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Do You Come Here Often? p. 4

Pets and Their Humans on Favorite Activities, Hangouts Reptiles — The Other Pets, p. 10 Twitterati for the Pets, p. 12 Tackling Separation Anxiety, p. 14 Coping with Terminal Diseases, p. 18

Jack, a Shandon Weimeraner, enjoys an afternoon in the grass. Photo by Katie English.

Do You Come Here Often? Pets and Their Humans on Favorite Activities, Hangouts Interviews and photos by Thomas Hammond

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ark to the Park, an annual festival organized by Pawmetto Lifeline, was held in Finlay Park on April 14. The event raised $99,050.62 for the organization. Free Times caught up with dog owners at the event and asked about their habits and favorite local hangouts.

Matthew and Amber with their standard-sized dachshund, Everett. Amber is currently acting as a foster parent for Everett through Furever Dachshund Rescue, a national volunteer-run nonprofit. Can you tell me a little about your dog? Everett was rescued from the York County Shelter on the last day that he was available. He was going to be euthanized that day. We found out about him and rescued him. He had heartworms, so we treated him for that. He’s available for adoption on our website (fureverdachshundrescue.org). What are some good activities to do with dachshunds? Dachshunds really are very good at walking. But, they aren’t really good at

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jogging with people because they do have short legs. They’re actually really good at tracking. Some people take them on leash out to hunt small animals like rodents and rabbits. They actually have dachshund field trials where, in a controlled setting, you can allow your dog to hunt.

Kelsey and her one-and-a-half year-old Miniature Schnauzer.

Where do you typically convene the play group?

Can you tell me a little bit about your dog?

Any advice for dachshund owners?

He’s 16 pounds, a year-and-a-half old, and he’s a daddy already.

Usually at one of our houses. We let the dogs play while the moms get to have their adult time.

The biggest piece of advice I can give for a dachshund owner is to remember that dachshunds are very intelligent. The best way to teach them is with reward and not with punishment. Do you ever dress up Everett as a hot dog for fun? [No answer]

Busy dog! Any favorite activities? He likes to play, play, play — and never stop! I take him to play with these dogs right here [points to her girlfriends and their dogs]. We have a little doggie play group.

Have any advice for other dog owners? Just fill them with love and they’ll be good to you.

“Because of 101 Dalmations, all the children want one. But, they are not particularly good dogs for children.” — Pamela, owner of three Dalmatians

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“I think bad dogs are a result of bad owners and not necessarily bad breeds.” — Rottweiler owner at Bark to the Park David and his 5-year-old Rottweiler-Lab mix, Miles. What brings you out to this year’s Bark to the Park event? Just to meet other dogs and to hang out. And maybe meet some women here while I’m at it. Any favorite activities that you enjoy with Miles? We run. We chase things. He likes to chase squirrels. We jog in the Harbison State Forest. He can usually hang with me through the four miles, but right now we are fat. So, we are working towards getting our range up. Any advice for other dog owners? Train them early! Part of it with him was I knew he was going to be huge. Literally at eight weeks we were going through the paces. So, he’s got a pretty cool demeanor.

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So does his owner who happens to be wearing a way cool Miles Davis T-shirt. This reporter approves. Did you use a trainer? Nah, I just taught him at home. You gotta spend the time and bond with your dog, man. That’s the reality of it.

Pamela and her three Dalmatians: Daisy (8 years old), Jade (8 years old), and Zazou (10 years old).

Rottweilers tend to get a bad rap. What did you do to overcome that?

Can you tell me a little about your dogs?

I mean, he still has the bad rap. But the cool thing I like about Miles is that everyone who has ever had a bad feeling about these types of dogs, after they meet him, they have a completely different perspective. I think it’s really more about the owner. If you take the time to train your dog and hang with your dog and you socialize your dog, then your dog is just a cool normal dog. I think bad dogs are a result of bad owners and not necessarily bad breeds.

All three of them are rescues. All from different groups. All from different times. Two of them are deaf, which runs in the breed. Any favorite activities with your pack of Dalmatians? We walk every day. I had one before who was completely tennis ball-obsessed. These three care nothing about chasing the ball. In fact, I kind of miss throwing a ball for a dog! But, we walk every day and they really enjoy that and just hanging out

watching TV at night. As long as they get that walk in the morning, they’re good. Do you have any advice for Dalmatian owners? Because of 101 Dalmations, all the children want one. But they are not particularly good dogs for children. They are very high-activity dogs. People get them with small children and find out they can’t take care of them. They require too much and then they end up abandoned. So, that’s just something to keep in mind if you are thinking about a Dalmatian. It’s a high-activity dog and you need to plan to spend time exercising with it. But, it’s good motivation, too. They make you get out and walk or run, too.

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“He gets to run full speed in over three acres of land, take a dip in the pool, dig in the sand, chase balls and sniff lots of butts!” — Bean, on the Columbia Doggie Park

The Davis family and their 3-yearold Saint Bernard, Willow. Can you tell me a little about your dog? We rescued her when she was only a year old. She’s not the most well-behaved. But this is her first foray with other dogs, and she’s doing pretty well. What brings you out to this year’s Bark to the Park event? My company, Home Pest Control, sponsors a booth. So, we came to support them. Plus, we figured this was the best chance we had to get her to interact with a lot of dogs at one time and see how she reacts.

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Any favorite activities that you enjoy with Willow? We like to walk her a lot. I know that’s not very original, but we try to walk her as much as she can. She likes when we chase her with the leaf blower, believe it or not. Kind of weird, but that’s what she likes. Any advice for other dog owners? I think people need to take more care in how much they interact with their pets. In my line of work, I see pets chained to trees in backyards all the time. I don’t think that’s any kind of existence for an animal. I would [advise] anyone against getting an animal and neglecting it by leaving it in a backyard and never interacting with it on a daily basis.

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EMERGENCY CARE

Examples of Emergencies 

Vomiting

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Diarrhea

Trauma

Heat Stroke

Poisons/Toxins

Allergic Reaction

Seizures

Prolonged Labor

Snake Bite

Hours of Service

We are members of the dog park out on Shop Road and we’ve got a big group out here. Any favorite activities that you enjoy with Colonel Mustard? We go to the dog park almost every day. Colonel Mustard likes to chew things up, still. He’s a year-and-a-half. Can you tell me a little more about this dog park?__ Tina Heckman [runs the City of Columbia Doggie Park] and to be members, you just contact her. She’ll meet you — and more importantly, your dog(s). She almost immediately lets them loose in the park, and with close supervision, all dogs almost

Any advice for other dog owners? Pick up your poop!

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immediately acclimate to their new surroundings and new best friends. Owners’ fears about dogfights and fear that their dog is too young or too old for the park immediately dissipate. Tina is Columbia’s Cesar Milan, really! She has the ability to communicate with your dog like you never have, and she gives great training tools and tips for pet owners. Speaking for Colonel Mustard, but I think he’ll agree, the park is by far the best part of the day. He gets to run full speed in over three acres of land, take a dip in the pool, dig in the sand, chase balls and sniff lots of butts! Everyone is required to have shots and be spayed/neutered, so no funny business. Colonel Mustard gets tons of exercise which is great for him, and when we get home, he is exhaused! There are tons of dog park regulars that Colonel looks forward to seeing every day, and a happy dog means a happy owner!

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Bean, the human female, and Colonel Mustard, her one-and-ahalf year-old “Lab-Hound-Pit mix of some kind.”

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“Really do your research and make sure you get a dog that matches your personality.” — Whitney, owner of an 11-month-old Black Russian Terrier Whitney and her 11-month-old Black Russian Terrier, Caruso. What led you to this breed in particular? He’s a pretty rare breed — one of the giant breeds, and a non-shedder. I wanted a really big dog that didn’t shed. Any favorite activities with Caruso?

Any advice for dog owners or owners of Black Russian Terriers? Really do your research and make sure you get a dog that matches your personality. Because, if you get a really hyperactive dog and you’re really laid back, you’re going to be hating life. Caruso’s a really laid-back dog and we’re laid back, too. So, our personalities match.

He loves to go swimming: in the lake, in the ocean, anywhere. He loves to go on the boat.

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Reptile Ordinance City of Columbia’s animal code, Section 4-91, lists numerous animals that are prohibited in the city. The ordinance prohibits alligators, crocodiles, caimans and the following species of snakes: reticulated python (python reticulatus); Burmese/Indian rock python (python molurus); and rock python (python sebae) and anaconda (eunectes murinus). Venomous reptiles and lizards over two feet and belonging to the family varanidae are also prohibited. Richland County’s code contains the same restrictions. Lexington County has an exotic animal ordinance (search under Animal Control at lex-co.com), but it is less restrictive than those in the City of Columbia and Richland County. For further questions, city residents should call 776-7387; Richland County residents should call 576-2461 or email animalcare@richlandonline.com. Lexington County residents can call 785-8149.

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Reptiles —  The Other Pets

Lucky for Columbians, Repticon, one of the largest reptile and exotic animal conventions, happens here three times a year. The convention provides those with an interest in reptiles the opportunity to interact with breeders, owners and fellow reptile lovers. The reptile industry is unique in that it has moved almost exclusively online. Pet owners order reptiles online, get advice in online forums and sometimes even seek out veterinary care advice through online resources. However, this isn’t to say that there is no local reptile community. Reptile owners are encouraged to connect with people in their area in addition to seeking out information

By Sarah Robbins

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hile dogs and cats are the most common pets around, with birds close behind, there are a lot of other domesticated options — and we’re not talking hamsters and bunnies. Reptiles and amphibians are growing in popularity as the new household pet. There are many reasons people choose reptiles as pets: the wow factor, no pet dander, you don’t have to walk them and they don’t make much noise. Plus, you don’t have to train a reptile to use a litter box. But reptiles lovers — or herps, as they call themselves (it’s short for herpetology) — will caution you that research is a crucial first step before choosing a reptile. With many different animals to choose from, from bearded dragons to tortoises to frogs, there is a lot to consider in choosing which reptile may be right for you.

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Resources Cheatham Animal Clinic 7354 1/2 Garners Ferry Rd., 776-4554

“It is very important that you know the specifics of the reptile that you’re going to get before you get it so that you can be prepared,” says Dr. Mark Foy with the Sunset Animal Clinic. Important considerations, Foy says, are how big the animal will get over the course of its life and the availability of the animal’s natural food source. “You’ve got to know the animal,” he says. “You need to know what it would naturally get in the wild and then how to reproduce that in captivity.”

Sunset Animal Clinic sunsetanimalclinic.com 127 Professional Ave. (West Columbia), 791-5575 Animal Supply House animalsupplyhouse.com 1680 Lake Murray Blvd., 461-1781 7519 Garners Ferry Rd. #8, 647-7400 Pet Supplies Plus petsuppliesplus.com 1001 Harden St. #H, 252-7021

online. The South Carolina Association of Reptile Keepers (scark.org) can help, too. Foy cautions against relying solely on one source for your information. He says books are also a helpful resource, as it establishing a relationship with a local veterinarian. After lots of research and deciding what the right reptile for you will be, it is important to order from a reputable breeder. If you get a reptile that is already sick, it can be difficult, and expensive, to bring the animal back to health. A good breeder will be happy to answer your questions and be available after the sale has been made. They’ll want to know that their “babies” are in good hands.

“You’ve got to know the animal. You need to know what it would naturally get in the wild and then how to reproduce that in captivity.” — Veterinarian Mark Foy Additionally, an initial post-purchase exam is advisable. A veterinarian can check for parasites as well as any other problems the reptile might have. If you take your reptile to the veterinarian before they are sick, then the vet may have a better idea of how to help if your beloved snake comes down with a cold. The Sunset Animal Clinic in West Columbia and the Cheatham Animal Clinic both have veterinarians who specialize in reptile care. Additionally, having a good local supplier of food and care items, such as heat lamps and special washes, is an important step. Pet Supplies Plus and the Animal Supply House have good reputations among the herp community for carrying a wide variety of items. If you’re considering getting a reptile, make plans to attend Repticon July 14-15 at the Jamil Temple to connect with others in the area and have a chance to get up close and personal with many of the creatures. Let us know what you think: Email editor@free-times.com.

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LET US LIVE!

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Twitterati for the Pets Local Pet Resources on Twitter By Sarah Robbins

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witter offers a daily dose of news and pop culture for millions. But pets and their people are carving out a space for themselves on Twitter, too. From the Obamas’ dog Bo to rodents of every kind and iconic animated pets like Scooby Doo, there are plenty of pets on Twitter. Here are some of the most locally relevant tweeters for pet owners. Following them might help you find everything from services in the Columbia area to local pets that you and your pooch could meet up with at the park.

Organizations Pawmetto Lifeline (@Pawmettolife) Sample tweet: Puppy fosters needed! Average foster time is 2-4 weeks and all supplies are provided…you just give the LOVE! Pawmetto Lifeline is a no-kill animal shelter that rescues dogs and cats from other shelters before euthanasia and then works to get them adopted. Their Twitter feed is a combination of celebrating which pets were adopted throughout the week, asking for specific supplies and Twitpics of the adorable creatures that are up for adoption. It gives you a good idea of what the organization needs and plenty of cute pics to keep you clicking.

Pets Inc. (@PetsIncCarolina) Sample tweet: A very special pair of 5 month old Royal Standard Poodles just came into our adoption program. They really need…

At Pets Inc. there is a constant stream of animals coming in and animals being rescued — and it’s all chronicled on their Twitter feed. Since the organization was founded in 1992, more than 35,000 dogs and cats have been rescued. The organization, located in West Columbia, houses about 250 pets in any given week. And they’re sure to include lots of pictures to tug at your heartstrings.

Services Southern Comfort Pet Services (@SC_PetServices) Sample tweet: A new mini-microchip and it supports a great cause! Check it out! From tips for pet sitters to interesting animal facts to the occasional random musings on life, this feed provides some behind-thescenes insight into who is caring for your pet while you’re away. Southern Comfort Pet Services is a professional pet-sitting company in Lexington. The feed is full of shoutouts to the pets being watched on any given day and how quickly the business is booking up for the next major holiday.

@H4RP3R2004 Courtesy photo

Pupcakes Pet Boutique (@PupcakesPetBout) Sample tweet: Ready for some fun? Join us tonight for Yappy Hour 6-8! Yummy goodies for both you and your pooch! :) Pupcakes Pet Boutique, a Five Points bakery and accessory store for your pet, not only has plenty for your pooch, but lots going on for humans as well. This feed provides insight into all of the social goings-on that you and your pet can go to together. Sure, there are pictures of doggie bones being iced and the latest raincoat for Fluffy, but there are also lots of local happenings. Additionally, Pupcakes helps others out by retweeting when a pet has gone missing or been found too far from home.

Pets (and Their People) Harper (@H4RP3R2004) Sample tweet: Bark to the Park is like The Cup for dogs. Wearing my silk collar and tail-gating! This is everything you could want in a Twitter feed from a Columbia dog: Columbia happenings from a dog’s-eye-view. Harper, a rescue dog, gives his musings on local events, political puns and sassy remarks. He’s also quite confident in his good looks and ability to do interesting tricks. The hash tag #MostInterestingDogInTheWorld is freely used and this dog’s vanity is certainly not

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hidden. He’s worth following if you’re a local dog lover — especially if you’re looking for a pooch for play dates.

M. Kyle Hagins (@IamKyletheDog) Sample tweet: Calculating the air-speed velocity of a thryothorus ludovicianus. Today’s the day Kyle’s making wren soup… Kyle’s description sums up what you can expect from his feed, “Bossy Brussels Griffon in Historic Elmwood. Adopted from Pets, Inc. Hit with the ladies. Come view me in my window.” He tweets about daily life through the eyes of a dog, somewhat irreverently. He also consults (and begs from) his owners (@toddhagins and @theycallmewee) quite frequently.

Lilac Mist (@MistyCatMom) Sample tweet: Enjoyed seeing the wildlife in the care of a rehab here locally today. So many cute baby possums. =) This self-proclaimed cat lover and cat rescuer on Shaw Air Force Base tweets about her cat. She also talks a good bit about her dieting plan (and failures). Maybe pets are good for helping you lose weight? But beyond that, she has a lot of conversations with other cat lovers and you can watch it all transpire on her feed. Let us know what you think: Email editor@free-times.com.

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TV for Dogs Animal trainers and behaviorists have long recommended leaving on a radio or television when your dog is at home alone. Voices or music break up silence, causing a mild distraction. But no longer will your furry ones have to suffer through Barbra Streisand, world news, or whatever it is you like. There’s a new television station all for them. DogTV is a digital cable channel that features 24/7 dog-friendly programming. Its content “was created to meet specific attributes of a dog’s sense of vision and hearing and support their natural behavior patterns,” according to the station’s website. Different programs focus either on relaxation (i.e., flowery fields and peaceful lakes), stimulation (dogs on the beach) or exposure to various stimuli (doorbells, car rides) via television. The channel is currently airing on cable networks in San Diego, but a major push is on to provide it on cable systems across the U.S. No word yet if Time Warner is picking up DogTV in Columbia, but for now you can stream online at www.dogtv.com. — Mary Ellen Cheatham

Photo by Daniel Coston

Tackling Separation Anxiety By Mary Ellen Cheatham

S

o your dog is your best friend. He loves to play and cuddle. He’s a little angel … when you’re home.

But when you leave for work or a night out, that sweet snuggle bunny might turn into a monster. He may bark or whine constantly, chew, dig or tear up things like furniture or doors. Separation anxiety is the likely culprit. Dogs often do not like to be alone, especially if they’ve developed a strong emotional attachment to their owners or have previously suffered abuse or abandonment. The problem is not specific to any breed or age, and can happen whether you get him from a shelter or breeder. The problem may seem hopeless, but don’t despair. Here’s a toolbox of do-ityourself training methods that can help your dog cope.

Wear Him (or Her) Out Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. That could be play and/or a vigorous walk. Tiring your dog will help him avoid behavioral issues that come with too

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Engage Your Dog’s Mind

much pent-up energy. Tina Heckman, a certified dog trainer who manages Doggie Park on Shop Road, suggests up to 45 minutes a day, depending on a dog’s age and health. Simply leaving a dog in the backyard doesn’t cut it, she says. “If they don’t have another dog they’re engaging with, or a person out there to play balls and stuff, they’re just puttering around the yard and usually digging stuff up.”

The Thundershirt

Mental stimulation is another biggie, says Heckman. Playing with your pooch and socializing him with other dogs helps him become comfortable in a variety of situations. Dog parks are a great outlet, she says, for both a dog’s mind and body. Treat-filled toys, such as KONG products, also keep a dog occupied. The treats are stuffed into the toy, and the dog has to work to get it out. Heckman suggests giving one to your dog and then leaving the room without him. “That’s keeping them busy while you are there so they’re not dependent on you for their emotions and for their activity,” she says.

Ignore Him

It sounds like a gimmick from the Home Shopping Network, but many dog owners swear by the effectiveness of The Thundershirt. Basically, it’s a weighted vest that applies pressure to your dog, a technique that has a dramatic calming effect to help dogs cope with everything from thunderstorms and fireworks to separation anxiety.

It may sound mean, but ignoring your dog’s efforts to get attention helps to prevent or break his emotional dependency on you. Don’t acknowledge your dog at all for about 15-20 minutes before you leave, says Heckman. The same is true when for you return. No big welcome parties or heavy interaction, except maybe a potty break.

Find Triggers, Break Up Routine The simple act of picking up your car keys or grabbing your coat can be a major cue to the dog that you’re leaving. Experts recommend that you find out which cues provoke anxiety, and then desensitize your dog to them. For instance, pick up your keys and then go read a book instead of leaving. As your dog’s anxiety lessens, then you can start “graduated” departures, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Leave for a couple of minutes, maybe a quick run to the mailbox. Once your dog responds positively to that short time alone, then gradually increase your time away. Maybe you can next walk around the block. The next move might be a trip to the store, and so on.

Crates and Medication Crates can aid in training by protecting a dog from hurting himself or helping him feel more secure. If you need one, make sure it’s a positive place, with treats, a toy or two,

Resources ASPCA aspcabehavior.org/articles/40/ Separation-Anxiety.aspx

Humane Society humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/ tips/separation_anxiety.html

WebMD pets.webmd.com/dogs/separationanxiety-dogs

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SOUTH CAROLINA VETERINARY

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EMERGENCY

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Examples of Emergencies

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Photo by Graeme Fouste

food and water. Try not to leave him in more than four hours at a time, says Heckman. The ASPCA recommends that crate training only be used as a short-term tool, “not as a lifetime pattern of housing.” Over-confinement, the group warns, can cause behavior problems due to “a lack of exercise, training, socialization and companionship.” Medication can also help. Clomicalm, or the generic Clomipramine, is an antidepressant specifically recommended for separation anxiety. It’s not a cure-all, though. While

Separation Anxiety and Dog Trainers Sometimes a dog’s separation anxiety is so extreme that you can’t handle it yourself. It may be time to call a professional dog trainer. “If it gets to be a point where the dog is destructive when you leave, or they seem to be trying to hurt themselves, then you definitely want to bring a trainer in,” says Julie Davis, owner of Dog Training in Your Home in Columbia. Davis says she’s seen dogs who have cut up their paws or mouth trying to escape from a crate or home, or caused damage by tearing up door frames and walls. Trainers have education and experience that can make the training process easier by zeroing in more quickly on the problem and finding individual solutions. They likely

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it relieves some symptoms, you still must modify your dog’s behavior. Every dog is different. Some dogs will improve quickly while others may take more time and extra training. With time, effort and patience, dog owners can often correct the problem themselves. Above all, say experts, praise your dog for good behavior. Don’t scream, abuse or punish. Let us know what you think: Email editor@free-times.com.

are not dealing with the same emotions as the pet owner may have, be it exasperation or enabling behaviors. Davis says her company compiles a thorough background about the dog before a trainer even comes to the house. The trainer works with the owner to find the dog’s triggers and teaches the owner how to respond to the dog. She recommends that dogs take basic obedience training, whether their case is extreme or not. Simply teaching a dog to sit and stay can build his self-esteem, which can help him feel more confident. Trainers may offer group classes or private sessions in the home, the latter being more free of distractions but likely more costly. A doggie day care center or a dog park may also have relationships with trainers who can quickly identify issues that dogs may have with socialization. — Mary Ellen Cheatham

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Things to Consider • Create a list of goals for your pet’s care, whether it is increased mobility or pain management. Review the list with your vet to make sure goals are feasible and to keep your pet on track to reaching those goals. • If surgery is an option, consider the possibility of complications: infections, internal bleeding and the percentage of reoccurrence of the disease. Procedures related to cancer treatment — biopsies, tumor debulking, or removal of damaged tissue due to radiation therapy — may cause additional, unnecessary pain. • HHHHHMM Scale: Stands for Hurt, Hunger, Hydration, Hygiene, Happiness, Mobility, More Good Days than Bad Days. Each element is allotted 0-10 points. Ideal score above 35 for quality of life. Learn more at veterinarypracticenews.com.

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Coping with Terminal Diseases Managing Pain, Reducing Anxiety Are Key By Tiffany Jane Brand

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or pets with cancer or other potentially terminal health problems, pain management and palliative care often become the main issues. Creating a cancer treatment plan for a pet requires in-depth consultation with veterinary professionals. Fortunately, there are veterinarians in Columbia who can assist owners with their needs. When considering treatment for cancer, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, keep the pet’s long-term health goals and quality of life in mind. “Our main goals of treating cancer in dogs and cats are to improve their prognosis but more importantly to maintain a good quality of life,” says Becky Brown, an oncology specialist at South Carolina Veterinary Associates.

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If you are considering surgery, chemotherapy or any cancer-specific treatments, keep both the pet’s emotional and physical health in mind and choose a path that minimizes your pet’s pain and anxiety. Drug-assisted pain management can help your pet cope, but it should be undertaken carefully and with strict monitoring by a veterinarian. “We strongly advise against owners using any of their [human] medications in

their pets,” Brown says. “Medications are dosed differently in dogs and cats, and are often metabolized differently by the body. Using human medications in pets without guidance from a veterinarian can lead to overdoses or severe toxicities.” Brown says doctors at the practice will work with owners to find the correct dosage for medication that is a veterinary equivalent to pain relievers used by humans. If a pet is showing adverse symptoms to medication, call your veterinarian in order to have medication dosage corrected

assess, so it is important for pet owners to communicate with veterinary staff and not self-diagnose animals. If you are considering integrating natural or holistic treatments into your pet’s cancer management plan, make sure to consult your veterinarian in order to make sure that the treatments will not cause negative reactions in your pet. Due to a lack of professional literature on the benefits of holistic treatments in pets with cancer, Brown is reluctant to recommend an allholistic approach, but she says that some such treatments, such as milk thistle for liver disease, may alleviate symptoms. “The one natural approach we strongly advise against is a raw food diet,” Brown says. “Pets receiving cancer care can become immunosuppressed, thus we like to limit their exposure to raw food, which can be contaminated with bacteria and be

“Our main goals of treating cancer in dogs and cats are to improve their prognosis but more importantly to maintain a good quality of life.” — Becky Brown, an oncology specialist at South Carolina Veterinary Associates or an alternate medication prescribed. For successful pain management, a good vet will decide on the drugs used to treat a pet based on that pet’s medical history, pain intensity and usefulness of disease-specific drugs. “If at any time we think that any treatment may lead to nausea or other side effects, we do our best to warn the owners and sometimes even start medications to prevent [those symptoms],” Brown says. Physical and behavioral changes — enlarged pupils, slowed reflexes, reduced appetite — are symptoms that may signal that your pet is experiencing complications due to its illness. Symptoms are often difficult to

dangerous in animals with immune systems not able to handle this exposure.” There are many local animal clinics, but it’s important to choose one that will meet your needs. Location, hours and services offered are important considerations, and you can learn a lot by asking family, friends and neighbors about their own experiences with different clinics. If full accreditation is important to you, check with the American Animal Hospital Association at healthypet. com; only about 17 percent of small animal veterinary hospitals in the U.S. are accredited AAHA members. Let us know what you think: Email editor@free-times.com.

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South Carolina Veterinary SpecialistsH scvetspecialists.com 3924 Fernandina Rd., 561-0015 South Carolina Veterinary Specialists focuses on cardiology, internal medicine, oncology and dermatology. Spring Valley Animal HospitalH springvalleyanimalhospital.org 8913 Two Notch Rd., 788-8481 Comprehensive wellness practice serving northeast Columbia and the surrounding area. Founded in 1978.

Sunset Animal Clinic sunsetanimalclinic.com 127 Professional Ave. (West Columbia), 791-5575 Sunset Animal Clinic provides both preventative and surgical care. Website includes an online library, courtesy of the Veterinary Information Network. Two Notch Road Animal Clinic 10298 Two Notch Rd., 788-7387 Full-service animal hospital accepting emergency cases as well as less urgent medical, surgical and dental issues.

H = accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.

Local Resources Ambassador Animal HospitalH ambassadoranimalhospital.com 5317 Forest Dr., 787-3840 Accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. Emphasis on preventative care. Banks Animal Hospital banksanimal.com/index.pml 6070 St. Andrews Rd., 798-6252 Routine preventive care for young, healthy pets; early detection and treatment of disease as your pet ages; and complete medical and surgical care as necessary during his or her lifetime. Cherokee Trail Veterinary HospitalH cherokeetrail.net 109 Palmetto Park Blvd. (Lexington), 3596611 Full-service veterinary hospital offering everything from surgery, wellness profiles and obesity treatment to a pharmacy and grief and loss services. Dutch Fork Animal Hospital dutchforkanimalhospital.com 1780 Dutch Fork Road, 781-7483 Full-service veterinary medical facility offering preventative care, boarding services, surgical care and dental care. Elam Animal Hospital elamanimalhospital.com 3327 Forest Dr., 738-1515 Full-service animal hospital taking care of Columbia’s pets for over 45 years. Five Points Animal Clinic 900 Harden St., 799-4302 Offers boarding, prescriptions and a full range of veterinary services; located in the heart of Five Points.

Gregg Animal HospitalH gregganimal.com 8309 Two Notch Rd., 736-0006 Gregg Animal Hospital provides medical, surgical and dental care to pets. Animals are eligible for Gregg’s Senior Wellness Program once they turn eight years old. Griffin Animal Hospital griffinanimalhospital.com 1510 Barnwell St., 758-1333 Offers complete medical, surgical and dental services for small animals, as well as grooming and boarding. Lake Murray Veterinary Hospital lakemurrayvet.com 1180 Dutch Fork Road, 407-1300 Offers a full range of diagnostic and therepeutic services and emphasies the importance thorough check-ups and preventive care. Rosewood Drive Animal Clinic rosewooddriveanimalcolumbiasc.com 3002 Rosewood Dr., 252-4021 Offers complete animal health care, from general check-ups to surgery. St. Andrews Animal Clinic standrewsanimalclinic.com 1330 Omarest Dr., 772-8411 Among its many services are dentistry, general surgery, laser surgery, orthopedic surgery, radiology and geriatric medicine. Seven Oaks Animal HospitalH sevenoaksvet.com 591 St Andrews Rd., 731-9200 A respected training ground for some of the most oustanding veterinarians and ancillary personnel in South Carolina. Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic shandonwood.serveronline.net 912 Daley St., 254-9257 Located near Dreher High School, offers full medical and surgical services for dogs and cats.

May 9-15, 2012 | facebook.com/freetimes | twitter.com/freetimessc | free-times.com

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