With the interest in whole and natural foods for people, there has been an increase in popularity of raw diets for pets.* Advocates of raw diets argue that raw diets are better for cats and dogs. Reviewing these arguments shows they are based on three basic tenets: 1) cats and dogs are carnivores and evolved eating raw meats so should be fed a raw diet, 2) cooking foods alters their nutrients, making them less available, and destroys important enzymes used in digestion, 3) raw diets are beneficial for pets’ coats, immune function, allergies, and teeth.
What is the truth about raw diets?
My veterinarian just told me that my dog’s alkaline phosphatase levels are high. What is alkaline phosphatase?
Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme that is found in your dog’s bloodstream. We commonly refer to this enzyme as ALP or ALK PHOS. There are three versions of the enzyme: 1) Bone‐ALP, 2) Liver‐ALP, and 3) Corticosteroid induced‐ALP.
How common is high ALP?
A high ALP value is a very common lab finding. 39% of all dogs have a high ALP and 51% of dogs over 8 years have a high ALP. Because there are so many causes of a high ALP, many of which are benign (harmless) processes, determining the cause of an individual patient’s high ALP can be a diagnostic dilemma!
Feline leukemia is a virus of cats. The virus is a retrovirus which can integrate into the DNA of the cat’s cells. There is no cure for this disease.
The virus is spread from cat to cat by: 1) saliva coming into contact with the mouth, eyes, and nose, 2) infected blood, 3) from mother to kittens while pregnant or nursing. Cats that go outside and are exposed to the bites of stray cats are at risk. The virus is fragile and does not live in the environment. It can only be spread by direct contact with bodily fluids. Only about 1-2 % of the cat population is infected.
This is a very common question that pet owners have when we rattle off the vaccines that your cat or dog needs. Vaccines are an important part of your pet's preventative health care. Understanding what we are vaccinating for and why will help you make the best decisions for your pet's care.
Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats
Rabies: Rabies is a virus that is transmitted by saliva, generally a bite. All cats and dogs should be vaccinated for rabies. Bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Minnesota. Since bats can come into the house, even indoor only cats can get exposed to the virus. More...