Knowing What’s in Your Pet’s Supplements (and your own)


Over the counter supplements don’t always contain what you’d expect.  Recently, the media was all abuzz about a New Your State attorney general office’s investigation accusing some of the biggest retail store chains of selling products that were contaminated or didn’t contain what was indicated on the labels.

You can go to the link below to help you determine which supplements you can trust:


Kitty’s Yearly Intestinal Worm Check Up – Quick Tip

Photo credit – Chumak Alexey

Whether you have two cats at home or small herd of fuzzy felines, it can be a challenge to tell what to reach for when you’re mining the litter box for stool for a particular pet’s yearly exam. Well here’s a tip to make that chore easier. Simply add some shavings from a bright-colored, non-toxic crayon to a meal of canned food. You’ll be able to readily identify the pet’s stool. One more tip –  if you can’t find any trace of festively colored stool in the litter box, be sure to check out the dog’s stool.  : )

Chocolate Ingestion – How to tell if your pet is at risk

Monty-CastroIt is commonly known by most pet families that chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs. Signs of poisoning include diarrhea, rapid breathing, vomiting, muscle rigidity, accentuated reflexes, seizures, rapid heart rate, cardiac failure and death.


The theobromine in the chocolate is the culprit. As little as 10 mg per pound of theobromine can cause serious illness or death. Milk chocolate contains about 40 to 65 mg of theobromine per ounce. That makes about 1.5 to 2 ounces of milk chocolate toxic for the average cat. Unsweetened baker’s chocolate contains about ten times more theobromine, making it much more dangerous. The toxic amount  varies between pets depending on age, health and other factors. In a home situation, it can be difficult to gauge whether the pet has ingested a lethal amount.

Well, the ASPCA Animal Poison Center has a free Dogs and Chocolate Risk Wheel available that can help determine the pet’s risk. You just dial in the weight of the pet, the type of chocolate and the amount the pet ate. The answer will help you determine if you have a minor problem or a serious em

To order the wheel, you can:  call   888.426.4435 or email ergency.   

There is no antidote for chocolate toxicity. Treatment involves supportive care. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate.

Unfortunately, no wheel for cats, yet.

Lower Your Heart Risk – Adopt a dog

RamboAccording to a recent study by the American Heart Association, owning a dog may protect you from heart disease, even more than other pets.

According to Rambo, guest blogger and feline extraordinaire, “Phooey.” OK Rover, so you get somebody out for a walk once in awhile which has a positive effect on the heart and reduces cholesterol and the bad fats in the blood, but that is no comparison to the cardio workout I can give someone when he tries to tries to give me a pill or catch me to put me up for the night.

I know they also suggested that dogs produce a stress-reducing sense of calm and contentment. Blood pressure and heart rate are reduced, and adrenaline-like hormone release is decreased. Yeah, but I’ll bet a dog can’t even come close to the serenity my family experiences when they come home to find speakers haven’t been shredded, shoes contain no hairballs and the curtains are dry. Now that’s bliss – and you are certainly welcome.

And what about the stockbroker study, forty-eight stressed, hypertensive stockbrokers were divided into groups. Members of the group with a dog or a cat were much calmer in stressful situation. My insider sources tell me that rumor has it that the brokers who lived with cats were even less stressed – undoubtedly because of, as anyone knows, the cat’s ability to give uncannily accurate investment advice.

If you simply want to decrease your blood pressure, lower you cholesterol get in better shape and reduce your stress, adopt a dog, but if you want all that plus the exceptional experience of living with one of God’s most extraordinary creatures, I humbly suggest that you adopt a cat. Or you can give a health promoting feline gift to your cigar smoking, beer drinking, couch potato uncle – you may save his life. Of course if you save someone’s life you are responsible for that person for the rest of your life. Hmm, maybe stick with the tie for his birthday.

Rambo, thanks for your unbiased counterpoint.

-Dr. Hunthausen