|Animal Radio® April 2012 Audio Newsletter|
Animal Radio® Show #644
Kristin Chenoweth Guests
Don't Call Him Prince
What's Up With Dog TV?
What To Do With Panda Poo
Iron Chef Cat Cora Guests
HBO Cancels Dustin Hoffman Series
There's No Place Like Home
Plastic Surgery For Your Pet
50.96 Billion Spent on Pets in 2011
Freeze Dry Your Pet
Worst Pet Teeth In America
Pet Custody Cases On Rise
Animal Radio® Show #640
He Cloned His Dog!
Elayne Boosler Guests
Cemetery Welcomes Man's Best Friend
Should Groomers Be Licensed?
All of us at Animal Radio® are doing our best to help out. After all, we're all in the same financial boat and don't want the pets to suffer because a medicine's cost is prohibitive. We made a deal with the top pharmacy benefits managers. Here's what we came up with:
- The Animal Radio® Pets & People Drug Discount Card is FREE.
Or, if you would like us to mail you a free card, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Animal Radio Drug Card
Please help spread the word. Your friends will thank you.
Pets do like music, but prefer their own picks
Many pet owners leave their home radios playing all day for the listening pleasure of their dogs and cats. Station choices vary. "We have a very human tendency to project onto our pets and assume that they will like what we like," said Charles Snowdon, an authority on the musical preferences of animals. "People assume that if they like Mozart, their dog will like Mozart. If they like rock music, they say their dog prefers rock."
Against the conventional wisdom that music is a uniquely human phenomenon, ongoing research shows that animals actually do have the capacity for music. But rather than liking classical or rock, Snowdon, an animal psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has discovered that animals march to the beat of a different drum altogether. They enjoy what he calls "species-specific music": tunes specially designed using the pitches, tones and tempos that are familiar to their particular species.
With no pun intended, music is all about scale: Humans like music that falls within our acoustic and vocal range, uses tones we understand, and progresses at a tempo similar to that of our heartbeats. A tune pitched too high or low sounds grating or ungraspable, and music too fast or slow is unrecognizable as such.
To animals, human music falls into that grating, unrecognizable category. With vocal ranges and heart rates very different from ours, they simply aren't wired to enjoy songs that are tailored for our ears. Studies show that animals generally respond to human music with a total lack of interest. With this general rule in mind, Snowdon has worked with cellist and composer David Teie to compose music that is tailored to suit them.
Back in 2009, the researchers composed two songs for tamarins €” monkeys with vocalizations three octaves higher than our own and heart rates twice as fast. The songs sound shrill and unpleasant to us, but they seem to be music to the monkeys' ears. The song modeled on excited monkey tones and a fast tempo made the tamarins visibly agitated and active. By contrast, they calmed down and became unusually social in response to a "tamarin ballad," which incorporated happy monkey tones and a slower tempo.
Snowdon and Teie have moved on to composing music for cats, and studying how they respond to it.
"We have some work-in-progress where we've transposed music and put it in the frequency range for cat vocalizations, and have used their resting heart rate, which is faster than ours," he told Life's Little Mysteries. "We find that cats prefer to listen to the music composed in their frequency range and tempo rather than human music."
On the basis of their results, Teie has started selling cat songs online (at $1.99 per song) through a company called "Music for Cats."
Dogs are tougher nuts to crack, mostly because breeds vary widely in size, vocal range and heart rate. However, large dogs such as Labradors or mastiffs have vocal ranges that are quite similar to those of adult male humans. "So, it is possible that they might be responsive to music in our frequency range. My prediction is that a big dog might be more responsive to human music than a smaller dog such as a Chihuahua," Snowdon said.
Indeed, some dogs do appear to respond emotionally to human music. Research led by Deborah Wells, a psychologist at Queen's University Belfast, shows that dogs can discern between human music of different genres. "Our own research has shown that dogs certainly behave differently in response to different types of music, e.g., showing behaviors more suggestive of relaxation in response to classical music and behaviors more suggestive of agitation in response to heavy metal music," Wells wrote in an email.
Considering the great demand for new ways to please our pets, more progress is likely to be made in the field of animal music. But no matter how well composers perfect their dog, cat and monkey songs, the animals will probably never appreciate their species-specific music quite as much as humans appreciate ours. According to Snowdon, they lack an important musical ability that we possess: relative pitch.
"We can recognize that a sequence of notes is the same whether it's in the key of F or A flat," he said. "I have found that animals have very good absolute pitch, but they don't have relative pitch. They can learn to recognize a sequence of notes, but if you transpose the notes to a different key, so that the sequence uses the same relative notes but the key is different, they can't recognize the relationships between the notes anymore."
One in three women surveyed in a recent groundbreaking New Zealand study reported delaying leaving violent relationships because they feared their pets and other animals would be killed or tortured. Of these, one quarter said their children had witnessed violence against animals.
'Pets as Pawns' was commissioned by the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in partnership with Women's Refuge. It underlines the strong link between animal cruelty and domestic and family violence in New Zealand. The research also showed that 50% of women interviewed had witnessed animal cruelty as part of their experience of domestic violence.
"This research shows the urgent need for RNZSPCA and Women's Refuge to work together to find solutions to make families safer by enabling them to leave violent situations with their animals," says RNZSPCA National Chief Executive Robyn Kippenberger.
"In the past we have had an informal arrangement between some of our regional SPCA's and Women's Refuges, and the feedback we were getting from these collaborations led us to commission this research. The research has confirmed the need for Women's Refuge and the SPCA to work closely together to protect the women and animals who are suffering as a result of domestic violence."
"Our two organisations have agreed that we will develop a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure communication and cooperation at a local level," she said.
The study also found that SPCA staff and police needed to better understand the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Likewise, Refuge workers needed more support when women with animals needed to leave violent relationships. The study also suggests a funding programme should be developed to support animals in temporary accommodation, veterinary expenses and transport to this accommodation.
The research was funded by Lotteries Community Sector Research Fund and took place in 2011. The research included direct interviews with 30 refuge clients who had witnessed or were forced to take part in animal cruelty as part of family violence. SPCA stakeholders were also spoken with.
The latter part of the research involved surveying 203 Women's Refuge clients. Of these 203 women, 111 (55%) stated that animal cruelty was part of their experience of family violence as, at some point, either a family member or their partner had threatened to kill one of their pets, animals and/or farm animals. One third of the respondents also reported actual injury of death of the animal.
As a result, deciding when and how to leave a relationship that included cruelty to animals became more complex. Twenty-eight percent of women reported they would have left their abusive relationship earlier if they had not had a pet or animal. The length of time they stayed ranged from one week to 22 years with an average of two years.
The research also uncovered information about how children witnessed animal cruelty. Of the 159 research participants with children, a quarter reported that their children had witnessed someone in their family injure or kill a pet or animal. The research is available from the websites of the RNZSPCA and Women's Refuge.
"Disturbingly, many of the women reported that partners who had warnings or convictions around physical violence, would deliberately threaten or hurt pets as a way of controlling their family and make it easier to avoid reconviction," says Heather Henare, Chief Executive of Women's Refuge.
"In this way, pets and other animals become part of an arsenal of tricks abusers use to instil fear and control over their family. Some men will threaten to kill family pets if the women leaves, and in some cases women and children have witnessed extreme torture of pets or animals as part of the horror of domestic violence."
"The SPCA is already delivering presentations to intermediate school children throughout New Zealand teaching empathy and empowerment around kindness to animals and each other. But this research reveals that this is not enough to protect women who are attached to their pets from the perpetrators of domestic violence and we need to do more," says Ms Kippenberger.
Points for Women with a pet who is thinking of leaving a violent relationship
1. Violence towards animals is not acceptable, Even if you have pets, don't put off getting help!
2. Please call 0800 REFUGE to be connected to an advocate who will help you with a confidential safety plan for yourself, your children and your pets
3. To find a local refuge advocate you can also look under "W" in the White Pages for the number of your nearest women's refuge
Listen to Animal Radio® LIVE every Saturday at noon eastern and Sundays at 5pm eastern on XM ch. 166 (America's Talk) or on any of the 100 AM-FM radio stations. Call with your questions toll-free 1-866-405-8405 or email yourvoice@AnimalRadio.com
Sammy:I have a 6 yr old dobe, I finally spayed her at 5 yr and doing so made her become incontinence. Why is that? Why is it common in dobes? What can I do to help her?
Dr. Debbie: Ugh! I feel your pain with urine leakage- one of my doggies has his same issue.
Katz: I have a 12 yr old spayed miniature schnauzer just recently has had 2 seizures in 8 hours lasted just a few minutes after all over se returned to being normal anything i can or should do untill i get to my vet? im an over the road truck driver
Dr. Debbie: There can be many causes of seizures in dogs of her age- epilepsy is always possible, but other health issues like low blood sugar, primary brain disease, brain tumors, toxins, and even liver problems can cause seizures.
Debbie: I'm wondering if you can advise me on how to treat my dog's dry nose. He is a 7 year-old Boxer. He is in good health and there are no sores or redness on his nose. It is just very dry. I have used Vaseline and Neosporin but neither seems to do the trick.
Dr. Debbie: Hi Debbie! Well, yes I do see alot of Boxers with dry crusty noses. Possible causes can include bacterial or fungal infections, immune disease, hypothyroidism, allergies....but the most common cause is termed Idiopathic Nasal Hyperkeratosis, which means "we don't know why it happens, but it is very common in the breed!"
Linda: I am a listener to the Show and have even called in last year with a question. I would like to consult you on an issue regarding my dog, Daisy. She is a 15 year-old Chihuahua Mix, 10 lbs. She looks great for her age and loves to be close to her Mom and Dad. We take her on road trips with us. Photo is below.
Issue: Elevated BUN in Blood Chemistry Results:
Since 2010, in Daisy's Blood Chemistry Results, her BUN has been elevated - it was at 40 in 2009, then up to 51 a year later and stayed at 51 t in the recent labwork done March 15th. I am testing her every 6 months since 2011.
Daisy has no symtoms of any sort exceptfor periodontal issues - moderate to bad.
My vet feels it is a good idea to put her on Acid reducing regiment for a few weeks, using Pepsid - 1/4 tablet and Carafate liquid to coat her stomach. She feels Daisy can have a small ulcer and it can be the reason for an elevated BUN. I am not convinced to put her on the Carafate as to whether it is necessary as she has no symptoms.
Dr. Debbie: Hi Linda! There are a couple pieces of information that are needed before I can fully comment on Daisy's elevated BUN. It is always important to evaluate the BUN along with creatinine and a urinalysis. Do you have that info?
Richard: We have 2 Jack Russell Terriers, Desi and Lucy, 3 and 1 years old. The problem is they wake up every morning at 4 a.m. or earlier. We've changed their feeding times earlier and later, now feeding them at 3:30 p.m. to no avail. Taking them out later at 11 p.m. I know they are very active dogs and probably do not get enough excercise during the day. Is there a solution to this problem?
Vladae: You are absolutely correct. Your dogs do not have enough exercise. I would suggest to do physical exercise, like fetching the ball in the back yard, and mental exercise like walking on the loose leash as well.
Please see the link below.
I also would recommend to do control exercises like sit, stay and also place command.
Feed your dog in the evening and focus on protein type of food rather than carb. Finally, I would make them sleep in 2 separate crates (side by side) and if they wake up and start to make noises in the crate, I would use the air spray device called The Pet Convincer to stop them; http://www.petconvincer.com/
You have the right to sleep up without interruption!
Tricia: About a month ago I lost my HIV positive, 17 year old Main Coon cat to cancer; he was a rescue and HIV positive when I adopted him. I'm considering getting another cat and this time, thinking of a kitten...I haven't raised a kitten ever and I'm wondering what I'm getting myself into and also, since I'm gone 9 hours a day or so if it's even fair for me to bring a kitten into my home.
Vladae: Sorry to hear of your loss. You clearly provided excellent care for your cat- 17 years is an amazing lifespan for a cat with FIV.
You raise a great question for the many pet lovers that have work commitments. Just because you have a long workday- it doesn't mean you shouldn't have a kitten. But the bigger question is how much time do you have outside of work hours to offer a kitten?
Kittens have abundant energy and will require a fair amount of playtime and attention from you. You can expect needing to schedule playtime roughly three times during the day- before work, after work, and before bedtime€¦that is if you want to sleep at night!
The other question to consider is how cat-friendly is your Basset Hound. Does she want to chase outdoor cats or wildlife? I'm assuming she is cat- tolerant since you have had a cat previously. Just keep in mind that kittens move on fast-forward speed and can provoke some dogs.
The other consideration for you is what your plans will be in the long run. Will you continue to take the dog to daycare and leave the cat home alone? Any indoor cat can get bored and develop behavioral issues as a result. Check out the following website for tips on providing for the mentally and physical well- being of cats. The Indoor Pet Initiative website can be found at http://indoorpet.osu.edu/index.cfm. Check out the "Resources" tab for the topic of Home Alone Cats.
Let me know if you decide on adding that kitten€¦there is much more to discuss about how to best introduce a new kitten to an existing dog in the home!
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