Animal Radio® Newsletter

Animal Radio® March 2011 Newsletter

The Amazing Pet Lover
Phil Keoghan on Animal Radio®The Amazing Race (CBS) host Phil Keoghan stops for a quick visit with Animal Radio®. The world traveler encounters many animals on his journeys. He says "kids and animals are always hard to work with while filming on-location."

Labrador Retriever Tops list AGAIN!
Lab tops listThe Labrador Retriever continues to be the most popular dog breed in America. So says the American Kennel Club, which notes that the lab has held the top spot for 20 consecutive years. The German Shepherd was number two on the list, followed by the Yorkshire Terrier, the Beagle and the Golden Retriever.

Pain Management
How do you know if your pet is in pain? Sometimes our sick animals need pain medications. But it's not so easy to tell if the pain-killers are working. Dr. Debbie covers pain management options with the ill-pet.

AntFarmThe Big Picnic in the Sky
The co-creator of the iconic "Uncle Milton's Ant Farm" has died. Milton Levine passed away of natural causes at the age of 97. To date, more than 20-million Uncle Milton Ant Farms have been sold around the world.

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Animal Radio® Sponsored By Natural Balance Pet Foods

Alison Sweeney on Animal Radio®Biggest Loser's Pet Project
Alison Sweeney (NBC's Biggest Loser) is working hard to help her dog lose some weight. She's the pitch-gal for a major food company seeking pet weight-loss stories.

Clicker Training Your Cat
Who thought you could even train a cat? Don't they do what they want when they want? Not so, according to Marilyn Kreiger, "The Cat Coach." She trains her cats to do amazing things with a clicker!

Cat HoardingHoarding Goes Mainstream
Does somebody on your block seem like they have to many cats or dogs? Animal hoarders are becoming a big problem. New studies blame attachment disorders and other mental illnesses. Animals collected range from cats and dogs to reptiles, rodents, birds, exotics and even farm animals.

Sleeping with Pet is Risky!
Risky!A report from UC-Davis says pets can carry a variety of illnesses that are potentially lethal to humans. Larry Kornegay, president of the AVMA, says it is an acceptable risk. "The benefits of having a pet, whether or not you sleep with it, far outweigh the negatives, which are quite uncommon."

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Senior Pet Products
Get 25% off by entering "radiospp" in promo code box

Bad KittyMail Service Halted Because of Cat
Canada's Postal Service has stopped delivering mail to John Sambursky after a carrier was scared away from his door by his 8 year old declawed cat. The carrier described the cat as "very threatening."

Road-kill Patrol
Road KillVinnie Penn is a very talented comedian with a taste for bad. This week he wants to know why it takes so damn long for road-kill to be picked up. He thinks dogs and cats should have priority pickup over the common opossum.

Senior FriendsCaring for Your Senior Pet
Dr. Nicholas Dodman from Tufts is the ultimate "know-it-all" when it comes to senior pets. He joins us with tips for growing old gracefully!

Product Pick of the Week
Neater FeederSusan Sims brings you the best giveaways! She'll be showing-off the award-winning Neater Feeder. Now messy eaters won't foul your house anymore.

Microchip Myths
Dr. Debbie has the truth behind the most important identification your pet can have, the microchip. Despite any controversy, the risk of it saving your pet's life far outweighs any dangers.

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Stella and Chewys
Get a Stella & Chewy's Sample - Lowest prices Online!!

Pigeon's Revenge
The roof of a Quick Mart gas station in Vacaville, California, came crashing down under the weight of 20 years of pigeon poo. When firefighters showed up, they said it was nearly a foot thick in places. Chris Doss, who narrowly missed the crap storm, said it was "disgusting." Doss heard an explosion just seconds after she got in her car and said she "didn't realize it was pure pigeon poop at the time," but there were "a lot of feathers." An outdated roof design had allowed the pigeons to have the run of the roost for decades, but that's about to change. The owner who purchased the property in a foreclosure last year plans to take the entire structure down and invest in a badly needed pigeon protection plan.

Human Meds Sicken Pets
Human medications including dropped pills sickened more pets in the United States last year than any other toxin. It's the third year in a row that human medications top the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' list of top 10 toxins, released Friday. Over-the-counter medicines with ibuprofen and acetaminophen, antidepressants and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medicine topped the list.

Pet owners won't always know what their animals have gotten into €” they just know they are showing symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, depression, seizures or refusing food.

A dog who has swallowed pills to treat ADHD will get agitated. What happens when a pet gets hold of birth control, Viagra and Rogaine pills?

"Luckily birth control pills today have very small amounts of estrogen in them. We use Viagra for dogs with pulmonary hypertension and it was originally marketed to regulate blood pressure. Rogaine can be very dangerous, especially in cats, and can cause heart failure, "Obviously keep your meds out of your pets reach!

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Fat Pet? Fat You?
Over Half Of American Pets Are Fat. Over half of the American pets in the country are fat, according to new data released. The research reveals that most families are feeding their animals too much.
The Wall Street Journal said, "For years, the topic of 'fat pets' was considered taboo in the veterinary community." Taboo! (Apparently because vets didn€™t want to tell fat pet-owners about their fat pets.) But now, we need to face facts, because this is all our fault. The main culprit: owners who routinely overfeed pets, don€™t exercise them enough a Research also suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer.

More Pet Stats
Americans are pet people. Sixty-five percent of households in the United States include a pet, and over half of dogs and cats sleep in their owners' beds. In fact, including pet fish, more animals than people reside in American homes.

Men use their dogs to meet women. Forty-two percent of men say they have or would take their dog out for the sole purpose of meeting women. Just 17 percent of women said they would do the same to meet men.

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Food Allergies

Kim: Hi Dr. Debbie, I have a 2.5 year old male Vizsla. He has extreme food allergies. We had a blood allergy test done last summer and the results seem to be accurate. The most reactive allergy he has is to wheat. This is also the allergy that he comes in contact with most often. After exposure his skin breaks out on all parts of his body in large pus filled sores that break open and scab over. A typical cycle takes 3-4 weeks to clear up, unless he has a second exposure. Since last winter there has been maybe only 1 to 2 weeks that he has not been broke out. He has been on a few cycles of oral and topical antibiotics when he has been very run down from the outbreak. His primary vet has never had any other advice other than antibiotic treatment.

Copper has always had a very fast digestive system. He is skinny, but always ate twice as much as dogs much larger than him and has large amounts of excrement. I had another vet check him out, that has a more holistic approach and for the past 3 months we have added Nutramin to his diet and cut the amount of food in half. This was the extent of her advice. He has been able to keep a little more weight on and his feces has decreased also. He had an outbreak 3 weeks ago, his second worse episode, it is mostly dried but every other day he wakes up with more pus pockets.

Recently we have started adding Spirulina powder to his diet to add some more vitamins. I would like to know what other measures I can take to enhance his immune system to hopefully help him fight his allergic reactions.

Doctor Debbie: Dear Kim,
Sorry to hear about Copper's skin issues. I have a couple comments right off the bat....

First, while Copper may in fact have food allergies, I must tell you that food allergies simply cannot be tested accurately by blood testing. You cannot have faith that the levels or ingredients are true to what is going on in the body. Veterinary dermatologists have ZERO faith in diagnosing with the blood test methods. I still offer blood testing for inhalant allergies at my office, just not for food allergies. Check out this link to dr's smith informational article which mentions current vet dermatology opinion on the matter.
Second, there is clearly more going on than just food allergies. Many dogs can have food allergies present, but also other problems like bacterial infection, fungal infection, immune skin conditions, and even Methicillin resistant infections (ie: superbugs).When I am faced with a pet with the proven chronicity and severity that yours has- I would move to getting skin biopsies and culturing the lesions. Of course your other option would be to find a board certified dermatologist in your area. (see
You also mentioned Copper's digestive signs: eats alot, voluminous feces & thin. Food intolerance/allergy is certainly suspect, but I'd also consider Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. A special fasted blood test has to be done to test for this.
It really sounds like you've tried alot of things on Copper's behalf already. Unfortunately, I cannot encourage supplements alone from the severity of what you are describing. In many cases it may require getting some more information- the skin sampling/biopsy would be highest on my list. Often these tests can just be done with local anesthetic or light sedation- ask your vet.
Give Copper a pat on the head for me!


Bloody Urine

Recently my cat Sahara, I notice in her urine their seems to be some blood; it had happened in the past and it would go away, but this time there seems to be a much larger discharge. Should I be getting something from the pet store over the counter or does it need a vet visit. I hope not I am about to be lay-off next month and as ready as one can get until something comes along, vet bills and visits can be rather costly; can you please give me some good news that do not require a vet visit? But if I must I must.

Dr. Debbie: Erick, Hello there! This definitely sounds like a health issue, and I would encourage seeing the vet asap. Sometimes bloody urine indicates a urinary infection, and other times it could suggest bladder stones or even inflammation conditions in the bladder. The fact you said this has been present before also makes me concerned.

There are several tests that are done to help determine what the cause of bloody urine might be. The basic one that I would encourage is a urinalysis. If finances allowed than it is also wise to have an abdominal xray to screen for bladder stones, and a urine culture.

Jumping ahead with some therapy steps, if they determine an infection than an antibiotic would be wise. I often prescribe glucosamine supplements for cats with bladder irritation due to various causes. The glucosamine helps keep the bladder wall healtier and decreases pain/inflammation in the bladder wall. One I recommend is called Cosequin feline flavor capsules. There are often special diets that can help too, but that would only be after your vet's recommendation/prescription.

In any case I would dial that number to your vet and just let them know where you stand with finances, and they should be able to advise you what steps and costs are involve. I hope your kitty's urine issue is on the mend soon!

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Events Calendar
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Dodge Journey Pet Destination on Animal Radio®

Send your events to:

Pet Wellness and Adoption Festival 
Where: Raley's Center @ Galena Junction (in front of Natural Paws)
When: Saturday, May 28th - 10am to 3pm The focus of this one-of-a-kind festival is on health and wellness and will include contributors including services and support such as Canine Massage, Acupressure, Nutritional Counseling, Veterinary (allopathic and holistic) Advise, Homeopathy, Realistic Training, Behavior counseling and more.  Pets will be out for adoption to promote pet rescue and money raised will benefit Nevada Humane Society and Pet Network. Bring your pup and enjoy this fun festival! 

Spring Fling Pet Adopt-a-Thon €“ March 5
Where Scottsdale, Ariz: Spring Fling Pet Adopt-a-Thon €“ Franciscan Renewal Center
When: March 5th
60 rescue groups are already on board with hundreds of pets who are waiting to find their forever homes.
Mixed and purebred, large and small dogs, cats and critters are hoping for a second chance at life, and looking for loving, caring owners to adopt them. Admission to the Adopt-A-Thon is free, and so is parking. Adoption fees vary. PACC911 will host a raffle and attendees can earn a free raffle ticket with the donation of unopened pet food, towels, or a blanket. The Arizona Animal Welfare League will have a mobile vaccine clinic on-site providing low-cost micro-chipping and dog and cat vaccines

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