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Welcome to DogAware.com!

DogAware.com exists to pass along what I've learned in more than a decade spent investigating canine nutrition and health. See below for Updates, News, and Seminars.

Information is divided among the following sections:

I welcome feedback and am also willing to answer questions as best I can about your dogs. If you have any problems, questions, suggestions or comments, please


Updates

September 2016: I have revised my recommendations for vitamin E supplementation based on some newer studies. See Vitamin E for my current recommendations.

August 2015: Just added a section about the new SDMA test that IDEXX is offering for early detection of kidney disease in dogs, along with general information everyone needs to know when their dog is diagnosed with kidney disease.

I am no longer writing very much (I have always had trouble writing, and this problem has recently become worse). Here are some of my articles and topics to which I refer people most often:

I've created a Facebook page for my web site. "Like" this page to find out when new articles or seminars are posted or any major changes to the web site are made.


News

July 2018: Concern has been raised about a possible link between peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans and other legumes found primarily in grain-free dog foods and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs, possibly linked to taurine deficiency. If your dog has been diagnosed with DCM and has been eating a diet high in legumes or potatoes, the FDA is encouraging pet owners and veterinary officeals to report cases (see the FDA link below). More information:

There are other concerns about diets that contain high amounts of legumes. These foods are high in oligosaccharides, prebiotics that are beneficial in small amounts but large quantities can contribute to digestive problems such as soft stools and gas, and lead to changes in the intestinal microbiome that could have additional effects, including how taurine is utilized in the body. See Legume seed oligosaccharides: How much is just right in dog and cat diets? Legume seed oligosaccharides need to be limited in pet diets to avoid issues with digestion and elimination(Petfood Industry, June 2018).

Peas and other legumes are often used to replace grains in grain-free diets, but are also used to pump up the protein percentage in grain-based diets, where they can cause the same kinds of problems. See Grain Free equals Peas, Peas and More Peas for additional information about peas in both grain-free and grain-based diets.

May 2018: The FDA wrote a warning letter to Zoetis dated 5/24/18, saying, "This website makes false or misleading representations about the risks associated with APOQUEL. .. . CVM requests that Zoetis, Inc. immediately cease the dissemination of the APOQUEL promotional items described above and any other materials that fail to accurately represent the risks associated with the use of APOQUEL." You can find a link to the letter on the FDA's Compliance and Enforcement site under "2018 Letters" or here's a direct link to the letter itself.

January 2017: Galliprant (grapiprant) from Artana Therapeutics is now available. Galliprant is a new type of non-cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibiting, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in the piprant class. Using a new mechanism of action, this therapeutic directly blocks one of the key receptors involved in pain and inflammation — the EP4 prostaglandin receptor. Galliprant was approved by the FDA in 2016 to treat pain and inflammation in dogs with osteoarthritis. It can be used by dogs unable to tolerate other types of NSAIDs, including dogs with liver and kidney disease. Share your experience with Galliprant and read about others on my DogAware Facebook page.

The FDA issued a warning letter in May 2018 regarding misleading promotional claims for Galliprant, stating, "NSAIDS as a class are known to be associated with particular risks in dogs. These risks include clinical signs associated with gastrointestinal toxicity such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and decreasing albumin and total protein. These same risks have been identified in association with GALLIPRANT treatment in dogs, and these findings are included on the FDA-approved labels for the product." See the section on NSAIDS on my Chronic Pain web page for more info.

January 2017: Cytopoint, a new drug from Zoetis for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies) in dogs, was approved by the FDA and is available now. Cytopoint is a monoclonal antibody, a new form of treatment that may be safer than other drugs used to treat allergies in dogs, such as corticosteroids (prednisone), Atopica (cyclosporine) and Apoquel. Cytopoint is given by injection every four to eight weeks. Note that Cytopoint was formerly known as Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic. See Cytopoint Versus Apoquel For Your Itchy Dog - Which Is Safer, Which Is More Effective, Can I Use Both? for more information. Share your experience with Cytopoint and read about that of others on my DogAware Facebook page.

March 2016: Hill's Prescription Derm Defense Diet introduced. Wait, I'm not recommending this food, but their comments about the diet may be helpful for those whose dogs are fighting environmental allergies:

Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Defense pet food for dogs with HistaGuard complex is formulated to reduce signs of environmental allergies by helping disrupt the internal allergy response and create a barrier against future episodes. HistaGuard complex, a blend of antioxidants, egg and phytonutrients containing quercitin, helps continuously normalize the immune response to allergens. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamin E help reduce inflammation and support skin rejuvenation to aid healing, while omega-6 fatty acids help restore the skin barrier.

You can add eggs (cooked or raw) to any diet. Phytonutrients are found in vegetables and fruits, or can be given as supplements (quercitin is a phytonutrient). See Adding Fresh Foods to a Commercial Diet for guidelines. Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) is particularly helpful for dogs with allergies of any kind, since it both relieves inflammation and helps to regulate the immune system. This food includes very high amounts of vitamin E (about 200 IUs per 1,000 calories) plus lipolic acid (another antioxidant). See Natural Anti-Inflammatories in my Arthritis article for more information. Note that most diets include ample omega-6 fatty acids, which come from poultry fat and plant oils, and too much omega-6 can contribute to inflammation, so I don't recommend adding more unless you're feeding a very low-fat diet or a homemade diet that does not include poultry (or uses only skinless breast, which has very little fat).

April 2015: An outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago and surrounding areas is from a new strain of canine influenza. We don't know how effective the vaccine will be against this new strain, but veterinarians are encouraging owners to vaccinate dogs in the area, as even partial immunity might be enough to save a dog's life. See the Canine Influenza section of my Vaccinations web page for more info.

March 2015: Veterinarians are now seeing reports of the same Fanconi-like syndrome in dogs who have consumed jerky treats made in the United States with U.S. ingredients. See American-made jerky tied to illness in dogs and my Recall page for more information.

Recent drought conditions are likely to lead to higher levels of aflatoxin, a dangerous mold byproduct, in corn. The first recall due to aflatoxin occurred in February 2013, and there will likely be more. Avoiding foods that contain corn will help to protect your dogs from this toxin. See the following for more information:

Updates on Cushing's Disease:

Low-Dose, Twice-Daily Trilostane Treatment for Dogs with Hyperadrenocorticism
A study published in 2011 found that giving smaller doses of Trilostane twice a day worked equally well while causing fewer side effects.

Bigger dogs may need less trilostane to control hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's Disease)
A study published in 2012 found that larger dogs may need less trilostane for their weight in order to control Cushing's disease.

See my article on Cushing's Disease for more information.

Omega-3 Fats May Help with Weight Loss in Pets
Recent studies in both humans and dogs have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in fish oil, promote weight loss and help dieters feel more satisfied. I recommend giving an amount of fish oil that provides about 300 mg EPA and DHA combined per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight daily.

See News Archive for additional news items.


Seminars and Talks

See Dog Seminars Directory and Puppyworks for listings of dog seminars on various topics around the world.


Acknowledgements

Eternal gratitude to web site designer extraordinaire , who got me started with Dreamweaver and helped spice up my web site design with color and graphics.

Thanks to Terry Journey, Wind Dancer Design, for my logo and banners.

Thanks to Nancy Kerns, editor of the Whole Dog Journal, for allowing me to use some of her wonderful photographs on my site.

Thanks to award-winning professional pet photographer Pam Biasotti, You Had Me at Woof Photography, for allowing me to use her wonderful images of my dog, Ella.


I regret that I no longer have much time to respond to questions. See my Contact page for more information. My name is Mary Straus and you can email me at either or

   


Rocky is a Yorkie-Poodle mix who had suffered from digestive problems his whole life. Click on his image to read about the diet his owner finally found to help him.
Pashoshe Fisher, a Chihuahua, was a wonderful, joyful companion to his owner for 19 & a half years. He was on a high quality raw diet for over half his life.
This is Ella, my Norwich Terrier.