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Newsletter - June 2009

The News At Home

June 19th will mark Tori’s third birthday. It’s hard to believe that roughly three years ago, she was about the size of a smallish sweet potato. Weighing all of four pounds, she was intimidated by the sight of Cassie, unsure of her place, and still, she demanded attention from that very first night. Looking up at me, she shouted “woo-woo-woo-woo” in a voice that belonged to a much larger dog. Her eyes showed absolute anger and frustration as she tried unsuccessfully to climb up on my lap. I was sitting cross legged on the floor, but I must have seemed like a mountain. To this day, Tori shouts her “woo-woo”, as we call it, when she becomes frustrated. It may drive someone else crazy, but for us, it’s become the sound of sweet memories.

Myth of The Month

Pork causes pancreatitis

Pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas) can be dangerous or even deadly. The cause of pancreatitis is not certain, but involves obesity, genetic disposition (Miniature Schnauzers are an example), some drugs (prednisone and antibiotics, for instance), other diseases that alter fat metabolism (Cushing’s tops this list), trauma, and diets that are high in fat. This last point is somewhat debatable because in many cases, dogs with pancreatitis have consumed a high fat food, but it may also be that the food was laden with bacteria. We know that bacteria can reach the pancreas, and in fact, dogs with this disease are given antibiotics to address this part of the problem. Nevertheless, dietary fat is almost always a culprit, so it may sound reasonable to suggest that pork should not be fed even to healthy dogs. However, it is not true.

There is no literature to support the claim. Pork is no more dangerous than chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, etc. As part of a balanced diet, pork is fine to feed. In fact, since it’s not a food that’s often fed to dogs, I’ve used it as a novel protein for some dogs with allergies. Even if your dog is sensitive to dietary fat, certain cuts of pork are lean. Trim visible fat from butterfly chops or consider the lean strip of tenderloin. To give you an example, 3 oz of roasted pork tenderloin provides about 25 grams of protein and 6.8 grams of fat. The same amount of lean (10% fat) broiled ground beef provides about 24 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat. If you’re concerned about pancreatitis, keep your dog slim, know genetic predisposition, and feed a balanced, low or moderate fat diet. Pork in and of itself is not a problem.

Recipe of The Month

Canine Sports Drink

I work with many owners of canine athletes. Sports drinks have become popular over the years, but these designer waters add expense to strained pocket books. Here’s a recipe that will keep your dog hydrated and happy.

8 cups water

2 chicken backs or 1 chicken carcass

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp NoSalt

1 tsp honey

Boil chicken in water until chicken is soft. Remove chicken from pot. Place broth in the refrigerator overnight. Skim congealed fat that has risen to the top. Add salt, NoSalt and honey. Bring broth to a boil for a few seconds. Let cool. Pour broth into containers that can be frozen. Thaw and feed as required.


“When a man’s best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.’ -- Edward Abbey



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