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Newsletter - September 2005

The News At Home

Zoey found some perfume a couple of weeks ago. Cassie thought it was a lovely scent. We, on the other hand, disagreed. It’s called Eau de Skunk and has a very long expiry date. Zoey is what you might call a fragile flower with attitude. On one hand, her heart trouble demands 3 medications twice daily, she coughs badly and is prone to all kinds of things like bacterial overgrowths, ear infection et al. Despite all of that, she’s always been a girl with a mission and never gives up easily no matter what her focus might be. In this case, it was a mother skunk with 3 babies on the other side of the fence.

Zoey bolted across the yard and started climbing the fence, one paw at a time, not unlike a cat. Had she not been grabbed in time, I have no doubt that she would have made it all the way to the top and gone over to the other side where she could better get to the skunk. Of course, this wasn’t necessary because the skunk had her own plan and proceeded to give Zoey a sample of the new perfume. Morley, unsure as to whether or not the dog had been sprayed or the odor was coming from the yard, ran inside the house with Zoey in his arms. The rest is obvious. Five baths later and having washed everything in the house with vinegar and water, we’re back to normal - and Zoey is still trying to climb fences.

What’s New at CoQ10

Our CoQ10 is now under the Monica Segal label and we’re very proud if it!

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as Ubiquinone and works to help the body in many important ways. Working as an antioxidant, it also promotes oral health, aids in energy metabolism and may help heart health. The latter may or may not be due to impact on the heart directly. Studies with dogs as models are few and far between. However, with improved oral health, the heart itself benefits. Older animals tend to have lower amounts of CoQ10 in the body and supplementation can be helpful. Kidney patients may benefit as well. A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Coenzyme Q10 in Chronic Renal Failure showed that 36.2% of the patients in the CoQ10 group were on dialysis at the end of the study while 90.0% of the placebo group were on dialysis at the end of the study. An increase in blood antioxidant levels and a significant decrease in indicators of oxidative stress were noted by the study group. (J Nutr Environ Med, 2000; 10: 281-288)

Our CoQ10 is a powder in capsule form. This product is fat-soluble so you may wonder why we’ve chosen to have a product that isn’t oil based. Remember that we’re talking about dogs rather than people. Most canine diets provide much more fat than a healthy human diet. Simply adding our CoQ10 to your dog’s regular meal does the trick and costs less.

Seminar Reminder – Last Chance Grand Rapids Agility Club

The countdown is on! The Grand Rapids Agility Club is hosting my next seminar in Grand Rapids Michigan on October 9, 2005. Registration is available through Karen West ( or by phone, 616-485-1023. The clock is ticking, seating is limited, and I’d loved to meet you there.

Myth of The Month:  A Mix and Match Menu Helps Kidney Problems

You’ve seen these recipes and diet recommendation on the Internet. They claim that you can feed your choice of meats and give you a list of suggestions. Apparently, you can also feed your choice of vegetables so there’s another list. Finally, you’re given a choice of grain, potato and whatever else. Can this type of simplicity actually do some good or will it harm? There are vast differences between the vitamin and mineral content of chicken compared to beef just as there are differences between various other foods. These differences make this type of diet a risk. Your dog may have a kidney problem or calcium oxalate problem but s/he still requires a diet that meets his/her needs in every way. Secondary health problems can arise when a diet is lacking in so many ways. Unfortunately, the fact that the new problem may be due to the nutrient composition of the diet is rarely considered. In most cases, the problem is attributed to an underlying disease (for instance, Cushing’s), old age or a weak immune system. In fact, the weaker immune system may be due to the poor diet in the first place. However, even these problems are only the beginning of the bigger picture. The iodine content of some of these diets is questionable at best. Some provide no iodine at all. The thyroid gland absorbs iodine and converts it into thyroid hormones. These hormones affect the function of every cell in the body for regulation of metabolism. On the other hand, some diets provide so much iodine that the thyroid gland is sent into overdrive, creating a different kind of havoc for the rest of the body.

Take a good hard look at some of these diets before plunging in. They usually tell you how much to feed and then suggest that you can feed more or less to maintain your dog’s healthy weight. Kidney disease demands the phosphorus level of the diet be less than the norm. When you feed more food, you automatically include more phosphorus. This may not be a problem if you need to feed just a tad more although even this is dependent on what the original diet provides. But when you need to feed even 25% more, the phosphorus level can jump too high. I admit that my curiosity got the better of me and I spent some time analyzing a few of these diets, using their directives without thinking too much about it – just as many people would do. Based on my own dog and what she requires as far as calories and volume of food, the phosphorus level in the diets was too high yet the diet still lacked appropriate vitamins and minerals for a dog with kidney trouble. Based on the average caloric needs of other dogs with different weights and energy level, these diets still lacked vitamins and minerals that could make the difference between a healthy diet and one that expects the dog to run on empty. The take home message is, as always, buyer-beware. In the case of some diets on the Internet, the one who may pay the biggest price is your dog.


“People look for happiness in the distance. Dogs know it’s right under their feet.” -- Morley Fruchtman



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