The Benefits of Collagen For Your Dog

Support your dog’s health with collagen!

  We know that collagen is a wonderful component to get in our diets, as it supports hair, skin, nail, joint, and bone health — but how does collagen affect our dogs? Dogs can greatly benefit from the inclusion of collagen in their diets for optimal health and wellness!   The Vet Set sees a broad range of dogs — from various breeds to all different ages — and every dog is different. One thing that never changes is a healthy diet. Learn how to optimize your dog’s diet with collagen in today’s post!

Collagen, For Dogs?

  People take collagen for many purposes and many have found it especially beneficial for joint health — and these benefits extend to dogs, too! Dogs age much faster than humans and face aging health problems, including spondylitis, osteoporosis, and tendonitis, which is why collagen is so advantageous to their health.    

What is collagen?

  There are a couple different types of collagen and it is the most abundant protein in our bodies, namely, type one. Collagen is found in the digestive tract, bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, and tendons. Collagen functions as the glue that holds our bodies in one piece, so it is vital to joint and tendon support. Collagen is the primary component found in dog’s skin.   Collagen is sourced from a variety of animals including cows, fish, and chicken.  

How Collagen Can Support Your Dog’s Health

  If your dog is older and a bit creeky or they have a lackluster coat, collagen may be the perfect nutrient to add into your dog’s diet.   Tendon and Bone Health   Not only is collagen the glue in your dog’s body, but it is also an essential building block for your dog’s connective tissues, cartilage, bones, joints, and tendons. Adding collagen to their diet not only improves their health, but it is also a preventative measure to ward off mobility and aging-related issues.   Osteoarthritis and Joint Concerns   Collagen has been shown to be beneficial in dogs who suffer from osteoarthritis and has also shown a decrease in lameness when dogs supplement with a collagen peptide. As dogs age, their connective tissues loosen and becomes more brittle — collagen can help lubricate and better prevent injuries such as torn ligaments, subluxations, and hip and elbow dysplasia.   Boosts Skin and Coat Health   If your dog suffers from skin irritations or a dull coat, collagen may be just the thing to add. The dermis is primarily composed of collagen and when it is fortified (with collagen) and then has a strong foundation for healthy skin and coat growth.   Supports Healthy Digestion   Does your dog have digestive issues or food sensitivities? Collagen is beneficial to better boost digestive health in dogs. Similar to people, dog’s can develop leaky gut syndrome, which makes them susceptible to autoimmune issues, behavior problems, and allergies. Soothe their gut with collagen.   Collagen is wonderful to add as both a therapeutic and preventative measure in dogs. Provide them with a better quality of life and better address joint, bone, skin, and digestive issues with collagen.  

To learn more about collagen or to schedule a mobile vet appointment, reach out to us today!

    

Halloween Safety For Your Dog

Halloween is a fun and exciting holiday for humans full of yummy treats, costumes, and parties — but it may be more like a trick for your furry friend with treats that can make them sick, unsafe costumes, and loud noises coming from homes and in the street.   Halloween can be a fun holiday to celebrate with your pet when you implement a couple of strategies to keep them safe. At The VetSet, we are here to provide you with the best tips for a happy and healthy dog — visit our vet clinic to learn more about our services and follow along in today’s post for tips on keeping your dog safe at Halloween.

Halloween Safety Tips For Your Dog

  Whether it is the treats they like to get into or loud noises they run from, keep your dog safe this holiday.   Keep the treats at a distance.   If you are planning on having trick-or-treaters at your home this year, be sure to stash the candy. Put the candy on a tall shelf or inside a cabinet and bring it out only when it is needed. When you do this you avoid having your dog get into a bowl full of chocolate while you step away for only a moment.   Keep them in a room they feel safe in.   If they are bothered by the loud noises coming from the neighbor's house, the constant ringing of the doorbell, or the laughing and shrieking of kids in the street, help reduce their stress and anxiety by putting them in a (quiet) room away from all the commotion. Distract them with their favorite toys or a delicious doggy treat.   Keep the decorations out of the way.   If you carved jack-o-lanterns or hung lights and other decorations, remember, it is extremely easy for a dog to knock a pumpkin over with their tail or body causing a fire. Dogs are also susceptible to eating decorations or becoming tangled in their wirings.   Ensure your dog is easily identifiable.   With your front door constantly being opened and closed, it is much easier for your dog to slip out and run away. Make sure your dogs have their collar on or are microchipped — not only does this potentially save their lives if found close to home, they are easily returned.   Dress your dog in a safe costume. People love to dress up their dogs, just make sure they love it too! If they don’t mind the costume, make sure the costume is not restrictive in their movement, sight, hearing, and breathing. It is also important that there are no pieces that can be chewed off and swallowed. The best way to prepare your pooch for the costume is to dress them up beforehand to get them used to it.   Halloween can be safely celebrated when you know your dog’s temperament. When you keep treats and decorations at a distance, help them feel safe, make them easily identifiable, and dress them in a safe costume, this Halloween will be a hit.  

For more information about our vet clinic and services, reach out to us today!

 

Can Dogs Have Food Allergies?

What does a food allergy or food sensitivity look like in dogs?

  The wave of gluten allergies and dairy intolerances are nothing new in humans, but can dogs have food allergies? You may notice something is a little off with your furry friend — maybe they have irritated skin or are constantly itching it, and everything you have tried just isn’t working. You could be unintentionally causing this distress in the food you are giving them , as food allergies and intolerances seem to be affecting dogs more and more.   Food can both harm and heal. At The Vet Set, it is important for our dog owners to be armed with the leading information when it comes to your dog’s diet and how to help prevent and treat their food allergies. For a definitive answer to the looming question of food allergies, bring your pooch in for tests at our Carroll Gardens veterinary clinic. If you would like more information about food allergies in dogs, navigate the subject with us in today’s post.  

Food Allergies in Dogs

  Food allergies and food intolerances in dogs are similar to the food allergies in humans — dogs are either missing (food intolerances) or completely lacking (food allergies) specific enzymes used to break down and digest different proteins. Because dogs are primarily carnivores, they consume a variety of proteins (meat, grains, and vegetable proteins) — proteins that can potentially cause a food allergy.   How exactly are dogs affected?   A dog’s gastrointestinal tract plays a crucial role in the food that is consumed and how it is broken down. When your dog eats, the food is first digested in the stomach. The large food pieces are broken down further to smaller pieces via stomach acid, and then the enzymes are then deployed to break down protein compounds into smaller substances. The parts that were partially digested then move into the small intestine, where the food is broken down further to amino acids and then absorbed by the body. Enterocytes have a love/hate relationship with amino acids and will gladly accept or deny amino acids, all based on their preferences. If a whole protein is absorbed into the intestines instead of being broken down through the digestive process, this is how your dog can get an allergy.   So, why does the body let the whole protein through?   Whether or not the whole protein is absorbed has to do with what is referred to as the mucosal barrier. This lining can prevent the absorption of larger compounds and potentially harmful substances when the structure of the enterocytes are healthy and intact. If the enterocytes are compromised, this affects protein digestion, thus causing a reaction in your dog.   How does the enterocyte become damaged?   With time and being bombarded by whole, undigested proteins, the enterocyte becomes weakened and whole proteins are able to breach the lining of the gut. Every time your dog consumes a protein they’re allergic to, the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) takes over and produces an immune response to the now “foreign” protein that has entered the GI tract.   Every time the food is consumed, the GALT response becomes greater and greater, making the symptoms worse and worse for your pooch.  

What are the signs that my dog has a food allergy?

  There are many tell-tale signs that your dog has a food allergy, but unfortunately, these signs and symptoms can be related to a host of conditions including:
  • Compulsive itching
  • Red, irritated skin
  • Scratching on the ears and paws  
  • Diarrhea
  More uncommon signs of food allergies in dogs may manifest as:  
  • Ear infections - If your dog is visiting the vet more than two or three times per year for an ear infection, this could be a sign of a food allergy. There are many causes of ear infections in dogs, but it is when they are persistent and constantly showing up, when all signs indicate food allergies.
 
  • Discolored nail beds - If your dog has a brownish red to bronze discoloration in their nail beds, this is an inflammation response. If your dog typically has white nails, the nails should be white with a healthy, pink quick. It is when they turn a reddish brown color that there could be an issue. If this nail color appears, your dog’s nails are irritated and so they may lick or itch them for relief.
 
  • Watery eyes - Just like in humans, dogs also get watery eyes from an allergic reaction. If you notice your dog constantly itching their eyes or have a lot of viscous eye discharge, this could be related to food.  
 
  • An inflamed muzzle - This feature will be more noticeable in light-colored breeds, but essentially, it’s inflammation around their lips. The irritation is a result of a yeast colonization, possibly triggered by food.  
  When it comes to your dog’s health, do not give up! It feels hopeless and frustrating trying to figure out their health issues. A proper food allergy diagnosis is imperative so you can help get your dog on the right path to healing. This time can be utterly disheartening, but it will get better!   Food allergies and intolerances develop in dogs just as they do in people. There are many common signs, and some uncommon, but really, if your dog shows signs of increased systemic inflammation, you may want to take a trip to the vet clinic.  

For empathetic, pet-centered care, schedule an appointment with The Vet Set — or save yourself a trip, we will come to you!

 

Cannabis and Your Pet

Cannabis legalization in the United States is both a topic of interest for humans and animals alike, and where people fall on the spectrum is just as diverse. Some are 100 percent committed to the decriminalization of cannabis, while others are skeptical and ask for further research and proof of its benefits. Wherever you lie on the spectrum, we can take a glance into what we already know.   At The Vet Set, education surrounding your pet’s health is important to us — we want you to be armed with the best information so you can decide what’s best for your pet. Examine cannabis with us and how it relates to your pet’s health and join in on the conversation in today’s post.

What is Cannabis?

  Cannabis has many chemical compounds, but the most recognized and studied include:  
  • THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) - The psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces a euphoria or “high” feeling. Derived from cannabis that is higher in THC strains.
 
  • CBD (cannabidiol) - The non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. Typically derived from the hemp plant (still cannabis) but grown with very low levels of THC and high CBD.  
  Both of these compounds have been studied for their therapeutic properties in relation to nausea, sleep support, inflammation modulation, and immune health — piquing the interest in those seeking an alternative to pharmaceuticals.  

The US’ Stance on Cannabis

  Cannabis laws are dynamic and ever evolving so they may change, but here is where we are currently.   Marijuana is a Schedule I drug and is considered to have no medical value.   Hemp is legal and companies can use this crop to extract CBD.   On the federal level, their position stands that cannabis has no medical benefits, while the individual states beg to differ otherwise. Whatever is known or not known about cannabis, the federal level places professionals in a strained position when it comes to discussing cannabis use in to human, with the veterinary space even more blurred and unclear. In states such as California, it is strictly forbidden by the veterinary medical board to discuss medical cannabis use at all, while Oregon is able to discuss this practice under strict documentation in the pet’s file.   Controlled Substances Act of 1970 - In 1970, the CSA added THC to the Schedule I list and defined marijuana as:   All parts of the Cannabis sativa L.  plant — seeds and resin extracted from every part of the plant.   Hemp Bill of 2013 - This bill built a framework around industrial hemp from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. When growing and harvesting hemp, the concentration of THC can never exceed 0.3 percent. This law protects those who extract CBD from the Schedule I ruling of Cannabis sativa L. and makes it legal in the US.   In 2016 the DEA classifies hemp as a schedule I substance, but because an agency cannot uphold or change a law implemented by Congress, it cannot be enforced.   In 2017, the Congressional Research Service came out with a report that better distinguished the definition of hemp. When referred to as Cannabis sativa, it is being referred to the industrial, recreational, and medicinal uses. They also clarified that industrial hemp is used interchangeably with the term “marijuana.”  

Cannabis and Your Pet

  When you do a search online, because of its nature, there is only anecdotal information on its uses — typically from pet owners. The information can range anywhere from a “miracle cure” to it showing no effects. Dosages and ratios (THC to CBD) are also all over the place with suggestions as just adding a drop to their water or in their mouth and watch for signs. Because there are no regulations, this can make cannabis use for your pet extremely dangerous, and if you are familiar with the concentrations of the compounds you could be doing your pet a grave disservice.   As you would with any pet medical inquiry you would turn to your vet, but when it comes to cannabis, vets are in a tough place. Most states haven’t even legalized cannabis, so having the right information on cannabis dosing and administration hasn’t even been established in pet medicine.   What You Can Do   When it comes to cannabis, truly the research and information is based on the research you do. You can decide on a CBD pet product, you can always request a certificate of authentication (COA) and observe the concentrations of the product you have. You can also ask around for more information from others who have used it, but be very thorough. Ask about what kind of animal they have, how much it weighs, and how they administered it.  

Will cannabis ever be available to pets?

  The federal government stands firmly on the fact that cannabis has no health benefits, so the truth of the matter is, no one really knows if it will ever be available to veterinary medicine.  

We recommend CannaPet and CannaCompanions, which are both CBD products!

 

There are many alternative options available in lieu of cannabis and The Vet Set offers pet wellness and pet acupuncture. To schedule an appointment, connect with us today!

 

Supportive Herbs For Cats

Alternative therapies for pets are becoming more researched and adopted by veterinarians because of their efficacy and as another choice to surgery and pharmaceuticals. Cats, just like any creature, come with their own unique host of health issues, and herbs are a supportive way to keep your cat feeling their best!   In addition to our pet wellness services, The Vet Set specializes in alternative treatments, such as pet acupuncture. If you have been searching for alternative options to keep your cat healthy, learn more about how herbs can address frequent kitty troubles.

Herbs For Kitties

  There are a host of beneficial herbs that will support your cat’s health, and below are the more common herbs available.   Marshmallow   Marshmallow — not the kind you make a mean s’more with — is an a great herb to incorporate for overall wellness in your cat. It can both restore and soothe mucus membranes, also known in the herb world as a demulcent. Its mucilage contains a sticky polysaccharide that coats and creates a barrier so the tissue can heal while being protected. Our feline friends are subject to chronic bronchitis, GI issues, and cystitis — all which can be soothed with marshmallow.   Marshmallow also has a very plain neutral flavor that can be mixed into food or given straight to your cat.   Cranberry   Cranberry is another superstar herb when it comes to urinary support for your cat. A compound called D-mannose found in cranberry draws the bacteria to it and is flushed out when the cat urinates. This keeps the bacteria from reproducing and balanced in the body — steering away from a full-blown UTI. Vitamin C is also found in cranberry and it is known to make the urine more acidic, which makes the environment less favorable to bacteria to hang around in.   Saw Palmetto   Cat’s are notorious for having litter box issues stemming from their urinary tract. Male cats get obstructions, or urinary blockage. This condition is condition is considered a pet emergency by vets, so prevention is imperative. Prevention may be found in saw palmetto. This herb has antiseptic, diuretic, and antispasmodic mechanisms, so cats with urinary issues can be supported by this herb.   Ginkgo Biloba   This herb is used for memory and brain support in humans and is just as helpful for senior cats that need a little extra love and attention. The myth about cats having nine lives is becoming more and more true over time because cats are living longer than they ever have.   Ginkgo’s brain-boosting properties come from its ability to impact blood flow in the brain. It increases blood flow and circulation making it advantageous for stroke, asthma, and eye issues. Hawthorn   When cats are sick, it is very hard to determine if anything is wrong because they rarely display signs — heart damage is no different. When you can finally identify an issue, it may be too late — vet diagnostics often reveal serious heart damage. The herb hawthorn supports heart health to increase contraction and decrease irregular heart beats (arrhythmia). It can also relax the blood vessels to allow the blood to move more fluidly, making the heart work more efficiently.   Dandelion This is the same herb that grows in your yard that you consider a weed, but it is highly beneficial for your cat’s tummy health. If your cat is having constipation issues, dandelion acts as a laxative and supports healthy digestion in cats! It works with both the liver and gallbladder — organs your cat needs for good digestion.   Your kitty’s health is important and as a pet owner, you want to do everything you can to ensure that they are happy and healthy. Herbs are an addition for your cat’s health and are extremely supportive when used correctly!  

Herb Safety in Cats

  The herbs above have a long history in their uses and functions, and are considered safe when used properly. It is important to note that when you decide to give your cat anything new — herbal or not — it is always a good idea to consult with your vet beforehand. Herbs are natural, but they can interfere with other animal medications.  

To learn more about alternative treatments including herbs for cats, connect with The Vet Set today!  

 

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