Sunday, May 18, 2008


Good morning and welcome to "Questions On Dogs and Cats," the new blog created with you in mind. Dog and cat owners always have questions about their pets and they usually enjoy talking about their pets. Helpful Buckeye is in the cyber office this week to provide interesting and timely information about dogs and cats and to help our readers with their pet questions. Hopefully, this 2-way street of information exchange will be thought-provoking, helpful, and enjoyable for all of us.
Our weekly format will include (but not be limited to) the following topics:

  • Current News of Interest

  • Diseases, Ailments, and Medical Conditions

  • Non-Medical Concerns

  • Interesting Anecdotes

  • Word (phrase) and Definition of the Week

  • E-mails From Readers

  • Thoughts From Desperado (Helpful Buckeye's Assistant Head Coach and Office Manager)

  • Items of General Interest to Pet Owners

  • Sports News & Updates

  • Personal Stuff

OK, here we go......hope you enjoy the ride!


The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has proclaimed this week (May 18-24) as National Dog Bite Prevention Week. I don't know how many of you have ever been bitten by a dog, but Helpful Buckeye (HB) is here to tell you that it can hurt! HB has numerous scars from dog and cat bites, as well as some from deep scratches too...and he supposedly knew what he was doing! The AVMA is trying to call attention to this very common problem and to help people understand how to avoid being bitten. The following is from the AVMA brochure on dog bites:

There are 4. 7 million people bitten by dogs every year, and this suffering, injury, disability and mortality is completely unnecessary. It's up to people, not dogs, to stop dog bites.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has joined with the United States Post Office (USPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in sponsoring Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 18-24th, 2008, to help prevent dog bites. Small children are the most common victims, followed by older people and USPS employees.
"Every year approximately 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites, and half of these victims are children, so this is a very serious problem," says Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA president. "About a dozen dog bite victims die every year. What's most important is that dog bites are largely preventable. Through appropriate dog training and education of adults and children, these numbers could be dramatically reduced. That's why Dog Bite Prevention Week is so important, because it brings to attention this preventable medical problem."

Wow, that's a lot of people who get bitten by dogs each year! Wouldn't it be nice to know how to prevent most dog bites? Well, the AVMA brochure helps with that too:

Important dog bite prevention tips include:
Pick a dog that is good match for your home. Consult your veterinarian for details about the behavior of different breeds.
Socialize your pet. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of people and other animals so it feels at ease in these situations; continue this exposure as your dog gets older.
Train your dog. Commands can build a bond of obedience and trust between man and dog. Avoid aggressive games like wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog.
Vaccinate your dog against rabies and other diseases.
Neuter or spay your dog. These dogs are less likely to bite.
Teach your child to ask a dog owner for permission before petting any dog.
Let a strange dog sniff you or your child before touching it, and pet it gently, avoiding the face, head and tail.
Never bother a dog if it is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
Do not try to run past a dog.
If a dog threatens you, remain calm. Avoid eye contact. Stand still or back away slowly until the dog leaves. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and protect your face with your arms and fists.

Using these suggestions, you and your child should be able to avoid being bitten. However, in the unfortunate event that someone is bitten, the brochure continues with this advice:

If bitten, request proof of rabies vaccination from the dog owner, get the owner's name and contact information, and contact the dog's veterinarian to check vaccination records. Then immediately consult with your doctor. Clean bite wound with soap and water as soon as possible. If the attack victim is bleeding from a dog bite, immediately take them to a doctor or emergency room.

For further information and to view the entire brochure, visit the AVMA at their web site:

To help educate the public about dog bites, the AVMA has developed a brochure, "What you should know about dog bite prevention," offering tips on how to avoid being bitten, what dog owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting and how to treat dog bites. For more information on National Dog Bite Prevention Week and to access the brochure online, visit

Desperado has some memories she'd like to share from a painful bite she received:

When the Helpful Buckeye told me that this is national dog bite prevention week, I recalled the only dog bite I ever had. I was jogging down a city street that I’d run on for years. There were always dogs in the neighborhood, most running free—bad idea. One summer Sunday, I spied a lazy lab-shepherd snoozing near the curb. As I jogged past, he suddenly sprang up and grabbed the back of my leg. Then, just as I yelped, he lay back down. The bite site was sore for days, and still today I have a purplish bump on the spot. So HB, what could I have done differently to avoid the bite?

OK, readers, repeat after NOT disturb a sleeping dog and do NOT try to run past a dog that is upset. Desperado probably would have been better off to change her jogging path to the other side of the street when she noticed the snoozing dog, right? However, that being said, joggers and bike riders tend to day dream a little when they are moving and can get into a situation like this before they realize what is happening. Desperado was lucky the attack wasn't any worse. She did verify the dog's rabies vaccination status with the owner and got proper treatment for the wound.

Just so we all understand the potential danger from dog bites, which of the following dogs shown at the top of this page do you think can or would bite you? If you said the Pit Bull, you might be right; even the Spaniel, the Schnauzer, or the Bulldog might be good answers. However, the truth of the matter is that ALL of them can or would bite you and people should consider that when approaching any dog, no matter how gentle it appears. (The pictures were obtained free from ) Save yourself a painful wound by treating ALL dogs with respect an by following the above-mentioned list of bite prevention tips. Remember that dogs and cats are still animals and any animal can react in unpredictable need look no further than Steve Irwin and Siegfried & Roy, all of whom were trained professionals, for examples of the dangers involved.


"Heinz 57"--a fairly descriptive and somewhat humorous name for a mixed-breed dog of uncertain parentage; it is derived from the Heinz food company slogan of "57 varieties"; needless to say, if the mixed-breed pup is the offspring of 2 mixed-breed parents, then the "varieties" really increase. What mixed breed dogs have you enjoyed and why?


Those of you reading this blog who have dogs and cats probably already have a regular veterinarian for your pets. For the purposes of this next topic, I would be interested in hearing your reasons for choosing the veterinary hospital/clinic you currently patronize. Don't worry about being original.....just be honest and sincere. What attracted you to the facility in the first place? Then, when you feel that you have answered that one to your satisfaction, what are the reasons that keep you going back to the facility? If we get enough responses, perhaps we can draw some conclusions about how these choices materialize. Helpful Buckeye will contribute some ideas from his years of practice when we tally the results.


Yes, please do! Of course, you can add posts of your own to this blog, but sometimes an e-mail does just as well. Simply use Helpful Buckeye's e-mail address as listed at the top of the header. The only two things we ask from you, if you send an e-mail, are that you state that we can either use or NOT use what you send as material for a future posting on this blog, and that you let us know if we can use your name and/or geographical location in the posting. We will provide the fuel for the engine of this blog. Your contributions will be the "gas pedal" that will drive this blog. So, don't let the engine run on its own...accelerate it!


The Dodgers lost today to the Angels, but what's new about that! They beat us regularly. I think it comes from the Angels feeling like "bridesmaids" in their own town. With the Diamondbacks winning, we are now still in 2nd place, but 5.5 games out.

The Spurs are tied, 3-3, with the Hornets, and the 7th game will be played in New Orleans on Monday, the19th. The winner will face the Lakers for the Western Conference Championship. So far, the home team has won every game by a convincing margin. It might be tough for the Spurs to break that trend.


Helpful Buckeye promises to make every effort to deliver only information that is accurate and verified. If we feel that something is "sketchy" and not verifiable, we will say so and let you decide how to use it.

"What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before." —Mark Twain, American writer and journalist, Notebooks, 1935. A lot of what we post on this blog will have been said elsewhere before; however, our aim is to say it, perhaps a little differently, so that it will be easier for you to understand and appreciate.

OK, that's it for now......take 2 milk bones and see me next week.

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