Illustrated Articles

Nutrition

  • This handout discusses the risks and benefits of feeding a home-prepared versus commercial diet to your cat or dog. Topics highlighted include food safety, nutritional imbalances, and the need to ensure that any home-prepared diet has been well researched for nutritional safety and completeness.

  • Veterinarians recognize the relationship between nutrition and the health of the skin and haircoat. It is important to prevent malnutrition, both by preventing deficiencies AND excesses of nutrients. Your veterinarian is the very best source of information and guidance for choosing the most appropriate nutrient profile for your cat.

  • This handout summarizes the strong link between good nutrition and healthy skin and fur. Issues dealing with skin are a very common reason for visits to the vet, and the role of diet and supplementation in treating these conditions are highlighted.

  • Bladder stones can be a significant problem for dogs and finding out what type of stone is present will help determine if it can be dissolved, as well as make a plan to prevent recurrence. Bladder stones set the stage for chronic urinary tract infection, and some bladder stones (struvites) grow more quickly if the dog already has a urinary tract infection. Diet selection play a large role in this and it is important to follow veterinarian recommended nutrient profiles to prevent recurrence.

  • It is important to understand the unique nutritional needs of performance dogs. Their success depends upon a combination of genetics, training, and nutrition. It is important to match the nutrient profile to the individual dog and the activity. Your veterinarian can assist you in making optimal nutritional choices for your canine athlete.

  • Obesity is a major problem in older birds on seed-based diets and can contribute to diseases such as atherosclerosis (fat deposits in major arteries) and fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis). Unlike their wild counterparts, pet birds are not given as much opportunity for daily exercise. Pet birds often burn off very few calories in their daily lives. Many bird owners incorrectly feed their pet birds by offering a diet consisting mostly, or totally of high-fat seeds. Obese birds are extremely susceptible to heart attacks and strokes and have a higher anesthetic risk than normal-weight birds. Switching birds from all-seed diets to a more suitable diet consisting mainly of pellets, with smaller amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit, will decrease its overall daily intake of calories.

  • Obesity is the most common preventable disease in cats affecting up to 50% of the North American cat population. Obesity contributes to disease including diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and cancer causing a decreased lifespan. Obesity can be controlled with diet and exercise plans. Regular visits to the veterinarian for body condition assessment and weight checks are crucial to weight loss as is maintaining the recommended dietary intake.

  • Obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs affecting up to 45% of the North American dog population. Obesity contributes to disease including diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and cancer eventually causing a decreased lifespan. Obesity can be controlled with diet and exercise plans. Regular visits to the veterinarian for body condition assessment and weight checks are crucial to weight loss as is maintaining the recommended dietary intake.

  • Obesity is a very common problem in dogs and leads to many health problems including an increased risk of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and many types of cancer. Extra body fat causes increased inflammation in the body, worsening osteoarthritis. If there is already evidence of OA, reducing inflammation and pain will help encourage your dog to become more active, which in turn will speed up appropriate weight loss. Obesity can be prevented or reversed by being aware of calorie intake, body condition, and exercise.

  • Pharyngostomy tubes are placed through the skin of the neck behind the jaw through the pharynx, into the esophagus to enable ongoing nutrition in dogs that either refuse to eat or are unable to chew and swallow food. A diet will be recommended by your veterinarian but must be liquefied with water before it can pass through the tube. Step-by-step instructions are given for tube feeding. The decision to remove the tube needs to be determined by your veterinarian.