Archive for the ‘Raw Pets’ Category

A month ago, Vinny’s appearance and behavior was a source of great concern and bewilderment. How did he lose so much weight without me noticing? Why couldn’t he jump up on the couch anymore? When did all the muscle tone in his hind legs disappear? WTF? His body had deteriorated so quickly I didn’t realize the problem until all these signals converged.

So I took Vinny to the vet where he was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis. Because it is a so-called degenerative joint disease, I was guaranteed a worsening condition that might be partially corrected through surgery some day. The vet prescribed pain medications and steroids — for life!

One thing you should know about me: I only take the dogs to the vet (or myself to a doctor) when there’s a broken leg involved or I need a diagnosis. So I took this diagnosis and found my own remedies, never once considering that the vet’s advice would be my chosen course of action. I went into problem solving mode immediately. I’m a project manager; it’s what I do.

On the way home from the vet, I realized that one remedy was already in my kitchen. I’d been taking MSM for two months with phenomenal results: my fingernails are stronger than ever in my life, my hair grows faster and doesn’t fall out in my brush anymore, and my skin’s looking good too. MSM is also renowned for its joint and cartilage building properties, which my little boy so desperately needed. I began adding 500mg of MSM powder to Vinny’s food daily.

A week later Vinny’s condition seemed slightly improved, but not quickly enough for me. (I’m an instant-gratification type 😉 ) I read that MSM is highly effective in treating arthritis, but its properties are greatly enhanced when combined with Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Vinny regularly consumed Glucosamine-Chondroitin in tablet form for a year prior to his diagnosis and that didn’t seem to help a lot, so I continued to research and quickly found the answer: Synflex for Pets. Not only does Synflex offer human- and pet-specific products, but the potions are targeted at reversing osteoarthritis. And, I was pleased to learn that the liquid forms of Glucosamine and Chondroitin were 90% absorbable vs. approximately 25% for pill- or powder-based supplements. I ordered a bottle immediately.

Finally, my Web research delivered the final piece of the puzzle. I’ve been reading about E3Live for a while and hadn’t given it serious thought; it seemed expensive and unnecessary. I mean, wasn’t spirulina good enough? Did my algae have to be from Klamath Lake. (Really, I wanted it to be from Klamath Lake. I’m an Oregonian, after all.) When I discovered that E3Live was a known arthritis remedy for people and pets, I had to take the plunge. If you’ve balked at the idea of E3Live, I recommend giving it a chance. This stuff is fantastic!

So, that’s one week of MSM, another week with the addition of Synflex, and then a third week with E3Live included as well. Vinny is completely back to his old self now, but even better in many ways. He can jump, balance, run, play, and fight with this sister again. Muscle is building up in his hind legs (this has been really noticeable!), his coat is really soft and his eyes are bright.

And I couldn’t be happier.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s mobility, I’m available to answer questions about these products and Vinny’s overall regimen. Also, consider the same remedies for the people in your life challenged by osteoarthritis and other joint-related conditions.

Vinny’s daily dosage (he weighs ~10 lbs.)

  • MSM: 500mg
  • Synflex: 1/3 teaspoon
  • E3Live: 1/2 teaspoon



Read Full Post »

Today is Guido Vincenzo’s (aka Vinny) 11th birthday and, as you can see, he’s as handsome, healthy and toothy as ever. Here’s to 11 more years! 😛 And I believe that’s totally possible with proper diet, care and exercise.

I feed Vinny and Stella a raw diet with plenty of fruits, veggies and seeds; however, this is not a raw vegan diet. I am a raw vegan (well, actually bee-gan. I consume local bee pollen daily, but am otherwise completely vegan – including the avoidance of all leather and other animal-derived ingredients/items). So, how does a vegan feel about feeding her dogs raw meat and bones. Honestly, I’m torn between what is generally thought to be a necessity for canine health and my own convictions.

Dogs are omnivores, not obligate carnivores like cats are believed to be. I don’t buy into the belief that humans need – or should even consider eating – animal products for good health, so why do I think it’s necessary for dogs? For me, it comes down to the differences in our teeth and digestive systems. Dogs have very acidic digestive environments for breaking down meat and sharp teeth for ripping flesh and chewing bones. Humans have teeth intended primarily for grinding vegetation and have more alkaline digestive environments (at least they should be much more alkaline!).

I have a few articles and raw recipe books that promote and provide general guidelines for a raw diet for dogs. The best resources, in my opinion, are: Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen, LifeFood Recipe Book, and an article in December 2007 VegNews. Based on these recipes and guidelines, I have been preparing the following for Vinny & Stella – with some seasonal variation – and they LOVE it.

  • Raw meat and bones – one of the following brands/varieties:
  • A mix of the following raw ingredients broken down in food processor and/or pulp from juicer. Nothing goes to waste here:
    • sunflower seeds and/or almond
    • avocado
    • carrots – whole and/or juice pulp
    • red bell pepper
    • fruit – usually apple, pear, melon w/rind, or juice pulp
    • greens – usually spinach, kale, baby lettuce mix, or juice pulp w/celery & cucumber too
    • parsley – my dogs never have bad breath. seriously!
    • garlic – natural flea control (not a big prob in Portland)
    • flax meal or oil
    • kelp
    • Green Mush

Peace. Or as Vinny says, Pace.

Read Full Post »

We are a melon-loving family. The pups helped me finish off half a cantaloupe last night. This was Stella’s first encounter with melon and, just like her big brother, she’s totally hooked!

Read Full Post »

Last Sunday was the annual DoveLewis Run for the Love of the Dove. I went with my Mom and one of her dogs (Molly, the standard poodle), and some friends and their dogs. We had fun even though it was 102 degrees. When we got home, Vinny drank a bucket of water and slept through the remainder of the day. DoveLewis is a great non-profit emergency animal hospital. You should send them $$.

The next dog-related event is the Bark in the Park at PGE Park on July 5. Yes, that’s right – you can take your dog along to a baseball game. I might check it out with my neighbors and their dog Bill. Can I take Vinny on the MAX without a carrier if I hold him? Anyone? Anyway, I’ll post some pics if we go.

Here are some pictures of Vinny and friends from the Run for the Love of the Dove. Doesn’t he have a snazzy backpack?

Read Full Post »