Animal Radio® Newsletter

Animal Radio® Audio Newsletter December 2012

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Animal Radio® Show #679

Pets Start FiresDon't Let Your Dog Play With Matches
According to John R. Hall Jr., division director for fire analysis and research for the National Fire Protection Association, pets and other animals inadvertently set about 510 house fires every year in this country. Hall said from 2006 to 2010, such fires caused an average of $8.7 million in property damage and injured eight humans a year.

Birds Fly South First Class
A pair of wayward brown pelicans got a first class plane ride back to Florida. The two birds were found in Rhode Island after being rerouted by the winds of Hurricane Sandy. Because the birds typically migrate to Florida during the winter, they were flown to the Sunshine state in private plane on Saturday. The two-thousand-dollar flight was paid for by public donations.

Humans Aren't Only Ones Who Suffer Mid-Life Crisis
Midlife CrisisResearchers say humans are not the only ones to have midlife crisis, such conditions are also experienced by chimpanzees and orangutans. The finding raises the possibility that if great apes share sadness and frustration at midlife, perhaps the midlife crisis is driven by biological factors and not the responsibility of jobs and family and the dawning recognition of mortality.

Dangerous Root CanalA Very Dangerous Root Canal
A group of 12 dentists, vets and dental nurses recently teamed up to perform a very dangerous root canal. Employees at the Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland discovered that Arktos, a four-year-old polar bear, was suffering from a toothache.

Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Pet
Gifts for your petThe 53 billion dollar pet industry offers up a lot of different and fantastic gifts and gadgets for you and your furry friend. From interactive cell-phones to the latest in couture, your friends at Animal Radio® not only report on these new items, we'll also be giving them away.

Listen to this Animal Radio® episode

Animal Radio® Sponsored By Natural Balance Pet Foods

Animal Radio® Show #678

Santa ClawsIt's Beginning To Feel A Bit Like Christmas
The Dream Team is in a holiday mood and we have gifts for you and your pets. After all, 80% of us will be getting something to put under the Christmas Tree or Hanukkah Bush for our furry companions. Just 20 years ago, our dogs were in the doghouse outside. Now, we're spoiling them rotten!

Safeguard Your Four-Legged Friend With Emergency & Estate Plans
Superstorm Sandy packed a strong punch along the East Coast, and many people had to scramble to find shelter and make tough decisions about whether they could take their cat or dog along with them. Once again, the importance of having an emergency plan for a pet became a stark reality

Lynn RodinPooches for Parkinson
Roy Rodin just had brain surgery to relieve symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. Now, he and his wife are biking from Washington to Florida with their two dogs, Oliver and Samantha. It's all to bring awareness to this horrid disease.

Leave No Four-Legged Family Member Behind
According to the U.S. Travel Association, 18% of U.S. adult leisure travelers usually take their pets with them when they travel. As hotels and airlines hone in on this special relationship, they're inventing so many lavish pet-friendly deals and amenities that you may even want to rent a pet to take advantage of them.

Love Motel For DogsLove Motel For Dogs
Heart-shaped ceiling mirror: check. Curtains drawn against the bright day: check. Red mattress: check. Sounds like a hot night in Vegas. But it's a DOG motel in Brazil featuring items like beef-flavored Dog Beer and a dog spa with a Japanese Ofuro soaking tub. Some dog owners simply like the concept of a love motel for their amorous pets.

Listen to this Animal Radio® episode

Stella and Chewys

Animal Radio® Show #677

Patrick McDonnell is on Animal Radio®"Mutts" Creator Returns
Patrick McDonnell is our special guest. His animal-friendly comic-strip is seen by 50 million readers every day. He uses his art to rally support for companion animal causes. He even is working with Fox on a new movie....details in this weeks program.

Dogs Take 4,000 Mile Bike Ride
Lynn Rodin is taking a long bike trip across America with her husband and two dogs. She hopes to raise awareness and funds for Parkinson's Disease. Her hubby just had brain surgery to relieve symptoms related to the disease.

Rudolphs SecretThe Truth About Rudolph
The news broke here first on Animal Radio®. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer may be keeping a secret about his true sexual identity. We'll divulge the facts as the saga continues.

Drunk Birds Crash In Mid-Air
Drunk BirdsBritish researchers are blaming the deaths of more than a dozen blackbirds on alcohol. 14 birds were found dead last summer at a school in England and at first authorities thought foul play was involved. Scientists concluded that the birds were intoxicated after eating fermented berries.

Elephant Speaks
Talking ElephantAn Asian elephant named Koshik can imitate human speech, saying words in Korean. Researchers from the University of Vienna say it is unclear why Koshik started mimicking human speech, but cognitive biologists Angela Stoeger and Tecumseh Fitch suggest it might be related to his experiences as a juvenile.

Listen to this Animal Radio® episode

Pet Stay Las Vegas

Animal Radio® Show #676

John O'Hurley is on Animal Radio®John O'Hurley is Back
For our 11th year, John O'Hurley (J. Peterman on Seinfeld - Dancing With The Stars) is back to celebrate Thanksgiving with us again. He brings his silly sense of humor and great dog stories.

Zoonotic Threats
The emergence of strange new diseases is a frightening problem that seems to be getting worse. In this age of speedy travel, it threatens a worldwide pandemic. We hear news reports of Ebola, SARS, AIDS, and something called Hendra killing horses and people in Australia€”but those reports miss the big truth that such phenomena are part of a single pattern. They all come from animals. Author of Spillover, David Quammen explains.

Seabass MemorialPETA Wants Highway Sign to Memorialize Dead Fish After Crash
The lives of 1,600 sea bass killed last year in a Southern California car crash should be remembered with a sign at the crash site. That's the view of PETA. A city spokesman tells the Los Angeles Times they have no plans to do so. 

Pet Industry Rakes In A Whopping $53 Billion
Spending on our petsThe U.S. pet industry is set to rake in a record $53 billion this year, despite sluggish overall consumer demand. According to the report, the total lifetime cost of owning a small to medium-sized dog ranges from $7,240 to $12,700, and the lifetime cost of a cat ranges from $8,620 to $11,275. The prices of vet and other pet services, and pet food, are all rising at a pace greater than the rate of inflation.

Animal Radio's Dr. DebbieMythbusters
Dr. Debbie debunks wives-tales about common remedies. No, chewing tobacco does not cure worms in dogs. And in fact, not only will it be useless, it could actually have adverse affects on your furry-friend.

Listen to this Animal Radio® episode

Animal Radio® Sponsored By Lubrisyn

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Dog Eating Dirt

Mike K.: Recently my Schnauser has started to eat dirt, has not been eating regular food like before, I tried adding same brand canned helps a bit, I use blue buffalo wild. I am a trucker my dog and I have been on the road since she was 6 weeks old, March this year she had the seizures they are under control with phenobarbital, and she has gingivitis, they did blood work found nothing abnormal also she has a heart murmur since a puppy.

So if you have any good answers to why she might be eating dirt would help, also I got some doggie vitamins but if I crunch it up in her food she won't eat.

Dr. Debbie: Hi Mike! If your doggie is having any signs of digestive problems (not eating, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss) then it could be gastrointestinal problem that is causing her to eat dirt. Inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic disease and intestinal cancers are just a few of the causes making a pet eat dirt that never did it before. With a poor appetite I'd encourage you to have your vet check her belly out more- I usually start with an x-ray and consider treating with a deworming treatment and using an antacid like Famotidine.

Some dogs with anemia will also eat dirt, but I'm assuming your vet would have detected on routine lab work.

Occasionally I have seen dogs on phenobarbital develop an increase (not a decrease) in appetite which causes them to eat dirt or other unusual things. For those dogs, I'll switch from phenobarbital to another seizure medication like Zonisamide or Keppra.

You didn't mention the manner in which she eats dirt. If she is just walking around and eats it or if she is obsessed, ravenous or out of sorts when she does this. Some dogs ingest dirt during a seizure of sorts.

Sounds like more info and testing will be needed to track down the cause of this behavior. I don't think a vitamin will hurt, but it's unlikely to stop this behavior. Hope everything works out okay for her. Let me know if you have more questions or info.

Animal Radio® Sponsored By XPower

Sound Collar

Mike S.: Could you guys recommend a "sound" collar to help us in stopping our dog's barking?
Thank you and love your program.

Alan Kabel: A lot of companies that make collars and devices that you can use to stop dog braking. Innotek and Petsafe are two of them but there are many others as well. They make collars that use unpleasant scents to a dog like Citronella and citrus spray. When the dog barks they release the scent. Dogs don't like these scents but it might not work on a strong dog determined to bark. They also make collars that use a static electric shock and devices that emit ultrasonic sound. Ultrasonic won't be enough for a big dog determined to bark but might work on a more mild one. The electric ones give a dog a warning first and have different levels. You start at the lowest one and see if that works increasing it one step at a time.

It's your preference as to what you want to use. I like teaching my dog not to bark using positive reinforcement but if barking is a problem when you're not home a collar might be your best bet when you're not around.

Hope this helps you

Bobbing Head

Mike Silva: I have an English bulldog That move his head up-and-down if I distracted him he stops. Someone told me it's called bobbing head.

Doctor Debbie: Sure sounds like it could be! Idiopathic head tremor syndrome is an unusual tremor condition of head, with up & down or side-to-side movements and which is more commonly seen in English bulldogs and Dobermans. Dogs with this don't display other more serious issues like wobbly gait, pain, or seizures. which make vets worry about other causes.

Most dogs will stop tremoring when you talk to them or feed them. I recommend a thorough blood work up to ensure nothing else is of concern, but otherwise no treatment is advised. I have known some colleagues to prescribe anti-seizure meds - but they aren't really helpful nor justified. This condition freaks out pet parents, but doesn't bother the doggies.

So perhaps you just have a Bobble headed fella!

Best wishes & thanks for tuning in!

Animal Radio® Sponsored By Tagg

Nose Changing Color

Barbara B.: Dr Debbie - have you ever run into a dogs nose fading from shiny black (my boydog is a blk and white) to a grayish color. Both of these dogs are allergy dogs (one to chicken/one to beef and other foods) and have done very well on Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato Diet along with some raw and cooked vegetables. I can't tell you how good a food this is for dogs with allergies. I know they are a sponsor but it truly is a food thats "good for a lifetime" and when even the vets allergy foods caused problems this didn't. My male is 3 and my girl is going on 9 and both have been on it for years. I asked my vet about it and she said maybe he's getting old....he's 3. He tends to have a rash around his lips a lot which I have been treating with a wet washcloth and a little triple antibiotic
Any ideas? Thanks so much for all your help and laughter and entertainment!

Dr. Debbie: Hi Barbara! Thank you for tuning in. I love your enthusiasm for our program.

Yes, I do see dogs fading from black to lighter colors with age. Some breeds like yellow Labradors have a genetic trait that programs for this, and some dogs have what is termed a "snow nose" which only fades during winter months, then returns to black during summer (due to short photoperiod in winter).

There are some immune skin problems that cause nasal pigment loss that can be more serious however. If the color fading is along the nostril or edge where skin and nose meet, then it would have me more concerned. Some allergic dogs can be sensitive to plastics, so if you feed from a plastic bowl, you might look at switching to a non-reactive.

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