While we might enjoy all of the celebrations that happen during the summer months, our pets do not always feel the same. With Independence Day right around the corner, it's time to start preparing for fireworks and other forms of celebration that may trigger fear and anxiety in your pets. There are many ways to prepare your pet and yourself for these events, such as;
Heartworm disease is a serious and deadly disease transmitted by mosquitos that is found in the United States and all over different parts of the world. Heartworm disease is found in dogs, cats and ferrets. However, heartworms also live in other mammal species. These species can include wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and—in rare instances—humans. The disease is caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels. This causes severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body.
Keeping your pets on year-round heartworm prevention is key to making sure that your pets do not contract heartworm disease. An annual heartworm test is required to ensure that the prevention is working and your pet does not have heartworm disease. If your pet has not been on year round prevention, a heartworm test is recommended every 6 months.
For more information on heartworm disease visit https://www.heartwormsociety.org/ .
Hypoglycemia in dogs happens when their bodies are deprived of its main source of energy; sugar. The ability to function declines and can result in loss of consciousness or even death. Hypoglycemia is often found in dogs that fall under the Toy Breed category. Toy breeds are a product of selective breeding that has been going on for centuries. Some examples of breeds that can be in the “toy” category include Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Toy Poodle, Pomeranian, and Chihuahua. There are many other breeds that can fit into this category as well. When these toy breeds are fully grown they are even smaller than normal; making them extremely tiny as puppies. Their unusually small size can lead to many complications as they begin to grow. Two major complications that can lead to hypoglycemia in these toy breeds are cutting their baby teeth late resulting in difficulty to chew kibbled foods and difficulty maintaining their body temperature. These factors combined result in increased difficulty maintaining normal blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels drop this low, it creates extreme lethargy, incoordination, and even seizures.
Shiloh is a good example of a toy breed with hypoglycemia. She is a 4lb Shih Tzu Poodle mix and was brought into see us just 5 days after being picked up from the breeder. She was brought into our clinic with symptoms of vomiting, not eating, weakness, dehydration, and extreme lethargy. She was tested for the parvo virus upon arrival and when those test results came back negative, she was put on IV fluids and hospitalized for further observation and treatment. Shiloh stayed with us through the night and most of the following day. When our staff came in the next morning at 7:00am they found her bright and alert and whining at the door of her kennel. Even though Shiloh was alert and more active, she still would not eat on her own. Our staff managed to syringe feed her to get something in her stomach and then she was able to go home for the evening.
This pattern continued over the next couple of days. Shiloh was reaching extreme highs and extreme lows. She would go from running around the house and being playful, to crashing and having to be rushed back into the clinic. It was determined that Shiloh was hypoglycemic and, once she was feeling better, was able to be sent home with strict instructions that would keep her from crashing again. These instructions included having to be fed every 2 hours along with taking a high calorie supplement. Her family was diligent and worked hard to keep Shiloh going, and thanks to their dedication, Shiloh is now doing well and able to eat kibbled dog food on her own. She is still being monitored to make sure that as she grows there are no more complications. The extreme lows that Shiloh was experiencing when her blood sugar drops are life threatening and not something to take lightly. With the proper care, dogs that experience hypoglycemia can live long and happy lives; just like Shiloh.
Many of the things that are safe for humans to use and/or ingest can be quite toxic to our pets. According to the Pet Poison Helpline's website, here are the top 10 pet poisons that the Helpline gets called about:
Make sure that these toxins are out of reach for your pets! If you suspect that your pet has ingested any of these items or if you have concerns about poisons in your home and our office is closed, please call the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.
Why should I have a fecal test done for my pet?
Bringing your pet’s fecal sample to us is an essential part of your pet’s overall health. Fecal samples allow the doctor to check your pet for intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are a major cause of morbidity in pets as well as being a concern for people. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34% of dogs in the United States have some kind of intestinal parasite, and 14% of people in the United States have been infected with roundworms originating from their pet.
Fecal testing is an important tool used to ensure your pet and your household are not infected or exposed to intestinal parasites.
What does a fecal test detect?
Fecal testing enables the doctor to determine if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and coccidia. Since intestinal parasites live in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, they are usually hidden from view. Unlike external parasites like fleas and ticks, most intestinal parasites are never seen. The only way to detect the presence of intestinal parasites, and identify them, is by doing a fecal test.
Here are 5 tips for getting that all important fecal sample to us!
1. The fresher the better.
If your dog’s fecal sample has been in the back yard for 3 days, leave it there. A 3 day old sample does not allow for an accurate diagnostic test to be performed. The same is true for your cat. A cat fecal sample that has been in a litter box for 3 days is a poor sample for testing. Fresh samples provide better results! A sample collected and tested within 12 hours is the goal.
2. Storage is key.
If your pet fecal sample is collected in the morning but you can’t go to the clinic until later in the day, that’s o.k. You can store the sample in your refrigerator using the collection kit we provide. In cooler weather, you can store the sample outside. Avoid extremes in temperature when storing a fecal sample. Never store it in the freezer or leave it in the hot sun.
3. Bigger is not better.
We only need a small amount to run a fecal test. A sample about the size of 2 large grapes is adequate.
Use the fecal collection test kit we have provided. Follow the instructions included with the kit. Be certain to complete the label included with the kit.
5. Make sure you’re only bringing fecal matter.
Cat urine can clump in a litter box and be confused for cat feces. This will result in a test that has to be rejected.
Fecal Test Kit - Collection and Instructions
Your pets fecal test kit contains the following:
Before you collect the fecal sample, make sure it was deposited less than 12 hours before collection. Doing so will allow us to get the most accurate test results. Bring the sample to the clinic for testing the day of collection or the next morning.
Steps for fecal sample collection:
It's been a while since we've blogged about Storie McKnight, but she has been busier than ever. Since April, Storie has spent 11 weekends traveling to dock jump! She added Canada to her list in April, which was fun since neither Storie nor Ronalee had been there.
Storie was in Evansville, IN (home base for one of her sponsors, Earthborn Holistic Foods) as they sponsored bringing in the pool for a Shrine Festival/Air Show (very loud, but didn’t seem to bother Storie). The Ultimate Air Dog Judge guessed that Storie jumped over 100 times during the 3 day event! Her biggest jump was 28’7” and she won both the distance, Fetch It and Catch It competitions (set a new record for UAD too in Catch It!) Storie got to do lots and lots of demos during this 3 day event and lots of people from Earthborn came to the dock to try out their throwing techniques with her.
Storie also competed in the UKC Premier in Kalamazoo, MI. She also won that event with her largest jump of the weekend of 27’9” and she competed with the UPDOG Challenge (frisbee). JD did the winning toss in the toss/fetch competition, they took 1st place!! Way to go, JD and Storie!
They also competed in the Petunia Festival in Dixon, IL where Storie and 5 other Ultimate Dogs competed in the Ultimate category. Another black Lab, named Turbo (from southern Ohio) and from the same champion field grandfather as Storie, went neck and neck-- Storie holding out with a 28’4” high jump for the weekend, this also qualifies her for the UAD Games in St. Louis later in the year (this is the new national event for UA--- Storie is currently the three time defending National Champion for UAD.
This weekend Storie, Ronalee and JD were off to Boston, MA for the Purina ProPlan Eastern Regionals for distance jumping. The two dogs that have beaten Storie in the past year will both be competing, so it's bound to be exciting. JD and Ronalee are hoping that they can switch back and forth throwing for Storie to keep her on her game.
Storie ended up WINNING the Eastern Regional Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge with a jump of 30’5”. They had three jumps, JD threw for the first and the last (which was the winning jump) and Ronalee threw for the middle jump. They were in second place until the final jump. Out of the 10 dogs competing, Storie knew and had competed with 7 of the 10, so lots of friends, competitors and fun and wonderful weather! She’s still flying and now will go to the Purina Nationals to compete as the Eastern Regional Winner for 2015!
Thanks for all the support from all our friends and fans, they really appreciate it! When we get the TV schedule later in the year, we will let you know!
Watch Storie's winning jump. Start at 6:50 on the video to see Storie's incredible 30'5" jump!
BY SGT. JOE MAURO 308
The police community has seen the use of canines in the day to day activity of fighting crime. It is a far cry from the bloodhounds used to track Cool Hand Luke when he would escape from the chain gang. We no longer have chain gangs, we have trustees who show “good behavior” so they can get out of the jail during good weather and pick up garbage along the roads in the county.
Today we have trained canine helpers to specialize in one area, such as tracking, drug detection, food detection at points of entry, crowd control, building searches and so on. If the sense of smell can be used to detect illegal activity, there is a canine specialty for it.
But we have seen an influx of canines used in multiple disciplines. For instance the Miami County Sheriff’s Office has a canine officer, Deputy Tina Waymire whose partner Nero is a tracking dog as well as a drug sniffing specialist. Tipp City Police Sgt. Greg Adkins handles Gitta, also a multipurpose patrol dog. Both dogs are very successful in finding drugs, missing children and adults, pursuing criminals and with their presence, simply scaring would be fighters into submission.
With the use of the canine officers, comes a downside. When the human officer is working a case or is on station doing paperwork or any myriad number of related police activity not requiring the canine officer, what to do with the dog? At TCPD as well as the Sheriff’s Office, there are cages on station with food and water bowls. At times, the dog is allowed to roam the offices, interacting with the officers. Sgt. Adkins tells the story of finding Gitta with an aluminum wrapper from an energy bar. He asked if I used those when my sugar was low and I confirmed that indeed I did keep a bar or two in my desk. I had to purchase a new supply because Gitta found them, opened the drawer and had a snack.
But if we have a suspect to be interviewed or a prisoner on station, we cannot allow Gitta in the building, as it may be claimed the dog was used to intimidate a confession. As ridiculous as that may sound, the defense attorney will use any trick to muddy the true facts of the case.
So I will speak to the Tipp City Canine Cruiser, assigned to Sgt. Adkins and Gitta solely for their use. Let me tell you, after a wet dog has been in a confined cruiser for a shift, no other officer would want to use the car anyway. We presently use a Ford Crown Victoria Police Pursuit Package, outfitted specifically for Sgt. Adkins and Gitta.
Sgt. Adkins sits in the front seat and drives, leaving the back seat for Gitta. At one time it was thought that a SUV was a good canine vehicle, giving the dog more room to move around and allowing the back seat to still hold prisoners with the dog in the rear/cargo area. This over the years has been phased out, due to the dogs having to jump up and down to get in and out of the rear. Police were seeing an early death/disability rate among these dogs, developing hip and joint problems; their bodies wore out early.
So police departments have gone back to using sedans which sit much lower and do not wear on the hips and joints as much. When we purchased Gitta and Patrolman Greg Adkins became the Canine Officer, Dr. Martin English, DVM started a fund drive as “Friends of the TCPD K9” program. The program was an effort to equip the TCPD Canine car with top of the line accessories to keep Gitta safe. The donations were handled by the Tipp Monroe Community Services people to keep everything above board and transparent.
I recently interviewed now Sgt. Greg Adkins, who kept canine Gitta as his partner when he was promoted. Sgt. Adkins studied the canine cruiser inserts, heat alarm detection systems and selected a system called “Hot Dog”, designed by Criminalistics.
The heat alarm has a maximum and minimum temperature that is preset to activate if those temperatures are reached. When the heat alarm is activated, the overhead emergency lights are turned on, the horn begins sounding to alert anyone around that the dog may be in trouble. Along with the lights and horn, the rear windows, where the canine is located, will lower and a large fan will activate, blowing large amounts of fresh air through the insert area of the car. The dog cannot escape, as the insert has a perforated shield blocking any egress.
You may see the canine cruiser parked at the scene of a crime with the engine running. This is an allowance for the canine to be kept cool from the air conditioner. In the event that the air conditioner fails or the cruiser shuts down, again the heat alarm will activate and make sure Gitta is not enclosed in oven type conditions. While inside the cruiser on patrol, the air conditioner duct on the dash board has one duct dedicated to sending air via a tube, into the canine compartment. When the dog is worked, they begin to overheat, just like humans, only they sweat through their nose and pads on their feet. Having her own air flow allows her to cool down more quickly than without it. This helps to prevent heat exhaustion for the dog.
The cost of the equipment to prevent tragedy as we have seen in Mercer County, Camden, N.J. and Nottinghamshire, England recently was $800. Considering the expense of the dog, the initial training, upkeep and continuous in-service training, that was actually a very reasonable cost. It goes without saying what the emotional loss a police department and community feels when they lose member of the department. Gitta is a protector of not only her handler, but of the society in which she and Sgt. Adkins diligently strive to do their duty.
What is rabies?
Rabies is an acute viral infection that can affect all warm-blooded animals--including dogs and cats. The disease is almost always caused by the bite of an infected animal that has rabies virus in its saliva. Younger animals are usually more susceptible to rabies infection. And it's always fatal once clinical signs appear.
Once the rabies virus enters the body, it travels along the nerves to the brain. It can take a matter of days, weeks or months for your pet to show signs of the rabies virus.
How can I tell if an animal has rabies?
What happens if my pet is bitten by a wild animal?
Dogs, cats or ferrets that have never been vaccinated and are exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanized. Current regulations in Miami County require that if a dog, cat or ferret is bitten by a wild animal that cannot be caught for rabies testing, the pet may need to be euthanized, or, at least, quarantined for six months.
Miami County Combined Health District Rabies Regulations require that all dogs, cats and ferrets be immunized and/or reimmunized by a licensed veterinarian.
Not only is immunization the best protection for your pet, it is the law. We are committed to helping you make the best choices for your pet's health. Be sure that your pet's immunizations are up-to-date and bring them in regularly for check-ups and boosters.
Storie McKnight is one of four Ultimate Air Dog competitors to perform in preliminary jumps on the afternoon of Monday, August 25 with three dogs then advancing to the on-air competition to be shown on the Late Show with David Letterman in NY that same evening. Be sure to tune in with a big show of support for our favorite jumper! Go Storie!!!
By Paula Garber, AVA
As a Puppy Parent you have taken on a very rewarding job. You have the opportunity to guide your puppy into becoming a confident and loved member of your family.
The past and most common theory has been that you must be the "Alpha" dog of your "dog pack." This outdated theory usually entails dominating your puppy both physically and mentally. It is theorized that you need to dominate your puppy at all times and be prepared to stop any challenge that your puppy may make toward your "alpha" role. It is assumed, by this theory, that your puppy is constantly thinking of ways to stage a coup and take over leadership.
We have since realized that the "alpha theory" is incorrect and that there is a much simpler explanation for why your dog misbehaves--he has not been taught the correct behavior. Although "pack rules" apply to the relationship between dogs, they do not apply to a person. Your puppy knows you are not a dog. The dominance theory is simply unnecessary and may prevent you from enjoying the broad relationship you can have with your puppy.
Now that we have disposed of the idea that your puppy is constantly trying to take over the human world, we can begin to build a positive relationship between you and your puppy.
The following are 10 things that we know about dogs (edited from Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson):
Part of being fair is understanding the previously mentioned dog characteristics. We ask our dogs to live in a human world, follow human rules and give up many of their normal dog behaviors. We should be fair in our expectations and understand what motivates our dogs.
Being a Good Teacher
Being a good teacher is not about domination or forcing your will on others. It is about taking responsibility, not only for making decisions but also for taking care of your "students." As a teacher it is your job to sort out things when they go wrong.
Imagine that you are on an airplane and you discover tha the pilot has never flown a plane before. Things begin to go wrong, the plane dips, warning lights go on and your pilot is hiding in the restroom. You lose confidence and begin to look for a new person to guide you out of the unpredictable situation. You need to show your puppy that he can have confidence in you and that you will take care of things--especially when things go wrong.
A teacher should give consistent guidance and not provide fear. Your job is to guide your puppy into making the right decisions by controlling what he learns. A fundamental method of doing this is through supervision. Don't allow your puppy to learn that grabbing your child's clothes will make the child dance around squealing with what the puppy thinks is delight. Instead, teach your puppy to sit at the child's feet for a food treat. We spend an enormous amount of time telling our puppies "No, no, bad dog" but we don't guide them into making a decision that will be rewarded. Don't waste your time telling your puppy what not to do. Instead teach him what to do.
Lack of consistency and predictability are two of the main precursors for behavior problems. Imagine that one day you went to work and your boss told you what a wonderful employee that you were. Five minutes later he was ranting and screaming at you for no apparent reason. Later, he tells you how much he values you. This environment would create anxiety and distrust. Many times this is the very environment we create for our dogs. They cannot predict how we will react.
Be a Good Communicator
Your job is to tell your puppy when he is doing something that you like by rewarding the behavior. A behavior will be reapeated if it is rewarded. If a behavior is not rewarded, it will go away. You have less than one second to communicate to your puppy that a behavior is correct.
There will rarely, if ever, be a time that you need to discipline your puppy. You should never have to "enforce" obedience, it will be given willingly when your puppy trusts and respects you. Trust and respect will come from your consistent and predictable interactions, ability to communicate accurately which behaviors will be rewarded and the ability to teach the behaviors you want your puppy to learn.
If your puppy is performing a behavior that could hurt himself or others, stop the behavior and get your puppy out of the situation before he learns something that you don't want him to learn. Sit down and decide what behavior you should teach to prevent the behavior from occurring again. Don't physically discipline him--which will only increase aggression and fear. Instead, guide him into a more appropriate behavior that you can reward.
You and your puppy are a team. His job is to offer behaviors and your job is to pick behaviors to be rewarded. Only when you understand how your puppy thinks and learns will you gain his trust and respect.
This information has been given as a brief overview of how to be a good Puppy Parent. However, many of us have not used these methods before and we need to retrain ourselves before attempting to communicate with our puppies. Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional instruction in applying behavior-based training methods.
References and Suggested Reading:
1. Culture Clash, Jean Donaldson
2. Don't Shoot the Dogs: The New Art of Teaching and Training
3. Clicking with your Dogs, Peggy Tillman
4. The Perfect Puppy: How to Raise a Well-Behaved Dog, B. Bailey
5. Pupply Training for Kids, S. Whitehead
Visit www.dogwise.com for availability of the above titles.