Newsletter - March 2011

The News At Home

Is it spring yet? C’mon! I want to plant my herbs, fuss with the planters, veggies and flowers. I want to bring fresh cuttings into the house. I want to have dinner outside and watch the sunset while a warm breeze washes over us. Of course, Tori’s wish-list is probably more like this: I want to eat every single stick and bug I can find on the grass. I want to walk through the muddiest areas of the yard after a spring rain. I want to wait until my people are sitting comfortably and eating outside before I have an urgent need to poop and watch them jump to scoop it up. I want to get close enough to a raccoon or skunk to make my mom’s heart pound in her ears. Mostly, though, I want to chase my ball through the grass and squeak it so that all the neighbors can hear it while I bring it back. We may have different reasons for hoping that spring is around the corner, but both Tori and I are chomping at the bit. It’s in the air. I can feel it and she can smell it. C’mon spring!

What’s New at monicasegal.com

New Booklet: Dietary Fuelling of Performance Dogs

I’ve been working with performance dogs for more than ten years, and have yet to see dietary manipulations fail to enhance performance. This material covers key points that should be considered for the feeding of any performance dog, but more specifically, for feeding YOUR performance dog. Understanding the type of dietary fuel used by muscles being asked to perform at certain events is just one consideration. What type of fat is best, what to feed and when to feed it are some of the things that can turn a performance dog into a super-star. I’ve seen the positive results of these feeding tips over and over again, but it`s not a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to understand what’s happening when your dog’s performance isn’t what it could be before you can make the required changes. In fact, you need to understand what the activity itself is demanding of your dog’s muscle energy, how to replenish it and when and how to give it a boost at the right time. If you have a performance dog or are interested in fuelling muscles properly for any event, this is the booklet for you! And don’t forget that ordering it as part of our Bundled Savings packages will get you this information as well as other reading materials at a reduced rate.

Fact of The Month

The Color of Stool Can be Telling

Some clients send me pictures of their dog’s stool. You will notice that I’ve stated this fact without comment. Insert your own remark as you imagine my opening the attachment expecting to see a lovely picture of a dog, but staring at poop instead. A few years ago I received a picture of piles of bright blue stool. The owner was mortified and quite certain that diet was to blame... until she discovered that the dogs had shared a blueberry pie she’d left to cool on the counter. Another client sent a picture of brown stool with red dots all over it. Two days later, she caught the dog eating cherries that were falling under a tree in the yard.

Color changes in stool are most often due to dietary influences and this is considered harmless. Changes in color from one stool to the next are normal in most cases. Those of us who are avid poop-watchers can breathe easily when stool is any shade of brown, and here’s why: Bilirubin is a pigment in bile that results from the natural breakdown of hemoglobin. Once it enters the intestines and as the contents travel at normal speed, the changes in bilirubin causes stool to be variable shades of brown.

The possible significance of stool color changes is more important when they are prolonged and persistent. For example, maroon colored or black (usually tarry looking and foul smelling) stool can be due to intestinal bleeding. Pale yellow and smelly stool can be due to pancreatic problems. Greasy, foul smelling stool can also be due to pancreatic problems and may point to malabsorption of fats in particular. These greasy stools do not look like mucus, by the way. Mucus is indicative of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and has little or nothing to do with color of stool. Clay colored feces is usually due to a bile duct blockage. In all cases of persistent stool changes, a veterinarian should be consulted. Try to take a stool sample with you. Vets are used to it. Don’t be shy about showing them a sample, but it’s safe to say that bright blue stool after eating blueberry pie doesn’t require a vet visit - or even a picture via email.

Monica

“Dogs are better than children. Even my friends with children say that. As a dog friend of mine likes to say, children are for people who can't have dogs.” - Author Unknown

 
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