Funny Vet Stories
Dr. Bo Brock, Crowded In the Middle of Nowhere
Dr. Bo Brock has just about seen it all, despite living in the middle of nowhere. He's treated just about every animal, from Ostriches to Elephants. He'll tell us several hilarious stories about strange but true cases from his peculiar practice.
Dr. Brock is one of the most highly recognized Veterinarians in the U.S., and even filmed a Television Pilot with Animal Planet. Despite living in the self-proclaimed "middle of nowhere" of rural west Texas, people come from thousands of miles away to have their animals treated with his expertise - even Toby Keith, who sent his prized racehorse to Dr. Brock's clinic! Last year he treated 11,000 horses alone, and that's before we talk about the other animals he sees regularly. Dr. Brock says along with horses, he also deals with dogs and cats, cows and even ostriches, stating that ostrich farming was a really big deal at one time, before the market crashed.
Dr. Brock explains the time he treated Toby Keith's horse. He had been treating many colicky horses, when a vet called him late one Sunday night with another case. The horse wouldn't be arriving until around 2:00am, which Dr. Brock states is usual for veterinary life. When the driver arrived with the horse, he told Dr. Brock that this horse was "special." Dr. Brock didn't think anything of it, as everyone says their horse is special. He didn't pay much attention to what the guy was saying, that is, until he heard him say that the horse belonged to Toby Keith. After that, his thoughts started racing. What if the horse died? He could just hear it; Toby Keith and Willie Nelson would be singing a song about the dumb veterinarian from West Texas.
After treating the horse, when Dr. Brock got home the next morning, he told his three daughters about the "special" horse he treated that night. His oldest two daughters got really excited, as they were familiar with Toby Keith's music. However, his youngest daughter just looked at him and said, "Well, I knew that was going to happen." His other two daughters then said that there was no way their sister could have known that, to which she replied, "Yeah, you're not supposed to give beer to horses!" This was because she had Toby Keith's song, "Beer for My Horses," and just knew that someday that horse was going to go see her daddy, because she knew you were not supposed to give beer to horses.
Another great story from Dr. Brock was when he visited a high-tech pig facility, which he prefaces by stating what would you do - would you put on someone else's underwear? He said he had never thought about it until this visit. Anyone entering this pig facility had to take off their clothes, shower and put on clean clothes provided by the pig facility. This meant putting on underwear that was not his. As Dr. Brock had no choice, he decided to go for the biggest pair of underwear he could find, which would mean less touching of his body, and then put on the coveralls that were provided. However, the underwear was so large; it didn't take long for them to fall down inside of the coveralls. He was then forced to take tiny steps because they were around his knees. He was trying to hold on to them with one hand by putting his hand in the pockets and grasping the underwear, but it wasn't long when there was a time he had to use both hands and lost them completely inside of the coveralls and had a hard time completing the tour with the underwear around his ankles.
Just like humans, animals are often downright hilarious and can bring us so much joy! In his new book, Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere: Tales of Humor and Healing from Rural America, Dr. Brock shares a collection of humorous and poignant stories from his life as a Vet, all while dispensing the wisdom he feels only animals can teach us about life.
Dr. Bo Brock, DVM, serves as the owner of Brock Veterinary Clinic. He purchased the La Mesa, Texas practice in 1992. His goal was to develop an equine-focused practice. He went from treating 96 horses his initial year to seeing roughly 11,000 in 2015. He has a staff of seven.
In 2007, he was voted Equine Practitioner of the Year for the state of Texas. He passed the boards and became a member of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2004 and is one of only 89 members of that distinguished group in the USA.
What Happens To Your Pet If Something Happens To You?
AJ Fudge, A Life of Love
You don't have to be Leona Helmsley to plan for your pet if you should die. Estate Attorney AJ Fudge is our guest. She says it's easy to plan for any eventuality, but you should know how. Simply putting your pet in your will isn't enough, as that may be contested.
As animal lovers and owners, our plan is to give each of our animals a warm, loving home for their entire life. However, this plan is most likely based on a very large assumption: that you will outlive your animal.
While we can all certainly hope that we will outlive our animals, unfortunately none of us know what the future holds. Something can happen to any of us at any time. If you have an animal, this means you need a plan in place just in case it does. Without one, your animal is not protected and its future may be in serious jeopardy.
Many of us tell ourselves that surely a friend or relative will step up to do the right thing and take over the responsibilities of caring for your animals. But, relying on the kindness of friends and family is not nearly enough. You need a comprehensive, legally enforceable plan in place if you truly want to protect your animal. There is no substitute.
All too often animals are surrendered to shelters and euthanized, because something has happened to the animal's owner. This is a heartbreaking thought for any animal owner. The good news is that planning for your animal is easy to do and having a plan in place guarantees that this will never happen to your animal.
AJ Fudge has covered everything you need to know in her book, "A Life of Love: Mandatory Reading for Animal Owners." She states this book was written as a call-to-action to encourage animal owners everywhere to put a plan in place to protect their animals. The book takes a clear, straightforward approach to give you the information you need to guarantee that your animal is protected. The goal is to keep all of our beloved animals out of shelters and in loving homes.
The reason for the book is that AJ was tired of seeing all of the animals that were listed on Humane Society websites or the local animal websites where something had happened to an animal's owner and that the animal was now looking for a new home.
AJ states that you should also not rely on a Will to protect your animals. There are a lot of rules when it comes to Wills, with the main problem being that you can't put any conditions on the property that you transfer.
So how much money should you leave for your animal? That depends on what kind of animal you have, what kind of care you want them to receive and their age. If you have a dog or a cat, you have a pretty good idea of how long they will live and what their basic care and needs are. On average, $10,000 is a good amount to set aside for each pet. You can of course leave more or less, depending upon your situation.
So when should you start preparing for the care of your pet if something should happen to you? AJ states that once you are over the age of 18 and own a pet, you should have a plan in place if something should happen to you.
AJ is an Estate Planning attorney and knew that there was a very easy solution to the problem that she felt most animal owners weren't even aware of. Her goal is to educate animal owners and more importantly motivate them.
The Weekly "Once-Over"
Doc Halligan, Lucy Pet Foundation
Doc Halligan will teach us how to give your pet a weekly check up. Knowing exactly what to look for could mean the difference between life and death. Early detection gives you the best odds when it comes to your pet's health.
Every week you should check your pet thoroughly from the top of their head to the tips of their tail. You know your pet better than anyone and if you can pick up on problems early, you may even save your animal's life.
When performing your weekly at-home exam, you want to do it in a good light and take a systematic approach and do it the same way every time so you don't miss anything. Be sure to sneak in lots of hugs and kisses so your pet learns to enjoy it; you might even find a special petting spot during the once-over.
It's been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. This is true for animals as well-you can tell a lot about their health by looking at their eyes. You're probably already looking into your pet's eyes lovingly, but you also want to look for signs of illness or injury. Dogs and cats get many of the same diseases that we do, including cataracts, glaucoma, conjunctivitis and dry eye, but if caught in the early stages, many of these conditions can be prevented from progressing and your pet's eyesight could even be saved. Cats and dogs can even develop tumors in the eyes, so look closely with a good light. Both pupils should be the same size and the eyes should be clear, bright and shiny, not cloudy.
The whites of the eyes, or sclera, should be white, not red. Dogs and cats have what's called a "third eyelid," which helps protect the eye as well as lubricate it by producing tears. The third eyelid should not be showing. When a cat or dog is sick or in pain, you will suddenly see this white-colored membrane covering the lower part of the eye. You should not see redness, discharge, or squinting, as these can all be signs of infection, foreign objects in the eye or pain.
Check to see if there is an increase or a decrease in tear production by noticing how moist your pet's eyes look and how often they tear up. Certain breeds of dogs such as the Cocker Spaniel, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Pekinese, Miniature Schnauzer and Bulldogs are predisposed to developing a very common condition known as dry eye, where tear production is greatly reduced, leading to red, itchy and painful eyes.
The eyes should not appear sunken or excessively protruding and your pet should not be rubbing or pawing at its eyes. If your cat or dog has a small amount of normal discharge in the corner of its eyes, go ahead and gently wipe this out with a soft tissue. The discharge should be a light grey but not colored. You can also use eye wash solution, which is a saline solution available over the counter at drug or pet stores, to remove this.
Some dogs that have lip folds, such as Spaniels, are especially prone to inflammation and skin infections on their lips. Lip tumors can develop on both dogs and cats. Check your pet's lips to make sure there are no crusts and there is no scaling and that the skin isn't dry and cracked like your lips when they are dry. Be sure to look for redness and hair loss around the mouth as well.
It's a common fallacy that a warm nose means a dog or cat has a fever. Humidity, body temperature and flow of tears through the ducts into the nose all help determine whether your pet's nose is dry, moist, warm or cold. There are no sweat glands in the nose and the mucus lining causes the moisture. During sleep and in certain climates, a dog or cat's nose may become warm and dry, but this doesn't mean it has a fever. However, the nose should be smooth and without any scaling or roughness. Sneezing or nasal discharge can be signs of an upper respiratory infection, quite common in cats. Also look for color changes on your pet's nose. There should be no loss of pigmentation on a dark nose. White noses can get sunburn and even skin cancer.
Notice if your pet has any trouble opening and closing its mouth. Look for any drooling or difficulty chewing and swallowing. Hopefully you're brushing your pet's teeth daily or at least three times a week. Check your dog or cat's mouth for tumors, swelling, bleeding gums, tartar and foreign objects like string (cats) and sticks (dogs). Look at the teeth. Are they white, brown, or green? There should be no broken teeth and no odor.
Look at the color of the gums. They should be nice and pink, not white or red. You can check your pet's circulation by using your thumb and briefly applying pressure to the gums and releasing. The area that you pressed should turn white and then rapidly return to the normal pink color. This is called the capillary refill time. For dogs and cats, one to two seconds is considered normal. If the refill time is less than one second or more than three seconds, it could indicate a serious circulation problem and necessitates an immediate trip to the vet.
Next week we will move further down their bodies with more tips on the things you should look out for.
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.
Free Spay & 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
July 12, 25: West Valley Shelter, 20655 Plummer Street, Chatsworth, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 13: East Valley Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 15, 20: Food 4 Less, 1748 West Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 16: Superior Store, 9801 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Pacoima, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 19: Food 4 Less, 5100 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 22: Vallarta Supermarket, 10175 N. San Fernando Rd., Tacoma, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 23: East Valley Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA CLEAR THE SHELTER ADOPTION EVENT
July 26: Superior Store, 133 West Avenue 45, Los Angeles, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 28: Superior Store, 3480 S. La Brea, Los Angeles, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
July 29: Superior Store, 10211 Avalon Blvd., Los Angeles, CA Spay/Neuter APPOINTMENT ONLY; Vaccine Clinic 10:00am-2:00pm
County and City Vouchers accepted. But 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.
5 Summer Family Outings That Can Include Dogs
Robert Semrow, Animal Radio Listomania
Summer is a wonderful time of year and for many it's a great opportunity for the family to be together and make life-long memories. It should go without saying that it's also a great time to take your dog with you for some of these activities.
Let's start with family outings to local, regional and some state parks. Taking your dog with you is like giving them a giant birthday party that keeps on going for an entire day. The new smells, sights and activities are just what the dog ordered. Make sure you check the parks regulations on their dog allowances and adhere to the rules for the safety of your pet and others in the park. Additionally, know what activities you are likely to partake in so that you can decide ahead of time if your pup will be doing those things with you and if so, make sure you have whatever your dog will need for those activities as well. A day in the park is certainly something your dog will be up for and find continuous joy in.
Number two is hiking local trails. If you have an active dog that enjoys getting out and exploring with you, this is a great time of year to do this. Make sure you bring water for your dog and also take note of the cement and ground temperatures to make sure that your dog is not burning his or her paws. Additionally, make sure that when you finish the hike you clean their paws and do a snout to tail check up for any critter hitchhikers like ticks.
Let's move on to water fun. Whether it's boating, surfing or swimming many dogs love the water as much as humans do if not more. If your dog displays a love of water and is safely enjoying it, you'll have a real treat in store when you take them with you for your water adventures. If they are on a boat, surfboard or even paddle-board, have the proper safety gear for them. Life jackets are a must as even the strongest swimmers can get tired and will appreciate that extra layer of safety. Some states have "Dog Beaches" specifically designated for the enjoyment of the ocean by humans and their dogs. It's such an inspiring thing to see - dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds enjoying the beach much like little kids do.
Camping is another popular summer activity that dogs seem to love. The smell of nature, sleeping in a tent and reconnecting with nature in a way that their ancestors would be proud of. Plan for and bring a similar amount of supplies for your pet as you would yourself or others. Try to avoid changing their daily habits to much as it can cause upset stomachs, lethargy and even anxiety. Being in nature will be change enough.
Finally, If roughing it means something a bit more upscale for your pooch…remember that more and more resorts are catering to families who want to bring their pets. They offer special activities, services and more. This year consider taking your dog with you on your vacation.
Summer vacation plans and excursions can include the entire family. It takes some planning and care, but it's certain to add more joy and memories to your activities.
Share your favorite summertime dog activities and more on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.
How to Build the Perfect Litter Box - Dr. Debbie
One sniff upon entering your home and you recognize the unmistakable odor of cat urine and feces. Simba has used your entry hall as his litter box again. But before you lose your temper - stop. By scrutinizing the environment through your cat's eyes, you will likely discover the cause of his toileting mishaps.
Elimination issues are a main reason for veterinary visits and a primary reason for relinquishment of cats at shelters. House soiling problems can be multi-factorial, with an overlap of behavioral, environmental and medical causes. Feline house soiling can be managed however with sleuth work and patience. The challenge is to think like a cat.
First and foremost, say this and repeat it…"My cat does not eliminate out of the litter box to get even with me." Cats do use urine and fecal scent marks to communicate territory, but this isn't done with spite or in effort to "get even" with you. Inappropriate elimination is a cat's way stating that something isn't right in their world. Understanding this is key before tackling feline house soiling. Focus on what's wrong in Simba's toilet area, not on how the house soiling makes you feel.
Start With a Vet Check
Cat owners often struggle with house soiling mishaps for months or years before enlisting help from their veterinarian. But seeing the veterinarian should be the first step, since health disorders may be at the root of some house soiling issues. Your efforts in restoring litter box usage will be doomed if an underlying medical cause is not addressed at the same time.
Size Does Matter
Make sure your cat's litter box is of adequate size to allow maneuvering. Litter box size should be 1 ½ times the length of cat's body length. Height of the edge also matters. For older kitties, try lower profile litter boxes or plastic under bed storage boxes. An arthritic older cat won't complain or cry in pain with arthritis, she'll just chose to eliminate elsewhere.
Consider the View
Cats don't want to be startled while in the loo. Don't place the litter box in a high traffic area where people and pets are always a-coming and going. Cats prefer a low traffic area where they can have an eye out on things.
Don't place the litter box near appliances which give off noise, vibration and heat, all which disturb your cat while eliminating. Once a negative aversion is created, your cat may not return to use that box in the future.
Ditch the Litter Box Cover
While some nervous kitties prefer the privacy of litter box covers, the majority of cats dislike the tight quarters and limited ventilation litter box covers provide. Consider how you feel in a public porta-potty... do you like to touch the walls when inside? Sure, people like the way the lid contains odors, but does it really matter how little odor comes from the litter box when your cat is pooping on your oriental rug?
Provide More Than One Box
A common error is assuming that one litter box is all your cat needs. What cat owner loves the litter box, and relishes seeing more of them in the home? But the more the better when it comes to faithful litter box usage, especially with multiple cats. The general rule is to provide one more box than the number of cats. Some cats share litter boxes, others will not. Unless you provide alternate sites you may have elimination issues in multiple cat homes.
Another special consideration is differences in cat's personalities - timid cats may avoid crossing paths with other more assertive pets in home. Be sure to provide litter box sites that won't be blocked by other animal's movements.
If you live in a multilevel home - you must provide litter box sites on each level. This is especially important in multi-cat homes, those with senior cats or those with health conditions.
The Pick of Litters
Litter texture preferences vary and there are many choices from scoopable, clay, crystals, or natural litters. However in one research study of cat's litter box habits, it demonstrated that the majority of cats prefer fine grained scoopable clay based litters that have carbon as their odor absorbing ingredient. Every cat is different though, so try other litter varieties until you find your cat's preference.
Skip the Scents
The verdict is still out on what odors cats prefer, but avoid heavily scented litters or deodorizers if your cat is missing the box. Interestingly enough, one study showed cats preferred cedar and fish odors, while avoiding citrus and floral scents, while another study concluded cats preferred fish or bleach smells to other scents.
Kitty Litter Depth
Ideal litter depth is 2 inches - more isn't always better. Some cats thrive on scratching the bottom of the pan, which is obscured by excessive amounts of litter.
Keep It Clean
Cats are fastidious by nature and will avoid using a soiled or smelly box. The overall cleaning frequency depends on the number of cats in the home. General advice is to scoop twice a day and deep clean the litter pan weekly. Change out clumping litter every 2-3 weeks.
Build It and Kitty Will Use It
By building your cat's dream litter box, your cat will find litter box nirvana. And you'll come to enjoy a better relationship with your kitty family members without those unwanted "presents" in the foyer.
Need more help managing those frustrating litter box "Oops"? Look for my next blog on how to deter the return offender to the site, and how to draw kitty to the right spot.
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."
Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks
Cat Owners' Personalities Protect Their Hearts
We know that pets can make you healthier and there is a new study out on that subject that is good news for about half the population. New research says American women over age 50, who are generally healthy, are less likely to die of cardiovascular problems like stroke, if they had a cat or dog. According to the National Death Index, as of 2006, eleven of every 1,000 non-pet owners had died of cardiovascular disease, compared to about 7 of every 1,000 people who had a pet. Now specifically for stroke, male pet owners were just as likely to have died, but female pet owners were about 40-percent less likely to have died of stroke, from the research they studied. Believe it or not, it's mostly because of cats not dogs. According to these experts, cat owners may have a personality that actually protects their hearts, rather than cats having a concrete effect on heart health.
Terminator of Cat Toys
Digital Spy recently came out with a list of the best techno toys and gadgets for pets. One of the items on the list is Shru. Based on the theory that cats love killing things but no one wants a hallway full of dead birds or an arm that looks like you've had a fight with Edward Scissorhands, Shru might just be the solution. It acts like a rodent and it responds to a cat's actions by mimicking a shrew's erratic movement and sound. It can move along a hard surface floor or carpet. It shakes and makes sounds and even senses obstacles so it can avoid them. Best of all, when your cat attacks, it acts like it's panicking and tries to escape while squealing, but no matter how vicious your cat is it'll never die. Digital Spy calls Shru the Terminator of cat toys!
Most Pet Friendly Companies
Many companies offer perks to their employees to keep their workers happy and boost their productivity, perks like gym memberships, foosball tables, free snacks and stuff like that. But if you are an animal lover who yearns to work in a pet-friendly office, Fortune Magazine has come out with a list of the most pet-friendly companies to work for. On the list, one of our favorites that we partner with every year for a pet-photo-contest is Kimpton Hotels, where employees are encouraged to bring their pets to work and are offered pet insurance and time off for the loss of a pet. GoDaddy was cited for having on-site psychologists for its employees, many of who have canine assistants who make sure everyone at the office stays happy and calm. No surprise the Fortune honored Google, a company whose love for dogs is written into the company's code of conduct. Frequent doggie visitors have their own badges and can enjoy a visit to Google's dog-themed cafe. Atlantic Health, a hospital chain, also made the list, as did Mars, the pet food company, as well as Genentech. Then there's Salesforce, a San Francisco-based company that takes pet appreciation to a new level. Not only does the software company allow animals in the office, it also has a special office made just pets. Employees can sign up to work in the dog-centric space which features soundproof walls, water bowls, crates and dog beds. Sales-force workers also get discounts on pet insurance, pet day care and dog walking.
Coat For Dogs Summons Help When Dog is Lost
This might be perfect for the new MTV show Pimp my Pooch. If you're looking to give your pet a fashion makeover, the DiscoDog is the coat for your dog. With its colored, flashing LED lights, you can choose to have the lights flash in pre-set patterns or, if you prefer, you can spell out a word by inputting text and have it scroll along the coat like a digital billboard. Not only is it fun, but also it makes your dog visible in the dark. And should you get separated, "Lost Dog" will scroll across the coat as soon as the Bluetooth connection to your phone drops, meaning bystanders can help. So it's functional, it will keep a dog warm and it's fun. And if you want to invest in it, you will find it on Kick Starter.
Overweight Cat Sneaks Food From Fish Tank
An overweight cat in the UK named Puff is one of the 12 finalists in a weight loss competition for pets that aims to encourage animal health. Puff's owner says she entered her nearly 17-pound cat in the competition in hopes of helping her overcome the damage done by Puff's previous owners. Apparently it was a stressful household and the cat became an obese emotional eater. Puff is so large; she was too big for a cat carrier so her family had to use a dog crate to bring her home. Dieting has been hard on Puff whose Mom says her big girl is still very determined in trying to sneak extra food and that she's caught Puff eating the fish food from the fish tank before. Puff is competing with four other cats, six dogs and a rabbit in the six-month diet and exercise program.
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
The winner of this year's World's Ugliest Dog Contest is a wrinkled; wispy- haired, bony Chinese Crested Chihuahua named Sweepee Rambo. The tiny girl is 17-years-old, blind in both eyes and at only four pounds, is not much bigger than two hands put together. She was a crowd favorite at the Petaluma, California, contest. Sweepee's favorite thing to do is ride with her dad on his motorcycle. He won $1,500 and a six-foot tall trophy for Sweepee's win.
Electronic Games For Dogs
Seriously, there's now an electronic games console just for dogs. It's not exactly an Xbox One, but the CleverPet interactive treat dispenser does get your dog playing. Three paw-sized buttons light up in different ways, creating puzzles for your dog to solve. Every time they complete one, they get a treat. The cool part is that the puzzles get harder, keeping your dog engaged and stopping them from getting too fat.
Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#866)