Chance’s rehabilitation veterinarian recommended we begin supplementing with MYOS Canine Muscle Formula at our last visit to help try to combat Chance’s muscle atrophy, or muscle loss, so I decided to do some research.
I ordered the “over-the-counter” (OTC) strength formula from an online pet supply company listed on the MYOS company website after we got home from the rehab vet. The rehab vet said they’d seen excellent results and she was trying to order the veterinary-strength formula but it was out-of-stock at the manufacturer level. The veterinary-strength formula contains additional branched-chain amino acids that the OTC-strength product does not. These additional amino acids provide a little extra muscle support. I figured we’d try the OTC-strength formula to see how Chance did on it while waiting on the veterinary-strength formula to come in. 
MYOS Canine Muscle Formula contains Fortetropin® which comes from fertilized chicken egg yolks. Clinical studies have shown that Fortetropin® helps build lean muscle and also helps decrease muscle loss after orthopedic surgeries.    
What is Fortetropin®? It is a “proteolipid complex” that is also a myostatin reducer which sounds pretty impressive. A proteolipid is a protein that is made up of high amounts of lipids, or fats, and is found in tissues throughout the body. A proteolipid complex is just a bunch of these proteolipids, or fatty proteins, that have joined together to make a single bigger proteolipid. A myostatin is a protein found mainly in skeletal muscle that stops muscle growth so muscles don’t grow too big. Myostatins circulate in the blood stream so they move throughout the body instead of staying in one place.    
The rehab vet feels Chance’s muscle atrophy, or muscle loss, is age-related. This means Chance’s body isn’t producing as much of the proteolipid complexes that help build and maintain muscle as it used to which is allowing her to lose muscle in certain areas even with good nutrition and healthy exercise. By supplementing with something that not only helps build and maintain muscle but also reduces the myostatins responsible for stopping muscle growth, we hope to help her body start to rebuild this lost muscle.
Chance so far has loved her MYOS Canine Muscle Formula so we will be switching to the veterinary product as soon as we can. She will have been on MYOS Canine Muscle Formula for exactly 3 weeks at her next rehab vet appointment. We are hoping we have good muscle news to report after that visit.
 About Fortetropin
Myos Rens Technology
© 2020, myospet.com
 Fortetropin Inhibits Disuse Muscle Atrophy In Dogs After Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy
White DA, Harkin KR, Roush JK, Renberg WC, Biller D (2020)
Fortetropin Inhibits Disuse Muscle Atrophy In Dogs After Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy.
PLoS ONE 15(4): e0231306.
© 2020 White et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
 The Effects of Fortetropin Supplementation on Body Composition, Strength, and Power in Humans and Mechanism of Action in a Rodent Model
Sharp MH, Lowery RP, Mobley CB, Fox CD, de Souza EO, Shields KA, Healy JC, Arick NQ, Thompson RM, Roberts MD, Wilson JM.
The Effects of Fortetropin Supplementation on Body Composition, Strength, and Power in Humans and Mechanism of Action in a Rodent Model.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Nov-Dec;35(8):679-691. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2016.1142403. Epub 2016 Jun 22. PMID: 27333407.
 Effects of Fortetropin on the Rate of Muscle Protein Synthesis in Older Men and Women: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study
William Evans, PhD, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, PhD, Edna Nyangau, BS, Tyler Field, BS, Hussein Mohammed, BS, Robert Wolfe, PhD, Scott Schutzler, RN, Marc Hellerstein, MD, PhD, Effects of Fortetropin on the Rate of Muscle Protein Synthesis in Older Men and Women: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, , glaa162, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa162
 MSTN gene: myostatin
Source: MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine.
 Chapter 8 - Inflammatory and Oxidative Stress Markers in Skeletal Muscle of Obese Subjects
Obesity Oxidative Stress and Dietary Antioxidants, 2018, Pages 163-189
Victoria Catalán, Gema Frühbeck, Javier Gómez-Ambrosi
 Protein Complexes And Functional Modules In Molecular Networks
Victor Spirin, Leonid A. Mirny
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Oct 2003, 100 (21) 12123-12128; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2032324100
 For Veterinarians
Myos Rens Technology
© 2020, myospet.com
Vitamin E is something Chance takes for her Discoid Lupus Erythematosus and her cataracts. She was started on it in 2014 after her DLE diagnosis per veterinary recommendation. We doubled the dosage in 2017 per the advice of her veterinary ophthalmologist to help try to slow cataract growth and help with her overall eye health.
Vitamin E (also known as: alpha-tocopherol) is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means it is stored in the fat tissue as opposed to any excess being excreted or eliminated in the urine and not stored by the body. It is found in many types of foods so it is uncommon to have an individual that has a Vitamin E deficiency and needs supplementation. It can be used topically on the skin or internally via liquids or capsules meant to be taken by mouth. It is a common ingredient in pet foods, pet treats, nutraceuticals, fish oil, etc. This is because it is added as a sort of natural “preservative” to help slow the rate of spoilage in these items that are meant to be ingested. Much of what is used commercially is from soybeans though there are some companies who use sunflower seeds. The Vitamin E Chance takes and that I use in aromatherapy is derived from sunflower seeds.    
Vitamin E is what is known as an “antioxidant.” An antioxidant targets the oxidation chain reaction that is caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that lose an electron which makes them unstable so they try to steal an electron from another molecule. Oxidation is simply the loss of an electron in a molecule and is responsible for the rust you see on metal and the browning of a cut apple. Oxidation causes atoms to break down and change which is good if you are using hydrogen peroxide to clean or a welding torch to cut metal but is not a good thing when it happens to the metal of your vehicle, the fruit you want to eat, or the cells inside your body. The phospholipids, phosphate-containing fatty substances, found in cell membranes are susceptible to attack by free radicals as they try to steal that lost electron and the resulting oxidation damage from this attack. When a free radical is created, it sets off a free radical chain reaction because, each time a free radical is created, it creates another and another and another until that chain gets disrupted or stopped. An antioxidant can give a free radical the electron it wants without becoming unstable and this helps stop more free radicals from being made and breaks that oxidation chain reaction.
Sources of free radicals include:
Because excess amounts of Vitamin E are stored in the fat tissue, it can possibly interact with some drugs and vitamin therapies and can act as an anticoagulant so it is important to consult with a veterinarian knowledgeable about Vitamin E and possible problems before starting your animal on it.
Health conditions that may contraindicate the use of supplemental Vitamin E include:
Signs of Vitamin E overdose can include:
Because it can increase the risk of bleeding by interfering with clotting, ask your veterinarian when to stop the use of Vitamin E prior to any planned surgery. I have seen estimates anywhere between 10 days and 2 months for stopping the use of Vitamin E.
 Free Radicals: Properties, Sources, Targets, and Their Implication in Various Diseases by Alugoju Phaniendra, Dinesh Babu Jestadi, and Latha Periyasamy
 Free radical reaction
 Vitamin E by Mayo Clinic Staff
 Vitamin E
 What is Oxidation? - Definition, Process & Examples Chapter 11 / Lesson 23 by Study.com
 Oxidation and Reduction Bodner Research Web, Purdue University
 Vitamin E by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University
This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Chance’s Little Website is not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University.
 Is Vitamin E Good for Dogs? by David F. Kramer
 Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2nd ed. by Tisserand and Young; Appendix B: Examplesof drug substrates for CYP enzymes, pgs. 661-664
I have completed my aromatherapy training and am now a Certified Animal Aromatherapy
Practitioner (CAAP). It was hard and a lot of work (310 hours of instruction, 30 case studies, numerous papers and assignments and tests, and 27 months of work) but I learned so much that has helped me help Chance and the other animals I see.
As an aromatherapist, I don't just use essential oils. In fact, I usually start with a different aromatherapy "tool" (hydrosol, carrier oil, Aloe Vera gel, Witch Hazel, Apple Cider Vinegar, botanical clay, etc.) and switch to an essential oil if warranted though, in certain cases, I do go with a diluted essential oil first. Hydrosols are a favorite of mine, even for using on myself and my husband, because they are much gentler than essential oils and I have seen numerous issues, physical and mental, benefit from their use.
Aromatherapy can be useful for many issues but it can also be harmful for others, and not all essential oils and other aromatherapy tools are safe for animals. When cats come into the picture, it gets even more complicated.
Before using any aromatherapy product with your companion, please consult with a Certified Animal Aromatherapy Practitioner on the safety of that product for your companion.
Some essential oils can interact with certain medications in harmful ways or make a medical condition worse. At the very least, look up the individual ingredients in a blend/product to see if they have any medication or medical condition warnings or are poisonous to animals.
Do not automatically trust an aromatherapy product that is marketed as being made for animals.
I decided to start pursuing an aromatherapy education after using a diluted, "ready to use" essential oil product made for animals on Chance and suffering a serious injury on the exposed skin of my wrist where it contacted her fur during application.
I had a raised welt that went about 2/3 of the way across my wrist, was about 1/2 inch wide, and ended up bleeding.
I had even done the "safe" thing of further diluting this already diluted product by around 80%.
The person who formulated this particular product had no formal training in essential oils and would no disclose at what dilution the product was after being contacted about the injury and blamed my injury on having "sensitive skin."
I am currently taking certification classes to become a Certified Animal Aromatherapist. So far, I've completed level 1 which involved case studies, papers, and a final quiz. I'm working through the case studies for Level 2 then will work on the term paper, other papers, and huge final quiz. Then, on to Level 3 which looks to be just as intensive as Level 2. That will put me halfway through!
I'm learning how to select the appropriate aromatherapy product for a particular situation. This involves not only essential oils but also hydrosols, carrier/fixed oils, flower essences, clays, and other botanical products.
It's a lot more information to learn than I expected... and it makes me want to learn even more about it.
Chance's rehab vet found drawer movement in the injured knee 3-11-16. This means the CCL suffered another injury. Recheck on 3-25-16 to allow swelling inside the joint to subside so extent of the injury can be confirmed and next course of action determined. I will not be checking form submissions or posting in the meantime.
I use essential oils with Chance for various issues. Immune support, stress/fear/anxiety, joint issues, allergies, etc.
I started my essential oil journey by using a product designed by a veterinarian.
As I further educated myself on essential oils, I realized the usage instructions were not safe. Essential oils are very powerful and can cause many problems with improper use. As with most things in life, less is better. I found out it was much safer, and just as effective, to apply a highly diluted oil instead of one that was a higher concentration or not diluted at all.
I became concerned with her formulations.
Many products contained a lot of different essential oils. If a reaction occurred, how could I figure out which oil caused the problem when there were 19 essential oils used?
Some products contained essential oils that were best avoided with dogs for various reasons.
I discovered the veterinarian had no formal training in the use of essential oils other than what was provided by the brand she first started using and her experiments on her personal animals and clients' animals.
I began to research and found a wonderful group on Facebook that is run by Kelly Holland Azzaro, RA, CCAP, CBFP, LMT. She is an Animal Aromatherapist and educator.
If you are a member of Facebook, her group can be found here: Animal Aromatherapy (Safe Use)
If you are not a member of Facebook, she can be reached here: Ashi Therapy
Using the information from her group, I have been able to figure out what works best for Chance and custom blend essential oils or pick the best single oil for a specific issue.
We have seen an accelerated rate of healing on her nose from diffusing the essential oils for stress and fear-based emotions. Her rehab vet commented that she may have a "normal looking" nose with the degree of healing we are seeing.
I created a blend that worked remarkably well when our fireworks-crazy neighborhood went nuts on New Year's Eve. I never had luck with the four blends from the veterinarian's company.
The following supplement, Marine Collagen Extract, is the 1st ingredient found in a product called DGP. DGP was recommended by Chance’s chiropractor.
Marine collagen extract is the collagen extracted from the skin of fish.
Collagen is a protein and acts as the building blocks for bones, cartilage, connective tissues, skin, teeth, and tendons. It helps to maintain and repair these structures.
It is widely used in the Far East and is now becoming popular in the West, especially in products used on the skin.
It is believed to be beneficial for many medical conditions including, but not limited to: orthopedic (bone, connective tissue, joints, tendons) and skin.
Quercetin is a flavonoid (a.k.a. bioflavonoid - a plant pigment that attracts pollinators to the plant) with anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties.
The anti-histamine property can shut off the histamine production that occurs during an allergic reaction. The anti-inflammatory property can moderate, or even suppress, the inflammation associated with histamine production as well as inflammation from other medical conditions.
Quercetin naturally occurs in certain fruits, herbs, and vegetables. Supplements are available and typically contain Bromelain, an enzyme that also has anti-histamine properties.
Bromelain increases the bioavailability of the Quercetin, meaning it helps make the Quercetin easier for the body to absorb and use. If formulating your own, Bromelain should be included at 1/4 to 1/3 of the total daily amount of Quercetin. So, if you have 400 mg. of Quercetin, you would want at least 100 mg. of Bromelain.
Quercetin is believed to be beneficial for many medical conditions including, but not limited to: allergies (environmental, food), cancer prevention cataracts, diabetes, heart disease, and inflammatory diseases (asthma, arthritis, etc.)
Dosage (check with your veterinarian, s/he may want a different dosage):
It is recommended that the total daily dosage be split into 2 doses given 12 hours apart.
Potential Drug Interactions:
D-mannose is a naturally occurring, water soluble, simple sugar related to glucose. It is found in small amounts in cranberry juice and cranberry concentrate.
D-mannose has an affinity for Escherichia coli bacteria, a.k.a. E. coli, an important and naturally occurring gastrointestinal microflora. This E. coli bacteria is responsible for the vast majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs.)
When large doses of D-mannose are taken, the excess is secreted in the urine.
When D-mannose gets into the bladder and urinary tract, it can find E. coli bacteria and stick to the cell walls. This can prevent the bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract, preventing the formation of bacterial colonies, and helping prevent future UTIs. The coated bacteria are flushed away by the urine.
D-mannose is different from an antibiotic. It does not kill bacteria and it will not wash away bacteria already stuck to the bladder and urinary tract walls so it will not be effective in getting rid of a current UTI. It does not coat E. coli bacteria in its natural location due to the location the D-mannose is absorbed inside the gastrointestinal tract.
I have been unable to find evidence that D-mannose interferes with blood sugar regulation due to the very small amounts that are metabolized by the body.
Chance (60-ish lbs.) gets 2 grams per day.
MSM is a sulfur-containing chemical found in some plants and animals. It can also be created in a laboratory by combining sulfur with methane or petroleum byproducts with industrial-type waste.
It helps form connective tissues such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons and is an important component in joint health
It may reduce pain by slowing pain-transmitting nerve impulses.
It may increase the cellular uptake of many minerals, nutrients, and vitamins.
It may be useful in many conditions, illnesses, and diseases such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, cancer, cystitis, neurological disorders, etc.
Many people report seeing more improvement in their pets when combining joint supplements with MSM as opposed to using joint supplements alone.
Recommended dosages vary from source to source. The most recommended seem to be:
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information contained in these blogs is not meant as a substitute for veterinary care or as a replacement for advice or instructions given by a veterinarian. Contact your veterinarian before starting any over-the-counter products.
* Vitamin E
* Essential Oils
* DGP - Marine Collagen
* Vitamin C
* Fish Oil