Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tips on summertime dog health

Sitting the prow of a boat whizzing across a cool lake or thrashing in the brush on a hike in shaded mountains is one thing...but this is Arizona, notorious for its killer high temperatures.

If a dog can make it in Arizona, it can thrive almost anyplace. For instance, Ahwatukee...This is actually a prosperous suburb of Phoenix, but the Ahwatukee Foothill News recently had tips for keeping dogs healthy in summer in a story by guest writer Malinda Malone:

HEATSTROKE. Yes, dogs get this. Never leave your dog in a car in the heat or even push it up a barren mountain on a prolonged hike. A cracked window does NOT cool a car.

SUNBURN.  White, light colored, or dogs with sparse short fur are especially vulnerable. Use a sunscreen for dogs or even one for babies. Be sure to cover the dog's nose and ear tips, the skin around its mouth, and its back.

PAW PADS. Sidewalks and patios heat up fast. If you wouldn't go barefoot, or only for a second, your dog should not either. Get the animal onto grass.

DEHYDRATION. Provide cool water. Even put in ice cubes. Some people offer frozen broth to get dogs to drink more.

CAMPFIRES AND BBQs. Dogs can try to pull burning sticks out of fires. They may also try to lick food off grills that may be hot. Keep an eye on them. Also keep lighter fluid out of reach.

FIREWORKS. Dogs may think an unexploded firework is a stick and bite it or try to run away with it. Also, some dogs get very upset over loud noises. Keep dogs on a short leash at fireworks displays.

PARASITES. Ask the vet about flea and tick protection.

CHEMICALS. Don't let dogs drink a lot of pool water. Rinse the dog with fresh water after swimming in a pool. Even mud puddles can contain gas or oil.

This boils down to common sense. But, still, every year, we get some story about a person who drags some poor mutt on a big hike and the dog collapses. Think!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hey--clear coffee!

The coffee stains on your favorite blouse--the rings on your desk--the big oopsies!

Enter two Slovakian brothers, David and Adam Nagy, living in London, who have invented clear java.

It's called CLR CFF (apparently those two dislike vowels as well as stains).

They won't say how they do it, but only high quality Arabica beans are used. No chems or additives. Also no preservatives, artificial flavors, stabilizers, sugar or other sweeteners.

It taste like strong iced 200 ml bottle should last all day. You can even put it in cocktails.

You can find out more at, I it will shortly reach the UK through Amazon.

The United States? Stay tuned. We like our coffee--no matter what color or even no color.

Dunno on this, though. I expect a coffee taste when I see brown...Could you put cream in this or would it look like skim milk?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Help with big health decisions

As you know if you are a regular reader, I deal in health everyday. But I still am uncertain about making decisions about my own health...I feel like I am thwarted or wrong every time. I talk to doctors, do research on Dr Google, ask my friends...and then act and feel uneasy the whole time.

Do I know just enough to be dangerous?  I did OK making decisions for my mother, who had dementia for the 18 yrs I cared for her, and she lived until age 95.

But me? I remember 3 months ago when my hernia was discovered (after brewing for 30-some yrs, they thought later) and I thought, no surgery...I will die of surgery....Then, of course, while waiting interminably for specialists to clear me as healthy enough for surgery, the hernia went bad, and I had emergency surgery within half an hour. And woke up. And feel it may be helped my IBS, if I even had that.

So I am interested in a seven-year-old company called

This company has decision-making tools for patients--and physicians--involving cardiovascular risk, atrial fibrillation (which I have and the therapies have all failed me, to which a cardiologist recently agreed), lung cancer screening, and breast cancer screening. Those four.

A doctor blogging on the site said, "The tools display the recommendations from national clinical guidelines and then take the discussion another step, showing the impact of one therapeutic choice compared to another...In (some) situations, the clinician and patients can engage in true shared decision-making where the science and patient's values can meet. In these situations, agreeing to disagree can be a very comfortable process.

I am meeting my new primary doctor this week. Wonder if he ever agrees to disagree. I know I will never go on another "diet." I have seen that movie over and over since I was 10 yrs old.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Reminder: Staying healthy on vacay

Ah, yes, infectious diseases--they are ever with us.

Brent W. Laarta, MD, author of How to Avoid Contagious Diseases ( says 40% of travelers who bring back a major illness from their foreign travels.

He was one--on a horseback riding trip to Costa Rica (in his younger, more naive days).

Some tips he learned the hard way:

--Avoid local water in all forms. When you shower, no water in your mouth or eyes. Ask for a drink without ice. Bring iodine tablets and a water boiler to sanitize water for yourself,. Drink bottled. Be sure even bottled water is sealed.

--Protect your feet. Wear flipflops in the shower. Parasites can enter you through your feet. Never walk barefoot in any area of a foreign country--including in your hotel room.

--Beware of fruits, veggies, condiments. If you can't get an apple or banana that can be peeled, avoind fruit. Any fruit served fresh can be washed in local water or wiped by a kitchen rag (you don't want to know). You could even bring your own peeler. Forget coleslaw or anything with mayo.

--Bypass road stands and street food. It might smell great but not have been heated hot enough to kill things you want killed. In a restaurant the to-go Styrofoam box may be cleaner than the plate.

I had the parasite giardia once. You don't want this. Unfortunately I got it from a local takeout joint, not a nice trip to South America.

Even in America, see that sparkling stream tumbling along? Not fit to drink!

None of this is foolproof. Bring Imodium--in fact, carry it everywhere, even in the US. My advice.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Write your way healthier

Writing on the website, Lucy Whitehouse says grab your pen or computer and write your way to better health.

The Journal of Research and Personality, had a study that seemed to show that writing on positive subjects might boost your immune system.

Writing also helps you sleep better, according to Applied Psychology. Spend 15 minutes before bed writing about things you are grateful for.

Writing or journaling has been shown to reduce symptoms of asthma and arthritis.

Writing perks you up and helps keep feelings of anger and hostility in check.

Writing makes you grateful. Good vibes.

When vibes are good, you may want to get out and exercise.

AND--writing helps keep your brain cells working and connecting...Thinking and expressing yourself on hard subjects may even keep dementia at bay.

I used to know a guy who would copy a paragraph from The New York Times just to get some words in his mind and then he took off from there for a day of writing.

As you readers know, I write about everything. It doesn't make me feel better all the time, but it can't hurt.