Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Raw Frozen Green Tripe

Written by: Russell Blauert, Owner of IB Pet.
K9 Kraving 100% Raw Tripe
Green tripe is an often overlooked supplement in a raw diet for your pet.  Did you know that when a carnivore makes a kill some of most highly desired parts of the animal are the organs and  specifically the stomach?  "Green" tripe is the uncooked and unprocessed stomach of a ruminating (grazing) animal.  Green does not refer to the color, which can be somewhat greenish in color, but to the fact that it has not been cooked or bleached.  It is packed full of good bacteria and enzymes that promote a healthy digestive tracts for our dogs and cats.  Ordinary grocery store tripe is not referred to as green because it has in most cases been bleached and scalded thus diminishing or completely destroying the naturally good enzymes.
Green tripe contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, more commonly known as lactic acid bacteria.   It is a good digestive probiotic for both humans and canines.  Also, the calcium:phosphorous ratio is 1:1, the overall pH is on the acidic side which is better for digestion, protein is 15.1%, fat 11.7% and it contained the essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic.  This analysis was done by Woodson-Tenant Laboratories, Inc.  
Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus in canines and felines: 
  •  Treats diarrhea and GI infections
  •  Aids digestion
  •  Treats chronic constipation
  •  Treats symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  •  Enhances the immune system
  •  Lowers the risk of pollen allergies

Friday, August 17, 2012

Are Heartworm Medications Necessary in San Diego? Get the Facts.

Written By: Lori Blauert of IB Pet 
I currently do not use a monthly heartworm preventative on my pets.  I've been advised by multiple veterinarians that it is unnecessary in San Diego.  Being from the east coast I understand the risks of heartworm disease and would never recommend forgoing treatment on dog from back east but here in San Diego where mosquitos are scarse and the weather is cooler our dogs are not at risk. Why would I want to give my pets a monthly dose of toxic poison anyway if I don't need too?

It has been abnormally hot in San Diego the past few weeks and I've noticed some mosquitoes bites myself.  A friend of mine even told me she heard there was a case of west nile reported in San Diego.  With all this mosquito talk it got me to wondering about my dogs risk for heartworm so I did a little research on my own.  I first came across this article,  The Truth About Heartworm, which outlines the 7 steps that must be completed to give your dog a dangerous heartworm infestation.  I also found that according to veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, "Heartworms are a variety of roundworm with the clinical name dirofilaria immitis. They are spread by mosquitoes.  Dogs can only get heartworm disease through infected mosquitoes. They can't get it from other dogs or other types of animals, from dog feces, or from their mothers while in the womb or through nursing.

Only certain mosquitoes can transmit heartworms to your dog. These mosquitoes must meet certain precise criteria, including:
  • They must be female. 
  • They must be of a species that allows development of the worms in the cells of the body (not all species do). 
  • They must be of a species that feeds on mammals (not all do). 
  • They must have bitten an animal infected with stage 1 (L1) heartworms about two weeks prior, since approximately 14 days are necessary for the larvae from the other animal to develop to stage 3 (L3) inside the transmitting mosquito.
  • This mosquito must then bite your dog. When the larvae reach stage L4-L5, which takes three to four months, under the right conditions they can travel via your dog's bloodstream to the lungs and heart. 
If your dog's immune system doesn't destroy these invaders, they will reach maturity (L6), the adult stage, in which males can grow to six inches in length and females to 12.
Two other critically important features in the transmission of heartworm are:
  1. The right temperature. During the time the heartworm larvae are developing from L1 to L3 inside an infected mosquito, which is approximately a two-week period, the temperature must not dip below 57°F at any point in time. If it does, the maturation cycle is halted. According to Washington State University heartworm report from 2006, full development of the larvae requires "the equivalent of a steady 24-hour daily temperature in excess of 64°F (18°C) for approximately one month."
  2. Humidity and standing water. Mosquitoes are a rarity in dry climates."

After reading this and finding the same info from a few other reputable sources I was pretty convinced that my dogs are pretty safe here in San Diego.  I then decided to dig a little deeper and see what some of the local vets in San Diego had to say about it.  I stumbled on some information on
Sunset Cliff's Vet Hospital's website which has me scratching my head again. They state on their website that cases of heartworm have been reported in San Diego and therefore they recommend you must treat your dog.  They also state that these cases are from dogs that have traveled to San Diego from other areas of the the country.  I  guess they are leading your to believe that your dog can get heartworms from other dogs.  As a vet your would think they would know that heartworms can only be spread through a mosquitos bite, right?  I'm not a vet but it sounds to me they are just trying to sell you heartworm preventatives?  

Ok I'm not trying to call out Sunset Cliff's Vet Hospital here but 
I then scroll down and read that they state that flea preventative products such as Frontline and Advantage purchased from anyone other than a vet are harmful to your pet.  Years ago Frontline and Advantage products could only be purchased from a licensed veterinarian but like with many other drugs, once they have been tested over time they can become available over the counter.  This happened a few years ago and these topical flea products can now be purchased from your local pet store, Petco, PetSmart and even at Walmart or Costco.  Sunset Cliff's claims on their website that the products these store are selling are not made by Merial and Bayer, the makers of Fronltine and Advantage.  Well that is just simply not true my friends.  As a pet store owner in San Diego I know for a fact that the Frontline and Advantage products I carry in my store are made by Merial and Bayer.  Obviously as a consumer you always want to make sure you are purchasing your products from a reputable dealer as I am sure knock offs do exist but for them to state that all of these products are fake just blows my mind! They are making these statements simply to scare you, just like with the heartworms.  They are trying to sell medications.  As a pet owner you want to be able to trust your vet but it's confusing and hard to know who to trust.  I guess you just really have to do your homework and know the facts.  


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Puppy Crate Training

Puppy Crate Training
By: Russell Blauert

Crate training is the easiest and most effective way to stay in control of your young dog.  Especially for the first couple of months, it is imperative to keep an eye on your puppy at all times.  This is important for two reasons, the first being the pup’s safety. The second reason is to avoid letting the puppy do things that we humans consider mischievous.  If a puppy is allowed to freely do things that we do not like then that behavior will become a habit.  Your puppy might like chewing on your floorboards and when we find the damage half an hour later it will be too late to correct him, because he will not relate the correction the behavior. When puppy has an accident, the best thing to do is ignore the bad behavior, quickly take the puppy outside and if he finishes going outside reward puppy with treats and praise.  Praise should be just as rewarding as treats.  Obviously we can’t keep an eye on our dog when we are not home or asleep and the crate is the perfect tool to avoid accidents from happening.  The goal is to not give the puppy an opportunity to have an accident. If the puppy damages your house or has a potty accident then blame yourself not the puppy.                                                
Make the crate a comforting place for the puppy.  In the wild, dogs, especially pregnant females, search out dens.  A puppy’s natural instinct is to stay close to the den environment.  In time your young dog will learn to like his or her crate.  When our dogs became old enough to not need the crate we left it out because they like to nap inside on their own.  Put in a small amount of bedding, (no expensive beds at first), cover the top and sides with a dark blanket, and leave the front open to replicate a den.  Keep it out of the sun, away from any A/C units, and put it into a corner where the pup can get a good look across a room.  I guarantee one thing, your puppy will howl like it is the end of the world the first few nights in the crate.  The most important thing is to not give in to the crying. If you do, you reward the dog for crying.  That behavior will be learned instantly.  Leaving your house is another time the dog will cry until it is a little older.  You won’t be there to hear it so it’s much easier to ignore.  The crying is not from being in pain, the puppy just wants to be with you.  This is the puppy’s instinct kicking in again.  Dogs are not loners but in a suburban environment you must train your dog to be alone while you are at work or at the grocery store.  Before you leave, quickly put the dog in the crate with no fanfare, give it a treat or toy to occupy it and leave quietly.  As with leaving, when you come home do it quietly and quickly. 
Potty training and the crate go together very well.  I mentioned it earlier but again I have to stress that you cannot let a young puppy out of your sight.  A young puppy will want to go to the bathroom every few hours throughout the day and the night.  The KEY is to make this happen outside and not in the living room.  Every few hours take your puppy outside and watch it go.  Have a key phrase/word that you will train your puppy to recognize. (“get busy”, “piddle”)  Have a treat ready and be prepared to offer the treat and praise the puppy within a couple of seconds after the business.  As soon as the puppy hits the grass, start saying the key word.  If the puppy doesn’t respond in a couple of minutes then try it again in an hour.  The puppy will associate the grass and the key word with going to the bathroom quickly.  The treats and praise will reinforce the behavior.  At night, the puppy will start off needing to go once or twice.  As soon as you hear your puppy moving around in the crate in the middle of the night, open the crate, pick the puppy up, and carry it outside to the grass.  Remember the treat and the praise even though it’s 3 am.  Try to get the pup out before the crying really commences.   Your crate should be large enough for the pup to stand up, turn around and stretch out but not big enough to let the puppy go to the bathroom and then just move away from it.  Instinct won’t let the puppy go to the bathroom in it’s own den. 
The other thing that will help immensely in potty training is to get your pup on a set food and water schedule.  Planned meal times and set times where water is available will help you learn when your pup needs to go out.  Water should be available during the day but don’t let the puppy drink excessively right before bedtime.