June 2013 archive

Causes of Dog Diarrhea

Bucket-headed dog

Bucket-headed dog (Photo credit: Paul Kidd)

Dog diarrhea is never fun, for you or your dog. However, if you know some of the common causes of diarrhea in your dog, you can start to decipher what is causing the diarrhea. Without knowing any of the underlying causes, you may not treat your dogs diarrhea properly, using natural treatments, and cause even more issues in the health of your dog.

A primary cause of diarrhea in dogs, is changing their food to quickly. Unlike humans, who can have a different meal every day, dogs have to be changed slowly to a new food. If you change them too quickly, their systems cannot handle the change. Which will cause diarrhea to start and last until they are adjusted to the new food. Once the dogs are adjusted, the chance is still present for diarrhea. This chance comes from the bacteria in their stomachs might be to weak to help them digest food properly.

Food allergies is another cause of diarrhea in dogs. When dogs are allergic to a food, their bodies can react in several ways. A common way dogs react is by getting the food out of their system as quickly as possible. For example, if your dog is allergic to corn, and the dog get a hold of corn based food, they will pass the food through their system as quickly as possible. Commonly the way the dog will pass this food through their system is by having a touch of diarrhea.

Illness is another issue which may cause diarrhea. Even if the diarrhea was not present before the illness, the medicine your dog is taking can wipe out the natural bacteria. When this happens, your dog will get diarrhea for the same reasons people do. With the natural treatments for the illness, the bacteria in your dogs system is generally not wiped out, meaning no diarrhea.

Finding the underlying cause for your dogs diarrhea is a hard task. However, once you have found the cause, you need to know natural treatments are a lot easier on your dog. When you use the natural treatments for dog diarrhea, these often lead to less problems in the future, but also a dog that is back to their playful and energetic self quickly.

Cat Tapeworm Symptoms

If your tabby is a mouser, then there is a pretty good chance that he or she might have tapeworms. In fact, according to Web MD, tapeworms are the most frequent internal parasites found in adult cats. There are two common types of cat tapeworm species, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaformis. The former is acquired from fleas that have immature tapeworms within their system, while the latter is typically contracted when your cat consumes rodents, uncooked meat, raw freshwater fish, or discarded animal parts.

Tapeworms are Just Disgusting…

Dipylidium life cycle

Dipylidium life cycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To put it another way, you have seen the half of the carcass that your feline friend had deposited on your pillow, so the missing half is possibly the cause of any tapeworm problems.

As they say, what goes in must come out, and when it is coming out is, generally speaking, when you will find any evidence of tapeworm activity in your cat. As noted, tapeworms come in two species, but they come in any variety of sizes. They can be smaller than an inch in length, or they can extend to several feet long within your cat’s lower intestines.

Regardless of the species, the tapeworm embeds its head into the gut wall with hooks and suckers before drawing nutrients from the host. The parasite has a segmented body that contains egg packets, and as the tapeworm grows it is these egg packets that break off and are passed in the cat’s feces.

And So is Checking to See if Your Cat has Them…

Readily evident signs that your cat may have tapeworms can be gleaned from his or her behavior. If they are biting at their anus, or dragging their butt across the carpet to relieve the itching are sure indicators. Should you suspect that this activity is caused by tapeworms then a closer exam of the cat’s stool is in order.

You will be looking to find small, dried, white or cream colored segments within your cat’s feces or attached to their fur near the anus. The segments will most closely resemble a sesame or cucumber seed in size and appearance. A sample of the feces can be tested for the parasite at the veterinarian’s office. The best way to avoid tapeworms is to ensure that your cat is not suffering from ticks or fleas. Additionally, keeping them out of trash and away from dead carcasses should be beneficial as well.

Cat Hairballs: Treatment and Symptoms

Cats are very clean animals, but they can’t simply hop in the shower when they need to remove dirt or oils from their fur. A cat relies on their tongue for all of their cleaning chores. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of ingested hair, especially as the seasons change and your pet undergoes a major shed. Loose hair accumulates in the stomach or intestines, creating a hair ball. Watching your pets for signs of these internal issues and treating them promptly could help you avoid costly surgeries or a mess on your rug.

Both long and short haired cats can develop these wads of hair, but long haired felines are definitely at a higher risk. When your pet has a full ball developed in its stomach, it may try to vomit it back out. Most cat hairballs become too large to pass through the other end very quickly. Regular vomiting, attempts at vomiting, and general loss of appetite often indicate a blockage. You may notice your pet is worn out or has a hard and bloated stomach as well. If they stop using the litter box, invest in immediate vet attention. Complete intestinal blockages are possible and will threaten the life of your pet.

There’s no need to worry about hairballs if you add a few simple and natural products to your routine. Most commercial hairball treatments are based on petroleum jelly to lubricate the hairball. However, this jelly also blocks vitamin absorption through the digestive system. For long term use, choose natural hairball treatments containing fish oils, psyllium husks to help push the hair through, and other safe ingredients. Brushing your pet daily during the shedding seasons will also minimize the amount of hair they ingest – and the amount of loose fur that ends up on your furniture.

How to Treat Cat Constipation

Male tabby cat

Male tabby cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A common symptom that cats suffer from is constipation. And while such a condition is fairly common in felines, the symptoms of cat constipation can be anything from painful bowel movements to discomfort to, in more extreme cases, even death. Constipation can stem from a variety of issues and lead to more advanced stages of constipation depending on the severity of the situation. It’s why if your cat is constipated or experiencing abnormal digestive behavior, you should seek immediate consultation with your veterinarian.

Veterinarians help treat conditions such as constipation. They may do so in a variety of ways, including:

  • Laxatives: Nothing accelerates the digestive system quite like a laxative. However, many laxatives that are suitable for other animal species, such as saline and stimulant laxatives, are not safe for cats to take. That’s where anti-constipation formulas, designed specifically for felines, come in handy. For instance, Lax-eze is a specialty formula for cats that helps to get things moving in the digestive system.
  • Stool softening: Often times cats experience constipation when their feces is either too large or too hard in their digestive system. If that’s the case, the best remedy is to loosen the stool in order for it to more easily pass. This can be done by entering the cats rectum and attempting to loosen the stool with a certain chemical. This is best done by a veterinarian who understands the workings of the cat’s rectum and can safely and effectively complete such a procedure.
  • High Fiber Foods: It’s joked that Raisin Bran is a sure-fire way to get the digestive system working in humans. Why? Because it contains a lot of fiber. While we don’t recommend feeding Raisin Bran to your cat, you can attempt to remedy the constipation situation by feeding your animal foods that are high in fiber. Your vet may prescribe a medicine or recommend a food such as canned pumpkin to try to kick the digestive system into gear.
  • Prevention: One thing your vet will certainly be sure to do as your cat’s treatment comes to a conclusion is recommend ways to prevent such an issue from occurring again. While genetics plays a role in feline health issues, health issues such as constipation can be solved with a combination of proper diet and a proper dose of vitamins and minerals.

Failure to address conditions such as constipation can have dire consequences on your cat’s behavior and life. Bloody stool, defecation outside of the litter box – potentially on furniture and carpeting – weight loss and pain and discomfort are all common signs of cat constipation. And as we told you in the opening, failure to seek proper treatment can be deadly. That’s why the first sign of constipation should be addressed with a vet.

Can Dogs Have Asthma?

Symptoms of asthma usually include shortness of breath and wheezing. These breathing problems occur because of spasms and constrictions of the bronchi and trachea, which are the large upper airways. Just like people, dogs can develop asthma. Generally, in dogs, this disorder is diagnosed as allergic bronchitis.

This disorder usually begins when the dog has an allergic reaction to something he inhales in his environment causing his upper airways to inflame and fill with mucus, and then the spasms begin. Sadly, if a dog suffers with this condition for a long time, it can damage the delicate tissues that line his respiratory tract.

Asthma Attack Symptoms Vary

The symptoms of an asthma attack in a dog vary greatly from an occasional problem breathing to severe breathing difficulties that approach suffocation. Unfortunately once it becomes severe, it is rarely reversible and is considered as chronic bronchitis. In extremely severe cases, he may resort to breathing through his mouth and his gums may turn a bluish color because of oxygen deprivation. If a dog’s asthma attack becomes severe and he has a dry, raspy cough, he needs immediate veterinary care or he may not survive.

What to Look For

Dogs of any age can suffer with allergic bronchitis. One of the most common symptoms is a chronic, dry hacking cough. This cough can come on suddenly or gradually occur.

Signs to watch for include:

  • Sluggishness
  • Poor appetite
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Shortness of breath/wheezing
  • Blue or purple gums/tongue
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty with exercise


While veterinarians do have medications that will assist with allergic bronchitis, many have unwanted side effects. For this reason, numerous pet owners have decided to look into natural treatments.

There is a lung strengthening and a lung-clearing product called Fresh Aire Lung Formula. A veterinarian created this formula and it has been used for more than 20 years in the treatment of congestion and breathing issues related to asthma, coughing, sneezing and cardiac problems in cats and dogs. Other herbs that are helpful with this disorder areechinacea,inulahelenium,plantagolanceolata and marshmallow.

If your furry friend is suffering with asthma, consider getting him the help he needs so he can breathe, eat and play happily once again.

Angelica and Dog Allergies

Allergy season is approaching and doctors are forecating that the 2013 allergy season may be one of the roughest seasons for those with allergies than they have seen in decades. The drastic weather changes occuring across the globe are creating a rapid temperature change, which creates trees to and grass to pollunate faster and more heavily than when the seasons change gradually. Although there are numerous over the counter and prescription medications that allergy sufferers can take for relief, there are also many natural remedies that can be very beneficial and have little to no risk of side effects. Angelica archangelica is a biennial plant with sweetly scented stems and roots. Angelica has been shown to be a great herbal treatment for allergies, specifically dog allergies.

Typical alllergy symptoms include a stuff

Angelica archangelica

Angelica archangelica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

y nose, chronic headaches, breathing problems and congestion. When consumed, wild angelica has properties similar to an expectorant medication, which allows the herb to clear nasal passages and break up congestion. Aside from congestion relief, angelica also allows the blood to flow through the body easier. This can decrease puffiness in the eyes, as well as the itchinees and swelling that comes from dog allergies.

The recommended dosage of angelica for the treatment of any type of allergy is between 300mg and 500mg. Angelica archangelica can be bought in pill form, and when taken on a daily basis, can decrease allergy symptoms, both seasonal and pet related. Angelica archangelica has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

All-Natural Dog Seizure Treatment

You watch as your dog becomes unconscious, perhaps stops breathing, and most likely suffers from legs that go rigid or are paddling in a jerking fashion. He is most likely suffering from a seizure. When your dog is suffering from seizures, it is a terrifying experience for the both of you. One of the first things you can do about seizures is to understand the common causes. Secondly, did you know that there are natural remedies that help treat seizures in dogs? Learn more about the causes and treatments so you are better able to handle this situation.

Common Causes of Dog Seizures 

Anytime your dog suffers from a seizure, the first thing you should do is consult his veterinarian for a checkup to ensure there are no other factors contributing to this situation. While only 1 percent of dogs suffering from seizures are epileptic, several other medical situations are related to dog seizures.

Age Related Causes:

  • Dogs that are less than 12 months old and that are experiencing seizures typically are also suffering from a bacterial or viral infection.
  • Dogs that have reached 7 years of age and that suffer with seizures commonly have an age related illness, such as liver disease or a brain tumor.
  • For healthy dogs ages 1 to 7, seizures are normally related to epilepsy.

Other Causes: 

  • The ingestion of poisons, such as chocolate, lead and strychnine, can cause seizures. 
  • Drop in blood sugar or low blood calcium levels will trigger a seizure.


Natural Treatments for Seizures in Dogs 

After you have diagnosed your dog with having seizures, there are natural remedies that can help including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Dietary changes
  • Herbal remedies, such as mouth drops and supplements

Consider a natural dog seizure treatment in place of a chemically derived anticonvulsant. Prescribed medications, such as Valium, phenobarbital and potassium bromide or Clonazepam, have substantially harsh side effects. Also, these medications do not get to the root of the problem but simply ease the onset and side effects that accompany seizures in dogs. By implementing dietary changes and the holistic remedy of acupuncture, you are able to manage seizures without adding dangerous and toxic drugs to your dog’s diet.

Allergy Symptoms in Dogs

Although most people aren’t aware of it, dogs can suffer from allergies. Surprisingly, they are often affected by the same allergens as humans. If unaware of this, it could be easy to overlook or miss the signs of a dog dealing with an allergic reaction.

The most common dog allergies involve the skin. Scratching is common in dogs, but If a dog is scratching excessively in a specific area he could be dealing with more than the occasional itch. Other common symptoms of skin allergies in dogs are excessive chewing or gnawing on their paws and excessive licking. Any, or all, of these behaviors can result in inflammation of the area or red, moist and even scabbed areas of skin. In addition to dog skin allergies, other dog allergy symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, snoring and runny or itchy eyes.

For a dog exhibiting any of these symptoms, discovering what is prompting the allergic reaction is the key to effective treatment. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to pollen, mold, dust mites and dander from other pets. Certain things used in the home, such as perfume, cleaning products and cigarette smoke, can also be the culprit. A food allergy is another thing to consider, although it may be harder to diagnose since most dog foods contain a combination of ingredients.

There are medicinal remedies for pet allergies but many dog allergies can be treated naturally. A natural dog allergy remedy can be as simple as an oatmeal bath for itchy skin, increased brushing and grooming, frequent washing of the dog’s bedding or changing dog food. Allergy remedies that require medication can be effective at alleviating the dog’s symptoms and discomfort. However, reducing or eliminating exposure to the allergens is more effective and provides longer lasting results.

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