Enhancing the Immune System

October 21, 2014 by admin  
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THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS A NETWORK OF CELLS AND ORGANS that defends the body against attacks by foreign invaders.  The cells communicate with each other through proteins called cytokines to mount a defensive attack.  The body is mainly being defended against what are popularly called germs or microbes (bacteria,yeast, protozoan, and viruses).  Because the mammalian body provides an ideal environment (warmth and moisture) for many microbes, they tend to multiply easily and rapidly in the body if the immune system has been unable to keep them out or destroy them.  symptoms or illness may arise directly from the actions of the pathological organisms, from the immune system activities called upon to fight them, and /or both.

The immune systems is amazingly complex.  Every time we solve a problem, two more question arise.  The immune system must recognize dozens of different enemies and then produce secretions and “killer” cells to match up with and wipe out each one of them.  But it gets even trickier: the immune system must produce this response only when the enemy is present; otherwise, the immune system would be draining energy and building up secretions continuously.

Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum)

October 17, 2014 by admin  
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Milk thistle has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine for the treatment of liver disease.  The active constituent in milk thistle is silymarin, a mixture of three flavolignans. Silybin is the most biologically active flavonoid in silymarin.  Therapeutically, milk thistle acts by protecting liver cells from toxic damage, boosting glutathione concentrations, and regenerating normal liver cells.  Milk thistle is also a potent free radical scavenger. In humans, milk thistle has been used clinically for a number of conditions including alcoholic liver diseased, hepatitis, amanita mushroom poisoning, and skin disease.  Silymarin has also shown to enhance liver detoxification by by inhibition of Phase I detoxification while enhancing glucuronidation.  One of the most important aspects of this herb is that it slows down or even reverses the formation of fibrosis (scar tissue)  in the liver.  This is my main herbal treatment in liver disease.

Muscle Terminology

October 15, 2014 by admin  
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Skeletal muscles do not work in isolation. Each muscle is attached to bony processes or sheets of connective tissue. All voluntary muscles are somehow associated with the skeletal system. The muscles to bone attachment at which the muscle begins is called the origin and the site at which it ends is it’s insertion. The origin is usually proximal and attaches to the less moveable bone, while the insertion is distal and attaches to the more moveable  bone. Therefore, when a muscle contracts, the insertion moves toward the origin. For example, the deltoid muscle in the shoulder of the humerus. When this muscle contracts, the more move able it’s insertion on the humerus. When this muscle contracts, the more moveable insertion moves toward the origin and pulls the humerus toward the scapula.

Almost all skeletal muscles either originate or insert on the skeleton and many like the deltoid, have both their origin and insertion on bone. Contraction of the deltoid flexes the shoulder. It is the job of another muscle or group of muscles to extend the shoulder or to produce an opposite action. For example, the teres minor is one of the muscles that extends the shoulder. Similarly, abductors and adductors work in opposition of each other. The concept of muscles working to produce movement in opposite directions allows dogs to move their joints in both directions.

Kennel Cough…..

February 7, 2014 by admin  
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Kennel cough is an infectious disease that in the past has been associated with a recently confinement in a boarding kennel. This is a harsh, persistent cough, also known as tracheo-bronchitis and more recently “infectious bronchitis”. Initially it occurred more often in the summer months and particularly when dogs have been in kennels. Today however, it occurs throughout the yearand often times is unrelated to boarding kennels. This signs of kennel cough is recognized by a harsh dry cough and can be followed by bouts of retching. It is a cough followed by a cough that sounds like something is stuck in the throat. There are several viruses involved with this condition. The incubation period runs between five and seven days and usually runs its course in 2-3 weeks. Some dogs may not begin coughing for several days after being boarded, or exposed to this bacteria.

Rumex Crisp

Other Alternatives:
Vaporizers can be effective either a cold-mist vaporizer or by placing the dog in the bathroom and running a hot shower or tub. Herbal cough syrups are also useful. These usually contain wild cherry bark, licorice, comfrey root, coltsfoot, mullein, slippery elm and horehound. Increasing the intake of vitamin C and vitamin E are also helpful.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats!

January 31, 2014 by admin  
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1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1/2 cup oats (optional if your dog is on a grain free diet, sub an extra 1/4 cup grain free flour)

3 cups whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten free flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, and cinnamon

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter until combined.  Stir wet ingredients into dry. Pour onto a floured surface and roll dough out to 1/2 thick.  Cut out using cookie cutter.  The dough will be a little sticky, a dusting of flour for your hands and the rolling pin will help! Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Place on cooling racks and let cool thoroughly.  They will harden as they cool.

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