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 This Week From The Redbarn Studios

Animal Radio for April 17, 2021  

Why Is Your Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box?
Dusty Rainbolt, Cat Scene Investigator

Dusty Rainbolt with CatAward winning cat author Dusty Rainbolt has written the definitive guide to solving litter-box problems. Cat owners know that the solutions aren't always simple. But Dusty breaks it down in easy to understand steps. She can tell why your cat isn't using the litter-box and how to fix it.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, eliminating outside the litter box is the number one (pardon the pun) reason people surrender cats to shelters. Having rescued and re-homed over 1,500 cats and kittens, author and behaviorist Dusty Rainbolt was inspired to write her book Cat Scene Investigator: Solve Your Cat's Litter Box Mystery to help cat owners find the causes and solutions that keep cats in homes and out of shelters.

Dusty has been in rescue for around 40 years and has taken in many wonderful cats that were given up because people got tired of dealing with inappropriate elimination and litter box issues. She felt the time was right for her to write this book.

Dusty explains that if your cat is going outside of the litter box, the first thing you need to do is not to change the situation but to take the cat to a veterinarian. So many times, more often than you would ever believe, the problem is actually because the cat is sick and not a behavior problem. Urinary tract infections are common in cats and now research has shown that stress can cause interstitial cystitis, which is an inflammation of the bladder, which causes pain and blood in the urine. But because this condition comes and goes, veterinarians thought you just needed one course of antibiotics. However, it is not the antibiotics that is curing it, it just comes and goes on its own. The real way to treat this is by environmental enrichment. You can enrich your cat's life by playing with them and giving them something to do like food puzzles, which will relieve the stress. So you treat it with environmental enrichment and pain management.

After you have taken your cat to the vet and receive a clean bill of health, try making some changes. Use an unscented litter. Provide a large open box, because cats of often afraid of covered litter box because they think they are going to get trapped. Place the litter in a nice quiet are. Make sure that they have multiple escape routes. If you have a multi-cat household, make sure there are litter boxes throughout the house. Don't place all of the litter boxes in one room. This is because if there is one cat that is guarding resources and preventing the other cats from using them, they can't guard them all if they are in different rooms. The rule of thumb for the amount of litter boxes you should have is one for every cat plus one extra one.

Storage Container Litter BoxDusty explains that as cat age, they may develop some arthritis issues, which makes it difficult to squat. Don’t be fooled if they still jump on other things in the house, as it is takes one second to jump on the counter but it takes 30 to 60 seconds to squat to go to the bathroom.

To help cats like this, you can buy a large storage container, 50 gallons or so, and cut a deep hole in the front to allow them to step easily into the litter and then they can't spray over the edge.

In cats, a change of behavior often means there is an issue. If the cat is suddenly not sleeping on the bed, or not jumping into the litter box, or not squatting, that could be a sign that there is arthritis. Ninety-percent of cats over ten years old have arthritis.

Declawed cats are another issue. Dusty used to be on the fence when it came to declawing cats. Now, she thinks it really does affect them negatively. In fact, she states you can ask any rescue group or animal shelter and they will tell you that a large percentage of the cats that come in for inappropriate elimination are declawed.

Cat Scene Investigator Book CoverIf you are not aware, declawing a cat is a very painful procedure. Most people think it is just the removal of the nail, but it is actually an amputation up to the first knuckle. Research has shown that 75-percent of human amputees suffer phantom pains. So, if you have 10 amputations like a cat would, then you're bound to be feeling some pain. Usually the vet sends the cat home with paper pellet litter so the toes don't get infected. But can you imagine having 10 toe amputations and then with this new wound walking on gravel? This makes declawed cats very fearful of litter boxes.

In Dusty's book, you will find the following information:
- Veterinary and behavioral breakthroughs that will help you understand your cat's litter box needs
- Setting up a litter box your cat will want to pee in
- Insight into illnesses that can cause or contribute to litter box mishaps
- Finding the culprit in a multi-pet home
- Determining whether your cat is peeing or marking
- The effects of stress or fear on feline litter box behavior
- How to stop urine marking
- Tips from people who have successfully been-there, done-that
- Techniques to remove odor from soiled flooring

Award-winning behavior author Dusty Rainbolt uses humor and cutting-edge science-based research to bust feline myths in her book to help you devise a practical strategy so you and Fluffy can live happily ever after.

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How Does What You Name Your Pet Influence Their Disposition?
Glynis McCants, "The Numbers Lady"

Glynis McCantsHollywood Numerologist Glynis McCants says the name you give your pet has a powerful impact on its temperament. She has tips on naming and even renaming your pet according to numerical energy.

"It's amazing how the name you give your pet has such a powerful impact on its temperament," says Numerologist, Glynis McCants. "When naming your new puppy, you want to make sure that the 'name energy' you give them is compatible to you

So what does numerology have to do with names? Glynis claims it has everything to do with names. What is numerology? It is a science of numbers. Pythagoras was a famous mathematician who created this system. Glynis stares that everything has vibrations. This includes names as well as your birthdays. There are actually numerology blueprints and that's true for pets as well as humans.

So is what you name your pet really that important? Can't you just give them any name you want? Glynis states absolutely not! You could end up with a psycho-pet on your hands! It makes a huge difference!

So what can really go wrong if you name your pet the wrong name? Take for example the Animal Radio Studio Cat named "Uh-Oh." Glynis says that is the wrong name. Her name means she is a cat of mystery and we will never know what she is up to. The numbers for her name are 977, which Glynis states is like 007, a secret agent. She tells us we should think about changing her name. Also, if you have a hyper cat, chances are it is a 5, which means freedom/fun/adventure - don't control me. If you change their name, you can calm down the pet. Think about it. A person changes their name and then becomes famous. That means that their birth name was not good for the goals.

Glynis Has Your Number Book CoverAre there certain names that no one should use for their pets? According to Glynis the answer is no. Some people might want a high-energy pet, but just make sure it is compatible with you.

Glynis McCants firmly believes that when we have someone's name and date of birth, we can discover exactly who they really are. What is equally exciting is that by knowing our own Numerology Blueprint, we can focus on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses.

With over 20 years of experience, Numerologist Glynis McCants is known as Hollywood's "Go-to-Girl" when it comes to numerology. Her first book, Glynis Has Your Number, quickly became the bestselling numerology book in the country, and has been translated in fifteen other languages. After successfully picking her husband through numerology, Glynis was inspired to write her second book Love by the Numbers, which has also become a Best-Seller.

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Bats That Test Positive for Rabies - What's the Risk? - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteThink your pet doesn't need a rabies vaccine because it lives indoors? Think again. Bats have been known to fly through open windows or chimneys. Dogs and cats that go outdoors are at risk for rabies exposure through wildlife. Felines that hunt and bring "presents" have added rabies risk.

What is Rabies?
Rabies is a viral disease causing encephalitis (brain inflammation) that affects all mammals including humans. The disease is almost always fatal. Over 55,000 people worldwide die of rabies every year, but fortunately U.S. human deaths are rare with 1 to 2 reported per year. Pet and farm animal rabies cases do occur in the U.S. though, usually after tangling with wildlife.

How is Rabies Passed?
Rabies is passed in saliva through the bite of a rabid animal. Less common exposures to rabies include aerosol transmission, mucous membrane contact, or rare cases of organ transplant in humans.

What Are Symptoms of Rabies?
Excessive drooling, aggression, staggering and seizures are symptoms of rabies in animals. Wild carnivores, like coyotes, that avoid people are suspect if lacking fear and approaching humans. Nocturnal species like bats that are found out during daylight are also suspect for rabies.

What Kind of Animals Carry Rabies?
Although pet and human rabies cases in the U.S. are rare, the infection still abounds in wildlife reservoirs. In the Las Vegas area, bats are most commonly carriers, but other wildlife carriers include raccoons, skunks and foxes.

What Do You Do If You See a Sick or Dying Bat?
Avoid contact with sick or dying bats. Do not take sick bats to the veterinarian. Call Animal Control if any human or pet exposure to sick bat.

Despite the rabies concern, bats do have an important role in our ecosystem by consuming insects and pollinating plants. Not every bat has rabies, and there are other reasons bats die.

What Do I Do If a Person or Pet is Scratched or Bitten By a Bat or Other Wildlife?
If your pet gets into a fight with a skunk or raccoon, or plays with a dying or dead bat, there is potential for rabies exposure and a report should be made. Call animal control to have the bat or other wildlife picked up.

Possible rabies exposure is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Because rabies is fatal, any humans with suspect rabies exposure should make a report to the local health department. Fortunately post exposure treatment for people is very effective in preventing disease, and doesn't involve painful stomach injections reported of long ago.

BatWhat Happens to Pets After Exposure to Suspected or Known Rabies?
Ultimately local rabies ordinances dictate how each case is handled. Pets with current or late rabies vaccinations may be quarantined for 10 days.
A pet that never has had a rabies vaccine may be promptly euthanized and tested for rabies. In other cases of unvaccinated pets, extended quarantine periods up to 6 months may arise.

What Can I Do to Protect My Pets and Family From Rabies?
- Vaccinate animals for rabies - this includes dogs, cats, ferrets and select farm animals.
- Teach children never to handle bats.
- Do not keep wild animals as pets.
- Spay and neuter your pets to decrease the desire to roam.
- Maintain control of your pets when outdoors or hiking to avoid accidental exposure to wildlife.
- Bat-proof your home and garage to avoid nesting sites and close encounters with bats.
- Report human bites from pets or wildlife to public health and animal control authorities.

Vaccination is key to protecting pets from rabies and offers peace of mind to pet owners and the rabies vaccine is typically inexpensive.

Rabies vaccination…Just do it!

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." Dr. Debbie's books.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearDogs Detect Many Types of Cancers
A town in Japan with high rates of stomach cancer has turned to sniffer dogs for help. Kaneyama, a town in northeastern Japan with 6,000 residents, has Japan's highest fatality rates stemming from stomach cancer. The town took part in a research program, in which residents' frozen urine samples were sent to the Nippon Medical School, just east of Tokyo. At the school, dogs are trained to sniff out signs of disease. Dogs have some 300 million sensors in their nose, compared to five million in a human. They also have a second smelling helper in the back of their noses and it's this combination that allows dogs to detect cancerous tumors, because the tumors actually have a very specific odor that dogs can detect with nearly 100-percent accuracy. There are only five dogs trained to work as cancer detection dogs in Japan and it costs about $45,000 to train each dog. Cancer sniffing dogs are not unique to Japan. In the UK, a major trial was conducted at Medical Detection Dogs, where dogs were taught to sniff out prostrate cancer from urine samples. The group claimed to have a 93-percent success rate. In a training session, dogs are taken around a room with different samples with only one sample containing cancer cells. When they detect the smell, the dogs are trained to sit down in front of the sample and touch it with their nose. "We are now understanding the huge potential dogs have," Claire Guest, founder of the Medical Detection Dogs told news outlet the Huffington Post. "I think the potential for this is absolutely huge and we're only just beginning to scratch the surface."

Tips for Grieving The Loss of a Pet
Over a third of American households own at least one pet and people often have close bonds with their pets. In one study, 13 out of 16 people said they would give a hard-to-get lifesaving medicine to their pet over non-family people. The death or loss of a pet can be a traumatic experience and result in grief and bereavement. The loss is unique in a number of ways. While pets may die naturally, through accidents, or by trauma, pets can also die through euthanasia, which often means that the pet owner must decide exactly when his or her pet is put down. Pets can also be lost when they run away, with no opportunity for closure. Pets may even have to be given away, due to logistical or financial reasons. There is a lack of formal societal or religious processes for grieving and mourning the loss of a pet. For example, if the pet is cremated, the ashes are usually collected at the veterinarian's office or even sent through the mail. Family and friends may not acknowledge the depth of grief brought on by the loss of a pet ("It's just a dog") or the need for a period of bereavement or the inability of a person to quickly replace the pet ("Just get another one"). If you are grieving the loss of a beloved pet, these strategies may help: It is important to recognize the depth of feelings of the loss. Your pet may have been with you through the ups and downs in life and may have even helped you cope with other losses. Give yourself the necessary time and space to grieve. Individual, group, and family psychotherapy may be helpful to process the loss and make meaning of the pet in your life. Keep focused on your daily and weekly schedules of personal and professional responsibilities and make sure to incorporate pleasant activities for yourself into your days. Identify triggers for your grieving and identify ways you can cope. Triggers can include the pet food aisle in the grocery store or driving by a special place you shared with your pet. Try to find ways to meaningfully grieve. This can include creating a memory book, journaling, building a memorial or donating money or time to a pet welfare cause. Explore self-help groups at a local animal shelter or ASPCA. Almost all schools of veterinary medicine have telephone support hotlines. There are also a number of online community forums that allow people to receive support while they grieve and process their loss.

Man Taking Photo of DogGet That Perfect Pet Picture
Capturing the perfect pet portrait is no easy task. Whether they're looking away or simply refuse to sit still, our four-legged friends are notoriously impatient models unless, as Paw Champs has proven, food and fun are involved. That is why the pet-centric company created Flexy Paw, a clever accessory that attaches treats and toys to your phone to capture and keep your pet's attention. Each Flexy Paw easily snaps onto the top of your smartphone or tablet. Composed of a pliable arm topped with a clip, the ingenious invention allows you to dangle an animal-friendly goodie (up to 1/2 inch thick) right above the device's camera lens. When your pet focuses on the treat or toy, he or she also inadvertently strikes a patient pose, resulting in a picture-perfect snap or elusive animal selfie.

Dog at WorkPets at Work
Purina unveiled the first Pets at Work Report, examining pet owners and their attitudes around having pets in the workplace and the benefits it brings to employers and employees. For almost 20 years, Purina has encouraged its associates to bring their pets to work, while recognizing the positive impact pets can have in a professional environment. The pet food maker wants other companies and organizations to follow suit and open their doors to pets. "Pets bring a wealth of benefits, both physical and emotional to pet owners and their families, so it's no surprise those same benefits also apply to the workplace and employees," said Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, Ph.D and Purina's chief veterinary officer. "Whether a pet helps provide a calming sense during a challenging situation or encourages employees to take a walk during their lunch break, here at Purina, we experience the benefits of pets at work every day and want others to as well." The Pets at Work Report features data from a survey of among 1,004 U.S. general population respondents currently employed, including those who work in pet-friendly workplaces. The survey found that pet-friendly work environments are viewed as both exciting and innovative and even discovered that more than half of dog owners in pet-friendly workplaces bring their dog to work at least once a week in addition to lunch meetings, work parties and meetings with their boss. Furthermore, the survey showed that employees at pet-friendly organizations ranked having pets at work second in terms of most valuable work benefits-ranking higher than free coffee and parking. Additional findings of the Pets at Work Report include: 63-percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces indicated they are "very satisfied" with their work environment and this is nearly twice as many as those in workplaces where pets are not allowed. Eight in ten people in pet-friendly workplaces also say that having a pet at work would make them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable; 65-percent of employees at pet-friendly workplaces say that it is important to them that a potential employer allows pets; 19-percent of cat owners in pet-friendly workplaces bring their cat to work daily; and 20-percent of dog owners bring their dog daily. One in three people in non-pet-friendly workplaces wish they could bring their pet to work. "Based on the findings in the report, three in five of those surveyed who wish their workplace had a pet-friendly policy said they would spearhead efforts to make it happen," Venator said. "With that said, our hope is that the annual report will continue to raise awareness and arm employees and employers with insight that can help facilitate pet-friendly environments within their companies." Pets at Work is an ongoing movement that remains an important initiative for Purina. To help other employers who are considering starting their own Pets at Work program, Purina has created a digital toolkit with tips and tools such as office checklists, signage and authorization forms. The free toolkit is available for download on Purina's website.

Louie132-Year-Old Lobster Earns a Pardon from the Pot
Louie, a 22-pound crustacean born during the Cleveland administration, returned to the sea after 20 years living at Peter's Clam Bar. After a customer came into Peter's Clam Bar in Hempstead, a town in western Long Island, and tried to buy Louie, owner Butch Yamali decided it was time for the 132-year-old lobster to finally get a pardon. The man had even offered $1,000 for Louie, although the 22-pound lobster is missing part of a claw. Yamali couldn't make the deal. Louie was then handed over to Hempstead Bay Constables who took him by boat out to Atlantic Beach Reef, where he was returned to the water. In all honesty, Louie wasn't too much of a loss for the restaurant, except emotionally. Yamali tells Jones that once lobsters get so big, they are difficult to cook and difficult to eat. By looking at Louie's weight and the rings that accumulate on certain parts of a lobster's body that don't molt, he estimated Louie was 132 years old, born during the presidency of Grover Cleveland. The crustacean spent 20 years at the restaurant, watching thousands of friends come and go.

Would Your Pet Eat You if You Died?
Things would be so much simpler if we could converse with our pets and really know for certain how they think and what they feel. As it is, we're always left squinting at the dividing line between understanding and anthropomorphism. And we're left wondering what a pet's affection means and how deep it runs. Which is to say, would they eat us if we die? Erika Englehaupt of National Geographic decided to dig through case studies to find a clear answer. And she sort of did. However, you may not like it. She examined 20 cases of what's euphemistically called "indoor scavenging" published in scientific journals and also a 2015 study that compiled 63 such reports. There's a basic scenario in these cases: someone with a pet dies alone and is undiscovered for a period of time. By the time the body is discovered, there are parts missing and a pet is just sitting there, usually perfectly normally. Most of the cases Englehaupt reviewed were of dogs, by a large margin, though there were some cases in which cats were implicated. Cats have a reputation for eating their dead owners and Englehaupt has heard from EMTs that it's pretty common, but most of the documentation is canine-related. There are even a few reports of hamsters and birds chowing down. It may just be that cats are more "chill" than dogs in this as in everything else. There's a report from the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine about a 2010 case where an aneurysm victim's face had been eaten overnight by her dog while her cats didn't so much as a nibble. It depends first of all on how much flesh is exposed. Typically, the face is eaten first, starting with the more detachable bits like the nose and lips. Seventy-three-percent of the cases Englehaupt looked at reported face bites, with only 15-percent involving the abdomen. Certainly, the longer the pet goes without proper food, the more it eats. Forensic anthropologist Carolyn Rando, Ph.D. tells BuzzFeed, "Yes, your pets will eat you when you die, and perhaps a bit sooner than is comfortable. They tend to go for the neck, face and any exposed areas first, and then, if not discovered in time, they may proceed to eat the rest of you." There was that 2007 case in which a Chow and a Labrador survived for a month on their owner's body, leaving only bits of bone and the top of the skull. In a 1997 case, when police retrieved the body of a man who'd committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth, they noticed bite marks around what remained of his face. As they transported his normal-acting, cooperative German shepherd to an animal sanctuary, the dog vomited up what was clearly his owner's skin and beard hair. The 2015 study found that in 24-percent of all the cases they examined, dogs had begun eating their masters in under 24 hours and some of them even chose to do so in spite of having normal dog food available. A factor may be a specific dog's nature. The forensic examiner in the above 1997 case, Markus Rothschild, suggests, "One possible explanation for such behavior is that a pet will try to help an unconscious owner first by licking or nudging, but when this fails to produce any results the behavior of the animal can become more frantic and in a state of panic, can lead to biting." This may be more likely to occur in an anxiety-prone, fearful canine, according to Rando, "So it's not necessarily that the dog wants to eat, but eating gets stimulated when they taste blood." It may also be as simple as the appeal of fresh meat. Anyone who's cut up fresh chicken for a pet knows how much more they like that than they do canned or dry food. Some dogs may not even wait until you're dead, passed-out drunk may be good enough. Rando describes a 1994 study to BuzzFeed: "The case involves a middle-aged woman who got too drunk and passed out. Her dog, a red setter, had started biting her face while she was unconscious. She later died, but the dog couldn't even wait a whole day and started chewing on her face within 16 hours of the woman last being seen alive." Researchers have found no connection between an animal's reported closeness to its owner and its likelihood of consuming his or her body. Instinct or hunger apparently trumps love, according to Rando. Whatever that really means to a pet.

EarListen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1115)

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