Monday, January 30, 2012

Parvovirus, Part II, Three Parvo Girls

Below we linked to some very important information about Parvo. Last summer, our area had a Parvo outbreak. In some areas in the south, there is a steady stream of Parvo cases.

Right now, BDBH has these three in a vet office in Kentucky, undergoing hopeful treatment for the parvovirus. Untreated, parvo kills 9 of 10 dogs. Treated, the success rate can be as high as saving 8 of 10 dogs, results though do vary. But the disease is hard on the dog, recovery can be lengthy, and if they do make it, treatment is quite expensive.

We are asking for your help in the treatment of our parvo gang: Rori, Rylee and Riva. The low estimate for treatment is $800 per dog, or $2400 total. We have set the Chip-In for a little over half that. Any assistance is appreciated - you can post this on your Facebook page by hitting the share button at the bottom of this post, or by posting the picture below on your wall, you can send this post around by email, you can make a donation and as always, your good thoughts and prayers mean the world to these poor girls. Thank you.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sights, Smells and Sounds That Can Stress Out Your Pet - More from Dr. Ernie!
We live in a world chock-full of arresting — and often overwhelming — sights, smells and sounds. But while you can block all that background static with state-of-the-art Bose headphones, your pets have no choice but to soak it all in.

From noise emitted by fluorescent light bulbs to overpowering air fresheners, there are many things that may seem innocuous to us — but can negatively affect your dog or cat's stress levels. Here's a look at some common sensory pet stressors.

Pet Sensory Offender #1: Noise Pollution

First, some background: Humans hear in the range of about 20–25,000Hz, while dogs fall in the 45–67,000Hz zone and cats in the range of 45–64,000Hz. Our voices come in at about the 300–3,000Hz range, so what this means is that there are lots of shrill sounds that can really bug your dog or cat.

Excessive or loud noises can create what is known as acoustic stress, which affects felines, in particular, since they can hear very high tones — about 1.6 octaves higher than humans and one octave above dogs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, light dimmers, some CRT and LCD displays (computers, televisions, etc.), and tea kettles are all potential sources of high-frequency noise pollution that you may not even be aware of — unless you can hear like a cat.

If you really want to get serious about reducing ultrasonic noise pollution for your pets, start by turning everything down a notch — or three. TVs, iPods, video games, washing machines and dryers can all stress out noise-sensitive species, such as dogs and cats. Another tip that I practice with my own pets is to play low-volume classical music when they’re home alone. Believe it or not, there are even pet-specific composers out there creating stress-busting music for pets!

Pet Sensory Offender #2: Intense Odors

A cat’s sense of smell is estimated to be about 14 times more sensitive than ours. But that’s nothing compared with a dog’s powerful sniffer, which is thought to be 1,000 to one million times more powerful than a human nose. So there are plenty of aromas that could easily turn a dog or cat's tummy or tempt their taste buds — but we wouldn't even notice them.

Some potential sources of offensive (and often stressful) smells include cigarettes, carpet fresheners, cleaning agents and disinfectants, potpourri, hair spray and perfumes, scented litter and a host of air fresheners. So instead of masking an unpleasant odor, try to remove the source of the foul smell.

I know that's easier said than done, but a tiny trace to us is like an elephant-sized funk to some animals. I’m so sensitive about this that I even train my staff not to wear perfumes or scented deodorants to avoid upsetting my pet patients. Seriously.

Pet Sensory Offender #3: Visual Overload

Although our pets don’t get stressed by the murder and mayhem plot lines of crime shows before bedtime, the bright lights and moving images can light up their visual cortexes. So even though your dog or cat appears to be snoozing at your feet as you watch TV, they’re actually in stand-by mode, monitoring all the commotion.
My advice: If you want your pets to enjoy restful, restorative sleep, go to bed earlier, turn off the television and power down your smartphone, iPad and laptop. Help them (and you!) de-stress from a sensory-packed day by finally unplugging.

Monday, January 16, 2012

De-Bunking the "Alpha Dog" Theory by Pat Miller

Pat Miller is a pretty well known dog trainer.

Here is a teaser to the link below. It makes you want to read the whole article, doesn't it? Please do!
The alpha myth is everywhere. Google “alpha dog” on the Internet and you get more than 85 million hits. Really. While not all the sites are about dominating your dog, there are literally millions of resources out there – websites, books, blogs, television shows, veterinarians, trainers and behavior professionals – instructing you to use force and intimidation to overpower your dog into submission. They say that you, the human, must be the alpha. They’re all wrong. Every single one of them. is the article. Enjoy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Health Tip: Safe and Healthy Weight Loss for Dogs

Great website with tips for SLOW and healthy weight loss!

Including how to tell if your pet is a healthy weight:
Healthy Weight
  • Ribs are easily felt
  • Tucked abdomen – no sagging stomach
  • Waist when viewed from above
Your Pet is Overweight if…
  • Difficult to feel ribs under fat
  • Sagging stomach – you can grab a handful of fat!
  • Broad, flat back
Just like humans, pets can have thyroid issues too.

Primary Risks of Excess Weight in Pets

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart and Respiratory Disease
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Kidney Disease
  • Many Forms of Cancer
  • Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)