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Mud Season 2019 Northern VT & NH

Acclimate Your New Dog What’s New at the Westminster Dog Show A Holistic Approach to Our Cats’ Golden Years How Horseback Riding Can Help with Speech Celebrate National Pet Week

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail


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Bark for Life Why Cuddling Your Puppy is a Good Thing Maria Karunungan Helping Dogs One Walk at a Time, Karen Sturtevant


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inspirational story of two girls who are making a difference.

6. Precious A hero dog who saved a couple from burning home in Barnstead, NH now needs help herself.

8. Westminster Dog Show Welcomes Two New Breeds to the Competition Janine Puhak 10. Tools for New Dog Introduction Karen Sturtevant Step

by step tips when you get that new dog.

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12. Celebrate National Pet Week M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM The first week of May is a great time to celebrate the bond and provide your pets with all that they need for a healthy and enriched life every week of the year.

14. Green Mountain Animal Defenders Celebrates 35 Years of Helping Animals Karen Sturtevant, Volunteer 16. Should My Dog Be Eating Senior Food? Not all older dogs eat senior food, and some younger dogs eat a senior diet. Find out what’s right for your dog.

17. Best Pet Reptiles for Children Kids are fascinated by reptiles, but which ones are best for your kids?

18. Therapeutic Riding & Speech Pathology Sue Miller Learn

how horseback riding can help with speech.

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20. Equine Metabolic Syndrome Nicole Sicely EMS

is a group of abnormalities that lead to a risk of laminitis. Learn the signs and treatments

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Teeth Don’t Always End Up Where They Should When a Puppy Grows Up Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Approach to Our Cats’ Golden Years Dr. Anne Carroll DVM, CVA Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach Kate Kelly

Follow the adventures of the King of Spring Break

28. The Tender Touch Pat Jauch - Caledonia Animal Rescue, Inc.

4 Legs & a Tail Volume N.119 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766

Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Office Manager: Beth Hoehn


Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Kate Kurtz

Sales: Scott Palzer, Ashley Charron

Spring 2019

If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Northern VT & NH. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited. 1

FRIDAY, MAY 17 2019 | 5:00 - 8:00 PM at Collins Perley Complex in St. Albans, VT Bring your beloved canines and your whole family. Individuals, teams & local companies will walk to support the American Cancer Society. Everyone will enjoy live demos, games, raffles, vendors, music, a kissing booth & refreshments! Email: Facebook: @barkfranklinvt There are 30 newly funded American Cancer Society researchers with grants active across the Northeast. Together, they total more than $15 million in new research projects attacking cancer from every angle. Your support of events like this helps create a world with less cancer in it for humans & our 4-legged friends! For cancer information, local resources, and support, day or night: 1.800.227.2345 or 2 4 Legs & a Tail

Bark For Life of Franklin County, VT Unites Canine Companions to Help Save Lives from Cancer C

ommunity members come together to honor and celebrate the lifelong contributions of canine caregivers to cancer patients at the American Cancer Society Bark For Life event on Friday May 17th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Collins Perley Complex located at 890 Fairfax Rd, St Albans City, VT 05478. The celebration will include a 1-mile walk, a live demo from 802 Disc Dogs, over 10 local vendors (as of 2/1/2019) and more! The event is part of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life movement which is the world’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event to save lives from cancer. At Relay For Life events, participants celebrate people who have been touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesaving change. Funds raised help the American Cancer Society attack cancer in dozens of ways, each of them Spring 2019

critical to achieving a world without cancer – from developing breakthrough therapies to building supportive communities, from providing empowering resources to deploying activists to raise awareness. On February 7th, the American Cancer Society announced a new partnership with St. Baldrick’s Foundation to Conquer Kids’ Cancers. The groundbreaking partnership aims to raise $11 million to fund the most innovative and cutting-edge research. Just think, what could YOUR support of Bark For Life help the American Cancer Society do? The success of the American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life depends on individuals, teams, and, of course, the generous support of our sponsors. Our lifesaving work in the fight against cancer would not be possible without the generosity of sponsoring businesses and community organizations. Special thanks to Ben & Jerry’s, Tanneberger Veterinary Hospital, Wellness Massage Center & Institute and The Bed & The Biscuit. Together, we can beat our biggest rival. Join the Bark For Life of Franklin County and help us attack cancer from every angle. Visit or for more details on how to get involved.

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“I heard about Bark for Life about six years ago and thought, “I’d really like to start this event in Franklin County”. Jennifer Clark was my ACS mentor then and she helped me make Bark what it is today. She truly believed in me and my passion for making this event a success. I was very nervous the 1st year as people didn’t really seem to be signing up and then a few weeks before the event, the website started getting very busy. We had 6 teams the 1st year. The event has grown little by little each year since with the help of my amazing family and friends. This is our 4th year and for the 1st time we have a demo by 802DiscDogs which is a must see event for all. I will do everything in my power to ensure that this event continues in Franklin County and is something that people look forward to each year. Please stop by whether you have a dog or not. This event is to honor all cancer survivors and their canine caregivers. Healing and Hope are what this event is all about. We are celebrating the canines that give us so much compassion and love during our darkest days. Please join us and help us celebrate another year of birthdays.” - Pam Hakey Bark for Life Event Lead and Team Captain of the Wellness Warriors 3

Why Cuddling Your Puppy is a Good Thing Maria Karunungan - Burlington, VT


he word is slowly getting out to guardians of new puppies how vitally crucial socialization is to a puppy’s behavioral well-being. People are becoming more aware of the need to get their puppies into classes and/or wellsocialized before the age of 12 weeks. The scope of socialization that puppies need is quite broad, much broader than might be expected. One area of socialization that deserves more comprehensive attention is what we call body handling: that is, touching and manipulating various body parts for veterinary, grooming, or social purposes. Puppies are not born with an innate love of being touched on every hair of their body. In fact, they may often respond to being handled or picked up by quickly turning their mouth toward the handler’s hand. This type of response is so prevalent that it is sometimes misconstrued as playful, rather than a sign of discomfort. When the early signs of discomfort are misread or ignored, a pup then might

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learn that the only way to get their human to listen is to growl, snap or bite. If you’ve just brought a new puppy home, body handling should be near the top of your list of experiences to give your puppy. It can be done at home, takes just 10-15 minutes of dedication a day, and is fun! A pup who has learned to easily allow his teeth to be brushed, nails to be trimmed, ears inspected and cleaned, is one who will be much less stressed at the veterinarian’s office (and the staff there will thank you for the time you put into this, as they can then focus on giving your dog quality medical care). So how does one go about doing teaching Bailey to enjoy body handling? One recommendation you’ll probably like is: spend more time cuddling your puppy! When you do, make a mental note of your pup’s reaction. Is she melting into your arms in bliss, or squirming to get away? If the latter, then dial down the intensity by using a softer touch, or pairing the touch with treats. When she shows that she is now enjoying this touch, you can then increase the vigor and enthusiasm behind your cuddling. Keep in mind that puppies are typically quite sensitive in certain areas of their bodies and these areas need more slow, methodical attention to help the pup to become more comfortable. The usual suspects include the pup’s head and face (especially ears, eyes and mouth), paws, tail, and sometimes their belly. If your pup shows sensitivity when touched in any of these areas, begin by gently placing your hand on a nearby neutral area and work your way toward the sensitive spot. For example, if Spike doesn’t like having his paws touched, start by gently

massaging his shoulder area until his eyes are soft and squinty and his body turns to melty mush. Slowly work your way down to his elbows, then his foreleg, then his paw. Talking softly and sweetly, and giving treats during this process, can help Spike to learn how enjoyable and pleasant this experience is! Body handling is one of the behavioral challenges that takes much longer to resolve once your puppy has matured into an adult dog, so it helps to address any emerging issues as early as possible. If the problem seems more serious, seek the help of a private trainer who will use ethically humane, positive reinforcement methods. Being able to brush Rosie’s teeth, trim her nails, give a bath and groom her coat will enable you to keep her healthy and clean throughout her lifetime. At any point it is also possible that you may need to extract burrs or other foreign matter from her coat, apply eye or ear drops or give liquid medications via a syringe. All these things will be made easier by spending just 10-15 minutes a day actively cuddling with your puppy and teaching her that having her toes manipulated is the best thing ever. With the mud season coming up, you will be glad to have a dog whose muddy paws you can easily wipe! Maria Karunungan is an honors graduate of The Academy for Dog Trainers, where she earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling. Maria also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. She has trained service dogs, therapy dogs, shelter dogs, and pet dogs for over 15 years and currently works with Fetch the Leash in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Spring 2019

Helping Dogs One Walk at a Time Karen Sturtevant


hink back to the day you turned five years old. What gifts were you hoping for? Can you even recall? Sarah Hall, now 11, remembers well. She didn’t want video games or an iPad. She had her heart set on helping dogs and asked for money. The result: $200 happily donated to the Chittenden County Humane Society. Her love of animals continued well after this annual celebration. Sarah was enjoying life with her dog Henry and thought if one dog brings her this much joy, two would be fantastic. Her dad agreed, but only if she paid. Having a strong, can-do attitude, Sarah dug in with allowance savings and with a little bit of help, Henry soon had a new doggie friend in Oscar. Together with lifelong friend and fellow entrepreneur, ten-yearold Mason Bauer, who also shared a love of animals, they teamed up to create M.A.P.S. Dog Walking. Originally Sarah’s sister, Anna, and Pierce, Mason’s brother, were involved, lending their initials to complete the business name: M (Mason), (A) Anna, (P) Pierce, (S), Sarah. They have since moved on to other endeavors including helping behind the scenes with social media exposure, while Sarah and Mason remain on the front lines in their mission of helping dogs in any way they can. Not only is this energetic duo exercising dogs for the mental and physical wellbeing of the canines, but all money earned is donated to Vermont non-kill shelters and rescues, $100 at a time. Not rain nor snow nor change of season will keep these animal aficionados from their dedication. M.A.P.S. recently marked a milestone of Spring 2019

reaching a total gifted amount of $1,000! Their rates, which have stayed the same since the very first step, are reasonable: $4 for one dog; $6 for two. Walking routes span from a half to two and a half miles. With carefully outlined Essex trails, clients can choose which fits their dog best. No dog is too small or too big––all breeds welcome. These canine professionals can handle walking multiple dogs at a time. Don’t be surprised to see Sarah and Mason walking up to seven dogs at once! Open-minded junior executives, they are always welcoming recommendations on how to make their systems better and more efficient. Their work keeps them modest, especially when tripping on a curb and landing with a hand in a pile of dog poop! Yes, that really did happen! Every situation is a learning experience and part of fulfilling the objective. In addition to leading neighborhood tours, Sarah and Mason spend time in their kitchens making homemade paw wax with all natural ingredients including, Shea butter, beeswax, and olive, coconut and essential oils. M.A.P.S. Marvelous Paw Protection is great for humans too! (Full disclosure, I use it on my hands.) Lavender scented was the prototype as this fragrance is noted to aid in relaxation for both two- and four-legged beings. Recent additions are the scents of orange and peppermint. Each is packaged in a practical and functional tin priced at $5 with all profits destined for a shelter or rescue on their list. Now in their fourth year, their clientele is loyal and growing. This is serious business, just look at their custom t-shirts

and bandanas! Sarah and Mason are meticulous record keepers evidenced by their business binder chronicling walks, payments, flyers, business cards, trails, and shelter information. When they’re not building their dog walking empire, Mason practices the saxophone, enjoys spending time with Abby, his Chihuahua mix, plays baseball and is available for cat sitting. Sarah trains Henry and Oscar, plays clarinet, enjoys soccer, volleyball and lacrosse and dog sits for neighbors. Past summers have been spent selling lemonade in Sarah’s front yard with road signs directing traffic to their stand. As much as $40 a day has been earned––one fifty cent cup at a time. As they get older, they both plan to continue working with animals in the medical, training or grooming fields. Time will tell. Whatever they decide, with their quick smiles, sweet personalities, and passion for pups, the futures of Sarah Hall and Mason Bauer shine brightly. As for the opinion of their four-legged clients, (Peggy, Mazie, Hattie, and Berkley––just to name a few) by the looks of their wagging tails and warm welcomes, they wholeheartedly agree. To support Sarah and Mason’s efforts with a donation or purchase of M.A.P.S. Marvelous Paw Protection, please contact them via their website: maps-dog-walking/home. 5

A Hero Dog Who Saved a Couple from Burning Home Now Needs Help Herself T

his winter, our friends at WMUR TV told you about a deaf dog who alerted her owners that their Barnstead home was on fire. Now that dog needs help, after saving something else from the rubble of the burnt house. “How do you turn your back, literally, on a dog that just saved your life?” said Donna Gagnon. Her home on Beauty Hill Road burned to the ground on Dec. 29. Gagnon says saving her 3-year-old border collie, Precious is not an option, it’s a duty. “We credit Precious more than you could ever imagine,” she said. The dog alerted her and her significant other that their home was on fire.

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“That dog came up, woke up all the other dogs, woke us up and, literally, she’s the reason we got out of the house, and I mean that. She is totally the reason we got out of the house,” Gagnon said. Now, Precious needs help herself. Gagnon said Precious made her way to the rubble of their home on their property and started digging. Gagnon’s significant other went to see what the dog was doing. “He found a kitten that debris must’ve moved and the kitten was trapped in that spot,” she said. Now, not only had their dog saved them but their kitten, too. But Precious also got severely injured in the process, skinning her leg on the debris. She will require a lengthy stay at a

Portsmouth animal hospital, skin grafts and lots of care with a price tag of $9,000 to $12,000. Now, a family who watched their home burn to the ground has a hero animal to save. “She’s beyond everything,” Gagnon said. If you’d like to help cover the cost of Precious’ surgery, you can send donations made out to Donna Gagnon, 491 Beauty Hill Road in Center Barnstead, NH 03225. Donations can also be made to a GoFundMe campaign set up for Precious. How to help: GoFundMe for Precious the Dog

Dear 4 Legs & a Tail, Your life-saving story in the winter issue prompted me to share another event where a female Yellow Lab named Sandy was the star. Seven-year-old Sandy was a constant companion to our son Clark, also seven years old. One summer when Clark and some of his friends were playing in the Brown Creek in Underhill Flats, VT, a heavy rainstorm suddenly occurred. The river's swollen water trapped the young boy against a wind-fall and he could not break free. His canine companion quickly realized his peril and jumped into the backwater pool. Sandy swam toward Clark and as she turned, offered her “otter” tail for him to grab. He did just that and Sandy pulled him to safety onto the riverbank. It is quite possible that she saved Clark from drowning that day. Sincerely, Harold Sargent, Barre, VT Spring 2019

Spring 2019 7


Escher, left, and Rhett, center, Nederlandse kooikerhondje, and Juno, right, a grand basset griffon Vendeen, are shown at the American Kennel Club headquarters in New York on Jan. 10, 2018. The two breeds are eligible to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show for the first time in 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Welcome to the club, pups!


fficials for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show are welcoming two pawesome new dog breeds into the elite competition this year. Hounds representing the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje breeds made their debut at the annual dog show in February.

New breeds appear at Westminster after getting recognized by the American Kennel Club. The process takes years and includes setting standards and having hundreds of dogs spread around the country. Brielly Cipriotti, the owner of Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Buzz Lightyear competing in the show, says that the breed is certainly worthy of the opportunity. “They’re extremely sweet, and they have a big, goofy attitude,” Cipriotti told the Associated Press. She’s excited about the exposure that the breed — a low-slung,

long-eared, hardy hound developed in France to hunt rabbits and hare — stands to gain from Westminster. Rod Beckstead, the owner of a 2-year-old Nederlandse Kooikerhondje named Bandit, had similarly good things to say. Describing the breed as “the Pied Piper of the dog world,” the merry, clever Nederlandse Kooikerhondje was initially trained to help Dutch duck hunters. Today, the versatile breed is easy to teach sports and tricks; some even some even serve as cadaver dogs, Beckstead said.

About the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje The Kooikerhondje (Koi-ker-hond-yuh)—the “little white and orange dog with a big heart”—is a sporty, eye-catching fellow with a silky all-weather coat of white with red patches. They are instantly recognizable thanks to their large, black-tipped ears and the richly feathered tail they wag proudly. The breed has the sturdy bone structure expected of a serious hunter, but the overall picture is that of a harmoniously built dog of smooth, flowing contours and springy gait. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Club of the United States has served as the AKC Parent Club to represent the Kooikerhondje since April 2014.

Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Escher, left, and Rhett are shown during a news conference at the American Kennel Club headquarters in New York. The Nederlandse kooikerhondje, originally a Dutch duck-hunting dog, is one of two breeds eligible to compete in the Westminster dog show for the first time in 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

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Temperament: Friendly, Alert, Quick AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks of 193 Height: Dogs 16”, Females 15” Weight: 20 - 30 lbs Life Expectancy: 12-15 years Group: Sporting Group Spring 2019

About the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen First, let’s deal with the name. Roughly translated, it means “Large, low, shaggy dog of the Vendée” and is pronounced “GrandBah-SAY Gree-FOHN VON-day-uhn.” Now, let’s have a look at the dog: He’s a sweet-faced, long-eared fellow in a shaggy coat whose mustache, beard, and profuse eyebrows suggest the look of a worldly but amiable Frenchman. Beneath the Grand’s Old World charm is a rugged, sturdily-built bruiser who is deceptively quick and light-footed. The stamina and courage of these longer-thantall hunters is the stuff of Gallic legend. Juno, a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, is shown during a news conference at the American Kennel Club headquarters in New York. The grand basset griffon Vendeen, developed in France to hunt rabbit and hare, is one of two breeds eligible to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show for the first time in 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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Temperament: Independent, Happy, Outgoing AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks of 193 Height: 15.5-18 inches Weight: 40-45 pounds Life Expectancy: 13-15 years Group: Hound Group 9

Tools for New Dog Introduction Karen Sturtevant


Penney and Tilley

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tatista reported an astounding 89.7 million dogs lived in households in the United States during 2017. As an over-the-top dog lover (and owner and rescue volunteer), I unequivocally understand how much we love our pups and wasn’t that surprised at this number. However, I do wonder at the doggie dynamic of households with two or more canines. Chances are both dogs did not arrive on the same day. When two dogs meet for the first time, the outcome could be positive, disastrous or longterm work in progress. Rarely do dogs immediately become fast friends. Like all connections, even canine relationships require proper introduction and slow cultivation. We will put a few tips and tricks in our canine toolbox to help ensure a safe and successful foundation for canine companionship. Resident dogs are instinctually protective of their turf. When introducing a newcomer, meet on neutral ground, a place where neither dog will feel territorial. Each dog should be on a leash with the handler exhibiting a calm and focused state of mind. Dogs are very intuitive. The more relaxed the person, the more the dog will be at ease. A tense owner translates into an anxious dog. A leisurely, side-by-side walk with a safe distance between the two is an excellent first step. This method is meant to acclimate them to each other, with no perceived threat. During the walk, allow the dogs to sniff each other (the equivalent of a human handshake). If they show friendly behavior or show little interest, move the duo in an enclosed area. Keep the leashes secured and allow them to move closer to each other. Watch their body language to determine the level of hostility and friendliness. If either tries to bite, snap or lunges with teeth showing, separate them immediately and conclude the lesson. Some uncertainty with either dog is typical and can be sorted out without any of our interference. However, if the action becomes concerning, a break will be called for. One of the biggest mistakes enthusiastic dog owners make is to immediately allow both dogs full range of their yard Spring 2019

and house. Meeting in this manner may be fine for some, but dreadful or harmful for others. Keep the first few meetings controlled and supervised. Dogs listen to our voices and the inflection of our words. They may not understand English or French, but they will react to the tone of voice. A high pitched and happy, “Good boy,” compared to a low, loud “No,” get different results. Our words have power. We tend to say too much when training and teaching. Think about what are the most important words you want your dog to hear and do away with the others. Instead of, “Come here, little buddy, so Mommy can give you a hug!” to “Come.” Simple is best. Choose your words carefully. When a newcomer dog is brought into the house, some trainers suggest giving the resident dog first dibs on everything from entering the house, getting fed, and receiving pats of attention. Sharing toys and resources is a skill we teach toddlers, not dogs. The canine pack, whether two or twenty, will determine their hierarchy system and will tell you who is top dog.

Tips for the Canine Tool Box • Secure leashes on both dogs inside the house during the early days. If a scuffle ensues, a grab of the leash and correction can be done quickly and efficiently. • Add a crate for each dog (in separate rooms), complete with a water bowl, toys, and cozy blanket. Keep the door open and allow the dog to retreat to this safe space when he feels threatened. • Know the body language of dogs. A wagging tail doesn’t always mean carefree and happy. • Invest in a trainer or behaviorist. • Keeping dogs separated by a gate or barrier that neither can jump is often a safe, gradual way of introduction. They can sniff through the openings without fear of confrontation. As strongly as we want that instant firework of doggie friendship, don’t be dismayed if it doesn’t suddenly happen. • To eliminate fighting over food, consider feeding dogs in their individual crates. • Accept that one dog will want to establish his dominance. This is a necessary step in the canine to canine connection. • Are the dogs spayed or neutered? Dogs that are, tend to be less aggressive and challenging. • Be patient and observe interactions until you feel comfortable that both have found their place in the home and have established their natural order. • Keep a jar of coins and a spray bottle filled with water handy. If the dogs get in an altercation, never try and grab collars or harnesses to separate. Their sharp teeth won’t discern between your hand and their opponent. The risk of injury is too high. Instead, distract by spraying water in their faces or shaking the jar near them to change their focus. Immediately separate and place them in their crates or separate rooms to allow them time to decompress. The addition of a new scruffy friend takes patience and knowledge for a winning outcome. Ask friends for trainers or behaviorists they recommend. You may experience no issues during a time and then, of out of nowhere, fights and aggression rear their ugly heads. Having a professional’s information for your toolbox is a wise move. All dogs will have occasional disagreements (even the most mild-mannered), but if these acts escalate to putting your family and other pets at risk of injury, call the professionals. Dogs are like potato chips, we don’t want to stop at just one. If a solo pup gives us unlimited pleasure, two must be just about as much as our hearts can imagine, right? Possibly. Having a sense of what will be needed to properly indoctrinate a newcomer to a resident dog can be a lot of work and a continuing project. The outcome of having well-adjusted, social, and content canines is a pat on the head to the owners. With knowledge on how to handle situations before they start, having professionals in the toolbox and a good dose of patience and realistic expectations, including multiple dogs as part of a family can be very rewarding on many levels, including the heart. Spring 2019 11

Celebrate National Pet Week! M. Kathleen Shaw - DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association


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lways the first full week in May, National Pet Week is dedicated to celebrating the over 200 million pets that enrich our lives. This is especially true in Vermont, which tops the nation in pet ownership per capita. Created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Auxiliary AVMA, National Pet Week is a time to honor the many roles pets have in our lives and to promote responsible pet ownership. Whether your pet is a horse, bird, cat, dog, rodent, or any other of the amazing creatures in our world, our pets are there for us and don’t ask much in return. During National Pet Week, we encourage pet owners to celebrate the bond and provide their pets with all that they need for a healthy and enriched life every week of the year. Keeping your pet happy and healthy involves providing three important things: proper housing and nutrition, appropriate exercise and environmental enrichment, and providing medical care to keep them healthy and disease free. Many of our pets have been domesticated from their wild roots, and so it is important to provide them with ways to keep their minds and bodies active. Make the time to play with your cat or walk your dog several times a day. Buy or make them a new toy and use interactive play to help them keep their minds busy. Owners of birds and exotic pets can research ways to modify their pets’ living space to provide variety and entertainment. This doesn’t have to be buying expensive toys - appropriate homemade toys are just as good. Nutrition and medical care are an important part of responsible pet ownership. One aspect that many pet owners should consider before adopting a pet of any type is the ability to afford veterinary care to prevent parasites and disease and treat any that may occur in the pet. Annual physical exams and preventative medications are not without cost but are critical to pets’ well-being. Before you get a new pet or if you have one and aren’t sure what its needs are, talk to your veterinarian. They can provide you with accurate information to help you keep your pet healthy and happy. So, whether your pet is a horse or a gerbil or any size animal in between, take time during National Pet week to celebrate the bond! Take your dog for a walk, brush out your horse and go for a ride, play with the cat, or make some additions to your caged pets’ environment to challenge their minds! They give us so much love and comfort: let’s make sure we provide what they need this week and every day of the year. For more information, go to Spring 2019

*We will not sell or give your information to a third party N119 Spring 2019 13

Green Mountain Animal Defenders Celebrates 35 Years of Helping Animals Karen Sturtevant - Volunteer


GMAD president, Sharon M., comforting rescued baby goat, Ilsa

n an ever-changing world, the commitment of Green Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) remains constant. GMAD has not only withstood the challenges of a changing society but has grown to be a prominent voice in Vermont’s animal-protection movement. As we celebrate over 35 years of animal activism for bunnies and beavers, cats and cows, dogs and ducks, goats and giraffes, and all other animals, GMAD encourages everyone to make humane choices. Green Mountain Animal Defenders’ statewide network of resources includes assistance and referrals for low-cost, spay-and-neuter services; consulting on wildlife issues; working with local authorities, and sharing alerts on lost and found animals. GMAD’s reach is wide, with a dedicated group of like-

minded people putting the needs of animals first. From tabling events to the halls of Vermont’s capitol building, GMAD’s efforts shine a light on the importance of protecting animals. GMAD focuses on five main areas of animal protection: wildlife, companion animals, animals used in entertainment, farmed animals, and animals used in laboratory experimentation. To ensure the success of each ongoing campaign, they require leadership, commitment and the continuous effort to educate members and the public. When people learn the truth about inhumane and cruel practices that cause suffering to innocent animals, they want to make a difference. As the famous poet, Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Some of GMAD’s notable accomplishments include the following: • Help to facilitate the spay/neuter of over 79,000 cats (domestic and feral), dogs, and bunnies. This achievement was largely made possible through the incredible efforts of Drs. Peggy Larson and Roger Prior. • Prevent carnivals/midway operators at all Vermont fairs from awarding live animals as prizes. This change has already saved the lives of thousands of goldfish and other small animals. • Through our pet food drive, we’ve been able to collect and distribute over seven tons of pet food to local food shelves, low-income families, and feral-cat colonies throughout Vermont. • Rescue of 18 goats (16 babies and 2 adults) from a farmer who had no use for them. GMAD stepped in to save the goats from impending slaughter. They were treated by a veterinarian, all the males were neutered, and all found forever, loving homes.

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• Collaborate with the University of Vermont, condominium associations, and municipalities to replace deadly beaver traps with humane alternatives. Spring 2019

• Build dog houses, feral-cat shelters, wildlife platform feeders, and wildlife nesting boxes through our Providing All-Weather Shelters (PAWS) program. We are proud to have donated two insulated doghouses to the Clarina Howard Nichols Center which provides services to survivors of domestic violence and their companion animals. • Honored by the Humane Society of the US as Grassroots Guardians:

For more information: or Sign up for our e-alerts: Donate or become a member: Find help for an animal: or 802-861-3030

• Implement a Lost-Pet Project to get the word out about lost or found pets on GMAD’s Facebook page, Front Porch Forum, and through alerts to our members via email. Families searching for lost cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, a miniature horse, guinea hens, and a duck have benefitted from this service.

Board member, Jill J., with dog Maggie and cat Jesse

In addition, GMAD supports the efforts of Vermont’s licensed wildlife rehabilitators by donating cages, medication, food, and other lifesaving supplies. We also provide information and referrals to the public on how to help injured or abandoned wildlife and offer humane ways to solve human-wildlife conflicts. From my own personal experience, when I found an unresponsive groundhog on my porch in the middle of a hot July day, I was provided with a precise plan to help the little one. She was saved, and I was relieved, thanks to GMAD! We invite you to join us in giving animals a voice. By becoming a member, volunteering, or making a contribution, you can make a difference for animals! Spring 2019 15

Should my dog be eating senior food? T

his is a question people ask frequently. People with small dogs generally think about it later but people who own large breeds may think about it sooner. But what is the right age? In some ways, age really is just a number. There is absolutely no cut and dried answer. I think the better question is, what are a couple of nutritional factors that you might find in a senior formula food? • Senior formula food will usually be lower in fat content. Most animals see a slow in their metabolism or may have a lower activity level and it gets tougher to keep extra weight off. • A premium producer will probably add high-quality glucosamine and chondroitin to keep aging joints healthy. If you have a large breed your normal adult food may already have an adequate dosage added in your food. • Did you know pet food has salt? A senior formula will have a lower amount of sodium to avoid hypertension. • Added Seaweed and fibers to promote lower tartar and healthy teeth.

• Added Nutraceuticals such as stabilized Vitamin C and Taurine. These are strong anti-oxidants to preserve healthy cells and provide good cardiac health. • Balanced Calcium and Phosphorus for healthy bones. • Provide a good fiber source for healthy digestion. So, if you are reading through this list and thinking; ”those things sound like healthy things for just about any dog” … You are not necessarily wrong. Not all older dogs eat senior food, and some younger dogs eat senior food.  Let’s talk about some examples of when this might happen.

Some examples of when to consider a senior formula for a younger dog include: • A dog with kidney problems needing a lower protein to energy ratio • A dog with any type of cardiac disease, regardless of age. Some pet owners will be advised to choose food with a low sodium level. • Dogs with pancreatic problems need to eat food with low-fat content. Pancreatitis or other pancreatic disorders can make it difficult for a dog to process fat. • Some dogs that do not have a high activity level and are seeking a lowfat option for weight control may choose a food with the attributes of a senior formula. The low-fat content coupled with the likely addition of joint supplements are both positive things for a pet carrying extra weight.

A couple of examples of older dogs that might not have their needs best met by a senior formula include: • Dogs with cancer or other chronic illness that make it a struggle to keep weight on might prompt looking for a more robust recipe. • An active pet needing more energy content.

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The easy answer…. ASK AN EXPERT. You can’t just go by the name or even the label if you want to know everything. Therefore, it is important to work with a pet nutrition expert to match the nutrition to the needs of your pet. A pet food expert understands how these ingredients react in the body of an animal and under what circumstances they will benefit an individual pet. Spring 2019


ids are fascinated by reptiles, but not all reptiles make good pets for children. Understanding what reptiles need is the first step in choosing a good snake, turtle or lizard for a child’s pet, and there are several types of reptiles that can be ideal for young pet owners. Before Buying a Reptile A child may love reptiles, but before opting for a reptilian pet, it is important to understand some basic characteristics of reptiles in order to choose an appropriate pet. Adult Size: Many reptiles hatch as cute, tiny creatures, but not all of them stay small sizes that are manageable by kids. Not only can reptiles grow to large, heavy sizes, but as they mature they will need larger, stronger cages and more overall space. If that is not available, a reptile may not be the best pet choice. Lifespan: Reptiles can live for many years, but children might lose interest in their pets long before the animals die a natural death. Furthermore, children’s interests change as they mature, and once they are ready to leave home for college, the military or their first apartment, they may not be able to take a large pet reptile along. Play Expectations: Children often want interactive pets they can play with and that will respond to them by learning tricks or playing games, but reptiles often do best when left alone or with only minimal interaction. If a child really wants a pet they can play with, a reptile isn’t the best choice. Best Reptiles for Kids Just like any animal, some reptiles are more difficult to manage in captivity than others, and different care needs and personalities can make some reptiles more suitable as children’s pets. The top types of reptiles that can be good pets for kids include… • Ball Pythons • King Snakes

• Bearded Dragons • Leopard Geckos

• Red-Footed Tortoises • Russian Tortoises

• Corn Snakes • Painted Turtles

Buying a Pet Reptile No matter what type of reptile you choose for a child’s pet, there are some steps that can make it easier for kids to be responsible reptile owners. Discuss Responsibility: Before adopting any pet, parents should discuss the child’s responsibilities for caring for the animal, cleaning its tank or cage and feeding it. At the same time, discuss the consequences if the child does not take care of their pet properly. Study the Pet: Before bringing the pet home, take time to research its growth, diet, health concerns, habits and behavior. Help the child select library books or visit websites to learn about their pet, and get in touch with an appropriate veterinarian for emergency care. Choose the Best Breeder: Purchase the pet from a reputable breeder who has healthy, captive-bred animals that are used to human care and handling. If possible, ask to see the reptile’s parents or learn about its breeding history to be sure it is healthy. By taking the right steps to choose the best reptile for a child’s pet and ensure they are ready for the responsibility of pet ownership, it can be easy to add a reptilian member to any family. Spring 2019 17

Therapeutic Riding & Speech Pathology Sue Miller


ver the years High Horses has been enjoying time with Geisel students from Dartmouth medical school. The third-year medical students came to visit the High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program to get a better idea of what is offered in this modality and how it can help clients on different levels. If the opportunity arises we can sometimes get the medical student’s horseback so they can experience firsthand how much the movement of the horse and riding in different positions can affect the rider in several ways simultaneously. The question of speech was brought up. How can horseback riding help with speech? Speech is a fine motor skill that can be developed with

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more practice. Breathing and breath control are often overlooked areas of riding as they happen naturally. Riders that have enjoyed the sport of horseback riding for a while will all testify to how important breathing and breath control can be to be an effective rider. Breath control and support refer to how we stabilize our bodies for air flow. Breath control is how we regulate and coordinate airflow for different activities. Riders learn to take deeper diaphragmic breaths instead of short shallow breaths. Breath flow powers our voice for conversation. We inhale to fill our lungs then exhale when we speak. The longer the word, phrase, or sentence, the more

Miranda LeBrun and Pal

air we need. There are different ways to help an individual improve breath support and control. Some target skills include: Increasing the lung capacity or available breath supply. Practicing breathing patterns for speaking, exercising, relaxing, holding breath and letting the breath out slowly… taking in more air or using bigger breaths and breathing from the diaphragm or “belly” instead of shallow “chest” breathing where the shoulders raise up. Placing and holding the hands on the ribcage is another technique to increase awareness of breathing. Work on strengthening and coordinating muscles for posture or position of the head or body are all pieces to better riding posture that instructors work on when riding horses. We cannot disconnect our breathing from our emotions and most therapies will use breathing awareness to create a more relaxed state of mind, yoga, reiki, aikido, and tai chi all put great importance on methods of breathing to enhance both calmness and focus. Spring 2019

Language is the systematic, meaningful arrangement of symbols which provides the basis for communication. There are two hemispheres to the human brain. The left hemisphere is verbal, speaking, reading, thinking, reasoning and processes one piece of information at a time. The right hemisphere is nonverbal, deals with spatial relationships, patterns, drawing recognition, music, emotional expression and processes information holistically. The frontal lobe is also involved with personality, speech, and motor development while the Temporal lobes are responsible for memory, language and speech functions. Horses communicate almost entirely in a nonverbal manner. Even if a rider has no spoken language skill, the horse and human can still communicate with their body language and touch. This is one of the reasons therapeutic riding can be so beneficial. The nonverbal rider can still form a deep bond with the horse that transcends speech. Great exercises that can be done horseback are increasing one’s awareness of breath, taking bigger breaths, keeping a steady breath when speaking and using a louder volume. Blowing exercises like trying to blow a feather, a pinwheel, or blowing bubbles. Speech exercises like holding a vowel sound, singing songs and functional exercises like relaxing and taking a deeper breath. As stamina increases these exercises can be done at faster gaits on the horse. Blowing a whistle or blowing up a balloon are great exercises that can be done away from the horses as horses tend to dislike loud noises or the sudden pop of a balloon. Speech and language require highly complicated postural, motor, and brain organization and integration. Establishing integration between the mouth, eyes, and hand, and control of graded respiration. People often focus too much on the spoken word, while horses have a perceptive capacity to the mental, spiritual & physical state of a person and are not always convinced by the spoken word, especially if not congruent to the feeling/emotion they receive from the person. Horses have an immense capacity to help us find a place of calm so we can take a muchneeded deep breath to help us rebalance in our lives. It is not uncommon for parents to tell us that their youngsters uttered their first words horseback or that after riding the participants’ speech was more fluent. Sue Miller is a PATH Registered Instructor & ESMHL, PATH Vermont State chair and Vice President of VHSA. Spring 2019 19

Equine Metabolic Syndrome Nicole Sicely - Custom Equine Nutrition


quine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is defined by a group of abnormalities that lead to a risk of laminitis. The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIN) states that EMS is defined by meeting the following three criteria: Generalized obesity in specific locations, Insulin Resistance (IR) and a predisposition toward endocrinopathic laminitis. Let’s break these three criteria down. #1) Obesity The most common system used to score a horse’s body condition is the Henneke System. A horse is given a score from 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese). The definition of obesity is a body condition score of >7. Adipose (fat) tissue located on the neck (cresty neck) or tail head can be indicative of laminitis risk.




No visual appearance of a crest (tissue apparent above the ligamentum nuchae). No palpable crest.


No visual appearance of a crest, but slight filling felt with palpation.


Noticeable appearance of a crest, but fat deposited fairly evenly from poll to withers. Crest easily cupped in one hand and bent from side to side.


Crest enlarged and thickened, so fat is deposited more heavily in middle of the neck than towards poll and withers, giving a mounded appearance. Crest fills cupped hand and begins losing side to side flexibility.


Crest grossly enlarged and thickened, and can no longer be cupped in one hand or easily bent from side to side. Crest may have wrinkles or creases perpendicular to the topline.


Crest is so large it permanently droops to one side. Source: Carter et al., 2009

In the early 1960s, a geneticist named James Neel had a theory that certain ethnic groups had a propensity towards diabetes so it would be easier to store body fat for times of short food supply. This was coined the “thrifty gene theory”. Specific breeds are prone to this thrifty gene (AKA easy keepers); Welsh ponies, Morgans, Tennessee Walkers, Saddlebreds, Arabs, and Paso Finos. #2) Insulin Resistance Horses with Insulin Resistance (IR), have a low body response to insulin. The pancreas secretes higher levels of insulin to trigger the body’s response. But the cells are resistant to insulin’s signal to take up glucose. In normal cells, insulin transports glucose into the cells via thousands of receptors. When insulin attaches to a receptor, it opens a door to allow the glucose into the bloodstream. When a horse is IR these receptors are not working correctly. Resulting in high levels of circulating insulin. The body becomes “resistant” to insulin.

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#3) History of Laminitis In a perfect world, a horse will be diagnosed with EMS prior to having a “History of Laminitis”. Spring 2019

starch” feed may still be too high for an EMS/IR horse. Look at the guaranteed analysis for sugar and starch, these need to be under 10% combined. If a company does not list this on their label or website, call and ask. Pasture should be avoided for EMS/IR horses. If you feel you must put your horse on pasture turn out at a safe time, early morning. Remove your horse from pasture in the afternoon when the sugar/starch content is higher. Spring and fall pastures are the most dangerous. Katy Watts (www. has written a fun jingle to help remember when it a good time to let your horse on pasture: Diagnostics EMS is diagnosed by having a history of laminitis, a physical exam, and blood tests. History of laminitis can include a fullblown laminitic episode or signs of subclinical laminitis. Laminitic rings visible on the hoof wall may indicate previous episodes of laminitis. The reduced concavity of the sole dropped soles and widened white line are all other potential indicators of subclinical laminitis. For physical exams, the Henneke Body Condition Score and amount of adipose (fat) tissue located on the neck or around the tail head. The most common blood test is Baseline Insulin. This test can have a lot of influences: stress, pain, recent feed change, schedule variations etc. Elevated levels are highly indicative of IR. Low insulin values do not rule out IR. If the insulin levels are normal, yet the horse shows clinical signs such as adipose tissue, it is recommended to try a dynamic test such as the Oral Sugar Test (OST).

improvement, then medication would be a reasonable next step. Metformin and Levothyroxine are most often prescribed.

Can this be prevented? Lets recap: EMS is defined as having the three following phenotypes: Obesity, insulin resistance, and a history of laminitis. It is unfortunate that a history of laminitis is considered a risk factor. Ideally, EMS should be identified prior to any laminitic episodes. What if we could change the definition of EMS by taking control of certain factors? What factors are in our control? It would benefit horses and owners to access their risk and proceed accordingly. If your horse is a breed that tends When you wake at the crack of dawn to be genetically predisposed, an easy Graze your pony on your lawn keeper with a cresty neck, turned out But sugars rise in the afternoon, For foundered ponies, this spells doom. on pasture and enjoys 3lbs of grain per day, you have a very high-risk horse and When frosts cause sugars to increase its time to take control. Your ponies grazing now must cease. Start by removing your horse from Hold off a day, or maybe more. pasture. Create a dry lot or track system Or else your pony may get sore. (paddock paradise). Test your hay and Exercise soak if it’s over 10% sugar and starch. If Exercise has been shown to improve your horse is not in pain, exercise as often insulin sensitivity in healthy horses for as possible. as long as 24hr after a single bout. Nicole Sicely owns Custom Equine Medication Nutrition, LLC. Nicole is an equine Diet remains the cornerstone of treatnutritionist offering consulting services ment for EMS. If diet and exercise (if and formulated Vermont Blend forage your horse is able) alone are not showing balancer and Omega-E.

Treatment Preventing insulin surges is the priority for treatment. The gold standard for treatment is diet and exercise (if the horse is able). Diet The goal of treating EMS through diet is controlling blood glucose levels. The lower glucose levels stay, the less insulin the pancreases will produce. Foods with high sugar and starch safe forage cannot be predicted by the type of hay or appearance. Forage analysis is the only way to know how safe your hay is. Test the ESC (sugar) and starch levels. Combined ESC and Starch should be under 10%. If hay is above 10%, it should be soaked, or alternative safe hay should be used. Soaking in cold water for 60 minutes can help reduce carbohydrates by 30%. As for concentrates, there are currently enough products on the market labeled “low starch” to make your head spin. But this is all relative, one company’s “low Spring 2019 21

Teeth Don't Always End Up Where They Should When a Puppy Grows Up Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS

Recently I have seen a number of puppies

with teeth and/or jaws that are growing incorrectly. I would really like to see these puppies as soon as the problem starts to occur, which means both the owner and the veterinarian being diligent in observing the mouth. For the owners, teach your puppy to let you touch all the teeth and pull up the lip, in addition to doing the same with the feet. For veterinarians, take a look inside the mouth every time a puppy comes in for vaccinations. I know, puppies squirm and resist, but if problems arise the sooner they are corrected the more likely a good outcome will result. Big changes occur every week.

In the short time of 5 months, a puppy goes from having no teeth to having baby teeth appear, to having a mixture of baby teeth and adult teeth to eventually having a full set of adult teeth. Most dogs manage to grow and loose baby teeth, grow and retain adult teeth, and grow the jaws in a normal fashion and have a mouth that closes properly. Dogs and cats have 4 jaws: a right and a left upper jaw and a right and a left lower jaw. Each of these jaws grows independently of the others. In a dog with a normal shape to the skull and a normal bite, the position of the lower canine teeth between the upper canine and the corner incisor is called dental interlock. If this normal positioning is maintained while the skull grows and teeth are erupting, the teeth act as a natural retainer system. If the upper jaw starts to push forward, its growth is retarded by the pressure of the lower canine teeth on the upper canine teeth. At the same time the upper canine teeth are pressing forward on those lower canine teeth, prompting the lower jaw to grow as well. Conversely, if the lower jaw pushes forward, it will put pressure on the upper incisors, pushing the upper jaw to grow forward while at the same time that same pressure will retard the growth of the lower jaw. This constant Push-Pull of the jaws on one another keeps them in synchrony. Lower Canine Tooth

These are adult teeth and are a good example of how close the upper canine, lower canine and corner upper incisor are when the mouth is closed. In many dogs there is 1mm of clearance between these teeth! The lower canine teeth are very long and can be very painful if they are positioned inside of the mouth. Upper Canine Tooth

Upper Corner Incisor Tooth

Of course, it does not always go perfectly and then problems can arise. The problems that do occur divide into three basic groups: The jaws are in a normal position but one or more teeth are in an abnormal position, the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw, or the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw. In veterinary medicine we are concerned that the mouth close with no pain, rather than creating a perfect bite. If teeth are not in perfect alignment but are otherwise not causing any pain then it is perfectly OK to leave them alone. Baby teeth are meant to fall out as soon as the adult tooth pokes through the gum. If they do not fall out promptly they can put pressure on the erupting adult tooth and push it into an abnormal position. The baby teeth that are most likely to not fall out (be persistent) are the baby canine teeth. Since the canine teeth are so important in keeping those 4 jaws in good alignment as the puppy grows, persistent baby canine teeth can cause big problems. The baby canine teeth on the lower jaw are positioned to the side of the adult tooth, and will push the adult tooth inside of the mouth. These adult teeth will then be hitting the roof of the mouth, even if the lower jaw is the correct length. 22 4 Legs & a Tail

Spring 2019

Lower Canine Tooth

This dog is 5.5 months old. The adult incisor tooth erupted awhile ago and is fully erupted. The adult canine teeth have just erupted. It will take 2 months for them to have their full length. The lower canine tooth is hitting the gum inside the mouth. The lower jaw may be too short when compared to the upper jaw. If the lower jaw does not move forward in synchrony with the upper jaw, the lower incisors and canine teeth will start to impact the roof of the mouth (hard palate). Baby teeth have very sharp points, will dig into the tissue and will actually anchor the lower jaw and stop its forward growth. This can be seen in puppies as young as 8 weeks of age so it is important that the mouth be checked continuously as the puppy grows. This can result in lower canine teeth that are inside the mouth and hitting the roof of the mouth. These dogs cannot close the mouth without pain.

Upper Canine Tooth

Upper Corner Incisor Tooth

This puppy is 3 months old. The lower jaw is severely shortened in comparison with the upper jaw. Both baby lower canine teeth are impacting the roof of the mouth on the inside of the upper canine teeth. The hole created by the impact of the lower left canine tooth was already quite deep.

Impact Hole

Lower Canine Tooth

The lower jaw may be too long when compared to the upper jaw. These dogs will have lower canine teeth that are hitting the upper incisors and upper incisors that will hit the roots of the lower incisors. Again, the dog is unable to close the mouth completely. This is not as painful as lower canines that are hitting the roof of the mouth but it does create discomfort.

Upper Canine Tooth

This dog is 5.5 months old. The adult incisor tooth erupted awhile ago and is fully erupted. The adult canine teeth have just erupted. It will take 2 months for them to have their full length. The lower canine tooth is hitting between the middle and corner upper incisors. There are also two baby canine teeth which should have fallen out (red arrows)

Lower Canine Tooth

This is a small sample of the kinds of problems that arise. If you have a growing puppy, keep an eye on those teeth and seek prompt attention if the teeth are not lining up correctly. If you are not sure, have your veterinarian examine the teeth as well. All of these dogs had procedures performed to correct the various problems.

Upper Corner Incisor Tooth

Spring 2019

Upper Canine Tooth

Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services. 23

Alternatively Speaking:

A Holistic Approach To Our Cats’ Golden Years Dr. Anne Carroll DVM, CVA


pring is on the way! As we all look forward to warmer outdoor activity, pets head to the vet to update vaccines and begin parasite protection. However one animal is often left out of this important time for wellness planning, and that is the family cat. Veterinary associations recognize that even though cats outnumber dogs in our households, they receive less medical care, and this has a major impact on the quality of their lives. Without wellness visits, the importance of dietary fluids and carnivore nutrition is not discussed as a tool to maximize health in younger years, developing issues go undetected through middle age, and then declines seen in the older cat are mistaken for ‘normal aging’, and go untreated. This is not due to neglect. It is partly the erroneous belief of the independent cat not needing vet care, and partly a lack of recognition of the tiny clues that signal there is a problem. In addition, car travel is not easy for most cats, and many fear it is too stressful for their older felines. But if there was any one group of animals that most need their annual checkup, it 24 4 Legs & a Tail

is our aging cats. So in this article, we will discuss holistic management of their geriatric concerns, but let’s first look at how to overcome that hurdle of getting them to the vet. Unlike dogs, cats do not really get ‘trained’ as kittens to be crated or ride in cars. Maybe it is the notion that cats dictate to us what they are going to do and when not the other way around. But cats are highly trainable, and being comfortable in their carrier provides vital access to their health care. No one wants to force cats unwillingly into carriers, then hear the sad cries or worse get car sick on the winding drive there. A little training can avoid all this for many cats. We won’t go into all the nuances of training here. Your veterinarian should have good tips for that. But do know that there are options if you have a timid cat or one too adverse already to the car ride. Skipping all food before travel, using pheromone aromatherapy, homeopathic travel remedies, or even medication for nausea or anxiety can make the trip much less stressful for everyone and it will pay

off in spades over your cat’s lifetime. So you have made it to the veterinarian, well done! The conversation from our holistic perspective is all about diet and strategic vaccination to minimize inflammation. Cats are just not designed to eat dry cat food, and the harmful effects of this are magnified if they become overweight. For more information on how and why this occurs, you can read about it on the website. For older cats, a diet is a tool for reducing digestive stress and losing excess weight while maximizing protein to keep up muscle mass, and reducing inflammation that can affect kidneys, thyroid, and arthritic joints. While making diet changes may seem impossible for the older cat who has eaten only dry food his whole life, there are stress-free ways to slowly convert these cats to a healthier meal. Take Moody, for example. He came to us at 14 years young, struggling with mouth ulcers. Part of our approach was to try to wean him off dry food, not only to reduce inflammation but to reduce the oral bacteria associated Spring 2019

with dry cereal residue in the mouth. This also gave us more control over his protein sources in case part of the issue was allergies. After persistently offering wet ‘appetizers’ when he was most hungry, as well as using other tricks, he now snubs dry food and will only eat canned, much to his owner’s amazement, and he is working on eating more dehydrated fresh food. Each cat’s needs are individual, and making a change slowly enough to avoid stress or rapid weight loss is essential, so talk to your vet before embarking on a diet change. But as you will see, diet is involved in all our aging cat’s health concerns. Moody’s mouth brings up one of the biggest reasons to have your older cat get a physical – dental disease. Dogs and cats do not show dental pain, and will quietly suffer a broken tooth or a dental abscess in ways that still astound me. While cats can develop tartar, gingivitis, and abscesses like dogs, they also have the more serious problem of resorptive lesions, also called enamel erosions. Holes form in the hard tooth enamel just under the gum, exposing the nerve which is painfully sensitive. This condition is genetic, and may also be related to other factors including low Vitamin D levels. Removing the affected teeth relieves a toothache and allows us to use supplements to try to prevent other teeth from suffering the same fate. Because even if silently tolerated, the stress of chronic untreated pain does wear on cats. You may see urinary or behavioral issues, but sometimes nothing dramatic. Take Franklin for instance. At age 16 his appetite was off some and he was losing weight, but he seemed ok overall. His owner thought he would have more symptoms if something was really wrong so attributed his decline to ‘old age’, and expecting the worst she brought him in when he seemed to have reached the end. An exam found infected teeth, and dental x-rays showed it had spread to the bone of his jaw. Happily, antibiotics and dental work allowed him two more happy years. Keeping an eye out for changes in breath or grooming habits, and having routine exams, avoids the stress of chronic dental disease and reduces the need for dentistry at an advanced age, which are big impacts on an elder cat’s quality of life. Franklin’s only issue was his teeth, but many older cats have other conditions that can be harder to manage if they have a painful mouth. Most common are an over-active thyroid and decreasing kidney function. Kidney issues stem from immunologic damage from over-vaccination as well as dietary inflammation. Also conSpring 2019


tributing are a cats’ own requirements for a high protein diet combined with a low motivation to drink. Hyperthyroidism is similarly related to inflammation that contributes to a tumor in the thyroid gland, which drives up metabolism, burning calories and causing a rapid heartbeat, like someone on caffeine. The fast heartbeat increases blood flow to the kidney which improves its filtering of waste into the urine even when the kidney is not working up to par. While this may seem like a good thing, the high blood pressure causes damage to the filters over time, and the body can’t handle the racing metabolism. We carefully monitor the kidneys when treating the thyroid, since as blood flow normalizes they lose their extra support and this can unmask or trigger kidney failure. But with care, these conditions can be managed well for years. We adjust the diet slowly while using nutritional supplements, acupuncture, and if needed, herbs to reduce inflammation and maximize a healthy kidney blood flow. Thyroid therapy in early stages can involve diet and herbs, while in later stages medication is needed. Surgery and targeted radiation therapy are other options to consider. For either condition, a simple blood test can make the diagnosis to explain drops in weight, decreased or increased appetite, and increases in thirst or urination. Even better, routine screening can foresee an issue before any health effects manifest, and early detection gives you the maximum treatment options, whether conventional or holistic and can keep your aging cat feeling well for far longer. The last issue senior we will touch on is arthritis. Being small and agile, cats can manage to navigate stairs and jump up and down fairly normally even with back or hip pain. But as in all cat symp-

toms, with close attention, you may see very small changes in habit or routine. They may be avoiding being petted or perhaps stop doing routine things. Early intervention with raw foods, bone broth or arthritis supplements are effective for cats just like dogs and come in cat-friendly chew treats. For more advanced arthritis issues, diet, acupuncture and herbal therapies can be used and if needed on bad days, there are a few pain medications that cats can safely take. Anyone who has the privilege of having a cat friend knows they are unique, keeping their feelings and affections to themselves so that when shared, we feel very special. But this trait puts the responsibility on us to watch carefully so we know when they need medical care, and not discount small signals as harmless. In the meantime, their annual exam can often identify issues that can go unnoticed at home, and this early detection is vital given that their potentially long lifespan amplifies the impact of missed wellness care on the quality and number of senior years they can experience. Equally valuable is the opportunity the visit gives to talk about what changes to look for, and how to make small dietary shifts at leisure while in good health to pro-actively reduce metabolic and inflammatory stress. We see so many cherished aging cats in our practice and love how with a little support they manage to thrive as the years pass, even in the face of physical fragility, and maintain that dignified status only a cat can own. Dr. Anne Carroll is the owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she and her associates practice conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at . 25 Continued Next Page

Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach T

he stray dog must have been about a year old when he wandered down Orange Avenue to Beach Street in Daytona Beach in 1940. The junction of these two streets brought him to a central location in town right across from the marina. White sands…beautiful weather…a few people nearby…nothing wrong with this. An additional attraction at that corner was the presence of the Daytona Cab Company, owned by Ed Budgen, Sr. who was having his lunch when the dog stopped by. Ed offered to share. All these elements were enough to say “home” to Brownie, as the taxi drivers began calling him. Brownie the Dog Brownie (1939-1954) is described as a short-haired brown dog with a white chin. Some locals felt he had a bit of Labrador retriever or Rhodesian ridgeback in him. While he headquartered at the cab company, he patrolled several blocks along Orange Avenue and Beach Street. There was a pool hall, Liggett’s drugstore, a barbershop, and a bank. There was also a bus

26 4 Legs & a Tail

Kate Kelly

stop at that corner so there were always people around. Brownie got to know his new neighbors and let them know he was always available to help with anything they weren’t going to eat. As the weeks passed, Ed Budgen decided that if Brownie was staying he needed a house. He and a couple of drivers used an old moving box and created a decent-sized dog house. Daytona Cars Even in the 1940s, Daytona Beach was place where people brought their fancy cars and enjoyed driving them. In 1947, Brownie—who had a tendency to wander into the street—got hit by a car. A taxi driver saw the accident, immediately stepped out of his cab and scooped up Brownie to take him to the vet. When the taxi driver returned to the taxi stand, he posted a note: “Brownie has been hurt and is at the veterinarian’s. Would you like to help out with his hospital bill?” According to a write-up in the local paper, $32 came in during the first 30 minutes the note was up. The funds continued to grow, so there was plenty of good news: Brownie was getting better, and he was going to be able to pay for the care he received. Real Doghouse While Brownie was in the hospital, the taxi drivers opted to make a “real” doghouse for their favorite mutt. They built a new house out of plywood with his name written large across the front. It was Brownie’s house indeed. A few days later when it was time for Brownie to leave the vet, the drivers drew lots to see who got to bring Brownie home. When the winning driver escorted Brownie back to his favorite corner at Orange and Beach, a small crowd waited to greet him. There were dinner scraps and a pork chop or two, all with a “Welcome Home” feeling to it.

A Bank Account for Brownie As a responsible caretaker, Ed Budgen knew that a time might come when Brownie needed funds again. He took the remaining money from the donation box and established a bank account for Brownie at the Florida Bank and Trust Company down the street (account number 3318, complete with Brownie’s own bank book).  When there were vet bills or Brownie needed some dog food, the money was there for Brownie’s use. Package shop owner, C.P. Miller always took care of Brownie’s dog license, and of course, it was important to the town that Brownie get License #1. At some point the town put out a proclamation making Brownie the official Town Dog. Did he have to go to a city council meeting to be so honored? He might have, if there were treats. With the business of life taken care of by others, Brownie was free to live up to his official responsibilities of patrolling his streets. There were always people around, going in and out of stores or sitting on the bench waiting for the bus. Brownie liked to lie in the shade under the bench, his head was within easy reach of hands that could give him a pat or an ear scratch. The taxi company ran an all-night service and both Brownie and the night drivers were happy they were there together. As one local said, “He was nobody’s dog but he was everybody’s dog.” Brownie’s Fame Grew Daytona Beach draws tourists throughout the year, and soon visitors realized that Brownie was a “town regular.” He was written about in newspapers and magazines nationwide, and visitors arrived looking for him. They sent him Christmas cards and packages, too. An enterprising local businessperson realized that Brownie needed something to send in return, so he created a postcard with Brownie’s picture on the front. Of course, these also sold well to tourists, adding a little additional cash to Brownie’s bank account. There was also a Christmas version of the card so Brownie had a way to thank all who remembered him. In 1949, a local columnist for the Daytona Beach Morning Journal, Fred Langworthy, reported that a nurse rushed into the cab stand one morning shortly after her night shift ended at 7 a.m. She always waited for the bus at that corner Spring 2019

“Trusting old Brownie, you’ve done all a dog can do. Faith to your highest instinct, ever loyal, kind and true. And I think when you have ended your career of canine cares, I shall hear your pattering footsteps as you climb the Golden Stairs. Then I think that some bright angel at Heaven’s gate will bear you through. For you never were disloyal, that’s as well as any dog can do.”

and was greeted by Brownie. Today he was just lying in his house. Was he OK? Brownie was fine… it was February. He probably saw no need to make an early start to the day. Elsie Borden and her Calf Come to Town Daytona Beach was a popular community, but who would have guessed that among the visitors would be the Borden cow and her offspring? The Borden family must have come in for several guest appearances, but the Fort Lauderdale News (12/30/50) noted that Elsie, Elmer and their calf Beauregard were “vacationing in Florida for the winter.” While Elmer may have been relaxing, Elsie and Beauregard were out and about. One afternoon the press was invited to Brownie’s corner. Elsie was bringing Beauregard to meet Brownie. It was planned that Brownie and Beauregard would walk down the street together. Beauregard would wait while Brownie stepped into the bank to withdraw a few bucks. Then calf and dog walked on to Liggett’s Drugstore where Brownie purchased a vanilla ice cream soda for each of them. Perfect! Reports as Brownie Aged As Brownie grew older, the local reporters seemed to pay more attention to how he was doing. In 1951, columnist Fred Langworthy reported (12-27-51) that over the course of the year, two aggressive mutts picked a fight with Brownie This sent him to the vet for a couple of days, drawing down a bit on his bank account. But as December came along, Brownie seemed fine. He was sporting a red ribbon someone had tied around his collar, and another friend left him a poem. Langworthy concludes: “Old Brownie, canine king and patriarch…has weathered another year and passed another jolly Christmas.” Spring 2019

Another Year, Another Report A year and a half later, Langworthy was back with another report: (May 11, 1952): Brownie was under the weather. It turns out Brownie had heartworms but was never adequately treated. The vet was starting a series of 14 treatments to try to make the town dog better. Langworthy writes that the first treatment seemed to help. Brownie was back patrolling the street again. He ”tagged along at the heels of police patrolmen,” watchfully sniffing at the warm sounds and smells of Orange Avenue, and keeping everything well under control. The End Comes Brownie became ill in early October of 1954. For 20 days there were regular reports in the local paper as to how he was doing. As we all know, dogs never live long enough. Finally, Brownie breathed his last. It is estimated that he was 15 years old by that time. Led by the taxi drivers, the citizens of Daytona did right by Brownie. The remainder of his bank account was used to settle his vet bill and cover funeral expenses. Two taxi drivers built a small casket for the body. He was to be buried across the street in Riverfront Park. That Saturday morning about 75 mourners came to pay respects. The mayor gave the eulogy. He had many nice things to say about Daytona’s loyal citizen, concluding with “Wherever it is that good dogs go, Brownie has already gone.” Life Moves On Like all towns, the people of Daytona Beach moved on. A Brownie #2 took up a home at the post office and is buried there, but over time, the townspeople forgot about Brownie the Town dog. Brownie Grave Re-Discovered Then in 1994, members of the Daytona Civic Association were cleaning up Riverfront

Park. Some volunteers found Brownie’s grave site and decided the old dog deserved to be remembered. Several years later, a local woman, Brenda Gibson, took responsibility for maintaining Brownie’s grave. From that time on, it was always well tended and often decorated for an upcoming holiday. Gibson died in June of 2017, but fortunately, good people come along when needed. Two weekend residents of Daytona Beach, Eddie James and Alvin Almodovar, decided to move to the community full time. Alvin is a scientist and Eddie is a technology consultant, but they shared a love of animals. Between them they always have several dogs and cats, and often, rabbits and chickens, too. They felt Daytona Beach could use a specialty dog store, named after Brownie of course.

on a website that will have Brownie’s full story, the grave-tending is now something they see to, and they are also working with the town council. They would like funds for two statues— one statue will be Brownie the Town Dog; the other will honor Post Office Brownie. Then and now, Brownie is a great town representative and builder of a community. As Fred Langworthy wrote in the 1950s: “There’s something mighty wholesome about a City whose people can pause …to remember an old and beloved dog.” I am indebted to Eddie James for telling me about Brownie. I’ve always said, “If dogs just left diaries…” Eddie has sent me so much material on Brownie (and Brownie was so loved during his lifetime) that I almost feel like Brownie did leave a diary. If you are in Daytona Beach, Brownie’s Dog Boutique Brownie’s Dog Boutique was please stop and say hi to Eddie born in July 2016. Eddie and Alvin! describes it as a home store for people with pets. While This article first appeared they sell practical supplies like on the website, www. leashes, collars, and made dog treats, they also America Comes Alive feature crafts and vintage publishes more stories items that are attractive to about American dogs dog owners. and other animals. Visit the With the store’s name website and sign up for honoring Brownie, Eddie and “American Dogs” to receive Alvin have taken on other the stories in your In Box. Or Brownie-related responsiemail Kate Kelly at kate@ bilities. They are working 27

The Tender Touch O

Pat Jauch - Caledonia Animal Rescue, Inc.

ne of the known benefits of pet ownership is stress reduction (assuming your pet does not have major behavioral issues and that you can afford his or her care). Therapy dogs are being used in hospitals and nursing homes to add new dimensions to patient care. Their calming influence (again, assuming that they are not overactive) can go a long way toward helping people relax. Simply stroking the animal can reduce one’s heart rate. But, did you know that it could also be good for the dog? Part of the bonding process includes interacting with your pet. Whether you have a dog or cat, petting, stroking, and gentle massage can be a welcome behavior that your pet will enjoy. It can also have health benefits for your pet by allowing you to identify lumps or bumps that, detected early, could save your pet’s life. Skin conditions can also be detected, as well as the presence of ticks or fleas. Most dogs enjoy being scratched or rubbed (gently) behind the ears. The head and jaw can be massaged, noting any bumps. From there you can move down the neck, along the shoulders, and

28 4 Legs & a Tail

down the back and around the ribs. Check under the forelegs and hind legs and along the belly. If you encounter a sensitive area be sure to notify your veterinarian. Generally, pets appreciate a gentle touch, but others just love a more vigorous approach. Depending upon the breed, you may find that the process results in substantial loss of hair, so brushing is also encouraged to help reduce the amount of shedding. Cats also thrive on physical contact so don’t be afraid to stroke them too. Static electricity can be achieved on cat fur more easily than dog fur, at least in our experience, causing the fur to cling tenaciously to human hands. Thus, massaging your pet not only has health benefits for both of you but also can cut down on the amount of unwanted hair loss throughout the home. If you have a pet that takes exception to handling, be patient. Start slowly and proceed with caution. Sooner or later the attention you pay to your pet will be rewarded with a calmer disposition and eager anticipation of the time you spend together. Remember, when you care for your pet, your pet will care for you.

Spring 2019



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4 Legs & A Tail North Spring 2019  

4 Legs & A Tail North Spring 2019