Friday, September 18, 2015

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is an inherited condition resulting from an improperly formed hip joint. In normal growth, the "ball and socket" portion of a hip would grow at an equal rate. In hip dysplasia, the ball and socket do not grow together at the equal rate. This causes the hip joint to eventually develop degenerative bone disease and/ or osteoarthritis. It should be noted, that the gene that causes hip dysplasia has not been conclusively identified. BUT, it is believed to be more than one gene. Diet also plays a crucial role in the development of hip dysplasia. Dogs that are genetically more prone to this condition are large breed dogs and purebred (though, all breeds large and small, can develop it).

Hip Dysplasia generally starts to show up around mid- late age for dogs. But in severe cases, puppies may show signs as early as 5-10 months of age. It is important that at-risk large breed puppies are given controlled exercise . This means you need to limit high-impact games while they are growing rapidly. Diet also plays a crucial role: If your at-risk puppy is eating commercial dog food, do not give them an added calcium supplement. It is recommended that they eat a special large-breed diet during their first year and that they eat the recommended amount so as not to become overweight. Growing too quickly and adding too much weight can impact their little joints.

As mentioned above: Purebred dogs are also "high-risk". When choosing a purebred puppy, purchase pups that are the offspring of OFA or PennHip certified parents. If the parents are not certified, choose from 2nd or 3rd little parent dogs that have no mobility issues. Ask the breeder for a reference list of people who have bought puppies from them and contact those references! Do not purchase a puppy if parents are not available to be inspected by a 3rd party expert.

For more information, please read these links and do your own research! Knowledge is power:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five Cinnamon Dog Treat Recipes

Last week, I wrote about the health benefits of Cinnamon for canines. As promised, here is a little collection of five dog treat recipes I found on the internet. I have provided the links to the actual recipes to give owners due credit. The pictures are also from each recipe source:

This first recipe is by Live Laugh Rowe - Paw Print Dog Treats (with CAROB chips. Not chocolate, which is poisonous for you dog.):

Banana Flax treats by Healthy Slow Cooking:

Apple & Cranberry Dog Treats by Good Dogs & Co.:

Cinnamon Snacks by Kol's Notes:

And last, but not least...Every good pastry needs to have a latte by it's side. This recipe is by Honest Kitchen. I usually add a bit of coconut oil to my Furry Friend's latte, just to make it even fancier... (and to help their coats):

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Healing with Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice that we see and use every day. Aside from it's very pleasant flavor, it has potent health benefits for humans and canines. There are two types of cinnamon: Ceylon Cinnamon and Cinnamon Cassia. Cinnamon Cassia is generally what will be found in your kitchen. The one that is considered healthier is Ceylon Cinnamon. The reason: Cinnamon Cassia contains a compound called coumarin. When ingested in large quantities and on a daily basis, the coumarin in Cinnamon Cassia can damage the liver. If used sparingly, Cinnamon Cassia is harmless. That being said, Ceylon Cinnamon is safer if you are worried about liver damage and/or like to eat large quantities of cinnamon.

What is said all over the internet about the health benefits of Cinnamon?

Like I said above, this was found on the internet. I am not a medical doctor, veterinarian nor am I a Holistic practitioner. As I always advise, do your own research and consult a veterinarian before supplementing your furry friend. I also advise that if Fido decides it would be awesome to chew his way through a cinnamon bottle, you should contact your vet. Inhaling Cinnamon could be very painful, irritating and cause some respiratory problems. Large quantities of cinnamon could also cause an irritated bowel (not fun for anyone involved). But if used sparingly as a supplement, is safe and can be beneficial. Here is a link providing dosages according to weight.

Now that I have listed the health benefits and typed out my medical disclaimer, I should list the cautions I have found:

Cinnamon oil? What is that? Cinnamon can be ingested as a powder (what you find in your kitchen) or as an essential oil. Essential oils are VERY concentrated and VERY powerful. A small amount goes a long, long ways. I suggest that if you decide to go with the essential oil, make sure that it is therapeutic grade and research the correct dosage for the oil. The link I provided above is for powder, not oil.  Cinnamon also has anti-clotting properties. Dogs that have bleeding disorders need to be evaluated by a veterinarian before using cinnamon as a supplement. 

With all that said, enjoy cinnamon. Next week, I will post some recipes for treats that involve cinnamon. ;)