Friday, November 5, 2010

Dr Dodds - Part II

"Wholesome nutrition is the key to a healthy immune system and resistance to disease."

This statement is so true! I have been researching the proper nutrition for my dogs for years and am still continuing to learn new things everyday. What did I learn at the seminar? I think the one bit of information that got me thinking the most was titled Nutritional Management for Aggression.

Oak can be aggressive with other dogs. He didn't used to be when he was a puppy (and he was socialized) but as he grows older, he has shown some aggressive tendencies sometimes while on leash, sometimes while off. He is also hyperactive after he eats. It doesn't matter if it is morning or evening, as soon as he eats his meal he runs around like a crazy dog for about an hour and tries very hard to get into trouble! So maybe making a few changes to his food can help. It's definitely worth a shot.

Some of the suggestions were:
- use a high quality-low protein food
- increase tryptophan (turkey)
- limit "hot foods" (beef, bison, duck)
- limit high copper foods (lamb)
We are definitely going to try turkey, I'll let you know how it goes :)

I did try a turkey based frozen food. I gave it to him for about 4 days (breakfast and supper) and I think he was more hyper after meals! Maybe I should have tried it for longer, but I figured we get tired after one meal of turkey, so 4 meals were enough of a test.

I also bought two books written by Monica Segal: "Optimal Nutrition" and "K9 Kitchen". Right now I feed a combination of some supplements, raw ground chicken backs and preground frozen veggie mix, but I'm not sure the combination is right, so I've been considering making my own from scratch. More stuff to read up on :)

The main topic of the day was thyroid disease. How. What. When. Why. We went through some of the signs (some you may know about already and some you may not). For example, I already knew some signs could be: weight gain, lethargy, mood swings, cold intolerance, chronic infections, aberrant behavior ( aggression, fear, hyperactive) but I didn't know about seizures, facial paralysis, "tragic expression", head tilt, slow heart rate, cardiomyopathy or corneal ulcerations.

Then she discussed the blood tests that should be done. It isn't good enough to do the basic tests (T4 & T3) we have been doing for years, these my not show a problem. It is very important to have a thyroid panel done. If you think your dog may have a thyroid problem go to Dr Dodds website and check out the fabulous information there. You can also have your vet send a sample of your dog's blood there to be tested. As I am writing this, I am saying to myself, "maybe you should take your own advise!" I have been wondering if maybe Oak has a thyroid issue. I had the blood tests done through my vet last march, but have never sent them into Hemopet. He has many symptoms and no other solution has been found yet.

If you ever get a chance to see Dr Dodds in person, jump at it. It was a fabulous learning experience.


Sam said...

Sounds like a very good seminar to have gone too - I wish we had those more often here.


Oak said...

Me too!