5 Cat Immune Boosters You Probably Don’t Know About

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Some cats are born with weak immune systems.

As cats age, often their immune systems deteriorate.

Cats suffering from weak immune systems are more susceptible to infectious diseases than cats with strong immune systems.

For example, if an immunodeficient cat stays at a boarding facility, he or she may contract a respiratory disease that could, long-term, prove fatal.

Because of this, it’s very important to pay attention to your cat’s health and strengthen his or her immune system if necessary.

Below are some of our favorite cat immune boosters.

Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator (LTCI)

Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator (LTCI) specifically treats cats suffering FeLV & FIV, but also is an excellent overall immune enhancer.

LTCI is a naturally occurring protein and is a USDA-approved treatment requiring a series of painless injections administered by a veterinarian.  

Learn more about the advantages of Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator here: http://franklintnvet.com/lymphocyte-t-cell-immunomodulator-felv-and-fiv-treatment/

LTCI must be obtained and administered by a licensed veterinarian.


Acemannan is an immunomodulator polysaccharide extracted from the popular healing herb Aloe Vera.

Years ago, the FDA approved injectable Acemannan for treating fibrosarcomas and feline leukemia (FeLV).

Acemannan may also treat Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and even HIV.

Although injectable Acemannan is no longer available, you can administer the polysaccharide orally.

Our clinic successfully uses the following protocol:

  • Loading dose: 1 teaspoonful of oral acemannan daily for 5 days
  • Maintenance dose: 1/2 teaspoon daily for 4-5 weeks.
  • If you see an improvement in your pet, continue at a rate of 1/2 teaspoon daily indefinitely.

Learn more about Acemannan here: http://franklintnvet.com/aloe-vera-feline-leukemia-treatment/

You can purchase Acemannan online, without a prescription, at Amazon.com. 

Sodium Ascorbate Vitamin C

Sodium ascorbate is an over the counter form of Vitamin C.

Using sodium ascorbate to increase internal vitamin C levels boosts the immune system and provides antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects.

Improved vitamin C levels aid immune system regeneration while destroying bacteria and viruses.

Make sure you use Sodium Ascorbate, NOT Ascorbic Acid.

Because Sodium Ascorbate is a neutral pH it does not cause the same gastrointestinal distress caused by Ascorbic Acid.

Ascorbic Acid is the most common form of vitamin C, but because of its acidic pH, causes gastrointestinal distress.

The recommended sodium ascorbate dosage for cats is 1/2 teaspoon daily, splitting the dosage to 1/4 tsp with the morning feeding and 1/4 tsp with the evening feeding.

You can purchase sodium ascorbate online without a prescription.


Lysine is an over-the-counter amino acid supplement benefitting cats suffering FIV, upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, sneezing, and herpes virus.

Lysine is available as a gel, pills, flavored powder, and treats.

“Human” lysine brands come in tablet and capsule form.

We’ve found mixing Lysine powder into canned food the most efficient feeding method.

The recommended Lysine dosage is:

  • 500 mg per day, given twice daily for adult cats
  • 250 mg per day, given twice daily for kittens

You can purchase lysine online without a prescription.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil is an amazing immune booster.

Remember, cats are very sensitive to essential oils.

In order to safely use essential oils on your cat, make sure the oils are pure, unadulterated oils.

Our first choice of essential oil providers is doTERRA.

To use Frankincense on your cat, place 1-2 drops of undiluted Frankincense essential oil in your hand.

Gently rub your hands together, allowing your palms to absorb most of the essential oil.

Then, gently stroke your cat’s body.

If you can smell the essential oil on your cat’s fur, it is working!

Note: Be very careful using essential oils on cats. Some essential oils are toxic to cats when used in large quantities. To use any oil other than Frankincense or Lavender on your cat, we recommend consulting with a veterinarian or follow exact instructions found in the book “SpOil Your Pet: A Practical Guide to Using Essential Oils in Dogs and Cats” by Mia K. Frezzo, DVM. 

In addition to the above immune boosters, a healthy diet and proper food choices dramatically boost your cat’s immune system!

Click here to learn how to cook for your cat! 

If you’d like a health makeover for your cat, contact our clinic today! 

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The Ugly Truth About Pet Obesity

The Ugly Truth About Pet Obesity

Your pet has a weight problem!

Obesity is a health hazard to your pet.

But, with a little info from us and a little work on your part, your pet can start trimming down this week!

Pet Obesity Consequences

Fitter dogs live healthier lives compared to overweight pets.

Overweight pets are at risk for many medical issues.

As medical issues arise, life expectancy and quality of life decreases.

Overweight pets are more likely to develop:

  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Torn or strained ligaments
  • Excessive gas
  • Constipation
  • Arthritis

Overweight pets are also prone to respiratory, heart, and skin problems.

In addition to the above risks, overweight pets also face a lowered immune system, anal gland impaction or infection, and are at increased risk when under anesthesia and during surgery.

In addition, overweight pets are also at greater risk for heatstroke and slipped discs.

Many of the medical issues listed are quite painful for your pet – and your pocketbook.

What causes obesity? How can I help my pet?

Nearly 90% of the time, a pet is overweight is due to overeating.

Reduce Your Pet’s Food Intake

The best way to eliminate your pet’s obesity is reduce his or her food intake.

Decrease your pet’s food intake by 40%.

In other words, give your pet a little over half the portion you normally feed.

You can make the process easier for your pet by spreading the total daily ration throughout the day.

It may be less stressful, and more satisfying for your pet if you feed several small meals rather than one or two large meals each day.

Switch Your Pet From Wet to Dry Food

Many pets quickly lose excess weight when switched from kibble to a wet food diet.

PET | TAO’s Canine Blaze Formula, based on the principles of Eastern Food Therapy, provides energetic balance to sluggish, overweight pets.

Feeding the Blaze Formula may also help your pet lose weight.

Many people find home cooked diets help their pets lose weight and feel better.

Learn How to Cook for Your Pet 

Increase Exercise Your Pet’s Exercise 

Reduce the number of snacks you give your pet, especially in sedentary dogs and cats.

Lack of exercise is another cause of obesity.

Reduced activity is especially common as pets grow older.

Pets often slow down because of pain and stiffness from arthritis.

You will see results quickly if you cut back your pet’s food intake, make sure your pet takes frequent walks or gets other forms of exercise daily.

You can expect your pet to lose 1-2 pounds maximum per week.

Other Causes of Pet Obesity

Sometimes, pets become overweight for reasons other than overfeeding.

If you don’t see results with increased exercise and lowered food intake, your pet may suffer some other health issue.

Other causes of pet obesity include:

  • Lowered metabolism
  • Emotional trauma
  • Hormonal imbalances

If diet and exercise don’t make a difference within a few weeks, contact your vet.

Your vet may want to do blood work to rule out thyroid or other health issues.

Interested in a health consultation for your pet?

Contact our office today! 

#1 Natural Treatment for Dog Cushing’s Disease and Dog Atypical Cushing’s Disease

#1 Natural Treatment for Dog Cushing's Disease and Dog Atypical Cushing's Disease

What is Cushing’s Disease?

Another name for Cushing’s disease is hyperadrenocorticism.

In Cushing’s disease, the adrenal glands produce an excess production of hormones and cortisol.

Often, older dogs suffer from Cushing’s disease.

The symptoms of Cushing’s disease mimic other diseases and include:

  • Increased hunger, thirst, and urination
  • Increased panting
  • Pot-belly
  • Obesity
  • Excess fat on the neck and shoulders
  • Hair loss
  • Low energy

What is Atypical Cushing’s Disease?

Atypical Cushing’s Disease is just like Cushing’s Disease.

In Atypical Cushing’s the adrenal glands produce increased levels of intermediate adrenal steroids.

The adrenal steroids are often called “sex steroids.”

There is no cortisol increase in Atypical Cushing’s disease.

Natural Treatment for Cushing’s Disease and Atypical Cushing’s Disease

Melatonin and Lignans are an excellent natural treatment for both Cushing’s and Atypical Cushing’s disease.

Melatonin and lignans help your dog’s system return to normal.

Lignans improve skin and coat.

Lignans also help restore normal eating, drinking and urination patterns.

In addition, lignans restore energy and inhibit the 3-beta HSD enzyme.

Inhibiting the 3-beta HSD enzyme reduces cortisol levels.


Melatonin helps balance out the hormones and can slow the growth of tumors.

A general guideline for dosing melatonin is:

  • 1.5 mg for dogs under 25 lbs once or twice daily
  • 3 mg for an average medium to large sized dog once or twice daily
  • 6 mg if the dog’s weight exceeds 100 lbs once or twice daily

Research recommends not exceeding a melatonin dosage of 3-6mg every 8-12 hours.


The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine recommends lignan dosages of:

  • SDG flax hull lignans – 1 mg per lb of body weight
  • HMR lignans – total doses of 10mg – 40mg daily should be adequate for small to large dogs

A high quality, cost-effective supplier of melatonin and lignans is Swanson Vitamins.

Below are links to some of our research on Cushing’s and Atypical Cushing’s disease.

Melatonin and Lignan Supplements Treat Atypical Cushings in Dogs

Melatonin and Lignans Treatment

Looking for natural options for your pet?


Learn More About Cushing’s Disease and How to Make Your Dog Feel Better

9 Alternative Options for Dog Arthritis

Alternative Options for Dog Arthritis

Dog arthritis is a condition of inflammation in the joints.

Arthritis symptoms include joint pain and stiffness, which worsen with age.

In fact, almost all dogs suffer from arthritis as they age.

Options for Dog Arthritis

Luckily, caretakers have several dog arthritis treatment options.

In addition, the options listed are non-pharmaceutical and do not cause side effects!


Adequan is an injectable prescription medication known as a “polysulfated glycosaminoglycan.”

Injectable glucosamine is another, similar medication, used just like adequan.

Both Adequan lubricates joints and rebuilds cartilage in the damaged joint, all with no side effects.

Learn More About Adequan

Laser Therapy, Adequan and Legend Injection Combination

Sometimes we use a combination of several therapies to relieve pain and speed healing.

One such combination is laser therapy, Adequan injections, and Legend injections.

The combination has no side effects.

Learn More About Laser, Adequan and Legend Combinations

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy increases the blood flow to the injured area.

Increased blood flow promotes increased circulation to the injured area, reducing inflammation and pain.

As a result, laser therapy repairs cellular damage to cells, stimulates healing, and stimulates the creation of new collagen.

Learn More About Laser Therapy


Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) treatment method.

According to Eastern theory, the flow of “Qi” (energy) governs the body’s health.

Qi flows through the body via meridians.

Disruption or imbalance of “Qi” causes illness.

Acupuncture needles, inserted at certain points, restore the flow of Qi.

As a result, restoration of Qi flow restores health and relieves pain.

Learn More About Acupuncture


Electro-acupuncture works much like traditional acupuncture.

The acupuncturist inserts needles at specific points along the body.

Then, the practitioner attaches the needles to a device generating continuous electric pulses.

During electro-acupuncture, the practitioner adjusts the frequency and intensity of the impulse depending on the condition.

In most cases, an electro-acupuncture session usually lasts 20-30 minutes.

Learn More About Electro-Acupuncture


Prolotherapy is an alternative medicine treatment sometimes called proliferation therapy or regenerative injection therapy.

During prolotherapy, the doctor injects an irritant solution into tendons and/or ligaments.

The irritant solution stimulates healing in the injected areas.

Consequently, the dog experiences pain relief and a faster healing time.

Learn More About Prolotherapy

Hyaluronic Acid Arthritis Treatments

Another name for Hyaluronic Acid Arthritis Treatments is Legend IV Treatments.

Injectable hyaluronic acid regulates cells in the inflamed joint.

The injections heal the joint lining and increase the joint fluid viscosity.

Accordingly, increased joint fluid lubricates and cushions the joint and helps protect the joint lining.

Learn more about Hyaluronic Acid Arthritis Treatments

Herbal Therapy

Herbal therapy is a gentle treatment causing little or no side effects.

In addition, herbal therapy builds strength, eases arthritis pain, and reduces inflammation in dogs with arthritis.

Learn more about Herbal Therapy

White Pine Bark and Pycnogenol

White pine bark and Pycnogenol both affect the body in the same way.

Both white pine bark and Pycnogenol contain procyanidins.

Procyanidins are powerful antioxidants inhibiting pro-inflammatory enzymes.

Consequently, dogs suffering from arthritis experience reduced pain and inflammation.

Learn more about White Pine Bark & Pycnogenol

No-Slip Booties

No-slip booties help dogs walk better on hardwood and other slick flooring surfaces.

The best no-slip booties for arthritic dogs are:

Harnesses for Dogs with Rear-End Weakness

Some dogs with arthritis experience hindquarter weakness and have trouble walking.

A support harness has handles, making it easy for the dog’s caretaker to lift and support the hind legs.

Using the harness, the dog walks on the front legs while the caretaker supports the rear legs.

An excellent harness for dogs with hind leg weakness is the GingerLead.

Does your dog have arthritis?

Are you looking for options?

Contact us today!

Read The Pet Owner’s Guide To Dog Arthritis

6 Things To Think About Before Scheduling Dog ACL Surgery

6 Things to Think About Before Scheduling Dog ACL Surgery

Canine cruciate surgery is a very stressful and expensive endeavor for dog owners.

Nobody likes to see a beloved family member in pain!

But is surgery really necessary?

Surgery is SO expensive!

Are other options available?

What if it doesn’t work?

Which surgery should I choose?

The list of questions is infinite.

We’ve compiled some information to help you better understand the options available.

With this information, you can make the best choice for your dog.

1. Prolotherapy May Be a Non-Surgical Option for Large Breed Dogs

There is some good news- maybe you can bypass surgery at this time.

Yes, sometimes you can skip the surgery and opt for prolotherapy instead.

Prolotherapy is also called:

  • proliferation therapy
  • regenerative injection therapy.

During prolotherapy, the doctor injects an irritant solution into the tendon or ligaments.

Prolotherapy injections stimulate healing of the tear and relieve pain.

In large breed dogs, prolotherapy often treats partial tears just as completely as surgery.

Learn More About Prolotherapy

In large breed dogs, prolotherapy often treats partial tears just as completely as surgery.

2. You Can Choose “Bone Cutting” Surgery or the “Fishing Line” Technique

If your dog suffers from a torn cruciate ligament, you are well aware your dog is in pain.

Most likely, a trip to your vet results in a recommendation for surgery.

Often, family veterinarians do not perform bone surgeries.

Your vet may refer you to a specialist.

Most specialists recommend a “bone-cutting” type of surgery to repair a torn ACL.

Statistics show bone-cutting surgeries:

  • Slightly outperform the fishing-line technique in long-term function.
  • Have shortened recovery times and faster resolution of post-surgical pain.

Unfortunately, bone-cutting surgeries cost an average of 50% more than the fishing-line technique.

Furthermore, if something goes wrong during surgery or the recovery period, the side-effects could include the loss of your dog’s leg.

For this reason, we offer the “fishing-line” technique in the clinic as an option to our clients.

Learn More About the Fishing-Line Technique

3. Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) Surgery May Be A Better Choice Than Standard Cruciate Surgery

Tibial Tuberosity Advancement is the newest, most innovative canine knee surgery to date.

TTA surgery may be a better option than regular ACL surgery for high-energy dogs weighing over 50 pounds.

Learn More About Tibial Tuberosity Advancement

4. Your Dog Will Need Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

For best results, you must institute physical therapy immediately after surgery.

Post-surgery rehabilitation ensures:

  • proper healing
  • the maximum range of motion
  • flexibility.

In fact, good post-surgical rehabilitation can even be the difference in whether or not your surgery is successful!

Learn More About Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

5. Prevent Your Dog from Tearing the Good Knee Ligament After Surgery

Studies show 50% of dogs who tear one cruciate ligament will tear the ligament on the opposite side sometime in the future.

The reported statistic is 50%, but in real life, the percentage is probably closer to 70%.

The reason for the probability of injury on the other side is due to compensation. Often after surgery, the “good” knee becomes overused.

As a result, overuse or excessive weight-bearing can cause the beginnings of a cruciate tear in the “good” knee.

Learn How to Prevent the Second Injury

6. Dogs are Individuals and Have Individual Needs, Just Like People!

Last but not least, please don’t forget your dog is an individual!

Your dog’s health status is unique, and your dog has individual needs just like you!

At Natchez Trace Veterinary Services, we KNOW dogs are individuals.

We treat each dog as an individual, and no two treatment plans are the same.

Contact us today to learn more about your dog’s individual needs!