DEAR DR. FOX: I have a young dog with diagnosed gastritis. He is currently taking the following medications: Medrol, Spasmex, Efloran, Acipan, Ranital and omega-3 acid pill supplements. I feed him wet Hill's Prescription Diet i/D, but he rejects it; instead of the prescribed 2 1/2 cans per day, he eats only one can per day. No nematodes were found in his body.
At the moment, he has no diarrhea, but his stomach is still upset, and he munches a lot, especially during the nights. He also has swollen tonsils from the stomach acid.
His status is not improving. He's losing weight by the day, and I am wondering if you have any suggestions. -- M.S., Slovenia, Europe
DEAR M.S.: Many special prescription diets are unpalatable, may actually bring on other health problems and are often a profit-making scam, as documented by Meg Smart in her contribution to my book "Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Cat and Dog Foods."
First, your dog may have acid reflux aggravated by a high-cereal-content diet. Some dogs improve when given a human antacid tablet like Tums before each meal. Others do better when their food bowl is elevated so they do not have to reach down low to eat and swallow.
While there may be other health issues with your dog that have not yet been diagnosed, I would wean him off the prescription diet and all the various medications (other than giving an antacid for a few days) and feed him my home-prepared diet, as posted on my website (DrFoxVet.net). Give him no treats or snacks other than a tablespoon of live plain organic yogurt or kefir, half a canned-in-water sardine with a half-teaspoon of chia seeds and a half-teaspoon of unsweetened canned pineapple. Also try Dr. Fox's Good Dog Cookie Recipe, posted on my website.
DEAR DR. FOX: We have a 13-year-old male Maine coon cat, who is, of course, quite special.
Last week, he apparently had a blood clot. After some delay and an adamantly pessimistic ER vet, he finally got some heparin, fluids, etc. He is now home and much improved, though he has some significant compromised function in his back legs, one worse than the other.
I was wondering if there is some therapy that might help, or if time is our only option. -- J.B., Springfield, Missouri
DEAR J.B.: The pessimism of the emergency veterinarian is well founded. This is a common malady in cats, and the blood clots can result in a fatal stroke or partial paralysis wherever the clot or clots are blocking major blood vessels.
One reason why this condition may be so prevalent may well be diet-related -- blood cells are more likely to clot when there is a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids, as in fish oil and vitamin E. Many of these essential nutrients are destroyed by the heat processing of manufactured cat foods. Before surgery, people are advised not to take such supplements because they may bleed more, since they are natural anti-coagulants, as is aspirin.
For your cat, I would advise a few drops of fish oil in his food daily and giving him half a sardine (canned, in water). As I say for cats, a sardine a day keeps the vet away -- though some cats are allergic to fish, so try a quarter teaspoon of spirulina as an alternative.
A daily full-body massage, as per my book "The Healing Touch for Cats," will also help the impaired circulation.
MORE REVELATIONS ABOUT PENTOBARBITOL-CONTAMINATED MEAT
Pet food watchdog group the Truth About Pet Food has posted: “Evanger's Pet Food Company files a $20 million lawsuit against its meat supplier that had supplied them with meat contaminated with pentobarbitol, but in the court documents, the pet food company discloses they directly lied to consumers. The meat used by Evanger’s was labeled 'inedible'; it was not ‘human grade’ as the company told consumers and retailers.”
See more at truthaboutpetfood.com/evangers-sues-meat-supplier-but-makes-a-big-disclosure/.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox's website at DrFoxVet.net.)