Celebrate National Cat Day Veterans and Their Dogs Soccer Star Christian Press & Morena Careers in Equine Are you ready for the next round of ticks?
Autumn 2017 Central NH & VT
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
3. National Cat Day
Get set to celebrate on October 29 with your favorite feline
4. Upper Valley Humane Society’s 11th Annual Benefit Auction
Mark your calendar for October 28th and A Night For Paws in Hanover
5. The Year of the Dog Share some screen time with your favorite dog as
Cable Access TV ushers in the Chinese New Year
6. Wag It Forward
Make plans to attend Vermont's largest dog festival this fall
7. Narcan For K-9 Units in Vermont, Staci DaSilva
On the job protection for Vermont State Police canine officers
8. The Dog House is Open for Business!
Check out the Upper Valley's newest doggie daycare and kennel
10. Confronting Animal Cruelty, John Peaveler The Humane Society of the
United States' effort to shut down a New Hampshire puppy mill
12. Low Stress Ways to Get Your Very Feisty (Claws-Out) Cat to the Vet, Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD 13. The Clawful Truth, Ruthanne Johnson Learn the facts about declawing and kinder,
gentler solutions to the couch-versus-claws conflict
15. Here a Snip, There a Snip, Everywhere a VSNIP in Vermont! A look at the states low income spay and neutering program 17. MOOOve Over Cow’s Milk: Alternative Dairy Products Alleviate Cancer Symptoms and Keep Our Pets Healthy, Holly McClelland 19. Planting Fall Bulbs to Help Pollinators in the Springtime, Catherine Greenleaf Bring back the honeybees and butterflies, dump the toxic bulbs 20. Let's Talk Turkey Ever wonder why there are so many wild turkeys?
22. What About Bob?, Scott Borthwick A look at the growing Bobcat population 24. Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Good For Your Dog?, Jennifer Driscoll 25. A Potentially Great Dog, Chet Womack
Why training is so important to you and your dog
26. Dogs and Children, Paula Bergeron
How to handle dogs around children, and children around dogs
28. Camping With Your Dog, Mike Robertson
What you should know BEFORE you go camping with your dog this fall
30. Back to School, Jessica Stewart Riley
A look at exciting careers in the equine industry thanks to Vermont Technical College
33. Matching Horse & Rider in Therapy, Sue Miller
The secret to a successful therapy horse
36. Fire Safety for Pets - October is National Fire Prevention Month
Be sure you and your pets are prepared
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
37. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Your Cat, Elisa Speckert
Preventative measures of F.I.V.
38. Importance of Advanced Imaging - Ultrasounds, Dr. Annalisa Prahl, DVM, DACVIM 39. So...Are You Ticked Off Yet?, Michael Tanneberger D.V.M.
Get ready as the next round of tick season is about to begin
42. Alternatively Speaking: Veterinary Chiropractic Care, Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 45. Intervertebral Disc Disease, Catherine MacLean, DVM
I.V.V.D. doesn’t need to be a death sentence for most dogs.
47. A Book Over Twenty Years in the Making, Tanya Sousa
A look at how Cookie’s Fortune finally made it to bookstores
49. Halloween Hints, Pat Rauch Do's and don'ts this Halloween 50. Once the Teeth Are Clean, Let's Keep Them That Way Sandra Waugh, DVM, MS The next best alternative to brushing 52. What Morena Taught me About Being a Better Footballer, Christen Press
How one dog helped a soccer player reach an elite level
56. Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats… 6 Reasons To Give It To Your Pet, Jill Feinstein 58. The Hunt A spooky tale about a man and his dog
59. Two of a Kind 4 Legs & a Tail salutes our veterans this Veterans Day
as one soldier finds the perfect dog
61. Smokey, Yorkshire Terrier and WWII War Dog, Kate Kelly
An accounting of the heroic efforts of the smallest hero of the second World War
64. The Cat Who Came to Thanksgiving Dinner
Sometimes you just never know who might show up
65. Mrs Doubtfire When a litter of abandoned kittens were found huddling together with
their cat "mom", the rescuers were surprised to discover that their "mama" was not mom at all.
66. The Dundee Cat According to this old Scottish folktale, be careful what you wish for 68. A Gift for Gus, Karen Sturtevant
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.317 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com 2 4 Legs & a Tail
A happy ending thanks to the Vermont English Bulldog Rescue Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis Kerry Rowland Sales: Karyn Swett Scott Palzer
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.
NATIONAL CAT DAY OCTOBER 29TH!
AMAZING CAT FACTS A cat can make over 100 vocal sounds (dogs can make 10) A cat sleeps 14 hours a day Americans spend more annually on cat food than on baby food. In 1987 cats overtook dogs as the number one pet in America. Cats are the only animal that walk on their claws, not the pads of their feet. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear. The average cat food meal is the equivalent to about five mice. A group of youngsters (kittens) is called a kindle; those old-timers (adult cats) form a clowder. A cat can jump seven times as high as it is tall. People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or to cat dander. If the resident cat is bathed regularly the allergic people tolerate it better. Besides smelling with their nose, cats can smell with an additional organ called the Jacobson’s organ, located in the upper surface of the mouth.
o you’re a cat lover. That’s not surprising, since households with cats are at such a high percentage in New England (Vermont actually leads the nation in cat ownership with more than 50% of the households owning a cat!). This fall, celebrate the joy your feline friend brings you on National Cat Day, October 29. Let the fun begin! Here are a few fun ideas for your consideration:
Like birds, cats have a homing ability that uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun, and the Earth’s magnetic field. A cat taken far from its home can return to it. But if a cat’s owners move far from its home, the cat can’t find them. It has been scientifically proven that owning cats is good for our health and can decrease the occurrence of high blood pressure and other illnesses. Stroking a cat can help to relieve stress, and the feel of a purring cat on your lap conveys a strong sense of security and comfort.
- Buy your cat a premium canned food - Help an elderly person clean their litter box - Post a picture of you and your cat on Facebook - Brush your cat - Get a laser and play a game of “Catch the Spot” - Check your cat’s collar and make sure the information is up to date - Get your cat microchipped and registered - Make a donation to the Humane Society or a kitty rescue in your cat’s name - Replace cat toys which are worn or no longer used (yes, cats get bored too) - Bake some cat-shaped cookies for the office - Have fish for dinner and share the leftovers - Clean your cats bed or favorite blanket - Wash the inside of the litter box - Bring your cat to the vet for blood work and exam - Share your favorite cat story with a friend, relative or 4 Legs & a Tail - Have the kids draw a “kitty portrait” Fall 2017
Upper Valley Humane Society’s 11th Annual Benefit Auction
T he Upper Valley Humane Society (UVHS) will hold its 11th Annual Benefit Auction, A Night for Paws, on Saturday, October 28th at the Hanover Inn. Imagine a glamorous event with more than 150 animal lovers all raising money for the animals! A Night for Paws is one of the Upper Valley’s most fun and impactful community fundraising events. Guests return every year and even bring new friends with them. A Night for Paws features live and silent auctions, fundraising games, and a delicious seated dinner. Renowned auctioneer, Kathy Kingston, is a crowd
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favorite – funny, vibrant, and exceptionally entertaining. The event is also a wonderful opportunity to meet UVHS’ new Executive Director, Nikki Grimes Ranieri. Guests will hear from Nikki and other staff members and board members throughout the evening. A Night for Paws starts at 5:30 p.m. and attire is cocktail or formal. Tickets are $95 per person or $950 per table of ten. Join us for a fabulous evening supporting animals in need! For over 50 years, the Upper Valley Humane Society has been compassionately connecting people and pets. UVHS’ vision is to achieve excellence in animal welfare through a progressive approach to humane sheltering, humane education, community engagement and support services. UVHS is at the forefront of a growing movement in animal welfare by serving our communities through care and resources for companion animals and families. For information about sponsoring A Night for Paws or to purchase tickets, visit our website at UVHS.org, or contact Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Year of the Dog at CATV E
ach year is related to a Chinese zodiac animal according to the 12-year cycle. Years of the Dog include 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018. Dogs and humans are friends who share life’s ups and downs. It’s believed that the Dog is caring and reasonable due to its unswerving loyalty to humans, having many symbolic cultural meanings from the perspective of folklore To honor our furry buddies during the “Year of the Dog” CATV is happy to invite the Upper Valley to participate in the CATV “Dog Talk” Studio Shoots. Set up a time for an in-studio “Buddy Shoot” where you and your friendly, housebroken dog step before the CATV camera for a bow-wow pow-wow. To set up a “buddy shoot” in the CATV studio, call 1.802.295.6688. Then see yourself on TV and on the CATV website in February 2018. Buddy shoots open to the public October 2017 through January 2018. CATV, Community Access Television, is the local public access TV station in WRJ that reaches Hanover, Lebanon, Hartford, Norwich and Hartland.
WAG IT FORWARD
fter a 3-year hiatus from the incredibly successful Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs event, we’re back and hope to be better than ever. This year, instead of planning our 4th annual in-house ‘Wag It Forward’ giving event, Pet Food Warehouse is creating a festival you won’t want to miss! On Sunday, October 8th, join PFW, the community and their pets at ‘Wag It Forward: A Festival for Pets’ held at the Champlain Valley Exposition. Both Pet Food Warehouse locations will close for the day so we can focus our energy on providing you and your pets with a fun and memorable experience. It all kicks off with the 7th Annual VetriScience Chase Away 5K to benefit Chase Away K9 Cancer. Registration begins at 8 am and the race starts at 9 am. Runners and walkers can pre-register online at https://goo.gl/c2NhEG. All Chase Away 5K runners and walkers will receive free entry to Wag It Forward after the race with their race bib. The gates for Wag It Forward open to the public at 10 am. Want to skip the lines? You can pre-buy WIF tickets and pick up your canine waiver at either Pet Food Warehouse location now! ‘Wag It Forward’ was born out of a desire to raise awareness and funds for local animal welfare and rescue groups. In the last 3 years, we’ve raised more than $30,000 by donating .25¢ for every $1 spent on a single day in September. We’ve helped 38 local groups raise funds and awareness for animals in need. This year, however, we want to do things a little differently. Rain or shine (hopefully shine), we plan to provide tons of fun and entertainment for the whole family, including your furry or scaly friends. Dogs, cats, birds and reptiles are all welcome, but must be kept leashed and in control at all times. WIF’s featured entertainment is brought to us by GlycoFlex and Zignature. The leaping canines of Dock Dogs will compete on-site and provide the opportunity for your dog to show off some water skills, too. The competition begins Saturday, October 7th at 3:00 pm and runs through Wag It Forward. If you’d like to participate in the jumps you can register on-site or online at dockdogs.com. Demonstrations by the Vermont Police Canine Association and 802 Disc Dogs will provide young and old alike with education and fun! The Grift, Vermont’s premier good-time party band, will keep us all moving with their booty-shaking grooves. Come hungry! We’ll have tons of local food options and, for the beer and wine drinking crowd, a beer garden nestled by the band will be the perfect spot to socialize with your two, three and four-legged friends. But, what will the kids do? They’ll bounce in a castle, collect balloon animals from Dux the Balloon Man, get their faces painted and get inked at our (temporary)
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tattoo booth! Looking to memorialize the day? Stop by the photo booth or bandana tie-dye station with your pup and walk away with a one-of-a-kind memento. If you’re looking to show off your creative skills be sure to plan your pup’s costume and take a spot in line. After all, Halloween is just around the corner. The costume parade will start strolling in the early afternoon with prizes for a variety of categories. The event is generously sponsored by many local and national businesses, including: Zignature, GlycoFlex, Pronature, WellPet, Natura, Vermont Dog Eats, Seventh Generation, Heritage Auto Group, American Natural Premium, Grizzly Pet Products, PetSafe, Sojos, Triumph and so many more! Without these great sponsorships, we wouldn’t be able to provide a no-cost avenue for local animal welfare and rescue groups to help raise awareness and funds as a community. Joining the non-profit organizations are tons of animal loving vendors who have dedicated their time and energy to creating unique products and experiences for your pets, including: local groomers, dog daycares and day camps, toy, collar and leash purveyors and more. We can’t wait to celebrate you and your pets on a beautiful fall day. For questions about the day’s events, please contact Siobhan at email@example.com. Fall 2017
Narcan For K-9 Units in Vermont Staci DaSilva
he president of the Vermont Police Canine Association wants to make sure every K-9 unit in Vermont has access to Narcan, an overdose-reversal drug. Burlington Sgt. Wade Labrecque says ten years ago, K-9’s were mostly detecting cocaine, a drug that carried its own risks. Now, however, heroin, specifically heroin laced with fentanyl and carfentanyl, poses deadly dangers to K-9’s if ingested. “They don’t, unfortunately, have the awareness that we do of the different types of heroin, even the heroin itself can be dangerous not to mention the fentanyl and the carfentanyl as well,” said Sgt. Labrecque. “They can absorb the heroin and the fentanyl through their paws just like we absorb it through our skin.” Due to training and taking precautions, no Vermont K-9’s have been exposed to those deadly strains, Sgt. Labrecque says. Burlington police officers have Narcan on hand in case themselves, or their furry partners, accidentally overdose. If officers do see the signs of overdose, they can administer Narcan, or any other overdose-reversal drug, and then take the K-9 to an animal hospital. Some veterinarian hospitals already know about fentanyl and the drugs that can be used to reverse overdoses. “After they fix a fracture or they’ve done chest surgery or abdominal surgery, they’ll get fetanyl afterwards for pain relief,” said Dr. Bryan Harnett, internal medicine specialist, from the Burlington Emergency and Veterinary Specialists, or BEVS, in Williston. Because fentanyl is administered for medical purposes, the BEVS office has Naloxone on site. “Out in the field, if you notice that reduction in breathing rate, heart rate diminishing, body temperature going down, becoming less responsive or overly sedated then they could come in and get a dose of Narcan,” said Dr. Harnett. “Occasionally you’ll need to repeat those doses of Narcan so they’d need to be admitted to the hospital and monitored overnight.” While Burlington officers carry Narcan, Sgt. Labrecque is working with Dr. Paul Howard, of the Vermont Veterinary Surgical Center, to get overdose-reversal drugs for all of Vermont’s K-9 teams. “Some smaller agencies, it could be somewhat cost prohibitive, but that’s where the Vermont Police K9 Association comes in,” said Sgt. Labrecque. Fall 2017
He says donations to the non-profit could help provide Narcan for every K-9 in the state. You can donate to the Vermont Police Canine Association specifically for Narcan purchases. Visit http://www.vtk9. com/ for more information. Staci DaSilva is an Anchor/Reporter with Local 22 & Local 44 News. To watch the full story visit http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/k-9-leader-workingto-provide-narcan-for-all-k-9-units-in-vermont/768512419. Local 22 & Local 44 News is the ABC & Fox network affiliates, covering local news across Northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire
The Dog House is Open for Business!
t was a small gathering on July 20th at The Ranch at Etna Road in Lebanon, NH. After more than a decade, one of the Upper Valley’s largest doggie daycare facilities finally hit the auction block. With its prime location (just minutes to DHMC, Alice Peck and others), the 12,000 sq ft facility was foreclosed by Mascoma Savings Bank (the bank will also assume delinquent property taxes owed.) While several of the bidders looked at the building for its potential to house offices, the final bidder is a true pet lover and saw the
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Charlie Hutchinson and a new friend.
need to keep it as a boarding operation. With a final bid of $600,000, the building fell into the hands of a local veterinarian, Dr Charles(Charlie) Hutchinson of Canaan, NH. Now operating under the new name, The Dog House at Etna Road, Dr Hutchinson and the staff have been fast at work revitalizing the facility. “It was a busy summer and I pulled it all together in a couple of weeks. With such a large facility, my goal is to eventually have our Lebanon practice and The Dog House under one roof.”, says Hutchinson. In the meantime modernizing the kennels, long overdue maintenance and a good cleaning top to bottom has been the routine since taking possession of the property at 77 Etna Road. In addition to owning The Dog House, Dr. Hutchinson is also the founder and owner of Cardigan Veterinary Clinic in Canaan. Two years ago he also acquired the Animal Clinic of Enfield and Upper Valley Veterinary Services in Lebanon. As a large animal veterinarian, it’s a safe bet that the good doctor may need a fast horse to keep up with it all! In fact, many of Hutchinson’s patients were regular visitors to The Ranch. When he heard of the pending auction, he quickly realized that the loss of such a large facility could have a negative impact among pet owners. “We have successfully provided kenneling at our Canaan practice for years and have a solid background in the day to day operation. We’ll take our experience and apply it on a larger scale. It’s all about offering a higher level of service.” Originally from Western Massachusetts, Charlie set roots in the Upper Valley as a young man when his father accepted a position at Dartmouth College. It was after he earned his doctorate at Tufts that he made his way back to the Upper Valley in 1994 and began his practice out of his mothers Canaan, NH garage. And what about the name, The Dog House? It’s not that they discriminate against our feline friends. Cats are still welcome (be sure to check out the amazing cat walk!) The purchase of The Ranch was just for the facility. The receivables, payables and the name itself, is still the property of The Ranch founder, Amy Gamache. But, Charlie jokingly shares the truth behind the name may be more fitting, “With so much on my plate, I’m not sure how this will affect life at home. I may find myself in the doghouse.” Fortunately for Dr Hutchinson, his wife Christina runs the practice in West Canaan and shares his passion for animals. Fall 2017
Confronting Animal Cruelty John Peaveler - W. Fairlee, VT
The Humane Society of the United States worked with the Wolfeboro, NH police department to rescue 70 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill on June 16.
O n June 16, the lives of 84 Great Danes changed forever. Until that fateful day, they had been living in squalor, caged and confined in conditions so bad that
Confronting animal cruelty in the state of New Hampshire is extremely challengWolfeboro, New Hampshire, health officials condemned the $1.5 million property ing. Firstly, courts cannot forfeit animals where they had been living as unfit for habitation. Words somewhat fail to do justice who are seized during an enforcement in describing how bad the conditions for these animals were. This is not, however, a action until the end of what can be a story of their past. This is the story of their future and the efforts underway to trans- lengthy legal process, assuming a favorable form their lives and prevent cruelty like this from ever happening again. outcome for the animals. In other words, even if a veterinarian makes a legal declaration that the animals have illnesses and injuries consistent with animal neglect, and despite expert testimony that conditions in which the animals were housed constitute illegal animal cruelty, state law still gives the owner of the animals the benefit of the doubt until all possible legal challenges are made. The result of this situation is that whoever pursues an animal cruelty case must hold seized animals for months, or even years. Time itself is a serious problem. It is an unavoidable fact that no matter how well suited an animal shelter is, long-term housing of animals presents an age-old problem of getting the dogs enough positive stimulation to keep their stress levels low. Doing so preserves their mental health and gets them ready to live in homes if they are eventually released by the court. The regiment of toys, treats, walks, training and play groups under the care of professional trainers and behaviorists who know how to work with traumatized animals is expensive. Meanwhile, animals subjected to cruelty and neglect invariably suffer from a wide variety of medical conditions, most commonly malnutrition, matting, sores, parasites, injuries and disease. If you’ve ever paid a veterinary bill, you know even healthy animals are expensive. They need vaccines, preventatives, routine tests and Continued Next Page
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checkups. Unhealthy animals, therefore, require that and so much more. Big animals – 84 of them – have big needs. Then there is the question of who pays for all of this care. The animals must be held somewhere spacious enough to be housed safely, securely and humanely while having all of their physical and mental needs met by trained professionals. The entire cost of that care is usually absorbed by the town in which the cruelty occurred, and by extension the taxpayers. In most situations, local animal shelters intervene to absorb most or all of the costs with no guarantee to recoup the expenses. In effect, enforcement of laws when largescale animal cruelty is involved is often too expensive to pursue. In the case of these Great Danes, The Humane Society of the United States has stepped up to absorb the entire cost to care for the dogs, a situation made possible only through continuing donations. The defendant is not required to pay any portion of the costs to care for their animals during the legal process, even if they can afford to do so. Nor is there any state fund or grant program available in New Hampshire for agencies that cannot afford to meet the burden. The current system does not sufficiently prevent or address this type of cruelty. Great Danes are often referred to as gentle giants, and that is an incredibly fitting title. Despite their huge size, they are often placid, frequently timid, and require patience and gentility from the humans in their lives. Being giants, they also have gigantic needs. For instance, these 84 Great Danes are currently eating more than 160 pounds of food per day, and that will continue to increase incrementally over time. Their beds alone are adequately sized for my 5-year-old son. The long path of physical recovery for these dogs includes substantial medical needs, to the tune of more than 1,000 doses of prescribed medications per week. Many were virtually blind from a condition called cherry eye, where the glands of their eyes were so swollen as to obstruct their vision. These animals are three, four and even five times the size of an average 40-pound dog. Their capacity to make messes is equally large, and it takes a big crew of volunteers and staff to care for them. This case, in all its proportions, is a collaborative effort amongst a number of organizations, agencies and individuals. Principally, the Wolfeboro Police Department provides the law enforcement and legal expertise to complete the judicial aspects of the case. Meanwhile, The HSUS is providing the animal sheltering, investigative support and lobbying efforts to care for the animals and prevent cruelty like this from happening again. This case is a prime example of what the fight against animal cruelty looks like; Fall 2017
The HSUS Animal Rescue Team members John Sidenstricker and John Peaveler, right, load dogs during the rescue. The HSUS will assist in the long-term care of the dogs.
for every one person who torments animals, there are tens of thousands of people willing to fight, volunteer and donate to stand up for what they know to be right. So many animals are saved every year because of them, and these Great Danes are absolutely relying upon them. As they await the outcome of a long criminal case, volunteers and donors are every day giving these animals what they need. Their work is not done. Caring for these animals and building a better future for them is a community effort. These Great Danes are incredible, but their sizable needs require a huge community of people working together each and every day. You can help today. Here are three ways you can get involved today: 1. Donate to the care of the animals at humanesociety.org/rescue 2. Follow along on Facebook to receive legislative updates to ensure New Hampshire’s animal cruelty laws prevent this from happening again: facebook.com/HSUSNewHampshire 3. Contact your state legislators and urge them to support common sense reforms to combat animal cruelty. http://www.gencourt.state. nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx John Peaveler has over 13 years of experience addressing animal welfare issues all over the world. He currently works as a consultant and professional animal cruelty/disaster responder and trainer for Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, and Animal Care Equipment and Services. He is based in West Fairlee, Vermont where he serves as ACO, dad, husband, and minion to 20 chickens, four dogs and a cat.
Low Stress Ways to Get Your Very Feisty (Claws-Out) Cat to the Vet Dr. Patty Khuly, VMD
recent veterinary industry megastudy concluded that while cats significantly outnumber dogs in the United States, cats are much less likely to see their veterinarians on a regular basis. In fact, plenty of cats never see a vet unless they’re on death’s doorstep. The No. 1 reason for this canine-feline discrepancy? It comes down to a simple thing: transportation. Although veterinary conventional wisdom tends to lay the blame on clients’ unwillingness to spend on their cats (relative to dogs), the truth is that getting a cat inside a box is considered a colossal stumbling block for many pet owners.
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In my experience, this is absolutely a factor –– a big one. At least once a day, our office fields a call from a cat owner who has to cancel at the last minute because kitty isn’t amenable to carrier confinement. You may think that this happens only with cats who live outdoors or whose feral origins don’t lend to easy capture, but you’d be wrong. Plenty of otherwise mild-mannered housecats will pull out all the stops (teeth and claws included) to stay out of the dreaded box. So what’s a responsible owner to do? After all, waiting until she’s sick enough to resist less violently is not a reason-
able option — even though a startlingly large percentage of cat owners resort to this very tactic. In the interest of avoiding this worstcase scenario, here are my top tips for cornering, capturing and confining cats for safe transport to the vet. Get the right size carrier. A large carrier is sometimes the only way to go because it can be impossible to squeeze a big cat through a narrow door. My personal favorite: a top-loading carrier. I even have a client who uses a rolling plastic file cabinet with a top that latches. He got it at OfficeMax for $12.99. Score! Keep the carrier out. One mistake owners make is to leave a pet carrier in the garage or a closet, ensuring that kitty bolts for the wiliest hiding place when the box comes out –– at least until dinnertime. Cozy up the space. Smart cat owners know that desensitization works. Try feeding your cat inside the carrier, which is an especially good trick for those who need to feed their cats separately for weight control. You should also line it with newspaper to soak up urine, and always keep a clean towel inside. Opt for a shadier carrier. Most stressed-out cats seem to find a dark cubbyhole more comfortable than a wide-open space. You can achieve this by either buying a carrier designed for darkness or cover the box with a towel. Try a towel wrap. Burrito your kitty before placing her in the carrier. This nifty trick works great when you need to medicate your cat, too. Plenty of YouTube videos can show you how to burrito a cat with perfect aplomb. Spritz pheromones. Certain cats respond well to relaxing pheromone sprays that you can spritz inside the carrier or diffuse in your home on the big vet visit day. Consider catnip. Some cats love it. If nothing else, your kitty may be disoriented enough to make it easier to capture and confine her. Others felines may be chilled out by a little catnip in the carrier. Reach for drugs — as a last resort. Sometimes it’s better than the alternative. No cat should suffer veterinary neglect over a simple issue like cat carrier transport. Patty Khuly was one of the “25 Veterinarians to Watch in 2013” by Veterinary Practice News, among the “25 People to Watch” by Pet Product News in 2008, and a “Rising Star” by the Veterinary News Network. Her My Dolittler blog has also been listed among the “Ten Best Blogs in Pet Health” by Fox News. Fall 2017
The Clawful Truth Learn the facts about declawing and kinder, gentler solutions to the couch-versus-claws conf lict
From All Animals magazine, July/August 2016
ack in veterinary school more than 20 years ago, Christianne Schelling first discovered what a declawing surgery entails. Like many people, she’d assumed it simply meant removing the cat’s nails in a way that ensured they wouldn’t grow back. She didn’t realize that because the tissue for each nail is connected to bone, declawing requires removing the last joint on each toe. “That means 10 separate amputations for the cat’s front paws,” she says, “and 18 if it’s a four-paw declaw.” As a vet student, she once saw a cat hurling himself against the sides of his cage because of the pain after his declawing. “I swore I would never do a declaw surgery,” Schelling remembers. A few years later, she launched declawing.com, a website that educates cat owners about an often misunderstood surgical procedure. Most declaws are performed for owners who want to protect their carpet, furniture and other household items from their cat’s penchant for scratching. But once people understand what the surgery involves, Schelling says, they typically decide against such a radical solution. “They say, ‘Oh, I would never do that to my cat!’ ” Declawing—except when medically necessary, is already outlawed as a form of animal cruelty in dozens of countries. A growing number of veterinarians don’t recommend declawing outside of medical reasons. Some cities already prohibit it, and New York lawmakers were considering legislation, the first state in the nation, to ban cat declawing. In the wild, cats use their claws to catch prey, defend themselves and escape from predators. At home, that translates
by Ruthanne Johnson
to attacking toys and climbing to favorite perches. Cats scratch to stretch their muscles and help shed their outer nail sheath. Because they have scent glands on their paws, scratching is also a way of putting their scent in their territory, which helps them feel at home and secure.
Nail caps aren’t just a fashion statement: They give your feline the pleasure of scratching without damaging. Meredith Lee/The HSUS
“Scratching is a vital part of cat behavior,” says veterinarian Susan Krebsbach with the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. “It’s a sign of a happy cat.” Of course, this can be aggravating when it’s directed at your carpet, drapes or sofa. But living harmoniously with your cat’s claws isn’t difficult, says Krebsbach. “You just need to take a few preventative measures and redirect their scratching to areas where you find it appropriate.” Scratch here, not there with alternative objects to scrape, shred and leave his scent on. Offer a variety of scratching posts and pads from different materials like carpet, sisal, wood and cardboard. “Once you find the one your cat likes better, they will get into a scratching routine,” says Lisnik. You can buy scratching posts and boards, or you can make your own by wrapContinued Next Page
IF YOU'RE FOR DE-CLAWING CATS, RAISE YOUR HAND. Fall 2017
The solution can be as simple as giving your cat the right things to scratch. Meredith Lee/The HSUS
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ping a piece of wood with a carpet remnant or sisal, a hemp- like fiber. Schelling recommends sisal fabric over sisal rope, which “frays very easily and that can be a danger,” she says. Steer clear of cheap vertical posts with a lightweight base. If a post is wobbly or topples over when your cats use it, “they’ll never want to scratch on it again,” says Lisnik. Satisfy the itch - Place scratching posts and boards in different locations, one on every level of your house. Corrugated cardboard pads under your bed prevents kitties from scratching the underside of mattresses. Act like a cat and simulate scratching on a scratching zone could motivate him to give it a try. Or drag a toy across the post so that your cat incidentally scratches it while playing. Reinforce the good scratching behavior with praise or a treat. No scratch zone Make furniture and other scratching hotspots less attractive with double-sided sticky tape or a scent deterrent such as a citrus spray to repel cats. Wildman’s most effective strategy is to cover the object your cat has been scratching with a tight-fitting sheet and place a scratching post next to it. Rub catnip to excite his attention, or honeysuckle spray. “Then they have the deterrent and something interesting nearby to take its place,” says Lisnik. To deter territorial scratching, Wildman recommends gently rubbing a soft fabric on your cat’s cheeks and then on the object. Save your cat the trouble of using his claws to transfer his scent. Blunt instruments Trim claws every week to limit the damage she can inflict. “It’s super simple and makes a huge difference,” Schelling says. Use cat clippers not human clippers to prevent fraying and keep them blunter longer. To protect her mother’s frail skin from scratches, Schelling applied vinyl nail caps to her mom’s cat blunting the nails so the cat can scratch without damage. Nail caps last four to six weeks and can be purchased at pet stores and online. “I still recommend providing some rough scratching surface for the cat, they love that feel and they will still scratch.” Fall 2017
HERE A SNIP, THERE A SNIP, EVERYWHERE A VSNIP IN VERMONT!
and dogs to utilize money received from a $4.00 fee that is added to the registration cost for dog licenses. This small fee goes into a designated fund allowing those eligible to have their animals neutered and vaccinated at a substantial reduced cost to them. To obtain applications, one may go to VSNIP.VT.GOV to download and print an Application, Frequently Asked Questions, and a list of Participating Veterinarians. Or if unable to print out a document, send a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to: VSNIP, PO Pox 104, Bridgewater, VT 05034. Forms can also be found at participating veterinary offices, social service agencies, humane societies, and town offices. Once completed, the application will be sent to the address above for consideration. Based on the financial disclosure, the applicant will be approved or denied, and a voucher will be sent to the applicant. If approved, the applicant will proceed and schedule an appointment with one of VSNIP's participating veterinary offices. At the time of surgery, the client will provide the voucher and a co-payment of $27.00 per animal. If denied, they are provided with a list of low cost spay and neuter clinics held throughout the state. There is always a solution! The voucher and co-payment represent payment in full for the services: the pre-
surgical examination, surgery, anesthesia, peri-operative pain medication, discharge of the animal, removal of sutures, one series of distemper vaccinations and one rabies vaccination. Euthanasia is no longer the solution to this once long existing problem of over population. The answer is public access to sterilization and the education of those who provide care for animals. We're happy to report that euthanasia as a routine means of population control has become a solution of the past. This is due to the understanding and efforts of veterinary offices across the state that worked for the last 10 years to neuter animals for those unable to afford this critical procedure through VSNIP. The difference in the lives of thousands of animals and their care providers is measurable, helping assure that no cat or dog animal is euthanized for lack of space in a shelter or the inability to find a good home due to overpopulation. We thank our altruistic veterinarians for making this important program a reality! For more information visit www.vvsahs.org or call 802-672-5302
he VT Spay Neuter Incentive Program aka "VSNIP" is under the administration of the VT Department for Children & Families, and administered by VT Volunteer Services for Animals Humane Society (VVSA). VSNIP is a low cost spay neuter assistance program for those on a specific state program or whose income is at or below 185% of federal poverty level to help spay and neuter their cats and dogs. The fact is that one cat and all her offspring, in seven years, has the potential to multiply to 420,000 offspring and dogs to 62,000! We know how important neutering an animal is to an overpopulation problem, and for the health of that animal who otherwise is more likely to develop certain forms of cancer later in life. Our humane society, VVSA, started a statewide low cost spay/neuter program in 1984 with a single veterinarian office, that grew over time to have over 70 participating offices. Knowing that our service needed to remain viable and sustainable for years to come, VVSA helped draft legislation in 1995 creating what is now known as "VSNIP". In our first seven years as administrator, VVSA approved over 18,500 vouchers. First offered to the public in July 2006, VSNIP enables low income eligible households providing care for cats Fall 2017
Emma â€™s Foundation Canine Cancer, fforr fo
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MOOOve Over Cow’s Milk: Alternative Dairy Products Alleviate Cancer Symptoms and Keep Our Pets Healthy
ave you ever given your pet a cup of cow’s milk or a bowl of ice cream, and wondered if you made the right choice? Some pet parents believe that their cats and dogs love the taste of milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, and that ample supplies of calcium will help maintain strong bones and healthy teeth. Despite the supposed merits of dairy, the majority of cats and dogs of all breeds and ages tend to lack sufficient quantities of the enzyme lactase, which is essential to break down lactose in cow’s milk. High quantities of lactose leads to lactose intolerance and can cause bloating, flatulence, pain, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a number of other side effects. While cow’s milk may cause health consequences, pet parents who are determined to feed their pets dairy are in luck. In recent years, several alternative milkbased products have emerged, including sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, and yak’s milk. User experience from pet parents, nutritionists, and manufacturers has indicated that each type of milk alternative is more easily digestible than cow’s milk, and offers a range of health benefits for both cats and dogs. Sheep’s Milk: The milk composition of sheep’s milk is homogenous because the fat globules are evenly distributed, which makes it easily digestible. Sheep’s milk is also purported to be a rich superfood with high protein content, omega 3 and 6 fats, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, vitamin C, and minimal sodium. Ewegurt is a pet food company that offers several freeze-dried sheep’s milk products for cats and dogs. According to Ewegurt, the superfood ingredients delivered through sheep’s milk support relaxation, reduce anxiety, promote restful sleep and positive mood, protect the immune system, and aid in digestion for sensitive stomachs. The founder of Ewegurt also created the sheep’s milk products to help her golden retriever eat a digestible meal after receiving a diagnosis of gastrointestinal lymphoma. Dogs with cancer are Fall 2017
generally nauseous and may vomit their meals, but can tolerate omega 3 and 6 fats relatively well. Further, the antioxidants in sheep’s milk help protect cancer cells from free radicals, which may alleviate cancer symptoms, or slow disease progression. Goat’s Milk: Similarly to sheep’s milk, goat’s milk has more short and medium-chain fatty acids than cow’s milk, so it is easily digestible and better for the stomach. Goat’s milk is a complete food with superfood benefits because it contains a robust list of essential vitamins and minerals that support digestion and help the immune system. Steve’s Real Food manufactures a raw frozen goat milk yogurt that is served as a snack or topper, and a product line called Enhance, which is three items comprised of freeze-dried goat milk. The Enhance products, including CarnaForage, DogNog, and CannaGurt contain goat’s milk and other superfoods, including hemp oil, cranberries, turmeric, yucca, spirulina, chia seed, coconut, cilantro, dandelion, and milk thistle. Each specific Enhance product is touted to improve health issues,
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including cancer, seizures, anxiety, pain, cognitive disorders, inflammatory diseases, urinary tract infections, and intestinal bowel disorder. Yak’s Milk: For centuries, people in the Himalayan region of Nepal have used yak’s milk for its medicinal benefits. Over the past five years, the number of companies that manufacture yak’s milk dental chews for dogs has surged. Churpi Durka, one of the yak chew manufacturers, states that the Journal of Dairy Science recognizes yak’s milk as a certified health food and nutraceutical – a food that increases
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health and has medicinal value. Yak’s milk has a high content of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, amino acids, and antioxidants, which are easy to digest, and offer the same health benefits as those found in sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. Another ingredient, glutamic acid, is available in large quantities in yak’s milk. Glutamic acid converts to glutamine to aid in cell regeneration, healing, and wound repair. Glutamine is often depleted in dogs with cancer and pain, so it is important to have an adequate supply of glutamic acid for dogs that are fighting chronic illnesses. Sheep, goat, and yak milk products
for dogs and cats are not as prevalent as cow milk products, which can be purchased through virtually any channel, and hundreds of retailers. However, several independent pet specialty stores and online retailers offer these alternative milk products, so it is relatively easy to procure these items. Pet parents who are determined to deliver functional health benefits to their cats and dogs should consider these alternative milk choices because they are nutritious, tasty, and easy to serve. Holly McClelland leads marketing and is an analyst for Fletcher/CSI, a boutique market research and consulting firm headquartered in Williston, Vermont. Holly monitors industry trends and product developments for several brands in the CPG space, including the pet industry. The pet research is focused on tracking nutrition and ingredient trends, technological innovations, and new product launches for dogs and cats.
Planting Fall Bulbs To Help Pollinators in Springtime Catherine Greenleaf
he beloved hobby of gardening has grown fraught with perils in the last several years. We have all heard about the drastic decline in pollinators throughout the U.S. due to the alleged overuse of pesticides, particularly the neonicotinoids produced by corporate giants like Bayer and Syngenta. Many gardeners have looked on in horror as the honey bees, bumblebees and butterflies that once graced their yards have disappeared. The cautious gardener may well ask: is it safe to plant bulbs? Some flower bulbs can, in fact, provide much-needed pollen and nectar to pollinators in the late winter and early spring – the most critical phase for bees and bumblebees. Bumblebee queens often emerge from their leaf-covered ground nests while it is still snowing. The bees are weak and need nectar-rich flower blooms close by. It is vital that the queens survive, as they give birth to the first brood of the season and are the first to feed pollen and nectar to these youngsters. During this time, the queens are frantically searching for flowers that provide abundant nectar, pollen or both. The following bulbs provide just this: Galanthus (also known as Snow Drop) One of the first bulbs you will see blooming, often through crusted snow. The Giant varieties are well-liked by bees. Can handle full sun to partial shade but prefers partial sunlight locations, like the corner of a garage or barn. Provides nectar and red pollen. Blooms in March/April. (Zone 3-8)
Siberica alba is adored by bees everywhere. Prefers filtered sunlight, so does well near or under large trees and shrubs. Provides nectar and blue pollen. Blooms in March/ April. (Zone 2-8) Hyacinth (also known as Hyacinthis Orientalis) Pollinators will fly long distances for Hyacinth, particularly Blue Jacket with its large, deep blue blooms. Needs welldrained soil. Blooms in April. (Zone 4-8) Chionodoxa (also known as Glory of the Snow) Pink Giant is a favorite with bees. Starlike flowers that grow well in either shade or sun. Blooms in April. (Zone 3-8) Grape Hyacinth (also known as Muscari) Another bee favorite, especially True Blue, Giant Grape, and Dark Eyes. Grape Hyacinths provide nectar but not pollen. Blooms April/May. (Zone 4-8) Allium (also known as Flowering Onion) Bumblebees and butterflies love Allium, particularly the really large Globemaster and Gladiator and Giganteum. Blooms May/July. (Zone 4-8). English/Spanish Bluebells (also known as Hyacinthoides or Wood Hyacinth) Likes the sun but also does well in light shade. Blooms April/May. (Zone 3-9).
A Sea Change In the world of gardening one of the worst shocks has been the discovery that the plants we have been buying from garden centers and ordering in the mail have in some cases been tainted with Wild Crocus (also known as Snow Crocus) the very neonicotinoids that are killing Pollinators like all Wild Crocus vari- these pollinators. eties. Crocus is ideal for feeding mason bees as they provide a pollen source before fruit trees start blooming. They bloom two weeks before Dutch Crocus. Blooms in late March/early April. (Zone 4-8)
“Hell hath no fury like a gardener betrayed. “ As a result, millions of American gardeners are forsaking their once-favorite garden centers and mail-order catalogs and are buying their flowers exclusively from organic operations. Organic companies (certified and non-certified) guarantee that their suppliers and distributors are not treating seeds and plants with poisons. This sea change in consumer behavior has caused even some of the big box stores to stop selling bedding plants tainted with neonicotinoids, according to Susan Kegley, principal scientist at the Pesticide Research Institute in California. However, when it comes to bulbs, while some companies are stringent in their standards, there are some companies that seem to be arrogantly ignoring, if not bucking, consumers’ desires for pollinatorsafe blooms. “The bulb growers have not gotten the message from consumers,” said Kegley, warning that some bulbs can contain deadly neonicotinoids, which taint the pollen and nectar of a flower as well as the root system and the soil around it. In addition, she said, bulbs can be treated with fungicides that can damage a pollinator’s immune system. If you do decide to plant bulbs, please choose wisely. The only companies this writer in good conscience can recommend at this time are EcoTulips in Johnston, Rhode Island (ecotulips.com); Fedco in Clinton, Maine (fedcoseeds.com) (207) 426-9900; and Old House Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan (oldhousegardens.com) (734) 995-1486. Catherine Greenleaf is the director of St. Francis Wild Bird Center in Lyme, N.H. If you find an injured bird, please call (603) 795-4850.
Dutch Crocus (also known as Giant Dutch Crocus) Dutch crocus is a big bee favorite, particularly the Blue Moon or Yellow Mammoth mix. Does well in sun or partial shade. Provides nectar and light orange pollen. Blooms in April.(Zone 4-8) Scilla (also known as Siberian Squill or Wood Squill) Scilla has a very long bloom time, which is helpful to pollinators. Pure white Fall 2017
Let’s Talk Turkey
nce upon a time it was unusual to see a wild turkey. And that was just 30 - 40 years ago! During the 19th century the wild turkey population was just about extinct due to farming practices that clear-cut forests in much of the state. The comeback has been nothing short of historic in the field of wildlife management. According to Mark Scott, Director of Wildlife for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, "The revival of the birds in Vermont grew from the release of tur-
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keys in Rutland County during the winters of 1969-70 and 1970-71. A total of 31 were released during that time. The state now has a population estimated at 45,000 to 50,000 birds from one end of the state to the other." In the 1960s, a Vermont biologist who once worked in New York state developed a program that brought the 31 turkeys that had been trapped in New York’s Alleghany and Steuben counties to Pawlet and Hubbardton, according to a history of the program provided by Vermont Fish and Wildlife. The area was considered ideal because of the combination of forests and farm fields littered with cow corn. Within a year, the population was estimated at 150. By 1973 the population had rebounded enough for a limited hunting season in the area where they were first released. New Hampshire began its turkey restoration in the 1970s. Now there are an estimated 35,000 to 45,000 statewide. “There are no empty spaces in the state that need wild turkeys,” said Ted Walski, a turkey project biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. And Vermont has helped other states in the region and beyond restore or build
In this circa 1970 photo provided by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, Game Warden Ross Hoyt, left, and biologist Joseph Artmann release a wild turkey in Saxtons River at a time when they were almost gone from the Vermont countryside. (Photo: John Hall/ Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department via AP)
their populations, sending turkeys to places including Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Canada and Germany.“I think people like to see turkeys whether they hunt them or not,” said Scott whose agency oversees Vermont’s spring and fall turkey hunting seasons. According to what traditionally is known as "The First Thanksgiving," the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag at Plymouth Colony contained waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. William Bradford noted that, "besides waterfowl and cider, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many." Many of the foods that were included in the first feast (except, notably, the seafood) have since gone on to become staples of the modern Thanksgiving dinner. Early feasts of the Order of Good Cheer, a French Canadian predecessor to the modern Thanksgiving, featured a potluck dinner with freshly-hunted fowl, game, and fish, hunted and shared by both French Canadians and local natives. The use of the turkey in the USA for Thanksgiving precedes Lincoln's nationalization of the holiday in 1863. Alexander Hamilton proclaimed that no "Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day," and many of the Founding Fathers (particularly Benjamin Franklin) had high regard for the wild turkey as an American icon, but turkey was uncommon as Thanksgiving fare until after 1800. By 1857, turkey had become part of the traditional dinner in New England. Fall 2017
2017’s Biggest Turkeys United Airlines - The Friendly Skies hit turbulence when passengers took (and shared) video of a man being forcibly dragged off a plane by security when he was randomly selected -- and declined -- to forfeit his seat to airline maintenance workers. The Oscars - Wa r r e n Beatty and Faye Dunaway had the unfortunate luck of being handed the wrong envelope at the 2017 Oscars, and as a result they announced La La Land had won Best Picture. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Moonlight was the true victor. Adidas - This failure boiled down to a simple, and probably innocent, but very poor choice of words. After this year’s Boston marathon, the company tweeted out, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” The Federal Department of Education - Spelling errors aren’t that big of a deal -- unless you’re the federal Department of Education. This year, the Department of Education sent out a tweet misspelling W. E. B. DuBois’ name, then misspelled “apologies” as “apologizes” in its follow-up apology for misspelling in their tweet. The Discovery Channel - Viewers were hugely disappointed after the networks hype of Olympian Michael Phelps vs. a Great White turned out not to be a true side-byside race. They were in separate bodies of water. The Atlanta Falcons - Blowing a 28-3 lead in the third quarter. Tom Brady and Patriot fans have much to be thankful for.
What About bob? Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
obcat s are a huge success story especially here in New Hampsh ire. Many years ago when their populations were on the decline the New H a mp sh i r e F i sh & Game Dept. Biologists recommended closing the season. Which they did. Since then the Bobcat population has increased to the point that some are showing up with rabies. There was a recent incident in Sunapee where a lady was attacked by a rabid Bobcat. Bob started showing up at my farm back in the mid-nineties. We would see him occasionally but mostly we would see his tracks in the snow. Bob would come close to the pasture but the dogs usually kept him at bay. One night we had a weasel get into our chicken coop and kill 14 hens. I took the carcasses out of the coop and placed them in a cubby and set a trap for the weasel. A weasel is about a foot long and weighs about a pound so the trap for a weasel is very small. Well about 5:00am the next morning things were very still. I looked out the window and the horses were staring in the direction of where the trap was. My wife and I went out to confirm that we had caught the chicken killer only to find Bob in the trap by a toe. Using a catch pole to restrain
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out of it since they are protected. I see Bobcats all the time. Once while removing Flying Squirrels from a house in a suburban neighborhood in Lebanon one ran through the back yard. People sometimes mistake them for Mountain Lions or Lynx. But what people are seeing are Bobcats. Their numbers have grown to the point that the same Wildlife Biologists who closed the season on them are recommending a limited season. Wildlife management works and should be respected. So what to do to protect your livestock from Bob? First, make sure chicken coops have fencing not only on the sides but covering their yard area as well. This helps to protect them from birds of prey also. Other livestock like sheep should be placed in a secure structure at night. him he was easily released unharmed. But the best deterrent is having some Bob and his offspring continue hang dogs around. We live in the middle of the around the farm. A couple of weeks ago woods and have had little to no problems there was one standing at the bottom from large predators primarily because we have dogs. of my driveway. Every now and then I get calls from people having a problem with a Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Bobcat. One call was from a lady who Control. He lives in Canaan, NH with had witnessed a Bobcat kill and carry his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple off her beloved housecat. She wanted of horses and one tough old chicken named Henrietta. Bob destroyed but I was able to talk her
Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Good for Your Dog? O
Jennifer Driscoll - W. Lebanon, NH
h yes! Not only are researchers finding health benefits of extra virgin olive oil for humans but also for your pets! Before we list what, the health benefits are lets first look at if it makes a difference on which oil to use. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the highest quality olive oil with the best flavor. It is produced from the first cold pressing of the olives and pits. Cold pressing means that heat or chemicals aren’t part of the production process. You cannot believe everything you read on the bottle at the stores. If you are not provided with the Crush Date and DAG score (tells you how the olive will break down over time) then you will need to go by flavor. You are looking for a peppery taste when you slurp the oil to the back of your throat. That peppery taste is the Polyphenols (antioxidants) in the oil. Virgin Olive Oil “Virgin” olive oil, without the word “extra,” is the oil pro-
duced from the second pressing. It has a lighter flavor and color than extra virgin olive oil. Light Olive Oil sometimes called extra light, is the lowest quality olive oil. Manufacturers use chemicals and heat to remove impurities, producing an oil that’s often lighter in color and flavor than virgin olive oils. Sometimes, it is blended with other oils such as canola. Pure Olive Oil is a blend of mostly processed olive oil and a small percentage of extra virgin olive oil. If you're committed to feeding your pets healthy foods, it makes sense to add EVOO to their diet as it delivers health benefits that other oils just can’t match. EVOO is rich in antioxidant capability, thanks to its polyphenols, vitamin E, chlorophyll, and carotenoids. These nutrients strengthen the immune system. It also contains monounsaturated fats, which can lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes by reducing insulin sensitivity, helps dogs lose weight by breaking down the fat in the fat cells, improves circulation, help with respiratory systems and asthma systems, and preventing cancer which kills a staggering 50% of dogs over the age of 10. If your dog suffers from dry skin, itchy skin, or their hair is starting to look dull, a daily dose of olive oil can help. You should see a difference in 30 days. EVOO is also great way to perk up a boring bowl of kibble especially if your kibble might be stale. Doctors recommend giving your dog no more than one teaspoon of olive oil per 20 pounds of body weight per meal. It can be mixed in with your pup’s regular wet or dry food. Remember EVOO contains about 120 calories and should calculated in to your dog’s daily calorie intake. For a healthy treat, don’t forget to add fresh EVOO to dog biscuits. Jennifer Driscoll is the owner of Infuse Me. Let her know if you add EVOO to your pups diet.
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A Potentially Great Dog Chet Womach
hear from a lot of clients how “out of control” their dog is. The sad part is, they think it’s just the way their dog is. They think it’s their dog’s personality. Truth is, that’s rarely the case. Do you think those seeing eye dogs were born as obedient as they are when you see them actively working as adults with the blind? I don’t think so. Those dogs have had a MASSIVE amount of training. “But they are bred for that kind of work” you say? Yeah, true... they have been bred for potential. But potential is just that... potential. It takes WORK to realize potential. To think otherwise, would be like saying Michael Jordan was born a great basketball player, and that it didn’t take work to realize his potential. Lots of things have potential. I happen to believe that darn near every living thing on this earth has FAR more potential than ever realized... it’s just that very few individuals put the work needed, to realize their potential in life. One of the grandest things on this earth is an Oak tree, yet try to plant it in dry, sun scorched, neglected soil & it doesn’t even come close to its potential because the conditions were wrong. Your Dog is no different! Did you know that a large percentage of the dogs you see doing service work for
the handicapped are actually rescued? Meaning someone gave up on that dog as a lost cause... not helping it realize its potential. All it took was for the right person to come along, who had a proven process for realizing a dog’s potential, and they implemented it. For one person, the dog wasn’t even worth keeping. But in the hands of an equipped person, the dog’s value is priceless. The opportunity exists, to be taken by the hand and guided through the process of training a dog, to help your dog realize its full potential. To be put through the training that it takes to... * Calm them down. * Become less dog or stranger reactive. * Enjoy working and pleasing you. * Walking off leash around other dogs ... and much, much more. Winter is just around the corner. This means more time inside with your family, friends AND your dog. Take the time this fall to assess your dog and their potential. If you feel there is still room for improvement, consider a professional trainer to unleash your dog’s full potential. Chet Womach is the owner of TheDogTrainingSecret.com
Andy Taylor and Tanner in Claremont Photo by Steven Fitch
Dogs and Children:
How to handle dogs around children, and children around dogs Paula Bergeron - Grafton, NH
ost people have a dreamy picture of dogs and children together, playing, laughing, and bonding, however we don’t seem to be able to recreate that dream, instead we get, screaming, nipping, and crying. Not fun for kids or dogs, and can lead to hard feelings and strained relationships between family and friends. Why does this happen? Mostly because these dreams of dogs and children do not often happen without some effort and teaching on both the dog owners and parents part. Children and dogs can often be like oil and water. Dogs are suspicious of sudden jerky movement, are startled by loud raucous noise, and are bated with a strong stare into their eyes. Children by nature have uncontrollable limbs, are free with their expression of joy, anger, or fear, and want to get a good look right into a dogs face. These and many more behaviors that come naturally to both species that can lead their interactions to end in tears or sadly dangerous life threatening bites! How to handle your dog around children: Always practice caution: Let’s begin with the most difficult thing… children asking to pet your dog. Just Don’t! Do not allow unknown children to come up and pet your dog… it is a good for children to learn to give a dog space, and it is the way you teach your dog that you have their back and can trust you. If you are having a gathering where children are involved plan ahead. Begin with your dog in their crate placed somewhere away from the excitement. Wait for any introduction until after the initial excitement of arrival has worn off. Then bring your dog out “on leash” and tell the kids you are going for a walk. Allow the kids to walk parallel to the dog. Get the kids attention on the surrounding nature or buildings so that the dog can get used to the children without their direct interaction. If all has gone well and the children seem to be able to follow direction, allow your dog to sniff while the children are still, with no petting or bending over.. once the dog is done sniffing you will be able to read if he/she is comfortable or stiff, if stiff you tell the kids, that was great now let’s let Rover go rest in his crate. if the dog is wiggly and comfy then you can allow a bit more interac26 4 Legs & a Tail
tion with the kids… but always with your supervision and preferable with his leash dragging. If the excitement gets too high… calmly remove the dog and allow him to go to his/her crate. Always be conservative when it comes to allowing your dog around children, end the interaction before either party gets tired, over excited, or frustrated, and you will have a good foundation for the next visit. How to handle your children around dogs: Teach responsible behavior: When it comes to dogs and children, too many folks put all the responsibility on the dog, but half of this interaction requires the basic skills of parent and child. Never assume a dog is safe, not even when an owner says, “He’s friendly!” Teach your child to NEVER approach a dog they do not know… no matter what. Children should not go up to dogs on the walk and ask to pet, even thought that is what is normally taught, the answer should be no from the dog walker because it is an unpredictable place, and the dog may react from a street noise or the crowd. Teach your child how fun it is to watch dogs but not touch and practice this together. Next teach your child that when it is ok to meet a dog, they need to let the dog get used to them first. Allow the dog to approach and then stand very still and silent while the dog sniffs… I call it the 4’s Stand Silent and Still while puppy Sniffs. Once the dog is done sniffing then we encourage the child to sit on a chair and to pet under the dog’s chin or chest. If the child moves to the floor, the excitement of the dog may ratchet up and overwhelm your child so stay vigilant and prepare to move your child back to a chair. If your child is not able to remain calm, that is ok. It just means they are not ready to meet the dog and they should be taken away from the dog. It is the parent's responsibility to keep their child calm around the dog, or the dog may interpret your child as another dog and rough play begins and Continued Next Page
More than 400,000 children receive medical attention annually as the result of dog bites in the US
then ends in a bite. When it is time to end an interaction it is a good idea for the child stay still and have the dog move away, if not the dog may feel the need to bark or lunge or herd the child back into his pack. There are so many things to be aware of when you mix children and dogs. The above are just a small sample of what can be done to keep interactions safe and enjoyable for all. Remember the most important things are that dogs and children should ALWAYS be supervised. Keep the interaction calm and have a safe place to go for if there is too much excitement. Remember real life is not the same as those facebook photos, or greeting card images. Real life needs more thought and care if you are going to have a lovely memory of your children with dogs, or your dog with children. Have Safe Play… and 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 Fall 2017
YOUR DOG Mike Robertson
I f you have visions of a pleasant camping experience; S’mores and snuggling with your sweetheart before the fire, while Fido keeps watch and gazes adoringly at the two of you, then you best start training. Nothing kills the mood more than a skunked-up dog or listening to him bark at every rustling leaf. I say this, because not only is it a mood killer for you, it can also destroy the evening for everyone within miles of you. This fact is especially true if you plan to pitch your tent in a public campground.
Puppy Needs to Mind His Manners! Your dog is a lot like a middle-school boy. He likes to get dirty. He’s loud, and he eats just about anything he can find. Then, of course, there is that peeing thing. Wherever, and whenever - what's the big deal? You’re roughing it. Right? Well, I find loud, obnoxious children a trial and the same goes for ill-behaved dogs. Like children, you have to train your animals to obey the rules. You can’t expect them to enter a new and exciting situation and control themselves unless you teach them self-discipline. So, how do you do that? First, YOU need to know the rules for proper canine camping behavior. Continued Next Page
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• • • • • • • •
There is no barking in the campground for any reason. Save it for the nature hikes. Your dog needs to stay at your campsite and not be tempted “to go visiting.” He should be able to resist “tasting” the human food. If he is wet or dirty, don’t allow him to shake off near people. There is no swimming in the fishing hole. Peeing should be done away from people and poop should be picked up immediately. Don’t let him chase cars, bikes, small children, or wildlife. And for goodness sake, don’t wash your dog in the camp shower.
Does Such a Dog Exist? Most dogs who don’t receive training turn into wild little beasts, much like those children we talked about earlier. Good behavior only happens when you are willing to give Fido patient and consistent instruction or pay a trainer to do it for you. The problem is that even if you pay a dog trainer, you still have to do your part. Your dog needs to see you as his pack leader. The best advice I can give you is to take your dog through a Basic Obedience course. Learn how to communicate with your canine friend. Most dogs want to please their owners; they just aren’t sure what you expect from them. Reap the Benefits Do you even realize how much help a trained dog can be on a camping trip? I bet it never occurred to you that your dog can dig your fire pit. What about carrying supplies? Most dogs are capable of toting things in a little doggy backpack designed specifically for that purpose. Fall 2017
They can help collect firewood and keep the area free from varmints. Just make sure they know not to go after them. Safety comes first, and a nose full of porcupine needles is painful. Your dog can even be that snuggle companion if your ideal camping trip involves time away from the loved ones. No judgment here! Camping with the family dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. All it takes is a bit of training on your part. So, the next time you plan for the family vacation, set aside a week or two for some Obedience Refresher courses. Every camper will thank you. Mike Robertson is a certified animal trainer and certified behavior consultant located in Plymouth NH. He is the owner of White Mountain College for Pets, with two locations: 661 Mayhew Turnpike & 594 Tenney Mtn Hwy in Plymouth NH. View upcoming class schedules or contact him at: www.collegeforpets.com or by phone 603-369-4PET. www.4LegsAndATail.com 29
Back to School Jessica Stewart Riley - Randolph Center, VT
hat is the value of an equine studies degree, and how can it help me to get a job? As the director of an equine studies program, I frequently hear this logical and valid question. The first thing to keep in mind is that there are many ways to arrive at the same goal, and every person will not take the same path. The most important consideration is what the best plan might be for the individual, based on his or her experience, resources, and desire. If you have had the opportunity to take lessons or work at a reputable barn(s) throughout your life, then an equine degree may not be as essential for you. However, many of the young people I meet are passionate about a career with horses, but have had
minimal opportunities for formal education in a safe and reputable setting. They also may have been exposed to basic horse care and stable management and some riding, but not the finer details of equine health and diseases, lameness, training, formal riding instruction (including communication skills, lesson plans, and rider anatomy & biomechanics), liabilit y, contract s, insurance, nutrition, fire safety, equine anatomy and biomechanics, or equine massage. We also prepare students for the work force by focusing on soft skills that they can use in any career, anywhere. This includes professionalism, working in a team or as a leader, work ethic, resiliency, mature conduct, interview skills, professional dress, career plans, and how to prepare a â€œperfectâ€? resume and cover letter. All of these topics are included in the courses within the Associate of Applied Science in Equine Studies curriculum at Vermont Technical College. Our goal is to turn out graduates who are professional, knowledgeable, and ethical horse people. As with any other college major in any field, that means accepting students with whatever level of previous knowledge or experience they may have, and helping them become an employable professional in the industry. This can be challenging Continued Next Page
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Kristen Gonyaw, class of 2012 on the left, Beau (school horse), and Natalie Chapell, Stable Manager and instructor on right
if a student has little prior knowledge, or a lack of formal experience, but itâ€™s something our staff and faculty take quite seriously, and we are proud of our graduates. So what career opportunities exist in the equine industry? Based on my experience, there are many. There are diverse options for someone who wants to work with horses in some capacity. There is of course the standard trainer, riding instructor, and barn manager options, but there are also careers like equine massage therapist, equine appraiser, equine insurance, saddle-fitter, veterinary assistant, equine dentist, equine transportation, etc. Some of these options may require more work or certification to perform them, but there are people out there in these careers everywhere. Can it be difficult to find an equine job in Vermont that meets an individualâ€™s specifications? Yes, but I have found that to be true of many jobs in this state, not just those that are equine-related. If a person is prepared to work hard for what they want, opportunities exist. I have always found that anything in life worth having or doing required me to work for it. Through their own hard work and a quality education, many of our graduates have found success in the equine industry. Hillary Fay, Class of 2015, is a VetriScience Customer Manager and Horse Show Judge from Huntington, VT. After working in Web Sales at the Cheshire Horse in New Hampshire, Megan Jenks, Class of 2014, has worked for over a year as a Surgery Technician at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, KY, one of the best and largest equine hospitals in the world. Lindsy Danforth, Class of 2012, is the Trainer at Prince Charles Enterprises, a top Appaloosa breeding and training facility in Windsor, CT. Continued Next Page
Lindsy also judges horse shows around New England. Sarah Roche, Class of 2012, is training Quarter Horses at Macan Farms in Kearney, MO. Her clients compete in all-around events at Quarter Horse Shows. Caitlin Bradley, Class of 2015, works in the retail part of the equine industry as a Customer Care Representative at Smartpak in Plymouth, MA. Courtney Stearns, Class of 2015, also works in retail as a Sales Representative at Horze. Courtney is from Johnson, VT. Jenny Valley, Class of 2014, originally of New Hampshire, currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, where she has 30 monthly equine massage clients and is the assistant trainer at LC Equestrian. Marina Vitagliano, Class of 2016, works for Lazy Acres Equines in Brandon, VT, as an assistant trainer and instructor. And thatâ€™s just to name a few! Attending an equine studies degree program opens up many opportunities for individuals who are passionate
about a career in the equine industry. If you are interested in finding out more about the Equine Studies program at Vermont Tech, check out vtc.edu/equine. 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
Teagan Goodwin of Plainfield caught Zephyr on the prowl
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Matching Horse & Rider in Therapy Sue Miller
ot every horse is going to make a good therapy horse. It doesn’t all boil down to great confirmation either. There are many factors in taking in a new therapy horse. Confirmation, and personality are chief among them, the way the horse moves and moves the rider are also contributing factors. Good confirmation starts with balance, essential for both quality of the horse’s movement and performance in any event, and is determined by the horse’s bone structure. Balance refers to equal distribution of muscling and weight from the front of the horse to the back of the horse, from its top to its bottom and from side to side. Balance is not determined by the horse’s weight but instead by proper angles and proportions of different parts of the body. A horse can be light bodied or heavy bodied and still be balanced if its bone structure allows for equal distribution of that weight. Proper balance enables the horse to carry itself to allow for easy maneuverability, greater power and smoother movement. Breed or type refers to how well a horse represents its particular breed and sex. Most breeds have unique qualities by which they can be identified. Therapy horses can be any type or
breed of horse. There is not one breed that is better for therapy. Although horses with draft breed crosses tend to be calmer and can withstand higher weight limits. This may be important depending on the expectations for the horse. Horses are individuals, regardless of stereotypes, you will always find exceptions. For therapy horses,” type” becomes less important. Way of going and temperament take precedence. Temperament is paramount as they will be handled and ridden by many people. Temperament scaling for horses is often rated from 1 – 10. With a 1 being an extremely calm, cool demeanor and 10 being a high flight very reactive or “hot” character. Therapy horses need to be at the low end of the scale with tranquil qualities, a been there, done that Continued Next Page
Therapy horse Bart with Eleanor Clark riding and Christa Prescott leading. Bart is a draft crossed with a saddle horse or possible Friesian type. Bart is 16 hands & fairly slender for a draft cross and can take adults with some height.
attitude. They need to be nonreactive with wheelchairs, standing at mounting ramps or blocks, as well as toys on them or dropped nearby, or volunteers walking alongside them. Way of going, or tracking, refers to the way the horse moves. The horse is evaluated both for cleanness and quality of movement. We want all good therapy horses to be able to walk, trot and canter in balanced tempo. The walk becomes the most important gait. With horses that can track up or move well stepping underneath themselves with the hind leg stepping into the hoofprint of the front hoof. The horse’s pelvis moves in the same range of motion that the human hip does. The horse’s plane of motion moves in a rotation, anterior-posterior & lateral motions. Horse’s will tend to be more pronounced in one of these planes which can give the rider a very different feel depending on their own body type and range of movement. Matching the therapy horse to the human form. There are three basic human body types: the endomorph, characterized by a preponderance of
Buddy is a 14.3 hand Halflinger. Led by Richard Sachs with sidewalkers Molly Fenty & Ivy Skribblez. Nicole Pippin is riding. Buddy is not too tall and has a wide back for a great base of support.
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Little Joe is led by Amanda Lamoureux, ridden by Tyler Rockwood paired with sidewalkers Mia Kingston and Pam Overstorm. Little Joe is a 15-hand slender Quarter Horse that is good for those with smaller hips. All photos by Mary Gerakaris
body fat; the mesomorph, marked by a well-developed musculature; and the ectomorph, distinguished by a lack of much fat or muscle tissue. Along with height and the weight that each body type carries. The rotational movement of the horse will give the rider a serious core workout. The anterior-posterior motion gives horses the rolling seas motion of forward and back. The lateral motion moves the horse in a side to side belly swing. Matching horses and riders for best therapeutic effect can sometimes be challenging. A short legged heavy rider, might look best on a short round horse, the workout that rider gets from a narrower horse will be more intense, the narrower horse will work the riders balance skills more not having a wide base to rely upon. Therapeutic riding instructors, are always looking to provide the best base of support to the rider while keeping the riders pelvis in a neutral position in addition to the best plane of movement to increase the riders range of motion. Also increasing as much independence for the rider as possible. It is typical to start therapy lessons on one horse and move onto another to progress skills, or as body mechanics change. There may not be a perfect breed of horse for therapeutic riding, the sizes and diversity in horse breeds and confirmation are what help to match irregularities within the human species. When you look at any therapeutic riding program you will see a great diversity of breeds, sizes, and shapes – much like the participants! As one rider so aptly said about learning from the horses, “Those we love, we accept with all their flaws along with all their strengths." Sue Miller is Program Director at High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program, A PATH International Registered Level Instructor/ESMHL & PATH Vermont State Chair Fall 2017
Help Your Pet Survive a House Fire M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM - Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
ire can strike when you least expect it. Although your first concern is the safety of you and your family, many of us consider our pets as part of the family. Advanced planning is the best bet when it comes to your pet surviving house fire To help prevent the loss of your pet, the first steps start with you, the pet owner. Prevent potential problems by "pet-proofing" your home and looking for fire hazards. Keep objects that are easily tipped over away from woodstoves and other heat sources. Always extinguish open flames before leaving home and never leave a pet unattended around stoves and candles. Pets can knock over candles and sadly there have been many cases of cats' fur catching fire and in their panic
they run away, spreading the fire to the house. Consider confining younger puppies and kittens when you aren›t home as a means of preventing them from accidentally starting a fire. Window clings that aler t f ire fighters to the presence of pets are also a good idea. Newer clings can be taken down and edited as your pet family grows. Practice fire drills with your family, include the pets, and know your escape routes. Keep collars and leashes handy. Since most pet owners store cat carriers away when they're not in use, keep some old pillow cases handy to put the cat in while evacuating the building. You don't want to waste precious time looking for carriers and leashes or lose your pets outside after escaping! Once outside, keep a tight grip on those pets: cats, especially those not used to the outdoors, will struggle to escape and try to run back to their "safe" place: into the house. Pets left home can't escape on their own. Smoke alarms have saved countless human lives, but our pets are often not so fortunate. The high pitched shriek can scare pets into hiding, making rescue difficult and dangerous. The use of smoke detectors connected to monitoring centers can greatly increase their chances of survival in the event of a fire. Responsible pet ownership includes planning for unexpected emergencies. A house fire is a prime example of how devastating and deadly these emergencies can be. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Your Cat Elisa Speckert, River Road Veterinary Clinic - Norwich, VT
WHAT IS FIV?
n addition to Feline Leukemia Virus, outdoor cats are also susceptible to a disease called Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. FIV is a virus that is transmitted similarly to FeLV, through direct cat-to-cat contact. Fighting is the most common method of transmission. Other less common methods of transmission mating, sharing water/food bowls, and litter boxes and mutual grooming. FIV is present in about 1-2% of cats. FIV attacks your cat’s immune system and compromises their ability to fight off infection. Common symptoms of the virus can include excessive inflammation of the mouth and gums, weight loss, anorexia, lethargy, fever, eye infections, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting and diarrhea. Since these symptoms are very vague and are not specific to FIV the diagnosis must be made through a blood test. The FIV/FeLV test is a combination test that can be run in the clinic in 10 minutes using 3 drops of blood. Although false positives and negatives are possible using the test they are rare. All kittens should be tested for FIV as well as all adult cats who go outdoors or who have had access to other outdoor cats. Unfortunately, there is no cure for FIV. Cats who are positive for this virus will remain positive for the remainder of their lives. Treatment consists of managing your cat’s symptoms, usually with antibiotics. Unlike FeLV, cats who contract FIV can often live for 2-5 years with no major symptoms. Their lifespan can even range up to 8 years or more after diagnosis. If your cat is diagnosed with FIV it is strongly recommended that they do not go outside and they live as an only cat in order to reduce the risk of transmission to other felines. Annual blood work and examinations are also highly recommended in order to try and keep your cat as healthy as possible. Any additional stresses or disease processes may cause your cat to begin showing symptoms of FIV. Ensuring that your cats are neutered/ spayed can help reduce their risk of contracting FIV as they will not mate and will be less inclined to roam and fight. Keeping your cat indoors completely is the only way to make sure they will not be exposed to the virus. There is currently no recommended vaccine for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Please do not hesitate to contact River Road Veterinary Clinic if you have any questions regarding FIV and your cat www.RiverRoadVeterinary.com Fall 2017
Importance of Advanced Imaging- Ultrasounds S
ince dogs and cats cannot tell us what they are feeling, veterinarians rely upon many of the same testing modalities that are used in people to help characterize your pet’s problems and to help provide a diagnosis. An ultrasound may be recommended to get images of your pet’s internal organs. Ultrasound can be done of the abdomen, heart, eye,
Dr. Annalisa Prahl, DVM, DACVIM
tendons, and in some circumstances, the chest. Abdominal ultrasounds will be the focus of this article. How Does It Work? Ultrasonography is a diagnostic tool that uses ultrasonic (sound) waves. A transducer is placed on the abdomen which sends sound waves through the abdominal cavity. These sound waves can be absorbed, reflected, or completely pass through tissues. The transducer then detects which sound waves are bounced back to it, resulting in an image on a screen. These images give us a black, white, and grey image. These images can show changes on the surface or the interior of an organ. Sounds waves cannot pass through air/ gas or bone. What Will an Ultrasound Tell Me? An ultrasound may be recommended to look for a mass detected during examination, to evaluate an organ when blood work results indicate an abnormality, if fluid is detected in the abdomen, if there
is unexplained weight loss, unexplained vomiting/diarrhea, or if an intestinal foreign body obstruction is suspected. Ultrasound is also used to allow guided sampling of organs, masses/nodules, urine, and fluid.
What To Expect If your pet is going to have an ultrasound it is likely that you will be asked to refrain from feeding your pet that day until after the ultrasound. This increases the chance of having good images to interpret. It is also advisable to not let your pet urinate on the way into the clinic before the ultrasound, especially if a urinary tract abnormality is present or suspected. Almost all pets need to have the fur on their bellies clipped to allow for good ultrasound images to be obtained. Most pets do not require sedation for an ultrasound and simply lay on their backs in a soft, padded trough. A skilled veterinary technician will keep your pet comfortable with pats and massages to make the process as non-stressful as possible. However, there are dogs and cats that are not amenable to this either due to severe anxiety or fractious behavior. During those times, sedation is often best for the pet and for the veterinary staff. Even a normal ultrasound has value – it can rule out a number of conditions and give you peace of mind that your pet’s insides are as healthy as the outsides. If you have questions about ultrasounds talk to your regular veterinarian. Dr. Annalisa Prahl is a native Minnesotan who now calls Massachusetts home. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Minnesota-Morris in 1995, and obtained her veterinary medical degree at the University of Minnesota in 2000
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Michael Tanneberger D.V.M. Colchester, VT
Percentage of Visits Due to Tick Encounters
So... Are You Ticked Off Yet?
Surveillance of Vermont Emergency Room & Urgent Care Visits for Human Tick Encounters (Beta Version) Tick Encounter = any visit due to tick-related issues such as a recent tick bite or a request for tick removal.
Week Ending July 29, 2017
0.0% t seems that ticks are in the January February March April May June July August September October November December news more than Hollywood stars these Month days. I’m hearing about them in news2017 Historic Average (2004-2016) Historic Maximum (2004-2016) papers, medical journals, magazines (like this one), on TV and Online. Why? ..because the popularity of the topic indicates how serious the issues with tick borne diseases have become. Environmental changes such as global warming and shifting populations of wildlife have contributed to conditions that are allowing ticks to move to new territories and thrive. Since the 1980’s this has happened to a dramatic degree. Studies are showing that change is occurring all over the country and is causing the spread of tick diseases to new regions. The Lone Star Tick (think Texas) is now being found in southern New England. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, originally carried by early American settlers from Tennessee to the mountains out west, is now spreading throughout the mid-west plains. Here in the Northeast, Lyme disease has been on the rise for years and most people now familiar with it. Fortunately, this has created a greater awareness of tick bite prevention for both pets and their owners. But, it’s
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an ongoing battle. In 2015 the state of Vermont had the highest incidence in the nation of Lyme disease in humans on a per capita basis, with Maine coming in second! The frequency of Lyme disease in dogs has mirrored that rise. Not to further your paranoia of ticks, but remember that Lyme is only one of many diseases that ticks carry. Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and others can all affect you and your dog. And that’s not to mention the new up-and-comers with great names like Bobcat Tick Disease (in cats), Powassan Virus and Mammalian Meat Allergy (both in humans).
So, are you even starting to get ticked off about ticks? If not, then remember this - not all tick diseases are easily treatable and there is much that is still unknown about them. Yes, antibiotics often (notice, I did not say always) work well against some of these diseases, but there are still many questions about how, when, and with what do we treat. Some of the newer diseases have no effective treatments yet. The good news is that excellent products for prevention are available and are the best way to protect your pets. I wish I could say that there are highly effective, natural, and safe tick killing
products available, but the scientific evidence is lacking. Although today the most effective flea and tick killers and repellents are chemicals, the pharmaceutical companies are aware of the need and have been quickly producing products that are not only safer but more effective and easier to use than older ones. Careful and proper use of these products has enabled us to protect our pets against the wide range of serious diseases that ticks carry. Now available are monthly topicals, oral chews that are given every 30 to 90 days, and the newest generation of flea and tick collars that will last up to 8 months (and are highly effective). Because ticks are in greater numbers these days and are surviving through the winter, I strongly encourage pet owners to use these products year round. Late autumn is actually a high risk time for exposure, and the occasional winter thaws are warm enough to spur ticks into action. Also consider vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease. The vaccine should be given in addition to the use of tick killing products in order to maximize the effectiveness of Lyme prevention. Of course, you should routinely check your pets for ticks each time they come indoors (check yourselves, tool). Make sure you have a tick removal device on hand, especially when travelling or doing outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. These handy tools are inexpensive, easy to use, and easy to find. Veterinary offices, pharmacies, sporting goods stores, feed stores, and department stores are all likely to carry them. With just a simple twist the tick is easily removed. Being mindful that ticks are now a regular part of life is the first step in being able to prevent tick borne diseases. Taking the threat of these diseases seriously needs to be a priority - it is important to be proactive to be successful. I often see dogs in my office that test positive for tick diseases after being told by the owner that they have never seen a tick on their pet. Ultimately, getting ticked off enough to take action against ticks will enable you and your pet to enjoy the great outdoors with less worry and more comfort. It’s OK to get mad once in a while! Dr. Mike grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut before attending veterinary school at Cornell University. Prior to his arrival at Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic, he was a partner in a large mixed practice in Northern, NY and then a small animal practice here in VT.
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Alternatively Speaking: Veterinary Chiropractic Care
Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
f all the many types of holistic care, I think Acupuncture and Chiropractic are the most widely recognized. Most people are aware of these therapies for people and their pets, and they have become main-stream enough to be covered by many insurance policies. Despite this familiarity, most people do not realize the deeper potential for chiropractic treatment to help restore balance, beyond just fixing athletic injuries. I personally do not practice Chiropractic care, my area of study is acupuncture and Chinese herbs. But I certainly have experienced its effects first hand and know how well it pairs with acupuncture. So I sat down with Dr Will Barry, who provides Chiropractic therapy at our practice, to talk about how these two therapies work together to provide solutions to some pretty stuck problems. Most people’s basic understanding of chiropractic therapy is just that – mov-
ing stuck bones. The spine is made up of many tiny bones called vertebrae which allow it to twist and flex in many directions. If that motion is prevented then the attached muscles and tendons are pulled and held too tight, limiting the body’s motion locally so other parts have to move in abnormal ways to perform simple tasks like walking or bending. This unusual use strains muscles so that they are more prone to injury, and before you know it one tiny stuck vertebra is causing aches and pains all over, even affecting internal functions. The chiropractor manipulates the body to unlock the bones so they move again, and in doing so that relaxes overstretched areas and allows normal flexibility so everything can heal. At least that is the plan. But as Dr Barry says, “Bones are stupid, they just do what the muscles tell them to.” Moving the bones may not help much if the muscles are just going to pull them back into a fixed place. What controls the muscles? Nerves! Painful feed-back from nerves can tell the muscles to hold bones still to protect an injury, like a disc in the back that is slipping out of place. Suddenly moving the bone may aggravate that primary injury. Nerves are an important part of what makes up an acupuncture point so it is no surprise that when trying to work with muscles and bones, chiropractic and acupuncture work well together. Once you start affecting nerves, whether with needles or by releasing bones, then you are also influencing body systems and organs on every level. Mobility is at the heart of health, but is not limited to just moving limbs. There is physiologic movement in the body such as digestion in the gut, circulatory movement of blood in tissues, or metabolic ‘movement’ in organs and cells and they are not independent of our bodies physical motion. This is why these therapies have such broad impact beyond orthopedic aches and pains. But often a pet’s symptoms do involve an ache or pain, and while we have these tools to use, it may not be easy to find the source of the problem at first glance. Take Jack for instance, an elderly but very energetic, bouncy dog with a history of back issues and fairly dramatic arthritis changes along his spine. As he Continued Next Page
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Dr. Barry with Jack
has aged he has needed some medication on occasion for back pain, but otherwise had been doing well. Then after a fall last December he started walking hunched, with his rear legs crouched in a half-sitting position all the time. Were his legs weak and unable to hold him up, or did he slip a disc and have too much pain to straighten his back, or did he pull some support muscles trying to walk with a sore back? Is it the muscles, nerves, bones or a combination of all three? Working out these puzzles is where each case always starts. A front leg limp may be due to leaning forward because there is pain in the rear. A sore back may be from walking shifted to the left because there is a sore knee on the right. So how do we know whether to use chiropractic or acupuncture, and how do we find the root problem? There are no wrong approaches, but Dr Barry and I agree that it starts with getting feedback from the body through touch, and often it is a combination of therapies that work the best. When doing an exam for acupuncture, I feel for heat or changes in the tissues where acupuncture points are located to narrow down where the problem areas are. Acupuncture works on the soft tissues and organs via their neurological controls, when needles stimulate nerves and send messages locally as well as far reaching thru the body. In this way it can provide pain relief, move circulation to or away from a tissue that needs nourishing or decongesting, and it can Fall 2017
allow tense muscles to relax so they are not pulling bones in ways that diminish their mobility. On a deeper level, it may address imbalances that made the body prone to injury. Dr Barry also uses his hands to feel for problems. Before working on the bones, he checks the muscles from head to toe, feeling for tension or pain. He also uses Applied Kinesiology, also known as muscle testing, to determine weakness. His assistant touches the pet and when a weak area is identified, that weakness briefly reflects in the assistant. There are different ways to measure this, but commonly the tester pushes on the assistantâ€™s out stretched arm. Normally a person can hold up their arm when pressure is applied, but it is quite impressive to see that arm drop as if it had no strength at all, and only when the patientâ€™s weak area is being checked. This can identify muscles to treat with acupuncture or laser. Lasers relax the muscles by their action on the cells themselves to increase oxygen, which affects local circulation and relieves pain. Dr Barry then repeats his exam from tail to head, this time checking the bones. If any bone is still fixed after the muscles have been helped, then he will use Chiropractic to address the bones. Chiropractic manipulation can involve forceful jolts to bones, but often we use only small vibrations to get the same Continued Next Page
effect. This technique is gentle and can avoid aggravating sore areas, especially when we relax problem muscles first. Doing so makes it less likely to be uncomfortable after chiropractic treatment while strained muscles are readjusting to normal motion. Let’s go back to Jack, who came to us for help with his hunched back. We started with a conventional exam, and determined he was not weak in his rear legs, or having abdominal pain. We then did a Chinese exam, to see what imbalances may be contributing to such a fixed pain that would not budge. He had several acupuncture treatments, and we adjusted his current medications. Over time he did seem more comfortable and happy but we were not making much progress in getting his back to straighten, and his activity was affected by that. So we decided to have Dr Barry do a chiropractic assessment. Given the fragile condition of Jack’s back, we wanted to use very gentle manipulations under a veterinarian’s supervision. At the time of this article, it is too early to say how things are going, but the treatment was painless and did not aggravate his condition, which is always our first goal. Jack’s case can also remind us how good our pets are at hiding their prob-
lems. He is not unique in the fact that until he was older, he seemed pretty normal despite still having significant back disease. Remember that compared to us, our pet’s pain has to be much more intense for them to show it in an obvious way. They are built to hunt first and rest sore bodies later, so given the opportunity to play ball or chase a squirrel, a sore leg may suddenly feel just fine. That means we have to watch for early clues of mild pain and get them checked out. Early on, there will be no moaning or groaning from our pets, they will simply adjust what they do or how they do it to be most comfortable and carry on merrily. As in all disease, diagnosing and treating early gets the best results because we can minimize chronic damage and prolong normal function. If we wait until there is enough pain for our pet to show it clearly, the more likely that tissue damage is significant and is involving many structures. That means treatment takes longer to work and may be more difficult to improve function. So if your cat is using the chair before getting up onto the counter to steal your tuna, or your dog takes a few steps to get going right after a nap, don’t wait for things to get more dramatic. Have your pet evaluated medically by your veterinarian to first rule out any conditions that may be connected to their change in behavior. They may have a problem that needs immediate attention other than chiropractic, or treatment before chiropractic to avoid aggravating an unstable situation. If it turns out to be a simple ache or pain, get those muscles and bones checked out to find the culprit. It may be a simple injury that needs acupuncture or chiropractic to reset things, or it may be an ongoing joint or structural issue that would benefit from broader alternative care including tissue support supplements, nutritional support, and knowing what activities to promote or avoid. Either way, a little early intervention goes a long way to keep your pet flexible and moving so they feel their best inside and out. 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
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Intervertebral Disc Disease Catherine MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH Fargo has made a full recovery
ntervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a disease that can affect any creature with a spine. In small animal veterinary medicine it is commonly seen in dogs with long backs such as the Dachshund, Corgi, Beagle, and Basset Hound. The back is divided into three regions: cervical (neck region), thoracic (over the rib cage), and lumbar (lower back). The back is also made up of bones called vertebrae. In between each vertebrae is an intervertebral disc. These fluid filled discs act as shock absorbers by helping displace the weight load on the spine during our daily activities. Canine intervertebral disc disease occurs when a disc in your dogâ€™s spine ruptures or herniates. This causes leaking of the disc fluid, pain, and severe inflammation. Once the disc ruptures or herniates it can no longer act as a shock absorber or help with the weight load on the spine. The side effects of IVDD are serious, and the symptoms will vary depending on where the disc ruptures or herniates in the spine. When a disc herniation or rupture occurs, it is important for medical attention to be sought. The condition is very painful, and if left untreated, the dog can become paralyzed. Possible symptoms include stiffness of the neck, back pain, crying when handled or picked up, shivering, reluctance to play or run, weakness in the limbs, an unusual gate, and paralysis. A diagnosis of IVDD is made with a thorough physical and neurological exam and diagnostics such as x-rays, MRI or CT Scan, or a Myleograph (injection of dye into the spine). Once a diagnosis is made, treatment can begin. Treatment options depend on the severity of the clinical signs that the patient is exhibiting, location of the herniated or ruptured disc, and Continued Next Page
cost. Some dogs can be managed with medication and strict cage rest. The medications used will help decrease the swelling and relax your dog’s muscles. Surgery is another option in some cases. This can be very expensive, but in some cases, due to the location of the herniated or ruptured disc, it is the best option. Finally, acupuncture is another effective treatment option. Over the years, I have treated a number of dogs with a combination of medication and acupuncture. One dog that I treated recently was a Dachshund named Fargo. Fargo was originally seen at an emergency clinic for acute onset of pain. It was determined that Fargo was having neck pain, which was later confirmed on x-rays. He was started on pain medication and muscle relaxants and put on cage rest. Fargo was still having pain after the weekend, so after a discussion with the owner, we decided to add acupuncture to his treatment. After two treatments, Fargo improved and made a full recovery. Another Dachsund mix that had back issues was a dog named Winny. He had an acute loss of the use of his left hind leg. Radiographs showed issues in Winny’s lumbar spine. He was started on medication and rest. Over the next couple of days Winny did not improved and still seemed painful. We started acupuncture on him and saw rapid improvement during his treatments. He has also made a full recovery. Intervertebral Disc Disease doesn’t need to be a death sentence for most dogs. In many cases, with quick diagnosis and intervention a positive outcome can occur. Dr. MacLean completed her Bachelor of Science from Penn State University, her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College, and her pet acupuncture certification from Chi Institute. Her areas of special interest include general practice and acupuncture. She opened Sugar River Animal Hospital in 2013, and she has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. Dr. MacLean’s family consists of her husband Matt, her daughter Katarina, and their three pets: Jack and Misty, two cats, and Arrow, a dog.
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A Book Over 20 Years In The Making Tanya Sousa
ears ago, a woman passed a New York used car-sales lot. Behind fencing were 7 guard dogs – providing a service for the man who owned the cars and the business. One day she passed and the lot was vacant except for the dogs, trapped there, no water, no food. The woman discovered the man had abandoned them. She rented a van, loaded up the dogs and drove them to a no-kill shelter. The woman is Lynda Graham-Barber - an author who has published with companies large and small. Living in Newport, Vermont for years, she had a very different life in New York, working as an editor for a publishing company, helping her husband Ray with his career, and… tirelessly rescuing animals. New York City and its surrounds is a tough place for strays, and not many days passed that Lynda or Ray didn’t find one. “I’ve written all of these books, many about animals, but I never wrote a book about dogs,” Barber said. “It was too close. It took years before I was ready.” Her latest book is finally about a dog. Cookie’s Fortune, illustrated by Nancy Lane, and published by Gryphon Press, will be out on October 3rd. Picture books pack a punch when created by someone like Barber. KIRKUS, the famous book reviewer, agrees: “Little dog lost—and found. Dogs go missing all the time. Plenty of them have lost their way. Many, more likely have been abandoned. This tale doesn’t tell readers how Cookie—a little ragamuffin of a dog—came to be a lost dog in the big city, but that is her opening circumstance. Nothing looks right, nothing smells right. ‘The little dog walked / and walked / and walked,’ the repetition putting readers in the dog’s paws. Night comes, and the dog wanders into a junkyard for some cover. ‘The car looked forgotten, / as forgotten as the little lost dog.’ The text tells a story, painting wrenching scenes—‘The forgotten dog and the forgotten car / stood stark against the pale pink dawn’— and affirming ones. It also has a sharp point. Dogs like Cookie often end up in shelters, and fewer end up as rescue dogs. (A page of information at the back of the book suggests ways readers can help shelters and offers plenty of stark facts for caregivers to consider when thinking about bringing a dog into the house.)…” The character of Cookie is inspired
Author Lynda Graham-Barber sits outside of her stone cottage in Newport, Vermont with ‘Biscuit’, the most recent permanent rescue dog in her life.
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Metro when he was discovered by author Lynda Graham-Barber and her husband Ray in a Manhattan area subway station.
by a dog Barber rescued. She said, “Ray and I were going to a concert and were using the subway. I remember seeing something that looked like a pile of rubbish. Then something moved – I thought it was a little pig! But it was a dog!” She closed her eyes and grimaced at the memory. “The smell was unforgettable – the poor dog hardly had hair left. We skipped the concert and brought the dog to the vet.” ‘Metro’, as the Barbers called the dog, had the worst case of mange the vet had seen. Lynda and Ray took him home and isolated him from their own pets. “The
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vet said to rub a cream all over him 3 times a day for 6 weeks and he might come back. In 6 or 7 weeks he was a completely different dog!” The happy and healthy little dog found a permanent home. Barber’s neighbor’s mother was recently widowed. They arranged for the woman and Metro to meet; it was love at first sight. Metro was one of many dogs Lynda rescued with her husband Ray. She continued helping whenever possible after Ray died and she eventually remarried artist David Hunter. Barber’s first animal rescue was when she was just out of college -- a kitten on her fire escape. Then there was the first dog - a female who crept into an art store and spent the night there, warm and safe although homeless. “We named her ‘Augustine’ because we found her in August,” Barber explained. There have also been Vermont dogs - ‘Will named for Willoughby Lake, ‘Primavera’ named for spring, and ‘May’ named for May Pond where Lynda loves to paddle. Still, many of Lynda’s hardest memories were from New York. There were dogs abandoned in front of markets – litters of puppies dumped, injured dogs and hungry dogs on sidewalks. “I walked everyday with a backpack. I kept a leash, wet dog food, and a towel just in case. If I found one, I’d take it right to the vet. I’d drive for miles to bring them to nokill shelters.” She found ‘Noel’ on one such walk. Barber said,“I saw a dog at Christmastime on a curb, it was beside a dead dog, and he wouldn’t leave that dog’s side. We drove 1200 miles to a nokill shelter that could take him.” Today, Lynda and her second husband David live in a stone cottage with plenty of acreage. They share the place with one dog, a rescue named ‘Biscuit’ who travels with them everywhere. The land is cared for with habitat in mind. David creates piles of slash for shelter. Wood duck houses set close to a pond. Stone walls offer places to live and hide. Lynda and David create artwork that sometimes features dogs. David’s sculpture, “A Dog Called Schwinn,” was created from a recycled Schwinn bicycle. Lynda creates upcycled items with dog images. Her heart project, though, is Cookie’s Fortune. “I told my publisher, I will not die until this book is published! I never forgot Metro. How did such a cute little dog end up in his situation?” You may view the book trailer for Cookie’s Fortune (created by Bradleigh Stockwell) at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=JTXPAgVb93E or order the book Fall 2017
HALLOWEEN HINTS Pat Jauch - Caledonia Animal Rescue, Inc.
alloween can be a scary time for your pets. When the gremlins knock at your door in their frightening costumes, canines may over-react, becoming fearful or aggressive. Be sure to restrain your pets, protecting them from undue anxiety and also keeping them from biting strangers. When the children go door to door they should wear clothing that will make them visible, particularly to motorists. Dogs too, should have reflective collars in the event that they get loose and run into traffic. Special precautions should be taken to keep your animals indoors, particularly on this holiday, and at the very least, on a leash if doors will be opening often. Halloween can also cause some health hazards for your pets. Digestive problems, diarrhea and vomiting can become serious if your animals partake of the Halloween loot. A sudden change of diet, such as ingesting large quantities of candy, can disrupt the digestive system. Although most stomach upsets will resolve on their own in a day or two, it is wise to consult your veterinarian at the earliest sign of these conditions. Wrappings, such as cellophane and aluminum foil, can wreak havoc when they are swallowed along with their contents. These indigestible materials can cause constipation and even obstruction. Chocolate can be particularly troublesome and in some cases, lethal. Good oral hygiene is important for your pets. Sweets can lead to tooth decay, which can spread microorganisms to other parts of the body, so be sure to schedule regular dental checkups. In addition, brushing should be done routinely. Feeding dry food creates a natural source of friction on the teeth, thus helping to reduce tartar. There is even mouthwash available. If you find that your dog has halitosis (bad breath) it may be a sign of dental problems or more serious illness. Either way, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Too much sugar is not good for the teeth or the diet. A good pet treat, high in nutritional value, is a better alternative. By avoiding the temptation to share the Halloween goodies with your pet you will be contributing to its continued good health. Fall 2017
ou just had you dog’s teeth X-rayed, treated with extractions or other procedures, and fully cleaned. Now you would like a way to keep that mouth as healthy as possible. Remember that plaque is the enemy. Plaque is formed every second of every day, is sticky, and will change from a soft coating on the teeth to a hard, brown calcified barrier (tartar or calculus) in a matter of days. Yikes! Don’t despair, there are effective ways to deal with the problem. Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS First of all, not all animal products with dental claims are created equal. Unfortunately, unless there is a medical claim (“prevents gingivitis,” “cures periodontal disease”) regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there is little to no oversight of statements regarding dental value. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) was created to address this problem. The VOHC awards its VOHC Accepted Seal only to products that decrease accumulation of plaque and/or calculus by at least 20% through a data review system. Unfortunately there are only 33 products for dogs that have the VOHC seal so inevitably some of the products recommended here will not have the seal. How is plaque removed? Do you brush your teeth every day? Brushing is a mechanical action that removes plaque. Brushing is the most effective means of removing plaque and remains the “gold standard”. However, not all owners have the time or inclination to brush their dogs teeth. Having your dog chew on something that will create a mechanical action can be an effective means of removing plaque from the chewing teeth. (Remember I started with a healthy mouth. If the mouth is painful and your dog avoids chewing with certain teeth then these products will not work well on those teeth.) I use and recommend the following products.
Once The Teeth Are Clean Lets Keep Them That Way - Dogs
Products with a mechanical action that removes plaque Dental Care Diets. Regular dry food shatters as it is chewed. Hill’s t/d™ has a fiber matrix within the kibble that holds the kibble together to scrub the teeth (VOHC seal for plaque and tartar)
Regular dog kibble
With every bite, the fiber matrix scrubs the tooth surface to clean teeth and freshen breath.
Unique fiber alignment helps kibble stay in contact with the tooth surface right to the gumline.
Small Bites t/d™
Kibble gently scrubs away plaque and tartar to clean teeth and promote healthy gums.
Regular Bites t/d™
The t/d™ kibble is considerable larger than regular kibble. The kibbles are larger but not dense to allow the tooth to enter the kibble. Small dogs will readily eat the small bites, even though they seem large. I even heard of a Chihuahua that liked the regular bites! He would work away at the large kibble having a great time while also cleaning his teeth.
Toys: none with VOHC seal. Look for rubber toys that you can indent with a fingernail. My favorite is West Paw Design toys. US made, non-toxic, and money back guarantee (The guarantee is limited to a one-time, one-replacement per household.). The style shown will hold treats which provides fun and entertainment. They also come in a ball shape and a bone shape. They float in water and can be put into the dishwasher for cleaning.
Chews - Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews for small, large and extra large dogs. (VOHC seal for tartar). These products also have a mechanical effect of the surface of the tooth. The Tartar Shield treats are US made and are pre-ground up rawhide to eliminate the danger of choking. Continued Next Page
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Products that control plaque in a non-mechanical way
Water additives - Healthy Mouth™ is the only water additive to carry the VOHC seal. (VOHC seal for plaque). This is an all natural product including chlorophyll, so it turns the water green! It is extremely efficient at removing plaque and is best started directly after the teeth have been cleaned.
Sanos®: See my article in the Fall 2015 issue of 4 Legs & a Tail. The polymers in this product form a film in the space between the gum and the tooth, hindering plaque attachment in the area where periodontal disease starts. Applied by the veterinarian after cleaning the teeth. Must be reapplied every 6 months for full efficacy.
Some products combine mechanical action with a plaque control product OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews (VOHC seal for tartar). OraVet chews work by disrupting the formation of plaque, so that it no longer sticks to the teeth. The delmopinol in OraVet dental hygiene chews disrupts plaque, reduces plaque formation and makes bacteria susceptible to attack. Add this to the mechanical action of chewing on a mildly abrasive chew, and you get pretty close to the ideal of tooth brushing. And my fussy dog Annabelle really likes them. Feed only one per day. Comes in 4 sizes.
Rawhide chews with chlorhexidine added. Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant that binds to tissue, giving it a long acting effect. It is found in some mouth washes. The rawhide is in the form of thin strips. As long as your dog is a “chewer” rather than a “gulper” these chews will not cause choking or bowel obstruction. Vetoquinol Dentahex Oral Care Chews with Chlorhexidine and Virbac C.E.T.® HEXtra® Premium Oral Hygiene Chews are two such products. Fall 2017
Dental Wipes: Just like it sounds, these are small pads that are wiped over the teeth and gums to remove plaque and to deposit plaque control products onto the teeth.
Of course you can and really should use more than one product to keep the teeth clean and the mouth healthy. With all these great products available it is easier than ever to keep your dog’s teeth as clean as when s/he was a puppy. It still will be necessary to have professional dental cleanings done by your veterinarian. If you keep the teeth clean it will take less time under anesthesia for your veterinarian to clean the teeth, it will mean less extractions that will need to be done and it may mean that you can spread out the interval between cleanings. I will do cat products in the next issue. 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.
What Morena Taught Me About Being A Better Footballer Christen Press - US Women's National Soccer Team
[THE PITCH] recently read a New York Times self-help article by Amy Sutherland called What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage, and, as my family had just adopted a puppy, I figured I would employ some of her advice as a refresher
course on reward-based training. The twist of the article is that Sutherland begins to use these animal training techniques on her most important human relationship, namely her husband… I thought about that saying psychologists love … our most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. So the real twist, of course, is that I decided to apply these very same animal techniques to myself… as a puppy… err… player in training. I’m quite familiar with the idea of being my own manager, coach, and cheerleader, so why not add personal trainer? Our puppy Morena was named after a cow... a brown cow that my family had milked while visiting a farm in Ecuador. I was actually the first “Mo” of the house, but my childhood Continued Next Page
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nickname lacks any direct correlation… or any rhyme or reason for that matter. But hey, at least I wasn’t named after a cow. Morena is adorable with her sleek, silky honey-colored coat, oversized ears, and white dipped paws. As for me, I get my paws… err… nails dipped weekly and I have to take my coat to the dry cleaners to keep it sleek. (After seeing the last bill, I am really considering licking it clean myself). Appearances aside, the main thing that Morena and I have in common is that right now we are both in training. Unlike me, Morena is a social butterfly. She’s clever and expressive. People and dogs love meeting her as much as she loves meeting… and jumping on them. Walking with Morena is probably the most social part of my day; she strolls confidently through the neighborhood, hips swerving, as she introduces me to her pals. Watching her go, I sometimes wonder what life would be like if I jumped up and down, shook my butt, and kissed all over every stranger that greeted me… I digress. Jumping is bad. And this habit of hers quickly jumped to the top of the “eliminate this behavior” list! So, how do you begin to stop a dog’s bad behavior? According to WSTMAHM, you simply ignore it. Simple? Hmmm… The entertainment industry has a saying, “All press is good press.” Well in the world of puppy/husband/footballer training… it seems that all attention is good attention. That means that every time I acknowledge a behavior, whether positively or negatively, I encourage it. To Morena, shouting, “No!” and “Stop! ” is likely to promote the errant behavior because the desired affect is the attention. Easier said than done, Sutherland! Especially when it came to training myself. Morena jumps on people. I miss shots. Hey, at least I haven’t knocked over any toddlers… well, not lately! Self-chastising had been an integral part of my game for a long time. And as far as relationships go…I found the words, “Are you kidding Christen!” a real icebreaker. So, when Morena jumps on me, I make it clear that, although incredibly adorable, I am ignoring her by physically turning my back to her and continuing whatever I am doing. On the field, if I shoot the ball off target, I turn my back to get quickly into position and continuing playing, wasting no time or attention on the mistake. Even though I’ve ignored the missed shot and turned my attention to the game, “older dog” that I am…I find it difficult to stop the peanut gallery in my head. “Bad girl!” Sutherland also suggests that instead of training the subject NOT to do an incompatible behavior, like, Continued Next Page
in the case of Morena, biting, we should substitute something else. Instead of yelling at her for biting our hands, we offer her a chew toy as an alternative and whenever she chews on her toy we praise and reward her. As for me, instead of telling myself NOT to miss…duh! I started saying: SCORE! In high-pressure situations like sports, the brain often does not have time to process complete phrases. In the worst of cases, the actual words can be lost and the only understood message comes from intonation…not unlike speaking to a dog…just sayin’. Studies show that this type of erroravoidant thinking has negative effects on performance. I’ve experienced this phenomenon first hand when a teammate, in the heat of a battle, screams, “RELAX!!!!!!!!” The effect is usually not relaxing. More often, under duress, the brain narrows in on the nucleus while missing all the modifiers, namely, negation. So, if you are telling yourself not to kick the ball over the goal, there’s a good chance that you will only absorb “kick it over.” Both Morena and I are very much a work in progress. But throughout this process, I started to see how some of her natural behaviors could be really an advantage in any athlete’s training. For example, she talks with her body, and as I’ve said before, body language is paramount in team sports. Tail tucked? Out of the play; Tail up? “Just give me the Damn ball Keyshawn!” At the dog park, Morena really gets into her tackles. She is relentless in her pursuit… chasing down the small dogs and pestering the big ones. Most of all, Morena listens to her body. Right now, the off-season for Damallsvenskan is the time in my life that I have the most control over my fitness regimen. And when I have control, I tend to overdo it. On the other hand, I’ve had to smile more than a few times when baby Mo ever so dramatically throws herself down on the floor, as if to say, “Enough!” At just four months old, she listens to her body and refuses to continue doing something she enjoys when she’s exhausted. At 25, I still have not mastered this skill. How can I get in my lift, extra shots, and rehab if I took a nap? How can I play, write, and spend time with my friends if I stopped when my body was tired? Well, what our little Morena knows is that for quality play, you need your rest! You might be thinking: That’s Impressive…but I call it: Best In Show! Christen Press is an American soccer striker and World Cup champion. She captains the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League and represents the United States women’s national soccer team. In 2011, she was named the WPS Rookie of the Year. She was a 2010 Hermann Trophy recipient and holds the all-time scoring record at Stanford University. In 2015, she represented the United States at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Christen has been active with Grass Roots soccer in Norwich, VT which is an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities.
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Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats… 6 Reasons To Give It To Your Pet Jill Feinstein
all is here and pumpkins abound this time of year. Halloween brings them out in all their glory. Now that the tricking and treating is done, what do you do with that big orange squash?
Well, if it’s carved… enjoy it a little longer and then throw it out. But if your pumpkin is untouched and undecorated consider cooking, pureeing and adding it to your pet’s food. From the f lesh to the seeds, pumpkin’s got essential fatty acids, nutrients and fiber that are beneficial for our cats and dogs. Here are 6 reasons you should consider feeding it to your pet… if not fresh pumpkin then canned pumpkin from the store. It’s full of good stuff. 1) Digestive Health Because pumpkin is such a fantastic source of fiber, it’s helpful for constipation and diarrhea. Constipation is common in senior cats. If your kitty suffers from it, talk to your vet about adding a little pumpkin to your cat’s food. The increased fiber—3 grams per
cup—makes the stool bulkier. Bulkier stool stimulates the colon and makes the muscles contract to move the stool through the colon and out the tush. And pumpkin’s helpful with diarrhea too. If your dog eats something they shouldn’t and they end up with loose stools, give them a little pumpkin. The fiber in pumpkin bonds together in your pet’s digestive tract and acts like a sponge to absorb excess water in the diarrhea. Pumpkin is good for general stomach upset in your dog or cat. 2) Urinary Health The seeds of the pumpkin are a healthy treat for your pet too. They are rich in essential fatty acids (omega3) and antioxidants (Vitamin C) that support a healthy urinary tract. I f you r p e t s u f f e r s f r o m incontinence, kidney stones or crystals, talk to your vet about pumpkin seeds as a wholesome treat. 3) Weight Loss The high fiber and water content (90%), and low calories and fat in pumpkin can help your overweight pet slim down. Replace a little of their food with pumpkin. It tastes great. And even though you’ve cut calories and fat, the fiber helps your pet feel full. 4) Nutrient Dense Pumpkin is not only high in fiber and low in fat and calories, it’s full of nutrients. Continued Next Page
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The omega-3 fatty acids found in pumpkin are good for the skin and coat. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory benefits as well. My post Omega-3 Fatty Acids… Your Pet Needs Them Too! talks all about that. Pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene (cancer fighting), magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and Vitamins A and C. So although there’s no documented science that pumpkin is beneficial to the immune system, it seems logical that it couldn’t hurt. Beware… some of these vitamins and minerals can be toxic though if levels get too high. So never give your pet more than a teaspoon or two of pumpkin a day. And always check first with your vet to be sure it’s okay for them to have it. 5) Hairballs Are hairballs a problem for your cat? Well, pumpkin’s a natural solution. The fiber helps move hairballs through the cat’s digestive tract. And if your cat eats pumpkin regularly, it can prevent hairballs from forming in the first place. 6) Hydration If your pet eats dry kibble, their bodies need to secrete more gastric acid and pancreatic enzymes for digestion than with wet food. Adding a moisture rich food like pumpkin to dry kibble reduces the dehydrating effect. How do you make pumpkin edible for your pet? Well, definitely don’t feed it to them raw. Cook it or buy it canned. But if you buy the canned stuff, be sure it’s just pureed pumpkin. Don’t buy pumpkin pie filling. It’s loaded with sugar, spices, preservatives and fat, which can all add up to stomach upset for your pet. If you’re going to cook fresh pumpkin, it’s simple. Cut the pumpkin into small pieces. Cut off the pith and the seeds. Put the pumpkin skin-side down in a roasting pan. Add ¼ inch of water and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until tender at 300 degrees. When the pumpkin’s cool, cut off the skin and mash or puree the flesh. To feed the seeds, cook them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Roast them at 375 degrees for 5 - 10 minutes. Let them cool and then give only 1 or 2 a day as a treat. They are high in fat which can cause diarrhea if you give your pet too many. Store the leftovers in an airtight container. Because pumpkins are big and canned pumpkin is plentiful too, you can end up throwing most of it away if you don’t plan. Pumpkin puree will only last a week in the fridge. And since you will only give your pet about a teaspoon a day, a good amount will end up in the garbage the end of the week. But here’s what you can do. Use ice cube trays to make individual daily servings. Once frozen, separate a weeks worth into small containers. Then each week defrost one container at a time. If you freeze the pumpkin puree, be sure to mix it when it defrosts because the water will separate from the pulp. You can feed your pet a teaspoon of pumpkin by itself as a treat, or mix it in with their food. But get the okay to add pumpkin and find out the right amount from your vet. Otherwise, you may end up with a case of diarrhea. Fall 2017
ne of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone was written by Earl Hamner Jr. and aired in 1962. I could share the story, but I think Rod Serling would do it best... "An old man and a hound-dog named Rip, off for an evening's pleasure in quest of raccoon. Usually, these evenings end with one tired old man, one battle-scarred hound dog, and one or more extremely dead raccoons, but as you may suspect, that will not be the case tonight. These hunters won't be coming home from the hill. They're headed for the backwoods—of The Twilight Zone." Hyder Simpson is an elderly mountain man who lives with his wife Rachel and his hound dog Rip in the backwoods. Rachel does not like having the dog indoors, but Rip saved Hyder's life once and Hyder refuses to part with him. Rachel has seen some bad omens recently and warns Hyder not to go raccoon hunting that night. When Rip dives into a pond after a raccoon, Hyder jumps in after him. Only the raccoon comes up out of the water. The next morning, Hyder and Rip wake up next to the pond. When they return home, Hyder finds that Rachel, the preacher, and the neighbors cannot hear or see him, and are tending to the burial of both him and Rip. Walking along the road, Hyder and Rip encounter an unfamiliar fence and follow it. They come to a gate tended by a man, who explains that Hyder can enter the Elysian Fields of the afterlife. Told that Rip cannot enter and will be taken to a special afterlife for dogs, Hyder angrily declines the offer of entry and decides to keep walking along the "Eternity Road," saying, "Any place that's too highfalutin for Rip is too fancy for me." Later, Hyder and Rip stop to rest and are met by a young man, who introduces himself as an angel dispatched to find them and bring them to Heaven. When Hyder recounts his previous encounter, the angel tells him that the gate is actually the entrance to Hell. The gatekeeper had stopped Rip from entering because Rip would have smelled the brimstone inside and warned Hyder that something was wrong. The angel says, "You see, Mr. Simpson, a man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the Devil can't fool a dog!" As the angel leads Hyder along the Eternity Road toward Heaven, he tells Hyder that a square dance and raccoon hunt are scheduled for that night. He also assures Hyder that Rachel, who will soon be coming along the road, will not be misled into entering Hell. "Travelers to unknown regions would be well advised to take along the family dog. He could just save you from entering the wrong gate. At least, it happened that way once—in a mountainous area of the Twilight Zone."
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More than 350,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have sought help for PTSD
Two of a Kind B
ob Landry and Coco were as different as night and day. Or more accurately, as different as a human and a dog. Yet these two would come to find out that they had more in common than you could possibly imagine. Bob grew up in a happy household in New England. Surrounded by family and friends, he was a starter on his high school football team and made it to the state finals. A top ten graduate, he had scholarship offers to universities, but not a full ride. He chose a path with the US Army instead. The military can offer you the opportunity to “Be All That You Can Be,” but the Iraqi desert was More than just half a planet from home. There was nothing he could find in common with the Green Mountains, nothing an infantry soldier could embrace beyond survival of yourself and your buddies. The mission that Tuesday, was described as “routine.” Bob repeated the word to himself as he packed a magazine of 30 rounds against his Kevlar helmet, Fall 2017
while dressed in body armor. Riding point escorting a supply caravan, the IED hit with such sudden velocity Bob was almost unaware he had been thrown 20 feet from his Humvee. He convulsed as the pain of searing metal tore through his leg, and then there was darkness. Coco also reveled in his early years. A Christmas morning puppy, he was as elated as his new loving family. Just outside of New Orleans, Coco thrived in the Big Easy. It was early August and that particular day was unusually busy. There was no play. They were so busy Coco had to bark to remind them about dinner. If Coco had known about hurricanes, that this could be his last decent meal, he might have barked more. Katrina struck. The plywood did little to preserve Coco’s home. Wilmot Street was consumed by storm surge, and looked like a raging river as the rain and wind pounded the city. It was dark when rescue workers found the family perched on the roof, water approaching life-threatening levels. The boat already at capacity, Coco watched as his people cried, disappearing into the night without him. The water crested, and Coco was swept away by the wind and tide, more than six miles from the place he once called home. Finally coming to rest on a muddy hillside, blood rushed from a wound, debris protruding from his leg. Bob woke two days after the attack on his column, in a hospital outside Baghdad. His recollection of the days to follow were foggy, but included talk of amputation, physical therapy and medical discharge. Several months later he set foot in the United States. The tranContinued Next Page
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sition into civilian life was a challenge many veterans have faced. The scars of war are not just visible to the naked eye. PTSD is a simple acronym, not a simple affliction. During one appointment at the VA in White River Jct., Bob spoke with a guy from boot camp, “Maybe you should get a dog. They’re specially trained to help with issues like yours.” Bob wasn’t looking for a dog trained to help him pee in the night. He needed someone who could relate, feel what he was feeling. Coco scavenged through the aftermath of the storm. So much had changed, his people now hundreds of miles away, building a new life without him. Local agencies gathered these displaced, now feral dogs such as Coco in temporary shelters. Veterinarians examined Coco, his condition was near critical. Malnourished and disease infested, euthanasia was a distinct possibility. His injured and infected leg would need to be removed. Fortunately, he healed rapidly and soon found himself aboard an airplane for New England as part of a rescue group. Bob limped through the kennel of newly arrived dogs who jumped and barked, “Pick me! Pick me!” he contemplated his decision to get a dog. Was this the right idea? He could barely take care of himself, how could he take care of a dog? “It didn’t take long for us to become best buds. During the day, Coco was by my side constantly and at night he would curl up at the foot of my bed. Soon after, we found ourselves certified for the local therapy dog program. These days we are regulars at VA hospitals, retirement homes and schools.” They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. When Bob came across Coco sitting calmly among the chaos, he didn’t see the physical scars of the dog and thinly smiled at the irony of the dog’s missing leg. For a moment he wondered if the dog was sizing him up and coming to the same conclusion. Neither of them had the life they expected. The trials and tribulations both experienced had, at times, felt unjust and painful. Although they might be as different as night and day, in the end you never know who the path may lead you to. Fall 2017
Smoky, Yorkshire Terrier and WWII War Dog Kate Kelly - Courtesy of Bill Wynne
moky, a four-pound Yorkshire terrier, went to war by happenstance. She was found in New Guinea near an American military base in 1944. No one was going to send home a lost dog, no matter how tiny. She soon embedded with a unit of the U.S. 5th Air Force and was adopted by one of the photographers working reconnaissance near the front line in New Guinea. Smoky was found in a foxhole and brought back to the base by a fellow who was happy to sell her so he could get into that night’s poker game. William A. Wynne offered to buy Smoky for 2 pounds Australian ($6.44 US). After that, the two were inseparable.
big enough for the pilot and a camera mounted to the plane. The pilot had to return to base quickly so the photographers could develop the film, which would reveal the whereabouts of the enemy. They were part of a larger group moved to the Philippines to establish a full-scale military base. The goal was to move in quickly and keep everyone on the ground safe. Setting up the operation was going to require that new telegraph wire be run under the an existing runway that the Allies needed to keep open if at all possible. The original airfield builders had provided a 70-foot long pipe that ran under the runway. The problem was that soil
had shifted around the pipe joinings. In some places, dirt partially filled parts of the pipe. The engineers knew that there was a strong likelihood that they would need to dig up the airfield in that section to get the wire buried, and this was a bad thought. It meant wasted days and potential risk to the men while the airfield was out of service and under construction. Someone on the team had a bright idea and approached Bill Wynne with it: Did he think he could coach Smoky to make her way through the pipe? If Continued Next Page
War Dog? Describing Smoky as a war dog, a mascot, or as therapy dog for the wounded military men doesn’t do her justice. She was all of those things. But most important, she became a soulmate for Bill Wynne. Wynne spent two years of his childhood in an orphanage, so he knew loneliness firsthand. When he adopted Smoky, he staved off what would have been many lonely hours by training his bright little companion. Then he did a loving thing: He turned and shared her with all those with whom Smoky and Bill came in contact. Smoky accomplished many things while in the service, but her most important job was keeping smiles on the faces of the men with whom she served. Smoky and the Telephone Wire The most frequently told story about Smoky concerns her “war work.” This heroic deed came about because someone realized Smoky’s potential. The Photo Reconnaissance Squad of which Wynne was a part, was with a unit that was moved forward to Luzon, the northernmost island in the Philippines. In that day, photo reconnaissance planes had to be very near the frontlines as the planes were only Fall 2017
so, they could tie a string to her collar. After she was all the way through, they could then use the string to pull the wire to the other side. “Can you see daylight all the way through the culvert?” Wynne asked. The answer was that there were a couple of places where dirt had almost filled the pipe but “yes, you could still see some daylight coming through.” Wynne figured it was worth a try. He and Smoky went out to become familiar with the sights and smells of the field. When Wynne felt Smoky was comfortable, he tied the string to her collar and left her with one of the engineers. Wynne went to the other end of the culvert to try to coax her through. Her first steps were exploratory, Wynne wrote. She ran in about ten feet and then ran back out again. "But I stayed on the other end and said sharply, ‘Come Smoky.’” She re-approached the pipe and began to scamper and then crawl through the tighter sections. “At last, about 20 feet away, I saw two amber eyes and heard a faint whimpering sound….At 15 feet, she broke into a run. We were so happy at Smoky’s success that we all patted and praised her for a full five minutes,” wrote Wynne. She kept the airfield open and saved the men from additional danger. Smoky’s Tricks From the beginning, Wynne spent his downtime working with Smoky. He started with basic obedience commands and then went on to various tricks. One of the tricks Wynne invented was quite a complex version of “play dead.” Smoky would drop down on command, and she didn’t move even when poked until Bill lifted her “lifeless” body up by the feet. She also learned to cross a tightrope—blindfolded. Others in the unit made her a scooter that she learned to ride. Bill was always teaching her some-
Learning to parachute; courtesy Bill Wynne
thing new. While Smoky initially performed for the men around her barracks, she soon became well enough known that Wynne would be asked to bring her to nearby military hospitals to perform. Everywhere they went, the two of them brought smiles. Smoky and Hollywood After the war, Wynne returned to his hometown of Cleveland and married his sweetheart. He suggested that they honeymoon in Hollywood so that he could see if Smoky could make a living in show business. Wynne got a part-time job working with some of the dogs belonging to Rennie Renfro. This put him on set with all the Hollywood trainers of the day, including Rudd Weatherwax (Lassie) and the young Frank Inn (eventually Benji). Unfortunately, no roles came along that were right for a 4-pound Yorkshire terrier. Wynne’s wife waited for a time, but she was pregnant and wanted to have her baby in Cleveland with her mother nearby. This made Wynne’s decision obvious. He started applying for jobs in Ohio and was soon hired as a flight photographer with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA; becomes NASA in 1957) in Cleveland, studying the de-icing of planes. The Wynnes settled in Cleveland where they eventually had nine children. Bill supplemented their income by performing with Smoky on weekends. By the mid-1950s, Smoky was still bright and funny and energetic, but her performing days were behind her. In 1957, she died. She was probably 14 at the time. Continued Next Page
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In closing the book, Bill Wynne writes of Smoky and how she happened into his life: “One wonders, could this have been an angel in a foxhole—a buddy sent to teach me how to share her comical antics in a bigger task? That task being the sharing of her with others in a time when joy was scarce? Sometimes under stress it only takes a delightful moment of diversion [to steer away from]… mental disaster.”
the book, email me and I’ll explain what Wynne thinks happened that brought such an unusual dog to a war zone: firstname.lastname@example.org This article appeared on the website, www.americacomesalive.com During the summer, America Comes Alive publishes more stories about American dogs and other animals. Visit the website and sign up for “American Dogs” to receive the stores in your In Box. Or email Kate Kelly at email@example.com
Smoky in a Helmet? As you’ll see from the photographs, the statues of Smoky that are part of the memorials to her, generally show Smoky in a helmet. This was not a “cute” pose; it was a practical one. Because of Smoky’s hair and the jungle climate, Wynne found that he needed to bathe her regularly to keep her pest-free. How best to bathe a four pound dog? Why in a helmet, of course! Yorkie Doodle Dandy I usually try to save my readers time by presenting to them a “story in a nutshell,” but in this case, I highly recommend that you read Wynne’s memoir, Yorkie Doodle Dandy: The Other Woman Was a Real Dog. The book is a delight because the bond between man and dog is so tight. During the war, Bill frequently needs to hide Smoky from superiors as dogs were not an accepted part of the corps. His anxiety radiates—not for himself or his own safety–but with a fear that Smoky might be taken away from him. It is clear that this man and this dog are a true pair. If you read the book, you will also learn the possible solution to a mystery: How did a Yorkshire terrier, quite a special breed in the 1940s, find her way to a foxhole in New Guinea? But I don’t like to trick readers, so if you really don’t think you’ll read Fall 2017
The Cat Who Came for Thanksgiving O
ur house and garage always seemed to attract strange cats. They would find the cat door in our basement, enter and hide there, terrorizing our own cats. One November, a shy tiger cat became a regular, sneaking up the basement stairs to help himself to the cat food on our basement stair landing, but scooting away if we tried to lure him closer. One night we saw him in the basement covered in oil that he must have gotten into in our neighbor’s repair shop. Bathing a Stray Cat Is No Fun! Knowing that the oil or whatever he had gotten into would not come off by itself, we cornered the cat in our basement and wrapped him in old t-shirts while we gave him a bath – no easy task, let me tell you! Because he was soaking wet and sickly looking, we locked him in our bathroom with food, water and a litter box for a few hours until he dried off. Try as we might, we could not get him to trust us, and ended up letting him go back down into our basement where he found his way back out into the cold November night again. A Surprise Thanksgiving Visitor But the most interesting part of this story was yet to come. A few days later, our family gathered in our dining room for Thanksgiving dinner. It was our first family dinner together since our son and his family moved to our town, and our grandson was telling us how much he missed his cat that had been gone for more than a month in spite of all their efforts to find him. A Boy and His Cat Are Reunited As Stevie spoke, our stray tiger cat walked up from our basement and stood there staring at him. Stevie spied him and said, “That’s my Cat!” and, sure enough, Tiger walked in to greet his young owner. We’ll never know if he negotiated the small river that flowed between us, or if he followed the road over bridges to get to our house. But somehow this remarkable cat knew that we were a safe haven and that it would only be a matter of time until his master came to claim him.
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Mrs. Doubtfire A
litter of abandoned kittens were found huddling together with their cat “mom,” but when the rescuers came they were surprised to discover that their “mama” was not a mom at all. Ho me le s s A n i m a l A d o p t io n League (HAAL), a rescue in Bloomfield, New Jersey, received a call about kittens abandoned in a laundry basket on a curb. The caller was walking home when he discovered the kittens. The weather was getting colder by the minute and it had started to rain. “He said (the kittens) seemed to be placed there by someone,” the rescue group said. They quickly sent out rescuers. “With GPS in hand we found the street. Once we parked we started walking and in seconds, we saw a recycling container on the curb.” They found an adult cat cuddling with the kittens, trying to keep them warm, and thought it must be their mom. The cat calmly looked up to the rescuers as if to say “Thank you for finding us.” “We covered the container with a blanket and off to HAAL we went. To our surprise there were not four but six kittens,” the rescue group said. The furry family looked healthy with no infections or cold. The fur babies were all eating on their own. It was apparent that the kittens had been well taken care of before the rescuers came. When they took a close look at the sweet feline family, they got quite a surprise. It turned out that the mom was not a mom at all. She was a he! That sweet cat taking care of those little babies was a male. He could have been the dad or a big brother from another litter, but to those little kittens he was their protector and surrogate mom. He groomed them and gently played with each one.” They named him Mrs. Doubtfire.
Photo: Homeless Animal Adoption League
The Dundee Cat T
his is an old Scottish folktale. The moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for. In an attic room in Dundee town This poor old woman spread the tale around She lived fifty years in her old top flat With no other company than her old tom cat Well, I hope so, say so, fifty years in an old top flat... Now one night they sat by the fire quite glum When who do you think come down her lum (chimney) “I’m your fairy Godmother, have no fear To grant three wishes they sent me here” Well, I hope so, say so, I’m your fairy Godmother have no fear... The old woman looked down at her empty purse I could always use some cash of course The fairy waved her wand around And lying on the floor was a thousand pounds Well, I hope so, say so, the fairy waved her wand around... Now a lovely face and a figure divine For just one night I wish were mine The fairy says, “I’ll have a go” She made her look like Bridgette Bardot Well, I hope so, say so, the fairy says I’ll have a go... This lovely girl by the fire she sat She turned her attention to the old tom cat “He’s my only love and here’s my plan Tonight change the cat into a handsome man” Well, I hope so, say so, he’s my only love and here’s my plan... This handsome man at last drew near And he whispered softly in her ear “The night is young but you’ll regret the day you had me “fixed” by the vet...!!!”
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A Gift for Gus Karen Sturtevant
notice the paper towels will need to be replaced soon. Using several sheets multiple times each day has a way of quickly depleting the supply. Do we have more newspapers? Excellent for easy clean-up of dropped tasty morsels. After washing my hands, I say to my tiny friend, “Gus, chair.” My four-legged buddy trots to kennel number three and backs up to his awaiting throne. It’s dinner time! Gus is a three-year old English bulldog diagnosed with megaesophagus. Before Gus scurried into our lives at the Vermont English Bulldog Rescue, he was a very sick boy. Malnourished, neglected, abused, underweight with a host of medical issues and craving kind human attention. During the autumn and winter of 2016, little Gus endured three major surgeries, numerous minor procedures, daily doses of antibodies and weekly medicated baths. This little fighter didn’t miss a beat, loving his caregivers; climbing on their laps them leaving tiny foot bruises to mark his stay. After we noticed his vomiting, more often than not, portions of his meals, again off to the vet we went. We were given the news that Gus had aspirated pneumonia. His lungs were full of liquid. More antibiotics and a new diagnosis: Megaesophagus. This is condition in which the muscles of the esophagus fail and food cannot travel successfully to the stomach. The contents remain in the esophagus and are then regurgitated. If the food pools in the esophagus, the dog will typically aspirate into his lungs leading to aspiration pneumonia. Although English bulldog have more than their share of health challenges, megaesophagus isn’t limited to this stocky breed, but is cause for alarm to make immediate changes. Dawna Pederzani, founder of the rescue, discovered through her research that dogs with this condition can live a healthy life with some feeding modifications. Instead of the typical feeding dish on the floor, dogs with MegaE need to be placed in a vertical feeding position, allowing gravity to help. The dog should remain in that position up to 30 minutes after feeding. No small feat when a dog like Gus can’t sit still for more than two seconds. On-line investigation brought Dawna to The “Bailey Chair,” designed by Donna and Joe Koch after their mixed-breed, Bailey, was diagnosed with MegaE at just twelve 68 4 Legs & a Tail
weeks of age. Bailey lived a long, wholesome life with the help of his chair namesake passing away just shy of his thirtieth birthday. This chair design has made the lifesaving difference to countless dogs. Dawna, the Martha Stuart of handy women, would normally have gotten out her tool box, extra sheets of plywood and 2x4’s and built a chair in an afternoon. However, after recently having major shoulder surgery, that was not an option. She suggested a trip to her home-awayfrom-home, The Home Depot in Williston to ask for help. I will admit I was skeptical. Why would total strangers want to help us and a dog that they had no connection with? With Gus dressed in a fancy harness and holiday jingle bell collar, off we went. While I was busy talking to people that had assembled around Gus in the Home Depot shopping cart, Dawna was telling the story to store manager, Corey Shanteau. Without hesitation Corey said, “Absolutely, bring me the plans.” Maybe the northern stars were aligned just right, perhaps the holiday spirit had something to do with his decision, whatever the reason, Gus was given a lifeline. Within a few days, Corey had built a feeding chair, specifically to fit little Gus. After a few more days, Corey’s generosity and news of Gus’ story were spreading. Alexandra Leslie, from Local 22/Local 44 FOX created a beautiful tribute, which aired on Christmas day. National FOX-TV affiliates, People magazine, Yahoo News and several on-line news channels would later pick up and share the good-news tale. Little Gus was going viral. While the search to find Gus a perma-
nent home continued, he would associate the chair with food, treats, all things positive. He quickly learned to trot up to the chair and allow us to turn and lift him into place. With plenty of paper towels at the ready, newspaper lining the floor and a bath towel, we would hand-feed him kibble mashed into a meatball-like consistency along with wet food made into Gus-sized bites. Add in supplements (cut into tiny pieces) and a tablespoon of pumpkin, feeding time became messy and loads of fun. Smacking his lips and happily awaiting the next meatball, Gus became a professional. I often heard my juvenile voice asking, “Can we keep him?” My grown-up brain new better as what he needed was a full-time family. Applications and comments poured in, including David and Celine’s of Rhode Island. They’ve had experience with special need dogs, including their female English bulldog, Twiggy, who coincidentally is the same size and stature as Gus. On the day of their visit, being the natural charmer he is, Gus immediately climbed on Celine as she sat on the floor and then walked over to David to reach up with his little front feet and looked up as if to say, “What’s not to love?” They were smitten and so was he. With teary eyes we watched as his feeding chair and supplies were loaded up. The adoption was official. Little Gussy had his forever family. His condition will never be cured; it must be carefully managed and observed each day. With his fighting spirt, Gus taught us courage and forgiveness. All of the dogs pull our heartstrings and some tug a bit harder. This pint-sized peanut was extra special. I miss his sweet face every day. Thank you, David and Celine, for welcoming this sweet boy into your home and hearts. Stand tall and proud, little Gus. You are loved by so many. Karen Sturtevant is a freelance writer, works at the nutritional supplement company, FoodScience Corporation, is editor-in-chief and contributing writer of Vermont Bride magazine, and the author of two children’s books, The Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too and The Rainy Day Adventures of Gert & Stu and Zippy too. She volunteers with Green Mountain Animal Defenders and Vermont English Bulldog Rescue. She shares her home with two guinea pigs, two Russian tortoises, fiancé, Mike and her beautiful English bulldog Penney. Fall 2017
Celebrate National Cat Day Veterans and Their Dogs Soccer Star Christian Press & Morena Careers in Equine Are you ready for the next round of ticks?
Autumn 2017 Central NH & VT