Animal Radio® Newsletter

Animal Radio® Audio Newsletter February 2013

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Animal Radio® Show #688

Westminster Dog ShowBehind The Scenes At Westminster
Quite possibly the largest dog show in the world, Westminster takes place Monday and Tuesday. Connie Newcomb takes us backstage and tells us what the public doesn't see. What are some people willing to do to win?

Westminster Hospitality
Hotel PennThe yearly tradition continues as Jerry Grymeck, the concierge at Hotel Penn in New York, tells us what strange requests he's getting from the Westminster show dogs and their owners. The Hotel Penn is where many of the primped pooches stay for world famous dog show.

Cancer, Not A Death Sentence
As many as 70% of our pets will get cancer. But with advances in medical technology, now we can treat our pets like we treat humans. And dogs are able to withstand chemotherapy better than humans. The founder of the Animal Cancer Foundation, Dr. Gerald Post, reminds us that information is the best weapon against this ugly disease.

iPads for ApesApps for Apes
Workers in the Great Ape House at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have found a new, socially-engaging outlet for their six orangutans, an iPad. Animal Keeper Becky Malinsky says the idea comes from a non-profit called Apps for Apes, which uses the program in 13 other zoos worldwide. Malinsky says the National Zoo started last year with a donated iPad and their orangutans' repertoire has now grown to more than ten apps, including musical instruments and cognitive games.

Your Pet's Poop Is Guide To Health
Pick up the poopYour dog or cats poop is a kind of Google on your pet's health. Picking it up isn't only is the neighborly thing to do; it's for the best interest of all pets in the community. It's true there are some potential health issues to people, according to Veterinary Parisitologist Dr. Dwight Bowman, including roundworm, salmonella and whipworm which can be spread to other dogs, even the parvovirus to those not vaccinated.

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Animal Radio® Show #687

Viveca Stone-BerryFoster Failure
Even with best intentions, sometimes we open our homes to a foster pet only to realize the cat or dog has found its way into our heart and homes forever. Viveca Stone Berry is the "Foster Queen" and her mission is to promote fostering. Are you ready to help reduce the amount of animals that are euthanized simply because they're homeless?

The Truth About Heartworm
HeartwormYou don't have to go far to find different theories on Heartworm and preventative medicine. While some people think it is a waste of money, most professionals will agree that it just makes good sense. Animal Radio's Dr. Debbie tackles the myths and lays down the cold hard truth.

Are Your Pets Making You Tired?
Pets In BedMany people can't seem to get a good night's sleep, and they already have stress, caffeine or snoring spouses to blame. But researchers at Mayo Clinic's Center for Sleep Medicine are finding another surprising reason behind those tired eyes: dogs and cats. There's a solution to the problem without kicking your furry-friend out of the bed.

Kissing Your DogCan A Pet Have Sentimental Value?
A case that may reflect a pet owner's worst nightmare has made its way to the Texas Supreme Court, which must decide if a family can place sentimental value on a pet that was accidentally euthanized. In 1963, Texas adopted a "sentimental value rule," which provided that if property is wrongfully destroyed and that property had no market value, then the parties involved could sue.

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Animal Radio® Show #686

Stephanie St. Martin on Animal Radio®Are Your Pets Making You Single
Boston Globe reporter Stephanie St. Martin may has identified a correlation between animal ownership and being single. She says it's time to stop freaking out your dates by showing them all the pictures of your "children" on the first date.

Is Beneful Making Dogs Sick?
The latest pet food crisis involves Beneful dry dog food. Reports from around the country tell of dogs getting sick and, in many cases, dying. Although the cause isn't proven, many pet owners say the illness went away when they stopped feeding their dogs Beneful.

Allen Anderson on Animal Radio®A Dog Saved My Life
What makes a cop quit his job to become a writer about animals. Seems like quite a transition. Author and Animal Radio® friend Allen Anderson is back to share his story and tell us what he's been up to since a brain aneurism changed his journey.

Valentine's Day Card for DogsThere's A Card For That
Hallmark created a Valentine's Day card for your dog. Vinnie Penn Doesn't get it. Why would you send a card to your dog? Do you also open it and read it to them? Wouldn't that Valentine themed dog treat be a better choice?

PetsittersFinding The Right Pet Sitter
With so many pet businesses and service dotting the landscape these days, it's hard to know which one is the right one for you and your pet. Stacey Cohen has tips to help you decide about pet sitters.

Cat Carries Contraband Into Prison
Cat ContrabandA cat in Brazil was locked up after it was found carrying contraband into a prison (See Video). Attached to it were drills, a mobile phone, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger. A spokesperson for the prison says they are investigating the matter. However, they say that "It's tough to find out who's responsible," since the cat obviously cannot speak. The cat was taken to a local animal shelter where it received medical care.

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Stella and Chewys

Animal Radio® Show #685

Custody BattleStaying Together For The Pets
Many pet owners treat their pets as if they are their own children, whether it be a dog, cat, turtle or gerbil. For these owners, the pet is an integral part of the family. But owner beware, the pet that you love and cherish on can easily be taken away from you in an instant if you are involved in a nasty divorce. Divorce Attorney Silvana Roso has the information you should know.

Lots of CatsHow Many Cats Do You Own?
Residents in Wellington, Kansas now have a limit on the number of their feline friends. As of January 1st, households in Wellington can only have a total of four cats. In order to cut down on the number of homeless cats the town has also required that newly adopted cats be spayed or neutered.

Justin Bieber's HamsterHamster Association Eats Words
The folks at the California Hamster Association are taking back their comments about Justin Bieber. Last month the organization accused the star of animal cruelty after he handed off his pet hamster, named PAC, to a screaming fan while leaving a concert.

Robert SemrowTaking Great Pictures of Your Pet
The Pawtographer Robert Semrow has a thing for taking cool pics with pets. In fact, he makes a living dressing up dogs (and cats) for photo shoots. He has tips to make it easier to photograph your furry-friend.

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Animal Radio® Show #684

Dog Learning To Drive Mini CooperTrainer Teaches Dogs To Drive
You may have seen the viral video of the rescue dogs that were taught to drive a retrofitted Mini-Cooper. Their trainer, Mike Vette of New Zealand is our special guest with tips how you can train your dog to do cool tricks.

Dog Tarot Cards
Dog Tarot CardsWhether you take it seriously, or as a novelty, there is no denying the best-selling success of the Dog Tarot Cards. Creator Heidi Schulman shares her inspiration and helps you understand why Fido insists on rolling in dead stuff.

Low-Income Pet Food
Low Income Pet FoodElizabeth DeMasellis' family is like many living paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes, when money gets tight, food for the family's furry friend is stretched a little, or she gets a hot dog. That is, until three months ago, when the 30-year-old Milford mother of three learned she could get dog food at Community Sharing Outreach Center. "I wouldn't get rid of her just because we couldn't afford to feed her. It's like getting rid of one of your kids," says DeMasellis

Kathryn HeiglKatherine Heigl Tucks Her Pets In At Night
Bedtime at Katherine Heigl's house can take a while. As a mom of two daughters and seven other kids of the four-legged variety, she likes to give each one special attention. The Emmy Award winner says first she tucks in her girls, 4-year-old Naleigh and baby Adalaide, who turns 1 in April. Then she takes her seven dogs through their own nighttime ritual.

Parrot likes UB40Parrots Have Personal Taste In Music
It turns out that parrots are choosy about their music. Scientists have discovered that parrots have personal tastes in music. Dr. Franck Peron of the University of Lincoln, who headed the study, says that both birds enjoyed rock and folk music from such artists as U2, UB40 and Joan Baez. They even got into the music, bobbing their heads and squawking as if they were singing along.

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Diabetes Treats

Gerald K: I have a diabetic minpin 13 years old full of energy and was wondering what kind of treats I can give him homemade or store bought?

Dr. Debbie: Hi Gerald! The general guideline with giving treats to diabetic pets is to only offer treat foods if your pet is well regulated with current insulin and diet. It isn't advised to throw treats into the mix otherwise, since any new food item can impact his diabetic control.

In general diabetic dogs should only be fed low fat treats with limiting calories fed with treats to under 10% of the daily intake. (If daily calories intake is 500kcal/day, then no more than 50 calories allotted to treat items.) Watch out for jerky treats, edible chew bones, and feeding table scraps...all are BAD treat choices for diabetic dogs. Many of these are high calorie or high fat options not appropriate for your little guys health.

Good options include low fat biscuit style treats made for overweight or senior pets...or those appropriate human foods treats including low calorie options like green beans, baby carrots or rice cakes.

Best wishes on your Minpin friend!

Copper in Food

Bettina: Hi Everybody! I love your show! I listen to it on iTunes. My question is: is it true that terriers are not supposed to have any liver treats because they can accumulate excessive amounts of copper in their livers and that will make them sick? I recently got some bison liver and would love to make some liver treats for my 8 month old Jack Russell Terrier, but not if it will make him sick.

Dr. Debbie: Hello Bettina! Thanks for tuning in to the show. I love that you are a proactive pet owner and interested in what to feed/not to feed to keep your JRT healthy! Preventative care is always worth the effort!

As for copper liver storage is most common in Bedlington terriers, West Highland Terriers, Dobermans, Labradors, and Skye Terriers. So I can't say that feeding guidelines to avoid this condition would be imperative for your guy.

However, for dogs that have this condition, they should be on a prescription diet that is restricted to less than 10ppm copper on a dry matter basis. There are not any over the counter diets that meet this need, but vets carry foods that do. If a dog has copper storage disease it isn't advised to feed shellfish or liver as they are high sources of copper.But for the average pet, I don't restrict food sources unless we have a known problem.

If you were concerned specifically about copper storage liver disease, talk to your vet about regular blood screening. In breeds at risk I run annual liver chemistries to screen for issues, also the bile acid liver tests can be performed as well. Beyond that, the only breed that has a specific genetic screening test for the condition is the Bedlington terrier.

So unless your little Jack Russell has tested abnormal on liver tests, I wouldn't be overly concerned about what protein source those treats are. My suggestion is to buy USA made though...the current jerky concerns have raised question on safety of dog food/treats produced out of the country.

Give your baby a scratch on the head for me! I'm sure he needs LOTS of walks and running to disperse that Jack Russell energy.


Robine: Good afternoon ... I have a MN, 10 year old maine coon. He was diagnosed with IBD a year ago. A colon biopsy was not taken so we don't know the cause. He has gone from 10 mg pred down to 2.5 mg once a day. He has also been on proviable dc probiotics once a day. My vet didn't find it necessary to put him on probiotics but in the things I have read it seemed like a good idea. Also he has just started taking Tapazole 1.25 mg once a day because his blood tests showed he was at the beginning stages of hyper thyroid. Now my question, are the probiotics something I should continue forever, or is this something I should stop or give less of ? The reason I ask is I read the side effects info, and it didn't sound like something they should take for the rest of his life. His stools aren't perfectly formed but they do have form and he has had no diarrhea or vomiting for approx 10 months since we got all under control. His last ultra sound showed that his colon was no longer swollen, that was back in March of 2012. Thank you for any info you can offer.

Dr. Debbie: Hi Robine! In your kitty's case I can't see a reason not to continue the probiotics. Ongoing gi disease is one of the primary reasons to use probiotics. In some cases they can be tapered to every other day for a maintenance regimen. I haven't seen any problems with ongoing use in the patients I use chronic dosing.

Also since we are talking supplementing... I'd check to see if your kitty had bvitamin blood levels tested (cobalamine & folate). These bvitamins can be abnormal in cats with chronic gi disease and warrant supplementing. I often give weekly cobalamine injections to supplement- which helps with maintaining weight, appetite and improving stools. (note: these bvitamins don't help if given orally in cats so has to be the injections)

Agressive Dog

Ann: Jr is 9 yrs old and has been on a semi with my husband all his life. We got married 4 yrs ago and I am team driving with my husband and Jr. In about the last yr Jr has become aggressive towards me. Not all the time but has started growling and even biting at me. I do everything for him and sometimes he is very loving towards me. My husband says he is just protecting him but it doesn't happen only when my husband is around. Of course it is known that in the pack my husband is #1, Jr is #2 and I am #3. Can u help me to get him not to be ugly and bite at me for no reason?

Alan Kabel: I'm so glad that you wrote. You've given me some very interesting information. From what you have written it is very clear to me that you and your husband don't have a good handle on dog behavior. Dogs simply are not people. They don't think or process like people, they don't behave like people, communicate like people. They don't have the same needs and emotions as people.

People ascribe human emotions, excuses and rationalizations for dog behavior all of the time. There was a time, not to long ago, when if you told a person you a had a crate for your dog they would have thought you were a horrible person. How could you put your dog in a cage? That is what they would say to me years ago.

The fact is people hate cages but most dogs love their crates. Dogs like small confined spaces and that is why you find them under kitchen or coffee tables.

What is important to you or me doesn't matter or cannot be comprehended by dogs. Dogs need a firm understanding of rules, structure. The most important aspects you mention here.

A. Your dog is placing his teeth on you and is allowed to show aggression towards you, the human.

You husband interprets this behavior as your dog protecting him. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is actually happening in your dogs mind? He is treating you like you describe yourself. Last in the pack order. Exactly the way a DOG treats another dog lower then he is.

B. You admit the most important problem. You are third in the pack.

You shouldn't be surprised that the dog is showing aggression if you are submissive to him and admit you are below him in the pack order. The humans can never be lower then the dog in the pack order without negative and sometimes dangerous consequences. The humans MUST be in charge and a dog can NEVER be permitted to place his teeth on a human. Your dog must be taught this and it begins with your husband understanding that it is not OK and not making human excuses for it.

Understanding that he and you must show your dog that he and you are in charge, that the dog is lowest on the totem pole.

There are many ways to do this beginning with quick, swift corrections when your dog becomes aggressive towards you. Other subtle ways dogs learn who is in charge that you yourself can begin to implement:

Taking control of his food. You hold it, you decide when he gets it, when he eats it. You stand there with it silent for about 60 seconds. Place it down and make him stay until you say OK about another 60 seconds.

In dog language he who controls the food has ultimate power. You feed him AFTER you have eaten and you never give him your food especially while you are eating it. This is weakness in the dog world. A dog pack leader eats first while the others wait. Only when he is done do the others sort it out.

You begin walking him on a leash regularly and never allow him to walk in front of you, only at your side or behind. Do as little speaking as possible. When you get the leash if he gets excited, stand there and say nothing until he becomes calm. Do not place the leash on him until he becomes calm or lays down.

You never let him get in or out of the truck or house first. He is always last. You make him sit and wait for you to allow him to enter or you make him get behind you, wait and then follow when you say OK.

Your spaces are off limits to him. Your bed or side of the bed, your place on the coach (If he is allowed on furniture) Your room. If he is on the coach you make him move and then sit. This is what a pack leader does. If he is in your way when you walk in the house you walk right through him, into him and not around him. You make him move out of your way. You can invite him into your spaces but he can never move into them on his own.

You give your dog affection ONLY when he is doing the right thing, behaving calmly. Doing what you want him to do and never when he is not. If he gets aggressive your husband, you immediately correct him and then quarantine him to his crate or a dark room for at least 20 minutes. You let him know that he is a bad dog.

(You never hit a dog but you can poke him with your fingers in the neck)
You want to correct him quickly with a sound or a quick jolt either with the leash which is attached to a prong collar (they simulate teeth) or choker collar or a quick poke in the neck.

Your husband must do this whenever he shows aggression towards you because he is the leader. Your husband teaches your dog that you are higher on the chain then he is as well.

Your dogs aggression is dangerous and can escalate if you both do not nip this,
learn to communicate with your dog and relate rules and structure to him. He may start being aggressive towards other humans, other dogs, even kids.

Dogs will never understand human but you can learn to speak dog. You can learn how dogs see the world and communicate.

I hope this helps. Be patient and teach your dog with actions, body language not words. They don't understand words. They understand movement, how you carry yourself and conduct yourself. They also make strong associations with objects, people and places.

Dogs need these four things to be well adjusted, calm and happy.

Socialization, Exercise, Structure, Affection. You will notice affection comes last. Dogs do not need affection to be OK but they do need the other 3. Humans need affection. When dogs live together without humans there is no affection. So you only give it to your dog when your dog is behaving properly. You only give them attention when they are behaving properly. If they are not you ignore them or place them away from you in a dark quiet room for about 20 minutes. You never let the dog decide when he is going to get affection, affection. It happens only when you decide to give it. If the dog comes over for it on his own you tell him to go lay down. When he is calmly laying down for about 5 -10 minutes you can go over and give him affection. Calmly so that he continues laying there.

You do not let them out of the car, the house or anywhere until they are calm.

Pay no attention to your dog for at least 10-15 minutes when you come or go from the house or truck and look for triggers that get him anxious and excited. Eliminate those triggers.

The most difficult thing for humans to do is to teach a dog what they want, the behavior they want so slow down and try to understand what your dog sees when you are trying to convey something to him. Then learn how to teach him what you want without complex sentences. Good boy works and that's about it. Sentences are like me speaking Chinese to you.

When you teach them that they will only get rewarded with treats or affection when they behave how you want you become a leader and dogs need humans to be leader or all heck breaks lose.

GOOD LUCK. You are number 2, your dog is number 3. Always.

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