Dog Separation Anxiety
Dog separation anxiety: causes and symptoms
Dog separation anxiety is the most common behavioral disorder along with aggression, and a significant number of dogs suffer from it.
The symptoms are extremely varied, including excessive vocalization, inappropriate elimination, excessive salivation and, of course, a state of restlessness. Canine separation anxiety is very difficult to diagnose; not only due to these factors, but also and above all because it manifests itself in the absence of the owner. This disorder is influenced by numerous factors, including gender, race, behavioral problems, the degree of affection to the owner and also the dog’s origins. However, one factor is often excluded despite the fact that, as our studies show, it’s crucial: nutrition.
A difference compared with the past
Such serious behavioral alterations are attributed, as comes naturally, to genetic factors, errors in imprinting and environmental conditions; however all these explanations clearly are at odds with the experience of those who knew dogs in the 70s . Beyond what myself and many others have experienced, one merely needs to consult authoritative dog encyclopedias from that era to find descriptions of the most diverse races united by very different factors compared to modern times: all dogs, apart from very few individual exceptions or rare species, were serene, affectionate, sociable and totally reliable with children, yet ready to change their attitude when affronted with a scenario which presented danger to elements of their family. In practice, almost all dogs were mistrustful and aggressive only when necessary.
Every dog, in the past, easily learned to manage anxiety-related situations and, within a few days, was able to adapt serenely to situations that are objectively unacceptable, like being alone all day, living on a leash and having to deal with even unqualified owners, who often treated the animal as a mere work-tool and often using violence. Anyone of a certain age like myself can confirm this.
So dogs were able to effectively handle much trickier situations than today. There is not the slightest doubt that today's environmental factors (stress, noise, owners’ paranoia, poor life in the open air, difficulty in interpreting their language) are considerable anxiogenic factors, but given that dogs from before the 70s were able to handle much trickier situations effectively, this implies that currently something is determining this incapacity.
So what can we do?
It is imperative that the dog receives a proper diagnosis and treatment in the diseases’ early stages, since this disorder can negatively affect both the dog’s mental and physical health and the owner-dog relationship. Unfortunately, the daily difficulties in managing dogs suffering this disturbance bear heavily on the owner; this potentially leads to the all too common decision to deliver the dog to a shelter.
Ultimately, this disorder still requires future research concerning many aspects in order to improve the life of the dog and its owner.
An unsuspected cause of dog separation anxiety
Often the real cause of dog separation anxiety is the presence of toxic residues in the diet, which alter the nervous system’s controllers. But how is this possible, does nutrition influence behavior? Absolutely yes. The connection between food and behavior is very clear, in fact the latter is regulated by specific hormones and neurotransmitters, whose function is in turn also influenced by food.
In this regard, there is a clear and significant increase in adverse reactions to food, including food allergies and intolerances, and all SANYpet Research & Development Department studies clearly demonstrate a negative relationship between certain pharmacological pollutants and the exponential growth of the most diverse inflammatory diseases within dogs and cats.
These diseases are mainly represented by conjunctivitis, keratitis, otitis, dermatitis, gingivitis and stomatitis, gastritis, enteritis and colitis, in chronic and/or recurrent forms; however, somewhat surprisingly, they are also manifested by well-defined behavioral disorders, all attributable to anxious states.
A solution certified by two indisputable scientific researches
To study this phenomenon, the Department of Veterinary Medicine in Sassari (IT), in the person of Raffaella Cocco (one of the principal Italian experts concerning canine behavior), collaborated with SANYpet-FORZA10’s Research & Development Department, directed by myself.
The first research
In the first research, published early 2017 in the international scientific journal “Jove”:
- 69 dogs, suffering from various anxiety symptoms and fed with pet food based upon chicken meal, were clinically and scientifically tested;
- The presence of the Oxytetracycline antibiotic was verified in their serum.
The dogs, selected as they were suffering from anxious syndromes and all fed with food based on intensive farmed meat, showed, in their initial serum, strong alterations in the levels of neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for anxiety control (serotonin, dopamine, bendorfine, cortisol, noradrenaline).
The subjects were then switched to the FORZA10 Behavioral formula, characterized by:
- being totally free of meat and bone meal from intensive breeding;
- offering a pool of titled and standardized botanical extracts, with written proof recognizing their properties and benefits;
- the application of ocean caught anchovies as the single protein source;
- a significant amount of Omega3, optimally balanced with Omega6.
The use of FORZA10 Behavioral has shown, in 70% of treated subjects, the progressive reduction, and disappearance in less than 15 days, of the most various symptoms of anxiety, including the frustrating dog separation anxiety.
The second research
The second research, conducted on 24 subjects and published in the “Veterinary Record” Magazine, has highlighted, via the application of “Fitbark” collars, how a FORZA10 Behavioral diet normalizes both the dog’s physiological parameters of the anxiety control functions and its daily activity, reducing the anxious state up to its disappearance. It also permitted the verification of improved sleep-wake rhythms, a clear indication as to a state of superior well-being.
A solution to dog separation anxiety
It is mistakenly believed that the solution to dog separation anxiety is the administration of tranquilizing drugs, to keep the situation under control. Changing the food, on the other hand, eliminates the exact source of the problem, without sedating or surprising the animal. This provided you choose a food without pollutants, with clean ingredients and botanical substances.
Founder and Head of SANYpet’s Research & Development Department Veterinary surgeon and international expert in food based pathologies
Urinary Tract Infections in cats, also known as “UTIs” are caused by colonized bacteria in the urinary tract. The UTI can affect the cat’s urinary system, bladder, and urethra. This type of infection can be particularly painful for your cat and symptoms can sometimes be associated with other health concerns such as kidney failure. It is very important to recognize the symptoms early as some cases of this condition can be fatal.
How To Tell if Your Cat May Have a UTI
If you think that your cat may have a urinary tract infection it is important to find out in order to have it treated as soon as possible. We have included a list of symptoms for you to watch out for. If you recognize these symptoms you should seek veterinary assistance. While UTIs affect both male and female cats, some cats may be at higher risk than others such as cats that are older, overweight, or have diabetes.
UTI Symptoms and Warning Signs for Cats:
- Urinating is done in short bursts rather than a continuous stream
- Spending more time than usual in the litter box
- Difficulty urinating
- Crying or whining while urinating
- Your cat is urinating before it can get to the litter box
- Urine with any trace of blood
- Excessive licking of the genital area
- Unusual discomfort around the rear area when touched or pet
- The cat is lethargic
- Urine smell is stronger than normal
Why Is My Cat Having Frequent Urinary Tract Infections?
There are many reasons why your cat may be suffering from repeat UTIs, some may be preventable. While there is no way to guarantee your cat will not have another UTI, there may be some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening. In some cases the cause could simply be the age of your cat. While there is nothing that can be done about that, other variables like the cat’s diet can be modified to help.
Other causes of UTIs in Cats:
- Poor hygiene near the genitile area
- Bladder stones
- External or Internal Injuries
- FIV, also known as feline immunodeficiency virus
What Can I Do To Prevent Or Reduce The Likelihood of a UTI in my Cat?
No cat owner wants to see their beloved pet suffer from a UTI. To keep your cat feeling great and reduce the chances of a UTI occurring, follow these guidelines:
- Always provide your cat with fresh water
- Ensure your cat’s litter trays are clean and easily accessible
- Keep an extra litter tray available
- Maintain a stress-free environment for your cat
By following these guidelines you can do your part to help keep your cat healthy, happy, and free of urinary tract infections. If you suspect any symptoms, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior, if symptoms persist or worsen, contact your vet.
Which Remedies or Treatments Can Be Used When Your Cat Has a UTI?
While the severity of the infection plays a key role in what treatments may be used to help your cat when it has a UTI, a minor infection may be treatable at home.
Due to their acidity, cranberries, just like in humans, may be used to help cure a urinary tract infection. The acidity in the cranberries can be effective at lowering the pH of your cat’s urine, helping to reduce the symptoms, or beat the infection altogether. While you may be tempted to treat your cat’s UTI with cranberry juice, it may be better to use cranberry pills or powder due to the high sugar content of cranberry juice.
Another treatment option for your cat’s UTI is apple cider vinegar. This also helps reduce the pH in your cat’s urine. Since your cat will most likely not want to eat the apple cider vinegar on its own, you can try adding a half teaspoon to their food each day or mix it with an onion-free broth.
Before giving your cat cranberries or apple cider vinegar, test their urine for alkaline levels with an at-home kit or specialized cat litter. You can also have the test done professionally by your veterinarian.
Here are some other products that you can use to help support urinary tract infection in your cat:
If your dog just started throwing up and refusing to eat, it may be nothing to be too concerned about, but just in case, it is good to know the warning signs for pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a condition that will need to be treated, sometimes at home but certain circumstances mean it is time to take your pet to the vet.
The pancreas is a gland within the abdomen that helps digest food and control blood sugar levels. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, this is known as pancreatitis. It is important to be aware of the two types of pancreatitis in dogs, acute and chronic pancreatitis. While acute pancreatitis can be reversed it can come on strong and lead to extreme illness. Chronic pancreatitis occurs when permanent changes have occurred in the pancreatic tissue.
This means that while a case of pancreatitis can pass on its own after a short period of time, sometimes it can be a lingering issue.
Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Low body temperature
- Breathing difficulties
While some of these symptoms can pass on their own and do not necessarily mean your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, if you see them lasting for more than a day it may be time to consult your veterinarian.
Although your vet may be able to diagnose your dog based on symptoms, they will most likely need to do some testing to be sure. These tests usually consist of either bloodwork or an ultrasound which will allow the vet to see what is going on within the dog’s digestive system.
The Potential Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs
Now that we have a better understanding of the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs, it is time to look at what causes it. While the cause of pancreatitis is often unknown, here are some factors that it can frequently be associated with:
- A high-fat diet - the likeness of this being a contributing factor is even higher in dogs who eat one large serving of fatty food in a single sitting
- A poor or unbalanced diet
- Excessive consumption of human food
- Dog is overweight
- Severe blunt trauma near the abdomen
- Diabetes mellitus
- Some medications and toxins
- In some instances it could simply be genetics. Some breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers and small terriers may be more likely to suffer from pancreatitis than others.
It is important to keep these potential causes in mind and to do what you can to avoid any habits that could contribute to your dog developing pancreatitis. Beyond that, veterinarians agree that a diet rich in fiber along with probiotics can be effective in reducing the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs. It may even help them recover sooner in the event that they are already dealing with it.