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Food Allergies

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Did You Know?

If you pet is obese or carrying extra weight, it can:

1. Increase the risk of heart disease by forcing the heart to work harder.
2. Increase the risk of arthritis as extra weight can stress the joints, cause joint pain, and make it harder for your pet to move around comfortably.
3.Cause breathing problems, skin and hair coat problems.
4. Leads  to diabetes, especially in cats.

    Food allergies occasionally occur in dogs and cats. They usually manifest themselves as itchy skin, ear infections, chronic vomiting, or diarrhea. If you suspect that your pet may have a food allergy, you can investigate by performing a food trial. There are three rules for a food trial:

    1. Pick a new food that is different from any food fed in the past. This does not mean to just choose a different brand. You need to check the fine print on the ingredient list on each food label and pick a new food that is totally different in ingredients. Often the large label on the front of the bag mentions only two ingredients but in reality the food has many ingredients.
    For animals fed many foods in the past, it may be difficult to find an appropriate food in the pet food store. There are new foods with "exotic" ingredients made for pets with allergies that are now available through veterinarians. For example, Venison and Potato, Rabbit and Potato, Duck and Potato, and Kangaroo and Oats are available for dogs. Duck and Green Pea, Rabbit and Green Pea, and Venison and Green Pea are available for cats. Preferably, the new food should have just one protein and one carbohydrate source.

    2. You should feed the new food for 12 weeks to dogs and 8 weeks to cats before you decide whether it works or not.

    3. You cannot feed another food, treats, table scraps, chewable vitamins or chewable Heartworm preventative. Dogs cannot have rawhide chew toys, pig's ears, cow hooves, etc. Heartworm prevention during this time can be provided by a non-chewable tablet or the topical liquid.

    Once the trial period is over and if there was a positive response, you can determine the ingredient(s) that caused the allergy by adding, one at a time, the previously fed ingredients to the trial food for 14 days per ingredient. The pet should show an allergic response in this time period if that ingredient is an allergen.

    Sugarless Gum Toxic to Dogs

    Products safe for people are not necessarily safe for pets. For example, Xylitol is used as a sugar substitute in food products; it can be found in sugar-free candy, gum, and other products. In people, Xylitol has no effect on blood insulin or glucose levels, but in dogs, Xylitol causes a strong, rapid insulin release that causes the blood glucose to go decrease dramatically. This hypoglycemia causes the dog to be weak, wobbly, collapse, or even seizures. This effect can occur within 20-60 minutes of eating the gum or candy.

    Another adverse effect of Xylitol is liver problems, even liver failure. This occurs hours to a couple of days after ingestion. This can occur without signs of earlier hypoglycemia. Liver problems can have symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, poor appetite, and blood clotting problems.
    Small amounts of Xylitol can have these effects. Only one or two pieces of sugarless gum can be toxic to a twenty-pound dog. Recently, veterinarians discovered that some liquid human medicines are sweetened with Xylitol. If you get a prescription liquid medicine from a human pharmacy, be sure to confirm with the pharmacist that it doesn't contain Xylitol.

    Obesity

    Excess weight is a serious health problem for dogs and cats. In the U.S., nearly 50% of middle-aged pets are overweight. The two main causes of obesity are too much food and too little exercise. Other contributing factors can be due to hormonal influences, certain genetic factors, and other disease processes.

    If you pet is carrying extra weight, it can:

    1. Increase the risk of heart disease by forcing the heart to work harder.
    2. Increase the risk of arthritis as extra weight can stress the joints, cause joint pain, and make it harder for your pet to move around comfortably.
    3. Obesity can cause breathing problems, skin and hair coat problems.
    4. Obesity frequently leads to diabetes, especially in cats.

    All of these problems can make your pet uncomfortable and limit the way they interact with you and other family members.Treatment is to rule out and treat any medical causes, such as hypothyroidism. Reducing caloric intake and increasing exercise can help your pet successfully lose weight. Lifestyle changes and a weight loss program are essential. Your veterinarian can help determine if your pet is too heavy and provide guidelines for achieving their ideal weight. Slentrol is an oral weight loss drug for obese dogs that are not able to lose weight by other means.




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    Testimonials

    •           8/29/2017

      I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

      Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

      If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

    •           6/5/2017

      LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

    •           6/5/2017

      My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

    •           4/28/2017

      I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

    •           5/4/2017

      Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

    •           5 of 5

      Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

    •           5 of 5

      I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

    •          

      The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
       

      Linda P.

      San Francisco, CA

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