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Animal Radio® for June 8, 2013  

Cat Eats Nothing But McDonald's For A Year
Bridget Bull, New Zealand Waikato SPCA

Frankie the McDonald's CatBridget Bull works for the New Zealand Waikato SPCA, the organization that rescued Frankie, a cat who survived on a McDonald's diet for the past year.

Frankie was a stray. who was abandoned when his owners moved out of their apartment. He basically then took up residence in the McDonald's drive-thru, as it wasn't long before Frankie learned that people would toss him scraps.

Frankie had two favorite items on the menu. He liked the burger patties; most people would order a burger and then order an extra patty for Frankie. He also liked the chicken nuggets.

The Waikato SPCA unfortunately doesn't have the capacity to rescue healthy animals, so they kept an eye on Frankie for the past year, as he was looking healthy at the time. But when they noticed his condition was deteriorating, they knew they had to act.

Frankie with rescuerSurprisingly, Frankie was not overweight after this diet, but his fur became matted, his third eyelids started showing and his face had become very swollen.

Frankie's story drew a lot of attention and many people came forward to adopt him. Frankie now has a new home and is doing very well.

Frankie was so addicted to fast food and was at first resistant to switching to a healthier diet other than McDonald's food when they took him in. It seemed he wanted fries with everything!

The McDonald's cat's diet is now more traditional; water and dry cat food. After a few weeks of care, he has returned to good health, clear-eyed and shiny-coated.

There is a big stray cat problem in New Zealand and the Waikato SPCA is trying to reduce the cats' numbers by educating the public on the importance of having their animals fixed.

Intestinal Parasites
Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, ProLabs

Pro Labs LogoThe flea problem has increased in the country over the last year. Not only do fleas cause problems by themselves, but they are also the intermediate host of internal parasites called tapeworms. And no one wants to talk about those nasty, miserable, terrible worms that our pets get!

While your pet won't die from tapeworms, they are still a pretty miserable thing to have. They can consume about 20 percent of your pet's nutrition, leaving them weak and more prone to disease. Tapeworms can also cause your pet to become anemic.

TapewormThe problem with tapeworms is that they are almost invisible. Very often you don't know your pet has them until you are laying in bed with your pet some morning and suddenly you see something crawling around you pet's tail, which looks like a piece of rice or a seed.

When you take a stool sample to you vet, they may not be able to confirm tapeworms, because even under a microscope, they are extremely hard to see. Your vet may then prescribe Praziquantal.

Praziquantal is also available at ProLabs for treating tapeworms over the counter. These tablets are vey safe for both cats and dogs, and are very effective. You don't have to make that trip to the vet. You can treat your pet at home very easily for these nasty worms.

The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Joey VillaniRepel Mosquitoes Safely
Mosquitoes are a contributor to heartworms, West Nile Virus and can also transmit Lyme disease.

At one time, you didn't see too many cases of heartworm, as most people gave their pets heartworm medications. But nowadays as people try to stay away from medications, heartworm is once again on the rise. As a result, you should keep your pet on the heartworm medication.

In order to avoid medications, some people will even use whatever they have on hand for themselves, such as OFF. This is not a good idea. Don't ever use a product marketed for humans or children on your pet. These products usually contain DEET, which is a harmful pesticide to your pet. DEET can cause liver and kidney failure in an animal.

Another product people use is citronella. A small amount of citronella oil diluted in water will work, but it has to be mixed right. In some cases, citronella has been known to actually paralyze dogs. A study has shown that when rats were exposed to citronella, they also became paralyzed. So, if you don't know what you are doing, stay away from the citronella mixture.

The best product you can use on your pets right now is K9 Advantix by Bayer. This is a monthly application.

Avon Skin So SoftIf you still want to stay away from pesticides, you can also use Avon Skin So Soft. Mix 10 percent of Skin So Soft with a pint of water. Shake it real well and then spray it on your dog. Don't ever apply it full strength. The only downfall is that it only lasts about an hour.

Another natural product is lemon eucalyptus oil. You can find this at a store where you can find essential oils, like a health food store. Take a quart spray bottle and fill it with half white vinegar and half water. Add 10 drops of the lemon eucalyptus oil to the mixture. This product has been known to work 10 percent better than most of the DEET products. If you don't want to mix this yourself, there is a company called Daisy Paw that makes the product De-Bugged, which is ready for use. It is so safe, you can use it on both your pet and yourself.

Why are mosquitoes attracted to us? We give of carbon dioxide, which attracts them, and blood odors. These natural products will actually mask these odors.

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Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

Dog attacking mailmanDogs Go Postal
Dogs go postal in Los Angeles more than any other U.S. city. The U.S. Postal Service released its rankings of the best and worst cities for dog attacks on mail carriers. Los Angeles recorded 69 incidents last year. San Antonio and Seattle round out the top three worst cities. Wichita, Kansas is the safety city with just 20 attacks. Dogs attacked almost 6,000 postal workers in 2012.

ManateesOld Video Causes New Problems
An old video posted online could cause new problems for two Florida men, one of which is seen jumping on top of a manatee and her calf. The video was first posted on Facebook about a year ago but now the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is launching an investigation. Officers have already identified the men in the video and say they could face state and federal charges for harassing the endangered mammals.

Texas EgretsHow To Scare Egrets
Residents in Fort Worth, Texas are gearing up to scare away egrets before they nest. Last year the egrets invaded neighborhoods, leaving behind droppings that filled the air with flies and turned some lawns brown. Because the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 protects the egrets, the giant birds cannot be disturbed as they nest. This year, residents are taking preventative action and arming themselves with air horns and bells to scare off the giant birds if they fly around looking for places to build nests. Bill Campbell, who is president of the Tanglewood Neighborhood Association, tells the Fort Worth Star Telegram that people don't want the birds to get comfortable nesting in their neighborhoods, adding that residents will probably have to scare off the birds every year. In the future, some neighborhoods are looking into building areas where the egrets can nest in peace.

Swallows at Petaluma 101 BridgeBridge Construction Causes Deaths To Swallows
Wildlife protection group wants work on a freeway project in Petaluma, California stopped because it's causing the deaths of swallows that nest in the bridge structure. The Press Democrat says concern surrounds the construction at the Highway 101 bridges over the Petaluma River. The wildlife advocates say federally protected cliff swallows build mud nests in the bridge girders and Caltrans' efforts to keep the birds away is allegedly killing the birds instead. They are asking a federal judge to stop the work and force Caltrans to do additional environmental studies before resuming construction.

Jason Leon with pythonRecord-Breaking Serpent Killed
A man in Miami is responsible for capturing and killing the largest Burmese python ever recorded in Florida. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the record-breaking serpent was a 128-pound female that measured 18 feet and 8 inches in length, shattering the previous record of 17 feet and 7 inches. Apparently, Miami resident Jason Leon was driving in a rural area of Miami-Dade County when he and a passenger spotted the giant reptile in the roadside brush. Grabbing the snake by the head, Jason began pulling it out of the brush. That's when the python began wrapping itself around his leg. After getting help from his buddies, Leon killed the snake with a knife. Kristin Sommers, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says the Commission is, "grateful" to Leon for "safely removing" the large snake and reporting it to authorities.

19th Century TorpedoDolphins Locate Rare 19th Century Torpedo
A rare 19th century torpedo is back in the Navy's hands thanks to the work of a few bottlenose dolphins. The Los Angeles Times reports Navy owned dolphins discovered a Howell torpedo while being trained to track down underwater objects off the California coast. Only one of the antique underwater weapons was known to exist prior to the discovery. The dolphins are trained to use their natural sonar to discover objects that not even billion dollar military technology can detect. The torpedo is bound for the Washington Naval Yard, where it will be cleaned and put on display.

Feline HeadpieceHat Transforms A House Cat Into A Lion
A designer in Seattle has come up with an easy way to transform an average house cat into the king of the jungle: the lion hat. Yumiko Landers tells that the idea for the feline headpiece came from her sewing group. While making something to fit the cats' and dogs' theme that week, Landers came up with the so-called hat that allows the cat to sport a lion's mane. The product even comes in multiple colors, including golden brown, black, grey, ivory and husky. Landers sells the hats online through Etsy, and says she never would have expected to be receiving orders from all over the world.

Man with dogDogs Good For Our Hearts
The American Heart Association (AHA) has declared that pets, especially dogs, are good for a person's heart. Further proof that dogs are among the best friends a person could have. Dr. Glenn N. Levine, Director of Baylor University's Cardiac Care Unit, was quoted in a press release from the AHA saying, "Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with a decreased risk of heart disease." The AHA writes that owning a dog, "may help reduce cardiovascular risk," perhaps due to dogs bugging their owners into taking them for walks on a regular basis. Dog owners were, according to the AHA's studies, 54 percent more likely than non-dog owners to get the suggested amount of exercise. Good news, no doubt. But one shouldn't expect a dog to offset unhealthy lifestyle choices. "If someone adopts a pet, but still sits on the couch and smokes and eats whatever they want and doesn't control their blood pressure, that's not a prudent strategy to decrease their cardiovascular risk," Levine told the Times.

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