Why Your Golden Retriever Should Be Alkaline

Here is a great article provided by TheDogMaOnline.com about the benefits of an alkaline diet.

Why Should Your Dog Be Alkaline?

by Valarie Marshall – TheDogMaOnline.com

“Our Gabriel”

How Does an Alkaline Diet Affect Cancer Cells? Studies have shown that in the test tube, cancer cells and tumors thrive and grow in a more acidic environment. When the level of acid is lowered, tumors grow much more slowly. If this behavior occurs in the test tube, it stands to reason that cancer cells in the body would also be detrimentally affected by an overall alkaline environment.

Raw Pet Food Will Keep Your Dog Alkaline

It would also make sense that if the body’s pH is acidic, then the growth of cancer cells and tumors would be encouraged. By eating mostly foods that make the body’s pH more alkaline, there would be less of a chance for cancer cells to develop and grow. So, by adjusting the diet, it is actually possible to create a less hospitable environment for cancer cells, thus improving a person’s/dog’s chances of experiencing good health.

Proper pH Will Improve Your Pet’s Quality of Life. Tissues in the body are prone to disease of all sorts, including cancer, if they become deficient in oxygen. To understand why, it is helpful to understand the nature of acidity and alkalinity. Cancerous tissues are acidic, where healthy tissues are alkaline. Water (H2O) taken into the body eventually breaks down into H+ and OH-. When a solution contains more H+ than OH- it is acidic. When it contains more OH- than H+ it is alkaline.

When oxygen is introduced into an acidic solution it will combine with H+ ions to form water. Oxygen helps neutralize acid, but acid also prevents oxygen from reaching the body’s tissue. Acidic tissue is devoid of free oxygen as tissue needs oxygen to remain healthy.

The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. The blood, lymph and cerebral spinal fluid in a dog’s body are designed to be slightly alkaline at 7.0 – 7.5 (6.1 – 6.4 for cats). At a pH slightly above 7.4, cancer cells become dormant and at pH 8.5 cancer cells will die while healthy cells will live.

The following list indicates which foods are acidic and alkaline. The left side of the chart indicates acidic foods, or foods that are more harmful. The right side of the chart indicates alkaline foods, or foods that would be most beneficial. It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body’s fluids and tissues, which is an entirely different matter.


Kibble Formulated To Be Alkaline based. Canine Caviar Chicken and Pearl Millet ALS Dinner 12 Pound is a complete and balanced kibble formula intended for moderately active dogs, growing puppies, and breeding animals. Chicken and Pearl Millet ALS Kibble is the most nutritious food your dog will ever need and is the ideal diet for large and giant breed puppies.  This kibble is the  only food in the USA formulated to be alkaline based. Cancer cells can not grow in an alkaline environment. Perfect for large- and giant-breed puppies!


• Increases anaerobic activity.

• Reduces amount of oxygen in the blood.

• Cancerous tissues are acidic and devoid of oxygen.

• Leaches calcium from bones & is released into the kidney, resulting in stone formation before being excreted.

• Acidosis is excessive consumption of protein, which is metabolized “acidically” because of sulfur content.

• Without enough oxygen the DNA self-repair mechanism will not function causing free radical damage.

Thank you to Canine Caviar. TheDogMaOnline.com, 678.460.6DOG

The Tucker Files: Orijen to Raw Diet?


Orijen (Photo credit: kennejima)

I was very excited when we brought our golden boy home and could switch him from the breeder recommended kibble to Orijen.  They seem like an excellent Canadian company with great practices, and I was sure I was giving our baby the next best thing to raw food.

As time goes by, I begin to wonder more and more about Tucker’s diet, and the fact that his poop is still huge and runny on a fairly regular basis.  Apparently we are feeding him a little more that the bag suggests, (we our feeding 70 lb tucker about 5-6 cups per day) but he is very lean and active.  We thought perhaps the over feeding was causing this, but how can we be sure? Also, Tucker’s poop smells much worse than any dog I have ever had, and just attributed that to a healthy diet, but I know for a fact when feeding Logan raw, he never had this problem.

We live in a built up neighborhood of nice homes, and during this heat wave, my neighbors have more than noticed the rancid smell coming from our yard.  As I am sure anyone who owns a dog can attest, cleaning up these “cow patties” is extremely challenging, especially in this hot weather. (think chocolate pudding, only stickier, and smellier!)  I find myself gagging and rinsing the area with the hose, but even with that, our yard smells like a cess pool.

My boyfriend and I have been seriously discussing switching Tucker to a raw food diet.  I know the benefits clearly outweigh the risks, its just a matter of taking that first step….I look forward to the days of no more patties…

Here’s a picture of the boy, taken today

The Tucker Files…My Golden Retriever has Episodic Colitis

The last few days have been very trying.  There seemed to be a pattern with Tucker swimming in the river, and getting very bad diarrhea.  This time, Tucker couldn’t control himself a few times and went on the carpet (and once the tile floor, thankfully).   To anyone who has experienced this, I sympathize.  There is no warning, and it sounds like a hose on “spray” and its the most tar-like, slimey, smelly…seriously gag-inducing mess you will ever see.  When Tucker was at the breeders, his litter was struck with coccidia.  We thought maybe he had picked up a parasite from the river, so for the second time, we brought in a sample.

The vet explained that both samples tested negative for coccidia and he did an examination, complete with “the glove”  Because no parasites were detected he came to the conclusion of episodic colitis.  Tucker also still has a very healthy “golden appetite” and has not been vomiting.  He is otherwise his happy, healthy self.   The vet explained that Tucker may always suffer from this.  This would be the time to replace all the nice, plush, light colored carpeting in our home.

So I was prescribed Metronidazole, 250 mgs, 3 tablets every 12 hrs.  Giving Tucker the pills is not an easy task.  He is on no food till tomorrow night, so I couldn’t even hide them in a piece of bread, which is what I usually do.

“Spring” ..before the digging began…

Is this good news or bad news?  I was losing sleep thinking this was a parasite, and how the heck were we going to clean up all that runny stool all over the backyard and keep it from being tracked through the house repeatedly??  Would I ever break the cycle?  My focus now needs to be on a good diet.  So far, there haven’t been too many success stories, but if I find any I will share.

Here’s how our story goes…I mentioned already that Tucker had cocidia as a pup at the breeders.  He was tested clear 3 days before he came home to us.  We began feeding him Orijen large breed puppy immediately, not the food recommended by the breeder. (p.s. I’m Canadian, eh?)  Gradually, Tucker began to have nice firm dark stools, no problems, except for the absolutely undescribable horrible smell of his “movements” (He always seems to manage a way to do them upwind)  I did some more research on dog food, and am a firm believer in the raw diet, but unfortunately it doesn’t fit in with our lifestyle right now (its not easy!) so I thought this food was the next best thing.

Eventually he started getting treats, chewing sticks, gnawing on bones.  The occasional runny stools would appear.  I’m beginning to think that after I give him his small meals of hamburger and rice for a few days, (recommended by vet) that I will go back on his Orijen (now on adult) and not feed him any more treats, until I can find some that are suitable.

A great article I found at dogtime.com explains canine colitus very well.

Caring for Canine Colitis

Currently, by boyfriend and I are taking turns sleeping.  Tucker needs to go outside at least every two hours or we risk having another accident.  I have the patio door open, which is an open opportunity for him to go out and dig large holes in the yard, but holes don’t smell bad, or stain your carpet.  We have settled on the lesser of two evils.  Goodbye yard!

Stay tuned for more “Tucker Files” and please, please share your experiences and success stories!  I love to read them 🙂


When the vet won’t euthanize…end of life decisions.

Okay, it has been almost two years since we put Logan down, so I will try and put into words his last days, finally.  This is completely a personal post, about my own experience.  I am by no means an expert on this subject.  I really don’t know anyone who knows for sure.  But there is someone who thinks she does.  She is, of course, a veterinarian.  Here is my story….

Logan was 11 years old.  He was a purebred Golden Retriever.  He was the most gentle, affectionate, and low maintenance dog I have ever owned…..except for the hair!  lol  Well worth the love he gave us.  I believe this has a lot to do with the fact that he was raised by the most amazing breeder I have yet to come across, was neutered at about 8 weeks of age, wasn’t vacinated, and was raised on a raw food diet.  Vets and groomers couldn’t rave enough about his temperment, coat and teeth. This particular veterinarian strongly advised me against this.  Due to having very small children (crawling) and working full time 12 hour shifts, I couldn’t maintain the raw diet and switched to the next best thing, a quality kibble (actually the next best thing would probably be a purchased raw diet, something I may look into)

I can honestly say that Logan lived a very great life.  From following us out to the middle of the lake at the cottage in our canoe, to living in the country with room to roam, while being trained to stay on the property, (only to wander over to visit the neighbours with permission).  He slept with us every night. (unless he was sprayed by a skunk, which happened a total of 4 times in his lifetime)  He was spoiled with table scraps for awhile from my parents…which made him gain serious weight.  I had to lecture them several times…”not the bread!  not the bread!”  He eventually returned to his normal, healthy weight.

He had just turned 11. Things started to change drastically.  One night, Logan had a seizure.  He started convulsing, laying on his side, head far back, legs going frantically.  He urinated and deficated.  I called the emergency vet and they explained that he was having a seizure.  They told me what to do, and if it happened again that night to bring him in.  It didn’t.  I began reading everything and anything I could on seizures in Golden Retrievers.  Believe me, there’s alot.  Idiopathic Epilepsy, or brain cancer.  The seizures gradually continued and Logan quickly deteriorated.  We finally put him on phenobarbitol.  This seemed to manage the seizures for a short time, but made him ravounesly hungry (as he was after a seizure)  He would eat everything and everything.  He wasn’t the polite golden he used to be, the one who didn’t counter surf.  I learned this the hard way.  There was a tenderloin steak we wont discuss. ..

Eventually his fur began to look all matted, his eyes were glossed over, he went blind, and would stand in the corner and bark for half an hour.  Once he fell in the pond.  When we dragged him out he was almost unresponsive.  Some towels, a blow dryer and lots of hugs and kisses brought him back..to what he was.  Despondant, but tail wagging happy at times.

This is when I made “the appointment”  The seizures were increasing again and he was eliminating almost all the time.  When you looked in his eyes, he wasn’t there, yet he would still wag is tail as a golden does.  So I go in and see the vet.  She looks him over, determines that he almost completely blind, and orders a $300 geriatric blood test.

When I mentioned I had been doing some reading and thought it might be a brain tumor, she whipped her head around towards me, gave me the most dirty look, and said “You’re not thinking of putting him down are you??”  My face turned red.  My immediate response was “No!  It’s just, he has all the symptoms”  She said she didn’t feel anything in his lymph nodes, so that wasn’t very possible.

Home I went, feeling ashamed of myself, and giving Logan all the love I could give.  Surely enough, things got worse.  He was having more than one seizure a day, was barking in the corners more, and was mostly despondant.  He still had those moments where he would wag his tail and and smile, but you know there was nobody home.  This continued for a few months.  I finally got up the nerve to make “the call” again, after speaking to several people.  When I called the vet clinic, I asked what vet was on duty.  It turned out to be her again.  I explained that I didn’t want to speak to her, and a brief explanation of why, only to be put on hold with the vet to come on the line.  I explained the situation to her.  She had Logan’s file with her and explained his thyroid count was a little low, and that maybe that was causing the promlem, and that I should put him on this certain medication.  I explained to her that I was familiar with thyroid disorder and didn’t think this would solve the problem.  She assured me this would help and I was tired of arguing, so told her I would pick up the perscription later that day.  I have not been back since.

A few more weeks of coddling, sobbing, hugging and consoling.  And cleaning up messes.  The smell after a seizure is one only to be recognized by someone who has experienced it.  One morning, Logan wouldn’t get up from the driveway.  My parents and I had the talk.  We knew.  My mom was brave enough to call another vet clinic and explain the situation.  We made the appointment for 4:30.  My daughters were away at the cottage, but knew by his state when they left that he may not be there when they returned.

We spent the afternoon sitting with him, laying with him, and trying to rouse him and give him whatever special treats he wanted.  He didn’t lift his head.  When the time came, we lifted him together, layed a comforter beneath him, and carried him to the back of the van.  I sat with him. Again, he didn’t lift his head.  We waited at least 20 minutes in the waiting room at the new vet.  We had to discuss options of disposal, etc.  It was hard.  Again, dogs and cats coming and going, Logan didn’t lift his head.  People looked at us with that “knowing” look.  I guess they could read the looks on our faces as well.

When it was finally time, we had to carry him on his comforter hammock again.  The vet spoke with a very foreign accent, and was hard to understand, but it was evident he had a hard time finding a vein.  He explained that the dog was full of cancer, and his veins were totally collapsed. I understand he cant make a definate diagnosis from just that, but we also knew.  He tried to bite us when the vet tried to find a vein.  It was a very horrible experience.  Eventually they muzzled him.  My parents were with me at the time.  When they injected the big blue tube into his front leg, we held him tight and sobbed.  It took a long time.  He seemed to be fighting.  That bothers me to this day.

When it was over we left.  Everything had changed.

I continued to receive a $40 vet bill from the original vet for phenobarbitol.    I refused to pay the bill.  Not only was I a single parent financially struggling,  I was bitter.  The last bill I received was in Dec 2011.  They would be going to collections.  I still haven’t paid this bill.  I never will.  I have never stolen, and always paid my way in life.  I don’t feel shame.  I am taking a stand for all the proactive pet owners, and against all the veterinarians who don’t understand.  It was time…..It was time.  Right?