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Treating IVDD with the Assisi Loop: A Patient Spotlight

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

Dr. Tina AikenAn Introduction of Nina, a french bulldog with IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disorder) by Dr. Tina Aiken of Kilshannagh Veterinary Clinic

I have seen Nina, a French Bulldog since the summer of 2005. In 2004, before I met her she had back surgery for IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease). She had on and off problems with her back. Since the owner lives over 2 hours away I did not see her all the time and on several occasions, he took her to local neurologists instead. The neurologist treated her with rest, Corticosteroids and painkillers. I supported her treatment with supplements. In spring of 2013 she started to deteriorate fast and significantly. She got very ataxic (wobbly) and incontinent. Acupuncture treatments done by a local veterinarian did not seem to improve her ability to walk. The neurologist suggested an MRI and considered a second back surgery. Euthanasia was also discussed. Her days seemed numbered. We opted to treat her with Prolotherapy instead. She was treated twice, in June and July 2013. The Prolotherapy helped her to some extent. At the second Prolo appointment, I also recommended the Assisi Loop. Within a month of using the Loop twice daily Steve, the owner, saw dramatic improvement. She could walk much better again, was much less ataxic and her fecal incontinence stopped. He continued to treat her until recently, when she was euthanized due to a brain tumor she had developed. The Assisi loop certainly extended the quality and the quantity of Nina’s life.

Nina’s Story (in her own words)

nina1-IVDDHi everyone, my name is Nina and I am writing this posthumously after a wonderful but difficult (due to various health issues) twelve and a half year life as I wanted to share my experience with the Assisi Loop.

Among the various health issues I experienced while growing up was Intervertebral Disc Disease which required surgery in 2004. I recovered quite nicely from that major surgery and was able to enjoy all of the things French Bulldogs enjoy for many years, especially long walks on the beach with my Daddy where I accepted the challenge of chasing and “catching” each wave as it broke on the shoreline. This was truly my favorite activity in life and I participated in this every summer until the summer of 2013 when I was physically unable to do so. You see, early in 2013 out of nowhere, my back right leg starting failing me and it became difficult to walk. MRIs and surgery were out of the question for a dog of my age/breed so my Dad took me for weekly acupuncture appointments in February, March and April with some minor improvement. Unfortunately, the initial positive results seemed to wane. My veterinarian described my condition as a “functional” issue but for me, it was just a bummer!

In June and July 2013, my vet performed procedures on me called Prolotherapy which also seemed to help my condition but I continued to struggle with walking and controlling my sphincter muscle which, as you might guess, led to some #2 accidents in the house.

nina2-IVDDWe left the vet’s office in late July 2013 with something called the Assisi Loop and starting in August, my Dad gave me treatments twice a day, every day as I slept. At first, it didn’t seem to be helping but by the end of August, my Dad (and I) noticed a remarkable transformation. Not only did much of my strength return and I could walk much better, but I could once again scratch myself using that back right leg – oh what a relief! Throughout the fall and early winter, I continued to receive 2 daily treatments with the Assisi Loop and while I did not return to 100% mobility, I’d say I was at about 75% mobility which is quite something considering where I came from (about 25% mobility).

If you have a pet suffering from a degenerative physical condition like I had, I hope you will give the Assisi Loop a try and get the good results that I did.

Pet owners who have dogs with IVDD know how very challenging this disease can be for all involved.  We recommend an excellent website created by people dedicated to offering education for owners and dogs suffering with back problems due to disc disease (ruptured, herniated, slipped disc, IVDD).  Check out Dodgers List to learn more.

We often get reports from customers telling us about the positive results they’re seeing by treating cases of IVDD with the Assisi Loop.  If you know of an animal who has been successfully treated for IVDD with the Assisi Loop, please tell us about it. It’s important for us to continue to collect this information so we can share it with the Assisi family.

 

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Treating Equine Soreness with PEMF

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

Stassi Pyne with Bill 2Bill is an 8-year-old Quarter Horse gelding.  He is also an award winning barrel racer.  He works hard throughout the rodeo season and this leads to soreness and inflammation.  His rider/owner, Stassi Pyne, was introduced to the Assisi Loop by his Certified Equine Massage Therapist, Tanya Marsh of FreeMotion Equine Massage.  We recently took some time to talk with both of them about his case.

Introduction of Bill by his Equine Massage Therapist, Tanya Marsh, Certified ESMT.

I began working on Bill at the end of July 2013. Right away, I knew we were dealing with a hind quarter weakness. This was confirmed in my second session with Bill. His left hip was visibly lower than the right and the muscle structure surrounding the hip was in a heightened state of constriction. He was improving immensely!  However, when I work with a client who improves so much and yet has the same issue time after time, it is an indicator that there is a deeper issue or a possible chronic issue.

At this point, I recommended the Assisi Loop to Stassi Pyne, Bill’s owner and rider. This has proven to be very beneficial. When I work with Bill now, I can feel and see a difference in the muscles’ tone and texture. The Assisi Loop helps keep the muscle supple and lessens the likelihood of further lactic acid adhesion. It is so much easier for me to work the hip region now and for the past month he has shown no signs of pain or inflammation.  The Assisi Loop has proved vital to Bill’s overall health and quick recovery!

Interview with Bill’s Rider, Award winning Barrel Racer, Stassi Pyne

Tell us a little bit about your rodeo career and the work that you do.

I’m a stay-at-home mom of 2 kids.  I ride and train race horses. I do the barrel racing and I break-away rope a little bit.  Barrel racing has always been my passion since I was a kid.

And you’ve won some awards?

Yes, I have.  I won the 2012 Horse of the Year. That same year I won the World Champion Barrel Racing Title in the IPRA whic   h is the International Professional Barrel Racing Association.  I was also the 2011 World Champion.  I just qualified for the IFR which is our finals.  I qualified on Bill, a horse that I totally trained myself.  It’s kind of a victory for me. He has good days and he has bad days.  But he’s young.  He just turned 8.  We have been winning the World most of the season this year.  He kind of lost it about mid-summer.  It was really hard on him to go as hard as we did.  Some weekends you hit 3 to 4 rodeos in a row.  It’s a lot of pressure on a horse.

Tell me more about what is going on with him and what you’re treating.Close up of Bill with Loop

Actually, I was treating two different things and he ended up kicking through a fense so I started treating another.  He has a little soreness on his neck.  He’s not the first horse I’ve had this with.  I think it’s a racehorse thing—they go to the left and they leap and they jump and they twist their neck.  I tie the Assisi Loop with a string and hang it around his neck.  It do it once or twice a day.  After that, I couldn’t tell that he was ever sore.

He pulled a gluteal medial muscle a year ago and I took him to Oklahoma for an assessment. They recommended an exercise program in addition to “blistering” the muscle. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t do the exercise program because I did and I was pretty faithful about it.  But then he kicked through a fence. He was playing with some colts and the fence didn’t break and he ran down the fence line instead of running away from it. It burned the inside of his hock.  It was the same leg that had the sore muscle. I couldn’t ride him because he was sore.  He got an infection under the skin and cellulitis.  It was horrible.  So I just put the Loop right where he was sore.  I pinned it under his blanket  and turned it on. It seemed like it was no time and you could push all over and he wasn’t sore.  It played a big part in helping him.  Then I put the Loop on his leg a few times to help heal the wound–the accident took the hide and hair off and it was ugly. After treating him, the cellulitis went away.

I have used the Loop on his poll, too.  He had a sore poll this summer.  I took the Loop and I twisted it down smaller like it tells you to do and I put it up on the top of his head.  You may not be able to tell it’s doing anything, but when you stop doing it, it seems like they need it again.  It must have been helping because they’re sore when you stop and they weren’t sore before.

How are you using it? 

I’m using the Automatic Loops.  The vet told me how sore Bill was.  On the scoring system that he uses, Bill was one number away from being the sorest a horse could be. I figured that as sore as he was in that hip, I would leave the Loop pinned on his blanket so it would treat automatically every two hours.  He should only now be healing from this and he won rodeos four weekends in a row–barrel racing.  The first one he won by a big amount of time.  He won the second one by 2/10ths.  In the third he placed every run and he got faster as he ran.  He has never done that his whole life.  Finally, he set an arena record in the fourth race. So, it’s doing something.  It’s helping.  That’s a big deal to me.Bill with loop under his blanket

What did your vet, Dr. Emery, say?

He couldn’t make him sore anywhere.  He was a little sore in his stifle muscle or down the back of his legs but Bill’s always been sore there and I’ve always used the Equipulse at the clinic but that was before the Assisi.  I would like to try the Loops on there.  I would like to pin them on my blankets to treat those areas.  Because I feel like it would do the same thing but it’s less abrasive.  I use the Loops all the time and I feel like Bill likes it–it relaxes him.  You can tell when I put the blanket on him and I turn it on.  He knows whether it’s on or it’s off.  He feels something from it.

My vet was kind of skeptical when I told him about the Loop.  He’s a large animal vet.  He has the lasers and the shockwaves and all the treatments that they use out there.  I think everything is good for something.  But he said, ” I don’t feel anything.” And then one of the other vets that works at his practice asked, “Is that the Assisi Loop?”  She knew right away what it was.  And she said, “They do work.  I have worked on dogs and cats and been at clinics where they have used them and they do work.”  So once she told him they worked, he started to tell me where to use it on Bill.

I feel like this is probably not just helping Bill with the soreness.  It’s helping heal that muscle and making it stronger.  If it hadn’t healed him when I ran him, he probably would have still been sore and he wasn’t sore at all.  He shouldn’t have gotten over his gluteal medial tear as soon as he did.  I give all the credit to the Assisi Loop, for sure.  It definitely helped that.

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Accelerated Recovery from Surgery with the Assisi Loop

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health
SPOTLIGHT ON AN ASSISI PATIENT

Bob, 3 year old long-haired Chihuahua, accelerated recovery following surgery

BobBob is a 3-year-old long-haired Chihuahua. In October 2013, he had bilateral Medial Patella Luxation (MPL) Surgery–a surgery on both knee caps simultaneously to prevent them from “popping” out of place. Recovery may have seemed daunting for a little dog with two bum knees, but Bob was up and moving one day after his surgery with Dr. Scott Roberts of Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware (VSCD).

His speedy recovery was due largely to having his own personal rehabilitation therapist to give him daily treatments — his dad, David, is VSCD’s rehabilitation technician and hydrotherapist. In addition to electrostimulation (e-stim) therapy, Class IV cold laser, mobility exercises and daily kisses by the VSCD staff, he was also treated with an Assisi Loop.

David Mazzoni, CMT, Hydrotherapist at Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware has been working with the Assisi Loop since May 2013. He has always used the Assisi Portable 150. When he knew that his dog, Bob, would need surgery he decided that he wanted to learn more about the Assisi Portable Automatic–a device originally designed for post-surgical treatment. The Automatic has a program that treats for 15 minutes every 2 hours automatically. This device may be integrated in the wound dressing or, as in Bob’s case, it can simply be placed over the surgical site and moved as needed to stay in place. David shared Bob’s case with us.

Bob following surgery

Bob’s Case as reported by his owner, David Mazzoni

The first day of surgery, the Assisi Automatic was placed on the surgical site and turned on.   Bob also received electrical stimulation (e-stim), laser therapy, and manual therapy on the first day.

On day 2 following surgery, Bob was reluctant to walk but would bear weight with support. The Assisi Loop remained in place in automatic mode. It was manipulated so that treatments would continue as Bob repositioned himself throughout the morning. There was no evidence of swelling or redness at the incision sites. He continued to receive e-stim, laser therapy and manual therapy.

Days 3-7 following surgery

Bob continued to recover remarkably well throughout this period.   He came to the hospital with me every day but his therapy was basically limited to PROM (passive range of motion) two time’s per day and the Assisi Loop. We did not feel the need to continue with oral meds/NSAID (Metacam) after day 5. He gradually increased activity.

His surgeon as well as the VMD, CCRP I work with every day commented repeatedly how remarkably well he has been recovering.

Bob with the Loop

Days 7-14 following surgery

Bob continued to have a remarkable recovery. Any signs of discomfort were non-existent. He was able to fully bear weight  with no signs of any off-loading onto front. He began longer walks to about half the distance he was walking pre-surgery.

 

Day 14-present

Bob has continued to do exceptionally well with his recovery. He gradually increased his walks to the full distance he was walking prior to any MPL issues-trotting with no discomfort. He is now back to normal activity with no restrictions.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try your product on my own dog. I treat post-op recovery patients daily and can honestly say your product made a significant difference in the amount of comfort and speed in which Bob recovered.

Thank you to David of the Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware for sharing this case.  If you’re interested in more detailed case notes, please email:  info@assisianimalhealth.com

The tPEMF signal that the Assisi Loop provides was originally designed for post-surgical treatment.  Click here to learn more about Assisi as an effective replacement for pain and anti-inflammatory drugs.  We are pleased to be able to share a case that demonstrates the accelerated recovery possible when you treat with the Assisi Portable Automatic.

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Will my pet feel anything when I use the Assisi Loop–tPEMF therapy?

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health
Lulu-cat with arthritis being treated

Lulu getting treatment for arthritis.

While there are many types of PEMF (Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field) signals, Assisi’s low power PEMF signals are specifically targeted to produce maximum healing effects by mimicking the body’s own healing system without excess dosage flooding the tissues. The Assisi Loop improves circulation, not by increasing heartbeat or blood pressure, but by dilating the arteries and capillaries. This also reduces edema (swelling). The Loop stimulates healing by increasing nitric oxide (NO) production. This is essential to many body functions such as rebuilding of capillaries (angiogenesis) and controlling localized blood pressure (and therefore swelling). The proliferation of NO speeds along the recovery process by “super charging” the system.

The Assisi Loop can markedly increase blood flow and tissue oxygenation, which improves the overall tissue health and reduces pain associated with lack of sufficient oxygen. We often hear reports from pet owners that their animal relaxes as soon as they start their treatments with the Loop. With the many healing benefits that the Loop offers, this is not surprising.

Some animals will notice the increased blood flow because with increased circulation there is often a warming or tingling sensation. This is subtle, however, and many animals won’t notice at all. There have been some reports of twitching as a physical reaction to the tPEMF therapy. This is very rare and is most likely to occur with animals that have had some type of long-term degenerative or chronic condition. Their condition may have resulted in extreme ischemia–a decrease in the blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue, or part caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels. If the area is ischemic, then the introduction of increased blood flow may cause a reaction in the body such as feeling of warmth, tingling and, in extreme cases, twitching.

As such, we generally recommend that you reduce the treatment duration to 5 minutes rather than 15. Continue at the reduced duration until the twitching is gone and the area has assimilated to the increased perfusion of blood.

One such case of twitching was the case of Lil BUB, a cat with osteopetrosis, an extremely rare inherited disorder where the bones harden. Her owner continued treatments despite the twitching. Learn more about her case and her significant improvements as a result of using the Assisi Loop on our BLOG.

BUB enjoying a treatment with the Assisi Loop

BUB enjoying a treatment with the Assisi Loop

The added benefit of using tPEMF is that pain medications can be greatly reduced or stopped altogether.  This is especially important for dogs who can be seriously injured by pain killers, and cats, who are even less tolerant of pain medication and can have kidney failure from small doses. When choosing a PEMF device, it is good to know that more power is not correlated with faster healing. Go to the research section of this website to learn more.

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A letter from the new Chairman of Assisi Animal Health

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

I am writing to you as the new Chairman of Assisi Animal L John Wilkerson Health. We are pleased to tell you that Assisi is now operating independently from Ivivi Health Sciences. This will allow us to focus solely on the technology as it serves animals. I want to thank you for your past support of the Assisi Loop and to share a bit about how we plan to provide even better products and service in the years ahead.

My career has been dedicated to advancing medical technology starting with my initial involvement with Johnson & Johnson where I evaluated market potential for research flowing from their R&D and then onward to co-founding a medical industry investment fund where we played a significant role in building 85 companies. The core of my work has been about getting great products and services into the hands of the professionals who provide care.    The chance to build companies that help others (human and now animal) is what excites me and keeps me constantly searching for great new products.

I first learned how the Assisi Loop was being embraced by veterinarians while serving on the Board of Ivivi Health Sciences, the company that developed the human version. Month after month I watched sales and saw that more and more veterinarians were ordering the product.   In fact, the number of veterinarians using it nearly doubled in 2013, as did the number of animals being treated. Midway through 2013, I began speaking with veterinarians about their experiences and liked what I heard.   The result is, in December, I acquired the licensing and distribution rights for the product we refer to as the Assisi Loop. I began building an experienced management team and since then we have all been carefully listening to you, our customers, about where you have found our products most productive and where we might assist you in using them more effectively.

Here is an early look at what you can expect from us as we strive to better serve animals, owners, and veterinary professionals in the year ahead:

  • Reach out to you to learn more about specific applications where our product works best.
  • Share what we learn from your colleagues through multiple modalities including:
    • our website
    • on-site and on-line professional seminars
    • email blasts (like this one)
  • Fund a professionally designed and executed clinical trial.   The Assisi Loop’s technology is FDA cleared for human use but our intent is to complete a small animal trial.
  • Enhance our website so that we are able to:
    • share useful clinical findings
    • educate animal owners, and
    • direct animal owners to your practice.

Most likely you will receive calls from us, asking about your specific use of the product and where you are seeing your best results.   I know how busy you are, but please take time to speak with us, and share your insights. We rely on you for guidance and in return we commit to continuously improving our products and services.

Sincerely,

John Wilkerson, PhD, Chairman

Assisi Animal Health

Feel free to send us feedback by email:  info@assisianimalhealth.com.

 

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Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field Therapy–Safe for animals with cancer

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

Many people have asked us if Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field Therapy is safe for animals with cancer.  The answer is YES!  Assisi Animal Health is a leading innovator in targeted Pulsed ElectroMagnetic Field (tPEMF) for animals, offering a non-invasive, non-pharmacological therapy for treatment of chronic and acute inflammatory conditions of the body.

Otis What are the contraindications for the Assisi Loop?

Unlike diathermy which offers high-frequency electromagnetic currents, tPEMF has no contraindication for the treatment of patients with cancer or for post-cancer surgical healing.  To the contrary, much of the human clinical trial work that has been done has been for post-mastectomy reconstruction patients. *

But tPEMF has a pro-angiogenic effect. How is this different from the angiogenesis of tumors?

There is a misconception about angiogenesis and cancer, in part due to the development of ‘anti-angiogenic’ therapies in oncology. The angiogenic activity is not normal in tumors as the blood vessels, called tortuous vessels, are poorly formed.  tPEMF delivered via the Assisi Loop accelerates ongoing anti-inflammatory processes, one outcome of which is the healthy growth of new blood vessels and normal tissue regeneration.

What is the evidence that I can use this safely with cancer patients?

Ivivi Health Sciences, the company that developed the same microcurrent for humans, has tested the technology in a brain cancer model in rats and found no changes relative to tumor growth in treated animals.  tPEMF has been used in human clinical trials on patients getting reconstructive surgery post-cancer with no adverse effects of any kind. Additionally, the FDA-clearance for Ivivi’s human product does not carry a contraindication for treating cancer sites.

* The only contraindication for Assisi’s Loop is that it cannot be used over implanted systems that include leads – most commonly pacemakers, defibrillators and implanted nerve stimulators. 

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Extend the Life of Your Cat or Dog

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

The family pet can become the center of daily life and routine, from the minute you bring it home. Before too long, you cannot live without your happy, furry friend. The thought of their demise causes tears in the eyes of many an animal lover and owner. Because of their importance and the attachment we create with our animals, owners want to know ‘how can I extend the life of my cat or dog, when their lives are so short in comparison to ours?’

Longevity becomes a simple recipe made up of easy upkeep and consistency. Here are some suggestions for how to help your pet live a longer, healthier life:

Regular Check Ups
An animal’s health changes over time, so yearly check-ups and vaccinations, become critical to aid in preventing disease and allowing your veterinarian to identify any changes in health.

Dog vaccinations help prevent: canine distemper, adenovirus cough, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis and racheobronchitis (kennel cough) to name a few common viruses and bacteria.

For cats, two classifications exist for cat vaccines- core and non-core. Core vaccines protect against rabies, feline distemper (panleukopenia), feline calici virus, and feline herpes virus type I. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat’s lifestyle. Indoor cats and outdoor cats are exposed to different organisms, so a licensed veterinarian will recommend the best vaccination for your dog or cat based on its lifestyle.

Teeth Cleaning
Your animal should receive annual teeth cleanings by a professional. Because 2/3 of the animals’ teeth lay hidden beneath the gums a qualified professional will be better able to clean areas not easily reached by daily or frequent brushing. Animals, like humans, can develop gum disease. Remember, keeping the gateway to the body clean and healthy inspires a healthy body.

Relaxation
Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, suggests providing at least one hour of down time for your animal, as being a critical element of their longevity.

Quality Food
Small meals provided a few times a day of healthy animal food can help sustain the life of your animal. Smaller meals prevent low blood sugar in small animals like the Maltese and Westhighland Terrier and help prevent stomach torsion in dogs, which can be deadly. Abstain from feeding your animal people food like foods with trans fats and chemicals. Quality pet food given in moderate portions can prevent a dog or cat from becoming overweight.

Register your animal, chip them, or provide them with an identification collar
Cats and dogs are explorers and hunters. And it’s possible that at some point, your animal will explore beyond the confines of your home and yard by escaping like Houdini only to be found happily bouncing around the neighborhood and taking in all the sights and sounds. Most animals will find their way back home, however, make it easy for a would-be rescuer to return your animal to you. Take the time to register your animal, provide it with identification tags and/or have a microchip implanted.

Exercise & Mental Stimulation
Different animals require different amounts of sleep and exercise.

The ASPCA suggests that regular exercise can help in a number of areas:
”Helps to reduce or eliminate the common behavior problems…, such as digging, excessive barking, chewing and hyperactivity
• Helps to keep dogs healthy, agile and limber
• Helps to reduce digestive problems and constipation
• Helps timid or fearful dogs build confidence and trust
• Helps dogs feel sleepy, rather than restless, at bedtime or when you’re relaxing
• Helps to keep dogs’ weight under control”

Different animals should be treated differently. Ask your veterinarian what type of exercise is right for your animal. Some breeds of cats and dogs are notorious sleepers who spend more time asleep than awake – - especially large breed dogs. Cats, of course, find all types of exercise with or without your participation. They enjoy the mental stimulation of toys that allow them to catch or hunt. Some cats can even be trained to play fetch and return with small balls or stuffed animals.

Extend the life of your animal

Very young dogs have underdeveloped ligaments, so take care not to over exercise them. As well, older animals have special needs. Dogs age at a more rapid rate than humans. Keep in mind that just because they are ‘new’ to you, they could be the human equivalent of middle or old aged. Old age can cause arthritis, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia in dogs, so excessive exercise may not be suitable for an older animal. The Assisi™ Portable helps alleviate many of the inflammation related diseases older animals can get, so ask your vet how the Assisi™ Portable can help.

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How to Spot a Pet Emergency

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

When it comes to our furry friends, active animals can sometimes experience an emergency health situation. Even though the vast majority of the time your pet will be healthy and playing happily and enjoying the comforts of home, it’s important to know how to spot a pet emergency.

All owners are familiar with how their animal moves, how active it is, how it responds to outside stimuli, and what its biological rhythms are. Spotting changes is simple. Spotting emergencies requires some patience and keen observation.

The following are some common questions animal owners ask and some easy answers to help determine what’s different and what you can do to make your dog or cat more comfortable if you notice a change in your pet’s normal behavior.

Why does my dog or cat seem depressed?
Depression in animals

There are lots of reasons why an animal may suddenly change behavior from active to slow, from normal to not-so-normal, or from “happy” to “depressed”. Believe it or not, dogs and cats respond to changes in daily routines, just like humans do. So when your animal’s routine is challenged or suddenly changed by either a new pet, person, home, or the loss of a pet or person in their lives, it may take time for your animal to adjust.

Old age, temperature changes, and biological changes can also impact your pet. They enjoy routine and mental stimulation, in order to maintain wellness. Try reestablishing their routine by spending more time engaging with them and playing with them. Exercise is a great antidote for depression. If your animal has prolonged periods of not-eating or lethargic behavior, consult your veterinarian to determine other causes.

Why is my dog or cat irritable?
Acting irritable is another way dogs and cats communicate. While cats have a reputation for being aloof, an injured cat may become docile and will seek out affection, as a means of communicating illness or injury. Dogs may also indicate illness or injury in the same way. Likewise, when a generally good natured animal begins snapping, when you touch them, their quick reflex to attack is another way your pet is indicating they have pain.

How can I tell if my animal has an injury?
Run your hands along its legs, torso, back, paws, head and neck to detect any sore spots or open wounds. If you detect or suspect any injuries have occurred, take your animal directly to the veterinarian for a medical evaluation. If your veterinarian determines your animal has a wound, inflammation, broken bone or arthritis, ask your veterinarian how the Assisi™ Portable can help with accelerating healing. The Assisi™ Portable Loop has been studied and found to assist with faster healing times of wounds and decreases in inflammation. Also, the Assisi™ Portable can be administered at home.

Why is my dog or cat limping?
Favoring a leg or limping is a tell-tale sign and one of the few ways for an animal to communicate that there’s a bone, joint, inflammation, tendon or soft tissue problem. Depending on the age of the animal or the type of animal it could be a simple a sprain. For older animals and certain breeds like the German Shepard, Mastiff, or Dachshund, limping could indicate hip dysplasia or back injury. Giant breed dogs are especially susceptible to joint pain as are smaller companion dogs like the Yorkie Terrier.

Why is my cat or dog vomiting?
LilyFor most cats and dogs vomiting is a normal occurrence. However, abnormal vomiting followed by listlessness, shortness of breath or trouble breathing could be an indication of more serious issues. Cats have an insatiable curiosity that causes them to explore in places where they shouldn’t. Even something as benign as flowers can irritate a cat’s digestive system and cause poisoning. Certain flowers like the lily are potentially deadly for cats. The popular oleander and poinsettia are also poisonous to animals. Regular household items such as medications, rodent poison, household cleaning products, xylitol sweetener, lawn and garden products can cause problems for cats.

For dogs there are specific foods that are poisonous to them. Chocolate, bread dough, grapes and raisins, hops, macadamia nuts, moldy foods, onions and garlic, and avocados are common human foods poison for dogs.

Make sure medications are locked up and away from your animal’s access. Most prescription medication poisoning occurs when animals quickly ingest a dropped pill before the owner can retrieve the spilled pill from the ground.

If you’re concerned about your animal, animal poison control centers are available to help animal owners understand how best to handle accidental ingestion of poisonous foods and household items.

This article is intended to give general information, always consult a veterinarian for medical advice and animal care.

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Designer Cross Breeds – Today’s Most Popular Pet

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

There’s been a trend, since the end of the 20th century, to supply a shed-free, dander free companion dog that is both attractive and has specific breed traits. Apartment dwellers and people who suffer from allergies wanted animals that shed less and wanted an alternative to the Poodle. By combining some of the most popular breeds, breeders have created pets that have quickly become some of the most popular dogs of our time. Breeders and owners alike are enjoying the results of what are becoming today’s most popular pet.

While it may seem that this evolution of new cross-breeds is new, the process of selective breeding for specific traits – known as neoteny – has ancient origins. Neoteny is the process of selecting a species’ juvenile traits. This practice currently recognized dog breeds as listed by the World Canine Organization. Canines were neotonized for looks and for behavior traits. Dogs were being bred as herders, hunting dogs, scenthounds, and sighthounds. Mastiff types were bred for war, protection, and as guardians. Breeders purposely selected traits to achieve a superior breed trait.

Malitpoo Photo

(Photo: Maltipoo)

However, neither these designer cross breeds’ temperament and look can be guaranteed nor do their traits remain consistent from litter to litter. Much like children born to fathers and mothers with different hair color and eye color, these designer breeds come in a variety of colors, hair types, and body shapes. Breeding sites suggest researching the original breed type, in order to determine if the animal’s behavior traits and characteristics are a fit for you. They note also that these dogs are not considered a new breed, but simply a cross-breed.

The following are the portmanteau names for the associated breeds and a short list of other creative designer cross breeds:

Labradoodle - 1Yorkipoo – Yorkshire Terrier and the Poodle
Maltipoo – Maltese and a Poodle
Labradoodle – Labrador and a Poodle
Schnoodle – Schnauzer and Poodle
Peekapoo – Pekingese and Poodle
Beaglier – Beagle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cockapoo, Spoodle, Cockerpoo – Poodle and Cocker Spaniel
Goldendoodle – Golden Retriever and Poodle
Mal-Shi – Maltese and Shih Tzu
Puggle – Pug and Beagle
Goldador – Golden Retriever and Labrador
Huskamute – Husky and Malamute
German Chusky – German Shepard and Husky
Cockalier – Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chiweenie, Doxiwawa – Chihuahua and Dauschhund
Pomchi – Pomeranian and Chihuahua
Morkie – Maltese and Yorkie

The attractiveness and popularity of these designer cross-breeds pups cannot be disputed. Vetstreet.com writer Kristen Seymour lists the Goldendoodle as being number 1 on the list of hottest breeds and has risen from 128 to the top spot.
 
As with any breed, it’s important to remember that the negative traits are passed along to the next generation as easily as the good ones are. If your designer dog develops a limp, arthritis, has had surgery, and/or experiences inflammation, remember that the Assisi Portable helps reduce inflammation and healing time after surgery. Ask your vet about breed specific issues and enjoy your designer breed pup!

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Why Do People Love The Yorkshire Terrier?

Posted on by Assisi Animal Health

While the answer to the question of “Why do people love the Yorkshire Terrier so much?” may seem obvious to those who enjoy the cuteness and look of these small size animals, also known as “Yorkies”, there is so much more to this lovable Yorkshire Terrier than meets the eye.

Yorkies have been popular throughout history and their allure helps make them one of the most popular small dog breeds and a natural choice for anyone, including current and past celebrities who have embraced the breed time and again.

A Brief History:
The Yorkie in HistoryOriginally the Terrier was bred for the control of foxes, rats and rabbits. The Terrier breed distinctions have evolved from two groups – either long or short legged – and are now differentiated into size or function groups. The groups are Working Terriers (the Westhighland Terrier is a great example), Toy Terriers (where the Yorkshire Terrier falls) and Bull Terriers. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrier)

Having been bred for hunting and tracking fast animals, the Yorkie was required to have a quick mind and agile body, which are abilities that helped it to thrive into modern times as a family companion.

Why Choose a Yorkie:
Indeed, the diminutive Yorkshire Terrier is often chosen over larger breed dogs not just because of their size, but for more practical reasons. They are easy to transport, require minimal exercise compared to much larger working dog breeds, and they can be potty trained to use pee-pee pads, which makes them ideal for urban dwellers. Also, with no undercoat, there’s little shedding other than normal hair loss, much like a human’s. They require extra warmth in winter and cold climates, however, because they lack an undercoat.

Yorkie Puppy
How to Choose A Yorkie: 
Because not all breeders offer the same quality of animal, it’s important to make sure you choose a breeder with a good reputation for breeding healthy animals.

And when choosing your Yorkie, know there is such a thing as too small. Michelle Welton, of  www.yourpurebredpuppy.com, does not recommend adopting a Yorkie under 4 lbs. This size Yorkie can have significant health risks. Their bones are extremely fragile. There is not enough room in their mouth for healthy teeth. Their internal organs are often weak and can fail suddenly. They tend to have great difficulty regulating their blood sugar and can suddenly fall into hypoglycemic comas.
Breeder sites suggest choosing a puppy that is alert and outgoing. Shyness or slowness might indicate neurological and physical ailments, respectively.

Your Yorkie and Your Vet: A Healthy Combination
The following is a list of common Yorkie health conditions to be aware of that may or may not occur to your Yorkie Terrier. If you notice a change in behavior, eating habits, or activity levels, your veterinarian can help you determine the cause and solution.

  • Retained deciduous teeth – Both adult and baby teeth crowd their small mouths
  • Portosystemic shunt – a congenital condition whereby the blood bypasses the liver allowing toxins to pass directly into the body without being filtered out
  • Juvenile hypoglycemia – These small animals can suffer from low blood sugar caused by long delays between meals
  • Tracheal collapse – Indicated by shortness of breath and honking coughing, the windpipe closes on itself
  • Patella luxation – kneecaps slip out of place
  • Bladder stones – Abnormal secretion of minerals
  • Pancreatitis – Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Legg-Perthes disease – A degeneration of the dog’s hip joint
  • Cushing’s syndrome – Caused by excessive cortisol secreted by the adrenal gland
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – progressive visual impairment leading to blindness. (Source: www.healthypet.com)

Remember that your veterinarian can help educate you on the best care and food for your small breed dog. Also, they can assist your selection process by determining for you if your pet is healthy and exhibiting the signs of a well-bred, healthy dog.

Other People Who Love Yorkies:
The Yorkshire Terrier ranks second in popularity behind the Labrador Retriever, according to the American Kennel Club’s registration lists. Its rapid ascent up the registration lists over the past 40+ years are marked by what some experts and authors describe as the breed’s charming way it integrates into family life, its princess airs, and loveable quirkiness, which is to say these animals are all personality! If you’re not convinced yet of the greatness of the Yorkie, here’s a short list of famous Yorkie owners who enjoy the breed:

Audrey HepburnYorkshire Terrier - Assisi Animal Health
Britney Spears
Natalie Portman
Paris Hilton
Vanessa Williams
Donald Trump
Gisele Bundchen
Orlando Bloom
Missy Elliott
Hilary Duff
Miley Cyrus
Venus Williams
Heather Locklear

There’s even a famous Yorkie who had a starring role in the original Wizard of Oz movie, as Dorothy’s dog Toto.

So no matter which part of the United States you live in or what kind of life you live, it’s easy to see why this dog has been chosen time and time again for the fun and satisfying practicality this small breed dog provides any owner.

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