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 This Week on Animal Radio

Animal Radio for June 3, 2023  

Bee Stings, Insect & Snake Bites
Doc Halligan, Lucy Pet Foundation

Dog and BeeBesides the ticks and the fleas, as well as the many other creepy crawlers out there that can get on our pets, we also need to worry about bees, insects and snakes.

Most of us have heard about a swarm of killer bees that attacked a man and his two dogs in Texas. The man was injured and the two dogs were killed after being stung over 1,000 times.

Pets get stung by bees often but don't usually die. A pet can have an anaphylactic reaction from a bee sting just like people can. It is hard to tell if you are actually seeing killer bees, so it is best just to avoid all bees, especially swarms. Make sure you don't have any beehives on you property to help keep your pets safe as well.

So what happens if a bee does sting your dog or cat? Sometimes they will swell up. Their faces can even get as big as a basketball. If you suspect your pet has been stung, it is best to get them to a vet right away because you don't know if your pet is going to have an adverse reaction and go into shock and may even die.

Cat with a Spider BiteDoc Halligan jokes that she often hears people telling her that they let their cats play with spiders. She says you should NEVER let your cat play with spiders. Doc Halligan says she has seen both cats and dogs nearly die from spider bites. Spider bites can be deadly to our pets, just like they can be to people. Deadly venom from a spider can cause bruising and skin sloughing on a large part of an animal's body.

Snakebites are also a big concern. Every year many pets die from snakebites. If you live in an area that has a lot of snakes, there is a yearly vaccine you can get for you pet. It is expensive and the downside is that there might be a reaction to the vaccine itself. If you never come across snakes with your pet, it is not necessary to get this vaccine.

If a snake does bite your pet, you want to minimize their movement and get them to a vet right away. Young snakes are much more dangerous than large snakes, as they haven't learned how to control their venom and will inject their entire amount into their victim.

You should always carry Benadryl when out with your pets. This is so safe for your pet and it is very rare that an animal will actually have a reaction to it. If anything stings your pet, get 1 milligram of Benadryl per pound orally as fast as you can. This can help prevent some of the chemical reactions from bites and stings that will happen in your pet's system. Just don't give them the liquid gel Benadryl, becuase they can contain Xylitol, which is highly toxic to our pets.

Lucy Pet Foundation Mobile ClinicThe 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.

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Protect Your Car And Protect Your Dog In The Car
Gordie Spader, Kurgo

Skybox Booster SeatIt's no surprise that people love to travel with their pets. So, it's not hard to believe that 82-percent of dog owners travel in the car with their dog at least once a month. Times have changed and you can now take your dog to a dog park, to your friend's house and even to some restaurants, so people are in their cars with their dogs a lot more than they used to be.

The sad part is that 65-percent of those people admit to doing distracting things with their dog, while only 16-percent are doing anything to restrain their dog. So there is a real need to take safety precautions to protect your pet.

Some of the distracting things people do with their pets while driving is allowing them to roam free in the car or even sit on their laps while driving, both of which can cause accidents. Or, if you got in an accident, the air bag could go off and crush a small dog in your lap.

Gordie Spader started Kurgo with his brother, who is an industrial designer. While living in New York City, his brother had a dog named Zelda, who was an energetic Plott Hound that loved to run around in cars. One time when she was spooked, she ended up at his feet and he lost control of his car. While he was able to recover and didn't get in an actual accident, it was a wake up call and he decided to do something about it and ended up creating some great products.

Kurgo now has many products to keep your pets safe in the car and your car clean from your pets. Here are just a few of those products:

Wander HammockSkybox Booster Seat
Give your pup his own comfortable car seat where he can see out the window and enjoy the ride. The Skybox Booster Seat gets Fido off your lap where he could interfere with your driving and cause an accident. This dog car seat has a waterproof exterior with a padded, machine washable liner, making it easy to keep fresh and clean. It collapses for easy storage. It includes a tether that works with the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness to secure your pup.

Bench Seat Cover
Dog hair, mud and gunk, Fido knows how to ruin a perfectly nice car seat. So what's an adventurous owner with a car-loving pooch to do? Get the Bench Seat Cover. It's waterproof, stain resistant and machine washable making it easy to clean. It also doesn't slip and slide like other models, because it's designed with both front and rear attachments for a secure fit. Easy to install and remove, it also includes extra pockets for treats, toys, or human travel necessities.

Wander Hammock
Protect your car seats from mud and dirt with this easy-to-install dog hammock. It hangs between the front and back seats, offering extra protection from pets and kids. It blocks your pup's access to the front seat keeping him safely in the back seat as well as provides a nice hammock nest for dogs that need a little extra support or often fall into the foot well. With six attachment points, you can get a secure fit without any sliding. It's waterproof and machine washable making it a breeze to clean. Openings allow for seat belt and child car seat latch access. The center zipper can be opened and one side folded down to allow for a human passenger to share the back seat with Fido.

Cargo CapeCargo Cape
Protect the cargo area of your station wagon or SUV from muddy paws and dirty chores like transporting trash to the dump or flowers from the garden center. The Kurgo Cargo Cape not only protects your interior, but it has multiple attachment areas to keep it from sliding around and provides a comfortable and stable spot for Fido to ride. The unique bumper flap covers your fender protecting it from scratches and avoids smudging your clothing. Whether you are traveling with Fido or transporting other dirty stuff, this cargo area cover will keep your car neat and clean.

Check these out as well as their other great products for traveling with your dog.

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How To Achieve Litter Box Success - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie White

It's important to realize not all cases of inappropriate elimination are a "behavior" problem. In confirmed behavioral driven house soiling cases, 20-percent of the cats also had a contributing medical condition at the time. So even if it sounds like a behavioral problem, see your veterinarian to ensure your cat isn't the 1 in 5 that has discomfort, infection, or other health problems influencing her litter box use.

Drawing Kitty To The "Right" Spot
Check the condition of the box - is it urine stained on the bottom? Throw it out and get a new one. Keep the box clean by scooping twice daily and by performing a complete litter change out twice a week for non-clumping litter or every 2-3 weeks for clumping varieties.

To entice kitty back to the litter box try a litter box attractant like the herbal-based cat litter additive called "Cat Attract."

Multi-cat homes or those with outdoor cats nearby should use pheromone (scent hormone) products to ease social stress and facilitate litter box harmony.

Kitty Eliminates Near, But Not Quite In The Litter Box
Your kitty is telling you that she understands what you want her to do, but something isn't quite right in the litter box environment. First start with providing a larger box, even if this means buying a plastic under bed storage box for this purpose. Look for one sized 18 x 36 inches in size.

Remove any litter box covers. Revisit the traffic flow in the litter box area. Ensure the box is in a quiet, low traffic area. Keep the box unquestionably clean.

Is Your Cat Urinating In Tubs Or Sinks?
Chances are your cat has urinary tract inflammation or infection. The cool surfaces provide relief to the inflammation or discomfort of a medical condition. See your veterinarian for a urine evaluation and treatment since environmental changes alone will not stop the behavior.

To preventing further episodes, decrease access to tubs and sinks, close doors to bathrooms, or fill the bottom of sinks and tubs with a small amount of water.

Cat Using LitterBoxKitty Eliminates On Throw Rugs And Won't Use Litter Box
Your cat has already made a litter preference. Perhaps the texture of carpet is more appealing than the litter used. Provide a litter box smorgasbord. This is when you provide multiple litter pans at the same time, each with different litter varieties such as clay, clumping, and natural pine litter. Be sure to include one litter box with sections of throw rugs or carpet remnants lining the bottom. During this time, remove all throw rugs from the house or block kitty's access to those areas.

If kitty demonstrates a litter preference, switch her litter boxes to that style of litter.

If kitty chooses the rug-lined box, then continue providing carpet lined litter boxes to establish a good pattern of repeated box use. Gradually start sprinkling small amounts of cat litter in the box on top of carpet surface. With time, many cats can be retrained to accept the box as the carpet is phased out and just litter remains.

Prevent Returning To Scene Of Crime
Clean all house soiling accident sites with an enzyme based pet cleanser. The enzymes break down the chemical component of the odors, and do more than just cover up with scents. Do not use ammonia based cleansers on accident areas - doing so is counterproductive. (Remember that urine contains ammonia products.)

Cats dislike eating in areas that they eliminate, so place food and water bowls in the site of the accidents, or try placing pieces of aluminum foil in areas to deter kitty's use.

Citrus scents are offensive to cats and can be an effective cat deterrent. Use citrus or potpourri scented air fresheners in the area. If your cat is eliminating in house plants, place lemon or orange peels in the pot to make the area less attractive. And of course, make sure you aren't using citrus scented cleaners on the litter pan!

To keep your kitty away from areas she continues to eliminate on, use double sided sticky tape or turn plastic carpet runners upside down. Another option is to invest in motion-activated devices that spritz out citronella or puffs of air when the electronic eye picks up motion in the off-limits area.

The Tough Reality
For some cats, environmental changes aren't enough and drug therapy may be a necessary tool. But remember that behavioral medications aren't a shortcut - drug therapy must be used with veterinary monitoring and in conjunction with environmental changes.

Want to hear some bad news? In households struggling with many years of feline house soiling, it may be necessary to discard urine marked furniture, change out carpet, carpet pads, and treat sub-flooring to effectively remove scent triggers for future elimination issues. It may sound extreme, but it can be important step to achieve faithful feline litter box success.

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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Top Tips for Pet Natural Disaster Preparedness
Robert Semrow, Animal Radio Listomania

Dog During a Natural DisasterJune is National Pet Preparedness Month. Pet Preparedness may be a tongue twister, but in the real world, disasters happen regularly and there is never a better time to take action than before the disaster occurs. When you think about putting together a natural disaster preparedness plan, don't forget to make a plan that includes your pets. Grabbing your pet on the way out the door is not a sufficient plan. Much like you would have a checklist for people, I'm going to share a simple checklist for your pets.

To begin with, let's talk about dealing with loss of power or inability to use the daily conveniences that we are all so accustomed to. Make sure that you have pet food, water, pet medications, pet first aid kit, a toy or two and at least one clear picture of your pet with you and/or your family. It sounds simple, but there are many listening right now that don't have that set aside in case of emergency. Food and water should able to sustain them for up to 7 days. The one item that surprises me the most as missing from the plan is a recent photo of the pet with a family member. In this day and age, a photo can be beamed all over in mere seconds and increase the chances of finding your lost pet tremendously.

Next up is the scram plan where you need leave your residence and get to safety quickly. Make sure that you have at least a 3 day supply of the previously mentioned items and also add in a leash, collar, updated name tags, a pet carrier if appropriate, poop bags and other essentials stored in a way that you can grab and go. One of the common things we hear after natural disasters is how quickly the danger presented itself and how people didn't have enough time to act. Give yourself extra time and piece of mind by having what you need already assembled and ready to go. Have an action plan so that everyone knows what they are supposed to do and who they are responsible for.

Pet First Aid KitHave an action plan for your area and region that makes sense based on what you are likely to face. Everyone in the family should know this action plan and feel comfortable with it. It is critical to be calm and move with purpose and confidence in an emergency. Knowing what to do will make having to do it a better situation.

Finally, check with your local resources and shelters to see what you would be able to and will not able to do with your pets in an emergency situation. Many shelters will only allow human beings without their pets to be in the shelters forcing heartbreaking decisions to be made under extreme duress.

Be prepared in advance and act with care and confidence if the situation arises.

Share your pet natural disaster preparedness tips and more on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.

Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearCan Dogs Recognize Faces from Pictures?
A study published in the journal Animal Cognition indicated that dogs may have facial recognition skills similar to humans! Well, of course, your dog recognizes you when you walk in the door, but how about if you were on vacation without him or her, could they see a picture of you and recognize it, like "Hey, that's my Dad!"? The study was done at the University of Helsinki, where scientists tested dogs' spontaneous behavior towards photos. Dogs were shown pictures of people AND dogs that they knew-and didn't know. When the researchers tracked their eye movements, they found that dogs gazed longer at photos of familiar humans. They also were more likely to look at familiar dogs longer as well.

Pet Sitting Business Sues for $1 Million After Bad Yelp Review
A Texas pet sitting business went after $1 million in damages from a couple who gave them a one-star review on Yelp and criticized the businesses treatment of their tiny blue tropical Betta fish while the family was away on vacation. The couple's lawyer said their review was protected under their right to free speech. And, the couple had a video showing that the fish water was cloudy and that food accumulated at the bottom of the bowl, which must have been caused by overfeeding. The review read: "The one star is for potentially harming my fish, otherwise it would have been two stars. We have a camera on the bowl and we watched the water go from clear to cloudy. There was a layer of food on the bottom from way too much being put in it. Even if you don't have fish, you should be able to see the change in the bowl and stop putting in food." Good for them if that was an honest review. The problem was, and take note before you ever sign another pet sitter agreement, the couple agreed, under the service contract, "Not to make negative comments" in any way. So, as horrible and time consuming as it was, read the fine print before you sign.

Inflatable Dog PoopInflatable Dog Poop Has Its Purpose
A town in Spain installed a giant inflatable dog poop in an attempt to discourage dog owners thinking of walking off and leaving a pile of poo in the streets. Perhaps even funnier is that the town of Torrelo-dones posted a picture of it and encouraged residents to share the photo of the massive message to dog owners with the hashtag #nomascacas. According to the town council it's a serious problem. The town has about 6,000 dogs and if you do the math, they are capable of producing around 1,100 pounds of excrement every day. And, THAT is more or less what the giant inflatable represents, the amount of poo left on the streets across the town each day, according to a town council member. The town also installed smaller poop sculptures in other areas along with signs that encouraged residents to help the town by cleaning up after their dogs.

Great Dane Rescued From Roof of Home
A mischievous Great Dane was rescued from the roof of its home in Connecticut. Yes, and he got there all by himself, after forcing his way through an upstairs window. Neighbors heard the dog barking and called for help. The dog's owner was not home at the time but thanked the firefighters and described the dog as a "Houdini" with a tendency to unlock and open doors AND windows. She said he was locked downstairs with the family's other Great Dane while they were at work, but apparently he was able to push his way through the locked door and went around the home opening windows trying to (and eventually succeeding at opening a window) in order to get outside to say hello to the neighbors.

Online Feud Between Comedian and Russia
Comedian John Oliver found himself in the middle of an online feud with an animal loving, Russian-backed dictator who lost his cat. Oliver, who is the host of the HBO show "Last Week Tonight" took aim at the leader of Chechnya in a five-minute segment making fun of the dictator for posting an emotional plea to Instagram and asking the Chechen people to help find his missing cat. Oliver pointed out how often Kadyrov posted photos of himself wearing t-shirts that feature Russian Leader Vladimir Putin's face because it was Putin who appointed him the head of Chechnya. Then Oliver took to Twitter to post a photo of himself holding a cat, asking the dictator: "Is this your cat?" It was not long before Oliver himself graced the Chechen leader's infamous Instagram page, with Putin's face photo-shopped onto John Oliver's shirt. Oliver is a funny guy, but what was weird was the dictator was mostly saying how much he wanted to help the cats of his country and how much he loves his own cat, who he had posted earlier recently left his house and that the cat sometimes does this in springtime, and about how his cat needs to meet with friends, mingle and share cat news. The bad news is this cat is not neutered and he's talking about addressing "cat issues." The dictator said there were cat rumors that his male cat had a neighborhood girlfriend then went on to say "Perhaps, he'll bring his sweet love home with him and start a family."

BlowfishJimmy Durante and World's Ugliest Animal
The sad-looking blobfish with its Jimmy Durante nose was voted the world's ugliest animal. And, that is not good for the blob fish, or any other not so cute or beautiful animal for that matter. It turns out that aesthetically challenged animals are routinely ignored by researchers in favor of 'cuter' animals, according to experts who have studied ugly animals. They say 'Ugly' animals could be at greater risk of becoming extinct because they are being 'ignored' by scientific researchers while more research and funding is being directed towards 'cute and cuddly' animals like koalas and kangaroos. The study was done in Australia and published in the Mammal Review Journal. They found research funding was being given to big animals, which are iconic and attract people's attention because they are cute and charismatic. The expert added that's also because, "It's very hard to make a tourist attraction of a rodent." Luckily for these animals, the Ugly Animal Preservation Society is dedicated to raising the profile of some of "Mother Nature's more aesthetically challenged children."

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1226)

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