Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday's Issues -- Dog CPR

Would you know what to do if you pet stopped breathing or if you found your pet unconscious and unbreathing?
As pet owners, it is irresponsible not to be prepared for emergencies--both by having supplies on hand and by having some knowledge of what to do.  We all learned basic first aid in school but not for our pets.
Here is a video that shows you how to perform CPR on your pet.  Please learn how to do this.
Your pet will thank you.


Click the image to see a larger version to print out and keep somewhere in your home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday True Stories -- Jailed dogs are cut a break

Here's an article I found on that tells the story of one woman's determination to make a difference in the lives of a forgotten population of shelter animals.  This story broke my heart initially when I learned of these animals, but I was thrilled that they now have such a determined champion.  Please visit the site and read the article.  Maybe you would like to help her?


A maverick program shines a light on a population of dogs the world rarely hears about and offers hope for others like them.  

Stella arrived at the San Francisco Animal Care and Control shelter (SFACC) seven months ago, emaciated and exhausted. Since November, the four-year-old pit bull has been held in city custody while her registered owner is investigated on charges of starving an animal. She now spends her days in a small kennel, waiting for the legal system to decide what should happen to her.
Stella is but one dog among thousands that the American public only rarely, if ever, sees or hears anything about. These are the dogs who end up in shelters because their owners are in the hospital, have been evicted from their homes, have been jailed or--as with Stella's owner--are being investigated for animal cruelty.
Dowling gets a kiss from Pippa
Dowling gets a kiss from Pippa

To listen to the Road to Rescue interview with Give a Dog a Bone founder Corinne Dowling on Animal Radio Network, click here.

Give them a chance to be dogs

When she started volunteering at SFACC in the mid-1990s, Corinne Dowling had no idea these "custody dogs" existed. Ironically, many custody dogs become some of the shelter's longest-staying residents, spending months there before the court decides their fate. In most shelters these dogs are kept apart from the adoptable animals, and regular volunteers, for legal and safety reasons, aren't permitted contact with them. So when Dowling learned that an entire group of dogs was neither walked, nor touched, nor even taken out of their kennels to relieve themselves, she spoke to SFACC administrators about tending to these dogs herself. "After all they'd been through, I just thought they deserved better," she says.
An experienced dog handler, Dowling began taking the custody dogs, one at a time, out to the small enclosed yard on the SFACC grounds. There they could chase tennis balls, sniff leaves, and simply relieve themselves in an area apart from where they eat and sleep. In essence, Dowling began giving them the opportunity to just be dogs.
By 1999, her dedication to San Francisco's custody dogs became a full-time endeavor, and Dowling made her undertaking official. She founded the nonprofit agency Give a Dog a Bone specifically to address the needs of dogs in long-term shelter care. Its mission: to relieve the extreme loneliness, boredom, stress, and suffering dogs in enforced custody endure.

Reaching through bars

Dowling's challenges, however, were just beginning. Custody dogs arrive at SFACC, with a whole host of issues--after all, most of them are there because they've been beaten, starved, or medically neglected. A few come in so fearful and distrusting they're deemed dangerous, and aren't allowed to leave their kennels. But Dowling was not content to simply attend to the dogs that are allowed walks and petting. She was determined that all dogs in the custody wing receive affection, attention, and mental and physical stimulation.
With that goal in mind, Dowling created an environmental enrichment program expressly for the wing's kennel-bound dogs. She developed games to encourage as much stretching and moving as possible-[read more]

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Pet Travel tips from DogTimes Weekly

 Here is an article from DogTimes Weekly, a site filled with wonderful information about dogs and how to be a great dog friend.  With summer in full swing, I know that many people are contemplating traveling with their pet, so I felt this article to be both informative and timely.  Please visit the site after reading because they have articles about anything and everything "dog".


With pet-friendly hotels, cabins, and resort spots popping up all over the map, traveling with your best friend has never been easier. But while jetting off without planning in advance sounds romantic, it can cause sticky situations if your dog is along for the ride.

Practice first

In any endeavor, practice makes perfect. Your angel of a dog could turn into a devil in transit if you embark on a lengthy trip without preparing properly. But with a little advance work, you can help your pup learn to take travel in stride.
  • Acclimate your dog to his carrier or crate. Set the carrier up in the comfort of home well in advance, to help your dog view it as a safe and familiar den that's just his. Be sure the carrier's big enough so your dog can stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.
  • Stick to day trips at first. This is especially helpful for a puppy who hasn't been away from home much. A Saturday visit to an unfamiliar locale can help your dog get used to exploring new terrain and meeting new people.
  • Try an overnight trip next. Once he's used to short journeys, arrange to spend a night with a friend or relative, or go to a pet-friendly hotel. This will introduce your dog to a variety of potentially anxiety-producing situations, such as sleeping in a new place, meeting strangers, and dealing with the odd noises of a different household or a hotel.

Prepare your dog for a lengthy trip

Whether you're setting out via plane, ship, or automobile, take these steps first to prevent problems while you and your dog are away from home:
1. See your veterinarian. Make sure your dog is in good health, is up-to-date on shots, and has enough of any needed medications for the trip. Depending on the destination, the vet may suggest additional vaccinations. For example, if travel involves hiking in the woods, the vet could advise a shot for Lyme disease.
2. Get a health certificate from your vet. This verifies that your dog's in good condition, and it may be required by some airlines, hotels, or doggie daycare locations in other cities.
3. Talk to the vet about sedatives. These are most important if your pet has had travel anxiety in the past, but you may choose to use them as a precautionary measure. However, your vet may advise against them for airplane travel.
4. Try any new sedatives or medications before you leave. Check to see if your dog has any allergic reactions that require a vet visit.
5. Ask your vet about a microchip. If your dog doesn't have one already, you may want one as a safeguard against losing him permanently in an unfamiliar place.
6. Know the rules at your destination. For instance, to bring a dog across the border to Mexico, the health certificate must be dated within two weeks of the travel date. Most such certificates will remain valid for 30 days, to cover bringing the dog back into the U.S. at the end of your trip.
7. Research dog-walking routes in advance. Remember, dogs are creatures of routine, and yours will need that daily walk no matter where your vacation spot is--plus he'll enjoy the adventure of new outings.
Bottom line: Pet-friendly accommodations make it possible to travel widely with your dog--but regulations and requirements mean it's crucial to plan all the details first.
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Things have gotten rather busy around here

Sorry I haven't posted for a while, but it really got busy at my home.  Austen was sick last weekend with fever, diarrhea and lethargy.  He was sick most of the weekend and I was ready to take him to the vet when I got off work Sunday, but he perked up and got an appetite.  Must have been the Pepto Bismol!  Anyway, he was back to his old self by Monday morning, so I was pleased. 

Then this week, Satchmo got sick with pretty much the same symptoms.  I didn't wait around with him because he is 12 and because he dehydrates really fast with diarrhea.  So, off to the vet Thursday.  He is now on a bland diet with probiotic powder on top of it.  He also is taking Flagyl which makes me shudder, but he seems to have no ill effects from it.  Today, he seems to be almost himself again, so I guess it is working.

The outside cats are doing well, and I have wormed them in the canned food I feed at night.  They eat just about anything I put out there, so that has not been hard.  They look better and are really shiny black.  The female, Ditto, had kittens and I managed to catch them only to discover that the kids around here had broken the front leg of the little black one, so I had it put to sleep.  The other one is a black and white female and she is a pistol.  She has been in the house in a cage for a week and she still hisses and spits, but I don't have to wear gloves to pick her up.  She has recently begun purring when I take her out to hold her, so I think she will come around.  I got her wormed and her shots started and next week I will take her back for a repeat.  When she is old enough I will get her spay and then I will find her a really good home.

So, I have been up to my eyeballs in animals for a while now, but I wouldn't change that at all.  I'm glad that the dogs feel better and I hope this kitten finds a great home when she is ready.  I plan to talk to my neighbor about helping me trap the two cats to get them shots and fixed soon.
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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I know that this is a national holiday, but with a dog who has a noise phobia, it is very difficult to enjoy all the fireworks.  Where I live, there are many families setting off fireworks and firecrackers, even though we live in city limits.  My poor Satchmo is about to have a nervous breakdown!

On another note, I have been worried about Austen.  He has been really sick with diarrhea and vomiting for the last two days.  I've been afraid he would get dehydrated, so I started giving him Pepto Bismol and that seemed to help him just a little.  Today, he has finally stopped having the squirts, but now he has a sick stomach and lays around looking miserable.  What to do?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday's issues --Your Dog's Medicine Cabinet

Everyone who owns a pet needs to stock certain items for pet emergencies.  Usually, if your pet gets sick, it will almost always be in the night, on the weekend, or on a holiday.  You will need to learn some type of pet First Aid and have a first aid kit for your pets.  You need to educate yourself on signs and symptoms of pet illness and what you can do to help. 

Here is an article I found that lists some of the items you need to have on hand:
By: Dr. Amy Wolff
Hydrogen peroxide should be in every dog's medicine cabinet. Hydrogen peroxide should be in every dog's medicine cabinet.
For Minor Illnesses
Most of us keep a variety of medicines at home for those occasions when we are sick or injured, but did you know there are some important medicines to keep on hand if your dog is not well? Here are some of the commonly used items you should have on hand in your dog's medicine chest. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before giving any medicines to your dog.

  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

    Hydrogen peroxide should be in every dog's medicine cabinet. Although most commonly thought of as a way to clean a wound, another important use is to induce vomiting when your dog has ingested toxins, foreign objects, drugs or spoiled food. However, check with your veterinarian first because there are times when it is best not to induce vomiting. Dogs won't drink peroxide willingly so buy an oral dose syringe or keep a turkey baster on hand to help administer the liquid. Also check the expiration date; expired peroxide is not as effective.

  • Diphenhydramine

    Benadryl® (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that is commonly used for itching and allergic reactions. Dogs that have had a bee sting, insect bite or vaccination reaction often need a dose of Benadryl® to calm itchiness, facial swelling or hives. The dose is based on your dog's weight, so check with your veterinarian; he or she can tell you how much Benadryl® you can give and how often.

  • Pepto-Bismol/Kaopectate

    Every dog owner knows about vomiting, diarrhea and gas. Sometimes a dose of Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate can solve a mild case of stomach or intestinal upset. However, Pepto-Bismol contains salicylates, the active ingredient in aspirin, so dogs that are aspirin sensitive should be given Kaopectate. Any vomiting or diarrhea that persists for more than 24 hours needs your veterinarian's attention. Be sure to mention if you have given any Pepto-Bismol to your dog; the tablet form of Pepto-Bismol looks just like a quarter on X-rays.

  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment

    Topical antibacterial ointment is great for superficial wounds, such as cuts and scratches. It works best when the wound is located where the dog can't lick it since most dogs will lick off any salve you apply. It is not a good treatment for deep wounds, especially if they are dirty or bleeding, or the result of a bite. These need veterinary attention.

  • Alcohol

    Isopropyl alcohol is often a good drying agent for ears. Many dogs that have recurring ear infections can use a solution of alcohol mixed with vinegar to dry up a wet ear. Alcohol should never be used in an ear that is inflamed or infected, or on a wound, as it burns when applied to damaged tissues. It can also be used in cases where your dog is overheated. Heat stroke is a life threatening situation that requires immediate veterinary attention, but alcohol applied to the pad of your dog's feet can provide some cooling while you are getting your pet to the vet.

  • Bandages and Tape

    It can be challenging to bandage a bleeding wound on your pet. Most often an old sock and electrical tape are cleverly used as bandages when an emergency arises. Keep a pack of clean or sterile gauze and some medical tape handy. Most bleeding wounds require pressure and tape will help keep the gauze in place.

    Oral Dose Syringe/Pill Gun/Pill Splitter

    Your veterinarian can supply you with a handy little item called a pill gun. It is a long plastic tube with a plunger used to deliver pills to our less cooperative friends. Some dogs just aren't fooled by that little meatball with the pill in the middle. The pill gun keeps you from having to stick your hand/fingers into your dog's mouth when medicating him. An oral dose syringe will help you give liquid medications accurately. A pill splitter will help you cut large tablets into equal portions if your pet requires a smaller dose.

    Having these medications on hand is only half the job. Calling your pet's doctor for proper instructions and potential side effects is the other. Never give your pet any medicine prescribed for people unless instructed by your veterinarian.

  • Please visit the site for more information about pet health.

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