from Helpful Buckeye and the support staff (Desperado) here at Questions On Dogs and Cats!!!
When it comes down to expressing "Thanks" for any goodness we have experienced this year, we all have our personal sentiments. As the writer of Questions On Dogs and Cats, Helpful Buckeye is thankful for all of our readers, old and new, who visit with us each week as we talk about dogs and cats. Your contributions to this blog, by way of e-mails, comments, and answering the weekly poll questions, have added to the diversity of topics for discussion during the year. Thank you!
This is also a great time to express our collective thanks for all of the dogs and cats we have been fortunate enough to have had as parts of our families. The following collection of thoughts about our pets was sent to Helpful Buckeye by Barb R. in Virginia:
If I Didn't Have Pets....
- I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety.
- My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.
- All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair.
- When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like the kennels and I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there.
- I could sit on the couch the way I wanted, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.
- I would not have strange presents under my Christmas tree -- dog bones, stuffed animals, nor would I have to answer to people why I wrap them and place the gift tags on them.
- I would not be on a first-name basis with the veterinarians.
- The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE.
- My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers.
- My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash.
- I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L-, F-R-I-S-B-E-E, or W-A-L-K.
- I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside.
- I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog ties them down too much.
- I'd look forward to spring and the melting of snow instead of dreading mud season.
- I would not have to answer the question: "Why do you have so many dogs/animals?" from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by something as close to an angel as they will ever get.
- How empty my life would be....
A big, hearty "Thank You" to all of our pets, past and present, for making our lives much more enjoyable!
The poll question from last week yielded a lot of responses and none of them were "It's a bad idea." Every response was in the direction of favoring some type of penalty for allowing one's dog to become obese. The general feeling from e-mails was that the owners should be made to suffer from a pet's obesity rather than the pet bearing all the consequences. There will be an update a little later in this issue on the story about the British dog owner who had his dog confiscated for allowing it to become grotesquely obese. Remember to answer this week's poll questions in the column to the left.
CURRENT NEWS OF INTEREST
1) Not only have a few cats been sick with H1N1 (Swine Flu), but now it appears that a cat in Oregon has died from the infection. As reported by the American Veterinary Medical Association, this fatality is awaiting a final confirmation: http://www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/new_virus/default.asp
2) In a related story, the Food & Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have teamed up to stop an advertised product from being touted as a prevention for H1N1:
A pair of federal agencies teamed up for the first time to demand that a website stop offering fraudulent H1N1 influenza supplements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a joint letter to the administrator of the website, drweil.com. In the letter, the agencies told the website owners to stop marketing their "Immune Support Formula." The website sells a supplement, astralagus, which it says can prevent the flu.
"Astragalus ... is ... used traditionally to ward off colds and flu, and has demonstrated both antiviral and immune-boosting effects in scientific investigation," the site says. The FDA-FTC letter says that the company's marketing efforts to sell unapproved H1N1 flu-related products is a "potentially significant threat to the public health."
This news was reported on the American Animal Hospital Association web site: http://trends.aahanet.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?site=trends&webcode=newsdetail&articleKey=5c3b0461-5be1-4e0d-b4d1-fd480ab22c08
3) On a more tame note, the American Kennel Club has announced that it will be recognizing 3 new breeds for registration in the AKC by the end of this year: http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4013
The breeds are not really "new" breeds to most of us, because they have been around for a long time. They are the Bluetick Coonhound, Boykin Spaniel, and Redbone Coonhound, becoming the 162nd, 163rd, and 164th registered breeds of the AKC. The spaniel will join the Sporting Group and the coonhounds will join the Hound Group.
DISEASES, AILMENTS, AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Your female dog has just finished her heat cycle. You're thrilled to be done with that 3-week phase of excitement that involves a nervous female dog, male dogs hanging around her, and the sometimes messy discharge associated with the heat cycle. A few weeks later, she starts to show signs of nesting behavior, mammary gland enlargement and possibly milk production, and mothering of her toys or other inanimate objects. Could she be pregnant?
False Pregnancy In Dogs
False pregnancy (Pseudocyesis) occurs fairly commonly in dogs and very rarely in cats. At this point, those of you having a spayed female dog or a cat probably are figuring you have no reason to read any further. Not so fast...
False pregnancy is common enough that you will most likely hear it being discussed among your dog-owning friends and, you never know, you just might have a new dog in your future that could experience it. It's all about the learning, remember?
As the female dog is nearing the end of her heat cycle, the hormones progesterone and prolactin arrive at a certain balance as the dog "waits" to see if she is pregnant. Some of these females are more sensitive to the hormonal fluctuations and can start to show some interesting signs. A few weeks after the heat cycle is finished, they can start showing the mothering of their toys or inanimate objects, nesting behavior, milk production, and even show signs of going into labor...all without actually being pregnant! The dog's body is only responding to what her hormone levels are telling her.In most cases, if the symptoms are mild and not too bothersome for the dog or the owner, the condition will resolve itself in 1-3 weeks as the hormones reach their normal levels. No treatment is necessary for these cases. Even if you're feeling sorry for your dog, you for sure don't want to massage any of the swollen mammary tissue or that will just encourage further milk production. If the situation goes beyond 3 weeks or the dog is really uncomfortable, your veterinarian has a few pharmaceuticals that can help ease the signs.
In case there is any doubt that the dog has actually been bred and might be truly pregnant, that possibility can be ruled in or out by a careful history, abdominal palpation, ultrasound, and abdominal X-rays.
Unfortunately, a certain percentage of female dogs will show the signs of false pregnancy after each heat cycle. Spaying the dog while she is showing these signs is not the answer since that wouldn't change the hormonal balance right away. The surgery should be done as soon as the signs are completely gone and before the next heat cycle shows up.
In last week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, Helpful Buckeye gave you a list of Thanksgiving Safety Tips from the ASPCA. With Thanksgiving approaching the American Kennel Club® is also offering safety tips for pet owners to make their Thanksgiving gatherings and holiday parties fido-friendly. Among them:
- Never give turkey bones to your dog; they pose a serious choking hazard for dogs.
- Always keep an eye on the Thanksgiving table and secure leftovers and garbage to prevent your dog from going through holiday foods.
- Don’t give your dog scraps from the holiday buffet. Stuffing, pies, cookies and fancy hors d’oeuvres are inappropriate foods for dogs and may make them sick.
- Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail.
- Alcohol is toxic for dogs, even in small amounts.
- If you host a party, remember that some guests may be uncomfortable around dogs. Your dog may, in turn, be uncomfortable or frightened around a large group of unfamiliar people. You may want to confine your dog to a crate or a room that will not be used by guests.
- Stick as closely as possible to your normal routine. Try not to vary your dog’s feeding, walking and playtime schedule.
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
1) Molly Mutt Dog Duvets provide a pet owner the much easier option of laundering the outer lining of your dog's bed. Check out their web site: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/11/16/pet-product-review-molly-mutt-dog-duvets/
1) In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, "Research confirms that pilgrims weren’t the only passengers aboard the Mayflower. Turns out man’s best friend also made the transatlantic voyage from Southampton, England to Plymouth, MA in 1620. This Thanksgiving, the American Kennel Club® (AKC) celebrates the English Springer Spaniel and Mastiff, the two breeds who joined the pilgrims on their journey to the new world and who were the first to make dogs a part of everyday life for the earliest Western settlers. The earliest mention of dogs in America appeared in a 17th century journal called "Mourt's Relation" about the first years of life in the new world. According to this account, two dogs – an English Springer Spaniel and a Mastiff – were brought along by John Goodman. The dogs were involved in the first explorations of discovery on Cape Cod during the first winter ashore."
2) With all the festivities that accompany the holiday season, there is a greater likelihood of your pets having accidents around the house. For an interesting take on the use of vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish detergent to take care of the stains and odors of pet accidents, go to: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/11/17/homemade-pet-stain-removers/
3) A German company has designed an interesting and very fancy dog house, "The Alabama." for more about this creation, go to: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/11/17/the-alabama-give-dogs-the-fancy-treatment/ and to (for the German version): http://www.bestfriendshome.com/hundehaeuser_alabama.html
4) One of my favorite actors, Sean Connery, has decided to come out of retirement and lend his voice to the lead character in the upcoming animated movie, Sir Billi. Why does this item make the "General Interest" list? Well, Sean will be the voice of a retired, skateboarding veterinarian! Read about it here: http://www.cinematical.com/2009/11/19/sean-connery-ditches-retirement-to-play-a-skateboarding-vete/?icid=mainhtmlws-main-ndl5link7http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cinematical.com%2F2009%2F11%2F19%2Fsean-connery-ditches-retirement-to-play-a-skateboarding-vete%2F
Helpful Buckeye will opt to stay with the bicycle, thank you!
5) One of our news items last week was the confiscation of an obese dog from its owner in Britain. More has been revealed about that story. The Animal Welfare Act of Great Britain has gained more awareness of pet owners as this type of penalty is handed down. Barney, the Dalmatian, was fed a steady diet of crisps and chocolate for years. Regular readers of Questions On Dogs and Cats will already know that Barney was lucky he didn't get enough chocolate in a short period of time or else he would be dead rather than obese. At any rate, here are the first photos to be released of Barney, first at 11 stone (154 lb.) when he was confiscated and then at 4 stone (56 lb.) when he was ready to be adopted.
Read the rest of this very interesting account at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1229188/Dog-owner-banned-keeping-animals-pet-dalmatian-balloons-11-stone-crisps-chocolate.html
The Pittsburgh Steelers limped into Kansas City after their miserable effort last week and laid another egg! Yep, they gave another game away in the last few minutes. The playoff lights are looking dimmer and dimmer....
The Ohio State Buckeyes beat Michigan yesterday for the 6th year in a row, to finish the regular season at 10-2. By winning the Big 10 title, the Buckeyes will be going to the Rose Bowl on New Years' Day. Our opponent has yet to be determined. By any normal standards, this was a pretty good year for the Buckeyes...however, when thinking of the national championship, it doesn't measure up.
Helpful Buckeye will leave you with 3 quotes this week, all of them made by that famous quipster, "Anonymous":
"If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise."
"If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them."
"There's a saying that the difference between being involved and being committed is like a ham and eggs breakfast: The chicken was involved; the pig was committed."
~~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.~~