Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain everyday substances-or allergens- as dangerous. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a dog with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact a dog’s skin. As his body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear.

What Are the General Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?
• Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
• Increased scratching
• Itchy, runny eyes
• Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
• Itchy ears and ear infections
• Sneezing
• Vomiting
• Diarrhoea
• Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
• Paw chewing/swollen paws
• Constant licking

Allergic dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, which may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin.

Which Dogs Are At Risk for Getting Allergies?
Any dog can develop allergies at any time during his life, but allergic reactions seem to be especially common in Terriers, Setters, Retrievers, and flat-faced breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston terriers.

What Substances Can Dogs Be Allergic To?
A few common allergens include:
• Tree, grass and weed pollens
• Mould spores
• Dust and house dust mites
• Dander
• Feathers
• Cigarette smoke
• Food ingredients (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy)
• Prescription drugs
• Fleas and flea-control products (Only a few flea bites can trigger intense itchiness for two to three weeks!)
• Perfumes
• Cleaning products
• Fabrics
• Insecticidal shampoo
• Rubber and plastic materials

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Food?
Yes, but it often takes some detective work to find out what substance is causing the allergic reaction. Dogs with a food allergy will commonly have itchy skin, chronic ear infections or sometimes gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea and vomiting, and an elimination diet will most probably be used to determine what food he is allergic to. If your dog is specifically allergic to chicken, for example, you should avoid feeding him any products containing chicken protein or fat.

Please note that food allergies may show up in dogs at any age.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Allergies?
Visit your veterinarian. After taking a complete history and conducting a physical examination, he or she may be able to determine the source of your dog’s allergic reaction. If not, your vet will most probably recommend skin or blood tests, or a special elimination diet, to find out what’s causing the allergic reaction.

How Are Dog Allergies Diagnosed?
If your dog’s itchy, red or irritated skin persists beyond initial treatment by a veterinarian, allergy testing, most often performed by a veterinary dermatologist, is likely warranted. The diagnostic test of choice is an intradermal skin test similar to the one performed on humans.

The only way to diagnose a food allergy is to feed your dog a prescription or hydrolysed protein diet exclusively for 12 weeks. The importance of not feeding your dog anything but the diet cannot be emphasized enough-that means no treats, table food or flavoured medication. This diet will be free of potential allergy-causing ingredients and will ideally have ingredients your dog has never been exposed to. He’ll remain on the diet until his symptoms go away, at which time you’ll begin to reintroduce old foods to see which ones might be causing the allergic reaction.

Please note, many dogs diagnosed with a food allergy will require home-cooked meals – but this must be done in conjunction with your veterinarian, as it requires careful food balancing.

How Can Dog Allergies Be Treated?
The best way to treat allergies is to remove the offending allergens from the environment.
• Prevention is the best treatment for allergies caused by fleas. Start a flea control programme for all of your pets before the season starts. Remember, outdoor pets can carry fleas inside to indoor pets. See your veterinarian for advice about the best flea control products for your dog and the environment.
• If dust is the problem, clean your pet’s bedding once a week and vacuum at least twice weekly-this includes rugs, curtains and any other materials that gather dust.
• Weekly bathing may help relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from your dog’s skin. Discuss with your vet what prescription shampoos are best, as frequent bathing with the wrong product can dry out skin.
• If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, she’ll need to be put on an exclusive prescription or hydrolysed protein diet. Once the allergy is determined, your vet will recommend specific foods or a home-cooked diet.

Are There Allergy Medications for Dogs?
Since certain substances cannot be removed from the environment, your vet may recommend medications to control the allergic reaction:
• In the case of airborne allergens, your dog may benefit from allergy injections. These will help your pet develop resistance to the offending agent, instead of just masking the itch.
• Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be used, but may only benefit a small percentage of dogs with allergies. Ask your vet first.
• Fatty acid supplements might help relieve your dog’s itchy skin. There are also shampoos that may help prevent skin infection, which occurs commonly in dogs with allergies. Sprays containing oatmeal, aloe and other natural products are also available.
• An immune modulating drug may also be helpful.
• There are several flea-prevention products that can be applied monthly to your dog’s skin.
• If the problem is severe, you may have to resort to cortisone to control the allergy.

However these drugs are strong and should be used with caution and only under the guidance of your veterinarian.

Are Allergies and Bronchitis Related?
Chronic exposure to inhaled irritants (including cigarette smoke) may be a cause of bronchitis in the dog. Bronchitis is characterized by a persistent cough due to inflammation of the airway and excessive mucous production. Treatment may include medication to open breathing passages, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents. Please remember, your pets should not be exposed to cigarette smoke.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviourist
The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviourist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behaviour problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet’s condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please explore alternative resources on finding financial help.

© 2009-2014 ASPCA. All Rights Reserved.


Agressie by honde- Karin Delport

Na aanleiding van baie vrae wat gevra is, het ek dit nodig geag om hierdie plasing te doen. Ek wil dit net vir almal op die hart druk dat dit nie die gewenste manier is om ‘n situasie te hanteer nie en beveel dit ten sterkste aan dat ‘n honde gedragskenner eerder ingeroep word! Honde gedragskenners het ‘ter plaatse’ die vermoë om die omstandighede baie beter op te som en reaksies (van die hond sowel as die ander gesinslede) te evalueer!

Net eers bietjie inligting wat leersaam is! Ons as mens moet altyd in gedagte hou dat honde nog steeds diere is met instink en al is hul deel van ons gesinne, moet hul respek vir die mens hê soos ons vir hul moet hê as ‘n dier! Soos ons met ‘n hond speel as baba, is hoe hy gaan speel/byt as hy groot is! In die trop speel hulle en leer mekaar se “soft spots” so hul doen dit nog steeds wanneer hul groot is. Maar, oor die grootmaak van veral groot ras honde later!

Die probleem wat ons nou baie kry op die blad is reeds volwasse honde wat probleme veroorsaak! Ek wil dit beklemtoon dat ons moet dink soos ‘n hond in ‘n trop en NIE verwag dat die hond moet dink soos ‘n mens nie! Soveel as wat ons dit wil hê, is dit nie moontlik nie en as daar meer as een hond is, vorm hulle makliker ‘n trop omdat hulle heeldag bymekaar is! Hulle reageer op instink en dinge wat hul geleer het tydens die grootmaak proses. Goeie voorbeelde van tropgedrag – meerkatte is seker die tropdiere wat hul hiërargie die beste intakt hou. En olifante – wow, hul is uitstekend! Ek sal die gedrag verduidelik saam met hoe dit toegepas moet word in gesinsverband.
1. Die leier eet eerste! As jy bv. ‘n bak kos neersit waar daar meer as een hond is, sal jou tropleier eerste eet en eet soveel as wat hy wil. Hy het nie ‘n saak of hy als opeet of nie! Het nie gewete nie, nie ‘n saak of daar oorbly vir die res nie! Die wat dit waag om nader te kom sal weg gegrom word en indien nie padgee nie, weg gebyt word! Daarom is dit so baie belangrik om kinders te leer om nie by honde se kos te pla nie! Jou kind is gewoond om by jul hond se kos te gaan, nou nader hy die vriende se hond se kosbak en word gebyt! Nie die hond se skuld nie (die kind is nie deel van ‘n ander hond se hiërargie nie). Dus, leer jou kind by die huis! Voor jy die kos neersit, maak of jy uit sy bak eet, DUS JY EET EERSTE! Die ideaal is dat die hele gesin eet en wanneer die borde in die wasbak gesit word, kry die honde kos – in die volgorde van hul range! Onthou jou klein ras hond kan nie die tropleier wees nie!

2. Die leier besit al die speelgoed ens. wat gegee word! Dus die leier sal die speelgoed (bv. bal) eerste vat en die res weg grom of byt! Baie gevegte onder honde begin met iets so simpel soos ‘n bal! Jy en die gesin moet altyd in beheer wees van al die speelgoed en julle stop ook die spel, moenie wag dat die hond bv. die bal ens. vat en daarmee gaan lê en vir homself toe-eien nie! Daar word gespeel vir, sê, 5 minute, dan word die spel gestop om na iets anders aan te beweeg. Geen “tug-of-war” toutrek spel word met ‘n groot ras hond gespeel nie – tensy jy seker maak dat jy altyd die spel wen en beheer van die speelding terugkry! Terwyl jul speel word jy as teenstander mooi opgesom, jou kragte word bepaal en vasgebrand in sy brein! Die dag met ‘n konfrontasie weet hy presies hoe sterk jy is en waar jou swak punte is en sal reguit gaan daarvoor!

3. Die leier slaap op die beste plek! Jy as leier slaap op die bed, dus sal die dominante hond ook daar wil slaap! Ek stel voor dat al die honde op die vloer in hul mandjie slaap – nie die klein ras op die bed en die groot ras op die vloer nie! Jy skep ‘n rede vir die groot ras hond om die kleintjie te byt! ‘n Hond wat vir homself ‘n bed toegeëien het sal selfs ‘n klein kind wat naby ‘sy’ bed kom, byt! Dus hy besit ook nie die bed nie! As jy regtig ‘n baie dominante hond het, dan verwyder jy al die honde uit jou slaapkamer, soos in ‘n ander vertrek of tot voor jou deur! Jul het seker agterkom ek praat nie van buite nie – jou hond hoort in jou huis, hy kan jou nie van buite die huis beskerm nie!

4. Die leier sal na die ander honde gaan en vra om ge”groom“ (gelek) te word. Indien ‘n ander hond sy persoonlike spasie inkom sonder sy toestemming sal hy grom of hap! Hy sal sy neus onder jou hand kom indruk sodat jy hom kan vryf – ons vryf hul outomaties en net daar domineer hy jou – so hy is jou baas! Jy as eienaar moet die dominante een wees! Dus as hy kom aandag vra moet jy hom ignoreer! Soveel dat jy vou jou arms en kyk weg! Ignoreer hom heeltemal; hy gaan heel moontlik sy poot op jou sit en jou hand probeer nader krap sodat jy sy kop kan krap! Moet nie vir hom kyk nie! Hy gaan vir jou ‘n puppy face gooi en jy gaan sag word (veral die vroue, ons is ‘suckers’ vir ‘puppy faces’!). Jy kan so ver gaan as om op te staan en op ‘n ander plek te gaan sit of selfs net te staan! As hy die gewoonte het om op jou sitplek te gaan sit die oomblik as jy opstaan, sê hy ook vir jou dat hy baie dominant is! As hy grom as jy hom wil af vat, het jy moeilikheid met ‘n groot ras! Dus jy moet sorg dat hy ‘n band met ‘n lang tou om die nek het sodat jy hom daar kan aftrek, sonder om met hom te praat en met jou rug na hom toe! Moenie oog kontak maak nie!

5. Die leier is die “first line of defence”! Al wat dit beteken, is wanneer die trop aangeval word, is die tropleier voor! Hy neem die leiding en begin die aanval! Gaan jou hond mal voor die deur en hou al die ander honde weg van die deur en probeer selfs vir jou weghou van die deur af, is dit jou teken dat daar ‘n probleem kan ontstaan – hy kan jou voor die deur byt of as jy die deur oopmaak, byt wie ook al aan die ander kant is! Dis hier waar opleiding so belangrik is om vir jou hond te kan sê BLY! Sit weer die band met ‘n lang tou aan en oefen dit. Jou hond loop nooit voor jou by ‘n deur uit nie! As dit ‘n baie groot swaar hond is, laat iemand jou help deur hom terug te hou dat jy eerste loop! Onthou om hom te prys vir die aksie! Onthou asb. om die ander onderdanige honde weg te hou, hul moet asseblief nie voor hom uit hardloop nie! Dan gee jy die indruk dat jy hul hoër ag as hy! As jy alleen is, oefen dit deur hom te blok om nie verby jou te loop nie!

Weereens wil ek jul vra – indien jul sit met ‘n dominante, aggressiewe hond – veral die groot rasse – om eerder ‘n professionele persoon se hulp in te roep! Nooit ooit word daar aan ‘n hond geslaan nie – agressie maak agressie wakker! Kry vir jou ‘n waterbottel wat spuit, nie sproei nie, om enige wangedrag mee te hanteer – geen geslanery nie, maar ferm optrede.

Karin Delport

Dieregesdragskundige en Lid van Pierre@ Dieregesondheid



Hypoadrenocorticism in Dogs

Mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids are hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands, which are located near the kidneys. Both of these hormones are critical to the healthy functioning of the body, and an abnormal increase or decrease of either of these hormones can lead to serious health problems if not addressed in time. Hypoadrenocorticism is characterized by a deficient production of glucocorticoids and/or mineralocorticoids. Deficient production of both these hormones can cause a number of symptoms like weakness, dehydration, low blood pressure, depression, heart toxicity, vomiting, blood in faeces and weight loss.

This disease is relatively rare in dogs, but when it does occur it tends to be seen most often in young to middle-aged dogs, female dogs, and may be familial in Bearded Collies, Standard Poodles, Portuguese water dogs, West Highland white terriers, Rottweilers, and wheaten terriers.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms will vary depending on the duration of the problem. Life-threatening symptoms are usually observed in acute episodes of this disease. The following symptoms are commonly observed in dogs:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite (anorexia)
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhoea
  • Shaking
  • Increased frequency of urination (polyuria)
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Depression
  • Dehydration
  • Weak pulse
  • Collapse
  • Low temperature
  • Blood in faeces
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Painful abdomen


  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) deficiency
  • Metastatic tumours
  • Long term glucocorticoid withdrawal


You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your dog’s health and onset of symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your dog, including routine laboratory tests, a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. The complete blood count may reveal anaemia, an abnormally high number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cells that readily stains with eosin dye), and an increased number of lymphocytes (also a type of white blood cell) called (lymphocytosis).

Serum biochemistry testing may reveal an abnormally higher level of potassium, and an accumulation in the blood of urea – nitrogenous waste products that are usually excreted out of the body through the urine (azotemia). Other findings include lower levels of sodium (hyponatremia) and chloride (hypochloremia), increased levels of calcium (hypercalcemia), increased liver enzymes, including ALT and AST, and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). The urinalysis may reveal a low concentration of urine. The definitive test for diagnosing this condition is by detecting the levels of cortisol in the body. Normally the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is produced by the pituitary gland, which then stimulates the adrenal glands to release their hormones. ACTH can be injected into the body to test the normal response functions of the adrenal glands. If your dog’s adrenal glands do not show an increase in the release of hormones after being given ACTH, then the diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism will be confirmed. Visual diagnostic procedures, like X-ray and ultrasound, may reveal smaller than normal adrenal glands.


A sudden and severe (acute) episode of hypoadrenocorticism is a medical emergency requiring immediate hospitalization and intensive therapy. The treatment for this disease depends on the type and severity of symptoms. Patients with low bodily fluids are given intravenous fluids to replace the deficient fluid levels, but the cornerstone of therapy is to supplementally replace the deficient hormones. Dogs that have been diagnosed with this condition need to be treated with hormone injections for the rest of their lives.

Living and Management

In case of an acute episode of hypoadrenocorticism, your dog will need immediate treatment due to life-threatening symptoms. After the initial recovery, your veterinarian will calculate the dose that will balance your dog’s hormone deficiency. The dose of these hormones may need to be increased occasionally, especially during periods of stress like travel, hospitalization, and surgery. Do not alter the brand or dose of hormone that has been prescribed without first consulting your veterinarian.

After the initial hormone replacement, you will need to visit your veterinarian at weekly intervals for at least the first four weeks. Your veterinarian will measure your dog’s hormones during therapy and will modify the doses accordingly. Hormone injections are usually required at monthly intervals, and in some patients they are required every three weeks. Electrolyte levels will also be checked regularly due to the significant alternations in electrolytes that are typically seen with this disease. Good owner compliance is required for the life of the patient in order to benefit from treatment. However, with regular treatment, most patients do well and have a good prognosis.





Proven Health Benefits of Ginger

Proven Health Benefits of Ginger

By Joe Leech, Dietitian |

Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.

It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

Here are 11 health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research.

  1. Ginger Contains Gingerol, a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Ginger is a flowering plant that originated from China.

It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.

The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger.

Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few.

This is what ground, fresh and sliced ginger looks like:

Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, and is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics. It is a very common ingredient in recipes.

The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.

Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (1).

Bottom Line: Ginger is a popular spice. It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

  1. Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness

Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea (2).

For example, it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication (3).

Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (4, 5).

But it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness.

According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea (6).

However, ginger had no effect on vomiting episodes in this study.

Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant. Some believe that large amounts can raise the risk of miscarriage, but there are currently no studies to support this.

Bottom Line: 1-1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea. This applies to sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery and morning sickness.

  1. Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness

Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain.

In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises (7).

Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain (8).

These effects are believed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory properties.

Bottom Line: Ginger appears to be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain, and may reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.

  1. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Can Help With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common health problem.

It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness.

In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication (9).

Another study found that a combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically (10).

Bottom Line: There are some studies showing ginger to be effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a very common health problem.

  1. Ginger May Drastically Lower Blood Sugars and Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors

This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties.

In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12% (11).

It also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks.

There was also a 28% reduction in the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, and a 23% reduction in markers for oxidized lipoproteins. These are both major risk factors for heart disease.

This graph shows what happened:

Photo Source: Suppversity.

However, keep in mind that this was just one small study. The results are incredibly impressive, but they need to be confirmed in larger studies before any recommendations can be made.

Bottom Line: Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.

  1. Ginger Can Help Treat Chronic Indigestion

Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach.

It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion.

Interestingly, ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition.

After eating soup, ginger reduced the time it took for the stomach to empty from 16 to 12 minutes (12).

In a study of 24 healthy individuals, 1.2 grams of ginger powder before a meal accelerated emptying of the stomach by 50% (13).

Bottom Line: Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.

  1. Ginger Powder May Significantly Reduce Menstrual Pain

Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) refers to pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain.

In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period (14).

Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.

Bottom Line: Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period.

  1. Ginger May Lower Cholesterol Levels

High levels of LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

The foods you eat can have a strong influence on LDL levels.

In a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3 grams of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers (15).

This is supported by a study in hypothyroid rats, where ginger extract lowered LDL cholesterol to a similar extent as the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin (16).

Both studies also showed reductions in total cholesterol and blood triglycerides.

Bottom Line: There is some evidence, in both animals and humans, that ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.

  1. Ginger Contains a Substance That May Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a very serious disease that is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer.

The anti-cancer properties are attributed to 6-gingerol, a substance that is found in large amounts in raw ginger (17, 18).

In a study of 30 individuals, 2 grams of ginger extract per day significantly reduced pro-inflammatory signalling molecules in the colon (19).

However, a follow-up study in individuals at a high risk of colon cancer did not confirm these findings (20).

There is some, albeit limited, evidence that ginger may be effective against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. More research is needed (21, 22, 23).

Bottom Line: Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may have protective effects against cancer. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.

  1. Ginger May Improve Brain Function and Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process.

They are believed to be among the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.

Some studies in animals suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain (24).

There is also some evidence that ginger can enhance brain function directly. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory (25).

There are also numerous studies in animals showing that ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function (26, 27, 28).

Bottom Line: Studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function in elderly women.

  1. The Active Ingredient in Ginger Can Help Fight Infections

Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections.

In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria (29, 30).

It is very effective against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis (31).

Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections (32).

  1. Anything Else?

Ginger is one of the very few “superfoods” that are actually worthy of that term.


Ginger’s Many Evidence-Based Health Benefits Revealed

By Dr. Mercola

Ginger is one spice that I recommend keeping on hand in your kitchen at all times. Not only is it a wonderful addition to your cooking (especially paired with garlic) but it also has enough medicinal properties to fill several books.

Fresh ginger root keeps well in your freezer. If you find yourself nauseous or with an upset stomach, mince up a small amount (about the size of your fingernail) and swallow it. You’ll be amazed at the relief it provides. Yet this is only the beginning…

Therapeutic Benefits of Ginger Noted for Thousands of Years

The medicinal uses of ginger have been known for at least 2,000 years in cultures all around the world. Although it originated in Asia, ginger is valued in India, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean, among other regions.

The most commonly used medicinal part of the plant is the rhizome, the root-like stem that grows underground. It’s a rich source of antioxidants including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones, and more. Ginger actually has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, to name just several of its more than 40 pharmacological actions.1

Ginger Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties That May Rival Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

For instance, ginger (like many natural plant compounds) is anti-inflammatory, which makes it a valuable tool for pain relief. In 2001, research showed that ginger oil helped reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis.2

In 2013, a study also found that women athletes taking three grams of ginger or cinnamon daily (that’s less than one teaspoon) had a significant decrease in muscle soreness.3 Ginger has even been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain from menstrual cramps in women.4

The pain-relieving potential of ginger appears to be far-reaching. Along with help for muscle and joint pain, ginger has been found to reduce the severity of migraine headaches as well as the migraine medication Sumatriptan – with fewer side effects.5

Another recent study, which was presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference, found that adding ginger compounds to isoproterenol, a type of asthma medication called a beta-agonist, enhanced its bronchodilating effects. Because ginger enhances bronchodilation, it may provide a much safer alternative, or at least complement, to current asthma medications on the market.

Ginger Shows Promise as a Cancer and Diabetes Fighter

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties no doubt make it beneficial for many chronic inflammatory diseases including cancer. Indeed, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition6 has demonstrated the in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity of ginger, suggesting it may be effective in the management of prostate cancer.

Other research shows it has anti-tumor activity that may help defeat difficult-to-treat types of cancer, including lung, ovarian, colon, breast, skin, and pancreatic.7 Furthermore, because ginger helps prevent the toxic effects of many substances (including cancer drugs), it may be useful to take in addition to conventional cancer treatments.8

As for diabetes, ginger appears to be useful both preventively and therapeutically via effects on insulin release and action, and improved carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.

According to one comprehensive review, a clinical trial that was performed found that after consuming three grams of dry ginger powder for 30 days, diabetic participants had a significant reduction in blood glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol.9 It’s thought that ginger has a positive effect on diabetes because it:

  • Inhibits enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism
  • Increases insulin release and sensitivity
  • Improves lipid profiles

Ginger also has also been established to have a protective effect against diabetes complications, including offering protection to the diabetic’s liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and eyes.

The Power of Ginger for Nausea, Motion Sickness, and Digestive Upset

No article about ginger would be complete without highlighting its wonderful use for digestive upsets. In my book, it is one of the best natural remedies if you struggle with motion sickness or nausea (from pregnancy or chemotherapy, for example), ginger should be a staple in your diet. Research shows:

  • Taking one gram of ginger daily may help reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, and ginger has been shown to work better than a placebo in relieving morning sickness10
  • Daily ginger supplementation reduces the severity of chemotherapy-induced nausea11
  • Ginger may help reduce vomiting and other symptoms of motion sickness12

Ginger is also a must-have if you struggle with indigestion, and it does more than simply relieve pain. Ginger helps to stimulate the emptying of your stomach without any negative effects,13 and it’s an antispasmodic agent, which may explain its beneficial effects on your intestinal tract. Additionally, ginger inhibits H. pylori, which may help prevent ulcers, while also protecting gastric mucosa.14

From Heart Health to Weight Loss: 12 More Uses for Ginger

What else is ginger good for? Ginger is a metabolism boosting substance that may temporarily increase thermogenesis in your body, where your body burns stored up fat to create heat, with beneficial impacts on overall metabolism and fat storage. Research suggests that consuming thermogenic ingredients like ginger may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent.15

Ginger may even help counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that often occurs during weight loss. This suggests ginger may be useful for weight loss, and that’s not all.

According to research compiled by GreenMedInfo,16, 17 ginger may also be useful for:

Improving cognitive function in middle-aged women18 Protecting against respiratory viruses19 Reducing vertigo20
Enhancing fat digestion and absorption21 Protecting against toxic effects of environmental chemicals, such as parabens22 Helping prevent heart attacks23
Relieving arthritis pain as well as Indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory drug commonly used to treat it24 Preventing and treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)25 Drug-resistant bacterial and fungal infections26
Reducing damage and memory loss associated with small stroke27 Protecting against the DNA-damaging effects of radiation exposure28 Fighting bacterial diarrhea29

Ginger Tea, Fresh Ginger, or Extract: What’s the Best Way to Use Ginger?

This depends on what you’re using the ginger for. If you have a serious issue, work with an experienced natural health practitioner who can guide you on proper dosages and forms. For the most potent medicinal properties, ginger extract may be necessary, although there is also therapeutic benefit from fresh or even dried ginger.

Many people enjoy ginger tea on a regular basis, and this is one of the simplest ways to use it. Simply chop off a couple of inches of ginger root and let it steep in hot water for fresh ginger tea. You can also peel the root using a paring knife and then slice it thinly (or grate it or mince it) to add to tea or cooked dishes. You can’t go wrong by adding ginger to stir fries or even your favorite homemade chicken soup.

When left unpeeled, fresh ginger can be stored in your refrigerator for at least three weeks or in your freezer for six months or longer, making it incredibly easy to keep on hand. Try experimenting by adding fresh ginger and other warming spices, like cinnamon, to a cup of tea in the morning, evening, or after a meal… and see if you notice any of the health benefits I’ve just described. You can even try mixing a teaspoon of organic powdered ginger into a gallon of iced tea for added punch and health potential.


Aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger adds a special flavor and zest to Asian stir fries and many fruit and vegetable dishes. Fresh ginger root is available year round in the produce section of your local market.

Ginger is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant with a firm, striated texture. The flesh of the ginger rhizome can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young.

Ginger, slices, fresh 1.00 TBS (6.00 grams)   Calories: 5   GI: very low

This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Ginger provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Ginger can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Ginger, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

Health Benefits

Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.

Gastrointestinal Relief

A clue to ginger’s success in eliminating gastrointestinal distress is offered by recent double-blind studies, which have demonstrated that ginger is very effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, especially seasickness. In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.

Safe and Effective Relief of Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy

Ginger’s anti-vomiting action has been shown to be very useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, even the most severe form, hyperemesis gravidum, a condition which usually requires hospitalization. In a double-blind trial, ginger root brought about a significant reduction in both the severity of nausea and number of attacks of vomiting in 19 of 27 women in early pregnancy (less than 20 weeks). Unlike antivomiting drugs, which can cause severe birth defects, ginger is extremely safe, and only a small dose is required.

A review of six double-blind, randomized controlled trials with a total of 675 participants, published in the April 2005 issue of the journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology,has confirmed that ginger is effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The review also confirmed the absence of significant side effects or adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.

Arthritis-related problems with your aging knees? Regularly spicing up your meals with fresh ginger may help, suggests a study published in a recent issue of Osteoarthritis Cartilage. In this twelve month study, 29 patients with painful arthritis in the knee (6 men and 23 women ranging in age from 42-85 years) participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Patients switched from placebo to ginger or visa versa after 3 months. After six months, the double-blind code was broken and twenty of the patients who wished to continue were followed for an additional six months.

By the end of the first six month period, those given ginger were experiencing significantly less pain on movement and handicap than those given placebo. Pain on movement decreased from a score of 76.14 at baseline to 41.00, while handicap decreased from 73.47 to 46.08. In contrast, those who were switched from ginger to placebo experienced an increase in pain of movement (up to 82.10) and handicap (up to 80.80) from baseline. In the final phase of the study when all patients were getting ginger, pain remained low in those already taking ginger in phase 2, and decreased again in the group that had been on placebo.

Not only did participants’ subjective experiences of pain lessen, but swelling in their knees, an objective measurement of lessened inflammation, dropped significantly in those treated with ginger. The mean target knee circumference in those taking ginger dropped from 43.25cm when the study began to 39.36cm by the 12th week. When this group was switched to placebo in the second phase of the study, their knee circumferences increased, while those who had been on placebo but were now switched to ginger experienced a decrease in knee circumference. In the final phase, when both groups were given ginger, mean knee circumference continued to drop, reaching lows of 38.78 and 36.38 in the two groups.

How does ginger work its anti-inflammatory magic? Two other recent studies provide possible reasons.

A study published in the November 2003 issue of Life Sciences suggests that at least one reason for ginger’s beneficial effects is the free radical protection afforded by one of its active phenolic constituents, 6-gingerol. In this in vitro (test tube) study, 6-gingerol was shown to significantly inhibit the production of nitric oxide, a highly reactive nitrogen molecule that quickly forms a very damaging free radical called peroxynitrite. Another study appearing in the November 2003 issue of Radiation Research found that in mice, five days treatment with ginger (10 mg per kilogram of body weight) prior to exposure to radiation not only prevented an increase in free radical damage to lipids (fats found in numerous bodily components from cell membranes to cholesterol), but also greatly lessened depletion of the animals’ stores of glutathione, one of the body’s most important internally produced antioxidants.

A study published in the February 2005 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine sheds further light on the mechanisms of action that underlie ginger’s anti-inflammatory effectiveness. In this research, ginger was shown to suppress the pro-inflammatory compounds (cytokines and chemokines) produced by synoviocytes (cells comprising the synovial lining of the joints), chrondrocytes (cells comprising joint cartilage) and leukocytes (immune cells).

Protection against Colorectal Cancer

Gingerols, the main active components in ginger and the ones responsible for its distinctive flavor, may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells, suggests research presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, a major meeting of cancer experts that took place in Phoenix, AZ, October 26-30, 2003.

In this study, researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Hormel Institute fed mice specially bred to lack an immune system a half milligram of (6)-gingerol three times a week before and after injecting human colorectal cancer cells into their flanks. Control mice received no (6)-gingerol.

Tumors first appeared 15 days after the mice were injected, but only 4 tumors were found in the group of -gingerol-treated mice compared to 13 in the control mice, plus the tumors in the -gingerol group were smaller on average. Even by day 38, one mouse in the (6)-gingerol group still had no measurable tumors. By day 49, all the control mice had been euthanized since their tumors had grown to one cubic centimeter (0.06 cubic inch), while tumors in 12 of the (6)-gingerol treated mice still averaged 0.5 cubic centimeter—half the maximum tumor size allowed before euthanization.

Research associate professor Ann Bode noted, “These results strongly suggest that ginger compounds may be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal carcinomas.”

In this first round of experiments, mice were fed ginger before and after tumor cells were injected. In the next round, researchers will feed the mice ginger only after their tumors have grown to a certain size. This will enable them to look at the question of whether a patient could eat ginger to slow the metastasis of a nonoperable tumor. Are they optimistic? The actions of the University of Minnesota strongly suggest they are. The University has already applied for a patent on the use of (6)-gingerol as an anti-cancer agent and has licensed the technology to Pediatric Pharmaceuticals (Iselin, N.J.).

Ginger Induces Cell Death in Ovarian Cancer Cells

Lab experiments presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer, by Dr Rebecca Lui and her colleagues from the University of Michigan, showed that gingerols, the active phytonutrients in ginger, kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).

Ginger extracts have been shown to have both antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects on cells. To investigate the latter, Dr Liu examined the effect of a whole ginger extract containing 5% gingerol on a number of different ovarian cancer cell lines.

Exposure to the ginger extract caused cell death in all the ovarian cancer lines studied.

A pro-inflammatory state is thought to be an important contributing factor in the development of ovarian cancer. In the presence of ginger, a number of key indicators of inflammation (vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-8 and prostaglandin E2) were also decreased in the ovarian cancer cells.

Conventional chemotherapeutic agents also suppress these inflammatory markers, but may cause cancer cells to become resistant to the action of the drugs. Liu and her colleagues believe that ginger may be of special benefit for ovarian cancer patients because cancer cells exposed to ginger do not become resistant to its cancer-destroying effects. In the case of ovarian cancer, an ounce of prevention—in the delicious form of liberal use of ginger—is an especially good idea. Ovarian cancer is often deadly since symptoms typically do not appear until late in the disease process, so by the time ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it has spread beyond the ovaries. More than 50% of women who develop ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease.

Immune Boosting Action

Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans.

Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you don’t have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects. For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water will likely be all you need to settle your stomach. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although in the studies noted above, patients who consumed more ginger reported quicker and better relief.


The spice ginger is the underground rhizome of the ginger plant, known botanically as Zingiber officinale. The plant’s botanical name is thought to be derived from its Sanskrit name singabera which means “horn shaped,” a physical characteristic that ginger reflects.

The flesh of the ginger rhizome can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young. The ginger rhizome has a firm, yet striated texture and a taste that is aromatic, pungent and hot.


Native to south eastern Asia, a region whose cuisines still feature this wonderfully spicy herb, ginger has been renowned for millennia in many areas throughout the world.  Ginger is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern writings, and has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties.  After the ancient Romans imported ginger from China almost two thousand years ago, its popularity in Europe remained centred in the Mediterranean region until the Middle Ages when its use spread throughout other countries.  Although it was a very expensive spice, owing to the fact that it had to be imported from Asia, it was still in great demand.  In an attempt to make it more available, Spanish explorers introduced ginger to the West Indies, Mexico and South America, and in the 16th century, these areas began exporting the precious herb back to Europe.

Today, the top commercial producers of ginger include Jamaica, India, Fiji, Indonesia and Australia.

How to Select and Store

Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over the dried form of the spice since it is not only superior in flavour but contains higher levels of gingerol as well as ginger’s active protease (it’s anti-inflammatory compound).  Fresh ginger root is sold in the produce section of markets.  When purchasing fresh ginger root, make sure it is firm, smooth and free of mould.  Ginger is generally available in two forms, either young or mature.  Mature ginger, the more widely available type, has a tough skin that requires peeling while young ginger, usually only available in Asian markets, does not need to be peeled.

Even through dried herbs and spices like ginger powder are widely available in supermarkets, you may want to explore the local spice stores in your area.  Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness than those offered in regular markets.  Just like with other dried spices, when purchasing dried ginger powder try to select organically grown ginger since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated.

Ginger is also available in several other forms including crystallized, candied and pickled ginger.

Fresh ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled.  Stored unpeeled in the freezer, it will keep for up to six months.

Dried ginger powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place.  Alternatively, you can store it in the refrigerator where it will enjoy an extended shelf life of about one year.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Ginger

To remove the skin from fresh mature ginger, peel with a paring knife.  The ginger can then be sliced, minced or julienned.  The taste that ginger imparts to a dish depends upon when it is added during the cooking process.  Added at the beginning, it will lend a subtler flavour while added near the end, it will deliver a more pungent taste.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas
  • Turn up the heat while cooling off by making ginger lemonade.  Simply combine freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, cane juice or honey and water.
  • Add extra inspiration to your rice side dishes by sprinkling grated ginger, sesame seeds and Nori strips on top.
  • Combine ginger, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic to make a wonderful salad dressing.
  • Add ginger and orange juice to puréed sweet potatoes.
  • Add grated ginger to your favourite stuffing for baked apples.
  • Spice up your healthy sautéed vegetables by adding freshly minced ginger.

For some of our favourite recipes, click Recipes.

Individual Concerns

Ginger is not a commonly allergenic food and is not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines.

Nutritional Profile

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Ginger.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Ginger is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn’t contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food’s in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients – not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good – please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you’ll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food’s nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.” Read more background information and details of our rating system.

Ginger, slices, fresh
1.00 TBS
6.00 grams

Calories: 5
GI: very low

Nutrient Amount DRI/DV
World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating


World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating
excellent DRI/DV>=75% OR
Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%
very good DRI/DV>=50% OR
Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%
good DRI/DV>=25% OR
Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%

In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Ginger


    • Akoachere JF, Ndip RN, Chenwi EB et al. Antibacterial effect of Zingiber officinale and Garcinia kola on respiratory tract pathogens. East Afr Med J. 2002 Nov;79(11):588-92. 2002.
    • Bode A. Ginger is an effective inhibitor of HCT116 human colorectal carcinoma in vivo. paper presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, Phoenix, AZ, Ocbober 26-3-, 2003. 2003.
    • Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH, Izzo AA. Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Apr;105(4):849-56. 2005. PMID:15802416.
    • Ensminger AH, Ensminger, ME, Kondale JE, Robson JRK. Foods & Nutriton Encyclopedia. Pegus Press, Clovis, California. 1983.
    • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.
    • Ficker CE, Arnason JT, Vindas PS et al. Inhibition of human pathogenic fungi by ethnobotanically selected plant extracts. Mycoses. 2003 Feb;46(1-2):29-37. 2003.
    • Fischer-Rasmussen W, Kjaer SK, Dahl C, et al. Ginger treatment of hypereesis gravidarum. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 38(1990):19-24. 1990.
    • Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York. 1996.
    • Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Dover Publications, New York. 1971.
    • Ippoushi K, Azuma K, Ito H, Horie H, Higashio H. [6]-Gingerol inhibits nitric oxide synthesis in activated J774.1 mouse macrophages and prevents peroxynitrite-induced oxidation and nitration reactions. Life Sci. 2003 Nov 14;73(26):3427-37. 2003.
    • Jagetia GC, Baliga MS, Venkatesh P, Ulloor JN. Influence of ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale Rosc) on survival, glutathione and lipid peroxidation in mice after whole-body exposure to gamma radiation. Radiat Res. 2003 Nov;160(5):584-92. 2003.
    • Kiuchi F, et al. Inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis by gingerols and diarylheptanoids. Chem Pharm Bull 40 (1992):387-91. 1992.
    • Nature Immunology Online. Nature Immunology Online. 2001;10.1038/ni732. 2001.
    • Phan PV, Sohrabi A, Polotsky A, Hungerford DS, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG. Ginger extract components suppress induction of chemokine expression in human synoviocytes. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Feb;11(1):149-54. 2005. PMID:15750374.
    • Rhode JM, Huang J, Fogoros S, Tan L, Zick S, Liu JR. Ginger induces apoptosis and autophagocytosis in ovarian cancer cells. Abstract #4510, presented April 4, 2006 at the 97th AACR Annual Meeting, April 1-5, 2006, Washington, DC. 2006.
    • Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and rheumatic disorders. Med Hypothesis 29 (1989):25-28. 1989.
    • Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Med Hypothesis 39(1992):342-8. 1992.
    • Wigler I, Grotto I, Caspi D, Yaron M. The effects of Zintona EC (a ginger extract) on symptomatic gonarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2003 Nov;11(11):783-9. 2003.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.





Hier is gereeld vrae oor o.a. ‘Colloidal Silver’. Dit is nie net hierdie produk wat sy verskyning maak as oplossing nie, vele ander “wonder” produkte word ook as “oplossing” aanbeveel en aan diere toegedien.

Ook word in ongeloof blousel, petrol, brandewyn, Dettol, Disprins, Panado en Jeyes fluid as raad gegee. Produkte wat nie op die blad toegelaat word nie as gevolg van newe effekte en moontlike regsimplikasies.

En al word hierdie produkte nie toegedien nie, vele lede noem dat hul diere se bene seer is, diere is lusteloos, die asem stink ord r hul diere hardlywig is. Ook dat diere gedurig braak?

Wonder wie hulself ooit die vraag afvra: “Waar begin my troeteldiere se gesondheid?”
Dit begin dikwels by ‘goed’ wat ons verniet kry. Naas die uitdaging van parasiete en virusse, asook skadelike bakterie, begin jou troeteldier se gesondheid in hul hele spysverteringstelsel.

Beter beskryf: dit begin by die gehalte en gesondheid van die bakterie en mikrobes en ensieme binne hul spysverteringstelsels. Enige produk – hetsy antibakteries of antibioties – wat toegedien word wat hierdie ensieme se werkinge beperk en/of ontwrig, plaas jou dier se gesondheid op risiko. Antibakteriese of antibiotiese produkte kan geensins onderskei tussen goeie en slegte organismes nie. Lees dus en wees asseblief bewus van die “anti-” hierin.

Daar is twee hoofgroepe ensieme in jou dier se spysverteringstelsel:

Groep 1 is “Metaboliese ensieme”

Metaboliese ensieme funksioneer met die herstel van selgesondheid van organe soos die longe, lewer, hart, niere, milt en pankreas en natuurlik die vel (sien laaste punt). 

Groep 2 is “Verteringsensieme”

Spysverteringsensieme werk hoofsaaklik in die spysverteringstelsel van jou dier. 

Daar is hoofsaaklik 4 belangrike ensieme in die dier se spysverteringstelsel (die Engelse beskrywings hiervan word gegee ter wille van dié wat hul navorsing wil doen en dit wil gaan Google):

1. Protease – helps break down and digest protein
2. Amylase – helps break down and digest carbohydrates and starches
3. Lipase – helps break down and digest fat
4. Cellulase – helps break down fibre

Jou dier se gesondheid begin by hierdie ensieme, omdat hierdie ensieme die vermoë van die spysverteringstelsel ontsluit om vitamiene en minerale in die liggaam te kan opneem.

Wat gebeur as diere se “digestive enzymes” of spysverterings ensieme in die maag en dermkanale ontwrig word?
1. Die liggaam gaan neem/steel belangrike metaboliese ensieme weg van organe soos die lewer, longe, hart en niere, asook die vel, om kos te verteer – omdat dit ‘n hoë prioriteit is in die oorlewingsbehoefte van die dier se liggaam.
2. Dit plaas die immuunsisteem onder druk en maak dus die dier vatbaar vir vele siektes.
3. Dit bring onvoltooide vertering van voedsel mee en veroorsaak dat gedeeltelik verteerde partikels van die kos direk in die dier se bloedstroom opgeneem word vanuit die groter ingewande.
4. Die liggaam, op sy beurt, reageer negatief teenoor hierdie onverteerde partikels en hierdie veroorsaak in vele gevalle die rede waarom diere nie maksimale gesondheid geniet nie.

Hoekom is ensiem toevoegings en bewaring vir jou diere belangrik?

Omdat ensieme in elke lewende sel gevind word en kardinale rolle speel in elke lewende sel van die liggaam. Ensieme is klein proteien-partikels wat direk funksioneel is in die liggaam se metabolisasie, energie produksie, detoksifisering en miljoene ander biologiese prosesse in die liggaam.

Ensieme is nie net belangrik in die spysvertering van jou diere nie. Dit is ook belangrik vir die volgende funksies in jou diere se liggaam:
1. Die immuunsisteem
2. Die opname van vitamiene en minerale in die liggaam
3. Normale liggaamsgewig en voorkoming van “cravings” of kos behoeftes
4. Bevorder ‘n gesonde en funksionele asemhalingstelsel en bloedvatstelsel
5. Verminder kleinere voedsel-sensitiwiteite
6. Bevorder normale selfunksies en groei en herstel daarvan
7. Bevorder gesonde tande en tandvleis
8. Bevorder gesonde cholesterolvlakke
9. Voorkom “bloating”, gasse, winde, hartprobleme en konstipasie
10. Bevorder velgesondheid en herstel velprobleme en vel irritasies
11. Help met die voorsiening van energie
12. Voldoende opnames van voedsel en nutriente
13. Detoksifiseer die liggaam
14. Beter beweging van gewrigte en ander ledemate

Wanneer iemand vir jou ‘n aanbeveling doen oor medisyne, of aannames wil rugsteun met Literatuur, lees asseblief weer hierdie stuk aandagtig deur. Lees en dink bietjie wat dit aan jou dier se ensieme (gesondheid) maak. Raadpleeg ook ander wat omgee wat jy doen.

Gebruik medisyne / ‘medikasies’ net op kundige aanbeveling (en doen asseblief goeie navorsing, ter wille van jou dier) en neem dan verantwoordelikheid vir die stille skade wat jy doen/veroorsaak – dikwels heeltemal onwetend – om dit ook te herstel.

Pierre van Niekerk © 2015


First Aid Kit for Pets


Pierre@Dieregesondheid First Aid Kit for Pets – ensure that you have the necessary in stock at all times to cater for emergencies!!! Order your kit today from Hantie Nel (

1. ABORTION – Die injection which can be administered to a bitch to prevent / end an unwanted pregnancy, is only available through a Vet and not all of them keep it in stock.

2. ABSCESSES – Large syringe with thick sterile “white needle” (available from ‘human’ pharmacies like Dischem), which can be used in case of emergency (and too far from your Vet) – insert into the abscess, extract and drain the same – leave a hole/opening so the abscess can drain further by itself. Treat with saline solution (9g/2 level teaspoons table salt mixed with 1 litre lukewarm boiled water) and rub some of Pierre’s aqueous cream and sulphur mix on.

3. ALLERGIES – see under Sedatives.

4. ANTIBIOTICS for cats: Doxysyrup or Synulox.

5.  – see under Shock.

6. APPETITE stimulation – Plain white Gero yogurt and Promix EM products, Protexin to stimulate the stomach microbes so the animal gets hungry. Pro-Kolin is also available and promising research is being done about Colostrum. Nutrostim is a high calorie gel with very promising results. Also give Blue Liquid as indicated on the holder.

7. BEE STING: Rub Allergex ointment or similar on the affected area. Give Allergex/Texa/10mg Phenergan tab according to animal’s weight. Crush the tablet, mix with fish paste or similar product and wipe it on the skin. The cat will lick it by itself.

8. BLADDER INFECTION – can be cleared with knife point Citric Soda on a tablespoon lukewarm boiled water (twice a day for 3 days) or Norotrim tablets. Please download the article about “Bladder leaking” and bladder infections and store in your Animal Health folder.

9. BLOOD in EXCRETION – Give Lennon’s Staaldruppels (or Turlington) 5 drops twice a day (big dogs 10 drops) in a syringe with Marmite water until any signs of ‘internal’ bleeding stops. Staaldruppels is been used to stop bleeding in sport, i.e boxing.

10. CAT FLU or PARVO – The most important lesson to learn is that it is a virus and nothing can kill/destroy a virus, that is why it is so critical for all annual injections to be given at the right time. Your best contribution is to ensure that the animal does not get dehydrated. Download the article about Parvo and save in your Animal Health folder. Oral dosages of electrolytes (like Darrows Solution) and specifically naartjie Energade / Powerade as well as Marmite water and Norotrim tablets or Cosumix Plus will help prevent secondary infections which the animal will suffer as a result of its low immunity. Thus, strengthen your animal’s immune system, especially whilst he/she is in good health.

11. CONSTIPATION – Laxapet / Animalax or 1½ teaspoons Liquid medicinal paraffin (normal dose for dogs under 5kg 1 teaspoon, dogs over 5kg 1 tablespoon) and/or glycerine suppository. Can also grate about a quarter teaspoon of green Sunlight soap (the block), roll into a pellet with some lukewarm boiled water for a suppository – lubricate with Vaseline and/or KY jelly and insert in anus until you can feel the sphincter muscles contract. Plain white Greek / Bulgarian full/double cream yoghurt with a finger portion of ‘raw’ honey will also help.

12. COUGH – Kennel cough can be very successfully treated with Doxydog tablets. Please download the article about Kennel Cough and save in your Animal Health folder.

13. DEHYDRATION – see under Diarrhoea.

14. DIARRHOEA – can be very successfully treated with Norotrim tablets, otherwise Lennon’s Jamaica Ginger or Kem-O-Dene – 3 drops on a knifepoint sugar mixed with tablespoon lukewarm boiled water.
a) With vomiting and diarrhoea the animal is dehydrated and suffers from electrolyte imbalances.
b) Naartjie Energade (5-10ml, depending on animal’s size/weight) can also be given i.e. small dogs 5ml, larger dogs 10ml.
c) Can alternate every 15-20 minutes with Marmite/Oxo/Bovril water (1 teaspoon Marmite/Bovril/Oxo mixed with 1 cup lukewarm boiled water).
d) In an emergency you can also use beef or chicken stock/extract (1 block dissolved in 2 cups lukewarm boiled water).
e) Darrows Solution/Pectrolyte/Dehydrate (or similar medication for babies) can be obtained from your chemist to prevent dehydration.
f) Rooibos tea black / without sugar can be given freely – mix some (½ teaspoon) Protexin  as well.
g) Plain white Greek or Bulgarian full/double cream yoghurt can also be freely given.
h) A home-made electrolyte mix consists of 9 grams (about 2 level teaspoons) table salt mixed with 4 teaspoons sugar and a litre of lukewarm boiled water. Ensure that the animal is given one of these liquids every 15-20 minutes.
i) You can also swipe a finger dabbed in raw honey in the animal’s mouth every 20 minutes – sugar is poisonous for dogs but in this case the stomach’s microbes need energy and you must prevent the waste concentrating in the kidneys/liver/stomach and ensure that it is excreted as quick as possible.

j) TO BIND THE STOMACH – Custard powder or flour/Maizena – quarter teaspoon on knifepoint sugar mixed with a bit of lukewarm boiled water into a slightly liquid mix (only 10% of the animal’s weight over 24 hours). Also boil some pumpkin in water (without salt), mash, mix in a teaspoon of Maizena and feed. Can also mix yoghurt and finely cooked chicken and rice with it.
k) Always ensure that fresh water is available. Also feed half cooked chicken livers in soft format, small quantities very frequently. l) GASTRO and/or RUMMY TUMMIES of cats: Flagyl or Enteritis suspension.

15. DISINFECTION / STERILISATION of property – F10 disinfectant.
Home remedy: 30ml vanilla essence, 1 tablespoon eucalyptus oil, 1 tablespoon Dettol, 1 tablespoon Citronella or clove oil (optional), 3 cups water. Mix well. If it does not mix properly add a few drops of lemon juice or dishwasher. Keep your animals away from the area you are going to treat and do not spray on wood. Also beware of your eyes! Especially keep cats away.

16. EAR MITES / EXCESSIVE WAX by cats: MDB Iver PO can be used with Clean Ear.

17. EXCEMA in cats: F10 ointment. Also try Pierre’s aqueous and flower of sulphur mix.

18. EYE INFECTION of cats: Octin, ISEE or ExOcin. ExOcin is also used in cases where the cornea has been scratched.

19. EYES that are SORE: Vitamin A supplements in the form of liver and/or tablets and injections are extremely important. Draw a Rooibos teabag in a cup of lukewarm boiled water and sponge the eyes regularly with the teabag and the tea water – use a new bag every time and do not rub the eyes. Your local pharmacist should be able to provide you with the correct antibiotic ointment for infections.

20. EYES and SNAKES – when a spitting snake ‘targets’ the eyes, wash/rinse with any safe liquid as much as possible – running water, milk, urine – and then insert Octin eye drops as prescribed. Snake bites will be treated separately – the best option is get to your Vet ASAP!

21. FEVER – Take ice blocks, wrap in towel and put on stomach; also wet a cloth with cold water and wipe stomach and inside of groin. Can also put his/her feet in a bath of cool water and let him/her stand for a few minutes – but always under supervision.

22. FLEAS and TICKS – The best on the market is currently Bravecto for dogs and Fiprotec (Fipronil) for cats and/or Advocate. There are various other brands available as well like Nexguard but make sure that the product you use, ensures effective management and is safe for your animal. Cats can get Omega 3 and 6 as supplement, also Felisine and the Promix range of products to boost the immune system and in the case of ‘Snuffels’. Stay away from stock available at supermarkets as it appears not to be as effective for successful treatment. The safest shampoo is the Pierre@ Dieregesondheid Propyrepet Shampoo

23. FLIES on EARS: Shoofly or Quadrepel for dogs and horses. Advantix, Exspot, Equiline, Buzz off or F10 wound spray with insecticide are also used in some circumstances.

24. GAUZE: Sterile gauze swabs to use during treatment of wounds.

25. IMMUNE BOOSTER: DOGS: Promix EM Probiotic and Multivitamin, a teaspoon olive oil, 2-3 large tablespoons plain white Greek full/double cream yoghurt, black without sugar rooibos tea, kaiings 1-2 daily (Yorkies only 1 x 2-3 times/week). CATS: Promix EM Probiotic and Multivitamin, olive oil, Omega 6 oils and plain white Greek full/double cream yoghurt mixed with some turmeric. Felisine and/or Nutristim.

26. MITES in the EARS – Virgin olive oil, or sweet oil, Oticlean then Otomax is the advice for mites in the ears. Remember hairs in the ear canal can also cause yeast in the ears. Remove the hairs in the ear canal. Also download the article about Ear Mites and Ear Infections and save in your Animal Health folder.

27. MITES/TICKS on SNAKES: Spray (mist) the inside of a pillowcase lightly with BioKill, put the snake in and tie the pillowcase closed. Leave till the following day. Remove everything from the cage and wash it thoroughly with 1 portion Jik and 10 portions water solution. Let dry thoroughly. Apple cider in 20:80 dilution as well

28. NAUSEA: Valoid suppositories – the normal paediatric Valoid (for babies) from your pharmacy but according to weight! Amount – very small doggies quarter tablet, dogs up to and including 20kg half a tablet and dogs over 20kg a whole tablet.

29. PAIN MEDICATIONS: It is scheduled medicine and should only be administered under the supervision of a Vet for a specific condition / situation. It is harmful drugs. Pain is nature’s way of forcing an animal to rest and give the wound a chance to heal naturally. When the pain is suppressed the animal does not give the wound time to heal naturally and it will get more inflamed. Even scheduled Rimadyl has negative side effects and can only be prescribed by a Vet after careful examination of the animal for a specific condition / situation.

30. PAIN and FEVER of cats (anti-inflammatory): Petcalm.

31.1 The most critical is to get the animal to vomit: give 15ml peroxide (Hydrogen peroxide solution B.P. 10 volume 3% m/m) slowly with a syringe in the mouth OR 1 teaspoon washing powder dissolved in a cup of lukewarm boiled water. Prevent it getting into the lungs. ALWAYS KEEP A TEASPOON WASHING POWDER READY FOR EMERGENCIES!
31.2 After the animal has vomited, give 5-6 activated charcoal tablets – can be bought at your local pharmacy – to neutralise/absorb the remaining poison in the stomach. If you do not have any – 4 slices white break burnt to cinders in the oven, roll into a pellet with some lukewarm boiled water and feed as soon as possible, even if you have to force it down the throat with your finger until the animal swallows it.
a. With 2-step or ALDICARB poisoning: Above two steps always first – the antidote for this is Atropine which can only be administered by a registered Vet.
b. With RAT POISON: Above two steps always first, then Kyrovite – also known as Vitamin K – injection and/or Vitamin K tablets as prescribed – available from your Vet.
c. With FROGS: Follow first two steps above – then rub some meat tenderiser on the animal’s tongue/in the gums to break the frog’s excretion and the saliva’s protein chain – can also give pineapple juice and after that plain white Greek full/double cream yoghurt and rooibos tea black / without sugar.

32. GLASS SWALLOWED? Take a slice of bread, cover with a sufficient amount of mayonnaise, spread 4-5 cotton balls out over it evenly, fill up with mayonnaise again and then take a scissors and cut the slice of bread/cotton/mayo into 1″ squares and feed it to the dog … the cotton will snag around any sharp pieces of glass, the mayonnaise will lubricate it going down as well as facilitate bowel movement and get it excreted. Give 2-3 tablespoons of liquid medicinal paraffin thereafter.

33. RINGWORM of cats: Ringworm ointment. Pierre’s Flower of Sulphar mix

34. SEDATIVES and ALLERGIES – Allergex syrup or tablets (small and medium doggies ½ Allergex, large dogs 1 whole Allergex, very large breeds 2 tablets in an emergency). If the animal has an allergic rash Allergex or 10 mg Phenergan and/or Texa can be given orally (not Prednisone) (dosage according to weight) and Caladryl Lotion can be applied topically (both available from the ‘human’ pharmacy). Crunch the tablets and wipe on gums, do not try to camouflage in a piece of meat or a treat as it can affect the efficacy of the same. You can also rub 3-4 Rescue drops on the inside of the ear flaps where you can see the veins to calm the animal. You cannot overdose with Rescue Drops.

35. SHOCK and ANXIETY – Rescue Remedy tablets or Calmeze, Allergex, Texa and/or 10mg Phenergan – especially in the case of firecrackers and also a fear of travelling in a vehicle. Also rub 3-4 Rescue drops on the inside of the ear flap where you can see the veins. You cannot overdose with Rescue drops.

36. SKIN PROBLEMS / DRY SKIN – Lubricate by rubbing with virgin olive oil or coconut oil and after about an hour, treat with Pierre’s aqueous cream and flower of sulphur mix as well.

37. SKIN that smells: It is probably the same bacteria causing ‘happy feet’ with humans. The elimination of the negative bacteria is necessary. Rub the whole body with plain white Greek full/double cream yoghurt, leave for about an hour so that the probiotics can eliminate the negative bacteria on the skin and result in a healthier balance on the skin, where the positive bacteria can fight the negative bacteria on its own. This usually happens when an animal is bathed too often and the healthy bacteria on the skin suffer as a result thereof. Bath with Propyrepet and rinse with apple cider vinegar water.

38. SPIDER BITE causing growth: make a mix of grated Sunlight soap (the old fashioned green cake) and brown sugar with as little as possible lukewarm boiled water, a tablespoon full and place on the wound so the skin can become soft and wrap it closed; by Day 2 it should be such that if you just pull the slightest, it will burst open. Just ensure you wear gloves.

39. STERI-STRIPS: Nowadays stitches are used less often – buy a few Steri-Strips from your chemist for use in emergencies to heal wounds – sides are usually left open for proper drainage.

40. STOMACH PAIN/CRAMPS – Lennon’s Jamaica Ginger or Kem-O-Dene – 3-5 drops on a knifepoint of sugar and tablespoon lukewarm boiled water – give with a syringe to restore the electrolytes in the stomach. PLEASE DO NOT administer Buscopan – it is ‘human meds’ only to be given under supervision of a Vet!

41. STOMACH and DIGESTION of cats: Protexin. Promix Probiotika, Gero yogurt

42. SYRINGES – plastic syringe that can contain about +-30ml to give liquids orally.

43. TEETH: Red gums can indicate infection – give plain white Greek full/double cream yoghurt daily with Protexin; buy baby tooth brush and paste, mix with some bicarbonate of soda and brush daily; wash carrots with skin thoroughly, break in pieces and freeze – give daily as a treat to remove excessive plaque.

44. TEETH INFECTIONS of cats: can cause kidney failure – clean teeth by rubbing with bicarbonate of soda.

45. THERMOMETER for measuring temperature. Fever levels are about the same for dogs and humans.

46. TICK REMOVAL: Take some alcohol on a earbud (spirits), just wet the head of the earbud and press it on the tick against the skin, then rub the flower of sulphur mix on the spot as soos he releases himself. Always keep ticks in a holder with spirits in case you have to go to the doctor. Apple cider on a ear bud will help as well

47. TONSILLITIS: Tonsilla according to prescription – available at ‘human’ pharmacy.

48. TOPICAL WOUNDS on DOGS and CATS – F10 ointment and also ‘raw’ honey, available from Dischem or direct from a bee farmer (not the syrup which you buy in the supermarket) or the aqueous mix can work wonders.
• Engemycin wound spray is a very good antibiotic in spray form. Curatex is only available from a Vet.
• Avert Bitter can be administered to discourage the animal from licking the wound(s).

49. TWEEZER: For use in emergencies to remove e.g. glass pieces / stings / quills.

50. VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS – Obtain the Promix range of multivitamins and probiotics. With cats, rub on their fur so they can lick it off and consume it that way.

51. VOMITING – Valoid paediatric suppositories. Dose depends on animal’s size/weight – small dogs about 1/5th of suppository, medium dogs about 1/3rd of a suppository and larger dogs about 2/3rds of a suppository. Available at all ‘human’ pharmacies. Lubricate with Vaseline or KY jelly and insert into anus until you can feel the sphincter muscles contract. VOMITING of Yorkies – Clopamon syrup. Ask your pharmacist for advice in this regard.

52. WORMS / DEWORMING – Drontal, Milbemax, Triworn or Antezole – preferably avoid supermarket items as it is not as effective to kill all types of worms.

53. WOUNDS: The usual saline solution, 9 gram (about 2 level teaspoons) salt mixed with a litre of lukewarm boiled water is recommended. Cover wound area with ‘raw’ honey thereafter. Please download the management of wounds as a separate file and store in your Animal Health folder on your PC. INFECTED WOUNDS you can treat with Bactroban/Supiroban (peroxide 3%) after the wound has been sprayed properly with the saline solution.

54. WOUNDS of cats: Use Hibitane concentrate. Pierre’s aqueous cream and flower of sulphur also works very well for general wounds on the skin. Raw honey.

55. WORMS / DEWORMING: Drontal, Milbemax, Triworm, Antezole or Panacur – avoid supermarket items as it appears not to be sufficiently effective to kill critical worm groups. Milbemax and Advocate Spot-on is now registered to also prevent Spirocerca Lupi (S. Lupi) with regular monthly treatments. There is currently no Literature with proof that ‘spot-ons’ provide effective treatment against spirocercosis (your Vet may treat with an Ivomec or Dormectin injection after diagnosis of S. Lupi infection to destroy the larvae and adult worms).

Pierre van Niekerk © 2015


The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection is a complex retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats. Immunodeficiency is the medical term used to describe the body’s inability to develop a normal immune response. FIV is slow moving, capable of lying dormant in the body before causing symptoms (lentivirus). It is in the same class of viruses as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in people.

There is no genetic susceptibility for infection, although genetics may play a role in the progression and severity of the disease. The average age is 5 years at the time of diagnosis, and the likelihood of infection increases with age. FIV is a transmissible disease that occurs more often in males because of their tendency to be more aggressive, and because they are more likely to roam, thereby increasing their exposure to the virus.

• Diverse symptoms owing to the decreased ability to develop a normal immune response. Associated immunodeficiencies cannot be distinguished clinically from feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
• Recurrent minor illnesses, especially with upper respiratory and gastrointestinal signs.
• Mild to moderately enlarged lymph nodes.
• Inflammation of the gums of the mouth and/or the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth is seen in 25% to 50% of cases.
• Upper respiratory tract disease is seen in 30% of cases – inflammation of the nose; inflammation of the moist tissues of the eye; inflammation of the cornea (the clear part of the eye, located in the front of the eyeball); often associated with feline herpes virus and calicivirus infections.
• Eye disease – inflammation of the front part of the eye, including the iris; disease of the eye in which the pressure within the eye is increased (glaucoma).
• Long-term (chronic) kidney insufficiency.
• Persistent diarrhoea seen in 10% to 20% of cases.
• Long-term, non-responsive, or recurrent infections of the external ear and skin resulting from bacterial or fungal infections.
• Fever and wasting – especially in later stage.
• Cancer (such as lymphoma, a type of cancer that develops from lymphoid tissue, including lymphocytes, a type of white-blood cell formed in lymphatic tissues throughout the body).
• Nervous system abnormalities – disruption of normal sleep patterns; behavioral changes (such as pacing and aggression); changes in vision and hearing; disorders usually affecting the nerves in the legs and paws.

• Cat-to-cat transmission; usually through bite wounds and scratches.
• Occasional transmission of the virus at the time of birth.
• Sexual transmission is uncommon, although FIV has been detected in semen.

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your cat, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition. A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. Your doctor will need to rule out bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, and will also test for parasites and tumours before settling on a final diagnosis

Unless your cat is severely dehydrated, it will be treated on an outpatient basis. Your veterinarian will first work to manage any secondary infections. While secondary infections will not usually cause disease, your cat’s weakened immune system will give them entrée and they will cause further complications in your cat’s overall health. Surgery may be necessary for dealing with infected teeth and for the removal of tumours. A special diet plan may also need to be put into place.

How much monitoring your cat will need from you depends on secondary infections and other manifestations of the disease. You will need to watch for the occurrence of infections in your sick cat, and be aware that wasting may occur, and that your pet may die of this disease. But, in general, the earlier FIV is detected, the better your cat’s chances are for living a long and relatively healthy life.

Within 4.5 to 6 years after the time of infections, about 20% of cats die; however, over 50% will remain without clinical signs of the disease. In the late stages of the disease, when wasting and frequent infections are most likely to occur, life expectancy is less than a year. Inflammation of the gums and mouth may not respond to treatment or may be difficult to treat.

In order to prevent this disease from occurring in the first place, you should vaccinate your cat against the virus, and protect your cat from coming into contact with cats that are FIV positive. You will also want to quarantine and test new cats that are coming into your household until you are sure that they are free of the virus. It is important to note that some cats will test positive for FIV if they are carriers, although they may never have symptoms of the virus, and that cats that have been vaccinated against the virus will test positive for it even though they do not carry it. Euthanasia is not normally called for when a cat has tested positive in part because of these reasons. If your cat has tested positive you will need to talk to your veterinarian about what to do to prevent possible transmission to other cats, and what symptoms to be watchful for, should they occur.



What is fading puppy syndrome?

Fading puppy syndrome is a term used to describe puppies that are apparently normal at birth but gradually “fade” and die within the first two weeks of life. Normal pre-weaning losses in dogs, including stillborn puppies, can be up to thirty percent (30%), with about half of these deaths occurring within the first week of life.

Why does this happen?
During the first two weeks of life, puppies are very vulnerable to illness and environmental stress since they are unable to regulate their body temperature independently. Very young puppies also have poor ability to regulate fluid and energy balance. In addition, their immune systems are not fully functioning and they have limited protection from infections. This makes puppies susceptible to dying from a variety of causes.

What are the clinical signs of fading puppy syndrome?
The clinical signs are vague and insidious. It is often too late to save a puppy once clinical signs are apparent. The common findings are a low birth weight or failure to gain weight at the same rate as their siblings (the “runt” of the litter), decreased activity and inability to suckle. These puppies have a tendency to remain separate from the mother and the rest of the litter. They are often reported to cry weakly in a high-pitched tone. Some people refer to this as “sea gulling” due to its similarity to the cry of seagulls. These puppies often quickly progress to severe lethargy, loss of muscle tone and death.

What causes fading puppy syndrome?
There are many factors that contribute to fading puppy syndrome. Some of the more common factors include:
• Lack of adequate care from the mother
• Lack of milk production or poor quality milk
• Inadequate nursing or milk consumption
• Congenital (present from birth) defects in the puppy, which may not be immediately apparent
• Low birth weight
• Infectious causes

One or more of these factors can contribute to fading puppy syndrome. For example, a lack of mothering instinct coupled with poor hygiene can often result in neonatal septicaemia (systemic infection) in a very short time. Although some maternal immunity is conferred to the puppy while it is developing in the mother’s uterus, the majority of this immunity is acquired via the colostrum or “first milk.” If the puppy does not drink an adequate amount of this first milk, it is more vulnerable to infection. It is important that the mother be examined immediately after giving birth for abnormal teat (breast) discharge, mastitis (breast infection), metritis (uterine infection) or other illness.

Many common bacteria can cause overwhelming septicaemia and death in a vulnerable puppy in a very short amount of time. Because of the weakness and poor immune response, death often occurs quickly and with few, if any, clinical signs. Viral infections can cause fading puppy syndrome. If the mother is carrying a virus or is not properly vaccinated, the puppies are more likely to contract an infection from the mother or have an even weaker immune system. Canine parvovirus, adenovirus and canine distemper have all been implicated as causes of fading puppy syndrome.

Intestinal parasites (especially hookworms), fleas and ticks can also weaken a puppy by taking vital blood and nutrients away from the developing puppy. Infested puppies often fail to gain weight and slowly “fade” and die.

What can be done to treat fading puppy syndrome?
It is important to ensure that the puppy receives adequate fluid and is kept warm.

Puppies should not be allowed to become chilled. During the first four days of life the environmental temperature where the puppies are kept should be maintained at 85-90°F (29.5-32°C). The temperature may then be gradually decreased to approximately 80°F (26.7°C) by the seventh to tenth day. It is not necessary to heat the whole room to these temperatures. Heating over the whelping box with the aid of a heat lamp is usually all that is necessary.

If bacterial septicemia develops, antibiotics may benefit the puppy, but strict hygiene and good management procedures are also critical. Your veterinarian will discuss proper care and cleaning of the puppies and their environment.
If you are at all worried that you may have a sick puppy, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. If you have a puppy that dies, a necropsy (autopsy) should be performed to determine the cause of death. This may help you prevent other puppies from dying from the same cause.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Ernest Ward, DVM


Frozen Yogurt Pops for Dogs

If your dog loves to chase ice cubes around the kitchen, then he’ll love these frozen treats. They’re made from human grade ingredients and include fruit juice and carrots, which give your pup an added vitamin boost. Yogurt has calcium and protein, and can help your dog digest food.

Note that this recipe calls for non-fat yogurt, which is a much healthier alternative to other types of yogurt if your dog is overweight.

6 oz. container of plain, non-fat frozen yogurt
1 cup of no-sugar added fruit juice
1/2 cup of carrots, minced

1. Add the yogurt, fruit juice, and carrots into a medium-sized bowl. Stir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended.
2. Drop the mixture into the ice cube trays by spoonful.
3. Freeze until the ingredients are solid.
Pro Tip: Use hard plastic trays instead of the softer rubber ones to make the treats. The treats are easier to remove from a hard tray.

Ingestuur deur Marlize Vermaak

Ingestuur deur Marlize Vermaak


1 koppie gekookte hoender of kalkoen
½ koppie gestoomde groente (wortels/broccoli/skorsie/spinasie/soetpatat)
½ koppie voorbereide bruin rys
4 eetlepels natrium-vry (geen sout) ‘broth’


Meng alles deeglik en bedien.


1 cup cooked chicken or turkey
½ cup steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, squash, spinach, sweet potato)
½ cup prepared brown rice
4 Tablespoons no-sodium (salt free) broth


Combine all ingredients and serve.


Peanut Butter Cookies
Dogs love peanut butter, and these cookies are a great way to sneak some fish oil into your dog’s diet. Fish oil improves your dog’s coat, making it shiny, soft, and healthier.
Look for organic peanut butter at your grocery store. Many commercial brands of peanut butter have unhealthy hydrogenated oils and additives. Better yet, make your own peanut butter using raw peanuts and peanut oil, and processing the mixture in your food processor.

2 cups of flour (white or wheat, if your pup has no wheat allergies)
1 cup of rolled oats
1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 tablespoon of fish oil
1 1/2 cups of water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix the flour and oats together in a large mixing bowl. Pour in one cup of water and blend until smooth. Add in the peanut butter, honey, and fish oil and mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
3. Slowly add the water until the mixture has a thick and doughy consistency.
4. Lightly flour a cooking surface. Roll the dough onto the cooking surface to create a 1/4 inch thick sheet.
5. Use a cookie cutter to create shapes. Place the cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
6. Allow to cool completely before feeding.
Pro Tip: If the dough is too sticky to roll, slowly pad more flour onto the dough ball

Ingestuur deur Marlize Vermaak

Fruit and Vegetable Strips
These strips work as a cheaper alternative to the organic chewy treats sold in pet stores. They also break apart easily, so you can serve smaller pieces as training rewards. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, which can help boost your dog’s immune system.

1 small sweet potato
1 medium banana
1 cup carrots, minced
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
2 cups of whole wheat flour (white if your dog has allergies)
1 cup of rolled oats
1/3 cup of water

1. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the insides are soft. Set aside and allow to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Mash the banana and sweet potato in a large mixing bowl with a hand masher until smooth. Add in the carrots, flour, and oats. Slowly add in the applesauce and water while mixing.
4. The ingredients will form a soft dough. Roll the dough on to a lightly floured surface until the dough is 1/8 inch thick.
5. Cut the dough into strips.
6. Cook on a baking sheet for 25 minutes.
7. Store leftover strips in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Pro Tip: Do not worry about overcooking the sweet potato. Softer potatoes will mash easier.

Ingestuur deur Marlize Vermaak

Beef and Vegetable Balls
Some dogs prefer meaty treats over sweet ones. These treats have a hearty meat flavor and good aroma that all dogs love. When I made these, my dog stood outside the oven door, not so patiently waiting for the treats to cool.

2 6-ounce jars of organic beef and vegetable baby food
1 cup of whole-wheat flour (or white substitute)
2 cups of dry milk
1 cup of water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Drop the mixture onto a baking sheet in large spoonfuls.
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
5. Allow to the treats to cool completely. Store leftover beef and vegetable balls in the fridge for up to five days.

Ingestuur deur Marlize Vermaak

Beef Stew
This dog-approved version of beef stew includes meat for protein, vegetables for vitamins, and gravy for flavor. This is a good alternative to wet commercial dog foods.
1 pound of beef stew meat
1 small sweet potato
1/2 cup of carrots, diced
1/2 cup of green beans, diced
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of water or organic vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for frying

1. Cook the sweet potato in a microwave for 5 to 8 minutes until firm but tender. Set aside.
2. Slice the stew pieces into smaller chunks, about the size of a nickel.
3. Cook the stew pieces in a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until well-done.
4. Remove the beef chunks from the pan, reserving the drippings.
5. Dice the sweet potato.
6. Heat the drippings over medium-low heat. Slowly add flour and water into the dripping while whisking to create a thick gravy.
7. Add the meat, sweet potato, carrots, and green beans into the gravy and stir to coat.
8. Cook until the carrots are tender – about 10 minutes.
9. Serve cool.
10. Store remaining stew in the fridge for up to five days.
Pro Tip: You can purchase pre-made gravy at some health food stores. This may save you time when making this food.

Ingestuur deur Marlize Vermaak

Fruit Parfait for Dogs
Your dog deserves a nice dessert every once in a while. This parfait mixes dairy and fruit, so it tastes great but also gives your pup a nice dose of vitamins and protein.
1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1/2 cup of strawberries, diced
1/2 cup of blueberries, diced
1/2 cup of applesauce
1. Blend all ingredients in a medium size bowl until the yogurt is smooth and the fruit is well blended.
2. Serve in small amounts.
3. Store in the fridge for up to seven days.
Pro Tip: On days you plan to serve your pup a fruit parfait, reduce the amount of regular food by one half to one cup to keep from over-feeding.

Ingestuur deur Marlize Vermaak

Eastwood se honde “treat

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Rina Kleinhans Posted in Allerlei / Miscellaneous, Diere / Pets

‘n Ander maklike manier is:
1) Fruit + Veg’s Pets mince @ R5.30/kg (1.5kg)
2) Gerasperde wortel + koolslaai.
Meng in bak en maak frikkedella, vries en siedaar……

Eastwood Loftus Nel


Posted on August 25, 2013 by Rina Kleinhans Posted in Allerlei / Miscellaneous, Diere / Pets

500ml rysmeel
300ml hoenderaftreksel verkieslik tuisgemaak
1 ekstragroot eier
60ml vars pietersielie gekap
250ml volgraanmeel
Meng al die bestandele saam. Knie tot goed gemeng – gebruik meer volgraanmeel indien nodig. Rol die deeg uit tot ‘n dikte van 1.5cm en druk vormpies daaruit of sny dit in blokkies. Bak 60-90min lank by 150°C.


Posted on August 25, 2013 by Rina Kleinhans Posted in Allerlei / Miscellaneous, Diere / Pets

vir my 4 woefie kinders
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 ½ cups brown bread flour
1 ½ cup maize meal
2 cups oats
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 cups beef stock made with 2 cubes
1 cup full cream milk
1 packet oxtail soup
1 cup oil
1 desert spoon crushed garlic

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Combine, in a big bowl, the flours, meal, oats, soup powder and salt.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients. Knead about 3 minutes. Add more milk if necessary. The dough should be stiff.
Flour a board with cornmeal and roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch Cut out biscuits with cookie cutters in appropriate shapes, and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake the biscuits for 45 minutes at 150 degrees C.

Rentia van der Merwe

Het jy geweet – Did you know

Het jy geweet – Did you know

Bysteek: Verwyder die angel as jy kan – skraap dit uit met jou nael, moenie druk nie want dit veroorsaak dat die ‘gifsakkie’ nog gif vrystel en die situasie vererger. ‘n By se angel is soos ‘n vishoek, dit skeur af van die lyf en die by sterf. ‘n Perdeby, aan die ander kant, het nie ‘n ‘hoek’ angel nie en kan dus meer as een keer steek. Bee sting: Remove the stinger – try to scrape it away with a fingernail. Squeezing it with e.g. tweezers will squirt more of the venom out and make the situation even worse. A bee’s stinger is barbed, and will tear apart from the body, killing the bee and preventing it from stinging more than once. A wasp, on the other hand, doesn’t have a barbed stinger and can sting more than once.

Eierwit bevat ‘n ensiem, avidien, wat absorpsie van die Vit B biotien verhinder as dit rou gegee word.  Egg white contains an enzyme avidien which prevents absorption of the Vit B biotin if given raw.

Koekies wat na die bak tydperk in die warm oond teruggesit word op ‘n draadrak om uit te droog, dehidreer verder en verleng die rakleeftyd op tot 2 maande.  Biscuits placed back in a warm oven on a wire rack to dry out, is further dehydrated and lengthens the shelf life up to 2 months.

Rou vleis, gevries vir ten minste 48 uur, skakel die risiko van skadelike bakterie uit.  Raw meat, frozen for at least 48 hours, eliminates the risk of harmful bacteria.

Rys kan vervang word met millet of quinoa maar dan raak dit so effe duur.  Rice can be replaced by millet or quinoa but then it can become very costly.

Skille bevat dubbel die voedingswaarde van die groente/vrugte self.  Peels contain double the nutrient value of the veggie/fruit itself.

Sout – is nie gesond vir jou diere nie maar indien jy wel sout wil gebruik, ‘kosher’ of see sout is ‘n beter opsie.  Indien jy tafelsout gebruik, moet die hoeveelheid halveer word.  Salt is not healthy for your animals but if you use it, kosher or sea salt is a better option.  If you use table salt, the quantity must be halved.

Suurlemoene, met skil en al, deeglik gewas, gevries en gerasper is ‘n uitstekende geurmiddel wat verskeie kankers ook beveg.  Lemons, skin and all, thoroughly washed, frozen and grated is an excellent flavourant which prevents various cancers.
Pierre van Niekerk © 2016