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Newsletter - August 2010

The News At Home

Friends in the U.S. have been complaining about the heat waves lately. They’ve got nothing on Toronto. We experienced two weeks of 102-108 degrees F. Tori has been going outside dutifully to do her business, but returns to air conditioned bliss as soon as possible. The princess prefers to lie on the bed rather than the floor, and she looks at me with expectation. You see, we have a large fan as well as central air, and Missy wants the fan on. That way, her long coat blows in the wind as she lounges. Morley often brings a treat to her bedside. Not that Tori is spoiled. Not that she expects the world to be at her beck and call. But that’s just fine with me, and I’ll tell you why.

Tori’s been very sick. She was diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia about two months ago, and we’ve been going to veterinarians on a weekly basis. Her chance of survival wasn’t very good, but this princess is a fighter. The disease is a killer and I can’t say she’s made it through the full storm just yet, but things are looking pretty good right now. So, we celebrate every day with her. If that means fans blowing on her and bringing treats to bed, so be it. At this point, Tori is doing well and the specialist is very pleased. But she plays it up, we know it, and we don’t care.

What’s New at

Telephone Conference (seminar by phone)

Topic: The Power of Food: Key Factors Toward Disease Prevention

Due to Tori’s health problems I’ve had to turn down invitations for seminars, but there’s so much I want to tell you about! A webinar was a possibility, but that comes with some restrictions that dog owners don’t usually like. How do you let the dog out for a piddle while having to be at the computer? How do you grab something out of their mouths when you have to sit in front of the screen at all times? For that matter, how do you get yourself a cup of coffee? A better plan is a phone conference. You pay the ticket price in advance, we pay for your call, and presto! - we’re together with no hassles. You can be in your bathrobe, sipping coffee or tea, and you’re free to keep an eye on the dog.

Listen to the live presentation at home, in the yard, in the field - wherever your phone goes, you’re plugged in and part of the group. I’ll be taking questions at the end of the presentation. The operator will act as the host or moderator, so you simply place yourself in the queue and you’ll be told when to go ahead with a question. How’s that for an easy way to be at a seminar?

Date: To be confirmed in next month’s newsletter. I expect the conference to happen in October.

Length: Approximately 2 hours. Price: $40 (no long distance charge)

Bonus: I do my best to bring books and supplements that people ask for when I speak at a seminar. Since this can’t happen by phone, you will be given a unique code when you sign up. This code can be used once on the day of the seminar only and will allow a discount on select products on my site.

Refund Policy: Due to the contract between the telephone company and ourselves, we are charged whether or not you join the conference after signing up. Therefore we cannot offer refunds for this event.

Fact of The Month Maintaining

Gut Health Should Be a Priority

Stomach, small intestine, and colon functions are usually taken for granted by people observing their dogs doing what seems natural - eating. But once we understand the processes involved and how critical they are to survival, we begin to think about the importance of maintaining a healthy gut. I’m a big believer in acidophilus and although my reasons will take time to explain, I encourage you to read and think about the following. L-glutamine is a supplement that I believe in also, although I use it for more specific reasons as explained below.

The stomach’s first role is to act accept and store food. Glands present in the lining of the stomach start to respond by producing stomach or gastric acid. The wall of the stomach contains muscle which helps to move acid and food around until they are blended. Now that they are thoroughly mixed, the acid helps to break food down even further into fragments that are more easily digested. Food leaving the stomach is a cream-like liquid called chyme. The lower part of the stomach has muscles that push this partly digested food toward the small intestine.

As food passes through the small intestine, it’s mixed with chemicals produced by the liver/gallbladder and pancreas. At this point it’s small enough to be used by the body which is perhaps why I think of the small intestine as being a hero. Not only does it do what I’ve described above, but the walls of this long tube are home to tiny finger-like projections called villi. Capillaries (small blood vessels) in the villi are able to absorb tiny food molecules which are carried to the rest of the body through the blood. Whatever cannot be used by the body is sent to the large intestine where water is removed and waste is sent to the colon.

Within the gut, we find a variety of microflora (bacteria). Most of our knowledge of gut microflora comes from studies on humans and may not apply to dogs. For example, the much lower level of bifidobacteria found in canines than in other animals is significant. Application of Lactobacillus acidophilus in canines resulted in a significant increase in the population of recoverable lactobacilli in the feces with a concomitant decrease in the clostridia (bacteria that should be kept under control) population. Immune-function studies showed significant increases in serum IgG, monocytes, and neutrophils. Researchers found that the probiotic resulted in positive changes in the gut microbiology and in systemic effects that suggested positive immune system stimulation. This has not been the case with some other probiotics.

The bacterial population within the gastrointestinal tract of mammals acts as a significant barrier to infection by pathogenic microorganisms. Given that healthy gut function is critical to absorption of nutrients, thus life itself it makes good sense to keep it robust. Acidophilus has been proven to be a top notch probiotic for dogs which is why I believe in using it rather than other types. However, the balance of microflora remains under investigation and what seems like a good thing can be overdone. Dogs that have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth usually respond well to acidophilus. Healthy dogs can make good use of acidophilus as well, but in these cases, I suggest providing it once or twice weekly. L-Glutamine is a component of cells that are plentiful in the epithelial lining of the gastrointestinal tract. When we consider the information above as it pertains to the functions of the gut, we see that this supplement can benefit dogs with gastrointestinal problems.

As a point of interest for dog owners who want to feed yogurt rather an acidophilus supplement, be aware that not all yogurts contain probiotics. Those that do would have to be fed in massive amounts to provide the proven benefit of a good supplement. For this reason I use the acidophilus on my site (for the human family members too), and prefer it because it’s a powder rather than a capsule. But whatever your choice of product may be, make sure the organisms are viable, the strength of the product is what the label claims, and that it’s truly free of dairy products. Despite label claims, it wasn’t long ago that a product which was supposedly milk-free made headlines due to some people ending up in the hospital after taking it. These folks were allergic to milk and as it turned out, lab tests showed there were traces of milk product in the probiotic. You don’t need to be scared. You just need to be cautious and buy a product that has a good reputation. Focusing on maintaining gut health has every possibility of your dog reaping good rewards long term.



“From the dog’s point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog.” - Mabel Louise Robinson



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