Coconut Oil for Dogs and Cats

Coconut oil has become a popular fatty acid supplement for humans.  Some of my clients who supplemented their pets with fish oil have switched to coconut oil because they thought it was better.  Unfortunately, this is only true for patients with severe gastrointestinal disease or cognitive dysfunction.  Unlike fish oil, it does not help with inflammation.  Let me […]

Aloe Vera for Animals

Aloe vera has been used to treat skin conditions in humans and animals for many years.  Although there are a lot of personal testimonies regarding its therapeutic effects, I have not found many controlled research studies to back up the claims – until now.  Dr. Mahsa Tarameshloo and colleagues conducted a study comparing aloe vera to […]

Ginger for Animals

When I hear the word ginger, I automatically think of gingersnaps and gingerbread houses.  But there is far more to ginger that simply using it as a spice.  Ginger may be used to treat nausea and promote digestion.  It is thought to act by reducing stimulation within the gastrointestinal tract thereby blocking nausea signals to the brain.  I recommend […]

Prebiotics for Dogs and Cats

I find the term ‘prebiotics’ to be a bit misleading.  Since the term ‘Probiotics’ refers to the beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines, it is natural to assume that the term prebiotics refers to a precursor of the bacteria.  It doesn’t.  The term prebiotics refers to a special type of fiber that can be broken down for energy […]

Probiotics for Animals

Probiotics are bacteria that are given to animals or people to establish a healthy population of microbes in the intestinal tract.  In order to be effective, these microbes must survive the acidic environment of the stomach as well as the bile secreted by the gall bladder in the intestines.  They must also survive any medication the patient […]

Lactoferrin for Animals

Lactoferrin is a glycoprotein found in the milk of cows.  It is thought to have the following effects: – Promotes growth of the beneficial bacteria lactobacilli and bifidiobacteria while also creating an unfavorable environment for growth of others and inhibits adherence in the G.I. tract.-Binds and transports iron in blood.-Modulates immune function.-Diminishes the damage of free […]

Milk Thistle (Silymarin) for Animals

Silymarin is a nutraceutical derived from the seed of the milk thistle plant, not to be confused with blessed thistle.  It’s antioxidant properties and ability to scavange free radicals have been used to treat a variety of liver diseases in humans, dogs and cats.  Although most of the studies with silymarin were conducted in humans and then extrapolated back to animals, I […]

Essential Fatty Acids for Animals

Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) play a vital role in both cell and immune function.  EFA’s are divided into two forms, omega 3 and omega 6.  Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and other marine life decrease inflammation.  In veterinary medicine, EFA’s are often prescribed for the following animal diseases:1) Canine cognitive dysfunction2) Allergic dermatitis3) Osteoarthritis4) Chronic kidney disease5) Heart […]

Co-enzyme Q-10 in Animals

Co-enzyme Q-10 increases mitochondrial energy production in cells possibly through down-regulating the level of nitric oxide.  It has been touted for use in patient’s with cardiac disease to improve cell function.  I have had a few clients try this in dogs and cats with heart disease.  Unfortunately, I did not see any improvement in these […]

L-Lysine for Animals

L-lysine is an amino acid that is used in humans and animals for controlling herpes viral infections.  Lysine interferes with the virus uptake of arginine.  This amino acid is required for replication.  With inadequate amounts of arginine, the virus can’t reproduce decreasing the number of organisms in the patient.  Many people use it to decrease the occurrence of […]