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Newsletter - September 2011

The News At Home

Tori’s feeling better. She has a long way to go in her fight with IMHA, but she doesn’t seem to care and certainly doesn’t want to be told to curb her enthusiasm for life; more specifically, her passion for cicada bugs and small garden snails. If her digging for them isn’t enough to make me squirm, the crunching sound as she chews the shells certainly is.

Tori’s rewarded with a bath after digging in the yard long enough to be covered in dirt and she isn’t amused by my insistence that baths can be a good thing. She’s as good as gold while being washed and rinsed, but can’t resist staring up at me afterwards and letting out a “woo-woo-woo” followed by a bark and a blazing look of defiance. It’s this kind of nerve and gumption that I suspect helps her to be the fighter she is when she’s sick. And that’s why she can continue having attitude with my blessing.

What’s New at

We have so many projects on the go that it’s difficult to tell you about all of them without this becoming a novel rather a newsletter. To start, I’m finally getting back to working on the cookbook which includes a bit of my life story (I’ll share when the book is finished). This isn’t an easy feat given my work schedule, but I truly believe the book can serve a good purpose for many people. The question is: should we do it as an e-book or a paperback? I really don’t know if a cookbook on an e-reader is going to present well or be as functional as I’d like. Maybe we should publish in both formats, but then there’s the cost to consider. What do you think? Let me know!

We’ve received lab reports on our CoQ10, vitamin E 100 IU, 200 IU and Joint Complex. All of them passed with flying colors and while that’s not really new, Morley and I always hold our breaths a bit before seeing those results in black and white.

Consultations are always a good thing for me because I truly love my work. This past month has brought some challenging cases, but – knock wood, or plastic, or whatever you believe in – all dogs have done well so far, so this is simply good news that I hope will make you smile.

Fact of The Month

Magnesium is often underrated

Let me start with a short story that will demonstrate a small part of what I’m going to tell you. Not long ago, I consulted with a client whose dog had developed tiny muscle tremors and an irregular heartbeat. Both of these seemed mysterious once the veterinarian ruled out serious problems, but something obvious came to light once I analyzed the diet – insufficient dietary magnesium. Both problems went away once a corrected diet had been fed for a few weeks.

Most people think of magnesium as being part of calcium metabolism and perhaps they know that it plays an important role for muscle health, including the heart. But did you know that it’s an element in over 300 biochemical reactions? While full understanding is incomplete, magnesium plays roles in the transmission of hormones such as insulin, estrogen, thyroid, etc., mineral electrolytes and neurotransmitters (think serotonin, GABA - gamma-Aminobutyric acid which plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system), and catecholamines - hormones produced by the adrenal glands and released into the blood during times of physical or emotional stress.

Magnesium inhibits calcium oxalate stone formation, and together with phosphorus, prevents absorption of excess calcium (thus, less calcium excretion as well). A diet that is very high in calcium, as was the case in the diet that I analyzed in the example above, can impede magnesium absorption. By the way, blood tests for magnesium deficiency don’t reflect total body magnesium.

Should you supplement your dog’s diet with magnesium? It depends on how the diet stacks up against the NRC recommended allowances for dogs. More is not necessarily better and it depends on the form being used. For example, magnesium chloride can acidify urine and loose stool can be caused by overfeeding magnesium citrate. The take-home message is not to add magnesium on a whim, but rather, to appreciate the critical roles it plays and not simply assume that the diets provides a sufficient amount.


“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” – Jack Layton



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