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 This Week on Animal Radio

Animal Radio for August 27, 2022  


Animal Intervention TV ShowOwning a wild animal is no small task. Full-grown tigers, lions and monkeys are powerful, unpredictable and extremely dangerous. They need a lot of food, a lot of space and a lot of attention in order to live comfortably and safely in captivity. It takes more than a love of animals to make a good owner. And when owners are unwilling or incapable of acting in the best interest of their animals, it takes an Animal Intervention.

Enter animal advocate Alison Eastwood and animal expert Donald Schultz, who confronted overwhelmed and out-of-touch wildlife owners who housed exotic animals in confined and potentially hazardous environments. Some of the owners bred their animals, further crowding their facilities and increased the overall population of exotics living in captivity. Alison and Donald approached owners at private ranches, roadside zoos and even magic shows and assessed the conditions in which they kept their animals. Emotions ran high when Alison and Donald recommended changes, sometimes as drastic as relocating full-grown wild animals to safe and clean animal sanctuaries.

Alison said that there is unfortunately a lot of abuse that goes on behind the scenes for your entertainment of these animals. She talks about one case there they visited a magician in Branson, Missouri who had tigers and lions for his show. She was shocked that these animals were being kept in the theater 24/7 with unnatural lighting. They never went outside and had never walked on grass or had sunlight on their face. She said the place also smelled bad - just a shocking situation!

In this case, Alison felt that the magician's ego got in the way and that there was a disconnect with the magician and his animals. He believed that his animals were all okay with living this way and that they were his family. While he felt they were his family, a normal person would never treat their family that way. They would never keep their kids in a bathroom all day long and never let them go outside.

Their goal was to go and hear people's stories and try to help them out of a bad situation. Some helpful things were to rescue and relocate some of these animals. In the magician's case, one of the cats was very agitated and upset. The tiger was pacing and banging his head against the enclosure. Alison wanted to relocate this one cat. Not only would it help this cat, but it would also free up some space so that the remaining cages could be enlarged for the other tigers. Unfortunately the magician did not want any help.

Clint Eastwood with Daughter AlisonAlison also filled us in about growing up as the child of Clint Eastwood. She said that they always had animals in their house. She is a huge animal lover and states that that is how the show came about. She wanted to find a way to take her passion for helping animals and nurturing animals and make it into something that is educational and entertaining.

Alison also mentions that while she always had animals, she was not allowed to have dogs or cats growing up, as her father, Clint Eastwood, and her brother, were very allergic. She had rats, rabbits, fish, birds and even hermit crabs.

What most people don't know, is that her father is also very allergic to horses! Imagine, Clint Eastwood a notorious cowboy in the films, not being able to tolerate horses! Alison believes he got through the filming with shots and inhalers. Clint would literally just jump on the horse and jump off as soon as "cut" was yelled, all while trying not to touch the horse!

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Sugar Gliders As Pets
Laurie Hess, DVM

Dr. Laurie Hess with BirdLaurie Hess is a small exotic pet veterinarian, who states we are woefully uneducated about the husbandry of birds and other small pets. The good doctor tells us about some great alternatives to dogs and cats, like the marsupial Sugar Glider.

The Sugar Glider is getting a lot of attention and people are starting to keep them as pets more and more. They are marsupials, so they are in the same family as kangaroos and wallabies. They even have a pouch. People say they are like flying squirrels. While they do look like flying squirrels, they are not in the squirrel family.

Sugar Gliders are affectionate and very social creatures. It is wise if you want a sugar glider to get two and keep them in pairs. Males and females do great together, as long as the male is neutered. They are small and will fit in the palm of your hand. However, they don't make good pets for young children. They get startled very easily and can even nip.

Sugar GlidersSugar Gliders are used to being in a pouch, so owners usually get a zippered pouch where the gliders can hang out and sleep, and they wear it around their neck. When they are at home, sugar gliders should be kept in a cage that is escape proof, because they are very good at escaping!

They are very active little creatures, which feed on fruits, vegetables, protein and insects. The main problem with sugar gliders is that people will just feed them fruit thinking that a sugar glider only needs sugar. However, they need more than fruit and can become very sick if their nutritional needs are not met with a balanced diet.

Years ago Laurie actually worked with primates. However, she discontinued that practice, as she states they are very hard to work with. She feels that monkeys should not be kept as a house pet. They are wild animals and can be dangerous. It is also not fair to the monkey to be cooped up in a house.

Laurie Hess is a board-certified bird specialist and exotic animal veterinarian in Bedford Hills, NY.

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Dr. Debbie WhiteE-Cigarette Toxicity in Pets - Dr. Debbie

Think that vapor cigarettes (a.k.a. electric cigarettes or e-cigarettes) are a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes? The vapor habit might be better for you and decrease your pet's exposure to second hand smoke, but can increase the chance of a pet's toxic ingestion of nicotine. A story from England told of the tragic death of a puppy that died after chewing on an e-liquid container.

Ivy was a 14-week on Staffordshire Bull Terrier that chewed on her owner's bottle of e-liquid used to refill the electric cigarettes. Within 30 seconds of nibbling on the container, she fell sick with vomiting and disorientation and was rushed to a veterinary office. Sadly, Ivy died within 24 hours due to heart and respiratory failure.

What's in e-liquid?
The ingredients in e-liquid vary but include carriers such as propylene glycol, polyethylene Glycol 400 and vegetable glycerin, as well as flavoring agents and nicotine. The amount of nicotine in e-liquid varies with some products not containing any nicotine, to others ranging from 18 mg/ml to 100mg/ml.

How toxic is nicotine?
The toxic dose of nicotine for pets is 0.5 to 1mg per pound of body weight. The fatal dose is 4mg per pound. So if you consider a 20 pound dog, toxicity would occur if 10mg were ingested, and the pet would die if 80mg were ingested. Therefore with the high nicotine levels in e-liquid, it wont take much to reach those fatal levels. That hypothetical 20 pound dog could die from less than 1ml of the highest potency liquid nicotine.

E-Cigarettes and Dog Pets likewise can develop toxicity if other sources of nicotine are ingested such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, nicotine gum, or nicotine nasal sprays. The typical amounts of nicotine in these products are: Cigarette 9-30 mg; Nicotine gum 2 - 4 mg per pieces; and Nicotine patches 8.3 - 114 mg.

Even cigarette butts can be toxic if enough are ingested - cigarette butts retain 25-percent of the nicotine in the original cigarette.

What are symptoms of nicotine poisoning?
Symptoms usually develop within one hour of ingestion. Pets may display excitability, rapid heart rate, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and coma.

How are pets treated for nicotine toxicity?
The first step is to decontaminate by inducing vomiting. Nicotine typically causes vomiting when ingested, but further decontamination is advised at the veterinary office. Other emergency care includes intravenous fluids, medications to manage elevated blood pressure and heart rate, and anti-seizure medications. Nicotine is metabolized by the liver and excreted within 16 hours after ingestion. Pets that survive the initial four hours after ingestion have a favorable chance of survival.

The vapor cigarette trend is becoming more popular world wide. It's important to recognize that nicotine is a toxin and poisonous to animals and children. Consider the e-liquid a hazardous material and store it safely in a locking cabinet, away from children and pets.

To read more about Ivy's toxicity after ingesting E-fluid go to "Dog dies after chewing e-fluid container."

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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Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

What's Better - Grinding or Cutting Your Pet's Nails?
Most people don't realize how important it is to keep your pet's nails trimmed. Nails left untrimmed can actually make it very difficult for your pet to walk and can harm their bones and joints.

It doesn't matter how you trim your pet's nails, either by cutting or grinding, but what they are actually going to tolerate.

There is a big misconception about grinding your pet's nails. If you go too deep and hit the "quick' it will still hurt your dog. It will cause discomfort and pain. It may or may not cause bleeding, because the grinding action will sometimes almost seal the wound.

If you can get your dog to sit still while you grind their nails, good for you. Grinding a pet's nails is much more difficult to do than to get a regular nail clipper and clip the nails.

If you are squeamish around blood and have never clipped your pet's nails before, don't do it! Save it for you groomer or veterinarian. Most first time nail clippers almost always hit the quick. If you do hit the quick, your dog won't bleed to death. However be sure to have styptic powder on hand to coagulate the blood and stop the bleeding.

DremelWhen clipping or grinding, just take a little off at a time. If your dog has clear nails, it is easy to look inside and see the pink quick. You want to get close to the quick, but be sure not to get too close to where it is exposed and bleeds. If your pet has dark colored nails, it is a little more difficult, because you can't see if you are close to the quick. If you take off just a little at a time, you can look at your cut. If the remaining nail still shows white in the middle, you can take a little more off. You want to be able to see the dark center where the quick is starting, which is where you want to stop cutting.

If you clip your dog's nails and they are still sharp, get an emery board nail file and file them down until you take the sharp edge off.

You should check your pet's nails every month and always keep them clipped.

Animal Radio News with Stacey Cohen

Living Piggy Bank
ArnieA Florida couple didn't seem to have any need for a piggy bank, since their ten-year-old beagle Arnie was more than willing to fill the role of money-holder, by swallowing hundreds of dollars in cash. The first incident occurred years ago, when Arnie devoured $150 that had been left out on a coffee table. Arnie's owners were able to recover $100 after it passed through the dog's system, but they weren't as lucky when Arnie came back for a second expensive meal. Arnie took $300 out his owner's purse, and apparently ripped it to shreds before he ate it. But even as the owner tried to piece the bills back together, they said they couldn't stay mad at Arnie, as they are used to the dog "being a little weird and doing kind of quirky stuff."

Parrot Has Last Word
The British owner of a 55-year-old parrot said her feathered friend left this world on a rather appropriate note. The final word uttered by Tarbu, an African Grey parrot, was "Cheerio." Tarbu's owner said it was part of his standard goodnight message, but she had a feeling something wasn't quite right this last time around. She explained that Tarbu sounded weaker than usual, and she definitely knew something was wrong when he failed to greet her the next morning with his typical "Hello, my darling." She said the bird offered a few little squeaks, but died a few moments later. Tarbu was reportedly the world's oldest living parrot and gave her years of laughter. He's now buried in her garden underneath a Royal Air Force flag in honor of her late husband, who was an RAF pilot.

Dog at GraveDog Holds Vigil At Grave For Years
A faithful dog refused to leave his master, even though he'd been at his side for years in a graveyard. An Argentinean newspaper reported the dog ran away from home after his owner died. One week later, the man's family found the German Shepherd wailing by his owner's grave. They said they had never taken the dog to the cemetery, so they're amazed that he even found it. The cemetery's director says years ago, the dog wandered around until he identified the correct grave. Since then, he sometimes walks around during the day, but always returned to lie on top of it at night.

Pet Chicken Or Livestock?
A South Carolina woman who was willing to go to court over her chicken, celebrated a victory. The woman had been asked to get rid of her family's pet chicken, Smartie, because farm animals were banned by her city ordinance. But she argued that Smartie was a pet rather than livestock, and took the case to court. The judge dismissed the case after the arresting officer failed to show up. However, since the judge didn't make a ruling on whether the hen was really a pet, there still could be trouble down the road. The owner said she had already received two more letters from the homeowners association insisting that the bird has to go.

EarListen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1186)

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