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 This Week From The Redbarn Studios

Animal Radio for May 9, 2020  

Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory) Guests

Mayim Bialik and CatsAfter starring as "Blossom" in the hit TV series, Mayim Bialik went on to get a PhD in Neuroscience. But the stage called her back. Now she's on The Big Bang Theory and working overtime for the animals. She'll tell us about CatConLA, which is like ComicCon, but for Cats.

Mayim's degree is in neuroscience and she received her PhD from UCLA. She had planned on being a research professor and even taught after receiving her degree. But, it seems acting is her passion along with her two cats.

Mayim recently worked with PetSmart Charities to share her advocacy for cat adoption at the First-ever CatConLA ("like ComicCon - but for cat people").

The convention featured cat celebrities, experts, ideas and pop culture. There were plenty of people, about 6,000, looking for cat products at the 100 exhibits showcasing cat-centric fashion, art, toys, jewelry and furniture.

It seems the attendees got in the spirit of things, with most people either wearing a cat dress, cat scarf or cat tie and everyone seemed to be having fun.

Mayim had her own booth at the convention where she did "Meet and Greets" and talked about the importance of pet adoption.

Mayim also helped to debunk the outdated "Crazy Cat Lady" stereotype. She introduced a panel where two experts talked about cats and cat people.

Mayim admits, like most of us, that she lets her own two cats sleep in her bed with her. They actually sleep under the covers with their heads on a pillow. They have full run of her house and there is no place they are restricted from going. She also states she is just a guest in their house!

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Animals Words & Phrases - Where Did They Come From?
Boze Hadleigh, Holy Cow

Boze HaleighBoze Hadleigh put together the ultimate book describing the origins of animal phrases. Did you ever wonder where the saying "There's more than one way to skin a cat" comes from? Boze will enlighten and make you laugh at our language.

We love animals but insult humans by calling them everything from weasels or pigs to sheep, mice, chickens, sharks, snakes and birdbrains. Animal epithets, words, and phrases are so widespread; we use hundreds of them everyday. We have become so used to them that we often take them for granted or remain ignorant of the fascinating stories and facts behind them. Many of these expressions have evolved. They started out with one meaning, but now they mean another.

It took Boze Hadleigh over 18 months to compile and double-check all of the information in his new book, "Holy Cow." He states he loved every minute of it, and not only did he define the words and stories of where these expressions came from, but he has also included information on things like why cats usually eat sitting down and dogs eat standing up. This goes back to the fact that the ancestors of dogs would hunt in packs, so in order to get your piece of the catch, it is better to be standing up. But for cats, they are solitary hunters (except for lions) so they can afford to just sit down and eat alone.

Spanning the entire animal kingdom, Holy Cow! explains:

Why Hot Dogs Are Named After Canines
They were named hot dogs basically because of their shape. They were brought to the United States from Frankfurt (as in Frankfurter), Germany. Also in Germany, anyone from Vienna is a Vienner (wiener). Dachshunds were then nicknamed sausage dogs.

There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat
This originally started out as "There's more than one way to skin a Catfish," because they have very tough skin. Then someone left off the word fish, and Boze states, "It's been bugging us cat lovers ever since!"

Holy Cow Book CoverWhy The Birds And The Bees
This is a very sanitary way of semi-explaining sex to children. Especially at springtime, when both are easily seen - bees buzzing and pollinating and birds laying eggs and raising their young. Previously the two were never mentioned together. Then someone said it together and it stuck.

Buck Naked
Buck-naked is said to derive from the related words buck and buff; the color of buckskin and supposedly the pale tan color of European skin.

Freeze The Balls Off A Brass Monkey
This saying is totally "G" Rated. And is rarely used today. The saying came from using canon balls on ships and the fact that some metals shrink more in cold weather. They would then fall off the "Brass Monkey," which was a tray holding the balls.

Why A Piggy Bank And Why One Feeds The Kitty
In Britain, they used to make little porcelain bed warmers that they called "piggies." They also had kitchenware made from porcelain, including little containers, for spare coins. Eventually, for humor's sake, pig banks were molded in the shape of pigs. Children were then taught how to be thrifty and were given coins to put in the piggy bank. This also has to do with the expression "Nest Egg." They used to put actual porcelain eggs in the nest of a chicken to encourage her to lay more eggs. So nest egg became a term of "Something to add to, eventually a sum of money."

This is definitely one of those books you won't be able to put down. So don't be a "lame duck" and get this book!

Boze Hadleigh is the author of Celebrity Feuds! and Hollywood and Whine and has written more than 15 books. He holds a master's degree in journalism, speaks five languages and has been a winner on Jeopardy! Boze also writes extensively for magazines and his work has appeared in more than 100 publications including TV Guide, Playboy and Us. The author splits his time, when not traveling the world, between Beverly Hills and Sydney, Australia.

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"Change Your Vet If..."
Dr. Marty Becker

Marty Becker with PuppyJust like any business, there are always people that give it a bad name. Same with Veterinarians. Animal Radio Veterinary Correspondent Dr. Marty Becker has a list of red flags you should look out for. If you see one, you may need to re-think your vet!

Dr. Becker will never state that your veterinarian can't be wrong and will never miss a diagnosis, because it's just not true. Unfortunately, most people think their veterinarian graduated at or near the top of their class, which may or may not be true. If you feel something is wrong and are not comfortable with your vet, you might want to find another one.

There are so many things that go on behind the scenes that you are not aware of. Just for a normal spaying, two different offices will handle things differently. You will never know how long the surgery was, how much bleeding took place or what kind of materials they used.

However, there are some things you can look at, sort of a list of red flags, that strongly suggest you should look for another vet including:

No Pain Control
When Dr. Becker first went to veterinary school, about 35 years ago, they were taught that animals didn't feel pain, and if they did, it was good because they would be less active during recovery. We now know that that is absurd. Pets have the same neuropathways as humans.

So if you're taking your pet in for a spay, neuter or teeth cleaning, your pet should have pain medication before, during and after surgery. If your veterinarian does not offer this, look for another veterinarian!

Only Doing Ultrasonic Cleanings For Dental Care (No polish - No Sealant)
Your veterinarian needs to take dental radiographs. These are different than radiographs that are done with a normal machine. You also want to make sure that they polish the teeth after a dental and then apply a sealant. You won't know these things, so you need to ask if they have a digital dental x-ray and also ask if they polish and use a sealant on the teeth. The problem with using ultrasonic cleanings is like using a machine on a cobblestone road that has many pits. A good veterinarian will polish the teeth so they are nice and smooth, like a newly paved road. The sealant then helps the plaque from attaching to the tooth.

Only Gloving Up For Major Surgeries (No Cap, Gown, Mask)
You want to make sure that if they are doing surgeries, that they wear a cap, gown, gloves and a mask. Some inferior veterinarians will just use gloves without using a cap, gown or mask. It is cheaper not to use these items, but they are putting your pet's health at risk.

Vets Looking at XrayRarely Or Never Do Diagnostic Tests (You Need Diagnosis Before Treatment)
They may think they know what is going on by just looking at the pet without doing any additional tests. Some veterinarians also do not refer your pet to a specialist because they want to keep the income to themselves. Some also don't want to be found wrong by the specialist if they make a misdiagnosis.

Dr. Becker has a saying as a veterinarian, "You can be accused of missing a diagnosis. You can be accused of charging too much. You can be accused of being late for an appointment. But, you can never be accused of not looking at the best interest of the pet." If that means it needs a test, do it. If it means you need to refer to someone who has an expertise that you don't have, you refer it. If it needs a second opinion, you refer it.

Before selecting a vet, ask to take a tour of the hospital. Even if you are an existing client, you can still ask to see where the surgeries are done and where the animals are kept. Remember, you are the client and if you don't like what's going on, you can go elsewhere.

Visit Fear Free Happy Homes for tips on making your home fear free and to locate a Fear Free Veterinarian near you. Go to Fear Free Pets to become certified.

Listen and Explore the Fear Free Expert Series

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How To Build The Perfect Litter Box - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteOne 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.

Litter BoxDitch 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.

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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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearDon't Give Your Medical Marijuana To Your Pet
Marijuana may be legal for recreational and medicinal use some states, but that does NOT mean it's safe for your pet. In fact, marijuana can be toxic to pets that ingest too much raw, cooked, or baked marijuana in edibles because animals metabolize marijuana differently than people. Symptoms of marijuana poisoning in pets include listlessness, loss of motor coordination and balance, vomiting, hypothermia, drooling, and in severe cases, seizures, coma and even death. If your pet is showing signs of marijuana poisoning, get it to a veterinarian immediately and be honest with the vet about what you think the cause is, as it will help them to quickly diagnose and treat the animal. Most veterinarians agree that much more discussion is needed and research necessary to determine the true benefits of marijuana and safe and appropriate dosing levels and protocols for treatment on animals. Just like many people use marijuana as a way to manage chronic pain, ease side-effects from cancer treatments and treat a variety of conditions including seizures, some veterinarians and animal lovers give pot to their pets for the same reasons. The American Veterinary Medical Association does not sanction the use of marijuana treatment for pets but has published several articles addressing the possible benefits of its use.

Bonio Dog TreatsSome Dog Treats Contain As Many Calories as Donuts
Some of the most popular treats given to cats and dogs contain more calories than human junk food and chocolate! Some new research shows that a few pet treats have as many as 415 calories, more than a glazed doughnut. Unlike most food packaging, treats for cats and dogs contain very little nutritional information, but the analysis by Direct Line Pet Insurance revealed a lot of well-known brand names are rich in calories. Bonio dog treats, at 323 calories per 100g, contain around 53 per cent more calories than a McDonald's Big Mac burger. One Bonio dog biscuit has 78 calories, about 7 per cent of an adult Labrador's daily allowance, if it is exercised normally. This is similar to a Kit Kat Chunky, which has 207 calories - 8 per cent of an adult man's recommended daily calorie intake. If you're not sure how much to feed and treat your pet, be sure to ask your vet because factors like age, breed, level of activity and whether the animal has been neutered all play a big role in determining how much to feed them. If your pet is overweight and you still want to reward it for good behavior, there are plenty of healthy alternatives. For example, dogs love carrot sticks, and both dogs and cats love plain cooked chicken; so why not give those a try instead, they're low in calories and high in nutrients.

Dog in CarNew Law Makes it Legal To Break Into Hot Car To Save Dog
Providing greater protection for animals is the premise behind a new legislation introduced in New York that would allow a concerned citizen to remove a pet found to be suffering in an extremely hot car. State Assemblyman John Ceretto says currently in New York if someone tries to break into a vehicle to rescue an animal, that person could be charged with a criminal offense. The legislation would allow a person to take necessary steps to remove an animal from a hot vehicle if a police officer cannot be located. According to the National Humane Society, the temperature inside a car even with the windows slightly opened, can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes on an 85-degree day.

Pet Safe Cars
Subaru says nearly 70-percent of its customers are pet owners owning at least one dog and it's because of that fact that the company says it will continue to support pet safety and crash testing of pet safety products in a new campaign with the Center for Pet Safety. The automaker and CPS will fund testing of pet crates and small carriers in crash situations as well as examine crate and carrier structural integrity.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1066)

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