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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio for August 5, 2017  


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Since 2003, Animal Radio has been showcasing the latest toys, gadgets and technology available for your pet. Our 2017 SUPERZOO SPECIAL is no different. We will be featuring the latest gadgets as well as cutting-edge technology for your pets. And the best part? We have giveaways for you!

The first item we are showcasing is:

Flowfold LeashFlowfold Leash
A leash is a leash - right? Wrong! Besides being a very attractive leash (it is multi-colored and is available in a variety of color combinations) this leash is also firm and doesn't get tangled. It is made out of reclaimed scraps of Sterling Rope, something that is used for climbers and is a high quality leash that is very strong and durable. It also comes with a big heavy-duty brass swivel snap to hook to your dog's collar or harness. It's nice to see things re-used for different purposes instead of making it into a landfill.

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Why Are So Many Veterinarians Committing Suicide?
Dr. Elizabeth B. Strand, PhD, LCSW, Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dr. Elizabeth StrandOut-surging Dentists, Veterinarians now have the highest suicide rate in the U.S., at four times the general population. Dr. Elizabeth Strand discusses the causes of this disturbing trend and possible solutions, as the profession is finally starting to talk about this dirty little secret.

This is a shocking statistic and Dr. Strand tells us that there is an awareness about the fact that veterinarians experience stress and that it does take an impact and toll on their mental health. They are not just working with wonderful puppies and kittens all day. Dr. Strand states when she tells people this statistic, they say, "What? I never thought about that!" But once they take a moment and reflect on end of life issues that veterinarians face every day, and the fact that pets are members of the family, they will step back and say, "Yeah, I can get that!"

There's been some curiosity and research that because veterinarians euthanize animals who are in pain, that perhaps they can also put themselves out of pain by so euthanasia. Unfortunately, there's no good answer yet in terms of why there might be a higher rate among veterinarians. Dr. Strand thinks that the proximity to the means is something that is common among all medical professionals. For veterinarians, it is a possibility that since euthanasia is a standard practice that happens, it might be a more comfortable idea. But again, there is no clear research regarding this. However, there is some evidence that there is a positive relationship between the number of euthanasias a veterinarian performs in a week and experiences of depression. However, when veterinarians conduct 11 euthanasias in a week, their risk for suicide seems to go down.

Are veterinarians are using the means available to them to take their own lives or the usual ways to commit suicide by hanging or by guns? Current research is looking at death records to determine this and to also get a sense of what the actual rate is in this country. The statistics that state veterinarians suicide is 4 times higher than the general population actually comes out of some research done in England. However, we do have similar findings here in the United States, but researchers are questioning the actual rate. But there have been many, many stories of veterinarians, as well as veterinary nurses, utilizing euthanasia fluid for a means of taking their lives.

Upset VeterinarianSo what can be done about this? These conversations are happening more and more and veterinarians are supporting each other and coming out to express their experiences of mental illness and suicidal feelings. Social media is also playing a part in bringing awareness. Also, many of the large veterinarian organizations, like the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association are engaging in online learning, online support groups and certainly at the veterinary educational level there are mental health professional in probably every veterinary college now teaching about mental illness, mental health and protecting one's wellness. There is now a big positive effort.

When you bring your pet to a veterinarian, you may not know that the veterinarian (who is also a person) is struggling on the other side of the table. This could be their own or business finances, home issues and even just expectation from their work. This is a huge issue for veterinarians. We need to raise awareness of pet owners that their own veterinarians may struggle with stress and when they say out of grief and anger mean things to their veterinarian like, "You only care about money" or "If you don't save my cat, you might as well euthanize me too." These comments go to the heart of a very dedicated medical professional.

Once the general public starts to see their veterinarian as a human being and not just this endless source of compassion, but actually as people like themselves that need to take care of themselves and go home and exercise and say no sometimes, the general public can then have a wonderful influence in showing their compassion and support for their veterinary professionals.

There has been a little bit of research looking at some of the traits of the people who become veterinarians. Some traits are that they tend to be perfectionistic, which Dr. Strand agrees with. There are also very caring. But because Dr. Strand was frequently asked this question, she did a research study where they looked at a concept called ACEs, which is adverse childhood events. Thee adverse childhood events that they looked at were things that happened to people before the age of 18 that set them up for worse physical and mental health. These things fall into categories like abuse, neglect and family problems like having a mother or father with a mental illness or domestic violence.

Surprisingly, there was not a higher rate of ACEs in the childhood histories of the veterinary students that they surveyed in six veterinary colleges. But what was different was that their veterinary students had almost twice as high of a rate of having apparent or caregiver with a mental illness than the general population. So although the number of adverse experiences that they had were not different, they did seem to come from families that had a mental health issue inside it. They are planning more research to see if that bears out in other research studies.

So the next time you go to your veterinarian, please be a little easier on them and remember that they are human too!

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Making Your Dog Part of Your Wedding
Kristen Hedderich, Morris Animal Inn

Kristen Hedderich with Dogs in Wedding AttireKristen Hedderich is a Wedding Pet Concierge. She's available to make your pet's presence perfect on the big day. Kristen covers transportation, grooming and accommodations for your dog so you can focus on your nuptials.

For many couples, including their four-legged family members in their nuptials is a dream come true. But doing so can be fraught with challenges - from dirty paws on the bride's gown to Bowser helping himself to the buffet. To make a pet's presence perfect on the big day, Morris Animal Inn, an innovative leader in pet care, is now offering wedding services to help more couples say "I do" beside their dogs.

The Morris Animal Inn started offering a wedding chauffeur and concierge service for weddings in their area. This includes a spa day for the dog in their grooming salon. While the bride is getting pampered and ready for her big day, her dog is also getting photo-ready. The dog is then transported, with a professional handler in tow, to the wedding venue. This gives the bride a peace of mind and one less thing to worry about. She doesn't have to find a family member or friend to bring and look after their dog on the big day, or worse, asking someone who is not invited to come and look after the dog.

The Morris Animal Inn started this service late last year and it has been getting a lot of response. There are many brides who are looking to go over the top to involve their dogs in their big day. For now, they are just including dogs in weddings, but the Morris Animal Inn is waiting to see where that leads.

So what happens to the dog after the ceremony? The dog will return to the Morris Animal Inn, where they will provide luxury accommodations and activities for the dog. It may be just for the wedding night only or if the couple is going on immediately to their honeymoon, the dog will also get a little honeymoon vacation.

Dog with Bride and GroomSome of the brides have stated that they absolutely will not book a venue where they can't bring their dogs. Many venues have had to alter some of their policies and procedures to accommodate these brides. The feedback that the Morris Animal Inn has received from these venues has been very positive. This is because a handler stays with the dog at all times.

One memorable wedding that Kristen remembers was when a dog was actually the "Best Dog" instead o the best man. The dog was at the alter and became a little vocal during his mom's vows. A handler was standing by, making eye contact with the bride, to see if she wanted them to jump in and control the dog. However, the bride and the guests loved it, with the bride saying it was the best part of her wedding with her dog participating in her vows!
Kristen also tells us about a pair of dogs in another wedding. After the ceremony, everyone was standing outside while the bride and groom and wedding party set up for the receiving line. The doggy concierge was standing off to the side in a side room and somehow the dogs stepped out, as they wanted to be a part of the receiving line, kisses and all. But that's okay, because many of the brides provide special wedding outfits for their dogs. This may include special leashes and collars, as well as bow ties and dresses.

Morris Animal Inn was established in 1960 and is a state-of-the-art pet spa and resort offering superior amenities for dogs and cats including a heated indoor pool, whirlpool, pet suites with soothing music and videos, skylights, indoor and outdoor play areas, pampering and activities packages, daily maid and room service, Happy Hour with homemade pet treats, tuck-in service and more. Located on a quiet country lane with over 12 acres, the facility was designed to provide for both the comfort and safety of all pet guests, with an average of about 100 pets per night.

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Will Your Dog's Chew Bone Injure Her Teeth? - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteEven veterinarians can make bad choices when it comes to their pet's health. I learned this when I discovered my dog, Nikki, had a broken tooth. The cause was a chew item I thought was a safe option for her to gnaw on. But I was wrong - no chew item is risk free. Sadly my Nikki had to crack three teeth for me to learn that lesson.

Oh yes, it was three broken teeth! But more on that later...

Considering Chew Options
What chew options are there? As the owner of a large powerful chewer I considered the possibilities for my dog. She has a sensitive stomach and cannot tolerate edible bones or preserved rawhide products. Thank goodness, because feeding my dog pig snouts or pizzles just makes me want to gag. I'm not a fan of real bones - too many patients with broken teeth, gastrointestinal blockages and even one with a bone shard migrating through the side of a dog's throat. Soft plastic toys don't survive the first two minutes with her, and plush toys quickly lose eyes, limbs and squeakers with her near surgical precision. So I chose to offer synthetic Nylabone style bones to deal with her chewing drive. Nikki loves the flavors and happily chews away for long periods of time. When the bone looks damaged, I throw it away. It seemed like the perfect solution for a vigorous chewer.

Discovering Her Broken Tooth
While brushing Nikki's teeth, I noted a fracture of her upper fourth premolar tooth. This is the largest cheek tooth on a dog or cat's upper jaw, which serves to chew and grind food. The outer layer of the tooth was sheared off, just like a shelf of ice cracking off an iceberg. This type of fracture is common from dogs chewing on an object harder than tooth enamel. Common culprits for this type of tooth damage include antler chews, Nylabones, real bones or ice.

What to Do With Broken Teeth?
Not all tooth fractures are created equal. An uncomplicated tooth fracture is one in which only the enamel is broken. The tooth is vulnerable to further injury but is not immediately causing the pet pain. A complicated fracture is one in which the break extends beyond the enamel into the pulp chamber.

The pulp of a tooth is the inner layer where the nerve and blood supply runs. Exposure of the pulp not only causes pain, but serves as direct pathway for oral bacteria to cause a tooth abscess or spread through the bloodstream.

How to Treat a Tooth Fracture?
A complicated tooth fracture requires either a root canal or surgical extraction. Leaving a complicated tooth fracture untreated is NOT an option. These teeth hurt and shouldn't be ignored. Pets won't whine or cry out in pain with broken teeth, but rather suffer in silence. But after a diseased tooth is addressed, owners commonly note their pet's overall activity and attitude improve.

Dog TeethThe preferred treatment for a complicated tooth fractures is a root canal. During a root canal the contents of the pulp are removed, filled in, and the tooth is sealed. After the root canal therapy the tooth is still functional for normal chewing activities.

If a root canal cannot be pursued, then the tooth should be surgically extracted. This removes the source of pain and potential infection. However, surgical removal of broken teeth may affect the pet's ability to chew on that side in the future.

Uncomplicated tooth fractures aren't treated as above, but rather may need outward support of the area with bonding restoration.

My Dog's Dentist Visit
Dental cleanings and extractions are a daily service at most veterinary practices, but root canals and tooth restorations aren't commonly available at general practices. I knew I could pull Nikki's tooth, but to save this tooth in my young dog, I'd need to see a veterinary dental specialist.

Nikki and I arrived at Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists where she was evaluated by Dr. Chris Visor who determined that she had an uncomplicated fracture of her premolar and small uncomplicated breaks on two molars.

Her premolar fracture was limited to the enamel, luckily sparing pulp damage, which means she wasn't in pain. But the damaged tooth would be at risk for further injury, so she was fitted for a restoration with a metallic crown (porcelain isn't durable in pets so it's not commonly used). The two other broken teeth had minor damage, so the rough edges were drilled smooth and the tooth surface bonded.

Lesson Learned
After her crown placement, Nikki can't chew on hard chew bones like before. If she did, it could risk damage to her crown as well as her other teeth. Veterinary dentists warn dog owners to try this test of your dog's chew item - if you whack your knee with your dog's chew item and it hurts you, it'll likely break her teeth.

Now I can only imagine scores of dog owners going to their doctors with knee pain….

Take Away Tips: Can You Detect Your Pet's Broken Tooth? Most broken teeth are detected during a physical exam by your veterinarian, but some observant pet owners may discover clues to their pet's broken tooth.

1. No complaining. Don't expect your pet to cry or whine. People complain loudly when a tooth hurts, but pets just don't verbalize dental pain.
2. Uneven tartar accumulation. Due to tooth pain, the pet chews on one side more, the "good side." Tartar builds up more on the "bad side."
3. Dark spot on tooth. Enamel is evenly white, but darker or grey spots could indicate exposed pulp or dentin at the site of a fracture.
4. Draining wound present below the eye. A broken upper premolar or molar with an infected root can cause a draining wound under the eye.

If you notice any of these signs, get your dog to a veterinarian right away.

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."

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearDevice Would Translate Your Cat's Meows and Dog's Barks to English
How Many Times Have You Wished Your Pets Could Talk? Well, the next best thing could be less than a decade away, according to a report that was co-authored by Futurologist William Higham of Next Big Thing. Higham points to the work being done by a professor of biological sciences at Northern Arizona University, who has spent 30 years studying the behavior of prairie dogs. Her work shows prairie dogs have a sophisticated communication system that has all the aspects of language. And, she's found that they have words for different species of predators and can describe the color of clothes a human is wearing or the coat of coyotes and dogs. So, Higham is convinced that other animals can do the same and is attempting to raise money to develop a cat and dog language translation device. Amazon already sells one device for cats that changes a human voice into meows. However, there is a psychologist at Portsmouth University who works on interactions between humans and dogs and she is less optimistic that we will soon be able to decipher barks, mainly because she does not think that the way a dog 'woofs' can be viewed as a language. She thinks a dog's body language says more. For example, she says a right-sided tail wag is positive, while a wag to the left not so positive.

BudParrot Witnesses Murder
Several months ago there was a story about a pet parrot that witnessed his owner's murder. Now we find out that a woman in Michigan has been convicted of first-degree murder in that case for killing her husband, who was Bud the parrot's pet parent. It turns out that although Bud, an African Gray witnessed the killing, Bud's testimony was not used in court. A state prosecutor tried to use Bud's phrases as evidence in the trial, but a judge dismissed it. After the killing Bud was recorded saying, "Don't 'blanking' shoot," in his dad's voice. The victim's mother says Bud picks up everything and anything that is said, and adds that he's also, "Got the filthiest mouth around."

Garfield Christmas PosterA Garfield Christmas
It's the most wonderful time of the year, especially if you're a fan of Garfield the cat, who will be lighting up the holiday season this year with his Garfield-ness in a musical with some new friends: Nutcracker, Rag Doll, Teddy Bear and Angel who all work together to bring light to Garfield's Christmas. The show opens December 2nd in Illinois, and then travels to Indiana, Mississippi, Florida, New York and New Jersey.

Pet Pampering Apartment Buildings
Pet pampering apartment buildings around the country are on the rise with some awesome amenities being offered. The most popular among them are dog runs, and they're not what you would expect. These are dog runs inside high-rise buildings on some of the higher floors; so there's no need to even go down to street level. Pet parents in these buildings can take advantage of discounts on dog walking, vet and grooming services, attend monthly yappy hours and access pet geared vending machines in lobbies that sell things like organic oatmeal dog shampoo. More than simply being pet-friendly, these buildings treat dogs and cats as valued residents who deserve their own perks. In Chicago, there's a building with a private dog park just for residents. Some buildings advertise that they have visits from doggie-treat food trucks. It's not ALL fun and pets though. Some buildings utilize PooPrints, a company that analyzes the DNA in animal droppings to track down owners who don't clean up after their pet.

Veteran and DogLegislation Would Provide Service Dogs & Insurance to Veterans with PTSD
The PAWS Act also known as Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members Act has been introduced on Capitol Hill by Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis, who is a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve. Believe it or not, the proposed legislation actually has bipartisan support. It will direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out a 5-year pilot program providing service dogs and veterinary health insurance to veterans with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) who were active duty on or after the September 11th attacks. The $10 million pilot program would begin next year if it's passed. In other news on this subject, the Center for the Human Animal Bond at Purdue University will partner with K9s for Warriors, which provides service dogs to veterans with PTSD and other disorders, for a clinical trial to analyze and quantify, the influence service dogs have on the lives of military veterans. Previous studies suggest that people who bond with their dogs have higher levels of the hormone oxytocin sometimes called the 'love' or 'cuddle' hormone because it produces emotional responses that aid in relaxation and trust. The study would also investigate claims by the National Center for PTSD that dogs can encourage veterans to communicate more through commands and training and also help them to spend more time outdoors and meet new people.

Don't Know What To Name Your Pet? Try Using Artificial Intelligence
Pet names are so important and now so creative. An animal rescue in Pennsylvania sought help from Janelle Shane, an artificial intelligence researcher, to name a group of guinea pigs. Shane normally trains artificial neural networks to come up with names for things like paint colors or recipes, but lately she's being recruited to name Guinea pigs. Here's how it works: she puts in a list of 600+ guinea pig names and then the computer trains itself to produce more names like the ones she put in. The computer then forms its own rules about which letters and letter combinations are the most quintessentially guinea pig. So, the chosen names included Spooty, Snofer, Fizzby, Sprinket, Dandy, Mumpkans, Ast-rono and Hally Flope.

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NEWS UPDATE brought to you by Fear Free. "Take the 'pet' out of 'petrified'" and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments.

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