This past week, Helpful Buckeye turned "Another Day (Year) Older...." and this tune seemed appropriate at the time!
Our reader poll last week, with the question about Dolly the cloned sheep, ended up having most of you going in the wrong direction. Dolly was the product of a Scottish research laboratory, headed by scientist, Ian Wilmut. Dolly arose from a mammary gland cell from a 6-year old ewe and, after some discussion among the scientists (including several women,) the cloned sheep was named Dolly, after:
Dolly Parton's agent reportedly said that Dolly was honored by the tribute, joking, "There's no such thing as bad publicity." The very interesting account of the creation of Dolly, the sheep, can be found in: After Dolly, The Uses and Misuses of Human Cloning, Ian Wilmut, 2006. Anyway, only one reader correctly chose the right answer to the poll, with most of the rest of you favoring the "wheeled platform" from among the other answers. Better luck this week! The new poll is in the column to your left.
Helpful Buckeye received several new comments during the past week from readers, the most interesting of which came from "Anonymous" : "....Lots of work but obviously a work of love!" Well, Anonymous, thanks for the compliment...Questions On Dogs and Cats does involve some time putting it together, but it is mostly very enjoyable doing it!
Any reader can post a comment, either by clicking on "Comments" at the end of each issue or by sending an e-mail to: email@example.com
CURRENT NEWS OF INTEREST
1) Never let it be said that Helpful Buckeye will let go of a story while the story is still worth following! Still again, another dog treat recall due to possible Salmonella contamination of peanut butter has been announced by the American Veterinary Medical Association. This week's news release is: Breadfarm, Inc. Recalls Sirius Dog Treats Purchased Between January 2007 and October of 2008 Because of Possible Health Risk (04 Mar 2009)....be sure to click this link if you have purchased some of this product for your dog.
2) In a related story, a scientist at Purdue University says he's developed an ozone device that eliminates bacteria in packaged foods. His process evidently kills both E. coli and Salmonella in food products that have been packaged. If this development proves to be effective and easily reproduced, we may be on the way to solving the bacterial contamination problem. Read the rest of the story: A U.S. scientist says he's developed an ozone device that eliminates bacteria in packaged foods such as spinach and tomatoes. Purdue University Associate Professor Kevin Keener said his device consists of a set of high-voltage coils attached to a small trans-former that generates a room-temperature plasma field in a package, ionizing the gases inside. Keener said the process kills harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. "Conceptually, we can put any kind of packaged food we want in there," said Keener. "So far, it has worked on spinach and tomatoes but it could work on any type of produce or other food." He said ozone kills bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella and the longer the gas in the package remains ionized, the more bacteria are killed. Eventually, the ionized gas will revert back to its original composition. The technology is outlined in the early online edition of the journal -- Food Science and Technology.
3) The American Kennel Club has posted this explanation of a recently introduced law governing the shipment of live animals by air:
US Live Animal Air Shipping Policy Changes
A new directive regarding transporting live animals by air into/through the United States has been put into effect by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Effective February 1, 2009, the directive requires that all animals, including dogs, coming into the United States from overseas airports booked as manifest cargo—that is, not accompanied by a ticked passenger—must be tendered at their foreign origin airport by a "Regulated Agent" or "IATA-Approved Agent".
Parties NOT AFFECTED include:
Within the US, people (breeders, owners, etc.) either shipping their pets as cargo (i.e., not accompanied by a ticketed passenger) or traveling with their pets as excess luggage or in-cabin.
People traveling with their pets as excess luggage or in-cabin into the US from overseas airports.
People shipping their pets from the US to a foreign country.
AFFECTED parties include:
People shipping pets as cargo not accompanied by a ticketed passenger into the US.
Individuals living overseas who want to send their pets back to the US as cargo not accompanied by a ticketed passenger.
DISEASES, AILMENTS, AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
In previous issues of Questions On Dogs and Cats, Helpful Buckeye has addressed the general topic of intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. These are considered to be the most common and most medically important of the intestinal parasites of small animals. However, there are a few other intestinal parasites which merit some discussion, the first being whipworms. Whipworms, found mostly in dogs and rarely in cats, get their name from their whip-like shape:
and the adult is only about 1/3 of an inch long. The adults live in the cecum portion of the intestine where they firmly attach to the lining of the intestine, similar to the action of hookworms. Whipworms usually do not cause health problems unless present in great numbers or if the dog is already ill from another cause. Occasionally, severe infections can produce diarrhea, weight loss, and blood loss. The adults produce eggs which are passed with the dog's stools. These microscopic eggs become infective larvae in 2-4 weeks if in a warm, moist environment. Other dogs can pick up these larvae on their feet, lick their feet, and swallow them. As these larvae develop in the intestinal walls, the life cycle is then complete. The obvious solution to prevention of a whipworm problem for your dog revolves around regularly cleaning up dog stools from your dog's environment and eliminating moist areas. Treatment for a whipworm infection involves the use of any of several products your veterinarian can dispense and should be repeated three times at monthly intervals. There are also several heartworm prevention products that include a treatment for whipworm infection.
Whipworms in dogs should NOT be confused with pinworms in humans (mainly infants and children) because the dog whipworm is a completely different species of parasite.
This concludes the list of major "worm" internal parasites for dogs and cats. The next most common form of intestinal parasite in dogs and cats are the protozoan parasites. The two most common of those will be covered in next week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats.
1) Helpful Buckeye again received many nice comments about Greg's contributions about his experiences with Nala, his service dog and friend. For this week's issue, Helpful Buckeye asked Greg several questions about taking care of Nala and what special challenges that might present. Here is Greg's response:
Service Dog Health Concerns
Just like any pets, service dogs require annual Veterinarian care with a few additions. For the purpose of this article I will be speaking about my personal experience with my service dog Nala. She is a Susquehanna Service Dog who will be 11 years old in just a few short months. She and I have been together nine years, and this is our experience with veterinarian care.
Due to my disability (quadriplegia) I am paralyzed from the chest down with no feeling in my arms or hands. I am unable to independently groom Nala or feel when I touch her. I have an attendant brush her several times a week and bathe her once or twice a month. She also cleans her ears after her shower. It’s important that Nala looks good every time we are in public. My Attendant also gives Nala her monthly heartworm and applies her advantage flea treatment. For dental hygiene Nala has bones, toys, and stuffed animals to play tug with. It’s not the best, but she’s never had any dental problems.
Nala’s good health is extremely important to me because I rely on her daily. Wintertime brings certain concerns due to snow and ice as well as harmful chemicals (salt / deicer) that can affect her paws. Her paws need to be inspected and care for as needed. Her toenails are cut professionally as needed.
As she has gotten older arthritis has become an issue. We no longer travel very fast as she walks beside my electric wheelchair. For the past several years she has been on adult senior light dog food with glucosamine for her joints. I’m very conscious of keeping her weight down which would add pressure to her joints.
Everyday Nala goes for a short walk with my Attendant if I am not out in the community, proper exercising is important. Since Nala has turned 10 years old, I like to refer to her as semiretired. If the trip is not necessary for her to go with me, she stays home. As you can imagine she’s not very pleased with retirement.
Having Nala as my service dog provides me with a great deal of independence. It’s not only the task she performs (opening doors, retrieving objects, getting help, etc.) but the loving companionship she provides every day that makes her indispensable to me.
Because of my disability I rely on others for assistance with Nala’s Care. Her veterinary experiences are not that much different from any other well loved companion.
This is the last of this current series of articles written by Helpful Buckeye's new blog friend, Greg, although we fully expect to be exchanging stories into the future. If any of our readers would like to follow Greg's blog or contact him, you can do so at: http://www.pittrehab.blogspot.com/
2) The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has made available through their web site a potentially very helpful advice source.
Virtual Pet Behaviorist
Now you can get pet-behavior advice from ASPCA experts 24 hours a day, right from your computer. Their nationally recognized team of animal behaviorists offers possible solutions to a wide range of issues at no charge. Simply type your pet's behavior problem into their easy-to-use database, and you'll receive step-by-step advice -- without leaving home. Just go to: http://www.aspcabehavior.org/ and click onto either dog or cat, then follow their simple instructions. Be sure to send us a comment on how this works out for you.
1) According to the Chinese Ministry of Health website, the top three leading causes of infectious deaths in China for 2008 are AIDS virus, Tuberculosis, and Rabies. To be contrasted with leading causes of infectious deaths in the USA, rabies does not even appear on the list of the top 20 causes, as compiled by the Centers for Disease Control. This is attributable to our strict requirement of rabies vaccinations for all dogs and cats.
2) With so many things having changed in the workplace, given the current economic conditions, it figures that bringing your pet to work with you would get some attention. "Supporters say pets in the workplace reduce stress among owners who worry about home-alone dogs, are a calming presence for even the non-owners and help employees form relationships." For the rest of this story from the USA Today, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2009-02-24-pets-office_N.htm
3) How many of you ever thought of walking a cat on leash, much less actually trying to do so? Sharon Peters, writer for USA Today, has put together a very interesting guide for doing just that: http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/pettalk/2009-02-24-cats-leash_N.htm
4) Even though a lot of us have been watching our expenses while traveling, there are still those few wealthy folks who only want the top destinations and lodgings available...both for them and their pets. Go to: http://luxurypaw.com/ for an eye-opener on luxury accommodations with the pets in mind. Spend a few minutes at this web site, clicking on the different options, and see what's available for dogs and cat...if you have the money!
5) For a short, enjoyable video of a sleeping kitty that is reluctant to be awakened, watch this one: http://www.evtv1.com/player.aspx?itemnum=9232 Helpful Buckeye figures a lot of our readers probably exhibit the same response!
6) Finally, for something to occupy a few more minutes of your time and give you a few chuckles, go to this site which features "badly drawn cats" : http://www.tiddles.co.uk/
There is joy in Mudville (Los Angeles) after the Los Angeles Dodgers finally found what it takes to re-hire Manny Ramirez!!!
Luther Burbank, American horticulturist, had this to say about flowers: "Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul." With the coming of spring, flowers will be bringing their benefits once again!
This past week, Helpful Buckeye and Desperado were fortunate to experience two of the wonders of the state of Arizona. The first was an exhilarating hike through a very concentrated growth of Saguaro cactuses, which only grow in the Sonoran Desert.
The second wonder was visiting a condor "captive release" location, north of the Grand Canyon, for one of their releases of captive young condors into the wild. This very large bird, with a wing span of almost 10 ft., has a very special story. Almost extinct in the early 1980s, there are now almost 200 of them in the wild, with about 75 of them in and around the Grand Canyon. All of the condors are tagged for identification purposes. Below is an adult condor (with the multi-colored head) and two immature condors (still with the darker heads):
~~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.~~