Category: Health

Protecting our dogs from being stolen!

Can you imagine anything more awful!

I’m not sure if we are out and about with our dogs more frequently in the Summer but one would assume so.

But whatever the season, the number of people that do take their dogs with them when they are out is very significant.

So a recent article published by Care 2 about how thieves do steal dogs seemed timely.

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5 Ways Thieves Could Steal Your Dog

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on January 1, 2013. Enjoy!

Sergeant Kenneth Chambers was playing Frisbee with his dog in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida, grocery store recently when lightning struck out of the clear blue sky. The young American veteran, in recovery for post traumatic stress disorder, rolled down the car windows and placed his Australian Shepard/Blue Heeler Mix inside the vehicle just briefly, while he went inside to help his mother with the bags. When he came out moments later, Adalida was gone.

Unfortunately for Sergeant Chambers, and for Adalida, the parking lot scenario placed them in two of the top five high-risk situations for pet theft. And while Sergeant Chamebers’ search continues for Adalida, there are measures that all of us can take to prevent a similar tragedy.

Here are five of the top high-risk pet theft scenarios to avoid: 

1. Dogs in cars

In the blink of an eye, a partially opened window can be forced down or smashed. It takes 20 seconds or less to abduct a dog, and by the time a pet owner returns to the car, their dog is long gone. The American Kennel Club reports a 70 percent rise in dog theft in 2012 and a 40 percent rise the year before. A weak economy has fueled financially motivated dog-napping — and a dog in a car is, quite simply, a sitting duck.

2. Highly prized breeds or dogs with special abilities

A purebred dog or a dog with special skills is a bit like a gold watch. Thieves see dollar signs, and that’s more than enough temptation. Any dog left unattended can be taken, but there is far greater motivation for criminals to walk off with a dog who can bring in a large sum of cash.

3. Pets left in fenced backyards

Everyone loves the convenience of a doggy door — especially criminals. Homeowners who let their pet explore the fenced yard without supervision maintain the illusion of safety, but police departments across the country will tell you that this isn’t enough.

In broad daylight on a single Saturday in November, Corning Animal Shelter Manager Debbie Eaglebarger documented the theft of four Dobermans, four Australian shepherds and two Rottweilers. One neighbor witnessed a man and a woman lure one of the dogs out of a backyard and into their vehicle. All dogs taken that day were purebred, but that is not always the case.

4. Pets left tied in front of businesses

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but particularly in urban areas where pets accompany their owners on errands, it’s not uncommon to find dogs tied up in front of a bank or grocery store. Typically, these are dogs with a gentle demeanor — and that makes them highly susceptible to the commands of a would-be thief.

“Leaving your dog tied up in front of a store is about as ludicrous as leaving your child out front and saying, ‘Wait right there, I’ll be back in 10 minutes,” explains Howard Simpson of Integrated Security and Communications in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. “Do yourself a favor and realize that there are security risks in even the safest of neighborhoods. Being naive makes you a target.”

5 Strangers in the neighborhood

Any strangers on your property can be a risk to your pets. Whether they are invited contractors, deliverymen or political campaigners, visitors could easily grab a pet during a moment when the homeowner is distracted. In some cases, they are making a mental note of homes with valuable breeds or easy-to-subvert home security that will facilitate a quick dog-napping at a later time. It bears mentioning that it’s not uncommon for cats to jump into the back of truck beds for a snooze and to be unwittingly carried off at the end of the day.

Which breeds are most likely to be stolen?

According to the American Kennel Club, the most stolen dog of 2011 was the Yorkshire terrier, followed by the Pomeranian, Maltese and Boston terrier. Small breeds are targeted by thieves because of their size but also because of their value on the market — a single dog can fetch well over $1,000! Among the large breeds, Labrador retrievers are a frequent target, as well as pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes – perhaps for a much more sinister purpose.

Why do thieves target pets?

1. Bait dogs and laboratory dogs

This is every dog guardian’s worst nightmare. Indeed people involved in dog fighting will gather “bait” dogs to be used as training tools for fighting dogs. It happens in both urban and rural areas, and there has been no measurable decline in dog fighting in recent years. Despite some legislation intended to stop the sale of undocumented dogs to research laboratories, under-the-table sales continue — and, in some countries, these exchanges are not considered a crime.

2. Financially motivated theft

“For the first time ever we’ve seen a trend now where shelters are being broken into and purebred and mixed breed dogs are being stolen,” said Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club. In fact, any purebred dog, particularly puppies, is considered a high-value commodity. Even with a microchip, it’s often too late when a pet buyer discovers that they have purchased a stolen dog.  By then, the thief is long gone.

3. Emotionally driven theft

What’s often overlooked are the emotionally motivated crimes that rob dogs of their families. This can happen because the perpetrator feels that a dog is not being properly cared for. Some animal lovers will feel justified in stealing a dog that is tied in front of a store or who gets  loose one day. Other times it’s an act of revenge, and, in many cases, a former romantic partner is considered the prime suspect.

Whatever the scenario or the motivation, dog guardians can best protect their dogs with watchfulness. Never leave a dog unattended. Secure your home, including all doors and windows, to the best of your ability and budget. And be wary of strangers in your neighborhood at all times.

Brought to you by the Harmony Fund, an international animal rescue charity.

One very lucky dog!

Don’t try this yourself!

(NB: For much of the next three days I am going to have my attention diverted elsewhere. So, apologies in advance if I am not as attentive as I try to be.)

This was seen on the BBC News website last Sunday.

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Dog survives after chasing stone off 150ft cliff

A cocker spaniel has survived a 150ft (46m) fall from a cliff in Somerset.

The dog, called Indy, plunged off Hurlstone Point, near Porlock, while chasing a stone during a walk with her owners.

Minehead’s lifeboat crew was scrambled to rescue her and found her among boulders at the foot of the cliff.

A spokesman said: “She had a few scratches and bumps and was very shaken up, but it could have been much worse.” (Ed: Understatement of the year!)

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A quick search brought up this item on Wikipedia:

Hurlstone point (grid referenceSS898492) is a promontory of land between Porlock Weir and Minehead in the Exmoor National Park on the coast of Somerset, England.

Hurlstone Point marks the boundary between Porlock Bay and Blue Anchor Bay in the Bristol Channel and is on the South West Coast Path.[1] There is a coastguard lookout shelter on the point.[2]

The rocks, including a large slab known as “coastguard wall” are popular with climbers.[3]

In 2007 a cyclist was rescued after falling 40 feet (12 m) down the cliff.[4]

References

  1. “Bossington to Selworthy”. Official Guide to the South West Coast Path. Natural England. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  2. “Coastguard’s lookout at Hurlstone Point, Selworthy, Somerset”. Viewfinder National Monuments Record. English Heritage. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  3. “Hurlstone point”. UK Climbing.com. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
  4. “Cyclist rescued after cliff fall”. BBC News. BBC. 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2008-08-09.

Plus this photograph that only underlines how very lucky was Indy.

Visiting the Vet – Updates

How this theme is taking shape!

But first, let me offer an update and a correction.

In my first report, published on June 28th, the very first patient for Dr. Jim was Ginger.Here’s an extract from that report:

It was immediately clear to Jim when he listened to Ginger’s heart that it was racing; Jim thought at something like 200 beats per minute. Jim continued to check Ginger over although, as he told me later, he had an idea that Ginger’s medical problem was a cardiac issue. Jim arranged for Ginger to be given an X-ray as well as blood work.

A number of you wanted me to check on Ginger’s status. Jim said that in a follow-up call made by the clinic they were told that Ginger was doing well.

The second item is a correction. In the report that described Lynn bringing in a stray kitten that had terrible puss oozing from one eye, I wrote: “Moments later Jim has not only cleaned out all the puss but found and removed the cause of the infection that was behind the kitten’s eyeball.”

When I queried with Jim what was the cause of the infection, he said that there was nothing physical behind the eye but that the kitten had contracted a severe eye infection probably a viral infection. The kitten was also doing well.

So last Thursday, the 13th July, I returned to Lincoln Road, arriving at 09:45. My plan was to spend the morning with Jim and then the afternoon with Dr. Russel  Codd the owner of the clinic.

It was another wonderfully interesting day and I have sufficient material for the next two to three weeks.

This is Cooper, a male Jack Russell, being checked out by Dr. Russ.

Dr. Russ started the afternoon at 14:30 so there was a bit of a wait after Jim had finished his morning at 12:05. That prompted me to see if future sessions watching Dr. Russ at work could be morning ones.

In other words, I would go across to Lincoln Road on two mornings a month; one to spend with Dr. Jim and one with Dr. Russ. I have yet to speak to Russ about that but can’t envisage an issue.

What Russel Codd did say to me that afternoon was that he really supported this theme and that he might arrange for me to ‘shadow’ one or two specialists who work locally in Grants Pass.  Plus, I did venture the idea that maybe there was book potential and Russ was very happy with that possible development as well.

So Sue, there’s the answer to you writing last week: “Lots of information here perhaps for a second book?” Great suggestion! (Indeed, good people, I am giving the idea of turning this series into a book very careful thought and will ask for feedback from you in a subsequent post once I am clearer about the purpose and objectives of such a book.)

So the first of my reports from my visit on the 13th will be published either later this week or early next week.

Thank you, everyone, for your interest, suggestions and support. You really are a great group of readers!

Visiting the Vet – Transformations.

This is why some choose to become veterinary doctors.

Today I write about the last animal that Dr. Jim attended to from my morning at Lincoln Road on June 22nd. I have been blown away by the interest in this theme from so many of you. Thank you!

Indeed, today I am back at the clinic spending both the morning and some of the afternoon watching and recording.

My plan from now on, subject to Dr. Codd supporting the idea, is to spend time at the clinic roughly one day a month. For in just the five or six hours of a day’s visit there is such a variety of events that it will provide more than enough material for me to present Visiting the Vet posts regularly each week during the following month.

OK! Now to the last patient that morning.

12:20

A woman carries in a stray kitten that had been found on the premises of a local scrap metal dealer.

The woman, Lynn, didn’t hesitate to bring the kitten to Lincoln Road because it had an infected right eye.

Jim takes some blood, in itself a bit of a challenge with such a young kitten, and looks more closely at the male kitten. He observes that the eye is most terribly infected with puss pouring out and Jim is of no doubt that the kitten had this eye infection since birth just a few weeks ago.

I come closer to take a photograph (the one above) and am in awe of the delicate way that Jim uses a tiny swab, Lynn holding the kitten for Jim, to clear the puss away from the eye. Moments later Jim has not only cleaned out all the puss but found and removed the cause of the infection that was behind the kitten’s eyeball.

12:40 The kitten sees with both eyes. What a transformation in just twenty minutes.

Jim looks up at Lynn: “Lynn, you do know you have saved his life!”

Lynn replies: “I didn’t really want another cat!”

Jim then gets some food for the kitten and gives it time to settle down.

Lynn and I chat and I am flattered to learn that Lynn has previously purchased a copy of my book. It can be such a small world at times!

12:30 All done. Lynn wraps the kitten back into the same towel that was used to bring it in to the clinic such a short time ago.

Thus ended my first experience of being behind the scenes of a busy vet practice.

The experience has profoundly affected me.

For as well as the astounding level of medical skill that I have observed it was also clear, as Jim put it, that he has to play counselor, psychotherapist, and even bartender. Why bartender? Because Jim quietly offers the observation that quite a few persons come in with their pets when they are the worse for drink! The owner that is not the animal!

Seriously though, let me offer what I concluded after just this one visit to Lincoln Road. That Jim and, I’m sure, Dr. Russ and many thousands of DVMs across the world, have many more demands on them than just being a good doctor.

They must display attention to detail and have an inquiring mind. They must be genuinely empathetic for the animal owner’s circumstances. But also good record keepers! Also they will have to endure a great deal of kneeling. Then, again, those knees have to be topped with a head that is jam-packed full of knowledge and experience to avoid jumping to incorrect conclusions. More subjectively, their emotions have to be kept under control for they frequently will see animals that have not been best cared for and, again all too frequently, they will have to end the life of a dear pet as gently and painlessly as is possible.

To be continued!

Visiting the Vet – Buffy & Chloe

Still it comes, one pet after another!

It’s 11:05

This is Buffy, a nine-year-old Dachshund crossed with a Terrier, who is drinking and peeing too much according to the lady who brought Buffy in to the clinic this morning. Adding that Buffy seems to be always hungry and quieter than normal.

Jim runs a blood test and not long after says that nothing has jumped out at him as a potential issue from Part One of the test results. (Apparently, the blood test comprised two parts – I will learn more in a subsequent visit to Lincoln Road.)

Buffy’s heart sounds good. Buffy has not lost weight.

Then Part Two of the blood test results reveal, thankfully, that Buffy is not diabetic, is not indicating Cushing’s Syndrome, and that Buffy’s kidneys are fine.

In other words, Buffy has the look of a healthy dog.

Has this all been a waste of time and money? Not at all, says Dr. Jim. This is the first time the clinic has seen Buffy and all the test results can now be logged providing a baseline of data for future reference purposes.

11:50 In comes Chloe.

Chloe has been vomiting up her food and, consequently, has stopped eating. Jim is concerned that Chloe is overweight and that in the very hot weather of recent days (high 90s F./mid 30s C.) he has been seeing a number of dogs with excessive heat problems.

One thing that could be done to Chloe was to clip her excessively long toe nails.

Jim does that.

12:15 All done.

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)

Never give up!

Sharing and caring in abundance!

Please forgive the shortness of the introduction. It’s just that Jean and I were out all day and I didn’t sit down to present today’s post for all you good people until 4pm.

Frankly, this is such a wonderful account of caring for dogs that any intro from me would be superfluous!

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From Rags to Kisses: Abused Dogs Find Happy Homes in Colorado

By: Laura Burge July 1, 2017

About Laura Follow Laura at @literarylaura

In December 2014, Animal House Rescue and Grooming in Fort Collins, Colorado, found a very special delivery on its doorstep. Three dogs arrived from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, an Oglala Lakota Native American reservation.

One of the poorest communities in the country, the reservation has an overabundance of unwanted pets facing the risk of disease, starvation, exposure to the elements and, unfortunately, violence.

After a five-hour drive, DeeDee, Prince and Maizy made the first step to finding new and happy lives.

DeeDee was originally discovered living in the trash dump on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where she made her home upon an old discarded sofa atop a pile of tires. A local rescuer, aware of her plight, spent a week slowly gaining DeeDee’s trust with food.

Once the understandably nervous dog allowed the rescuer to get close enough to her, she found herself on a leash and then in a car. Little did DeeDee know she was on her long way home.

DeeDee spent some time in foster care in South Dakota, recovering from mange and learning to trust again before she was transferred to Animal House to give her a better chance of finding her future family. It didn’t take long for them to find each other, with DeeDee’s charming and playful nature quickly winning over their hearts.

Prince, a 2-year-old shepherd mix, had been found covered in matted fur and burrs. He showed up at Animal House having been shaved, but full of affection.

When Prince arrived, they noticed that there was a problem with his back leg and quickly got him in for x-rays. The cause became quickly apparent, and horrible: Prince had been shot on the reservation. The bullet had travelled through his rear hip and shattered his femoral head.

Not knowing how long he had been suffering through the pain of his injury, the staff at Animal House was anxious for Prince to find relief as quickly as possible. He was sent to CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a femoral head osteotomy, a surgery that alleviated his pain and allowed him to keep his rear leg.

Thankfully, his lovable nature showed through. Prince was able to recover in comfort and bask in newfound love, as he went to his new home shortly after surgery.

Maizy was a beautiful 8-month-old Husky mix puppy with eyes that melted hearts. Whatever happened to Maizy on the reservation, something that will remain a mystery, she came to Animal House in a lot of pain.

Maizy had several neurological symptoms and pain in her neck. After x-rays, the shelter soon found that the puppy had a fractured cervical vertebra, which was causing compression on her spinal cord. This could have been catastrophic for Maizy, but she’s a fighter.

Maizy’s foster family dedicated their time to bringing her to CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for regular bandaging and casting to keep her spine in place. Her beautiful face and wonderful personality through all of this ended up winning the heart of an Animal House volunteer. Having made a full recovery and a lifelong connection, Maizy now lives happily in her loving forever home.

Adoption Highlight: Special Needs Dogs

These adorable special needs dogs are still waiting to find their way to new homes.

Banjo is a 6-year-old pit bull terrier mix who had a rough start to life, facing his many challenges with a great attitude. He arrived at Animal House with skin issues related to allergies, worn down teeth and scarring on his body, as well as kidney disease. Banjo gives the best hugs and thinks he is a lap dog, so he would make an excellent snuggle buddy.

Bella is a 2-year-old shih tzu mix who arrived at Animal House after her former sanctuary had to close its doors. Bella has a love for life and gets along well with other dogs and cats. She does struggle in some areas, though, specifically with constipation and some house-training. Bella is looking for a patient and kind forever home willing to help her live comfortably with her condition.

Ghost is a 2-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix who is sensitive, intelligent, and inquisitive. He is nervous about new people and environments and needs a home that can build his confidence so that he can be happy and comfortable in a variety of situations. Ghost just wants some good old-fashioned love and patience!

You can find out more about these adoptable dogs here.

Photo credits: Animal House Rescue and Grooming, Colorado

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Whatever the state of the world, as long as there are organisations and people who will love and care for animals in need then I will be at peace.

Visiting the Vet – Kenya’s itch.

Practical ways of treating Kenya’s itchy skin.

10:45 Next along was Kenya and his ‘Mum’.

The story was that after a raw patch had appeared on Kenya’s back it had then become very itchy for the brave dog.

Jim shaved the area clear of fur and cleaned the skin to aid a closer examination.

Jim then explained that the challenge in these sorts of cases is that it is very easy to throw a lot of money at the problem without any guarantee of success.  Not only were there cost considerations but also the question of whether to go down the route of injections or administer pills.

As an observer I was struck, but not surprised knowing Jim as a friend, to see how an open and honest assessment of the problem came way before any commercial implications.

Jim’s view was to leave it for the time being but he did recommend using a hypoallergenic shampoo. There were a number to choose from but Jim supported the shampoo manufactured by Bayer and sold under the brand name of Hylyt Shampoo.

There are a number of online sources for this shampoo. I chose, more or less at random, the one at Allvet Supply.

That website describes the shampoo, thus:

HyLyt Shampoo is a hypoallergenic dog shampoo and is perfect for routine use in bathing dogs and cats. The shampoo is safe for normal, dry or sensitive skin types and may be used in conjunction with topical therapeutics.

HyLyt shampoo contains a light fragrance that will leave your pets smelling clean and fresh. The gentle shampoo formula is ideal for bathing both dogs and cats. The soap-free formula is pH balanced and will not dry out delicate skin or fur.

In addition to the gentle formula, HyLyt shampoo also contains special emollients for moisturizing and proteins for conditioning. The hypoallergenic dog shampoo also contains fatty acids to reduce scaling and flaking of the skin. If your pet suffers from seasonal or acute dryness, HyLyt shampoo will help restore their skin and coat to optimal health and beauty.

Then it was time for a quick checkup underneath Kenya, so to speak, and that was it!

11:00 All done!

I am having trouble getting my head around the fact that I have only been watching proceedings for two-and-a-half hours! So much knowledge on show. So much experience. So much compassion for our beloved pets!

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)

Visiting the Vet – Hunt the Foxtail

Yet another interesting case for Dr. Jim.

As soon as it was time to say ‘goodbye’ to Ace the cat then in came an entirely different case.

1020 – Back to dogs!

This was Millie, a pit mix, who had been dropped off at the Clinic earlier on. Millie’s owner said that there appeared to be something troubling Millie’s ears. Millie was, indeed, shaking her head a great deal.

Jim established that it was Millie’s left ear that was the source of the irritation. This was immediately obvious since Millie cried as soon as Jim touched that left ear.

The first examination didn’t identify anything that might be the cause. But apparently the endoscope had such a narrow field of view that it was easy to miss an irritant. Time for another, more extensive examination using that same endoscope.

This time the problem was identified. A foxtail that had penetrated Millie’s ear so deeply that the seed-head had pierced Millie’s eardrum.

Carefully, oh so carefully, Jim pulled the foxtail out from Millie’s ear. I couldn’t believe just how large it was.

About an inch (2.5 cm) long.

I was unable to grab a photograph of Millie’s face once the foxtail had been removed. Trust me it was a face full of doggie smiles.

But I can’t move on to the next patient without remarking how Millie was so beautifully behaved. How maligned the Pitbull and Pitbull Mixes are!

10:45 All done with Millie!

To be continued:

(Please note: These observations are mine alone and because of the busy environment it must be assumed that my interpretation of what was taking place might not be totally accurate. Nothing in this blog post should be used by a reader to make any medical judgment about an animal. If you have any concern about an animal do make an appointment to see a properly qualified veterinarian doctor.)