In this case, they may not bother the pet. Inactive kidney stones in dogs are not necessary to operate on and often doctors will not do so.

In all cases, doctors will need to monitor the pet to determine what his or her symptoms are. In some cases, these will require surgical removal for the pet. Any clinical changes you notice in your pet should be presented to your vet for further examination. Even if your pet just seems tense or in pain, report it to the vet.

Dog Epilepsy Treatment


B0085P0004 (Photo credit: Nottingham Vet School)

Dogs can have epileptic seizures, just as humans do. Generally, if a dog has a grand mal seizure, it will stiffen up and fall, then it’s legs may start shaking or moving like the dog is running. The dog may also drool, urinate or defecate.

Causes of Seizures: Sometimes, there is no definite cause of seizures, according to AllergicPet.com. These seizures are called idiopathic epileptic seizures. Sometimes, a veterinarian can determine a probable cause. Probable causes include:

~ Trauma to the head. The brain could swell or hemorrhage during the trauma, thus causing scar tissue inside the brain. Sometimes, seizures may not present until years later.

~ Kidney failure. Though this is rare, kidney failure and having high levels of uremictoxins may cause seizures.

~ Lead poisoning. This cause may not be as common as it was in past generations because of the crackdown on using lead in paint, on toys and other places due to the damage it does to children.

~ Encephalitis. This is an inflammation of the central nervous system. If your dog has encephalitis, it could contribute or cause seizures.

~ Heat stroke. Always be aware of your dog’s environment. If it’s hot outside, bring your dog into the air conditioning, if you have it. If not, be sure the dog has plenty of shade and water.

There are several other things that cause seizures, including high blood ammonia levels, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and canine distemper, all of which your veterinarian can check during yearly checkups for your dog.

Natural Treatments for Epilepsy: The veterinarian may prescribe medication for your dog, but you may also opt to treat the issue with natural means. Medications such as phenobarbitol could cause organ damage. According to PetWebMD, dietary changes and acupuncture may help reduce the number of seizures a dog has and may reduce the extent of the seizures. Neuroplex, a homeopathic treatment may also reduce or stop seizures. Neuroplex capsules contain cinnamon, ginseng, licorice, silkworm and other ingredients.

What to Do: If you suspect your dog has had a seizure, make an appointment with a veterinarian. The vet can check the underlying cause of the seizure. While the seizure itself is usually not fatal, the underlying cause may be fatal.

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