Proper Kidney Function Is Vital For Your Pet’s Wellbeing. If Your Pet Has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) This Information May Be Helpful

 old dog and cat 2

 

So this is part two of the Kidney blog.  We will go over what Kidneys do and their physical function in the body. There is also information to help understand what happens if your pet does get CKD Chronic Kidney Disease and what you can do to help them through diet, CAM, Eastern and Western Medicine

The following is  a summary from articles written by Dr Karen Becker  To read the full articles click on the links below

Your pet’s kidneys are very important organs. They regulate your dog’s or cat’s blood pressure, blood sugar, blood volume, water composition in the blood, and pH levels. The kidneys also produce a variety of hormones, including erythropoietin, that stimulates red blood production.

As blood flows through your pet’s kidneys, they filter out waste products generated from the break down of food, old cells and metabolic byproducts, toxins or poisons, and many drugs. The wastes are removed when your dog or cat urinates.

The kidneys also act as filters to insure beneficial substances like proteins get into the bloodstream, and they help regulate calcium and vitamin D levels.

Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is damage to a dog’s or cat’s kidneys that has been present for months to years. It’s also called chronic renal disease (CRD), chronic renal failure (CRF), and chronic renal insufficiency.

Dogs and cats of any age can develop chronic kidney failure, but it’s more commonly seen in older pets.

Kidney failure often happens so gradually that by the time the symptoms become obvious, it’s really too late to treat the problem effectively. The kidneys find amazing ways to compensate as they slowly lose function over a period of months to years, which is why obvious symptoms often don’t appear until very late in the disease process.

A diet high in excellent quality protein and lower than normal amounts of sodium and phosphorous is recommended.  Controlling phosphorous intake has proven to be very important in controlling the progression of kidney disease.

Many veterinarians still insist that a renal diet should be low in protein, despite studies that show aging pets — including those with kidney disease — need more, not less protein. But it has to be very high quality protein.

A big key  to helping your pet is to realize that something may be off ie drinking more water than usual, larger volume  or more frequent peeing. Night time incontinence, diminishing coat quality and abnormal lethargy.  If these changes are occuring you should bring pet to your vet and let them know your concerns.  There are western and/or alternative options to help your pup.

 Below are four links: First two are for dogs , the third link is for cat parents and the fourth link is an article from dogs naturally identifies CKD from a TCM standpoint.

1. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/09/20/pet-chronic-kidney-disease.aspx

2. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/11/04/kidney-failure-pet-dogs.aspx

3. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/08/06/kidney-disease-in-cats.aspx

4. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/kidney-disease-in-dogs/

 

Here are a few points that will help with CKD regardless of the deficiency.

KI3 Top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on either side it is kind of like our Achilles
KI7 Caudo medial aspect of the pelvic limb, 2 cun proximal to KI3 on the cranial border of the achilles tendon ( medial side of the hind limb approx two fingers above KI3)
KI10 Medial side of the popiteal fossa at the level of BL40 between the semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscles
ST36 Find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee
 SP6 Approx 2 fingers above the medial malleolus or ankle bone this point is on the bone so just follow it up two finger widths on the  inside of the back leg
BL23 1.5 cun lateral to the caudal border of the dorsal spineous process o the second lumbar vertebrae ( find the last rib follow it straight up about 1 finger to 2 finger widths off the spine)

Kidney points blog j

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It’s Winter Time And In TCM That Means It Is Kidney Season..So Are Your Pets Kidney’s Balanced? Here Are Some Signs To Look For According To TCM

 

english-bulldogs

It’s Winter Time And In TCM That Means It Is Kidney Season..So Are Your Pets Kidney’s Balanced? Here Are Some Signs To Look For According To TCM

 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the Kidney is our source chi and produces our life force energy. It’s sister meridian is the bladder and according to the 5 element theory a part of TCM, Winter is Kidney and Bladder season. So we will look at the Kidney from a TCM perspective in this blog and then explore the Kidney from a functional standard in the next blog.

The Kidney, known in Chinese as Shen, is a Yin organ, The Kidney and Bladder are sisters so when all is well they work together in harmony keeping the body and all of its organs hydrated and functioning. The Kidneys are the “root of life” because they are the source of the Yin and Yang for all the other organs. The Kidneys are the source of Original Chi, or “Pre-Natal Chi” which is derived from the Chi of the puppy’s or kitten’s parents. Although the Kidney is a Yin organ it also has Yang energy Kidney Yin provides for birth, growth and reproduction, while Kidney Yang is the moving force behind every physiological process of the body. The Kidneys are responsible for the life force energy of the dog’s or cat’s body. They control Jing, the Essence of life.

What do the Kidneys do? (TCM)

The Kidney plays a vital role in the body some of the kidneys functions include:

Storing essence and governing birth, growth, reproduction and development
Producing marrow, fill up the brain and control bones
Dominating water metabolism
Controlling the reception of Chi
Opening to the ears
Manifesting in the hair
Controlling the lower two orifices
Housing will power
Controlling fear based emotion and balanced threat assessment
Belonging to the Water Element

Source chi orKidney chi is similar to our genetics but can be affected by outside influences or pathogens (or epigenetics)

For instance if your pet was born in a safe environment with proper food caring and responsible fur and human parents odds are their source chi will be strong barring any genetic issues. If you have a rescue, odds are the source chi may be affected by theirpast environment and circumstances. ie: fear based issues, nutrition, etc but a lot of this can be remedied with proper care, nutrition and lots of love and patience

So if your pup or kitten has strong or balanced kidney chi,they will have a nice full coat with good quality fur A solid skeletal structure strong bones, healthy teeth, great hearing strong lungs ( kidneys pull lung chi down into the body ) good bladder control and a balanced fear response with controlled threat assessment.

Common Canine and Feline Indicators of an Imbalance of the Kidney Meridian

-Development and growth issues

-Bone problems including:

Fractures, overgrowth of bone, jaw and teeth abnormalities, periodontal issues

- Dull lifeless coat

- Oily or Dry Fur

-Lack of energy or enthusiasm

Common Emotional Indicators of an Imbalance in the Kidney Meridian Each organ system in TCM has an emotional component. Kidney houses fear:

-Easily frightened

- Chronic anxiety

- Fear based agression

So now you know a little bit about the Kidney and its function in TCM, for more info on the Kidneys, here is a good overview

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/kidney.htm

One great point to balance out the Kidney is KI3

Next blog we will look into what happens as our pets get older; how it affects their kidneys’ and what you can do to support your pets so they can have a long and happy life.

KI3 BL60 top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on either side it is kind of like our Achilles this is actually two points KI3 and BL60 KI3 is a source point good for the kidneys which house original chi this will tonify source chi and give your pet a little boost also helps with bone marrow, brain function . Kidneys also house fear so this will help to Kidney’s Sister Meridian is the Bladder so that is helptobalance that out as well BL 60 is called the aspirin point and is good one to help with pain and stiffness in body. These two points are commonly used together as they are on sister meridians

KI3 BL 60

KI3 BL 60

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Thanksgiving Is Almost Here… Need A Game Plan To Keep Your Pups Tummy Safe And Happy ? Here You Go …

turkey dog

 

So Thanksgiving is almost here are your ready? The Holidays are an amazing time of year lots of family and friends and of course food. So to keep your pups tummy free from indigestion or worse; here are a few great tips from  Pet MD and Dogster.com

http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/five-thanksgiving-tips-for-the-dog-owner

http:/www.dogster.com/dog-food/thanksgiving-safety-tips-for-dog-owners

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/thanksgiving-pet-safety.aspx

 

In addition to those tips plan ahead and set some ground rules for your pup and your guests. Dogs have these amazingly sad eyes that they use specifically for letting your guests know how much they would love anything on their plate. Obviously you never feed them so… If your dog is going to mingle with the guests it is best to set ground rules let your guests know not to feed your pup and explain what can happen. Aside from the mess you will have to clean up later there is also a chance that all those little table tidbits could cause a trip to the vet and some long term issues.
Make an announcement before dinner keep it light but serious, especially if you have non dog people or elderly guests. One of my friends actually put up signs and had little table tents that said please do not feed the dog. She also had a t-shirt made that said do not feed the animals. Now this sounds extreme but the year before her pup was overfed by a few unnamed guests and ended up with a pretty serious case of pancreatitis It was scary and not cheap.

Thankfully her pooch is doing ok but still has to be very careful about what she eats.

So enjoy the holidays in moderation and just in case you or your pup has a mild tummy upset I have attached just one point to use it is a good one and deals with constipation diarrhea and vomiting oh my… so just in case here you go.

Oh and Cat people keep an eye on your counters during prep . Cats tend not to beg they just take things :-)  ST36  works for them as well

ST 36 find the front of the knee and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee

 

Thanksgiving st36 dch blog

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If Your Pup Has Had Back Surgery And Is Still Having Issues, These Points May Help

 

best-indoor-dogs-dachshund1

 

If your pup is having back issues or has had back surgery this is an interesting article from UC Davis as well as some points to try

Disc disease is a common problem in dogs and relatively uncommon in cats. There are two major categories of disc disease, Type I and Type II. Type I disc disease is characterized by disc herniation (“slipped disc”) and a sudden onset of signs. This type of disc disease occurs in dogs and cats of any age or breed, but is seen most commonly in short-legged breeds (e.g., dachshund, bassett hound, shih tzu, lhasa apso, corgi, pekingese), and some other small breeds such as the poodle and cocker spaniel. It also occurs in larger breeds of dog, such as doberman pinschers. In order to understand what happens in animals with disc disease, a little understanding of the anatomy of the back (spinal column) is required.

The back or spinal column is made up of a series of small bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are lined up like blocks and the spinal cord passes through a hole in the center of each vertebra. The spinal cord is very important, as it carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is also extremely delicate and the tunnel formed by the surrounding vertebrae helps to protect it from damage. Between each vertebrae, just under the spinal cord, lies a circular cushion called the intervertebral disc. These discs cushion the vertebrae from one another, acting like shock absorbers and also providing flexibility to the spine.

Intervertebral discs deteriorate as part of the normal aging process. Some breeds of dogs such as dachshunds, may undergo disc degeneration earlier in life. Normal discs are made up of an outer fibrous ring and an inner gelatinous center [similar to a Tootsie-Pop®(firm on the outside and soft in the middle)]. With age the disc changes and the outer ring often tears and the inner soft center of the disc hardens and may even calcify. A time may come when the torn outer ring may no longer be able to hold this hardened center in place and movement of the vertebrae may suddenly push the disc out of its normal position. This is called disc herniation (or “slipped disc”). When disc material herniates, it may be pushed out the side, below, or up around the spinal cord. Herniation of the disc often occurs very explosively, causing significant injury to the spinal cord and pain to the animal. There is very little room between the spinal cord and the surrounding bony vertebrae and as a result, once disc material has herniated into this small space it continues to cause damage to the spinal cord.

The areas of the spine most commonly affected by herniated discs are the neck, and the mid- to lower back regions. Common signs seen with herniated or “slipped” discs include: Back pain, lameness, incoordination, and/or inability to walk in the hind legs, or all four limbs. Animals that are unable to walk may also be unable to urinate on their own. Although these signs indicate that the dog or cat has a problem affecting the spinal cord, they do not indicate the specific area that is affected, or the cause of the problem. Tumor, fracture or infection involving the vertebrae or spinal cord may all produce neurological signs similar to a herniated disc. Further diagnostic tests are needed to determine the exact location and cause of the problem and to determine appropriate therapy.

The most common surgery done to remove disc material from around the spinal cord is called a laminectomy. The spine is approached through an incision in the middle of the back and using a special drill, a window is made in the bone of the vertebra immediately above the disc. The disc material underneath the spinal cord can then be gently removed.

The speed of recovery from surgery and the extent of recovery of normal function (e.g., walking) is dependent on many factors, including how fast the disc material hit the spinal cord, the degree of the damage sustained by the spinal cord and the length of time that the spinal cord has been compressed by the disc material. In general, animals exhibiting severe neurological signs (e.g., lack of sensation in their toes), a rapid onset of signs (hours or less), and/or a long period of time before surgery have a prolonged recovery period. The more severely affected animals may have varying degrees of permanent damage. Fortunately the majority of animals with disc disease that undergo surgery recover function to their limbs relatively quickly and completely.

For the full article click below

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/neurology/newsletters/disc_disease.cfm

 

Here are the points that  can be used during recovery and beyond to help the body find its new normal

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1540-acupuncture-relieves-failed-back-surgery-pain

CV4  On the ventral midline 3 cun below the umbilicus
CV6  On the ventral midline 1.5 cun below the umbilicus
CV9 On the ventral midline 1 cun above the umbilicus
ST26 On the ventro lateral abdomen 1 cun below the umbilicus and             2 cun lateral to the ventral midline
KI13 On the ventral midline 3 cun below the umbilicus and                                .5 cun lateral to CV4
KI14 On the ventral midline 2cun below the umbilicus and                                 .5 cun lateral to CV5

Cun “small measurement”  the find the distance between the wrist and the elbow put your finger there;  half that distance half it again and half it again, The distance between your finger and the wrist is 1 cun so it will be a personal measurement for each animal

 

This may be another reason dogs love belly rubs :-)

 

points  forfbs blog

 

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Boo It’s That Time Again.. So Here Are A Few Tips To Make Sure Your Halloween Is Safe And Not Scary

 

halloween pumpkin dog

So it is Halloween once again, always  a fun holiday and a great excuse to dress up your favorite fur kid.

So to make sure everyone has a safe, fun and relaxing Halloween here are few tips from RFAC, along with some good links  from the ASPCA and PetMD

Pet parents with furry foodies  this one is for you :-)


Ok so we all know that chocolate is not good for dogs and cats, as well as raisins and  macadamia nuts,  especially if they are covered in chocolate.

Milk chocolate not as toxic as dark or bakers chocolate but will cause tummy upset. If you have a 90lb lab who ingests one or two mini snickers probably not a huge emergency but just keep an eye on him or her. On the other hand, if you have a little chihuahua who does the same that may  be a problem, based on weight of the dog to chocolate ratio. Either way give your vet or Pet ER  a call just to make sure you know what to look for, or go in just to be safe.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is potentially lethal. But the real danger lies with dark chocolate. Merck warns that deaths have been reported with theobromine doses as low as 115 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.

While uncooked  pumpkins and corn are not toxic to dogs  if they eat too much of either they will have a tummy ache so here are some good points to help with that

points for leaky gut syndrome jpg

 

Scaredy Cats and Dogs

For the scaredy cats and dogs it is important that they are in a nice quiet calm place. A bedroom or quiet room away from the front door is a great idea also make sure there are no open windows or ways to escape. Lots of pets get really scared with all the commotion so it is best to keep them away from all that.  There are some great calming points that you can start using         about a week out from the big night. These should help alleviate the initial panic. For dogs some essentials oils can help; lavender or peace and calm or frankincense are good choices .. Be sure to introduce gradually over the course of a week  let them sniff the oils and see which ones they like . If they have a preference you can diffuse the oil in their room or put a few drops on your hands and try petting them from back of the head to the tail. If diffusing make sure there is another room they can go to in case it becomes too much..     A Thundershirt  or rescue remedy is always good to have on hand.

“For cats rescue remedy is great but be cautious with   essential oils as they can be   toxic to cats.  Rescue remedy or bach flowers would be great  “Cats are not as well-equipped to metabolize essential oil components because they lack the liver enzyme glucuronyl transferase  http://felinewellness.com/aromatherapy-for-cats/

For the Canine and Feline Fashionistas

So if you have a pet that loves to dress up and greet everyone at the door to show off their amazing costume Halloween is the best holiday ever :-)

Here are a few tips just to be safe

1. Obvious tip I am sure allof you know this but ….As cute as your costume is and I ‘ve seen some amazing ones…be sure it does not constrict your pets movement, hearing or site and most important.. make sure it does not constrict movement or ability to breathe bark or meow

2. Be sure to try on costumes before the big night. This allows your pet to get used the costume and have fun  If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

3. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

So have a safe happy and healthy halloween..

For more info see the links below

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/halloween-safety-tips

http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_halloween_safety_tips

 

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