A Holistic Approach to Vaccination Season
Rutland & Addison County Mud Season 2018
Taxing Questions About Your Pets Spring Cleaning the Toy Box
What Your Dog Can Teach You The Saddle May Be Your Best Friend
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
2. Celebrate National Pet Week M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Tips for some extra fun with your furry friends
3. Castleton Pet Grows Again
Check out the latest at one of the area’s favorite pet stores 4. For the Love of Dogs Mark your calendar for an afternoon of fun to benefit the Rutland County Humane Society
5. Time For Spring Greening Cara Leone
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are especially relevant this time of year
6. Toxic Plants Ashley Charron
Before you head to the garden, check out what plants to steer clear of
8. The Daily Dose of 'What The?'
Mutt adopts kittens and other animal stories
10. Socializing Your Puppy Maria Karungan
Some tips and guidelines designed to get your puppy off to a great start
12. Train Your Own Service Dog Mike Robertson
With waiting lists long, more dog owners are training their own service dog
14. Can Fluffy and Fido Save You Money on Your Tax Bill? Sara Blackmore, CPA
Some points to consider this tax season
16. Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Take on Vaccination Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA 18. 19. 20.
It’s in the Genes: Using DNA Tests to Help Care for Your Rescue Dog Holly McClelland The Buzz About Bees How much do you know about bees? Horses for Health Chelle Grald
It turns out that the outside of a horse really is good for the inside of man
23. Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue Karen Sturtevant
Bruiser, an English bulldog, finds happiness in Vermont
24. Paradise Recovered John Peaveler
After Hurricane Maria, Upper Valley resident John Peaveler recounts the devastation to Puerto Rico and its pets.
Make sure your pet’s toys are safe and healthy for them
26. Spring Cleaning the Toy Box? Carol Gifford, DVM
28. All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Dog
4 Legs & a Tail Volume R.118 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com Spring 2018
Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Kristin Wolff, Lacey Dardis Kate Haas Sales Manager: Ashley Charron
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 Western VT. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
NATIONAL PET WEEK! M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
A lways the first full week in May, National Pet Week is dedicated to
are there for us and don’t ask much in return. During National Pet Week, we celebrating the over 200 million pets encourage pet owners to celebrate the that enrich our lives. This is especially bond and provide their pets with all that true in Vermont, which tops the nation they need for a healthy and enriched in pet ownership. Created in 1981 by life every week of the year. the American Veterinary Medical Keeping your pet happy and healthy Association and the Auxiliary AVMA, involves providing three important National Pet Week is a time to honor the things: proper housing and nutrition, many roles pets have in our lives and appropriate exercise and environmental to promote responsible pet ownership. enrichment, and providing medical care Whether your pet is a horse, bird, cat, to keep them healthy and disease free. dog, rodent, or any other of the amaz- Many of our pets have been domesing creatures in our world, our pets ticated from their wild roots, and so it is important to provide them with ways to keep their minds and bodies active. Make the time to play with your cat or walk your dog several times a day. Buy or make them a new toy and use interactive play to help them keep their minds busy. Owners of birds and exotic pets can research ways to modify their pets’ living space to provide variety and entertainment. This doesn’t have to be buying expensive toys- appropriate homemade toys are just as good. Nutrition and medical care are an important part of responsible pet ownership. One aspect that many pet owners should consider before adopting a pet of any type is the ability to afford 2 4 Legs & a Tail
veterinary care to prevent parasites and disease and treat any that may occur in the pet. Annual physical exams and preventative medications are not without cost, but are critical to pets’ well-being. Before you get a new pet or if you have one and aren’t sure what its needs are, talk to your veterinarian. They can provide you with accurate information to help you keep your pet healthy and happy. So whether your pet is a horse or a gerbil or any size animal in between, take time during National Pet week to celebrate the bond! Take your dog for a walk, brush out your horse and go for a ride, play with the cat, or make some additions to your caged pets’ environment to challenge their minds! They give us so much love and comfort: let’s make sure we provide what they need this week and every day of the year. For more information, go to www.petweek.org. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. Spring 2018
Castleton Pet Supply Grows Again N
ot only did Castleton Pet Supply double the size of their retail location … you can SHOP ONLINE offering 6,000 items to purchase for all your pets needs. Including dog & cat food, treats, beds, crates, toys, litter, cat furniture, grooming, collars, leads, tie outs, apparel, health supplies and so much more. They’re offering free shipping on sales over $49.00 or a flat rate of $5.00. Easy return policy and you can SHOP ONLINE at castletonpetsupply.com. E-Commerce will be an excellent addition to their business. Castleton Pet Supply is a local, independently owned business and has been serving the needs of pet owners of the greater Castleton area and Rutland County since 2006. Owner Claire O’Brien & Robert Bjorklund grew tired of having to travel in order to get healthy food for their pets. They decided to open up a pet store in Castleton with a vision of providing a retail store that delivers exceptional customer service, expert product knowledge, and good prices. At Castleton Pet Supply, they personalize the advice provided for your pet. From allergies to eating disorders, they provide insight as to how changes in diet can positively impact the overall health of your pet. They offer a tremendous product mix in order to help satisfy all of their customer’s needs. As Claire O’Brian adds, “We have healthy food choices for any dog, cat, horse, chicken, bird, or small animal. On top of high quality food, we carry bedding, toys, treats, and other accessories in order to fully satisfy you and your pet.” Located at 700 Route 4A West in Castleton, right next to Prunier’s Market, Castleton Pet Supply offers a great customer experience. Call 802-265-2227 or shop online castletonpetsupply.com Spring 2018
FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS Variety Show Fundraiser April 7 @ 1:00pm - 3:00pm
esli Hyland and her team of talented dog lovers will be performing with their four legged friends in front of a live audience on Saturday, April 7, 2018. Performances will start at 1 pm on stage at the Rutland Intermediate School Auditorium. Be amazed by dancing, music, tricks and more! Tickets are $10 for adults and FREE for children! ALL proceeds will benefit the homeless animals at the Rutland County Humane Society. For more information, please contact Beth at the Rutland County Humane Society at 483.9171 extension 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Time for Spring Greening Cara Leone
f you read our “Tips for a Consider joining a spring clean-up or is a great time to reevaluate your impact on the great outdoors and Be an Outsider Pawsome Adventure” in the last 4 Legs lead your own: - Bring a trash bag with you to pick up this spring! and a Tail you might remember Dakota, all the “treasure” that becomes visible the basset hound, and Kona, the husky. Leave No Trace Seven Principles© 1999 with snowmelt. Do you know what Dakota hates more - Be aware that many trails may be by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor than snow? Rain. Not surprisingly, Kona Ethics: www.LNT.org. impassable due to fallen branches or doesn’t really enjoy the rain either. melting snow. Plan ahead, and take Spring is the “great equalizer” of seaCara Leone is the L.L.Bean your time. sons: I don’t know many dogs that love Outdoor Discovery School Program - Visit www.llbean.com/westlebanon to being outside in a downpour but they all Coordinator at the Powerhouse join our annual Earth Day spring cleanseem to love the mud puddles that follow! Mall in West Lebanon, NH. For up at Kilowatt Park in Wilder, VT. As the days get longer and the temperaevent schedule visit llbean.com/ - While you might not be able to bring tures start to warm up, it’s natural for westlebanon. She spends her free your pup along, consider joining an all of us to shake off the hibernation established trail maintenance group such blues. Instead of focusing on your spring time finding outdoor activities that as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. can be enjoyed by both a 7 year old cleaning when the snow starts to turn slushy, think about spring greening! husky and a 3 year old toddler. Gear up your Pup: Get some doggy rainwear so you can Here are a few of the Leave No continue a walking commute, even when Trace Seven Principles that are it’s drizzly especially relevant this time of year. - As we become more active, so do the You can find the complete list at www. ticks. “No Fly Zone” products are treated lnt.org: with permethrin so you don’t have to go - Travel and camp on durable surfaces; through so many cans of spray. There this is especially important during are dog vests available as well as options mud season as erosion and run off for human companions, such as socks! are already an issue. - Remember to toss a blanket in the back - Dispose of waste properly: it’s temptseat before driving to any adventures so ing to leave droppings when you think you don’t need to spend time shampooing they will wash out quickly, but please the mud out of your upholstery. clean up after your animal whenever possible. - Respect Wildlife: spring can be a sensitive time as hibernation ends and some animals begin to mate or nest. Spring 2018
Maybe you’re gearing up for longer excursions with your pet this summer or you just plan to hit the trails that weren’t available over the winter. Either way, this www.4LegsAndATail.com 5
Daffodils and Dogs Don’t Mix Choosing
pring is starting to bloom and you’re preparing to plant your garden, but are you unknowingly poisoning your pets? There are an abundance of different species of plants and flowers but a small percentage are toxic to our furry friends. While considering the greenery for your landscaping, review the list below to make sure you keeps your pets safe. Puppies and kittens are most at risk around toxic vegetation because as their teeth change, they tend to chew on anything they can get their paws on. Our four legged friends are also avid explorers making it difficult to keep these plants out of reach especially the cats that love to climb. If your pet shows symptoms such as difficulty breathing, drooling or difficult swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drinking/urinating or irregular heartbeat after being seen near a poisonous plant, a trip to the nearest vet could save their life.
Plants and flowers to avoid in your garden and home: Aloe Vera Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Depression, Anorexia, Changes in urine color, Tremors (rare) Amaryllis Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Hypotension (drop in blood pressure), Respiratory depression, Abdominal discomfort Azalea/Rhodedendron Level of toxicity: Generally mild to severe, depending on the amount ingested Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Inappetence, Abdominal pain, Abnormal heart rate and rhythms, Hypotension, Weakness, Tremors, Depression, Blindness, Seizures, Coma Baby’s Breath Level of toxicity: Mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Anorexia, Lethargy, Depression Buttercup Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Weakness, Blisters in the mouth or oral cavity, Weakness, Tremors, Seizures, Paralysis (rare) Castor Bean Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening Common signs to watch for: Inappetence, Drooling, Abdominal pain, Vomiting, Severe bloody diarrhea, Abdominal straining, Weakness, Trembling, Hypotension (drop in blood pressure), Sudden collapse, Death Chrysanthemum Level of toxicity: Generally mild Common signs to watch for: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Inappetence
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Continued Next Page
Cyclamen Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abnormal heart rate/ rhythm, Seizures Daffodil Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Increased heart rate, Abdominal pain, Abnormal breathing, Cardiac arrhythmias Gladiola Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea Ivy (English) Level of toxicity: Generally mild Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abdominal pain Lilies (cats only) Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe Common signs to watch for: Inappetence, Lethargy, Hiding, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Halitosis, Dehydration, Inappropriate urination or thirst, Seizures, Death Milkweed Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Abnormal heart rate, Cardiac arrhythmias, Weakness, Collapse, Dilated pupils, Tremors, Seizures, Death Morning Glory Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate, depending on the amount ingested Common signs to watch for: Incoordination, Diarrhea, Anemia, Hepatic (liver) failure Poinsettia Level of toxicity: Mild Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Licking lips, Dermal irritation (including redness, swelling, and itchiness), Vomiting, Diarrhea Skunk Cabbage Level of toxicity: Mild Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Inappetence, Pawing at the mouth, Vomiting, Swelling of the airway Spring 2018
Tomato Plant Level of toxicity: Mild Common signs to watch for: Vomiting, Diarrhea, Lethargy, Weakness, Confusion Tulip Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Increased heart rate, Increased respirator y rate, Difficulty breathing Yew Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe Common signs to watch for: Drooling, Vomiting, Weakness, Difficulty breathing, Life-threatening changes in heart rate and blood pressure, Dilated pupils, Tremors, Seizures, Coma, Death For a complete list of toxic plants, flowers and food visit the Pet Poison Helpline website. In the event of an unfortunate mishap, Pet First Aid Kit can help save your pet’s life: Recommended items for potentially poisoned pets: • Hydrogen peroxide 3 percent used to induce vomiting in dogs– make sure it’s not expired • Oral dosing syringe or turkey baster – for administering hydrogen peroxide • Teaspoon/tablespoon set – for measuring appropriate amount of hydrogen peroxide • Liquid hand dish washing detergent, such as Dawn or Palmolive • Rubber or latex gloves • Triple antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin™ • Vitamin E (a small container of oil or several gel caps) • Diphenhydramine tablets 25mg – with NO other combination ingredients • Ophthalmic saline solution or artificial tears • Can of tuna packed in water or tasty canned pet food • Sweet electrolyte-containing beverage • Corn syrup (1/4 cup) • Vegetable oil (1/2 cup) • Phone number for Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680 www.4LegsAndATail.com 7
THE DAILY DOSE VOLUME XIII
Cats and Dogs Getting Along Together: Mutt Adopts Kittens A female dog is nursing a litter of kittens which were orphaned when their mother died. Their owner, Cai, of Jiangmen, China said he has been raising cats and dogs together for more than 10 years, and they all got along together well, however, this was the first time he had ever seen kittens being nursed by a dog Will and Guy have learned. The four kittens seemed happy and content with their new mother’s milk, while the dog was tending to its adopted family with love and care. ‘Several days ago, the kittens’ mother died after eating a poisoned rat, leav‘The ing behind a litter kittens’ of kittens without a source of milk,’ Cai cries may have volunteered. ‘The stirred kittens’ cries may the dog’s have stirred the dog’s maternal maternal nature, it too had renature since cently given birth. It volunteered to take over and feed the kittens of its old friend.’ The dog’s own puppies had been taken away by one of its grown-up offspring. Cai mused, ‘That’s perhaps another reason why the dog adopted the kittens. She lost all of her own children.’
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Cat Ordered to Do Jury Service Tabby Sal, the cat, has been summoned to do jury service, despite the fact that his owners told the court he was ‘unable to speak and understand English.’ Anna Esposito, wrote to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston to explain that a mistake had been made, but a jury commissioner replied saying the cat, named Tabby Sal, ‘must attend.’ Mrs. Esposito had included a letter from her vet confirming that the cat was ‘a domestic short-haired neutered feline.’ Tabby Sal had been entered by Mrs. Esposito under the “pets” section of the last census. “When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What’s he supposed to say - meow?” She said. Research has shown that the US judicial system states that jurors are ‘not expected to speak perfect English.’ We surmise it would be sufficient for Tabby Sal to answer, ‘Meow’ to all questions!
A Breed Apart? Lucky Saucer In front of the local butcher’s, an art connoisseur noticed a mangy little kitten lapping up milk from a saucer. The saucer, he realized with a start, was a rare and precious piece of pottery. It was, in fact, a collector’s item. He strolled into the store and offered ten dollars for the cat. ‘He’s not for sale’, said the butcher. ‘Look’, said the collector’, that cat is dirty and scabby, but I’m an eccentric. I prefer cats that way. I’ll raise my offer to $20. ‘It’s a deal’, said the proprietor, and pocketed the twenty immediately. ‘For that amount of money I’m sure you won’t mind throwing in the saucer’, said the connoisseur’, ‘The kitten seems so happy drinking from it.’ ‘I can’t do that’, said the butcher firmly, ‘That’s my lucky saucer. From that saucer, so far this week, I’ve sold 18 cats.
I thought my first encounter with a Labradoodle was unique. But with more and more animals being cross bred, you have to wonder how far it will go? Recently, a breeder in the Northeast Kingdom successfully crossed a donkey with a rabbit. Although it has made for a wonderful pet, they do stress that it will hop around with a Hare across its Ass. - H.A.F.D. 4/1/18
OF 'WHAT THE?' A
The Unemployed Dog
Snowy Owl For the first three weeks of January a snowy owl (Nyctea Scandiaca) has been living in the Keene area. It has often been perched on top of a light tower next to Motor Vehicle/ State Police.
Fred Martin caught a raw photo of this Snowy Owl recently at the Days Inn in Keene, NH
Yelling for Help A caller reported at 7:14 p.m. that someone was on a porch yelling "help" from a residence on Bank Street. Officers responded and learned the person was calling for a cat that is named "Help".
READ ABOUT IT
A mix-up at the Michigan unemployment office led to jobless benefits for one German Shepherd. Attorney Michael Haddock tells WZZM TV he received a notice from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance agency that said ‘Michael Ryder” will be receiving 360-dollars a week. The problem is there is no one named “Michael Ryder” at Haddock’s address. “Ryder” is the name of Haddock’s German Shepherd and Michael is his first name. Haddock assumed the notice was for his dog. Haddock said he knew his dog was clever, but “he surprised me this time.” The state has since discovered the mix-up and Ryder won’t have a chance to cash those checks.
Socializing Your Puppy Maria Karunungan
f you’ve just brought a puppy home, chances are you’re being bombarded with advice on socialization, housetraining, and other important must-knows about puppies. Bringing home a puppy can be downright overwhelming, between trying to make sure your new best friend doesn’t leave little-unwanted surprises everywhere or chew everything in sight. In the chaos to rearrange your life and keep up with your puppy’s shenanigans, carving out the time to
provide your puppy with socialization experiences might fall by the wayside. If you’re tempted to downgrade socialization to a lower priority, than say, learning not to jump on people, don’t. Pups can learn basic obedience and many other skills when they’re older. That said, if you’re gung-ho about taking all the right steps from the start with your new puppy, you can absolutely be crafty about managing your time and your puppy’s environment and schedule. It is possible to set your puppy up for housetraining and chew-training success, work in a little obedience training, and still prioritize socialization. A wonderful resource to help you is the book, Life Skills for Puppies, by Daniel Mills and Helen Zulch. Why is socialization so important? Pups who are under-socialized run a huge risk of developing behavior problems resulting from being fearful of things they were not adequately exposed to during their critical period of socialization. In fact, “behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number one cause of death for dogs under three years of age,” per the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB). The risk is so great that the AVSAB released an official position statement in 2008 urging the public not to keep their puppies sequestered until they are fully vaccinated (usually at or around 16 weeks). The AVSAB strongly recomContinued Next Page
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mends that emphasis is placed on socialization prior to 12 weeks of age, as “the first three months are the period when sociability outweighs fear”. Socialization does not have to come at the cost, however, of keeping your puppy safe from serious infectious diseases such as parvovirus or distemper. There are safe, low-risk ways to provide critical socialization experiences while minimizing the risk of exposure to these diseases.
Here are some general guidelines and suggestions for socializing your puppy: • Enroll in a puppy class, preferably as soon as you get your puppy and before your pup turns 12 weeks old. Puppy class should provide positive exposure to new experiences and healthy puppy play in a structured environment, and keep you on track from week to week. Do some research to make sure the trainers you elect for puppy classes will not use aversive methods (methods that scare the pup or cause pain of any kind) as these methods can backfire and result in creating the potential for aggression later in life. Make sure the facility hosting the puppy class will disinfect the floor prior to all puppy classes or puppy socials, and that vaccines are required for all dogs and puppies who come to the facility. • Get your puppy out of the house. This doesn’t mean your backyard. Literally, take them with you as many places as possible. Ask your boss if you can bring the puppy to work 1 or 2 days per week, or at least visit a few times. Look for dog-friendly businesses, such as Onyx Tonics coffee shop and Outdoor Gear Exchange in downtown Burlington, or carry them down the main street of your town. Doing this early for large breed puppies has the side benefit that they are small enough for you to be able to carry them! Some people use a covered stroller or backpack or baby bjorn (make sure your wiggly pup is secured, though, and unlikely to escape, before counting on the equipment!). Do avoid taking your puppy to places that unvaccinated dogs go, such as the dog park, before they have completely finished their shots.
• Create or use a socialization chart to remind you not to just expose your pup to people and other dogs, but to a whole slew of “life experiences” – sounds, textures, flooring and ground surfaces, umbrellas opening, automatic doors sliding open. Set up the chart so that you can check off multiple exposures to each type of experience - as socialization is not a “one and done” deal. Also, be specific about the variety you might be looking for – for example, socialization to people does not mean one average person but rather children, tall people, people with unusual gaits, people wearing hats, sunglasses or backpacks, and so on. • Have friends over frequently while your pup is young, to help your puppy be more accustomed to strangers visiting. To protect from disease, make sure visitors take their shoes off before they come in, and ask them to wash their hands before handling your puppy. Also, take advantage of routine visits from the mailperson or the plumber, and give your pup treats when these events take place to help your puppy be comfortable. • Make powerful use of first-time experiences. When exposing your puppy to any new situations, think about how you can provide a low-intensity and pleasant first exposure. For example, the first time your puppy has a bath, you might consider smearing peanut butter on the side of the sink or tub and setting up a warm soapy sponge bath with a soft washcloth for a gentle first experience. Above all, when socializing your puppy, follow the age-old mantra, “Do No Harm”. Your puppy should be able to enjoy multiple exposures to a wide variety of experiences without being overwhelmed, traumatized or scared. Socialization won’t completely overwrite any fear that your puppy might ever experience or be genetically prone to, but it will provide lots of padding, and help your puppy develop into a well-adjusted adult dog who can handle the occasional stressful event or unexpected curveball. Plus, taking the time to do this is a bit like taking the time to enjoy life and smell the roses – except, in this case, it’s puppy breath. Maria Karunungan is an honors graduate of The Academy for Dog Trainers, where she earned her Certificate in Training and Counseling. Maria also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies. She has trained service dogs, therapy dogs, shelter dogs, and pet dogs for over 15 years and currently works with Fetch the Leash in downtown Burlington, Vermont.
Train Your Own Service Dog Mike Robertson - Plymouth, NH
D ogs certainly are humans’ best friend. They serve as companions, fellow laborers, and even as protectors. For those with disabilities, a dog can give them a measure of independence that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Demand for a fully trained service dog is high, and the waiting lists are often long. Because of this, an owner-trained service dog has become an increasingly popular choice for many with disabilities. WHAT IS A SERVICE DOG? Dogs, and in some situations miniature horses, are the only animals which are legally recognized by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) as service animals. “A service animal is a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.” – ADA The purpose of a service dog is to perform specific actions that assist people with disabilities. They are not therapy dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) explains the difference between the two. “Service Dogs are one dog for one person and perform specific tasks to help that person cope with a disability. Therapy dogs are one dog for everyone—they bring cheer and comfort to hospital patients, assisted living center and nursing home residents, homeless families, and students.”– AKC OWNER-TRAINED SERVICE DOGS Purchasing a fully trained service dog can cost quite a bit of money, so many people ask if they can train their service dog themselves. The answer is YES! WHICH BREED IS BEST FOR SERVICE DOG WORK? Typically, retrievers make some of the best service dogs. However, any breed has the potential for service work. Consider the work your dog will perform. You would not pick a chihuahua to pull a wheelchair. Also, temperament plays a large part in determining which dogs are suitable. The retriever breeds have a long lineage of being bred to work closely with humans. Regardless of their breed, all service dogs must possess a particular set of characteristics. • Not easily excited or frightened • Aware of their surroundings, but not reactive • Showing no aggression or fear to people, other animals or common objects • Show a desire to work for their handler • Like to stay close to their handler • Healthy, including joints • Eager to learn
You should consider looking for candidates at your local shelter. Mixed breed dogs can often serve just as well as pure-bred animals. When choosing a candidate from a shelter, ask for a two week trial period to assess the dog at home. If possible, have a trainer familiar with service dog training evaluate your prospect. Continued Next Page
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FIRST STEPS TO TRAINING YOUR SERVICE DOG Once you have found a candidate for service dog work, you need to review the skills required to pass the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners Public Access Test. This list of skills will set the training path your dog must follow to behave appropriately in public. Though it is possible for an owner to train their service dog alone, most will benefit greatly from the help of a professional dog trainer. Make sure you find one with experience in training service dogs and one who has a program already in place for assisting you in training your service dog. FOUNDATION SKILLS The first step in training your service dog is to complete a series of foundation skills. Mastering these tasks also helps you further evaluate your dog’s suitability for service work. • Potty on command • Focus on handler and ignore distractions • All of the AKC Canine Good Citizen objectives
A professional service dog trainer can guide you through these foundation skills and in the task-specific skills your dog will need to perform.
PUBLIC ACCESS SKILLS All dogs are expected to behave in public. For service dogs, this expectation goes beyond normal ‘good dog’ behavior. The “manners” are extremely important. • No aggressive behavior toward people or other animals. • They should not solicit food or petting from other people while on duty. • No sniffing merchandise or people or intruding into another dog’s space while on duty. • Socialized to tolerate strange sights, sounds, odors etc. in a wide variety of public settings. • Ignores food on the floor or dropped in the dog’s vicinity while working outside the home. • Works calmly on leash. No unruly behavior or unnecessary vocalizations in public settings. • No urinating or defecating in public unless given a specific command or signal to toilet in an appropriate place.
TASK-SPECIFIC TRAINING All of the training you have done up to this point is considered foundational. The real purpose of any service dog is to help their owner with their disability. The training required for specific tasks depends on the needs of their handler. If you are working with a professional service dog trainer, they can guide you in the next steps. Often, this means meeting in person or online and learning the best way to train your dog. You then do the training at home. If you want more information regarding owner-trained service dogs, contact Mike Robertson at College for Pets in Plymouth, NH. College for Pets offers counseling and training classes specifically for handlers wanting to train their own service dog. www.collegeforpets.com
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Can Fluffy and Fido Fetch You Savings on Your Tax Bill? Sara Blackmore, CPA
’m a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady” and do my fair share of referring to my kitties as my babies. While there’s no doubt that most of our four-legged, furry friends are dependent on us for their basic needs, when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service, claiming your pet as a dependent doesn’t fly. Exemptions for dependents aren’t the only way to reduce your taxable income, though, and there are a few ways your pets may be able to provide some tax savings. Service Animals – If you or one of your dependents require a service animal, such as a seeing-eye dog or therapy animal, the expenses of buying, training, and maintaining that animal are qualified medical expenses eligible for a deduction. However, you’ll have to clear certain thresholds (medical expenses in excess of 10% of adjusted gross income from those under age 65) to claim the deduction. Moving Expenses – While we consider our pets family, the IRS takes the view that they are personal property. As harsh as that may sound, the upside is that the costs of moving your furry friends when relocating your human family may be tax deductible. If your moving costs qualify for the moving expense deduction, you can include the costs of relocating your pets, too. Pet Rescue Programs – Many animal shelters are nonprofit organizations. If you volunteer with such an organization to provide a pet foster home, some of your expenses for doing so, such as pet food, vet bills, and supplies, may qualify as charitable contributions. In a 2011 case, the U.S. Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer and allowed her deduction of $12,068 in expenses she incurred while caring for feral cats at her home. You can also claim a write-off for vehicle mileage driven while providing services to a charitable organization at the rate of $0.19 per mile. Professional Pets – Some activities involving pets and animals are actual businesses. If you’re showing or breeding dogs, racing horses, raising agricultural animals, or engaging in other similar activities with a profit motive, your expenses incurred in doing so are likely deductible. Even if you engage in these types of activities as a hobby, your expenses may still be eligible for a deduction, although they are treated as an itemized deduction and are subject to certain limits. If you think your pet-related expenses might be eligible for a tax deduction, I encourage you to consult with your favorite tax professional before writing them off, as most deductions require specific documentation and are subject to various thresholds and limits. Sara (Hoehn) Blackmore is originally from Hartford, VT. She is a graduate of the University of Maine with a Masters in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a Senior Accountant with ATKG, LLP and resides in San Antonio. Spring 2018
Alternatively Speaking: A Holistic Take on Vaccination Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
pringtime evokes different things for different people, but for those in the veterinary profession it is the season when a lot of pets come in for their vaccines. This is especially true for the dogs due for licenses. With that deadline looming, often vaccine discussion is rushed as we hurry to check off that ‘to-do’ from our springtime lists. But vaccination triggers powerful immune activity to create protection, and it does merit some discussion to make sure that protection comes with as little risk as possible. So spring seems a good time to revisit vaccination for our pets, how they work, and how to make educated decisions balancing risk and benefit when building your individual preventative health care plan with your veterinarian. First, here is a little background on the mechanics of how vaccines work. Very simply, vaccines have two parts. One is a harmless version of something infectious that we want the body to make defenses against, such as Rabies or Distemper. This is called the “antigen”. The second part of the vaccine is an irritant, called the “adjuvant”. In natural exposures, the disease itself irritates tissues as it attempts to invade and infect the body. But because the vaccine’s version of the disease is harmless, it causes no damage and would go ignored by the immune system. The adjuvant’s job is to create enough irritation to trick the immune system into believing this antigen is harming the body, so it will make protective antibodies and
store that memory for future use. We can verify the success of our vaccine by measuring the antibody level in the blood, called a titer. Our understanding of the immune system and the ability to use vaccines to direct our immune systems to protect us in advance is really amazing science. We know that in natural exposure to disease, protection starts when a germ enters the body as it is breathed in, enters the mouth, or contacts other body openings like the eyes or a cut in the skin. The first line of defense is not specific and involves protective cells that recognize strange proteins in the body and tries to remove them. This happens with or without prior vaccination. However, if these strange proteins are recognized because of prior infection or vaccination, another
branch of the immune system kicks in to make the antibodies it has on file. The antibodies label each germ, allowing a much larger group of protective cells to find and remove them from the body. The end result is a much faster and more successful defense. So when we use a vaccine, we are triggering the many types of cells, communication signals, and pathways involved when we harness the immune system to create protection. But the vaccine only mimics natural disease exposure, and this abnormal manipulation of our biology is not without risk. Vaccines are injected, so they enter the body abruptly, bypassing entry point defenses and skipping a few steps in the typical immune response pathway. With “combination vaccines”, this invasion includes several disease antigens along with foreign adjuvants, so it is not a surprise that in some individuals this unnatural exposure triggers some unnatural responses. Luckily vaccine reactions are rare, and usually mild, but they can be serious. We know that vaccines should be avoided in animals with certain cancers or immune system diseases, and that certain cats can develop cancer with exposure to any injected irritant including vaccines. Holistic medicine also recognizes that in some patients, vaccines contribute to chronic problems that are aggravated by adjuvant exposure or atypical immune system stimulation. This is called vaccinosis. It is hard to link these problems directly to any vaccine itself, but addressing vaccine triggered irritation and minimizing vaccination in the future does seem to play a role in improving these patient’s more vague and stubborn conditions. The good news is that many antiviral vaccines last a very long time, and we may have a lot more flexibility to give them less often than in the past. Originally the first vaccines for pets made in the 1950’s had to prove that they lasted at least a year in order to get approval from the FDA. So vaccine companies did just that, they tested that the protection lasted a year, and since Continued Next Page
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they did not check beyond a year, that is all the label could claim. Independent studies in the 1970’s showed that immunity indeed lasted much longer than a year for diseases like Distemper and Parvo, and under mounting pressure a few manufacturers have extended their labels to 3 years in the last decade. But holistic vets have been monitoring blood a nt i b ody levels with titers for these diseases since the 70’s, and we see that the vaccines protect far beyond 5 or even 8 years for many patients. If a dog has plenty of protection there is no need to boost it higher with a vaccine, so without any benefit all we are left with is the risk of vaccination. Titers have been around long enough and have enough science behind them that they are recognized as proof of immunity, say to board in a kennel. In our practice, puppies get their baby shots for Distemper and Parvo, and if healthy they get an adult booster which is the standard recommendation. From then on we check their status with a titer and only discuss immunization if it is needed. For dogs that sadly have problems early in life, we may start checking titers sooner to avoid placing more stress on their systems if they have already achieved a protective immunity. Rabies is a different situation. Vaccination is required by law, and rightfully so due to the fact that humans can contract this lethal disease from their pets. However, we have mounting evidence that like Distemper and Parvo, the vaccine provides immunity that lasts far longer than 3 years. Kansas State University’s veterinary lab has been collecting data on Rabies titers for dogs for years. At the same time another group of veterinary scientists have been conducting the Rabies Challenge Study for almost a decade. This spring we hope to see publication of the long awaited results, which could provide the medical data to change the Rabies label to be a 5 or even 7 year vaccine and promote the use of titers to show immunity for Rabies. This would be the first step in changing the laws and allow legal extension of vaccination. In the meantime, if vaccination presents a high medical risk to ill dogs, you may be able to have a medical waiver that allows licensing until it is safe to vaccinate. For other vaccines like Lyme or Leptospirosis, the immune system is not designed to make long term protection against infections that are not viruses. Therefore yearly boosters are needed to maintain protection, and deciding whether to vaccinate requires careful consideration of the risk versus benefit of immunization for these infections. So with this knowledge, how should a pet owner proceed at that annual check-up when shots are due? Our approach is to first identify any health issues or risks your pet has that may increase their chance that a vaccine would bother their system. Allergies, past reactions to shots, or advancing age are Spring 2018
all things that may tip the scales to more risk than benefit. A titer may be a better choice for these patients. Then we discuss what diseases your dog or cat needs protection from. Do they travel? Do they go outdoors? Many diseases we can’t avoid if our pet goes outside, like Lyme disease or Rabies, because exposure comes to them in our yards and on our porches. Similarly, Parvo virus can track into your home on your feet if you walk where an infected dog went to the bathroom. But if your dog has immunity for the most dangerous infections, and we weigh the potential for treating those infections that are not as threatening, you may find that yearly vaccination is not the only choice to make. When we do decide to vaccinate in our hospital, we use vaccines that have a very good track record for safety. For every available vaccine there are several companies that make their own version. Luckily over time those that were not as safe have disappeared from the market, but there are still many options for veterinarians to choose from. The specific adjuvants in the vaccines are generally a corporate secret, but there are vaccines that are verified free of Mercury. Alternatively, newer vaccines are using technology that avoids adjuvants all together or have smaller volumes, especially for cats since a small percentage have that sensitivity to vaccination. In our practice we also limit how many vaccines are given at once, and certainly avoid large combination vaccines. For instance, a “distemper” vaccine for dogs or cats may contain anywhere from one to more than eight disease antigens in that single shot, some of which may be of questionable benefit for your pet. We often recommend spacing out shots by a month or more as able rather than getting several all at once. As you can see, there are plenty of strategies to effectively protect your pets from disease while minimizing risks. So, instead of rushing in for that quick vaccine update on your to-do list this spring, take the time to have a conversation with your veterinarian. Get educated about all the options, identify what your pet’s needs are, and employ thoughtful consideration to make the best medical decision for you and your pet. Spending the time will pay off with a healthier, well protected pet, and that is certainly worth the effort. Dr. Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com www.4LegsAndATail.com 17
IT’S IN THE GENES: Using DNA Tests to Help Care for Your Rescue Dog Holly McClelland
ccording to the APPA, approximately 80 million dogs are owned in the United States; 34% of those dogs are purchased from breeders and 23% are adopted through an animal shelter/ humane society. People who choose breeders tend to want full transparency about their dogs’ breeds and backgrounds. While it is challenging to obtain this level of detail from shelters that rescue hundreds of stray dogs, one solution that offers a partial fix is a dog DNA test. DNA tests reveal information about a dog’s breeds and family tree, which can influence how dog owners care for their pets. In January 2017, my husband and I purchased a DNA test for our threeyear-old lab mix, Peony, shortly after we adopted her from All Breed Rescue. The goal was to learn more about her composition of breeds so that we could optimize our wellness routines and training techniques. Dog DNA testing brands include Find My Pet DNA, Embark, DNA My Dog, and Wisdom Panel. We chose Wisdom Panel because its database has 250+ breeds, the test was easy to administer, and it was cost effective. Within a few weeks of sending a saliva sample to the lab, we learned that Peony was 25% Labrador Retriever, 25% Amstaff, 12.5% German Shepherd, 12.5% Chow Chow, 12.5% Beagle, and 12.5% unidentified mixed breeds. The breed information gleaned through the results has been beneficial in several ways: 1. Exercise: Labs, Beagles, Amstaffs, and German Shepherds are active breeds with very high energy levels, so we make sure that Peony runs on a daily basis. German Shepherds in particular are working dogs that need a job to burn energy, so we often attach Peony to a belt harness for skijoring in the winter and rollerblading in the summer. Achieving optimal levels of exercise helps Peony maintain a healthy weight, which is important for Labs who are prone to obesity. Vigorous exercise also helps Peony’s mental health as she is significantly more relaxed around people and dogs post-workout. 18 4 Legs & a Tail
2. Diet: Since the majority of Peony’s breed types are energetic, we give her a high protein and fat diet so she’s prepared to exercise and recuperate from her workouts. We also combine high-end dry kibble with freeze-dried food to provide moisture, hydration and antioxidants from the vegetable inclusions. Amstaffs tend to develop skin and coat allergies, so we give Peony functional chews and treats to help alleviate itching. 3. Health Ailments: Peony frequently pulls her hind groin muscles and expresses pain through a yelp or growl if pressure is applied to the pain sites. It is impossible to measure how much the 12.5% Chow Chow contributes to the issue, but Chow Chows are prone to orthopedic issues and tend to tear ligaments in their hind legs. This breedspecific health issue is something that we keep in mind, and we proactively give Peony an aches and pains supplement as preventive treatment. We are also aware that all of the breeds that Peony is comprised of are prone to hip dysplasia, so we will actively monitor this condition as Peony gets older. 4. Social Habits: Peony has a fear-based reactivity toward other dogs on leash, but thrives in a daycare setting with dogs when she is off-leash. While Labs and Shepherds tend to be playful and great with other dogs, Amstaffs and Chow Chows are generally more serious and less friendly with dogs. Peony’s social habits were likely influenced by environmental factors when she was a puppy, but genetics may certainly play a role. We use these breed insights to cultivate positive social interactions for Peony, and train her to overcome her challenges in adverse situations. 5. Personality Traits: The mixed breeds result in a unique combination of personality traits. The Beagle in Peony makes her distracted during walks as she frequently enters into hunt and sniff mode, so we’ve worked hard to re-direct her attention with proper training. At home, the Lab, Shepherd, and Amstaff in Peony make her very loyal and affec-
tionate, and quick to bark and defend her territory when people approach the house. All of Peony’s breeds are smart, so we work diligently to teach her the differences between a true threat and a welcomed visitor. The ASPCA estimates that 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year, but only 1.6 million of those dogs are adopted. People may be reluctant to rescue unknown breeds and may stay away from dogs that look like “dangerous” breeds, such as pit bulls. However, DNA tests often uncover that dogs are comprised of breeds that people least expected from their appearances. Regardless of the breeds, knowing the genetic composition allows dog owners to develop plans to effectively care for all aspects of their dogs’ physical, mental, emotional, and social health. 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. Spring 2018
The Buzz About Bees v Bees are the only insect in the world that makes food that people can eat v Honey contains all of the substances needed to sustain life, including enzymes, water, minerals and vitamins v Eating honey can help you be smarter! It is the only food to contain ‘pinocembrin’ that is an antioxidant that improves brain function v One bee will only make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life v Many plants rely on insects like bees in order to be pollinated; which is why they provide nectar to say thanks v A colony of bees can contain between 20,000 and 60,000 bees, but only one queen bee
v Worker bees, who are all female, are the only ones who will attack you, and only if they feel threatened v It has been estimated that it would take 1,100 bee stings to produce enough venom to be fatal v Each colony smells different to bees, this is so they can tell where they live! v It would take 1,100 bees to make 1kg of honey and they would have to visit 4 million flowers v Bees have two separate stomachs; one for food and another just for nectar v The queen bee will lay around 1,500 eggs a day
v A bee’s wings beat 190 times a second, that’s 11,400 times a minute! v Honey has natural preservatives so that it won’t go bad v There are 900 cells in a bee’s brain
v Bees communicate by smells called ‘pheromones’ and by performing special ‘dances’ v A third of all the plants we eat have been pollinated by bees v Bees have been around for more than 30 million years v Bee keepers only take the honey that the bees do not need, but this can be as much as 45kg from one hive! v There are lots of different types of honey which taste different depending on the flowers used to make it
Horses for Health
"The air of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears," ~ - Arabian Proverb
Turns out that the outside of a horse really is good for the inside of man Chelle Grald
n the free world of the 21st century, there are many things that we can choose to ride for recreational transportation: bicycles, skateboards, ATV's, motorcycles, snowmobiles, skis, surf boards, and the list goes on. Lucky us! We choose horses. Why? Join with me in an answer to that question. There's more to the answer than just declaring 'because I love them.' Although there's nothing wrong with that as a great place to start. Equestrian pursuits are healthy for body, mind and soul. They are a valid and worthwhile choice. Let me count the ways. Real Exercise Have you heard the expression 'sitting is the new smoking?' More and more, studies are showing that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us. Moreover, a segment of the population more likely
to be sedentary is females over the age of 37. Do you resemble that demographic? You'll be happy to know that sitting on a horse does not qualify as a sedentary activity. It is actually real, measurable, productive exercise. Studies by Arizona University and the University of Brighton in the UK verified just how much energy we are expending with our horses. The MET (metabolic equivalent of task) is a measurement that allows various activities to be compared in terms of their energy expenditure. Gentle riding expends 5.5 METs per hour - about the same as dancing. Galloping expends 7.3, the same as a game of squash, while jumping at 9 METs is like a vigorous game of basketball. No time to ride every day? Well, just grooming, mucking, hauling water and tacking/unpacking expends 4.5 METs. Taken together, the average day working with your horse puts you well within the guidelines for healthy, moderate-intensity exercise. Strength for Longevity Exercise physiologists know that as we age, certain kinds of strength and flexibility are especially important in helping our bodies to stay mobile and functional. First and foremost is a strong and flexible spine. Think about those half-halts. Riding inherently builds core strength as you sit deep to halt, stretch tall to canter and lift your torso into a 2-point position. Not to mention the abdominal moxie required to haul hay bales and shovel out stalls. That core strength supports and sustains your spine health. Young people who ride, just
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like gymnasts and dancers, build a foundation of good posture that helps keep us strong and upright longer as we age. After age 30, we all start to lose muscle mass. The resulting loss of strength makes us more susceptible to injury and also more likely to gain weight as our metabolisms slowly decrease. Bummer. The good news is that we can fight back with strength training. Riding and caring for horses works all the necessary muscle groups. Arm strength? Lift some Continued Next Page
Galloping and jumping is the exercise equivalent of a vigorous game of basketball.
buckets and feed bags, brush a dirty horse. Legs? Post to the trot, push a wheelbarrow, walk a cross-country course. The next time your cycling or skiing friend says 'well, at least my (bike, skis, snowmobile, etc.) doesn't need to be fed and cleaned up after,' you just smile and wave your welltoned bicep in their direction. The maintenance is part of the package and it is good for us. Motivation to Overcome A study by the British Horse Society on the benefits of equestrian activity suggests that even those who have long-standing illnesses or disabilities show improved physical and mental condition as they persist with their horses. For many, the gentle and self-paced nature of horse care and riding is the only thing that keeps them active. With their horses, they are less disabled, more mobile and able to reach goals that they can't achieve on their own two feet. It is this incredible, uplifting quality of the horse-human partnership that is at the route of Equine Assisted Therapy in all its forms. There is something about learning to move with and direct such a large and noble beast that brings about healing in so many. A short term study by New Mexico State University showed that children who had witnessed violence in their families showed improved social and psychological functioning with Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. The same results have been seen with veterans and others suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Physical and social functioning are nurtured and improved every day all over the world with the aid of horses in Therapeutic Riding programs. The rocking motion of a horse loosens muscles and joints and brings relaxation and circulation to those who canâ€™t walk themselves. Our horses give us a new way to see the world and that perspective can change the way our brains and bodies are wired. Emotional Intelligence It is well known that horses have pretty small brains comparative to their size and very little capability to reason. That's OK, because it's not their job to be the smart one on the team! Somehow, they inspire us to become smarter, more patient, emotionally-flexible and empathetic. They are proven character-builders. A study commissioned by the German Equestrian Federation compared 400 riders, age 14-65 to 400 non-riders of the same age range. It found that riders were generally more determined, enthusiastic, structured and balanced than their non-riding counterparts. Riders also showed greater leadership, were more assertive and competitive, and demonstrated greater resilience. Who doesn't want more of that in their life? How do horses make us better humans? Well, they're big and potentially dangerous, so we need to learn to think ahead and also lead with confidence. They're sensitive flight animals, so we need to learn empathy and reassurance. They're demanding and expensive, so we need to work hard and be resourceful in order to keep them in our lives. Riding isn't easy. It is a lifelong learning sport with many ups and downs, so we need to be patient, persistent and learn how to receive help from others. Sure, any great passion like music, art or science can inspire us to grow in these ways, but there is something about the relationship with another species that brings an additional dimension.
Horses are proven character-builders.
Continued Next Page
The Great Unplug Horses are time-consuming. There’s no getting around it. The good news is that time spent in the barn and riding are NOT time spent in front of a screen. When we enter the horse’s universe, we find a companion that lives in the moment, focuses on one thing at a time, and thrives on peace and consistency. How different from the world of TV and social media. With the horse, we can let Horse people are a special tribe. go of drama and distraction, breathe and focus. Many of the tasks of horse care Tribe Equus are mundane and repetitive, which has Interaction with horses helps us in its own healing quality. How often has our relationships. Therapeutic Riding is a solution to a thorny problem popped often used as a way to open up commu- into your head while cleaning stalls? nication with patients who are socially shut-down. The concept is simple – we Forest Bathing are more likely to talk about something Back in the early 1990s the Japanese we love. Horse people are a special tribe. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and We understand each other and share a Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku common language. Look at any nation- — which translates roughly as forest al disaster – floods, fires, earthquakes bathing. It is a form of therapy that where horses are endangered and you has caught on all over the world. The will see an outpouring of generosity aim of forest bathing is to slow down and heroism flowing through the horse and become immersed in the natural community. All the way from grass roots environment. Forest bathers take relaxriding clubs to international competi- ing, contemplative walks through the tion, the horse community recognizes forest, breathing deeply and observing and cares for its own. Involvement in the environment with all of their senses. this community yields life-long friend- There's a growing body of evidence that ships, amazing learning opportunities the practice can help boost immunity and life-expanding experiences. and mood and help reduce stress. One
Together, we connect with nature and heal ourselves from stress.
study published in 2011 compared the effects of walking in the city to taking a forest walk. Both activities required the same amount of physical activity, but researchers found that the forest environment led to more significant reductions in blood pressure and certain stress hormones. On average, the forest walkers — who ranged in age from 36 to 77 — saw a reduction in their systolic blood pressure from 141 mmHg down to 134 mmHg after four hours in the forest. The vast majority of equestrians trail ride – some more than others. And mostly we are seeking exactly the same thing as pedestrian forest bathers: relaxation, time to think, observation of the natural world. The only difference is that the horse is carrying us there and both human and horse are receiving the benefits. Oh Yeah - Fun! There are many ways to slice and dice the holistic benefits that our horses bring to us, and no doubt I have missed a few. Perhaps the most obvious one is that riding is fun. It is thrilling to gallop across a field or feel the perfect gear shift of a clean lead change. A bareback swim in the pond or a meander through snowy woods on a fuzzy pony brings a smile that starts on the inside and can’t stay contained. Love drew us to horses and fun has kept us there. It’s all good, and good for us.
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Chelle Grald is the Trails & Ride Manager at Green Mountain Horse Association in S. Woodstock, VT Spring 2018
Sleep, Hamburger, and Rescue T
he sun has long disappeared, replaced by moonlight filtering through the kitchen window. The digital clock readout begins with an eleven and the bed is calling its sweet slumber lullaby. The thick quilt will have to wait, duty is calling––again–– thanks to our newest guest. We recently welcomed Bruiser, a senior English bulldog. He’s confused and frightened, his world flipped upside down. He hasn’t been eating the food offered to him, so Dawna Pederzani, founder of Vermont English Bulldog Rescue (VEBR), is in the kitchen frying ground beef to add to his next breakfast bowl. What dog could refused warmed beef in gravy? Bruiser was one of the dogs in residence two years ago. He was a medical mess when he arrived. After months of care, nearly $900 in vet bills and a host of hit-or-miss medications, his body was finally stabilized and healthy and this charmer was ready for his new home. He was adopted with the promise that his medical and nutritional treatments would continue. This did not happen. He was returned with eyes clouded and infected, ears inflamed, bald patches from allergies and a hurt body and spirit. We found ourselves not at square one, but at square negative 10. This is one situation of rescue, offering strength to overtake the dark place of animal abuse, cruelty and neglect. Although animal welfare groups have their share of joyful, new beginnings, all outcomes are not always romantic, pretty, or positive. We’ve had dogs dumped on our doorstep, dropped off at our vet, surrendered without so much as a conversation. Conditions range from bleak to mediocre to heartbreaking. It’s rare a dog makes its way to us that doesn’t require hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, to heal aliments left untreated to fester into infection and pain. One reason I volunteer with VEBR is because of the exceptional care afforded each dog. One size, one food, one medication, one veterinarian, one physical regiment does not fit all. This rescue looks through committed eyes at each dog as an individual to access his specific needs and formulate a plan for success. Spring 2018
The counter is lined with labeled freezer-sized bags. Each holds prescriptions, administered once, twice, three, sometimes four times a day. Different meds, different dogs, different intervals. Each dog requires specific nutrition and supplements, even those within the same breed, to reach and maintain mental and physical health. Schedules are continually updated. Canines are jigsaw puzzles with fur. What keeps one healthy and strong, brings allergies and itchies to another. One medication may keep a condition at bay while another could cause a break out of hives and loss of hair. Even the most educated and experienced canine owners are sometimes left to shake their heads trying to figure out these mysteries. Along with a handful of dedicated volunteers, we drag ourselves out of bed before the sun rises, head over after work and visit on weekends to give these worthy dogs the time and attention they deserve. Bruiser wants hamburger? Bruiser can have his hamburger. We aim to please, even if it means less sleep––again. For more information about Bruiser and other dogs available for adoption, please visit: www.VermontEnglishBulldogRescue.com and www.BulldogsandBuddies.com Facebook: Vermont English Bulldog Rescue Email: VermontEnglishBulldogRescue@yahoo.com
Paradise Recovered John Peaveler- E. Thetford, VT
D uring disaster response, the mission of The Humane Society of the United States is the preservation
of life, health and welfare of animals through the combination of rescue, evacuation, relief, emergency sheltering, reunification, capacity building, training, grant giving and community support. These efforts support the needs of animals — and the people in their lives —who are victims of disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, high winds and rainfall devastated the territory of Puerto Rico. The HSUS shelter partners across the territory were battered, broken and struggling to help the animals they serve. Because of my experience as a certified Rescue Technician and Disaster Consultant, I deployed with Dave Pauli, Senior Advisor, Wildlife Response and Policy of The HSUS, to Vieques, an island located six miles off the coast of the main island of Puerto Rico. We arrived in San Juan aboard a small cargo plane operated by Wings of Rescue, a nonprofit with a mission of evacuating and transporting animals and relief supplies. Our time in San Juan was limited, as a helicopter was awaiting our arrival. We wove through the chaos and loaded the helicopter with supplies. The pilot made a careful ascent, probing the airfield for a safe route through an incredible density of civilian and military aircraft. Carving our way around San Juan, we banked to the southeast and followed a mostly overland course toward Vieques. 24 4 Legs & a Tail
I’ve found that when it comes to tableaus of chaos and ruin, every disaster has some comparability. The loss of home, possession and worst of all life, always shares elements of tragedy, pain, loss and grief for every person and animal affected. What struck me most on that first flight to Vieques was how pervasive this disaster was. The destruction stretched from coast to coast, and it was quickly evident that the isolation of these islands would make it exceedingly difficult to move the flood of materials needed to recover from such an event. We flew above pummeled towns and leveled forests. Some buildings were simply gone, while the vast majority had significant roof HSUS veterinarian Dr. Joey Vest damage. Debris was treats an injured dog at a trash dump in Vieques, Puerto Rico. scattered everywhere. Photo credit: Meredith Lee/The HSUS In different times, Vieques is an isolated paradise. Its lack of large resorts to shadow its beautiful beaches and rich culture, make it a perfect escape for those looking for something more authentic. Though the island is easily accessible to tourists, it has no major ports. This proved to be a challenge during disaster response and became a logistical logjam. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, it took a tremendous effort to get two emergency responders with 500 pounds of equipment to Vieques. This was to be a harbinger of things to come. Sára Varsa, Senior Director of the Animal Rescue Team at The HSUS, oversees all disaster response for the organization. Her instructions for this mission were simple: go help. Our Continued Next Page
first 24 hours on the island were spent determining what help was needed, what resources could meet those needs and designing programs that could serve those needs. Vieques has a large population of feral horses, dogs and cats and three animal rescue organizations. We spent the first day linking up with municipal leaders and other non-profits, assessing the needs of free-roaming animals and connecting with animal rescue organizations. It was a busy day, one of many to come, and filled with emotion as we saw the effects of the storm, the very limited resources of the island and a shell-shocked population of people and animals. Based on what we saw, we rapidly worked with HSUS staff members in Florida and elsewhere to develop a supply chain. First, we used airplanes to move materials into San Juan, and then moved smaller amounts to Vieques via helicopter. At the same time, we put in a request for veterinary support in the form of veterinarians and medical supplies as well as for additional field responders to run relief, recovery, and evacuation operations. As that system was being put into place, we on Vieques worked to help however, we could. One of the most simple but profound things we could do to help early on was to give our satellite phone to members of the community who had not been able to contact their families. These moments were filled with joy, sadness and despair. Over the course of more than a month, we evacuated nearly 200 animals from the local shelter and rescue groups, freeing up critical space and resources. We supplied local charities with thousands of pounds of human food, toiletries, solar lights and animal food for all species. We operated clinics in underserved communities and reached many who couldnâ€™t venture into town. An incredible team of over 30 responders and local volunteers went door to door delivering human and animal food and providing free veterinary services. We worked with the local vet to help her become operational again. We cleaned up the local animal shelter
and provided them with generators, fuel and tons of other supplies. We provided fresh food for the elderly and infirm and safety equipment for the fire fighters who spent their days unloading aid from military helicopters. Wherever we saw a need, we worked to meet it in any way we could. It was an incredible challenge, but it was without a doubt one of the most rewarding and effective responses of my career. The men and women of the HSUS, both staff and volunteers, came together to answer the call for help, even as far away as the small island of Vieques. I am extremely proud of the work completed and the part I was able to play in the relief efforts. Recovery from a major disaster, however, takes years. The initial response wrapped up at the end of October of 2017, but by December, HSUS had sent more staff and volunteers to undertake a big effort to sterilize dogs, cats and horses on the island. As recovery continues, the resilient people and animals of Vieques continue to demonstrate strength in difficult circumstances. The HSUS will continue to help Puerto Rico and the rest of United States, striving to make a better world for animals and people, and to be ready for the next time disaster strikes. If you would like to donate to HSUS disaster relief efforts, visit http://bit.ly/2E2doQs John Peaveler has over 14 years of experience addressing animal welfare issues all over the world. He currently works as a consultant and professional animal cruelty/disaster responder and trainer for Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, and Animal Care Equipment and Services. He is based in West Fairlee, Vermont where he serves as ACO, dad, husband, and minion to 20 chickens, four dogs and a cat.
HSUS team member Dave Pauli brings a sheet for an injured dog to lay on while she is examined by Dr. Joey Vest in Vieques. Photo credit: Meredith Lee/The HSUS
Spring Cleaning the Toy Box? Make sure your pet’s toys are safe and healthy for them.
ost pets love to play with a toy and both cats and dogs benefit from playing with toys. Appropriate toys help keep their teeth and gums healthy, provide exercise and relieve stress. However, the wrong toys or worn out toys can cause dental problems, blockages, and other potentially lethal problems. Spring is a great time to take stock of your pet’s toys and make sure they have a year of safe play.
Dogs often mistake pill bottles for toys. In fact ingestion of pharmaceuticals is the most common emergency call to Pet Poison Control centers. So, of course, all medications should be kept far away from your pets reach. Cats usually love to play with any type of string, yarn or ribbon. These can have deadly consequences as felines often swallow these. Once these “linear foreign bodies” reach their intestines they cut into the delicate lining causing serious damage. But that’s not a toy! Many times pets play with things that Without rapid surgical intervention, are not designed for that purpose. Here many cats do not survive. Curtain and are 2 examples of household items that shade pulls should be knotted up so they are actually very dangerous for pets. are out of reach, and all yarn, string, and ribbon should be kept out of sight. Children’s toys such as dolls, balls and stuffed animals are all appealing to dogs and may be small or destructible enough to cause trouble. Clothing such as socks, underwear, and towels are also common causes of trouble for dogs. Basically, if it smells, squeaks, rattles or rolls your pup might say “It’s a toy!!” For cats-if it moves its fair game (literally).
One more warning about medications. Although Ali is being very helpful by reminding us to give her heartworm prevention medication, she should NOT have access to veterinary pharmaceuticals either. Obviously, they are often flavored to appeal to pets and consuming higher than the recommended dose can be dangerous. Dental Chew Toys-What works? And what is safe? There are so many dental products that it is hard to know which ones are effective. Fortunately, there is a whole group of board-certified veterinary dentists to figure that out for us. The Veterinary Oral Health Council evaluates all dental products including chew toys. Look for the VOHC seal of approval to decide if a dental product is safe AND efficacious. There is an extensive list on their website: vohc.org. Continued Next Page
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These are some safe, effective VOHC approved chews. However, how do you know if a given chew toy that is not a dental product is safe for their teeth? The general rule is that anything they chew should be soft enough to indent with your fingernail and too large for them to swallow. Obviously, many people give their dogs bones to chew on that don’t fit this rule.
What about all those other toys? As Clawd, Keirin and Bella show us, cats and dogs love a variety of toys. Pretty much any soft toy is appropriate as long as it is not too small. However, medium to large dogs are at risk of choking on tennis balls and they are also destructive to their teeth once they get a bit worn out. The tricky part of toy Spring cleaning is finding the toys that Of course, if all pets were like Bitsie have been too lovingly chewed to still we wouldn’t have to worry about danbe safe for your cat or dog. gerous toys at all. Carol Gifford, DVM has been practicing veterinary medicine in Vermont since 1987. In 1991, she founded her own practice, which grew to become Riverside Pet Hospital.
Jigger loves his bully sticks but they are harder than is ideal for his dental health. If you do give your pet these hard chew toys moderation is the key. Don’t allow too much time with them and monitor your pet’s teeth for signs of wear. Your veterinarian may recommend discontinuing them if the teeth become worn or break.
Blue and Tiny’s favorite toys are ready to be discarded. Frayed toys can be a risk from strings, choking or small pieces that can be swallowed and cause a blockage. Also, dogs often like to chew and can swallow the stuffing or squeakers. So spend a little time sorting through the toy box and keep your pets safe. Spring 2018
All I Really Need to Know I Learned From My Dog
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride. - Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- When you leave your yard, make it an adventure.
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- Take naps and stretch before rising.
- No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout - run right back and make friends.
- Never pretend to be something you’re not. - Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. - If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. - Run, romp, and play daily. - Be loyal. - When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
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- Thrive on affection and let people touch you - enjoy back rubs and pats on your neck.
- Bond with your pack. - On cold nights, curl up in front of a crackling fire. - When you’re excited, speak up. - When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. - Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
A Holistic Approach to Vaccination Season
Rutland & Addison County Mud Season 2018
Taxing Questions About Your Pets Spring Cleaning the Toy Box
What Your Dog Can Teach You The Saddle May Be Your Best Friend