Animal Radio® Newsletter

Animal Radio® February 2011 Newsletter

Who moved my mouse?Who Moved My Mouse?
Dena Harris authored a self-help book for cats. Of course, any self-respecting cat would never admit they need a little help. You'll learn the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Cats. This clever guide answers such questions as "Will leaving small animal offerings on my human's porch earn me bonus points in heaven?"

Pets Predicting Peril
Pets Predict PerilThe Associated Press recently conducted a poll and found that two thirds of Americans say their pets have a sixth sense about bad weather, and 43% say the same about bad news. 72% of dog owners say they have gotten weather warnings, and 66% of cat owners agreed.

Money For Dogs With Cancer
Dr. Debbie is only on Animal Radio®Because half of all American dogs will get cancer, author Laurie Kaplan created the Magic Bullet Fund. She hopes to help guardians afford the costly care of fighting the disease.

Unbiased Pet Food Report
Dr. Debbie explains Ethoxyquin, a preservative used in pet food that may not be so good for you pet. We'll also give you two websites that objectively analyze pet foods.

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Pet TrustPet Trusts For Everybody
What happens to your furry-friends if you expire before they do? Who will take care of your pet frog after you croak? A Pet Trust isn't just for Leona Helmsley anymore. Chris Jones is on the cutting edge of pet law.

Pet Cloning Exposed
Cloning DogsJohn Woestendiek authored Dog Inc. - a book about those few that have decided to clone their pet. You may be surprised at the results. Some ponied up the large sums to duplicate their cats and dogs only to have "buyer's remorse." We'll follow up on Bernann McKinney. She ended up with 5 pups and a lot more than she bargained for.

Tona LaRussa on Michael Vick
Tona LaRussa on Michael Vick St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa is not a fan of Michael Vick. LaRussa believes that because Vick has come back in such a "big way" athletically with the Philadelphia Eagles, he is getting much less condemnation than he deserves. LaRussa says "a big PR move was behind Vick's contrition. Vick still does not believe that what he did was horrible."

Dramamine for the Dog
Yes, your dog can get car-sick! Some breeds are predisposed. Some handle it better. But, just like humans, a percentage will suffer from motion-sickness. Dr. Debbie has several ways to help avoid this potentially messy affair.

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Senior Pet Products
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Jaime Van Wye on Animal Radio®A Place to Hang Out with the Dogs
How about getting fit while working out with your dog? Jaime Van Wye is the founder of "Zoom Room" - a franchised canine social club.

Living Sober Sucks
Mark Tuschel on Animal Radio®As an alternative to AA, Mark Tuschel recommends a dog as part of every alcoholics recovery. He says, "having to take care of another means taking care of yourself."

Craigslist Pets Killed
A Louisville, Kentucky man is facing charges of torturing and killing cats that he got off Craigslist. Phelps lives with his parents, and was arrested after the police received tips on their anonymous tip line.
Clinton and PETA
"I Did Not Eat a Hamburger"
PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) has named former President Bill Clinton its "Person of 2010." Clinton, who has loved fast food burgers for years made the move to a vegan diet. He says he lost 30 pounds and has never been in better health.

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Stella and Chewys
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Dog Get Cell BillDog Gets Verizon Bill
In what appears to be a mistake, Verizon cell billed a dog for minutes incurred. Trouble is, the dog doesn't have a phone. And besides, if he did, he'd be in the friends and family plan.

Pet-friendly Laws
Where does your state stand on passing legislation benefiting animals? California and New Jersey top the list. States making the bottom of the list are Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Ohio and North and South Dakota.

Cat With RingwormAll You Wanted To Know About Ringworm But Were Afraid To Ask
What happens when an Animal Radio® visitor shows up with 6 dogs, 1 with Ringworm? Panic. Dr. Debbie reveals the ugly truth about this skin disease.

Is Your Dog's Name Buddy?
For the fourth year in a row Buddy was the top dog name. And is your kitty a Lucy? That was number one again. Petfinder also reveals the top ten celebrity names include Coco, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Oprah and Elvis.

Vick Ends Dogfighting?Vick Calls Continue
Opinions on Michael Vick's desire to own a dog run ramped. Some of the industry's top experts advocate it while most lay people don't. Stand back as our phones blow-up.

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Freddie and PaulaFixing Freddie
Paula Munier made a promise to her son she never thought she would have to fulfill. When she had to 'pay-up' by getting a dog for him, she never expected a very, very bad beagle would soon rule her life. If you thought Marley was bad, wait until you meet 'Freddie.'

Internet Veterinary Degree
Can you learn all you need to know about your pet's health off the Internet and skip that next veterinary visit? Hear, first-hand, why this isn't such a good idea. The Internet may not be the best reliable source of information. There is NO gatekeeper of bad info!

Worst Flea Season In A Decade
Bad Flea SeasonScientists are confirming this is the worst flea season in 10 years. There has also been an increase in Lyme disease in both humans and pets. Researchers say the very-wet and rainy pre-season is to blame. Pharmaceuticals that make the flea medicines are also having a record season. By all predictions, there will actually be another increase in flea population before it tapers for the winter.

Anal Glands
Not the most comfortable subject to talk about, but it's important that dog AND cat guardians know about these smelly organs. If your dog is scooting across the carpet, you may need to have a professional clean the anal glands. Hear what happens 'behind-the-scenes' when your doctor or groomer has the job of expressing the glands. Not for the faint of heart.

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No Dogs In BedPets in Bed Possible Risk to Health
(Animal Radio® Newsroom January 21, 2010) More than half of pet guardians let their furry friends sleep with them, but sharing a bed with a pet could be putting you in harm's way.

Doctors from the UC-Davis say getting too close to pets may raise the risk of contracting worms, bacteria and viruses.

"While the risk is small, it does exist" says Dr. Leonard Barsten, "some of these diseases may be life-threatening."

"Of the 250 zoonotic diseases transmitted between animals and people, more than 100 are derived from domestic pets," said veterinarian Dr. Bruno Chomel, co-author of the study. "Having a pet in the bed is not a good idea," he said.

The authors also discourage owners from kissing their cats or dogs

"It's not only animals giving infections to people, it looks like people can infect animals, too," said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, citing a case where a domestic shorthaired cat in Iowa contracted the H1N1 virus from its owner. "It's a two-way street."

People with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for getting an infection from an animal. These includes the elderly, children younger than 5, those with HIV/AIDS and cancer patients.

To prevent and catch infections early, use a flea and tick treatment, regularly de-worm them and have them routinely examined by a veterinarian.

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Litter Box Problems

Patrick: I have 4 cats. 2 male (12 yrs. old and 3 yrs. old) and 2 female (3 yrs. old and 2 yrs. old). 2 of the cats are from the same litter -- my oldest cat is about 12 years old and has started peeing in different places around the house and will not use the litter box unless he has an "escort" to it so a lot of times we put him outside and the other male cat has started peeing around the house, only sometimes he poops, too. My oldest cat used to do this when he had urinary tract blockages but I know that he currently doesn't have that issue. Is this a territorial thing? I'm thinking of getting rid of them but I really don't want to. We just had a baby about 6 months ago but the oldest cat has been peeing around the house since before our baby was born. Can you help? Thanks

Doctor Debbie: Thank you for you question Patrick! I'm happy to help if I can.
My first comments are that- Wow! You have a lot going on in this kitty home.... Four separate cats in the home, some that are allowed outside, chronic history of urinating out of box, and the addition of a newborn baby in the home! All of these are factors that can increase the likeliness of a kitty litter box issue.

The fact that we have defecation and urination outside of the box makes me concerned about the litter box environment. The issue is usually much more than just a territoriality - as humans, we fail to understand what cats like in a toilet area. Think about his....Would you want to use a dirty public toilet that didn't flush between users, that was small enough your elbows hit the walls, and was centered where morning commuters could watch you go? This is unfortunately what we expect our cats to eliminate in and is essentially why multiple cat homes struggle with house soiling issues.

Basic things to consider:

-General recommendation is to have one more litter box than the number of cats in the home. Less than that and there can be problems in territoriality as well as tidiness of the box.
-Ensure locations of boxes are dispersed throughout house: upstairs/downstairs as well as opposite corners of home
-Scoop the boxes daily
-Remove any litter box lids/covers
-Litter box size should be 1.5 times the body length of cats
-Try litter box additive Cat Attract to encourage use of boxes

Other environmental steps to do:

-Try cat phermone sprays and/or diffusers (ie: Feliway) to naturally calm cat anxieties
-Ensure ample perching and resting sites- cats need to be able to "get away" from other cats vertically in home. I'd shoot for 4 separate sites of kitty condos or window hammocks.
-Previous urination sites need to be cleaned up with enzyme based cleaners.
-Use barriers or deterrents to keep cats from eliminating on recurrent sites (upside down carpet runner plastic, double sided sticky tape)

I would also make sure to have an exam and evaluation of any cats that are urinating/defecating out of the box. In many cases low grade medical problems can start inappropriate elimination issues. I'd hate to see you give up on the kitties - especially if a medical problem hasn't been ruled out yet.

Best wishes to you and your feline friends!

Listen to Dr. Debbie on Animal Radio®

Events Calendar
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Send your events to:

Escondido Humane Society's Paws in the Park
When: Mar 27, 2011 (Sun) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kit Carson Park
3333 Bear Valley Parkway
Escondido, Ca 92025
The annual dog walk, which will raise money and awareness for homeless and abandoned animals. Post-walk festivities include a Paw vendor expo, games, contests, entertainment and more. Walkers can register online at

Pet Lovers Valentine's Day Party
When: Feb 12th 1-3pm
Where: 25 S. Van Brunt Street,
Englewood, NJ
Great Raffles prizes
A "Guess How Many Heart Candies are in the Jar" 50/50 contest - winner gets the candy and half the money collected!!!Professional Face painting and a movie playing for the kids. Valentine's Photos of you and your pet. Treats and drinks for all our 2 and 4 legged guest

Doggy Dash
When: June 4, 2011 7:30am- 1:00pm
Where: William Land Park
Sacramento, CA 95822
This fundraising event allows canines to team up with their human companions in a scenic fun run/walk to help raise money for the shelter animals. After the race, participants stroll through Vendors' Row, where they may purchase products and get information from their favorite pet specialty shops and other area businesses. Plus, participants and their canine cohorts can compete in a frisbee contest or the Pup Show, or take a seat on the sidelines as they watch demonstrations and entertainment from agility groups.

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