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Dog Days of Summer 2017 Northern VT & NH

Meet the Cat Detective How Old is Your Pet? The Ultimate Equine Vacation Hot Dog! Those Pesty Burdocks

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail


2. It’s Back! The Vermont Dog Festival

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Mark your calendar for September 23 and grab the leash

2. The Green Mountain & Woodstock Dog Club Heat Up the Summer Competition 3. No Creature Left Behind: GMAD’s Quest to Protect All Animals, Brooke Berard

Why we chose this volunteer organization

4. A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World, Jessica Stewart Riley

The ultimate fieldtrip to Lexington Kentucky

6. Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: Heat Dangers for Our Pet, M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

Heatstroke could be the most preventable trip to your veterinarian

7. Alternatively Speaking: A Modern Twist on Ancient Feeding Wisdom, Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA Pg. 14

10. How Old is Your Pet? Find out the real way to determine

your pet's age in human years

12. Oh Those Creaky Joints! Three key ingredients to improved canine mobility 14. Toys-Toys-Toys, DJ Nelson

Summer is a great time to check your pet’s toys

15. Canine Quirks, Pat Rauch

Pets! They can be more entertaining than this summer’s blockbuster movie

16. Skin Disease From a Fractured Tooth, Sandra Waugh, DVM,MS

When one cat's misadventure went from bad to worse

17. Burdocks! What to do when your pet tangles with those “nasties” 18. Cookouts, Food & Pet Safety Do’s and don’ts this summer 20. Compounding Pet Prescriptions Look local the next time you need pet meds 21. Setting a New Paradigm – Eden Ethical Dog Sledding Promotes Joyful Lives for All Sled Dogs!, Deborah E. Blair, M.S., Ph.D. 23. An Introduction to Therapy Dogs, Deb Helfrich 25. Kaiser, Tim Hoehn

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A fitting farewell to one of South Burlington’s finest

27. A Stray Cat's Best Friend, Colin Butcher

Meet Molly, the cat detective

26. Three Sweet Dog Stories, Kate Kelly 28. Intimate Things Romance can bloom in the most unexpected places 28. Where’s the Smell?, Priscilla Daggett

Mia the Cat “nose” a good thing or two

4 Legs & a Tail Volume N.217 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 Summer 2017

Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis Kerry Rowland Sales: Scott Palzer

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

Vermont Dog Festival I t’s Back! The Vermont Dog Festival Dog owners, lovers, and enthusiasts, from all over Vermont, neighboring states and Quebec are invited to join us at the 2nd Annual Vermont Dog Festival! Our 2nd Annual Vermont Dog Festival will be held on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, at 3380 Berkshire Center Road, Enosburg Falls, VT, home for The Bed and Biscuit, Boarding and Daycare facility, from 10am to 5pm. We will have Games, such as our Fastest Dog Contest, food, live music, a marketplace of Vendors, spectator events like Disc Dog Demos, and much more! This is a fun-filled, educational event; all of the profits from the event will be donated to non-profit organizations that are doing great things to benefit our canine companions! The entry fee is $10 per person; persons under the age of 12 get in free! This gets you into the event, where you can shop for many items for your best friend, get information on many topics such as nutrition, training, and more. You can enter your dog in any of our fun games such as our ‘ice cream eating contest’ or our famous ‘Fastest Dog Contest’, at no extra charge to you. There will also be shows such as Disc Dog Demonstrations, and more! Our event is structured around educating people on everything canine, so they better understand their dog, and its needs! We want to show people all of the awesome, fun things they can do with their dogs! We also wanted to give back to the people helping animals in need on a regular basis, so we donate all of the profits of our event to the non-profit organizations making a difference! We encourage all rescues attending to bring adoptable dogs with them, who knows, they may just find their fur-ever family! Join us for the 2nd Annual Vermont Dog Festival with the whole family, which includes friendly, leashed dogs! You won’t be disappointed! For more information visit

Many had fun bobbing for weiners

The fastest dog competition was a big hit

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Four Days of Four Days of VT VT Dog Dog Shows Shows Green Mountain Dog Club & Woodstock Dog Club Conformation Judging Obedience & Rally Thurs, July 13 Thru Sun, July 16 Ice Cream Socials Thur/Fri

Tunbridge Fairgrounds BBQ & Live Music Saturday

For Special Events & Directions See:

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his year, the Green Mountain Dog Club will hold its 72nd & 73rd Annual Dog Show on Saturday and Sunday, July 15th & 16th at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. The Woodstock Dog Club will be holding its annual show at the same location on Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th. Farmer Elisha Lougee held the first Tunbridge World’s Fair in 1867 as a way to determine who owned the fastest horse or the best-looking cow. In keeping with determining the “best,” we will have Best in Show all four days. Woodstock Dog Club and Green Mountain Dog Club are honored to hold our VERMONT SCENIC CIRCUIT - Four Days of Dog Shows at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. We expect approximately 1000 entries and over 100 breeds. With Exhibitors coming from over 35 states and Canada, a long weekend of Dog Shows can bring in over $450,000 to the area. There will be Conformation Classes with Best in Show, Companion Events, Obedience & Rally for both purebred and mixed breed dogs all four days. There will be Best Puppy & Best Veteran, Dog Show Tours, Ice Cream Socials on Thursday and Friday during group judging and Best in Show. There will be a BBQ, a Beer Tent, and Live Music on Saturday. Call Mary at 479-9843 or see us on Facebook at or go to for more information. The Green Mountain Dog Club is a non-profit organization serving the Central Vermont area. In addition to hosting the annual Dog Show, GMDC holds many activities to promote responsible dog ownership. Some of the other events that are sponsored by the Club are: Sanctioned AKC Matches; Obedience and Handling Classes; and educational programs. Many of our members and their canine partners show as well as do agility, rally, and hunt. We have a few therapy dogs as well. Membership meetings are held the 4th Thursday of every month and guests are always welcome. Four Days of Dog Shows • July 13th-16th • Tunbridge Fairgrounds • 8am-6pm

Caulder Ripley of Duxbury is the president of GMDC. Caulder has had experience breeding and showing Siberian Huskies. Caulder also holds regular Handling classes to prepare owners and their dogs for the art of showing. Dave Jones of Waitsfield is the chairman for our show on July 15th & 16th. Dave has bred and shown Australian Shepherds and Golden Retrievers as well as teaching Obedience Classes for GMDC. The Club has approximately 25 members located throughout the Central Vermont area. Summer 2017


GMAD’s Quest to Protect All Animals Brooke Berard


reen Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) has been the perfect organization for my husband, Chris, and me to join, to mobilize our interest in protecting animals. We wanted to share our journey as GMAD volunteers with like-minded people, such as you. Pre-GMAD We are the couple whose Labrador is our first child. Last week I dodged traffic to move a turtle crossing the street. Several months ago, my husband was sickened by a news story about a lion being coerced into “entertaining” and spoke about it often at the dinner table. We own shirts that say, “I like animals more than people,” and at times feel that way. We are outraged by animal suffering. Finally, we became determined to find a way to effectively contribute to the protection of all animals—we decided to stop being bystanders and join GMAD. Finding GMAD It was important for us to be a part of an organization dedicated to protecting all animals, with no creature left behind. The president of GMAD, Sharon MacNair, has wholeheartedly been immersed in defending animals for the past 34 years, and she has a wealth of information she is eager to share to educate others. In doing so, devoted volunteers have been successful in reducing cruelty and rescuing and rehabilitating animals since 1983. While powerful work is being done by many organizations to exclusively aid companion animals, such as cats and dogs, Green Mountain Animal Defenders has extended its hands to also protect other species, including farmed animals, wildlife, and animals used as entertainment. This very noble undertaking was the fundamental reason why we became members and started volunteering for GMAD.

Missy & Steve are delighted to add rescued ducks to the family

Summer 2017

Why is GMAD special?  GMAD is Vermont’s largest, nonprofit, volunteer- run, animal-protection and advocacy organization, tackling every animal-protection issue and fighting on behalf of all species every single day. We were thrilled to learn that GMAD is a one-stop shop—a voice for all animals—and unfailingly gets involved in situations beyond the scope of other organizations. For instance, GMAD established a lifesaving hatchling-rescue program. When farm-and-feed stores receive shipments of hatchlings, sadly many of the birds arrive injured, ill, or with birth defects. These fragile birds will die without special care, so GMAD transports them to bird rehabilitators for refuge and medical treatment.  As another example, the innovative Providing All-Weather Shelters (PAWS) project began when GMAD was asked to supply doghouses for dogs being kept outdoors in Vermont. Next came a request for feral-cat shelters. GMAD has since expanded the project to include squirrel nesting boxes and wildlife platform feeders. These structures, which have been built by high-school students, are being distributed to many licensed wildlife rehabilitators across Vermont. GMAD plans to add houses for bats, where they can safely raise their young to help counter the severe decline of bats in Vermont.

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen, though. That’s the problem.” - A.A. Milne Take action Remarkably, GMAD volunteers and supporters are able to be selective and dedicate their time, energy, and donations to the issues about which they are most passionate. Although members for only a few months, we have been thrilled to be a part of such important work. As volunteers, my husband and I have joined GMAD’s efforts to educate the public about cruelty to animals used for entertainment, endorse wildlife protection, and advocate for laws to fight animal abuse in Vermont. We are excited to announce their upcoming 7th Annual Walk for All Animals on Saturday, September 30, in Burlington. Please mark your calendar now! Green Mountain Animal Defenders welcomes new advocates and encourages individuals to connect with the organization to learn more. In our short time as members, we already feel we have actively contributed while learning a considerable amount about the variety of issues affecting animals and how we can better protect these oftentimes defenseless creatures. Whether you are a college intern looking for real-world experience, a retiree who wants to volunteer, or a passionate animal lover like us, there are many ways to make a real difference in animals’ lives! With your help, GMAD can continue to defend animals every day. If you would like to be more directly involved with GMAD’s lifesaving work, contact, sign up for free e-alerts (http://, make a donation (, and please like GMAD’s Facebook page to stay updated! You’ll be so glad you did. 3

A Trip to the Horse Capital of the World Jessica Stewart Riley - Randolph Center, VT ers to help support cancer research and Recently I travelled with seven other entertainment, including the boot Vermont Tech Equine Studies Program students and a friend to the “horse capital of the world,” Lexington, Kentucky. The purpose of this trip was to expose students considering a career in the equine industry to the options that exist in places other than Vermont. Lexington should definitely be on the bucket-list of any horse lover. Just driving through the countryside is exciting: there are thousands of acres of rolling green pastures dotted with mares and foals grazing, beautiful horse barns, and training tracks. The Lexington Visitor’s Center provides free driving and walking tour maps which proved quite valuable in making sure we packed as much into each day as we could. Anytime we had 30-60 minutes free, we drove around and looked at all of the famous and historical horse farms, which are too numerous to mention in this short article! Thursday, April 6th began with a trip to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, one of the oldest and best equine hospitals in the world. There we toured through their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, and Surgery Center. The next stop was Three Chimneys Farm, where we met the only female stud manager in Kentucky working at a top Thoroughbred

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Vermont Tech students pose for a pic with Will Take Charge at Three Chimneys Farm.

breeding facility. We were able to see Will Take Charge breed a mare. This horse is winner of over $3 million and grand-son of Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, and this farm was also the home to the great Seattle Slew. Then after a quick stop at the Tack Shop of Lexington (shopping is always a must!), we visited Pin Oak Stud, where we were able to meet a large number of mares and foals, as well as the studs Broken Vow and Alternation. The next day was all about racing, as it was College Scholarship Day and the opening day of racing season at Keeneland Racecourse, a National Historic Landmark, the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house with spring and fall yearling sales where Derby and Triple Crown winners are sold, and a symbol of the best in Thoroughbred racing. After breakfast at the Track Kitchen and a tour of the barns, we watched an exciting day of racing; many of the students with me having never seen a horse race. Saturday we visited the Kentucky Horse Park. Attractions included the Parade of Breeds, Hall of Champions, Mounted Police, the International Museum of the Horse, and the Man o’ War exhibit. Because 2017 is the 100th anniversary of history’s most famous racehorse, there is a special exhibit dedicated to his story. While visiting the Hall of Champions, we were also fortunate enough to meet 91 year old Gene Carter, the last living connection to the “mostest hoss that ever was,” a nickname coined for Man o’ War by Gene’s father in law, Man o’ War’s groom, Will Harbut. The International Museum of the Horse showcases one of the most comprehensive histories of the horse that I have ever seen, through evolution, and including the use of horses in war, for food, and as transportation, as well as the history of the ASPCA, the National Horse Show, and the development of a number of popular breeds, including the Quarter Horse and Arabian. As far as live action goes, the Spring Bay Horse Trials were going on further into the park and we were able to watch some show jumping in the sunny, 70 degree weather in the afternoon. We topped off Saturday night with a trip to the Rodeo for the Cure in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. There we watched bull riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and other rodeo events, as well as some creative fundrais-

race for kids and Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, who rides a sheep dog and herds Barbados sheep. Sunday included touring Churchill Downs in Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, where we learned all about the prestigious race. Monday morning before flying back to Vermont, we visited Old Friends Farm, a retirement and rescue facility, and home to some of the most famous Thoroughbred racehorses still alive today. These horses, primarily stallions, are now past breeding age, and living out their days at this farm dedicated to education, tourism, and awareness of equines in need. There we met Silver Charm, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Dubai World Cup winner; War Emblem, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner; Popcorn Deelites, one of the star’s of Disney’s Seabiscuit; and Eldaafer, a champion racehorse who doesn’t set foot anywhere without being flanked by his “entourage”; two goats by the name of “Google” and “Yahoo”. Even when this horse was at the track, he lived with his goat companions in his stall or he would not race.

Opening Day of racing at Keeneland Race Course.

I have grown up in Vermont in the equine industry, love the state for all that it has to offer, and I don’t plan on moving anytime soon. That said, after this trip, my students and I agreed that Lexington, Kentucky is a pretty spectacular place and we all just might have to retire there, or at least visit more often! The horseflesh, scenery, and friendliness of the people make this a can’t miss destination, even if you aren’t a Thoroughbred enthusiast. Jessica Stewart Riley is and Assistant Professor and the director of the Vermont Technical College Equine Studies Program in Randolph Center, VT. She is a graduate of Johnson State College, UVM, and Vermont Tech, as well as a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horsemen and an American Riding Instructor Association Certified instructor in Western, Huntseat on the Flat, and Stable Management. Summer 2017

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Surviving Summer in a Fur Coat: Heat Dangers for our Pets Vermont Veterinary Medical Association - M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

W ith temperatures on the rise, many people don’t realize that our pets

can have trouble with heat too. If you think it’s hot outside, imagine wearing a fur coat in this heat! In addition, our pets have very limited ways of cooling themselves. Pets pant and that’s about it.

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It’s the season of street fairs, festivals, and other community events for humans. While you are enjoying the attractions, in the crowded venue your dog is being jostled, stepped on, eating who knows what that’s fallen on the ground, and often, overheating. Many events prohibit dogs for this reason, and because people often will leave dogs in the car to avoid the above dangers. This is even worse for them. Sadly, every year veterinarians see cases where dogs die from heat stroke after being left in a parked car, often with the windows rolled down a couple of inches. A pet will only last for a short while in a parked car - this is true even with the windows rolled partially down: the inside temperature of a car can reach 120 to 160 degrees in just 30 minutes. If we have to sit in the car while a friend runs into a store, the first thing we do is turn on the air conditioning or roll the windows all the way down, or

even keep the car door open. Imagine how hard it is for your dog, who has a fur coat, cannot sweat, and is locked in the car with temperatures rising and the windows just open an inch or two! If you leave your pet in your car on a hot day, you are risking their lives and potentially criminal charges. Police and animal control officers will not hesitate to break a car window to access a distressed dog locked in a hot car, if you can’t be located. And, once they do find you, charges will likely be in order. The solution? If you cannot bear to leave your dog at home before heading off to that fun summer event, check in advance to make sure dogs are allowed. Bring water for your pet to drink and also to wet him down. Keep dogs on a short lead and keep a close eye on them to avoid them eating people food that’s been dropped. (That can cause serious stomach upset). Continued Next Page

Summer 2017

If you are going to leave your dog at home, outside, it is extremely important to provide pets with a few basic survival items in this heat. If your dog is going to spend the day outside, remember to provide shade, (keep in mind that a shady area in the morning could be a sunny one in the afternoon). Leave a sprinkler on or hose down the dog two to three times a day. Provide a lot of drinking water, and put ice cubes in it to help it stay cold. Some owners run a fan on the porch for their pets, or bring them inside during the hottest hours of the day. Many dogs dig cooling holes this time of year: it is normal. Don’t forget your outdoor cats. Leave a bowl of fresh water out for them at all times. All veterinarians have seen and treated many cases of heat stress and heat stroke: many of them fatal. If your pet’s temperature goes just a few degrees above normal, organ damage and potentially, death can occur. Signs a pet may be in trouble from the heat include vigorous panting at rest, unwillingness to rise, frothing from the nose or mouth, or rigid muscles. If you find a pet in trouble, remove it from the hot environment: (shade, indoors). Wet the body with cool (not cold) water and wet the pads of the feet with rubbing alcohol. No ice or cold water should be

applied. (This is because serious clotting disorders can be triggered by cooling the pet too fast.) Then call and transport your pet to your veterinarian as soon as possible. We cannot prevent summer heat, but we can prevent most cases of heat stroke and stress in pets with common sense precautions. Don’t leave your pet in the car, even for a few minutes, and if you leave them outside at home, follow the above preventative guidelines. They may save your pet’s life. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) is a professional organization of 350 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit or call (802) 878-6888.

The Loyalty of Dogs Masha The Dachshund Mix In Siberia, Russia a dog has been coming to a hospital every day for over 2 years, unaware her master died a year ago. Her owner was admitted 2 years ago and a patient for about a year. Masha has come every day in search of her owner, unaware the man has passed. She still comes, hoping to find him. A family tried adopting Masha but she escaped and made her way back to the hospital. Now the hospital staff makes sure she is cared for.

Masha never gave up looking for her master. (Photo Credit: Siberian News)

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Alternatively Speaking:


A Modern Twist on Ancient Feeding Wisdom


Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA

y husband is in kitchen cooking and our dog Pumpkin is planted on her bed eagerly waiting to be tossed any dropped bits or trimmings. She takes her job of clean up seriously and will not be disappointed; who could refuse that cute face? I imagine this is how many of our dogs get fresh additions to their meals, adding a welcome level of nutrient quality and bioavailability superior to processed dry kibble. But beyond helping with scrap clean up, fresh feeding as part or all of the main diet is becoming more popular for dogs and even cats. Pet owners are more conscious of the role food plays as part of their own health care, so it is natural to question whether feeding their 4-legged family members all dry dog food can meet their standards for what promotes true health. Besides all the benefits of eating fresh food compared to processed food, home cooking allows you to customize food to your pet’s needs. Just as individual humans have different body types and therefore

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need different diets to maintain health, our pets are not one-size-fits-all either. Local foods influenced dogs’ development as they were domesticated and bred. This means that individual dogs, and sometimes breeds of dogs, have different needs and biological preferences for what to eat. From a different perspective, each individual also has their own inherent patterns of weakness or imbalance that may be in part related to their genetics but also their own experiences and exposures. Chinese medical practice assigned many attributes to foods: temperatures, effects on body function, and effects on different meridian systems. They used food as a tool to proactively address imbalances and reduce the chance of disease, or with medical therapies to assist in treatment. This is not completely unique to the Chinese. Body type or ‘constitutions’ have been identified in the medical philosophies of many cultures. Today, the growing field of Nutrigenomics has identified how our bodies actually express different genes based on what we eat in our food. Foods that promote healthy gene activity help us thrive while foods that turn off these genes create weaknesses and predisposition to disease. Once again, new science justifies old knowledge that the ideal foods for one are not the same for another, and eating the wrong foods wears the body down over time just like the wrong gas breaks down your car. The concept that food can help the body work out issues and minimize or prevent problems is becoming widely accepted. But feeding is not all about body types, Chinese theory, and patterns of weakness. There are concrete nutritional requirements that our pets need to have in order for all their systems to work and maintain health. Making sure they get those nutrients in the correct amounts and ratios, and in a form they can digest and assimilate is essential for their long term health. Offering a tasty topping to a meal that is mainly commercial food should not require a strict recipe. However, the more fresh foods being fed, the more attention is needed to nutritional completeness. There is an assumption that simply rotating through a variety of healthy ingredients over time will provide all the nutrient requirements for our pets. After all, that is how we eat, right? But when you really think about it, even with all our multivitamins and fortified foods, our doctors are checking and finding more nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies do not cause outright disease as with malnu-

trition in the past, but instead they slowly hamper our body’s ability to keep us in optimum health. Left to our own random meal planning, we are often not getting everything we need over time. I see these same issues in dogs, whether my clients are making dog food themselves or even buying raw meat, bone, and organs for supplemental feeding. Some recipes omit any bone or source of calcium, or the meats and organs used simply don’t contain the vitamins and trace minerals needed. Vegetables or supplements used to fortify may not contain all the nutrients required or are fed in too small an amount to provide all that is needed. Also, the cellulose rich vegetables are not cooked or minced small enough for a dog to extract the nutrients from them. I also see diets too rich in high fat calories (think cheap ground beef). Too many calories means you have to limit meal size to avoid obesity and this prevents your dog from being able to eat enough of the diet to get the required protein, vitamins, and minerals. If these basic premises are left unaddressed, no amount of rotation is going to make up for what ends up being a deficient diet. In my practice we use holistic philosophies to tailor nutrition to the needs of the individual patient. We also recognize that addressing holistic ideals does not mean we can ignore the nutritional needs of our patients. Here is where I add the disclaimer that my associates and I are not board certified in nutrition. So to accomplish these goals, we marry Chinese philosophy with a modern computer program to analyze our diets and balance it to AAFCO, FEDIAF or ancestral standards as we wish. This allows us the freedom to pick certain ingredients to match what is ideal for an individual at different stages of life, during different seasons of the year, and during periods of illness or health while being confident that we are meeting the basic nutritional needs of our patient. We also have the flexibility of using all whole foods, some nutritional supplements, or even a mix of commercial food with homemade to balance the diet. The computer assisted component allows diets to be easily altered as the holistic assessment of the patient changes. My clients also love this fact because as seasonal ingredients become available, or as Continued Next Page

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certain ingredients become more costly, or possibly as their pet’s tastes change, diets are updated and verified to see that they remain in balance. So now you want to start making some food for your pet, terrific! Maybe they are itchy, or greasy, or gassy, or their coat is not as beautiful as it should be, or they are young and healthy and you want to keep them thriving as they age. With just a little education and attention to detail it is easy to augment your dog’s menu with some fresh food. Note, this is NOT true for puppies, whose nutritional needs during growth and development have little wiggle room for deficiency. But even for adults, when feeding anything more than a treat with their dog food, it would be best if the foods you add are not stressing the overall nutritional effect of their diet. That can be as simple as using commercial products that are added to fresh meat to make it a balanced addition to their meal. For those that feel that none of the many varieties of commercial pet foods meet your pet’s individual needs you and want to make more of their food from scratch, you can consult your veterinarian. They may refer you to a board certified veterinary nutritionist directly, or indirectly via the website where you can select ingredients for a cooked recipe and then purchase supplement packs specific to that recipe to balance it. For those that want to use raw diets or organ meats not available

Summer 2017

from the more conventional nutritionalists, there are good books that teach proper nutrient rotation and how to supplement diets to make them complete - Dr Becker’s book Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats is one of these. If you want to go to the next level and use diet as a part of your pet’s medical care, find a holistic veterinarian that offers that service. In the end, remember that you should do what you feel is best for your pet, and consult your veterinarian when making diet changes to avoid problems in the short or long term. Keep it simple, go slow and remember that for an adult healthy dog it would take months if not years to cause nutritional issues, so feel free to test the waters with some small changes. Doing a little can go a long way, and can taste great too, just ask Pumpkin! Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at 9

How Old is Your Pet? DOG AND CAT YEARS


or as long as you can remember, the rule of the thumb was one human year was equal to seven dog years. But is this true? The answer is yes and no. The seven to one ratio is actually an average with the real number based more on weight, size and, in some cases, breed. Boxers for example seldom live more than nine years. In fact, they are considered old by the age of seven. Medical care and diet play a crucial role in the life expectancy of our pets.


Dr. Tony Buffington of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine developed this chart which makes it easy to see how your dog or cat stack up in human years.

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Summer 2017

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Oh Those Creaky Joints! 3 Key Ingredients to Improved Canine Mobility.


Contributed by ForeFront™ Nutrition

ometimes it’s just something subtle; a small hesitation before they jump in the car or a sudden unwillingness to join you on the couch, small signs that soreness or joints are starting to impact your best friend. Or perhaps your companion is a breed that is more prone to hip or joint issues and you’re looking for preventative maintenance. No matter the cause, hip and joint issues tend to be one of the most common problems in dogs of all sizes. So, you go to your local pet store and seek out the common standby for joints; Glucosamine. Well, not so fast! Most pet owners are unaware that even after decades of clinical trials, studies have failed to find any consistent benefit with Glucosamine. Furthermore, the balance of the evidence strongly suggests glucosamine is no better than a placebo in treating arthritis. There are only two clinical Glucosamine trials in dogs; one found no benefit while the other showed little, to no, benefit. So before you buy any popular joint supplement, do your homework, and ensure the ingredients have been scientifically proven before you spend your hard earned money. Due to a lack of evidence in a glucosamine based joint supplement, we designed

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our joint support soft chew without the addition of glucosamine (HCL or sulfate) or chondroitin sulfate. Not only has neither ingredient been proven effective, but also the market is flooded with all too many “copycat” products utilizing these ingredients. ForeFront spent over a year developing a precise formula that exceeds today’s standard offering when it comes to joint support. All three of our active ingredients have been independently proven effective. We combined those three ingredients into a joint formula which create cutting edge joint support for your pet. BeneCell® is a key element of the Canine Hip & Joint formula, it is a proprietary blend of purified nucleotides along with other essential nutrients the body requires for repair.   When dealing with soft tissue damage the dog’s body signals a need for cellular repair. BeneCell® possesses the unique ability to produce new cells, these new cells allow your dog to better cope with his injury and/or disease naturally. Another key element of Canine Hip & Joint is the use of egg shell membrane. The egg shell membrane used in our soft chews was specifically selected due to its proven efficacy, following a study involving fifty-seven dogs who showed noticeable improvement in joint mobility within only 7 days. Egg shell membrane includes several key components including collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans (which does include both Glucosamine and Chondroitin). Egg shell membrane provides nutritional building blocks which promote natural joint health, stability, and flexibility. The documented benefits off egg shell membrane include; an improve range of motion (i.e. mobility, flexibility and function); promotion of the dog’s natural anti-inflammatory response; delivery of antioxidants that reduce free radicals for healthy joints; along with the delivery of collagen and fibrous

protein critical to cartilage strength and elasticity. Finally, the third key ingredient in our formula is a very specific curcumin compound, again sourced for its proven efficacy as an anti-inflammatory. When dogs are suffering from joint pain an effective anti-inflammatory is a critical element most pet products simply do not address. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to irritation, injury, or infection. Inflammation is a protective measure intended to limit damage caused by harmful stimuli including pathogens, irritants, or damaged cells and tissue. Unfortunately, wherever inflammation occurs it causes discomfort, and often pain. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps reduce swelling along with any associated pain. The curcumin used in our joint support soft chew is in a patented delivery system which utilizes proprietary technology and improves the oral bioavailability and absorption of the curcumin. There have been numerous studies with this particular form of curcumin which demonstrate its ability to down regulate the expression of a series of cytokines, enzymes and transcription factors involved in the natural inflammation response. In short, ForeFront’s Canine Hip and Joint is not your average joint formula. The yummy, natural bacon flavored soft chews are easy to feed and readily enjoyed by most dogs. Each bag contains 90 soft chews , it is both convenient and affordable to feed to dogs of all sizes and ages. About ForeFront Nutrition: ForeFront Nutrition™ is a family owned and operated business out of Vermont who understand the level of devotion and energy it takes to properly care for horses and dogs. By recognizing the increasing need to provide premium quality supplements, ForeFront’s team embarked on a passionate and extensive industry research journey. Since then their team of professionals with over 75 years of animal nutrition experience, have sourced, formulated and manufactured a selection of the highest quality animal supplements available. All ForeFront™ products are independently tested and certified prior to blending and are manufactured from all natural ingredients exclusively in the United States. (888) 772-9582 Dealer Inquiries Welcome. Summer 2017

Summer 2017 13

1. If you don’t know how your dog/cat will


TOYS TOYS TOYS DJ Nelson St. Johnsbury, VT

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ur pets always love getting new and exciting toys. Toys are very important for any pet (Dogs, Cats, Birds, Small animals). Toys do so much more than offer something to play with. They also challenge pets mentally, help keep their teeth healthy, exercise them, and create bonding time with their human pals. There are so many toys/accessories to choose from. You go online to search for the best possible toy/accessory for your pet, and you see it. It is heart breaking and scary, especially if this is a new pet. You to tear up, and then panic sets in. You have just read about someone’s heart breaking because their beloved pet had to go for emergency surgery or possibly died from interaction with a toy. Not only are you trying to cover up your tears before someone sees you, you still have no clue what to get your pet because everything says it is bad for your pet. So what is bad and what is good? Anything can be a potential hazard. I look at it this way, our children can choke on a grape, but that doesn’t mean they should not eat them. We take precautions, we have the children eat while sitting down, or maybe we cut them into smaller pieces. How does this translate to dog, cat, small animal, and bird toys? Important safety tips that can save your pet’s life! Anything *can* be a hazard under the right conditions! This doesn’t mean you have to stay away from all toys, chews, etc. Take steps like the ones below and it should decrease the risk of injury or death to your pet. Remember, Toys/accessories are a very important for your pets and can be fun for you and definitely for them. 

react to a toy, let them play with it only while you can watch. If you find they are destroying it, you can remove it. 2. Give size appropriate toys. Toys that are too small can become a choking hazard. When in doubt, get the next size up. 3. They may love rope toys, but it is in their best interest that it becomes a toy that you and your dog/cat play with together only. If you prefer not using rope toys, there are alternative tug toys, such as the Kong Wubba. 4. Inspect dog/cat toys often... If they are starting to fall apart, pick up the pieces of the toy and discard. 5. Pick appropriate toys (think breed, size, behavior) for your dog and cats. If your dog rips apart stuffed toys, then don’t go for stuffed toys. If your cat has a thing for eating ribbon, don’t give him a toy with ribbon. 6. It is ok to make alterations on your dog/ cats new toy. Example: if a cat has a liking to eat string and you buy a toy mouse with a string as a tail, it is ok to cut it off before you give it to them.  7. Toss out toys that are breaking down, old/frail, etc and replace with new. 8. Inspect everything right down to the cage of your small animals/birds. For small animal houses I like the wooden houses by Super Pet/Kaytee they use safe glue and wooden pegs instead of metal. However they still need to be inspected, sometimes pets will chew the wood making a spot that may be sharp. When you see this cut off and sand it, making it safe for your pet. 9. Inspect your bird’s toys, they will destroy them. For example; if the rope becomes frayed you can cut it off the toy before their foot gets caught in it. 10. Folks love to go out into the woods and collect branches/wood for their birds or small animals, even reptiles. I recommend you purchase these items from a pet store instead. Things collected from outside can bring in bugs, mold, etc that can harm your pet. Again, these are just some of many safety tips. Anytime you have questions or concerns, contact your vet or local pet store for help. DJ Nelson has worked in the pet industry for almost two decades and is the owner of AquaRealm Aquarium & Pets in St. Johnsbury Vermont. He works with Reptiles, Birds, Small Animals, Fresh/ Saltwater fish, and Dog & Cat Nutrition. Since proper care is constantly changing, educating customers about their pets is very important. Come visit DJ in his new location at 1216 Railroad St. Saint Johnsbury VT, on Rte 5 next to Twin State Ford. and Facebook Summer 2017

Canine Quirks Pat Jauch - Caledonia Animal Rescue

T here is no such thing as “just a dog.” Anyone who has shared life with a forever

canine friend knows this very well. Each one is an individual with traits as different as night and day. For instance, take methods of communication. When it comes to expressing needs, such as disposing of bodily functions, one dog may simply come up beside its master and stare. Another may “circle the wagons” as it were, with a sense of urgency, conveying the need for immediate response. Still others may pace back and forth toward the door giving obvious meaning to their intent. Each in its own way gets the message across and woe-be-it unto the master who ignores The Signal. Food is another area where dogs can let their wishes be known. Some will stand by the empty food dish and stare longingly. Others may bark, indicating the dining hour has arrived. Another may simply become “pesky” in an attempt to remind the owner to fill the dish. Most household dogs have a cadre of tricks, yet anyone who has had several different animals knows that, while one can accomplish a particular feat, such activity may not be in the repertoire of the next one. Consider the command to “sit.” Most dogs will obey. Expanding that to “sit up” and variations in size and shape can impact the response. Likewise, “let’s go for a ride” can evoke a myriad of reactions, from nonchalance to absolute ecstasy. One dog may simply go with no indication of enthusiasm while the other will jump up and down showing visible signs of delight at the prospect of leaving home to explore the world from the vantage point of a moving vehicle. This can often be triggered by events that occur during the ride. Although ending up at the vet’s office may not result

in total joy for the pet, a journey through a drive-in where treats may appear can be the highlight of a dog’s day. It does not take long for Fido to associate that pneumatic tube, or drawer poking out of the building’s side, with a biscuit and even if he cannot “speak” in response to the treat, the giver will see his sheer delight. Animals are individuals and their quirks can be highly entertaining. Observe them carefully and enjoy their diversity. You’ll be glad you did.

Toto the mother-to-be. Lisa and Brian Millard of Washington, VT will have their hands full!

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Skin Disease Caused by a Fractured Tooth Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS


hile the cause of a problem is often reasonably obvious there are times when one has to “think outside of the box” to get to the correct answer. For instance, if you saw this lesion on the side of a cat’s head, would you immediately think of dental disease?

Fractured upper right carnassial tooth

Fractured upper right canine tooth

The palatal root of the upper carnassial tooth was fractured and displaced into the hard palate.

“Mr O” was an indoor only cat who decided to escape one day. He was missing for several days until he was brought to a veterinarian by a good samaritan. He had apparently been hit by a car. Fortunately he had a microchip and his owners were found. He was diagnosed as having a fractured palate which was treated with intravenous fluids, a feeding tube, antibiotics and pain medications. He recovered from the trauma but one month later he started scratching at the right side of his head and was sneezing. Two months later he was reluctant to eat.

I met him three months after the injury, and took the above photograph, in 2014. This large wound was self inflicted - by constantly scratching at the side of his face he was doing great damage to his skin.

When his mouth was examined a number of fractured teeth were found. The most significant of these was a fractured upper carnassial tooth.

But what does a fractured tooth have to do with scratching at the face? The upper carnassial tooth is a triple rooted tooth, with two roots in line with the cheek and the third root in the hard palate. Within the skull is a canal which carries a main nerve and this canal is straddled by the cheek roots and the palatal root. If this tooth becomes infected, either through a fracture or with long-standing periodontal disease, the bone of the canal can become infected, weakened, and eventually disappear, leaving the nerve much more exposed than it would normally be. An exposed nerve can be irritated (think of hitting your elbow’s “funny bone”, actually a nerve, and how much that hurts.) An irritated nerve can transmit pain signals or it can transmit an itchy signal. When the tooth was extracted from “Mr O” it was apparent that the bone of the canal was gone, leaving an exposed nerve.

11 days after extracting the tooth, the skin was much improved as he had stopped scratching. However, he did resume scratching at his face and again created a wound. It was not as large as the first wound but was still significant.

Photograph in 2015 showing a smaller skin wound. Several more teeth were extracted and this has eliminated the scratching. Here he is in 2017 looking very happy and handsome. 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.

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Summer 2017

Burdocks O

nce you discover burdocks or cockleburs on your dog, you need to remove them as soon as possible. The longer they stay in the coat, the deeper they will dig in, making it more difficult to get rid of them. The best way to remove them depends on how many your furry friend has picked up. If there are just a few, you can usually remove them with a coarse brush or a stainless steel comb. If some are already stuck in, you can try splitting them with scissors to make brushing them out easier. Do this very carefully; always point the scissor’s tips away from the dog’s body to avoid injury. Detangling spray or coat conditioner will make it easier to remove the cockleburs. You’ll be able to work them out without tugging too much on your dog’s coat. In a pinch, a little vegetable oil will also do the trick. You’ll need to bathe your pet after using any of these products. Any good pH-balanced pet shampoo will do, but if the coat is extremely oily, you might want to use de-greasing shampoo or Dawn dish

On e interesting cocklebur fac t o i d : Despite their nuisance quality, they are responsible for an invention that shows up everywhere in our daily lives. In 1941, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral noticed that his wool socks, his jacket and his dog’s fur were covered with cockleburs after a walk in the woods. Observing them under a microscope, he noticed their hundreds of hooks and how easily they attached to fibers, especially if those fibers were looped. By 1948, he had duplicated this hook and loop configuration in nylon, naming his new creation Velcro.

Summer 2017

detergent followed by a soothing crème rinse or conditioner. After the bath, brush and comb the coat to make sure you haven’t missed any cockleburs. Check your dog thoroughly, including the pads of his feet. These tiny tanglers can find a home in any crevice, including armpits, ears and even the genital area. When dogs loaded with cockleburs come to the grooming shop, we normally clip them down and start the coat over again. Even if it were possible to remove them with a dematting tool, it would be extremely time-consuming and painful for the pet. In fact, if your four-footed friend loves to romp in the woods and fields, keeping his coat in a short trim will help you to easily detect the burrs. When you are enjoying the great outdoors, avoid any areas that contain cockleburs. If they are growing on your property, remove them – wearing gloves, of course. Their prickly dry seedpods are usually visible on plant stems, protruding above other wild vegetation. Another serious botanical hazard for dogs that romp outdoors is the foxtail, a hard seed-bearing structure on some kinds of wild grasses that contains sharp points at one end with microscopic barbs that allows it to embed like a fish hook. Like cockleburs, these become stuck in the hair, especially the paws and ears, and sometimes even in nostrils and eyes. If they work their way into the skin, they can cause serious infection. These grasses are common in weedy areas around roads, paths and woodland trails. As annuals, they are soft and green from January through March or April, but after the seed heads dry in the spring, they become dangerous, remaining that way throughout the summer and fall. Foxtails can cause severe injury, so if you uncover any on your pet, be sure to get all of them out with your brush and comb. If they have become embedded, take your dog to a veterinarian for removal. 17

Cookouts, Food and Pet Safety

S ummer is here! For a lot of us that means getting outdoors and enjoying cookouts with family, friends — and pets! It’s a great time to sit back, relax, drink a beer or two and maybe set the family record for the number of hot dogs you can eat. But don’t rest too easy, there are some responsibilities you shouldn’t ignore — especially if you have pets! While you are enjoying your favorite summer foods, it’s worth keeping in mind that many tasty treats are not so good for our furry friends. Even simple things that you might not think of, like onions and guacamole, can be dangerous. These kinds of foods are typically left out on the table well within reach of any curious dog or cat, so let’s look at some of the more harmful culprits we should keep an eye on. Foods Your Pet Should Avoid   Hot Dogs - While tasty, hot Snack Foods - Chips and pretzels are full of salt and can dogs are not the healthiest cause excessive thirst and urination. Who wants a dog food for us humans, and they peeing everywhere!? Snack foods are just as unhealthy are even worse for pets. Hot for dogs as they can be for us, exercise caution. Too dogs are packed with tons many snacks can lead to sodium ion poisoning, the of salt and preservatives in effects of which can include vomiting, diarrhea, fevers levels that dogs are not used and even death. to. Excessive amounts can lead to diarrhea and indiges- Bones - The leftover remains from ribs, steaks or chicken tion. Avoid them altogether, wings can be dangerous for your dog. Bones can splinter but if you must-must-must easily and if eaten, they can cause puncture wounds in give treat your dog, please your dogs mouth, stomach or digestive tract. They can exercise moderation. Also, also lead to obstructions and other health hazards. For cut them into bite-size pieces your dog’s safety, make sure everyone knows where they can safely dispose of their food. Continued Next Page to avoid choking hazards. 18 4 Legs & a Tail

Summer 2017

Fruits and Desserts - Fruits are high in sugar and can lead to blood glucose issues, but watch out for are grapes and raisins. They have been shown to cause serious kidney issues and even death when consumed by dogs. Desserts that include chocolate or Xylitol are no-nos for dogs, as they can prove fatal quickly. Choking Hazards - Many cookout foods are also choking hazards. Hot dogs, bones, and corn cobs can get lodged in your dog’s airway. Keep an eye out for anything that is larger than bite size. Alcohol - An ice cold beer or mixed drink might be the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day, but will not have the same effect on your pet. Small amounts, just a few licks or laps, can be dangerous or even fatal. In a festive environment, once drinks start pouring a few glasses may get abandoned here and there, so make sure you clean up after forgetful friends. Foods Your Pet Should Enjoy  Melons - Seedless watermelons and honeydew are high in moisture and cool the body from the inside, says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian and author who specializes in food therapy. Ginger Root - Mix watermelon juice with fresh ground ginger root and freeze in an ice tray. “The ginger soothes upset stomachs and is a great anti-inflammatory agent,” says Morgan. “You can even feed this to a diabetic dog.” Fresh Carrots - These make a great summer chew toy, says Morgan. Just don’t leave your dog unattended while she’s on the gnaw. Like bones, they could become a choking hazard. Green Beans - These crunchy treats are an excellent source of fiber. “Even though dogs are meat-o-sauruses, they still enjoy their veggies,” says Morgan. Water - “One of the most potentially overlooked summer treats is water,” says Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in New York City. Tap water is more than fine. You can also make a thin, ice “pancake” by putting water in a plastic bag and freezing it flat. Offer it to your dog to chew on when the temperatures get really hot.

Charlie is really proud of Land Air's Summer Line up

Doggie Ice Cream - Regular ice cream can wreak havoc on your dog’s tummy. But several brands, including Frosty Paws and Puppy Scoops, make lactose-free frozen treats for pups. Just be mindful of calories. “Give him a Frosty Paws everyday and your Chihuahua will look like a footstool,” says Hohenhaus. Peanut Butter “Pupsicles” - Dr. Michelle Newfield, a veterinarian and owner of Gause Boulevard Veterinary Hospital in Los Angeles, recommends peanut butter and yogurt “pupsicles.” Layer the ingredients in a small cup, using a milk bone as a stick. Freeze and serve. But don’t use sugar free yogurt or some types of peanut butter. “Xylitol, a sugar substitute, is toxic to dogs, and can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia,” says Newfield. Whatever summer treat you pick for your dog, remember that it is exactly that – a treat. “Extras” should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s total diet, and adjust your dog’s meal size to avoid an excess of calories and the weight gain that follows.  

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Compounding for Veterinarians and Animal Owners Your pets are special. Why not give them customized care?


s a pet owner, you want your pet to receive the highest-quality veterinary care. You want them to have treatment as sophisticated and compassionate as you might receive yourself. You’re not alone. Today’s veterinarians realize that pet owners are very knowledgeable, and expect a more advanced level of care. Why s hou ld you c on s id e r compounding as a solution for your pet’s medical problems? That can be answered with another question: how hard is it to get your cat to swallow a pill?

Veterinary Compounding – Making Medication a Treat for Your Pet. The practice of pharmacy compounding is becoming a popular solution to veterinary problems. Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. Its resurgence in recent years extends valuable benefits to today’s pet owners. Animals often have variations of the same diseases humans can have, including skin rashes, eye and ear infections, heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Medicating pets presents unique problems that often are best dealt with through compounding.

The Compounding Solution As any pet owner is well aware, animals can be extremely difficult to treat with medications. Cats are notorious for refusing to swallow pills, and usually will eat right around one disguised in food. Dosages can be very tricky with dogs – a dose of medication that works for an 80-pound Golden Retriever may be far too

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much for a six-pound Yorkie to handle. Large and exotic pets pose many unique medication challenges. A compounding pharmacist is equipped to help them all! Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabbits, Birds, Ferrets and Reptiles. Even animals in zoos and aquariums!

Flavored Medicine The pet who refuses to take medication because of the taste is a prime opportunity for compounding. Cats don’t like pills, but they do like tuna. Dogs don’t appreciate a traditional solution of medication being squirted into their mouth, but they’ll take it gladly when it’s flavored with meat or part of a tasty biscuit or treat. Birds cannot take large volumes of liquid medication, but they will accept a small dose of a tasty, fruit-flavored, concentrated solution. By working closely with your veterinarian, a compounding pharmacist can prepare medicines in easy-to-give flavored dosage forms that animals happily devour, whether your pet is a cat, dog, bird, ferret, or snake.

Solving Dosage Problems Just like their owners, animals are individual and unique. They come in different shapes and sizes, and may be sensitive to ingredients like lactose. As a result, not all commercially available medicines are appropriate for every pet. That’s where compounding is especially helpful. In this situation, your veterinarian can prescribe a flavored liquid, treat, or other dosage form with the amount of medication that is exactly right for your pet’s size and condition.

Commercially Unavailable Medicine From time to time, a manufacturer may discontinue a veterinary medication. Often this is because it is not needed in the vast quantities necessary to make mass production cost-effective, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some pets that need it. When that medication has worked well for animals, a compounding pharmacist can prepare a prescription for the required therapy and tailor the strength, dosage form, and flavor to that pet’s specific needs. A caring veterinarian working closely with a compounding pharmacist can improve the health and happiness of your pet. Summer 2017

Setting a New Paradigm Eden Ethical Dog Sledding Promotes Joyful Lives for All Sled Dogs! Deborah E. Blair, M.S., Ph.D. - Eden, VT

J oyful, wolf-like singing greets the dawn of a new day from the canine members of the UN-Chained Gang. When morning feeding preparation starts, they

celebrate the morning by running free – racing each other, spinning, leaping and cavorting. There are no chains for these international, sprint champion, Alaskan huskies at Eden Ethical Dog Sledding. International champion, Jim Blair, has spent twenty years setting a new paradigm for the racing and dog sled tour industries – one from which he hopes the public will learn that ethical sled dog care is possible. “I hope that people calling for one of our educational dog sledding adventures, will ask questions and learn about how we are difThe UN-Chained Gang ferent. We want people around the world to dialogue about the abuses of keeping sled dogs on chains or in small cages. Although it takes intensive work and effort to keep a commercial kennel of sled dogs ethically, the Working Dog Laws that support abuse need to be changed. Sled dogs, and all dogs should be free, have a legally required retirement with veterinarian care, respect and love.” Tour guests are amazed as they walk into a room full of sled dogs, lounging on couches and sleeping by the woodstove. The UN-Chained Gang ages range from young, learning to race and tour, to older, retired race champions. Soon the tour guests - children and adults -are cuddling with their new, canine friends as they ask questions and learn about the history and sport of dog sledding, ethical dog sledding and kennel care. Quality of life for all sled dogs is the vision of Eden Ethical Dog Sledding. Warm weather activities for the UN-Chained Gang include swimming in the ponds on the 140 acre farm/oasis in the northern Vermont mountains. The Gang enjoys the outdoors in large, fenced paddocks that keep them safe when not supervised, daily walks and runs, toys, ball playing, rides into town for errands. The dogs love to frog hunt the ponds, chase squirrels at the many bird feeders, cuddle, race and play for tour guests. It’s a heart ache that legally, many race and tour sled dogs of Canada and the USA must endure short, sad lives on chains in dog yards of 75, 90, 150, 200 dogs, and more, with little or no Continued Next Page

Summer 2017 21

time off their short chains in the warm months. Because their kennel owners want high profits in the winter it is easier, and much less expensive to keep them chained, with no love and exercise, when they are not being used for paying guest tours. Many people visiting with the UN-Chained Gang say that they feel they have had calming and therapeutic benefits. Additionally, there are children and adults who claim they have had their dog phobias healed. One woman from Manhattan exclaimed, “I don’t need to go for a sled ride – I would rather spend two hours on the couch with Simba and Rambo cuddling – they have reduced

my stress far more than going to yoga seven days a week!” Twenty years ago, champion athlete, Jim Blair, was appalled when he found the industry standard, legal under most state and provincial laws, for keeping race and commercial tour sled dogs. Having a close relationship with dogs since birth, he knew that he had to find a way to demonstrate that sled dogs are sensitive, intelligent beings who want to share their goodness with humans. Given a good quality of life, off chains, respected and loved, sled

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dogs can amuse, amaze, cuddle with tour guests, and turn around to win international races. To help keep dogs safe, during training, exercise and guest tours, Eden Ethical Dog Sledding has the only engineered and built dog sled trail system in North America. Consisting of miles of trails, built over 16 years – it is a real roadway for sled dogs – snow in winter, and warm weather DogSleddin’-On-Wheels. Unlike straighter state/provincial snow mobile trails – specialized, for dog sledding, trails allow tour guests to experience how race champion dog teams perform - from lead dogs to team members – following proper commands, “Gee” (Right) -“Ha” (Left) – “On By!” (Don’t chase that squirrel!). These unique trails give adventure guests a real sense of wilderness dog sledding in the beauty of Northern Vermont’s mountains. Currently, the warm weather wheeled cart, winter snow sled tours, and rentals of the homelike cabins, fund Eden Ethical Dog Sledding. In hopes of raising public awareness, they are exploring going non-profit to raising funds for more educational and therapeutic activities, as well as an endowment, so that ethical, loving care of sled dogs, and educational, healing and fun tours can go on for generations. Deborah E. Blair, M.S., Ph.D. is a Jungian Psychotherapist and mythopoetic author. With the UN-Chained Gang she created the first in a fantasy book series for children and adults – The Luna Tales – Book One – The Wisdom Runners, to share the joy, healing, and adventures that these incredible dogs promote. Profits from sales of the books will go to autism, canine causes and the work of Eden Ethical Dog Sledding in its vision of quality of life for all sled dogs. The Luna Tales is available on Amazon. Summer 2017

An Introduction to Therapy Dogs Deb Helfrich, Therapy Dogs of Vermont

I t’s been a dreadful day. The car wouldn’t start. Traffic made you late. You

possible— based on whatever the person needs at the time. spilled coffee on your new pants. The boss Dogs can have a profound ability to moved your deadline UP by a week. Full of touch and engage people. For example, frustration, you throw the front door open… during their visits, therapy dogs routinely: and there is YOUR dog. Her entire body • Bring joy and laughter to institutions that might feel wags. She rolls on her back for a tummy rub. sterile, cold, and frightening. You can’t help but smile. As you touch her • Give something to do, talk, and think about other than soft fur and feel the warmth of her body, the illness, difficulty, or problem. thoughts of stained pants and looming • Help people cope with illness, loss, depression, and loneliness. deadlines slip away. Think about the capacity our own pets • Stimulate the senses, facilitating exercise and activity. have to ease stress, make us happy, offer • Encourage communication and break the ice. comfort. Apply this to elders in nursing • Provide a source of touch and affiliation. homes, patients in hospitals, children • Boost morale and lower stress levels. in day cares—this is the heart of canine Therapy Dogs of Vermont (TDV) is an alltherapy. volunteer, non-profit organization of wellmannered, sweet tempered, people-loving dogs and their handlers. Our handler/ canine teams work toward the emotional health of people in a variety of settings such as hospitals and other health-related venues, nursing and retirement homes, child and adult day care centers, correctional facilities, and schools. All dogs are certified and insured. For more information about becoming a certified therapy dog team, to request therapy dog visits, please email us at or visit our website:

Canine therapy works toward the emotional health of people in a wide variety of settings. In fact, elder care facilities may be one of the most frequented types of places for therapy dog vis its. Visiting with elders can be a wonderful experience for both dog and handler! For example, the highlight of my week is visiting my friends at Starr Farm Nursing Center. I’m sure any of our TDV members can tell you a heartwarming story or two about the places they visit and the people they meet. It is a joy to me when my dog lights up the face of an elder who perhaps doesn’t get many visitors, and I enjoy listening to the wonderful stories elders carry with them. And, the special moments when I can comfort an elder who may be depressed, disoriented, anxious, afraid, or ill are ones that simply make everything worthwhile; these are the moments when the magical interaction between animal and human is unmistakable. Tears dry. Frowns become smiles. Inactive hands caress soft fur. Silence becomes a conversation whispered softly in a dog’s ear. During visits, dogs may play ball with a patient, sit to be patted, do a few tricks, or take walks with those who are able. For a bedridden patient, a dog might hop on the bed and rest quietly with him or her. Sometimes, all a dog can do is be there for someone to look at. There are all sorts of activities and levels of interaction Summer 2017 23

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Summer 2017



or almost a decade, South Burlington was fortunate to have a four- legged officer on its police team. Kaiser and his partner, Cpl Mark Redmond logged many hours together as crime fighters, as well as ambassadors to the community. This past winter time finally caught up with Kaiser, John Workman, the Director of AW Rich Funeral Homes and owner of Island Memorials/ My Pet’s Final Embrace (which specializes in pet cremation and funeral) responded to the call of Kaiser’s last day. “We arrived at Peak Veterinary in Williston and were surprised to see about a dozen police officers from South Burlington.” Workman asked two of the officers to man the stretcher, while the remaining officers formed an honor line outside of the practice with a final salute for their comrade . As Kaiser was carried through the lobby draped with an American flag, everyone stood in silence, including those who brought their pets for appointments that day. “It was amazing. You could have heard a pin drop as Kaiser was carried to our vehicle”, says Workman. When asked about Kaiser’s final destination, Workman informed the officer that Kaiser would be brought to their facility in Fairfax. It was then that the respect and admiration of Kaiser reached far beyond the town line. With lights and sirens, two South Burlington police cars escorted the black Suburban funeral vehicle. Although it was lunchtime, the normally busy intersection at Taft Corners was not a problem. As the procession passed, members of the Williston Police Department held traffic and gave Kaiser a heartfelt salute. The scene repeated itself when the caravan quickly passed through the Five Corners. This time it was the Essex police Department offering their respect. South Burlington was well served by the German Shepherd officer. Needless to say, he will be missed in the community.

The Loyalty of Dogs Burke, the Teacup Great Dane A Teacup Great Dane followed his owner to the emergency room after a drunk driver crashed into his home injuring his master and 2 others. The dog is believed to have escaped out of the opening created by the crash. He was spotted near the emergency room days later, where he probably had been since the accident. Jeffrey Groat had not stopped asking about his dog since the accident and was reunited with his faithful canine Burke, a few days later.

Burke and his dad. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Groat)

Summer 2017 25

The New York Times, June 12, 1873 A Nashua Dog Story (reprinted from the Nashua, N.H. Telegraph) The paper reports: “One of our carriers relates that a gentleman who lives about three-quarters Kate Kelly of a mile east of his route wanted to subscribe to the paper, and he [the carrier] told him it was too far away, whereupon the gentleman said, ‘That’s all right; I’ll send Tom for it.’ The boy did not understand just what was meant, but the next night he found a big dog waiting for him, and was told by a neighbor that he was to give Mr. B___’s paper to the dog. Tom took the paper like a little man and started hile researching various top- for home. That was three weeks ago. The ics, I come upon some amazing stories dog has been on time all but two nights I think you will agree they are well when the carrier left the paper on a post, and upon inquiry the next night learned worth sharing: that Tom took it.”

Three Sweet Dog Stories


The New York Times, December 8, 1884 A Connecticut Dog Story (reprinted from The Hartford Courant) A Stamford dog which has been used to drink at a certain trough found it empty the other day, but a hose lying close by.  After evident consideration he picked up the hose in his mouth, put the end in the trough and waited for the water to run. It is pleasant to know that having got so far there was a kindly witness who turned the stop-cock [turning on the water] so that the dog’s hopes were realized.

26 4 Legs & a Tail

The New York Times, November 7, 1871 A Dog Story from Truthful Boston (reprinted from The Boston Herald of November 5) Mr. Edward Watts, a well-known citizen residing at 23 Harvard Street, tells a very remarkable story about a pair of English bull terriers that he owns and prizes very highly. He says, and Officer Coombs of the Fourth Station vouches for the truth of the story, that one day last week he had occasion to go from his

house to Portland Street, a good mile, for the purpose of paying a small bill. Arriving at Portland Street with the dogs, he met the man he wished to see on the sidewalk, and there paid the bill, at the time dropping a twenty dollar bill to the curb stone, though he knew nothing about it till his arrival home two hours afterward, and after calling at several places on his way home. Finding this $20 bill gone, he took his dogs and started back calling at the places he visited on his way home. On reaching Sudbury Street he called his dog Jess, showed him a $20 bill, looked about on the ground as if hunting for it, and told the  dog to “smell it out.” The dog then started off with his nose to the ground in front of his master., and pushing round into the Portland Street where they had been before, and where the bill was paid, he stopped and poked about the dirt with his nose and in a few minutes ran up to his master with the lost $20 bill in his mouth. That looks like a very tough story, but if truthful men are to be believed then this story is true. This article first appeared on the website,  America Comes Alive publishes more stories about American dogs and other animals. Visit the website and sign up for “American Dogs” to receive the stories in your In Box. Or email Kate Kelly at

Summer 2017

A Stray Cat's Best Friend Colin Butcher and Molly: 'She has helped to rescue eleven cats so far.’


Photograph: Mark Chilvers for the Guardian

olly is the world’s first trained cat detection dog. Her job is to rescue missing kitties. We had been looking for a dog with a particular temperament and intelligence to join our team of pet detectives for 18 months. We had scouts out and had spoken to the country’s top breeders. We needed a quick learner; one small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies cats hide in. Mostly, we needed a dog with no desire whatsoever to chase cats. I came up with the idea in 2014. I had been doing the job for 20 years and my business, Pet Detectives, was getting around 30 calls a week about missing cats. When cats go to ground, they go into a comatose-like state and if they are not found quickly, within a fortnight, they often don’t survive after being rescued. One particular couple who called me had bought their cat after struggling to have children. We found it in a neighbor’s garden shed, but it later died. Seeing them so bereft was a tipping point for me. I worked in the police as a detective inspector for many years, and had seen dogs search for drugs and bombs and help with murder investigations. I figured, if a dog can be trained to find amphetamines, then it can be trained to find cats. We found Molly, an 18-month-old black-haired cocker spaniel, on Gumtree. She was a giveaway. The ad said: “Needs a good home, cannot cope.” If cocker spaniels are not stimulated they become uncontrollable. She had been passed from pillar to post and had three owners in under two years. I first met her in February 2016, at the home of Medical Detection Dogs, the charity that would help train her. We had already rejected 12 dogs without seeing them. Three others didn’t make it through initial training: one was too timid, one got car sick and the other was too inclined to chase. At first, Molly was anxious. But she had intelligent eyes and was a problem-solver. She was also hyper and fixated on catching tennis balls. She had the right temperament: a bright working dog from a breed Summer 2017

Molly has helped to rescue 11 cats so far, and our search success has increased by a third. She wears a fluorescent harness and has her own abseiling kit, which we once used to lower her over a 10ft wall. We’re getting special boots made to protect her feet in outbuildings where there may be nails or glass. Many people said that training a dog to rescue cats was crazy; that all dogs chased cats and it couldn’t be done. Nothing has felt quite so rewarding as seeing it work. People are fascinated when they watch Molly at work, but she’s not fussed. She still doesn’t know that those things with four legs that she searches for are called cats. To her, it is just her favorite game.

with a natural disposition to search for game. We just had to channel that instinct into finding cats. She had to be “cat-tested”, so we took her to a farm with a dozen cats to see if she would chase them. She didn’t even bark. Her focus was on interacting with her handler. Her training took nine months with experts, including two doctors of canine behavior. This had never been done before. She was a quick learner. The first phase was lab training, where we taught her to isolate scents. She then worked with a behavioral specialist who taught her to understand signals and commands. The final stage was teaching us to work together. On assignments, Molly is trained to pick up cats’ scents from their bedding. When she finds the missing cat, she lies down to signal success, so as not to scare them, but you can see her trembling with excitement. She gets rewarded with her super-treat: black pudding. Her first success was in February this year. A tri-colored cat had been sighted six miles from home on the roof of a garden shed. Molly quickly picked up her scent on the grass. I sent her across the back of 30 gardens until she started clawing at a fence. She charged across the lawn to a summer house and lay down. The cat was inside. The owners were over the moon and quite amazed by her. 27

Intimate Things T

here are so many reasons why summer is such a wonderful time of the year. None of them are better than the other. They are all good. Laundry dried outside on the line certainly makes the list for two reasons. If summer had a smell, it would be the undeniable scent of clothes and sheets that have dried in the warmth of the summer sun with a gentle southern breeze to shake loose the wrinkles. If that weren’t enough, just the fact that it doesn’t cost you a dime to run the clothes line. It was on one particular laundry day in July when I heard a commotion out back. As I opened the door, I saw a stray dog trying to play catch with my hanging laundry and in particular, my lingerie. Just as I shouted, the dog made a final leap and snatched my favorite intimate. As I gave chase to the little thief, he

refused to heel as I screamed repeatedly, “Give me my panties!” He had a good lead on me when I noticed a man drop to one knee before the dog. When I breathlessly caught up to the two of them I asked, “Is this your dog?” “No.”, he replied. “Are these yours?” as he held up my black, favorite Victoria Secret. More than just a little embarrassed, I quickly grabbed my panties as he shared that the address on the dog’s collar was just around the corner. As we brought the dog to its home, we laughed about our escapade. Later that night as we dined together, I thought of the dog and was thankful he grabbed my underwear and not my mother’s “granny panties.” HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY this summer to Alicia and Bob from 4 Legs & a Tail.

Where’s the Smell? Priscilla Daggett - Calais, VT


28 4 Legs & a Tail

hen my cat, Mia, is in a sociable mood, she sometimes watches TV with me. We sit side by side on the futon, facing the small screen. Recently there was an episode of the PBS series Nature, and it was entitled, simply, “Cats.” I thought Mia Mia might enjoy it As if summoned, she hopped up on the futon and turned her gaze toward the TV. The action got going right away, and the first cat to appear was a fearsome creature called a “Pallas’s Cat”. He looked like a lion who had been squashed in a trash compactor, and his ears stuck straight out on the sides of his head. My Mia perked up hers, which are on the top of her head, and stared at the apparition on the screen. I explained to her that he was far away and would not come and get her. The Iberian Lynx was next. He looked built for speed, with long legs, and his big, tall ears gave him a look of extreme alertness. Mia came to attention again, and looked at me for reassurance. I told her he lives across the ocean. At that point she began to lose interest and would soon begin a nap. The TV, no matter how dramatic the video, can’t hold her attention for long, unless there is a realistic animal sound. But even then, something is missing. An African lion appeared, shaking his mane, and did a head-twisting roar. Mia jerked awake and looked bewildered. There was something there, but... Cats’ sense of smell is fourteen times more powerful than ours. Dogs are famously much more sensitive smellers, even than cats, and books are written about their olfactory prowess. But felines use their own powerful sense of smell, along with their acute vision, to identify, to sort out, to understand their environment and the creatures in it. The scent will tell them what is prey and what will prey upon them. A cat watching an image on the TV is like a person looking at another person and seeing a cardboard cutout. The TV picture, no matter how expert the photography, has no odor. So the “Cats” show could not hold my Mia for long, even when the sinister, low slung Jaguarundi crept onto the screen. My own small, sleek, calico domestic cat hopped down, gave a last look over her shoulder and slunk off to the bedroom. Clearly, to a cat, where there is no odor, there is no life. Summer 2017



Dog Days of Summer 2017 Northern VT & NH

Meet the Cat Detective How Old is Your Pet? The Ultimate Equine Vacation Hot Dog! Those Pesty Burdocks

4 Legs & A Tail 2017 North Summer  
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