Jenn Pet Vet's Blog

Thieves® Household Cleaner – one of Dr. Forsyth’s Favorite Things! January 30, 2013

For floors countertops and soooo much more.  Thieves® Household Cleaner is quickly becoming one of my favorite things that I use in my veterinary practice.

Thieves Household Cleaner and several other awesome products from the Thieves line.

Thieves Household Cleaner and several other awesome products from the Thieves line.

 

This cleaner is a suspension of safe surfactants (wetting agents) and Thieves® essential oil (a proprietary blend of 100% pure Young Living Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils of clove [Syzygium aromaticum], lemon [Citrus limon], cinnamon bark [Cinnamomum verum], eucalyptus [E. radiata] and rosemary [Rosmarinus officinalis CT cineol].

 

The first time I used it was for fleas. This cleaner is great for bathing animals that have a flea problem.  It quickly kills any living fleas and does it all in a manner that is nontoxic – this stuff is so safe you can even drink it. If diluted, Thieves® Household Cleaner can even be used as a leave-on dip that will help to continue repelling fleas from a pet.

 

Chin acne in cats can also be treated with Thieves® Household Cleaner. I have mixed up a very dilute solution of the cleaner (about 1 capful of the cleaner mixed with distilled water in an 8 ounce spray bottle) combined with some other essential oils like Lavender and Copaiba to make a spray that can safely be used several times a day to help prevent those blackheads on the chin that cats are so prone to develop.

Can you find the scar?  This wound healed much faster than usual with using the Thieves Household Clean - and there is barely a mark left after 3 weeks.

Can you find the scar? This wound healed much faster than usual with using the Thieves Household Cleaner – and there is barely a mark left after 3 weeks.

 

Most recently I used Thieves® Household Cleaner to treat a severe bite wound on a dog – my own dog, Seaweed. This wound was on his chest and there was a deep hole into his muscle accompanied by some skin that had been pulled away from his body wall. Now my chihuahua is a very sensitive guy and he screams with just the anticipation of pain so I was prepared for the worst the first time I used it.  I diluted the cleaner until it looked like weak lemonade and proceeded to flush his wound – not a peep – I was amazed.  Clove which is one of the ingredients in the cleaner has been used by dentists for ages to help control dental pain and it’s this ingredient that I think made the wound flushing tolerable.

 

It’s also important to note that this is an excellent household cleaner. So many of the products we use are toxic to us and even more toxic to our pets. This happens in part because they are essentially walking around in bare feet and constantly having there skin exposed to the chemicals we use in our everyday cleaning. Thieves® Household Cleaner can be used for degreasing, floors, walls, upholstery, fabrics, carpet spot cleaning, general carpet cleaning, glass, pots & pans, hand cleaner, etc … .  I even use it for my fruit and vegetable cleaning now.

 

To sum it all up, no home should be without Thieves® Household Cleaner. It’s good for keeping everything clean and good for your and your pet’s health.

Peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

Jennifer Forsyth, VMD

 

Magic Mushrooms – Cancer Support for Pets December 19, 2012

Solgar's Reishi, Shiitake, Maiake Mushroom Extract

Solgar’s Reishi, Shiitake, Maiake Mushroom Extract

Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake mushrooms are terrific for supporting the immune system in a dog or cat that has cancer.

The polysaccharides (a large carbohydrate molecule) in these mushrooms have immunostimulating and antitumor activity.  Mushrooms can also increase the body’s resistance to disease, enhance vitality, and improve response to everyday stress.

 

Shiitake mushrooms contain a polysaccharide known as lentinan.  This mushroom is very popular in Japan and China and is considered an elixir of life.  In Japan it is commonly used as an addition to conventional cancer treatments and studies have shown that patients receiving lentinan have longer survival times, better immune system function, and better quality of life.  Some mice studies have also shown this mushroom to be useful in cancer prevention.

 

Maitake mushrooms contain B-glucans which have antibacterial and antitumor activity.  There have have be studies that have shown improved bone marrow health which is vital in natural cancer treatment.  This enhanced immune function comes about from activating macrophages which function to attack foreign material in the body including cancer cells.  T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells are also enhanced and these cell types can directly destroy cancer cells.  Another interesting property of this mushroom is that it can decrease the toxicity of a common chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin.

Note: Caution should taken if using this mushroom in a diabetic pet as it can increase insulin levels and decrease blood sugar levels.  Use Maitake mushrooms in these patients is still beneficial but should only be used under veterinary supervision. 

 

MediHerb (part of Standard Process) is one of my favorite companies because of there excellent quality control and research.  Their product is called Ganoderma & Shiitake and is an excellent choice for mushroom therapy.  This product is only available through medical professionals

Other products that I use in my practice are Vetri Science’s Maitake-DMG Liquid™ and Solgar’s Reishi Shiitake Maitake Mushroom Extract Vegetable Capsules.  The Vetri Science mushroom product is great for my patients like cats that don’t tolerate taking pills because of its liquid formulation.  The Solgar product utilizes both whole mushrooms and mushroom extracts.

 

The dosage I use depends on the type of cancer and the overall health of my patient. A typical safe starting does in any case is around 10mg per pound.  Other than the potential for Maitake mushrooms to decrease blood sugar, I don’t typically see any side-effects from using mushrooms. The biggest thing to watch for are GI problems like vomiting or diarrhea.

 

I hope that this information may prove useful to you and your pet.  Please call Marmalade & Mobile Vet at  (856) 375-1314 if you’d like to schedule an appointment for your pet for alternative cancer treatment or cancer support either with or without chemotherapy.

 

Peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

Jennifer Forsyth, VMD

 

Winterize Your Pet – Natural Arthritis Relief For the Cold Weather November 7, 2012

Skookum on the first day that we brought him home. After starting CanEVA he’s back to acting like a puppy again.

It’s snowing here today in Sewell, and with the cold weather comes some increased problems with arthritis. But never fear, there are natural ways to effectively combat this debilitating problem.

Recently I have started using CanEVA (elk velvet antler) for my own dog, Skookum, and my patients and I have been seeing terrific results in just a few short weeks!  Skookum is a 2 year old Dogue de Bordeaux who has some pretty bad arthritis in his hips so I decided to start him on CanEVA about 3 weeks ago before the cold weather rolled in. I first learned about elk velvet antler during a lecture given by Dr. James Gaynor, a veterinary pain management specialist, from the Peak Performance Veterinary Group earlier this year.

What is elk velvet antler?

Elk velvet antler is the inner cartilage of the antler that is humanely harvested during the velvet stage of antler development (it isn’t the velvet that covers the antlers).  During the spring, male elk shed their antlers and new antlers begin to grow and it is this time that is the velvet stage.

How can CanEVA help?

Elk velvet antler can help to improve joint mobility, increase stamina, boost the immune system, speed wound healing, and increase blood circulation. I always thought of  Skookum as my “old man” even though he is only 2. Well, let me tell you … he is now a new man!  He has been running around the yard, jumping up on the bed, and playing with the other dogs non-stop.  Another client of mine who also started her older Siberian Husky on CanEVA around the same that time I started giving it to Skookum said yesterday in a phone call that I had with her that her girl was now “puppyish.” So young and old alike seem to respond similarly to elk velvet antler.

And I know that 2 dogs does not equal scientific research so here’s a link to a study of 45 dogs that was published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal in an article entitled Clinical Evaluation of a Powder of Quality Elk Velvet Antler for the Treatment of Osteoarthrosis in Dogs. 

Not just for dogs …

CanEVA can be used for cats too!  This is very useful because cats have a very difficult time metabolizing nonsteroidal antiinflammatories and for them, a natural approach to arthritis is the only safe way to give them relief. 

A note about quality:

After speaking with Dr. Gaynor and the good folks at CanEVA, this is THE product that has the research and highest quality control standards behind it.  So my advice, don’t try and find a bargain on the internet for elk velvet antler. Go with the best, only use CanEVA – you pet deserves it.

I’ll be writing more about arthritis relief in the coming months as there are so many other terrific products that I use to battle this debilitating disease.

Peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

Jennifer Forsyth, VMD

Marmalade & Mobile Vet News – a new staff member!

Jessica and her daughter getting their 2 month old photos with Lasagna (previously known as Gibson). They were born only 1 day apart!

Jessica is our new Veterinary Assistant at Marmalade & Mobile Vet.  She attended Randolph College, formally Randolph-Macon Women’s College, in Lynchburg, VA before returning home to NJ.  Her first experience in the veterinary field was through horses and large animals.  The last 10 years were spent in a small animal practice where she found that her passion was getting to know the clients and helping their pets become healthy and happy.  What she finds most rewarding about working in the mobile field is the close connections that can be made while visiting a pet in their home and own environment.

Jessica and her young daughter live in Mantua with their gracefully aging Golden Reteriver named Roary.

 

Happy Halloween !!! October 31, 2012

This is my favorite Halloween photo. My Bullmastiff, Petunia (the angel), and her sister, Mousse (the devil). Mousse would not leave Petunia’s halo alone … little devil!

 

 

Halloween can be a super fun time for you and your pets but there are some things to be aware of the keep you and your fuzzy four-legged friends safe.

I love dressing up my dogs for Halloween!  But I also have seen some of the problems that end up on my veterinary doorstep during Trick Or Treat time.

Here are some things to do (or not do) to make sure Halloween stays happy. 

Don’t give your dog any candy.

The excess fat and sugar that is typical in candy can cause some pretty bad problems for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. If this happens your pooch might experience vomiting and diarrhea and possibly a trip to the hospital or having to call me for a housecall if the symptoms are severe.

Avoid these toxic foods:

Chocolate, especially solid dark chocolate, in a large enough amount can be toxic. The typical things that occur with chocolate ingestion are vomiting, diarrhea, increased drinking, increased urination, incoordination, hyperexcitabilty, and it can even cause heart arrhythmias.

Xylitol is found in a lot of sugar free products like chewing gum (and toothpaste – I always remember trick or treating at a dentist’s house when I was a kid and he gave out a toothbrush and toothpaste).  This sweetener is extremely toxic to dogs and causes severe low blood sugar and liver failure. The typical signs of xylitol toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea, depression, incoordination, and seizures.

Macadamia Nuts if they are in any cookies, plain, or my favorite – the chocolate covered variety – can cause neurological problems in dogs. If a dog has ingested a toxic amount of macadamia nuts they might have tremors, joint pain, hind limb weakness, depression, incoordination, hypothermia, vomiting, and be unable to get up.

Raisins (and grapes and possibly currants) can cause kidney failure in dogs and possibly in cats and ferrets. It’s not exactly known how this happens and toxicity is not dependent on the amount they eat – a small amount ingested can be just as toxic as a large amount. Symptoms of toxicity may include anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

If your dog does eats or if you suspect they may have eaten any of the above mentioned toxic foods call your veterinarian immediately or contact the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at (888) 426-4435. 

Keep your pets inside

Especially cats! As much as I can’t comprehend how anybody would want to hurt an animal, there are reports every year of cats and dogs deliberately being harmed when some kid’s pranks take a turn for the worse.

 

I hope all of this helps to keep you and your pets happy and safe this All Hallows’ Eve!

And as always …

Peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

Jennifer Forsyth, VMD

 

The Scoop About Vaccine Titers October 24, 2012

Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need???

Sometimes deciding the appropriate way to vaccinate your pet can be very confusing. Beyond deciding which vaccines, there is also the question of how frequently should your pet get those vaccines. The vaccine titer is a useful tool that can help determine when your pet needs a vaccine and result in your pet getting fewer vaccines.

So what is a vaccine anyway?

A vaccine is a weakened form of the disease that it is meant to prevent. When a live vaccine is administered it will cause a mini-disease in order to stimulate the immune response. This immune response should then, in theory, protect your dog or cat from the real deal.

A vaccine is not 100% effective. There are many factors that contribute to a vaccines effectiveness. If a pet is sick, has a problem with their immune system, or is otherwise weak their immune response to the vaccine will be diminished.

What is a vaccine titer and what are the pros and cons?

A vaccine titer is a blood test performed by a veterinarian. It measures the amount of antibody in the blood to a specific disease. An adequate titer indicates that the body should be able to fight off that disease.

Pros: The benefit to performing a titer over blindly giving vaccines at predetermined intervals is that it provides a much more fine tailored approach for vaccination. The decision to vaccinate or not is determined by the individual’s immune response, not an arbitrary vaccine schedule. And because vaccines have been linked to autoimmune diseases and other chronic conditions like allergies, seizures, arthritis, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal problems, and cancer – the fewer vaccines, the better.

Cons: A vaccine titer does cost more than the actual vaccine. But providing a pet with good health is definitely worth the extra cost. There is also a small possibility that because vaccine titer can’t predict future immunity, your pet’s immunity could drop in the months after the titer test.

For which diseases are titer tests performed?

The main diseases that are titer tested for in dogs are Parvovirus and Canine Distemper Virus. There are titer tests for Rabies but this is a vaccine that is required by state law. There are times when a rabies titer might be accepted by a certain jurisdiction, but you will need to contact the local authority that issues rabies licenses in your area to see if they will accept a titer result instead of a vaccine.

For cats the main disease that is titer tested for is Feline Panleukopenia.

If you are performing titer tests for your dog or cat make sure that your veterinarian is able to give individual viral vaccines. This means Parvovirus, Distemper Virus, or Panleukopenia on their own, not the typical DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza) or FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Panleukopenia) combination vaccines.

I hope that all of this information is helpful in helping you  and your pets on your journey towards good health!

If you’d like more information on vaccinations, please consider joining me on November 3rd from 7 pm until 9 pm at WonderDogs in Berlin NJ for my complete vaccination discussion. 

Peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

Jennifer Forsyth, VMD

 

 

How To Decrease Stress Naturally When Traveling With Your Pet July 25, 2012

By land or by sea or by air, traveling can be stressful!

Some great pet products that can help with relaxation during travel (NaturVet Naturals Calming Aid Chews, Rescue Remedy, Cat Nap, Chill-Out)

 

Summer is the time for vacationing and catching up on some much needed R & R.  However, traveling can cause some unwanted anxious behavior in dogs and cats should we decide to bring them along on our journeys.  There are a number of safe and natural ways to help our four-legged friends enjoy vacationing as much we do.

 

Aromatherapy

I personally don’t leave home without my Aromadog Chill Out spray.  My dog, Margaux, gets anxious on long car rides when I head back to Pittsburgh to visit with my folks (which incidentally is where I’ll be headed next week).  Aromadog’s Chill Out contains Chamomile, Lavender, and Marjoram and it really does the trick for helping Margaux to relax on a car ride.  These three herbs when used as aromatherapy can help with anxiety and make it easier for your pet to relax and catch some Zzzzz’s.  They can even help with the nausea that some pets get from motion sickness – win, win!  I spray the Chill Out about once every hour or as needed.  For cats, check out the Aromacat Cat Nap.

 

Water Therapy

I always take plenty of fresh water for my pooches when I travel.  Some dogs like to drink a lot of water when they are experiencing stress so limit their water to avoid increasing their chances of vomiting during travel.  When I fill up the bowl with water I add about 10 drops of Rescue Remedy.  Rescue Remedy is a Bach Flower Remedy.  Bach Flower Remedies are made from wild flowers and these remedies are particularly helpful in situations where there is an emotional imbalance – they can help to replace bad emotions with good.  Rescue Remedy is terrific for airplane travel where you won’t be able to give your dog or cat a spritz of Chill Out or Cat Nap periodically (it is a good idea to spray the crate before your pet has to enter).  The night before heading to the airport, add the water with Rescue Remedy  into one of the bowls for the crate and put it in the freezer.  This way they can have a longer time with access to the Rescue Remedy water.

Who doesn’t love to snack while traveling?

All of my dogs love NaturVet Natural’s Calming Aid soft chews.  They contain Chamomile, Passion Flower, Thiamine, Ginger, and L-Tryptophan.  Beyond travel, these treats are also great to use during thunderstorms and fireworks.  I give these to my dogs 30 minutes before a car ride to help them relax.

 

I hope that these tips can help you and your furry friends to enjoy all of life’s adventures to their fullest!

peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

 

Leave It! June 27, 2012

The beginning of June is Snapping Turtle egg laying season – and a good time for dogs to know the command “leave it”

Why every dog should learn the “leave it” command.

 

You just never know when some situation will arise when you might need to prevent your dog from coming to harm.  I’m all for loving nature but when it comes to snapping turtle egg laying season my primary concern is for my dogs.  As cool as they might be – these critters are pretty defensive when they are in egg laying mode and they can inflict some pretty severe damage.  And it’s at times like these, when I come across one of these turtles in my yard, that I am beyond thankful that my dogs know the “leave it” command.  This command is useful many other situations: when you don’t want them to chase the cat, run across the road to see another dog,  going towards the hamper to grab a sock, etc.

 

The way I start out with teaching my dogs this valuable command is by gathering up some treats that they don’t care too much about – like dog kibble or Cheerios.  Get your dog’s attention with the treat and say “leave it” like you mean it (stern – no cute high pitched voices here) and then put the treat on the ground right next to your foot so that you can cover it with shoe should your dog go for the treat.  Now wait … this might take a while, but wait for them to look at you and when they are making eye contact give them a different treat from your hand while saying “take it”.  Continue doing this a couple of times until you have a pile of treats on the floor.  As you progress you dog should be getting better at paying more attention to you and less attention to the treats on the ground.

 

When you are finished with this exercise (don’t spend more than 5 minutes) pick up all of the treats on the ground and save them for a later time.  You don’t want to let your dog have these treats because you want them to learn that “leave it” means that they should never touch it – ever!

 

Each time you practice, try increasing how appealing the treats are that you are putting on the ground – eventually work your way up the the types of treats that your dog really loves like meat or cheese.  Then try putting some distance between the treats and your foot – just keep increasing the challenge.  Your dog is smart (usually smarter than you think) and with a lot of practice, a little bit of patience, and even more love they will get it.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions – I’m here to help.

 

peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

 

 
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