Dog Days of Summer 2018 Southern NH & VT
Adopt a Horse Having Leash Issues? The Dogs of the Titanic Hit the Open Road with Your Cat Summer Safety Tips for Your Pets
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
2. The Importance of Microchipping Ashley Pinger, CVT, ACO
How a California pit bull is discovered in New Hampshire
3. Mounting Health Benefits of CBD Products Learn more about the positive effects of cannabidiol for your pets
4. Summertime Safety Tips for Pets Erin Forbes, DVM 6. The Top Ten Vehicles for Dog Owners US News & World Report picks the best for you and your dog 9. 3 Simple Tips for Teaching Your Dog NOT to Pull on the Leash Chet Womack 10. 10 Reasons to Get a Dog When You’re Over 50 11. RVing With Cats: What You Need to Know Heather Marcoux
Some helpful tips when you hit the road with your favorite feline
12. Pasture Strategies for Horses with Metabolic Disorders Nicole Sicely 14. The Whole is Equal to the Sum of its Parts Dorothy Crosby 17. Adopt A...Horse? Gerda Silver
Gerda’s Equine Rescue is in your own backyard
18. Chimneys Again Scott Borthwick
You would be amazed at the "guests" that may be living in your chimney
19. Overgrooming in Cats Catherine MacLean Pg. 10
This is something that a lot of owners discover by accident or it’s found by a veterinarian on a cat’s physical exam much to the owner’s surprise
20. Does My Dog Have Dental Disease Sandra Waugh, VMD, MS If your dog is 3 years of age or over and does not receive routine dental care, then it is very likely, YES
22. Mini Cooper Cathy White
Raising the puppies of Greyhound rescues
24. Dogs of the Titanic: Three Who Survived Kate Kelly 26. Slim Shady Annie Guion
Why Windham County Humane Society abandoned their surrender fee
28. An Improbable Friendship For one small town in Minnesota, a dog and duck make for an interesting pair
4 Legs & a Tail Volume K.218 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Sales Manager: Karyn Swett
Senior Editor: Scott Palzer
Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff
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 Southern NH & VT. 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.
Get to know our professional, friendly team with a “Welcome” FREE First Wellness Exam at our convenient location!
Count on us for your pet's vaccinations, wellness checkups, disease prevention, and expert medical care. * Free initial health exam for new clients only. Not to be combined with any other offer. Not good toward boarding, grooming, prescription and non-prescription medication, and retail items. Not good toward emergency and/or specialty veterinary services. Coupon good for up to two pets per household. Redeemable only at a general practice VCA Animal Hospital. For pet owners who are aged 18 and older. Offer expires 9/30/18. Cashier Code: 700.500
VCA Windham Animal Hospital 19 Noah's Lane, Brattleboro, VT 05301 802-254-9412 VCAwindham.com
2 4 Legs & a Tail
s Animal Control Ashley and Bella celebrating Officer (ACO) for Hinsdale, National Microchip Day NH and as a veterinary techon August 15 nician at VCA Windham Animal Hospital, I understand the importance of microchipping. As a technician, microchipping is highly recommended, especially when an animal is being spayed or neutered. The importance of microchipping was made all too clear to me personally in the summer of 2017. While working as ACO, I was called to an area for a dog running at large; a dog loose with no apparent owner or supervision. The dog was a middle-aged, very friendly brown pit bull with no tags, only a collar. Once I caught her, my next step was to scan her for a microchip. Once she was scanned, I documented the chip number. Currently, there was no dog licensed to the microchip and no matchAshley Pinger, CVT, ACO ing description of the dog found in the location so I called the microchip company. To my surprise, the dog was reported missing a year before from California! When I contacted the original owner, she was relieved and upset about the news. She emailed me pictures of her to verify she was the owner. They matched! She explained she had left her chained in the fenced-in backyard. When she went to check on her, she was gone. It was determined she was taken from the backyard. She definitely wanted her back. The question was, how was she going to get home? She lived all the way across the country. After I got off the phone with the original owner, the current owner reported their dog missing. I asked them to come down to the police station, as I had her in my custody. In a short amount of time, the current owner showed up. I explained where I found her and asked for the background story on how they had obtained ownership. He explained they found her running down the highway in California. They reported her missing to some veterinary hospital, however did not report it to the local humane society. Due to the high volume of dogs in humane societies, especially pit bulls, they did not want her to be euthanized. She is too lovable and friendly, which was obvious to me. I then explained the circumstances of the predicament with two sets of human “parents” claiming ownership. I therefore could not release the dog to him until the situation cleared. He was upset but understood. I obtained his contact information and he gave consent to have his email information released to the original owner. Once again, I contacted the original owner. I gave her the contact information. She immediately reached out to the current owner. After speaking and an exchange of pictures, the original owner relinquished ownership to the current owner. She is happy and well cared for where she is and her current owners love her very much as a part of their family. Had this dog not been microchipped, the original owner would never have known what happened to her. The microchip is the reason that the original owner was able to know her “baby” had been well cared for and was in a loving and safe home, and the current owner to know that she had begun life in a similarly caring environment. The two households have been able to share pictures and stories between them and can continue to do so going forward. All in all, a happy ending!
The Importance of Microchipping
Ashley Pinger is a 1996 graduate of Mt. Ida College, BA in Animal Science. Since graduating college, she has been employed by VCA Windham Animal Hospital full-time. In 2015, she decided to go part-time with VCA Windham and take a part-time position as Animal Control Officer with the Hinsdale Police Department to be closer to home and focus on spending more time with her family. Summer 2018
Mounting Health Benefits of CBD Products Bring New Customers and Their Pets to Un-Dun I
t’s nothing new to Christine Clarenbach, owner of the eclectic combination vape bar, smoke shop and craft-beer hub, called Un-Dun’ tucked neatly on the busy corner between Main Street and Route 12 A in West Lebanon, N.H., she’s known about the benefits of CBD oil for years, long before she opened her shop in 2001. News coverage about the positive effects of cannabidiol (CBD), one of many cannabinoid molecules produced by Cannabis, has been prevalent over the past few years and is gaining momentum. Another molecule THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis but what makes CBD stand out is that it is nonintoxicating and yet has the ability to act on the cannabinoid receptors that are part of human and other mammals’ endocannabinoid system (ECS). That means that many of the positive benefits that humans experience can also happen to their pets. In fact, the reason that plant cannabinoids have psychoactive and medicinal effects within the body is because of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that they can interact with. It’s this ECS that helps the cells regulate to keep them on an even keel or maintain “homeostasis”. There is evidence, mainly from animal studies, that CBD may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, and potential therapeutic value in the treatment of motivational disorders like depression, anxiety, and addiction.
More importantly than CBD just being in the news is the positive anecdotal evidence people are hearing from friends, neighbors, and colleagues who have started incorporating CBD into their lives and the lives of their pets and have seen positive changes. For Un-Dun’, that means an increase in customers who may not have been a traditional customer in the past, but who are now seeking answers about CBD. First-time customer Dave Rock came to Un-Dun’ to get help for his two German Shepherds, Zoe and Bella, on the advice of his sister-in-law. Zoe had recently been in a fight and had just come home after 3 days at the vet hospital. Bella is older and has difficulty with mobility. Based on advice from staffers, Rock purchased Edibites, a dog treat with 3mg of Cannabinoids in each snack. According to Rock, within four hours of eating their treats, Zoe was
up from her bed and walking around and Bella was running with ease. Although Rock had no experience with CBD before, he’s a fan now. “Makes me think I might want to try it for myself,” he said. According to Christine, “customers have either read the positive health benefits or know someone who is using CBD and that brings them to us asking more.” That’s where her terrifically knowledgeable staff and her many CBD products come in. Un-Dun’ has shelves and shelves of all different kinds of CBD infused products including topical creams and salves, tinctures and vapable oils, and edibles like gummies, chocolates and other snacks. Their products for pets are extensive as well and include dog and cat treats, pet specific oils and topicals. The staff doesn’t just point to products though. Staffers like Department Manager Chris Wentworth know every detail about each product, how the CBD oils are extracted, their concentrations and what products will work best for you. He also takes pride in the quality of their selection saying, “95% of our products are extracted with CO2 which produces a very highly concentrated, full spectrum product.” Un-Dun’ is located at 1 Main Street in West Lebanon. They are open seven days a week, Mon-Sat 10 am to 7 pm, Sundays 10 am to 5 pm
Summertime Safety Tips for Pets
Dr. Erin Forbes Mountain View Animal Hospital
ummer has finally arrived in Vermont! A chance to relax, soak up the sun, enjoy the beautiful Vermont countryside, and have as many creemees as your heart desires. However, there are some important safety tips to keep in mind for your pets. Excessive heat and increased outdoor activities could spell disaster for your pets. As the mercury rises, take just a few moments to ensure that your pets are safe and prevent an urgent trip to the animal ER with a summertime emergency! The most common heat related problem for pets is heat stroke. Also known as heat stress or hyperpyrexia, heat stroke is a real emergency for dogs. Even on moderately warm days, an excited dog might show a body temperature increase of 2-5 degrees Fahrenheit. Since dogs don’t sweat like we do, they are unable to dissipate the excess heat, and heat stroke may soon follow. Any outdoor pet can overheat on a warm summer day, but short-faced breeds, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, are at a higher risk. In addition, every year thousands of pets succumb to heat stroke because they were left in cars while their owners ran “just a few” errands. Many cities and states have now made it a crime to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. These Continued Next Page
4 4 Legs & a Tail
are important laws as even on a 70-degree day, temperatures inside a car can soar to over 110 degrees in less than one hour! Always be aware of the weather forecast. Knowing the high temperature can help guide your plans for the day. Don’t leave your pet unattended outside or plan heavy exercise on hot, humid days. If your pet is left outdoors, he must have access to adequate shade and fresh water. When it’s time to run errands, leave your pet at home. Even a few minutes in a hot car is enough to increase your pet’s body temperature dramatically. If you find your pet disoriented, panting excessively or collapsed in the yard, move her immediately to a cooler environment. Use cool wet towels over her back, armpits and groin to help bring her temperature down. Fans are often helpful too. Get her to your veterinarian immediately so that they can assess her status and begin lifesaving treatments. Some owners try to help their pets by shaving the dog’s long coat. Although this seems like a good idea, a well-groomed and clean hair coat can insulate the dog from the heat and help keep them cooler. Veterinarians will recommend shaving specific areas in long haired breeds. In some cases, shaving the hair coat could expose a lightly pigmented dog to potential sunburn. For short haired lightly colored breeds, canine solar dermatitis can be a problem. Boxers, Pit Bulls and Dalmatians are just a few examples of dogs that are at risk. In these cases, chronic exposure to hot sunny days damages the skin and causes tender, red scaly lesions. Eventually, the skin becomes thickened and scarred. There is dog safe sunscreen you can purchase for dogs at risk for sunburn and ask your veterinarian for more information on how to protect your pet from the sun. When the sun goes down and the temperatures start to cool, your pets still face many summer challenges. The patriotic holidays during the summer months are often preceded by and celebrated with fireworks. The bright flashes and loud bangs are terrifying to some pets and can cause anxiety and stress and they may try to escape. Likewise, some pets react in a similar way to thunderstorms. Normally calm pets may become distressed, destructive and even bite to get away from the noises. While running, they are at risk for being hit by a car, becoming lost or encountering another animal who might be aggressive. If you are planning to take your pets to any outdoor celebrations or cook-outs, find out first if pets are welcome or if fireworks are planned. It might be easier to simply leave the dogs at home rather than risk a run-away or injury. The warm summer season also brings out many pests that will actively seek out your pets. Fleas and ticks are two examples, but some species of biting flies are very fond of dogs’ ears. Repeated bites can cause Summer 2018
a condition that can be serious and difficult to control known as “fly strike”. All your pets should be on year-round flea and tick and heartworm prevention to help prevent flea infestations, heartworm infection, and tick bites. Summer is lots of fun and can be for your pets too. Just make sure to follow the tips provided and contact your veterinarian with any questions or concerns. Celebrating 120 years of service in Vermont! The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 360 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
The Top Ten Vehicles for Dog Owners I
t’s summer and that means your local dealership is busy wheeling and dealing. With huge inventories, it may be a bit overwhelming to find that perfect vehicle. Fortunately the folks at US News & World Report took the time to research the best vehicles for dog owners. Finding the Best Ride for Fido When you’re car shopping, don’t forget your four-legged family members. A happy dog makes for a happy owner, so there are some things you should consider when buying a dog-friendly ride. First, you’ll want a vehicle that’s big enough to carry your pooch. That’s easy if you have a Chihuahua, but a bit more difficult if your furriest family member is a Great Dane. “The larger the dog you have, the bigger the car you need,” says David Lytle, a spokesperson for the Oregon Humane Society (which is not affiliated with any other Humane Society). “You want to be able to get them into and out of the car easily.” What Does Your Dog Want From a Car? There are two basic things to consider when looking at cars for your dog. Your pet needs to be comfortable and secure. An uncomfortable dog will make every trip a challenge, while an unsecured animal can be injured or killed in an accident. It can also injure you or your passengers. Doors that slide (like a minivan’s) or a hatch that opens wide make it easy to load and unload your dog. Consider how high the floor of the vehicle is off the ground as well. Do you want to have to lift your 55-pound Bull Terrier into a full-size SUV every time, or would a minivan that they could jump into work better?
Keeping Rover Comfy Many manufacturers offer pet barriers designed to keep your dog behind the second or third row of seats. You’ll want to make sure that the one you choose – either from the carmaker or aftermarket supplier – is strong enough to keep Rover contained, even in an accident. A better solution is a harness that attaches to the car or a crate that’s fully tied down in the vehicle. When shopping, buyers should look for attachment points that are strong enough to hold a crate firmly in place. Pets are often lost after accidents, when they are scared and run away from the danger. If you are going to use a dog crate or harness, it’s a good idea to take it to the dealership and make sure it fits in whatever vehicle you’re considering. “Dogs should always be safely secured when traveling by car,” says Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo of the American Kennel Club. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas $33,500 | Total Cargo Area: 96.8 cu ft U.S. News Score: 8.7/10 Volk swagen showed the 2018 Atlas 3-row midsize SUV at the Chicago Auto Show with a host of accessories that help to make it into a great dog hauler. One of those is an aftermarket cargo divider that keeps your puppy secure behind the third row of seats. The Atlas also has a completely flat load floor without the gaps and crevices found in many SUVs. A number of tie downs in the cargo area also make it easy to secure a dog crate. In our rankings of midsize SUVs, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas holds a top spot. 2017 GMC Sierra Denali Crew Cab $52,155 | U.S. News Score: 8.7/10 Dogs and pickups go together like America and apple pie, though some of today’s trucks are so big that your puppy would need a jetpack to jump in the cab. The full-size 2017 GMC Sierra Denali crew cab can be outfitted with powerdeploying running boards to help your pooch climb aboard. 2017 Kia Soul $16,100 | Total Cargo Area: 61.3 cu ft U.S. News Score: 8.9/10 Just because your car is a compact doesn’t mean your dog has to be too. The 2017 Kia Soul is a roomy and affordable Continued Next Page
6 4 Legs & a Tail
hatchback that's well-suited for houndhauling duties. Plentiful tie-downs and rear seats that fold nearly flat make it easy to install dog crates or other restraints. 2018 Ford Flex $30,300 | Total Cargo Area: 83.2 cu ft U.S. News Score: 8.0/10 Though it might not look like it from the outside, the interior of the 2018 Ford Flex is cavernous, with plenty of room for both passengers and pets. Its broad, squared, and low stance makes it possible to put crates side-by-side in the back and easily load your dogs. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover $85,650 | Total Cargo Area: 71.7 cu ft U.S. News Score: 8.2/10 What dog wouldn’t like a car that’s named after him – twice? Plus there’s the street cred your corgis will get by rolling up to the dog park in one of the most opulent SUVs available. Seriously though, there are some benefits that the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover offers canines. All Range Rover models come standard with an air suspension that has an entry mode that lowers the SUV, making it easy for both pooches and people to get in and out. They also feature a horizontally split tailgate, so when your dog jumps in the back, the rear bumper is protected from scratches.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid $41,995 | Total Cargo Area: 140.5 cu ft U.S. News Score: 8.6/10 Minivans are often overlooked as puppy carriers, but look at the parking lot of any dog show and you’ll see their popularity among Best of Breed contenders. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is exceptionally well suited for hound-hauling duty with a low, flat, and unobstructed load floor. The Pacifica Hybrid also has plenty of tie downs for dog crates, especially when the second row of seats is removed and you can use the seat attach points as tie-downs (something you can’t do in the non-hybrid Pacifica).
2018 Subaru Forester $22,795 | Total Cargo Area: 74.7 cu ft U.S. News Score: 8.1/10 When you talk reliable and all-weather capable, you’re either talking about a Labrador retriever or a 2018 Subaru Forester. The compact SUV’s boxy profile and rear seats that fold nearly flat and are perfect for holding dog crates. All Forester models come equipped with standard all-wheel drive. For 2018, the available EyeSight suite of advanced driver assistance and safety features includes reverse automatic braking. Even when your energetic Golden Continued Next Page
Retriever or his crate is blocking your view of what’s happening behind the car, the vehicle will automatically brake to avoid obstacles. The Forester doesn’t have quite as luxurious an interior as some rivals, but its hard plastic surfaces are actually better at shedding dog hair and scratches than other materials. 2017 Honda CR-V $24,045 | Total Cargo Area: 75.8 cu ft U.S. News Score: 8.8/10 The 2017 Honda CR-V, which is our top-ranked compact SUV and the winner of our 2017 Best Compact SUV for Families and Best Compact SUV for the Money awards, is also an excellent choice for trips to doggy day care. Its
8 4 Legs & a Tail
2017 Toyota 4Runner $34,210 | Total Cargo Area: 89.7 cu ft U.S. News Score: 7.3/10 The 2017 Toyota 4Runner has one feature that makes it an excellent choice for people who carry dogs: The 4Runner’s power tailgate window rolls down. You can lower it an inch or two to take your puppy’s odors out of the cabin. Dog owners know what we’re talking about. If your hound is up for an adventure, there are few SUVs that can go where the 4Runner can. It will also have plenty of ample cargo area is just one reason. room, as the 4Runner has one of the larg The flat load floor of the CR-V is lower est cargo capacities in the class. You’ll than those of several of its rivals, and want to forgo the 4Runner’s third-row Honda offers accessory all-season cargo option if you want to maximize the cargo mats that protect the CR-V’s carpet from space, though. edge to edge. Despite a price tag that’s higher than most in the class, the CR-V Used Honda Element gets better mileage than nearly all other $12,390 | Total Cargo Area: 74.6 cu ft non-hybrid compact SUVs, and you can U.S. News Score: 8.1/10 put the cash you save into dog biscuits. Perhaps the greatest dog car ever was the Honda Element, which was built 2017 Jeep Renegade from 2002 to 2011. With a low step-in $17,995 | Total Cargo Area: 50.8 cu ft height, a lack of carpet, and plenty of U.S. News Score: 8.1/10 cargo space for crates or huge dogs, Like the Kia Soul, the 2017 Jeep the Element was the darling of the dog Renegade has a square cargo area and park. When the Element interior needed a low load floor. Unlike many subcom- cleaning, you could blow the dog hair pact SUVs, however, the Renegade’s rear out with a leaf blower. seats fold nearly flat. Its interior is also pleasant for humans, featuring one of For the full reviews, visit U.S. News & the nicer designs in the class, despite World Report at https://cars.usnews. a low starting price. com/cars-trucks/best-cars-for-dogs
3 SIMPLE TIPS
for Teaching Your Dog NOT to Pull on the Leash
o many dogs these days do not have any leash manners. They pull while on the leash, choking themselves, and making the walk miserable! But, there are a few simple tips you can use to teach your dog to NOT pull on the leash, so you both will be able to enjoy your walks. Here Are My Top 3 Tips to Teach Your Dog to NOT Pull on the Leash: 1. Teach Your Dog How Long His Leash Is! First off, this means DON’T USE RETRACTABLE LEASHES!! Retractable leashes are unfair because the dog doesn’t know if the leash is 3 ft, 10 ft or 25 ft. A dog needs to know how long his leash is to learn not to pull. So, find a leash that is about 6 ft long and stick with it for training. I often “let my dogs be dogs” by allowing them to have the length of the leash to wander while we are walking. However, my #1 rule is that you don’t pull me, EVER!!!! And, to achieve this, I must teach my dogs how far they can go on their leash before they pull (about 5 feet). So, I put them on a leash, and if they are not paying attention to me, I change my direction. Yes, the dog hits the end of the leash. But, in my opinion, the dog is “correcting” himself, and I am teaching him how much room he has on his leash before this happens. This also teaches the dog to pay attention to me. Yes, you can sniff and wander and have a good time and still have an idea of where I am and what I am doing. Whenever my dog appears not to be paying attention, I change my direction and make a 180-degree turn. This helps the dog learn how long his leash is, and teaches him to pay attention to me. Summer 2018
2. Reward Attention Very few people ever recognize when their dog looks at them. Even fewer people reward it! This is one of the biggest mistakes people make! Your dog should be praised for looking at you, and paying attention to you. Paying attention to me is NEVER wrong! I want my dog staring up at me or looking back at me; always checking in with me. If your dog is paying attention to you, he probably isn’t pulling on the leash. When I teach puppy classes, 100% of those puppies will look up at their owner, on their own (even when they haven’t been taught eye contact). It is a given. It is something I wait for during class, so I can point it out and have them reward it. However, if you don’t recognize it and reward it, the behavior will disappear and turn into pulling and paying attention to everything else.
Give him something else to do! Stimulate his mind!! I rarely walk with a total purpose of getting somewhere fast. When I am walking with my dog, I am walking AND training. I change my direction. I change my pace. I have my dog sit. I have my dog “down.” I ask him to find heel. I bring his tug and play with him when he does something right. I ask for eye contact. I ask my dog to do push-ups (sit and down in succession). I make circles to the right and circles to the left. I want my dog’s mind stimulated. I want my dog to pay attention to me. And, I recognize that just walking at a slow pace is not stimulating for my dog, and, without me providing him with stimulation, he is more likely to pull! Follow these three tips, and your walks will significantly improve! Chet Womack is the founder of www.TheDogTrainingSecret.com
3. Stimulate His Mind Dogs often pull because they are bored! He doesn’t have really anything else to do, or anything else to think about, so he pulls you from one thing to another.
f your nest is empty — by circumstance or by choice — think about getting a dog. Known for their devotion and happy dances, dogs can take a big bite out of isolation. Just hanging out with a furry friend, studies show, has a revitalizing effect. Here are 10 benefits of later-life dog ownership. Dogs Keep You Fit Adopt a dog and ditch that pricey personal trainer. A study in The Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that dog owners walk approximately one hour longer per day than those without a fetching friend in their lives. They Make You Healthier Studies show that dog-owning seniors have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol than their petless peers. Having a dog also reduces the risk of heart attack — and boosts your chances of long-term survival if you have one. Dogs Are Social Mediums A natural-born icebreaker, your dog will introduce you to everyone from next-door neighbors to perfect strangers. It’s impossible to pass a dog without making a “pat stop.” So head for the park — Bowser will take it from there. They Organize Your Day A dog may keep you sane, showered and solvent. Studies show that dog owners exhibit higher degrees of self-discipline than those without. Makes sense: Dogs, like humans, thrive on structure; they need to be fed, walked and nurtured at regular intervals. Dogs Get You MRI scanners showed that the canine brain reacts to voices and sounds, such as crying or laughter, in the same way the human brain does. Dogs are also the only nonhuman animals who scan the left side of a face — the process whereby people, too, “read” emotions. They Boost Quality of Life For many older Americans, a dog means the difference between a life lived and a life merely endured. Dogs help you stay safe and independent: They provide ears for the deaf, eyes for the blind and an early warning system at the approach of dangers (both real and imagined, of course!). They Can Be an Old Friend No need for housebreaking and training when you adopt an older pooch. Studies show you can teach an old dog new tricks — or simply take it for long, calm walks. They Help You Volunteer When is a dog like a grandchild? When you can play with it during the day and then head home! Shelters and rescue organizations are desperate for volunteer help. And you’ll get a boost from that tailwagging mood elevator. Dogs Make You a Better Person Consider this: Ozzy Osbourne, the bat-chomping rocker not known as an SPCA poster child, once wrestled a coyote to the ground to pull his pet Pomeranian, Pipi, from its jaws. As the “bumper snicker” exhorts us, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” They Let You Be a Hero The Humane Society estimates that 6 to 8 million dogs and cats wind up in animal shelters every year. The majority would make loyal and loving companions, yet at least half of that number are euthanized annually. Visit a local shelter; maybe some buddy needs you. Summer 2018
10 Reasons to Get a Dog When You’re Over 50
10 4 Legs & a Tail
RVing with Cats: What You Need to Know T
he highway is calling your name, but you don’t want to leave your cat behind while you go road tripping in your RV or van. Luckily, if your cat is an adventure cat, you don’t have to be separated. Not all cats are good candidates for life in a home on wheels, but if you’ve got a leash-trained kitty who is accustomed to car rides and confident in a harness, your cat may be the “purrfect” road trip companion. With the right preparation you can make sure your cat enjoys RV travel as much as you do. Spend time in the space The first step to planning an RV adventure with your cat is introducing them to the vehicle. Put your motorhome in park, because it’s best not to leave the driveway until your cat is fully adjusted to and comfortable in their new surroundings. According to veterinarian Dr. Alisha Tran, this process could take anywhere from a few days to weeks or longer depending on the cat. “It would be best to very gradually accustom the cat to the RV, as if it were a new home since it will essentially be [a new home] at least temporarily,” she tells Adventure Cats. “This means giving [your cat] enough time to be comfortable with just being in the RV or van without it even moving.” Make it theirs Dr. Tran suggests bringing some of your kitty’s things into the RV during the adjustment period. Having their usual bedding, toys and scratching post in their new environment will help cats feel safe as they figure out their new surroundings. It will also introduce familiar scents into the vehicle. “The goal is for the cat to feel like the RV is a comfortable zone,” says Dr. Tran, who recommends using Feliway diffusers, sprays and wipes in your cat’s new mobile home. Plan for medical emergencies While your kitty is busy sniffing around your caravan, you can get busy making a plan for any medical needs that may come up during your road trip. A well-stocked feline first aid kit could come in handy and should definitely include any medications your cat might Summer 2018
need. A hard copy of your cat’s veterinary and vaccine records are good to have, too. MORE: Essentials for hiking with cats “Have a list of vets or emergency vets you can contact quickly or can navigate straight to in case something does happen,” says Dr. Tran. “Especially if this is going to be a trip where cell phone service is spotty [or] non-existent, or veterinary care is not easily accessible.” Consider the litter There are as many places to put a litter box in an RV as there are RVs on the market. In larger motorhomes, placing the litter box in the bathroom beside the toilet can be a good option, but in smaller RVs with wet bath-style washrooms, this isn’t very practical unless you want to be moving the litter every time you take a shower (although some RVers do just that). Luckily, creative use of space in RVs — and even vans — opens up a ton of litter location possibilities. RV dwellers have put litter boxes under beds, in empty cargo compartments and in cabinets outfitted with cat doors. Things can be trickier in a van, where space is even more limited, but litter and van life can mix. One Australian couple reports success securing their cat’s litter box under one of the back seats with Velcro. As for Vladimir — a kitty who’s traveled to all the U.S. national parks — his humans keep his litter box in the shower. Buckle up When your cat is comfortable in the
space it’s time to begin your road trip, but a cat should not be left loose in an RV or van when their new home is in motion. “While the vehicle is moving I would recommend that the cat is confined in case of an accident,” notes Dr. Tran, who suggests cats ride in a large crate secured by a seatbelt. Loose cats can not only be injured in the event of an collision, but they can also inadvertently cause one if they are roaming near the driver. When your RV is stopped and you’re ready to explore outdoors, make sure your cat wears his or her harness, collar and leash. A long line secured to the RV or van is perfect for allowing your cat to explore the campsite while you supervise from the fireside, but a collar with ID and a microchip are also necessary just in case your cat does slip outside without her harness on. Enjoy life on the road Traveling with a cat means going slow and taking precautions, but whether you’re hauling an Airstream or living that #vanlife, if there’s room in your heart for a cat, there’s also room in your vehicle.
Pasture Strategies for Horses with Metabolic Disorders Nicole Sicely - Cambridge, VT
anaging a horse with a metabolic disorder is a lifetime dedication. Like a child having a peanut allergy, it will always be something you need to be cautious of. There is no such thing as a safe pasture for horses with metabolic disorders. However, there are strategies to reduce the risk. At risk horses, such as those who are over-weight, have EMS, PPID, or insulin resistant (IR), cannot tolerate free choice grazing due to the excess intake of sugar and starch during certain environmental conditions. Pasture management strategies can reduce the risk of high sugar and starch intake. Know your horse’s risk level and exercise caution. If your horse’s insulin level is not in the normal range (Cornell:10-40 uIU/ml), has a Cresty Neck Score of three or more, or is hoof sore, use a dry lot or tract system. Cresty Neck Score System Score Description
Source: Carter et al., 2009
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.
In Vermont and New Hampshire we have Cool Season Grasses (C3). Cool Season grasses thrive in temperatures between 65-75° F. Growth begins in C3 grasses when the temperature is 40-45°F. Many factors affect the sugar and starch
content of forage including: species of forage, light, light duration, temperature, nutrients and water, stage of growth, and grazing management practices. Grass accumulates sugar and starch through photosynthesis. During the day, sugar and starch are produced peaking in the afternoon. Once the sun goes down, respiration begins, the sugars and starches produced from photosynthesis during the day are utilized for continued growth. By early morning the sugar and starch has been used up, leaving the time between 3am and 10am a safer grazing time. When nighttime temperatures drop below 40°F respiration is not active, therefore sugar and starch is not used up for growth. However, it is still accumulating during the day, making grass a large holding pot of sugar and starch. This makes spring, fall and early winter a dangerous time to graze. C3 grasses can adapt so well to cold that a low rate of photosynthesis can continue under a light layer of snow. Most susceptible horses should be kept completely off green grass during periods with freezing nights. Even an insulating layer of snow may not be enough to create a safe turnout. Check your pastures in the winter, if the base of the grass is still green, then the sugar and starch will have accumulated at an unsafe rate, don’t turn your horses out.
Photo courtesy of safergrass.org
12 4 Legs & a Tail
C3 grasses store sugar and starch in the stem base. Ever seen a horse nibbling on an over grazed section of the pasture with lovely tall blades of grass being completely ignored? Horses can be selective grazers and prefer the shorter, sweeter blades of grass. C3 grasses have a higher genetic potential to accumulate sugar and starch under stressful conditions. Stress, just like temperature, can cause respiration to shut down before photosynthesis. In these situations, even morning grazing can be dangerous. Examples of stress are drought, over grazing, or lack of soil nutrients. On cloudy days photosynthesis is reduced creating less accumulated sugar and starch. Planting trees around a paddock, or setting one up next to buildings helps provide shade and limit photosynthetic rates. With two cloudy days in a row, it is safer to let your horse out to graze a bit longer on the second day, as very little sugar and starch will have accumulated. Maintaining your pastures in a vegetative (growing) state will also prevent sugar and starch from accumulating. Seed heads are very high in sugar and starch, and pastures should be mowed prior to it going to seed. A recent study found that mowing pasture during seasons when sugar and starch concentrations are the highest; spring and fall, can maintain forage in a “re-growth” phase that consumes stored sugar and starch. In this study pastures were mowed to a height of 5.9” prior to seed heads forming. Continued Next Page
Additional ways to help your overweight and/or metabolic horses are exercise, muzzles, strip grazing, track systems or dry lots. Exercise is the #1 insulin buster there is. It will help induce weight loss and increase insulin sensitivity. Muzzles can be beneficial in restricting intake by 80%. They restrict intake, and only allow access to the tips of the leaves which are lower in sugar and starch. Turning your horse out during safe grazing times with a muzzle, along with exercise, is a good option for over-weight horses. Strip grazing restricts the amount of grass horses have access to by use of a portable fence. Every few days you move the fence to a new section to limit the amount of grass they have access to. Moving the grazing sections limits damage to the previously grazed areas and allows for re-growth. When pasture turn out is not a safe option, as on a sunny afternoon, dry lots are your best friend. They should be completely bare dirt with no short grass. A small overgrazed pasture is not a dry lot. Remember, over grazed grass is under stress and accumulates sugar and starch in the grass stem closest to the ground. Create a safe dry lot using dirt, manufactured sand, or pea gravel. Take Home Highlights
• Introduce all new pastures more gradually with at-risk horses.
• Turn out early morning between 3 - 10am.
• Shaded grass will accumulate less sugar and starch, being a safer grazing location. • Spring and fall are the most dangerous seasons.
• Avoid sunny afternoons • Longer turnout may be possible on cloudy days.
Week Two Week One
Week Three Resting
Resting Week Four Grazing
Single-fence strip grazing, where the fence is moved every week to gradually in crease grazing paddock size. The grazed paddock is not rested.
Dual-fence strip grazing, where two fences are moved at the same time over a 4 week period, allowing previously grazed areas to rest
Strip grazing photo courtesy of Inside-Out Hoofcare.
• Don’t turn out when night temperatures drop below 40°F. •
Access to grass in the winter is only safe when the grass is completely dead. If it is still green near the base of the stem, then sugar and starch are still present in high quantities.
• Avoid grass that may be stressed due to drought or overgrazing. • Mowing pastures keeps grass in a state of re-growth so less sugar and starch accumulates. • Seed heads are extremely high in sugar and starch, mow prior to heads forming. • Use a muzzle to restrict intake during safe turn out times. • Use a dry lot or track system for periods that are unsafe to graze. • And the #1 thing you can do for your horse….Exercise! Nicole Sicely owns Custom Equine Nutrition, LLC. Nicole is an equine nutritionist offering consulting services and formulated Vermont Blend forage balancer. *Information in this article may not be copied or reproduced without consent from Custom Equine Nutrition, LLC.
The Whole is Equal to the Sum of Its Parts Dorothy Crosby
orking both horse and rider such that the rider learns to coordinate the aids and the horse achieves coordination of their body is one of the goals of my teaching and riding. Suppleness and flexibility are important to each partner and assure the softest, most effortless, and graceful ride. That being said, one cannot have effective, but supple, control of their entire body without independent use of each of the parts. For example, in the equestrian world one often hears the expressions “independent hands” or “independent seat.” If a rider can’t separate the functions of their own body parts, specific directives cannot be communicated without adding some unnecessary information. At best, this gets sorted in a few moments time; at worst, it’s anyone’s best guess as to what was asked, and horse and rider are both confused, or the horse is perceived as being disobedient or difficult. Often aids are best executed in sequence (you can’t step on the gas pedal and the brake simultaneously!). Efficiency and effectiveness come from practice and gentle discretion. My advice: consider the most productive sequence of the information and carry this out quietly and precisely without hurrying until you can do this without having to think about it. Teach your horse to be light to your aids by requiring a timely answer but be sure you are clear! Responsibly hone those communication and leadership skills; you and your partner will truly dance! Recently I’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of equine professionals who specialize in traditional and alternative methods: Continued Next Page
14 4 Legs & a Tail
acupuncture, magnetic pairs therapy, myofascial release, massage, classical training, chiropractic, farriery, and veterinary medicine. Each brings to the table a piece of the puzzle that addresses the entire horse and how it functions. It is fascinating to see how these pieces interact and are beneficial to helping the horse perform to its potential. Imperative that the horse’s body is able to do the job asked of him, the “stuck” parts need help to release, the stiffness can be decreased, the flexibility can improve in any horse with just a little time and effort. Whatever route you choose, however you care for your horse, your own riding and the bodywork you give that horse is important to how well he can do his job. Learn to assess your horses needs; train yourself to be observant because for survival’s sake horses are programmed to NOT tell us their weaknesses - but they do tell us in many ways. It’s seen in the difficulty they have bending in one direction, or the way the carry their head. Do they dislike being touched or moving over? Are certain movements or gaits easier in one direction than the other or very difficult in general? Watch as they walk (or trot or canter) and notice if they are straight or crooked, tracking on 2 or more tracks, even in all 4 legs, how they carry their head or hindquarters, how much movement is in their back and legs and neck…the list of clues is endless. Determine some areas of greatest struggle and begin to work on those to help increase function, improve supple-
ness, and eliminate discomfort or even pain. For example, it is not uncommon for horses to be tight in their hindquarters. Both from the ground and while in the saddle you can move their haunches in both directions. Keep their front legs in one place – they may pick them up to turn and pivot, but not walk in a circle – so that they do have to exercise hocks, stifles, and muscles by moving and strengthening. The goal: they will take a couple of steps, one at a time, learning to cross over, placing the pushing leg in front of the other as they move. Repeat a few times on each side, walking or trotting between sets to allow for movement and beneficial use of the parts you are strengthening without straining from overdoing it. Observe if both directions are equal so you can determine which needs more work – but only a few more, not relentless repetition. If the shoulders or back are tight, you can alternately turn a few steps to the right and left, creating some bend as tail follows nose. The simplest way: a zig-zag. Horses don’t bend much in their spine under the saddle; the main bend comes from the shoulder as we ask them to bend around our leg, moving their ribs over a bit. Gently change your body first, applying your aids quietly and clearly. Is one side easier to bend or stretch than the other? Gently repeat, asking for a little more bend a few extra times on that side, careful to not overdo it and cause strain. Slowly over a few days or weeks, you will notice improvement in the stretch and the amount of bend. With just a few simple exercises, repeated over a few days or weeks until made part of a routine, both horse and rider can become more supple, more efficient, and more graceful, which translates to less fatigue, difficulty and frustration - and way more fun! Dorothy Crosby is certified both as a Level III Centered Riding® Instructor/Clinician and CHA Instructor for both English and Western riders. Dorothy manages a small farm in Stoddard, NH, where Equilibrium is based. As Director of the Riding Program at Southmowing Stables in Guilford, VT., her responsibilities include horse management as well as overseeing the riding program. Workshops, clinics, special events, and lessons are offered at both locations.
16 4 Legs & a Tail
Adopt A…Horse? Gerda Silver
I am sure when most of you think about adopting an animal into your family
the first thing that comes into your mind is a cat or a dog. But have you considered a horse? Each year thousands of unwanted horses across the US find themselves in need of a new home. Unfortunately, the option for most of these horses is a meat auction that leaves them destined for slaughter. A recent study done by the ASPCA suggests that there could be some 2.5 million adults in the US with both the resources and desire to adopt a horse in need. Ok so now I know the next thought that comes to your mind is that horses are huge (and some are) and need a lot of space (and some do)…but not all. A miniature horse is about the same size as a large dog and needs about the same amount of space as one. You can take them on a walk, compete in horse agility competitions, they are easily trained to drive (a cart!) and they make great little therapy horses. So am I saying mini’s are just like dogs and you should adopt one tomorrow? No. They are totally different but worth considering. Do the research, like you should before deciding to adopt any animal, to see if a miniature horse is right for your family. Better yet, volunteer some time at your local barn or horse rescue so you can get a feel for what really goes into caring for a horse. If you decide that a hose is right for your family, there is a horse rescue right here in your backyard! Gerda’s Equine Rescue, is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based in Townshend VT. We rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home mainly slaughter bound horses. Since its founding in 2005 GER has been able to rescue and rehome over 1,000 horses! GER holds several events and clinics throughout the year including a Natural Hoof Care for Horse Owners Clinic with Christina Krueger on July 14th and a “Centered Riding for the Pleasure Trail Rider” Clinic with Heidi Potter September 29-30th. Summer 2018
We will also be partnering with VT NH Veterinary Clinic and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to offer a FREE gelding and microchipping clinic on September 8th! This clinic was made possible by a grant from The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding program and is available to owners who might not otherwise be able to afford the procedure. For more info or to register your stallion to be gelded please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.gerdasequinerescue.org Our adoptable horses have all quarantined for 30 days or more, during that time they defuse from the stress of having gone through the slaughter pipeline. They are given an intake physical by our vet, hoof trims by our trimmer, along with lots of hay and kindness by the caretaker. Once they are deemed healthy we begin the evaluation part of their stay with us. We try to figure out what type of riding they know and often they know nothing, so we start from scratch with their training. Once they are completely ready for a home they are put up for adoption on our website and eventually the perfect home will come. Sometimes it takes a long time and until then they are always treated with care and respect. Making a great match is key, I guess it’s a little like a dating site in the sense that the goal is finding that lifelong partner! Once the match is made the last big step is the final farewell. The big goodbye is ALWAYS bitter sweet, certainly a lot more sweet! We keep in contact with the adopter and as per the adoption agreement, should something happen in their lives and the adopter is unable to care for their horse, the horse must come back to us. We will always be that horse’s safety net and have promised each one that they will never end up with their life in danger again! Once the trailer pulls away with its precious cargo on board, we wave goodbye and don’t look each other in the eye, but glance at the empty stall and invariably exclaim.. “OK now we can save another one!” Gerda Silver is the founder/president of GER. She is a wife, mother of three and grandmother to five. She enjoys writing and is an avid reader, however most of her time is spent working to continually better the rescue as well as the horses in it. Dani Brown is a GER volunteer who enjoys spending time at the rescue with her 2-year-old and teaching her all about horses. In her free time she like to go hiking with her family and their crazy dog.
Chimneys Again Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
I n the past I have written about bats flying down chimneys and last issue I wrote about Chimney Swifts actually living in the chimneys. This time I am writing
about all the other critters who tend to make it down the chimney. Many years ago I got an 11:00 pm phone call from a distraught elderly woman. There was some sort of animal running around her house. So off I went to investigate. Turns out, it was a flying squirrel. She had a beautiful fieldstone fireplace in the great room and she enjoyed having a fire in it at night. After going to bed the fire would burn out, and the squirrel made his entrance. I explained to her the importance of closing the damper but she didn’t want to hear it. The late night calls continued 7 more times, and after a hefty bill she decided to live without the fire for a while and keep the damper closed. Raccoons occasionally will make a nest in a chimney but I have only seen that a few times. It is usually a chimney that’s not being used. Primarily we deal with grey squirrels. I got a call about something leaving droppings around the house. My new employee, Bill, discovered it was a grey squirrel after he looked in the chimney only to have it jump out at him. We chased it around the house for a while leaving the sliding glass door open in hopes it would leave on its own. The squirrel was having no part of it. Bill who is a hockey player used some of his skills with a makeshift hockey stick/snow shovel, and got it safely out the door. I have removed many a critter from fireplaces and even woodstoves. A lot of times people don’t even know they have had an animal in the chimney until the clean out door is opened and a carcass is found. However, the most interesting chimney call came from a young lady with a newborn. She was hearing noises in the fireplace and was terrified that it might be a raccoon, fearing that it might get out and harm her child. So off we went. We set things up so that when I opened the damper, we could scoot the raccoon out the door. Much to our surprise after opening the damper, we discovered that it was a Barred Owl. We were able to get it out and release it unharmed. The young mother videoed the release and it is posted on our company’s Facebook page. Remember to get your chimneys capped and keep your dampers closed. It could save a lot of time and money.
18 4 Legs & a Tail
Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control. He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough old chicken named Henrietta. Summer 2018
Overgrooming in Cats Catherine MacLean - Grantham, NH
vergrooming in cats is something that a lot of owners discover by accident or it’s found by a veterinarian on a cat’s physical exam much to the owner’s surprise. The most common place overgrooming occurs is on the cat’s stomach near the hind legs, and sometimes on the insides of the hind legs. In cases of overgrooming, the hair shaft is broken and not completely missing. The broken hair shafts can make it look like the hair is missing, but upon closer inspection it looks more like “peach fuzz”. Causes of overgrooming include stress, psychological issues, allergies, fungal or parasitic infection, underlying endocrine disease, or some other underlying medical issue. Overgrooming due to fungal, bacterial, or parasitic infections can be ruled either in or out with testing. Testing may include cultures, cytology, and skin scrapings. These tests can help rule out diseases such as mites, mange, ringworm, or a bacterial infection. If tests are positive, your veterinarian will prescribe treatment and hopefully resolve the issue. Endocrine diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, can be ruled in or out with bloodwork. If an underlying issue is found, medication may be prescribed. Other underlying diseases may be more difficult to find, but bloodwork can be useful. Treatment would depend issues found. Allergies can be more difficult to diagnose since there could be food and/or environmental factors involved. Food allergies can be ruled in or out with a prescription food trial. A food trial often involves a novel protein diet or a diet where the ingredients are made so small that the body can’t recognize the source. This is called a Summer 2018
hydrolyzed protein diet. Both hydrolyzed and novel protein diets are made under strict conditions where there is no chance for cross contamination with other ingredients. A food trial with these diets usually occur for 12 weeks. During this time the cat can’t be fed any other foods or treats. If the cat gets into something that is not the prescribed diet, the food trial is set back to day one. If the cat’s clinical signs improve on the food trial, then a food allergy is most likely the underlying cause for the hair loss. The cat will have to stay on the special food for life. If no improvement, another cause needs to be investigated. For environmental allergies, allergy testing needs to be done. If the cat has a positive response to any of the environmental allergens, a special serum can be developed for the cat. This is often given as an injection over a set period of time. The serum helps to build the cat’s immune system up towards the allergen in question. Over time the cat should become less sensitive. Stress and psychological issues can also cause overgrooming in cats, and is usually the underlying cause in most cases that I see. Overgrooming can start due to a skin irritation and become a habitual or obsessive-compulsive issue for some cats. Or, a stressor within the household may cause the start of overgrooming. The addition of a new human or pet to the family or some other factor may be making the cat unhappy. Often the root of the issue is not clear. Overgrooming from psychological or stress issues can often be managed with short term or long term anti-anxiety medications. Our clinic cat, Olivia, recently went through a period of overgrooming. Olivia
was also the subject matter a couple of years ago regarding inappropriate urination, due to stress. Olivia lost her initial home and was known to urinate inappropriately if I was away from the clinic for more than a few days. I had the audacity to go on maternity leave for three months, though Olivia saw me at least once a week while I was doing book work, this was not good enough for her. I was not around for her to ignore me. That was unacceptable in her eyes. A month into maternity leave, I received an email that Olivia’s hair was “missing” on her belly and the insides of her back legs. Having ruled out other issues, and knowing how sensitive she is about my schedule being different, we started her on anti-anxiety medications. This helped tremendously. Since my return in February, she is off medication and her hair is growing back nicely. It’s important to remember that most overgrooming cases aren’t as straight forward as Olivia’s. Her trigger was my absence. In many cases, the trigger can be unclear. It’s also
worth mentioning that owners often don’t see their cats grooming themselves more than normal. When I find overgrooming on exams, usually the owner states that they never see their cat grooming more than normal. Remember, cats can be sneaky, most people are not with their pets 24/7. Overgrooming in most cases is treatable. It may take some detective work to find the underlying reason, but once the cause is known, overgrooming can often be corrected. Dr. MacLean completed her Bachelor of Science from Penn State University, her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College, and her pet acupuncture certification from Chi Institute. Her areas of special interest include general practice and acupuncture. She opened Sugar River Animal Hospital in 2013, and she has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. Dr. MacLean’s family consists of her husband Matt, her daughter Katarina, and their three pets: Jack and Misty, two cats, and Arrow, a dog.
Continued Next Page
Does my Dog Have Dental Disease? If So, How Can I Recognize it? How Painful is it? OK, Then Lets Fix It! Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS
13 year old Yorkshire Terrier with severe periodontal disease. The green arrow points to exposure of the root with plaque and pus on the root. This tooth was extracted. Other dental diseases common in dogs are fractured teeth and teeth that have died without fracturing (called non-vital teeth). This occurs most commonly in larger dogs.
20 4 Legs & a Tail
Does my dog have dental disease? Over 80% of dogs over the age of 3 have some degree of periodontal disease. If your dog is 3 years of age or over and does not receive routine dental care, then it is very likely that your dog does have some degree of periodontal disease. As discussed before in 4 Legs & a Tail, periodontal disease starts with bleeding gums and ends with very loose teeth and infection in the mouth. This infection can spread to other organs in the body. Early periodontal disease can be reversed, but once bone is lost the disease can be halted but not reversed. Too much bone loss and the teeth must be extracted. Periodontal disease is very common in smaller breeds but occurs in all breeds.
7 year old German Shepherd with severe periodontal disease in the upper jaw. These teeth (yellow arrows) are not obviously diseased to the eye. The amount of tartar does not necessarily translate into the severity of the periodontal disease. I have seen periodontal disease in teeth that appeared perfectly clean and have removed large chunks of tartar from teeth that were healthy.
Trauma to a tooth can cause bleeding inside the tooth. The dentin inside the tooth absorbs some of the blood and becomes discolored. The color ranges from pink to dark purple, deep yellow or grey. The upper right canine tooth (yellow arrow) and the lower left canine tooth (blue arrow) are both discolored and are dead teeth. They will eventually become infected. Again these teeth should be extracted or treated with a root canal procedure.
How might I recognize dental disease in my dog. You need to get a good look at the teeth! Train your dog to allow you to look at and touch the teeth. Routinely getting a good look at the teeth and gums will then allow you to notice any changes in the mouth. What if I don’t see such dramatic changes in my dog’s mouth? Then what? In addition to using your eyes, use your nose! Periodontal disease creates bad breath of the “rotten egg” or “swamp gas” variety. This smell comes from sulfur compounds emitted by the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Some people can smell plaque, which has a sour smell, similar to milk that has just gone “off”. Plaque breath is unpleasant, periodontal disease breath makes you want to run away from your pet to get to fresh air. Carefully watch your dog eat and observe any changes such as • Difficulty picking up food • Tipping the head to one side while chewing • Chewing on only one side of the mouth • Dropping food out of the mouth • Preferring soft food over hard or eating only if the hard food has water added • Eating slowly or eating a small amount at a time (when normal behavior was to eat the bowl clean) • Listen for chattering jaws when your dog eats. Other things to look for • Red or bleeding gums • Blood in the water bowl or on a chew toy. • Lumps or bumps in or around your dog’s mouth, especially any swelling present on one side but not the other. • If you are brushing the teeth, be alert for increased resistance to toothbrushing and note what teeth were being brushed if it occurs. • If tartar is much thicker on one side of the mouth than the other, then your dog is chewing on the side with less tartar, which is the less painful side. • Loose teeth • Head shyness (your dog not wanting you to touch their head) • Nasal discharge and sneezing (advanced gum disease in the upper canine teeth can lead to bone loss between the nasal and oral cavity) • Your dog may be reluctant to jump up into the car or especially jump out of the car. As dental disease advances it not only can cause significant pain but also causes a generalized lack of energy and enthusiasm. Dental pain is generally not expressed by whining or whimpering but by a gradual withdrawal from activity and interest. The dog that used to be jumping up and down to go for a walk now has to be encouraged to go outside. This is often attributed to changes with age but it certainly can be caused by dental pain. I compare this to a person with a really bad headache. How much enthusiasm does that person display? How grouchy are they? And what a change once the headache goes away. Summer 2018
All of the photographs in this article were taken at my dental practice within the last 4 months. These conditions are routine in dogs and can be treated to restore the mouth to a healthy state. If you are worried that your dog may have dental disease, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Diagnosing dental disease in dogs requires that dental x-rays be taken, in addition to using a probe and explorer on each tooth. Treating all of the dental disease in the mouth and restoring the mouth to a healthy state can make a dramatic difference in your dog’s life. I have so often been told by clients “My dog is like a puppy again!! I can’t believe what a difference getting the teeth taken care of has made. Now I feel guilty for not doing this sooner.” Don’t wait to feel guilty, get your dog’s teeth examined and treated! Next issue I will address dental disease in cats.
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. www.4LegsAndATail.com 21
Mini Cooper Cathy White - Walpole, NH
elcoming a retired racing Greyhound into one’s heart and home isn’t new; and these gentle, elegant and graceful dogs are often seen throughout the Monadnock and Southern VT region. Their careers typically end when they’re just a few years old, and that’s when groups like Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption Center of Swanzey, NH intervene. According to executive director Sharron Thomas, the organization places approximately 100 dogs each year. While it’s not uncommon to encounter retired racers, it’s another thing entirely to come across a Greyhound puppy. Most people have never even seen one! Cooper (just a few days old) being tube fed by Deb
Yet in early 2017, a litter of seven Greyhounds was born at an Alabama racetrack. The unintentional pregnancy with an unknown sire rendered the puppies ineligible for racing registration. Complicating matters further, their mother died days after whelping, and human intervention was needed...immediately. Lacking the resources to bottle feed three-day old puppies, the track looked to Fast Friends, who quickly flew a crew of three down south, where they rented a van to transport the litter to New Hampshire. The tiny puppies required round-the-clock feeding and care. The van became what Sharron called a “rolling nursery”; with plug-in adapters used to keep hand-mixed formula warm and ready during the 18-hour journey north to Swanzey. One of the pups, however, wasn’t eating. He was becoming dehydrated and fading fast. It didn’t look like “Opie” (as he was then known) was going to make it. Enter Deb Gode, Director of the Winchester Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. A wild critter professional (furred or feathered), she knew that this little one needed tube feeding to survive, and offered FF her expertise. While Opie was her very first puppy, the protocol to help him wasn’t much different from that of the other mammals she routinely cares for. Two days of tube feeding and a couple of weeks under Deb’s care put Opie on the “right track”. (Deb later also stepped in to successfully help another of Opie’s littermates, Nero.) The remaining pups had been fostered in two separate locations until they were ready to reunite at FF for socialization and eventual permanent placement. Walpole residents and longtime Greyhound aficionados Pam and Bill Rohdenburg had years of experience living with and fostering Greys; some Continued Next Page
22 4 Legs & a Tail
older with health issues. When their last dog passed, they agreed it could be time for a younger dog. Lovers of Labradors (in previous years they had been owned by four) as well as Greyhounds, they adopted Siri, a young Lab mix. In a karmic moment, hard on the heels of Siri’s arrival, FF, with whom the couple had a close relationship, offered them a puppy from this unusual litter. The Rohdenburgs quickly went from dog-less to “full pack” status. They fell for Opie, whose personality and striking fawn and white face made him a stand-out. He left FF with a new home and a new name: Cooper. Despite their extensive experience with the breed, Pam and Bill had never had a Greyhound this young (13 weeks). Was raising him any different from raising, say, a Labrador? Not really, says Pam, though housebreaking Cooper was a bit of a challenge - almost certainly because he suffered through two UTI’s during those early days. Add to that a case of Lyme disease, and vet visits were frequent for this puppy. Pam describes Cooper as being a bit of a “drama queen” in the exam room. And every veterinarian he’s seen, whether for treatment or routine care, has concurred with that assessment. Once he literally screamed when given an injection, and his vet nearly “jumped out of her skin” in surprise, says Pam. At home, Cooper and Siri enjoy their own personal dog park - a securely fenced, two-acre playground that’s doggy-heaven. Cooper especially adores being outside, and in all weather; which can be problematic, as Greyhounds have extremely short coats and little body fat. When it’s cold, they need outerwear, though Cooper isn’t at all on board with this. While he has a wardrobe of several coats to choose from, he has no interest in keeping them on. Pam recounts an episode where Cooper went out one night sporting a coat and returned in his birthday suit. Once she witnessed him removing a jacket within five minutes of being let out; turning it into a tug toy for fun with Siri. It’s not as if the Rohdenburg dogs are toy-deficient. A huge perk for them is that Pam is the General Manager of the One Stop Country Pet Supply stores; and the pups often get to enjoy being “new product testers”. While Cooper is not big on chewing, he does love a good game of tug and shake; once even “injuring his neck with his own toy” according to Pam. That resulted in another dramatic trip to the vet, though in the end he was fine. Though the odds were stacked against Cooper from birth, the dedication, effort and love of the many people that nurtured him throughout his journey eventually allowed him to thrive and to race where he should be racing: into the heart of a loving forever home.
L to R: Cooper and littermate Nero
Dogs of the
Three Who Survived Kate Kelly
he fact that there were dogs traveling on the Titanic with their owners would come as no surprise to anyone who considers it. However, with all that has been written about the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, little has been written about the dogs who were passengers. Dedicated research by J. Joseph Edgette, Ph.D., Widener University professor emeritus, has revealed the story of the canine passengers. Dogs of First Class Passengers Only Only first class passengers were permitted to travel with their animals. Most of the dogs were kept in kennels on the F deck and were fed and exercised by members of the crew. Truly devoted dog owners certainly visited the animals regularly; Miss Ann Elizabeth Isham was known to regularly visit her Great Dane. A few of the dogs were small, and they were kept in the cabins with their owners, perhaps surreptitiously. The dogs who survived were ones kept with their owners, though the attempt was made to save others. While a count of the dogs on board the ship cannot be verified, Professor Edgette has found documentation of several of them: The dogs on board included a King Charles spaniel, two Airedales; a chow; a Great Dane; a champion French bulldog, newly purchased in England; a Pekingese, and a “toy dog” owned by Helen Bishop, a 19-year-old bride. Another passenger, Charles Moore of Washington, D.C. had intended to bring on board 100 English foxhounds that he planned to use to inspire Americans to enjoy English-style fox hunts. He had to make other arrangements for those dogs, which proved life-saving. Continued Next Page
24 4 Legs & a Tail
Other Animals On Board In addition to dogs, there were also birds on board. Ella Homes White of New York had with some poultry—a rooster and several hens—that she was importing them from France in order to mix in with her stock. Another woman had 30 cockerels that were coming to the United States with her. There may also have been some canaries, a popular pet of the day. Ships generally had cats to keep down the mouse and rat population. One cat had given birth to a new litter of kittens just before the Titanic docked at Southampton. For some reason, the cat and her kittens were left in Southampton. While one would assume there were other cats on board, there is no known mention of them. The Night of the Sinking Because the Titanic was considered “unsinkable,” movement toward life boats was slower than it might have been. In addition, a lifeboat drill, scheduled for April 14—the day before the sinking—was cancelled for some reason. When the ship began listing decidedly to one side and the staff finally began getting out the lifeboats, chaos reigned. Someone went down to the F deck and opened the kennels so while it proved impossible to save these animals, the last sight of the dogs reportedly was of them running along the upper deck. The dogs who were saved were all ones who were kept with their owners. Margaret Hays’s Pomeranian boarded a lifeboat in Hays’s arms and both were saved; Elizabeth Rothschild refused to board Lifeboat 6 without her dog (also a Pomeranian) and they, too, survived. Henry Harper (scion of Harper & Row Publishers) and his wife Myra were rescued. Myra was carrying their Pekingese in her arms and so Sun Yat Sen was saved.
Miss Ann Elizabeth Isham, 50, who had regularly visited her Great Dane was said to have boarded a lifeboat with her dog, but she was told the dog was going to have to be removed. She left the lifeboat with him. It is said that her body and the dog’s body were found later by a rescue boat. Insurance claims were placed on several animals: the prize bulldog, the chow, the King Charles spaniel, and one of the Airedales as well as the lost poultry. A story circulates about a dog helping to rescue passengers. That story is said to have been fabricated by a crew member who sold the story to a New York newspaper and then subsequently disappeared. All in all, the Titanic was a tragedy for all involved. This article first appeared on the website, www.americacomesalive.com America Comes Alive publishes more stories about American dogs and other animals. Visit the website and sign up for “American Dogs” to receive the stories in your In Box. Or email Kate Kelly at email@example.com
Other Dogs and People Weren’t So Fortunate Of the 2224 people on board the Titanic, 1500 of them lost their lives. There were not enough lifeboats, and some lifeboats were not fully filled before they pushed off, adding to the tragedy. A few other dog-related stories are worth mentioning. Helen Bishop’s toy dog had been kept with her in her cabin, but with great sadness she left him there when they went to board a lifeboat. At a Senate inquiry she said: “there would be little sympathy for a woman carrying a dog in her arms when there were lives of women and children to be saved.” Summer 2018
Slim Shady Annie Guion
n a recent Sunday, a staffer and a volunteer arrived at the Windham County Humane Society to discover a cat left in a carrier near the garage door. This kitty, who we named Slim Shady, was suffering from an upper respiratory infection – what you and I would call a cold were we experiencing the symptoms. We posted about this cat on Facebook and it generated a lot of comments. Some condemned the owner for leaving the cat. Others asked if we charged a surrender fee - maybe that
26 4 Legs & a Tail
was why folks left the cat when no one was at the shelter? We used to charge a surrender fee. On the surface it makes perfect sense. It costs money to care for animals, why not have the owner pay a fee for us to take on those costs? It did not take long for me to realize that the surrender fee was working against us. Surrendering an animal is never an easy thing to do, and it is often loaded with shame and a sense of failure. This can make pet owners defensive and angry,
in addition to feeling sad at letting go of a loved family pet. More often than not, pets are surrendered due to housing or financial considerations. Charging a fee feels like kicking someone when they are down. We decided to make it easier, not harder, to surrender an animal. We want animals in tenuous situations to land with us, not on the street or with someone who may not be able to provide the care the animal needs. I reached out to my fellow executive directors to see what other humane organizations in Vermont are doing and heard back from six of them. Only one of them charges a surrender fee ($30), though they often waive it. One of my favorite colleagues had this to say: “I think, personally and professionally, that it is almost criminal to charge a surrender fee. Creating a hurdle for people to have to overcome when they are already struggling with a difficult decision is totally counter-productive.” When we got rid of surrender fees back in 2008, we saw things shift. The number of strays went down while the number of surrenders went up. Coincidence? We don’t think so. We would of course prefer a phone call and an appointment when someone needs to surrender an animal. However, if there is one thing I have learned in this job its that people lead difficult, challenging lives that I can’t even imagine – lives without transportation or phones that work. Perhaps the person who left Slim with us had to bum a ride, and doesn’t have a phone that works. They still made the effort to get him to the one place in Windham County where he could get the care he needs. Slim is feeling fine these days and is up for adoption. You can see Slim and other adoptable animals on our webpage: windhamcountyhumane.org Annie Guion is the Executive Director of the Windham County Humane Society. Summer 2018
An Improbable Friendship Between a Dog and a Duck Is the Good News Story We All Need Right Now S
Chelsea Adelaine Hassler
ick and tired of only hearing about the bad things going on in the world? We’re right there with you — and, thankfully, we’ve got the cure for exactly what ails you.
Celebrating over 30 years!
Meet the unlikely pair of Max, a 12-year-old Husky, and Quackers, a 4-year-old duck. Against all odds, the two animals — both owned by Patrick and Kirsten Riley — are inseparable best friends, and they’re the pride and joy of the teeny-tiny town of Strout, MN. The town boasts a population of just 25 people, so Max and Quackers are well-known to all the residents and can frequently be seen out patrolling their domain. “Sometimes on my way home, I actually hope they’re out there because they’re just too precious to look at,” Strout resident Alisa Godejahn told CBS affiliate WCCO-TV. In the interview below, the Rileys describe how they adopted Max when he was 5 and he became fast pals with the couple’s other dog, Sasha, and after she died, he was left without a friend. “He was without any friends, and Max would sit next to Quackers’ pen all the time, I think they just bonded that way,” Patrick Riley says, adding, “after we let him out, they just never left each other’s side.” Kirsten Riley goes on to say, “they sleep together, they eat together, they drink together, they go for walks together down the road . . . everything is together.” The improbable friendship between a dog and a duck provides a poignant reminder that kindness and compassion transcends all of that which may traditionally divide us. It’s not impossible to buck tradition and create a bond with someone who may not be exactly the same as you. As such, the pair is often used as a symbol of how to “put aside differences” among the residents of the town in which they reside. Symbolism aside, it’s hard not to have your heart melt at the sight of these delightful animals trotting along in unison. And you can bet that we’ll be bookmarking this video of Max and Quackers and be watching it all year long, because it’s exactly the kind of thing that we need a little more of in our lives right now. https://www.popsugar.com/news/ Best-Friends-Max-Dog-QuackersDuck-Minnesota-44244906
28 4 Legs & a Tail
Dog Days of Summer 2018 Southern NH & VT
Adopt a Horse Having Leash Issues? The Dogs of the Titanic Hit the Open Road with Your Cat Summer Safety Tips for Your Pets