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Animal Radio® for April 13, 2013  

Cat Videos Festival Draw 10,000 People
Scott Stulen, Internet Cat Video Festival

Cat Video Film Festival at nightLast August, Scott Stulen and his collaborator Katie Hill, came up with an idea to do a cat video festival at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

They thought it would be a fun idea, as cat videos are a hit on the Internet. They wanted to know what would happen if they took the experience that most people have watching cat videos on their phone or computer, and bring them all together to an outdoor venue.

They started by putting out a call for nominations for the festival, and about 10,000 nominations came in from all over the world. They did this by setting up a Google forum and asked people to nominate videos that already existed on YouTube.

Both Scott and Katie ended up going through 10,000 cat videos (I would love that job!) and selected about 80 that were shown at an event last August.

Even though they didn't expect too many people to attend, this became the biggest event at the Walker Art Center, both in attendance with about 10,000 people showing up, and also the press that they generated. Since the event in August, they have been touring the festival around the country.

When asked why cat videos are so popular, Scott stated that it's a combination of things. Obviously people love their pets and people enjoy cats. There's also something about the subject, where dogs seem to perform for the camera and cats seem to not really care. In addition, while dog owners have dog parks and places to take their dogs with other dogs and socialize with other dog owners in public, cats don't get out in the public and therefore cat owners don't socialize with each other. So in some ways, the Internet has become the cat park.

Look for a Cat Festival near you.

Contribute To The Well Being Of Your Aging Pet
Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, FLEX Rx

Pro Labs LogoLike people, as dogs get older, arthritis is the most common health problem they face. More than 20% of all adult dogs live with the pain of arthritis.

Dogs get arthritis for the same reasons that people get it. This might be because of too much exercise, accidents, infections and obesity. Some breeds are even predisposed to arthritis. Big dogs often have hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, while little dogs have luxating patellas, all leading to arthritis. And lastly, arthritis is the result of age.

Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, a veterinarian very familiar with the problems of arthritis in dogs, is here to answer questions about FLEX Rx, the new arthritis product launched by ProLabs.

How can you tell if your pet has arthritis? In its early stages, it is very subtle in most cases. You might see your dog having difficulty in getting up from a sitting position, having trouble climbing the stairs, won't or can't jump into the car, or even limps after exercising.

FLEX Rx bottleIt's natural for us to feel that this is a function of getting old. While it is a part of getting old, part of this is the arthritis of joints and the difficulty with pain that goes along with it.

FLEX Rx is very different from the glucosamine chondroitin health joint products that have been around for about 25 years. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and neutraceuticals, like glucosamine chondroitin, just mask the symptoms associated with arthritis. Once arthritis starts, it is very difficult to stop.

The way FLEX Rx differs from anything on the market, such as an NSAID or a neutraceutical, is that it actually works on the underlying causes of joint deterioration. FLEX Rx gets at the basis of the problem of arthritis, and that's the inflammatory process which causes pain. If you reduce the inflammation, you reduce the pain and your animal is more comfortable.

FLEX Rx has only been available by from veterinary hospitals, but now FLEX Rx is available over-the-counter from pet shops and retailers across the country. Call 1-866-637-7716 for the nearest ProLabs distributor.

With FLEX Rx, owners can take charge of their dog's joint health and give their pet a quality of life so richly earned and deserved.

The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Joey VillaniHow Often Can You Wash Your Dog?
It's hard to believe that there was a time when people would only wash their dogs a few times a year. Then, it was once a month. Now Joey is getting asked whether or not you can wash you pet everyday.

Joey may get a lot of flak, but he states you can wash your pet everyday if you want to, as long as you use the right product. However, there are still people who are very skeptical about the idea of bathing your pet too often.

Joey states if you use the right product, you are not going to have any problems. You want a good quality pet shampoo. The best place to purchase this shampoo is at your local grooming salon. They can also talk to you about what will work best for your pet's coat.

Dog in bathtubBesides bathing, a great alternative to getting a clean coat on your dog without shampoo is to use cornstarch. Cornstarch is great to use on your dog, as it is non-toxic and won't cause irritation. You just sprinkle it on your dog (or cat) and just brush it through. This will absorb all of the dirt and oil. Make sure your pet is standing on a towel, because as you brush, the debris will fall off your pet.

Another alternative is to use a pet-based conditioner. Don't use human conditioner, as most of these contain fillers that will weigh down your dog's coat. If you have a hard-coated dog, like a terrier with a wire coat and you use human conditioner, it might not blend real well and leave you with texture issues. Use the pet-based conditioner instead of shampoo. Just run it through the coat and rinse. This will also help to remove the dirt and oil.

Using a pet-based conditioner on your pet will also help them dry quicker. This is because when you wash a dog (or cat) you end up opening up the hair shaft because it is clean. This opens up the cuticle, which goes down into their skin. You want to condition the cuticle to close it. If you're conditioning your pet repeatedly, the cuticle is going to stay healthy and closed. Nothing can go in and penetrate the skin, not even water. Conditioning your pet routinely doesn't hurt.

When using pet-based conditioners, Joey can't stress enough that there aren't too many of these products that will work correctly if they are not broken down. If the product states that it need to be broken down 5 to 1, 10 to 1, or even 15 to 1, you need to follow the directions.

Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

Pig being walked in New YorkNew York Pigs
In a city of high-rises and tiny apartments, pigs are found mainly on menus. Most New Yorkers would never consider making pets out of a barnyard animal that's synonymous with sloppiness. The city's health code specifically forbids it, forcing pig owners in the nation's largest metropolis to keep their swine under cover. Exactly how many New Yorkers own pigs are unclear. But many connect online, creating Facebook pages for their pets and swapping photos. One Brooklyn pig named Franklin is dressed up in Mets baseball gear on his Facebook page and has more than 1,000 likes. Pig lovers also hope to overturn the city's ban. They point to the case of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's daughter, Georgina, who adopted a pig from an animal shelter in New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy and brought it to Gracie Mansion on Thanksgiving Day. A spokesman for the mayor says she learned it was illegal and took it back to her home in Florida the next day.

Chalk outline of roadkillWhat's For Dinner - Road Kill?
In the future, Montana road kill might end up on dinner tables rather than going to waste. The state's Senate has given thumbs up to a bill allowing residents to harvest deer, elk and moose killed by vehicles. The so-called Road Kill Salvage Bill" has already been approved by the House and only needs Governor Steve Bullock's signature to become law.

Hawkeye in front of casketLegend of A Navy SEAL & His Faithful Dog
The legend of Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson and his faithful Labrador retriever, Hawkeye, continues to grow. A now-famous photograph of Hawkeye guarding Tumilson's flag-draped coffin in 2011 inspired an episode of the hit CBS television series "NCIS," according to one of its executive producers. "It all started with a photograph," co-executive producer Scott Williams wrote on the show's blog. The inspired result was the episode, "Seek," and it was the night's top-rated show. "It served as yet another stark reminder of the sacrifices made by our military men and women and their families (pets included)," Williams wrote. "It also set the wheels in motion for the (March 19) episode." Jon Tumilson, 35, who was born in Osage, Iowa, and grew up in Rockford, Iowa, died in Afghanistan in August 2011 when the Chinook helicopter carrying him and 29 others was shot down. His cherished black Lab, Hawkeye, led Tumilson's family into the funeral.

Shark with two headsTwo-Headed Shark
A fisherman who hauled in a bull shark off the Florida Keys made a shocking discovery. He cut open the female to find it was carrying two live fetuses, and one of the baby sharks had two heads. He gave the two-headed fish to scientists who now say it's the first case of a two-headed bull shark, and one of only about a half-dozen recorded cases of two-headed sharks anywhere in the world. A report is in the Journal of Fish Biology.

White CoyoteWhite Coyote
A wildlife expert has finally identified the so-called mystery animal found dead in Maine. It's an extremely rare white Eastern coyote. Biologist Scott Lindsay tells the Bangor Daily News that measurements of the animal's bones, condition of its teeth and bottle brush tail are all very consistent with a coyote. Lindsay says the animal found dead last week under the porch of a house is certainly not a wolf and that nothing leads him to believe it's a domestic animal.

Missing dog poster in Twin Falls, IdahoThe Case Of The 40 Missing Dogs
Dogs are vanishing in one part of Idaho and police don't have a clue where they're going. USA Today reports about 40 dogs have gone missing over the past few months near Twin Falls in Southern Idaho. Lisa Kauffman, the state's director of the Humane Society of the United States says, "Someone is coming around and plucking animals out of people's yards." Missing dogs range from a tiny Chihuahua to Great Danes, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls and Golden Retrievers. The society is offering a $5,000 reward for information that helps officials solve the mystery.

TadpolesDon't Drink Tadpoles
One woman has a bad taste in her mouth after she tried to smuggle tadpoles on a flight out of Guangzhou, China. The Chinese news network Guangdong Southern Media Network reports that workers at an airport security checkpoint found a woman who was carrying a bottle of liquid in her carry on luggage. When they told her she would have to get rid of the liquid before boarding, the woman poured the bottle's contents into her mouth. Officials noticed that she refused to swallow and told her to spit out the liquid. It turns out the woman had the bottle filled with tadpoles that were reportedly given to her by a friend. Officials made her throw out the bottle and the tadpoles before she was allowed to pass through security.

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