Sunday, April 5, 2009


PUT ME IN COACH...I CAN BE CENTERFIELD! Ah, yes, it's that time of year again, when all the Major League Baseball teams are equal and "there's new grass on the field," as John Fogerty sings in the song, Centerfield. Enjoy this video of John Fogerty, accompanied by Keith Urban, as they sing what Helpful Buckeye considers the best of all the baseball songs: Go ahead and turn up the volume, you'll enjoy this one! For extra points, send me an e-mail with a description of John Fogerty's "guitar", to:

Opening Day always stirs the passions of any baseball fan, human or otherwise, as you can see in the opening photo. The dog even looks like he's in the centerfield area of the ballpark, doesn't he? Baseball has always been Helpful Buckeye's favorite sport, both to play and to follow. Growing up and following the Dodgers when they were still in Brooklyn, Helpful Buckeye always wanted to be Duke Snider, the centerfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Like the song says, "I can be centerfield"....

Last week's poll question confirmed what Helpful Buckeye has suspected for a long time. We've got some really smart followers of Questions On Dogs and Cats! Everybody but one got the right answer of Lyme, Connecticut! There are still many of you who are sending your answer to our e-mail address, and that's OK. It still gets included in the poll results. However, you can simply mark the box for your answer right there in the polling section and click "Vote." Be sure to check out this week's poll question in the left column and be sure to vote!

Another comment from Holly showed up this week:
"Once again, I turn to you to start off a week with some background, additional pet thoughts for consideration, and a feeling of gratitude for all the work that you put into this labor of love! Have a great week, Doc, with my thanks!"

Holly, you'll spoil me if you keep this up! But, thanks for the kind words....and where do I send the check???

Remember, you can submit a comment by clicking on "Comments" at the very end of each blog issue. The process is very easy to follow and your comment will then appear with the others. You can send it anonymously or with your name. You can also send an e-mail to:


1) A story in the news this past week concerns the use of carbon monoxide gas for euthanasia of unwanted pets in animals shelters across the USA. Twelve states currently do not allow this form of euthanasia and several more are considering adopting the ban. Humane societies feel the use of carbon monoxide is an inhumane method of euthanasia, while many of the people who put these animals to sleep, including some veterinarians, feel that it is a necessary addition to their choices of euthanasia, especially where a wild, impossible to handle animal is involved. Read the whole story from the USA Today at:
2) The American Veterinary Medical Association has released this pod cast on food safety and the role of the veterinarian. With all the publicity concerning food contamination and the resulting sicknesses, both in humans and their pets, this audio report describes the contributions of the veterinary medical profession to the goal of food safety:
3) Most of you are familiar with the concept of hospice care, if not in your immediate family, at least in your circle of acquaintances. Well, a veterinarian in Chicago has started a hospice for pets and has been instrumental in forming a group that is trying to make this available nationally. Modeled after human hospice, pet hospice emphasizes managing a patient's terminal illnesses while preparing the family for the end. This is done in a number of ways, from the use of grief counselors to pain management techniques. For the rest of this really interesting concept, read this:

4) Now that Helpful Buckeye has just finishing discussing Borreliosis (Lyme Disease) last week, you will appreciate that April has been designated as "Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month." Here is the press release from the AVMA: You should also understand that this press release is partly funded by Merial Co., which is one of the producers of the Lyme Disease vaccine, and we discussed last week the uncertainties involved in using the vaccine.


Helpful Buckeye spent last week discussing the main diseases carried by ticks, some of the 8-legged parasites that confront your dogs and cats. This week, another of those 8-legged parasites, the ear mite, will be the topic for discussion. Ear mites are fairly common in both dogs and cats, especially the younger ones that tend to roam and have contact with other dogs and cats. Ear mites are spread from pet to pet by casual or close contact with a dog or cat already infected with the mites.

Ear mites are tiny, almost microscopic parasites, although the adults can be seen by someone with good eye sight. These mites crawl down into the ear canal of your dog or cat and cause a very intense irritation of the skin in the ear canal. Your dog or cat will start with excessive head shaking and/or scratching at their ears. They may scratch to the point that it creates bleeding sores around the ear flaps. You might even notice a strong, offensive odor coming from the ears, in addition to seeing a brown or black waxy discharge building up in the ear canal. Your veterinarian can determine if ear mites are involved by using an otoscope to look down into the ear canal.

The magnifying portion of the otoscope will illuminate the ear mites and confirm the diagnosis. The magnified adult ear mite looks like this: and, if you have good eyes, those adults are visible (the white ovals) on the end of the otoscope speculum:

Treatment of ear mites involves the thorough cleaning of the ear canal, followed by administration of a medication that will kill the mites (a miticide). If the ear mite infection is advanced enough, your veterinarian may need to do the ear cleaning under sedation or anesthesia. A topical treatment will be sent home with you to help kill any mites left in the ear canal. Due to the life cycle of the ear mite, you should use this medication for a 2-4 week period. If your veterinarian feels that some of the ear mites are also damaging the skin around the ear flap, they might recommend a product for more general usage on the skin.

Helpful Buckeye will finish the discussion of mite diseases in next week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats.

Under the theory that humor is the best medicine (and, possibly, the best instructor), enjoy this cartoon from The New Yorker: NON-MEDICAL CONCERNS

1) Most of us are aware of the contributions that dogs make to the betterment of certain humans' lives. Now, the American Kennel Club is sponsoring a "Canine Hero" contest that will award a prize in the following five categories: law enforcement, search and rescue, therapy, service, and exemplary companion dog. To read the rest of this very interesting story, go to:

If you know of a dog that is deserving, go ahead and send in your entry!

2) The Centers For Disease Control has released the results of a study that evaluated pet-related falling injuries and the results were pretty amazing! It turns out that many of us are tripping, stumbling, or just plain being dragged to an injury by our pets. "An average of more than 86,000 people are seen by hospital emergency departments every year because they trip and fall over their pets or their pets' paraphernalia. This accounts for approximately 240 visits per day, but only 1 percent of the total trip-and-fall injuries. Most of the injuries occur at home, and children and seniors were more commonly injured." The rest of the report provides further details of these falls and offers several suggestions to help us avoid them:

3) Since we are getting back into spring-time weather, with its warmer wind patterns, thunderstorms will be spreading across much of the USA. Thunderstorms affect every pet in different ways. Some dogs and cats act as if they don't even hear the thunder, while others seem to become frantic at the first thunder clap. Helpful Buckeye covered this topic last summer, which you can access by clicking on "Thunderstorms" under "Labels" in the left column. Then, go to this article from the USA Today for another perspective on how involved this relationship can be between a dog and a thunderstorm:


Since April has been designated by the ASPCA as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, it is only fitting that Helpful Buckeye direct you to the ASPCA's web site for their "Go Orange" products that are available:


1) Several weeks ago, we talked about the increasing presence of pets in the workplace. Now, the new trend seems to be pets showing up in church! The USA Today called it "Paws in the Pews" in an article this past week:

2) For a different view on the types of bedding now available for pets, take a look at these:

Which are you thinking about acquiring?

3) We hear so much about "reducing our carbon footprint" in these times of "Green" concern. Yes, there are now some suggestions for reducing the carbon "pawprint" of your pets:

4) This quote from comedian Bob Hope provides some humor for the week: "They say animal behavior can warn you when an earthquake is coming. Like the night before that last earthquake hit, our family dog took the car keys and drove to Arizona."

5) Most of you have probably seen David Letterman and his "Stupid Dog Tricks," some of which are pretty funny. Here's one that maybe takes top prize:

6) For those of you who may be getting a cat for the first time and have been wondering where might be the best place to put the cat's litter pan, here are a few suggestions:

7) With the onset of warmer weather in most locations, many plants and flowers will be soon coming into full growth and blooms. A lot of you will even have "forced" bulbs to bloom indoors. This warning about the toxicity of lily plants, from the American Association of Feline Practitioners, may be beneficial to your cat:

8) For those of you who were wondering if Donald Trump ever had a dog:

A new breed of dog was discovered in Flagstaff recently: .....a Black Metallic Terrier?


Rabid Fans Face Health Risk
ORLANDO, Fla. (UPI) -- A California cardiologist says living and dying by the success or failure of a favorite sports team can be deadly. Robert A. Kloner, director of research at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, said there was an increased number of deaths for two weeks following the closely contested 1980 Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four years later, deaths fell after the LA Raiders easily beat the Washington Redskins, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Similar results were reported following major sporting events in Germany and France. Kloner said becoming emotionally involved in a team isn't always good for the heart. He is presenting the research at an American College of Cardiology meeting in Orlando, Fla., the newspaper said.

Wow, Helpful Buckeye might need to pull back just a little on the enthusiasm level for certain teams...nah, it's too much fun living and dying with my teams and their level of success.

On that note, with college basketball almost finished for the year and my team, Pitt, out of the running, Helpful Buckeye will just sit back and enjoy the Michigan State Spartans trying to disrupt the exploits of the North Carolina Tarheels. At just about the same time as that game is tipping off, my Los Angeles Dodgers will be seeing the first pitch of the baseball season, in their defense of their NL West Champion title.

This song will be played and sung countless times during the baseball season at all of the ballparks, but how many of you knew that there were verses to the song? Sing along and enjoy:


This quote from Rene Descartes, French philosopher and mathematician, helps to settle a burning question we all have asked: "Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has."

Common sense decrees that this is the "End":

~~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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