Sunday, June 22, 2008


Ah, yes, now it's officially summer, since we passed the summer solstice a few days ago. For most of us, the summer season began back around Memorial Day weekend, but there's plenty of room for one more observance, right? Take a couple of minutes right here to enjoy Nat King Cole providing the musical background for the "...azy days of summer", from his big hit of 1963:

The words and the tune are truly infectious and I defy any of you to say that you don't find yourself humming the tune well after the video is finished! Even the dogs have gotten into the spirit of the song:


1) From the American Veterinary Medical Association, this press release of 6/20/08:

At least 25,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Iowa due to severe flooding. Due to the recent flooding in the Cedar Rapids area, a temporary shelter for displaced pets was established at Kirkwood Community College. Approximately 700 animals are being housed at the shelter as of today, Friday June 20, 2008. Most of the animals are dogs and cats. The shelter is expected to be in operation for at least 30 days.The greatest need for assistance right now is for volunteers to assist with the cleaning, walking, and feeding of the animals, as well as answering the phones.

Hopefully, these pets will be reunited with their families...another reminder of the benefits of being able to identify your pet should it become separated from you! I realize that we have sounded repetitive on this theme; however, you can count on this type of scenario being played out somewhere else in the USA again before summer is over.

2) An auction was announced on 6/19/08 for the cloning of 5 dogs by:

Is Fido on his last legs? Well, he may have a second chance, in a manner of speaking, as long as you're sure to collect a DNA sample.BioArts International, a San Francisco-based firm, has announced it will auction off five slots for people who want clones produced of their dogs – plus one more slot for a lucky contest winner. BioArts claims its dog clones will not only match their donor subjects in appearance, but also in personality.The "Best Friends Again" auction will commence July 5, with five separate bidding rounds running in succession. Winning bids will have 30 days to successfully collect and supply DNA from their dogs so BioArts can get to work. Now, before you get too excited, know this: Bids start at $100,000, so you'll need deep pockets to participate in the auction.Also, no cats, you cat-people out there.The BioArts project got its start back in 1998 after the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep was announced to the world the year before. An organization called Genetic Savings & Clone was established to collect the DNA of a dog named Missy, who was both beloved by her family and apparently advanced in age. The so-called Missyplicity project wasn't able to clone the dog before her death, but one of the participants, a South Korean scientist, eventually did clone a dog named Snuppy in 2006. One year later, clones of Missy were created and apparently they look and behave much as the original dog did, even down to the canine's odd preference for broccoli.

Interesting ideas for discussion! Would you do it? For $100,000? Do you expect more or less of this in the future? ANY COMMENTS, please send an e-mail to:


1)Last week we introduced a brief history of vaccines and guidelines for their usage. One of the "Core" vaccines for both dogs and cats is rabies. Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is caused by a deadly virus. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and other animals by a bite from an infected animal. Only mammals can get rabies (birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians do not) and most cases of rabies occur in wild animals...mainly skunks, raccoons, bats, foxes, and coyotes. Infected animals can show many signs, including:

  • fearfulness,

  • aggression,

  • excessive drooling,

  • difficulty swallowing,

  • staggering,

  • unusual behavior, and

  • seizures.

Rabies is also referred to as "madness, rage, fury, and hydrophobia" by various cultures. Typically, people expect to be confronted by a very menacing animal:

Rabies vaccinations and animal control programs, along with better treatment for people who have been bitten, have dramatically reduced the number of human cases of rabies in the USA. Some forensic scientists have concluded that the inventor of the detective-fiction novel actually died of complications from rabies in Baltimore in that enough information for you to make a guess as to his identity?

Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849

Your veterinarian will help you plan the proper and recommended rabies vaccination schedule for you dogs and cats. As for regular booster vaccines, each state has different requirements on the duration of the previous vaccine. Some states require it every year, while other states require boosters at 3 year intervals. In most localities, a valid and up-to-date rabies vaccination is required in order to purchase a dog or cat license. Again, your veterinarian will help you comply with those regulations.

If your pet is up-to-date on the rabies vaccination and has bitten someone:

  • urge the victim to see a physician immediately for proper care,

  • be able to produce the proper documentation of vaccination,

  • report the bite to the local health department and animal control agency...they will confine your pet (quite often in your home) and have it be closely observed for 10 days,

  • don't let your pet stray away from home or give it away during this confinement period.

These recommendations and requirements may vary slightly in different localities, but the thrust of them is to protect the human victim and your pet at the same time. Nancy from PA sent in a question about a neighbor who shot and killed his dog after it had bitten someone, so that he wouldn't have to go through a quarantine period and any of the legal punishment involved in not having an up-to-date rabies vaccination for his dog. The local authorities (health department and police) should have taken quick action to obtain the head of the dog for analysis of its brain tissue...and to punish the owner for non-compliance with the law.

Rabies in humans in the USA is considered to be uncommon today, and most of those involve exposure to rabid bats. In contrast, 55,000 people die annually around the world from rabies. Dogs are still a significant source of rabies in other countries, so travelers should be aware of this risk when traveling outside of the USA. Countries/regions that are considered to be rabies-free are England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Americans going to those countries and wanting to take their pets must endure a 6-month quarantine period for their pets before being allowed to take them into the country. For further information on any aspect of rabies, go to:

ANY COMMENTS, please send an e-mail to:

2) A couple of weeks ago, we talked about different types of infectious diseases, focusing on canine heartworm disease at that time. Canine Heartworm Disease is an arthropod-borne parasite that requires a mosquito for transmission to the dog. This week, our discussion will focus on intestinal parasites of dogs and cats, which can be transmitted by either the direct route or the indirect route. The basic and most common of the intestinal parasites seen in most dogs and cats in the USA are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, Coccidia, and Giardia. The direct route of infection involves the pet coming into direct contact with either the eggs or infective larvae, usually by walking through infective feces of another dog or cat, and then licking their paws and swallowing the infective larvae. Once in the digestive system, these larvae develop into the adult form of the parasite. Of the parasites listed, the first four are in the "worm" category and the last two are in the "protozoan" category. The direct route of infection is the manner of spread of all these parasites except for the tapeworms. Tapeworms are spread by the indirect route, which means that the parasite has to go through another animal (known as the intermediate host), other than the dog or cat, before it can be infective to the dog or cat. The most common tapeworm in dogs and cats in the USA is the one using the flea or biting louse as its intermediate host. The next most common tapeworm is that using the rabbit as its intermediate host.

In future postings, Helpful Buckeye will present further information about each of these parasites, how to treat them, and how to prevent them from occurring.

ANY COMMENTS, please send an e-mail to:


Going along with the "Summer" theme of these recent and current postings, a lot of you have back yard swimming pools or neighbors with pools. It's a lot of fun to be able to jump in your own pool when the weather is hot and you need to cool off, right? Well, your dog is no different in that regard. In our recent posting on heat exhaustion, we described how easy it is for a dog to become overheated on a sunny, hot day. If your dog either jumps into or falls into your pool and you are not in the vicinity, how will the dog get out of the pool? If you have the sloping-type steps, perhaps your pooch can easily get out of the pool. What if there are NO steps or your dog is injured or semi-conscious when it falls into the pool? Then, that dog is in trouble! Dogs drown in backyard pools every day across the country...simply because they can't get out of the pool. Since giving advice is a featured service of this blog, Helpful Buckeye does acknowledge that advice is much easier to give than to receive, as written by Carolyn Wells (1869-1942) US poet: "Advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive." However, this advice is well meant and will save your dog's life at some point. Your pool should be protected by a barrier of some type sufficient to keep the dog (and small children)out of the water. The dog should be on a leash or some other type of restraint that will not let it get the whole way to the pool. Finally, to be extra safe in protecting your dog from this very unfortunate mishap, Solutions has a pet ramp which you can install in your pool to provide an exit way for your dog. See it at:


"Sleigh Riding"--The affectionate term for when dogs scratch their butts by dragging them across the floor. Dogs and cats have 2 fairly large anal glands, one on each side of the rectum, which can be very uncomfortable if they become inflamed or impacted. The only options for your pet are to rub that area in some way, so that the pain/itch will be lessened. Dogs, especially, will sit their butt down on the floor and slide some distance to accomplish this. For those of you who still aren't sure what Helpful Buckeye is talking about, look at this video:

A few chuckles are permitted, since this dog is doing it "on command"; however, the underlying cause is not a laughing matter for the dog or cat. We will discuss anal gland problems, which are very common, in the next few weeks.

ANY COMMENTS, please send an e-mail to:


According to research conducted by the American Kennel Club (AKC), a midsize dog show with 1000-2500 entries brings in more than $500,000 of revenue to the area in the form of hotel/motel occupancy, patronizing of restaurants, shopping, etc. for a two-day event.

Possibly, for another sign that the Apocalypse is upon us, consider this new product for dogs: "Bowser Beer"...yes, you read that correctly! Read the article carefully and make your own judgment on this one. Helpful Buckeye urges a bit of caution with this, but this company makes a persuasive argument, especially the part about "pretzels and beer," as our opening song refers to. Perhaps the dog at the beginning of this posting would be happier with this brew than the "Pacifica." read about it at:

After flying out of his cage near Tokyo and getting lost, Yosuke the parrot wound up in a veterinary hospital, where he told a vet his name and home address. The veterinarian then took the parrot to his home.

On 19 June 1945, one of the most famous -- and funniest -- of all comedy sketches, Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first?" routine, made its movie debut in "The Naughty Nineties." Even if you're not a baseball fan, this should tickle your funny bone! Watch it here and enjoy:

On 20 June, this past week, the World's Ugliest Dog Contest was held in Petaluma, CA. Little Gus, a hairless Chinese Crested, has skin cancer, only one eye and three legs. But it was enough to win the top prize at the prestigious canine show Friday. The crowd favorite was crowned World's Ugliest Dog. Jeanenne Teed holds her dog Little Gus, a Chinese Crested who won the 20th annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, Calif. on Friday. I guess this is proof that everything has its place?


I promise not to bore you any further with tales about the ineptitude of the LA Dodgers. Even though still losing more than winning, we have actually made up 1 game this week on the AZ Diamondbacks. Stay tuned........


Refer to last week's posting about this sign...'nuff said!

Until next of the really great songs of the American West will take you safely home:

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

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