Hacking up Hairballs ☆

 

Logo 2One of the most common complaints I hear from cat owners is that their cat is constantly throwing up.  It is so common that  ” hacking up a hairball”  has become a known euphemism.  There are many reasons why some cats vomit on a regular basis.

There are some medical conditions that cause nausea and vomiting.  Kidney disease is one of them.  If the cat is starting to have a decline in kidney function,  one of the signs is anorexia and vomiting.  If these symptoms have been observed for more than a couple of days a veterinary visit is definitely advised.

Another medical cause for frequent vomiting is sometimes cancer.  This is usually accompanied by anorexia, weight loss and lethargy.  If these symptoms are observed for more than a couple of days, this too would warrant a veterinary visit.  These are, of course, extreme accounts and typically not the cat throwing upnorm.

In my experience, the most likely reason for most cats is the diet they are being fed.  Most cat owners feed their cats a dry kibbled diet that is left out in the bowl so the cat can pick on it all day.  Since cats are obligate carnivores, they have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates.  When cats are fed a diet consisting of a high carbohydrate level, which are also typically high in “filler” ingredients, their bodies reject the food because they do not produce the enzymes necessary to digest that type of product.  Another problem with dry kibbled foods is the lack of moisture in them.  Cats need moisture in their food to help them to properly digest it.  Indoor cats that spend a lot of time grooming also have the tendency to throw up, especially when they are fed too many carbohydrates.  The carbohydrates alkalize the stomach acid which, in turn, helps to create hairballs.  Cats that are fed an all meat diet have stomach acid that is corrosive enough to break down the hair before it gets into the small intestine, thereby, preventing hairballs.

If any cat parent wants to alleviate the problem of their cat constantly throwing up, the simple solution is to change the cat’s diet to, ideally, a raw food diet. 33697_1653600382150_3474380_n If there is a reason a raw food diet is not appropriate, a dehydrated (but rehydrated) or grain free canned food is the next best choice.  By feeding a diet that most closely resembles the food a cat has evolved to eat,  you will eliminate the problem of your cat “hacking up a hairball”!

Until next time my faithful furry follower!

Why does my dog itch? ☆

Logo 2One of the most common problems that I hear about on a daily basis from dog owners is that their dog is constantly itching.  Some only itch one spot, some itch all over their bodies.  They rub their faces on the rugs, the furniture, even on each other! There are many reasons why a dog starts itching, but I’ll address the most common reasons I see.

Obviously the first reason is a flea problem.  Even when the fleas are taken care of, if the dog is particularly sensitive, it may take some soothing baths before the irritation is healed.  There are good shampoos on the market that utilize oatmeal, tea tree oil or kava kava for their healing properties.  They are detergent free so are not harmful to already irritated skin.   If fleas have been ruled out, there are some diet related reasons that dogs itch.1925343_503636896413161_1333009994_n

Some dogs have developed an intolerance to an ingredient in their diet.  If you are feeding the same food for a long period of time, this might be the cause of your dog’s itching.  If you are feeding a diet that is high in carbohydrates you might inadvertently be contributing to a Candida overgrowth.  There is a natural balance of yeast (candida) and beneficial bacteria in a healthy intestinal tract.  When there is an imbalance created by stress, poor nutrition, or use of medications, the yeast will overpopulate.  The yeast then migrate to different parts of the body and cause symptoms such as itching, hair loss, re-current ear infections and a stinky coat. The use of probiotics, change of diet to a lower carbohydrate level, and vitamin supplementation will usually clear the excess yeast from the system and keep it from returning in the future.

Another medical condition that should also be ruled out is a thyroid condition.  If your dog’s thyroid is not producing the correct amount of hormones due to thyroid damage, genetic abnormality or vaccinosis, some of the symptoms are hair loss, itching, elephantitis of the skin and a foul odor. This can be determined by your veterinarian.

Another cause of itching in dogs is vaccinosis caused by over vaccination.  This is an auto immune disease that develops when the immune system over reacts to the stimulation caused by too many vaccines administered at the same time.  Proper vaccination schedules based on new research are now available.

itchy dogEven though your dog’s itching can be caused by many different reasons, the first step to better health is to provide the dog with the best possible diet to promote healing.  When you feed your dog a species appropriate diet, you will be providing everything he needs to get healthy and remain that way for years to come.

Until next time, my faithful furry followers!

 

 

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