Expert Insights on Pet Health and Well-Being: A Q&A with Dr. Suter

December 19, 2022

The health and well-being of our pets are of the utmost importance. Working with a veterinarian or other qualified pet care professional is essential to ensure that we provide the best possible care for our furry companions and address any health concerns that may arise.

In a recent Q&A session with Dr. Suter, a veterinarian, and expert in holistic pet care, several topics were covered related to the health and well-being of pets. Some key points discussed included:

  • The importance of switching a pet's diet.
  • The benefits of raw food for puppies and kittens.
  • The need to identify and address the root cause of problems such as excessive licking or anxiety.

Dr. Suter also provided insights into how to manage back leg issues and dementia in pets through exercise and movement and the importance of regular microbiome testing to assess the health of a pet's gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Suter is the author of the book "What Your Vet Never Told You," has a website (suterdvm.com), and is active on social media platforms where you can learn more about her work and expertise.

 

Overview

  • Topping up kibble with raw food may cause digestive issues in some pets, and feeding them separately in different meals may be advisable. If a pet has problems switching between foods, it could signify a microbiome imbalance.
  • Raw food is generally the best option for puppies and kittens, but the diet may need to reassess if digestive issues arise later in life. It is important to use reputable sources when creating homemade recipes and to ensure that the diet meets the pet's needs.
  • Switching a pet's diet is important, and a healthy pet should be able to switch between diets without difficulty.
  • Excessive licking and chewing, mainly if they prevent the pet from relaxing, can signify a severe licking problem. Causes of itching and licking can include yeast, bacteria infection, fleas, mites, or allergies, and it is essential to identify the root cause of the problem.
  • Extreme anxiety in pets can be challenging to address with supplements alone, and working with a behavior specialist may be necessary.
  • Valley fever is a fungal infection that is more common in Arizona and is distinct from mold found in homes.
  • Exercise and movement can help with back leg issues and dementia in pets, as they can maintain muscle mass and stimulate the brain.
  • The best source of protein for pets may depend on their sensitivities and the quality of the meat.
  • Severe cases of inflammation and food sensitivities may be reversible through holistic medicine, and it is essential to identify the root cause of the problem, such as hormone levels.
  • A microbiome test, which checks the microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, is recommended once a year to assess the health of a pet's microbiome.
  • Dr. Suter has a book and a website (suterdvm.com) and is active on social media platforms.

 

Questions Asked:

Is topping up kibble with raw food not advisable, as it may create gastro issues? 

Many factors play into how well a pet will digest food, microbiome, stomach acid production, and intestinal motility, affecting how well pets will be able to handle different foods. For example, if your pet is having issues combining raw food with kibble, it is recommended that you feed it to them separately in other meals (i.e., breakfast kibble, dinner raw food). Likewise, if your pet has issues with switching between foods, it points to a microbiome imbalance. 

What's the best food for a new puppy or kitten? (raw vs. kibble) 

Starting puppies or kittens on a raw food diet is the best place to start. However, as the pet ages and problems with its digestive system arise, it is always safe to reassess and change the diet as needed. If you create your recipes, we recommend getting them from a reputable source while also changing food to ensure they cover all of their needs. 

Do you recommend changing the diet of a pet? 

Yes, switching diets for your pets is very important. Suppose your pet has challenges switching from diet to diet. That is an indication that there is something that needs to be addressed. However, a healthy pet has a healthy digestive tract and can switch from diet to diet. 

What can I do to stop my dog from licking its paws with a yeast issue? 

Remember, only some things that cause itching will be considered yeast. Itching and licking can indicate bacteria infection, fleas, mites, or allergies. Make sure you find the root cause of the problem and take the work to find the root cause. 

Is there an amount of licking that is acceptable? 

Excessive licking and chewing where the dog cannot relax is a sign that there is a severe licking problem. Also, keep an eye out for redness, swollen paws, or areas where they are itching for signs of excessive licking. 

What to do if my dog has anxiety from thunder, rain, fireworks, and lightning? 

For cases of extreme anxiety, it is difficult to deal with this with just supplements. Working with a behavior specialist is the best way to help with severe cases alongside accessories. Can valley fever be related to pets living in a moldy environment? Valley fever is more common in Arizona, a fungal organism different from the mold we see in homes. 

Is there anything I can do to help a pet with rear leg issues and dementia holistically? 

Exercise is a huge game changer. The more muscle mass you can maintain is better for the pet. The movement also has a vast stimulatory effect on the brain, helping with leg muscles. 

Is beef or chicken a better source of protein? 

It depends on the animal; if an animal is sensitive to chicken, beef is better, and vice versa. But, of course, meat quality also plays a role in this. 

Can I reverse this with holistic medicine for severe inflammation and food sensitivities? 

The first step is doing general blood work and a full thyroid panel. Then, find the root cause of the toxicity buildup and look to fight the cause of the problems. Hormone levels can be the cause of these severe cases. The book pets at risk by Dr. Alfred Plechner can shed light on severe cases like these. 

How often should we test our dog's microbiome? And how do you do that? 

A Microbiome test is a test that checks the microbial floor that lives in the gastrointestinal tract. Doing a test once a year is recommended because of how easily outside factors can affect the microbiome. For example, stress, food, change in exercise routine, and much more can affect the microbiome. The Animal Biome microbiome test is the one that Dr. Suter uses. 

Where can we learn more about Dr. Suter? 

Dr. Suter has a book called 'What your vet never told you,' along with a website that is suterdvm.com, as well as being on all social media platforms. 

 

Conclusion

Overall, the Q&A session with Dr. Suter highlighted the complexity of factors that can affect a pet's health and well-being and the importance of working with a veterinarian or other qualified pet care professional to ensure that any treatment or management plan is safe and appropriate for the specific needs of the pet. In addition, by understanding the benefits and potential challenges of different diets, identifying and addressing the root cause of issues such as excessive licking or anxiety, and incorporating exercise and movement into a pet's routine, pet owners can take an active role in supporting the health and well-being of their furry companions.