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The Wellness Blog

March 2013 Ask the Vet

Q: My 1 1/2 year old Schnoodle has anal gland problems.  Is there anything I can do to prevent her from leaking this foul smell?

A: Anal glands are scent glands located around the dog’s anus which produces a strong smelling, oily secretion.  (The anal glands are located at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock around the anus.)   They are supposed to empty when the dog passes stool and the anus is stretched.  The most common form of anal sac disease is impaction; other diagnoses are infection, abscess, or neoplasia.  Clinical signs are related to pain and discomfort— scooting, licking and biting at the anal area and painful defecation.

Overweight dogs and small breed dogs are at greater risk.

Anecdotally, a diet that is enhanced in fiber and produces a larger quantity of stool may help the problem of unexpected leaking.  For a diet with increased dietary fiber, try Wellness Small Breed Healthy Weight dry kibble.

In addition, your veterinarian may teach you to express canine anal glands manually when full.  Ask at your next wellness check up.

Q: My cat that is eight years old is peeing in her litter box every 15 minutes when she is awake. But only a drop. She seems to feel like she has to pee. And her poop is very small compared to my other cats. What can I do to help her?

A: Your cat is exhibiting signs of lower urinary tract disease.  Different types of urinary diseases occur in cats:  FIC (feline idiopathic cystitis), urolithiasis, and urethral plugs are the top three.  You should schedule an appointment for a health check.  After a diagnosis, your vet can help you with nutritional goals and possible environmental enrichment and behavioral management.

Veggies Contribute to a Well-Balanced Diet

Did human table scraps play a role in the evolution of today’s pet dog?

A new study recently published in the journal Nature found this to be the case.

The study traces the evolution of dogs and found that as a result of hanging around early farm sites and eating human food scraps, our four legged companions are able to digest carbohydrates better than their wolf counterparts. Over time, their bodies’ developed the ability to digest carbohydrates and use them for energy.

What does this mean from a diet standpoint?

Veterinarians agree, a healthy, balanced meal is one that contains plenty of veggies -not just meat- in your dog’s diet. Veggies are excellent sources of healthy carbs and they help keep your dog’s immune system strong.

Carrots, potatoes, and real fruit like blueberries and apples provide essential vitamins and nutrients for your dog.

Check the Label

To know whether your pet is getting the right balance of nutrition, check the label. Labels are written based on weight so the first ingredient is the heaviest – and often most plentiful ingredient.  For example, protein is heavy. Wellness® Pet Food always lists real meat as the first ingredient because it’s the base of the food. Then come the fruits and veggies. We provide plenty of vitamins and nutrients so your dog is at his healthy best.

Does your dog have a favorite fruit or vegetable? Please share your answers on the Wellness Facebook page!

Pet Dental Hygiene

Regular pet dental care can keep your pet healthy inside and out.  While you might take your pet to the vet for a full cleaning once or twice a year, your pet’s mouth needs regular brushing to stay healthy.

A Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Body

Gingivitis and gum disease can lead to painful, swollen gums and tooth loss. If left untreated, holistic veterinarians believe this can result in kidney and other organ problems in your pet.

Super stinky breath is an indication your pet’s teeth need attention.  Also watch for yellow or brown teeth.

Brush ‘Em Good

It’s essential to brush your pet’s teeth.   Brushing gets under the gum line and cleans off bacteria.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a pet toothbrush (they have smaller bristles and a smaller head).

And, arm yourself with some pet toothpaste.  There are beef and chicken flavors to entice your pet.  (Don’t use people stuff here—your pets can swallow the toothpaste and toothpaste for people can upset their tummies.)   There are beef and chicken flavored toothpaste to entice your pet.

Don’t expect to do a great brushing all at once. If your pet isn’t used to you rubbing her teeth, you may have to work up to it. You can start with your finger or a soft cloth to get her used to it.

Try it for a few minutes each day.  Your pet will gradually be more comfortable with the experience and you’ll enjoy a pooch or kitty with fresher breath and gleaming teeth!

Does your pet have a winning smile? If so, enter the Wellness Hollywood Smile contest on the Wellness Facebook Page for a chance to win a Wellness goodie basket!

Do You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth?

Regular dog dental care can keep your pet healthy inside and out.  While you might take your pet to the vet for the full cleaning once or twice a year, your pet’s mouth needs regular brushing to stay healthy.

A Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Body

Gingivitis and gum disease can lead to painful, swollen gums and tooth loss.  Left untreated, holistic veterinarians believe they can result in kidney and other organ problems in your pet.

Super stinky breath is an indication your pet’s teeth need attention.  So are yellow or brown teeth. Yuck!

Brush ‘Em Good

It’s essential to brush your dog’s teeth.   Brushing gets under the gum line and cleans bacteria off your pet’s teeth.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a pet toothbrush (they have smaller bristles and a smaller head).

And, arm yourself with some pet toothpaste. (don’t use people stuff here—your pets will swallow the toothpaste and people kind can upset their tummies.)   There are beef and chicken flavored toothpaste to entice your pet.

Don’t expect to do a great tooth brushing all at once. If your pet isn’t used to you rubbing her teeth, you may have to work up to it. You can start with your finger or a soft cloth to get her used to it.

Try it for a few minutes each day.  Your pet will gradually be more comfortable with the experience and you’ll enjoy a pooch with fresher breath and gleaming teeth!

Does your pet have a winning smile? If so, enter our contest on the Wellness Facebook Page for a chance to win a Wellness goodie basket!