Thursday, February 5, 2015

Comfortable pets

Firstly like to wish everyone a joyous 2015. Can you believe it's February?!

Secondly apologies for the break in anything from us.

"the holiday season" took it out of both of us...physically and everything else. Life does tend to throw curve balls at us and having to do battle with an already challenged body is quite a challenge.

Added to that we both have 'day jobs' and then some.

Needless to say now that I have laid out the background..let's move on.

We all love and adore our pets, treat them as though they were our babies. I'm guilty of it and I know you are too!

Sure this blog could be taken from a purely humanistic standpoint and focus on our diseases but the truth is various species of animals deal with this disorder as well. Which is what has interested us the most and lessened the blow, per se. Cats and dogs, our beloved companions, may also have to deal with this just as much as we do. It's important to understand the physiological effects and behaviors this disease can impact home life. Remember even though the individuals have to deal with it, there are still other family members or even just day to day activities and encounters influenced as well. Knowing how to deal with this is important because it will make the sufferer comfortable as well as lessen the battle. 

According to Dr Karen Becker, There are two ways a dog can end up with hypothyroidism. In its pure form, hypothyroidism is usually an immune system disorder also known as autoimmune thyroiditis, it means his body is attacking the tissues of his thyroid gland.

In response to this attack, the thyroid will first try to compensate by producing greater and greater amounts of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. But after awhile, the gland becomes depleted. It’s at this point your dog develops symptoms of the disorder and is diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
The other way your dog can end up hypothyroid is that his/her body simply produces less thyroid hormone over time, and eventually she does not produce enough for normal biological processes.
Thyroxine is an extremely important hormone in your dog’s body. It plays a significant role in bodily functions such as food metabolism, growth and development, oxygen consumption, reproduction and resistance to infection.

In contrast to Hypo-Thyrodism, pets can also just like us humans develop HypER-Thyroidism. Symptoms include but are not limited to: 
  1. The hair coat, especially in long-haired breeds, is often unkempt, dull, and may even be matted.
  2. Fast respiratory rate...panting, difficulty breathing
  3. Soft stools and diarrhea can occur in about a third of animals with hyperthyroidism
  4. Hyperactive, increased energy, or nervous behaviour...
    Hyperactivity, exhibited particularly as nervousness or restlessness, is relatively common in cats with hyperthyroidism.
CATS are often Hyperactive...
Weight loss despite a normal to increased appetite is the classic and most common sign of hyperthyroidism in cats. Hyperthyroidism is so common that it should always be considered as a possibility in any middle-aged to older cats that has lost weight, even in none of the other clinical features of the disease are present.
The weight loss associated is generally progressive and is usually first noticed by the owner as a loss of muscle mass around the cat’s back (spine).
With time, severe muscle wasting, emaciation, and death from starvation can occur if the cat’s hyperthyroidism is left untreated.
It is important to keep your pet comfortable, yet, mentally active. It becomes a quality of life issue and a couple of the ways to alleviate this disease:
* prepare a printed chart to ensure that your pet has been given his/her medicine on time
* make sure to give your pet his/her medicine on time every day according to Vet's prescription (It seems like a no brainer but you will notice the difference in behavior if your pet hasn't been given medicine, plus it's just unethical). 
In 2004, my brother adopted a beagle named Max. He was the runt of the litter but the cutest with his little black widow's peak and tri-color perfectly arranged along his body. As the years progressed, Max had various skin issues resulting in his "undercoat" falling out leaving a pig-like consistency to his fur. At first the vets thought he had Cushing's, it turns out it was hypothyroidism. His behavior changed too- to a mopey, garbage-disposal, couch potato! His nails became so brittle that if he got one stuck in the knit of a blanket, he'd let out a loud series of yelps and the nail would split and start bleeding at the quick. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2015! 

You always see those memes saying "new year, new me" yada yada... The problem is actually living up to it past January 7th. Let's face it, our New Year's resolution every year is to lose weight or do this or do that and we're motivated for a short while before giving up the proverbial ghost of what could be... (To those that can follow through with their resolutions, bless you)... Come on warriors we can stick to this! 

Moving on... 

Here are some challenges to get us out of bed and into the place we need to be:

1. Detox in the morning. Get rid of the New Year's partying (staying on the couch and binge-watching Netflix counts) and start the year off cleanly...If you're not a fan of ginger or lemon, just drink some black tea, but I promise you this "morning flush" will set your body in motion... No pun intended...Repeat daily

For the detox drink:
A few think slices or small chunks of ginger layered with 
Two thin slices of lemon topped with 
Boiling water enough to fill one mug.

Sip, don't chug. 
Chase this sucker down with a nice tall glass of cool water to flush out any other toxins. C'mon you gotta finish the battle. 

The reason for the lemon and ginger mix is what they bring to the table for the sluggish and low metabolic function as a result of thyroidism. Most of the time we don't absorb what we need to and to truly obtain the most out of ourselves and the food we eat, this little tonic can surely do the trick. Ginger contains enzymes which act as a catalyst for nutrient breakdown and absorption, it also breaks down toxins which then are able to be passed through liver and kidneys. The other known property is its natural chemical compound for reducing pain and inflammation... So if you're experiencing cramps, ginger is the trick. If you hate ginger, suck it up... Hold your nose and take it like a champ. Lemon, on the other hand, revs up your defense system by supplying Vitamin C. Scurvy no more. Also, lemon oil is one of those great aromatherapy oils for anxiety reduction and fighting fatigue. 

2. Get motivated. Finish reading this conquer-script. Put down the remote, the mouse, the tablet and/or the phone... Bundle up or, simply, just put your shoes on and take a walk around the block. Baby steps... Something will come to you. That's for your own personal journey. It's a blank page on the 2015 chapter of your life, do something meaningful for you and for the planet.

3. Last, but not least, if you see someone experiencing the same symptoms, have 'em get checked out.

 *While you're at it, things to look out for on blood tests- free T3, free T4, antibodies, tsh, and the vitals such as vitamin D, vitamin B and Iron (these promote the uptake of hormones and, also, affect mood and lethargy)... Look for balance. Also check out "Thyroid Sexy" on facebook to get more resources. 

Don't have thyroid issues but know someone who does??? 

Here are some suggestions for birthday presents or even a survival kit for the thyroid warriors (pets included) in your life (based on what we have found to work to help sustain your body with this disease)

* Essential Oils (pure organic) we like Oil Garden  and Sun Spirit. Aromatherapy works wonders with us thyroid patients (and even non-patients alike), calming or revving up the system and aiding digestion (stress inhibits proper digestion, so easing stress levels enables you to function better and excrete better too, allowing less bloat). Certain ones to try: lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and cinnamon.

* Coconut oil... We swear by this because not only is it a great oil to use for cooking but it's great for dry skin and for dry hair. Just slather it on (put a plastic bag over hair so that heat can allow the oil to penetrate hair follicles and distribute oil all over), wait about 15 minutes and away you go! Also put some in smoothies, baked goods and pet food. Both my cat and dog love it and their coats show it too!

* Epsom Salts- Great for a long soak in the bath. Epsom salts contain high doses of Magnesium. And Magnesium is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. 

* Tea- Yes, always great to have in stock and we especially love our teas that we drink from Pukka ...amazing organic and pure herbs and fantastic flavors. My personal one (wolf) at the moment is Elderberry and Echinacea. White tiger loves her some Honey Vanilla Chamomile or Pukka Love tea. 

* Heat packs and hot water bottles- We get hot and then we get cold again... nature of the beast. Keep us comfortable.

* Natural Fiber in clothing and also sleepwear, including bedding. A lot of thyroid disease suffers experience many varied skin allergies. Making sure anything that touches your skin (the biggest organ in the human body) with only natural fibers as much as possible will not only ensure comfort but also enable your body to cope with any of the myriad of thyroid related discomforts that may arise.