|Animal Radio® January 2011 Newsletter|
Lessons From Stanley
When is it Time?
Aflotoxin Spurs Another Recall
Winter and Your Pet's Coat
Training the Un-trainable
Experimenting With Shelter Animals
Michael Vick Dog Owner?
Medical Marijuana Not Just For Humans Anymore!
Also on this special show: Rae Ann Kumelos, Peter Gethers, Britt Savage, Vinnie Penn, Trixie Koontz and Jingle Fish!
Putting a Limit On Dogs in Parks
We've all lost two great talents this year. Both Rue McClanahan and Leslie Nielsen spent time visiting Animal Radio® and we're looking and listening back. Leslie's favorite pet was his 'whoopie-cusion' - he said it was "low-maintenance." Both of these comedians gave to our furry-friends - and while they'll be missed, their humor will live on forever.
Some pets ate multiple unusual items, such as the one that ingested an estrogen patch and a make-up brush.
Socks, hand towels, sticks and rocks were among the more common foreign objects found in dogs and cats during the year, according to the Brea, Calif.-based company.
Collectively, VPI policyholders spent almost $3 million treating pets that ingested such foreign objects.
VPI's 60 most unusual ingested objects, in random order, are:
VPI noted that all pets made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.
Dog Gives Birth To 17 Puppies
Owner Ramona Wegemann said Monday she barely slept for more than a couple of minutes without interruption during about four weeks in an "exhausting" struggle to make sure all of the purebred Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies would survive.
She said when she was "finished feeding the last puppy, the first was hungry again."
Wegemann's dog Etana gave birth to eight female and nine male puppies on Sept. 28 in Ebereschenhof, which is near Berlin.
At least five times a day, Wegemann gave the dogs a bottle with special milk because their mother's nipples could have never coped with the demand, and when the puppies were not hungry, they wanted to be entertained, she said.
Wegemann said when dogs give birth to so many puppies several of them die within the first week. "But all of our puppies survived. This is incredible and wonderful," the 32-year-old added.
It was the second time that Etana gave birth. She gave birth to eight puppies in her first pregnancy, not uncommon for the dog's breed, Wegemann said.
"The birth of the puppies was very special. All puppies were born naturally, no cesarean was necessary," she added. It took Etana a full 26 hours to give birth to all of the puppies €” and Wegemann was as baffled as amazed.
But caring for 17 puppies turned out to be a full-time job: Wegemann put her work as an independent animal psychiatrist on a hold and her husband took as much vacation as he could.
Their lives have been turned upside down by the puppies, and their living room is now occupied by a giant box that houses the puppies.
But even Wegemann still struggles to recognize them: The females puppies are called Bahati, Binta, Bahya, Bashima, Batouuli, Binki, Bora, Bisa and the male ones are Baakir, Banjoku, Belay, Bruk, Bundu, Bayo, Bukekayo, Biton and Bulus.
Wegemann gave them all African names because the Rhodesian Ridgeback is an African hunting dog. Wegeman and her husband now plan to give most of the puppies away.
A price of ?800 ($1,050) per puppy would only cover the expenses for the veterinary, vaccinations, food and the mandatory paperwork, Wegemann said. She hopes to get about ?1,000 ($1,315) per dog, but said they would only give them to families with children, not breeders.
Four of the puppies have been sold, two more are already paid for and will leave their siblings shortly.
Michael Vick Debate Renewed
The convicted dogfighting ring operator told the news site TheGrio.com that he genuinely cares about animals and would like to have one for a pet again.
"I think it would be a big step for me in the rehabilitation process," he said.
Vick has made similar statements before, but this time it seemed to have grabbed the world's attention. For example, the gambling website Bodog.com is offering bets on what breed of dog Vick might own in the next two years.
Vick served 18 months in prison after being convicted in 2007. A federal judge also sentenced him to three years probation, ending in May 2012. One of the terms: He could not own dogs during that time.
Since Vick was released from prison, he's become a touchstone for a deep debate: Can people who do bad things be redeemed?
"I really mean what I say. I don't have a problem. I'm not a psychopath. I'm not crazy. I'm a human being," Vick told The Associated Press on Thursday. "What happened in my past and what I did in the culture I grew up in doesn't shape and mold me as the person I am now. I said it before that I wish I can own a dog and I'll continue to say it. I'm not allowed to, but I'm just saying I wish I could because my kids ask me every day. It's more so for them than for me."
When he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles last year, criticism seemed to outweigh cheers. But now that he's again a top NFL player and has spent time speaking with at-risk kids, he's gained a bigger following of fans.
Ray Morales, of Philadelphia, said that Vick has worked to turn his life around and deserves a second chance.
"They're just trying to scrutinize him way too much because of his popularity," he said. "It's hard for people to believe that someone can turn their life around, but they can."
Morales said in his home state of Florida, a friend stopped participating in dogfighting after hearing Vick talk about why it was wrong.
"He's been doing a lot to educate people about dogfighting," ''He knows he's done something wrong, people just really need to get past it and stop casting stones."
Erik Brown, a 25-year-old student from Chicago, also defended Vick online.
"I'm sure he'd be one of the most-watched dog owners on the planet, so I highly doubt he could participate in the activities that landed him in this mess in the first place," he told the AP in an e-mail interview.
Vick's comments, however, brought out plenty of critics. Many took to Twitter to lambaste the quarterback with tweets like, "Michael Vick says he'd like to own a dog someday. I'd like to own a brewery too but it's probably not a good idea."
Jane Dollinger, spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said Vick should be banned from owning dogs for life.
Meanwhile, Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle said it's too early for Vick to have a dog, but says it could be appropriate after his probation ends.
"There may be some who would forever deny Michael Vick the opportunity to have a pet. I understand that sentiment. But there is a larger principle at stake here," he said in a statement. "We at The HSUS are about the business of change €” personal and societal change."
Since his release from prison, Vick has worked with the group and makes school appearances to talk to students about his past.
Vick told TheGrio.com he's doing that work because he wants to.
"The court doesn't make it an obligation for me to go out and speak," Vick said. "It doesn't make it an obligation for me to work with the Humane Society. I'm putting in the hard work to do it so it's not for any personal benefit, it's to help others."
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Sherry: I have a 12 month old female parti (mostly white) female Boxer. She is in her first "real heat" and has developed a red rash with hair loss also. The rash was diagnosed as red mange and dips prescribed. I am against the dips as they are toxic and from my understanding this type of mange is an immune disorder. My vet is not a Fan of holistic treatment. It is also worth mentioning that the rash seems to worsen when she is goes out into our backyard. She loves to rut in the bushes and we live in SC where poison oak and sumac thrive. Have restricted her to lease walks and rash looks less red with out new pimple outbreaks. Lost as to what to do next and hoping you can provide help. Would hate to put her through dips if it is not mange (negative skins scraps) and environmental/immune disorder. Thanks so much!
Doctor Debbie: One important point to clarify regarding your Boxer....is there just a single mange location (localized demodex) or many areas (generalized demodex)?? A localized case of demodectic mites does not warrant full body dipping, but a generalized one does. I too share your concern with use of pesticides if not needed. However, if your dog has generalized mange then I definitely advise starting treatment for the mites. You are correct that some pet's immune system is better able to fight off demodex mites, but it is a parasitic disease not an environmental one. My absolute MUST TREAT situations include when a dog has generalized demodex, secondary bacterial infections, or excessive hair loss. I do not advocate holistic therapies in these situations .....I would reserve holistic therapies for the pet with a single localized demodex area.
My typical treatment of generalized mites in a young dog include:
1. Amitraz dips or oral ivermectin therapy. Ask your vet about the oral ivermectin alternative if you're not keen on the dips. Some docs feel this is now one of the best ways to treat the disease.
2. Spay her and do not breed her. This is because Generalized mites are a heritable problem and not desired to be passed to pups. And the hormones of the heat cycle will make it harder for her to recover from the mites!
And certainly before any treatment is started, I'd want to make sure the mites have actually been diagnosed with a test called a skin scraping. If your vet hasn't done this for you STOP and REQUEST this test!
Best Wishes to you and your Boxer!
My Dog 's Diet Mainly Consists of Treats
Valerie: I rescued a 3 year old black lab (Kiah) from the Madera, CA Animal Shelter 5 years ago. She came to me as a very timid lab - prone to destroying things when left alone and also with a terrible fear of men. We have worked through these problems, and with a lot of love and patience she has grown to be a very secure dog and an integral part of my life. Here's the problem, and I'd have to say that I am to blame for the situation. Throughout her first months at my home, Kiah wouldn't want to eat or play and only seemed happy when I would give her treats. Now 5 years later, I find that her diet is consisting mostly of treats. I suppose it was a gradual transition through the years of when she ignored her food I would give her some treats, progressing to now someday she will not eat any dog food - so since I can't handle the thought of her not eating, I give hear treats. As I'm gone for 9-10 hours most every day I find myself leaving enough treats to get her through that time ...I suppose it's my own guilt about leaving her alone for that period of time. Any advice on how I can correct the situation? I can't imagine just leaving her for a large portion of the day with only a bowl of food. An interesting footnote is that when I take her visiting to family members or friends homes, I take her food and bowl along and she will always finish the bowl of food. This very same bowl with the same food will usually sit untouched at home even when I am home with her in the evenings. One more questions, is it harmful to the dogs well being to leave her alone for such a long period of time every day?
Doctor Debbie: Hi Valerie! I have to jump in....your sweet lab has taken advantage of your concern for her appetite and well-being. Treats should never account for more than 10% of a dogs total food calorie intake. An all treat diet is simply not healthy for her. She is dictating the feeding program in the house and it is going to be to her detriment. Does a 5 year old child know what foods are good for them? No, they would eat candy and ice cream if we allow it. So Valerie.... It's time for TOUGH LOVE!
I suppose there could be a medical problem for her not eating, but the fact she eats her kibble at your family/friend's homes tells me she knows where and when she can hold out. A good check up with your vet is advised first. After a clean bill of health.... it's Dr Debbie's TOUGH LOVE FEEDING PROGRAM.
First of all- do not feel guilty for leaving her 9-10 hours without food. She will not starve without food for this time. Water should be available at all times however. Perhaps you've heard this guideline for people....the same holds true for dogs: "You can only survive 3 minutes without oxgen....You can only survive 3 days without water.....You can survive 3 weeks without food." Once you get past the fear of her not eating for a day, or even a few days....then you are really ready to tackle this problem head on! In fact, I don't worry until a picky dog hasn't eaten for 3 days or more.
Next, you need to realize YOU are the boss in the house and decide that you CAN set down the rules for feeding the dog. Dogs learn by repetition and your actions have rewarded her indifference to eating from the bowl. To undo this you will need to restructure all aspects of how you feed her.
1. Feed on a schedule
2. Skip the treats
3. Secure the edibles!
4. Keep her active
You also asked if it was harmful for dogs alone for long periods. In general the answer is no, but it becomes even more important to schedule play and exercise time daily for pet's left alone during long workdays. Otherwise a cooped up dog will become bored and more likely to develop behavioral issues. I am a huge fan of doggie daycare to "wear out" dogs while families are working.
Best of luck to you Valerie! Don't feel guilty that you have to leave Kiah for work...you clearly love her and are focused on taking good care of her. You will likely discover that she is a happier dog with more structured rules in the home. And later, after she relearns to eat regular dog food at mealtimes you can reintroduce treat foods as the occasional treat.
I have labradors and know how hard it can be to look in those brown eyes and stand firm. Once you accept that the current feeding pattern is unhealthy and cannot continue- you will find the strength. You can do it!
8th Annual CARe SHOW
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