04 Oct Nasopharyngeal polyp

What are nasopharyngeal polyps? A polyp is a benign mass, meaning that it is not malignant or "cancerous" and does not often metastasize (spread to other tissues). Nasopharyngeal polyps develop in the middle ear, which is the compartment just behind the eardrum. As the polyps enlarge, they grow down the Eustachian tube, the tube that connects the middle ear to back of the throat. As the polyps continue to expand, they may partially block the cavity at the back of the mouth. What are the symptoms of nasopharyngeal polyps? "...

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26 Sep Obesity 4

What kind of food should my pet be eating? There are many foods on the market that are designed to promote weight loss. Prescription diets are formulated to provide all the essential nutrients while limiting calories. Some over the counter diets may not actually promote weight loss with the recommended feeding amount and may actually be deficient in nutrients if the amount being fed is decreased, so pay particular attention when buying a weight loss diet at your local pet food store. Dogs tend to do better on a high fiber...

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26 Sep Obesity 3

How can I get my pet to exercise more? Walking is a great low-impact way to get some exercise. Even if it is just a loop around the block once or twice a day, it will benefit the pets and their human companions alike. As the weight comes off, you should see that they can go a little farther and farther on their walks. If they like to chase a ball, play tug-o-war with a toy or chase a flashlight, we can encourage these activities. There are a variety of puzzle...

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26 Sep Obesity 2

Why is my pet overweight? There are multiple reasons why a pet may be overweight. The genetics and breed of a dog or cat may predispose it to becoming overweight. Slow metabolism and certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism (low thyroid) in dogs cause pets to gain weight. If pets are very food-motivated, they may want to snack constantly. If there are children in the house, it can be difficult to keep extra food from being given to the pet. The major cause of obesity that we see in general practice is...

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26 Sep Obesity

Obesity of pets in the United States is a huge problem, no pun intended. It’s difficult to find exact numbers, but some estimate that up to 35% of our dogs and cats are obese. The World Health Organization also estimates that 35% of adult humans in the U.S. are also obese. These numbers are staggering and the health implications of pet and human obesity are alarming. Why should I be concerned about my pet’s weight? We know that fat isn’t just extra weight on the joints and padding around the organs. Fat...

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01 Nov Nutrition: AAFCO label Continued

AAFCO Label   Every pet food label must contain a statement and validation of nutritional adequacy. AAFCO regulations allow two basic methods for pet food manufacturers to substantiate claims. The formulation method requires the manufacturer to formulate the food to meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles for dogs and cats. This method is less time consuming and less expensive because feeding trials with pets are not required. This method requires only a calculation of the nutrient levels. An example of an AAFCO statement using the formulation method would be: “Brand Cat Food is formulated...

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01 Nov Nutrition: Nutrintional Adequacy

Nutritional Adequacy The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on a dog food label verifies that the food provides complete and balanced nutrition for one of the following: Puppies and pregnant or nursing dogs, Adult dogs, or All life stages. In the early stages of life, young pets need high levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to ensure proper growth. Therefore, a pet food that claims to be “complete and balanced for all life stages” must contain nutrient levels that are suitable for growth. A food that is appropriate...

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01 Nov Nutrition: Nutrient Levels

Nutrient Levels The nutrient level is also known as the guaranteed analysis. It provides the minimum and maximum levels of some of the nutrients, four of which are required on every label. These four are: Protein – shown as a minimum %, Fat – shown as a minimum %, Fiber – shown as a maximum %, and Moisture – shown as a maximum %. The minimum amount guarantee provides the lowest amount of the nutrient in the food, not the actual amount. For example, the minimum fat guarantee may be 8%, but...

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01 Nov Nutrition: Ingredients

Ingredients   Nutrients and high quality ingredients are both important in a pet food. However, nutrients are vital because the body absorbs nutrients, not ingredients. A nutrient is any food constituent that helps support life. The energy-producing nutrients include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates; while the non-energy-producing nutrients are vitamins, minerals, and water. The optimum nutrient blend is the result of quality ingredients that should be formulated for a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to meet a pet’s nutritional needs. You can’t assume a food is right for your pet...

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27 Oct Traveling With Your Pet

When planning a vacation, there are many preparations that need to be made. Once you have decided that your pet will be traveling with you, you will want to make sure that you plan properly to keep your pet safe and to help your vacation run smoothly. Air Travel If traveling by air, you will first want to check with the airlines to find out their requirements. Most airlines require a health certificate from your veterinarian within 10 days of the flight, and may have restrictions on when, how, and what kind...

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