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.

Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits

January 3, 2014 by admin  
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1 cup of canned sweet potato (you can sub fresh if you want)

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten free flour

1 egg (beaten)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir ingredients together in a large bowl until dough forms.  Roll dough into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press dough down slightly so the biscuits are about 1/4 inch thick.  Bake until golden brown and let cool on a wire rack.

Yield: About 2 dozen biscuits  Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 30-40 minutes


December 20, 2013 by admin  
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There is always one very important rule to remember when you are considering putting your dog a boarding establishment: LOOK BEFORE YOUR BOOK.  If you  don’t like what you see, don’t expect that it will  improve by the time your dog arrives.  All boarding establishments for animals must be licensed by the local authority, but having a licence is not an indication of quality.  The standards laid down by each individual authority are always minimum standards, and as long as the kennels adhere to the minimum, they are granted a licence.  Unfortunately, in many cased, the minimum is not fit to keep any animal in, let alone a dog that has probably spent all of its previous existence having its every whim being pandered to in the comfort of a modern home.  There is  boarding kennels near my home, and over the years I have beard so many detrimental comments from dogs and cat owners about the place that I contacted the local authority and and asked them why they continued to grant a licence.

A Dog Is A Dog Is A Wolf

December 13, 2013 by admin  
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The answer to ‘why does my dog….?’ is usually very easily answered — ‘because it’s a dog.’  Much of what we regard as problem behaviour is quite often,  as I explained in the Introduction, just normal dog behaviour exhibited in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

My dog has just bitten somebody! Well, Dogs bite, don’t they? My dog barks constantly! Well, dogs bark, don’t they? My dog growls at me if I go near his food! Well, dogs growl, don’t they? They also guard food.

All these behaviours, although totally unacceptable, are the thins dogs do.  If you persist in being aggressive towards your do, the chances are that at some point it will become annoyed enough to bite you. What else can it do—send you a solicitor’s letter?

Basic Essential Oil Chemistry

December 6, 2013 by admin  
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The thought of organic chemistry can be daunting, but some knowledge of the basic chemical groups of which essential oils are composed is necessary in order to understand which oils are safe and gentle, and which are stronger or irritating.  Since the chemistry of essential oils is a more advanced topic, I am keeping this as simple as possible.  Further reading on the subject can be found in the books of Kurt Schnaubelt and Marcel Lavabre.  Every essential oil is represented by dominant chemical groups that determine its effects.

Neck Pain…..

November 22, 2013 by admin  
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Dogs and cats can suffer neck pain from staining muscles of developing disk problems in the spine.  This kind of neck pain is more common in dogs than in cats, with mastiffs, Doberman pinschers, and other large-breed dogs affected most often.  They’ll hold their heads stiffly and won’t want to lift their faces-they may look like they’re shy or depressed and cry out with pain when they move the wrong way.  Neck pain often will make pets stop eating because it hurts to reach the food bowl.

There are serious diseases that can cause neck pain.  An animal who has neck pain lasting more lasting more than a few hours should be taken to the veterinarian the same day.  If the pain is accompanied by a fever, get it the vet right away.  Neck pain from disk problems usually isn’t an emergency, but it won’t bet better without medical attention, and it could pet much worse, even causing paralysis.

Eye Infections

November 15, 2013 by admin  
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You can make a good guess about what’s causing eye infections by looking to see if one of both eyes are infected.  If just one eye is swollen of has a green or yellow discharge, it’s probably a result of an injury from a poke with a stick, a fight with another animal, or even an embedded grass seed.  If both eyes are infected, it’s probably because of a virus.  Eye infections are easy to treat, but they can cause blindness if they aren’t treated quickly and correctly.  See a veterinarian as soon as you notice symptoms.

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