What Your Vet Isn't Telling You
Dr. Marty Becker, America's Veterinarian
Animal Radio Veterinary Correspondent Dr. Marty Becker will tell you what information your veterinarian may be withholding; and conversely, what he/she shouldn't be telling you. We hope you have an honest and transparent vet for your pets.
If you have a veterinarian that is still recommending that you vaccinate your pet every year for all of the core diseases for dogs and cats, you should find another veterinarian. Dr. Becker states that this practice is inexcusable, except in some extreme case.
Research is very well documented supporting this and the vaccine guidelines have been produced by professional organizations, including the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinarian Medical Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Most of these core vaccines are now given every three years. However, there are some vaccinations that still need to be given annually like bordetella for dogs. There are also some vaccinations that are mandated by law in certain areas. Dr. Becker states, "That if you have a veterinarian that is still, every year, poking your pet full of holes like a watering can, I think it's unconscionable!"
The immunities for these vaccinations last around three years. You can also do a titer test, which is like a fuel gauge in your car, which detects the presence and measures the amount of antibodies within an animal's blood.
Dr. Becker believes that about 25-percent of veterinarians are still recommending annual vaccinations and are ripping off the people.
Another item is flea and tick medications. Most vets know that you're probably going to purchase these items elsewhere. However, veterinarians do carry the leading products for fleas and ticks that you can only get from them.
According to Dr. Becker, there's a good argument that you should use only products from your vet on your pets, but if you've used K9 Advantage or Frontline in the past that you've purchased online or at a retail store, and it's working well, this is the same Frontline that you're going to get from your vet.
Food is another item. You are not going to offend your vet if you buy your product where you buy your groceries or online. Go ahead and call them up and ask them to recommend one or two products, which they can then list it in your pet's medical records, so they know what you're feeding your pet.
You should also look at the way you feed your pet. You might need to increase their enrichment activities. One way to do this is to switch their food bowls out for food puzzles or food dispensing devices so that it's an activity that just doesn't feed the body but also feeds the mind.
The last item is a fear-free vet visit. The veterinary profession is changing. People will be excited to know that veterinarians in the future will be more like pediatricians or a pediatric dentist, where they're looking at both the physical and mental well-being of our pets.
To help your pet have a fear-free visit, start planning the visit 2-3 days out. You can do this by getting the carrier out and leaving it out for your pet to see and smell. Before you leave, start your car up and make sure the temperature is comfortable for them. You don't want to take an animal out in a cold car in the winter nor a hot car in the summer. On the way to the vet's office, don't baby talk to your pet. It's best to say nothing or just talk in your normal voice, like you were just going to the dog park. You can even play special soothing, pet music in your car. You can download special pet music from Through A Dog's Ear for dogs or Through a Cat's Ear or cats.
And finally, once you get to the clinic, if you have one of those dogs that just loves to be around people and loves to wait in the waiting area with all of the commotion, fine. But for most pets, ask if you can go straight into an exam room or be checked in remotely. If they don't have the technology to do that or they're too busy, check-in and then go back outside and wait with your pet in your vehicle until it's your turn to be seen. Also, bring your pet to the vet very hungry, so they respond better to food rewards.
Dr. Becker has been practicing veterinary medicine for more than 30 years and is a best-selling author, syndicated columnist and a frequent guest on national shows. You can also find Dr. Becker on Vetstreet.com, a new animal health and lifestyle website dedicated to giving pet owners the most accurate information possible to keep their pets healthy and happy. Follow Dr. Becker on Facebook and Twitter.
Doggy Detox and Canine Cleanse
Debora Montgomery, Morris Animal Inn
The Morris Animal Inn in Morristown New Jersey caters ONLY to our four-legged friends. They just finished a weeklong Spa Treatment and Canine Cleanse program. Pups from all over the country enjoyed Smoothies, treadmill trots, meditation, nature trail hikes and massages as part of the $260 package. Debora Montgomery reports on how the program went and what you can do at home to pamper your pup.
Debora Montgomery is the Marketing Manager of the Morris Animal Inn, a Luxury Pet Spa & Resort in Morristown, New Jersey.
Getting healthy, improving fitness and reducing stress are popular New Year's resolutions for people, and recently the Morris Animal Inn gave dedicated dogs the same opportunity to kick of the year and embrace a clean lifestyle with their "Canine Cleanse" Health and Wellness Getaway.
Morris Animal Inn offered a "Canine Cleanse," a day program or weeklong getaway from January 11 - January 15 to help refresh and rejuvenate Rover in body and spirit. Dogs enjoyed daily detox juices, smoothies and nutritious snacks, canine cardio, relaxation and meditation sessions, as well as salon treatments and more for feeling good inside and out.
Their juices included banana and blueberry drinks, kale and carrot drinks, apple and peanut butter blend, pumpkin and yogurt, as well as green bean protein shakes
Their spa treatments included blueberry facials, coconut oil and spritz brush-outs. They also had a lavender towel treatment, baby powder belly rubs and then a pawdicure, where their paws were massaged, with calming music.
Along with the detoxes and cleanses, they also had many activities for the dogs. These included relay races, doggy mud run, hiking and nature trail runs. They also had a Zumba dance party and an obstacle course.
The weeklong treatment included dogs that just came for the 5-days, but also dogs that spent the whole week there, day and night. At the end of the week, the dogs went home extremely exhausted but definitely more relaxed! The dogs were healthy and happy and the clients loved it.
So if you didn't get your dog into this getaway, you can do some of these things at home. However, Debora recommends speaking with your veterinarian before adding anything to their diet. If you start your pet on something new, start out in small doses, so it doesn't upset their stomach leading to diarrhea or vomiting.
Morris Animal Inn is a state-of-the-art pet spa and resort offering superior amenities for dogs and cats including a heated indoor pool, whirlpool, pet suites with soothing music and videos, skylights, indoor and outdoor play areas, pampering and activities packages, daily maid and room service, Happy Hour with homemade pet treats, tuck-in service and more, throughout the year.
5 Must Know Things To Understand When Training Your Dog"
Robert Semrow, Animal Radio Listomania
It's Robert Semrow, your pet world insider here with this week's Animal Radio Listomania.
January is Train Your Dog month and we certainly advocate training your pets here at Animal Radio. But before you embark on training your favorite pooch, here a few friendly tips for training the untrained.
#1 - Be patient and have realistic expectations. That's right, your dog may be the smartest being in your home, but that doesn't mean that they're going to understand everything you are trying to train them to do. So, have a plan and know that it is going to take some time to train and reinforce the behaviors, tricks and requests that you have in mind. Think of it this way, a dog is doing what comes natural to them, so whatever you are trying to change or correct is not necessarily natural for them, so it's going to take some time.
#2 - Be specific and use the proper terms at the moment it occurs. If Fido has chewed up your favorite slippers while you were away at work, coming hours 8 hours later and saying "No and bad dog" doesn't really tell them what they need to know to stop the behavior. For all they know, you arriving at home has somehow made them a bad dog. So, when you see them doing something that you need to correct, be specific, for instance, if they are jumping up on someone. No just tells them you don't want that but doesn't tell them what you do want them to do. So instead say, "Sit." That gives something that they understand and know what to do instead of jumping.
#3 - Consistent messaging from all they meet. If you are telling you're pooch "Off" when they jump on the bed and your housemate is saying "Down" it gets confusing for them. So everyone in the home needs to be consistent.
#4 - Training is more than the 1-hour you devote to it. Every interaction you have with your pet is training. Yes, you may specifically work on a trick or ask, but the reality is that you are in a constant state of training and reinforcement. So, training and learning never really stops. If you see a new behavior has developed, ask yourself what you or your housemates have done to teach this or reward this new behavior.
#5 - You don't have to rely on food treats. Yes, who doesn't love bacon or cheese treats every time they do something right? It's my favorite way to learn too. However, it adds to the obesity problem. You are also sending the message that when you don't have food your dog may not need to do what you are wanting. Remember, most of the time your dog is only too eager to please not because you are a walking treat machine, but because you give them love, praise, affection and reinforcement. Go ahead and use treats, but mix in praise, belly rubs and other non-food related rewards as well.
Finally, remember that you may not be the best at training and from the dog's eye view, they've trained you. They stole your heart, trained you to feed them, care for them and pay attention to them, just by being themselves. To be the leader, you are going to need to use patience, planning and occasionally some prayers and even bacon. You know it's worth and we do too. Good luck and share your training tips with us here at Animal Radio our Animal Radio Face Book Page.
The Deadly Spill - Pet Antifreeze Toxicity - Dr. Debbie
Chilly winter weather means pet owner must be on the lookout for special health risks. An unfortunately common cold weather emergency is antifreeze poisoning. Just a small spill of this essential car fluid can be fatal for pets. So whether you have a dog, cat or are currently pet less but own a car - this toxicity is one you need to be aware of to keep animals safe.
Antifreeze Toxicity in Pets
Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a compound that is used in automobiles to cool engines, and is resistant to freezing temperatures. Ethylene glycol is highly toxic to household pets - just a small quantity causes illness and death. Additionally, antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals find appealing and are apt to drink. Pets that ingest antifreeze rapidly develop neurologic symptoms and kidney failure. Small amounts of antifreeze can prove fatal for pets. Just a teaspoon can prove toxic for a cat or small dog, while several tablespoons are toxic for a larger dog.
Ethylene glycol is also found in some lesser known places but still poses the same toxic risk. It is used in winterizing fluids for toilets in vacation homes and RV's. Ethylene glycol is also found in home solar units, break fluids and within portable basketball goalpost bases.
What Are the Symptoms of Antifreeze Toxicity?
Initial symptoms occur within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion and include increased thirst, increased urination, depression, uncoordination and seizures. Some pet owners describe their pet acting "drunk."
Later symptoms occur 12-72 hours after ingestion and may include severe lethargy, difficulty breathing, mouth ulcers, vomiting and coma.
How is Antifreeze Poisoning Diagnosed and Treated?
Your veterinarian will perform blood work, urine tests and may perform a specific test for the presence of ethylene glycol.
Suspect cases, even if unproven, are aggressively treated with intravenous fluids. Intravenous antidotes are given to bind the toxin, and anti-seizure medication is administered if needed.
Once kidney failure has set in, the prognosis is unfortunately grim for survival.
How to Prevent Accidental Antifreeze Poisoning?
Pet owners should recognize what an antifreeze spill looks like. Look for puddles of this fluid in parking lots, driveways and streets and keep your pets far away. The color of antifreeze may be green, pink, yellow, red, blue or orange. Report antifreeze spills to neighbors and businesses. One time I made a fuss at a pet-friendly coffee bar when I noted an antifreeze puddle smack dab in the path of dogs. Speak up - the life you save could be your own pet.
Don't allow your pets to roam. Outdoor cats and dogs that are permitted to wander are at risk for encountering antifreeze spills. How can you prevent a toxicity when you can't monitor your pet's behavior or whereabouts?
Keep your car and garage safe. Immediately clean up any antifreeze spills and safely secure bottles of antifreeze away from pets and children. Keep up regular automotive maintenance to ensure no antifreeze leaks.
Switch to less toxic antifreeze. While no antifreeze is completely safe, look for antifreeze that contains propylene glycol in place of ethylene glycol. This compound is a safer choice, but still can pose a toxic risk if ingested in larger quantities. Some antifreeze products have a bittering agent included to deter animals and children from ingesting it. But according to the ASPCA, there isn't any published data proving that adding a bittering agent helps to prevent ingestion. Any antifreeze should be considered potentially toxic and handled with appropriate caution.
What to Do if Your Pet Ingests Antifreeze?
Time is of the essence - seek prompt treatment at your veterinarian or emergency hospital for the best chance of survival. Don't wait until serious symptoms arise, because once advanced kidney failure develops, the prognosis is poor.
For more information about pet toxicities visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control website.
Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend."
Los Angeles City Contract for Free Spay & Neuter Surgeries
Lucy Pet Foundation
We've been talking about the Lucy Pet Products line of Shampoos and Leave-In Conditioners for your pets. But, we have to admit, that we have tried it on ourselves as well. Judy loves the Blueberry Lightning Shampoo while Doc Halligan loves the Surfin' Jack Shampoo with Coconut.
In fact, Doc Halligan's hair stylists has told her that her hair looks wonderful and that the Surfin' Jack Shampoo actually acts like a clarifying shampoo.
The line consists of Shampoos and Leave-In Conditioning Sprays with natural ingredients for dogs. You will find Purple Rain, a Calm and Clean Lavender Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioning Spray; Berry Berry Smellicious, a Tropical Freshening Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioning Spray; Blue Lightning Blueberry Brightening Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioning Spray; Big Apple Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioning Spray with Skin Soothing Apple Oatmeal; Surfin' Jack Shampoo Leave-In Conditioning Spray with moisturizing coconut; and Pup a Dub Dub, Gentle Puppy Fresh Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioning Spray, gentle enough for puppies 8 weeks and older.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from Lucy Pet Products goes back to the animals through the Lucy Pet Foundation.
As of January 1st, the Lucy Pet Foundation signed a contract with the City of Los Angeles Animal Services to complete 10,000 free spay and neuter surgeries for low-income (those making less than $31,000) residents of the city of Los Angeles in the next two years.
When you purchase Lucy Pet Products, you are helping to offset the costs of doing these free spays and neuters, because the contract with the city doesn't cover 100-percent of the actual costs to do the surgeries.
The Mission of The Lucy Pet Foundation is to reduce pet overpopulation by having mobile spay/neuter clinics across the country and to support causes that benefit animal welfare. The Lucy Pet Foundation currently has two buses that travel around Southern California focusing on spaying and neutering. These buses are state of the art surgery units. Their next focus is in generating more funds to expand the work of these buses and have more across the country.
The Lucy Pet Foundation not only offers free and reduced spays and neuters, they also do microchipping, vaccines and de-wormings. Spaying and neutering is not only great for pet population control, but it has been proven that an animal will live on an average of 40-percent longer after having this surgery.
Upcoming January Events
Free Spray & Neuter for Los Angeles City Residents! Here is a list of upcoming free or reduced fee mobile spay and neuter clinics in California:
Call for more information, questions and to reserve space to get on the list: (855) 499-5829
1/23: Hansen Dam Rec Area, 11480 Foothill Blvd., Lakeview Terrace - 7:30 am
1/25: Baldwin Park, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd. - 7:30 am
1/26: West Valley Shelter, 20655 Plummer St., Chatsworth - 7:30 am
1/29: Hansen Dam Rec Area, 11480 Foothill Blvd., Lakeview Terrace - 7:30 am
Remember, you must get on a list to have your pet seen at these locations. Please call The Lucy Pet Foundation toll free at 1-855-499-5829 or Email: Info@lucypetfoundation.org to schedule an appointment, or register at the events.
See the current list of clinics at http://www.lucypetfoundation.org.
Animal Radio® News - Lori Brooks
Bill Will Shut Down Animal Dealers Who Buy Pets for Research with Tax Dollars
Buried in a massive government-spending bill is a provision that will shut down shady animal dealers who buy and sell pets for research, all paid for by your tax dollars. But, that could change if Congress does the right thing and cuts off funding to pay for licensing of so-called Class B animal dealers by the USDA. Every year, these licensed dealers work with illegal "bunchers" to round up thousands of dogs and cats that will end up in laboratories. These animals include illegally trapped strays, both cats and dogs. Some are stolen right out of their yards. Others are purchased from shelters and flea markets for $20 or less and sold to laboratories for hundreds of dollars. The USDA says Class B dealers supply laboratories with about 3,200 dogs each year, but other sources, including the HBO documentary film, "Dealing Dogs," places that number at closer to 40,000 each year.
2 New Breeds Join the AKC
A hairless terrier and an ancient North African hound are ready to run with the pack of dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. The AKC has announced that the American Hairless Terrier and the Sloughi have joined 187 other recognized breeds. American Hairless Terriers are bare-skinned, though some have short coats and carry the hairless gene. Their rise began when a hairless puppy was born in a litter of rat terriers in the 70's. The Sloughi (pronounced SLOO-ghee), also called the Arabian Greyhound, was developed to hunt. They are lean, leggy dogs have some similarities to Salukis. They are known for speed, endurance, grace and rather reserved demeanors.
Shelter Uses Social Media to Shame Owner for Abandoning Dog
You see this all the time on social media, but now a Northern California animal shelter is drawing attention for a viral Facebook post blasting the former owner of an abandoned dog as a "callous POS." Yes, individuals do this all the time, but shelters and rescues are usually more reserved. The letter was posted to Facebook by Kings SPCA-Rescue in Lemoore along with a video of the abandoned dog. Just a part of the post reads: "He was watching every car that would come down the road hoping it was you coming back for him. Your dog has been freezing, hungry and scared for days because you are a heartless piece of crap." Luckily a follow-up video shows the dog, now named Banjo, appearing happier and friendlier as he greets a rescue worker with licks to her face. The manager of the shelter said Banjo was at the side of the road for at least five days and that he "cried for days" after being brought to the shelter, but is now doing better and has received several offers of adoption.
The full letter reads posted by a California SPCA Shelter/Rescue to the "POS" reads:
"Dear The Callous POS owner of this dog,
Today we noticed a couple of emails from people that had noticed your dog that had been abandoned on 15th Ave and Excelsior Ave. After looking at date, your dog had been sitting there since Saturday morning at least. It was 3:00 pm today when we finally noticed the messages because we have been so busy. We decided to drive over and see if we could help. Sure enough there he was.
He waited for you.
He hadn't left the place you made him stay. He was being a good dog. He stayed close to the last place he saw his favorite person in the world. He thought you were coming back. He was watching every car that would come down the road hoping it was you coming back for him. Your dog has been freezing, hungry, and scared for days because you are a heartless piece of crap.
He waited for you.
He was so hungry that he was eating sticks. Nice people had stopped to drop off food but he was still so hungry and confused. But even with food sitting in front of him he knew he had to wait for you to come back.
He waited for you.
He isn't a bad dog. He is a very good dog. You were a bad friend. You abandoned someone that would give his life for you. Someone who doesn't care how long you stayed away at work. Someone who is just as happy to see you if you just go outside to check the mail or if you leave for days. Someone who would lick the tears off your cheeks and the leftover food from your plate when you were done eating.
He won't be waiting for you anymore.
After he was seen for days curled up in a ball on the road you left him, we came back for him. We came back with a fellow rescuer named Yvonne from Raven's Rescue BullyBreed Sanctuary. It was getting dark and we could hear the coyotes in the distance. We sat there for hours. We talked to him. We sat there singing to him. We fed him and offered him a blanket.
Your dog ate from our hand after hours of throwing him wet food. Your dog finally came closer to us as we laid in the cold dirt telling him, "Everything is going to be ok and this is the last time anyone will hurt you." Your dog finally let me pet the top of his head. Then behind his ears. Finally he didn't run when I scooted over and sat next to him. He finally laid down and allowed me to give him belly rubs. He let me put a leash on him and didn't try to run.
He didn't panic until it was time to leave. He wanted to wait for you. He refused to walk to the van. I carried your huge dog to our van; your big, gentle, scared and loyal dog. I carried your dog away from the last place he saw you. He howled the whole car ride to our shelter. He howled the most painful howl I have ever heard. It was the sound of his heart breaking. He desperately tried to get back to the spot that you left him. He frantically checked every window then watched out the back window as we drove away. His howls lasted until he came to the driver seat and howled at me. As I reached over to pet his head he looked at me so confused and laid his head on my lap and whined as we pulled up to the shelter.
You don't deserve this amazing puppy. You don't deserve any dog at all.
My dog will forget about you. He will find a good home and will get the love he deserves. He will know what it's like to have a real home.
I don't care who you are or your excuse as to why you abandoned my dog. It's probably a BS reason anyways. You are a scumbag. I pray your year is filled with karma and bad health."
Calicoes and Torties Have Attitude
Veterinarians from the University of California, Davis, have discovered that cats with calico and tortoiseshell coat patterns tend to challenge their human companions more often than felines whose fur is less flashy. The research backs up long-standing observations among veterinarians that such cats often are "difficult." The study, based on a survey of more than 1,200 cat owners, found that calicoes and torties are more likely to hiss, chase, bite, swat or scratch during interactions with humans. The UC Davis data also suggest that cats with gray and white and black and white coats are slightly more likely to engage in those behaviors, a finding that surprised researchers. Cats sporting other colors, including solid black, display aggressive personality characteristics significantly less often. If you're not familiar with cat coloring, calicos are mostly white with patches of orange and black. Tortoise-shells have coats that feature a variety of black, brown, amber and red patches. Because two X chromosomes are necessary to produce their coloring, the vast majority of both types of cats are female.
Post Office Will Issue Forever Pet Stamps
Twenty animals that people love and keep as pets will be the faces you see on an upcoming set of first-class Forever stamps issued by the Postal Service. A tan and white puppy, golden retriever, spotted kitten, tabby cat and a dappled grey horse each have their own stamp, as do a white mouse, two green parakeets, a blue and gold macaw, rabbit, chinchilla, gerbil, guinea pig and hamster. There are even stamps for non-furry friends that aren't soft or cuddly: a hermit crab, iguana, tortoise, corn snake, gecko, goldfish and beta fish. The Postal Service hasn't said exactly when the Forever Pets stamps will be issued, but it might be in May, which is National Pet Month.
Dog Tracks Down Rhino Poachers
K9 Killer, as he's called by his handlers, is a very special service dog. His job is to hunt down rhino poachers in South Africa, which is something plaguing that country and depleting the numbers of wild rhinos beyond oblivion. Killer works with an anti-poaching force in Kruger National Park. Over the past four years, he and his team are responsible for the arrests AND prosecution of over 115 people. So to honor Killer, he's been awarded a gold medal, which was presented to him by actor Ricky Gervais.
NEWS UPDATE brought to you by Drs. Foster & Smith, affordable pet supplies. Low prices every day, so you save on every order.
Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#842)