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Animal Radio® Show #488 April 11, 2009


Dr. Jim Humphries - Veterinary Minute

Babies Exposed To Cats May Have Higher Risk Eczema

Babies exposed to cats may have a higher eczema risk.  Children who are exposed to cats soon after birth may have an increased risk of developing eczema according to a study to be published by the American Thoracic Society. 

Being exposed to two or more dogs at home suggested a slightly protective, but not significant effect, on the children’s risk of developing eczema.  The study included 486 children who had been followed since birth.  

The researchers asked the parents how many cats and dogs they had in the house at the time the child was born.  They then followed up one year later to see which children had been diagnosed with eczema.  Of 134 children with cats in a household, 27.6% had eczema by one year of age, compared to only 17% of children without cats. 

Other studies have found that having cats or dogs in a home seems to be protective against allergic diseases.   Pets are a source of what is called endotoxins, and if children are exposed to endotoxins early in life, their immune systems may be skewed away from developing an allergic profile.  It’s possible that the children in the study who developed eczema at age one, might end up having a reduced risk of asthma or other allergic diseases later in life.  Clearly, this is a topic that needs further research.  You always hear that, don’t you!


Animal Minute With Britt Savage

High School Senior Rides Horse To School

A Tennessee High School Senior who rode his horse to school was banned from graduation.  A Dixon County student thought riding his horse to school would be a fun thing to do on the last day of class, and with gas priced being what they are, Caleb Anderson thought he might save a few bucks too.  School Principal Ed Littleton denied the horse riding incident was the reason Anderson wouldn’t be allowed to walk across the stage to get his diploma, but he admitted that it started with it.  He refused to comment further on the incident.  Anderson said everything was going fine until the principal started yelling and scaring his horse.  His parents, who didn’t object to his plans to ride the 12-year-old Quarter horse to school, are now heartbroken.  His mother, who works as a school secretary, said the punishment didn’t fit the crime, and described it as using a sledgehammer to swat a fly. 

The “Joy Riding” Dog

In Long Island, a dog named Bentley took his owner’s car for a joy ride and ended up crashing into a coffee shop.  The 50-pound dog’s owner, musician Bryan Maher, said he just wanted to keep his best friend warm, so he left his car running while he ran into the Cool Bean’s Coffee House to sign up for an open mic night.  The next thing he knew, he looked up to see his van coming at him in the window with Bentley in the driver’s seat grinning at him.  Luckily there were no injuries, although a window and some patio furniture were damaged.  Bentley seemed to enjoy the ride, wagging his tail happily after he got out.  The owner of the Coffee shop took it all in stride, calling Bentley a really sweet dog.


Lucky Dog Cuisine

Dr. Janice Elenbaas

We occasionally get food samples here at Animal Radio and we test them out on Ladybug, who is extremely finicky.  But she isn’t the only one; we are also finicky as to what we feed her.

Most foods you buy at the store contain meat by-products and/or 4-D animals, which are dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals. The bottom line is that there are few, if any, dog foods on the market that do not contain either by-products or meal.  These are things we try to stay away from, so when Lucky Dog Cuisine contacted us to try their food, we had to check them out, as you will never find fillers, preservatives, by-products or any form of "meal" in their food. 

Lucky Dog Cuisine makes their food fresh in a small kitchen and ships it out frozen with dry ice.  When you receive it, you just put it in your freeze and defrost and heat as necessary.  

Lucky Dog Cuisine comes in 4 flavors:  Original Beef and Rice, which contains ricotta cheese, peas, carrots, flaxseed meal, olive oil and wheat germ; Bugsy’s Best Beef and Barley, which contains ground beef and barley along with yogurt; Perfect Pooch Pasta, which contains ground beef with whole wheat pasta and cottage cheese; and Tail Wagging Turkey, which contains brown rice

Dr. Janice Elenbaas created Lucky Dog Cuisine when her Standard Poodle named Storm was diagnosed with Addison's disease.   She researched what was in dog food and had an eye-opening experience.  She stated she would not want herself or her family to live on processed food, so why should her dogs live that way?  Within months of changing Storm to a home-cooked recipe, she noticed a number of changes in her, as she seemed to regain her pre-diagnosis energy and vitality.

Making sure your dog has a properly balanced and nutritious diet takes time and knowledge.  If you don’t have the time or knowledge to cook for your dog but wnat to make sure they are eating healthy, let Lucky Dog Cuisine do the home cooking for you!


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

2 Female Dogs Don’t Get Along

These two female dogs, Jack Russell Terrier and a Bearded Collie Terrier mix, don’t get along.  However, when they were younger, they got along just fine.    One is now kept indoors while the other is kept outdoors.  If they do get together now, they will fight and draw blood.   Vladae says the dogs need to be kept together all of the time.  They will need to be kept in two crates (not the plastic one – but the open ones) and placed side by side.  Put a dog bed in both crates, and then exchange the beds so that each one has a chance to smell the other one.  Pull one dog out at a time and do obedience training for about 5 to 10 minutes.  Then put that dog in the crate, and then do the same with the second one.  After that, do the training with both dogs at the same time.  Now they are worried about you more than worrying about each other.  They are now like two kids in trouble and now instead of them thinking about each other, they are creating an alliance because both of them are in trouble.   Stop giving them love and attention and instead give them discipline and authority.   Dog training is like dating, the more attention you give, the less attention you will get in return!

New Puppy Won’t “Come”

This Husky/Shepherd/Lab mix takes to training really well, but won’t come to the command “come” and also chews on things. 

Vladae suggests trying the chew discriminative method.  Put about ten items in a room. Five of the items should be toys for the dog to chew on.  The other five items should be things he is not supposed to touch like remote controllers.   Make sure that the five doggie toys are scented in a way that is positive.  You can use a little bit of peanut butter or cream cheese.  On the other five items put some jalapeño pepper or “Hot No Chew.”  When all items have been scented, let the dog actually taste the jalapeño pepper or “Hot No Chew.”  Then let him go in the room and decide which items are good and which ones are bad.  After his taste test, he shouldn’t even go near the items with jalapeño pepper or “Hot No Chew” on them.

Then, go to your local hardware store and buy a rope usually used for a clothesline, about 8 feet long.   About 5 or 6 times a day tell your dog to come, and when she doesn’t, pull the dog to you and praise them and give them a treat.  Eventually you can shorten the length of the line until your dog gets it.

What To Do When Walking And A Dog Approaches

When you are walking along with your dog and an aggressive dog approaches, if your dog is small you can quickly pick them up and turn your back to the aggressive dog, freezing and not even breathing.  If your dog is too large to pick up, carry the “Pet Convincer” which is humane, safe, and is only a spray of air with a sound to scare the dog off, and then turn your back to him.


Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Stella And The Barking Dog

This is kind of a sad story.  My daughter is in her second year of school; I have a young daughter named Stella.  For those of you who’ve been following along, you know she comes up quite a bit.   You were with us when we bought Stella her fish named Betty not too long ago.

When I walk Stella to school, there’s a certain point where we have to cross the street because there is a dog, fenced in, that barks like a son of a gun, even when you’re a block away.  He terrifies her, so we have to cross the street.  He still barks, but crossing the street makes her feel safer.  Now I don’t live far from the house I grew up in, and this dog has been there for quite some time.  I don’t know the family personally, but they don’t live far from the little convenience store, so I’ve always been walking by this area.

Well, recently we were going for our walk and the last couple of times she’s been saying let’s cross the street, but we haven’t been hearing the barking.  Now it took about two times before she noticed and said where is he?  I was afraid of the answer, but the answer is not as grim as you are expecting, this isn’t a very special episode of the Party Animal.  But nonetheless, I said let’s go back over there, and there he was.  I don’t know the dog’s name, but he was there, just not up to barking any more.  And I can tell my daughter, at all of seven years of age, she’s got her head wrapped around it, and she said why isn’t he barking?  And she looked over at the dog and it was like she wanted the bark.  And I said, you see, even barking can be missed!

Dogs Can’t Eat Chocolate

I want to tell you a story.  It seems that everyone knows that dogs can’t eat chocolate, and whenever it comes up at this time of year, everyone says be careful and don’t let your dogs eat chocolate.  

It reminded me of the time when my 10-pound Schnauzer, Cruiser, who you must all know by now if you are fans of the Party Animal Segment, ate my entire Easter Basket from a girlfriend.   This was about 15 years ago, and he ate the entire basket, shiny aluminum foil and everything!  Peeps, peanut butter filled eggs, marshmallow filled eggs – the whole basket!  Maybe even some of the green nest straw.  Maybe even some wicker.  Cruiser could have taken down some wicker, and he didn’t die. 

Now, I don’t want to tell you it is some kind of urban myth and go and feed your dog chocolate.  But, Cruiser took down an entire basket that weighed more than him, a mini-Schnauzer.  Yeah, he was lethargic at the end of that day, but I think it was mostly because he was high on the chocolate and was crashing. 

Needless to say, looking out at the lawn for the next couple of nights was interesting because it was like there was buried treasure everywhere.  Shiny, gold blooms in his bowel movements all over the backyard.  But, guard that Easter basket.   Guard it with your life, and not to save your dog’s life, but just to save your chocolate covered marshmallows!


Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill
Mandatory Spay Or Neuter

The City of Angels recently made it mandatory for pet owners to spay or neuter their cats and dogs.  Just weeks later the L.A. Department of Animal Services General Manager Ed Boks decided to cut the city’s spay/neuter voucher program for low-income pet owners.  That “cost cutting” decision was met with an outcry from not only struggling pet owners but from members of the L.A. City Council who questioned Boks explanation.  According to the L.A. Times just two weeks after the decision was announced, the Department of Animal Services reversed itself and reinstated the voucher program.

One More Death in Iditarod

Following up on the story of the number of dogs who died in this year’s Iditarod race, the latest death toll has increased by one bringing the total number to six.  The latest death of a 2-year-old female named Cirque came after the dog was loaded onto a flight from Shak-too-lik to Nome.  An Iditarod spokesman said the plane encountered turbulence, was forced to land and it was then discovered that the dog had died.  The other five dogs that died during the race had necropsies performed with mixed results.  Two of the dogs died as a result of pulmonary edema and PETA has requested a criminal investigation to determine if charges of animal cruelty are warranted against any of the mushers.

Parrot Awarded Animal Lifesaver Award

Congratulations to Willie the parrot.... the Denver Red Cross awarded the Quaker Parrot their Animal Lifesaver Award.  Willie’s owner Megan Howard was babysitting a little girl named Hannah last November.  Megan briefly left the room while the toddler was eating her breakfast and began choking.  Willie the Parrot jumped into action by repeatedly yelling, “Mama - baby!” and flapping his wings. Megan rushed into the room to find Hannah turning blue - she successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver and Hannah recovered.

Worst Case of Animal Neglect

Neighbors in Chester Township New Jersey were shocked to see what SPCA officials called the worst case of animal neglect they’ve ever seen.  In the million-dollar suburb of Morris County, investigators found 80 cats and one dog living in a home on Farm Road.  SPCA spokesman Matthew Stanton described one room with at least 2 feet of feces and an unbearable stench of urine throughout the million-dollar home.  SPCA officials who wore protective masks transported 20 cats to a vet and went back to remove the rest.  The SPCA says the homeowner will likely face some charges.

King of Pop Makes PETA’S “We Don’t Like You” List

The self proclaimed King of Pop, Michael Jackson is on PETA’s top ten “We Don’t Like You” list...the animal rights organization is criticizing the singers use of exotic animals in his upcoming concert series.  Jackson’s attraction to exotic animals is well known, he even had a zoo at his Neverland estate in California.  Sadly, when the pop star fled the country after being acquitted in a child molestation trial he abandoned those animals.  Now PETA is lashing out at Jackson saying “... exotic animals belong in Africa, not the O2 Arena...these wild animals are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them when they are forced to perform under stressful conditions.”

Pets Resemble Their Owners

The San Francisco Gate says there is truth to the suggestion that pets resemble their owners.  Thanks to a couple of U.C.S.D. researchers, a new report in the journal Psychological Science says in a test of matching photos to owners the correct pick was made two thirds of the time. The team of 28 judges was able to easily match photos of owners and purebreds but found little or no evidence of resemblance between mutts and their owners.  Researcher Nicholas Christenfeld said “When you pick a purebred, you pick it specifically because of how it’s going to look as a grown-up.”  He added he believes people who own mixed breeds are more spur-of-the-moment when choosing pets.

NEWS UPDATE Brought To You By Simple Solution Natural Line Of Products


Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner

Rosie The Parrot

This man is the guardian of Rosie, the parrot, who really loves him.  The problem is that the bird doesn’t care for his wife.  She doesn’t even like it when people visit.   In fact, when visitors go to pet her, she will put her head down as if preparing for it, but will then all of a sudden bite them and say, “Ha Ha!” 

Joy tells him that Rosie feels he belongs to her, and her only, and she feels that his wife is a competitor and feels she is being cheated on!  Parrots typically mate for life and thinks that he is her “mate.”  Rosie even tells him every morning to come give her a kiss!



Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

St. Bernard Has Mites

This 4-month-old St. Bernard was diagnosed with demodex mites, which are under her mouth and along her nose.  A demodex mite is a microscopic critter that lives in dog’s skin and can affect young dogs and old dogs in different ways.   Demodex in a young dog is not uncommon at all.   A young dog’s immune system is still developing and it is a very natural thing to see.  In an older dog, you have other problems to deal with such as cancer or infection or metabolic diseases.  The good news is that this is a young dog, but the bad news is that the demodex mite always takes a long time to treat. 

Feral Cat Can’t Be Caught To Take To Vets

The mother cat was killed about 9 years ago and this kitten was trapped.  She was kept in a room for about a month and then slowly introduced to the house.  She now goes in and out the dog door.    She is somewhat friendly, but only when she says so and on her terms.   She is eating well but seems to be very thin and has slight diarrhea.  However, she can’t be caught to take to the vets.    The vet thinks she has a parasite but can’t recommend anything without seeing the cat.   Dr. Debbie suggests getting a stool sample and having it tested.  Also, try treating for simple things and add a probiotic for one week to several weeks to restore the healthy bacteria in the gut, as the cat is only having a slight problem with diarrhea.  You can also try de-wormers that are over the counter and treat for about 5 days.  If these things done work, you might have to resort to a “safe trap” for feral cats and get that cat into the vets. 

Dog Has Allergies

This year old Shih Tzu is being treated for allergies because he scratches periodically.  His guardian has tried all sorts of medicated shampoos and medicines, but nothing seems to work.   Dr. Debbie says with itching and scratching, there are so many things you need to look at, like skin mites or yeast infections.   She suggests checking for mites and do an impression smear for things growing on the skin’s surface.   She also suggests that since the dog is so young, they should do a food trial and put the dog on a hypoallergenic diet for about two months to see how he does. 

Blind & Deaf Dogs

This couple has 25 animals, which consist of 14 cats and 11 dogs, all special needs.  They are now adopting two more miniature Australian Shepherds.   One is blind and the other is deaf and blind.   The guardian can find information on blind dogs but not on both blind and deaf dogs.  Unfortunately, the puppies are the result of a backyard breeder who didn’t know what they were doing and bred to Merles together (a marbling color) and the result are puppies that are called the “lethal whites, ” which end up with many genetic problems usually resulting in blindness and deafness.    The good thing is that there are many other dogs in the family who can be their “buddy” dog and can help them get around.   A lot of dogs can do wonderfully with these handicaps.  You want to keep their exposures favorable and try to keep bad experiences at a minimum.    When potty training, you want to think about the substrate the dogs will be going on.  A good suggestion is to use astro turf so the dogs know when they are on that substrate, that that is where they are supposed to eliminate.    They should get along fine with the other animals, as the other animals will sense that these dogs are handicapped, and will give them appropriate attention.

English Setter Diagnosed With Lyme Disease

This 13-year-old English setter went to the vets for an annual visit and because she was moving a lot slower and getting thinner.   Her guardian was surprised when she was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.     Lyme Disease affects different systems in dogs and is a bacterial disease passed by ticks.   The guardian lives in a city in New Hampshire and says that the dog doesn’t leave the yard.   The disease is treated with antibiotics for one week to maybe a month.  Once you are over the disease, most dogs will be free of the disease forever.  However, some dogs will have a reoccurrence down the road and have a relapse.  But once a dog is positive, they will test positive for a long time, for months maybe even years.


Fido Friendly Travel Talk with Susan Sims

Pet Friendly Vehicles

Bob Zeinstra of Toyota joins Susan to talk about the new Venza.   The Venza is the perfect car for an active boomer or empty nester.  It has loads of characters that appeal to that age, like easy loading and lots of safety features.  These people typically have a lot of pets, and they usually don’t have children in their house, so they want their pets taken care of. 

There are a number of pet products that are sold along with the Venza that can be purchased at the dealership and then factored into the financing.   These include travel harnesses and quick connect tethers.   There is also the Auto Zip Line from Kurgo, which allows your pet to move back and forth between the left and right side of the car.   There are also pet carriers and pet barriers for large dog to stay in the back, seat covers and hammocks.    All of these products keep the pet safe and comfortable when they are in the vehicle. 

While they haven’t tried to pile a bunch of dogs in the Venza to see how many animals it can hold, you can easily put two large dogs in the back, as well as two in the second row.

The Venza comes in both a 4-cylinder and V-6 engine model.

Fido Friendly Magazine:

The Travel Magazine For You & Your Dog, a complete guide to Fido-friendly accommodations across the United States and Canada. "Fido Friendly is the only magazine dedicated to the travel lifestyle of man's best friend, and the one magazine your dog will thank you for." And don't forget to join the Fido Friendly Travel Club.



If you have been following along, we have done two different DNA tests on the studio dog, Ladybug, to find out just exactly what breed of dog she is.

The first test from the Canine breed Heritage Breed Test stated that she was not a purebred, but she had Papillion and Dachshund in her lineage.

The second test was done at BioPet Vet Labs.  They also stated that she was not a purebred, but that she had American Eskimo, Australian Shepherd, Beagle, Belgian Tervuren, Greyhound, Shetland Sheepdog and Parson Russell Terrier in her lineage.

So what is Ladybug?  We are still not sure and believe Ladybug is a Toy Rat Terrier and we might even resort to a DNA test that actually tests the blood!


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