Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Collie dog breed

The popularity of a dog breed can change faster than you can say “Yo quiero Taco Bell.” One dayChihuahuas are feisty, fun little dogs you’d see only occasionally; the next day (or so it seems), you have three of them back-to-back on your appointment calendar, and your local shelter is running a special on Chihuahua adoptions because there are so many looking for homes.
I see a lot of Chihuahuas over the exam room table these days, along with Labradoodles, Pit Bulls, Bulldogs and the eternally popular Labrador Retriever. I love them all, but I have to admit I do miss seeing some of the dogs who used to be in my waiting room, pets I rarely see now that they’ve lost the cachet they once enjoyed.

Five Breeds That Used to Be More Popular

Here’s my list of five dog breeds I used to see a lot of, and miss seeing now.
1. Irish Setters: I used to see a lot of these bouncy red dogs in my practice. I know the rub is that they’re too energetic and not the brightest bulb on the light string, but the ones I used to know were great family dogs who loved to be around people and really wanted to please. I miss their smiling faces and the feathered tails that never stop wagging.
2. Scottish Terriers: These stylish, strong-minded dogs can be difficult to handle, since they are terriers through and through. In my family we’ve loved a lot of terriers, including our forever-missed Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, Scooter, so I understand some of the challenges. These days I’m more likely to see a Scottie on a Monopoly board than on an exam table. Too bad, because these high-style pups really know how to make an entrance.
3. Collies: When Lassie is in, so are Collies. Otherwise, their size and the challenges of their massive, beautiful coat no doubt put many people off. And that’s a shame, because a good Collie, while not likely to be saving Timmy from the well every day, is a great family dog — smart, loving and always keeping an eye on his flock.
  • 5. Cocker Spaniels: These little bird dogs were top of the heap for decades, the most sought-after of all purebred dogs. Their reign at the top of the American Kennel Club rankings finally ended with a wave of Poodles. I still see a fair number of Poodles — and even more Poodle-oodle mixes — but Cockers are relatively rare. And that’s a shame, because like the Irish Setter, these dogs are sweet, beautiful and full of fun.
    Make no mistake: I love all the dogs — and cats — I see whether on the street or over the exam room table, and I live to help them all be healthier and happier. But I do miss some of the dogs who used to be so popular. I know, however, that they’re only one hit TV show, movie or commercial away from being popular again.

    Thanks to a friend, Dr. Marty Becker

Saturday, February 23, 2013

funny pet pictures!
dachshunds in funny pet pictures

Friday, February 22, 2013

Why Does My Cat . . . Head Butt Me?

If a person were to head butt you, you’d probably have a pretty good idea of what they were trying to tell you.
But when a kitty bonks you with her forehead, the meaning may be less clear. Is she merely saying hello or has she been watching too much pro wrestling?
We asked Dr. Meghan E. Herron, DVM, DACVB, a clinical assistant professor of behavioral medicine in theDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Ohio State University, to explain the curious cat phenomenon.

Why Does My Cat Do This?

According to Dr. Herron, this behavior is something that domestic cats share with their wild counterparts.
“Cats do this to deposit facial pheromones on people or objects in their environment,” explains Dr. Herron. “The head butting is actually something that we call bunting.”
Since kitties usually seem relaxed and friendly while bunting, people rightfully assume that it's a sign of affection or acceptance into the feline’s domain. But Dr. Herron says that bunting is a bit more nuanced.
“Rather than territorial marking or ‘claiming’ someone, as is commonly thought, cats do this to mark something as safe — sort of like leaving a signal of comfort and safety,” adds Dr. Herron. “So you could think of it as a sign that they are ‘trusting’ that person or environment.” 

Should I Worry If My Cat Doesn't Do This?

There are a lot of bunting variations among kitties, with a wide range of frequency and intensity, so you shouldn’t necessarily be concerned if your cat doesn’t bump or push you with her head.
“While cats that do this are often feeling safe and trusting, I don't know that I would say a lack of bunting indicates a problem,” says Dr. Herron. “Each cat may have a different propensity to bunt over others.”  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lots Of Big Dogs At Play...

-Subject: Fwd: BIG Dogs

Some BIG dogs!
        1.Bruno, the dog who likes to sit on your lap 
This dog who just wants to tan.
Via: xaxor.com

2. Zeus, the dog who likes to relax on the couch.

By the way, this is the world's tallest dog.

3. This dog who wants a hug.

4. This adorable dog who kind of resembles a wolf.

5. This dog trying to watch TV.

6. This dog who doesn't like to go to the vet.

Via: lolme.org

7. This dog who is definitely hogging the couch.

8. This dog who just wants to escape that rat thing on the floor.

9. This dog who you can't hide treats from.

10. This dog who takes babysitting too seriously.

11. This dog who likes chairs.

12. This dog who could mop my entire kitchen by rolling over once.

13. This dog who thinks the sink is his water bowl.

14. This dog who just wants to be a kid.

Via: imgur.com

15. This dog who doubles as a stool.

16. This guy who's convinced he's a lap dog.

17. This dog who just wants to cuddle.

18. This dog who's basically a horse for Chihuahuas.

19. This dog who's investigating something.

20. This dog who's dreaming of bacon and bones.

21. This dog who would be a great shoulder to cry on.



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ditch the Itch: Four Ways To Soothe a Scratching Dog

Dog scratching his ear on the front lawn.
A scratching dog shares his misery with everyone. There is no escaping the jingling of his tags as he scratches or the foul smell of infected skin. Between painful pet and owner irritation, there are few things more uncomfortable for both dog and human.
Unfortunately, there is no magic cure.

Why Dogs Scratch

The reasons dogs scratch vary widely, as do the possible treatments. That’s because itching is a symptom, not a disease. Figuring out what’s triggering the scratching can rarely happen in a single visit and a same-day is unlikely.
For veterinarians, dealing with an itchy dog is like being a detective, putting together clues, such as the age and breed of the dog (some breeds have more problems), triggers, and affected body parts.
After obvious issues are either treated or ruled out, the real work begins. Unlike humans who sneeze and wheeze their way through allergies, dogs often react with skin inflammations and may obsessively scratch, lick, chew, or rub their faces and bodies. The list of things dogs can be allergic to is formidable — everything from pollen, mold spores, and grass to common cleaning agents and pet food ingredients.
Fortunately, most dogs aren’t so severely affected by skin problems as to require massive commitments of time and money. Effective parasite control (fleas are a major problem), prompt veterinary attention to occasional skin flare-ups, and owner commitment to some simple home strategies will ease the misery for most pets.

Tips to End the Itch

Here are four ways to control itching at home.
Eliminate fleas. Even if you don’t see them, they’re likely there, and they’re one of the top reasons for skin irritation. Check with your veterinarian for the most effective treatment for your pet in your area. At home, your washing machine and vacuum are a flea’s worst enemies. Wash pet bedding at least weekly and vacuum areas where pets sleep — both are simple ways to break the life cycle of fleas. Outdoors, use a spray where pets lounge and play. In all cases, follow label directions precisely to protect yourself, your pet, and the environment.
Bathe your dog regularly. It comes as a surprise to most people, but dogs can — and should — get a weekly bath with a gentle shampoo recommended by your veterinarian. Frequent baths wash away allergens. For really itchy dogs, cool (not cold) baths with an oatmeal shampoo made for pets are very soothing. For more difficult cases, your veterinarian can prescribe a shampoo with antibiotic properties to ease the itching and target secondary infections.
Get your dog some clothes. A simple T-shirt or form-fitting dog suit made of a light fabric may help control itching. The fabric keeps allergens off the skin and prevents a dog from chewing an irritant into an open sore.
Switch foods. But don’t do so without talking to your veternarian. If your dog has a food allergy, you’re unlikely to find the cure in the aisles of your pet store. Work with your veterinarian to find a specialty food or home-prepared diet that will ease the itch.
Whatever you do, don’t delay in getting help for your pet. An itching pet is in constant misery.

Friday, February 15, 2013

How Do Animals Keep Their Paws From Freezing?

Paws in snow

Q. How do cats and dogs walk on snow and ice without their paws freezing?

A. Many animals are equipped with an impressive supply of blood vessels under a well-designed layer of soft yet tough padding, which is why they generally don’t need to boot up to take a walk when there’s snow on the ground. But don’t expect cats or dogs to do as well in the cold as their wild relatives such as the lynx or wolf, both of whom have feet that can really stand up to snow and ice. Our domesticated animals, on the other hand, can and do suffer from prolonged exposure to bitter cold.

How Sled Dogs Do It

Two of my books, Why Do Dogs Drink From the Toilet? and Why Do Cats Always Land on their Feet? answer some of the most interesting and offbeat questions about cats and dogs I've collected over the years. For the dog book, I asked my friend Dr. Stu Nelson, chief veterinarian for the Iditarod, about how pets and their paws stand up to extreme weather. If anyone knows about pets in cold weather, it’s Dr. Nelson.
He shared that frostbite strikes the areas of the body that have the slowest circulation and are therefore easily chilled. Pets have greater circulation in their feet than humans do, enabling them to withstand low temperatures without wearing shoes.
So what about those sled dogshe knows so well?
While pet dogs and cats have relatively short-term exposure to walking on ice and snow, that’s certainly not true of sled dogs such as the ones who run the Iditarod. Dr. Nelson says that the thickness of the paw pads help animals go “barefoot” on various types of terrain, including snow and ice. Animals also have two more legs to distribute the weight, which is an advantage on rough, cold ground.
Despite all those evolutionary advantages, these canine athletes can use some help: Sled dogs often wear booties, although on ice they get better traction without them, using their nails like cleats.
While city dogs sometimes wear booties, it’s not something a cat will tolerate. In winter the problem for both dogs and cats isn’t walking on snow and ice so much as exposure to chemicals used for de-icing. It’s always a good idea to rinse pet paws when they come in; this cleans off anything potentially toxic and helps keep the house cleaner too.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Here's A Handsome Sphinx Cat!

Meet Elmer, he's an 18 month old Sphinx Cat.  This breed is considered hairless, although they do have a very minimal amount of hair, they just lack a pelt.

The breed is known for its extroverted behavior.  They are very intelligent cats, full of curiosity, and very close to their owners.

Sphinx cats  definitely appreciate sweaters/coats in chilly weather.  Elmer's Mom reports he has quite the wardrobe!

Elmer came to visit for his annual checkup.  All is well!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Canine Vocabulary and Training

Image for Dog Vocabulary Article

Dog Vocabulary

When you begin to train your dog, give some thought to the vocabulary you will use. Scientists have shown that a dog can be trained to understand as many as two hundred words. But no one is sure in just what sense the dog understands the word.
We know that dogs can learn the meaning of commandswhen those commands are presented as words, as gestures, or even as whistled signals. We also know that dogs depend on non-verbal signals, such as your posture and your tone of voice.
You want your dog to obey certain commands for safety’s sake and to make your lives together easier.
The first command your dog should learn is “no” and it should simply mean stop whatever you are doing at once. You will find plenty of occasions to reinforce this meaning with your puppy. When your dog is doing something you don’t like, go to the dog, say “no” calmly by firmly and move it or distract it.
If you vary the word “no” with “don’t do that” or “stop it,” it will take your dog much longer to learn what you mean. If you shout at your dog, he will just be frightened and not learn anything.
Most people teach their dog to respond to the command “come.” But we use the word often in ordinary conversation, and we use it to call other beings, such as children. Your uses of the word can be confusing to your dog. Consider choosing a nonsense-syllable as your command to come.
To help your dog learn which of the thousands of words you say every day is directed at her, preface your commands with your dog’s name. To help your dog learn, say each command as “name, command.” Extra words only confuse

Friday, February 1, 2013



Since When Is A Human A Pet???

Anthropomorphism is the term used to describe the tendancy of of people to attribute human traits to pets.  We all know these folks-you may even be one of them!  

But turnabout is fair game.  Frequently, we will turn the table on ourselves by using dog and cat traits to describe human actions.

Certainly you've used one of these sayings when discussing our fellow human beings or day to day situations. Can you think of
any more sayings?  

Cat Sayings

Look what the cat dragged in
Curiosity killed the cat
When the cat's away, the mice will play
The cats out of the bag
It's raining cats and dogs
It's the cat's pajamas
Playing cat and mouse

Dog Sayings

Barking up the wrong tree
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
It's a dog-eat-dog world
Let sleeping dogs lie
The tail is wagging the dog
The dog days of summer
Doggone it

Courtesy of our friends at Blue Pearl Veterinary Specialists 

Working like a dog

Charlie's Spay

Here is a cute counterpart to our "Tiny Neuter" blog last week. Meet Charlie who is here today for her spay, or overiohysterectomy. This procedure removes the uterus and ovaries, helping prevent potential future medical issues and pregnancy. An intact female dog (one that has not been spayed) has a higher risk of developing mammary cancer and pyometra (life-threatening uterine infections) as she ages.
When you drop your pet off in the morning, the first thing to do is draw pre-surgical bloodwork. This will screen for any underlying health concerns before anesthesia. The doctor will also do a complete physical exam the morning of surgery to make sure your pet has no concerns that need to be addressed before or during the procedure.

 Charlie got a clean bill of health! Here she is posing for her blood draw.

A premedication is given 1-2 hours before surgery to help reduce anxiety and as a sedative. Here Charlie is getting "induced" for her spay, in which an anesthetic agent is given in the vein.

Once Charlie is under anesthesia an endotracheal tube is gently placed in her airway. This tube is hooked up to the gas anesthesia machine which will maintain Charlie at an adequate level of anesthesia for the procedure

For surgery she is placed on her back and ties are used to secure her to the table. Monitoring equipment is hooked up and a veterinary technician stands by for the entire procedure to monitor heart rate, respiratory rate, as well as other vital parameters. Meanwhile, another technician prepares the surgical site by scrubbing with antiseptic solution.

Above is the sterile surgical field draped and ready for the first incision. You can see the surgical instrument table to the doctors right. The doctor is fully gowned and gloved in.

Recovering from her operation, all comfy and warm! Once Charlie is waking up, a pain medication will be given that will last for 24 hours post-operatively. Sometimes, depending on the surgery and individual doctor, pain medication will be sent home as well. In a few short hours Charlie is fully awake and ready to be picked up by her family . . . who she missed dearly.