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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for March 29, 2014  

Tapeworm Talk
Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, ProLabs

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It's not a pretty topic, but it's a conversation we need to have. Tapeworms. Not Dr. Debbie's favorite parasite (listen to find out what is her favorite!), but a nuisance none-the-less. Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig tells you how to identify and treat tapeworms. Did you know you can get ‘em?

Spring is around the corner so let's make sure pets are ready for it and make sure they are free of parasites, especially tapeworms. Pet owners spend $104 million a year to have veterinarians treat their pets for tapeworms, which affect about 25% of cats and dogs in the US.

With most worms, you are able to tell if your dog or cat has them by signs of vomiting or diarrhea. You can even see them in the stool. However, tapeworms are a lot sneakier. Rarely do they make your pet sick, but they do take 20% of what your pet eats. Sometimes you might even see egg-filled tapeworm segments, which resemble rice grains, sticking to fur under tail or falling from your pet

Our pets get tapeworms from an intermediary host. Most pets get tapeworms from ingesting fleas. If your dog or cat has fleas, they have tapeworms! They can also pick them up if they hunt birds or rodents.

ProLabs Tape Worm Tabs For CatsProLabs Tape Worm Tabs For DogsIf your animal is a hunter, and they don't necessarily have to be a good one, Dr. Joel recommends routine de-worming. The medication for tapeworms is Droncit, which is a very, very safe product and has been around for many years.

ProLabs Tape Worm Tabs contain the exact same medication Droncit as vets use. ProLabs Tape Worm Tabs are available over the counter and are an effective, less expensive, treatment for this parasite.

Should you be concerned giving Droncit if you're not sure your pet has tapeworms? No, if your pet doesn't have them, the medication will not harm them. However, if your pet had fleas last year or came home with a part of a rodent, there's a good chance they do have tapeworms and it would probably be better if you did de-worm them without knowing for sure.

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Be Leery About Groomers Doing Teeth
It's that time of the year. Spring is just about upon us and it is time to get your dogs and cats ready for the summer.
Joey defends his statement to be leery of groomers who clean dog's teeth.

He says it's not a bad thing for groomers to actually brush your dog's teeth. However, it takes daily attention and your dog might only see a groomer every six weeks.

Just like humans, we can't go six weeks without brushing, and our dogs shouldn't go that long either. And just like humans, some dogs have really good teeth while others have bad teeth. This is genetics. Dogs that have been teeth have probably had bad teeth their whole life. While dogs that generally have good teeth, will probably have good teeth their whole life.

Veterinarians have done studies on this, and it doesn't have a lot to do with the food that dogs eat; it doesn't have to do with cleaning them; it basically has to do with genetics.

Finger Toothbrush for PetsIn order to stay on top of your dog's teeth, you need to clean them yourself, on a regular basis. There are a few ways to do this.

Use pet toothpaste, which is usually enzymatic, and won't harm them if they swallow it. Never use human toothpaste, as it is toxic to our pets that can't spit it out. Dog toothpastes are flavored with flavors such as poultry or beef. You can either use a dog toothbrush or a finger brush you place on your finger and rub along their teeth and gums.

Some dogs, however, won't let you stick anything in their mouths. For these dogs, you can use dental sprays, drops or even water additives.

The main thing is you need to stay on top of it. By doing this, you will slow the process of decay down. However, you still need to check your pet's teeth regularly, especially the teeth in the back of their mouth. If you see decay building up, go to your veterinarian and have them professionally cleaned.

If you want your groomer to clean their teeth, this must be done at least 2-3 times a week.

If your groomer is actually doing dentistry on your dog, like scaling their teeth, stop it immediately. That is a veterinarian's job and in some states is illegal for a groomer to do.

Animal Radio® News with Tammy Trujillo

Designer Hybrid CatDesigner Hybrid Cats
Pet experts are starting to worry about designer hybrid cats. Hybrids are crossbreeds between wildcats like servals, bobcats, lynxes and Asian Leopard cats and domestic cats. The results are beautiful, but the warnings are out now that the cats may still harbor many wild instincts and may not be such great pets. The American Association of Feline Practitioners opposes breeding to create these hybrids. It considers it a public safety problem and are worried that as people realize these cats can be hard to handle is going to result in them starting to show up in shelters.

Spending On Pets Is At An All Time High
Spending on pets is at an all time high in the U.S. The American Pet Products Association reports we're shelling out nearly 60 billion bucks a year on our animals. People are buying special food for their pets to eat and purified water for them to drink. Of course, we want Fido and Fluffy to be comfortable so they have their own beds and even heating pads. The association says empty nesters are now spending more on their four-legged children. Part of that money is likely going to wearable devices to track biometric activities. There are now wearable pet trackers to keep tabs on everything from how much exercise your dog gets by running around the yard, to others that can monitor heart and respiratory rates and sends them to an app on your smartphone. Webcam programs are also now coming out with ways to not just keep an eye on your pet when you're not home, but to communicate and play games with them to break of the day.

Poop Can Give You Away
If you don't scoop after your pooch, the poop might end up giving you away. Advances in forensic science has created a worldwide effort to catch up with people who don't clean up after their dogs. Many apartment owners are now requiring in their leases that dogs of tenants submit to DNA testing. There's actually a company to do the dirty work. It's called PooPrints and it even offers special leak-proof containers ad spatulas to make the job easier. A thumbnail sized sample of the suspect poop is sent to the lab and that leads back to the dog and owner. But the company says that just knowing that their dog's poop might tell the tale makes most owners think twice about looking the other way.

Brown Banded SharkBrown Banded Bamboo Shark Makes History
History has been made at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium with the birth of a brown-banded bamboo shark pup. It's the first sharked hatched via artificial insemination. They hope the development can ultimately be used to help breed threatened species

Why Do Dogs Go In Circles Before Pooping?
While we're on the topic of poop, Scientists at the Czech University of Life Sciences think they have figured out why dogs spin in circles before going. They say that dogs are sensitive to the Earth's magnetism and that they prefer to do their duty with their bodies aligned along a north-south axis. Now they just have to figure out why!

Dogs & Human Brains Similar
Anyone who has a dog knows their dog pays attention and listens when they talk. Turns out that dog and human brains are pretty similar when it comes to communication ad emotions. It's the first study to compare brain functions between humans and a non-primate animal. Researchers at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences found that both dogs and humans evolved to listen for emotion when someone communicates. You and I can tell when a person sounds happy, sad, or looking for trouble and it turns out that dogs can do the same.

Fern behind the wheel   Dogs Honks Car's Horn For 15 Minutes
Here's yet another reason not to leave your dog alone in the car. An 18-month old Boxer named Fern got a little impatient when her owner left her in the car in Scotland. She climbed into the driver's seat and calmly honked the car's horn continuously for 15 minutes with her paw. When her owner got back, he found a crowd around the car watching. And yes, it was all caught on a cellphone and Fern is quickly becoming an Internet celebrity.

Cats Have Super Vision
Cats have super vision and now scientists have figured out the secret. They can see ultraviolet light, something humans can't do. It might explain why cats get obsessed things like sheets of paper. Paper, like a lot of items, contain man-made optical brighteners and since that means they absorb more light, it might make them stand out more. Cats aren't the only animals who see like this. In addition to cats, researchers found that dogs, rodents, hedgehogs, bats and ferrets all detect substantial levels of UV.

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Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#747)

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