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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio for November 24, 2018  

Dr. Joe Wakshlag

Dr. Joe WakshlagYou've probably heard about CBD, or Cannabidiol, a cannabis compound boasting significant medical benefits. Research on the safety and efficacy in pets is still in its early stages according to Dr. Joe Wakshlag. He'll help us parse out all the claims and navigate the double-talk.

These days, you don't have to go very far to find CBD. That's the new big thing now, especially since marijuana has become legalized in many states throughout this last election. You'll be happy to know that some research has been started at Cornell University Veterinary School regarding the benefits of CBD for pets.

Dr. Joe Wakshlag, DVM and PhD, Associate Professor, Sections of Clinical Nutrition and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine explains just what CBD does and how it helps our pets.

First of all, CBD stands for cannabidiol; a compound found in marijuana plants that relieves pain and anxiety. CBD also has some anti-inflammatory properties, which can help our pets get relief.

CBD is actually considered illegal and no one is being allowed to do research except for Colorado State at this time.
The small study that they did actually showed that dogs were a bit more comfortable and their owners were very satisfied with the response. Overall, their veterinary assessments showed improved pain responses as well.

Currently, there are no known side effects. However, they have seen some mild increase in liver enzymes. One enzyme is called alkaline phosphatase, which is a pretty nondescript enzyme that goes up with a lot different medications potentially.

Is the price of CBD similar to other anti-inflammatories? Dr. Wakshlag says that that is the real conundrum. You can pay basically between a dollar for a dose or up to three or four dollars a dose, hypothetically. Right now, he thinks the dose is about two milligrams per kilogram of body weight based on their study. However, he's sure they'll find more out as Colorado State finishes their studies.
Many companies are jumping on the bandwagon and making treats for pets containing CBD. Dr. Wakshlag explains that we really don't know which ones are good and which ones are bad. They do have some of the evidence from studies done at Cornell initially and then over at Colorado State. Some companies gave them oil, so they know what it is and it was fairly consistent. However, since companies making these treats are a dime a dozen, they have no idea what they really contain.

Dr. Wakshlag tells us that someone just looked at 14 products in a laboratory and came across very insignificant amounts of CBD to what he knows can be in a product, which is what he found in the products he uses, which is ElleVet Science' product.

ElleVet Cannabidiol for PetsIs it safe to say that the normal person might not notice if one of these things is working on their pet, because our pet can't tell us if they are feeling much better? Does this make it easier for these companies to go after the pet market because people can't really prove whether it's working or not?

Dr. Wakshlag thinks there's enough evidence using various pain scores and various activity indices that have been validated for owner use. This is what they used in their study. It has been shown that dogs can jump on beds again and sometimes they will start playing with other dogs. Is that a pain response? Are they just feeling better overall? It's hard to really assess, but they've really kind of used what they call the validated scoring systems for pain and/or activity and it's shown improvements. So that's about as good as they've got.

According to Dr. Debbie, what they have done is taken it from a level of just someone just buying it on the Internet and saying, "I think my dog's better on it." They're trying to get away from that and have some kind of way to compare patient one, two or three down the road and say is this really something measurable we can report back to pet owners, rather than just say, "Oh yeah, try it, I bought it online and it works."

So what if you want to try this because you have an animal that might be in some paid. Is it too early really to start using this stuff? Do we need more research?

We certainly need more research, according to Dr. Wakshlag, particularly since it has indications for potentially seizures, anti-nausea, quality of life parameters, etc. So yeah, we need to do the research. Unfortunately the DEA has folks running scared about using it. So until the DEA actually comes around and says we can start using it, it is not allowed. There are a whole bunch of logistical things that are going on now between CBD being classified as a schedule five drug, which means anybody can use it anywhere, anytime. However, the DEA has put stipulations on where it can come from and whether the FDA's approved it. The farm bill is a whole different thing, which in essence supersedes anything that the DEA is talking about right now. Dr. Wakshlag thinks we will see this open up as the Farm Bill gets passed and people are less scared of what the DEA may or may not say because of the national growth regulations that will be allowable.

We need more research for sure, but he thinks it's going to be a couple of years before we see it, according to Dr. Wakshlag.

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Goat Momma
Leanne Lauricella, 'Peace, Love, Goats of Anarchy'

Leanne Lauricella with GoatLeanne Lauricella gave up her NYC corporate job, traded in her Mercedes for a pickup truck, and decided to care for handicapped goats. She'll never look back! She says it was the best decision ever. She has taken-it-up a level by integrating her love for goats throughout social media. Leanne has even published 6 books.

Leanne is now the proud guardian of many goats, including 'Polly,' the goat that wears a duck costume. Polly's viral video has people up in arms asking why she's dressing her goat in a duck costume.

Years ago Leanne Lauricella was an Event Planner in New York City doing corporate events. After living in the city for some time and after getting married, Leanne decided that this isn't what life was supposed to be for her. She wanted something different and something more.

Leanne is originally from Houston, Texas, so she was in no way a 'farm girl' and didn't grow up near any farms. However, in New Jersey there are many beautiful farms. As Leanne started to drive by them and saw pastures of little goats, she felt she had to have some.

She ended up buying a couple of baby goats, Jax and Opie, and fell in love with them. Then two goats turned into five goats. She eventually told her husband that she couldn't do both the goats and work in the city, so she had to make a choice. She hated her life and decided that the city had to go and from now on it would be the goats. She then took a leap of faith and quit her job. This was frightening, as she had never 'not' had a job before.

Starting off, Leanne created an Instagram account and called it "Goats of Anarchy," because she wanted to share how silly and funny her goats were with her family and friends. On her very first day of unemployment, Instagram featured one of her photos on their home page and she received 30,000 hits. The photo was of Polly. Polly is a blind goat and she would wear a duck costume that would keep her calm, which went viral. Leanne took this as a sign that she was on the right track and that she was supposed to do something with animals. It has since grown from there and she now has about half a million followers.

Goat Polly in Duck CostumeThis has helped Leanne promote what she is doing. Currently she has six books now and four of them are children's books. One of them is a book she just wrote called, "Peace, Love, Goats of Anarchy. She also has calendars and all kinds of stuff. These all help fund what she does. She's a special needs goat rescue. She specializes in goats that have lost limbs, mostly due to frostbite. However, some are as the result of injuries so their limbs have been amputated and some of them are even birth defects. She gets some of these goats wheelchairs, as well as little carts to get around. She also works with Bionic Pets to fabricate prosthetic limbs for them. She tells us that she has almost 30 goats who are in some sort of a prosthetic or wheelchair cart. She calls them her "Robo Goats." Altogether she now has about 85 goats.

Leanne explains that her goats really are just so inspiring. While she has had a lot of sad heartbreaking times, she's also had a lot of really happy and proud moments just watching them overcome obstacles. The thing about these little goats is they never give up. They're the strongest little animals she has ever seen. They don't know that they are different. A lot of them are handicapped and have special needs, but they just go with it and they still live life to the fullest. She thinks that the way that they look at life can teach a lot of us to do the same.

Leanne said she didn't know anything about goats and learned by doing. It started when she got two goats and then three more. Next, the Instagram thing happened and someone who was following her sent her a message about two little twin goats with birth defects. So, she said, "Why not?" They turned out to be her first special needs goats. Next, someone else saw that she was successful in dealing with special needs goats and asked her if she would take another one that had frostbite. This just kept happening. Leanne had never had any intention of doing special needs goats. She also never intended on being a rescue. But after she kept taking in these special needs goats, she thought she would just go for it and set up an actual sanctuary. She says it all happened very naturally, very organically and she just learned along the way.

Peace, Love, Goats of Anarchy Book CoverThere are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have given up their job to rescue animals. Most of them don't have social media and books to help them. It's a tough time for them. However, Leanne explains that she has a little bit of marketing background. She knew a little bit about how to build a social media following, which is very important obviously for support. She explains that social media is everything. Those are the people who you engage with and fall in love with your animals. They want to see your animals succeed and they want to see you succeed, so they support your mission.

Peace, Love, Goats of Anarchy is Leanne's sixth book. Her first book was a photo book that told little stories about each of her goats at the time. Next she did a children's book series with four kid's books that tell cute little stories. One of these books was Polly in her duck costume including some little life lessons for kids. Then there was The Goats of Anarchy, which is more about how she got started and built her sanctuary.

Leanne also welcomes visitors out to her farm every Saturday. They're not open to the public, but they do allow people to come and volunteer every Saturday. They can sign up with her volunteer coordinator. She wants people to come out and be able to meet the goats. She tells us one of the things that people always say is that they can't believe that they're just like dogs. They have individual personalities. They want affection. They want attention. They want to be hugged and loved. Leanne says everyone should go meet a goat!

Peace, Love, Goats of Anarchy

Black Widow Spiders Poisonous to Pets -Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhitePet 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:

Black Widow Spider- Pain and numbness around bite site
- Anxiety
- Racing heart rate
- Muscle pain and stiffness, especially abdominal muscles
- Difficulty breathing
- Paralysis
- Seizures

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.

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Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

"The worst thing you can do when your dog has been sprayed by a skunk is to use tomato juice." That's according to Animal Radio's very own "Dogfather" Joey Villani. Besides not being effective, it's also pretty messy. But fear not! Joey has the perfect recipe of household products to fix this smelly problem.

Right now it seems to be Skunk Season, as they are out in full force. So it's no surprise that a lot of dogs are being sprayed.

Joey tells us that instead of calling him right away, people usually try to do their own home remedies. I'm sure you've heard the old wives tale of using tomato juice as acids from the tomatoes are supposed to neutralize the odor. However, it doesn't work and it makes a mess. Just think if you have a big dog that doesn't want to get a tomato juice bath. You can't control them and they run through the house covered in tomato juice, spreading it everywhere. So not only do you have a dog and a house that smells like skunk, but you have to then clean up stains from the tomato juice.

Joey says that he always has different remedies and searches to find the best one. He explains that when a skunk sprays, it's mainly scented oil. So what happens when you go right to just putting water on the pet trying to rinse it off? It actually sets in the oils and the scent will remain a lot longer. Water makes it worse.

What you want to do is to break it down first. What Joey has found over the past few months that actually works better is, if you're doing it at home, fill your tub up with tepid water. This is water that's comfortable for you to take a nice warm bath. Then you want to add about a half of cup of your favorite pet shampoo and mix it in the water. The put you dog in there and have them sit down. Just make sure that there is soapy water in the stub before your dog gets in. The soap will help break down the oils. If not, plain water will set the smell in, making it almost impossible to remove. Next, you're going to use a cup to wash the solution over your pet or you cane even use a sponge to soak your pet with the soapy water.

Dog with SkunkBut before you do this, you need to make up another solution. Take a half a quart of hydrogen peroxide, an eighth cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of dishwashing soap. You can use any kind of dishwashing soap. Then mix it all together on your wet soapy dog that is already in the tub. You want to apply this mixture all over your dog, just don't get it in their eyes. Work it in really good to where it gets real sudsy. Then let the solution sit on your dog for about five minutes and rinse it off. If there are still smelly areas on your pet, go ahead and just repeat the process all over again.

If you do this right, you're going to remove most of the smell. Joey states that he has never seen anything take away 100 -percent of the smell, but you can reduce it up to 75 to 90-percent, which makes it tolerable.

Unfortunately a big problem regarding encounters of dogs and skunks is that a dog usually approaches a skink face first, so they get shot right in the mouth. There's not too much you can do at that point. Do not use the solution in their mouth. Unfortunately they will have bad breath for a while.

Joey tells us that skunks are nocturnal, so groomers usually get the dog the next morning when people have tried to deal with it at home and have made a mess of things. So again, if you are going to do it at home, soak your dog in soapy water first.

Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearGet More Animals on Instagram
Do you spend hours watching cats meow, pounce and pose on social media, liking and commenting on every photo? Whatever your favorite pet is, here is how to get more of them on your Instagram feed. Like all social media companies, Instagram wants users to return to its app and consume its content. Instagram knows all of your interests by keeping track of your behavioral history. It knows every like you make, every account you follow and every post you comment on. Using that information, and taking the three factors, which include interest, recency and relationship into consideration, Instagram chooses the content that will appear on top of your feed. To show social media companies you love seeing pets on your feed, engage with pet-related content. Like and comment on every cat or dog photo and video that appears on your screen. Instagram will note your behavior as a show of interest. Because interest equals more time spent on the app, Instagram will show more cat posts on top of your feed. Now, flip this around. Are you the one posting the pics of your pets? On Instagram, use the Instagram analytics tool so you can determine who your followers are, what content they like and when they are most often online.

Selfies with PetsSelfies Include Pets
Pet owners in the UK are being asked if, and why, they include their cat or dog in selfies posted to social media, as part of new research into our relationships with our pets. Dr. Lori Kogan, of Colorado State University, said the US study suggested 50-percent of pet owners had their pet as their feature photo on their devices and that behavior offers insights into the close bonds between people and cats and dogs in America. Now, the scientists are looking to see if this trend is similar in the UK to better understand the people/pet bond. There is estimated to be more than nine million dogs and eight million cats that are pets in the UK. In the US, there are many more pets with an estimated 70 million dogs and 74 million pet cats.

Florida To End Greyhound Racing
Florida voters approved Amendment 13 in midterm balloting, which will end live greyhound racing in the state by 2021. The vote was 69-percent for shutting down greyhound racing compared to 31-percent for keeping it. It's big news for the rescues that will now need your help, because the amendment did not address what to do with the approximately 7,000 soon-to-be retired greyhounds. This leaves local rescues to pick up the slack. Groups are said to be mobilizing now in other states to help. So if you're considering adding a new dog to your family in the future, check out a greyhound.

Ignoring Dog While on PhonePut Your Phone Down and Stop Ignoring Your Pet
New data from USC's Annenberg Center shows that on average Americans spend nearly 24 hours per week online. Sadly, according to some new research, this is not a good thing for our pets. A new study has come out and started conversations around how pets may get anxious and even depressed when we spend too much time on our smartphones. Actually, the study was mainly about the positive effects pets have on people suffering from mental illness, but somehow the conversation shifted to how when we spend time on our phones and devices instead of engaging with our pets, we're essentially ignoring them, which can make them feel lonely and isolated. Several animal professionals have come out saying that this is actually a real problem. One veterinary surgeon said, "To understand what's going on, we have to look at the basic principles of how a dog interacts physically and emotionally with a human. A dog is a social creature, a pack animal. And to the dog, you are the bona fide leader of the pack. But if you're perpetually attached to your phone, that vital bond breaks down." And he adds, those hours we spend ignoring our pets add up and can lead to behavioral issues.

Having Trouble Sealing Pet Food Bags?
There is now a huge gigantic clip for pet food bags. It's not going to keep the bag fresh forever, but will at least keep a stray cat on the counter from digging in it. It re-seals large bags of pet food with a carry handle. It also helps you control when you pour out the content if you clip it on an angle to create a pour spout. It's called the The Handy Camel Clip and might be a good stocking stuffer. It's only $21 for 2 of them on Amazon and it has 3.5 out of 5 stars.

KatfishChicken-Nugget Eating Alligator Evicted From Home
Authorities in Kansas City, Missouri, discovered an unexpected occupant when they went to evict a man from his grandmother's home. (The grandmother is now in a nursing home.) Inside the home, police found the man they were looking to evict along with three snakes, a rabbit named Dinner and a 7-foot, 200-lb. alligator all inside the home. Animal Control was called in to remove the gator. They probably don't get many alligator calls in Missouri. The grandson said the gator was only 15-inches long four years ago and grew bigger over time on a steady diet of chicken nuggets, steak, deer and fish. Believe it or not, officers said the alligator was like a dog that didn't know he was really an alligator. The grandson was interviewed later and added the alligator is afraid of the dark and thunderstorms. For now, the alligator, who allegedly loves sitting on laps, is being kept at a wildlife rescue center which is home to several other illegal pet alligators that got too big for their owners.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#990)

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