Wet Dog Food vs Dry Dog Food

The dry vs canned debate.

What is better?


Here are the TOP 3 reasons why canned is often a BETTER food than dry.

1. Moisture Content – The first ingredient is water, and it more closely resembles what our pets would eat in the wild.

Cats and some dogs are notorious for NOT drinking enough fluid, living in a state of chronic dehydration.

This has health implications, especially with diseases such as Urinary Tract Crystals.

2. Animal Protein – in most cases this is the NEXT ingredient next to water – above any carbohydrate.

You can’t really make a canned food with high levels of carbohydrates.

Is this better? In my opinion YES.

A lower likelihood of diseases such as Diabetes. Less chance of obesity, and diseases linked to it such as Pancreatitis.

3. Digestion – It’s easier to breakdown in the stomach and intestinal tract. Canned food is already partly broken down.

This can mean less vomiting/intestinal gas, and potentially less incidence of diseases such as Bloat.

Think of the work it takes to digest these puffy, dry, fat sprayed on kibbles – vs moist, protein rich, canned food.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372


Is Your Cat in Pain?



We’ve come a long way in our understanding of pain, and that’s true in veterinary medicine as well as human medicine. We know that chronic pain can suppress the immune system, making animals more susceptible to viruses and bacteria they otherwise might have no problem fighting. And, of course, pain just plain hurts, reducing the quality of life dramatically.

While we veterinarians have advanced alongside our physician colleagues when it comes to managing pain, many pet owners have not. That’s not because they don’t care, but because they don’t know enough to recognize the problem and get help. The problem is especially disturbing in cats, and that’s what had me turning to my colleague and longtime friend Dr. Robin Downing for her expert read on the subject. Dr. Downing is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of pain and how to treat it; her work at the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management in Windsor, Colo., is both compassionate and ground-breaking, and her advocacy for those who can’t speak for themselves is passionate.

“There was a study at Texas A&M that looked at cats who presented for other things — none were brought in for pain,” Dr. Downing says. “And they found that 90 percent of cats over the age of 10 had X-ray evidence ofpainful arthritis. They were in pain, and their owners didn’t know. We now know that the statistics for cat arthritis are the same as for dogs — 20 percent across all age categories. That means one in five cats has osteoarthritis, and one in five cats is in pain, and owners aren’t aware of it.”

Is Your Cat in Pain?

The signs of chronic pain in cats are easy to overlook, Dr. Downing says. There are a couple of reasons for that, including cats’ instinctive attempts to hide outward signs of pain. In the wild, animals who appear vulnerable are exactly that: To predators on the prowl, unusual behaviors such as those that come with injury or pain are like a sign saying “Eat Here” with an arrow pointing to the unfortunate animal.

We’re nowhere near as observant as these predators, which is why when a cat finally starts showing symptoms of distress, we might not notice them or, more likely, may misread them. Cats prefer their routines and stick to their habits as much as they possibly can, especially when they’re in pain.

“It’s important for people to understand that cats are motivated to behave how they always behave,” Dr. Downing says. “That makes it easy for us as cat owners to miss pain in its early stages, when cats are doing their level best to compensate. They like routine, and they want to maintain their routine. That makes it harder for us to identify that moment of ‘Hey, wait a minute, there’s something that’s not quite right’ until a problem is a little more advanced.”

But Dr. Downing says that when you know what you’re looking for, it’s much easier to see.

“Signs of chronic pain in cats are almost exclusively behavioral in nature,” she says. “We can tell if they’re uncomfortable by monitoring their behavior.”

For example, she says, a cat who’s no longer jumping up to favorite high perches may be avoiding activities that are painful. Changes in appearance can also be pain-related if a cat is not grooming herself properly because it hurts. Changes in litterbox habits are also worth noting. A cat may have problems getting into or out of a box with high sides or may have a problem getting to a box that’s on another floor.

Changes in personality can be another sign of chronic pain. “It’s like they put on their crabby pants,” Dr. Downing says. “These are cats that are often painful, and they’re crabby because they’re uncomfortable.” Keep an eye out as well for the friendly cat who now hides from interactions, the snuggly cat who is now aloof — or even the aloof cat who is now snuggly.

How You Can Help

Dr. Downing and I agree that weight reduction is a priority for any overweight cat in chronic pain. Carrying excess weight puts pressure on already painful joints, and Dr. Downing says what researchers know now about fat makes getting a cat to a normal body weight even more imperative.

“Now we know that fat is a very biologically active tissue,” she says. “It secretes inflammatory hormones that contribute to the overall pain experience.” Concurrent with weight management — and your veterinarian can help with that — Dr. Downing recommends managing the cat’s environment to ease the strain of pain. And that starts by ending your cat’s days as a free-roaming pet.

“Don’t let these old cats just be outside on their own,” she says. “That sets them up for injury, and they’re going to try and get away if they get in trouble — you might lose them forever.”

Providing safe outdoor space like a catio is a good idea, Dr. Downing says, and she recommends creating an equally feline-friendly environment inside. She also recommends keeping one room of your home warmer than the rest, perhaps fashioning it as a feline hangout with access through a cat door. If that’s not possible, pet-safe heated beds in favorite places are another option — along with a little help for the cat trying to get to those spots. That can be as simple as putting an ottoman in a place where a cat can use it to get to a higher perch more easily or buying small stairs sold to help pets onto furniture or beds. And make sure your cat doesn’t have to travel to the bathroom: Put a litterbox on every level of your home.

Work With Your Veterinarian

One thing you can’t do? Give your pet pain medications. Over-the-counter medications can be deadly for cats, which is why you need to work with your veterinarian to get your pet on supplements that might help, as well as prescription pain medication that’s safe for most cats when used as directed.

No animal needs to suffer with chronic pain. Identifying it is the first step, and once that’s done, your veterinarian can help manage your cat’s condition. Your cat needs your help, and I know once you can see how much your pet is suffering, you’ll be making her life a lot easier.



Common Cat Parasites and Reasons to Avoid Them


There are many types of parasites that can pose a threat to your cat. In some cases, these parasites and/or the diseases that they carry can also pose a threat to your family. There’s really no need to panic though.

Fortunately, we can control most of these parasites reasonably easily. Here are some of the parasites you should make sure your cat is protected against along with the reasons why it’s important to keep your cat free of them.

    • Fleas are common. Even indoor cats are susceptible to flea infestations. Flea bites are uncomfortable for your cat at best. Even worse, fleas can contribute to skin allergies that may cause serious and painful skin lesions for your cat. These parasites feed on your cat’s blood. If the infestation is severe, your cat may lose enough blood to become anemic. Fleas can also spread other diseases to your cat.

      For instance, tapeworms are intestinal parasites that can be passed to your cat through the ingestion of a flea. Fleas also play a role in the spread of certain diseases to people. Diseases such as cat scratch disease and even plague are good examples. These diseases cannot be transmitted without the presence of fleas. If you think your cat is free of fleas simply because you don’t see live fleas on your cat, think again. Many cats groom fastidiously, removing the evidence of a flea infestation while doing so, and making the diagnosis of a flea problem even more difficult. It’s always easier to prevent an infestation than it is to try to treat an existing infection.

    • Ticks can also plague cats, particularly those that spend time outdoors. Ticks, like fleas, feed on your cat’s blood. They attach to your cat’s skin via specialized mouthparts, feed on your cat’s blood until satiated, then fall off and continue their life cycle. Ticks can be responsible for spreading other diseases to your cat too. For instance, in some parts of the country, cytauxzoonosis, or “bobcat fever,” is a serious and often fatal disease for infected cats and the disease is spread through the bite of infected ticks.

    • Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes.  Even one mosquito bite can infect a cat with heartworms. We all know that mosquitoes can find their way indoors all too easily, so even indoor cats are not necessarily safe from becoming infected with heartworms. The symptoms of heartworm disease are often very similar to those of feline asthma and the two diseases can be difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish from one another. In some cases though, heartworms can cause sudden death in cats, with no warning symptoms being present prior to death.

    • Intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and coccidia, can infect cats of any age and can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. These parasites tend to be most serious in young kittens where diarrhea and vomiting can easily lead to dehydration if not controlled promptly. Most kittens are born with parasites, with roundworms and/or hookworms being the most common, so routine deworming of young kittens and regular fecal examinations for all cats are recommended by most veterinarians. Under the right circumstances, some of these parasites can also pose a threat to people. Roundworm infections can be especially devastating for children, leading to blindness, seizures, and other symptoms.

  • Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan parasite. Cats serve as a definitive host for the disease and are capable of passing the disease to people. Infected cats usually develop only mild symptoms of illness if they become symptomatic at all. However, toxoplasmosis can be particularly harmful for pregnant women. The disease can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, or birth defects if the mother is infected during her pregnancy. There is also some risk for people who have compromised immune systems.

Fortunately, cats that are housed indoors have very little chance of becoming infected with toxoplasmosis. Taking precautions to avoid inadvertent ingestion of foods and beverages contaminated with toxoplasmosis oocysts (eggs) is an effective method of prevention.

These are a few of the most common parasites that affect cats. Check with your veterinarian to determine which parasites pose a threat in your location. Your veterinarian can also help you development a preventive plan to protect your cat from these parasites. While there are many options for parasite control on the market, these products are not all the same. Choosing a product that is safe and effective for your individual cat is of utmost importance.            Dr. Lorie Huston

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Understanding Cat Behavior: They Should Not Die for Peeing on the Bed

That’s right, cats are brought to veterinarian’s offices and shelters everywhere to be euthanized, or relinquished and consequently euthanized, because they urinate outside of the litter box. This has got to stop. This is most often a treatable problem with a positive outcome.

Let’s get some things straight up front. Cats don’t urinate on the bed because they hate you or because they are spiteful. Your cat would have to know the very first time that he urinated on your bed that it would make you angry and he would have to want to hurt you in order for the urination to be spiteful. Cats simply aren’t able to reason to this level and these types of emotions: spite and hatred. I mean, really, he is a cat, not a devious villain from a superhero movie.

Now that we’ve got that straightened out, why then do cats urinate outside of the litter box?

There are two broad categories of inappropriate urination:

  1. Urine Marking
  2. Toileting

Cats who urine mark are usually depositing small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces, while cats who are toileting are generally depositing large amounts of urine or feces on horizontal surfaces. Both female and male cats urinate outside of the litter box. That’s right, female cats spray, too.

Within those broad categories, there are four general reasons that cats abandon the box:

  1. Social stress
  2. Environmental stress
  3. Medical illnesses
  4. Anxiety/fear

Social stressors include a new boyfriend/girlfriend, new baby, a new dog or cat, and even cats that are outside the home. Environmental stressors include a lack of enrichment, too few litter boxes, inadequate litter boxes, and dirty litter boxes. All kinds of medical illnesses affect the urination habits of cats, such as kidney disease, urinary tract infections, certain medications, and diabetes. Cats can become fearful of the litter box if it is associated with pain or with something frightening like a loud noise.

If your cat is urinating on your bed, don’t waste time. Go see your veterinarian for a medical work up and preliminary advice on what to do. Sometimes the fix will be straightforward, and sometimes your veterinarian may deem the case complex enough to refer you to a board certified veterinary behaviorist. You can find one at the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

There are some things that you can do to affect the problem, regardless of the reason why your cat is urinating outside of the litter box.

    1. Increase the number of boxes to n + 1, with n being the number of cats in the household.
    1. Clean the litter box each day. Come on lazy litter box scoopers, how often do you flush the toilet? Try flushing every other day and then let me know if you don’t start going to the bathroom somewhere else. Now, get out there and clean your cat’s box.
    1. Super size it! Boxes should be about the length of your cat from his nose to his tail. For Manx cats, add 12 inches.
    1. Spread the litter boxes out all over the house so that they are convenient for your cat. Notice that I didn’t say “convenient for you”!
  1. Enrich your cat’s environment. Yes, I know that your cat has lots of toys. I have lots of shoes, but that doesn’t stop me from shopping on the internet for shoes daily.

You can find more information about what to do for this problem here at my Cat Behavior page.

This is the take away: This is a treatable problem; get help now. Don’t wait until your wife is 8 months pregnant or until you hate your cat to call your veterinarian. An unsoiled house and a happier cat are within your reach.

Dr. Lisa Radosta

Think Your Older Cat is A Healthy Cat?

I have two “mature” {they are both girls and won’t like me calling them “old”} Abyssinian cats and have learned a lot from this article.  Keep checking on your cat’s health for her lifetime. – Diana Davidson, Westside Dog Nanny

I typically recommend some form of laboratory health screen for my older, feline patients. To justify the expense and stress associated with collecting samples, I typically point to the benefits of detecting disease early, the ability to pick up trends before overt abnormalities develop, and having a baseline to which we can compare should the cat become sick in the future. The details of exactly what might be included depend on the cat’s age, lifestyle, and health history.


Along the same lines, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) came out with Feline Life Stage Guidelines in 2010, which stated that cats seven years of age or older should receive a complete blood cell count, blood chemistry screen, urinalysis, fecal exam, and possibly screening for feline immunodeficiency virus/feline leukemia virus. Cats who are eleven years of age and older should also have their blood pressure and thyroid levels checked.


Despite recommendations like these being widely adopted throughout the veterinary profession, we really had very little (if any) scientific evidence of the benefits of screening. In fact, the AAFP-AAHA guidelines actually stated, “specific data documenting benefits are not available” and that “more robust incidence data is needed to develop firmer recommendations.” Well, that data is now available.

In a study published in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, one hundred cats aged six years and above underwent physical examination, blood and urine analysis, blood pressure measurement, ophthalmologic exam, and tear production tests. The owners of all of the cats thought they were healthy and the researchers concurred based on a comprehensive health questionnaire. The goal of the study was to determine the incidence of abnormalities in middle aged and older cats and to investigate the suitability of laboratory reference ranges for this group of animals.

The following problems were found:

  • Increased blood pressure — 8 cats
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw — 32 cats
  • Gingivitis — 72 cats
  • Heart murmur — 11 cats
  • A palpably enlarged thyroid gland — 20 cats
  • High blood creatinine levels — 29 cats
  • High blood sugar — 25 cats
  • High thyroid hormone levels — 3 cats
  • Positive status for FIV — 14 cats
  • The presence of crystals in the urine — 41 cats
  • Abnormal levels of protein in the urine — 2 cats (25 others had borderline levels)

The researchers made sure to point out that all of these abnormalities were unlikely to be clinically relevant; some were probably due to the fact that the same reference ranges apply to cats of all ages. What we need are reference ranges that are more specifically tailored to different populations of cats.

Despite the study’s limitations, it does an excellent job of demonstrating that apparently healthy middle aged and older cats may not be doing as well as we think.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Using Diet to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

My German Shepherd Dog had watery diarrhea once and it was no fun for me….or him!  This article offers some information as to how to manage.

– Diana Davidson, Westside Dog Nanny

Diarrhea is part of the canine condition. Most dogs do not have what could be called a discriminating palate. Their willingness to sample almost anything that vaguely resembles food is responsible for a large proportion of acute diarrhea cases (I know there’s nothing “cute” about diarrhea; in this context “acute” means “of short duration”).

Thankfully, diarrhea that results from dietary indiscretion is relatively simple to treat. Some cases resolve on their own, but most owners are looking for ways to reduce the severity and duration of their dogs’ symptoms. Minimizing diarrhea serves everyone’s best interests. Diarrhea is a quality of life issue for both dogs and the people who have to clean up the messes they make and/or get up in the middle of the night to let them out.

Two types of dietary therapy are helpful in the treatment of diarrhea. Which is best depends on the kind of diarrhea that a dog has. When the problem lies primarily within the small intestine, dogs develop what is called small bowel diarrhea (hence the name). Dogs with small bowel diarrhea typically produce large amounts of soft stool but do so just a few times a day. When abnormalities are centered in the colon, affected dogs will usually strain to produce small amounts of watery stool frequently throughout the day. This is large bowel diarrhea.

Small bowel diarrhea responds best to a bland, low fat, easily digested diet. White rice combined with either boiled white meat chicken (no bones or skin), cottage cheese, or tofu are all easy to prepare at home, and similar commercially available, prescription diets are also available. For large bowel diarrhea, a high fiber diet has been shown to be beneficial. Ideally, both soluble fiber (the type colonic bacteria use for food) and insoluble (indigestible) fiber should be included. It appears that fiber helps decrease straining and encourages the innermost surface of the colon to heal. Foods that are high in fiber are widely available (many are advertised to help with weight maintenance).

If you are unsure of what type of diarrhea your dog has (some dogs have symptoms associated with both), one way to hedge your bets is to prepare a bland diet as is described above and then add psyllium mucilloid (a source of soluble fiber) to it. Psyllium mucilloid (e.g., unflavored Metamucil) is available over the counter and can be given to dogs at a dose of one teaspoon per five pounds body weight.

Of course, treating diarrhea at home is only appropriate when a dog is otherwise feeling fine. If any of the following apply, it is safest to first consult with your veterinarian:

  • The diarrhea is profuse, frequent, and very watery.
  • The diarrhea contains more than just a streak of blood or is dark and tarry.
  • The pet is vomiting, lethargic, depressed, and/or in pain.
  • The pet is very young, very old, or has a preexisting condition that could make it unable to handle even mild dehydration.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Top 10 Pet Poisons

­I am posting this article because many of us are not aware of the harmful things in our homes that could be fatal to our dogs and cats.
Keep the Pet Poison Helpline phone number handy
      – Diana Davidson, Westside Dog Nanny

Based on our Pet Poison Helpline call volume and extensive database, here are the top 10 most common toxins that Pet Poison Helpline gets called about. Now keep in mind that some of these listed are very toxic, while some are minimally toxic (like ant baits and silica packs). When in doubt, call your vet or Pet Poison Helpline to make sure there won’t be a problem. Take special care to keep these toxins out of your pet’s reach and pet-proof your house!

Dog Poisons:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
  3. Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
  4. NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
  5. Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
  6. Cold and Allergy Medications (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, etc.)
  7. Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  8. Xylitol
  9. Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
  10. Caffeine Pills

Cat Poisons:

  1. Topical spot-on insecticides
  2. Household Cleaners
  3. Antidepressants
  4. Lilies
  5. Insoluble Oxalate Plants (e.g., Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, etc.)
  6. Human and Veterinary NSAIDs
  7. Cold and Flu Medication (e.g., Tylenol)
  8. Glow Sticks
  9. ADD/ADHD Medications/Amphetamines
  10. Mouse and Rat Poison

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.

24/7 Animal Poison Control Center



Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Antifreeze Poisoning in Cats

Ethylene Glycol Poisoning in Cats

Ethylene glycol toxicity is a potentially fatal condition that results from the ingestion of substances containing ethylene glycol, an organic compound commonly seen in antifreeze. (In addition to being found in the car’s engines to prevent freezing and overheating, it is used in hydraulic brake fluids.) Cats usually come into contact with antifreeze when it leaks from a car’s engine onto the ground, when it is spilled onto the ground while being added to a car’s engine, or when the container is left uncapped.

Antifreeze is recognizable by its bright green coloring and “sweet” taste. Although it leaves a repulsive aftertaste, by then it may be too late. Even small amounts can be fatally toxic to the body’s organs, including the brain, kidneys and liver.

This is one of the most common forms of poisoning; any breed or age is susceptible. Etylene glycol poisoning is also covered in our emergency section, which includes immediate care that you can give to your cat and tips on prevention. This does not take the place of veterinary care, but will assist you in treating your cat in a timely manner.

Symptoms and Types

Early signs are seen from 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mild to severe depression
  • Wobbly, uncoordinated or drunken-appearing gait (ataxia) or movement and knuckling
  • Twitching muscles
  • Short, rapid movements of the eyeball
  • Head tremors
  • Decreased withdrawal reflexes and righting ability
  • Increased urination and increased thirst (polyuria and polydipsia)

Other symptoms often develop 12 to 24 hours after ingestion of ethylene glycol (antifreeze):

  • Symptoms are dependent on the amount of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) ingested
  • Symptoms are almost always sudden (acute)
  • Signs caused by ethylene glycol itself and its toxic metabolites are frequently fatal (metabolites – substances produced by the body’s chemical processes as it breaks down the ethylene glycol)
  • Cats usually remain markedly depressed
  • Cats typically do not exhibit increased thirst; producing only small amounts of urine; lack of production of urine is seen 72 to 96 hours after ingestion of ethylene glycol if left untreated
  • May note severely low body temperature
  • Severe sluggishness (lethargy) or coma
  • Seizures
  • Lack of appetite (anorexia)
  • Vomiting
  • Oral ulcers/sores on mouth
  • Salivation or drooling
  • Kidneys are often swollen and painful, particularly in cats


Toxicity is directly related to ingestion of ethylene glycol, the principal component (95 percent) of most antifreeze solutions.


It’s extremely important that you have your cat seen by a veterinarian as quickly as possible after ingestion of anything that contains ethylene glycol. Even if you only suspect that your cat has ingested ethylene glycol, if the cat is showing any or all of the effects of ethylene glycol toxicity, and the substance is accessible in any way (particularly for cats that are allowed to go outdoors unattended), you should take your cat to be checked. If your cat is vomiting or has diarrhea, you should collect a sample of the vomit or fecal contents to present to your veterinarian. Diagnosis may be that much faster, saving valuable time and possibly preventing full organ shutdown if supportive therapy is given quickly.

You will need to provide your veterinarian with a medical background and as much detail of the onset of symptoms as possible. Standard tests include a urinalysis and complete blood test, which will be sent for laboratory analysis immediately. Your veterinarian may also use ultrasound to look at the liver and kidneys, which are often swollen in response to ethylene glycol ingestion.

Ultrasonography can also be helpful. Possible findings may be renal cortices (the external layers of the kidneys) that are hyperechoic as a result of crystals. That is, the external layers of the kidney respond to the sonographic sound waves with a denser echo than the surrounding areas because of the more solid nature of the crystal formation in the renal tissue.


Cats are often hospitalized and treated inpatient, however, if your veterinarian is able to examine and begin treating your cat less than five hours from the time of ingestion, you may be able to avoid prolonged inpatient treatment. The treatment goal will be to prevent absorption of ethylene glycol into the body, to increase excretion or removal of the substance from the body, and to prevent the body from chemically processing the ethylene glycol into toxic compounds.

Intravenous fluids will be given to correct or prevent dehydration, increase blood flow to the tissues, and to promote elimination of urine — increasing the possibility of eliminating the ethylene glycol from the body before it can do much damage. Treatment will be accompanied by administration of bicarbonate (given slowly intravenously) to correct metabolic acidosis (a condition in which the pH of the body is too low).

If your cat develops excess levels of urea (a waste product of urine that is normally eliminated form the body) and other nitrogenous waste products in the blood and kidney, failure of the kidney can occur. This may be characterized by production of small amounts of urine in cats, indicating that most of the ethylene glycol has been metabolized by the body. At that point there will be little benefit from treatment specifically designed for ethylene glycol poisoning. In this case, treating the symptoms becomes the goal: correcting fluid, electrolyte, and acid–base disorders; promoting elimination of urine – medications to induce production and elimination of urine may help; peritoneal dialysis may be used to hasten removal of the toxins from the body (peritoneal dialysis is a type of dialysis in which fluids are delivered to the abdomen and the lining of the abdomen acts as a filter to remove waste products from the blood; after a certain amount of time, the fluids and waste products are removed from the abdomen).

Your cat may need extended treatment over several weeks before kidney function is fully reestablished. In many cases, kidney transplantation has been successfully employed in cats with ethylene glycol–induced kidney failure.


Ethylene glycol is readily available in many brands of antifreeze and has a somewhat pleasant taste that attracts animals to quickly ingest it. Enough of the fluid can be ingested before the animal is aware of the aftertaste, at which point too much of the fluid has been taken into the body. Ethylene glycol has a small minimum lethal dose, even small amounts can be lethal to the internal organs.

As a pet owner, you should be aware of the toxicity of ethylene glycol containing antifreeze and take precautions to safeguard your pets and other animals from potential sources of ethylene glycol. As much as possible, educate your family, social contacts and community about the hazards of ethylene glycol and how to protect animals. If your cat tends to go out of doors regularly, you will want to make a habit of checking the neighborhood for spills — such as the type that would occur in driveways or curbside when someone refills the coolant/antifreeze chamber in a car’s engine. Antifreeze is recognizable by its bright green coloring. Throwing a bucket of water over the puddle should be sufficient for dispersing the liquid.

It is possible to find antifreeze products that use propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol as the active ingredient. Propylene glycol is relatively nontoxic, but should still be kept out of way of your pets.

Living and Management

Blood work to monitor the kidneys, acid–base status, and urine output will be conducted daily for the first few days by your veterinarian. Your doctor will also monitor urine pH to determine the response to treatment and adjust the treatment accordingly. If your cat is able to be treated promptly, before excess levels of urea and other nitrogenous waste products can enter the blood, there are usually no complications and recovery will progress sufficiently.

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

Why you shouldn’t shave your double-coated dog fur

Poor, shaved Husky

Double coated dog fur refers to the animals that, like Huskies, have two layers of fur. The first, or undercoat, are the fine, fluffy hairs that are short and crimp (closest to the skin). It’s the fur that sheds; light and soft. This layer is excellent at trapping air and insulating the dog. Essentially it keeps them warm in the winter, and cool in the summer

The topcoat is made up of tougher guard hairs that don’t shed, and protect your pet from the sun’s harmful rays and bug bites. It actually insulates them from the heat. What this means is: do not shave your double coated dog fur. It’s a mistake to think you’re helping your animal stay cool, particularly in summer, when evolution has provided them exactly what they need to survive. By stripping them of their natural ability to heat and cool themselves, you could be doing more harm than good.

A key piece of understanding in this matter is that, unlike humans; dogs do not cool themselves through their skin. At most, it is only the pads of their paws that sweat. Their main mode of cooling comes from panting.

Some other common reasons folks shave their doubled coated dogs are the thinking that the animal will stop shedding. Pooches with undercoats shed, no two ways about it. But even after a shave, while the hair may be shorter, it can still shed.

Another is, “it’ll always grow back”. Sometimes it will, other times it won’t. The older the pooch is, the less likely it is that the topcoat of guard hairs will grow back. This leaves them with the undercoat, giving them a patchy, scruffy look. It can alter their coat for the rest of the dog’s life. Not only does it look bad, but you can end up having to shave the hair continuously from then on and once again, you strip them of their natural ability to protect themselves.

In conclusion, when you shave a double coated dog, you may irreparably impair their ability to properly heat/cool themselves and protect their skin. The best way to keep this kind of dog cool and comfortable is to regularly bathe and brush them. The only reason a person might need to shave their double coated dog fur is if the hair is so matted, it’s the only option.                    By: Kaitlin Krhounek

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372

A University Study Proves The Intelligence of Dogs

The next time you wonder if your dog understands you,  think about this article! – Diana Davidson, WestsideDogNanny

In a recent study, published in Springer’s journal, Animal Cognition  concluded:

“Dogs can learn, retain and replay actions taught by humans after a short delay.

The research, conducted by Claudia Fugazza and Adám Miklósi, from …University in Hungary,…. provides the first evidence of dogs’ cognitive ability to both encode and recall actions.

The researchers said:

……Domestic dogs….learn by observing humans and are easily influenced by humans in learning situations. 

Living in human social groups may have favored their ability to learn from humans……

Eight adult pet dogs were trained by their owners with the ‘Do as I do’ method and then made to wait for short intervals (5-30 seconds) before they were allowed to copy the observed human action, for example walk around a bucket or ring a bell…………..

The test (results) show that dogs are able to reproduce familiar actions and novel actions after different delays… as long as ten minutes; novel tasks after a delay of one minute.

This ability was seen in different conditions, even if they were distracted by different activities during the interval.

The authors concluded: “The ability to encode and recall an action after a delay implies that the dogs have a mental representation of the human demonstration. ..(and) suggests the presence of a specific type of long-term memory in dogs.

This would be so-called ‘declarative memory,’ which refers to memories which can be consciously recalled, such as facts or knowledge.”  END  To read the article in full  ..visit sciencedaily.com

I believe that dogs have the cognitive ability to  recall and complete tasks as discussed by the researchers…   

I base this on years of observing dogs in all sorts of familiar and unfamiliar surroundings, under happy and stressful conditions.

Time and again they would adapt,  perform tasks without prodding, helping their guardians who have physical challenges and enjoying life as well

The point is that this study is just another bit of evidence supporting how special our dogs are

What do you think?

While you give that some thought we are being summoned by our “special 3″… they are ready for park time and treats.. so dutifully off we go…makes me wonder who is ‘teaching’ who in our pack ? 🙂

till next time

MR Bruno

Adopt a Dog- Save a SPECIAL Life

Diana Ruth Davidson, Chief Pet Officer and Managing Nanny, Westside Dog Nanny

We offer pet services such as:  Pet Sitting,  In-Home Dog Boarding, Dog Walking, Overnights in your home, Doggie Day Care.

310 919 9372