Sunday, January 20, 2013


Before we get back to the second part of our current topic, How much do you know about dogs and cats?, Helpful Buckeye would like to address a question on a recent topic that was sent in by Sandra P. from Seattle.  Sandra asked whether currently available air purifiers are capable of removing second-hand cigarette smoke from the air.  That's an interesting question, Sandra...and I received 4 more like it after reading yours.  Here's the answer, from the Mayo Clinic:

Will an air purifier eliminate cigarette smoke?
  I'm thinking about buying an air purifier. Do
any of them work on cigarette smoke?
The answer from:  Richard D. Hurt, M.D. is this…
If you're considering buying an air purifier, you have a multitude of choices. But if you want an air purifier that will eliminate cigarette smoke, you're out of luck. Most air purifiers, also called air cleaners, are not designed to remove gaseous pollutants, which are a major component of cigarette smoke.
Mechanical air filters, such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, and electronic air cleaners, such as ionizers, target particles, but tobacco smoke particles are designed to be small enough to be inhaled into the outer reaches of the lungs and, thus, are not trapped by such devices.
Other air cleaners generate ozone, which is actually a lung irritant. At levels that don't exceed public health standards, ozone has little ability to remove air contaminants such as cigarette smoke.
The best way to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke is to not allow smoking in your home. If you smoke, this is another good reason to stop.
At the end of last week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, you were able to take a couple of quizzes about dogs and cats.  Did you do OK on them?   I'll bet that most of you thought people had their dogs sleep with them under the covers to keep warm, huh?  OK, on with Part 2 of How much do you know about dogs and cats?

Not curiosity, rather innocuous stuff, nearly kills
our cat
Romantics are smitten with the notion that curiosity is what kills cats. Having grown up on a farm, I would compile a feline mortality list that ranks curiosity far behind a lackadaisical attitude about hay-balers, tractor tires, horse troughs, great horned owls, fan belts, augers, hungry pigs, dogs, shoddy electrical wiring, rat poison, angry tom cats, Bush Hog mowers and anything that threshes.

As the recent owner of a kitten named Maggie, I need to update my list of potential cat-killers for the suburbs. Shattering my belief that an indoor cat was a safe cat, Maggie used up one of her nine lives.
Our sixth-grader, Will, heard the familiar Flintstone-esque cartoonish sound of Maggie's feet rapidly running in place on a hardwood floor. When that was followed by the sound of choking, Will's curiosity saved the cat.
Maggie had managed to wind a laptop cord around her neck and start down the stairs. Freaked when the cord, which was plugged in, started to restrain her, she leaped through the banister railings. Will found Maggie stuck in mid-jump, her hind legs on the stairs and the cord growing tighter around her neck. Figuring that "9-1-1 probably wouldn't come for a cat," and thinking he had to act fast, Will climbed atop an ottoman, lifted Maggie's head and lessened the tension to the point where he could unwind the cord from her neck. Will and Maggie seemed a bit shook by the incident, but both recovered fully.
I never dreamed a laptop cord and a staircase could form a life-threatening combination to our cat, but the experts aren't surprised that something so innocuous can be so dangerous.
Even the iconic image of a cat playing with a ball of yarn can be a tragedy in the making if the cat starts chewing, says Michael San Filippo, a spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association, which has its headquarters in Schaumburg.
"If it (the yarn) gets into their system, it can cause injury to their intestines and could be fatal," San Filippo says.
Cats, dogs and other pets often fall prey to medicines (both animal and human) and plants that are left within their reach, he says. Foods and alcoholic drinks left out after parties can injure pets. Cords on drapes or blinds, or strings of holiday decorations, can be fatal. Search the Internet for animal X-rays and you'll find everything from a dog that ate a stop watch to light bulbs inside a snake.
Even toddlers who drop grapes, raisins or chocolates from a high chair are threats, as those foods are toxic to pets.
Easter provisions, from chocolate bunnies to the highly toxic lily plants, can kill cats and dogs, San Filippo warns. Even homes that have been pet-proofed might still contain dangers such as dryers, washing machines, ovens, recliners, sewing kits, irons and heavy objects that might fall from a shelf.
"You can't plan for everything. Accidents can happen," says San Filippo, who urges people to keep emergency numbers handy and visit for safety hints.
"Every month, we're getting claims we've never seen before," says Grant Biniasz, a spokesman for the Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., which sponsors a monthly contest for the most unusual insurance claim as a way "to raise awareness of the accidental injuries."
The most recent entry is a cat named Eddy, whose pursuit of a house fly led him to leap onto a hot wood stove, blistering all four of his paws.
"Last month we had a cat that got a plastic bag stuck on its head and ran around the house bumping into things and it tore off a nail," Biniasz says of the March entries. "We saw a claim for shamrock toxicity."
Cats often hurt themselves by eating plants, toxic foods or more unlikely dangers such as hearing aids, dental floss or sewing needles, Biniasz adds.
"Cats are curious," Biniasz concedes, but he notes that they also "sometimes make poor judgments."

Speaking of judgment, I think all the humans in our household are going to have to be more careful with cords, foods and the other potential dangers facing Maggie. If the cats of my youth couldn't appreciate the pending peril of a hay baler or approaching John Deere, Maggie can't be expected to grasp the potential pitfalls of a laptop cord.
Adapted from:

So much for "curiosity" killing the cat, huh?

10 Surprising (and Helpful!) Secrets Excerpted
From "Your Dog: The Owner's Manual"

By Dr. Marty Becker
 When I say my book offers "hundreds of secrets, surprises and solutions for raising a happy, healthy dog," I'm not kidding. In my work, I balance decades of real-world experience as a practicing veterinarian with insights gained from access to the leaders in the veterinary and pet care world. The result: an insider's view of what's tried and true. 
Here are 10 of my top insider's secrets from "Your Dog: The Owner's Manual." Surprises? You bet. Solutions? Absolutely.
Secret No. 1: Shedding is a top complaint of dog lovers, but when people choose a low-shed pet, they're usually barking up the wrong tree. The kind of dog who sheds the least? A small one (less dog, less fur) with long fur (long fur stays in longer than short fur) who's kept clipped short (less left on to clean up when it does eventually fall out).
Secret No. 2: Preventing accidents can save more than your pet — it saves money, too. By keeping all human and pet prescriptions as well as all over-the-counters safely locked away, you'll protect your pet from the No. 1 poisoning hazard.
Secret No. 3: Stop the post-bath shake from getting water all over your bathroom — and you. It's simple: That water-spraying shake starts at the nose, and if you hold your dog's muzzle until you can get a towel over him, you'll prevent him from shaking.
Secret No. 4: New training tools like head halters and front-clip leashes make walking your dog a pleasure. These tools are like power-steering for your dog. (In the book, I also share how to develop an exercise program that will improve health for human and animal alike.) 

Secret No. 5: Getting old doesn't have to be a miserable time for your dog. Working with your veterinarian to provide an old dog "neutraceuticals" such as omega-3 oil and glucosamine, along with prescription pain medications, can put the bounce back in an old dog's step.
Secret No. 6: Learn why every pet owner needs to keep several over-the-counter remedies on hand, such as hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting), and when your veterinarian may direct you to use them. Never give your dog any medication unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.
Secret No. 7: Most people want to take advantage of the incredible advances in veterinary medicine, but some simply can't afford it. The solution for many is pet health insurance. The surprise? While there are several credible companies offering pet insurance, fewer than 2 percent of dog lovers protect their pets this way.
Secret No. 8: Your dog doesn't have to hate going to the veterinarian. If you work with your veterinarian to keep early experiences pleasant — such as not having nails trimmed at your vet's place and having your pet given pats and treats on every visit — your dog will love going to the hospital.
Secret No. 9: It's easy to save money on care without short-changing your pet. You can save money by price-shopping for prescription medications, buying in bulk, keeping your pet thin and even bartering for your pet's needs.
Secret No. 10: Many veterinarians now recommend vaccinating dogs every one to three years. There is no longer any "one size fits all" when it comes to vaccines. Talk to your veterinarian about the right vaccinations for your dog.
Adapted from:

Anything there that helps you?

Worst Thing About Owning a Dog

A few weeks ago we conducted a poll asking dog lovers - What Is the Worst Thing About Owning a Dog? The response to this poll was very good with over 3,000 dog lovers responding very quickly with their comments. We would like to share some of those comments with you today.
Here are the top 7 things on the "Worst" list:
1. Having to board / Get a pet sitter when traveling
2. Pet hair
3. Cost of medical care
4. Inappropriate urination
5. Barking or whining
6. Aggression
7. Pet odors
I'm sure most dog owners will agree with this list, even though you might also have a few pet peeves about your dog.

10 New Year Resolutions for Your Dog

By: Alex Lieber
The impending arrival of the New Year brings the inevitable resolutions: Trim your girth, be nicer toward your in-laws, spend more time with the family. We're all familiar with the promises we make to improve ourselves in the coming year.
As you make this ironclad list (you mean it this time – really!), have you wondered what resolutions your pet may be thinking of? Your dog also vows to improve himself (and he means it this time – really!). We conducted a survey of the resolutions pets may want to make for the coming year and found some surprises. Here are the top 10 New Year's Resolutions from the dog's perspective.
(Just don't say anything if he falls a little short of the goal. You keep his secrets and he'll keep yours.)
Resolution #1: I will eat less and exercise more.
Too many nights on the couch, too many dog biscuits and too little time running around the local dog park has made me a little, well, fluffier. I don't think the old "I'm-just-big-boned" excuse will work anymore. I resolve to bug my owner to take me out to the doggy park several times a week.
Resolution #2: I will beg less
I've got begging down to a fine art – he's putty in my paws – but it sure is demeaning. I promise to reserve the begging for worthwhile things, like going out to the park and T-bone steak.
Resolution #3: I will recognize the difference between furniture and fire hydrants.
I promise not to treat the furniture and walls the way I do fire hydrants. It drives my owners batty and has no lasting benefit for me (they clear away the scent almost as fast as I can "deposit" it.)
Resolution #4: I'll stay out of the cat's litter box.
I vow to resist the urge to snoop around the cat's private lavatory – even though it's a lot of fun and really makes her go nuts.
Resolution #5: I won't bite the vet anymore.
I'll remember that the vets and their staff are just trying to help in their own, inscrutable way, although they really know how to push my buttons with those needles!
Resolution #6: I won't steal food as much.
I won't go out of my way to steal food, although all bets are off if they make it really easy for me.
Resolution #7: I'll introduce myself in more appropriate ways.
In other words, I'll focus above the waist when introducing myself to humans. Somehow, I get the feeling my normal greeting methods invade their private space.
Resolution #8: I'll do better "holding it" until morning.
When nature calls, I'll steel my resolve to wait for my normal morning walk, unless special considerations apply. I'll decide what those special considerations are.
Resolution #9: I'll bark at the mailman less.
Even though it works to put him in his place, I'll try not to exercise my authority over him and other delivery people, although my self-esteem does get a boost when they retreat.
Resolution #10: I'll tolerate those homemade bandannas more.
My owner has gone to a lot of trouble to make these things, so I'll just put up with the way they feel and the taunts of the other dogs.
Adapted from:
Some dogs are apparently smart enough to make their own resolution lists.

Here's a very interesting and comprehensive web site that might give you some information and/or answers you can't find anywhere else:

Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
Adapted from:

When you get to this web site, click on "Pet Health" which will take you to another page.  On this page is a small box that advertises Helpful Buckeye's blog, Questions On Dogs and Cats.

Funny Dog Video: Doggy Pool Shark

See him over there? That's "Fast Puppy" Felson. Yeah, I know you've heard of him. He's hustled pool in every cheap, crummy billiards joint in the country. Fast Puppy, yeah, he had nuthin', then everything, then nuthin' again. I heard one time he hustled the wrong pool shark, got himself into some trouble. The guy was gonna break Fast Puppy's thumbs, but there was one problem: Fast Puppy's a dog, ain't got no thumbs. But they ran 'im outta town on a rail and he didn't even collect the cabbage he'd won square. One thing's fer sure: he shoots a great game of pool.
Just click on the video to see "Fast Puppy" in action.  If you don't understand the significance of the "Felson" part, let me know.  This dog can play on my team any time he wants!
OK, let's turn the tables a bit and finish up with some crazy things that dog owners do:
The Dumbest Things Dog Owners Do
Most dog owners are great. But sometimes even the best dog owners will make mistakes. Most of the time, the people involved are well intentioned but misinformed.

Here are three mistakes dog owners often make - the mistakes might seem small but the results can be quite serious.
1. Self-medicating your dog - When your dog is sick, NEVER give your dog ANY medication without speaking to your veterinarian. This is really dangerous. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen and aspirin are toxic to dogs in relatively small doses. Don't medicate your dog without the advice of your veterinarian.
2. Using flea medications improperly - Flea medications are a great way to control fleas - but you must be careful to use the product only as directed. Follow the safety guidelines and NEVER EVER give dog flea medications to cats.
3. No ID tag - Dogs can run out the door, break free from their leash, or escape through an unlatched gate. My friends' dog ran out the front door a few months ago. They searched and searched for hours and eventually they found him - but they were lucky. Did you know less than 5% of all lost pets are reunited with their owners? It may even be a low as 2 or 3%. This is a terribly sad statistic - especially because many of those poor pets could have been returned to their owners if only they had been wearing an ID tag.

Remember - don't give any medications or flea products to your dog without your veterinarian's approval and keep an ID tag on your dog at all times. You just never know what can happen.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have always had a problem winning at Michigan State and yesterday was no exception.  Our guys kept the game close and almost pulled it out at the end.  Our only offense came from the conference’s leading scorer…he scored more points than the rest of the team.

Regular readers know that Helpful Buckeye's favorite sport is baseball and I am already getting chills thinking about spring training...not that the sub-zero temperatures overnight aren't contributing to that just a little.  Anyway, the baseball world lost a gem yesterday, with the death of Stan "The Man" Musial.  Musial was just about the perfect player, in all respects--talent, character, and decency.  In fact, it was the loyal fans of the old Brooklyn Dodgers who gave him the nickname, Stan "The Man", because he played so well in their ball park, Ebbets Field.  Musial came from Donora, PA, just a few miles from Helpful Buckeye's hometown and shared that location with Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, Joe Montana, Ken Griffey, Shirley Jones, and Demi Moore.  Rest in peace, as "The Man" in the big Hall of Fame in the sky....

A further note about Stan Musial: when asked to describe the habits that kept him in baseball (remember, this was back in the 1940s) for so long, Musial once said: "Get eight hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day. If you must smoke, try light cigars. They cut down on inhaling...make it a point to bat .300."

Pretty good advice for just about anybody, huh?

~~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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