Mud Season 2016 Central NH & VT
Wild Cats In Our Neighborhoods Revolutionary Therapy For Hip Dysplasia Tax Tips For Pet Owners Battling For Elephants
4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What 5 Things Are Different?
Rabbit Ears, Dog’s Ear, Dog’s Foot, Coloring on Dogs Muzzel, Green Egg Missing
Inside 4 Legs & a Tail W J Y M R S V O X X O E B L E
V O A H I R A V I E V N L K C
Y E O N V O Q I F T H Z A Y U
F U Q D E J P N Y I M O C W T
D E D U C T I O N S Z X K T E
BLACKBEAR CHICKENS DEDUCTION ELEPHANT FERAL GOAT
D E V R D H Q T Y A K A B I R
S R F X S N U T T R L Q E U V
W N K U Q Q N C L A Y M A W V
J Y E X B A J F K P G U R E K
M U G K H A P E D P H O T I V
A H I P C G V R W H N E A N Y
PARASITE PUG SQUIRREL VETERANS WOODCHUCK
N B E C P I S A W V R N Z T M
T L Z H K G H L V A C A Z U H
E R P U G G Z C N S A Z G G B
L E R R I U Q S Y X Z M T I U
This Centaur Cooking Dinner
A Fowl at the Matinee Movies
A man in a movie theater notices what looks like a chicken sitting next to him. “Are you a chicken?” asked the man, surprised. “Yes.” “What are you doing at the movies?” The chicken replied, “Well, I liked the book.” source: http://jokes4us.com/animaljokes/chickenjokes.html
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
3 Attis, John Peaveler
A young, street-wise pup helps rescue dogs in Kuwait
A Moment with a 4 Legs & a Tail Celebrity 4 Legs & a Tail catches up with the Easter Bunny Keeping Your Pets Safe This Easter, Elisa Speckert The Seeing Eye
The origins of the oldest existing guide dog school in the world
11 The French Fry Protection Racket, Mark Carlson
Pay up or “Something Bad Might Happen”
13 Alternatively Speaking: Food as Medicine, Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 15 How Can You Help Feral Cats in Your Neighborhood?
– Humane Options for Feral Cat populations
17 Spring Scratch & Sniff, Mike Robertson
Make Spring more fun and interesting for your dog with these enriching activities
19 My Romeo, Eadie Molesworth
A young writer shares her love of her Burnese Mountain Dog
20 Vermont Battles for Elephants
A new Film by Vermont Youth focuses on the threat of Elephant and Rhino Extinction
21 Cross Training for Equine Fitness, Jessica Stewart Riley
Shake up your routine, Cross Training has numerous benefits
24 A Horse in the Mirror, Malena Agin
Time with a horse provides an opportunity for self reflection
25 A Tale of Hip Dysplasia, Catherine MacLean, DVM
Ways to deal with this abnormal development or growth of the hips
27 Nonverbal Communication Humans and Animals, Sue Miller 29 Backyard Chickens 101, Susan Dyer DVM
Pet, Egg Layer or Broiler: great information for your chicken’s health
31 Run Kiwi, Run, Andrea Conger
Chelsea’s Footprints helps a paralyzed Nigerian goat run and Play again
33 Living with Black Bears
Let’s Avoid Conflict; Follow these guidelines
35 A Sweet History (That’s a Little Squirrely), Tanya Sousa
The odd, but true origins of Maple Sugaring
38 Woodchucks, Scott Borthwick
Even the best of intentions can be frustrated by this tenacious rodent
Pg. 31 www.4LegsAndATail.com 1
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
39 Land Legacy, Jessie Frazer Farnham
How to pass down the family farm
42 Why is My Cat Peeing Outside the Box? Serena Peeters, DVM
Behavioral or Medical causes can be at the root
45 Crates: Not Just for House Breaking Anymore, Paula Bergeron 47 Canine Point of View, Michelle Grimes
Have a Scared dog? Here are some tips to help them feel comfortable and relaxed
49 Paddock Partners, Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill
Summer Camp is a great place for learning to ride and develop skills
Pg. 49 Pg. 50
50 Can Fluffy and Fido Fetch You Savings on Your Tax Bill?,
Sara Blackmore, CPA
52 How to Install a Dog Door
Tired of letting your pets IN, Out, In, Out? Try this option
53 Traditional Chinese Food Therapy, Mona Rooney, DVM
Introduce your pet to Yin and Yang
54 A New Technique for Extracting Lower Jaw Canine Teeth or What I learned at the 2015 Veterinary Dental Forum, Sandra Waugh 56 The Confusing World of Pet Parasite Prevention, M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Tips to avoid the confusion
Pg. 59 57 Benedict, Jim Mayor
Despite his problems, a determined Pug makes his place in one home
58 You’re My Hero Rocky, Mariann Hayes
A 10 lb Rat Terrier, A real dog & a real Hero
59 Play with Me, Steve Reiman
Vermont Therapy Dogs, on duty at Fletcher Allen Health Care
60 Now That You’ve Adopted a Puppy: The Beginning of Your New Together-Adventures!, Mike Eigenbrode
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.116 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com
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Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Graphic Design: Monica Reinfeld, Lacey Dardis, Sales: Karyn Swett, Scott Palzer, Barry deSousa, Pat Pockette
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.
ATTIS John Peaveler - W. Fairlee, VT
t was spring of 2005 when I first saw him, standing in an empty lot. Black and white body, long black ears, his face innocent and sad, a look of fear etched on his young features. As a naive but committed new animal rescuer, I passionately wanted to get him off the streets, to help however I could. I had a profound ignorance of dogs, but a burning desire to learn and to save this species that had so recently touched my life. I followed him a few times, observing his fear of people, the quiet little overgrown fields where he sought safety. Once he stood across the street from a feral cat and barked at her, too afraid to approach a cat to take its food. Another time, in my own folly, I managed to sneak up on him while he slept, thinking perhaps, if I could get well inside his flight zone I might be able to break through to him. He awoke with a start when I was about three feet away and he ran off barking. From that encounter on, I too was his enemy. Someone in his neighborhood tried to burn him out of a patch of reeds, and his fear grew. While I was away for a couple of weeks, a colleague received word that he would be poisoned or shot if he wasn’t removed, so she borrowed a trap and started trying. We were all so green then. First she caught chickens, but finally she caught him, little more than a frightened 9 month old puppy, six months after he had first been seen living on the streets outside of Kuwait City, Kuwait. I returned from my trip elated that he had been caught and ready with a name: Attis. I simply knew in my heart that he and I were meant for each other. His training was complicated at first and entailed never leaving my side at all until he learned to trust me, then we worked on basic obedience. My training was much more profound. First I learned his breed: English Pointer. Then I learned his nature: timid around others, desperate for companionship, anxious to please, fiercely inquisitive. As our relationship evolved, so did my career, progressing from building and operating a shelter in Kuwait under the incredible leadership of then E.D. Ayeshah Al-Humaidhi, and moving into an ever increasing role in animal capture, rescue, and population management. It turns out that scared little puppy had an incredible gift, and it wasn’t pointing at birds. I had been doing dog population surveys for a pilot program in Ahmadi, Kuwait, and taking him for Spring 2016
Attis on duty-John and Attis pose for a picture during dog management operations at the Abdaliya Nature Preserve in Western Kuwait, 2014.
runs around my work hours. As we ran, I kept him on a close recall and observed his behavior, particularly when we approached strange dogs. Time after time I watched him walk into a group of feral dogs and perfectly display the submissive traits needed to avoid confrontation and peacefully engage their seeking or curiosity system. Attis was exactly the tool I needed to count dogs. No street dog would ignore a strange animal in their territory, and 999 times out of 1,000 (probably more, we caught thousands) he would walk away unscathed
having provided me with an opportunity to count and observe every animal in a given territory. He was bitten twice that I recall, though never seriously. It was as if his time on the streets connected him to other street dogs and he could say to them “hey, I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there, but life’s not all bad. Let’s play.” He literally saved hundreds of dogs by building their trust in a country where animal abuse is commonplace, and then transferring that trust to Continued NEXT PAGE
Attis at hospital- Attis on a visit to the U.S. Army military hospital at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, 2015.
me so that I could catch them and take them out of the hostile desert and into the shelter. His trust, however, extends only to me. Once, my well-meaning wife sent him with the groomers and he got loose, running around a strange neighborhood until I arrived, using my vehicle siren to recall him as I regularly did in the field. I don’t believe any dog has ever run faster than he did when he heard and then saw my truck, and I have seen this dog outrun every challenger flat out in his prime. He was never groomed again. He’s older now, and tired. Years of hard work in the desert have taken their toll, but as I look at him, I remember the puppy, the professional. And I remember how we found each other. I didn’t know he was a pure bred dog. I just loved his spirit, his innocence, and his floppy ears. Our relationship didn’t start because I went looking for a particular dog or a particular breed of dog. I just found a dog and in each other we found our best friends and colleagues. Long live Attis!
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John Peaveler is an Animal Welfare Consultant with over ten years experience working with all types of animals on three continents. He lives with his wife and two children in West Fairlee,Vermont and continues to work and write at home and abroad. Spring 2016
A Moment with a 4 Legs and a Tail Celebrity Easter falls on March 27th this year. All over the world Christians will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and children will eagerly await the arrival of the Easter Bunny. 4 Legs & a Tail recently caught up with the bouncing bunny. 4 L&T - So what does a rabbit have to do with the resurrection? EB - Honestly, not much. But, since Easter is in the spring and a season of re-birth, why not a rabbit? Back in the 13th century, pre-Christian Germans worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostre was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of our high reproduction rate. By the 1700s I was very big in the Pennsylvania Dutch country! 4 L&T - How about the eggs? You don’t lay eggs, so whose idea was that? EB - Decorating eggs goes back more than 700 years when eggs were dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ. The Easter egg was also a byproduct of Lent, as many families would give up eggs during those fast days, which ends with Easter. That’s why I sub-contract with chicks and oversee the egg thing. 4 L&T - Speaking of eggs, what’s your favorite Easter Egg Hunt? EB - I love ‘em all. Washington DC is a blast! Did you know that the tradition there actually started at the US Capitol, but we got kicked out after a mishap on the lawn and some lawmaker wrote the Turf Protection Act because of it. Fortunately, President Rutherford B. Hayes invited us to The White House South Lawn, where the tradition continues to this day. 4 L&T - One of our favorite Easter songs is “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.” Was it Gene Autry who gave you that name? EB - The one and only “Singing Cowboy” who ended up with a top ten as I was bouncing down the bunny trail? The song was actually written in 1949 by a couple of guys, Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, who asked Gene to record it in 1950. They were also the Some historians note that First Lady Dolley Madison originally ones who named a certain snowman Frosty. suggested the idea of a public egg roll. 4 L&T - Do you know any famous people born on Easter? EB - I’m the Easter Bunny, not The Stork. Ok, how about this: Blues great, Muddy Waters was born on Easter in 1915; John Ratzenberger was born on Easter, in 1947 (as Cliff Clavin of Cheers he never delivered mail on Easter Sunday); Harry Potter’s best friend actress Emma Watson was an Easter baby in 1990; and actor/comedian Paul Rudd was born on Easter in 1969. 4 L&T - Since you’re the Easter expert, any tips for our 4 Legs & a Tail readers? EB - This year, over 90 million chocolate bunnies and 16 billion Jelly beans will be sold. Keep the phone number of your dentist close by.
Keeping Your Pets Safe This Easter Elisa Speckert, River Road Veterinary Clinic
ith Easter weekend fast approaching, this is a great time to mention the safety hazards this holiday can pose to your pets. Including your dog or cat in your Easter celebration can be fun and rewarding, because let’s face it- there aren’t too many things cuter than a dog wearing bunny ears, but being aware of the potential hazards that crop up during this time of year can allow everyone to participate safely.
result in severe vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, seizures and death.
Chocolate: Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats, though dogs are much more likely to eat it than cats are. The darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains, and the more dangerous it is. White chocolate is relatively safe, while dark or baker’s chocolate holds the biggest potential for life-threatening problems. If your dog has ingested Lilies: While these flowers can make a a toxic amount of chocolate, symptoms beautiful addition to your home during can range from hyperactivity, increased Easter, it is very important to realize that heart rate and vomiting, to seizures, lilies are extremely toxic to cats. Toxicity coma and death. occurs after your cat has eaten or licked a lily, and it’s no secret that cats LOVE to Candy and wrappers: Candy typicaleat plants. The severity depends upon the ly contains a lot of sugar which can cause type of flower. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla generalized stomach upset resulting in lilies can cause minor symptoms such vomiting or diarrhea. Unfortunately, in as mouth irritation and vomiting, while their haste to get to the good stuff, most Tiger, Day and Easter lilies (among other pets will ingest the wrapper along with varieties) are much more potent and can the candy. Plastic wrappers can sometimes cause an intestinal blockage which keeps anything from passing through their system. This is an emergency situation that usually requires surgery to fix. Symptoms of an intestinal foreign body can include inappetance, fever, abdominal pain, repeated vomiting and sometimes diarrhea. Gum: Certain types of gum and peanut butter contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol, which has the potential to be extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Just Continued NEXT PAGE
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two pieces of gum can cause death in a 60 lb dog! Xylitol causes an immediate and drastic drop in blood sugar, resulting in a critical situation. It can also be toxic to the liver. If your dog ingests Xylitol they must be seen IMMEDIATELY by a veterinarian. Symptoms can include incoordination, or difficulty standing and walking, lethargy, trembling, seizures or a yellow-hue to the skin.
Plastic Grass: Although plastic grass
looks great in Easter baskets it poses a big risk to your pets. Cats are most likely to try and play with the plastic grass and often end up ingesting it. Once ingested it often gets tangled up in the intestines and stomach and causes what is known as a “linear foreign body.” This plastic grass has been known to cut through the intestines and cause a life-threatening systemic infection. Symptoms of a linear foreign body can include repeated vomiting, inappetance, lethargy, fever and sometimes bloody diarrhea.
Ham: Cooked ham itself is not toxic to
your pets although it has been known to cause general GI upset such as vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. Extremely fatty foods can also cause pancreatitis. The major concern with ham is that your dog or cat will ingest a cooked ham bone. While raw bones are very sturdy, cooked bones tend to splinter and can get stuck in the intestines or even poke through the GI tract. It is NEVER recommended that you feed your dog or cat any type of cooked animal bone. Keeping in mind these few potential risks can allow for you and your pets to celebrate safely and make the most of your Easter holiday. Elisa Speckert is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science and a veterinary technician at River Road Veterinary Clinic in Norwich,VT. www.RiverRoadVeterinary.com Spring 2016
The Seeing Eye Early History
n 1927, a young man named Morris Frank (1908-1980) read an article about dogs being trained as guides for blinded veterans of World War I. Frustrated by his own lack of mobility as a blind person, he was inspired to write its author for help. Dorothy Harrison Eustis (1886-1946) was an American training German shepherd police dogs in Switzerland, and when she received Morris Frank’s letter, she agreed to help him. He promised he would return to the United States and spread the word about these wonderful dogs. On June 11, Continued PAGE 10
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1928, having completed instruction in Switzerland, he arrived in New York City, proving the ability of his dog, Buddy, by navigating a dangerous street crossing before throngs of news reporters. His one-word telegram to Mrs. Eustis told the entire story: “Success.” The Seeing Eye was born with the dream of making the entire world accessible to people who are blind. Dates and Locations The Seeing Eye was incorporated in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 29, 1929. In 1931, the organization relocated to Whippany, N.J., because the climate in the northeast was more suitable for training dogs. On June 5, 1965, the cornerstone was laid for the current headquarters in Morris Township, N.J. Renovations to the Washington Valley headquarters were completed in 2013. The 60-acre campus is home to the administrative offices, student residence, veterinary clinic and kennels. In 2001, a breeding station was built on 330 acres in Chester, N.J., which houses the adult breeding dogs and puppies until they are 8-weeks-old. An additional training center is located in downtown Morristown.
Morris and Buddy Street Crossing: The famous New York City street crossing was captured shortly after Morris Frank and Buddy returned from training in Switzerland.
Pioneers from Past to Present The Seeing Eye is the oldest existing guide dog school in the world and continues its role as a pioneer in the guide dog movement. The Seeing Eye has played an integral part in shaping public policy guaranteeing access and accommodation to people who use service animals. From developing a computer information system that calculates the suitability of every dog in the colony to become a breeder, to funding cutting edge research in DNA sequencing and identifying genetic markers for degenerative eye disease, The Seeing Eye is a research leader in canine genetics, breeding, disease control and behavior. The organization is a founding member of the Council of U.S. Guide dog Schools and a fully accredited member of the International Guide Dog Federation.
Charlie is ready for Easter.
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The French Fry Protection Racket Mark Carlson
y dog is running a protection racket. For those of you who don’t remember the old gangster films of the 1930s, a protection racket is where a couple of thugs go to some small business and tell the owner that if he don’t pay them some money on a regular basis, ‘Somethin’ bad might happen to his business.’ Well, my Labrador has apparently been watching late-night Turner Classic Movies. But he don’t want no money. He’s after French fries. Musket is a retired Guide Dog, but when he was working, I took him everywhere, including restaurants. As an Assistance Animal he had access to all public places. He always behaved as a welltrained dog. He never caused any trouble. He was welcomed in restaurants from coast to coast. Patrons were impressed by how quiet and sweet he was and often commented on this. Sometimes they didn’t even know he was there until it was time to leave and he poked his big head out from under the table. “Hey, I didn’t even know he was down there!” Well, that’s what an Assistance Dog is sup- simple I ask for French fries rather than a baked potato or rice. posed to be. Unseen. Okay, fine. But there’s a minor hitch, Soon the order arrived and was placed in my case. First of all, Musket, like most before me. Labradors, loves food. Right? Nope, not And that’s when the thug under the even close. I think, given a choice between table made his move. “Hey pal. Nice place breathing and food, he’d give up breath- you got here. I wouldn’t want nothin’ bad ing. When I took Musket into a restaurant, to happen to it.” his nose immediately began to twitch. “What do you mean, Musket?” I was It buzzed so fast it sounded like a hive of trying to be calm, but I felt a tiny chill. The pressure was being applied. angry bees. He knew this was a magic place where “Well, things happen, y’know? I mean, nice people brought you food for noth- suppose somehow something bumped ing. Of course, like any other kid today, he your elbow just as you were picking up knew nothing of paying for food. I never your cup of coffee. That would make a let him have the credit card. Food just mess, wouldn’t it?” “Yeah, I guess it would. I’ll have to be appeared. After being led to my table, I told careful, huh? Heh, heh.” Musket to go underneath and lie down. He For a long moment, no sound came did this right away. Then I sat down and from under the table but the buzzing discussed my order with the waitress. “By of a cold nose. “Yeah, but no matter how the way,” I usually said, “my Guide Dog is careful you try to be, you can’t anticipate under the table, so if you feel something everything. I might, ah, ‘accidentally’ grab the tablecloth with my teeth and pull licking your ankle, don’t freak out.” Most often the waitress was enchanted it down. Just think of the mess that would by Musket and asked if he would like some make.” water. Once that was settled, I ordered my Now I was really sweating. I tried to food. I’m a typical American guy. I like eat, but the food had lost all its flavor. “I hamburgers. Since I like to keep things
Continued NEXT PAGE
think I understand what you’re saying. So what do I do?” “It ain’t much. Really, you’ll never notice it. Just ‘accidentally drop a few fries on the floor. You’re a blind guy, so no one will pay any mind.” “Um…okay. But you remember, the Guide Dog school says you’re never supposed to have people food. It’s not good for you.” It was weak, but it was all I had. “Oh,” came the silent but determined voice from under the table. “I see. Well, if you want to take the chance…” “No!” I almost blurted out. “I didn’t mean that. I’m responsible for your health. And fries aren’t healthy for you.” I swear I heard a snort. “And that double bacon chili cheeseburger with extra mayo is health food? What would Mommy say?” He had me there. “You win,” I said, finally wilting. I had no choice. As bad as his ‘accidents’ might have been, I couldn’t have him telling Jane about my little culinary indulgence. “Okay, but just a few.” “That’s fine, pal. Nothin’ bad will happen.”
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After I’d paid up, the meal went fine. But you know the lesson. ‘Once you’ve given in to them, you’re theirs for life.’ At least I got to eat my burger in peace. Until the next time. Note: this is humorous satire. I don’t encourage anyone to give dogs food at the table, and certainly not people food. So stop dialing the ASPCA and PETA. And for dog’s sake, don’t call my wife! Originally published in San Diego Pets Magazine May 2013 When not visiting his in-laws in South Royalton, Mark Carlson spends much of his time in North County, CA with his wife, Jane and his Labrador Retriever, Saffron. He is an award writer and an aviation historian, with numerous articles and books including his latest, Confessions of a Guide Dog. Legally blind, he travels and works with Saffron, and is a member of several aviation, maritime, and veteran organizations. www.musketmania.com
Food as Medicine Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
E very Friday night in our house is movie night. The night is special partly
for the movie, but also because we usually make fish sticks and boxed mac and cheese for dinner. We don’t eat “junk” food that often but as an occasional treat it’s fine. We mainly eat fresh whole foods that have not been pulverized into new shapes, dehydrated, or preserved with all kinds of chemicals. We know that the better we eat, the more our bodies will have the resources with which to maintain their health and avoid illness. We typically do not think like this when feeding our pets. Ever since the first grain company realized they could feed pets as well as livestock, our pets have been eating dry processed food. Convenience and low expense made it popular, and having a “complete and balanced” meal without having to think, sealed the deal. While the dog food corporations tell us this food is the best nutritionally and should be fed exclusively, holistic practitioners do not agree. Processed diets contain high glycemic starches and use synthetic nutrients to replace all the real food value destroyed in processing. These nutrients are a shadow of the biological value of the proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and enzymes found in fresh foods. Also, every species has evolved specific digestive and metabolic processes in order to eat the diets they have evolved on. To replace meat, bones, cartilage, and organ meats with processed starches and grains can stress systems, especially over years of feeding. Not every pet can eat a perfect fresh diet all the time. But since most pets eat processed foods most of the time, it is important to include diet as part of their medical management when illness occurs. Hippocrates says, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” but my favorite quote is a Chinese proverb “The man who takes his pill but neglects his diet wastes his doctor’s skills.” Diet is not only a tool to prevent illness, but it can help treat it as well, or if left unaddressed, can impair treatment. Using diet as part of a medical plan: Most ancient medical philosophies dictated including or avoiding certain foods based a person’s body type or condition. Many cultures advocate eating or avoidSpring 2016
ing certain foods during illness. Modern science provides insight into how we can support stressed tissues by feeding them better. Combining all of these sources of knowledge together as part of a medical plan is a large part of the holistic medical approach. Button was underweight and had diarrhea from the day she was brought home as a kitten. She did not play and slept all day. Conventional approaches including antibiotics, probiotics, dewormers, canned food, dry food, and prescription food were tried. Nothing seemed to work, her weight dropped and her labwork showed signs of liver stress. India, a 6 year old Bengal cat, also struggled with diarrhea due to a rare parasite. With treatment his condition did improve until he was about 3 years old. He began having diarrhea again, despite antibiotics, prescription food, and medications to address nausea, he dropped from 17 to 14 ½ pounds over a year. He was not active, grumpy and hunched from a crampy tummy he did not want to play or be with the family. For both of these cats, the answer was a quality commercial raw diet. These raw diets are very plain, minimally processed meat and none of the vegetables or starches. For both the response was immediate, diarrhea stopped and they returned to being thriving kitties. Button grew and became a proper terror, while India gained 2 pounds and was his happy content self again. Veterinary prescription diets were not the answer. Prescription foods are designed to help an impaired organ or body system function, mainly by reducing nutrients difficult for the body to manage, impaired by illness. They let the body work around its problem more than trying to feed the impaired body as a whole.
These diets can be extremely useful in taking some work load off the body until an acute crisis has passed. But for chronic illness, the limitation of normal nutrients may not be ideal for all patients. In many cases, even those involving organ failure, Continued NEXT PAGE
supporting the organs so they can heal while feeding the body ideal nutrients can be much better. For Button and India, a diet much closer to their natural one to allowed them to thrive. Raw diets are not for every pet, but just as we take care to feed the exotic animals in the zoo exactly what they eat in the wild to keep them healthy, understanding how our domestic dogs and cats work internally to digest and process nutrients gives us valuable information regarding their ideal diet. Food therapy is not just for digestive complaints. Veterinarians have been treating skin allergies and urinary issues with food. Any body organ can be supported by providing the nutrients those systems need most to thrive. The debate over ideal feeding will always exist, despite the debate on content, no one disputes that food does play a significant role in health. Holistic exams evaluate your pet right from the start, identifying weaknesses and match them up with the diet that supports health while avoiding feeding things that are stressful to their biology. When illness does occur, consider nutrition a valuable tool to help treat disease and promote healing. After all, you are what you eat! 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
Caws 4 Paws Adopt-A-Thon & Pet Expo
howling good time is in store for all as JD Green of Froggy 100.9 presents the 2nd Annual Caws 4 Paws Adopt-A-Thon & Pet Expo from 10-3 on Saturday, May 21 at the BOR in Barre. This is a must for all dog lovers and future dog lovers as the event will play host to a variety of rescue groups as well as local humane societies. Last year’s event was wildly successful with more than 1,000 attendee’s. According to organizer and popular morning radio personality JD Green, “This has been a dream of mine for a long time.” A dog lover himself, Green is a regular contributor to the Sunday magazine of the Times Argus, sharing exploits of his long time buddy, “Buddy.” The monthly column, entitled “Beyond The Dog” is based on a book project that is currently in the making. Learn more by visiting www. beyondthedog.com
JD Green makes a friend at Caws 4 Paws.
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In addition to adoption opportunities, the one day event will feature obedience training and behavior demonstrations as well as a wide variety of other educational canine programs. A large number of vendor booths ranging from veterinarians to pet food distributors will also be on hand to answer questions. The Caws 4 Paws will also feature guest speakers as well as K-9 demonstrations. Admission will be on a donation basis with plenty of free parking. For more information contact JD at FroggyBreakfastClub@ gmail.com Spring 2016
How Can You Help Feral Cats in Your Neighborhood? Amy Woodman - Dubuc
hen any of us sees a roaming cat in our neighborhood, we immediately want to help it. It is a reality of being an animal lover. But before we take action, it is important to take certain steps to ensure we are doing the right thing for each cat. On the outside, cats look similar but in reality, they can be very different, and so their needs and what we should do, is also different. The first step one must take when a cat is seen roaming, is to identify what type of cat it is. Below are three different categories most cats fall into.
Owned Indoor/Outdoor Cats These cats often return to spending more time outside as the warmer months arrive. An indoor/outdoor cat may freely approach you and will probably look well fed, with a shiny coat.
Stray Cats A stray cat – a cat who was dumped or lost – is not going to be in as good shape as an indoor/outdoor cat. A stray may have a dirty, scruffy coat, be thin, injured, and/ or flea infested. If a cat shows up suddenly and doesn’t look great, that’s a pretty good sign that they may be lost or dumped.
Feral Cats Unlike pets and strays, feral cats will not approach you. You won’t be able to pet a feral cat unless it is in extreme distress. A feral cat may even look pretty good as they have an impeccable ability to maintain their health. They could be a little fluffier than your housecat, especially in the winter, because they grow a thick coat. You will often see them hanging around abandoned buildings or moving from point A to point B. They will never go toward a human. Now that you have identified the type of cat you are dealing with, it is much easier to know what action you need to take in the best interest of that particular animal. Continued NEXT PAGE
If you find an owned indoor/outdoor cat,check with neighbors and see if the cat you are seeing belongs to someone. If you find the owner, leave the cat be. If you find a stray cat, check with neighbors to see if she belongs to anyone. If she keeps trying to come into your house or meowing, bring her to the shelter that serves your town. It is helpful to call ahead in order to ensure there is space in the intake area. If you find a feral cat, the best thing that you can do for free-roaming adult cats in your neighborhood is a process called Trap Neuter Return (TNR). As part of a TNR program, feral cats are trapped using a humane trap such as a Havahart, then spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, and returned to the place they were found. The sterilization keeps them from breeding and the vaccination helps them stay healthy. It might seem that trapping feral cats and bringing them to a shelter would be a good alternative, and a humane approach, but it is actually quite traumatic for them. Feral cats do very well outside, they know how to cope with the elements and fare as well outdoors as other wild animals do. Feral cats are not socialized to people, so living in cages or in forced proximity to humans is very stressful. Shelter living is not a humane option for feral cats.
Adopted from UVHS, this indoor/outdoor cat is hiding under a hosta in his fenced yard.
In the past, many municipalities attempted to manage feral cat colonies by killing them. In the end, this doesn’t work. The cat population simply rebounds. Even if cats are removed from a colony, the resources (such as a rodent population and shelter) will remain, and a new colony will move in. Alley Cat Allies, an organization that studies and works on issues related to feral cats, reports, “Scientific evidence indicates that removing feral cat populations only opens up the habitat to an influx of new cats, either from neighboring territories or born from survivors. Each time cats are removed, the population will rebound through a natural phenomenon known as the “vacuum effect,” drawing the community into a costly, endless cycle of trapping and killing.” The Upper Valley Humane Society offers spay and neuter services for feral cats. If you find a feral kitten, the strategy is a little different than for feral adults. The earlier feral kittens are removed from the colony, the better. There is roughly a 16-week window in which it is possible to socialize feral kittens. You may be able to bring the litter to your local humane society which will provide care, medical attention, and socialization for the kittens until they can be adopted into a home. If you have an unmanaged feral cat colony in your neighborhood, call your shelter and they may be able to discuss options with you and your neighbors. Amy Woodman-Dubuc is the shelter manager at Upper Valley Humane Society in Enfield, NH, where Caitlin Smith is the feline coordinator.Together, they manage a feral cat colony on the shelter’s premises.
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Spring Scratch and Sniff Mike Robertson - Plymouth, NH
pring in finally here. We eager ly await the smell of flowering trees and freshly turned garden soil after a mostly sterile winter. To your dog, the arrival of these classic Spring smells is like a kaleidoscope of odor. Where we recognize a dozen scents, the dog is noticing hundreds. Imagine the intensity of a Spring morning for your dog! Here are a few fun and useful skills to make this season, as well as Summer and Fall, more interesting and rewarding for you and your dog. CREATE A SCENT BOX Not so much a skill, but rather a way to enhance the reward of an already smelly earth. When vegetation is disrupted it releases odors into the air. This is the principle of police tracking dogs, who target on not only the scent of the perpetrator, but also the smell of freshly disturbed ground where the person has stepped. For this project you will simply rough up a track of ground for your dog to sniff in. A rototiller makes a great scent box, but your dog will be perfectly happy with one created with a lawn rake. For added fun, perhaps for less nosedriven dogs, bury dog biscuits in your scent box. To preserve the intrigue, only allow the dog to enter the scent box by permission. OUTSIDE-IN-A-BOTTLE City dwellers may find it difficult (or illegal) to create a scent box outdoors. While the city provides its own variety of unique scents, it’s often more rewarding for your dog to gain access to the smells of nature. This is where creating a spray bottle of “Outside-In-A-Bottle” can really make you your dog’s best friend. Here’s how: • Fill a quart Ziploc bag with mixed vegetation from the park. • Crush the bagged material and transfer to a pot with three cups o distilled water • Simmer the “vegetable stew” on low heat for an hour, and then let cool overnight. • Strain the “stew” through cheesecloth into a clean spray bottle. Continued NEXT PAGE
You now have Outside-In-A-Bottle. Occasionally, lightly spray different areas of the house and the dog’s toys. This also can provide enrichment for older dogs that spend a good amount of time in bed. Infusing the bedding with the odor can bring back memories of an adventurous youth! FIND SPECIFIC ITEMS Our last project has the potential to be productive and profitable. We will harness and focus your dog’s amazing ability to discriminate a single scent out of hundreds. A few possible applications: • Locate shed deer and moose antlers • Find a certain tree species. Basswood for example, for a wood carver. • Find rare wild edibles. Wild Ginseng, for example. • Locate grubs in your garden for you to remove. The applications are endless; luckily the base training technique is nearly the same for all. Here is a brief overview of the training steps. You’ll want to consult a trainer in order to really help your dog excel in using his nose. • Decide how you want your dog to alert you to having found the scent (AA - Alert Action). Sitting, laying down, barking, etc. • Associate the alert with the specific scent (SC). Present the SC and ask the dog for the AA. Reward once accomplished. • When your dog is presenting the AA immediately upon smelling the SC and without your verbal command, you can move onto the next step. • With three small boxes, place the SC in one and leave the other two boxes empty. Tell your dog to “find it” and lead him to each of the boxes. • When your dog reaches the box with the SC, he should present the AA. If not, you may give the AA command. Eliminate the need for the verbal command as quickly as possible. • When your dog is successfully locat ing the correct box and presenting the AA without command, move your SC outdoors and repeat the previous step. • Gradually increase the hiding distance of the SC. Be cautious not to move from one step to the next too quickly. For some dogs this process can take months. Most importantly, take this change in seasons to have fun with your dog!
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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 Spring 2016
My Romeo Eadie Molesworth Rivendell Academy, 8th grade
omeo, Romeo, Where for art thou Fluffy Romeo? My Romeo is a 100pound Bernese Mountain Dog, but he is a strong believer that he is a lap dog. He has lots of fur, which he leaves all around the house. He is black with brown legs, white paws, and a white tip on his tail. He has a thin white stripe down his nose, little brown eyebrows, and a furry belly, which he loves to have rubbed. He is curious about everything, especially things that make noise. I have a toy cat that makes noise, and crawls, and if Romeo sees it, he loves to follow it around. He likes to chew on sticks and eat grass, even when we tell him repeatedly not to. Romeo loves to play outside in all weather. He likes snow and sunshine, and although he plays in wind and rain, he doesn’t like it as much as the snow. He thinks that outside is his territory, so he will chase us around, and sometimes in the winter he tries to steal our mittens and sleds. Sometimes the snow is higher than his legs, and you can only see his head and body moving in the snow. He makes a good snowplow. In the summer we go to the lake, and Romeo loves the boat. We have tried to get him to swim but he won’t go in the water. Once he fell in, but he hasn’t gone in other than that. When Romeo is indoors he likes to eat, snuggle and watch TV. At the dinner table he makes sure to sit near my brother’s chair, so he can eat the crumbs. He always follows me around near dinnertime, because he knows I feed him at night. After dinner he likes to sit in the living room and watch TV. If there is a dog on TV Romeo likes to go stand in front of it and look at the dog, or wag his tail and bark at it. He lies under my dad’s legs, or on top of my mom’s feet, or sometimes he will sit right in front of you so that he can see, and you can’t. Sometimes he will try to climb on my dad’s lap while my dad is sitting in his chair, or rub his nose in my mom’s face so she will snuggle with him. Romeo is a good dog, but he does not listen very well. If you tell him to sit, you may have to tell him five or six times before he actually does it. He will lie down but if you turn around, he won’t stay lying down. He will come when you call him, but he will not heal whatsoever. He shakes on command, and will usually come in when its time. The Bernese Mountain Dog originally lived in cold weather. Its intelligence and strength were used for helping with work on the Swiss farms, and in the Swiss Alps. Compared to that dog, Romeo is just a fluffy marshmallow that chases sports Spring 2016
Burnese Mountain Dogs such as Romeo, get their name from Bern Canton, the central region of Switzerland.
equipment and gets petted, while he watches TV. Romeo is the best dog I could ever have. I trust Romeo to protect me, even
though he normally wouldn’t hurt a flea. I love Romeo. He is a pet, and he is part of our family. I can’t imagine life if I had any other dog.
Vermont Battles For Elephants IVORY FREE VERMONT ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF A TEN-MINUTE FILM MADE BY VERMONT YOUTH THAT HIGHTLIGHTS THE THREAT OF ELEPHANT AND RHINO EXTINCTION vory Free Vermont, an all-volunteer organization working to outlaw the sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn in Vermont, is pleased to announce the completion of a ten-minute film about the dire threat of extinction that these two iconic species face. Made by local youth, Vermont Battles for Elephants casts a poignant and compelling spotlight on this critically time-sensitive conservation issue.
Spearheaded by twelve-year-old Taegen Yardley of Charlotte, Vermont Battles for Elephants is a collaboration with Vermont Commons School, the college preparatory school located in South Burlington. Taegen is an integral member of Ivory Free Vermont and its efforts to pass H.297, a bill that would outlaw the sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn in the Green Mountain State. Taegen and other students at the school, together with Mark Cline Lucey, the chair of the social studies department who is also a filmmaker, have created a powerful and heartfelt film that articulates why these gentle giants must be saved. According to Mark, “When my student Taegen came to me with the idea to make a short film in support of bill H.297, I was thrilled at the opportunity to combine my concern for wildlife with my love of filmmaking.” And according to Taegen: “We have created this short film to help raise awareness about both the conservation and humanitarian reasons as to why it is so important to ban the sale of ivory. Vermont must pass bill H.297, without exemptions, and become the first state in New England to stand up for these iconic species and help save them from extinction. We will keep fighting until we have closed all of the loopholes in each and every state.” More than 35,000 elephants are killed every year—that’s one every fifteen minutes—for their ivory. Between 2010 and 2012 alone, poachers slaughtered more than 100,000 African elephants (about a quarter of their entire population on earth). A rhino is slaughtered once every eight hours for its horn. Research has firmly established the links between terrorist organizations and the poaching of these wild and wonderful creatures. This amazing film, Vermont Battles for Elephants, is gaining international traction and has been tweeted by the Embassy of the Republic of Gabon to the United States; and New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak, who successfully championed the first complete ivory and rhino horn sales ban in 2014. It has also been shared by Richard Ruggiero, chief of the Division of International Conservation at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. To view the film please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRM6y3XnezE. For more information about this critical situation, the Vermont bill H.297, and how you can support it, please visit: www.ivoryfreevermont.org.
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Cross-Training For Equine Fitness Jessica Stewart Riley - Randolph Center, VT
ingwork can be boring. There, I said it. And I am a person who prefers rid ing in the ring to riding on the trail. But when done on a regular basis, it can be easy to lose your motivation for working on the fundamentals within the confines of the 4 walls of the arena or ring. We begin to do the same patterns or exercises over and over again: walk both directions, trot both directions, then canter both directions with a circle or two thrown in for some excitement. Unfortunately, just like heading to the gym and jogging on the treadmill for 45 minutes every day, this is only minimally beneficial for our horses. It does help them to maintain a low level of fitness, but it does not aim to improve things like coordination, balance, proprioception (awareness of self), cardiovascular endurance, and physical strength, areas that positively influence the horse’s ability to perform the tasks we ask of him with ease and grace. The best human athletes cross-train to keep their bodies in shape, so why wouldn’t we vary our horse’s training regimen? Two areas I have found especially beneficial for cross-training my own horses are: • In-hand work: stretches and backing • Ground poles, cavaletti, and small jumps In-hand work can help teach your horse correct posture, like engaging his abdominal muscles, lifting his back, and stretching his neck forward, or the correct response for something like bending or moving off the rider’s leg. These types of exercises are especially beneficial because they remove some of the elements of human error that can occur when riding. I like to perform lateral neck stretches, belly-lifts, tail pulls and backing. It’s important not to perform any stretches when the horse’s muscles are cold, so I always save the stretching for the end of a workout before my horse has cooled off completely. One activity that has caused a marked improvement in my own horse’s topline (back and top of neck) and hindquarter muscles, is backing in hand. I started off just backing a few steps each day and have worked up to backing one entire circuit of the arena in both directions. It’s important that the horse maintain a soft and relaxed neck posture and that you give frequent breaks if you see signs of him tiring, i.e. resistance to continue, repeated raising of the head, stressed or anxious facial expression, etc. Ground poles are another fantastic way to shake up your routine and cross-train in the arena. In my experience, horses seem to enjoy doing exercises with ground poles because they are different, and riders find them interesting and fun. They are incredibly beneficial for loosening the joints of the hind end and teaching the horse to bring his legs further under his body. This in turn enables the horse to raise his back and Continued NEXT PAGE
engage his abdominals while making movement more efficient and comfortable to ride. Working over ground poles also improves the horse’s balance and proprioception, making performing in their given discipline that much easier. In time, you can work up to raised poles, cavaletti, and even a small jump. You also don’t need fancy ground poles; 8-10’ long tree limbs that have had the branches removed so there aren’t any sharp edges or even PVC pipes can be used in place of more expensive lumber. PVC pipes do tend to be lighter than a 4’ by 4’ but the most important thing is to make it work for you and your horse! Most horse people know how important it is to work their horse consistently if they want to have a happy and successful equine athlete, but doing the same thing day after day can get boring and cause a loss in motivation. Changing up your riding routine to include stretching and ground poles is a great way to make riding fun and interesting again, while also benefitting your horse. If you are new to either of these types of exercises, I strongly encourage you to seek the advice of an experienced professional so neither you or your horse becomes injured. If you would like more information on equine fitness, stretching and ground pole exercises, as well as proper warm-ups and cool-downs, there are two books I would highly recommend: Equine Fitness: A Conditioning Program of Exercises and Routines for Your Horse and 101 Western Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider, both by Jec Aristotle Ballou. You certainly don’t have to ride western to appreciate the last book; you just have to enjoy riding! Happy Cross-training!
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 22 4 Legs & a Tail
A Horse In The Mirror Malena Agin
hen I was little, my grandpar ents owned a ranch. I spent many vacations riding. Life happened and that part of my youth became a fond memory. One that always surfaced while in the presence of farmlands, barns, and horses. Horse people say they love that “horse smell.” I am one of those people. My adult life began in an urban jungle. Horses were seen on romantic car-
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riage rides around Central Park or working alongside law enforcement and, on occasion, you’d catch a glimpse of a lucky rider and their mount leisurely riding around Prospect Park. Horses were a topic of great debate amongst hipsters in Williamsburg, who felt they should not be worked or kept in the city. I smiled every time I saw one, not really sure yet which side of the debate I leaned towards. In my thirties now, I’ve moved from New York City to Vermont where I currently live in a small rural town. Horses are everywhere. In fact, just down the road is commonly referred to as “horse country.” There are endless winding dirt roads with pastures and barns filled with that yummy horse smell. Four years ago, my husband and I opened a business in Woodstock and are now raising a family. With the smallest in daycare, I found myself with a little more time to myself than I was used to. Eager to get out of the house, I searched online for riding lessons. Suddenly, I was feeling intimidated. I felt scared. I hadn’t ridden a horse in so long. What if I made a fool of myself? What if I sound like a total beginner? Am I a total beginner? Why was I feeling this way? I would later learn, from a horse named George, how much fear was a part of my everyday decisions. Let me explain. Somewhere in my earlier years I became scared of raising my hand in class; Scared of saying the wrong thing; Scared of speaking in front of people; Scared of others not liking me. I had
The American Quarter Horse, such as George, is the most popular breed in North America.
lost the confidence my mother swears I once had. Confidence. You need confidence to ride a horse. You need confidence to do a lot of things. I envy those who have it, and I hope dearly that my overly confident daughter never loses hers. So, I decided that in order to teach confidence, I have to own it first. Cue George. A beautiful, young, grey Quarter Horse, but not a generous horse. Beautiful but lazy. Beautiful but pompous. How can a horse be pompous you ask? Well, George only cares about George. “A horse is a reflection of you; they give back what they get.” I don’t know who said that but I hear it often, and George and all the other horses at Delaney Stables, in West Windsor, have proven this to be true. The handsome grey quarter horse was my first mount at Delaney Stables. I was excited, and I was nervous and when it was time to get on, my trainer, Jill Delaney, said something like, “Wow. You’re nervous.” I was. I felt exhilarated as I walked George into the arena but I was scared. Fear had taken over, and I decided to own it. Fear had reared its ugly head, and just like that, a moment of self-realization. A reflection in the mirror and a slap in the face. I had a lot of work to do. All of the experiences that made me who I was at that moment flooded my being like a cold shower. “Open your chest,” my trainer said. “Open yourself up to the world,” is what I heard. Now, I feel I am on the road to truly understanding myself. Whether it be in the saddle or through a grooming brush, I see my feelings and state of mind reflected back at me. These four-legged animals are giants compared to us, yet they are so simple, each one different from the next, but every one as honest and as real as a reflection in a mirror. Malena Agin is a linguist/educator and animal lover who moved to Vermont from Brooklyn, NY. In 2011, she and her husband opened Eyes On Elm in Woodstock. In 2015, she started riding at Delaney Stables, in West Windsor, with Jill Delaney who’s helped her with confidence, horsemanship skills and riding has also helped manage her Multiple Sclerosis. Spring 2016
A Tale of Hip Dysplasia, Arthritis, and Lasers Catherine MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH
ip dysplasia is most common in large breed dogs. Most people have heard of hip dysplasia, but don’t necessarily know exactly what it is. Hip dysplasia occurs when there is abnormal development or growth of the hips. It essentially means that there is a poor fit between the “ball and socket” of a hip. This occurs when a puppy is growing. The head of the femur (thigh bone) is the ball and the acetabulum is the socket part of the pelvis. When these two pieces don’t fit together well, the joint doesn’t get well lubricated and therefore doesn’t glide smoothly when the dog walks. This eventually leads to arthritis because the dog’s body is trying to stabilize the joint. Some dogs will exhibit pain from hip dysplasia at a young age, while other dogs are much older before their hip dysplasia becomes a problem. Lighter dogs with more muscle mass (i.e. younger dogs have better muscle mass than older dogs) are less likely to have issues with hip dysplasia unless it’s very severe. Some dogs will display severe hip dysplasia on x-rays, but will have no clinical signs. If your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, there are a variety of treatment options. The following surgical options are available: Triple pelvic osteotomy: This is commonly done in dogs 8-18 months of age that have dysplasia without degenerative arthritis changes. With this surgery the poor fitting acetabulum (socket) is basically sawed free of the rest of the pelvis and repositioned so that a tighter fit to the femoral head is obtained. Surgical plates are then used to stabilize the joint. After care involves 3-4 months of exercise restriction. Femoral Head/Neck Ostectomy (FHO): This surgery is best for dogs under 50 pounds or very active dogs. With this surgery the femoral head (ball) is Spring 2016
removed, which allows the joint to heal as a false joint. Recovery time is much faster with this procedure and it tends to be cheaper than other surgical options. Total Hip Replacement: This procedure is for dogs with established degenerative hip changes. Although the thought of a dog having a hip replacement may sound extreme, it has been done in dogs for over 20 years and is often very successful. Usually only one hip is done at a time and the recovery period is about three months. If surgery is not an option, then nonsurgical options include management of the arthritis pain with non-steroidal antiinflammatory medication, joint supplements, fish oil, acupuncture, or laser therapy. Chief, one of my patients, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 11 years of age. Chief’s owner brought him to me in late November because he was acting strangely with his hind end. Chief’s owner had noticed that he was walking oddly with his hind end and having a hard time getting up and down off of the floor. She felt that the change was fairly sudden. On exam, I noticed that Chief was walking with decreased range of motion in his right hind leg and expressed pain on manipulation of his right hind limb. I decided to take x-rays and diagnosed Chief with hip dysplasia and osteoarthri-
Chief, showing tremendous sucess after laser therapy.
tis. His right hind limb was worse than the left. The owner and I discussed medical management options since surgery was not an option for Chief. The owner really wanted to try laser therapy to see if it would help give him some pain relief. When people hear the word laser
To Sugar River Animal Hospital of Grantham, NH which was recently awarded the American Animal Hospital Association’s top honor, AAHA accreditation. This recognition is reserved for the top 12-15% of animal hospitals in the United States and Canada. AAHA has been recognizing veterinary hospitals for their commitment to maintaining high standards of care for over 80 years. To be eligible for AAHA accreditation, hospitals must be evaluated on approximately 900 standards that assess safety protocols, equipment, veterinary knowledge, and other key areas of pet health care. Accredited hospitals are home to leading pet health care providers.
therapy, two things seem to happen. First, there is a look of bewilderment on their face and I get the feeling that they are thinking of Star Wars. The second thing is that people often think it’s very expensive and are usually shocked at how economical laser therapy can be. Laser therapy works by using wavelengths of light. The wavelengths of light work on a cellular level and interact with the metabolic activity within a cell, which causes improvement in the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This leads to beneficial effects and increases cellular function and health. Class IV laser therapy reduces inflammation, increases circulation, and promotes healing and endorphin release. Chief started his laser therapy for hip dysplasia and arthritis on November 30th and had a second treatment on December 2nd. After Chief’s second laser therapy treatment, his owner noticed a huge improvement. Chief is now having no issues getting up and down off of the floor and he’s playing and wanting to move around more. Laser therapy can’t help everything; but it can be used in conjunction with medications or by itself for many conditions. We use it in our clinic for skin issues, post-surgery, arthritis, back pain, and acute injuries to name just a few. If you believe your pet is suffering from hip dysplasia, make sure to talk to your veterinarian to explore the various treatment options that are available for your pet. 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.
According to SRAH owner Catherine MacLean, DVM, “Our staff is dedicated to delivering excellent care for your pet. Because pets are our passion. And keeping them healthy is our #1 priority. AAHA helps us stay prepared and equipped to provide the level of care that your pet deserves.” Thank you for trusting us with your pet’s health. We look forward to seeing you soon. Luffy at home with Crystal Milbauer
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Nonverbal Communication Humans and Animals Sue Miller
It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions ~ Mark Twian
s a quiet introvert it didn’t take me long to gain interest in nonverbal communication. I watch people and animals all the time and get cues to how they feel at the moment. But my interest in nonverbal communication started with my dog, not people. I noticed one day that I could make faces in stages from very happy to very sad or angry and my dog
Sue Miller with her horse Chester. Photo taken by Sue Miller.
would respond in kind. If I made a very happy face, my dog’s ears would perk up, she sat up taller and her tail wagged happily. If I started to make a face that was sad. My dog’s ears would droop, she sat lower, she would try to scoot near me and wag her tail. When I tried to make a really angry face and body, my dog would not hold any eye contact, she looked down a lot, her ears drooped considerably keeping them close to her head, and her tail wouldn’t wag, but occasionally thump the floor in hopes that my mood would brighten. I began to realize that nonverbal communication happens ALL the time. Not just with people, but with animals too. Soon I recognized that our nonverbal communication—our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice—is the very essence that speak the loudest. Nonverbal communication is defined as the transfer of information between individuals through ways that don’t involve the use of language. This communication is passed by means of visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic cues. Animals are experts at body language and seem to read our thoughts before we make an action. When we interact with others, we continuously give and Spring 2016
receive wordless signals. All of our nonverbal behaviors—the gestures we make, the way we sit, how fast or how loud we talk, how close we stand, how much eye contact we make—send strong messages. Even when you’re silent, you’re still communicating. In America we over emphasize the spoken word. Only 10% of human communication is verbal the rest we perceive from nonverbal cues, we tend to highlight what was said and not what was inferred by body language. Humans have three intelligence centers the brain/logic, gut/feeling, heart/ spirit essences that make up our existence. Both the intestinal track and heart have been shown to generate neuropeptides carrying emotional information that helps us to make decision choices. The body IS your subconscious mind. Remember that Nonverbal communication is a 2 way street – Our animals may not be verbal, but they can infer our intentions. The animals will respond according to the signals they perceive from the human. Multicultural differences in body language, facial expression, use of space, and especially, gestures, are enormous and enormously open to misinterpretation. A man named Eckerman theorized that expressions could be read correctly across cultures. There are seven universally recognized facial expressions that across cultures have been found to be recognizable, they are anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, and contempt. Humans understand about 3,000 expressions that we can interpret quickly. Micro expressions – happen in fractions of seconds and are easily missed by humans. However animals are much keener then we are and pick up these signals.
Receiving nonverbal communication can be, Feelings and emotions, body sensations, visual pictures, smells, tastes, sounds, messages or words (these are often our way of translating what the animal is telling us). A general sense of knowing what is going on with an animal or person – understanding all of the layers of the “big picture”. Having animals in your home with daily contact really makes a difference in being able to read their language. I think the Bedouins and Native Americans were on to something great when they invited their dogs & horses into their homes. Having so much contact with the animals certainly made a huge difference to their cultures. The Native Americans became amazing horsemen in a very short time compared to the Europeans that had horses for centuries. I invite you to experiment with your facial expressions and body language to see how subtle you can be in communicating with your animals. It will take some quiet time to reflect on what you are experiencing as not all animals will react in the same way, much like people all have different personalities. Make note of how your animal responds when you make a definite face or stand a certain way. I am sure that you’ll be surprised at how much your bond with your animal will increase when you take the time to “listen” by really observing their movements and expressions. Sue Miller is the Program Director for High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program in Wilder,VT. www.HighHorses.org
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Backyard Chickens 101 Dr. Susan Dyer, DVM - Bradford, VT
Some Quick Facts
Many backyard chickens live approximately 8â€“10 years They have only three good productive years 70% of the cost of raising chickens is spent on feed In monogastric animals, like chickens, energy comes mainly from carbohydrates and fats since fibre-containing cellulose cannot be digested White eggs are laid by chickens with white ear lobes, while brown eggs are laid by chickens with red ear lobes.
ackyard chickens are becoming more and more popular as production animals (meat or eggs) and pets. Many households start with a few pullets (birds under 1 year old) or chicks, but the flock grows as time goes on. There are many considerations to owning chickens, and I will address a few here. There are many different breeds of birds and assessing which breed would suit your family or farmstead is ideal. There are many online resources to learn traits of different breeds of birds. For example, if you are going for a breed that is going to live for a long time, then a breed that is less of a production animal will definitely live longer. On the other hand, production birds are bred to maximize their potential output of eggs or meat in the shortest time possible. Most high production egg laying birds are limited to about 3-4 years old before their usefulness has gone. Whereas, a lesser producing bird may live for up to 10-12 years. Shelter must be provided from predators and weather extremes. Good ventilation is a must to prevent respiratory disease but must be balanced by preventing drafts. The substrate on the floor of a Continued NEXT PAGE
chicken coop should be kept clean and dry. Overcrowding is a common problem in the winter time when the birds are confined for extended periods of time. Birds that are overcrowded will break eggs and peck on each other causing illness and damage. Much of this can be alleviated by providing enrichment and adequate space. Enrichment can consist of heads of cabbage suspended from the ceiling for pecking at, supplementing with live food like crickets and mealworms, and giving a dust bath of sand in a litter box. Many birds are housed with access to the outdoors, whether free range or confined to a pen. Birds with this access are at risk of predators or developing mites, avian influenza, infectious laryngotracheitis or intestinal parasites, to name a few. This is not to say that they shouldn’t have access, but as a provider for your birds, it is good to know the risks involved with different sorts of housing. Given the multitude of diseases that birds can acquire, I do not recommend getting birds from other private homes. There are many contagious diseases (a few mentioned above) that can affect your entire flock that the other party may not even be aware that they have. This can be due to a “carrier state” in their own birds where they’ve been exposed to a milder form of a disease or perhaps they survived a bout as a younger bird. This can allow an apparently healthy bird to enter your flock and cause an outbreak of disease. I recommend hatching your own chicks or purchasing day old chicks from a hatchery rather than acquiring from a local private party, unless these will be your only birds. The food offered must meet the requirements of the different life stages as developed for the poultry industry:
Day 1 to 6 weeks
Day 1 to 3 weeks
Feeding commercial pellets is recommended as the basis for a diet. Many diseases are made worse by dietary deficiencies. So, feed a pelleted diet as the majority of the diet and supplement occasionally with other products like ground or cracked corn, millet, barley or table scraps. Birds that are housed on the ground rarely require grit supplementation, but those that are indoors only, or on hard packed dirt, will need a coarse sand or gravel to allow them to digest their food properly. A litter box with sand for birds housed indoors can also allow them to have more natural behaviors in dust bathing and if they have mites, allowing them to mechanically remove the parasites. Chickens can make lively and entertaining pets or can be a production animal for meat or eggs or both. Feel free to consult with your veterinarian or local feed store for feeding and housing tips. Dr. Susan Dyer sees chickens, dogs, cats, birds, and exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic in Bradford, VT, 802-222-4903. www.bradfordvet.com
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Run Kiwi, Run! Andrea Conger - Grantham, NH
have been helping disabled dogs since February 2015. Each day, I look forward to seeing an email from an owner who writes about their family member and asks for my help. Lifting animals off the ground has become the instrument of my own happiness. Once in a while, I am connected to pets who live on a farm. This was the case with Kiwi, who happily resides with her best buddy Sapphire, and many horses, at First Choice Riding Academy, in Enfield NH. Kiwi and Sapphire are both Nigerian goats. As we all know, goats love to run, play, jump and entertain us with sillylooking parkour moves. Well, for the last four years, Kiwi could not do any of these things. She contracted a parasite, and even though she was cured of the disease, her spine and right rear leg have paid a high price for it. Kiwi became partially paralyzed. I felt I needed to help. I knew that my charity, Chelsea’s Footprints could fundraise for Kiwi’s cart. I called Heidi HauriGill, the owner of First Choice Riding Academy, who sounded emotional and surprised over the phone. “That would be wonderful!” she said. A few days later, I rode to the facility and was excited about meeting Kiwi. I was not sure what to expect. I was greeted by one of the workers, Brandy McConnell Tuttle, who takes care of the horses and assists with everyday chores. Brandy had a big smile on her face, and as I found out, she could not wait to see Kiwi walk again. A bit later, Heidi joined us too. She and Brandy helped me take Kiwi’s measurements. When I saw Kiwi dragging her rear end on the ground, using her front leg muscles to navigate around the dirt – I felt sadness, but I knew, soon this would change. I could already picture her in the cart. I got the necessary measurements, recorded her weight and took some pictures. For some measurements, I had to lie underneath Kiwi, while Brandy held her up with a towel. Kiwi did not care about the commotion, but patiently complied. Continued NEXT PAGE
When I arrived at home, I was still covered with hay. I immediately contacted Eddie’s Wheels and ordered Kiwi’s cart. I have been working closely with Eddie’s since March. They have been very kind to me and my charity. Two of my own dogs have received carts from them, so I knew that their product was high quality. After ordering the cart, the fundraising race began. I knew that in two weeks, Eddie’s would ship out Kiwi’s wheels. I had fourteen days to raise 540 dollars. I stood outside of West Lebanon Pet and Aquarium Center, Steve’s Pet Shoppe and organized a dog party at SAVES. I shared Kiwi on social network. I have never failed before, and I knew, this time I would succeed again. With the help of Chelsea’s Footprints, I would do anything to fundraise for animals. When I received a call from Heidi telling me that Kiwi’s cart had arrived, I choked up and became emotional. It happens to me every time I lift up an animal. It is a unique feeling and only animal lovers understand. I pulled in front of the barn and my eyes quickly scanned the surroundings, searching for Kiwi. I did not see her. Was she using the cart at all? Did I measure her right? All my worries disappeared when I saw Kiwi running after Sapphire. The wheels fit her perfectly! I hugged Brandy and we both cried.
Kiwi and her friend Saffire.
Kiwi stopped in front of me for a sec- set of wheels, they regain mobility and ond, before continuing her frolicking. move around almost as good as new. She looked right at me. I think she said, “Thank You.” Andrea Conger is the founder of Kiwi was the fourteenth animal I have Chelsea’s Footprints, a non profit public helped since April of this year. I love my charity, advocating for disabled mission and feel strongly about treatanimals, supporting their owners ing disabled animals with respect. Even with low/moderate income. though their bodies are broken, they still www.ChelseasFootprints.com are able to love and be loved. And with a
MAZIE With many of our family and friends returning from a long war, the Vermont Department of Corrections has been addressing the needs of our veterans, thanks to the efforts of the Blue Star Mothers of Vermont. According to program coordinator Terri Sabens, inmates at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, VT began training service dogs last winter to assist returning military personnel. As a former volunteer with Soldiers Angels, Sabens spent more than a year reaching out to the Vermont DOC. “PTSD is a widespread issue that many of our veterans face. There are just too many related suicides that can’t be ignored.” Mazie was the first puppy to be raised by inmates through the BSMVT pet program. She was placed with her veteran last Mother’s Day. He was taking 16 prescriptions for his PTSD when he got her, to date he has cut that number down to ZERO prescriptions that he depends on for his anxiety. He says it’s all because of her. Thank you Blue Star Mothers of VT and the Vermont Department of Corrections. Most of all, we extend our gratitude to all veterans who have served our country. 32 4 Legs & a Tail
Living With Black Bears B
lack bears are found in most forested portions of Vermont. They generally rely on wild foods such as berries, cherries, beechnuts, and acorns to survive. However, as humans move into bear habitat, bears can become attracted to other foods such as birdseed, garbage, and pet food. You can help the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department maintain a healthy bear population by reducing the chance you will attract bears to your property. Bird feeders, barbecue grills, garbage, and dirty campsites can become appealing food sources. They are also deadly — the bear could be struck by a motor vehicle in a populated area, injured or shot by someone protecting their property, or have to be destroyed. When a bear is being fed (directly or indirectly), its life expectancy is likely reduced. Black bears are normally shy and not aggressive to humans. However, a bear that has been fed by humans loses this shyness and can become a potential danger to human safety. When this occurs, there is often little recourse except to destroy the bear. Let’s Avoid Conflict; Follow these guidelines to decrease the chance of conflicts with bears: Dispose of garbage frequently. Store it in clean, secure containers (top latched, tied, or chained). Don’t put garbage out at the curb the night before pickup. Feed pets indoors. Keep barbecue grills clean and stored inside. Don’t feed birds from April 1 to December 1 if you live in an area where there are bears. If you see or suspect a bear near your home, remove your bird feeders for at least four weeks or until the bear is no longer in the area. If you have livestock, dispose of animal carcasses immediately by burying or incinerating. Support protecting and enhancing natural food sources in areas away from human habitation. For more information about how you can help enhance bear habitat, visit the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website. Please report any black bear incidents you may have had. To report a backyard visit or damage caused by a bear, go to the Fish & Wildlife website for Wildlife Programs and fill in the form Black Bear Incident Reporting. Continued NEXT PAGE Spring 2016
The black bear, Ursus americanus, is the smallest of the three bear species found in North America. It is the only bear found in Vermont. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Departmentâ€™s management objective for black bears is to maintain a population that is between 4,500 and 6,000 animals. The highest numbers of bears can be found in the center spine of the Green Mountains, from Massachusetts to Canada, and in the northeastern part of Vermont. The best habitat for black bears in Vermont is a mixture of coniferous trees, hardwoods, wetlands, and variation in terrain. Because they need dense cover to escape danger, the wary and elusive black bears prefer rough and wooded habitats. Coniferous trees provide concealment and protection from severe weather. Stands of beech and oak, along with wetlands, are important feeding areas for bears. Live weights for adult female black bears in Vermont average between 120 and 180 pounds. In contrast, male black bears are generally larger, weighing 300-400 pounds. Black bears have an excellent sense of smell and hearing. However, their eyesight is not as well developed. Above all, REMEMBER A FED BEAR IS A DEAD BEAR! Visit these websites to learn more about black bears: Be Bear Aware: www.centerforwildlifeinformation.org/BeBearAware/bebearaware.html Bear Wise: www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Bearwi se/index.html Help is Available Persons suffering bear damage should contact the nearest Vermont Fish & Wildlife office or local state game warden prior to taking any control action on their own. Fish & Wildlife personnel will recommend appropriate measures or control strategies that can lessen the problem. Producers of bees/honey, corn, fruit orchards, and livestock interested in learning more about black bear damage, its identification, what to do if damage occurs, and where to go for assistance should contact their local Vermont Fish & Wildlife local game warden: www.vtfishandwildlife.com/ about_staff.cfm USFWS
4 Legs & a Tail is a proud member of the Vermont Farm Bureau.
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A Sweet History
(That’s a Little Squirrely)
’m not sure how many people know where maple sugaring originated, but many would guess we learned it from the Native Americans. They wouldn’t be too far off. Various tribes known as the Eastern Woodland Indians, the most famous of this group being the Iroquois and Cherokee nations, were seen by Jacques Cartier tapping maples in 1540. Settlers soon discovered the Native Americans had a really good idea and began tapping trees on their own. But like most stories and histories, the answer is never that simple. There’s a surprise twist. When author and professor Brend Heinrich of the Department of Zoology, UVM decided to study some long-reported but unsubstantiated animal behavior, it lead him to vast early spring maple groves in Maine and Vermont. He also researched maple tapping practices and myths of Native American peoples such as the Iroquois. He found the answer to the riddle - discovered the genius who made the sweet and lucrative business of maple sugaring possible today. It was a creature most people in the maple sugaring industry consider a scourge and an arch-enemy. None other than the tiny red squirrel! It’s true. The animal that chews through plastic tap lines on occasion to get sap, may feel he has every right to do so, because he’s the very reason we have the delicious taste and the money it brings in the first place. The Iroquois have an ancient myth about the red squirrel’s role in the discovery. A youth in the woods saw a squirrel biting off the tip of a twig and licking the sap. The youth, curious, tried it too. And so, a grand discovery was made. The details of how Native Americans realized the watery sap could be thicker, sweeter, even turned to sugar is also a credit to the smarts and behavior of this small, nimble rodent. Heinrich, in 1989-1990, watched red squirrels “systematically harvesting sugar and syrup from sugar maple trees,” Continued NEXT PAGE
according to his paper, Maple Sugaring by Red Squirrels. He studied twenty-three sites in the two states and saw the very behavior he’d heard about and read about. Squirrels pruned trees by snipping buds with their teeth, snipped off the tips of other branches, or slashed v-shaped wounds in the bark of sugar maple trees with their teeth. The odd thing was that the squirrely critters didn’t lick the sap right away. Instead, they left the scene and returned hours later after the sap had oozed onto the bark. The water had mostly if not all evaporated, and left these small furry maple sugar producers with their own syrup or sugar, to lick and eat away. Heinrich also noticed amazing similarities to the traditional Native American method of harvesting the sap. They would hack a V-shaped wound in the tree to release the flowing sap – just like the V-shaped wound, but larger, made by the red squirrels. Are you frowning at what I’m trying to suggest? A pesky rodent is responsible for a wonderful human achievement? Someone is calling the behavior of this scourge, a mere rodent “smart”? Imagine you’re one of the maple producers reading this. Red squirrels are one of the tiny percentage of all animals that store food for winter. Humans are also part of that small percentage. They place their stores in piles called “middens” or stuff their stashes under logs or in hollow places. Yes, they forget where they store these sometimes, but we misplace our car keys all the time, don’t we? They also put things in “safe spots” and forget where that spot is. When stores of food run low in certain years, the clever squirrels learned that sap could be useful. At some point, they even figured out, that there is much more energy and taste to be had by getting the water out of sap, so the good stuff is left behind. These rodents are good stewards of the forest as well. They start harvesting the sap and sugar as early as January, but around the first of March Heinrich could see the V-shaped marks on the trees increased in number, but never too many. They took what they needed and the tree wounds were well healed by July with the trees no worse for wear. Who knows? Maybe those red squirrels see those plastic tap lines and think that after generations, we recognized their gift to humans, such a hairless and strange animal with hardly any survival skills at all. Maybe they think we are returning the favor by giving them easier access. Hey, I wouldn’t put anything past them! Perhaps when they chide us for entering the maple groves with their chatters, screeches, whistles, chirps, rattles, growls, foot stomping and tail flicking, they have the right to ward us off. Seems they were the first in the maple business after all! Tanya Sousa is a published author of many magazine articles and several children’s picture books. Most recently, her environmental novel, The Starling God, made the short-list for the national “Green Earth Book Awards,” in the Young Adult Fiction category. www.RadiantHen.com www.forestrypress.com
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Woodchucks Don’t Chuck Wood M
Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
any people have the dream to one day live off the grid, power their homes with solar and wind, heat with renewable fuel like firewood, and of course raise their own food. These are all nice dreams, however, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Mother Nature is always throwing you a curve; from bad weather to predators killing your livestock. Some people have opted to live a vegan life style and thereby avoiding the predator problem. Enter the woodchuck. This hole-digging, greens munching rodent has ruined many a dream. You would think a fellow vegan would live in solidarity with your dream but no, they want it all for themselves. In the old days and in some of the more rural areas today this problem is solved with a .22 caliber rifle. Instead of the woodchuck eating their greens, they would eat the woodchuck with a side of greens. Woodchucks are true hibernators, emerging from their dens in the spring. Soon after, their young emerge to join in the feeding frenzy. They can have as many as five young “chucks.” Their holes are a little smaller than a soccer ball with a large pile of dirt in front. By late July the young are moving out to establish their own territory. The tunnels they dig can be as deep as 30 feet and cover a large area with numerous entrances. These can cause many hazards, such as undermining stone retaining walls and foundations. Also, holes in pastures can cause serious damage to a horse’s leg. When woodchucks go into hibernation deep in their dens, other animals like skunks and opossums tend to move into the upper sections creating their own problems. One of the first woodchuck calls I ever got was from a young lady living on a small farm in Vermont. A woodchuck and its family had taken up residence under this lady’s house and was totally destroying her garden. When I arrived I noticed she was wearing a tie dyed shirt and other “hippy regalia.” Assuming she was an animal lover I suggested using a live catch trap, to which she agreed. After a week of catching nothing the young woman asked if there was something else I could do. I told her I could use a kill trap which mounted over the hole and killed the woodchuck when it came out. She said kill it, kill them all! Which I did, solving the problem. What was funny was that she paid me with a check from the A.S.P.C.A. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). I still have a copy of the check hanging in my office. I have trapped hundreds of problem woodchucks over the past 30 plus years in the business, mostly for destroying gardens, but not one for chucking wood!
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Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough, old chicken named Henrietta. Spring 2016
Land Legacy We’ve Been Helping People Protect What’s Important for More Than 85 Years
Jessie Frazer Farnham - Windsor, VT
ver the last 85 years, Nationwide has grown from a small mutual auto insurer owned by policyholders to one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world. Early growth came from working together with Farm Bureaus that sponsored the company. Nine Farm Bureaus continue to promote Nationwide and provide discounts to members.
Land As Your Legacy® Transition plans offer farmers the opportunity to leave more than just money behind at death. They give them the chance to leave a legacy and to make the most of the gifts they pass to the next generation. Transition planning may seem like something only the wealthy need to worry about, but its really just a way to ensure that your home and other assets are distributed the way you want after you’re gone. Transition plans are especially important for farmers because many of your assets are tangible items such as land, livestock, or equipment which may be difficult to divide evenly among heirs or sell to help pay off taxes and expenses. Here are some real life examples:
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Many farm and ranch operations are family owned and operated. This makes succession planning critical to ensure that the next generation is able to continue the operation successfully. Let’s take a look at the Martins and see some planning options. George and Deborah own the farmland in an LLC and have a separate LLC for the operations side of the business. Tom is the only child of Deborah and George that currently works on the farm. Deborah and George desire for the farm to continue its success long into the future, even after they pass. For this to happen, they believe that Tom should have total ownership of the farming operation. They would like each nonactive child to receive a fair distribution of the estate. Let’s look at a possible solution Scenario: George predeceases Deborah Operations LLC: Tom will setup a one-way buy-sell agreement funded with a permanent life insurance policy on George for 100% of the LLC’s value. At the time of George’s death, Tom would use the life insurance proceeds to buy the shares of the LLC from George’s estate. Deborah could then use some or all of the funds that Tom has paid her for the LLC to have an income stream or to purchase an annuity or place the proceeds in a trust for the non-active children. Farmland LLC: To ensure Deborah is taken care of, Tom’s operations LLC would rent the farm ground from Deborah’s land LLC using a long-term lease, which will provide her with an income stream even in the absence of her husband. At the time of her death, Tom could then be gifted the land and have total control of the farm.
Ted and Barb own a 1200 acre farm worth $4,500,000. They have four children, Linda, Jenifer, Leo and Rich. The family just suffered a large loss with the passing of Ted. Ted’s biggest goal was to provide for his family, specifically his wife’s potential care needs, as Ted and Barb had recent deals with a family members care. Leo and Rich are concerned that the cost of long-term care could compromise the farms ability to remain viable, forcing the sale of acreage needed for production. Let’s look at a possible solution One potential solution to address this risk is to purchase a standalone long-term care policy with an indemnity style benefit, such as Nationwide YourLifeCareMattersSM. With average cost of daily care throughout the United States running roughly $249 per day ($90,885 per year), the need to protect the farmfrom this potential risk is critical. Barb, by repositioning $100,000 of her assets to pay the premium on a CareMatters policy will receive a long-term care benefit of $409,580. This will provide Barb a monthly benefit of $5,688 for six years. This will allow for Barb to be cared for by whoever she desires as well. Also, if Barb were to use all of the longterm care benefits her children would Continued NEXT PAGE
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still receive $27,305 as a guaranteed death benefit.Â This strategy allows the farm to remain intact under Leo and Richâ€™s ownership by protecting from the risk of longterm care cost. Not addressing this potential risk could make it difficult for Leo and Rich to keep the farm economically viable which may force the sale of some critical farm assets to pay for the cost of long-term care for Barb. Where do you start when it comes to planning the future of your farm or ranch? Start right here. Your first step is to talk about it with your family and a transition planning professional. Contact: Jessica Farnham @ 802-674-5506 Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, Nationwide is on your side and Land As Your Legacy are registered trademarks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ÂŠ2015 Nationwide.
The cases presented here are real and the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the parties. Federal tax laws are complex and subject to change. Neither the company nor its representatives give legal or tax advice. Please talk with your attorney or tax advisor for answers to your specific questions.
Why is My Cat Peeing Outside the Box? D
Serena Peeters, DVM
oes your cat have a bad habit of peeing in the potted plant or on your favorite chair? Cats have a way of marching to the beat of their own drum, and sometimes they take to peeing everywhere but their litter box. This is referred to as “Inappropriate Urination,” and it is one of the most common reasons cats are surrendered to shelters. If your cat has begun urinating outside the box there may be a behavioral or medical cause that can be addressed. Cats are notoriously picky, so if the litter box isn’t exactly to their specifications they may not use it. If your cats are peeing directly next to the box they may be trying to tell you that the box isn’t clean enough to meet their standards. In addition to daily cleanings, using a sandy or odorless litter that better mimics outdoor conditions may make the box more appealing to your cat. Cats are attracted back to places they have previously urinated based on odor, so if they pee outside the box make sure you clean the area very well to remove the smell. It may be helpful to obtain a special cleaner from your veterinarian or pet store that is specifically
designed to eliminate the odor of urine. Because nothing with cats is ever simple, many cats will also reject covered or self cleaning boxes so I recommend staying away from those options if you are having litter box troubles. Additionally, some cats will avoid boxes that include those nice mats designed to keep your feline friends from tracking litter all over the house. It’s also important to keep tabs on how many available boxes are present in the home. The recommended guide is n + 1 where n equals the number of cats you have. So for example, if you have two cats then you should have three litter boxes. It’s also necessary to distribute your boxes throughout the house because your cat will see several boxes in a row simply as one giant box, not three individual boxes. Sometimes, even if you have the litter boxes set up perfectly, your cats will still urinate elsewhere because they are upset with you. If you have recently been away on vacation or if there has been a lot of stressful activity going on in the home, you may notice your cat urinating on your bed or clothes. This is a behavioral problem and can sometimes be solved with the help of things like pheromone sprays and environmental enrichment. Providing your cat with various toys, things to climb on, and cozy hideaways helps to lower their stress levels and keep them occupied, which in turn makes them less likely to take their frustrations out on your new sheets. If you’ve already got a handle on the behavioral side of things it’s possible that your cat is experiencing a medical problem. There are several conditions which can affect urination in cats and cause them to be more likely to pee outside of their litter box. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a very common cause of inappropriate urination and cats are particularly likely to develop a UTI after a stressful event. This is because unlike humans, who tend to get GI upset secondary to stress, cats express stress through their bladder. This is another reason why environmental enrichment and monitoring stress levels is very important. If you notice your cat repeatedly climbing in and out of the box, straining to urinate, or peeing outside the litter box these can all be signs of a UTI. If your cat is straining to pee and nothing is coming out they may actually have a urinary blockage which is a medical emergency. Just like people, cats may develop bladder stones that are very irritating and affect Continued NEXT PAGE
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their urination habits. Additionally, if your kitty has kidney disease or diabetes this will not only predispose them to getting UTIs but also cause them to drink so much water that they canâ€™t help but pee all over the house. If your cat suddenly starts peeing all over the house, donâ€™t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Your vet will want to look at a urine sample to check for evidence of infection and they may also take an x-ray of the bladder to check for stones. UTIs are very treatable with antibiotics and some stones can be dissolved with special diets. If you have an older cat your veterinarian may also want to do some blood work to check for things like diabetes or kidney disease. Not only will your vet help diagnose and treat disease, they will also give you to the tools and guidance you need to get your kitty back to peeing in all the right places. Serena Peeters, DVM started working at Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital in Elkins, NH in 2014 shortly after graduating from Tufts. She decided at a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian despite never having any pets growing up. Serena lives with one cat who terrorizes the household. She enjoys writing, knitting, reading, kayaking and horseback riding in her free time. www.PleasantLakeVetHospital.com Spring 2016
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Crates: Not Just for House Breaking Anymore
Do you need help with your dog’s difficult behavior?
How crates can benefit your dog’s physical and emotional well being Paula Bergeron - Grafton, NH
t takes no time at all to understand where a client stands on the use of a crate. I listen to the language they use to describe it. If I hear “cage”, or “box” to name it, “lock” or “shut” for keeping it closed, or “force” or “make” to describe getting the dog to go in, I know I have my hands full helping them understand the benefits of a crate for their dog. A crate is an artificial den used by pet owners to house train their puppies. A dog does not want to sleep in their waste, so beginning house training follows a schedule where your puppy is in their crate when they are not supervised, eating, or playing out of doors. There are many “schedules” that can be followed for quick housebreaking, but the rule of thumb is that a puppy should be given the chance to go “outside” every two hours, when they wake up from a nap, 30 minutes after eating, after vigorous play and when they circle and sniff. Time between “outdoor” excursions is increased as the puppy ages. Once a puppy is house trained the majority of owners banish the crate, never to be seen again.
and company. Do Not place any bedding in the crate, if your dog or puppy chews or eats cloth, until they have outgrown this behavior. It is dangerous for dogs to chew and swallow cloth or stuffing from a dog bed.
The crate as safety device
Every dog is unique in how they handle excitement. Some dogs remain sedate, others wiggle, jump and run, still others begin to mouth, push and nip, some cannot tolerate excitement at all. These dogs become fearful and defensive using a growl, showing teeth or a snap to warn others to slow down or back off. Training can help your dog tolerate excitement but a crate ensures safety for everyone. Use the crate when you have a group of Continued Next Page
A crate used properly, mimics a wild den
Place a blanket over the top in winter, and a sheet in summer to block out bright light. If your dog is not a chewer… put a soft bed and blanket inside so they can make a “nest.” Set up the crate in a quiet place in your home where your dog can seek refuge from stress. The crate will provide your dog with physical comfort and safety and can lower anxiety and unwanted behaviors that accompany stress.
The crate as comfort
The crate as a space for calm is a wonderful stress reliever for your dog. Use the crate when children are playing loudly (for the dog… not the children) , when guests come, or if loud noises such as construction, tree trimming or other activities bother your dog. The crate will give quiet sanctuary. Add wonderful calming scents such as a spray of lavender oil diluted with water under their bedding or items that have been rubbed against litter-mates or their canine mother. Unwashed clothing from their human family give your dog a sense of comfort Spring 2016
Kathy Fretz has eight new friends.
children come visit, a rambunctious dog comes over, and especially if you have guests in the house who are fearful of dogs. If your dog already understands that a crate is the place for rest and calm, they will not feel put out when asked to go in when company comes, they may feel relieved not to have to deal with all the commotion.
More than one dog in the house? Have a crate for each dog. Keep guarding and dog fights at bay by keeping high value items such as their bones in their respective crates. Feeding your dog in the crate creates a safe place for eating, alleviating the need to gulp their food to keep it out of “harms way” from their brother of sister. Having your dog contained after meals for 30 – 50 minutes will also aide in digestion, and can help prevent Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) the second leading cause of death in dogs.
The crate as a tool for emotional well being
In their life time they will need to visit the vet, a groomer, or a kennel. For all of these a dog will need to use a crate. Imagine the stress of being ill, needing a bath or nails trimmed, or being away from home with many new dogs, add to that being confined in a brand new contraption with new and startling noises. Or, instead having everything be unfamiliar, your dog is provided with a well known den they have used every day, with an article of scent from home. The crate becomes a piece of the known rather than a part of the new and startling. Your dog will find great comfort in the familiar and be able to cope and be less stressed. Used properly, your companion can benefit from having a crate in their life. Look to the summer edition of 4 Legs and a Tail for “How to Train Your Dog to Love His Crate”.
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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.GoodDogma.com Spring 2016
Canine Point of View
Michelle Grimes Dear Canine Point of View, I recently adopted a very sweet, young adult dog named Bowie. I am helping him acclimate by maintaining daily structure and routine. He has become quite comfortable with me but sometimes acts afraid of things that aren’t scary. I’m enjoying our new relationship but want him to know he doesn’t have to be afraid of everything. What else can I do to help him adjust? Thank-you, Bowies’ Mom - Jennifer Harmen, Tunbridge, VT
Hi Jennifer, Congratulations on your new family member. When faced with an anxious, fearful or shy pup, it can be challenging to help them feel comfortable and relaxed. Fortunately there are things you can put into practice now, to help build a relationship based on positivity and trust. Look at situations from Bowie’s point of view. You state he is sometimes afraid of things that aren’t scary. I often hear this statement and remind owners, this is a subjective observation. There is in fact an underlying reason for the fearful reaction displayed. Willingness to understand how dogs learn (starting with the extremely critical socialization period that begins at just a few weeks of age1) will enable you to offer support in the most successful way. Be observant. Proficiency in reading Bowie’s body language will allow you to monitor his state of mind. Recognizing subtle stress signals provides you with valuable information, in turn giving you an opportunity to provide the most appropriate response for that particular situation. Lip licking, turning away and yawning out of context are a few minute gestures indicative of stress. Allow Bowie to make decisions. Never force Bowie to confront the trigger in a way that is overwhelming. Coaxing him to engage in something just because it doesn’t appear scary to you could potentially be harmful to your relationship. Forcing a dog to do something they don’t want to do will not make them any less scared. In fact, you could make things worse and loose his trust. In human terms, would you like being pushed or pulled towards something you fear just because your friend says it’s going to be ok? I didn’t think so. Telling me I have nothing to be afraid of while we walk through the dark woods will do nothing to comfort my insecurities at that moment. Desensitization and Counter Conditioning. By using these two techniques, we can often modify behavior in animals. Desensitization involves slowly exposing the animal to the situation, with very low intensity; so low that it does not result in the undesired behavior or reaction. Counter conditioning means conditioning (training) the animal to display a behavior that is counter Continued Next Page 1 www.dogstardaily.com/training/puppy-personality-development
to (mutually exclusive of) an unacceptable behavior in response to a particular stimulus. Combined, these techniques offer a way for the animal to gradually be taught acceptable behavior in the face of a stimulus (event that provokes a specific reaction) that used to elicit problem behavior. Consequently, these techniques must be implemented systematically with thought and planning. If the incremental increases are too large, or occur too quickly, the techniques will either not be effective, or may even make the problem worse. Classical Conditioning. If you are familiar with Bowie’s specific triggers, classical conditioning (pairing the scary thing with something Bowie really loves) might be beneficial. High value food / treats such as hot dog, cheese pieces or deli ends work well as the paring reward. The reward should be something novel, small and easily ingested. Leave the dry milk bones for less significant treat times. For example, if Bowie fears people, Classical Conditioning would mean that every time you pass a stranger, he gets a steady stream of hot dog bits until the person has passed. We want to condition an emotional response so that he will automatically have a good feeling when seeing a new person. Foundation Behaviors. Fancy training isn’t necessary to build confidence. Teaching Bowie basic commands can instill confidence by providing predictability. By asking for simple behaviors, such as “sit” or “stay” and rewarding for the appropriate response, Bowie stays in an active thinking mode versus a reactive instinctual mode. Because dogs learn by association, behaviors previously rewarded (from their point of view, not ours) will be repeated. Keeping him in an active thinking state with training exercises he is favorably rewarded for, instills confidence. These suggestions along with maintaining the structure and routine you’ve already started will help keep you moving in the right direction. I encourage you to look into group training classes as well as visiting the webpage for the link provided. Seeking out scientific based canine behavior information will assist you in becoming a supportive and empowering canine guardian. Bowie is a lucky dog for sure. www.dogstardaily.com/training/ puppy-personality-development
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Michelle Grimes CPDT-KA, of K9 Insights is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant specializing in Positive Reinforcement Training for all breeds. She has been in the animal welfare field for over 13 year and is a full time Emergency & Critical Care Veterinary Nurse Technician at SAVES in Lebanon. Michelle@k9insights. com or www.k9insights.com Spring 2016
Paddock Partners Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill
Dear Heidi I have a horse in my backyard and I am starting to think about ways that I can help my kids learn to ride. I don’t want to have them do riding lessons every week because I am also a rider and I can help them, I just don’t know where to start. Beth, Grafton, NH Dear Beth Thank you for your question! I completely understand! So much comes naturally once you have been around horses, but the educational part is so important. The last thing anyone needs in their busy life is yet another weekly commitment. My suggestion is to find some summer camp programs and start interviewing the owners. Find out about their certification, and the discipline they are trained in. Very important to keep in mind, is what sort of training did the trainers have? Horses are an interesting topic, and one that has a lot of science behind it for many reasons. Some of the older practices have gone by the wayside as science has proven them not to be optimal. You want to find a place that is current and has educated leaders with credentials. Then ask for a tour. See if you feel like the environment is good for your kids. Right now it is hard to imagine a tour as all of our farms are in winter mode, and imagining the joys of summer camp may seem a big leap. But you can tell if there is room for fun horse related activities, how many horses do they have to teach with, what is the trainer-to-student ratio, do they have a safe place to eat and stay out of the sun? What is the schedule like? How often do they ride? Some summer camps are a really fun place to hang out and take care of horses, others are more based on learning how to ride, and others blend the two. What other activities do they offer? Is there a well rounded approach to horses, and how humans have to be healthy and fit to be around horses? How will the kids cool off on those hot days? For your situation I would strongly consider a program that has at least one riding lesson, not just ride, but lesson per day. It needs to have practical experience, but not necessarily each kid caring for their own horse, yours can do that at home. If they can get some knowledge of tack and its care, feeding, basic health, and most importantly of all, Safety around the horses, you have found a well rounded program. If they are doing arts and crafts all day that may not be your destination, or if they are only going out Spring 2016
for trail rides. Think about what you want to have your kids come home with and then find the program that suits! I think you will find that this area has programs to suit everyone in different ways. Good Luck! Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill is the owner of First Choice Riding Academy in Enfield, NH. She is a graduate of Westmoreland Davis International Equestrian Institute, as well as UNH. Although Heidi’s passion is teaching and training she is also an L-Graduate with distinction. Heidi incorporates cavaletti and jumping in every horse/rider’s training plans. www.firstchoiceridingacademy.com
Can Fluffy and Fido Fetch You Savings on Your Tax Bill? I
Sara Blackmore, CPA
’m a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady” and do my fair share of refer ring to my kitties as my babies. While there’s no doubt that most of our four-legged, furry friends are dependent on us for their basic needs, when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service, claiming your pet as a dependent doesn’t fly. Exemptions for dependents aren’t the only way to reduce your taxable income, though, and there are a few ways your pets may be able to provide some tax savings. Service Animals – If you or one of your dependents require a service animal, such as a seeing-eye dog or therapy animal, the expenses of buying, training, and maintaining that animal are qualified medical expenses eligible for a deduction. However, you’ll have to clear certain thresholds (medical expenses in excess of 10% of adjusted gross income from those under age 65) to claim the deduction. Moving Expenses – While we consider our pets family, the IRS takes the view that they are personal property. As harsh as that may sound, the upside is that the costs of moving your furry friends when relocating your human family may be tax deductible. If your moving costs qualify for the moving expense deduction, you can include the costs of relocating your pets, too. Pet Rescue Programs – Many animal shelters are nonprofit organizations. If you volunteer with such an organization to provide a pet foster home, some of your expenses for doing so, such as pet food, vet bills, and supplies, may qualify as charitable contributions. In a 2011 case, the U.S. Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer and allowed her deduction of $12,068 in expenses she incurred while caring for feral cats at her home. You can also claim a write-off for vehicle mileage driven while providing services to a charitable organization at the rate of $0.19 per mile. Professional Pets – Some activities involving pets and animals are actual businesses. If you’re showing or breeding dogs, racing horses, raising agricultural animals, or engaging in other similar activities with a profit motive, your expenses incurred in doing so are likely deductible. Even if you engage in these types of activities as a hobby, your expenses may still be eligible for a deduction, although they are treated as an itemized deduction and are subject to certain limits. Continued Next Page
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If you think your pet-related expenses might be eligible for a tax deduction, I encourage you to consult with your favorite tax professional before writing them off, as most deductions require specific documentation and are subject to various thresholds and limits. Sara (Hoehn) Blackmore is originally from Hartford, VT. She is a graduate of the University of Maine with a Masters in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a Senior Accountant with ATKG, LLP and resides in San Antonio.
How to Install a Dog Door In. Out. Repeat. Sound familiar?
Stop playing doorman for your pets with this guide to installing a pet door in your home. Start Outside The first and most important step in determining whether a pet door is right for your home is to consider what issues might come from your pet’s new-found freedom. For instance, does your dog or cat have a tendency to run away? Or, do you live on a busy street? Will your neighbors mind if your pet is outside unattended? Keep all of these things in mind before installing a free pass to the outdoors. Installing a pet door may require first putting up a fence around your yard to ensure your pet’s safety. Whether you opt for a physical fence or an invisible one, a barrier will give you piece of mind that your furry friend won’t get lost or hurt when outdoors. Choose the Right Door After you’ve addressed your pet’s outdoor safety, you’ll need to determine the kind of pet door that is right for your home. Just as there are many things to consider when choosing a front door for your home, there are plenty of elements to consider when selecting a pet door. A pet door can be installed in the wall, storm or screen door, garage door or sliding glass door. Cost of installation and complexity of the project varies with each option, storm door installation being the most cost-effective. Before making your pet door selection, you’ll need to take your pet’s measurements. Consider that your pet will duck his head when entering and exiting, so you’ll want to find a door that is slightly taller than your pet’s shoulder height and at least two inches wider than his body. Creating a mock door out of cardboard is an easy way to test your measurements. Ready to install? Hire a professional, or follow a step-by-step guide from your local home improvement store. Consider Resale While 62 percent of American households included at least one pet in 2012, according to the Humane Society, some may not be ready to commit to a permanent pet door for resale purposes. If a temporary option is best for your home, consider opting to install the pet door in your storm door or screen door, so it can easily be removed or replaced should you decide you no longer need it. 52 4 Legs & a Tail
Traditional Chinese Food Therapy Mona Rooney, DVM
“Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” - Hippocrates
hinese food therapy is one of the three main branches of traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. The other branches are acupuncture and herbal medicine. The history of Chinese food therapy traces to 700 B.C. A quote by Sun Si Miao, a 7th century practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, describes the primary role of nutrition in treating disease. “Dietary therapy should be the first step when treating disease. Only when this is unsuccessful should one try medicine.” Chinese food therapy, acupuncture, and herbal medicine all follow the same principles. Health is defined as a balance between the two opposite but integrated energy forces, Yin and Yang. The energy field between Yin and Yang gave rise to the Qi energy force. Qi is the life force and food is a primary renewable source of Qi energy. Unlike western nutritional therapy that classifies food based on its nutrient content (i.e. carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and trace minerals), Chinese food Qi energetics are defined by the 4 criteria of foods.
nize and stabilize the body. Examples are honey, rice, and potatoes. Cold/cool “Yin” foods: supplement body fluid and blood, clear heat, help treat dry mucous membranes, and treat night sweats. Examples include watermelon, dairy products, yogurt, and wheat. Preventative nutrition focuses primarily on the thermal nature of food whereas therapeutic nutrition to address illness is based on a consideration of all four properties of food. This necessitates an accurate traditional Chinese veterinary medical diagnosis by a qualified practitioner. Food therapy is often combined with herbal medicine and acupuncture for optimal results. Dr. Rooney received her undergraduate degree from UNH. With a BS in Animal Science/ Preveterinary Medicine, she attended Cornell and completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1984. For more information visit www. AnimalAcupunctureAndHerbs.com
1. Thermal Energy
a. Hot/warm = Yang b. Neutral c. Cold/cool = Yin
a. Sweet, acrid, sour, bitter, salty
3. Organ network affected
a. Spleen, stomach, lung, large intestine, kidney, bladder, liver, gall bladder, heart, and small intestine
4. Direction of movement of Qi energy a. Upward, downward, inward, outward
Although a detailed explanation of Chinese food therapy is beyond the scope of this article, the following examples demonstrate how the thermal natures of foods are used to treat varying conditions. Hot/warm “Yang” foods: increase Yang and Qi energy, warm the interior of the body, eliminate cold, and help to treat exhaustion, lethargy, and poor appetite. Examples include ginger, cinnamon, lamb, and chicken. Neutral foods: build Qi energy and body fluids as well as helping to harmoSpring 2016
A New Technique for Extracting Lower Jaw Canine Teeth or
What I learned at the 2015 Veterinary Dental Forum Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS - Windsor, VT
very year, starting in 2006, I have attended the Veterinary Dental Forum, a three day long conference of lectures and laboratories on veterinary dentistry. What fun!! Last year there were 1,000 veterinarians in attendance. There are 6 different lectures going on all day, 2 half-day labs for learning new skills in a hands-on way, and a hall full of vendors plying their wares. And everyone is talking about dentistry. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions, learn new things, and buy new equipment at a (slightly) discounted price. Every year I learn something that helps me do a better job as a veterinary dentist. This past November I was doing a lab in extracting broken root tips. Some teeth have long but thin roots and it can be a challenge to extract the tooth without breaking the root. Sometimes breakage is inevitable if the tooth has loss of structure. During the lab one of the instructors casually mentioned a new technique for extracting the lower canine tooth that would lessen the possibility of fracturing the jaw during the extraction. Why would the jaw fracture? The lower canine tooth is a long and large tooth that is set inside a long, narrow bone. A tooth is attached to the jaw by a ligament (called the periodontal ligament) which goes from the surface of the root to the bone of the tooth socket. In a healthy tooth this ligament is 3600 around the root and goes from the top to the bottom of the root. In order to break down the ligament the tooth socket is opened on one side by removing bone and a tooth elevator is used to rotate the tooth around the long axis. The tooth is also tilted by this procedure. Only after the periodontal ligament is broken down can the tooth be extracted. Imagine a see-saw. The further an object sits on the board from the middle, the further that object will travel as the board tilts. If the tooth is the board and the elevator is causing the tooth to tilt around its middle, then the end of the root can push on the surrounding bone and break it. Yet some tilt is necessary. The problem is how to get the periodontal ligament to break down all the way to the bottom of the root without breaking the jaw. This cat had previously fractured the jaw down the middle of the jaw (green arrow). The fracture had healed but the jaw was crooked. The lower left canine tooth was preventing the cat from closing her jaw and she was brought to me to extract the tooth. The canine tooth is quite a long and large tooth and it is in a fairly narrow channel of bone. As the elevator is placed along the tooth and starts to tilt it outwards (yellow arrow), the other end of the tooth swings in the opposite direction and pushes against a very narrow bit of bone (red arrow). Even if one is very careful it is possible to fracture the jaw at this point, and if the bone is diseased and soft it then becomes more likely to fracture. So, what to do? Shorten the length of the tooth and then use the techniques for extracting broken root tips to remove the root. The tooth is going to be shortened twice. The crown (top of the tooth) actually can get in the way of the elevator, forcing larger movements. So the first thing is to cut off the crown of the tooth. Then a “moat” is drilled around the top of the cut end with a very small bur (1/4 round). This creates a space for the elevator. The root is then elevated just enough to allow it to be cut across again leaving the bottom half. Another “moat” is drilled around it and the last bit of root can be elevated with very small movements. Continued Next Page 54 4 Legs & a Tail
1. The gum is cut and lifted (elevated) off 2. Bone is then removed from the side of of the bone. the tooth, revealing the root of the tooth.
3. The crown of the tooth is cut off.
4. A “moat” is made around the top of the 5. An elevator is placed next to the root to root with a 1/4 round carbide bur lift it slightly away from the bone.
6. The top half of the root is cut across to shorten the length of the root.
7. The top section of the root is removed.
8. A “moat” is drilled around the bottom 9. An elevator is placed next to the root to piece of root. lift it away from the bone. Before and after x-rays to show the jaw was intact after the extraction.
10. The root socket after all of the tooth has been extracted. A normal cat canine tooth is shown on the left, the actual tooth that was cut into three sections as outlined in this article is shown on the right. I have used this technique successfully on dogs and cats. Small dogs and cats are at risk for jaw fracture. On a big dog the lower canine teeth can be very difficult to elevate due to their large size. This technique makes the job much easier, faster and less traumatic to both the dentist and the pet. 11. The gum is sutured back in place with dissolvable suture material. Spring 2016
Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services. www.4LegsAndATail.com 55
The Confusing World of Pet Parasite Prevention M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM - Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
pring is almost here (really!) and with it comes parasites of all sorts that can infect your pet. Most dog and cat owners understand the importance of keeping their pets safe from parasites such as heartworms, intestinal worms, fleas, and ticks. However, pet owners are now being flooded with ads for generic products and these new brands are creating confusion. In addition, some of the other, better known products have disappeared leaving everyone even more confused. Exactly what parasite control products should you be using for your pets? Uncertainty among pet owners about which products to use and economic factors are fueling the confusion. Generic heartworm preventives can now be found in many human pharmacies and online pet pharmacies are offering six to ten different medications to the public. Frankly, it is hard for a pet owner to know which is best for their pet! Some of these medications are also effective against intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. A few of
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these preventives are also now using compounds to treat tapeworms in addition to the other parasites. It’s even possible to get heartworm preventive that also includes a means to help control fleas!! There are collars, topical, oral medications, and powders available online for flea and tick prevention, too. Products on the internet may be less expensive, but it is so important for you not to fall for advice in online forums, that recommend odd-ball alternative methods of protecting your pets against any parasite. These sites often misinterpret data or are actively promoting products that have not gone through proper testing and safety research. Remember, the internet is not policed for accuracy: anyone can make a claim, whether it is true or not. Some of these parasites can be fatal to your pet, you don’t want to trust an unproven or possibly fraudulent preventative. There have been instances of fraudulent products sold online under brand names that you trust, and for this reason the drug companies will not stand by their guarantees of efficacy if their product has been purchased online. In addition some products for dogs can be fatal to cats. Veterinarians follow these trends every year. They couple this information with their understanding of the parasites’ life cycles, knowledge of your pet’s specific medical conditions, the reputation of the drug manufacturers and your region of the country. Certain parasites are less common in some areas of the country and your pet’s risk factors vary quite a bit. These risk factors also include exposure to parasites through trips to dog parks, hiking or camping, interstate travel or even the presence of other animals in the household. Veterinarians are best equipped to help you understand exactly which product provides the best parasite protection for your pet and your family. This is an area of pet care where we have made great advances, but bad advice and a confusing market have created unnecessary risks and vulnerabilities. Trust your pet’s healthcare advice to your family veterinarian and team. They know your pets’ health status, lifestyle, and risk of various parasites and are in the best position to give accurate advice. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of more than 330 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.vtvets.org or call (802) 878-6888. Spring 2016
Benedict Jim Mayor - Orleans, VT
enedict was welcomed into our household three years ago, when he was about nine, after an intermediate stop at Frontier Animal Society in Orleans, Vermont. Presumably, his previous home had acquired a new baby and, for whatever reason, they felt a dog was no longer welcome. Ironically, many years ago when our first child was born, we had nine dogs and three cats. This undemanding and seriously sweet pug was welcomed with open arms into our current household. As far as we can ascertain there has never been an aggressive thought in Benedict’s mind. The closest thing to a demand has been his desire for sleeptime, preferably near another warm body, even better if it was human. He did have one quirk, an inclination to scratch his ears. Assuming it was an allergy, we have avoided the four most common allergens in dogs – wheat, beef, corn, chicken – and that pretty much has solved the problem. Therefore he not only has different food, but special treats. Thankfully, today these are easy to obtain and not expensive. Soon after Benedict joined us, he developed corneal ulcers. Visits to our friend, Dr. Hoy the ophthalmologist with Vermont Veterinary Eye Care at Peak Veterinary Referral Center in Williston, Vermont, resulted in several eye medications. Unfortunately, both eyes were also developing cataracts and he was not a candidate for cataract surgery. Eventually, Dr. Hoy removed one of his eyes and performed a corneal graft on the other. The vision in his remaining eye is essentially zero, but that does not dampen Benedict’s spirits. You can enjoy all of those heart-warming Internet videos of companion animals caring for blind comrades, but none of our companions seem to be moved in the slightest by Benedict’s disability. Even-tempered Ranger will occasionally go so far as to growl menacingly, when Benedict gets close to invading Ranger’s personal space. Exuberant Teddy has been known to knock larger Benedict aside in his rush to go somewhere or other, as if a fraction of a second had real meaning. Dr. Hoy had warned us of the pugs’ propensity for eye problems. We feel that Nature has compensated for that by giving them hard heads, because wherever he goes he lowers his head and charges. Well, maybe not exactly “charges,” more like “intrepidly marches.” Although Continued Next Page
his perception of obstacles does not appear to be strong, one “thunk” and he alters course. He has adapted to our outdoor environment well, but we did put up a small fence to limit his roaming to relatively clear areas, but the fence does not limit larger Ranger and more agile Teddy. He has developed an aptitude, possibly assisted by some limited vision, for locating the ramp back into the house, a skill particularly useful at night. As far as we can tell Benedict has three favorite things in life – eating, sleeping, and cuddling. Eating, of course, is always joyously anticipated. Thankfully, his “I’m hungry” vocalization is more like a whine. His ear-piercing bark is limited to the occasional delays in his food preparation, but as soon as he gets his eye medication he knows that food is on the way and is patient and quiet. Sleeping on his favorite chair is always a joy to watch. No amount of extraneous noise disturbs him, making us wonder about his hearing, which has never been sharp. His, typicallypug breathing noises, most noticeable while he sleeps, eats, or scrounges for a potential smidgeon of an eatable, are mellifluBenedict catching up on some Zzzzs. ous and lovely. Speaking of his favorite chair, his lack of vision has never impaired his ability to locate and get up onto it, or the sofa, for that matter. No matter who is sitting on the sofa or his favorite chair that is the place he wants to be most of all. As soon as he feels he is next to a human he snuggles down and instantly falls asleep. His sleep is always accompanied by those precious grunts and snorts and snuffles. And it’s nice to know that if you have to get up for any reason, he will be there when you return, exactly as you left him. What a shame it would be for any human baby (or human adult) to grow up missing this!
YOU’RE MY HERO ROCKY! Mariann Hayes - New London, NH
few nights ago I was lounging in my reclin er not feeling so well. My boyfriend had made pizza a few moments before, and put it on top of the stove. I got up thinking I wanted some, but I thought again and figured my stomach wouldn’t handle that very well. I decided to have some cooked carrots instead. So I got the pot of water, tossed the carrots in, and turned the burner on. Then I went into the bathroom, got some lotion for my hands, and began rubbing it in. I heard one of three distinct barks from my ‘lil buddy Rocky. It was his” come help me” bark. My boyfriend was in with him, I thought, “What’s he barking at? What does he need? Something is up.” He continued and I told him “Stop!” a few times. He kept barking, so I went out to see for myself. He was in the entry of the kitchen and the whole house was filled with smoke. I yelled out to my boyfriend and grabbed a wet towel, throwing it on top of the burning pizza. The flames were about a foot high. At that moment I realized that I had turned on the wrong burner. If Rocky hadn’t alerted me with his “help me” bark, I would never have known what was going on in time to put the fire out. Rocky is my sidekick he never leaves me, and now I know he is my guardian angel too. Guardian Angel, best friend and sidekick. He is a 10lb rat terrier. Anyone who thinks small dogs are not “real” dogs ought to meet Rocky. His heart and loyalty make him as big as a lion.
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"Dr." Jordan, a Therapy Dog of Vermont plays ball with young patient.
Play With Me L
ily, her half-sister Jordan, and I were on duty in the old Emergency Room of Fletcher Allen Health Care. A nurse who knew us well welcomed us and asked if we would help her with a patient. These are words I love to hear. Then she said “He is in X-ray right now and I’ll bring him over after we know the damage.” Soon thereafter, I could hear him coming. The little fellow had lost the end of the fingers in a car door accident. The nurse was holding him up by his injured hand. He was screaming, kicking, hot, and sweaty. As she brought him around a corner, he saw my two German Shepherds looking straight at him. Lily had a small Frisbee in her mouth and Jordan was holding a tennis ball. Both were dressed in hospital scrubs, with stethoscopes, pagers, and FAHC photo ID badges identifying them as Dr. Lily and Dr. Jordan. As the boy saw them, he immediately stopped screaming and stared intently at the two dogs in costume. Jordan placed her tennis ball at her feet and kicked it to the little boy. It was a trick she loved to do to get people to play with her. The boy watched the ball roll slowly to his feet and I dropped to my knees and asked, “Will you play with my dog?” The boy, taken completely by surprise by the unexpected visitors, slowly reached down and pushed the ball back to Jordan. The dog picked up the ball, chewed it a few times, put it on the floor again, and kicked it back to the boy. During their little game, the nurse and her assistant sewed up the boy’s injured fingers. The nurse thanked me saying that she had no idea how she was going to stitch up the boy until we came along. This photo was taken later in the waiting room. Spring 2016
Now That You’ve Adopted a Puppy: The Beginning of Your New Together-Adventures!
By Mike Eigenbrode - West Lebanon Feed & Supply
o you finally decided to make the leap and you’ve adopted an adorable little puppy! Driving away from the shelter, you look back at your new furry family member in the backseat and the cuteness is more than palpable. A friend has lent you a proper crate for your new best friend, but what else do you need? What’s the next step? New puppy ownership can be both an exciting and stressful time. Your
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local feed supply and pet store is here to support you during this time of transition with your adorable new addition to the family and help you experience the joys and rewards of life with your new fourlegged loved one. First, you’ll want to focus on keeping your furry friend safe and under control as he or she experiences this new world around them. Perhaps the most impor-
tant thing you can teach your new pet is to “come” when you call. Proper recall training is the best way to avoid the dangers and hazards that will attract your puppy like a magnet; you need to ensure that when you call them away from a busy street or a dangerous situation, they will listen. Your puppy will be naturally curious, but having your puppy run amok shouldn’t be an option, so finding a collar and leash that serves your needs and represents your new puppy’s style is important. In addition, you may want to consider adding a harness or a “no-pull” option, which can be extremely helpful in training. The best way to fit a new pet is to bring them into our store and we will spend some time sizing and fitting your puppy. We will even provide a FREE engraved name tag for your newly-adopted pet, which is so important for them to wear in the event that they do wander off or get lost. Just like you, we take the safety, health, and well-being of your new four-legged loved one to heart. What about finding the right food? Let’s be honest, there are a lot of options out there and it can be challenging to know where to begin in providing proper nutrition for your pet. Most pet food brands offer “puppy” and “large breed puppy” diets, which are specifically formulated to provide the correct nutrition for your growing best friend. When it comes to your pet’s health, it’s important that you buy from a location that you can trust and feel comfortable with; sound nutritional advice early on can help you avoid certain dietary challenges or bad eating habits down the road. Finding a quality food that doesn’t use dyes, fillers, or low-grade ingredients during the early stages of development will help to ensure that your pet stays healthy and active for many years to come. At this stage, as you’re heading home from the shelter, there are probably quite a few things that haven’t even crossed your mind yet when it comes to caring for your new four-legged friend. From what treats and toys work best, to bedding options, dental health, flea/tick protection, housebreaking and training supplies, and a variety of others, there are certainly a lot of things to consider. Keep in mind that this whole transition with your new pet is meant to be enjoyable for both of you, so try not to stress too much and just take things one step at a time. At West Lebanon Feed & Supply, they’re here to help you every step of the way and we can walk you through those decisions and provide ongoing support as you start this adventure with your new pet! When you feel the time is right, they will encourage you to bring your growing puppy into the store to say hello and socialize.As so many of our customers tell them, a visit to WLFS is their dog’s favorite outing! Spring 2016
4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What 5 Things Are Different?
Rabbit Ears, Dog’s Ear, Dog’s Foot, Coloring on Dogs Muzzel, Green Egg Missing
Inside 4 Legs & a Tail W J Y M R S V O X X O E B L E
V O A H I R A V I E V N L K C
Y E O N V O Q I F T H Z A Y U
F U Q D E J P N Y I M O C W T
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A man in a movie theater notices what looks like a chicken sitting next to him. “Are you a chicken?” asked the man, surprised. “Yes.” “What are you doing at the movies?” The chicken replied, “Well, I liked the book.” source: http://jokes4us.com/animaljokes/chickenjokes.html
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