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INAPPROPRIATE INGESTION

posted January 21st, 2016 by
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What's in Your Dog Shampoo

INAPPROPRIATE INGESTION – FROM STRANGE TO BIZARRE…

by Sherri Goodall 

 

What do the following items have in common?

Socks, underwear, bank statements, baggies, paper clips, spoons, coins, Kleenex, a whole chicken, jewelry, sewing needles, dog and baby toys, teething rings and pacifiers…

If you haven’t guessed yet, all of the above have been ingested by dogs and cats. In the veterinary world, it’s known as “inappropriate ingestion.”

Dr. Ron Hooley at River Trail Animal Hospital explains the reason why certain breeds are more prone to this and why they do it.

Dogs most prone to this are high-energy breeds and hunting breeds. Almost everyone with a Lab or a Golden Retriever has a story about items their dogs have eaten.

The cause is usually due to separation anxiety from their owners, boredom, or just plain curiosity. The reason so many dirty items of clothing are eaten is because the dog smells its owner on them. Socks seem to be the preferred choice on the menu of clothes, although I’ve heard of t-shirts, lingerie and slippers being chewed up and swallowed or simply swallowed whole.

Dr. Hooley says the most bizarre case he’s seen was from an owner calling him hysterically, saying her dog had swallowed a chicken. Dr. Hooley asked if she meant chicken bones or raw or cooked pieces. She said, “You don’t understand; he ate a whole chicken.” They lived in rural Oklahoma on a farm, and the dog evidently decided he  wanted a whole chicken for dinner, so he ate it!

Dr. Hooley isn’t sure, but feels the dog must have killed it first. The owner was able to grab one leg of the chicken before the rest went down the dog’s hatch. The X-ray shows the whole chicken in the dog’s stomach, feathers and all. Hooley kept the dog for a few days, watching and waiting. Sure enough, the dog digested just about the entire chicken, and nature took its course. Surgery wasn’t necessary. Eventually, the owner and Dr. Hooley had a good laugh about the dog, which was a mixed breed, part Husky.

The X-ray of a sewing needle comes from a cat’s tummy. Cats love to play with string and thread and will eat it sometimes. Often the thread is attached to a needle, as in this case. The needle had to be surgically removed since it was actually stuck in the intestines.

Dr. Hooley says there’s a big advantage to using an endoscope. This thin tube with a pincer-type tool on the end can be inserted through the animal’s mouth, into the esophagus and stomach and can actually grab and pull out ingested material. My own Westie, MacTwo, got a piece of rawhide stuck in his esophagus. (He was trying to take it away from my other Westie and swallowed it whole in the process.) Thankfully, our vet was able to extract it with an endoscope.

Dogs and cats have twisty intestines, just like humans. Dogs have extremely strong stomach acids. This comes from their predecessors – wolves. Wolves eat mostly wildlife, not cooked steaks as we’d like to think our dogs prefer. Since wildlife feeds on vegetation, the wolves get the carbohydrates and fiber they need plus the protein without the added fat that we humans love in grain-fed cattle (to fatten them up).

That’s why if you give your dog fatty meats, he will usually get sick. That’s when you might see your dog eating grass. It’s not always because they have indigestion but because they crave it in their diets. They can also have gastritis issues, like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and the grass helps their tummies.

Our very own publisher of TulsaPets Magazine, Marilyn King, has a great story about her Lab, Buster Brown. He got into Marilyn’s bathtub one day and scarfed down her disposable razor!  For dessert, he ate an entire bar of her special Erno Laszlo face soap. Of course, she panicked, and rushed Buster to the vet where X-rays were taken. Fortunately, the soap had encased the broken razor blade, which kept his intestines from being slashed. Again, nature took its course, and Buster pooped out bits of razor encased in very expensive soap. Good thing he was still hungry after the razor!

You might remember Watson, the Golden Retriever featured in TulsaPets who went to Disneyland with his trainer, Casey Largent. Casey was training Watson for Therapetics. While under  her tutelage, Watson ate her bank statements (chewing them first), paper clips, baggies, dog toys and coins. His favorite though was used Kleenex, which he would snatch off tables,        and dig out of waste baskets. He’s since  gone to live with his new partner and seems to be more appropriate in his dining habits.

Casey’s own dog, Cami, ate about $100 worth of scrapbooking supplies. While the Border Collie was at it, she chewed up a book, fittingly titled “Bad Dogs Have More Fun.”

Another one of my friends, Ben, has a yellow Lab named Calvin. He is the epitome of everything funny and crazy I’ve heard about Labs. For starters, Calvin swallowed Ben’s wedding ring. Her husband, Gary, didn’t believe her and claimed she lost it. Two days later, she felt like it was Christmas. Calvin pooped out her ring. The games were just beginning. Calvin discovered      Ben’s husband’s anti-snoring device on the bathroom sink. It only took one minute for Gary to turn his head, and Calvin jumped up and crunched it. Before he could swallow it, Gary grabbed the pieces. To no avail, it cost $1,500 to replace.

For more fun, Calvin grabbed the TV remote and ran outside. Gary gave chase. While Ben is yelling, “Don’t hurt Calvin…” Gary falls and cracks two ribs. As with most dogs, Calvin is a huge socks  fan, as you can see in his picture. His favorite of all are golf socks, which he faithfully throws up at night. How can you not love this dog?

One of my favorite stories is from a family with a mixed Terrier. The dog  was losing weight and feeling listless over a period of about a year, even though he was eating his regular meals. The dad finally took the dog to the vet to find out what could be wrong. After an X-ray, the doctor came out and said, “Looks like a pacifier’s stuck in your dog’s intestines.” Sure enough, the dad remembered about a year ago spending a sleepless night when their baby wouldn’t go to sleep because they couldn’t find its pacifier. This time, the pacifier was surgically removed,   and the dog continued to thrive, as did the baby.

My sympathies to all of you who have these eating machines for pets. Your vet thanks you for his or her job security!

Here We Go Again

posted January 15th, 2016 by
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Coconut Oil

Here We Go Again! – A Cat Tale

by Camille Hulen
As I sit here and watch this kitten gaze into my eyes, I cannot help but think: “Here we go again!” This little girl came to me on Thanksgiving Day from a litter of three orphans. One kitten was already dead, with mama cat nowhere to be found. As spring approaches, this scenario will play out all too often. Fortunately, this girl and her brother were in good shape and readily took a bottle. Others will not be so lucky.
What can you do? Spay and neuter now before the major mating season begins!
You, the TulsaPets reader, probably think I sound like a broken record because you care about your pets. However, the Tulsa area still has a problem with pet overpopulation. Statistics for 2014 are incomplete as of this writing, but here is the depressing news for 2013 from Tulsa Animal Welfare: 3,785 cats were taken in, and 2,562 were euthanized! This doesn’t even include dogs or animals from suburbs such as Broken Arrow, Sapulpa or Owasso.
Nationally, some progress is being made on pet sterilization. I was excited to read recently in a Wall Street Journal article, “Too Many Dogs: A Simple Solution,” about a new chemical method for males which could be significantly cheaper—as low as $1 per animal. It consists of an injection of calcium chloride into the testicles and requires only a light sedative with no need for anesthesia or incisions. This method has been studied primarily on dogs but could be applicable to cats as well. An extensive study was done in India, and calcium chloride has been used on dogs on the Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. Closer to home, an animal shelter in Lawton, Okla., has been using it since last spring.
Although the calcium chloride research goes back to the 1970s, it has not been approved by the FDA. It is such a common chemical that it cannot be patented, so drug companies have no motivation to invest the money ($10 million, according to the Wall Street Journal) for FDA approved trials. A few local veterinarians with whom I spoke seemed somewhat ambivalent.
Ruth Steinberger of SpayFirst! says her organization uses calcium chloride, but did not run blindly into the method without first conducting research. They had testosterone tests run at the endocrine lab at Colorado State University. After reading all of the already conclusive research, they still worked on this for months before feeling that they had enough data to support using it in the field. On another front, an approved sterilant called Zeuterin should be available for about $20 per animal to nonprofits.
Regarding feral cats specifically, most experts feel that sterilizing females is more effective than working on males. If a female goes into season, it doesn’t matter how many males in the colony are fixed; one from somewhere will likely find her. Neutering colony males only stops that particular male from being the father; it may not prevent a litter. But another chemical, megestrol acetate, is being tested on female cats. This is added to canned food on a weekly basis. It could be beneficial when a feral colony is being fed but cannot be captured. Apparently this method has been known about for decades, but is being ignored because there is no profit in it.
While a few dedicated researchers continue their studies in new methods, education of the public is the biggest challenge. Not everyone knows about the low-cost spay and neuter clinics available. What’s worse, not enough people care! My hope in writing this article is to bring this problem to your attention once again. When I tell people the sad story of how many cats are euthanized (I prefer the word “killed”) everyday, they are shocked. They cite rescue societies without realizing that they are always overloaded.
Locally, SpayOK is a great resource, with two locations in Tulsa, and StreetCats issues vouchers for low-cost spay/neuters. Both Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and StreetCats have traps available for loan. Please spread the word. We do not need more homeless orphans like the kitten pictured here. Let’s continue to speak out for her and others who cannot speak for themselves.

Dog Powered Scooter

posted January 11th, 2016 by
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Scooters2

Dog Powered Scooter!

We are different here and unsatisfied with the traditional way we road work and mush our dogs. We want more safety, steering control over the dog and better dog control. We want the system to be user friendly, thus easy and quick to hook up the dog/dogs, we are not interested in lots of dog training, and we want to use the system right from our homes and not have to drive out of town. And we wanted a system that most everyone can use. We’ve achieved these goals and more- dog powered mobility has become a practical reality.

Appropriate dogs for these systems are

- Young or middle-aged dogs

- At least 35 lbs. for single dogs and at least 18 lbs. each for multiple dogs

- High Drive. Athletic, Runners, Pullers, NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SPOOKY DOGS

- Reactive or even aggressive since the dog control is excellent but they can also run!

- Dogs that cannot be let off leash

- Blind and or Deaf Dogs- finally they can go full blast!

 Dog Powered

Over 2000 sold since I started back in 2005, with no injuries to dog or rider reported!

Caution: Urban dog mushing is a serious sport where safety for dog and rider is the first priority.   When starting out with a new dog, it is recommended you wear a helmet, gloves, and sturdy shoes.

Some dogs are spooked by the side to side restriction but most will “get it” in 1-3 sessions. AND you can prepare your dog early by hooking them up to things (like a kids wagon, an old tire, a concrete block or even a gallon jug of water), and under your supervision, pull that around the yard.

Considerations: Rider/dog weight ratio, outdoor temperature, water availability and extent of time on hard surface, are just some of the factors to consider. See our Safety Page for more details.

Only conscientious and caring dog owners need apply.

 

These rigs are NOT the only way to exercise your dog/dogs, just one great way and part of the mix.

This product deserves to have a worldwide distribution –  its more than urban mushing.

See contact info. below.

DogPoweredScooter.com

60285 Cinder Butte Rd., Bend, Oregon 97702

541-633-0680

[email protected]

Dumped to Die

posted January 11th, 2016 by
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Looking Back

Dumped to die is something that no one who loves animals will ever understand!  How can people can drive to a deserted place and put  a box of puppies on the side of the road …then drive away.  Or leave them next to a mailbox……by the railroad tracks……or in a dumpster.  For those who are in rescue, it causes high blood pressure, insomnia and anger management issues to name a few.

It may not be an epidemic in rural, northeastern, Oklahoma, but it sure feels and looks like it is.  How someone can look at themselves in the mirror, face their family and live with the memory that they sentenced innocent puppies to death – – – puppies who had no voice – – who were born because oh dear lord we can’t spay our momma dog and we sure aren’t going to neuter our male.  SERIOUSLY!!!!  Then you take care of the offspring, raise them yourself and provide for them.  But do not dump them!!!!

There is an organization,  The Link Coalition, which tracks animal, child and spousal abuse.  There is a connection between the three.  Oklahoma has a high percentage of child abuse and spousal abuse per capita ratios.  If we tracked dumped, abandoned dogs we would be shocked.

The answer – is spay/neuter.  If you have a litter of puppies that need a home and you’re not willing to get the mother dog fixed, I have no words to describe how angry/sad that makes all of us who, every day, look into the eyes of scared, homeless dogs and work tirelessly to find them new homes.

I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again.  Oklahomans make a difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kay Stout, Director 

PAAS Vinita

[email protected]

918-256-7227

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It’s Never Too Late

posted January 7th, 2016 by
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What's in Your Dog Shampoo

It’s Never Too Late – A Cat Tale

by Camille Hulen

Asshe lay dying, and could no longer speak, my friend penciled a note to me: “Please take care of my cats.” We had discussed this before, and I knew them   well: a young, mischievous Maine Coon, a middle-aged black male, and a 15-year-old black female. She had loved all animals, and these cats had been an important part of her life. They were her family since she had no human heirs. I was honored that she trusted me with her most valued possessions.       The Maine Coon was adopted very quickly, but I knew all too well that black animals  are difficult to place. Fortunately, the black male was placed eventually, but I was afraid that April, the “old girl,” would be with me forever.

April stayed in my kennel, and, at first, was very persnickety in the way she would allow anyone to touch her. She was declawed, so her first impulse was to bite. However, she mellowed with time and grew quite attached to me. She would dash into my office at every opportunity and became very fond of hanging out in my black office chair. Many people admired her, but no one wanted a “black” cat, especially an “old black” cat!

But recently, I was surprised to receive an email from a friend who had talked with someone wanting a black cat! It seems that this person’s 90-year-old mother was mourning the recent loss of her black cat. But the son was very specific; he did not want an old cat because he had recently spent thousands of dollars on veterinary care for the other cat. Well, April would not be the cat for them, but I knew of other black cats needing homes, so I invited him to visit.

Without hesitation, the son, D.J., came to meet whatever black cats I might show him. It so happened that April was in my lap when he arrived. As he sat in the chair opposite me, April got onto the desk to see him. He looked at her and said, “That looks just like my mother’s cat!” I guess April sensed that, for she promptly went over into his lap, started purring, and gave him a kitty kiss.

As I told him more about April’s story, I mentioned how she liked to sleep in my black chair, “black on black,” and was often nearly sat upon. He exclaimed, “My mother has a black chair just like that! Our cat always slept in it!”

Then we proceeded into the kennel. The first thing he spied was my father’s WWII army trunks. “We have one of those trunks!” he said, shaking his head. “My mother was a WWII army nurse.” He viewed other cats and talked to them gently, but his mind returned to April.

We then drove to another location where there was a younger black cat needing a home. As we left my driveway, another coincidence occurred. I have a black metal cat silhouette at the end of the drive, and guess what? There’s a similar one at their home!

We arrived at our destination and looked at several other cats who responded well, but the black cat I wanted him to see remained hidden under the bed. As he had time to think without pressure, there was no question in his mind. April was the black cat for his mother! I explained he could return April if it didn’t work out, but after searching for the right cat for several months, there was no doubt in D.J.’s mind.

When April arrived at her new home, she went immediately to sit in her new mom’s lap. She stayed with her all evening, except for a brief supper, which she ate heartily. No adjustment period necessary. And at bedtime, of course, she went to bed with Mom. April was home.

As of this writing, Mom and April are passing their days happily. April wakes her faithfully at 6 a.m., demands breakfast, and they then sit contentedly together by the window to watch the birds.  April frequently runs through the house like a kitten, enjoying one of her toy mice, and has her own special ottoman where she can nap peacefully if she gets bored with Mom’s game of solitaire. What could be a better match? A 19-year-old cat for a 90-year-old woman!

Coincidentally, on the very day that April found her new home, another friend forwarded me an email.  I had not yet shared April’s good news with her. The story was about a 102-year-old lady in Texas who had adopted a senior cat because she was lonely. The picture showed her hugging her new “furrever” friend. Yes, it’s never too late for love!

Pets for the Elderly

posted January 6th, 2016 by
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Pets for the Elderly

Pets for the Elderly

by Barbara Ballinger
from AgingCare.com

For elderly pet owners, who often live alone or in group facilities, pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity and help them learn.

“A new pet can stimulate someone to read up on an animal or breed, which can be very mentally stimulating and important at that age,” says Dr. Katharine Hillestad, a veterinarian with the office of Doctors Foster and Smith in Rhinelander, Wis., which provides online advice and retails pet supplies and pharmaceuticals.

Pets provide other intangibles. “Dogs—and other pets—live very much in the here and now. They don’t worry about tomorrow. And tomorrow can be very scary for an older person. By having an animal with that sense of now, it tends to rub off on people,” says Dr. Jay P. Granat, a New Jersey psychotherapist.

And pets can reduce depression and lessen loneliness. “Older pet owners have often told us how incredibly barren and lonely their lives were without their pet’s companionship, even when there were some downsides to owning an active pet,” says Linda Anderson, who with husband Allen founded the Angel Animals Network in Minneapolis. The couple speaks about the joys of pet ownership and has authored books.

In Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love (New World Library, 2005), the Andersons tell about Bonnie, a golden retriever Marjorie and Richard Douse adopted, which became an indispensable family member. “We never felt alone when Bonnie was in the house. As we aged and tended to go out less, she provided us with loving companionship,” the Douses say in the Anderson’s book.

Psychologist Penny B. Donnenfeld, who brings her golden retriever mix Sandee to her New York City office, has even witnessed her ability to rev up elder owners’ memories. “I’ve seen those with memory loss interact and access memories from long ago,” she says. “Having a pet helps the senior focus on something other than physical problems and negative preoccupations about loss or aging.”

Pets benefit, too, particularly when older folks adopt older pets. “These lucky pets go from the pound to paradise. Since most of the adopters are retired, they have lots of time to devote to a previously unwanted pet,” says Chicago veterinarian Tony Kremer, who with his wife Meg operates Help Save Pets—Humane Society, which operates adoption centers.

Here are some things caregiver’s should consider when purchasing a pet for their senior mom or dad.

Right pet for the right owner. But because people age so differently, the decision needs to be made carefully—and not just by grown loving children who think it sounds like a way to provide camaraderie. Because there’s no single right pet, ask the following questions to help narrow the field, says Dr. Donnenfeld.

Are you set in your ways? If you don’t like change, you may not be a good candidate, say the Andersons.

Have you had a pet before? Amy Sherman, a licensed therapist and author ofDistress-Free Aging: A Boomer’s Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Lifethinks it’s best if the elderly person is an experienced owner.

Do you have disabilities? Dogs can be wonderful companions who encourage a senior with no major physical limitations to walk and interact with others, Dr. Donnenfeld says. For those who are physically challenged, cats often need less care than dogs, she says. A small dog that’s paper-trained or an indoor bird is also sometimes preferable, she says.

Do you need a therapy pet? If the person is very infirm or impaired, they may be a candidate for an assistance or therapy dog to help them function or interact.

Is the pet the right age? A puppy or kitten may not be the best choice for elderly owners because of the care they require. A young pet may outlive its owner. Birds especially have long life spans. Yet, it’s also important that the pet isn’t too old since it may start to have physical limitations and get sick, Dr. Donnenfeld cautions.

Does the pet have a good temperament? Although some older owners may think a Great Pyrenees would be too big to handle, Daffron found one mixed two-year old so mellow that it would have been a good pet for a senior. “Many older people might think they’d do better with a Jack Russell terrier because it’s small but they are very, very, very high energy and require more effort and commitment. So much depends on personality,” she says.

Is the pet healthy? It’s important that any pet be examined by a professional. “You don’t want to compromise an older person’s immune system since some pets carry diseases,” says Dr. Hillestad.

One pet or two? While multiple pets can keep each other company, that may not be a good idea for an older person, says Dr. Hillestad. “Two puppies may bond with each other rather than with the owner,” she says.

Are finances an issue? Pets cost money. A small puppy can run more than $810 its first year for food, medical care, toys and grooming while a fish is less expensive–about $235, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If the pet takes ill, dollars snowball. Groups are available to help allay costs.

Susan Daffron, author of Happy Hound: Develop a Great Relationship with Your Adopted Dog or Puppy (Logical Expressions, 2006), has taken pets to nursing homes through shelter outreach programs. “I go down halls and people will say, ‘Oh, this looks just like my dog,'” she says. She has also helped elderly folks adopt the right animal. One woman, 86, wanted to be able to walk a dog but didn’t want a hyper pet. “She was good at judging her limitations,” Daffron says.

Angie Jones became interested in training therapy dogs after bringing her dog Hunter to visit her late father in a retirement home. “It took us half hour to get to my dad’s room because everyone stopped us along the way and wanted to pet the dog and tell me about their dog,” she says. “Hunter brought my father great joy and opened the door of communication since he was more of a recluse,” says Jones who started Central Ohio Good Shepherds, a chapter of Therapy Dogs International Inc.

Where to find the pet. While breeders are a good source, some shelters also provide a pet for less and offer the advantage of rescuing it from euthanasia. Purina Pets for Seniors partners with 200 shelters nationwide to provide seniors pet adoptions at a reduced cost (www.petsforpeople.com). Local services also exist such as Paws/LA in Los Angeles (www.pawsla.org).

Shelter employees often know the pet’s personality well and can make a good match, says Daffron. Online pet shopping is also possible, thanks to sites like www.petfinder.com, which pairs owners with 250,000 adoptable pets from 11,000 animal and rescue groups nationwide.

How to provide care long-term for a pet. Because an older owner may take ill or die, it’s important that the pet is provided for in a will and a caregiver named, says Dr. Hillestad. Even more basic is that someone knows that an elderly person has a pet. “If the person is rushed to the hospital, it could be left alone if nobody knows,” says Allen Anderson.

Read more about: elderly companion