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

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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.

 

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~

 

Natural Flea & Tick Prevention April 15, 2012

Some examples of natural flea and tick preventions.

 

Spring is here and so are fleas and ticks.  Protecting your pet naturally from fleas and ticks is not only possible but also very important.

 

Fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pets and fleas are also the source of a much more serious problem, Bartonella (Cat Scratch Disease).  Bartonella can cause serious illness no only in cats but it can also affect dogs and you and your family.  Bartonella can cause oral diseases, respiratory diseases, eye problems, intestinal diseases, and many other things.  If you’d like more information on Bartonella the National Veterinary Laboratory has the best information.  If you would like to have your cat or dog tested give us a call at Marmalade & Mobile Vet (856-375-1314) and we can schedule an appointment for an examination and testing.

 

Ticks can also transmit serious diseases to cats and dogs.  Lyme disease is the best known tick-borne disease here in the northeast USA but there are many other diseases that are caused by ticks.  Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis (carried by the deer tick) most commonly cause dogs to develop lameness, fevers, anorexia, and lethargy.  The lone star tick and dog ticks carry diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and Babesia that can affect your dog’s platelets and red blood cells causing problems including anemia and abnormal bleeding.  If you’d like more information about ticks, tick identification ,and tick-borne diseases Scalibor has a nice interactive website.

 

There are so many natural flea and tick preventions out there in the market and I can’t personally comment on the ones I haven’t used.  The products that I’m mentioning here in this post are only the ones that I have personally used and found to be effective.  If anybody has a product that they love that I didn’t mention please feel free to post in in the comments section.

Buck Mountain Parasite Dust

 

Cedar Oil from the Cedar Oil Store is the main product that I use for my dogs when it comes to tick control.  My experience has been that fleas are much easier to prevent than ticks and my best success with tick control has been with cedar oil.  I live in what I call “tick central” because I have a lot of tress, shrubs, wild grasses, a stream, etc … .  This is what I do to in the war against ticks.  Once a week during peak tick season (spring and fall) I mix up a solution that I make from the Nature’s Defender Vet’s Choice concentrate (2 oz. of concentrate to a gallon of water) and “dip” my dogs.  I sponge it over my dog’s entire body, being careful to avoid the eyes.  This dip procedure helps to repel the ticks for up to a week and it can be especially useful for dogs that have a long coat and are difficult to spray.  For my daily regimen I use the Dr. Ben’s Paws & Claws treatment or the AromaDog Flea Flicker to kill any ticks that might have made it past my “dip” procedure.  If you don’t live in a high tick area you might be able to skip the “dip” step and only use the once a day sprays.  The AromaDog Flea Flicker is an awesome product, especially for small short haired dogs.    I also really like Buck mountain’s Herbal Gold Parasite Dust.  The parasite dust uses Neem and diatom flour which can be sprinkled on your pet’s back and combed in against the grain of the fur. The only reason I don’t use Flea Flicker or Parasite Dust as my primary products is because I have 4 mastiffs and 1 Chihuahua so the large spray bottle for the cedar oil is more convenient.

 

For cats there are two products that I recommend.  The first is the Ectopamine spot on which is convenient because it lasts for 3-4 weeks (the Ectopamine also comes in a spray that can be used for dogs).  The other product I like is AromaCat’s Scat! No Fleas Please.

Ectopamine for Cats

 

One of the most important things to remember with any parasite control program is that a high quality diet is very important.  When you feed your pet with high quality ingredients they will be healthier and less attractive to parasites like fleas and ticks.  Foods that are rich in B-vitamins like sea vegetables help to make your pet less likely to pick up parasites.  Small amounts of garlic (I don’t recommend using garlic for cats as their red blood cells are much more sensitive to potential toxicity) in the diet can also help to deter fleas and ticks.  The two supplements that I love for adding into my pet’s food are Animal Essential’s Green Alternative and Wholistic Pet’s Wholistic Sea Blend with Garlic.  Never feed a food that has by-products, artificial preservatives, food colorings, animal digest, propylene glycol, or grains that aren’t whole grains.  Home prepared diets are a wonderful option.  You can use the recipes in a book like Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats or if you are short on time you can have somebody like Loreen at the K-9 Pet Chef cook for you.  And if you feed kibble, support a local natural pet food store like Daminger’s Natural Pet Foods.

 

 

peace, love, and plenty of tail wags~

 

Dental Month – it’s not too late February 17, 2012

Skookum, my Dogue de Bordeaux enjoying his antler

February is dental month for pets.  Taking care of your pet’s teeth is very important because excessive tartar can lead to gum disease.  And where there is gum disease there are bacteria.  The bacteria associated with dental disease can lead to infected teeth (abscessed teeth) which are very painful and these teeth then have to be extracted.  The bacteria can also spread to other places in the body  –  especially the heart, kidneys, and liver.  That’s why paying proper attention to your pet’s teeth through brushing, and having a professional dental cleaning performed when there is a problem, is so important.  Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy helps to keep them healthy overall.

Petunia, my Bullmastiff chowing down on some natural food

Proper nutrition is a very important way to care for your pet’s teeth.  And that doesn’t mean feeding kibble.  Contrary to popular belief, feeding the kibble-type food does not prevent dental disease.  I see plenty of animals that eat only kibble that have horrible teeth.  I recommend feeding a high quality diet like the ones I mentioned in my post about Daminger’s Natural Pet Foods.  Or even better, if you are feeding kibble, add some fresh food into their diet.  I love the recipes in Richard Pitcairn’s Book: Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs and Cats.  He has some great recipes in there for fresh food to add on top of kibble.

There are some other ways besides fresh food to help dental health. Dogs like to chew as part of their natural behavior. The veterinary dentists do not like giving dogs hard objects to chew on as it is possible for them to fracture teeth; however, I’ve decided to take that risk and let my dog’s natural instincts serve as my guide. Raw meaty bones are the most natural choice for dogs to keep their teeth health. If you don’t like the mess of a raw bone, antlers are also terrific. If you’d like to avoid hard chewing objects altogether, my favorite natural dental products come from AromaDog/AromaCat: Bluto’s Yummy Gum Brush for the dogs and Peppermint Catty’s Purrly Whites for the cats are great for tooth brushing.

Some of the wonderful dental products at Cutter's Mill

If you are looking for the perfect place to find an antler for your pooch, come visit me this Sunday.  On Sunday, February 26th, I will be at Cutter’s Mill in Cherry Hill from 12 noon until 3:00.  I will be doing free dental exams and giving out dental health goodie bags (while supplies last).  I’ll also be doing free mani/pedis for those pets that need some extra pampering.  And last, but not least, I will be doing low cost microchipping: for $40 you get a lifelong registration. ~ peace, love, and plenty of tail wags

 

 
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