Sunday, May 30, 2010


The observance of Memorial Day is a time for all of us to remember that "Freedom Isn't Free".  We should take the time to honor those who served and sacrificed for our country and recall that, even though the sentiment should be felt year-round, Memorial Day was set aside for this special attention.

While biking this past month, Helpful Buckeye came upon two different species of birds, both of which are only seasonal visitors to the Flagstaff area.  They have a bit of similarity in their appearance.  Any of our readers who enjoy bird identification are welcome to send in their guesses as to what these birds are.  Apologies to our readers east of the Mississippi River because you aren't likely to see these at home...but, perhaps on one of your visits to the West.  Send your guesses to:

Last week's poll questions revealed that 3/4 of respondents who had been bitten by a dog required a visit for medical care AND that only about 1/3 of our readers had a dog or cat that hated the trip to the veterinarian.  Several of you e-mailed that you really liked the photo of the dog that refused to enter the exam room.  Be sure to respond to this week's poll questions in the column to the left. 


1) The Discovery Channel had a program this past week that included a segment on veterinary toxicologists and their contributions to our society.  Take a few minutes and view the'll come away with a broader range of awareness and respect for the training these veterinarians have achieved:  and click on the "Broadcast Documentary (4 minutes 32 seconds)".

2) With Great Danes set to take center stage in the release of "Marmaduke," the American Kennel Club® and the Great Dane Club of America would like to remind moviegoers about the importance of making wise, educated decisions when it comes to adding a dog to the home...and not to become starstruck by the appeal of the Great Danes in the movie.  The Great Dane Club of America reminds you that: "Everything is bigger when you own a Great Dane. They eat a lot of food and take up a lot of space in your home and car. We recommend that families meet several full grown adult Great Danes to make sure they understand how large this breed really is."

The rest of the press release, along with a lot more interesting information about Great Danes, is at:

3)  The AKC has also started to allow some mingling between pure breed dogs and mutts at some of their dog shows.  Mixed breed dogs won't be able to compete in the show ring of the "beauty" competitions but they will be competing in the skill contests.  Read the rest of the story at: 


By the time most of you are able to read this issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, you will have already had your Memorial Day picnics and parties. That's OK because this advice applies not only to Memorial Day picnics but also to any get-together for the rest of the summer that might include your dogs. This information comes from the ASPCA:

As the country dons its shorts and sunhats this Memorial Day weekend, nothing says “unofficial” start of summer like a good old-fashioned barbecue or outdoor picnic. But what’s festive for us can be downright dangerous for our furry friends.

Even if your pooch is a pro picnicker, the ASPCA recommends keeping it indoors as much as possible during backyard parties. From toxic food and beverages to raucous guests, a barbecue is a minefield of potential pet problems.

“Even the most timid dog can leap a six-foot fence if he’s spooked by loud noises,” says Dr. Pamela Reid, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center. If your dog shows signs of distress from boisterous revelers, Dr. Reid suggests giving it a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. “The persistent licking should calm his nerves,” she says.

Here’s some more expert advice to keep your pet safe and sound this Memorial Day:

  • Since alcohol is potentially poisonous to pets, place all wine, beer and spirits well out of paws’ reach.
  • Stick with your pet’s normal diet—any change, even for a day, can result in an upset stomach. Certain foods like onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes and raisins are especially toxic to pets.
  • Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind. Ingestion can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy.
  • Keep your pet away from matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.
  • Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool or lake—not all dogs are expert swimmers! Also, pools aren’t large water bowls—they contain chlorine and other toxic chemicals that can cause stomach upset.
As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous from the picnic table, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435.


It's bad news for the snarling, angry dog on the corner, but good news for the mailman he terrorizes. Scientists have discovered that bold, aggressive dogs live much shorter lives than shy, obedient pooches, the New York Times reports.

Vincent Careau, of the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, and his colleagues came to that conclusion by comparing numerous dog breeds based on their personalities. For example, poodles are ranked as 29 percent more docile than boxers, and Careau's team found that poodles are four times more likely than boxers to live past age 10.

Beyond simply looking at aggressiveness, the researchers also found that the most obedient breeds, such as German shepherds, poodles, and bichon frises, live considerably longer than hard-to-train dogs such as beagles and pomeranians, according to New Scientist. Careau used personality data based on a 1995 psychology study that ranked dog personalities, the New York Times reports, and also compared dogs of similar size.

Call it karma, or a mere accident of selective breeding, but for dogs, it seems, it pays to be good.

This news item was also reported at: 

Helpful Buckeye will be the first to say that this is an interesting conclusion; however, personal experience has shown that it's difficult to compare breeds of dogs that are of different size or to neglect certain breed predispositions for certain diseases, such as the high incidence of cancer in Boxers.


The Busy Buddy Tug-a-Jug has been receiving a lot of attention lately. Watch this video of various dogs enjoying the Tug-a-Jug:

As you can see, the Tug-a-Jug can be used to dispense treats or small pieces of dog food as rewards for training exercises. You can order these at:


1) OK, all of you dog owners out there in cyberland...when you come home, how does your dog greet you?  See if the folks in this video have the same experience as you: 

2) Cats, rats and other predators produce a chemical signal that terrifies mice, according to new research.  Specific proteins found in cat saliva act on cells in a special sensory organ in the mouse, called the vomeronasal organ. The research team describe in the journal Cell how the proteins trigger a fearful reaction in the mice. This shows that mice, and possibly other mammals, have evolved receptors that are able to pick up chemical signals from other species.  More details available at: 

3) If it can be said that mice have a "nose" for cats, then Owen, a Labrador Retriever, definitely has a "nose" for the vapor-wake of explosives.  Read this interesting account of a new group of dogs that have been bred and trained to detect the scent plume of air that comes wafting off a person, such as a suicide bomber, wearing an explosive device: 

4) Summer weather seems to bring with it an increase of certain activities.  One of those is charitable events such as "surfing dogs"....

A recent benefit held for the San Diego Police Canine Unit attracted 65 dogs on surfboards.  Check out the story and watch the surfboard antics of some of the dogs at:  

5) Someone has put together a video with various tidbits of "life advice" featuring animals.  Enjoy: 


The LA Lakers ended the season of the Phoenix Suns last night and will now move on to face the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals.  This should be a fun series to watch...not just for all the great players involved, but also because of the history of these two franchises playing each other in previous finals.

The LA Dodgers have made it back from last place in the NL West division to only 1 game out of first place.  Not bad for a team with a pitching staff that is not top notch and several of our starters on the disabled list.  Now that we are able to compete for the top spot, the rest of the season should be fun to watch!


Now that our spring winds have started to taper off, Helpful Buckeye has been able to ride outdoors a lot more. 

A couple of quotes from Will Rogers caught my eye this week.  First, for Charlene and Ken: "When the Oakies left Oklahoma and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states."

and, secondly, as a reflection on the economy of the past 2 years: "The time to save is now. When a dog gets a bone, he doesn't go out and make a down payment on a bigger bone. He buries the one he's got."

~~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.~~


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Hooray! some parts of the USA it's still springtime (northern Arizona), while elsewhere, it's making the transition from spring to summer, and then there are the folks in Florida and Phoenix who are completely into their summer frame of mind.  Helpful Buckeye has a few items of interest in this week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats concerning springtime and summer concerns for pet owners.  In the meantime, let's get you started on the right foot for a summer attitude with this energetic and imaginative music video that was sent to me by Barbara in Virginia...sit back, turn on your speakers, and enjoy the song and these dogs: 

Those were some well-trained dogs, huh?

Last week's poll questions showed that about half of our cat households have experienced some form of lower urinary tract disease with their cat(s) and that only about 1/3 of our dog households actually do some trail or off-trail hiking with their dog(s).  Be sure to answer this week's poll questions in the column to the left.

Remember that Helpful Buckeye welcomes comments and/or questions by either e-mail or at the "comment" section at the end of each blog issue.  Most readers seem to prefer the e-mail method and that's OK, but the comment section is just as simple.  Please share your thoughts and ideas about dogs and cats...a lot of what is covered in each issue originates from readers' interests.

Helpful Buckeye would like to thank all of our readers who sent notes of congratulations on our 2nd anniversary last week.  Your kind words were really appreciated!


1) The American Kennel Club has lent a helping hand to a humane animal shelter in the Nashville area in the aftermath of the recent massive flooding: 

The problems from that flood in Nashville won't go away overnight but, with help like this, some of the homeless pets might have a better chance of survival.

2) This is National Dog Bite Prevention Week and from Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk Program for the Humane Society of the United States, comes this list of tips that might help keep you and your family safe from dog bites:
  • Stay Calm, Move Slowly and Appear Nonthreatening
  • Prepare Your Kids
  • If Attacked, Distract
  • Protect Yourself
  • Be Cautious

For the full information package on these tips, go to:

Helpful Buckeye also covered this topic in one of our very first issues back in 2008: 

3) There appears to be a national trend developing which involves shelter dogs actually being the star "offerings" in pet shops.  Even though this story comes from the Arizona Republic and depicts a pet shop in Los Angeles and one in Phoenix, this same story is being played out all over the USA: 


April showers bring May flowers for sniffing, long walks in the neighborhood and afternoon naps on the lawns. But before you let your pet leap into spring, make sure you're keeping your dogs and cats safe from these seasonal health hazards.  The folks at Paw Nation have offered these tips:

1. Watch Out for Poisonous Flowers

Tulip, hyacinth and daffodil bulbs can damage a dog's mouth and esophagus, causing drooling, vomiting, severe diarrhea or even abnormal heart rhythms, depending on the amount consumed. So be sure to keep bulbs out of reach before planting says Justine Lee, an emergency critical care veterinary specialist and Associate Director of Veterinary Services at the Minneapolis-based Pet Poison Helpline.

When planting, place the bulbs in deeply, surround them with plenty of mulch and then supervise your dog when it's outside to make sure it's not digging them up, Lee advises. Once the flowers are out and have bloomed, they generally don't pose a threat, as it's the bulb that's the most poisonous.

Also be very careful with lilies. Just a couple of leaves from certain lilies, like the day, Asiatic and Japanese varieties, can cause severe kidney failure in cats, according to Lee who said she dug up all the lilies in her yard in case her cat ever gets outside. "My own sister's cat died from it," Lee tells Paw Nation "Cats will always chew on plants. They're just curious and want to try something different. But one or two leaves will kill them."

2. Be Careful With Common Fertilizers

How you treat your yard is very important, as even organic supplements can be toxic to your pet. Blood and bone meal are popular organic fertilizers, and dogs love the taste of these meat-based products. But ingesting blood meal can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe pancreatic inflammation, while bone meal can create a cement-like ball in the dog's stomach, potentially forming an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract and requiring surgery to remove.

Another known hazard are rose fertilizers containing disulfoton or other types of organophosphates which can be deadly to a dog. While most dogs wouldn't eat the granules just for fun, gardeners often mix the fertilizer with bone or blood meal, creating a tasty invitation. "The pet will ingest a larger amount of that chemical because it tastes so good, resulting in the ingestion of potentially two toxicities," Lee says. Consider fencing off roses with plastic or chicken wire so dogs can't get into them, says Lee. It might not be pretty, but "it helps protect your pets," she says.
3. Assess Pest Control Around the House and on Your Pet

Spring means ants. What you may not know is that many ant baits use peanut butter, practically luring dogs to nibble on them. In fact, the chemicals inside the baits are relatively innocuous, due to the low concentration of insecticide and small size of the bait, experts say. The biggest risk is a gastrointestinal obstruction from swallowing the plastic. To be safe, keep traps off the floor, placing them instead in areas such as on the counter or in a window sill.

Another big risk for your animals is misuse of flea and tick products. "Dog flea and tick medications can never be used on a cat because they have a different metabolism," Lee says. "They should never apply it without consulting a vet."

You should also learn more about the kind of flea and tick prevention you are using as recently there has been a lot of concerns about the toxicity of certain products. Depending on where you live and what your risks are you may consider some of the natural options for flea and tick control. Discuss your concerns with your vet so that you can come to the best solution together.

Spring is a great time to let your animals roam and if you take the right steps to keep them safe, everyone will be happy.

Helpful Buckeye has also covered this topic in previous issues of Questions On Dogs and Cats:  and 


1) How many of our dog-owning readers have experienced this during a trip to your veterinarian's office?

The following suggestions and advice come from "Dr. Jon":

Some dogs are very stressed when they go to the vet. Some pet owners are, too. Sometimes it is because they are not sure if their dog will behave, they are worried about their dog's health and they are worried about the potential for a costly vet bill.

There are a few things you can do to take the stress out of your vet visit. Here are a few tips to make that dreaded visit safer and more pleasant for you, your pet and the veterinary staff!

1. Consider pet insurance . This can really help you budget for your pet's care and do the best for your pet. This allows you to be free to focus on your pet and what is best without worrying so much about the potential for costly vet bills.

Helpful Buckeye has addressed the topic of pet insurance in several past issues, with many important points being made in: 

2. Get your dog used to other people. Some dogs are very shy around other people and may be "stressed" by going to the veterinarian. Gently introduce your pet to a variety of people and praise him when he accepts them and does well.
3. Some pets may have had a frightening experience at the doctor's office, or they associate the visit with an unpleasant procedure like nail clipping. A dog may feel fearful or protective of his owner in the presence of other dogs. A variety of circumstances can provoke these anxieties. Desensitization helps make your pet feel more confident. Keep the travel kennel out and use it as an everyday object so your dog feels comfortable seeing it. If your vet's office is close, a brisk walk for exercise past the office door and a quick visit for a treat and petting will help make the office a non-threatening place. Your dog may even have a gender preference, preferring either a female or male doctor. If that is the case, the veterinary practice can help accommodate you by scheduling you with the doctor your pet loves best.
4. Many protective dogs become very stressed when their owners are close by. It sometimes works to everyone's benefit to do a physical exam or procedure in a separate room with only veterinary staff in attendance. As much as you want to be with your pet every minute, this is often a simple solution that decreases anxiety.
5. For those dogs that are capable, a period of play or exercise before heading off to the clinic can drain excess energy and calm your pet. If it is okay with your doctor, a bit of play or a walk after the visit helps to diminish fear or anxiety.

2) Another problem for pet owners with summer approaching will be the damage done to a grass lawn by your pets when they urinate and defecate:

Good luck with this problem...some of you will have it and some of you won't.

3) Helpful Buckeye was excited to hear from an aunt and uncle in Florida that they have adopted a 4-year old dog from a rescue association.  We had a very thorough conversation about things they should consider with this new dog, especially since it's been a while since they last had a dog.  One of the things we talked about was house-training a mature dog.  Even though their new acquisition seems to be well-trained, some of you might not be so lucky.  The Humane Society of the United States has these suggestions for those of you who might be acquiring an adult or senior dog with house-training or other issues:

Any dog, even a fully housetrained adult dog, may have house-soiling accidents when he first moves to your home. The stress of new surroundings and a new schedule can disrupt his routine. Usually, once he gets accustomed to your household schedule, the accidents stop. It's also possible he's never been housetrained. Give him a few weeks to settle in to his new home and observe what the dog shows you.

Here are some reasons why adult and senior dogs might have accidents in the house:

Senior dogs

As your dog ages, he may need to eliminate more often than in the past. Just as people can have difficulties as they age, so can dogs. They may not be able to "hold it" as long as they used to. They also may become incontinent. This is not a housetraining issue.

If your senior dog has accidents frequently, your vet should examine him for possible medical problems. If the vet says it's not a medical issue, you will have to manage the situation instead of trying to housetrain the dog.

If you are at work all day, you may need to:

Hire a pet sitter to visit your dog to let him outside.

Confine him to a room of the house where accidents will be easy to clean up.

Try sanitary products on your dog, such as doggie diapers. They fit like little pants and hold a disposable absorbent pad to catch the urine. These work best on female dogs. Belly bands—fabric bands that wrap around the dog's waist and contain an absorbent pad—are available for male dogs. They're available at most pet stores and online.

Small dogs

Because of their short legs and small size, you may need to make some special accommodations for your small dog:

Provide a sheltered spot near the house or under a porch or deck for your dog to eliminate in bad weather.

Provide a bathroom spot covered with mulch or gravel so your little dog won't have tall and/or wet grass pressing against his tummy when he eliminates.

Clear a path or other area for your dog to eliminate when it snows.

Other types of house-soiling problems

If you've consistently followed the housetraining procedures and your dog continues to eliminate in the house, there may be another reason for his behavior, such as:

Medical problems: House-soiling can often be caused by physical problems such as a urinary tract infection, a parasite infection, or even a seizure. Check with your veterinarian to rule out any possibility of disease or illness.

Submissive or excitement urination: Some dogs, especially young ones, temporarily lose control of their bladders when they become excited or feel threatened. Submissive or excitement urination usually occurs during greetings or periods of intense play, or when they're about to be punished.

Territorial urine marking: Dogs sometimes deposit small amounts of urine or feces to scent-mark their territory. Both male and female dogs do this, and it most often occurs when they believe their territory has been invaded.

Separation anxiety: Dogs who become anxious when they're left alone may house-soil as a result. Usually, there are other symptoms as well, such as destructive behavior or vocalization.

Fears or phobias: When animals become frightened, they may lose control of their bladder and/or bowels. If your puppy is afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks, he may house soil when he's exposed to these sounds.


1) Here's a really expensive cat "toy" that many of you have at home.  The only question about this is "Would you let your cat do this"....  

2) Then again, not all cats are prone to getting into that kind of trouble.  Here's a kitten that will probably never get into long as it is nap time: 

3) More than 500 police dogs across the USA have been the recipients of Kevlar bulletproof and stab-proof vests, as related in this really interesting account: 

Susie Jean of Socorro, NM is truly a "Guardian Angel" for those police dogs!

4) For any of our readers who might have been thinking about making a few extra dollars by being a dog walker, here's an in-depth interview with a woman in Brooklyn, NY who has done just that...and has been a success at it: 

5) The last item related to spring/summer concerns pet safety around a swimming pool: 

The main points of this article are:
  • Evaluate your pooch
  • Be careful with "protective" gear
  • Consider the chlorine
  • Work on training


Helpful Buckeye told you 6 weeks ago that there would be no more reports on the LA Dodgers until they showed that they were serious about playing some good baseball.  Well, the Dodgers are now back in first place in the NL West division and have won 13 of their last 14 games.  This is quite a turnaround!

Unless the Phoenix Suns can win a few games at home, it looks like the NBA finals will feature the Celtics and the Lakers.


Yes, it's back to "bike with square tires" time here in Flagstaff.  The last couple of weeks have featured several days with sustained winds of 35-45 MPH and gusts in the 50-60 MPH range.  Needless to say, Helpful Buckeye finds no joy in trying to compete with that, so...riding the stationary bike in the gym has been the smart choice!

~~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.~~

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Two years ago today, Helpful Buckeye crawled out of the foam of the ancient seas and started putting together this blog, Questions On Dogs and Cats.  We've been through an evolution of sorts as the format and content of the blog have hopefully improved to the point at which the rule of survival of the fittest will allow us to continue for at least another year.

Helpful Buckeye wasn't surprised at the results of last week's poll questions.  Most of our readers haven't been in an evacuation situation, nor have they done much to prepare for one.  Even though it only would take a few hours to accumulate the suggested information and materials, very few of our readers have actually done so.  Hopefully, none of you will ever be faced with the sudden need for evacuation due to an emergency.  Be sure to answer this week's poll questions in the column to the left.


1) Helpful Buckeye has referred to several places around the USA where dogs have been used to help young students with reading problems and/or deficiencies.  This very interesting account comes from the American Kennel Club about a learning center in Raleigh, NC, some children, a Border Collie, a Bouvier des Flandres, and a Siberian Husky:

2) Also from the AKC, the list of all registered breeds from 2009 has been released and...surprise, surprise!  The Labrador Retriever has topped the list for 19 consecutive years...but the German Shepherd has moved back into 2nd place for the first time in 30 years.  Could there be a shift in the future?  For a lot more interesting information about how popular the different breeds are in various parts of the USA go to:


How many of you with cats have witnessed your cat squatting in the litter box for what seems to be an unusually long time?  How many of you then thought it must have something to do with constipation?  Well, even though that's a possible explanation, the much more likely reason is that there is something wrong with the cat's lower urinary tract.

Feline lower urinary tract disease involves disorders of the cat's urinary bladder and urethra.  The urethra is the tube that brings urine to the outside from the urinary bladder.  Cats experiencing one of these disorders will usually exhibit an increased frequency of urinations (more trips to the litter box), frequently some blood in the urine (pink to reddish color), and often show signs of pain and difficulty in urinating (longer time in the litter box).  Some of these cats will also urinate elsewhere away from their litter box, as well as spend a lot of time licking their genital areas.  These signs can be seen in cats of any age; however, they are most often seen in middle-aged, overweight cats that get little exercise, use an indoor litter box, have restricted access to the outdoors, and eat a dry diet.  There may also be other factors involved, such as interactions with owners, multi-cat households, and changes in routine.  Both males and females seem to be affected equally.

The most common causes of these signs are urinary tract infections, urinary stones, and urethral plugs.  Diagnosing which of these causes is involved can be tricky and your veterinarian will likely have to do some further tests beyond the initial physical exam.  These may include a urinalysis, blood work, a urine culture, and X-rays.

Stress appears to be an important contributor to the onset of these disorders.  For a cat, stress can arise from many things an owner might not be aware of, such as environmental changes (moving the location of the litter box or even changing the type of cat litter), changing the feeding schedule, introducing new pets to the home, and changing the type of food.  When combined with stress, retention of urine can contribute to further difficulty.  In other words, your cat needs an opportunity to freely urinate when it wants to and in a place where it feels comfortable and not threatened.

Some types of bladder stones can be dissolved with the help of special diets and some can't.  When the stones can't be controlled by diet, surgical removal becomes necessary.  Most cats that have experienced these stones will be at an increased risk of recurrence.  There are certain dietary considerations and medicines that might help to lessen that chance.  Your veterinarian will help you put together a long-term plan for that goal.

Of the three above-mentioned causes of signs of a urinary disorder, the one with the highest potential for serious consequences is the obstruction, or plugging, of the urethra.  This can quickly become a life- threatening situation if the obstruction is complete.  Neutered male cats are at much higher risk for an obstruction than are females since the female urethra is much shorter in length and wider.  If one of these cats cannot urinate at all, it can die within 24-36 hours due to a rapid build-up of toxins in the blood.  They quickly become depressed if not treated right away.  The treatment of choice is passing a catheter through the urethra into the urinary bladder.  When the flow of urine has been established, the cat is then stabilized, depending on how dehydrated and sick the cat is.  Again, cats that have gone through this blockage have a higher likelihood of having it happen again.  For repeat cases, there is a surgical procedure that creates a larger opening in the urethra after the removal of part of the penis.  This doesn't stop the further formation of the offending plugs, but rather provides a large enough opening for them to pass through.

Reminders for Reducing the Occurrence of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorders
  • Feed small amounts of food more often
  • Talk with your veterinarian about the proper type of food to offer your cat
  • Provide clean, fresh water at all times
  • Provide an adequate number of litter boxes (always with at least 1 extra box)
  • Keep the litter boxes in quiet, safe areas of the house
  • Keep the litter boxes clean
  • Try to minimize major changes in routines
If you see these signs, have your cat examined by your veterinarian:
  • Straining to urinate
  • Frequent and/or prolonged attempts to urinate
  • Crying out while urinating
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Blood in the urine
  • If you see very little or no urine being produced and the cat is very distressed, this becomes an emergency and requires immediate veterinary treatment.
Parts of this presentation were adapted from a publication of the Cornell University Feline Health Center.

For a really good summary of feline lower urinary tract disorders, listen to this interview with Dr. Tony Buffington, as provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association:  


This weekend, mix things up a bit and head to the trails with your dog! Enjoy the beauty of your local state parks and national forests, all while you watch your dog's excitement in exploring new places. Just think how much he'll love the change of scenery and all of the new scents that go along with it.

To find a great hike for you and pooch, seek out dog-friendly trails at:  Search by state for listings of over 2,000 state parks, national forests and other areas in the U.S. and Canada that welcome dogs.

To make sure your furry hiking companion is prepared and stays safe on the trail, check out the quick list of pointers below:

Before Your Hike

- Your dog should be fit and healthy so he can enjoy the outing.
- Ask your vet if there should be any concerns.
- Begin with shorter hikes and gradually increase the distance.
- Research the areas you're visiting to be sure that dogs are allowed on the trails.
- Ensure your dog is wearing his ID tags, and that the information on them is current.
- Be sure your dog's vaccinations are up to date and its toenails trimmed.
- To avoid an upset stomach, don't feed your dog right before a hike. A few treats are fine.
- Make sure the weather is mild so your dog won't get overheated in particularly sunny or humid weather.
- Pack plenty of water, a bowl from which your dog can drink, poop bags and a dog first-aid kit.

On the Trail

- Keep your dog on a leash to keep him safe and away from other hikers.
- Watch the terrain to be sure it's not too rocky or rough so your pup's foot pads aren't injured.
- Provide water for your dog often to help him stay hydrated and maintain his energy level.
- After the hike, check your dog for ticks and fleas.

More details on hiking with your pooch are available at: 

1) Here's an interesting toy for your cat:

Not only does it have a freaky appeal for your cat, but it's also reduced in price!

2) For those of you who like to take your dog with you in the family vehicle, the ASPCA has this "Auto Barrier" for your consideration: 


1) A new aspect of cat adoration has shown up in Japan.  More than a dozen "Cat Cafes" have opened in Tokyo since 2008 in which patrons pay for an hour's worth of contact with the cats.  Check it out at: 

2) Enjoy this funny video of a Corgi that prefers its food on the floor...not in the bowl: 

3) Thinking about getting a dog or a cat but not sure if you can handle the commitment? You might make the perfect foster parent.  The folks at Paw Nation offer some pointers, including the basics of foster parenting, what organizations look for in a foster parent, how to get started, and the average length of assignment, at: 

4) Some cats just can't seem to get interested in anything, right?  This cat has to win the prize for being bored:  (the video is a little fuzzy for the first few seconds, but it gets better)

The San Antonio Spurs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns. 


"Yesterday is a canceled check, and tomorrow is little more than a promissory note. Today is cash. It is real, it is tangible, and you and I have to spend it wisely." --Jim Stovall

~~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.~~

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Today was the first time in my life that I wasn't able to say "Happy Mother's Day" to my Mom.  I'd like to take this opportunity to tell all of our readers who are mothers or who have a mother still living that I hope your Mother's Day observance was fulfilling and rewarding...for both of you. 

Even though my Mom really enjoyed shopping for new clothes, she even more enjoyed getting flowers.  The words of an old Mother's Day song reflect what I would have been doing if she were still living:

Mother's Day

Let's go out and pick some flow'rs
And make a big bouquet;
We must bring a special gift
To Mom on Mother's Day!

Here's a rose, and there's a daisy
For our Mom's bouquet,
Pretty flow'rs to show we love her
More and more each day!

Words By: Terry Kluytmans
Music By: Jessie L. Gaynor

To finish this train of thought, Helpful Buckeye fondly recalls the lyrics of my favorite Beatles song:

 In My Life

There are places I remember all my life,
Though some have changed,
Some forever, Not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think about them,
In my life....

Happy Mother's Day, Mom....


Regular readers of Questions On Dogs and Cats will recognize a slightly different beginning in our discussion for this week.  Helpful Buckeye has chosen to use the word "Topic" instead of "News" since the topic of disasters has been in the news for the last several weeks.  Disaster is defined as "a calamitous event, especially one occurring suddenly and causing loss of life, damage, and/or hardship."  The USA has experienced recent disasters such as deadly tornadoes, severe flooding, and nearby earthquakes in Haiti and Mexico.  Those disasters, plus wildfires (which are already beginning in parts of the American southwest), toxic chemical leaks or explosions, and possible terrorist activities can all require the potential need for evacuating your home...suddenly and without much warning.

If you have pets and are facing an emergency evacuation due to a disaster, would you be ready?  Even though some of you may feel that you are ready, current evidence indicates otherwise.  The above-mentioned disasters seem to be happening with greater frequency and with more widespread distribution around our country.  Sometimes, especially when watching TV coverage of these disastrous events, Helpful Buckeye recalls the song, Flirtin' With Disaster...., by Molly Hatchet:

I'm travelin' down the road and I'm flirtin' with disaster,
I've got the pedal to the floor and my life is running faster....
We're flirtin' with disaster, ya'll know what I mean....
I'm flirtin' with disaster every day.

Dealing with a disaster always involves handling the aftermath.  The only chances we have to minimize the effects of the aftermath are luck and advance preparation.  Luck is something you can't ever count on, but preparation is something we all can do.  The Temptations had a hit song in 1966, Get Ready, and some of those words tell the whole story:

Look out baby, 'cause here I come....
So get ready, so get ready, 'cause here I come,
(Get ready, 'cause here I come),
I'm on my way...
(Get ready, 'cause here I come).

The American Veterinary Medical Association has been a staunch advocate of preparedness when it comes to the topics of disasters and pets.  Every year, they document disasters and the loss of human and animal lives...and what could have possibly been done ahead of time to avoid the loss of life.  Since May 8th has been declared as National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, the AVMA has produced the following checklists for all pet owners.  If you assume that a disaster might occur near you and you implement these suggestions ahead of time, you just might survive, along with your pets, to tell about it.  These checklists are really no different than getting together photos of all the rooms in your house in case you need to make an insurance claim.  It wouldn't take very long to accumulate all this information...and, then, you'll be prepared.  From the AVMA:

What would you do with your dog, cat, bird, horse or livestock if your area was hit with a flood, earthquake or forest fire? National Animal Preparedness Day, May 8, reminds everyone to be prepared.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Citizen's Corp declared May 8 as a special day to remind pet and livestock owners to think about how they can help keep their animals out of harm's way.

Nature and life have fury days:  Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, blizzards, terrorism....

Devastating natural and man-made disasters can ravage our lives. No one is exempt from the possibility of being affected personally. You need to prepare for yourself and for your animals in case of disaster.

Do Not Wait Until It Is Too Late
Countless times people have been told to leave their homes for a "short time," only to find that they cannot return for days or weeks. Even disasters like gas leaks and minor flooding can keep you from tending to your animals for extended periods of time. To prevent situations such as these take your animals with you.  It is best to be overly cautious during a disaster warning. Preparing ahead of time and acting quickly is the best way to keep you and your family, including your animals, out of danger.

• Familiarize yourself with each type of disaster that could affect your area, not forgetting a hazardous materials spill.
• Be prepared for the possible disruption of services for extended periods of time, including electric, phone, and local food and water sources.
• Having a plan in place and practicing the plan prior to a disaster will help you accomplish a successful evacuation and maintain the safety of your animals.

Preparing a Disaster Plan

Setup an appointment to talk to your veterinarian about disaster planning.

• Assemble an animal evacuation kit.
• Develop an evacuation plan for all of your animals and practice the plan.
• If you live in an apartment, make sure your animals are on record with management and are able to evacuate via the stairwell. Dogs should be taught to go up and down stairs to better assist rescue personnel.
• Keep written directions to your home near your telephone. This will help you and others explain to emergency responders exactly how to get to your home.
• Identify alternate sources of food and water.
• Have well maintained backup generators for use in food-animal production operations.
• Keep all vehicles well maintained and full of gas.
• Keep emergency cash on hand.

In Case You Are Not At Home

Preplace stickers on front and back house doors, barn doors, and pasture entrances to notify neighbors, fire fighters, police, and other rescue personnel that animals are on your property and where to find your evacuation supplies.

• Provide a list near your evacuation supplies of the number, type, and location of your animals, noting favorite hiding spots, in order to save precious rescue time.
• To facilitate a successful rescue, provide muzzles, handling gloves, catch nets, and animal restraints where rescue personnel can find them. Keep in mind that animals may become unpredictable when frightened.
• Designate a willing neighbor to tend to your animals in the event that a disaster occurs when you are not at home. This person should have a key to your home, be familiar with your animals, know your evacuation procedures, and know where your evacuation supplies are kept.
• In your evacuation kit, keep a pre-signed letter that releases your neighbor from responsibility if one of your animals becomes injured during the evacuation.
• You may also want to have a pre-signed veterinary medical treatment authorization with your Evacuation kit – this will aid your veterinarian if your animal must be treated during your absence.

Having identification on your animals, including rabies and license tags, if applicable, may help reunite you with your animal(s) in the event that you are separated. Identification should provide your name, home address, a phone number where you can be reached, and an out-of-state phone number of someone with whom you will be in contact during or soon after the disaster/evacuation. If possible, include your veterinarian's name, location, and phone number. Examples of some forms of identification are listed below:
• collar tag (a piece of tape applied to the back of the collar tag can provide evacuation site information – use waterproof ink)
• microchip

• tattoo
• temporary neckband
• waterproof pouch attached to collar with identification information inside
• clear identification on cage/housing for confined animals

It is also important to separate animals from different households as much as possible and to maintain the best possible hygiene, along with pet identity, to decrease disease transmission.

• Leash, collar, and/or harness for each pet.
• Collapsible cage or airline approved carrier should also be available for each pet, and bedded properly, for transportation and housing purposes - owning enough carriers to accommodate your pets facilitates a speedy evacuation and may mean the difference between the life or death of your pet.
• Familiarize your animals with evacuation procedures and cages/carriers. Take the cage/carrier out several times a year and put dog or cat treats inside with blankets and toys. By doing this, you hope to reinforce positive feelings associated with the animal carrier.
• Cat carriers should be large enough to hold a small litter pan and two small dishes and still allow your cat enough room to lie down comfortably or stand to use the litter pan.
• Dog kennels or collapsible cages should be large enough to hold two no-spill bowls and still allow enough room for your dog to stand and turn around.
• For added assurance, clearly label each carrier with your identification and contact information.
• Locate and prearrange an evacuation site for your family and animals outside your immediate area. Ideally, this will be a friend/relative or a pet-friendly hotel that is willing to let your family and animals stay in the event of a disaster. Other possible animal housing options include veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels, and animal shelters.

Veterinary Records

Make photocopies of important veterinary documents to store in the evacuation kit.

Vaccination records:

• Vaccination type and date
• Rabies certificate, if applicable

Medical history:

• Important test results, such as Feline Leukemia/Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Felv/FIV), heartworm, equine infectious anemia (Coggins test), tuberculosis, and brucellosis
• Medical conditions and medications (including drug name, dosage, and frequency of dosing)
• If your animal has a microchip, a record of the microchip number

Proof of Ownership

Make copies of registration information, adoption papers, proof of purchase, and microchip information to store in the evacuation kit. List each one of your animals and their species, breed, age, sex, color, and distinguishing characteristics.

Keep current photographs of your animals in the evacuation kit for identification purposes. Include yourself in some of the photos to help you reclaim your lost animal(s). Consider preparing waterproof "Lost Pet" signs with your animal's photo attached, your name, and your contact information to use in case your animal is lost. If your pet has a microchip, call the company to register your pet's information and make sure to keep that information updated.

List of Important Emergency Contacts

Prepare this list now before a disaster strikes. Include addresses and 24-hour contact numbers, if available. These contacts can be used by rescue personnel responding to a disaster affecting your animals or by you during a disaster or an evacuation. Keep one copy near your telephone and one copy in your animal evacuation kit.

• Numbers where you may be reached (pager, cell phone, work phone)
• Your prearranged evacuation site
• Local contact person in case of emergency when you are not available
• Out-of-state contact person
• Your veterinarian's name, clinic name, and phone numbers
• Alternate veterinarian (30-90 miles away, provides boarding)
• Boarding facility (local)
• Boarding facility (30-90 miles away)
• Hotels that allow pets (90 mile radius)
• Local Animal Control
• Local Police Department
• Local Fire Department
• Local Public Health Department
• Local animal shelter
• Local Red Cross chapter
• Local humane society
• Local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
• List of Internet "lost and found" animal sites

Small Animal Evacuation Kit

The following lists will help you prepare for your animal(s) in the event of a disaster. The evacuation kit should be assembled in easy-to-carry, waterproof containers. It should be stored in an easily accessible location away from areas with temperature extremes. Replace the food, water, and medications as often as needed to maintain their quality and freshness and in accordance with the expiration dates. Indicate, if applicable, medications that are stored elsewhere due to temperature requirements such as refrigeration.

Consult your veterinarian for advice on making an animal evacuation kit and first aid kit that is appropriate for your individual animals. It is important that you become familiar with the items in your kit and their uses. Your veterinarian may recommend an animal first aid book to include in your kit. Consult your veterinarian regarding emergency first aid procedures and administration of any medications.

• 2-week supply of food (dry and canned)
• 2-week supply of water in plastic gallon jugs with secure lids
• Batteries (flashlight, radio)
• Cage/carrier (one for each animal, labeled with your contact information)
• Can opener (manual)
• Cat/wildlife gloves
• Copies of veterinary records and proof of ownership
• Emergency contact list
• Familiar items to make pets feel comfortable (favorite toys, treats, blankets)
• First aid kit (see next page)
• Flashlight
• Instructions
• Diet: record the diet for each individual animal, including what not to feed in case of allergies.
• Medications: list each animal separately, including dose and frequency for each medication. Provide veterinary and pharmacy contact information for refills.
• Leash and collar or harness (for each animal)
• Litter, litter pan, litter scoop
• Maps of local area and alternate evacuation routes (in case of road closures)
• Muzzles (dog or cat)
• Newspaper (bedding, litter)
• No-spill food and water dishes
• Paper towels
• Radio (solar and battery operated)
• Spoon (for canned food)
• Stakes and tie-outs
• Trash bags

Small Animal First Aid Kit

Consult your veterinarian when developing the first aid kit. The items below serve only as examples of what may be included in a small animal first aid kit.

• Activated charcoal (liquid)
• Anti-diarrheal liquid or tablets
• Antibiotic ointment (for wounds)
• Antibiotic eye ointment
• Bandage scissors
• Bandage tape
• Betadine® (povidone-iodine) or Nolvasan® (chlorhexidine), scrub and solution
• Cotton bandage rolls
• Cotton-tipped swabs
• Elastic bandage rolls
• Eye rinse (sterile)
• Flea and tick prevention and treatment
• Gauze pads and rolls
• Ice cream sticks (which may be used as splints)
• Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
• Latex gloves or non-allergenic gloves
• Liquid dish detergent (mild wound and body cleanser)
• Measuring spoons
• Medications and preventatives (such as heartworm prevention), minimum 2-week supply, with clearly labeled instructions. Provide veterinary and pharmacy contact information for refills.
• Non-adherent bandage pads
• Saline solution (for rinsing wounds)
• Sterile lubricant (water based)
• Styptic powder (clotting agent)
• Syringe or eyedropper
• Thermometer (digital)
• Tourniquet
• Towel and washcloth
• Tweezers

An Evacuation Order Has Been Issued...Now What Do You Do?
Evacuate your family, including your animals, as early as possible. By leaving early, you will decrease the chance of becoming victims of the disaster.

• Bring your dogs, cats, and other small animals indoors.
• Make sure all animals have some form of identification securely fastened to them (or their cage, in the case of smaller, caged pets). The utilization of permanent identification is encouraged.
• Place all small pets, including cats and small dogs, inside individual transportable carriers. When stressed, animals that normally get along may become aggressive towards each other.
• Secure leashes on all large dogs.
• Load your larger animal cages/carriers into your vehicle. These will serve as temporary housing for your animals if needed.
• Load the animal evacuation kit and supplies into your vehicle.
• Call your prearranged animal evacuation site to confirm availability of space.

After the Disaster

• Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, dangerous wildlife, contaminated water, downed power lines, or other hazards.
• Examine your animals closely, and contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe injuries or signs of illness.
• Familiar scents and landmarks may have changed, and this can confuse your animals.
• Release cats, dogs, and other small animals indoors only. They could encounter dangerous wildlife and debris if they are allowed outside unsupervised and unrestrained.
• Reintroduce food in small servings, gradually working up to full portions if animals have been without food for a prolonged period of time.
• Allow uninterrupted rest/sleep for all animals to recover from the trauma and stress.
• If your animals are lost, physically check animal control and animal shelters daily for lost animals.
• Post waterproof lost animal notices and notify local law enforcement, animal care and control officials, veterinarians, and your neighbors of any lost animals (utilize online resources for lost and found animals).

Helpful Buckeye suspects that a few of our readers will take this advice to heart and start putting together a plan for what to do should an impending disaster present itself, a few of you will think it will never happen to you, and most of you will be somewhere in between.  Sure, it may never happen to you, but if disaster does strike you and your pets, any amount of preparedness will be better than doing nothing.

The AVMA concluded their presentation with this poem by Cindy Swancott Lovern:

As the winds blow on
And the waters rise deep
You can hear their cries
You can hear them weep
Those you have brought into your home
Those who are loyal, caring and warm.
You feed them each day, and tell them to stay
And now when they need you, don't turn them away.
When you vowed to love, when you vowed to care
You vowed to sacrifice, and vowed to prepare.
So now in times of trouble and strife
You are responsible for more than one life.
You need to plan, think, and prepare
For all those who need you
Those who depend on your care.


Reading about disaster preparedness and all of its ramifications can be a sobering experience...although not nearly as sobering as actually experiencing a disaster.  In that light, Helpful Buckeye will finish this week's blog with a very interesting account of what goes on during the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska, from the viewpoints of three veterinarians...all involved in a different way.

The Iditarod is one of the world's greatest endurance races. Each March, teams of sled dogs and their mushers set out to trek more than 1,000 miles through the Alaskan backcountry.  This year, not for the first time, a veterinarian was among the competitors. At the start and finish was a veterinarian who has led studies to improve sled dog and human health. Along the trail, as usual, several dozen veterinarians examined and tended to the immediate medical needs of the sled dogs.  The Iditarod commemorates a 1925 relay by sled dogs and mushers to deliver diphtheria antitoxin to Nome to prevent an epidemic. The race also serves another purpose: maintaining the tradition of mushing.

The Musher

Dr. Tamara L. Rose moved from California to Alaska about five years ago, and a friend soon introduced her to mushing.  "It was just an instant attraction—I love dogs, I love the outdoors," said Dr. Rose, a mobile solo practitioner out of Fairbanks.  She said racing sled dogs is an adventure for her rather than a serious competition. She keeps 19 dogs in her kennel, including some that have retired, and she also has borrowed a few young dogs that a friend wanted her to train.  Dr. Rose is in her third year of racing. She started with shorter races to work up to the Iditarod this year, completing about three times as many qualifying races as she needed.

The ups and downs of racing the Iditarod still weren't what she anticipated, however. The trail was easier than she expected, but dog management was more difficult.  The trail groomers had paid particular attention to the route through a treacherous river gorge, she said, and enough snow had fallen to provide extra traction so sleds did not fall into the river. The route was rougher in an area full of tussocks where less snow had fallen.  For the most part, the weather was clear and cold—down to 40oF below zero. The problem came when the temperature rose. Then Dr. Rose had to stop often to prevent the sled dogs from overheating, allowing them to roll around in the snow. Mostly, Dr. Rose and her team alternated between six-hour runs and six- to eight-hour rest stops at checkpoints or along the trail.

Dr. Rose began the race with 16 dogs, seven of which were forward leaders. Trail veterinarians examined the dogs whenever the team stopped at one of the checkpoints, and Dr. Rose dropped dogs that had pulled muscles or sustained other minor injuries from competition.  Dogs that mushers dropped from the Iditarod await a ride back to Anchorage by bush plane. Mushers will drop dogs from the race for reasons such as orthopedic injuries, diarrhea, and pneumonia.  "It's up to the individual how much we dote on them," Dr. Rose said. "I'm probably a little more cautious than some mushers."  Dr. Rose dropped seven dogs along the way, including two leaders. By the end, four more leaders did not want to lead, although they continued to run enthusiastically.  Twelve days after starting the Iditarod, Dr. Rose crossed the finish line with nine dogs. Her team was 43rd out of the 55 teams that completed the race. Only one of her leaders was left, Hailey.

"You couldn't do this with regular dogs," she said. "They're bred to go, and to want to go, and they're bred to have this athleticism that's just amazing."

The Researcher

Dr. Michael S. Davis has been studying sled dogs for years at the Iditarod and elsewhere. His recent research has focused on trying to understand sled dogs' endurance and helping prevent the gastric ulcers that exercise induces in them.  "It was identified pretty early on that gastric ulcers were about the most serious health concern that these dogs had," said Dr. Davis, director of the Comparative Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.  Dr. Davis and other researchers recently developed a practical medication scheme that appears to be effective at preventing the ulcers. They published a report in the March/April 2010 issue of the Journal of Internal Veterinary Medicine, but the editors allowed them to release the information to the mushing community before the 2009-2010 racing season.

Neither the Yukon Quest nor the Iditarod, the 1,000-mile-plus sled dog races, had any dog deaths due to gastric ulcers this year. One dog died during the Yukon Quest of silent cardiac disease, but no dogs died during the Iditarod for the first time in memory.  The researchers might never determine the causes of the gastric ulcers, Dr. Davis said, because they decided preventing the problem was more important.

"The other work that we've been doing is trying to break down and unlock the metabolism secrets of sled dogs, basically how they manage to run as hard and as long and as far as they do without getting totally fatigued," Dr. Davis said.

Most recently, the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation has provided funding for a study of the insulin sensitivity of sled dogs under various training conditions. Dr. Davis believes that sled dogs can run the way they do because they have an effective way of oxidizing fat for energy.

At the Iditarod this year, Dr. Davis also measured electrolyte concentrations and body water content of sled dogs before and after the race.

Trail Veterinarian

Dr. Caroline H. Griffitts began volunteering as an Iditarod trail veterinarian in 1993, and she was among the first members when the International Sled Dog VMA formed in 1994. Now she is ISDVMA president and three-time winner of the Golden Stethoscope award for most helpful Iditarod veterinarian.  Dr. Griffitts keeps volunteering at races mostly because she really enjoys working with sled dogs.  "The sled dogs are definitely different," said Dr. Griffitts, a mobile solo practitioner in Loveland, Colo. "They're very easy dogs to work with. They're generally extremely nice-tempered."

Dr. Griffitts enjoys the Iditarod in particular because the race allows her to see the beautiful backcountry of Alaska and to visit friends she has made at the villages along the trail.  During the Iditarod, groups of three to four veterinarians cover the checkpoints, some of which are simply a cabin or ghost town. Once the last musher passes through a checkpoint, the veterinarians there fly to a checkpoint ahead of the first musher.  At each checkpoint, the veterinarians set up shifts. Because the dogs run day and night, the teams can arrive at any time.  "Ideally, when a team comes into the checkpoint, we watch as the dogs run in—look for anybody who is obviously limping, holding back, not pulling, any issues," Dr. Griffitts said. "Obviously, if we see the musher is carrying a dog in the sled bag, we might have an injured dog."  The mushers don't stop at every checkpoint, but the veterinarians examine each dog whenever teams do stop. The veterinarians also care for the dogs that the mushers drop from the race for reasons such as orthopedic injuries, diarrhea, and pneumonia.

Aside from the Iditarod, Dr. Griffitts has been a trail veterinarian for a number of other races. She is chief veterinarian for a race in Wyoming. She also has visited Russia for the past two years to help with a new race there that is organized by an orphanage that keeps sled dogs. 

Dr. Griffitts said she's seen many changes in the veterinary care of sled dogs since she began volunteering at races.  The ISDVMA has worked to promote research and share findings regarding the health of sled dogs. Research has found, for example, that sled dogs need about 10,000 or more calories per day while racing. Also according to research, vitamin E supplementation helps prevent myopathy in sled dogs.  Since the late '90s, the ISDVMA has organized a mandatory training seminar for rookie trail veterinarians during the week before the Iditarod. The seminar includes a day of hands-on training that includes pre-race physical examinations.


The San Antonio Spurs lost again to Phoenix, giving the Suns a 3-0 lead in games.  The end of the Spurs' season draws NBA team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series.


Helpful Buckeye is off to take care of disaster be prepared is to be ready!  I'll let Mark Twain have the last word on disasters and being ready:

"Indeed, none but the Deity can tell what is good luck and what is bad before the returns are all in."
- Letter to Samuel Moffett, 6 August 1904

~~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.~~