Dog Days of Summer 2017 Central NH & VT
When Porcupines Strike! How Old is Your Pet? Meet the Cat Detective Teaching Good Behavior Benefits On the Back of a Horse
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
3. SAVES Returns 24/7/365 Veterinary Emergency Services to the Upper Valley 4. The Green Mountain & Woodstock Dog Club heat up the summer competition 5. Vermont Morgan Heritage Days Come to Tunbridge 6. A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World, Jessica Stewart Riley
The ultimate fieldtrip to Lexington Kentucky
8. Evidence Based Therapeutic Riding, Sue Miller
The wide range of benefits direct from the saddle
11. Building a Horse Arena? Some things to consider, Tim Goodwin
12. Organizing your Barn
Helpful tips to make your summer easier
13. How Old is Your Pet?
Find out the real way to determine your pet's age in human years
14. Tracking Changes in Pet Care Technology, Wearable Devices are Making our Dogs and Cats Healthier Holly McClelland and Patrick Sturgeon 17. The Most Powerful Training Tool and How It Can Change You and Your Dog, Paula Bergeron
Why you hold the key to your dog's behavior
19. Compounding Pet Prescriptions
21. How to Help Wild Aquatic Turtles,
Look local the next time you need pet meds
24. Oh Those Creaky Joints!
Three key ingredients to improved canine mobility
28. What is a Service Dog?, Barbara Handelman, M.Ed., CDBC
Making our public spaces safe for disabled people and their working dogs.
31. Alternatively Speaking: A Modern Twist on Ancient Feeding Wisdom, Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 35. Burdocks!
What to do when your pet tangles with those “nasties”
37. The Prickly Porcupine, Jenn Grenier
How to remove quills from your curious canine
38. Cookouts, Food and Pet Safety
Do’s and don’ts this summer
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
40. Skin Disease From a Fractured Tooth,
Sandra Waugh, DVM,MS
When one cat's misadventure went from bad to worse
44. Dangerous Dog Toys, Elisa Speckert
They may seem harmless, but beware!
46. Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: Heat Dangers for our Pet, M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Heatstroke could be the most preventable trip to your veterinarian
48. Laryngeal Paralysis, Lisa Cogan, DVM
Recognize the symptoms of this potential killer
51. Fact or Fiction, Scott Borthwick
When wild animals come to visit
52. Coyotes, John Peaveler
A look at the complex coexistence of coyotes and humans
53. Ducks, Susan Tullar, DVM
Taking care of your feathered friends this summer
54. An Introduction to Therapy Dogs, Deb Helfrich 55. A Stray Cat's Best Friend, Colin Butcher
Meet Molly, the cat detective
56. Three Sweet Dog Stories, Kate Kelly 57. Intimate Things
Romance can bloom in the most unexpected places
58. Where’s the Smell?, Priscilla Daggett
Mia the Cat “nose” a good thing or two
59. Up Close and Personal, Janet Rosa
Watch out for the moose on the loose
60. Urban Cowboy
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.217 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com 2 4 Legs & a Tail
When a “flatlander” comes up on the short end of a bull
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis Kerry Rowland Sales: Karyn Swett, Scott Palzer, Barry deSousa
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 Central 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.
SAVES Returns 24 / 7 / 365 Veterinary Emergency Services to the Upper Valley
he teams at IVG Hospitals by Ethos and SAVES are pleased to announce a return to providing emergency services 24-hours, 365 days a year. Located at 63 Evans Drive, Lebanon,NH, SAVES has been a dedicated and trusted source for pets in the area for many years. Our philosophy has always been centered on convenience and accessibility to our services. On April 17, 2017, our doors will once again be open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. The emergency team will be comprised of Drs. Miriam Horowitz, Ruth McDevitt, Alison Edwards, Amanda White, Diana Capozzi and Benjamin Yanofsky. They are supported by our skilled veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and client care teams. In addition to returning 24/7/365 emergency services for pet owners in the upper valley, we are adding a board certified Internist to the team. Dr. Faith Buckley, DACVIM (Internal Medicine) will be available for appointments on Wednesdays and Thursdays, as of April 20, 2017. Dr. Buckley enjoys managing complex medical cases. She has a strong interest in liver and gall bladder disease, kidney disease and immune mediated conditions. She has experience with abdominal ultrasound, feeding tube placements, and bone marrow procedures. “The families of the upper valley and surrounding areas deserve easy access to a 24 hour, 365 day veterinary emergency hospital for their pets. Returning this service to our community is its own reward” said Suzanne Bullard, Hospital Manager of SAVES. “It takes a special group of people to have the desire to be there at all hours of the day and night, and we are confident that we have the team of compassionate medical professionals in place. We hope that if or when you meet them, you agree with us”, she added. The team at SAVES is devoted to providing an environment that treats both you and your pet with respect and empathy. As expectations for veterinary medical care keep pace with those available for humans, emergency and specialty hospitals are starting to play a bigger role in the average family’s life. Today, general practitioner veterinarians and specialty and emergency hospitals work collaboratively to diagnose and develop treatment plans for family pets. “At SAVES, and all of our hospitals, we are committed to developing long-lasting relationships” said G. Ames Prentiss, CEO of Ethos Veterinary Health. “We believe great relationships are built on open communication, honesty and trust, and we strive every day to uphold those values,” he added. For more information, please visit our website: www.IVGSAVES.com
GREEN MOUNTAIN DOG CLUB T
his year, the Green Mountain Dog Club will hold its 72nd & 73rd Annual Dog Show on Saturday and Sunday, July 15th & 16th at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. The Woodstock Dog Club will be holding its annual show at the same location on Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th. Farmer Elisha Lougee held the first Tunbridge World’s Fair in 1867 as a way to determine who owned the fastest horse or the best-looking cow. In keeping with determining the “best,” we will have Best in Show all four days. Woodstock Dog Club and Green Mountain Dog Club are honored to hold our VERMONT SCENIC CIRCUIT - Four Days of Dog Shows at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. We expect approximately 1000 entries and over 100 breeds. With Exhibitors coming from over 35 states and Canada, a long weekend of Dog Shows can bring in over $450,000 to the area. There will be Conformation Classes with Best in Show, Companion Events, Obedience & Rally for both purebred and mixed breed dogs all four days.
There will be Best Puppy & Best Veteran, Dog Show Tours, Ice Cream Socials on Thursday and Friday during group judging and Best in Show. There will be a BBQ, a Beer Tent, and Live Music on Saturday. Call Mary at 479-9843 or see us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ greenmountaindogclug or go to www. greenmountaindogclub.org for more information. The Green Mountain Dog Club is a non-profit organization serving the Central Vermont area. In addition to hosting the annual Dog Show, GMDC holds many activities to promote responsible dog ownership. Some of the other events that are sponsored by the Club are: Sanctioned AKC Matches; Obedience and Handling Classes; and educational programs. Many of our members and their canine partners show as well as do agility, rally, and hunt. We have a few therapy dogs as well. Membership meetings are held the 4th Thursday of every month and guests are always welcome. Four Days of Dog Shows July 13th-16th Tunbridge Fairgrounds - 8am-6pm
Caulder Ripley of Duxbury is the president of GMDC. Caulder has had experience breeding and showing Siberian Huskies. Caulder also holds regular Handling classes to prepare owners and their dogs for the art of showing. Dave Jones of Waitsfield is the chairman for our show on July 15th & 16th. Dave has bred and shown Australian Shepherds and Golden Retrievers as well as teaching Obedience Classes for GMDC. The Club has approximately 25 members located throughout the Central Vermont area.
Some have more fun than others at The Lebanon Diner
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Vermont Morgan Heritage Days Vermont Morgan Horse Association is pleased to continue its annual tradition of celebrating the versatility of America's origi-
nal breed of horse - The Morgan Horse - during Vermont Morgan Heritage Days. This special event features competitions in dressage (open to all breeds), Morgan in-hand classes, Morgan horse show with classes for juniors and amateurs as well as some open classes, races, ADS carriage driving (open to all breeds), and the only-known Justin Morgan Performance competition known to take place in the country. All competitions take place at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, Tunbridge, VT. For over 150 years, Vermont fairs have celebrated this unique and hardy horse, so representative of the rugged land in which it developed. The tradition continues at Heritage Days, June 30th, July 1st and July 2nd. A picturesque infield, old-time grandstand, half-mile track, and gorgeous setting in the Green Mountains makes Heritage Days the place to be when Morgans gather to compete and race. The event is open to the public, and all are invited to join us for this funfilled event!
Roger Poitras at last year's event
Vermont Morgan Heritage Days is sponsored by Vermont Morgan Horse Association, a membership organization that invites all who appreciate and support the Morgan Horse to join. For more information about VMHA, please visit our website atwww.vtmorganhorse.org
A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World R
Jessica Stewart Riley - Randolph Center, VT
ecently I travelled with seven Vermont Tech Equine Studies Program students and a friend to the “horse capital of the world,” Lexington, Kentucky. The purpose of this trip was to expose students considering a career in the equine industry to the options that exist in places other than Vermont. Lexington should definitely be on the bucket-list of any horse lover. Just driving through the countryside is exciting: there are thousands of acres of rolling green pastures dotted with mares and foals grazing, beautiful horse barns, and training tracks. The Lexington Visitor’s Center provides free driving and walking tour maps which proved quite valuable in making sure we packed as much into each day as we could. Anytime we had 30-60 minutes free, we drove around and looked at all of the famous and historical horse farms, which are too numerous to mention in this short article! Thursday, April 6th began with a trip to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, one of the oldest and best equine hospitals in the world. There we toured through their
Vermont Tech students pose for a pic with Will Take Charge at Three Chimneys Farm.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, and Surgery Center. The next stop was Three Chimneys Farm, where we met the only female stud manager in Kentucky working at a top Thoroughbred breeding facility. We were able to see Will Take Charge breed a mare. This horse is winner of over $3 million and grand-son of Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, and this farm was also the home to the great Seattle Slew. Then after a quick stop at the Tack Shop of Lexington (shopping is always a must!), we visited Pin Oak Stud, where we were able to meet a large number of mares and foals, as well as the studs Broken Vow and Alternation. The next day was all about racing, as it was College Scholarship Day and the opening day of racing season at Keeneland Racecourse, a National Historic Landmark, the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house with spring and fall yearling sales where Derby and Triple Crown winners are sold, and a symbol of the best in Thoroughbred racing. After breakfast at the Track Kitchen and a tour of the barns, we watched an exciting day of racing; many of the students with me having never seen a horse race. Saturday we visited the Kentucky Horse Park. Attractions included the Parade of Breeds, Hall of Champions, Mounted Police, the International Museum of Continued Next Page
Opening Day of racing at Keeneland Race Course.
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the Horse, and the Man o’ War exhibit. Because 2017 is the 100th anniversary of history’s most famous racehorse, there is a special exhibit dedicated to his story. While visiting the Hall of Champions, we were also fortunate enough to meet 91 year old Gene Carter, the last living connection to the “mostest hoss that ever was,” a nickname coined for Man o’ War by Gene’s father in law, Man o’ War’s groom, Will Harbut. The International Museum of the Horse showcases one of the most comprehensive histories of the horse that I have ever seen, through evolution, and including the use of horses in war, for food, and as transportation, as well as the history of the ASPCA, the National Horse Show, and the development of a number of popular breeds, including the Quarter Horse and Arabian. As far as live action goes, the Spring Bay Horse Trials were going on further into the park and we were able to watch some show jumping in the sunny, 70 degree weather in the afternoon. We topped off Saturday night with a trip to the Rodeo for the Cure in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. There we watched bull riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and other rodeo events, as well as some creative fundraisers to help support cancer research and other entertainment, including the boot race for kids and Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, who rides a sheep dog and herds Barbados sheep. Sunday included touring Churchill Downs in Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, where we learned all about the prestigious race. Monday morning before flying back to Vermont, we visited Old Friends Farm, a retirement and rescue facility, and home to some of the most famous Thoroughbred racehorses still alive today. These horses, primarily stallions, are now past breeding age, and living out their days at this farm dedicated to education, tourism, and awareness of equines in need. There we met Silver Charm, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Dubai World Cup winner; War Emblem, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner; Popcorn Deelites, one of the star’s of Disney’s Seabiscuit; and Eldaafer, a champion racehorse who doesn’t set foot anywhere without being flanked by his “entourage”; two goats by the name of “Google” and “Yahoo”. Even when this horse was at the track, he lived with his goat companions in his stall or he would not race. I have grown up in Vermont in the equine industry, love the state for all that it has to offer, and I don’t plan on moving anytime soon. That said, after this trip, my students and I agreed that Lexington, Kentucky is a pretty spectacular place and we all just might have to retire there, or at least visit more often! The horseflesh, scenery, and friendliSummer 2017
ness of the people make this a can’t miss destination, even if you aren’t a Thoroughbred enthusiast. Jessica Stewart Riley is and Assistant Professor and the director of the Vermont Technical College Equine Studies Program in Randolph Center, VT. She is a graduate of Johnson State College, UVM, and Vermont Tech, as well as a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horsemen and an American Riding Instructor Association Certified instructor in Western, Huntseat on the Flat, and Stable Management. www.vtc.edu/equinestudies
Evidence Based Therapeutic Riding C
an therapeutic riding lessons make a difference for the better, in the lives of those that partake? The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International’s (PATH Intl’) mission statement is: “To Promote safety and optimal outcomes in equineassisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.” There is quite a lot of anecdotal information with claims of lives bettered for having participated in therapeutic riding, but no real data to support these claims. The desire to provide greater accountability to clients, caregivers, funders, community and staff regarding the outcomes of therapeutic riding programs and their impact has heightened demand for evidence of the efficacy of this therapeutic approach. Is anyone better off for having participated in an equine therapy lesson? A pilot program was started in 2012 using Goals Attainment Scaling (GAS) to advance understand-
Sue Miller - Sharon, VT ing of the impact of therapeutic riding on program participants and to build the TR industry’s capacity for gathering, summarizing, and communicating effectiveness data. GAS goals are written specifically for each rider using the SMART method. The goal must be Specific, the instructor must state exactly what they are hoping the rider will accomplish (Who, What, Where, Why, & How much). How the goal will be demonstrated, how will it be evaluated, and to what extent will the goal be met. Is the goal quantified? Timing, distance, amount, frequency, number of steps, by when etc…. The rider is evaluated for a base level – what they can perform now and then a GAS goal is written with a projection for the future. The goals must be written to be achievable. The goal must be challenging but also within the ability of the rider to achieve. Over five years this pilot study has grown from one Photo by (Gerakeris) Montanna Germana working on weaving through cones riding Buddy, being led by Elaine Morrison. This works on focus, separating right from left and motor planning.
therapy program (High Horses TRP in VT) to eight therapeutic centers in New England. There is hope to one day begin a research project to definitively process results based on improvements to riders in therapeutic riding. It is problematic to find Insurance agencies willing to defray the cost of therapeutic riding or hippotherapy, even though programs, clients, caregivers, parents, volunteers, & riding instructors have touted the benefits of therapeutic riding. Therapeutic horseback riding uses horses and equine-assisted activities in order to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills for people who have disabilities. Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. Hippotherapy addresses impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuromotor and sensory dysfunction. This modality is used as part of an inteContinued Next Page
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Photo by (Gerakeris) Rider Sofia Tomek works on half seat while riding Mango, with side walker Lyn Higgins and Mangoâ€™s leader Meryl Frits. Half seat helps with core muscles, strengthening legs, and balance which carries over to ease of getting out of a chair or car.
grated treatment program to achieve functional goals and is prescribed by a physician. Hippotherapy treatments are led by a licensed physical, occupational, or speech therapist or licensed assistant. The horseâ€™s movement is essential to assist in meeting therapy goals. A measurable scale where rider progress can be documented by impartial outsiders, will give the industry a way to show observed advancement for each rider. Data collected since 2012, with over 1000 data points, shows that our riders are definitely making progress. From February 2015 through August 2016 there Continued Next Page
were 319 goals written. 252 goals were independently rated. 88 of 88 participants with GAS goals demonstrated gains in skills beyond their baseline performance on at least one of their goals. In only 8% of the goals, the participants demonstrated no progress beyond the baseline goal in the targeted skill area. For 16% of the goals, there was some progress in the targeted skill, but less than the expected outcome. 43% of the goals obtained the expected amount of progress in the targeted skill area. For 21% of the goals, participants demonstrated better than expected progress in the targeted skill area. Much better than expected progress was indicated for 12% of the goals written in the targeted skill area. Not only do the participants make progress, many of the goals carry over into daily life. For example, a goal of brushing a horse for 10 strokes has carried over to the participant now brushing their own hair or teeth. Another example is learning to do what is called the half seat, or two-point position while riding. This is keeping your balance over the horse with a base of support that is formed by those parts of the riderâ€™s body in contact with the saddle and horse, from the points of the pelvic bones down along the inside of the thighs, to and including the knees, legs, and feet in the stirrups. Learning this has helped participants get stronger so that getting out of a chair or in and out of a car has become an easier task. The data points that have been discovered are exciting as we can see that therapeutic riding does have a positive, visible, measurable impact on the riders that participate. Simply put, therapeutic riding does help participants who participate. Sue Miller is Program Director at High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program, A PATH International Registered Level Instructor/ESMHL& PATH Vermont State Chair
The Loyalty of Dogs Masha The Dachshund Mix In Siberia, Russia a dog has been coming to a hospital every day for over 2 years, unaware her master died a year ago. Her owner was admitted 2 years ago and a patient for about a year. Masha has come every day in search of her owner, unaware the man has passed. She still comes, hoping to find him. A family tried adopting Masha but she escaped and made her way back to the hospital. Now the hospital staff makes sure she is cared for.
Masha never gave up looking for her master. (Photo Credit: Siberian News)
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BUILDING A HORSE ARENA? Some Things to Consider Tim Goodwin
lot of forethought and planning should go into designing a horse arena. In most cases fixing mistakes can be more expensive than the building process. A horse arena is a big investment and local help and knowledge will be key ingredients to your success. First is location, spend a lot of time thinking about drainage. You want to have adequate drainage to get the water off and away from your arena. Successful arenas need all the help they can get to stay dry and it is best to work with nature to pick the location. The thought of an easy walk to the arena in the valley may seem appealing. But the higher costs of getting adequate drainage may make a short walk to higher ground worth it to you. Next is designing the drainage to cope with the demands of the site. You may have it draining in a great way for the arena but now the runoff is creating a new problem elsewhere for you. No one wants to create a wet area were there wasn’t one before. A professional contractor will look at your whole property and consider your future plans to make sure the run off goes to a place that will not hamper any of those plans. Materials - Materials!! Raw materials change depending on geography. Local help will come into play with the layers necessary to make your arena. Remember that the trucking fees will probably cost more than the materials. Finding a local contractor who knows the local material pits will help to keep the trucking costs lower. Don’t be afraid to quiz your contractor on what materials they recommend and why. Get the slope right. For every 100 feet of arena it should slope 2 feet. This will help prevent pooling and keep the runoff of water going in all directions. Any pooling will result in soft spots and they will ultimately fail. Repairs will be messy and expensive. Get the correct top layer. Ask how fine the top layer is. If it is too fine you will risk it blowing away in a strong wind. Ask how course it is? Are the particles rounded or course? Too much sharp material could be abrasive to the horse’s hooves. Will it allow water through? Very fine sand might hold water, the arena will drain slower and might be unusable for an extended period of time. Take the time to ask other arena owners what they used for a top layer and go look at it if you can. A local contractor may be able to help with some contacts for other arena’s they have built. A carpenter would say “measure twice and cut once.” The extra forethought will save time and money. Talk to your contractor and come up with a plan. An experienced contractor will be able to help with the plan from beginning to completion so you can enjoy your arena to its full potential. Summer 2017
Organizing Yo r Barn M
ake the most use of wasted wall space in your barn, stable, or horse trailer dressing room. An orderly, clutter-free barn is aesthetically pleasing, saves time during daily chores and is a healthy place for the horses that live there. Luckily, there are loads of options for storing tack and equipment. If you’re looking for ideas to give your barn an organizational face lift, here are some suggestions which can be easily found and utilized to help you on your way. Reduce Clutter Obsolete equipment and extraneous items are the most significant impediment to barn organization. Sort through all your existing equipment to weed out items you no longer use. Be firm in ridding yourself of old tack, blankets and equipment that you may never need again. Donate your unwanted items to a therapeutic riding program or a horse rescue. Nonprofit organizations will either put the items to good use or sell them to raise funds. Create a Hazard-Free Space Take a fresh look around your barn to identify and remove potential hazards. Create a Tack Cleaning Station Tack cleaning is more apt to be done on a regular basis if the process is easy and convenient. Be Creative About Storage Solutions and Resolute About Using Them If everything in your barn has its own storage place, you will save time in your daily routine. No more searching for that lost pair of splint boots or the missing girth!
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Everyday Storage Helpers Bathroom Organizers - It seems every horse requires at least three bottles of shampoo and conditioner. This can leave wash stalls looking disheveled. These organizers come in all sizes and with various features. One helpful wash stall organizer is a large wire wall-mounted unit with several shelves. Buckets can be clipped to it and spray bottles can hang from the wire frame to keep them off of the ground and out of the way. The wire racks are a great place for drying sponges, too. Horseshoe Hooks - What do you do with used horseshoes? You ask your farrier to bend them for you in his forge. Then you can nail them to the wall and hang halters, lead ropes, stray coats, and clipboards from them. (Don’t forget to thank your farrier.) Make sure you use these in out-of-the-way places like tack and storage rooms. Keep them out of barn aisle ways as they have no give in them if horses or equipment get caught in the horseshoe. Rubbermaid Boxes - This is not the most creative storage idea, but these boxes are useful. Rubbermaid or plastic boxes come in all sizes. There are even clear plastic boxes to help you remember what’s in them. For a barn with a small number of boarders, you can give everyone a box in a different color. These boxes are also easy to label with permanent markers. Over-the-Door Shoe Racks - Ever notice that a grooming brush is about the same shape as a shoe? That’s what makes an over-the-door shoe rack a great brush holder. The pockets also work for holding spray bottles, collections of hoof picks, braiding equipment and often-lost hair ties. Peg Boards - You’ve always known a peg board was handy for hanging hammers, saws and other tools. It can also work well as an easy-to-install area for hanging girths, bits and helmets. They are completely customizable with a variety of metal hooks to hang nearly anything that’s not too heavy.
How Old is Your Pet? F
or as long as you can remember, the rule of the thumb was one human year was equal to seven dog years. But is this true? The answer is yes and no. The seven to one ratio is actually an average with the real number based more on weight, size and, in some cases, breed. Boxers for example seldom live more than nine years. In fact, they are considered old by the age of seven. Medical care and diet play a crucial role in the life expectancy of our pets.
DOG AND CAT YEARS
IN COMPARISON TO HUMAN YEARS
Dr. Tony Buffington of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine developed this chart which makes it easy to see how your dog or cat stack up in human years.
The Loyalty of Dogs Sissy the Schnauzer ABC News repor ted a miniature Schnauzer had escaped her family’s home, only to show up at the same hospital as Nancy Franck, her owner. Nancy’s husband Dale, was grief stricken when he realized Sissy, one of his 2 beloved Schnauzers had gone missing. He looked everywhere for the dog. He was relieved when he got a call several hours later that someone found his dog. He was equally surprised when he realized it was a security guard at the same hospital that his wife was a patient at. Incredibly, the canine traveled 20 blocks and made it inside of the hospital, but could not figure out much beyond that.
Sissy the Schnauzer. (Photo Credit: Mercy Medical Center)
Tracking Changes in Pet Care Technology Wearable Devices are Making our Dogs & Cats Healthier
Holly McClelland & Patrick Sturgeon
umans have been sporting wearable fitness tracking devices, such as the Fitbit and Jawbone products, for almost a decade. Whether you attend a kickboxing class, fancy cocktail party, or casual luncheon, you are bound to notice at least a handful of people wearing fitness trackers on their wrists. The majority of trackers have Bluetooth technology that syncs with smartphones so that people can receive real time updates about their health. Did you know that similar wearable devices with Bluetooth technology are available for dogs and cats to strap on their collars, or wear as their primary collars? If humans are going to dedicate significant time toward monitoring their sleep cycles, heart rates, and step counts, why wouldn’t they do the same for their favorite pets? Dozens of companies now manufacture wearable pet devices, including Poof, Whistle, Loc8tor, Garmin, PetPace, Fitbark, and Nuzzle. While each product has its unique features, most items can monitor pets’ activity levels, track sleep patterns, assess anxiety and illness, log calories, and locate missing pets through GPS technology. The price points for these trackers varies from ~$40 to $200 depending on the sophistication of the device, and the channels where these items can be purchased range from Amazon.com to direct-to-consumer, depending on the manufacturer. Poof, headquartered in Fremont, CA, manufactures the Pea and Bean products, which allow dog and cat parents to monitor their pets’ health 24/7 because the devices sync with the Poof App. The Poof Pea and Bean are lightweight, waterproof items that be attached to any size collar to monitor activity levels, calories, and sleep. Poof has also created a pet community among fellow device owners. If a pet wearing a Poof tracker gets lost and wanders near someone else with the Poof App, the person will automatically be notified about the missing pet, and help return the pet to his/her owner. Patrick Sturgeon, pet parent of a German Shorthaired Lab named Piper, has been using the Poof Bean fitness tracker since Continued ON PAGE 16
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spring 2017, and was excited to share his perspective on Poof: Q: Why did you purchase a pet activity tracker? A: Piper is extremely high energy. I try my best to run and play with her, but I am concerned that she is not getting enough exercise, especially during the winter, which may result in bad behavior in the house. I purchased a tracker to keep an eye on her activity levels, and try to correct her behavior through regular exercise when necessary. Q: What is your favorite aspect of the Poof Bean tracker? A: I really enjoy the global ranking aspect of the Poof App. It allows pet parents to compare their pets with others across the globe, and incentivizes me to keep her healthy. Piper was rated third in the U.S. for activity, and 44th globally for a short period of time. It gives you confidence that your pet is healthy, and bragging rights that your pet is a top dog. Q: What is your least favorite aspect of having a pet activity tracker? A: The battery life on most pet trackers is only 48-72 hours, so gaps in activity data may exist if I forget to charge it. Normally it isnâ€™t a major issue if the battery dies, unless I am trying to monitor signs that might indicate that Piper is sick. Q: Would you recommend the Poof products to other pet parents? A: I would highly recommend the consumer version to any pet owners. Highly engaged users will love the detailed daily analysis of their petsâ€™ activity levels and sleep cycles. Less engaged users will enjoy the peace of mind of knowing they have better chances of locating missing pets through the Poof App. Q: What is something that consumers should know before they purchase a pet activity tracker? A: Most trackers require the owner to download the free or paid app to interface with the tracker, so they need to feel comfortable with the app and a possible fee. While wearable technology plays a significant role in enabling consumers to keep their pets healthy, another benefit is that many devices can capture data for research institutions and veterinarians to use to better understand health factors related to age, breed, gender, etc. Gathering pet health data at both the consumer and global levels allows us to develop better insights about how we can keep our dogs and cats healthier and improve quality of life. Given the fast rate of technological innovation, it will be interesting to see which benefits wearable pet tracking devices offer over the next decade. 16 4 Legs & a Tail
The Most Powerful Training Tool and How It Can Change You and Your Dog Paula Bergeron Grafton, NH
n today’s world it seems everything is controversial from world politics, to which direction your toilet paper should face on the holder…. and dog training is no different. There are as many ideas about training dogs as there are trainers… which seems appropriate to me, as following a strategy blindly without allowing it to be filtered by your beliefs would make your training hollow, and ineffective, but I believe there is one absolute about training… there is no more powerful influence on your dog’s behavior, than YOU ! If you approach training from the inside out it will make more of a difference then any collar, leash, treats, or electronics that are available on the market. Why does our affect, attitude, or as I call it our energy, have such an influence on our training? The fact is everything we do with our dogs centers around our relationship. Our dogs don’t know we are training them... they only know we are their pack, and it comes down to whether they trust that relationship or not. Dogs will only be open to learning from those they trust, they will feel compelled to guard or correct those they see as weak, they play with those who are playful and relaxed, and they listen to those who are confident and steady. How do we use this powerful tool of our energy to help our dogs to learn, and become well behaved ? Here are just a few things to think about: 1. Be Mindful. When you are with your dog whether you are training or not really be with them. In our modern world are in such a hurry that we talk at our dogs and not engage with them. I have seen people repeat commands in a fast repetitive manner, never really noticing whether the dog has actually complied before moving on to the next command. If you want your dog to be aware of you and what you want, you need to be prepared to let go of the noise in your head and be at least as mindful of them as you expect them to be of you. 2. Be Steady. What I mean by be steady is to control your emotions while working and training your dog. Like all living beings dogs love to be cherished and praised, but often we show these emotions when it is convenient and feels good to us, and not when it is best for your dog. To croon to your dog when he/she Continued Next Page
is scared is to sooth ourselves… dogs feel comforted by steady confidence, if you join in their fear with soft energy you only intensify their insecurity. Sometimes it is difficult for us as the human to be as confident as possible when we are working through behavioral problems with our dogs, but if you can remember that our dogs will reflect our energy back to us then you can understand why we need to stay strong and calm. On the opposite side, if a trainer becomes frustrated (as well all do from time to time) our dogs may lash out become snappy or aggressive. The state of mind we give to our dogs...is the state mind your dog will give back.
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3. Be Consistent. This is harder than you might think because you need to be consistent not just with your choice of command words, gestures, and tools, but be consistent with your energy. A key ingredient to training a dog is trust, and if you are negative one day and overly excited and positive the next your dog will feel unsettled and unsure of what to do. Sometimes we think our dogs are being “stubborn” when in reality they are confused. When you are asking your dog to follow a command your dog hears your words but more loudly then words they will feel your energy, this is why your dog may not come to you if you are angry and say "Come", or if you are frightened when you say "Come", but will come when you are welcoming. To your dog these commands are different as day is to night. One says...you’re in trouble...one says there is something scary around maybe you better run, and one says come to your leader. Be consistent with your energy and your dog will be more consistent in his/her obedience. 4. Be Genuine. Although I am saying in this article you need to control your emotions while training your dog, it is also important to be genuine. If you don’t like a dog… don’t pretend that you do and try to befriend it… you could end up with a nip on the nose. If you are angry with your dog, take a break and remove yourself from the situation, regroup when you feel more positive. Pushing through when you are frustrated can be very destructive to your training goals. When you are proud of your dog… let them know. The more I do this work, the more powerful I see this interaction become. I have found that when I am proud of a dog, they respond by repeating the desired behavior again and again. Be real with your dog, and be real with yourself and you will see your bond with your dog become strong and healthy! So at the risk of starting a controversy as compelling as the fore mentioned toilet paper dilemma, I would dare to say that there is not a tool you can buy that can outperform an owner who understands the power of how their energy effects their dog. Use whatever training methods best suit your personality, your lifestyle, and your dog, but if you add a mindful, steady, consistent, genuine human then there is no telling what you can achieve. (p.s. the end of the toilet paper must face away from the wall... just saying) HAPPY TRAINING! Paula Bergeron and the gang at Good Dogma embrace a holistic approach to bringing balance to your dog’s behavioral issues. Exercise, training, relaxation, massage, grooming, play, socialization and energy healing are incorporated into your dog’s routine. www.Goodogma.com Summer 2017
Compounding for Veterinarians and Animal Owners Your pets are special. Why not give them customized care?
s a pet owner, you want your pet to receive the highest-quality veterinary care. You want them to have treatment as sophisticated and compassionate as you might receive yourself. You’re not alone. Today’s veterinarians realize that pet owners are very knowledgeable, and expect a more advanced level of care. Why should you consider compounding as a solution for your pet’s medical problems? That can be answered with another question: how hard is it to get your cat to swallow a pill?
Veterinary Compounding – Making Medication a Treat for Your Pet. The practice of pharmacy compounding is becoming a popular solution to veterinary problems. Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its resurgence in recent years extends valuable benefits to today’s pet owners. Animals often have variations of the same diseases humans can have, including skin rashes, eye and ear infections, heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Medicating pets presents unique problems that often are best dealt with through compounding.
The Compounding Solution
Flavored Medicine The pet who refuses to take medication because of the taste is a prime opportunity for compounding. Cats don’t like pills, but they do like tuna. Dogs don’t appreciate a traditional solution of medication being squirted into their mouth, but they’ll take it gladly when it’s flavored with meat or part of a tasty biscuit or treat. Birds cannot take large volumes of liquid medication, but they will accept a small dose of a tasty, fruit-flavored, concentrated solution. By working closely with your veterinarian, a compounding pharmacist can prepare medicines in easy-to-give flavored dosage forms that animals happily devour, whether your pet is a cat, dog, bird, ferret, or snake.
Solving Dosage Problems Just like their owners, animals are individual and unique. They come in different shapes and sizes, and may be sensitive to ingredients like lactose. As a result, not all commercially available medicines are appropriate for every pet. That’s where compounding is especially helpful. In this situation, your veterinarian can prescribe a Continued Next Page
As any pet owner is well aware, animals can be extremely difficult to treat with medications. Cats are notorious for refusing to swallow pills, and usually will eat right around one disguised in food. Dosages can be very tricky with dogs – a dose of medication that works for an 80-pound Golden Retriever may be far too much for a six-pound Yorkie to handle. Large and exotic pets pose many unique medication challenges. A compounding pharmacist is equipped to help them all! Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabbits, Birds, Ferrets and Reptiles. Even animals in zoos and aquariums! Summer 2017
flavored liquid, treat, or other dosage form with the amount of medication that is exactly right for your pet’s size and condition.
Commercially Unavailable Medicine From time to time, a manufacturer may discontinue a veterinary medication. Often this is because it is not needed in the vast quantities necessary to make mass production cost-effective, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some pets that need it. When that medication has worked well for animals, a compounding pharmacist can prepare a prescription for the required therapy and tailor the strength, dosage form, and flavor to that pet’s specific needs. A caring veterinarian working closely with a compounding pharmacist can improve the health and happiness of your pet.
The Loyalty of Dogs Burke, the Teacup Great Dane A Teacup Great Dane followed his ow ner to the emergency room after a drunk driver crashed into his home injuring his master and 2 others. The dog is believed to have escaped out of the opening created by the crash. He was spotted near the emergency room days later, where he probably had been since the accident. Jeffrey Groat had not stopped asking about his dog since the accident and was reunited with his faithful canine Burke, a few days later.
Burke and his dad. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Groat)
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How to Help Wild Aquatic Turtles Catherine Greenleaf - Lyme, NH
hy did the turtle cross the road? (No, this is not a chicken joke!) Female wild aquatic turtles cross the road because they are looking for a sunny and sandy area to lay their eggs. You will start to notice turtles emerging from the reedy mud at the bottom of vernal pools, ponds and lakes to undergo their annual egg laying sojourn around Memorial Day weekend. The egg laying of turtles(this includes Snapping Turtles and Painted Turtles) may continue until mid-July. The best time to tell when turtles will be drawn out of the water to start their travels is the level of humidity. The first spike in humidity, which marks the beginning of summer for so many of us, also sends a signal to the turtles to start their search for the perfect nesting site. On that day, you may see a dozen or more turtles emerge from a single body of water. Wild aquatic turtles do not feel safe being away from their bog, pond or lake, which is why they will quickly dig a hole, lay their eggs, and make their way steadily back to the water. I don’t have to tell you how haz-
ardous the journey is for these brave ladies. Many are hit by cars and trucks and are killed. Others suffer serious, permanent injuries. You can help turtles survive by doing six things: ONE: When you see a turtle on the road, be kind and slow down. Pull over, if it is safe to do so, and help escort the turtle (in the direction she was heading) until she safely reaches the dirt. Never reverse a turtle’s course. She will only turn around later and end up back on the road in harm’s way. Always be careful if you have to move a turtle. It is best to use a plastic storage container and a shovel. Gently coax the turtle into the box and then carry the box to the opposite side of the road. Never drag a snapping turtle backward by the tail, as you can rupture the animal’s spine, rendering it permanently paralyzed. TWO: It is never a good idea to transport a turtle to another pond or lake. A turtle will not adapt to a different environment since they are loyal only to their natal (birth) area. If you Continued Next Page
displace a turtle, that animal will spend the rest of its life trying to get back to its point of origin and will most likely be hit by a car. Also, a turtle’s immune system is only resistant to the pathogens of the environment it is born into. Putting a turtle into a different body of water only causes disease and passes diseases to other unsuspecting wildlife. THREE: If you see a turtle that has been hit by a car, call your local wildlife rehabilitator right away. Turtles are tough, even when their shells have been cracked by the impact of a speeding car. A wildlife rehabilitator can stabilize the turtle and save its life. FOUR: Never attempt to drive over a turtle. Some cars are built low to the ground and the undercarriage can cause an “avulsion” injury, which occurs when the bridges between the top shell and bottom shell collapse and the top shell is forced onto the bottom shell, crushing the turtle’s internal organs. This type of injury usually proves fatal. FIVE: Snapping Turtles are not the cold-blooded killers some people like to portray them to be. Although not the most attractive creatures, they are gentle giants, and prefer to mind their own business. Keep your distance and they will too. Snapping turtles are the great, unsung heroes of New Hampshire’s water bodies. They are referred to as the “janitors” of our lakes and ponds, since they routinely patrol the bottom of the water to eat muck and detritus. According to wildlife biologists, if it were not for snapping turtles, our lakes and ponds would lose their crystal clear clarity and turn muddy. If you have a Snapping Turtle in your pond, consider yourself lucky. You have a fulltime cleaning machine keeping your water clear. SIX: Incubation of aquatic turtle eggs takes several months, which means you will see tiny baby turtles hatching from their eggs and trying to scurry across the road toward the water during the month of August. Painted Turtles usually lay between 5-8 eggs in a clutch, and Snapping Turtles lay 20-40 eggs, but have been known to lay up to 60 eggs. Pull your car over and allow these little ones to find their way home.
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Catherine Greenleaf is the director of St. Francis Wild Bird Center in Lyme, N.H. If you have an injured bird, please call (603) 795-4850 or go to www.saintfrancisbirds.blogspot.com Summer 2017
Oh Those Creaky Joints! 3 Key Ingredients to Improved Canine Mobility. Contributed by ForeFront™ Nutrition
ometimes it’s just something subtle; a small hesitation before they jump in the car or a sudden unwillingness to join you on the couch, small signs that soreness or joints are starting to impact your best friend. Or perhaps your companion is a breed that is more prone to hip or joint issues and you’re looking for preventative maintenance. No matter the cause, hip and joint issues tend to be one of the most common prob-
lems in dogs of all sizes. So, you go to your local pet store and seek out the common standby for joints; Glucosamine. Well, not so fast! Most pet owners are unaware that even after decades of clinical trials, studies have failed to find any consistent benefit with Glucosamine. Furthermore, the balance of the evidence strongly suggests glucosamine is no better than a placebo in treating arthritis. There are only two clinical Glucosamine trials in dogs; one found no benefit while the other showed little, to no, benefit. So before you buy any popular joint supplement, do your homework, and ensure the ingredients have been scientifically proven before you spend your hard earned money. Due to a lack of evidence in a glucosamine based joint supplement, we designed our joint support soft chew without the addition of glucosamine (HCL or sulfate) or chondroitin sulfate. Not only has neither ingredient been proven effective, but also the market is flooded with all too many “copycat” products utilizing these ingredients. ForeFront spent over a year developing a precise formula that exceeds today’s standard offering when it comes to joint support. All three of our active ingredients have been independently proven effective. We combined those three ingredients into a joint formula which create cutting edge joint support for your pet. BeneCell® is a key element of the Canine Hip & Joint formula, it is a proprietary blend of purified nucleotides along with other essential nutrients the body requires for repair. When dealing with soft tissue damage the dog’s body signals a need for cellular repair. BeneCell® possesses the unique ability to produce new cells, these new cells allow your dog to better cope with his injury and/or disease naturally. Another key element of Canine Hip & Joint is the use of egg shell membrane. The egg shell membrane used in our soft chews was specifically selected due to its proven efficacy, following a study involving fifty-seven dogs who showed noticeable improvement in joint mobility within only 7 days. Egg shell membrane includes several key compoContinued ON Page 26
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The Loyalty of Dogs The Loyalty Of A Mutt In Goiania, Brazil, following an epileptic seizure, a homeless man’s dog chased the ambulance that carried him away to the hospital. The dog was not slowing down and followed the vehicle through busy streets. Finally, the compassionate crew, realizing the dog would give up his life before being separated from his owner, pulled over and offered a ride. Once at the hospital, the dog would not leave the owners side.
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nents including collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (which does include both Glucosamine and Chondroitin). Egg shell membrane provides nutritional building blocks which promote natural joint health, stability, and flexibility. The documented benefits off egg shell membrane include; an improve range of motion (i.e. mobility, flexibility and function); promotion of the dog’s natural anti-inflammatory response; delivery of antioxidants that reduce free radicals for healthy joints; along with the delivery of collagen and fibrous protein critical to cartilage strength and elasticity. Finally, the third key ingredient in our formula is a very specific curcumin compound, again sourced for its proven efficacy as an anti-inflammatory. When dogs are suffering from joint pain an effective anti-inflammatory is a critical element most pet products simply do not address. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to irritation, injury, or infection. Inflammation is a protective measure intended to limit damage caused by harmful stimuli including pathogens, irritants, or damaged cells and tissue. Unfortunately, wherever inf lammation occurs it causes discomfort, and often pain. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling along with any associated pain. The curcumin used in our joint support soft chew is in a patented delivery system which utilizes proprietary technology and improves the oral bioavailability and absorption of the curcumin. There have been numerous studies with this particular form of curcumin which demonstrate its ability to down regulate the expression of a series of cytokines, enzymes and transcription factors involved in the natural inflammation response. In short, ForeFront’s Canine Hip and Joint is not your average joint formula. The yummy, natural bacon flavored soft chews are easy to feed and readily enjoyed by most dogs. Each bag contains 90 soft chews , it is both convenient and affordable to feed to dogs of all sizes and ages. About ForeFront Nutrition: ForeFront Nutrition™ is a family owned and operated business out of Vermont who understand the level of devotion and energy it takes to properly care for horses and dogs. By recognizing the increasing need to provide premium quality supplements, ForeFront’s team embarked on a passionate and extensive industry research journey. Since then their team of professionals with over 75 years of animal nutrition experience, have sourced, formulated and manufactured a selection of the highest quality animal supplements available. All ForeFront™ products are independently tested and certified prior to blending and are manufactured from all natural ingredients exclusively in the United States. (888) 772-9582 www.forefrontequine.com Dealer Inquiries Welcome. Summer 2017
What is a Service Dog? Barbara Handelman, M.Ed., CDBC - Norwich, VT
ost Americans are familiar with the presence of service animals. From the standard-bearer guide dog for the blind to the much photographed but rare service mini-horse, their presence is more and more visible. Even so, some people still ask, “How come they’re allowed to have an animal here?” Really, who wouldn’t want to take her dog with her everywhere? It’s much cheaper to buy your dog a vest that says “service dog” than it is to pay a dog walker or doggie day care. Unfortunately, neither identifying equipment nor an ID card can, themselves, transform pets into working dogs. Vests and bogus certification are easily purchased by anyone with access to the Internet. Just because a dog is wearing a vest, without extensive training, she won’t know how to behave appropriately on public transportation, in airplanes, restaurants, grocery stores, at museums, or in other places of public accommodation. Some dog owners do attempt to go beyond mere accessories in preparing their pets to accompany them in public. They might even train their dogs to be certified as Canine Good Citizens (CGC). CGC training is beneficial - well-socialized dogs with basic obedience training are more likely to live out their lives in loving homes, and are less likely to be rehomed or surrendered to shelters - but it does not qualify a dog to accompany a person into places where pet dogs are not allowed to go. Service dogs are not pets; they are highly trained working animals.
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Service dogs encounter extraordinary circumstances in their daily lives – they enter environments to which pet dogs are rarely exposed and would likely find unsettling, frightening, or over-stimulating. For service dog candidates, passing a CGC test is an important benchmark from which they must continue on to intensive obedience and task training and further acclimatization to novel Luca Retrieving ATM Card environments. That is to say, the CGC is an excellent end goal for a pet, but it is only the beginning for a working dog. Service Dogs, Emotional Support Dogs, and Therapy Dogs are all working dogs, but not all are allowed legal access to public places. Each is covered under different statutes, held to different standards of training, despite the fact that, at times, they appear indistinguishable from one another when moving through the community with their handlers. Continued Next Page
The labels “Service Dog” and “Assistance Dog” are used interchangeably to refer to dogs that accompany handlers who have disabilities covered by The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” The ADA does not grant rights to dogs. It is a civil rights law that protects disabled people. In granting rights to citizens with physical or mental disabilities, the ADA acknowledges service dogs as means of assistance, similar to crutches or a wheelchair, that are necessary for disabled individuals to achieve equal access to places of public accommodation. According to the ADA’s definition: “service dogs are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. To qualify, the dog’s skills must mitigate some aspect of the person’s disability”. Selecting an appropriate candidate for service dog training is the most important element of preparing a dog for a working career. Temperament evaluations are essential, and do help weed out the obviously inappropriate candidates, but they offer no guarantees. Service dog training is highly specialized. The average cost of breeding, raising and training a service dog is $20,000 to $30,000. Becoming a service dog is an ongoing selective process that takes at least two years. Approximately fifty percent of all dogs bred, socialized, selected, and trained by owners or agencies to become service dogs either fail to complete training or must retire after a short career. It can be a heartbreaking process. It is unethical to expect some dogs to perform as service dogs. Such dogs include: ones with a shy or fearful temperament; those whose natural exuberance and high energy are not easily channeled to stay quietly by the side of a sedate human; those who are hyper-vigilant or aggressively protective. When non-disabled people and their pet dogs masquerade as service dog teams they make disabled peoples’ lives more difficult. Putting service dog identification on pet dogs only makes them imposters. Poorly trained dogs variously pose risks to disabled handlers - in the worst cases by attacking and injuring the service dog or his handler. After an attack a traumatized service dog may have to be retired. Let us work together as a community of responsible dog handlers to make our public spaces safe for disabled people and their working dogs. Over the past twenty years, Barbara has had 7 service dog partners. She selected and trained each of them to mitigate her own disabilities. Barbara is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Canine Behavior a Photo Illustrated Handbook”, and the creator of the video series “Clicker Train Your Own Assistance Dog” (available at http://etrainingfordogs. com/?s=clicker+train+your+own+assi stance+dog). Barbara is launching a new business: Service Dog Consulting, (www.servicedogconsulting.com) through which she will offer a full range of on-line and face-to-face service dog training consultations including: selecting a service dog candidate; task training; behavior problem assessments;, and second opinions regarding complex issues such as whether a working dog might need to be retired. Barbara can be reached at 802-649-5213.
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A Modern Twist on Ancient Feeding Wisdom Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
y husband is in kitchen cooking and our dog Pumpkin is planted on her bed eagerly waiting to be tossed any dropped bits or trimmings. She takes her job of clean up seriously and will not be disappointed; who could refuse that cute face? I imagine this is how many of our dogs get fresh additions to their meals, adding a welcome level of nutrient quality and bioavailability superior to processed dry kibble. But beyond helping with scrap clean up, fresh feeding as part or all of the main diet is becoming more popular for dogs and even cats. Pet owners are more conscious of the role food plays as part of their own health care, so it is natural to question whether feeding their 4-legged family members all dry dog food can meet their standards for what promotes true health. Besides all the benefits of eating fresh food compared to processed food, home cooking allows you to customize food to your pet’s needs. Just as individual humans have different body types and therefore need different diets to maintain health, our pets are not one-size-fits-all either. Local foods influenced dogs’ development as they were domesticated and bred. This means that individual dogs, and sometimes breeds of dogs, have different needs and biological preferences for what to eat. From a different perspective, each individual also has their own inherent patterns of weakness or imbalance that may be in part related to their genetics Summer 2017
but also their own experiences and exposures. Chinese medical practice assigned many attributes to foods: temperatures, effects on body function, and effects on different meridian systems. They used food as a tool to proactively address imbalances and reduce the chance of disease, or with medical therapies to assist in treatment. This is not completely unique to the Chinese. Body type or ‘constitutions’ have been identified in the medical philosophies of many cultures. Today, the growing field of Nutrigenomics has identified how our bodies actually express different genes based on what we eat in our food. Foods that promote healthy gene activity help us thrive while foods that turn off these genes create weaknesses and predisposition to disease. Once again, new science Continued Next Page
justifies old knowledge that the ideal foods for one are not the same for another, and eating the wrong foods wears the body down over time just like the wrong gas breaks down your car. The concept that food can help the body work out issues and minimize or prevent problems is becoming widely accepted. But feeding is not all about body types, Chinese theory, and patterns of weakness. There are concrete nutritional requirements that our pets need to have in order for all their systems to work and maintain health. Making sure they get those nutrients in the correct amounts and ratios, and in a form they can digest and assimilate is essential for their long term health. Offering a tasty topping to a meal that is mainly commercial food should not require a strict recipe. However, the more fresh foods being fed, the more attention is needed to nutritional completeness. There is an assumption that simply rotating through a variety of healthy ingredients over time will provide all the nutrient requirements for our pets. After all, that is how we eat, right? But when you really think about it, even with all our multivitamins and fortified foods, our doctors are checking and finding more nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies
do not cause outright disease as with malnutrition in the past, but instead they slowly hamper our bodyâ€™s ability to keep us in optimum health. Left to our own random meal planning, we are often not getting everything we need over time. I see these same issues in dogs, whether my clients are making dog food themselves or even buying raw meat, bone, and organs for supplemental feeding. Some recipes omit any bone or source of calcium, or the meats and organs used simply donâ€™t contain the vitamins and trace minerals needed. Vegetables or supplements used to fortify may not contain all the nutrients required or are fed in too small an amount to provide all that is needed. Also, the cellulose rich vegetables are not cooked or minced small enough for a dog to extract the nutrients from them. I also see diets too rich in high fat calories (think cheap ground beef). Too many calories means you have to limit meal size to avoid obesity and this prevents your dog from being able to eat enough of the diet to get the required protein, vitamins, and minerals. If these basic premises are left unaddressed, no amount of rotation is going to make up for what ends up being a deficient diet. In my practice we use holistic philosophies to tailor nutrition to the needs of the individual patient. We also recognize that addressing holistic ideals does not mean we can ignore the nutritional needs of our patients. Here is where I add the disclaimer that my associates and I are not board certified in nutrition. So to accomplish these goals, we marry Chinese philosophy with a modern computer program to analyze our diets and balance it to AAFCO, FEDIAF or ancestral standards as we wish. This allows us the freedom to pick certain ingredients to match what is ideal for an individual at different stages of life, during different seasons of the year, and during periods of illness or health while being confident that we are meeting the basic nutritional needs of our patient. We also have the f lexibility of using all whole foods, some nutritional supplements, or even a mix of commercial food with homemade to balance the diet. The computer assisted component allows diets to be easily altered as the holistic assessment of the patient changes. My clients also love this fact because as seasonal ingredients become available, or as certain ingredients become more costly, or possibly as their petâ€™s tastes change, diets are updated and verified to see that they remain in balance. Continued Next Page
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So now you want to start making some food for your pet, terrific! Maybe they are itchy, or greasy, or gassy, or their coat is not as beautiful as it should be, or they are young and healthy and you want to keep them thriving as they age. With just a little education and attention to detail it is easy to augment your dog’s menu with some fresh food. Note, this is NOT true for puppies, whose nutritional needs during growth and development have little wiggle room for deficiency. But even for adults, when feeding anything more than a treat with their dog food, it would be best if the foods you add are not stressing the overall nutritional effect of their diet. That can be as simple as using commercial products that are added to fresh meat to make it a balanced addition to their meal. For those that feel that none of the many varieties of commercial pet foods meet your pet’s individual needs you and want to make more of their food from scratch, you can consult your veterinarian. They may refer you to a board certified veterinary nutritionist directly, or indirectly via the BalanceIt.com website where you can select ingredients for a cooked recipe and then purchase supplement packs specific to that recipe to balance it. For those that want to use raw diets or organ meats not available from the more conventional nutritionalists, there are good books that teach proper nutrient rotation and how to supplement diets to make them complete - Dr Becker’s book Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats is one of these. If you want to go to the next level and use diet as a part of your pet’s medical care, find a holistic veterinarian that offers that service. In the end, remember that you should do what you feel is best for your pet, and consult your veterinarian when making diet changes to avoid problems in the short or long term. Keep it simple, go slow and remember that for an adult healthy dog it would take months if not years to cause nutritional issues, so feel free to test the waters with some small changes. Doing a little can go a long way, and can taste great too, just ask Pumpkin! Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com Summer 2017
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nce you discover burdocks or cockleburs on your dog, you need to remove them as soon as possible. The longer they stay in the coat, the deeper they will dig in, making it more difficult to get rid of them. The best way to remove them depends on how many your furry friend has picked up. If there are just a few, you can usually remove them with a coarse brush or a stainless steel comb. If some are already stuck in, you can try splitting them with scissors to make brushing them out easier. Do this very carefully; always point the scissor’s tips away from the dog’s body to avoid injury. Detangling spray or coat conditioner will make it easier to remove the cockleburs. You’ll be able to work them out without tugging too much on your dog’s coat. In a pinch, a little vegetable oil will also do the trick. You’ll need to bathe your pet after using any of these products. Any good pH-balanced pet shampoo will do, but if the coat is extremely oily, you might want to use de-greasing shampoo or
Dawn dish detergent followed by a soothing crème rinse or conditioner. After the bath, brush and comb the coat to make sure you h aven’t missed any cockleburs. Check your dog thoroughly, including the pads of his feet. These tiny tanglers can find a home in any crevice, including armpits, ears and even the genital area. When dogs loaded with cockleburs come to the grooming shop, we normally clip them down and start the coat over again. Even if it were possible to remove them with a dematting tool, it would be extremely time-consuming and painful for the pet. In fact, if your fourfooted friend loves to romp in the woods and fields, keeping his coat in a short trim will help you to easily detect the burrs. When you are enjoying Continued Next Page
the great outdoors, avoid any areas that contain cockleburs. If they are growing on your property, remove them – wearing gloves, of course. Their prickly dry seedpods are usually visible on plant stems, protruding above other wild vegetation. Another serious botanical hazard for dogs that romp outdoors is the foxtail, a hard seed-bearing structure on some kinds of wild grasses that contains sharp points at one end with microscopic barbs that allows it to embed like a fish hook. Like cockleburs, these become stuck in the hair, especially the paws and ears, and sometimes even in nostrils and eyes. If they work their way into the skin, they can cause serious infection. These grasses are common in weedy areas around roads, paths and woodland trails. As annuals, they are soft and green from January through March or April, but after the seed heads dry in the spring, they become dangerous, remaining that way throughout the summer and fall. Foxtails can cause severe injury, so if you uncover any on your pet, be sure to get all of them out with your brush and comb. If they have become embedded, take your dog to a veterinarian for removal.
One interesting cocklebur factoid: Despite their nuisance quality, they are responsible for an invention that shows up everywhere in our daily lives. In 1941, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral noticed that his wool socks, his jacket and his dog’s fur were covered with cockleburs after a walk in the woods. Observing them under a microscope, he noticed their hundreds of hooks and how easily they attached to fibers, especially if those fibers were looped. By 1948, he had duplicated this hook and loop configuration in nylon, naming his new creation Velcro.
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The Prickly Porcupine I t was a beautiful, summer day and I was out walking with my dog
Shadow, soaking in as much Vitamin D as possible. All of a sudden, she came out of the bushes foaming at the mouth and franticly pawing at her face. She had what looked like a white beard, which could only mean one thing. Shadow had tangled with a porcupine! With the arrival of early spring, porcupines will soon be walking among our four-legged family members. Now is the time to brush up on our porcupine facts. There are about 2-dozen different species of porcupine in the world. The species we’re most familiar with here in Vermont, is the North American Porcupine. They are typically 10-35 lbs and can have up to 30,000 quills on them at any one time. The word porcupine comes from the Latin for “quill pig”. The quills are solid near both ends and hollow for most of the shaft. At each end of the quill is a barb that acts like a fishhook. When threatened, the porcupine will turn its hind end to its attacker, tuck its head toward its stomach (where it does not have any quills), and leave its tail and backside exposed to defend itself against predators. When the barb comes into contact with flesh it easily detaches from the porcupine and hooks onto its attacker. Once attached to the skin, every time that skin moves, the quill’s barb moves through the skin and muscle with ease. If you find yourself in this situation, here is how to proceed. DO NOT PANIC. Keep your dog as calm as possible. The more your dog paws at their face, the more likely they are to break off the quills. Have your dog sit down, and hold their head up and away from their paws. Locate the quills - most will hit the nose, mouth and lips. If your dog has quills in the neck or chest there is concern about it migrating further into the tissue. In these cases, please contact your veterinarian for further instruction. Grab and pull using needle nose pliers getting as close to the skin as possible. If your dog is loaded with quills, sedation may be required and you should contact your veterinarian. Disposal of the quills - Once you have removed the quills, wrap them in paper towel or newspaper and toss in the garbage. If you do not feel comfortable with removing quills or if there are a large number of quills, contact your veterinarian or a 24 hour emergency facility such as SAVES immediately. Summer 2017
Jenn Grenier - Williston, VT
Cookouts, Food and Pet Safety
S ummer is here! For a lot of us that means getting outdoors and enjoying cookouts with family, friends — and pets! It’s a great time to sit back, relax, drink a beer or two and maybe set the family record for the number of hot dogs you can eat. But don’t rest too easy, there are some responsibilities you shouldn’t ignore — especially if you have pets! While you are enjoying your favorite summer foods, it’s worth keeping in mind that many tasty treats are not so good for our furry friends. Even simple things that you might not think of, like onions and guacamole, can be dangerous. These kinds of foods are typically left out on the table well within reach of any curious dog or cat, so let’s look at some of the more harmful culprits we should keep an eye on.
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Foods Your Pet Should Avoid Hot Dogs - While tasty, hot Snack Foods - Chips and pretzels are full of salt and can dogs are not the healthiest cause excessive thirst and urination. Who wants a dog food for us humans, and they peeing everywhere!? Snack foods are just as unhealthy are even worse for pets. Hot for dogs as they can be for us, exercise caution. Too dogs are packed with tons many snacks can lead to sodium ion poisoning, the of salt and preservatives in effects of which can include vomiting, diarrhea, fevers levels that dogs are not used and even death. to. Excessive amounts can Bones - The leftover remains from ribs, steaks or chicken lead to diarrhea and indigeswings can be dangerous for your dog. Bones can splinter tion. Avoid them altogether, easily and if eaten, they can cause puncture wounds in but if you must-must-must your dogs mouth, stomach or digestive tract. They can give treat your dog, please also lead to obstructions and other health hazards. For exercise moderation. Also, your dog’s safety, make sure everyone knows where cut them into bite-size pieces Continued Next Page to avoid choking hazards. Summer 2017
they can safely dispose of their food. Fruits and Desserts - Fruits are high in sugar and can lead to blood glucose issues, but watch out for are grapes and raisins. They have been shown to cause serious kidney issues and even death when consumed by dogs. Desserts that include chocolate or Xylitol are no-nos for dogs, as they can prove fatal quickly. Choking Hazards - Many cookout foods are also choking hazards. Hot dogs, bones, and corn cobs can get lodged in your dog’s airway. Keep an eye out for anything that is larger than bite size. Alcohol - An ice cold beer or mixed drink might be the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day, but will not have the same effect on your pet. Small amounts, just a few licks or laps, can be dangerous or even fatal. In a festive environment, once drinks start pouring a few glasses may get abandoned here and there, so make sure you clean up after forgetful friends. Foods Your Pet Should Enjoy Melons - Seedless watermelons and honeydew are high in moisture and cool the body from the inside, says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian and author who specializes in food therapy. Ginger Root - Mix watermelon juice with fresh ground ginger root and freeze in an ice tray. “The ginger soothes upset stomachs and is a great anti-inflammatory agent,” says Morgan. “You can even feed this to a diabetic dog.” Fresh Carrots - These make a great summer chew toy, says Morgan. Just don’t leave your dog unattended while she’s on the gnaw. Like bones, they could become a choking hazard. Green Beans - These crunchy treats are an excellent source of fiber. “Even though dogs are meat-o-sauruses, they still enjoy their veggies,” says Morgan. Water - “One of the most potentially overlooked summer treats is water,” says Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in New York City. Tap water is more than fine. You can also make a thin, ice “pancake” by putting water in a plastic bag and freezing it flat. Offer it to your dog to chew on when the temperatures get really hot. Doggie Ice Cream - Regular ice cream can wreak havoc on your dog’s tummy. But several brands, including Frosty Paws and Puppy Scoops, make lactose-free frozen treats for pups. Just be mindful of calories. “Give him a Frosty Paws everyday and your Chihuahua will look like a footstool,” says Hohenhaus. Peanut Butter “Pupsicles” - Dr. Michelle Newfield, a veterinarian and owner of Gause Boulevard Veterinary Hospital in Los Angeles, recommends peanut butter and yogurt “pupsicles.” Layer the ingredients in a small cup, using a milk bone as a stick. Freeze and serve. But don’t use sugar free yogurt or some types of peanut butter. “Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is toxic to dogs, and can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia,” says Newfield. Whatever summer treat you pick for your dog, remember that it is exactly that – a treat. “Extras” should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s total diet, and adjust your dog’s meal size to avoid an excess of calories and the weight gain that follows.
Skin Disease Caused by a Fractured Tooth Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS
hile the cause of a problem is often reasonably obvious there are times when one has to “think outside of the box” to get to the correct answer. For instance, if you saw this lesion on the side of a cat’s head, would you immediately think of dental disease?
Fractured upper right carnassial tooth
Fractured upper right canine tooth
The palatal root of the upper carnassial tooth was fractured and displaced into the hard palate.
“Mr O” was an indoor only cat who decided to escape one day. He was missing for several days until he was brought to a veterinarian by a good samaritan. He had apparently been hit by a car. Fortunately he had a microchip and his owners were found. He was diagnosed as having a fractured palate which was treated with intravenous fluids, a feeding tube, antibiotics and pain medications. He recovered from the trauma but one month later he started scratching at the right side of his head and was sneezing. Two months later he was reluctant to eat.
I met him three months after the injury, and took the above photograph, in 2014. This large wound was self inflicted - by constantly scratching at the side of his face he was doing great damage to his skin.
When his mouth was examined a number of fractured teeth were found. The most significant of these was a fractured upper carnassial tooth.
But what does a fractured tooth have to do with scratching at the face? The upper carnassial tooth is a triple rooted tooth, with two roots in line with the cheek and the third root in the hard palate. Within the skull is a canal which carries a main nerve and this canal is straddled by the cheek roots and the palatal root. If this tooth becomes infected, either through a fracture or with long-standing periodontal disease, the bone of the canal can become infected, weakened, and eventually disappear, leaving the nerve much more exposed than it would normally be. An exposed nerve can be irritated (think of hitting your elbow’s “funny bone”, actually a nerve, and how much that hurts.) An irritated nerve can transmit pain signals or it can transmit an itchy signal. When the tooth was extracted from “Mr O” it was apparent that the bone of the canal was gone, leaving an exposed nerve.
11 days after extracting the tooth, the skin was much improved as he had stopped scratching. However, he did resume scratching at his face and again created a wound. It was not as large as the first wound but was still significant.
Photograph in 2015 showing a smaller skin wound. Several more teeth were extracted and this has eliminated the scratching. Here he is in 2017 looking very happy and handsome.
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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. Summer 2017
8 Things You Never Knew About Your Dog’s Paws Jill Feinstein
hen you are a dog lover, it’s easy to find the cuteness in everything about them. From their head to their toes, they’re adorable. But have you given much thought to your pooch’s toes? Or their entire paw for that matter? Your dog’s paws are more than a mode of transportation. They say a lot about a breed’s purpose. Even if you own a mixed breed dog, their paws can tell you a lot. And they’re important to your dog’s overall well being. Since it’s getting hot in some parts of the country, especially in Arizona, it’s important to gather some paw knowledge so you can take care of them in the heat. And it’s always fun to learn a few new facts about your best friend. Here are 8 things you might not know about your dog’s paws. 1. Dogs’ paws come in 2 basic shapes, cat and hare. Cat-shaped paws are compact, small and round. They can bear a lot of weight because the shape allows for stability and endurance. Most large working dog breeds like Newfoundlands, Doberman Pinschers and Akitas have cat-shaped feet. Hare-shaped paws resemble the paws of a rabbit or hare. They have two elongated central toes that are longer than the outer toes. This allows for speed and the ability to get a quick start from a resting position. Not surprisingly Greyhounds, Whippets and Borzois all have hare-shaped paws. Paws can also be webbed whether cat- or hare- shaped. Breeds that are swimmers like Labrador Retrievers and Newfoundlands have cat-shaped webbed paws. And dogs like the Dachshund that hunt small animals that burrow also have webbed feet. This allows them to move more dirt when they dig. Cold climate breeds will have very wide paws for traction on snow and ice. The Newfoundland has the king of all paws… huge webbed feet with long toes that help them negotiate the icy terrain and frigid waters of Newfoundland. Continued Next Page
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2. Dogs are digitigrades. Digitigrades walk on their toes not their heels. This enables them to move more quickly and quietly than an animal that carries their weight in their heels. 3. Each paw has digital pads, a metacarpal pad and a carpal pad. The 4 digital pads and 1 metacarpal pad act as shock absorbers for the bones and joints in the foot. The carpal pad helps with balance, slowing down and stopping. Dogs that spend a lot of time outside and are active will have rougher thicker pads than the couch potato that spends most of their days inside. The pads help your dog distinguish between types of terrain. As your dog ages, the pads become more sensitive and adaptable to different surfaces. If you try booties to protect the pads, your dog may resist because they rely on their pads to identify the surface they’re walking on. The pads insulate the inner tissue of the paws from extreme temperatures. This is why their feet don’t get cold when walking in the snow. The fatty tissue that makes up the pads doesn’t freeze like normal skin would. They can, however, burn very quickly on hot pavement. This time of year be sure to test the pavement with the palm of your hand before letting your dog walk on it. If you can hold your hand on the street for at least 10 seconds without it being too hot, it’s probably safe for your dog. Pads can get irritated not only from a hot surface but also from walking on rock salt and other chemicals on the ground. Not to mention the danger of your dog ingesting those chemicals if they lick their paws. Booties are good protection, especially if you live in a place like Arizona where summer temps reach 115. But as I said your dog may fight them, or be tentative when walking with them. 4. That corn chip smell is bacteria. If you’ve ever thought that Frito scent was just another cute thing about your baby, you’ll be surprised to learn it’s a build up of bacteria over time. That’s why you won’t notice it on a puppy. It’s normal though and rarely causes any problems. 5. There are sweat glands in your dog’s paws. Dogs only produce sweat on parts of their bodies not covered with fur, like the nose and the pads of their feet. Their primary means of cooling the body is by panting. But the sweat glands in the paws help with the cooling process. When a dog is nervous or stressed, their paw pads may be moist—like sweaty palms in humans. 6. Dewclaws are the remnants of thumbs. You’ll find dewclaws on the front paws of most dogs. Sometimes they’re on the back paws too. And some breeds like the Beauceron, Great Pyrenees, and Briard have double dewclaws on the back paws. Front dews contain bone and muscle and are good for gripping a chew toy. But there’s no muscle or bone in the back dews, making them pretty useless. But breeds with double dews use them for gripping when walking on steep slopes. Or if they’re herding dogs, they’ll use them when they’re on the backs of the sheep to hold on. 7. Claws grow out of the bone unlike human fingernails. As a result, they share the blood supply with the bone. The blood supply is visible in the nail. It’s called the quick. The quick also has nerves. If you clip it while trimming the nails, it’s painful and bleeds a lot. It’s easy to see the quick on a dog with white claws. If the claws are black or opaque, it’s more difficult. Clip only the pointed end or let a pro do it if you’re not sure where the quick ends. Claws are tougher and thicker than fingernails but they grow just as fast. It’s important to maintain them so they don’t grow so long they hinder your dog’s ability to walk. Active dogs can keep the length under control just from wearing them down on the ground. If your dog isn’t very active, you’ll need to trim them or ask your vet to do it. 8. You can’t predict the size of your adult dog by the size of its puppy feet. Contrary to popular belief, a puppy’s paws are not always a good indicator of their adult size. Bulldog puppy paws are enormous but they don’t grow to be big dogs. Sometimes a puppy with big paws will be big. But the best indicator of a puppy’s ultimate size is its breed, or combination of breeds, and the size of its parents. A puppy will not usually be bigger than its biggest parent. And most pups will reach 75% of their adult height by the time they’re 6 months old. Little paws are one more perfect thing about a puppy. They’re just adorable in every way. So be sure to get your puppy used to having their paws handled from the time they’re young. Massage them regularly. And continue massaging them when they’re adults. Paw massages are good for your dog’s feet. They’re a good way to find things that shouldn’t be there. And they’re a great way to bond with your pet. Summer 2017
Dangerous Dog Toys Elisa Speckert 1. Marrow Bones Marrow bones are often a favorite, inexpensive dog toy. They are all natural and can be found at most butcher shops and grocery stores for just a few dollars. They also last for quite a while and provide a great chewing surface that works wonders to prevent the buildup of tartar on your petâ€™s teeth. Unfortunately, marrow bones do come with some risk. The fatty marrow found in the center of the bones can cause pancreatitis in sensitive dogs, so it is best to scoop most of the center out BEFORE giving it to your pet. In addition, these bones should only be given RAW. Cooking animal bones changes the composition and can cause them to splinter when chewed. Finally, the shorter-cut marrow bones have been known to become stuck behind the canine teeth of the lower jaw, often requiring surgical removal. In order to avoid this problem, you should only buy your dog marrow bones that are longer than their snout.
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2. Rubber Balls There have been several instances lately where rubber or latex balls with only one hole have become stuck on a dogâ€™s lips or tongue. Since the balls have only one hole they are becoming suctioned to the dogâ€™s mouth and there is no way to release the pressure. Extreme suction on one area for an extended period of time can cause extensive tissue damage that is often irreparable. In order to avoid this problem, make sure that all rubber or latex balls chosen for your pet have either multiple holes, or no holes at all. 3. Small Toys Toys that are too small pose choking risks, as well as the potential to become an intestinal foreign body. Balls and stuffed animals that are small enough to be swallowed are incredibly dangerous. Cat toys are the most common offenders and are often small enough to be swallowed, but too large to make it all the way through the intestines. Another common culprit are pieces of larger toys that have been torn apart and are then eaten. Swallowing these things can result in an intestinal blockage that requires emergency surgery to correct. In order to make sure this does not happen to your pet, be sure to choose toys that pose absolutely no risk of being swallowed and make sure you pick up all toys that have been shredded into smaller pieces. 4. Rawhides Rawhide bones are another common dog toy that often result in problems. If your dog chews on rawhide bones but does not eat them they are relatively safe, but if your dog has been known to chew off large pieces of rawhide (especially the end pieces of bones) then rawhides can be extremely dangerous. They are often swallowed and they absorb water and swell within the stomach, growing in size and rendering them unable to pass through the intestines. Foreign body surgery to remove the large chunk of rawhide is then the only way to solve the problem. Pressed rawhide chews that dissolve in the stomach are a much safer option, but no matter what type of rawhide you choose for your pet, the best way to prevent problems is to supervise them while they are chewing on their toy. Elisa Speckert is a Veterinarian Technician at River Road Veterinary Clinic in Norwich, VT. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont. Summer 2017
Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: Heat Dangers for our Pets
Vermont Veterinary Medical Association M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
W ith temperatures on the rise, many people don’t realize that our pets can
have trouble with heat too. If you think it’s hot outside, imagine wearing a fur coat in this heat! In addition, our pets have very limited ways of cooling themselves. Pets pant and that’s about it. It’s the season of street fairs, festivals, and other community events for humans. While you are enjoying the attractions, in the crowded venue your dog is being jostled, stepped on, eating who knows what that’s fallen on the ground, and often, overheating. Many events prohibit dogs for this reason, and
because people often will leave dogs in the car to avoid the above dangers. This is even worse for them. Sadly, every year veterinarians see cases where dogs die from heat stroke after being left in a parked car, often with the windows rolled down a couple of inches. A pet will only last for a short while in a parked car - this is true even with the windows rolled partially down: the inside temperature of a car can reach 120 to 160 degrees in just 30 minutes. If we have to sit in the car while a friend runs into a store, the first thing we do is turn on the air conditioning or roll the windows all the way down, or even keep the car door open. Imagine how hard it is for your dog, who has a fur coat, cannot sweat, and is locked in the car with temperatures rising and the windows just open an inch or two! If you leave your pet in your car on a hot day, you are risking their lives and potentially criminal charges. Police and animal control officers will not hesitate to break a car window to access a distressed dog locked in a hot car, if you can’t be located. And, once they do find you, charges will likely be in order. Continued Next Page
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The solution? If you cannot bear to leave your dog at home before heading off to that fun summer event, check in advance to make sure dogs are allowed. Bring water for your pet to drink and also to wet him down. Keep dogs on a short lead and keep a close eye on them to avoid them eating people food that’s been dropped. (That can cause serious stomach upset). If you are going to leave your dog at home, outside, it is extremely important to provide pets with a few basic survival items in this heat. If your dog is going to spend the day outside, remember to provide shade, (keep in mind that a shady area in the morning could be a sunny one in the afternoon). Leave a sprinkler on or hose down the dog two to three times a day. Provide a lot of drinking water, and put ice cubes in it to help it stay cold. Some owners run a fan on the porch for their pets, or bring them inside during the hottest hours of the day. Many dogs dig cooling holes this time of year: it is normal. Don’t forget your outdoor cats. Leave a bowl of fresh water out for them at all times. All veterinarians have seen and treated many cases of heat stress and heat stroke: many of them fatal. If your pet’s temperature goes just a few degrees above normal, organ damage and potentially, death can occur. Signs a pet may be in trouble from the heat include vigorous panting at rest, unwillingness to rise, frothing from the nose or mouth, or rigid muscles. If you find a pet in trouble, remove it from the hot environment: (shade, indoors). Wet the body with cool (not cold) water and wet the pads of the feet with rubbing alcohol. No ice or cold water should be applied. (This is because serious clotting disorders can be triggered by cooling the pet too fast.) Then call and transport your pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible. We cannot prevent summer heat, but we can prevent most cases of heat stroke and stress in pets with common sense precautions. Don’t leave your pet in the car, even for a few minutes, and if you leave them outside at home, follow the above preventative guidelines. They may save your pet’s life. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) is a professional organization of 350 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.vtvets.org or call (802) 878-6888. Summer 2017
Laryngeal Disease may be present at birth or acquired.
Laryngeal Paralysis Lisa Cogan, DVM - Grantham, NH
T here are many times in veterinary medicine where taking a full history, and performing a complete physical examination will bring a veterinarian very
close to a correct diagnosis. There are other times when the vetâ€™s suspicion for a particular condition can be high, simply by observing an animalâ€™s behavior from a distance. Laryngeal paralysis is an example of the later. With this condition, the veterinarian would see a dog with very loud breathing, a very hoarse bark, and a tendency for the dog to gag or cough when it eats or drinks. What seem to be trivial changes early in the disease process can become life threatening to your dog over time if not addressed. The larynx, also known as the voice box, is a group of muscles, ligaments, and cartilages in a dogâ€™s throat. The larynx is a gateway at the top of the trachea, or wind pipe. The muscles of the larynx are supposed to function in two ways: they open wide to let air in to the trachea and lungs when breathing in, and they close tightly during swallowing to direct food or water into the esophagus instead of into the lungs. Laryngeal paralysis occurs when the larynx is unable to open or close properly. The exact cause of the condition is largely unknown, but it is seen mostly in dogs, and very rarely in cats. As a rule, it is a slowly progressive issue of older (greater than 10 years), larger dogs. It can be diagnosed in any breed, but it is over represented in Labrador Retrievers. In the Bouvier des Flanders, it has been identified as an inherited disease, typically developing in dogs less than 6 months of age. Although a direct correlation has not been determined, it can often be diagnosed along with other degenerative nerve (neuropathy) or muscle (myopathy) conditions. The most frequent complaints owners report are loud breathing that worsens with excitement or anxiety, exercise intolerance, lethargy, change in the sound of the bark, and coughing or gagging when eating. The reasons for these symptoms Continued On Page 50
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are simple. First, if the vocal folds do not open wide enough to allow air in, they create an obstruction. This generates a lot of noise and decreases oxygen intake. Second, when a dog eats or drinks, a small amount of food or water is allowed into their trachea, stimulating the cough. This can become a life-threatening issue! The dog can either develop pneumonia or their inability to breathe can cause them to panic, further inhibiting their ability to breathe. This downward spiral can very quickly lead to overheating, swelling of the throat, collapse, and even death. A presumptive diagnosis of laryngeal paralysis can often be made based on history, symptoms, and a physical examination. A definitive diagnosis can be made by sedating a dog to examine the ability of the vocal folds to open and close while it breathes. This also allows the veterinarian to look at the rest of the throat to ensure there isn’t a mass or an abnormality of the soft palate. Radiographs (X-rays) of the dog’s neck and chest are sometimes indicated as well. Traditional recommendations for treatment for laryngeal paralysis are either medical management, or surgical correction. A third alternative for treatment is acupuncture therapy. With medical management, the focus is placed on
decreasing pressure on the throat, and keeping the dog as calm, cool, and quiet as possible. Using a harness for walking, ensuring the dog is a healthy weight, avoiding or minimizing exposure to heat and humidity, and minimizing strenuous exercise are important in all cases. These recommendations are beneficial regardless of severity of a dog’s symptoms. Some owners have light sedative prescribed for use should the dog start to get anxious, and begin straining to breathe. Calming the dog down can help prevent dangerous and rapid progression of symptoms. Sedative use requires careful consideration, and informed decision making as to when a veterinarian’s intervention is needed. Acupuncture therapy is something to consider prior to surgery. In recent years, there have been more and more studies, both with humans and animals, to support the efficacy of acupuncture. The National Institute of Health has issued consensus statements in support of its effectiveness. I recently had a patient that was considering surgery, but her owner wanted to avoid it at all costs. We were both relieved when her dog responded quickly to acupuncture. After the first treatment, the dog could walk farther, she was panting less, and her breathing quieted so much that her owner didn’t always know where she was in the house! In more severe cases, there are several surgical options. However, it is very important for an owner to understand that the surgeries are not able to make the larynx function normally again. The goal of surgery is to help improve the pet’s ability to breathe by making the larynx wider, while still protecting the airway. Not all patients are appropriate surgical candidates. Pre-surgical tests, like blood work, help determine an individual dog’s level of risk. Unfortunately, with any of the available procedures, the larynx’s ability to keep food and water out of the airway will likely be decreased. This means that the risk of aspiration pneumonia and other complications becomes higher. If you are concerned that your own dog may be experiencing symptoms of laryngeal paralysis, there is quite a bit of help available to you. Recognizing the symptoms early and initiating supportive care and treatment early could be life saving for your best friend. Lisa Cogan grew up in Sunapee and received her Bachelors of Animal Science from University of New Hampshire and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University in 2001. Visit her at Sugar River Animal Hospital in Grantham, NH
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Fact or Fiction Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH On December 19th, 1941 a local farmer was returning home with his horse and wagon after delivering a load of produce to town. It was a snowy day and traveling was rough. Somewhere between town and home something happened to this poor farmer. The next day his mother found the horse and wagon in their yard, but no farmer. She unharnessed and fed the horse and waited for her son to return. After many hours she took off on foot in the snow to look for him, which was pretty amazing, since she was over ninety. She found her son in the snow as the paper said â€œbeyond earthly care.â€? That pretty much sums up the newspaper article. The story I was told, was that the farmer was attacked and killed by a Mountain Lion. To this day a lot of people in town believe this to be the truth. However, after doing some research, it turns out that after selling his produce the farmer was known to stop at the local tavern for some adult beverages. After a few too many he headed home, and on the way there he passed out and literally fell off the wagon. Eventually he froze to death. But the gruesome part was his carcass had been gnawed on by something, probably a Bobcat. People call me now and again to tell me they have seen Mountain Lions, Lynx, and even Wolves. Now it is not impossible for these animals to be here, but it is unlikely. Especially Mountain Lions. Many people including myself spend lots of time in the woods and have never seen any sign. One person showed me a picture of a so called Mountain Lion which turned out to be a large housecat. I have seen lots of Bobcats though. Lynx and Wolves have been spotted in Northern New Hampshire. So again it is not impossible. I do believe that sometimes the mind misdiagnoses what some of us actually see. For Example: I received a call from a lady who said her chickens were being eaten by a coyote. During the conversation she stated that the coyote was so big it must be a wolf. I set some traps and a few days later I caught a sickly Red Fox weighing between 8 and 10 lbs. It was missing fur and smelled real bad. Showing it to the lady, she insisted that it was not the culprit. However I did not catch anything else, nor did she lose another chicken. Summer 2017
Mountain Lions, Lynx, and Wolves are very large animals. Wolves can weigh well over 100lbs and a Mountain Lion can be over nine feet long. Everyone wants to see something no one else has seen, but the reality is that most sightings are coyotes and bobcats. If you have had a legitimate sighting of these or any other non-native species please contact me through my web site estatewildlifecontrol.com 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.
Coyotes John Peaveler
ummer in New England is a special time for those of us who endure the long, cold winters. Sunny days stretch out to the solstice, and clear nights reveal an endless blanket of stars. Throughout the cold months, I look forward to those hours in the open air, taking it all in on my deck for a few minutes every night before bed. There is a peace and a stillness in those times, watching the dance of lightening bugs and listening to the sounds of frogs, crickets, and if I’m really fortunate, the yips, yowls, calls, and howls of coyote. This peace and beauty is what keeps us living here and it’s what keeps our tourist economy moving. In these times, in my own little remote corner of the Vermont wilderness, I can close my eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine that all around me, things are as they should be. I want to believe that, but the coyotes sound is more than just another call of nature. It is a doleful cry of mourning; an all too audible reminder of man’s drive to control by force that which he does not understand. Coyotes occupy quite possibly the most perplexing position of any animal in America. This perplexity originates inside our own homes. I personally live with four of the approximately 80 million pet dogs found in America’s families. Like many another, they eat their way through my budget, keep my credit cards busy when they get injured or sick, fart with stunning regularity and potency, seem to want to kill all delivery service employees,
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and bring me such companionship and joy that I really can’t imagine living without them. Dogs are, quite simply, an indelible part of our society, a permanent part of how so many of us choose to live our lives. Herein lies the mystery. Coyotes are the second closest relative to domestic dogs in nature, members of the same genus. They are bearers of many of the same physical and behavioral traits, and yet a society which extolls the virtues of the one species, spending billions of dollars annually for their care and protection, allows 24/7, 365 killing of the other. Coyotes are the target of substantial violence. Killing contests occur regularly right here in New Hampshire and Vermont, challenging participants to kill the most individuals in a set period of time. Throughout the year, coyotes are mostly killed as vermin, but they are also trapped or otherwise killed for their fur, which is used as trim on many popular brands of coat. It is, quite frankly, a social paradox and a moral pitfall to love dogs and brutalize coyotes, their close wild relative. Coyotes are no saints. They are, instead, wild animals. Even more importantly, coyotes are generalists, meaning that they will adapt to almost any climate and will utilize almost any food source, living or dead, wild or domesticated. Coyotes are good at finding what they need to survive, which in turn can result in them getting themselves into conflict with humans. That conflict has resulted
in decades of nation-wide eradication policies. Justifiable? It may seem that way to a farmer or rancher trying to protect their animals, but it certainly cannot be said that it’s been effective. Specialist animals that rely on particular food sources and/or climates collapse quickly under sustained pressure (e.g. grey wolves), but a generalist animal like a coyote adapts. Under pressure, more pack females breed and they breed more frequently. In addition, they move to other habitats, adjusting rapidly to totally new environments. The result of eradication policies has been that coyotes have moved from a central North American range into nearly all parts of the continent and into habitats ranging from forest and desert to plains and cities. Human pressure has forced this animal to breed faster and live in far more places than ever before. What was once a regional issue is now a continental issue. A social media search on the subject of coyotes will reveal an eerie mixture of love, support, sightings, disgust, hatred, and violence. One recent photo indicative of the campaign to kill coyotes shows a dead coyote hanging upside-down and features a range of comments including these: “Nice seeing em hang’n!!!!” and “That’s a nice fat one! Kill ‘em all!” This is not management. It’s not carving out a balance between our needs and theirs. This is just blood lust, and it is sanctioned by state and federal management departments. Real problems deserve real solutions. Coyote and human coexistence is complex, to be sure, but difficult problems need rational, logical, and effective solutions. We will not resolve this issue through continued pointless violence. If you want to see real management, you need to add your voice to the growing call for change. Contact your local legislators today and get involved with Protect Our Wildlife Vermont (http://www.protectourwildlifevt.org/). John Peaveler is an Animal Welfare Consultant with over ten years experience working with all types of animals on three continents. He lives with his wife and two children in West Fairlee, Vermont and continues to work and write at home and abroad. Summer 2017
ucks make entertaining, interactive, vocal and busy pets that can form strong bonds with their owners. They spend their time looking for Susan Tullar, DVM - Bradford, VT food and swimming. They should be housed on straw, hay, peat moss or sand. Concrete should be avoided due to risks of developing bumblefoot, a crippling foot infection.
Most males are silent and very few actually "quack"
Diets for ducks can consist of commercial pelleted diets that meet their various needs and life stages. Most species are omnivores and will forage for fresh grasses, leaves, stems, flowers, roots and seeds of aquatic plants, garden snails, slugs, worms, night crawlers and bloodworms. Uneaten food should be removed daily and unlimited access to clean water should be provided at all times. Because ducks are very messy, they benefit from extra filtration in their pools or ponds. Most ducks may be identified as male or female by about 6 weeks of age. The females quack loudly while males make a soft, muffled, hoarse sound. Male ducks, or drakes, will grow a curled tail feather when they mature. One male should be with housed with multiple females to alleviate breeding pressure on the females. Ducks breed in the spring and early summer with egg laying subsiding by fall. Proper care for these entertaining animals will lead to a long healthy life of up to 10-15 years. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about foot swelling, wounds or respiratory problems as these can all lead to poor quality of life and a shortened life span. Dr. Susan Tullar (formerly Dr. Dyer) DVM, sees ducks, rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, and other exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic in Bradford, VT, 802-222-4903 www.bradfordvet.com Summer 2017
An Introduction to Therapy Dogs Deb Helfrich, Therapy Dogs of Vermont
I t’s been a dreadful day. The car wouldn’t start. Traffic made you late. You
spilled coffee on your new pants. The boss moved your deadline UP by a week. Full of frustration, you throw the front door open… and there is YOUR dog. Her entire body wags. She rolls on her back for a tummy rub. You can’t help but smile. As you touch her soft fur and feel the warmth of her body, thoughts of stained pants and looming deadlines slip away. Think about the capacity our own pets have to ease stress, make us happy, offer
comfort. Apply this to elders in nursing homes, patients in hospitals, children in day cares—this is the heart of canine therapy. Canine therapy works toward the emotional health of people in a wide variety of settings. In fact, elder care facilities may be one of the most frequented types of places for therapy dog vis its. Visiting with elders can be a wonderful experience for both dog and handler! For example, the highlight of my week is visiting my friends at Starr Farm Nursing Center. I’m sure any of our TDV
members can tell you a heartwarming story or two about the places they visit and the people they meet. It is a joy to me when my dog lights up the face of an elder who perhaps doesn’t get many visitors, and I enjoy listening to the wonderful stories elders carry with them. And, the special moments when I can comfort an elder who may be depressed, disoriented, anxious, afraid, or ill are ones that simply make everything worthwhile; these are the moments when the magical interaction between animal and human is unmistakable. Tears dry. Frowns become smiles. Inactive hands caress soft fur. Silence becomes a conversation whispered softly in a dog’s ear. During visits, dogs may play ball with a patient, sit to be patted, do a few tricks, or take walks with those who are able. For a bedridden patient, a dog might hop on the bed and rest quietly with him or her. Sometimes, all a dog can do is be there for someone to look at. There are all sorts of activities and levels of interaction possible— based on whatever the person needs at the time.
Dogs can have a profound ability to touch and engage people. For example, during their visits, therapy dogs routinely: • Bring joy and laughter to institutions that might feel sterile, cold, and frightening. • Give something to do, talk, and think about other than the illness, difficulty, or problem. • Help people cope with illness, loss, depression, and loneliness. • Stimulate the senses, facilitating exercise and activity. • Encourage communication and break the ice. • Provide a source of touch and affiliation. • Boost morale and lower stress levels. Therapy Dogs of Vermont (TDV) is an allvolunteer, non-profit organization of wellmannered, sweet tempered, people-loving dogs and their handlers. Our handler/ canine teams work toward the emotional health of people in a variety of settings such as hospitals and other health-related venues, nursing and retirement homes, child and adult day care centers, correctional facilities, and schools. All dogs are certified and insured. For more information about becoming a certified therapy dog team, to request therapy dog visits, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: therapydogs.org
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A Stray Cat's Best Friend Colin Butcher and Molly: 'She has helped to rescue eleven cats so far.’
Photograph: Mark Chilvers for the Guardian
olly is the world’s first trained cat detection dog. Her job is to rescue missing kitties. We had been looking for a dog with a particular temperament and intelligence to join our team of pet detectives for 18 months. We had scouts out and had spoken to the country’s top breeders. We needed a quick learner; one small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies cats hide in. Mostly, we needed a dog with no desire whatsoever to chase cats. I came up with the idea in 2014. I had been doing the job for 20 years and my business, Pet Detectives, was getting around 30 calls a week about missing cats. When cats go to ground, they go into a comatose-like state and if they are not found quickly, within a fortnight, they often don’t survive after being rescued. One particular couple who called me had bought their cat after struggling to have children. We found it in a neighbor’s garden shed, but it later died. Seeing them so bereft was a tipping point for me. I worked in the police as a detective inspector for many years, and had seen dogs search for drugs and bombs and help with murder investigations. I figured, if a dog can be trained to find amphetamines, then it can be trained to find cats. We found Molly, an 18-month-old black-haired cocker spaniel, on Gumtree. She was a giveaway. The ad said: “Needs a good home, cannot cope.” If cocker spaniels are not stimulated they become uncontrollable. She had been passed from pillar to post and had three owners in under two years. I first met her in February 2016, at the home of Medical Detection Dogs, the charity that would help train her. We had already rejected 12 dogs without seeing them. Three others didn’t make it through initial training: one was too timid, one got car sick and the other was too inclined to chase. At first, Molly was anxious. But she had intelligent eyes and was a problem-solver. She was also hyper and fixated on catching tennis balls. She had the right temperament: a bright working dog from a breed Summer 2017
Molly has helped to rescue 11 cats so far, and our search success has increased by a third. She wears a fluorescent harness and has her own abseiling kit, which we once used to lower her over a 10ft wall. We’re getting special boots made to protect her feet in outbuildings where there may be nails or glass. Many people said that training a dog to rescue cats was crazy; that all dogs chased cats and it couldn’t be done. Nothing has felt quite so rewarding as seeing it work. People are fascinated when they watch Molly at work, but she’s not fussed. She still doesn’t know that those things with four legs that she searches for are called cats. To her, it is just her favorite game.
with a natural disposition to search for game. We just had to channel that instinct into finding cats. She had to be “cat-tested”, so we took her to a farm with a dozen cats to see if she would chase them. She didn’t even bark. Her focus was on interacting with her handler. Her training took nine months with experts, including two doctors of canine behavior. This had never been done before. She was a quick learner. The first phase was lab training, where we taught her to isolate scents. She then worked with a behavioral specialist who taught her to understand signals and commands. The final stage was teaching us to work together. On assignments, Molly is trained to pick up cats’ scents from their bedding. When she finds the missing cat, she lies down to signal success, so as not to scare them, but you can see her trembling with excitement. She gets rewarded with her super-treat: black pudding. Her first success was in February this year. A tri-colored cat had been sighted six miles from home on the roof of a garden shed. Molly quickly picked up her scent on the grass. I sent her across the back of 30 gardens until she started clawing at a fence. She charged across the lawn to a summer house and lay down. The cat was inside. The owners were over the moon and quite amazed by her.
Three Sweet Dog Stories Kate Kelly
hile researching various topics, I come upon some amazing stories I think you will agree they are well worth sharing: The New York Times, December 8, 1884 A Connecticut Dog Story (reprinted from The Hartford Courant) A Stamford dog which has been used to drink at a certain trough found it empty the other day, but a hose lying close by. After evident consideration he picked up the hose in his mouth, put the end in the trough and waited for the water to run. It is pleasant to know that having got so far there was a kindly witness who turned the stop-cock [turning on the water] so that the dog’s hopes were realized.
New York Times, June 12, 1873 A Nashua Dog Story (reprinted from the Nashua, N.H. Telegraph) The paper reports: “One of our carriers relates that a gentleman who lives about three-quarters of a mile east of his route wanted to subscribe to the paper, and he [the carrier] told him it was too far away, whereupon the gentleman said, ‘That’s all right; I’ll send Tom for it.’ The boy did not understand just what was meant, but the next night he found a big dog waiting for him, and was told by a neighbor that he was to give Mr. B___’s paper to the dog. Tom took the paper like a little man and started for home. That was three weeks ago. The dog has been on time all but two nights when the carrier left the paper on a post, and upon inquiry the next night learned that Tom took it.” The New York Times, November 7, 1871 A Dog Story from Truthful Boston (reprinted from The Boston Herald of November 5) Mr. Edward Watts, a well-known citizen residing at 23 Harvard Street, tells a very remarkable story about a pair of English bull terriers that he owns and prizes very highly. He says, and Officer Coombs of the Fourth Station vouches for the truth of the story, that one day last week he had occasion to go from his house to Portland Street, a good mile , for the purpose of paying a small bill. Arriving at Portland Street with the dogs, he met the man he wished to see on the sidewalk, and there paid the bill, at the time dropping a twenty dollar bill to the curb stone, though he knew nothing about it till his arrival home two hours afterward, and after calling at several places on his way home. Finding this $20 bill gone, he took his dogs and started back calling at the places he visited on his way home. On reaching Sudbury Street he called his dog Jess, showed him a $20 bill, looked about on the ground as if hunting for it, and told the dog to “smell it out.” The dog then started off with his nose to the ground in front of his master., and pushing round into the Portland Street where they had been before, and where the bill was paid, he stopped and poked about the dirt with his nose and in a few minutes ran up to his master with the lost $20 bill in his mouth. That looks like a very tough story, but if truthful men are to be believed then this story is true. 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
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Intimate Things T
here are so many reasons why summer is such a wonderful time of the year. None of them are better than the other. They are all good. Laundry dried outside on the line certainly makes the list for two reasons. If summer had a smell, it would be the undeniable scent of clothes and sheets that have dried in the warmth of the summer sun with a gentle southern breeze to shake loose the wrinkles. If that weren’t enough, just the fact that it doesn’t cost you a dime to run the clothes line. It was on one particular laundry day in July when I heard a commotion out back. As I opened the door, I saw a stray dog trying to play catch with my hanging laundry and in particular, my lingerie. Just as I shouted, the dog made a final leap and snatched my favorite intimate. As I gave chase to the little thief, he
refused to heel as I screamed repeatedly, “Give me my panties!” He had a good lead on me when I noticed a man drop to one knee before the dog. When I breathlessly caught up to the two of them I asked, “Is this your dog?” “No.”, he replied. “Are these yours?” as he held up my black, favorite Victoria Secret. More than just a little embarrassed, I quickly grabbed my panties as he shared that the address on the dog’s collar was just around the corner. As we brought the dog to its home, we laughed about our escapade. Later that night as we dined together, I thought of the dog and was thankful he grabbed my underwear and not my mother’s “granny panties.” HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY this summer to Alicia and Bob from 4 Legs & a Tail.
The Osmanski family loves to introduce Koda to new friends. The 5 month old husky/pomeranian splits her time between Long Island and Springfield, VT
Priscilla Daggett - Calais, VT
hen my cat, Mia, is in a sociable mood, she sometimes watches TV with me. We sit side by side on the futon, facing the small screen. Recently there was an episode of the PBS series Nature, and it was entitled, simply, “Cats.” I thought Mia might enjoy it As if summoned, she hopped up on the futon and turned her gaze toward the TV. The action got going right away, and the first cat to appear was a fearsome creature called a “Pallas’s Cat”. He looked like a lion who had been squashed in a trash Mia compactor, and his ears stuck straight out on the sides of his head. My Mia perked up hers, which are on the top of her head, and stared at the apparition on the screen. I explained to her that he was far away and would not come and get her. The Iberian Lynx was next. He looked built for speed, with long legs, and his big, tall ears gave him a look of extreme alertness. Mia came to attention again, and looked at me for reassurance. I told her he lives across the ocean. At that point she began to lose interest and would soon begin a nap. The TV, no matter how dramatic the video, can’t hold her attention for long, unless there is a realistic animal sound. But even then, something is missing. An African lion appeared, shaking his mane, and did a head-twisting roar. Mia jerked awake and looked bewildered. There was something there, but... Cats’ sense of smell is fourteen times more powerful than ours. Dogs are famously much more sensitive smellers, even than cats, and books are written about their olfactory prowess. But felines use their own powerful sense of smell, along with their acute vision, to identify, to sort out, to understand their environment and the creatures in it. The scent will tell them what is prey and what will prey upon them. A cat watching an image on the TV is like a person looking at another person and seeing a cardboard cutout. The TV picture, no matter how expert the photography, has no odor. So the “Cats” show could not hold my Mia for long, even when the sinister, low slung Jaguarundi crept onto the screen. My own small, sleek, calico domestic cat hopped down, gave a last look over her shoulder and slunk off to the bedroom. Clearly, to a cat, where there is no odor, there is no life.
According to Jennifer Hodge of Norwich, Millie the three legged cat can really get around.
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and PERSONAL Janet Rosa - Etna, NH
e all wish for certain experiences in our lives; mine was to see a Moose – in real life. I heard so many wonderful stories about this magnificent creature. They are docile unless provoked; they are very large and are not necessarily bright. I always wanted to see one because I couldn't imagine, in my mind's eye, that an animal's legs could be that tall. Excited about the conference in Wyoming, I knew that I would find a Moose. The days were busy with seminars, networking, and enjoying the beautiful Wyoming weather. Jogging every morning was a ritual – No Moose sightings. One morning an associate and I decided to take a different route, one that numerous attendees jogged and walked. This particular route abutted the plains where the Moose and Elk resided. Although I was reticent, I wanted to be “one of the guys.” The resort was high above the dirt road and the only exit route, other than the dirt road, was a steep, curving path of dirt, rock and sagebrush leading back up the mountainside to the resort. A path that I decided was not one that I would partake. Little did I know that this path would lead to our survival. Walking briskly along and chatting about business, not a care in the world on this beautiful sunny day, a Moose came out of the sagebrush from nowhere. Nose to nose – there we were! Do you realize how large a Moose is – up close and personal? Very large and looming. Adrenaline pumping and the fear of what was in front of me, I screamed and ran like hell up the steep and winding path. My associate was much bolder than I. He stood there and took pictures while this Moose moved forward rapidly. At one point, I know he realized that he should beat it out of there fast, especially when he saw my red jogging suit dotting the mountainside. Quickly he was behind me and the Moose behind him. Who said Moose were not bright? This one had an agenda – he was after us. As we climbed the mountainside; he climbed the mountainside but not behind us - beside us. We ran up – he ran up. We ran down – he ran down. I tried to hide behind a tree but there was no running or hiding from this guy. We repeated this fancy footwork three times. Summer 2017
I thought, how bizarre. I wanted to see a Moose, not be stalked and charged. While we are experiencing a life and death situation, people below are jogging happily along not realizing the trauma above. On the second try to escape, we saw a group of joggers coming down the road so we ran to stop them and up we went again to avoid the Moose. Two things are vivid in my mind. One is the jogger who was in incredible shape to have run past me and my associate up the mountainside, overcoming the speed of the Moose. I resent him to this day. The second thought was the fruitlessness of the situation. We were never going to get away. I was breathless at this point ad couldn't imagine going any further until the Moose came at us once again. At this point, I grabbed the back of my associates' pants for the fast run down the path again. They say Moose are colorblind; I don't believe this. I had a red suit on and that Big Guy was focused on me. Our third try led to the sighting of the baby on the dirt road. Ahhahh! So now we know why – but where do we go from here? We have a crazed Moose who is protecting her baby from two crazy people frantically running up and down a mountain. Incoming joggers gathered by and we all waited for the Moose to continue on up the mountain with her baby and we jogged to safety. Other than a wrenched back on my part, we are alive and well. There are two morals to the story: one is “be careful what you wish for” and the other is “Moose aren't stupid.”
ccording to the classic hit, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” legendary songwriter and storyteller Jim Croce proclaimed the south side of Chicago as the mid-west’s home of street smarts, self preservation and “the baddest part of town.” At nineteen years old and being a life-long White Sox fan, I figured my Southside root’s would be more than sufficient for the toughness of life in Vermont. Then again... As I settled into my broadcasting career in Randolph, VT in the fall of ‘82, I couldn’t help but notice the leaves and how they reminded me of the colors in a bowl of Trix cereal. A short time later, as I was walking over the
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bridge on Main Street, I also noticed a man approaching with a shotgun. On the Southside of Chicago this meant a liquor store was going down. However, in Vermont this was more likely the first day of deer season, and just about everyone walked around with a gun. Welcome to the Green Mountain State. After six months, I thought the worst of my culture shock was behind me, until one afternoon. Finishing a routine maintenance call at the radio station’s transmitter building at the top of the hill, my exit was abruptly blocked by a snorting and stomping stray bull. My attempts to side-step him from the narrow trail were quickly put to rest, as he began to violently shake his massive horns and begin a most aggressive charge. As I retreated back into the transmitter building, where I hoped construction of the 6x8 building did not go to the lowest bidder, I phoned for the Calvary. “I’m trapped at the transmitter by a wild bull. You need to send help, and lots of it!” I exclaimed to the station manager. “Relax. I’ll call the farmer at the bottom of the hill and let him know his bull is loose,” he replied. Ten minutes had passed when I finally heard voices. Figuring all of the sturdy farm hands had come to wrestle the beast, I slowly opened the door. There stood a single farmer, who was almost half my size and, everyday of four times my age. He grabbed the bull by the horns, swore at him a couple of times, and spun him around back down the trail with a parting slap to his backside. As I meekly walked from the building, the old farmer apologized profusely. Embarrassed, I accepted gracefully and muttered a Barney Fife-like excuse, “I would have done that, but didn’t want to hurt him.” It was a short time later that I joined the gym.
Dog Days of Summer 2017 Central NH & VT
When Porcupines Strike! How Old is Your Pet? Meet the Cat Detective Teaching Good Behavior Benefits On the Back of a Horse