Animal Radio® Newsletter

Animal Radio® January 2011 Newsletter

Jennifer Freed on Animal Radio®Lessons From Stanley
Cats sometimes have great wisdom to impart to us two-legged creatures. If only we'd listen. Psychotherapist Dr. Jennifer Freed has cataloged the important lessons you can use to make your life Purr-fect.

When is it Time?
It's hard to watch our furry-friend's body degrade with age. Sometimes it's tough to tell if they're in pain because they disguise it so well. Making the decision for a humane euthanasia is ALWAYS rough. Dr. Debbie shares her thoughts on the subject.

Aflotoxin Spurs Another Recall
Kroger Pet Food RecallKroger has announced a recall covering 19 states. The recalled foods are under the label of Old Yeller, Pet Pride and Kroger Value. They suspect that the foods have been contaminated with aflatoxin, which can cause illness or death. Aflatoxin is a natural toxic that comes from corn and other crops.

Playing in the snowWinter and Your Pet's Coat
Changing weather means changing grooming habits. Dogfather Joey Villani has grooming tips that will keep your pet warmer and happier.

Training the Un-trainable
This week, it's a dog that likes to escape and run freely through the neighborhood. Vladae puts an end to this bad behavior.

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Happy New YearA Furry New Years
Come celebrate the New Year and 10 years of Animal Radio®. The entire Dream Team is ready to help you and your pets kick-off 2011 with great tips for a healthier and happier companion.

Experimenting With Shelter Animals
Allie Phillips wants us to know what happens to the animals in the shelter if they're not adopted. She says many of them are sold for research. Is this a good practice? Opinions differ among industry experts.

Michael Vick Dog Owner?
Michael Vick Gets Dog?Despite the fact the convicted dog-fighter Michael Vick isn't allowed to have a pet yet, he's raised the ire of many by considering adopting a dog. The Humane Society of the United States President says Vick should be able to get a dog. In fact, so does a significant portion of people surveyed. The tension is thick in the studio.

Pet Self-Mutilation
Dogs and cats can develop behavioral issues that makes them chew at their fur and even break their own skin. This can be a serious problem that requires serious medicine, or it could be a simple allergy.

Medical Marijuana Not Just For Humans Anymore!
Stoned DuckA French Farmer was given a one-month suspended sentence and a fined $700 for feeding marijuana to his ducks for medical purposes. The farmer admitted to giving the ducks marijuana to de-worm them. The farmer stated that he was advised by a specialist to give the ducks the substance because it is the best worm repellent available. Even though it was for the ducks, the farmer admitted to smoking some of it himself.

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Ladybug the Animal Radio® Studio Stunt DogAnimal Radio® Howliday Special
Open your presents while listening to a dozen inspirational and emotionally driven tales about the connection with our pets. Celebrated authors and celebrities share their most intimate thoughts on the animals that surround us.

Ed Sayres
The ASPCA President has found an addendum to Genesis explaining the creation of Cats & Dogs. You might be surprised to know that God felt the dog was a reflection of himself and named the creature "DOG" - GOD backwards.

Mike Arms on Animal Radio®Mike Arms
The Director of the nationally recognized Helen Woodward Center in San Diego had a rough start in the animal world. Moving from Kentucky to New York, a search for work landed him at the local shelter. After being beaten by thugs for saving a dog, he dedicated his life to the animals.

Buddy Hackett
Buddy Hackett on Animal Radio®The late comedian loved animals so much he started a foundation and a yearly comedy show to help save abused and homeless dogs and cats.

Also on this special show: Rae Ann Kumelos, Peter Gethers, Britt Savage, Vinnie Penn, Trixie Koontz and Jingle Fish!

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Stella and Chewys
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David Dayan Fisher on Animal Radio®Terrorist by Night - Children's Author by Day
Actor David Dayan Fisher (N.C.I.S.) is usually typecast as the villain. You'd never think he'd author a kid's book about dogs when you watch him on TV. He's a softie at heart and one dog in particular changed... no, saved his life.

Putting a Limit On Dogs in Parks
Foster City, California, Parks & Recreation committee is trying to pass a three-dog limit at the city's dog parks. Could legislation set a precedence nationwide?
Rue McClanahan on Animal Radio®
It's Beginning To Feel A Bit Like Christmas
Animal Radio's entire Dream Team is roasting chestnuts, sharing eggnog and finding solutions to listeners questions about their pets. We're also reflecting on 2010.

Leslie Nielsen on Animal Radio®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.

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VPI's List Of Unusual Ingested Objects
Some dogs and cats eat way more than just pet food, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance's "60 Most Unusual Ingested Objects" for 2010. The list, which included oddities such as jellyfish, jumper cables and a rosary crucifix, was derived from the company's nearly 2,000 foreign body ingestion claims for the year.

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:
1. jellyfish
2. glue
3. estrogen patch / make-up brush
4. tube of denture adhesive
5. dead poisoned vole
6. bikini
7. ink pen
8. plastic nose from teddy bear
9. magnetic purse clasps
10. baseball
11. glass Christmas ornament
12. hearing aid
13. bed sheet
14. box of pencils
15. popsicle stick
16. avocado pit
17. dental floss
18. coffee filter / coffee grounds
19. fishhook
20. pain relief tablet / B.B. pellet / highlighter
21. tent door
22. toy squeaker
23. watch
24. 16 steel wool pads
25. pseudoephedrine / sponge / snail poison / tampon
26. 20 cherry pits
27. light bulb
28. barbecue brush
29. Frisbee
30. jumper cables
31. razor blades
32. uncooked rice (1 pound)
33. wallpaper paste
34. squirrel
35. balloon ribbons
36. bird (whole)
37. butter / sand
38. deer antler (partial)
39. extension cord
40. leash / three sticks of butter
41. pin cushion
42. portion of wool rug
43. tobacco
44. TV remote control
45. 10 quarters / one penny / one Canadian coin / three arcade tokens
46. foot-long submarine sandwich
47. fire log
48. wooden toy train
49. pine cone
50. round chew bone (whole)
51. caulk
52. eye glasses
53. money (paper)
54. oil-soaked dirt
55. sand
56. rosary crucifix
57. 25 to 30 soiled diapers
58. bath bubble mix
59. bathtub cleaner / outdoor plants
60. duck bone

VPI noted that all pets made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursements for eligible expenses.

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Dog Gives Birth To 17 Puppies
17 pupsBERLIN €“ A dog in Germany has given birth to 17 puppies, leaving their owner thrilled but fatigued after having to feed them with a bottle for several weeks because their mother couldn't cope with the demand.

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.

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Michael Vick Gets Dog?Michael Vick Debate Renewed
PHILADELPHIA (AP) €” Michael Vick is barred from owning a dog for a year and a half, but the star quarterback's comment that he'd like to bring one into his house generated renewed outrage €” and support.

The convicted dogfighting ring operator told the news site 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 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 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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Red Mange or Allergies?

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 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
DO NOT leave food out for her to nibble on throughout the day. She will not suffer without food available. Offer her mealtime at set times and leave available for 15 minutes. If uneaten then take it away. At first you may want to offer the meal 2-3 times a day. Do not offer it any more than that.

2. Skip the treats
If she fails to eat her food at the provided should not give in and offer treats. This is where you have to find a firm backbone. She will learn that once no other food is provided- that meal time means it is time to eat! Use praise in place of treats when you need to provide positive reinforcement for training at other times.

3. Secure the edibles!
Never underestimate a labrador's ability to scavenge for food on their own. A hungry dog, but especially a Labrador, is especially talented at opening cabinets, getting on tables, and digging into garbage. Make sure all food (dog and human) is secured and out of her reach. If she were able to "find" her own food during this retraining program then it could jeopardize the success of the training.

4. Keep her active
Avoid boredom and amp up her calorie consumption by increasing physical activity. (Don't we tend to get hungry after a workout?) Take her for a 30-60 minute walk every day. Play ball or take her to a dog park.

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 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!

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Events Calendar
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8th Annual CARe SHOW
When: Feb 05, 2011 (Sat) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: San Juan Capistrano Community Center/Sports ParkSan Juan Capistrano, CA

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