A Happy Litter Box A Veterans Day Tribute to Nemo Does Your Cat Have Dental Disease? A Holistic Look at Treating Cancer Pet Emergencies That Require Immediate Attention!
Fall 2018 Northern VT & NH
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
2. A Cat and a Dog That LOVE Traveling Together 3. Woman Replaces Sister's Ex-Boyfriend with a Cat 3. Simple Ways to Keep Cats Off Your Kitchen Counter Tess Wilson 4. Ginger Cat Finds an Uninvited Guest in His Bed 5. Born From the Love of Dogs Jan M
How family pets inspired at local business
6. Take Action for What You Believe In You Never Know Where It Will Lead Melissa Guzikowski 8. Wag It Forward Mark your calendar for October 14 and
Chittenden County's biggest dog festival
10. Chase Away Canine Cancer Debbie Safron
How one local couple was inspired to help others battle canine cancer
12. Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Look at Treating Cancer Anne Carroll, DVM 14. Why is my Dog So Itchy? M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Even in fall, allergies may be the culprit
16. 13 Common Pet Emergencies That Need IMMEDIATE Attention! 18. Does My Cat Have Dental Disease? If So, How Can I Recognize It? How Painful is it? OK, Then Lets Fix It! Sandra L. Waugh, VMD,MS 20. Nemo: He Was the First of His Kind A tribute to all Vietnam veterans and one dog who served his country
22. Issues Pat Rauch No shelter dog is perfect. But if you can look past the issues, you may find the perfect dog for you
23. How is Your Horse's Nutrition Similar to His Dressage Training? Nicole Sicely 24. How Soon is Too Soon Karen Sturtevant
When the time is right, consider the Vermont English Bulldog Rescue
26. Thinking Outside the Box Holly McClelland
Alternatives to traditional clay cat litter
27. Downtown Etiquette Maria Karunungan
The do's and don'ts when you bring your dog to the city
28. Travel Safety Tips 4 Legs & a Tail Volume N.318
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Senior Editor: Scott Palzer
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If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, weâ€™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.
A Cat and a Dog that LOVE Traveling Together C
ynthia Bennett and her boyfriend, both based in Colorado, are keen hikers, back in 2014 they adopted their dog Henry at a puppy adoption event. “We looked around and Henry was just sitting there,” explained Cynthia. “They said he was only 3 and a half months, but he was like five times bigger than the other 3 and a half-month old puppies. And he had these long legs, and the body type of a wolf or husky.” Even though he was only 14 weeks old, it wasn’t long before he began hiking with them. “I think we only had him for three days when we took him on our first hike, which was to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs,” she said. “He found the steepest, tallest rock around, and he ran up to the top of it to look over the edge.” Soon the couple decided to extend their family and began the search for a kitten. “I really wanted a rescue kitten. I’d looked for five months, and I saw lots of different kittens, but none of them really had the right personality or fit. I knew that I wanted to take him anywhere — camping, hiking.” It was then that they found Baloo at a local animal shelter. He was a Siamese mix and as soon as they met a bond was formed. “He ran right up to me,” Cynthia said. “And he was the one who played, but he wasn’t the most rowdy.”
This kitty has a taste for adventure and loves to go hiking with his family… “He’s definitely not the kind of cat we can leave home alone on the weekend anymore, I think he thinks he’s more a dog than anything.” Baloo is so attached to the big pooch that when Cynthia put him onto Henry’s head for a photo — he liked it so much that it became a favorite spot! This loving family is so happy together that I’m sure there’ll be many more adventures ahead of them. You can see more of Baloo, Henry and Cynthia on Instagram All images @henrythecoloradodog
They took Baloo home and introduced him to Henry, it was love at first sight as Baloo immediately snuggled up to the big dog. Before long, Baloo started joining the family on their trips and they have wonderful adventures together which they have documented with these beautiful photos. It was love at first sight for Baloo and Henry and the two companions have become inseparable. 2 4 Legs & a Tail
Woman Replaces Sister’s Ex-Boyfriend with Cat in Family Photos W
hen 27-year-old Chloe Forsberg of Southampton, England, broke up with her boyfriend, her sister Emily decided there was only one course of action to make her sister feel better, remove him from all the family photos so that they were not a constant reminder of the failed four year relationship. But not only did Emily remove him from all the pics, she replaced him with pictures of Chloe’s cat Woof. “My cousin got married and my boyfriend — we were together four years — he was in all the official pictures,” Chloe told Today. “When we broke up six months (after the wedding), my sister thought it’d be fun to replace him with a picture of my cat. It was a joke, really. I felt a bit bad to have the pictures ruined with photos of him. But my sister made me feel a bit better about it.” And the best part of this story? No PhotoShop skills were required. Emily did it all using Microsoft Paint!
Simple Ways to Keep Cats Off Your Kitchen Counters Tess Wilson
n all-too-familiar dinner party scenario: At the home of friends, you’re sipping a glass of wine while your hosts put the finishing touches on dinner. Soon later, their beloved cat does its business in the litter box, licks itself a bit, and proceeds to hop up on the kitchen counters right where your dinner is being made. The cat wanders all over the counters, pausing now and then to lick and paw particularly interesting spots, perhaps even nosing the ingredients. Particularly bold and limber cats will step over the prepared food, forcing you to imagine the hair and kitty litter they're leaving behind. You as a guest are eternally grateful for your hosts’ generosity and good company, but you’re no longer psyched about the dinner aspect of the dinner party. How to Keep Cats Off Counters There might be moments when you might want to allow your furball to have free rein of the countertops, but there are also some instances when it’s best to set up the kitty equivalent of a “keep off” sign. Fall 2018
So what’s a devoted cat-lover to do? Let’s start out with an excellent quote from the ASPCA: Rather than spraying your cat with water when they jump on a forbidden counter, “arrange for the environment to punish your cat directly.” “Balance some lightweight cookie sheets on the edge of the counter. When your cat jumps up, she’ll land on the sheets. They’ll move and possibly topple over, making some unpleasant noise while she leaps back onto the floor.” If you don’t want your cats on your cookie sheets and your cookie sheets on the floor (or if you only own one cookie sheet), Huffington Post recommends using cheap, recyclable aluminum foil. The Humane Society advises making your counters unpleasantly sticky, either DIYstyle using double-sided tape, or using ready-made products. This Old House notes that cats hate the feel of sandpaper underfoot, so you could lay it on your counters when you're not cooking. If your counters are your cat’s idea of a little piece of heaven, Petfinder recommends simple ways to make them less enjoyable, like pulling down the blinds to block the basking sun — and the view of the bird feeder. According to The Nest’s Pet column, a peppermint solution can be sprayed on countertops to deter cats — and to make your kitchen minty fresh.
WikiHow has similar advice involving black pepper, lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, and lavender — delicious. One of my favorite solutions comes from Pawnation: “Some experts recommend clicker training. This method involves training your cat to jump off the counter on a cue word, like ‘off’. When the cat follows your cue, click the clicker, then reward your cat with a treat.” Positive reinforcement! ..And Don’t Forget to Clean Well After Cats Have Been on the Counters If your cats do occasionally traipse around your countertops, VetStreet wants you to protect your health —and the health of your guests — by cleaning the surfaces thoroughly before preparing food. Hot water, soap, and an antibacterial agent should do the trick. www.4LegsAndATail.com 3
Ginger Cat Finds an Uninvited Guest in His Bed A
ginger cat named George was horrified today when an uninvited guest decided to use his bed while he was having a walk in the garden. George’s human, Meloney Blaze, couldn’t believe her eyes. “When I came downstairs, and walked past the kitchen into the bathroom, I did a double take as in the kitchen window I could see a pair of huge ears. I thought, “hmm, those are not the cat’s ears”, and I turned the light on to look at what was in the cat’s bed – and it was a fox!” “He was very tame, he did not want to leave. George was outside the window and was not impressed, I had to let him in the bathroom window. He jumped on the side and leapt into action and was telling the fox off – he was even hissing at him, but the fox just looked at him.” Meloney, from London, UK, explained that she had woken in the night to let George out of the kitchen window so he could go into the garden, the fox must of sneaked in after she’d gone back to bed and had made itself at home in the kitty’s bed. When George returned, he tried to scare the uninvited guest away by hissing, but the fox refused to budge until Meloney grabbed the bed and tipped the fox out of the window. “He was very tame,” she explained, “he did not want to leave.” And with the cold spell that is sweeping across the UK at the moment, who can really blame him!
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Born from the Love of Dogs Jan McGinnis
y life with my two golden retrievers is filled with silly adventures and many shenanigans. As any dog owner knows, these funny, lovable canines have a unique way of waking you up early in the a.m. -- especially when all you really want is one more minute of sleep. Each morning, my hubby and I are not awakened by an alarm clock or a start-your-day ring tone. No, we have a goldie that starts his morning ritual, and ours, by wagging his tail -- and a wagging he does. This is his, “Mom and dad, get out of bed! I’m hungry! I need to do my business!” wake-up call. We both sleepily awake to this joyful routine, and can’t help but chuckle and swoon over his silly manner. My cute golden boy Ginnis starts his day with pure love and happiness. It’s nice, it’s positive, and it’s much needed and appreciated in times of swirling difficulty. We can all learn from these beautiful creatures who seem to have so much love to give. Dogs have a way of healing us, and over the years I’ve learned to take a deeper look at what these animals are giving to us. Our business, Lugindee, originated from our three lovely dogs: Lulu, Ginnis, and Dimaggio. We branded our business on the lessons we’ve learned from them -- lessons of unconditional love, peace, and compassion. Our Pasta Dog apron was inspired by our golden retrievers and our family of creative cooks and chefs. It only made sense to sketch up a cartoon of our dogs eating their favorite treat, a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Our dogs spend a lot of time in our kitchen at home -- especially counter surfing. Ginnis and Lulu, “the pasta dogs,” have stolen a meatball or two in their day. Check out our Pasta Dog aprons along with our other merchandise on Amazon.com or www.lugindee.net. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @lugindee. While you’re there, post a family-friendly photo of you and your pets. We’d love to hear from you. If you are interested in our Pasta Dog apron to sell in your gift shop or store, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org Fall 2018
GREEN MOUNTAIN ANIMAL DEFENDERS is excited to announce its 8th Annual Walk for All Animals on Saturday, September 29th. This fun-filled, family-friendly walk is unique, as it is held in honor of all species of animals. E-mail questions to email@example.com.
Take Action for What You Believe In — You Never Know Where It Will Lead You! Melissa Guzikowski
few weeks ago, I was walking a shelter dog named Marcos near a volcano on the sunny Spanish island of Tenerife. Two days ago, I was eating traditional Czech food at a vegetarian restaurant in Prague. Today I’m sitting at a cafe in Madrid and working on my vegan travel blog, easyvegantravel.com. Over the past few years, I’ve managed to build a life around my two greatest passions: animal advocacy and travel. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t come across Green Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) while studying at the University of Vermont. I’ve always loved animals, but I never believed that my personal choices could make a real difference in the world until I spent several months volunteering online for GMAD. Like me, GMADers believe that all animals are worthy of our protection. That’s why they run a variety of programs to help animals of all species, from house cats to tigers and everything in between.
To list just a few, GMAD volunteers and supporters are dedicated to these campaigns: COMPANION ANIMALS: Providing low-cost spay/neuter assistance, organizing pet-food drives, building and donating feral-cat shelters and insulated doghouses, and helping lost pets reunite with their families. WILDLIFE: Supporting Vermont’s licensed wildlife rehabilitators by providing cages, medical supplies, bedding, food, and other resources for injured or abandoned wildlife, as well as offering humane solutions for wildlife conf licts when animals find their way into homes or gardens. FARMED ANIMALS: Rescuing and rehabilitating sick or injured chicks, ducklings, goslings, and hatchling turkeys from farm-and-feed stores; educating people about the negative aspects of factory farming; promoting healthy plant-based diets; and providing support to farm-animal sanctuaries.
ADVOCACY: Promoting humane alternatives to the use of animals for product/cosmetic testing and as entertainment at circuses, rodeos, traveling zoos, and fairs through advocacy, education, and legislative efforts. I can say from experience that volunteering to help animals is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. If you want to have a positive impact on their well-being, here’s your chance. On September 29th, GMAD is having its 8th Annual Walk for All Animals. By then I’ll be in Central America, but if I were in or near Vermont, I’d be sure to attend! The walk is a great opportunity for like-minded people to come together and raise awareness and funds for GMAD’s incredible work.
SEPTEMBER 29TH WALK FOR ALL ANIMALS - Event starts in front of City Hall on Church Street in Burlington, VT at 11 a.m. - Check-in begins at 10 a.m. - Animals and people are encouraged to dress up in their favorite animal-related costumes - Registered walkers will receive prizes for participation - Dogs, pigs, or other willing, leashed/restrained pets are welcome to join the fun Continued Next Page
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If you’re unable to attend the Walk for All Animals this year, don’t fret; animal lovers near and far are welcome to participate in the event in person or virtually. Check out the Walk for All Animals site (https:// bit.ly/gmadwalk2018) to make a donation, register, or find more details. Donations may also be mailed to GMAD, PO Box 4577, Burlington, VT, 05406. No matter where you live, you can choose to adopt instead of purchase a dog, cat, or other animal companion; reduce or eliminate meat from your diet; purchase only cruelty-free household and personal-care products (see www.leapingbunny.org); or start your own blog about your love and concern for animals. My activism has introduced me to a community of compassionate, caring people all over the world. Having spent the last three years traveling and learning how to be the best person I can be, my only regret is not having spoken up about my beliefs sooner. If you want to help animals, it’s time to stand up for what you believe in; join us today in making the world a better place! To find out more about GMAD, please check out: www.GreenMountainAnimalDefenders.org, www.facebook.com/GreenMountainAnimalDefenders, and sign up for free e-alerts at http://bit.ly/ealert
WAG IT FORWARD D
o you love animals? Do you want a fun and meaningful way to “pay it forward”? Then do we have the event for you! Last year Pet Food Warehouse presented the first annual Wag It Forward: A Festival for Pets. Despite some dodgy weather in the morning, it was a blast and a smashing success with an estimated 1558 human
attendees, 714 dogs, 50 non-profit groups, and 30 vendors. This year, as part of celebrating Pet Food Warehouse’s 35 years in business, the 2nd Annual Wag It Forward Festival will be the dog event of the year; a benefit party you won’t want to miss! On Sunday, October 14th, Pet Food Warehouse will close up both stores for
the day and head over to the Champlain Valley Exposition to host the community and their pets at this fun filled fest. It all kicks off with the 8th Annual VetriScience Chase Away K9 Cancer 5K. Registration begins at 8 am and the race starts at 9 am. Runners and walkers can pre-register online at https://runsignup.com/Race/VT/EssexJunction/ ChaseAway5K. All Chase Away 5K runners and walkers will receive free entry to Wag It Forward after the race with their race bib. The gates for Wag It Forward open to the public at 10 am. Want to skip the lines? You can pre-buy WIF tickets and pick up your canine waiver at either Pet Food Warehouse location now! Tickets are $5 minimum donation for adults. Kids and pets are free! All profits equally benefit participating non-profit animal welfare groups. At Wag It Forward we love wet dogs! Dock Dogs will compete on-site thanks to the generous support of GlycoFlex Continued Next Page
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and Pets Global, providing the opportunity for your dog to show off some water skills, too. The competition begins Saturday, October 13th at 3:00 pm and runs through Wag It Forward. If you’d like to participate in the jumps you can register on-site at 9am each day or, preferably, online at dockdogs.com. A variety of other demonstrations will be running throughout the day courtesy of 802 Disc Dogs, MotoDog Training, Comfort Hill Kennel, A Passion for Pets, and the Humane Society of Chittenden County! The Grift, Vermont’s premier goodtime party band, will keep us all moving with their booty-shaking grooves. Come hungry! We’ll have tons of local food options and, for the beer and wine drinking crowd, a beer tent nestled by the band will be the perfect spot to socialize with your two, three and four-legged friends. But, what will the kids do? They’ll bounce in a castle, get their faces painted and get inked at our (temporary) tattoo booth! Looking to memorialize the day? Stop by the bandana tie-dye station or step up to Photobooth Planet with your pup and walk away with a one-of-a-kind mementos. Be sure to get there early to participate in our costume parade and contest that starts at noon sharp. Place in the top three of any of the categories to win some goodies! The categories this year are: Matching Duos; Superheroes; and in honor of Pet Food Warehouse’s 35 anniversary, the 1980’s! The event is generously sponsored by many local and national businesses, including: GlycoFlex, Pets Global, Pronature, WellPet, Grizzly Pet Products, Healthy Hemp Pet, Sojos, American Natural Premium, BEVS, Koha, Laurie’s All Natural Products, Oma’s Pride, Petmate, PetSafe, The Honest Kitchen, The Pour House, PetSafe, Triumph, Vital Essentials, and so many more! Without these great sponsorships, we wouldn’t be able to provide a no cost avenue for local animal welfare and rescue groups to help raise awareness and funds as a community. Joining the non-profit organizations are tons of animal loving vendors who have dedicated their time and energy to creating unique products and experiences for your pets. We can’t wait to celebrate Pet Food Warehouse’s 35th anniversary with you and your pets on a beautiful fall day. For more details about the event, visit www. pfwvt.com/wag-itforward-a-festival-for-pets.html. For questions about the day’s events, please contact Ginny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chase Away Canine Cancer Debbie Safran
e (my now-husband and I) noticed something was wrong in October 2006. The vet thought it was probably arthritis—Ellie was almost 10 after all—and sent us home with a bottle of carprofen. When the pills stopped working after a few days, we scheduled x-rays. That’s when we got the devastating news. Osteosarcoma. It’s one thing to know osteosarcoma is the leading cause of death in greyhounds. It’s another thing to know it will cause the death of your greyhound. The next few days were a blur. Crying. Meeting with specialists. Calling friends and family, “Ellie is dying!” And the guilt, oh, the guilt. All the signs she gave us, which we chalked up to her age. Truth is, it’s hard play when there’s a tumor at the head of your femur, jamming into your hip socket. But guilt doesn’t change the decision we needed to make. E uthanasia. Amputation. Pain management. How to treat your dog’s cancer is deeply personal. You have to consider what you can emotionally and financially handle. What your dog can emotionally and physically handle. I looked into Ellie’s big brown eyes and saw that she wanted the pain to stop. But she wasn’t ready to go. She had three good legs, a clear chest x-ray, and lots of life left. So, on November 6, 2006, little Ellie’s lost her left hind leg. The dog community showered us with more love and support than I could have imagined. And I knew, after Ellie recovered, I’d pay it forward.
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That same year, Cera Reusser got devastating news of her own. Her dock diving champion, Chase, was also diagnosed with cancer—nasal carcinoma—and was gone before her first chemotherapy treatment. To cope with this loss, Cera set her sights on a cure for this devastating disease. And founded Chase Away K9 Cancer. This grassroots campaign, under the National Canine Cancer Foundation, has so far raised $1.2 million and funded 17 research grants. Though we live 3,000 miles apart, it was only a matter of time before my and Cera’s paths would cross. Maybe because of the catchy nonprofit name. Or the Stephen Huneck-designed custom logo. Or maybe it was our shared passion. It was probably a combination of all three. Regardless, I needed to bring Chase Away K9 Cancer to Vermont. Because my husband and I have runners, not dock-divers, I took a different approach. In 2011, I organized the first-ever Chase Away 5K. Experts told me to expect about 50 runners that first year. We had almost 100. And the event keeps growing. It means so much to our repeat runners. To those who include their dogs’ names on the back of the event tee (which lists “We’re Running For…”). Who share with me their stories—and photos!—at fundraising events, before the run, and after. Who use the Chase Away 5K to build their own support network. Everyone wants to feel like part of the solution. Chase Away K9 Cancer gives them that chance.
*We will not sell or give your information to a third party N318 Fall 2018
A Holistic Look at Treating Cancer Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
ancer can be a daunting and very intimidating diagnosis to receive for a loved pet. It comes with a stigma that causes us to go to that worst place, fearing a disease that is impossible to treat. But if we take a moment to put those knee-jerk emotions aside, cancer is just like many other diseases. Modern research is constantly identifying the mechanisms by which specific types of tumors operate in the body, and in doing so uncover their vulnerabilities. This information allows us to develop modern tools to use in the fight against cancer, some of which rely on harnessing the body’s own immune system to engage in the battle. Meanwhile, we also have far older tools long used by alternative practitioners. In our hospital, we use Chinese medicine, homeopathic remedies and nutrition to treat the imminent threat of a cancer and attempt to subdue
it into a manageable condition while preserving a good quality of life. Before launching into a discussion on cancer itself, let’s back up to before we reach that diagnosis. After all, holistic medicine is as much about prevention as it is about treating illness. When pet guardians and veterinarians team up to promote ideal health in advance that is where we see the most impact on quality and length of our animal’s lives. When I am assessing a young healthy animal from a Chinese perspective, I am looking for that animal’s weaknesses or areas of imbalance, some call that their ‘constitution’. Every medical philosophy I can think of, even Western medicine to a lesser extent, takes the patient’s constitution into account when trying to prevent or treat disease. Do they struggle with obesity, get lots of infections that are smelly, and tend to be hyper? Or are they thin, timid, and have a dull dandery coat? Just as their constitutions differ, so will these animal’s medical complaints, and when using Chinese medical philosophy the nature of those medical complaints are fairly predictable in advance. Ideally we take this predictive information and use diet, herbs, etc. early on to minimize that basic imbalance, because without intervention the body will take its own measures to function as best as possible in the short term. The issue comes over time when these quickfix workarounds interfere with the ways the body was ideally designed to operate, and that opens the door for acute, then chronic disease, and in many cases finally a cancer. So let’s say we did not have an opportunity to identify and address imbalances in advance and now our dog or cat has an illness. We use the same assessment technique to treat disease issues when they occur, and that includes cancer. Identifying imbalance is often not as straight forward in this case as in younger pets, since over time the body has made many different attempts to ‘fix’ things. We are often addressing patterns like layers in an onion, dealing with the current Continued Next Page
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situation and slowly working back to the core issue as we discover it. We can use Elsie Mae as an example. She is a 9 year old Golden Retriever, diagnosed with an aggressive and inoperable thyroid cancer by MRI. The thyroid gland is in charge of the body’s metabolic rate, and Elsie’s tumor was forcing it into an overactive hyperthyroid condition that is not typical in dogs. She had a fast heart rate, was panting all the time, and unable to settle quietly due to a constant feeling of restlessness. Medications were used to bring her thyroid levels down, but her symptoms were not going away, so her owner wanted to explore any alternative options. When we saw Elsie she was just as described above, by all impressions a hot and slightly restless dog which is not unusual for the types of imbalances we see in her breed. However, her tongue and pulse showed a different story, that Elsie’s problem was metaphorically one of stagnant circulation of blood and a lack of that cooling fluid. Her ‘heat’ in this moment was more a side condition, like a car radiator that overheats when it doesn’t have enough coolant. Elsie had already outlived the time her veterinarians had predicted for her and now her quality of life was declining, so we used acupuncture and homeopathy to try to get some immediate relief. Elsie’s response was dramatic and rapid. That same evening after her first treatment, her panting and restlessness were gone, and those symptoms did not return for two weeks. This type of symptom management is not always so complete for every patient but most do have some response, enough to give us time to address the pattern of imbalance with slower acting herbs and diet. In Elsie’s case we also used aggressive supports known to hamper cancer cells such as Vitamin A and medical mushrooms to try to slow her cancer’s progression and spread. Perhaps more importantly, holistic supports often achieve our primary goal, to make patients like Elsie Mae feel well for whatever time they have left, however long that may be. Not all cases require an aggressive intervention using so many tools. Some tumors are slow to cause issues and we are not as pressured to do a lot quickly. Take Rudy for example, a 13 year old mixed breed dog who came in for his annual checkup with complaints of being a bit less active than usual. An examination found some enlargement of his abdomen and an xray confirmed a large mass that was taking up enough of his midsection that his intestines were crowded into his lower belly. His person decided that any invasive intervention was not the best choice for Rudy. So Dr Black, our homeopathic Fall 2018
Rudy and best friend Gypse
practitioner, prescribed a remedy and afterwards Rudy felt better. His energy improved, and over the next year and a half his mass reduced in size as he took nutritional supports and a series of adjusted homeopathic remedies to fit his changing condition. The mass is still there, but is being effectively managed so it does not pose any immediate concern to his well-being, and that is all we ever hope for when dealing with any serious disease. These cases show a wide difference between how dramatically a cancer can affect the body, and how fast. Just as we mentioned above, that early intervention to manage imbalances is best done before serious disease occurs. It is equally important to seek out alternative therapy as soon as a cancer or any disease is diagnosed. The longer illness is allowed to progress and do damage, the less resources and energy the body has to fight it. Holistic medicine is not magic, it simply uses tools that modern medicine has not researched and developed into mainstream therapy or pharmaceuticals yet. Its methods can modulate circulation and tissue oxygen levels to create improvements that can seem magical in that they exceed conventional expectations, but we still rely on the body’s ability to respond and do the work. As such we always recommend starting early, even integrating therapy alongside conventional care. Research has indisputably shown that alternative therapies do not interfere with conventional cancer care, and overwhelmingly they help to improve quality of life. In our experience, they improve response to treatment as well
by affecting tumor vulnerability in ways conventional medicine can’t harness, and since multi-modal tumor attack is the goal in any oncology protocol, the safe application of alternative therapy can’t hurt and often helps enormously. We do treat patients who are receiving conventional care differently, tailoring their program to maximize their Western care and minimize its side effects. Once the patient is stable on their conventional care, new alternative additions are given slowly so as not to overwhelm the patient with too much at once. Trying to tackle the daunting task of treating cancer is not for everyone, nor every animal, whether using alternative medicine, surgery or chemotherapy. The first step is to get educated since each type of cancer is different. Exploring the details of what each therapy entails, its prognosis and cost is the first step in deciding what is best for your family and pet. Then if you decide that alternative medicine is going to be part of your therapy, embark on early coordinated treatment when possible and give yourselves the best chance for success and don’t wait until all western options have been exhausted and your pet is in decline. Unfortunately sometimes a critical condition arises so fast that you find yourself having to make immediate decisions, often without the benefit of past holistic care to give you confidence to try. In these cases follow what your heart tells you is best. Perhaps in the future specialists will include alternative options as front line therapy in acutely critical cases, but for now it is up to the individual to seek out those options when they feel their pet still wants a fighting chance. The same goes for patients that have had a tumor removed, but the expectation is for it to come back. Sometimes chemotherapy or tumor vaccines are options, but keep in mind using alternative medicine addresses the imbalance that allowed that condition to arise in the first place. Doing so may slow its return, and give us more time to relish playing ball or snuggling on the couch with our furry friends. Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices 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 www.4LegsAndATail.com 13
Announcing Vermont Veterinary Student Scholarships Students graduating veterinary school generally have an extraordinary debt load, with some students having borrowed up $350,00. This is a crushing amount of debt for young veterinarians just starting out in their career and can take decades to pay off. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association Foundation’s mission is to provide scholarships for Vermonters attending veterinary school to help lower the debt load they face upon graduation. Applicants are chosen based on their overall burden of debt, academic achievement, desire to return to practice in Vermont, and their ability to overcome obstacles which confront them upon entering the veterinary profession. Funds are raised through contributions from veterinarians in Vermont and from the New England Veterinary Medical Association Conference. Since its establishment in 2012, the VVMAF has contributed $56,000 to Vermonters attending veterinary school. The number of scholarship applicants in 2018 exceeded the number of awards given, and it was a difficult task to make the decision this year among extraordinary candidates. The VVMAF is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2018 scholarships: Heather Curley of Jericho is a senior at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She plans to work in Vermont at either a small or mixed animal practice. She has strong ties to Vermont and the VVMA and volunteered at the VVMA Summer Meeting in 2017. Melissa Trayah of Colchester is a junior at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She plans to become a radiologist and work in Vermont after going through a radiology residency. She has worked at multiple referral hospitals in the Burlington area. Congratulations to these Vermont students!
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Why is My Dog So Itchy?! It Might Be Allergies M. Kathleen Shaw DVM - Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
easonal allergies (atopy) is one of the most common skin disorders in dogs. It is an inherited allergic reaction to pollen, grass, mold, or one of many things Mother Nature makes. These dogs also have certain areas of the body where the skin is defective and doesn’t form a good barrier, allowing these allergens to contact it and trigger an immune reaction. The result is your dog is miserable: it’s intensely itchy and uncomfortable and it’s made worse by secondary bacterial and yeast infections. This includes the ears. Imagine how it would feel to
have mosquito bites all over your body all of the time, and you’ll get an idea of how your dog feels. Before we even begin to try to control atopy, it is crucial that we start by preventing another main cause of itchy skin: fleas and ticks. Even though you don’t see fleas or are only seeing a few fleas on your pet, monthly flea/tick prevention is crucial. If your pet is allergic to them, just one flea bite can make your dog intensely itchy and this Continued Next Page
can mimic atopy. Your veterinarian can identify and treat any other skin problems such as other parasites, bacterial, or yeast infections. Sometimes a hormonal problem such as a low thyroid level (dogs) can make the skin barriers weak and lead to infection and itching. Once these other contributors are under control, treatment options for the atopy can be explored. Treatment for atopy often starts with symptomatic care, which is always a good place to start if your dog is mildly itchy. The advantage is it doesn’t cost as much, is very safe, and you see relatively quick benefits. It doesn’t require monitoring blood work or more expensive medications. The downside is that it is not as effective as the drugs and is labor intensive. The single most important thing you can do to help your itchy dog with atopy is bathing. Despite the widespread belief that frequent baths will dry out the skin, most dermatologists agree that you cannot over- bathe an allergic dog provided you use a veterinary skin barrier repair product and moisturizer after bathing. Wipe down your dog’s feet and undercarriage after coming in from outside twice a day. This will help remove the allergens from the skin. Keep the hair coat short to decrease the “dust mop” effect where it collects even more allergens when outside. Remember if your pet has atopy, you will want to choose a flea/tick preventative that is not susceptible to being washed away from repeated bathing. Other symptomatic treatments for atopy include essential fatty acids, topical anti-inflammatory products, and
antihistamines. Your veterinarian can help you come up with the doses and frequency of administration of medications to symptomatically treat atopy. If symptomatic care is not controlling your pet’s itching, we must then consider additional therapies. There are two options: Allergy Specific Immunotherapy (ASIT) or medications. ASIT involves blood or skin testing to determine which allergens are affecting your pet. It can be one of the easier, safer, and more cost-effective therapies and a long-term track record of safety and efficacy. Once results are obtained, the dermatologist can formulate a plan for treating your pet with “allergy shots” much the same as in human medicine. Medications can be very effective for controlling atopy and are used in conjunction with symptomatic therapy. As with any drug, it’s important to look at the risk vs. benefit to the pet. Your veterinarian, who knows your pet, can tailor the treatment. It is important to understand that atopy is a frustrating, chronic disease and the goal is to improve your pet’s quality of life and decreasing the itching. It is a disease that is controlled, rather than “cured”. Your veterinarian will tailor a treatment plan to your dog, considering your pet’s tolerance to the treatment
and also your ability to administer it. Your dog will likely have flare-ups from time to time, making it necessary to alter the treatment plan, so keep in contact with your veterinarian and don’t assume because one treatment is not helping that none of them will. Celebrating 120 years of service in Vermont! The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 370 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.
13 Common Pet Emergencies That Need Immediate Attention H
aving a pet is a commitment. Most people misunderstand the most common pet emergencies, and don’t call for help until it’s too late. Understanding and keeping a list of the most common emergencies that require a veterinarian’s attention will help keep a pet healthy for a long time. 1. Severe Bleeding This is the number one emergency because too many people believe an animal’s first aid can be done at home. If bleeding is severe or lasts more than five minutes, it must be checked by a vet. The fur could be hiding a bigger problem, or the animal might need stitches to heal without infection. The cut could be deeper than it appears, or there could be internal bleeding that needs surgery. 2. Choking and Difficulty Breathing As with humans, it’s never a good idea to “wait and see” when an animal cannot breathe. Never try to clear the airway, and learn animal CPR to keep the animal safe. Take the vet to emergency care, even if CPR helps the animal breathe again, to make sure the animal is safe. A vet is the best trained person to make sure the animal does not have internal damage that caused the breathing issues. 3. Blood from Extremities If there is blood in sputum, vomit, excrement, nose, ears, eyes, or mouth, it’s important to find out why. Perhaps the animal was injured while out of your sight, and needs emergency procedures to live. Blood should never be taken lightly. Seek emergency care immediately if blood is found coming from an animal. There could be unseen internal injuries. Continued Next Page
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4. Inability to Toilet If the animal has pain in urination or defecation, or can do neither, it’s important to find out why. The animal could have an issue larger than you can handle, and may need a doctor’s care. Animals often do not express pain, so an ongoing issue can progress to a life threatening problem without your knowledge. 5. Injury to Eyes An animal’s eyes are structured differently than a human’s eyes. If the eye is injured, there could be internal damage to structures close to the brain. Asking a vet for help will save your pet further harm. 6. Eating Poison Many things that are fine for humans are toxic for animals. Items such as antifreeze, multivitamins, chocolate, pest poison, and more are very dangerous. They are also items an animal will ingest willingly. Learn what items are poisonous to your pet and call a vet emergency service immediately if you suspect your animal has ingested any poisonous substance. 7. Seizures If an animal seizes, vet attention is required immediately. Staggering also falls under this category. These activities indicate a problem with the brain, and the animal needs immediate help. A vet can assess the situation, and might require more tests to find out how to best help the animal. 8. Lameness and Broken Bones It’s never a good idea to allow an animal to “heal” when he or she displays leg issues. Allowing this to happen will cause the animal unnecessary pain later in life. Avoid these issues by taking the animal to the vet and help him or her live a longer, healthier, happier life. 9. Pain and Anxiety As stated above, pets will not tell their humans when there is pain. If an animal is exhibiting signs of pain, it has progressed to a severe state and the animal must see a vet right away. Another method of expressing pain or illness is anxiety. If your normally happy dog suddenly snaps at your hand or does not welcome visitors, there might be a physical issue. Call a vet right away to have the animal evaluated to check for any possible pain. If you can pinpoint the area of the pain, it will help the vet’s diagnosis. Note the animal’s change in behavior and anxiety activities as well, as these notes will also help the vet. 10. Heat Stroke As more stories of animals left in cars surface, so does the awareness of heat stroke. If an animal is suffering from heat stroke, he or she must see a vet immediately. Some signs of heat stroke are: - panting excessively
- dark or bright red gums - dry tongue
- bloody diarrhea and/or vomiting - staggering, stupor or seizures
11. Severe Vomiting/Diarrhea Many people like to wait these out, but either of these items in their severity will cause dehydration and death quickly. It’s important to find out why the animal is having this reaction. Take the animal to the vet, and try to remember what the animal has eaten. Consider any poisons the animal may have encountered using the poison list mentioned above. The information you can provide about your pet’s most recent activities will help the vet find out what’s wrong. 12. Refusal to Drink An animal will drink consistently. If the animal has had nothing to drink in the past 24 hours, despite available water, take the animal to the vet. It’s important to understand your animal and keep the water dish clean, but even if the dish is dirty, an animal will eventually drink from it. Any refusal to do so over 24 hours is an indication of an emergency situation. 13. Unconsciousness This item seems obvious, but some pet owners may think their animal is simply sleeping. If the animal cannot be roused from a sleep, contact a vet right away. The animal may have passed out. The vet will need to evaluate the animal to find out what could be happening to make the animal lose consciousness. Fall 2018
Does my Cat Have Dental Disease? If So, How Can I Recognize it? How Painful is it? OK, Then Lets Fix It! Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS
10 year old Domestic Shorthair with severe periodontal disease. The green arrow points to exposure of the root with plaque and pus on the root. This tooth was extracted. Cats tend to push their canine teeth out of the socket. This is called root extrusion. The black arrow points to the crown - root junction. Cats with severe periodontal disease tend to get both bone loss (periodontal disease) and tooth resorption (holes in the teeth).
oes my cat have dental disease? Over 80% of cats over the age of 3 have some degree of periodontal disease. If your cat is 3 years of age or over and does not receive routine dental care, then it is very likely that your cat does have some degree of periodontal disease. As discussed before in 4 Legs & a Tail, periodontal disease starts with bleeding gums and ends with very loose teeth and infection in the mouth. This infection can spread to other organs in the body. Early periodontal disease can be reversed, but once bone is lost the disease can be halted but not reversed. Too much bone loss and the teeth must be extracted. Periodontal disease is very common in cats
7 year old Domestic Shorthair cat with tooth resorptions with no periodontal disease. The dental radiograph is included to demonstrate just how much destruction of the tooth occurs with this disease. These holes are very painful. Typically cats will refuse to eat dry food and eat slowly. The green arrow points to an area where the gum has grown up onto the crown to cover over the hole in the tooth and lessen the pain. With practice these areas can be readily seen.
Cats can fracture their teeth. The most common teeth to fracture are the canine teeth. If just the point of the tooth has fractured off, the tooth may be OK. If more than just the point is gone, the tooth may become infected from the bacteria that live in the mouth and become non-vital. Just like the dog, a non-vital or dead tooth can become discolored. The blue arrow points to a non-vital, discolored tooth. Compare the color of the opposite upper canine at the tip (green arrow). This tooth has a small fracture at the very tip but is still OK. Continued Next Page
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An uncommon (fortunately) but extremely painful dental disease in the cat is Stomatitis. It is thought that this occurs because the cat has become allergic to plaque. The entire mouth turns red and swollen. (The inside of the mouth has been described as looking like “raw hamburger”.) This disease is so painful that cats will stop eating due to the pain. The disease is treated by extracting all of the teeth. Cats and dogs do not stop eating just because they have some pain. They will chew on the less painful side, or not chew the food very much before swallowing. Eating is pleasurable and necessary to stay alive. Pain must become quite severe before a pet actually stops eating. How might I recognize dental disease in my cat? You need to get a good look at the teeth! Train your cat to allow you to look at and touch the teeth. Routinely getting a good look at the teeth and gums will then allow you to notice any changes in the mouth. What if I don’t see such dramatic changes in my cat’s mouth? Then what? In addition to using your eyes, use your nose! Periodontal disease creates bad breath of the “rotten egg” or “swamp gas” variety. This smell comes from sulfur compounds emitted by the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Carefully watch your cat and observe any changes such as: • Difficulty picking up food • Tipping the head to one side while chewing • Chewing on only one side of the mouth • Dropping or spitting food out of the mouth • Preferring soft food over hard. A change in preference from dry to soft is significant. • Eating slowly or eating a small amount at a time (when normal behavior was to eat the bowl clean) • Listen for chattering jaws when your cat eats. Other things to look for: • Red or bleeding gums • Blood in the water bowl or on a chew toy. • Lumps or bumps in or around your cat’s mouth, especially any swelling present on one side but not the other. • If you are brushing the teeth, be alert for increased resistance to toothbrushing and note what teeth were being brushed if it occurs. • If tartar is much thicker on one side of the mouth than the other, then your cat is chewing on the side with less tartar, which is the less painful side. • Loose teeth • Head shyness (your cat not wanting you to touch their head) • Nasal discharge and sneezing (advanced gum disease in the upper canine teeth can lead to bone loss between the nasal and oral cavity) • Banging one side of the head on a cabinet or other solid object.
Some people can smell plaque, which has a sour smell, similar to milk that has just gone “off”. Plaque breath is unpleasant, periodontal disease breath makes you want to run away from your pet to get to fresh air. As dental disease advances it not only can cause significant pain but also causes a generalized lack of energy and enthusiasm. Dental pain is generally not expressed by whining or whimpering but by a gradual withdrawal from activity and interest. The cat that used to great you at the door carving figure eight’s between your legs is now nowhere to be seen. This is often attributed to changes with age but it certainly can be caused by dental pain. I compare this to a person with a really bad headache. How much enthusiasm does that person display? How grouchy are they? And what a change once the headache goes away. The photographs and radiographs shown in this article and the previous one on dogs show obvious changes in the teeth and gums. However, dental disease can be quite subtle and not so obvious on a visual examination of the mouth. Two thirds of every tooth is below the gum line inside the bone of the skull. To maintain oral health in your pet a yearly cleaning and examination under anesthesia with dental radiographs is the best way to determine if any dental disease is present, and if it is, to get it treated promptly.
All of the photographs in this article were taken at my dental practice within the last 4 months. These conditions are routine in cats and can be treated to restore the mouth to a healthy state. If you are worried that your cat may have dental disease, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Diagnosing dental disease in cats requires that dental x-rays be taken, in addition to using a probe and explorer on each tooth. Treating all of the dental disease in the mouth and restoring the mouth to a healthy state can make a dramatic difference in your cat’s life. I have so often been told by clients “My cat is like a kitten again!! I can’t believe what a difference getting the teeth taken care of has made. Now I feel guilty for not doing this sooner.” Don’t feel guilty, get your cat’s teeth examined and treated. 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. Fall 2018
In March 1965*, military working dogs were approved for use in Vietnam. By July 17th, forty teams had been deployed to three bases - Tan Son Nhut, Ben Hoa and DaNang. This was only the beginning, by the end of the year there were 99 dogs in the country. By September 1966 more than 500, dog teams were deployed to ten bases. In the seventeen months between July 1965 and December 1966, not a single Viet Cong sapper team penetrated a base guarded by sentry dogs.
*The United States Air Force K-9 was in Vietnam as early as 1960, with a sentry dog research and development project, located at Go Vap, an old French dog compound on the outskirts of Saigon.
He Was the First of His Kind... H
e was the first hero of his kind to return from the Vietnam War. The welcoming committee watched him walk down the ramp of the plane that had just landed at Kelly Air Force Base. He was wounded, his right eye was missing and a scar ran from below his right eye socket to his mouth. But his wounds weren't what made him different from other returning Vietnam veterans...it was because he was a dog. Of the many dogs that served this country in Vietnam, Nemo is probably the most famous. Nemo was whelped October 1962 and was procured by the Air Force in the summer of '64, from a sergeant, for sentry dog training, when he was 1 1/2 years old. After completing an eight-week training course at Lackland's Sentry Dog
Training School, in San Antonio, Texas; the 85 pound, black and tan German Shepherd, and his new handler, Airman Bryant were assigned to Fairchild AB, Washington for duty with Strategic Air Command. In January 1966, Nemo and handler, Airman Leonard Bryant Jr., were transferred to the Republic of South Vietnam with a large group of other dog teams and was assigned to the 377th Security Police Squadron, stationed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Six months later, in July, Nemo's original handler rotated back to the States. The dog was then paired with 22-year-old Airman 2nd Class Robert Thorneburg. It's here that we begin our story, on how and why Nemo was to become famous... Nemo No. A534, 377th Security Police K-9 Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam. Tan Son Nhut: The story took a tragic turn on December 4, 1966. During the early morning hours, a group of 60 Viet Cong emerged from the jungle. Several sentry dog teams stationed on preventive perimeter posts gave the initial alert and warning almost simultaneously. Immediately, Rebel, a sentry dog on patrol, was released. The response was a hail of bullets that killed the dog. Forty-five minutes later the group was detected by sentry dog Cubby. Cubby was released with the same results. It was clear that the VC had learned to handle the attack dog. Another dog, Toby, was killed and several handlers wounded before the attackers were finally driven off. As a result of this early warning, security forces of the 377th Air Police Squadron successfully repelled the attack, minimizing damage to aircraft and facilities. Although wounded, one dog handler maintained contact with the enemy and notified Central Security Control of their location and direction of travel. Two security policemen in a machine gun bunker were ready and waiting as the Viet Cong approached the main aircraft parking ramp. In a few seconds, they stopped the enemy, killing all 13 of the attackers. Continued Next Page
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Security forces rapidly deployed around the perimeter and prevented the infiltrators from escaping, forcing them to hide. Three airmen and their dogs had died in the fighting. By daybreak, the search patrols believed that all of the remaining Viet Cong were killed or captured. Unfortunately, supervisors did not include dog teams in those daylight patrols. Airman 2nd Class Bob Thorneburg and his dog Nemo were to become legends later that night. The sentry dog teams that climbed into the back of the army truck that night were quieter than usual. Many of the handlers were thinking about the events of the previous night. They were saddened by the loss of their fellow K-9s. They were also anxious about what awaited them on their patrols. There was a good chance that stragglers from the previous night's attack could still be out there. That night, Thor neburg and Nemo were assigned duty near an old Vietnamese graveyard about a quarter mile from the air base's runways. No sooner had they started their patrol... Nemo alerted on something in the cemetery. But before Thorneburg could radio the CSC, that "something" opened fire.
Airman L. Bryant and Nemo
Thorneburg released his dog and then charged firing into the enemy. Nemo was shot and wounded, the bullet entering under his right eye and exited through his mouth. Thorneburg killed one VC before he too was shot in the shoulder and knocked to the ground. That might of been the sad end of the story. But Nemo refused to give in without a fight. Ignoring his serious head wound, the 85-pound dog threw himself at the Vietcong guerrillas who had opened fire. Nemo's ferocious attack brought Thorneburg the time he needed to call in backup forces. A Quick Reaction Team arrived and swept the area but found no other Viet Fall 2018
Cong. However, security forces, using additional sentry dog teams, located and killed four more Viet Cong. A second sweep with the dog teams resulted in the discovery of four more Viet Cong who were hiding underground. They, too, were killed. Although severely wounded, Nemo crawled to his master and covered him with his body. Even after help arrived Nemo would not allow anyone to touch Thorneburg. Finally separated, both were taken back to the base for medical attention. Thorneburg was wounded a second time on the return to the base. Lt. Raymond T. Hutson, the base vet, worked diligently to save Nemo's life. It required many skin grafts to restore the animal's appearance. Nemo was blinded in one eye After the veterinarian felt Nemo was well enough, the dog was put back on perimeter duty. But it turned out his wounds needed further treatment. On June 23, 1967, Air Force Headquarters directed that Nemo be returned to the United States with honors, as the first sentry dog to be officially retired from active service. Thorneburg had to be evacuated to the hospital at Tachikawa Air Base in Japan to recuperate. The handler and the dog who saved his life said their final goodbyes. Airman Thorneburg fully recovered from his wounds and also returned home with honors. Nemo flew halfway around the world accompanied by returning airman Melvin W. Bryant. The plane touched down in Japan, Hawaii, and California. At each stop, Air Force vets would examine the brave dog for signs of discomfort, stress, and fatigue...after all he was a War Hero! Finally, the C-124 Globemaster touched down at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, on July 22, 1967. Captain Robert M. Sullivan, was the officer in charge of the sentry dog training program at Lackland and was the head of Nemo's welcome home committee. "I have to keep from getting involved with individual dogs in this program," Sullivan said, "but I can't help feeling a little emotional about this dog. He shows how valuable a dog is to his handler in staying alive." After settling in Nemo and Captain Sullivan made a number of cross-country tours and television appearances, as part of the Air Force's recruitment drive for more war dog candidates, until the US involvement in Vietnam started to wind down. Nemo then spent the rest of his retirement at the Department of Defense Dog Center, Lackland AFB, Texas. He was given a permanent kennel near the veterinary facility. A sign with his
Nemo Having His Monthly Checkup At Lackland
name, serial number, and details of his Vietnam heroic exploit designated his freshly painted home. Nemo died December 1972 at Lackland AFB, shortly before the Christmas holiday; after a failed attempt to preserve his remains, the Vietnam War hero was laid to rest on March 15, 1973, at the DoD Dog Center, at the age of 11. Until then, his presence at Lackland reminded students just how important a dog is to his handler - and to the entire unit. --- Dedication -- Vietnam ...was to become the longest war ever fought by the American armed forces and certainly one of the U.S. most unpopular. For almost ten years, we sent our young men and women to serve, fight and died alongside each other without the full support of a country, whose flag they served. This article is dedicated to all those, who served their country!
Your initial contact was guarded. The dog was wary and you were not sure that this was the right choice, but his past was so sad that you wanted to help him by providing a home. The worker urged you to think about it and return in a week or two. The next day you returned, sure that whatever issues existed could be resolved. That was nearly six years ago. You adopted the dog and worked diligently to socialize him and make him comfortable in your home, with your friends, and with other animals, including cats.
Issues Pat Rauch
magine the following scenario: You’ve decided to share your life with a dog. You go to the shelter and see several adoptable canines. A German shepherd is available. Brady is beautiful, supposedly purebred, but the worker says he has “issues.” The moment of truth has arrived. Can you deal with his “issues?” Adoptable dogs do not always come with a dossier, but Brady (named after the football star) has an extensive history. He lived with a couple and a cat. The husband mistreated him. As a result he distrusts men, dislikes cats, and shows evidence of
fear aggression. At some point the wife brought him to the shelter where he stayed for many months until he began to trust the workers. With limited space for exercise Brady learned to pace, but was well fed and cared for and obviously someone saw potential in him. At one point he was adopted, but within weeks was returned, the new owner claiming to be unable to devote the time and energy needed to cope with him and his “issues.” Now, nearly a year after he was brought to the shelter, he is still looking for a home.
This is a true story. Brady belonged to our daughter. We called him our “city cousin” and whenever he came to visit he loved the country and enjoyed the freedom to run on our property, play with our dog, and interact ever so slightly with our cat. Brady was still insecure when it came to new people, backing away and barking fiercely. Trips to the vet required minor sedation, especially when his nails needed to be trimmed. But this once standoffish creature finally greeted us eagerly, no longer growling or feigning biting, and had moments when he was truly lovable. He proved that caring can do wonders! With years of loving care and mutual devotion Brady lived out a full life with his adopted family.
Bears ‘Guard’ Cannabis Fields
olice in Canada found themselves dealing with some unlikely criminals, when they discovered a gang of bears guarding a marijuana farm during a raid. Five police officers had been called to the marijuana plantation to dismantle the farm and arrest two men, but found themselves confronted by 13 black bears. Fortunately police soon realized that they showed no signs of aggressive behavior and were in fact tame. 22 4 Legs & a Tail
How is your horse’s nutrition similar to his dressage training? Nicole Sicely
hen you walk down the supplement aisle of your local feed store, a lot of products may catch your eye. With fancy labels and claims that are typically not backed by studies. We want the best for our horses and reach for supplements to provide a shiny coat, joint health, or a promise of a more “relaxed” horse. What is often overlooked is the vitamin and mineral supplements that are needed to balance out the largest part of your horse’s diet, his forage. A good analogy for your horse’s nutrition is to think of the dressage training pyramid:
Pyramid of Training Collection
(Increased Energy & Thrust)
(Acceptance of the Bit through Acceptance of the Aids)
(with Energy & Tempo)
(with Elasticity & Suppleness)
nes gh ou Thr ce” ng dien e asi cre nd Ob a
(Improved Alignment & Balance)
ysi Pro cal D gre eve lo ssi ve pme Con nt dit thro ion u ing gh ”
(Increased Engagement, Lightness of the Forehand, Self-carriage)
In dressage, each level builds upon the previous. If a level is not mastered, proceeding to the next is impossible. Each level is interconnected. This is the same with your horse’s diet. Creating a proper foundation is key. Then you build onto it as needed. Most owners will find that with the correct 1-3 levels, your horse may not need additional supplements such as hoof, calming, coat enhancers etc. Here is your horse’s Supplement Pyramid:
Specific Needs: joints, electrolytes, respiratory, calming etc.
Immune and Digestive Support
Vitamins & Minerals to balance Forage
FORAGE Forage is the foundation of your nutrition pyramid, like rhythm is your foundation for dressage. In order to master this level and proceed to the next, you must know what is in your forage. The only way to do that is to have it tested. Armed with this knowledge you can proceed to the next level; vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and Minerals are needed to balance what is lacking in your forage, or nutrients that are in excess causing secondary deficiencies. The next level in dressage is Relaxation. Which is ironic as one of the most common feedback I receive from clients after their hoses is on a balanced diet, is that their horse is more relaxed. Most horses will not need a hoof supplement once their trace minerals are balanced. These two levels of nutrition may be all that some horses need. If necessary, the next step is to provide immune and digestive support. Supporting your horse’s immune system will reduces stress, protects against disease, reduces allergic reactions, and may negate the need for supplements for heaves, allergies, etc. With a balanced diet, strong immune system, and healthy digestive tract, there are only special situations left where additional supplements are needed. For example, joint health, electrolytes, etc. Following this Supplement Pyramid will not only help your horse, it will help your wallet.
Nicole’s passion for equine nutrition started in 2002 the day her Tennessee Walker gelding “Chance” was diagnosed with PPID (Cushings Disease). Stumbling across the “Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance” Yahoo group opened the door to a complete fascination (some would say obsession!) with the benefits of nutrition for PPID and IR horses. Chance lived to the wonderful age of 31 yrs old. Diagnosed at age 18, Nicole contributes these years to a tightly balanced diet, amazing vet and farrier.
How soon is too soon? S
ome questions don’t have a black or white answer as we live in a colorful, multi-faceted world. Many inquiries have multiple, acceptable responses that fit somewhere between the rainbow’s hues. After a beloved pet passes, we often ask ourselves, “When is the right time for another?” Animals have a way of wiggling their way into our hearts, our lives. We elect not to see the light dog hair on the dark couch, the carpet stain from the time kitty wasn’t feeling well or the nibbled-on door frame from puppy days gone by. We focus on the positive, the serotonin-filled moments. When our little buddy is not around anymore, our perspective changes. When we, at Vermont English Bulldog Rescue (VEBR) / Bulldogs and Buddies Rescue (BABR), meet an adopter for the first time, we often hear their stories of loss. Whether dog, cat, bird, horse or chinchilla, the hurt is always profound. I wholeheartedly agree as this past winter I said goodbye to my sweet adopted English bulldog, Penney. She was like no other. To this day, I still miss her and everything about her. After her passing, adopting another dog wasn’t on my radar. The Universe had other plans. At VEBR/BABR We have the pleasure (and challenge) of meeting and aiding in the healing of several breeds. From the tiny to the giant, each brings their own history, trauma and inner strength. Although I am fond of all creatures, I would not have put ankle-biter-type dogs (think Papillon, Pomeranians, and the like) on my All-Time Favorite Top 10. Again, the Universe was working overtime. When a Chihuahua-mix female and her two teacup-sized babies arrived one snowy day, my long-held anti-littledog view began to soften. Found living on the streets of San Antonio, Texas, they were petrified of every person, movement, and sound within their range. The babies were more trusting than the mom, who would shake uncontrollably when held and cower in the furthest corner of her crate when people approached. She’d been abused and tossed around, but managed to stay alive and care for her babies. She was a survivor. We’d sit quietly with her nested inside our sweatshirts, talk to her and stroke her little head as we slowly gained her trust. It would be several months before she would make eye contact, untuck her tail and interact with us Continued Next Page
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without fear of punishment. The babies, since weaned and independent, would be adopted together and today enjoy a happy, healthy life. We opted to list the mom for adoption as she was physically healthy but in need of an especially patient and understanding person who would appreciate her for who she was under her imbedded layers of fear. Sauri, as she was named by the Texas shelter, had some interest and visitors. Potential adopters were compassionate when they heard her story, but none felt they could give her what she needed and deserved. As time went on, Sauri became Mommachi (as she was a mother and obvious a Chihuahua mix) and decided there were three people she trusted enough to show her spunky and silly side: Dawna, founder of the rescues; Jessica, a top-notch volunteer and me. When my Penney was with us, I would take Mommachi home for field trips and afternoon visits. She’d march around the house, bound up the stairs and sprawl out on my bed with her stuffed hedgehog (“heggie”) in tight clench. Penney would watch all of this action with the patience of a saint. They would nap together, share marrow bones and relish cuddle time. Mommachi was becoming quite attached and decided that I was her person. After Penney passed, I continued with our excursions and slipped her extra cookies when the other dogs weren’t looking. Folks came to visit her in hopes of adoption. She’d promptly hop up on my lap and bury her head in the crook of my arm while we told Fall 2018
the story of how spirited and sweet this little girl was––really, she was! I posted pictures of Mommachi visiting at our house, playing in our yard, riding in my car through the car wash, being a happy dog. The response was an overwhelming, “When are you going to adopt Mommachi?” I asked myself the question that has no definite answer, “Was it too soon?” It was clear this little goof ball connected with me and I with her. Her outside prospects were thinning by the day and I had love to spare. In honoring Penney’s memory, I adopted this little ankle-biter and made us official. To say that she has made herself at home would be an understatement. With throws covering our dark couches and chairs, we dog-proofed our oncespotless house to accommodate our new family member. She rarely lets me out of her sight and forget about setting an alarm clock. Mommachi is a morning creature and thinks I should be too. I can count on her to jump on my head and start power licking my face with her extra-long tongue between 3 and 4 a.m. It’s time to start the day. A new day that she now embraces. She is still very cautious of new people and places, but we continue to tackle each situation as it comes up.
For me, this decision was right. When a pet passes, we need to allow ourselves time to grieve and reflect––that span is different for each person. A new pet can never replace another. A family pet enriches our lives, becomes a teacher for our kids, and shows us unwavering devotion. We respect the memory of our former pets by caring for and committing to our current ones. I often see Mommachi gazing down our hallway. When her tail starts to wag and her posture relaxes, I wonder if she sees Penney as it would be just like our sweet Penney to welcome Mommachi home.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Alternatives to Clay Litter
ost cat owners are familiar with scoopable clay formulations, which account for 73% of U.S. litter purchases, according to https://globalpets.community/. This same segment of cat owners is accustomed to purchasing their big-brand, clay litter products through mass-market channels, such as Walmart and Costco, as well as grocery stores. Clay litter products certainly get the job done when it comes to providing cats with a place to go and controlling odor, but they are not the most innovative litter products on the market. Some of the drawbacks of traditional clay litters are that they are heavy to maneuver around the house and not environmentally-friendly. In recent years, several unique litter products have launched in pet specialty stores that offer additional benefits for the environment, home cleanliness, and cat health. Here is a list of five litter brands that surely stand out from the crowd. Boxiecat’s BoxiePro Deep Clean Probiotic Cat Litter – This functional product is marketed as the world’s first cat litter to eliminate 100% of bacteria contained in the litter box with natural probiotics. The elimination of bacteria keeps homes, cats, and pet parents healthier by reducing odors and preventing the spread of germs that could be tracked out of the box. Additionally, Hard Flat Top™ clumps form on the top of the litter box, which makes it easy to scoop, and an advanced dust suppression process keeps dust levels low, which increases household cleanliness. BoxiePro is soft on cat’s paws and resists tracking, so cat parents can spend less time worrying about cleaning their homes. SaniCat Oxygen Power Clumping Litter – This is the first clumping cat litter to use active oxygen for complete disinfection. Active oxygen is touted as an excellent clumping agent that eliminates bacteria naturally because it does not contain antibacterial chemicals. The natural elimination of bacteria keeps cats healthy and cat owners do not have to fret about the negative effects associated with litter chemicals. This litter is comprised of thicker granules, which improves home cleanliness by preventing cats from dragging litter on their paws throughout their houses. Poop Bags Catfidence – A 100% organic bamboo cat litter is made from natural bamboo, so the absence of chemicals and additives makes cats healthier and helps protect the environment. The manufacturer states that Catfidence has 5x the water absorption capacity of other litters due to the cellular structure of bamboo, which improves odor control and makes the product last longer. Furthermore, Catfidence is a USDA Certified Biobased Product with a 98% biopreferred rating. It is very eco-friendly because it is made from sustainably-harvested bamboo farms, as opposed to harmful strip mining. Customers that choose Catfidence can feel good about protecting the environment, their homes, and their cats simultaneously. CatSpot Organic Cat Litter – A 100% coconut-based, all-natural, organic cat litter is touted as beneficial for the home, cat health, and the environment. Coconut, which can absorb 560% of its weight in liquid, naturally absorbs ammonia without the use of chemicals and additives. This level of absorption is very powerful for odor control. The product is also sustainable because the litter is biodegradable and can be repurposed in yards, compost, or flower beds. CatSpot is easy for cat owners to use because it is marketed as the lightest litter on the market. World’s Best Cat Litter Picky Cat and Attraction Action – Picky Cat, available in pet specialty stores, and Attraction Action, sold in the mass/grocery channels, combine corn with a natural, plant-based ingredient to attract cats to the litter box. This formulation is ideal for newly adopted pets, senior cats, and fussy cats. Both products are also effective at clumping and have strong odor control which keeps the home environment clean. Additionally, these lightweight, natural products are environmentally-friendly, and the products are flushable and septic-safe. The products highlighted above are only a few of the specialty niche cat litters that have launched in recent years. There are dozens of other small players who are trying to make a name for themselves. It is challenging for these smaller manufacturers to stand out in a crowd that is dominated by only a few large litter manufacturers with large marketing investments behind their brands. However, it might become easier for these niche players to gain recognition over time as cat owners continue to become more concerned about how litter ingredients are impacting the environment, their homes, and their cats’ health.
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Holly McClelland leads marketing and is an analyst for Fletcher/CSI, a boutique market research and consulting firm headquartered in Williston, Vermont. Holly monitors industry trends and product developments for several brands in the CPG space, including the pet industry. The pet research is focused on tracking nutrition and ingredient trends, technological innovations, and new product launches for dogs and cats. Fall 2018
Etiquette for Downtown Dogs E
tiquette is such a funny word, especially in connection to dogs… it has a whiff of being old-fashioned and stuffy. And yet, when you decide to head downtown, and bring your adorable four-legged companion with you, many people will harbor certain expectations for you and your dog’s behavior. Below are some common ones that you may or may not agree with personally, but people may hold you to nonetheless: 1. Pick up your dog’s poop. Especially downtown! (It goes without saying: remember to bring poop bags with you if you are planning to take your dog with you downtown). 2. Avoid letting your dog randomly approach people. Interesting fact: 37.7% of Vermonters have a dog at home. Which means that lots of people in Vermont like dogs. Which is great; but doesn’t mean that every person who sees your dog will want to say hello. When you are downtown, your dog should be kept on leash and the leash should be kept short enough to prevent your dog from willynilly reaching unsuspecting people who may be passing by. If you see a human passerby’s face light up in pure joy at the sight of your beloved companion, and they ask, “Can I pet your dog?”, then you can let your dog greet him or her – politely. A polite greeting means that your dog’s paws remain on the ground, and your dog does not jump on the person. While some people don’t mind jumping at all (and they may even tell you this), it can be confusing for your dog to be allowed to jump on some people but not others. It’s easier to be in the habit of greeting all people without jumping. If you have trained your dog well enough, meaning you are confident your dog would not jump on the person while being petted, Fall 2018
actually imply a character deficit in the other dog!) Before taking your dog downtown, you will also want to consider whether your own dog would enjoy this kind of outing. Some dogs do perfectly well on hiking trails, but downtown throngs of people just might not be their thing. Other dogs love people, but may become overly barky or excited when they see other dogs. A loud voice – whether human or canine – is not necessarily fun or considerate in a public environment intended to be enjoyed by a wide variety of people. Lastly, consider if YOU will enjoy taking your dog with you! Perhaps you think your dog would have a complete blast, but you will be spending all your time managing your dog and preventing him or her from running up to other dogs and people. If you do want to take your dog downtown, but don’t want it to be a hassle due to lack of training, consider taking a suite of training classes geared towards, firstly, basic obedience, then being able to perform routine obedience in the presence of distractions, then being able to be completely zen and chill in a downtown area. Recommended skills include being able to walk on a loose leash in the presence of distractions, a solid “leave it” in case they are tempted to eat something unsavory or unhealthy off the sidewalk, a nice polite automatic sit-stay for greeting people, and the ability to focus on you when you ask them to, even if they are tempted not to. If you and your dog would both enjoy being downtown, the effort to set your dog up for success will be well-worth it and you’ll be able to share many urban adventures together!
you might say something like, “yes! go right ahead!” Otherwise, you might say, “We’re working on being polite with people. I’d love for you to pet him, but let me see if I can get him in a sit first.” Then, pull out an amazing, mind-blowing treat---if your dog is pro-social and likes human beings, you are going to want to make sure your treats trump the human factor. Ask your dog to sit, hold that scrumptious treat near your dog’s nose as a promise in exchange for maintained good behavior, then invite the human to go ahead and pet. If your dog successfully sits through this exciting encounter, reward him with the treat! If your dog blows it, however, you might walk away apologetically and say, “one moment please!” With repetition over time, your Maria Karunungan is an honors gradudog will learn that the consequence of ate of The Academy for Dog Trainers, jumping on people means not getting to where she earned her Certificate in say hello. 3. Similarly, avoid letting your dog Training and Counseling. Maria also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. She has randomly greet other dogs passing by. trained service dogs, therapy dogs, shelThis is particularly important. Another well-behaved dog walking calmly on leash ter dogs and pet dogs for over 15 years with its person in a downtown area isn’t and currently works with Fetch the Leash in downtown Burlington. necessarily a socialization opportunity for your dog. Take a moment to look at the person handling the dog. If the handler is distracted and/or juggling bags, children, etc. in addition to the dog, this may not be a good time to try to engage in a social encounter. Or sometimes you’ll see the handler politely stepping off to the side or moving in a deliberate half-circle to skirt around you. If this is the case, definitely take the cue that this is not a good time to let your dog approach. Even if the handler seems to be open to the interaction, always ask before letting your dog’s leash be loose enough to reach the other dog: “Is it okay for them to meet?” (Note: try to avoid saying, “Is your dog friendly?” While it’s common to say this, it might
Travel Safety Tips
or some pet parents, a trip is no fun if the four-legged members of the family can’t come along. But traveling can be highly stressful, both for you and your pets. If you’re planning to take a trip with pets in tow, we have some tips to help ensure a safe and comfortable journey for everyone. Remember, no matter where you’re headed or how you plan to get there, make sure your pet is microchipped for identification and wears a collar and tag imprinted with your name, phone number and any relevant contact information. It’s a good idea for your pet’s collar to also include a temporary travel tag with your cell phone and destination phone number for the duration of your trip. Taking a Road Trip? Traveling with a pet by car involves more than just loading the animal in the back seat and motoring off, especially if you will be driving long distances or plan to be away for a long time. Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a smooth and safe trip. Prep your pet for a long trip. Get your pet geared up by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet's rabies vaccination record. While this gen-
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erally isn't a problem, some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop. If you decide to forgo the crate, don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window, and always keep him in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle. Prep a pet-friendly travel kit. Bring food, a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents. Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. Be sure to pack plenty of water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure, and always opt for bottled water. Drinking water from an area he or she isn’t used to could result in stomach discomfort. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
A Happy Litter Box A Veterans Day Tribute to Nemo Does Your Cat Have Dental Disease? A Holistic Look at Treating Cancer Pet Emergencies That Require Immediate Attention!
Fall 2018 Northern VT & NH