Thursday, November 6, 2014

Top 5 Obesity Prevention Tips

TOP 5 TIPS 
TO PREVENT OBESITY IN YOUR PET
  1. Feed the correct amount of food.
    • Every pet has different calorie requirements for their personal activity level and metabolism. Feeding the right food, with high quality ingredients, can have an overwhelming effect on your pet - you may see changes in their appetite and activity level, as well as improvements in their skin and hair coat.
    • Check out our Nutrition Handout here.
  2. Provide your pet with the right amount of physical activity.
    • Regular exercise increases oxygen levels in blood, keeps muscles toned and joints flexible, and relieves boredom by activating your pet's mind. All of these things, along with the fact that it will help your pet remain in tip-top shape, means a better quality of life for you and your furry friend.
    • Go for walks, tease your cat with a laser pointer, hide kibble in toys and leave them around the house for your pet to hunt.

  3. Check your pet's weight regularly.
    • Keep an eye on your pet's weight so you know you're allowing them the correct amount of calories for their activity level. 
    • Check weight at home, or at the vet!
    • Body Condition Score (BCS): You should be able to feel your pet's ribs without trying too hard while you glide your hands down their body.
    • Discuss any diet changes or concerns with your veterinarian.
  4. Factor in treats with your pet's calorie intake.
    • Some treats can be up to half of your pet's necessary calorie intake. 
    • Change from meat-flavored dog treats to vegetables, like carrots or green beans.
    • Make your cat work for their treats - hide them in a toy, throw them down the hallway so they can hunt/chase them.
  5. Remember: Healthy Happy Pets make Healthy Happy People!
    • Be honest with yourself and your pet. Studies show 90% of owners with overweight pets believe that their pet is not overweight. 
    • If you have more questions or are interested in learning more about your pet's Nutritional health, schedule an Integrative Exam with Dr. Nell to discuss your pet's lifestyle and diet.
At Lombard Animal Hospital, in Portland, Oregon we strive to increase the quality of life for pets and their people through education, 
nutrition and wellness!
Give us a call -- We'd love to see you and your pets!

Nutrition Handout

GRAIN FREE OR LOW GRAIN FOOD – A BETTER CHOICE FOR DOGS AND CATS
NELL OSTERMEIER, DVM,  IVAS CERTIFIED VETERINARY ACUPUNCTURIST

Grains are not all bad.  However, in many formulated pet foods, the inclusion of grains results in the exclusion of vital nutrients and disrupts the balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates that is appropriate for a dog or cat. They are used as fillers. Dogs and cats do not NEED grains for energy: Meat, vegetables, herbs and fruit can make up a perfectly balanced diet for our canine and feline friends and while providing more essential nutrients than grain.

Here are some reasons to avoid or limit grains in your pet’s diet:
-    Grains break down to sugar, sugar is stored as fat.  Low to moderate activity dogs and cats
(I think that’s most of the cats out there!) can be prone to gaining weight because they do not use the calories ingested from the grains.  Excess fat storage over time leads to disease.
-    Grains may incite an inflammatory reaction from the body.  In most cases pets are not truly allergic to grain, but they may be intolerant. They do not process the grains effectively, causing an upset of gastrointestinal and/or skin health.
-    Grains can trigger mucous production, contributing to chronic and acute health issues such as allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, ear and skin infections.
-    Contaminated grains have been involved in many pet food recalls.
-    For our clients that utilize Alternative Medicine, including Acupuncture, you may be aware that grains potentiate Heat and Damp in the body. Many syndromes in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) originate from an excess of Heat and Damp.  For example, Hot Spots, Ear infections and Lower Urinary Tract Disease.  If you do not utilize alternative medicine, you can still appreciate Heat and Damp equal inflammation and oozing in Western terms.

WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS FOCUS ON HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN IN THE DIET
  •    Real meat should be the first ingredient.
  •    Vegetables and fruits can make up all or the majority of the carbs and vitamins.
  •    The source of protein should be high quality. Researching the integrity of the food company will help you to determine if the quality meets your standards for your pet.  We recommend visiting a local, reputable pet food store, such as Healthy Pets Northwest (NE 20th and Alberta) for options and information regarding individual brands.
  •    Feeding high quality canned food as part of the diet increases water content and benefits digestion and hydration.  This is especially important for cats - we recommend 50-100% canned food or a veterinarian formulated home-cooked recipe for our feline friends.
  •    If grains are included in the food – they should be natural and unrefined.

CALCULATING ENERGY REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR PET (kilocalories needed per day):

Maintenance:  (Weight in Lbs. X 15) + 70 = ______________________kcal daily
Wt. Loss:    Maintenance Kcal X 0.8 (80%) = ____________________ kcal daily
Wt. Gain:     Maintenance Kcal X 1.2 (120%) = __________________ kcal daily

*THESE ARE APPROXIMATIONS BASED ON MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS. EACH PET’S CALORIE REQUIREMENTS WILL BE UNIQUE BASED ON THEIR METABOLISM, LIFE STAGE, AND ACTIVITY LEVEL.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Halloween Costume Safety - Don't Torture Your Pet!

Before taking your pet Trick-or-Treating with you, we've compiled these safety tips to keep your pet from being tortured this Halloween

- Make sure the costume is not too tight or too heavy. This can restrict movement and cause distress for your pet. You should be able to fit 2-3 fingers under the garment. If you see your pet panting heavily or falling behind on your adventure, it may be time to remove the costume and turn back.

- Tie up any loose ends on the costume that could trip up your pet, or become tangled in their legs or fur. This is also a good time to remove anything that looks tasty to your pet - we don't want Fido eating anything he shouldn't be!

- Let your pet practice wearing their costume before the big night. This will give her a chance to get a little more accustomed to wearing the garment, as well as time to let you know if they can really tolerate wearing it or not. If your pet is trying to chew herself out of her costume, it may not work.

- Have some reflective gear on your pet for your walk. Get some glow-in-the-dark tape, or a flash light that your dog can wear on her harness.

- Last but definitely not least, keep your pet on a leash with an ID tag. Halloween can be a scary time for pets with all the loud noises and people everywhere. The leash can help keep her from running away, and the ID tag will make it a lot easier to get her returned to you, if she does happen to get lost.

The Lombard Team wishes you a 
Happy and Safe Halloween!


At Lombard Animal Hospital, in Portland, Oregon we strive to increase the quality of life for pets and their people through education, 
nutrition and wellness!
Give us a call -- We'd love to see you and your pets!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Senior Pet Month - Rika's Story


Rika is a 10-year old Corgi, diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease. He has been seeing Dr. Nell for a year and his owner couldn't be happier with his progress. Using acupuncture and laser therapy, Dr. Nell has been able to improve Rika's quality of life for himself and his owner.
Rika at home, with sister, Gracie
Along with a few diet changes and some senior-pet supplements, Glycoflex and Chinese herbs, Rika actually enjoys his acupuncture and laser treatments with Dr. Nell! How many dogs do you know that truly enjoy coming to the vet?

Rika in Doggles, receiving laser treatment
"I am so happy to have found Dr. Nell this past year. I was looking for help with caring for Rika's arthritis and bad hip, and other vets could not help. Being ten, he was getting worse and in more pain. Dr. Nell offered the treatments, acupuncture, laser, Chinese herbs, that I thought would be the best way to treat him. She took the time (not the usual 5 minutes) to check him out and talk with me--wow, that was amazing right there! We changed up his diet, and started these new treatments, and he is a different dog... happier, with less pain, healthier. My just turned ten year old corgi , Rika, is doing so good and the best part is that it is also affordable to continue this treatment for him. He, along with my other corgi and my new rescue cat, are my kids and I so love Lombard and Dr. Nell, and all the folks that work there are super. Rika actually loves going to the vet! 
Thanks Dr. Nell for all you do and how you view animals and their care, holistically and with love!" -P.R.

With Integrative Medicine, Dr. Nell is able to utilize the best treatments available for your pet to improve quality of life. If you have concerns about your senior pet (over 7-years), we encourage you to make an appointment with us.

At Lombard Animal Hospital, in Portland, Oregon we strive to increase the quality of life for pets and their people through education, 
nutrition and wellness!
Give us a call -- We'd love to see you and your pets!

503.285.2337

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rosie & Max

Rosie & Max: Pawsitive Changes with Integrative Medicine


I would like to share a story about 2 pets we have taken to Dr. Nell in the past year.  Our older yellow lab, Rosie, lost her brother to bone cancer.  She really missed him and was also extra vigilant and worried about doing the “guard dog” job alone, especially following a week long hospitalization of one of our teenager.  During the time our daughter was gone, Rosie was extremely stressed about “losing” her.  She began to lick “worry spots” on her paws and other areas.  We knew it wasn’t a reaction to diet, as she’d never done this before except years earlier during a time that our home was being remodeled.  Dr. Nell was highly recommended to us from someone who shares our natural health philosophy.  Rosie felt immediately at home in the office.  She was so comfortable with Dr. Nell that she let her put several acupuncture needles into her.  There was such a transformation at the end of one session that our son told me we’d brought home a different dog! 

Since we’d had such a great experience with this, we brought our 8 year old cat, Max, in to see her this December.  He’d seemed to have gotten into a fight (we later figured out that he might have been picked up by an owl and then dropped, as he is a very big boy!).  He had a sore place on his head that was healing, but mostly he was terrified.  He was hiding all over the house.  He didn’t want anyone to see him.  He would eventually snuggle with our son, but rather than the happy confident cat he had formerly been, he just lay like a big furry lump on our son.  He was so scared that he was acting like a real zombie; he walked into furniture and onto our dog, as if he wasn’t seeing.  We thought he might have optic nerve damage.  We took him to see Dr. Nell.  She gave him 3 acupuncture treatments, an adrenal tonic, and some flower essences.  After the 3rd one, he was back to his old sassy self.  He is now a very cuddly but independent old lover boy, just like he always was. 

We have since recommended her care to many other people. Both my husband and myself are natural health care practitioners and it is really comforting to find someone who can do for animals what we might do for people.  – Jo Ellen

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tips for a Stress-Free Move (or Trip)

Use these tips to keep your pets stress-free while you're going away for a trip, or getting ready to move!

PLAN AHEAD! Know where your pet will be during this potentially stressful period.
--boarding v. riding along?

TAKE YOUR TIME! Pack your things over time without haste. Your pet will become stressed out if you are stressed.

ROUTINE ROUTINE ROUTINE! Keep your routine as normal as possible during the weeks/days leading up to your trip/move. Any changes in behavior and routine will razz your pet.

USING MOVERS? Remember that your pets have no idea why there are strangers running in and out of your home with boxes and this can have quite an effect on them. They will want to have a safe place to hang out in your home.

GO TO THE VET! Make sure your pet's vaccinations are up to date. If you need a Health Certificate, this is the time to get it! Speak to your vet at that time about using sedatives for travel if necessary.

TRAVELING BY PLANE? Contact your airline and/or the country you'll be landing in and ask what documentation would be necessary for travel (i.e: Health Certificate, Rabies Certificate, Microchip).

USE A CRATE/CARRIER! Whether hanging in the house or in the car, these provide your pet with a safe and quiet place to relax if they decide the excitement is too much to handle.
MONITOR YOUR PET'S BEHAVIOR! Any time a change in the home occurs, whether temporary or permanent, your pet can become very stressed out. Keep a close eye on their behavior and make sure they remain as comfortable as possible.

USE A TRAVEL CHECK LIST! A checklist can be very helpful in making sure you have all you need for your traveling. Here's a suggestion of what it could look like:
  • Veterinary records, certificates, and recent photos
  • Medications
  • Your pets' usual foods and plenty of water from the home you're leaving (changing their water source can be disorienting and upset their stomachs)
  • Food and water bowls, a can opener, and resealable lids
  • Toys, chew bones, and treats
  • Leashes for cats and dogs
  • Beds (pillows, towels, or other crate liners)
  • Plastic bags and scoops for dogs
  • Litterbox for cats
  • Cage covers for birds and rodents
  • Paper towels for messes
  • Provisions for the first day at the new home
At Lombard Animal Hospital, in Portland, Oregon we strive to increase the quality of life for pets and their people through education, 
nutrition and wellness!
Give us a call -- We'd love to see you and your pets!

503.285.2337

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Giardia - Not Your Every Day Parasite!


Giardia can be passed pet-to-pet, pet-to-person and person-to-person
Giardia is a one-celled protozoan parasite that lives in the intestines of people and animals. To protect themselves, the Giardia grow "cysts" around their bodies and can live happily outside a host for months. Once they've found another host, the Giardia shed their "cysts" to live and multiply.

Giardia is spread through ingestion of contaminated water or food and through feces. Virtually any body of water can contain Giardia (lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, municipal water supplies, wells, cisterns, pools, waterparks, spas, and ground and surface water in the city) so it's imperative to make sure you and your pets are consuming clean water at all times. This can be difficult when traveling, or out on an adventure.


Nijel is now a happy and healthy dog!
Nijel was first diagnosed with Giardia as a puppy during a routine fecal check. After testing positive, he started taking an antibiotic to rid his body of the parasite. A few weeks later his fecal sample was re-tested and the doctor noticed he was still infected and shedding the parasite. Nijel's owner reported concern that he was eating feces - especially his own. The behavior was discussed and after a few creative tactics to teach him not to eat poop, and another round of medication, Nijel is now Giardia free!


Many cases of Giardia and other parasites, like Nijel's, are found during routine fecal checks. We recommend every pet get a fecal exam annually to make sure your pets are staying parasite-free! 

If you are suspicious that your pet has been infected with Giardia, schedule an examination to discuss with a veterinarian, and be sure to practice your best personal hygiene to prevent yourself from being infected!


At Lombard Animal Hospital, in Portland, Oregon we strive to increase the quality of life for pets and their people through education, 
nutrition and wellness!
Give us a call -- We'd love to see you and your pets!