Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wonder What My Pet Is Thinking?

Wouldn't it be fun if we could talk to our pets? To know what they are thinking?  This photo says it all.....Look at silly Legend with his favorite friend Megan.  Wonder what he is thinking?

We are Passionate About Pets at AskAriel.  If you need help or have a question about your pet's health, please contact the experts at Ask Ariel via email:

Friday, January 13, 2017

Natural Treatments For Feline Pillow Foot (Feline Plasma Cell Pododermatitis)

Chloe with Kirby and Sammy (background)
"My 13 year old Calico named Chloe started limping terribly about 3 years ago.  When I took her to the vet, she was diagnosed with the immune system disease called pillow foot,  which was causing the pads under her paws to enlarge and become puffed out making them very sore to walk on. We started on oral steroids, and steroid injections into the pads of which all seemed to be just a temporary bandaid, and I was not thrilled with the long term effects of steroids on her liver. A pain medication similar to Ibuprofen, and oral morphine was all that they had to offer after that.  I decided to try to strengthen her core system by trying your Power Probiotic , 1 daily in her wet food, and within 2 days the problem and the limping were completely gone and have never returned. I was completely astonished and very thankful for your product!  Additionally, she is a picky cat and usually will not eat her food with anything added to it but loves the taste of this Probiotic. I was very relieved to see my elderly cat walking comfortably and not in pain finally, especially after being told by the vet that she may have it for the rest of her life.  Your Probiotic has also worked wonders on my other 2 cats as well.  Kirby was vomiting up his food daily, but with the probiotic that has completely stopped except for once in a great while. My Russian Blue cat,  Sammy, was having terrible constant bouts with eye herpes every 2 to 3 weeks. The Probiotic has cut the episodes back drastically to maybe one every 3 to 4 months.  I cannot say enough how much your supplements have helped all of my pets with their various problems." Donna, Pennsylvania 2016

“Pillow Foot or Paw” (Feline Plasma Cell Pododermatitis) is an autoimmune condition in cats that can leave pet owners feeling helpless. The exact cause is not known, but like other autoimmune conditions, it is the body’s response to an antibody or infection that causes an inflammatory response. Autoimmune conditions can affect different parts of the body when they flare up. Some cats may show signs of red inflamed gums, indicating stomatitis, others may lose excessive amounts of weight due to hyperthyroidism, while others may develop Pillow Paw where excess plasma is produced and the padding of the paw becomes soft, swollen and inflamed. Cats of any age, gender or breed can develop Pillow Paw and if your pet has been diagnosed with Pillow Paw it important to provide your pet with immune system support. Autoimmune diseases can be controlled holistically by feeding your pet an anti-inflammatory diet and using supplements that help modulate the immune system. Allergens in food and stress are a big trigger. To learn more about how to help your pet with an autoimmune disease, click here.

Stages of Pillow Paw
Stage 1: Paw pad may be slightly puffy and tender
Stage 2: Pads will eventually become purple and appear bruised.
Stage 3: The pads become increasingly mushy and your cat will begin to “favor” the affected paws.(often more than one paw is inflamed)
Stage 4: Sores will develop and in severe cases may split open 
Diagnosis and Treatment of Feline Plasma Cell Pododermatitis
Your vet may be able to diagnosis Pillow Pet by the the initial physical exam and the classic physical symptoms, however, for confirmation, blood tests may be run to determine lymphocyte levels. Conventional veterinary care would most likely include antibiotics and steroids to calm the inflammation and clear any infection.

Using holistic care for autoimmune conditions can greatly reduce the need to give your cat medications and better regulate their immune system and overall well being. When cats have an autoimmune condition, the cat's immune system is so overloaded that their body forms antibodies to its own tissues and attacks itself. Autoimmune disease can be very challenging for veterinarians to treat and often involves the use of antibiotics and steroids to calm down the immune response. The onset of the attacks is often associated with triggers which could be exposure to vaccines, environmental chemicals, stress or food allergens. These contribute to a "flare-up" which may then quiet down for a period of time.

Effective Supplements For Pillow Foot and Autoimmune Diseases in Cats

Several products have been especially effective in helping cats with Pillow foot and other autoimmune diseases such as stomatitis. Immune Harmony, Quentans, Power Probiotic and Notatum work synergistically together, helping to calm down inflammation naturally. Generally over a few months time, pet owners start to see real improvements in their cat's overall demeanor and a slowing in the progression of the disease. Controlling the frequency and the level of flareups can transform a cat's quality of life.
Each of these formulas works in a different way and can be used together.

Power Probiotic 
The Power Probiotic is a multi-strain formula that many cats like the taste of (yeah!). It can be sprinkled in food or some cats like to eat it by itself. The Power Probiotic promotes the growth of friendly bacteria throughout the intestinal tract. Why is this important? The majority of your cat's immune system resides in the intestinal tract.

Immune Harmony
This formula is natural plant sterols and has been specifically designed to treat autoimmune diseases.  It helps to modulate the cat's immune system and is well-tolerated by cats. 

 Quentans and Notatum--Great things come in small bottles! These drops are easy to administer and work exceptionally well together. Notatum is a basic formula for fighting infection while Quentans is especially helpful for viruses. When used together, they seem to control the incidence of infections such as URIs, UTIs, redness and soreness associated with inflammation.

Diet For Cats With Pillow Foot And Other Autoimmune Diseases
Diet can also play an important role in supporting your cat’s immune system too. Even "healthy or organic" premium brands can be problematic if they contain ingredients which can cause inflammation, thereby flaring up the autoimmune disease. The wrong food can be a trigger that causes a flare up of symptoms. Food allergies and intolerances are the single biggest trigger for autoimmune conditions. A cat doesn't have to be sneezing or vomitting to have a food intolerance. The food may be causing inflammation and in the early stages, you may not make any connection that the flareups are connected to the food. Some common food allergens in cats: fish, poultry, grains, soy and dairy. Dry kibble can be a problem because the foods are very high in carbohydrates which turn to sugar. Cats are carnivores and feeding them as clean and natural a diet will go a long way to helping control Pillow Foot.

Ask Ariel is dedicated to helping pets with autoimmune conditions. If you place an order for the products, include your cat's diet on the order form at checkout. Nutritionist Susan Blake Davis will include a diet suggestion on the packing slip based on your cat's special needs. Susan offered inperson consultations at VCA hospitals in Southern California for over 10 years and uses the knowledge she gained to help pets nationwide.

Have questions about the best supplement protocol for your pet? Email

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tips To Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Dennis Before

Dennis Now
Pet nutrition is very important to us at, That is why this story caught our attention.   Brooke Burton, rescued her miniature dachshund Dennis at a weight of 56 pounds!   He now weighs a trim 12 pounds.  The message that diet and exercise can work to improve your pet’s health is undeniable.  See the Today article to learn about Dennis’ journey. Burton has also joined forces with Ohio State University to form Dennis’ Legacy, which is a nonprofit venture whose mission is to “support nutritional education and care of obese animals”

Pet obesity can lead to many health concerns including: joint pain, digestive system issues, and undue stress to their heart and lungs. Unfortunately the majority of pets are overweight.  Some factors contribute to their pet's obesity---feeding too many carbohydrates in food, not getting enough exercise, free feeding and "overtreating" our pets.  When a pet has too many carbohydrates in the diet, just like with people, they feel overly hungry.  Their insulin spikes from the carbs.  To help your pet feel less hungry, you can add more fiber (e.g. vegetables such as green beans and pumpkin) and be sure you are feeding a high protein diet.  Dry kibble is very high in carbohydrates so choosing a canned or raw frozen diet and mixing with plenty of vegetables will help.  If possible, try to feed your pet a mid-day meal as it is easy to feel famished by the end of the day.  Avoid free feeding.  Feed pets regular meals to prevent overfeeding.  Finally, we all love to spoil our pets, but the best way to keep your pet fit and trim is to use the treats after exercising and keep a designated amount per day in a little bag so that you know when you reach the limit.  Food isn't the only way to spoil your pet.  A big hug, a nice walk and a little extra attention seem to work quite well too!

Visit www.AskAriel.com for more information about the best diets to feed your pet!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Know Of A Neglected Pet? Here is How You Can Help!

Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful, kind words about Whitey. Whitey taught our community a very important message: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR! We all have a neighbor or friend with a nonstop barking dog, a neglected pet or just one that we don't think is being taken care of the way it should be. Unless the pet is severely abused, Animal Control is not going to be able to do anything! Of course if the animal is severely neglected, you can try calling them first, but most of the time, that just isn't going to help.  That means the ONLY way to help the pet is to reach out to the owner. It's easy to condemn the owner or look the other way. Some may try to steal the pet or rally other neighbors to hate the neighbor. That rarely ends up helping the pet....If you really want to help the pet, it is up to you and your community to reach out to the owner to try to help. How? Love thy neighbor---even if that person is abhorrent to you. Find a way to connect with the owner in a positive way. Clearly, they don't understand or haven't been "awakened" to the wonderful relationship that can come from loving a pet. You might want to consider (either by yourself or in conjunction with another neighbor) leaving the owner a friendly note offering to walk the pet, help with the care of the pet or ask if you can visit the pet. If it is a scary person, then of course, use common sense for your personal safety. But, a lot of times, the pet owner is just uninformed about animals or the pet just isn't a priority. Kindness and compassion for the owner, no matter how hard, might help the pet and can go a long way.

Want to know how natural holistic care can help your pet?  Just Ask Ariel.  Email us at   We will be glad to help.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Natural Treatments for Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia and Liver Disease in Dogs

We just received this inspiring story about Sprocket and had to share! Sprocket, this adorable 12 year old Pomeranian,  has outlived her prognosis of Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia by 6 years!  Sprocket's Mom is a dedicated pet parent who used a holistic approach along with conventional veterinary treatments.  The veterinarian had projected that Sprocket might survive an additional 2 years when she was diagnosed.  Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia is a genetic liver disorder where small vessels in the liver are abnormally formed hindering blood flow which compromises liver function.  Symptoms may not appear until  a pet is a few years old and include lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea.  These same symptoms can be seen in other types of liver and gallbladder diseases.  Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia is more common in small breed dogs such as Yorkies, Maltese, Pomeranians, Cairn Terriers, Shih-Tzus and Dachshunds.  If your pet is displaying any of these symptoms, please consult your veterinarian.  

Sprocket's story:

"My beautiful 12 year old Pomeranian Sprocket has been doing great on a homemade diet and supplements. When she was four years old, Sprocket was diagnosed with Microvascular Liver Dysplasia which was not correctable through surgery, and we were told she would only live maybe two more years. We were very concerned about how to give her a good quality of life. We wanted to use natural treatments as much as possible and found Ask Ariel.  Ask Ariel provided us with a diet suggestion and supplements that have kept Sprocket going strong.  It is now 8 years that we have been following this regimen for Sprocket and it has been wonderful to see how well she is doing.  The Ask Ariel supplements we have  given her for liver support are:  Oxicell and Kidney Health (as well as another liver support supplement from the vet), and fish oil. As she got older and started limping, we started her on Curcumin for Pets, Arthrosoothe and Ultra-Flex for her collapsing trachea. Sprocket is feeling well and we are so happy we took this holistic approach. Everyone thinks she is far younger than she is and she often acts like a puppy. We sincerely believe that Sprocket has the looks and life that she does due to her diet and supplements from Ask Ariel. We tell everyone with a pet about Ask Ariel."  (Sprocket's story continues below) M. Matsumoto - New Mexico

Does your pet have hepatic microvascular dysplasia, elevated liver enzymes, liver shunt or a liver disorder?  Would you like assistance selecting find the right diet and supplements for your pet?  Email the experts at for assistance.

How Can I help My Pet With Liver Disease? 

Liver disorders can appear at an early age in pets due to congenital reasons (e.g. liver shunt) or later in life (e.g. gallbladder issues and/or elevated liver enzymes).  Regardless, pets with liver disorders need a special diet.  The diet should be low in fat, reduced protein, high in fiber and hypoallergenic (pets with liver disease can be itchy and especially sensitive to allergens since their liver is working overtime).  Adding vegetables such as carrots, green beans and broccoli can be helpful.  Also, using diets made with yams vs. grains is also recommended.

The liver is a major organ that helps to detoxify the body.  It's main functions include:

• metabolism of fats, protein and carbohydrates
• filtering harmful substances from the blood (e.g. toxins and/or medications)
• storage of vitamins and minerals 
• production of bile which aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients
• glycogen storage (involved in blood sugar regulation) and hormone conversion and regulation
• synthesis of important proteins such as albumin and clotting factors
• red blood cell maintenance, in conjunction with the spleen

Due to it's many functions, your cat or dog's liver is highly susceptible to damage.   Fortunately, liver disease is a condition that can be well managed, and with proper nutrition and liver support supplements, healthy liver cells can be regenerated.  Liver disorders are a type of health condition where pets seem to respond exceptionally well to holistic care.  Click here to learn more about elevated liver enzymes and understanding your pet's laboratory tests.

Veterinary-Approved Supplements For Pets With Liver Disease

Special SAMe—An antioxidant scientifically proven to support liver health

 Liver Support Kit--Contains 3 Formulas to Improve Digestion, detoxify the liver and reduce the workload on the liver

Diet For Pets With Liver Conditions
Pets with liver disease need a low-fat, high fiber diet with moderate protein.  Pets that have liver disease often have allergies because they have difficulty processing and clearing toxins.  To minimize the workload on your pet's liver, it is important to avoid high allergen foods such as grains and high allergen proteins.  Feeding your pet foods that contain antioxidants such as green vegetables and carrots is helpful.  

*Added Value
If you include your pet's diet on the order form at checkout, AskAriel will provide a FREE diet suggestion for your pet on the packing slip that comes with the product directions.

Additional Update on Sprocket

12 Year Old Sprocket Is Still Going Strong

"A few years after we’d been giving Sprocket her supplements from Ask Ariel, Sprocket found, and ate, some rat poison at a ranch. The vet said that her diet helped push it through her system and that no doubt, the supplements that she was taking, helped. Although she did have to take medication for the poison, I am certain that her supplement regimen was helpful in keeping her healthy and safe from the medication.  A few months later when she had her liver enzymes tested, after the results came in, her vet said: “If I didn’t know otherwise, I would say that this is a normal healthy dog.”

You can only imagine our relief and happiness at hearing that news, and we have Ask Ariel to thank for helping Sprocket live a healthy life."

Need advice about what supplements would be helpful for your pet? Please send an email to

Lucy Pet Foundation Brings Focus to Dog and Cat Shelter Euthanasia Rates

This 2017 Rose Parade float is magnificent but what is even more remarkable is the attention it is getting for Lucy Pet Foundation.  The float was paid for by Joey Herrick, co-founder and former President of Natural Balance Pet Foods and founder of Lucy Pet Foundation. The foundation is a charity that pays for free mobile spay and neuter services.  The goal of the Lucy Pet Foundation is to have spay/neuter and adoption mobile clinics in every major city in the country. Why is this important? In the US, over 4 million pets are euthanized each year in animal shelters alone. Spaying and neutering is a huge step toward reducing euthanasia rates.  We applaud Joey Herrick and the Lucy Pet Foundation for this wonderful float and bringing to light the euthanasia rates in animal shelters.  We hope more families will take advantage of their free mobile spay and neuter services and please donate to support such a wonderful cause! is dedicated to supporting rescue animals.  Rescued shelter pets often need a little extra veterinary support and pet nutrition at first.  If you have a rescue pet, please see our articles about pet nutrition.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year To You and Your Pets!

Happy New Year!  Hoping 2017 brings you and your pets good health and happiness!