Your Pet's Carbon Paw Print
Ed Begley, Jr.
Actor, author and pioneering environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. has been a longstanding advocate for environmental issues. Ed has led the Green Movement for many years, both as a personal example of sustainable lifestyle practices and a vocal spokesperson towards a more Earth-responsible society. He believes that even the simplest changes in personal habits, multiplied by a growing populace of concerned humans, can create a lasting effect on the health of our planet and of all living things.
Ed believes there are things that we can all do to protect the earth and ourselves. He thinks we should start with our cleaning products, which are usually quite toxic. Get rid of them and use non-toxic alternatives. Think about when you use chemicals on your carpet. Your pet will roll around on the carpet and get a big dose of chemicals, which is a lot for their small body weight. Ed has created some environmental friendly cleaning products for you to use in your own home. He has created everything from an all-purpose cleaner to a carpet spot remover. And if you're tight on money, you can always use vinegar and water to clean and even baking soda. Being green saves the planet, but it can also save you "green" when it comes to spending money.
But don't stop there. What about the air filters in your home? Pet hair can clog your air or heating units, forcing them to work harder and thereby costing you more money in electricity. Make sure you change your filters regularly. Another thing you should check on a regular basis is your refrigerator. Hair and dust can collect on the coils and compressor, also making it work harder to keep things cool.
Ed doesn't just talk to the talk. When he travels in his hometown of Los Angeles, he always takes his bus pass with him. When he is in New York, he has his City Metro Pass and his CTA Pass. You will always find him riding the local bus system, but never a cab!
Ed started driving an electric car in 1970. He is exaggerating when he stares it was a "car," and that it was more like a golf cart with a windshield wiper and a horn. He states that electric cars are much cheaper to maintain, because there are no tune-ups, no oil change, no fan belts, no radiator flushes, no valve checks or smog checks, and of course no gasoline! Overall, a very cheap car to drive.
Black Widow Spiders Poisonous to Pets - Dr. Debbie
Pet Threats Come in All Sizes
Our doggie family ambled along on our typical morning walk along the community trail. With a family of two Labradors and a Yorkie mix, my crew is always up for fun and they investigate anything and everything.
Sometimes it's a crunchy cockroach snack or the fortunate edible remnant in a discarded candy wrapper. My dogs enjoy the "date game" where they snatch up shriveled fruit fallen from date palms, crunching away before the mom and dad notice. And sometimes it's a half-hearted game of chase with an unsuspecting rabbit. A more gut wrenching episode once involved my Labrador ingesting a rat with tail slipping down his gullet like a piece of spaghetti. My furry kids are professional trouble finders so I try to keep a watchful eye for things that make them go "Oooh," and make me go "Ugh!"
Female Black Widow Spider
While walking along the pedestrian pathway we came upon today's discovery - spiders and lots of them living in the recesses of a block wall. The hairs on my arm stood up as my Yorkie mix approached their lair. I recognize what these spiders are and what could happen to a 16-pound pup.
The long legged spiders were over 1 1/2" in length, black in color with a distinctive orange hourglass mark on its underbelly. Meet the black widow spider, a common arachnid found in every state in the U.S. except Alaska.
The Black Widow Bite
Black widow spiders contain a potent neurotoxin that causes pain, swelling and can lead paralysis. Female black widows are the dangerous ones, while the males rarely ever bite. While some black widow bites go unnoticed, others cause immediate pain at the site or result in pain at the nearest lymph node. Pain intensity reaches its maximum within 1 to 3 hours after the bite, but can last up to 48 hours.
Symptoms of a black widow bite appear within 8 hours after bite an include muscle twitching, restlessness, rigid abdomen and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may result in high blood pressure, a racing heart rate, seizures and collapse. Dogs are more resistant to a black widow bite, but still can suffer serious illness. Cats are very sensitive to the toxins and can suffer fatalities.
Symptoms of black widow bite include:
- Pain and numbness around bite site
- Racing heart rate
- Muscle pain and stiffness, especially abdominal muscles
- Difficulty breathing
Treatment for Black Widow Spider Bite
Call your veterinarian if you suspect your pet was bitten by a black widow. Initial home emergency care of a black widow bite may include ice packing bite area and oral antihistamines like Benadryl. Your veterinarian will need to see your pet to evaluate and treat the more serious symptoms. Treatment may include medications to control muscle spasms and seizures. Blood pressure and blood sugar are monitored and intravenous fluids may be administered. An antivenin is available for more serious confirmed cases of black widow bite.
Avoidance of spider habitats is the best prevention. These eight-legged critters favor dark recesses both indoors and outdoors. Look for cobwebs with a distinctive funnel-shaped opening at the top. And keep a close eye on your dog when out exploring. Inquire about spider control methods with your pest control company.
With pet noses so close to web level, the risk of black widow bites is just natural to being a dog. Our morning spider encounter ended without any drama, thankfully. After one firm "No!" my doggies retreated to unearth some other lucky find. Here's to hoping it doesn't involve any rats or bugs next time.
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.
Animal Radio News - Stacey Cohen
Dog Scouts of America
They've got badges and campouts, cookie drives and troops in many states. The Dog Scouts of America, founded by Lonnie Olson, even has a motto or two as the half-human, half-hound organization goes about the business of doing good deeds. One of the first badges was for Jasper, a 3-year-old collie-lab mix, and was disaster preparedness. After all, he lived with his owners just southeast of San Francisco, where you have to be aware of earthquakes and other natural disasters. Jasper and his humans belonged to Troop 198 in Santa Clara. Dogs are not required to earn badges beyond the first one, for basic obedience and appropriately called the Dog Scout Badge. The Scouts have two mottos. For humans: "Our dogs' lives are much shorter than our own. We should help them enjoy their time with us as much as we can." For dogs: "Let us learn new things that we become more helpful." Both serve as inspiration for the group's grossest badge: "Clean Up America." It consists of picking up piles left behind by other dogs on trails, parks and beaches.
No Rain, No Hail and No Vomit!
A Seattle resident left little doubt that he's a huge golf fan. The man told sports radio station KJR that he made his dog throw up after discovering that the animal had eaten his tickets to a Masters tournament. He returned home one day to discover that his pet pooch had snacked on all four of his tickets. Rather than call off his trip, he fed the dog Hydrogen peroxide, which is safe for animals and then dug out the pieces of the tickets from the dog's vomit. He then contacted the Masters and provided photographic proof of his destroyed tickets in an attempt to get new passes. They obliged. As a result, he got to enjoy his trip!
Benefits Of Pets At Work
A study supports the stress-reducing benefits of bringing your pooch to work - to play with, look at and pet while working. According to a Virginia Commonwealth University Study, having a dog at work not only reduces the owners' stress level but also increased the level of job satisfaction for other employees as well. The study was published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management. "Dogs in the workplace can make a positive difference," said head researcher Randolph T. Barker. "The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms." According to The Humane Society of the United States, there are numerous benefits to having dogs at work, including improved staff morale, worker productivity, and camaraderie among employees.
Canine Fender Bender
Parking lot fender benders might not be that uncommon, but parking lot fender benders caused by a trio of canines are a different matter. According to insurance reports by the AlfaStrakhovanie Group, an unnamed woman returned from a shopping trip at the mall to discover her car had been hit by a vehicle that was apparently driven by three dogs. She later learned that the owner of the car had left it running with the animals inside and they somehow managed to put it in gear. The woman took pictures of the accident, and explained that she never thought anyone would believe the story if there wasn't evidence. The insurance company, fortunately, said the incident had been recognized as a legitimate insurance event.
Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1196)